Every day, nearly one billion gallons of water are removed from Lake Michigan, treated at Jardine Purification Plant on the lake and pumped through a dynamic system of underground pipes covering 836 square miles to provide clean, potable water for Chicago residents. Send This Postcard to a Friend is a project that expresses the physical connection between Chicago residents that is created by the extensive, yet, nearly invisible system of pipes directing fresh water into and soiled water away from their residences. Friends, neighbors and strangers alike are connected intimately by the pipelines as the freshwater travels under the feet of one resident, through the walls of another, and finally into the ice-filled glass of the woman in the upstairs apartment. The artwork on the front of the postcard playfully illustrates the interlocking water pipeline grid that carries the vital resource from a single source through the city to each building, apartment, and then into the personal realm of a kitchen or bathroom sink. Likewise, once the water passes from the faucet to the drain, an equally complex network of pipe then carries the water away from each home to the Stickney Plant in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for treatment before being released in to the Sanitary and Ship Canal.
Send This Postcard to a Friend relates the relatively unrecognized network of the water between residents into the more familiar, yet abstractly parallel connection of a postcard traveling across town from one person to another. These postcards were made available for people to take for free; stacks were left at businesses in three neighborhoods around Chicago. When the postcard is mailed to a friend, it mirrors the connection made by water traveling amongst residents via the public water utility.