The Flat Rate Exchange is an ongoing transcontinental art collaboration between Madison Wisconsin (formerly Oakland CA) resident, Jordan Gehman, and Portland Maine’s Adam Manley. The rules are simple: One artist puts something (made, found, broken, collected, etc…) in a USPS Flat Rate box (any size as long as it is a Flat Rate mailer), and sends it to the other artist. The second artist receives the package, opens it, and modifies it (by smashing, reconfiguring, augmenting, adding to, intervening, etc…) and ships it back in another Flat Rate mailer. This is repeated back and forth until one or the other artist decides that the piece is “complete”. Neither artist will spend more than five-ish hours working on any one iteration of the piece, and each is thoroughly documenting it at every stage of it’s life.
The Flat Rate Exchange is intended as a dialog between two like-minded artists working through a wide range of artistic ideas at similar points in their lives and careers. The original intent, is to carry out the project over the course of a year, and then to exhibit the resulting body of work along with all documentation including photo, video, leftovers, remnants, and detritus from the project.
The mission is to create simple functional products, through a collaborative process, that can be shipped to customers in Flat Rate mailers. We utilize minimal hardware, opting instead to use threaded wooden parts and custom made connections. We design with simple function in mind, merging utility and clean aesthetics. This project represents our desire to address a diversity of making.