This is still a work in progress.
I share some initial reactions to recipients reactions here. But as I write, I realize how much more could be said. I reflect on what a website can do, and how other modalities and genres could contribute to the longer expositions, and on-site possibilities for pursuing the many aspects of this piece, and its particular role in the "Scattered Subjects" project.
An article or photo essay could allow me to delve expand the art work in the making. An exhibition would explain and incite further responses. A book about "Scattered Subjects" could include more detailed and engagement with the way anthropologists, artists and philosophers are exploring subjectness.
When I sent out the pieces of the work around the world, I imagined that it would be the different climates and home environments that would come through in the photographs people sent me. These do: but in ways that bear the mark of the recipient and the relationship between us than I might have imagined.
I was sending out many bits of the work: recipients received a single piece of the never-to-be-seen-at-once total picture. That piece was theirs: a gift from me. Their focus on the particular piece intensified the work as a whole, adding their individual subjectivity and also my one to one relationship with them into the never-seen-at - once total picture. Each responses added historical and emotional depth to the work as a whole.
One person playfully set the piece in the midst of the kinds materials I had used to make the work,a comment on the making process, but also, about how such reflection on making was an important aspect of our exchanges over the years. Another noticed how the work harmonized with one of her own artworks, noticing aesthetic symmetries that spoke to the history of our relationship, that was entangled in making art together. A third person took a photo of the piece atop a painting I'd made for her decades ago: tying me today with my history, yet again, much like someone one meets face to face, she brought our long relationship as well as aesthetic observations to the total work. Some people framed their piece: honoring i our connection by giving it a permanent place in their home , emphasizing the way each individual aspect of the whole was also an independent work in itself.
The have inspired poems and short texts that the choice of placement : how might one situate the works so it can provoke thoughts daily? 'one women asked children to name her piece: a "comet," "alligator" or "robot"? A couple called their peice a "comet," suggested the trajectory of the work that had speeded along postal toutes by air and land from Paris to reach them in North America.