The Letter

September, 2015

Dear David Lynch,

I am a New York based artist and cultural organizer. Five years ago, I developed a performance, “The Search for Agent C,” attempting to bring your extraordinary character, Agent Cooper, back from darkness. The performance began as a lecture, but over three years transformed into a sort-of-séance. This “Search” reached a stopping point until recent news of the return of Twin Peaks.

As a teenager in the 90’s, Cooper filled the empty place in my psyche for a positive male role model.  It turns out, I somehow never saw the conclusion of the show until 2008 when the entire series was released on DVD and, recovering from a sad breakup with a fellow Twin Peaks lover, I binge-watched the show in one weekend, seeking solace in dear Coop. To my great shock and despair, I discovered, for the first time, Cooper’s unthinkable fate. He had been defiled years ago. How had I never known? I found myself inconsolable over what was now a ghost. 

A year later, I had a real-life parallel experience. My father had a complete mental breakdown. My brother and I, after a very distanced relationship with our father, had to step into a world of crisis and psychiatric hospitals, of panic and nightmares. Over the span of a year, I lost all space and lightness in my life.

Eventually I realized that within this mixture of paternal pain, there was one strand that could be teased out and controlled. That strand was my lingering, unresolved feelings about Cooper. I decided to use Cooper as a vehicle and a mask to explore my fraught experience, while  investigating the profound fracture that occurs when we attach to fictional characters. This was not merely an inquiry — it was a necessary action. I needed to breathe magic back into my life. To save Agent Cooper meant to be saved by him.

Channeling my father’s legacy as a motivational-speaking sales executive, I began the Cooper project with a PowerPoint lecture. I performed the lecture at an art space, and then I was invited to perform it again, then again, and again. Each time, I re-watched (and re-lived) the entirety of Twin Peaks in order to push the performance further. This immersion caused my real-life world and Cooper’s fictional one to start melding, leading to numerous magic-seeming occurrences as the performance began to shift and evolve. Something was happening. The project was no longer merely art. It was life.

Last October, I revealed my personal story behind the “Search for Agent C” for the first time in a live storytelling show. On this same day (the 6th), news of Twin Peaks’ return was publicly announced. Coincidence? I don’t know. On stage, it felt cosmic. 

Please, let it be.

I met Kyle MacLachlan three years ago at a wine tasting in my neighborhood. For a moment during our exchange, I saw the real Agent Cooper looking back at me. Reality had been intercepted by dream. Perhaps he sensed something too, as he autographed his photo to me with the words, “Cooper is alive.” I showed MacLachlan my photos of Agent Cooper appearing around New York City, explaining my project to bring Cooper back. He replied, “you should speak to David Lynch about that.”

Agent Cooper has provided me strength, wisdom and perspective to endure trials with no resolution. What we cannot manifest in life, we can manifest in art, then feed back into life. Here is my appeal: please help me realize the logical next step of my Cooper investigation. As Cooper communicated to me, in glimpses, through the veil of reality, I must now enter the fictional realm to meet him and complete the act that had been set in motion. To do so, I boldly ask for an appearance on Twin Peaks Season 3.

I don’t know what my next role will be in the life of Dale Cooper, but I hope it will involve a chance to speak with you. I will meet you anywhere.

With so much gratitude,

Michelle Levy

P.S. Accompanying this letter are a video message from me and 44 statements of support.

Best Friend Speaks

Dear David Lynch,

I am a big fan of your work. I believe Michelle Levy should appear on the third season of Twin Peaks, not only because she is my best friend and it would like totally be one of, if not THE highlight of her life, but because she, like you, are a believer in the power of unanticipated, synchronous magic. And these letters, coming to you from my dimension, are a response to your images which came to her from your dimension. If you are reading this now, you are aware of a new, unanticipated reality. Please make it happen.

Many thanks.


Pablo Helguera Speaks

Dear Mr. Lynch and Mr. Frost,

I am writing this in support of Michelle Levy’s proposal to bringing Agent Cooper back to life by an appearance in your show. While I understand that this could be a presumptuous proposal, the fact is that Ms. Levy’s multi-year exploration on this subject has had a real impact in the art world and has helped generate interest in Twin Peaks. I believe Michelle to be an exceptional artist- creative and imaginative- and the fact that she has devoted so much of her time and talent to the storyline behind Agent Cooper  is a testament on how this series has had an impact and exerted a particular fascination to a whole generation of visual artists in the U.S. and beyond. I know that many of us would be delighted and honored if Michelle would be given an opportunity to appear in the show, as it would bring the world of the visual arts and television together.

I urge you to consider this proposal.

Pablo Helguera
artist, NYC

Michelle’s Mom Speaks

To: David Lynch
Re: My daughter, Michelle Levy vis a vis Twin Peaks

Dear Mr. Lynch,

Right from the start, Michelle spun the everyday into magic.

She must have been three and enamored with fairy tales when she began to dig holes in the yard to find her way to England where she could be a princess. Her search for highness was impetus for a family trip abroad.

When Cabbage Patch dolls became the rage and were backordered, rather than just wait, Michelle, who by then was about six, created one out of fabric remnants and ribbons, quite a lovely doll which I have to this day. She created other toys and little girls’ accessories that she was not able or allowed to acquire.

When she was in her second grade class, all the other parents and I were amazed to see a painting displayed high above the chalkboard by someone whom we thought must have been a visiting artist. It was Michelle’s.

In fourth grade, she wrote a novel, The War of the Religions, in which imagined a world of peace.

Michelle has been busy ever since creating stunning visual and performance art. What a joy it would be to see her on Twin Peaks. Please bring her on board so the magic she spins with her audiences while searching for Agent Cooper can be directed back to the source of her inspiration.

Thank you,
Bernice Levy

Colby Chamberlain Speaks

As director of EFA’s exhibition program, Michelle Levy has established a vital platform for the New York arts community. As an artist, she is part of a vanguard—including, among others, Martine Syms, Melanie Gilligan, and Guy Ben-Ner—that has transformed contemporary art’s knee-jerk rejection of television into a more searching and intelligent engagement with the medium’s tropes, conventions, and complexities. Like the original “Twin Peaks” series, Levy is a game changer.

Colby Chamberlain, senior editor, Triple Canopy

Tina Harris Speaks

I’ve known Michelle Levy for 21 years. At first I just thought it was my imagination, but after starting her Search for Agent Cooper, she became a bit more…nebulous. She spoke in riddles. Her clothes took on a different hue – colours she never wore before; like mustard yellow. She began to remind me of a new character in Twin Peaks. The only problem was that there were no new characters in Twin Peaks. The series was long gone. And then I thought that it might be the Search that was preparing her for some sort of new role in life. And then – a new season of Twin Peaks was announced. She is ready.

Tina Harris