Updated June 2002 - I've removed the calls page due to the info being too outdated... sorry! My mailart activities have sadly lapsed of late, hence the lack of updates here... But now I'm on my way back into mail art!!!!!
Speaking of which, apologies to anyone who's sent stuff for my zine The Inpenitent Sausage Machine, the 2nd issue of which is an astonishing 3 years overdue!!! I have recently dug it out with a view to actually finishing it! So, one day it will happen... If you remember sending something for that project, please email me + let me know if your address has changed so I can make sure the zine finally reaches you! Whew.
Actually, please email me if you sent me anything at all I haven't replied to, I need kicking into action! .... well, enough of this babbling, Scroll down for the actual content!
Mail art gallery - updated (at long last) June 2002 with a couple of old new pics.
Is there mail art in The Simpsons?
My mail art given press coverage in The Independent!
Fame at last! (well....)
NEW! See some 7" records used as postcards on my Cementimental experimental sound page/
What is mail art?
Mail Art really is quite marvellous, but exactly what it is is difficult to comprehend if you are not involved, or possibly even if you are. Essentially it is the sending of art through the mail, hence the name. In some respects the communicating and sending is more important than the actual artwork sent, but if you get into mailart you are sure to recieve many beautiful, funny,interesting, bizzare and striking things in your post!
Some early manifistations of mail art type goings on included Marcel Duchamp's postcard project "Rendezvous of 6 Febuary, 1916", and the activities of various Fluxus artists in the 60's onwards. Most influential however was the late Ray Johnson, who formed the 'New York Correspondance School", pretty much forming the basis for mail art as it is today.
Anyone who can afford to a little time and some stamps can be a mail artist, there are no fixed rules or regulations and no previous training or experience in the world of 'art' is required; it is an extremely democratic thing. Mail artists often run projects, which can be advertised in zines, by invitation flyers passed around the mail art network, on websites such as this, etc. There are various types of projects, including:
Many different mediums are used, collage, printing, xerox and rubberstamping being particularly popular especially for editions of multiple works. Three dimensional objects and all sort of subverted ephemera of modern culture are also sent, and decorating of envelopes is hugely popular. Putting an address and stamp on an unpackaged object is always fun! (test the post office!)
- assembling zines, where each artist sends a set number of works (multiples such as prints etc) and recieves a compilation of one of each contributors works.
- projects where one piece is sent and a (often photocopied) documentation of all submissions, a website, an exhibition, or any other presentation of the work is produced.
- works which are added to and passed on to other artists, creating a collaborative work
- any number of other exciting things!
It's easy to be a mail artist; All you need to do is to write to some existing mail artists and send them something for their project. Start your own project, make some flyers for it, send them to everyone! Your network of contacts will increase as you recieve project flyers, project documentions with participants addresses, etc.
Here are some
usefulmostly obsolete links to other mail artist's websites where you will find more erudite descriptions of the mail art world, as well as many great projects to participate in!
- Nervousness.org - Interesting online community devoted to 'Land Mail Art Objects'. A few too many rules perhaps for us oldskool mail artists... mail art for the ebay generation :-)... but good site nonetheless, especially the exchange section... and interesting to see a little mail art network evolve pretty much independently of the established mailart 'scene' so to speak. (My username on Nervousness is 'cementimental' if you wanna say hi or
trade some stuffhave a go at me for never sending stuff on there!)
- TAM, master mail artist/archivist; his interviews with a large number of mail artists and his 'thoughts on mail art' are particularly interesting. Lots of things to read to give you a better idea of what mailart is all about!
- Sean Woodward's Planet Dada - a marvellous selection of mail art stuff, including project calls, Sean's excellent computer art, artistamps and exhibits of various mail art he has recieved. Home to his 191 assembling zine and the Living Poets Gallery. Recently updated.
- Merlin's mailart discussion board
- Zina Zero's page.
- Science Fair
- El Taller de Zenon (new URL)
- BLAH, Joe Decie's mail art online zine thing.
- Jenny de Groot's mail art site
- Sora, a Japanese mail art group.
- Gerado Yepiz's pages:
- Tabloid Trash; e-zine of mail art related stuff, particularly rubber stamp eraser carving.
- Dragonfly Dreams; a site with various information, calls etc.
- The Electronic Museum of Mail Art
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