'Greetings from Salina / crossroads of the nation' was a context-specific participatory artwork engaging social space within the central downtown area of Salina (USA), and was developed and presented within a research residency awarded and supported by Salina Art Center (Salina, Kansas, USA). The work was created within Brookes' ongoing collaboration with Spanish artist and performer Rosa Casado, and resulted from the third phase of exploration within their long-term 'Just a little bit of history repeating' project.
The work explored contrasts between narrative understandings and current social uses of the locale through a specifically structures engagement with twenty selected historic postcard images, dating from between 1905 and 1975, that recorded street views from within a one block radius of the city's central intersection of Santa Fe and Iron avenues – its title, 'Greetings from Salina / crossroads of the nation', being taken directly from the text of one of those original postcards. These twenty historic street-scene images were digitised and enhanced to allow for their large-scale projection, and a single human figure-shaped void was placed and opened up within each. Over the four-day period of the public realisation of the work, 100 local participating residents generated an accumulating series of new and personal postcards from these images, by selecting and 'inserting' themselves into one of the twenty historic scenes to create a new image, the image and participant then being rephotographed and printed as a new postcard.
Once completed, the resulting set of one hundred personal postcards was exhibited within the art centre gallery – remaining on display there for the subsequent two months, after which time each postcard could be claimed by its maker and subject as a souvenir.
The project was developed and realised in collaboration with residents, historians, local radio and city archives.