One of Colfax's most widely publicized undertakings was "The Clarksburg Project" a letter writing campaign that extended from December 21, 1994 to December 31, 1995 and entailed Colfax's writing at least half of the 18,000 random resident of the town of Clarksburg, West Virginia letters detailing his often sordid down and out urban existence.
February 5, 1999, from the article, "The Sorry Saga of J.T. Colfax" by Richard Fleming:
"When he was not working in the death industry, Colfax
showed a penchant for bizarre art projects. His most
ambitious was "The Clarksburg Project," an experiment
that lasted a year and consisted of writing nearly every
one of the 18,000 residents in Clarksburg, W.Va. about
his daily activities, including graphic accounts of his sex
life and drinking bouts. "I write things like, 'I'm sick and
drunk and hungover and I just puked on the bedspread,'"
he recounts. "I wanted people to be confronted with new
thoughts and ideas which were totally foreign to them,"
Colfax told a German publication, Deutsche
Presse-Argentur, one of a number of papers that did
stories on his work."
May 22, 1997, from the article, "A Body of Work" by Patricia Calhoun:
"Actually, that's what the Clarksburg Project, which remains "my most favorite thing," was designed to do. "I think a lot of it was crappy," he says of the piece that he started in December 1994, "but I actually founded a brand-new art form." Clarksburg, it turns out, is the fingerprint-identification capital of the country. (Incidentally, it also has a thriving casket-construction business.) Surely by sending a year's worth of irritating mail, Colfax figured, he'd convince someone to check for fingerprints. And then they'd find that the perpetrator was wanted for probation violation in Denver, Colorado. Back in 1989 Colfax spent seven months in jail for stabbing a guy ("We were drunk," he explains), and then skipped town after just six weeks of probation. He supported himself by gay hustling, then moved to Atlanta, where he worked in a bookstore, then on to New York. But somehow, Denver lost any record of his violating probation. The Clarksburg Project was supposed to resurrect it and then "have them catch me." This, anyway, is how Colfax's story goes.''
"Dear Clarksburg" Song and Lyrics by Randy Walker