It all started out on July 23, 2014. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that one email with subject line “neither” would be the start of this epic project. Every so often I would get an email from this same account, always bypassing the spam filter somehow. The emails stopped being sent after September 9th, however, I already had a total of 40 messages from this address. Because of how unusual the emails were, containing such random subject lines, I was inspired to try something I’d never seen done before. What if I could somehow transform this collection of random words into some form of art? It’s been done with junk from a junkyard, why not make something from junk mail?

What were once subject lines from a spammy junk-mailer, now present themselves as poetry in a most eloquent manner.

The challenging part was how to convey the unique origin of the words, subject lines from a junk mailer. I tossed around many ideas before it finally hit in middle of December. I would use them as inspiration for a poem. Since the words made no sense on their own, I wrote in an additional line after each grouping of “junk” words. It was important to me to keep the sense of “found art” so the words from the emails appear in the poem in the order I received them. When thinking about what to write, what kind of message I wanted the poem to have, I thought of finals week at my school. Everybody gets stressed out trying to finish their projects and prepare for their exams. The goal of the poem, aside from its function as an art piece, was to inspire both people and their projects alike. If some random junk can be made into something nice then I guess anything is possible. That is where the title You’re Not Junk came from.

When I finished I was quite proud of what I had created based on something so obscure as a “spammy junk mailer”. The challenges involved with this project were very refreshing and I look forward to doing more cool stuff like this in the future!