HASHIMOTO: JUNK MAIL WITH GRAND PIANO
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THE JUNK MAIL EXPERIMENT opened in Chicago on October 20,
2007. In conjunction with the City of Chicago’s Department
of Cultural Affairs, Barbara Hashimoto presented the performance
/ installation, Shredded Junk Mail with Grand Piano
as part of Chicago Artists Month. The performance
was held in Hashimoto’s 2,000-square foot studio, at BauerLatoza
Studio, a multi-disciplinary architecture firm where she is Artist-in-Residence.
Bringing together musician Edward
Torrez and videographer Eric Hoffhines, Hashimoto built an installation
from the shredded junk mail she has been collecting since June
At the commencement of the performance, an imposing pile of this
shredded unsolicited material, measuring 30 x 10 x 8 feet was
amassed in the center of the performance space. Alongside this
carefully constructed barricade, was a small plaque identifying
it as the amount of junk mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service
to the architecture firm for a period of less than five months.
Nearby, Junk Mail Facts (such
as, “100 million trees are cut down to produce junk mail
annually”) set the stage.
As Torrez played on the concert grand piano, Hashimoto transferred
her stockpile of shredded junk mail onto the piano until it fully
engulfed the instrument and musician. Her actions, initially deliberate
and calm, grew into a frenzied crescendo and then into meditative
Buried in paper, Torrez continued to play, his final melodic lullabies
muffled by the hundreds of pounds of paper entombing the piano.
He succumbed to the interment as Hashimoto made a bed in this
newly constructed haystack-like structure and feel to sleep.
A limited edition bound book with accompanying video of Shredded
Junk Mail with Grand Piano is available. The book
contains documentation of the performance along with video stills,
photography, and a complimentary CD, "20 Bars of Junk Mail",
by 17-year old rap artist Styles2Rich is included
INFORMATION ABOUT THE JUNK MAIL EXPERIMENT
this page: Eric Hoffhines, video stills