Miranda’s issue was a vinyl pull-down window shade complete with mounting brackets. There were two different shades with text silkscreened on the inside of each. One shade read, “If this shade is down I’m not who you think I am.” The other shade read, “If this shade is down I’m begging your forgiveness on bended knee with tears streaming down my face.” Subscribers received only one shade. The process of selection was completely random.
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
What you have just opened is Issue 1 of THE THING. Thank you for subscribing! We are very excited about this publication and are feeling particularly excited about the fact that you have this THING in your home, this issue that Miranda July invented. So much went into making this THING, and we like to think that the object itself contains all of this. In fact we do believe this. But in case something doesn’t translate we wanted to put it all in writing as well. Miranda conceived of her thing while in the middle of so much busyness, and we are so grateful to her for putting so much of her energy into it. The shades were then procured with the help of Alice Lee at Cole Valley Hardware in San Francisco. We are guessing that they came from Texas, but we aren’t really sure. The shades were then driven over to Ape Do Good Printing (also in San Francisco) where Anthony, Felicity and their crew muscled through the first run. There were a lot of piling packing supplies in cars or bike bags while all of this was happening. Southern Exposure let us use their gallery as our editorial/shipping office as a part of their “Free Enterprise” residency, and it was here that THE THING received its finishing touches. Kind interns touched up your shade with their hands and paintbrushes. Daniel rode his bicycle to the packaging store on Howard Street and bought a beautiful tape dispenser. And with the help of a lot of good people, your thing was wrapped (not in brown paper as we had planned…we know we said that was how your thing would arrive, and we tried. But in the end, wrapping a brown tube in brown paper seemed unnecessary for this issue). Once they were all packed, we then piled all of these THINGS in our car (we probably made 2 trips because they didn’t fit). A lot of this hasn’t happened yet, so writing this feels a bit like that movie Back to the Future. Speaking of which, one of the things that we were really excited about when we first started thinking about THE THING, was the whole process of mailing it: bringing it to the post office and dropping it off so it could travel to your home. And the fact that you are reading this means that it all has happened. Thank you for being a part of all of this! Miranda wanted us to make sure you knew that the shade does not need to be hung in a window. It can be hung on a wall covering a hole, or over a doorway, or in your garage or basement. Also it is important for you to know that the message is meant to face in, where you and the people who share your living space can read it. We have included mounting brackets in your package so that you can mount the shade most anywhere.
Will Rogan & Jonn Herschend
- MIRANDA JULY
Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her most recent work is The First Bad Man, a novel. July’s collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty-three countries. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, and The New Yorker; It Chooses You was her first book of non-fiction. She wrote, directed and starred in The Future and Me and You and Everyone We Know — winner of the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. July’s participatory art works include the website Learning to Love You More (with artist Harrell Fletcher), Eleven Heavy Things (a sculpture garden created for the 2009 Venice Biennale), New Society (a performance), and Somebody (a messaging app.) Raised in Berkeley, California, July lives in Los Angeles.
More about Miranda July can be found here.