Postcards to a Mill

By Erik Sanner

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Erik has ‘made’ special cards to compliment his piece “Chalk and Charcoal…

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Typically, a mill grinds things into dust.  Typically, a visual artist creates things to be looked at.  Typically, a viewer looks.

In Lovestad, the mill has become passive, like a typical viewer.  If it were sentient, we could say it is bearing witness to the exhibition – like a typical viewer.

These postcards from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York all reproduce works by American artists, which seemed appropriate missives to art-viewers in Sweden.  I used sandpaper to turn a portion of the picture into dust – performing the function of a mill.  I invite you to do the same.  By sanding another portion of the postcard with the sandpaper provided, you will become a mill/artist/viewer hybrid – grinding something into dust, creating something to be looked at, and looking at something.

From two common objects (one postcard, one piece of sandpaper) you will end up with two original works of art (one uniquely altered postcard, one color-enhanced piece of sandpaper).  No other ingredients (such as paint) are necessary – the only requirement is your willingness to become a mill.

Happy sanding!

Chalk and Charcoal: Dust-Producing Drawing Instruments for Replacing a Disappeared Mill

By Erik Sanner

01_SANNER_filmicViewer-participants encounter a video projection on a wall.  In the video is a stream which used to power a mill near the artist’s hometown long before he was born.  Viewer-participants are encouraged to draw a mill on the wall in the video projection using chalk or charcoal.




A small low-power video projector containing an internal memory card is mounted on the ceiling and plays one video in a continuous loop. Two small containers containing chalk and charcoal are hung on the wall. Viewer-participants draw on the wall.

Erik Sanner is a visual artist living and working in Harlem, NYC.  He has recently exhibited at the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), LICHT FELD Gallery (Basel), The Danforth Museum (Massachusetts), Carmichael Gallery (LA) and Tria Gallery (NYC).  Sanner’s overarching goals include expanding our experience of painting by utilizing technology and promoting awareness of traffic cone aesthetics.