And the winner is : Suki O'Kane’s Mailbox Cinema.
The Mailbox Cinema
I’m refurbishing a mailbox so it can be experienced as a miniature movie theater when opened. Modified with a projection and audio system in the back, The Mailbox Cinema will be installed in public, appearing, disappearing, and reappearing with small stories of place: along the Key Route, outside the Bonanza, on the steps of the Calvin Simmons, or tracking locations with the name Chabot on them from the water to the hills. Running for 12 months, each site will screen a a unique two-minute original film with composed soundtrack that reflects the history of its location and an aesthetic meditation.
Context & Rationale:
I have long been fascinated by the collision of public art, film and music, and since 2005 have created projects that convened anywhere from six to sixty artists in monumental relighting and sound sculpting of civic space. One of the goals of the project was to transform a place so completely that audiences returning to these locations could never see them in the same way.
My interest now is in pairing that accidental transformation, and a community of artists, with very small experiences, giving Oaklanders opportunities to dig in to our history through its hidden fixtures. The Mailbox Cinema is intended to reward the curious; intersect with the cultures of secret Oakland and nonchalance that promotes the animation of civic space through storytelling, ephemera and the social practice of creative observation; and enter our conversations about Oakland’s public space and its uses. It is a sculpture, an installation, a musical instrument, and a curatorial canvas.
The design purposefully combines the anachronistic with newer, enabling technologies. It draws on my practice in music, sound design and intermedia while giving me the opportunity to develop and incorporate new skills in microcontroller fabrication at the heart of the mailbox’s interactive performance.
Purpose of Funds:
Oakland Stock funds will support my Arduino microcontroller coursework fees and materials at Tech Shop San Francisco, the community-based workshop and prototyping studio. Tech Shop paces this comprehensive training over 18 hours at a typical cost of $515.
“More than philatelic, it’s psychedelic. It’s Cinema in a Mailbox.”