My favorite kind of idea is one that starts, spreads, inspires, morphs and transforms into something new. Extra points if it requires engagement, community and a glue stick.
In 2000, Someguy (that’s the name he uses) created a project to send 1000 journals out into the world. He was frustrated that we–as in “the collective we the citizens of the world”– had lost our inner-artist. He had a plan to help us rediscover our creative expression.
So, Someguy and friends made 1000 journals, launched them on their global journey, and invited recipients to explore and create. They were encouraged to leave the journals in random places for others to find.
And he waited for their return. The project followed the notebooks through 50 states and 40 countries, and some are still traveling.
Photos from screamonline.com.
They tell a collective story, and it appears they did their work to inspire and awaken the inner-artist in at least some of their owners. (By the way, I have been traveling with glue sticks for years, and my travel journals never looked like these!)
Someguy’s project gave birth to others.
Andrea Kreuzhage created a documentary, and SFMOMA is currently exhibiting a show of about 800 pages from the project. Chronicle Books (who always seems to know what I want, even before I know) published a book with pages from 250 of the journals.
Trailer for the film here:
Update: Andrea, from the film, commented (thank you!), so check out the film’s website too!
Someguy isn’t done with us. He has a new project called 1001 Journals. It’s an ongoing do-it-yourself-send-your-own-journal into the world site. There are 2500 (or maybe 3500, I can’t really tell) personal and traveling journals.
If you can’t find your passport or your gluestick, the website is a fine way to do some Monday morning time travel. At least that’s where you’ll find me.