Yesterday I was so happy to find this box in my mailbox!!! This is a Priority Box, a box made by Franck de Las Mercedes, an artist from the US. The priority boxes are a global interactive art / peace movement – they are meant to provoke thought and discussion, the message is the box itself, there is nothing inside it. Here is the description from the site:
“The Priority Boxes” A global art series.
What would you do if you suddenly received a box via mail, labeled “FRAGILE: Contains Peace”? How would you use it? Would you give it to someone else? Would you sell it? Would you just throw it away?
Such a box is exactly what painter Franck de Las Mercedes has been sending since May of 2006 to anyone who asks him, anywhere in the world, for free.
“The Priority Boxes” project is a public art series that seeks to provoke thought, to make people reconsider their ability to influence change, communicate through art and make art accessible to people from all walks of life.
There’s also a touching video of Franck talking about his project here:
It was a thrill to receive it – I had sent in a request at the end of November when I first saw them floating around the blogosphere, and now just over 3 months later when i had all but forgotten about it, it turned up to delight me. I raced around showing people – everybody I showed it to thought it was beautiful and wanted one of their own! I will be taking it in to lectures and presentations on web 2.0 all the time now 🙂 Sometimes it has been challenging to be what’s sometimes called “an early adopter” – yesterday for example I asked some students if they twittered (I wanted to share Neil Gaiman’s twitter contact details with them as they are studying children’s literature!) and they all looked at me as though I was speaking a foreign language. But when i receive a box like this in the mail it genuinely does give me hope – hope that I am also doing something worthwhile that will be appreciated, if not now, some time in the future.
So, many many thanks indeed to Franck de Las Mercedes – what an amazing, inspiring man!!