Notes to Self
Dustin Grella

March 29 - April 28, 2012

In our society, obsessive-compulsive disorder carries negative connotations, yet Dustin Grella prefers to celebrate these traits in his work. In his practice, Grella takes an action or idea and aggressively repeats it, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, until a resolution is found.


In his Notes to Self project, Grella has written and then mailed himself a letter every day for over ten years. The exercise has generated 3650 letters (and counting), which remain meticulously ordered and still sealed to this day. The slight variations in the project (a change of font, the physical location of the cancellation stamp, and of course what is written inside) are nuances that help decipher time’s complexities.



Special Event
Tax Day Demonstration

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm
James A. Farley Post Office (421 Eighth Ave @ 32nd St)


As a C-7 quadriplegic, Grella has found his attempts to send and receive the Notes to Self letters greatly hindered by the lack of handicap accessibility at many of Manhattan’s post offices. To bring critical attention to this problem, he will climb the stairs of the of the James A. Farley Post Office (421 Eight Avenue @ 32nd Street) on the April 17th tax deadlinewith his wheelchair chained to his waist and his taxes in his mouth.


A reception will follow at AC Institute starting at 7:30 pm.


This performance was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by the Jerome Foundation, the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 


Video Documentation


Dossier Journal





About the Artist
Dustin Grella was raised in the rural community of Medina, Ohio, and now resides in New York City. He received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts and was honored with the Paula H. Rhodes Award for Excellence in Computer Art. His animations’ accolades include winning the Walt Disney Award at the prestigious Ottawa International Animation Festival and premiering a series of micro-shorts at the Cannes Film Festival (May, 2012). Currently, Grella is in production of the Animation Hotline, a series of daily animations that use crowd-sourced voicemail messages for content. If you’ve got a story to share, call him at (212) 683-2490.


Image courtesy the artist.