I’m a very visual person, so I like to map stuff out as much as possible. It looks like some artists had the same sentiment and took it to the next level. I argue this is environmental enrichment because it takes human connections (or missed human connections) and marks them in the universe, in a fun way!
You know Craigslist’s Missed Connections, right? The personals page where you log a brief interaction with a stranger who you hope to see again? The posts are a candid, wistful, often hilarious look at interactions — or the lack thereof — between people in the digital age, and beg the question, “Have we become so used to interacting online that we can’t say ‘hi’ in person?”
That question, among others, inspired artists Lisa Park and Adria Navarro to take these digital love notes and turn them back into physical markers. The pair made oversize stickers based on Missed Connections posts, then affixed them at the exact spot where the missed connection occurred. They document the entire project, called I Wish I Said Hello, online, completing the loop.
To me this is kind of like marking your initials in a tree without hurting a living organism. It’s fun, it tells a story, and it helps us make connections with people; even if we never meet them in real life, we learn a little bit about who they are, how they see the world, and a moment in their lives. That helps us in turn feel more connected to our communities and large, ever-expanding tribes.
Locations also hold special meaning to people; pilgrimages to the cafe where their favorite singer performed to Mecca and everything in between. These also create small landmarks that are probably insignificant in the long run, but help orient us in the world in some way.
Have a special place or spot? Why not mark it with a ribbon or rock, or just let us know about it in the comments below.
- I Need To See You Again: Missed Connections Street Art (wired.com)
- I Wish I Said Hello: a project devoted to Missed Connections (lostateminor.com)
- Make Your Own “Missed Connections” Art (howaboutwe.com)