This small-scale, blog-based writing project arose from our need to make sense of global news and daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to write one short, postcard-like entry for each day of 2020.
It began in late April, when we came across a box of several hundred unmatched postcards that we had accrued while travelling. Back in the day, we used these postcards as party invitations and year-end greetings, but for more than ten years now we’ve done our invitations by email and our end-of-year news on a blog. The lack of physical contact with our friends and their households made us want to cause physical objects to move across space, and the postcards seemed perfectly suited for this--even though we ironically used them to direct readers back to a digital format by way of a QR code. Each postcard simply linked to a specific date in 2020 and was printed with the estimated number of deaths to that point.
As it evolved, the project became less about the physical postcards and more about a kind of persistent retrospection. Rather than writing every day, we wrote multiple posts in a session, looking back over our calendars and photos, headlines and web resources. It’s the most personal, autobiographical Spatula&Barcode project since our first, Misadventure (2009). In a sidebar on the blog is an ever-growing list of the descriptive words we’ve heard or seen in the formulation “In these _________ times.”