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by Robert Rodger
‘Every letter I write is not a love letter’. Inventing sociality with Ray Johnson’s postal system.”
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Video Details and Descriptions

by Nicholas Maravell

DVD THREE

Content Tags: Film, Links, Nassau County Museum of Art, photos, The Correspondance School, Video, Walt Whitman

Ray and Muffler Box One
  • May 4, 1987
  • 4 min. 54 sec.
  • Black and White
  • Taped: Huntington, New York
  • Equipment: Panasonic VHS recorder, Elmo video camera

After leaving Swensenʼs, I continued to record Ray. His gift of a muffler box was the first of three. Ray also comments on how he thinks these videos should be viewed.

Ray at the Nassau County Museum of Art
  • June 6, 1987
  • 31 min. 20 sec.
  • Color
  • Taped: The Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, New York
  • Equipment: Panasonic VHS recorder, Elmo video camera

This recording includes a chance meeting with the Agnello family to whom Ray gives information on Performance Art and The Correspondance (sic) School.

Links on references in this video

Nebraska photographer Solomon D. Butcher→
Madame Chiang Kai-shek→
Nola Zirin→

Ray and Friends at the Cinema
  • June 16, 1987
  • 6 min. 56 sec.
  • Black and White
  • Taped: The Community Cinema, Huntington, New York
  • Equipment: Panasonic VHS recorder, Elmo video camera

Ray and friends of mine before and after a viewing of Jonathan Demmeʼs film, Wild Thing.

Ray and Muffler Box Two
  • August 1987
  • 13 min. 34 sec.
  • Color
  • Taped: Greenlawn, New York, with Nadine Palumbo
  • Equipment: Panasonic VHS recorder, Panasonic video camera

Ray’s second muffler box contained knitted mufflers, scarves, and hats. Note Rayʼs response to Nadineʼs comment about drowning in the Correspondance School.

Ray in Huntington P.M.
  • August 20, 1987
  • 55 min. 22 sec.
  • Black and White
  • Taped: The Community Cinema, Huntington, New York and on the streets of Huntington, New York, with Ellen Cottone
  • Equipment: Panasonic VHS recorder, Panasonic video camera

The taping of Ray began at The Huntington Community Cinema, renamed now, The Cinema Arts Center. We next recorded his reading from The Camden Letters by Walt Whitman. This took place in an indoor A.T.M. across the street from where Whitman had established The Long Islander newspaper in 1838. Walt Whitman was born in Huntington in 1819. We continued then with more recordings on the streets of Huntington coming upon chance meetings with interesting people and unexpected situations.

Link on a reference in this video

Prick Up Your Ears→

Muffler Box Three
  • August 23,1987
  • 2 min. 9 sec.
  • Color
  • Taped: Greenlawn, New York, with Nadine Palumbo
  • Equipment: Panasonic VHS recorder, Panasonic video camera

This is a recording of Nadine opening and repacking the third muffler box that was received on August 20, 1987. The box was then mailed back to Ray.

Ray at the Nassau County Museum II
  • October 10, 1987
  • 3 min. 39 sec.
  • Color
  • Taped: The Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, New York
  • Equipment: Panasonic VHS recorder, Panasonic video camera

During the taping of this video in the museum, I hid my camera from view, though its presence was known to Ray. I recorded him telling of events that were related to his birthday.