Revealing the unseen world of how mail is delivered to the farthest corners of the UK, Royal Mail gave Tim Knowles unique access to its delivery system. Creating an artwork that captures the experience of a parcel in the post – carried by foot, Royal Mail vans and trucks, a Boeing 737-300 cargo plane, a small Shorts 360 propeller Aircraft and a ferry – this object traveled 20 hours 22 minutes. A specially constructed parcel recorded its own 902-mile journey through the postal system from London to the Isle of Barra, in a sequence of 20,000 images, a continuous audio recording and a GPS track.
The artwork consists of a website on which the journey can be followed, and an accompanying book with 155 color photographs selected from the journey. Designed by Knowles, it captures an array of random imagery depicting post office interiors, sorting facilities, people at work, the processing of mail and the many different modes of transport used during its journey. Post Box follows from a range of postal projects by Knowles – some photographing their own journeys through the postal system, others producing drawings as they travel, recording the movements of the parcel.
In his work, Tim Knowles is interested in being led by systems over which he has no control. In his night walks and wind walks he traces the landscape, making the invisible visible and tangible. With Post Box he gives yet another voice to what tends to be overlooked.
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