Laris Kreslins loves the U.S. Postal Service. As a teenager, he compiled a DIY fanzine: meticulously contacting artists, receiving their contributions, and finally sending out the finished compilations - all by mail.
His latest project - called "duplicate. until response." - is an extension of his youthful exploits. Kreslins solicited artwork no larger than 18 by 24 inches from 30 contributors and mailed the results to random recipients around the country. (He asked Facebook friends for photos of pages from local White Pages to ensure regional variety.)
The art has been mailed in waves over the last two months. As responses arrive, they'll be added to the show.
"The idea of using the mail is very intriguing to me, just the randomness of it," Kreslins says. "Can you interact with someone on a completely random level and create a relationship with them? People send back letters, notes, [their own] artwork. One woman called the gallery and was upset her address was located, but once [we] explained the art show to her she agreed to send a response."
This project is typical of Kreslins' work. He likes to throw events and happenings, acting as a producer or host rather than featuring his own work. In this case, there is no aesthetic theme. He simply rounded up artists whose personalities he thought would complement the project.
"I was inspired by balloon releases we were involved in back in my elementary school days," Kreslins says. "Put a message in it and see who got back to you. It's also going back to my 'zine days. I love going to the post office, I love putting packages together, I loved the act of mailing."
The opening of "duplicate. until response." is 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Hooloon Art Gallery, 53 N. Second St., in Old City. The exhibition continues through March 15.