the star odyssey

an interactive art project

Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
od·ys·sey (n.)

1. An extended adventurous voyage or trip.
2. An intellectual or spiritual quest: an odyssey of discovery.

On May 1st, 2006 I sent 6 stars out into the world.

On May 1st, 2007 hopefully they will begin to find their way back.

What happens in between is up to you.

What is the star odyssey?

The star odyssey is an interactive art project. It involves 6 small paintings on separate journeys around the world. Their progress will be documented through the wonders of the internet. Hopefully the stars will have grand adventures.

What should I do if I receive a star?*

If you have received a star, I request that you please do three things:

1. Take a photo of the star.** Take it somewhere that means something to you, somewhere you love, or somewhere that inspires you. Somewhere that reflects the place you are. On your couch or your front lawn or at your favorite pub or on top of your cat. At the top of the Empire State Building or on the London Underground. Anywhere that gives a sense or indication of environment. Be creative, but to thine own self be true.

Photo quality is not important, as long as you can see the star. So take it with a camera phone or a $7000 digital camera, it doesn’t matter. Take it on film, even, (remember film?) Anything that will get you to step #2.

2. E-mail a copy of your star photo to the.star.odyssey at gmail dot com. Please include a location and date, along with as much or as little commentary as you’d like. One photo per location per star will be posted to the star odyssey livejournal and all photos received will be posted to the star odyssey photostream.

3. Send the star to someone else. Down the street or around the world, to someone you love or someone you barely know or someone you admire. Please keep them moving. I would hate for them to get restless, or lost under someone’s bed.

*A condensed version of these instructions is printed on the back of each star.
**All photos submitted to the star odyssey become property of the star odyssey and are subject to display and possible publication.

Who are you?

My name is Erin, I’m an artist from Boston, Massachusetts. I do mostly mixed media paintings that can be seen on phantomwise.com and wakingeyes. I also make leather masks, paint silk scarves, write novels that never manage to be finished & supervise the antics of two very crazy cats.

The star odyssey was a whim, inspired by reading lots of SARK, drawing little stars on everything, and the traveling garden gnome from Amélie. I wanted to create a work of art that involves its audience. The art of the star odyssey isn’t just the paintings or the photos, it’s the whole journey & experience. I think I’m more the instigator & manager than the artist.

What’s the deal with the livejournal community?

I didn’t want to just post the pictures randomly, I wanted people to be able to comment and discuss and be involved, and not have to receive a star to participate. Please feel free to join or watch. Posting is moderated, but anything relevant to the project will likely be approved.

Most of the posts will be photo-based, with locations and dates and any other commentary provided by the photographers. I’ll do my best to keep the image sizes and quantity manageable.

Can I request that a star be sent to me?

Sure, but I can’t guarantee anything. The current star holders can send them to whoever they want, so it’s really up to them.

Edit 6/16/06:
If you desperately want to receive a star, e-mail your info to me at the.star.odyssey at gmail dot com. I will keep a list of interested persons.

If you have a star and want to send it to someone who desperately wants it, e-mail me and I'll forward along the info for the person at the top of the list.

Why stars?

Because they’re simple, yet they can mean or symbolize so many things from wishes to hope to celestial navigation. Also, they’re easy to draw.

Why six of them?

It seemed like a nice even number, so there are enough to keep things active and interesting, and I thought if I get them all back they’d look nice displayed in two rows of three.

What happens if a star gets lost in the mail/stolen/spontaneously combusts?

If a star goes missing for a significant amount of time and can’t be tracked down, I’ll send out a replacement star. Hopefully the last person to have it will be able to keep track of it, but weird things happen. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all six will return safely.

Edit 6/06: One star has gone missing already, poor thing. A replacement has been sent out so there are now 6 in active rotation and one meandering aimlessly through the US postal service.

If you have any questions/comments/suggestions please comment or e-mail.

Thank you for following along!

Edit January '07:

If you receive a star and you do not have the time to participate or are not interested in participating please pass the star along to someone else as soon as possible.

If you do participate and send in photos, please understand that your repsonsibility to the project does not end there. The only way I have to track down each star is to e-mail the last person to send in photos of that particular star. Please do not send me photos from an e-mail account you do not check on a regular basis, as I will be e-mailing to check up on your star if I do not hear anything about it for an extended period of time.