Becoming Älvsborgsbron

As part of a ten week college assignment, I walked over and back across Älvsborgsbron, a large Gothenburg suspension bridge over the course of 5 hours. In the 22,000 steps I took I facilitated an otherwise unlikely correspondence between strangers on both sides of the bridge. I illustrated 12 postcards for the correspondents to choose from. Their choices, messages and all round kindness made this a day I’ll never forget.Postcards

During the planning of this project a teacher reminded me of the importance of giving every participant something in return. From that came my decision to work with postcards. Each participant kept the postcard that was written for them by the stranger before. So with no physical proof of these correspondences, my next challenge was to record and present them to my class. I used photographs of each postcard to recreate these ‘ghostcards’ (laser engravings on acrylic). I returned them to their original context to photograph them as memories.

I chose to document and present my methods and their respective materialisations for this project by building a box, making the ghostcards and producing a booklet.

I inscribed the box with specific details about each correspondence, illustrations to differentiate each walk, and mixed digital and handwritten typography to remind the viewer that this project was a collaboration between Älvsborgsbron and me.

Throughout the project’s development I wrote, made decisions and acted as if I were Älvsborgsbron as often as possible. I chose the typeface Mikro for the letter Ä (lid outer) to reference its staunch towers and roadway. I used my own handwriting for the letter Ä (lid inner), to remind the viewer that I used my body to create this work. The materials chosen intend to echo the physical features of my collaborator.