Here’s an interesting article about journals that have been set free to wander the globe over the past decade: A real page-turner: The results of the 1,000 Journals Project are revealed – Features, Art – The Independent.
It all started with a bit of graffiti on a toilet wall. But what began life as a rather personal project for graphic designer Brian Singer has become a global experiment, now in its 10th year.
The 1,000 Journals Project is a collaborative art endeavour, following the progress of a thousand blank books which were sent out into the world, to be written in and drawn on, doodled over and confided to, collaged or painted or sewn… The responses have certainly been varied….
His initial plan was to travel to cities around the world, and release 100 journals in each. But after Singer admitted to himself that this was “a pipe dream”, he began to send out batches of 10 books to interested individuals who had found out about the project and got in touch.
“After about 200 had gone out, it became a free-for-all – I’d send one to anyone who asked for one. They’ve gone pretty much all over the world; we’ve tracked them to maybe 40 different countries.”
While Singer accepts that many of the journals’ journeys may have halted – with the sketchbooks winding up on bookshelves or forgotten at the bottom of a drawer – the person who completes the final page is supposed to send the journal back to San Francisco. And sure enough, there has been a trickle of homecoming sketchbooks.
The first to return was Journal 526. Although only five “sightings” of it were recorded on the website, its pages were full and it had travelled across 13 American states, as well as visiting Brazil and Ireland. Singer has now received some 33 journals back, and has held exhibitions of the pages – The 1,000 Journals Project is currently exhibiting [as of January 2011, but not anymore, unfortunately!] at the Skirball Centre in LA – as well as producing a hardback book of the best bits.
The project continues to this day– if you want to participate, find out how here!