Letters from a Window

Ilkin Beste Cirak, Yue Hu, Neslihan Kiran

“Letters from a Window” is an artistic research into the epistolary form in literature as a form of communication. The main medium of the project is the action of sending letters to each other grounding on our previous studies on surveillance. Putting the emphasis on a simple letter – the project searches the fingerprints on the paper, to catch a signal of life, to create hope in uncertain times.

When was the last time you wrote or received a letter? Not for institutional or bureaucratic reasons, but a real letter, which gives information about the state of a real life?

“Letters from a Window” is a research journey in search of practical communication tools which could alternate virtual forms of human interaction. It is a space for the exchange of letters, where information is naturally protected by the hand of a friend and grounds on mutual trust.

Insisting on the value of such type of communication, the project criticizes modern telecommunication methods for their lack of haptic qualities, their doubtful aspects of privacy and emotional layers. Under surveilled and controlled modes of digital communication, “freedom of speech” and the free content of dialogue is suppressed. In contrast to the exchange of information on digital platforms, exchanging letters offers a more comprehensive understanding of each other and gives a differing room for self-expression.

In practical terms, the project is based on three complementary phases: writing a letter, dropping it from a window of a high-rise apartment building towards the person standing on the street waiting for the input. Each time, the action is repeated in response. The recipient becomes the writer and the writer becomes the recipient. The exchange process creates a rhythmic dialogue.

“I write letters, I reflect on my own experiences, my emotions. I respond to the person who sends me a letter, I reflect on her experiences, on her emotions... By exchanging letters, we build our own set of vocabulary. The letter appears as an atlas for our relationship, as a life record; like an entry in a diary, but more than that, it is opening up a space between and for the two of us...”

In a state of permanence, how does the aura of haptic engagement influence the human psyche, and what are the qualities of this aura that arises around letters?

Letters from a Window © 2020

Letters from a Window © 2020


June 2020
Ilkin Beste Cirak
Yue Hu
Neslihan Kiran