The Free Jack Ads

1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9

I started collecting found writings & writings of the insane in the mid '80s when I moved back to New York after college. I was living on the Lower East Side and signed on at the local Citibank. In the foyer was a public post board (in those days they were pretty unregulated, i.e. anybody could just pin up whatever they wanted--these days, they tend to be "curated" by the hosting institution--they're usually under lock & key). One day I noticed the most bizarre Free Ad I'd ever seen (see Example 1). I grabbed it off the board and took it home. The next time I was in the bank, I immediately checked the board and there was another. I became obsessed. Each day, I'd go to the board and snag another one freshly put up. I would wait around the bank for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious "Jack" (so named because of a scrawl on the bottom of one card (see later example). I never did see him. The postings continued for another 6 months or so, coming and going in spurts. Finally, they disappeared never to be seen again. All in all, I got 20 of these gems, the best of which are here for you to see on these pages.

-- Kenneth Goldsmith