Translatio Amicorum

Inspired by this flash mob’s form, three friends circulated a series of postcards, with each person creating, adding, and responding to the visual and textual elements of the card before sending it on to the next friend. As a postcard circulates, it is transformed by each recipient. It takes on palimpsestic dimensions, accruing the visual and textual imprint of each recipient. The boundaries between postcard originator and recipient become porous. The postcard becomes a site of “being with” as it traverses great distance. It arrives at each destination translated, bearing marks of friendship.

The title of this digital imprint of that process means “Translation of Friends.” Translatio literally means “to carry over,” and in the Middle Ages it was the term used to describe the movement of a relic from one location to another. Such a process troubles distinctions between absence and presence. Amicorum inscribes belonging, trust, and mutual affection. This is the promise of blurred boundaries between originator and recipient between maker and audience—between friends.