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A Film and Video Umbrella online project


A 'mail-art' project in which online artists-in-residence are creatively
're-cycling' unwanted digital material deposited by subscribers to the
Tristero website.

Thomas Pynchon's late-Sixties state-of-America novel 'The Crying of Lot 49'
revolves around a phenomenon called the Tristero: a clandestine mail system
which operates under the radar of the US Postal Service, whose initiates
covertly inscribe and re-direct apparently innocent letters as a way of
sending coded messages to each other. The Tristero is a kind of hacker
underworld before the fact, a secret network of marginalised, dissident
elements who take pride in the creative re-purposing of overlooked or
discarded material, transforming dead-letters and junk mail into
multi-layered carriers of meaning.

At a time when junk email is reaching epidemic proportions, this Film and
Video Umbrella online project attempts to put some of the Tristero's ideas
into practice.

Marketing communications agency, The Big Group have developed a customised
digital image depository to which subscribers to the Tristero website can
donate waste material from their mailboxes or hard drives in the hope that
it will be transformed into ready-made, Merz-style artworks by artists.

The first artist-in-residence, Nick Crowe has been creating work throughout
July, and will be replaced by Simon Biggs on 5th August.

Forthcoming artists include Jacqueline Donachie and Michael Landy.

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A direct link to Simon Biggs' version is at: