I have known Adam for a decade: to date, we have crossed paths in Como, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, London, Auckland, Taipei, Shenzhen, and Berlin; worked on a few projects together; and exchanged too many e-mails to count. Over the years, Adam has developed the habit of writing two, maybe three letters a day, some days none, some others, more than three. The e-mails appear inconsequential, operating as a stream of consciousness generally not requiring a personal reply, yet they are the artist’s dispatch to say that he is alive and located somewhere around the globe. The missives, usually sent to me in copy with a group of other undisclosed recipients, are addressed to names such as jesus.christ, obama, edward.snowden, jeffrey.koons, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com—which I suspect means that Adam Avikainen’s name features on a series of blacklists ranging from the National Security Agency (NSA) to the editors of Frieze magazine. It makes me wonder how much spam, how many mail-server errors, or returned messages, Adam receives on his account, especially when he makes up the names for domains or tries to reach people that have migrated elsewhere, both on the Web and in real life.
The Inhospitable World
With sprawling words by Adam Avikainen