Show and Tell: 23
Show and Tell

While many flocked to our first time (virtual) tabling at Printed Matter Art Book Fair, few got the full story about our site design. As we play out the last weeks of winter and keep dreaming about the end of our forced seclusion, we look back on our Show and Tell archives as a relic of the times we lived in. At risk of seeming ultra-meta, the Show and Tell for this month is...Show and Tell.


If you’ve ever wanted to experience the thrill of snooping on someone’s private messages, now is the time to do so. For PMVABF, we created a microsite to create the illusion that you had stumbled upon someone’s email inbox. Lucky for you, they subscribed to all of Special Special’s emails since the Show and Tell series began in 2016!

Presented in this specially-designed format, viewers could experience Show and Tell in the context it was always intended for. Since the beginning, the series was an experiment to reimagine the inbox as a place for exhibition and publication. Each project by an artist or designer was “exhibited” entirely within one email, which included its own graphic design, curatorial text, and bio.

Just like a real email, our PMVABF communal inbox was littered with cryptic messages throughout. There were some familiar senders such as Wen-You Cai, in addition to “spam” from the Lucky Lotto and the Weather Channel. Responding to Printed Matters virtual art book fair prompt, we recreated the email inbox as a personalized booth alongside hundreds of others.

As a throwback to one of our best Show and Tells,, and out of nostalgia for ’90s video games and mingling in close quarters, Special Special hosted a virtual house party that was only available to people who checked their emails at PMVABF. There were special appearances by artists that we have frequently collaborated with, like Maya Man, Britt Moseley, and Lu Zhang. Maya hosted a dance party while Lu led us through a chaotic karaoke. You had to have been there to soak in the energy that perhaps best embodied the time we currently live in. 

Special Special hosts a virtual houseparty, 2021.


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For Show and Tell, Special Special invites a selection of artists to produce or share work that can be viewed in the browser, downloaded, or streamed. The work is presented as a series of digital exhibitions periodically delivered to email inboxes.

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