The Mailman’s Bag

The Mailman’s bag, like the mural, is one of the special side-works realized during Esther and Ivar’s residency. The work is based on the recording of a Philadelphia mail man’s bag. Using a different visual language the meaning of the work shifts, so that the work becomes a separate piece

Sounds were recorded directly from the bag containing the mail being distributed by the mail-man. This way the bag becomes equipped with „human” ears and becomes the protagonist. As the bag never parts from the mail man’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.

The Mailman’s bag becomes The Beagle.
For other recordings Esther and Ivar used their own recording device, the Beagle. In this case they modified the existing bag of the mail-man. Like with The Beagle, every movement of the bag is recorded, and ambient sound is recorded “binaural”, meaning that we hear what the bag would be hearing, if only it had ears.

The visuals are created using the same custom software MilkMachine 2.0. In this case they play out in the virtual world of Google Steetview, instead of the flat satellite images used in the other recordings. Because of the limitations of the Streetview 3D algorithm a constant 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 work emerges in the mind of the beholder.

Running in Google Earth via .kmz file, or via any media player as a .mov file, the work can be presented as a stand alone installation, or experienced here, online. The work can be best experienced using headphones.