Jennifer Lanski
Stamp Combinations: 34 Cents
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“Stamp Combinations: 34 Cents, 11g”     Postage stamps, india ink, and postal markings on cardstock     4.25” × 6”     2015

“Stamp Combinations: 34 Cents” is a series of 86 original postcards each featuring a composition made of US postage stamps that add to exactly 34 cents (the required postage for a domestic postcard at the time the work was created). Each postcard uses a unique combination of stamps (in denominations of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, and 21 cents).

The postcards are acid-free cardstock cut to the maximum size allowed by US postal service regulations (4.25” × 6”). The number of stamps on each postcards ranges between 3 (the minimum needed to make 34 cents) and 24 (the maximum number that will fit without overlap). Following US postal regulations, the mailing and return addresses are parallel to the longer side of the postcard. Also in accordance with US postal regulations, because there is no textual “message area,” the stamps and addresses are able to use the entire front surface of the card.

Each work was completed through its mailing to the mailing address written on it; all 86 of the 34 cent stamp combinations were mailed to Proxy Gallery in Culver City, California, where they were exhibited publicly (except for one that failed to arrive) in March of 2015.

Because the US postal service is not accustomed to stamps appearing anywhere on the front surface of a postcard rather than simply being in the traditional upper right corner, the postal markings (such as the stamp cancellation marks) do not always fall in the expected place, and sometimes a postal worker makes additional markings to ensure all the stamps are canceled. These postal markings, while not controlled by the artist, are part of the work since the postcards are only completed through the mailing process.

The postcards were sent in a sequence from least dense (those with 3 stamps) to most dense (those with 24 stamps), so that over the course of their arrival a whimsical progression of increasingly dense compositions emerged.