POSTCARDS FOR AMERICA, 2015

On July 8, 2015 I loaded up my car in Los Angeles, CA with camping supplies, clothes, food, and my loveable dog Neptune Gravybones and set out on a cross-country road trip to Washington, DC, my birthplace and childhood hometown. Up until this time the farthest I had ever driven was to Tucson, Arizona, a little more than seven hours away. While I was looking forward to the solitude of the open road and the classic “clearing of the mind” it promised, I was still anxious, afraid of how much I would miss all my friends and how I would deal with connecting with, and then leaving, my friends, family, and new acquaintances along my journey. I wanted a way to stay in contact, take my loved ones with me, and to have them be part of my journey. I looked to the medium of the simple postcard as a way to do this.

I asked many people, including self-identified artists and non-artists, to send me images they would like me to print as 4inx6in postcards. In this invitation I also gave participants the opportunity to request that I drop off their cards at specific locations along my tentative route, relayed to them through a google map. Some participants sent me multiple images to leave in different locations, while others wanted the same card left in very specific spots. Most people sent an image and encouraged me to drop their card wherever I saw fit. With few exceptions the back of each card was left as a typical blank postcard format, with a small vertical line delineating address from message, and a square in the upper right corner indicating the proper space for postage. Unless specifically requested by the artist, I did not include any extra texts – no urls or names. I brought my inkjet printer with me so I could print new cards on-the-fly as people sent me images over the course of my month-long journey. Additionally, I created a few cards myself as a way of contributing to the project and commenting on my trip.

As I progressed in my travels, I found the postcards people sent me gave me an added purpose, took me to unexpected locations, and made me see the country through other people’s images, suggestions, and directions. I also liked how these cards inverted the typical postcard exchange. Instead of buying a card at, say, Bryce Canyon, UT and mailing it to a friend, I could leave a card from a friend at a travel mart or tourist trap in or near Bryce Canyon. I also found joy in leaving cards in places where their presence would surprise anyone who stumbled upon them, be it under a windshield wiper, in a tree, above a urinal, or in a vending machine.

I chose to document my placement of these cards using my iPhone 5. I uploaded some, but not all of these images to my Instagram (@tuckerwonders) and tagged them all with
#postcardsforamerica

The resulting documentation is a travelogue made mostly of other people’s images, imaginations, texts, and instructions on how to see and experience the American landscape. These became postcards for America.

I returned to Los Angeles on August 7, 2015.
Here are the cities where I slept during this road trip, listed chronologically:

Washington City, Utah
Escalante, Utah
Parker, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
Kansas City, Nebraska
Carbondale, Illinois
Cleveland, Ohio
Brooklyn, New York
Washington, DC
Charolette, North Carolina
Cherokee Lake, Tennessee
Jackson, Mississippi
Summit, Mississippi
New Orleans, Louisiana
San Antonio, Texas
Tucson, AZ

LA to DC by Tucker Neel

LA to DC by Tucker Neel

Thank You by Anna Magnuson

Thank You by Anna Magnuson

"Now” by Annie Buckley, 2009/2015

"Now” by Annie Buckley, 2009/2015

Untitled (The Eternal...) by Drew Dunlap

Untitled (The Eternal...) by Drew Dunlap

Untitled (Stars for Cities) by Alex Schub

Untitled (Stars for Cities) by Alex Schub

Untitled (Not A Dong) by Alexis Smith

Untitled (Not A Dong) by Alexis Smith

Untitled (NSA) by Allison Schifani

Untitled (NSA) by Allison Schifani

Untitled (Mothers, hide your daughters) by Allegra Frazier

Untitled (Mothers, hide your daughters) by Allegra Frazier

Untitled (colloquialisms) by Ana Llorente

Untitled (colloquialisms) by Ana Llorente

Untitled (swimming pool) by Anna Marie Neel

Untitled (swimming pool) by Anna Marie Neel

Untitled (Temple of Artemis) by Annie O'Malley

Untitled (Temple of Artemis) by Annie O'Malley

Untitled (pennants) by Billy Kheel

Untitled (pennants) by Billy Kheel

Orange You Glad by Bob Dob

Orange You Glad by Bob Dob

The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) by Bridget Kane

The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) by Bridget Kane

Untitled by Chris Oatey

Untitled by Chris Oatey

Untitled (My dog peed...) by Cole Moss

Untitled (My dog peed...) by Cole Moss

I Think About You When You Are Not Here by David Smith

I Think About You When You Are Not Here by David Smith

Both Bull and Self Transcended by Doug Harvey

Both Bull and Self Transcended by Doug Harvey

Untitled by Elana Mann

Untitled by Elana Mann

Untitled by Emi Tamaru

Untitled by Emi Tamaru

Untitled (The Brain and Heart) by Eric Adams

Untitled (The Brain and Heart) by Eric Adams

Untitled (Prickly Pear) by Erica Stephens

Untitled (Prickly Pear) by Erica Stephens

Untitled by Erik Sandberg

Untitled by Erik Sandberg

Untitled by Hazel Mandujano

Untitled by Hazel Mandujano

Untitled by Fran Siegel

Untitled by Fran Siegel

Untitled (Flesh is Candy) by Jason Gottlieb

Untitled (Flesh is Candy) by Jason Gottlieb

Untitled by Jean Weicher

Untitled by Jean Weicher

Untitled (The Other Vietnam Memorial by Chris Burden) by John Burtle

Untitled (The Other Vietnam Memorial by Chris Burden) by John Burtle

Untitled cards by JT Steiny

Untitled cards by JT Steiny

Untitled (Cards for SIU) by Kali Nikitas

Untitled (Cards for SIU) by Kali Nikitas

Untitled (Card for Spectre Arts) by Karen Atkinson

Untitled (Card for Spectre Arts) by Karen Atkinson

Untitled by Kentaro Ikegami

Untitled by Kentaro Ikegami

Untitled by Lucas Michael

Untitled by Lucas Michael

Untitled (Full Size Render) by Martin Durazo

Untitled (Full Size Render) by Martin Durazo

Untitled (My Ponderosa Beats Your Loblolly) by Mary Lou Foy

Untitled (My Ponderosa Beats Your Loblolly) by Mary Lou Foy

Untitled (Hellfire) by Matias Viegener

Untitled (Hellfire) by Matias Viegener

Untitled by Max Provost

Untitled by Max Provost

Untitled by Meg Cranston

Untitled by Meg Cranston

Untitled by Micah Rich

Untitled by Micah Rich

Untitled by Michael Ano

Untitled by Michael Ano

I traveled a lot in the past several years and can't find the postcards I meant to send you. by Michele Jaquis

I traveled a lot in the past several years and can't find the postcards I meant to send you. by Michele Jaquis

Untitled (Birthday Card) by Molly Rodgeveller

Untitled (Birthday Card) by Molly Rodgeveller

Untitled cards by Nancy Baker Cahill

Untitled cards by Nancy Baker Cahill

Untitled (Mayberry) by Nancy Jo Haselbacher

Untitled (Mayberry) by Nancy Jo Haselbacher

Untitled cards by Nancy Popp

Untitled cards by Nancy Popp

Untitled by Pamela Valfer

Untitled by Pamela Valfer

Untitled by Anonymous

Untitled by Anonymous

Deflowering by Steven Bankhead

Deflowering by Steven Bankhead

Untitled by Sue Maberry

Untitled by Sue Maberry

Untitled (Free Speech Cards) by Susan Silton

Untitled (Free Speech Cards) by Susan Silton

Untitled by Suzanne Neel

Untitled by Suzanne Neel

Untitled by Toban Nichols

Untitled by Toban Nichols

Untitled (The Global South Shall Rise Again!) by Tucker Neel

Untitled (The Global South Shall Rise Again!) by Tucker Neel

Untitled (I'M NOT OUT OF KANSAS YET.) by Tucker Neel

Untitled (I'M NOT OUT OF KANSAS YET.) by Tucker Neel

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