The mailman’s Bag PolakVanBekkum



The mailman’s Bag PolakVanBekkum

Part of the 250 Miles Crossing Philadelphia project, The Mailman’s Bag 2015 is a very dear work to us. The sounds are recorded directly from the bag containing the mail being distributed by the mailman. The work uses an innovative way of binaural sound recording: the bag becomes equipped with „human” ears, and becomes the protagonist. As the bag never parts from the mailman’s body, the recording stays very close to the moment to moment interaction of mail delivery. An interaction that both takes place between humans: the postman and the citizen and between objects: mail and mailbox.

Every movement of the bag is recorded with a GPS-device. Those movements are recreated with a custom software in Google Steetview. Because of the limitations of the Streetview 3D algorithm a machine-world like glitch is produced. Two worlds, the realistic sound and the weird automated 3D glitch, never totally meet. It is in the gap between those, that the poetry of the project emerges in the mind of the beholder.

Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum work together as artist-couple under the name PolakVanBekkum. Their work focusses on landscape and mobility.

They have worked and exhibited internationally, at Transmediale Berlin, Ars Electronica Linz, ZKM Karlsruhe, London, IMAL Brussels, Rento Brattinga | Gallery Amsterdam, Museo for Image and Sound Sao Paolo, Nairobi, Lagos, Marrakech, Paris, Philadelphia Percent for Art program, Los Angeles and Queensland. In 2005 Esther Polak did receive a Golden Nica for interactive Art at Ars Electronica together with Ieva Auzina, for their MILKproject.

Since 2002 we (PolakVanBekkum) initiated innovative projects about mobility and landscape. Our primary focus is: the performativity of mobility. What does mobility bring about, create? Within our projects, we concentrate on mobility patterns (of people, products, animals, machines) and their artistic potential. In the execution we focus on the perspective of the individual: step by step, project by project we are looking for different ways of putting this point of view center stage.

The mailman’s Bag PolakVanBekkkum