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Mail-Art and Money

"Mail-Art and Money don't Mix" is what Lon Spiegelman wrote in the 80-ies. Are these views still shared by the current generation of mail-artists?

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Samples of Mail-Art for sale

Started by Ruud Janssen. Last reply by Ruud Janssen Apr 28, 2017. 4 Replies

When you discover that mail-art is being sold. Please leave a message here with a link.Continue

Cavellini for sale via Catawiki. What do you think?

Started by Heleen de Vaan. Last reply by Richard Canard Jan 30, 2017. 4 Replies

I came across…Continue

Tags: catawiki, Cavellini, mail art for profit?, money

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Comment by Gik Juri on November 1, 2009 at 3:51pm
Yes, John Held Jr. sold his books about mail art and had a lot of problems with this fact from purists of mail art, it's fact. So, for purist - mail artist can not sell books about mail art, he must distribute them in the mail art network for free.
OK! Publishing of mail art books is not mail art. Mail art exhibitions are not mail art. Festivals of mail art are not mail art. Mail art performance is not mail art. Right? It's Your vision of mail art, mail art is only communication. It's right?
Certainly, simple communication not required money (while people has no intention to sell communication immediately), here is no space for discussion about mail art and money then.

I can repeat only that for me (and almost for all my mail art friends) mail art includes not only communication, it involves mail art books, mail art performances, mail art exhibitions and Festivals of mail art. If to understand mail art this way we'll have this problem of mail art and money and possible different points of view on this problem.

If You are purist - You must not sell books. Otherwise You are not purist. Mail art and money don't mix!
Comment by RJ - Moderator on November 1, 2009 at 3:13pm
Gik, You are being a bit strange..... John Held Jr was selling books on Mail-art in the 90-ies. In the 80-ies Michael Crane was selling books about mail-art. In 80-ies and 90-ies crackerjack kid was selling books on mail-art. Just some examples that the purists in mailart always did something like this but valued the mail-art rules when they were doing mail-art. The publishing of a mail-art book is NOT MAIL-ART as I told before. What level of discussion is it when you mention facts that are not true.
Comment by Gik Juri on November 1, 2009 at 12:51pm
Such level of discussion "I am purist, but I am selling books about mail art" is good illustration of degradation in the mail art network now.
Comment by Gik Juri on November 1, 2009 at 10:37am
You must define entities first. Especially important relations between mail art and mail art books/exhibitions/festivals (mail art includes them or not). From answer on this question You'll define permissions, what You can and cannot.
Comment by Gik Juri on November 1, 2009 at 10:32am
Making mail art means getting more in return than giving (trading/exchange principle)
Comment by Gik Juri on November 1, 2009 at 10:31am
You are selling book about mail art. It's commercial activity, no doubt.
If "selling mail art book" belongs "mail art" then
"it's commercial activity, no doubt"
else "continue discussion"
Comment by RJ - Moderator on November 1, 2009 at 10:25am
Is mail-art a commercial activity?
Comment by RJ - Moderator on November 1, 2009 at 10:23am
Making money means getting more in return then investing (economy principle).
Comment by Gik Juri on November 1, 2009 at 10:19am
In other words (programmist language), we must first define entities, second relations and only third - permissions. I mean under entity "mail art network" all mail art related activity, including exhibitions, books, festivals, etc. You mean under "mail art network" only process of (direct) communication between mail artists. Because of different objects - different permissions.
Comment by Gik Juri on November 1, 2009 at 10:08am
But why book about mail art is not mail art? If we'll count all hard-money processes (books about mail art, making exhibitions, organizing festivals) are not mail art (why?) what we'll left under mail art? Interesting position. If mail art is by definition activity, where You can not make money - then question about mail art and money closed, by definition. But problem is even not here. Real problem is that mail art is (or was) non-commercial activity, so You as mail artist can not make any mail art related actions (including distributing books about mail art) for money, it's real purist position. You have wonderful point - You are purist (so ALL Your mail art related activity must be non-commercial), but I want to sell something mail art related (books in Your case) and really selling this, but it does not any matter, because this selling of mail art related books has no relation to mail art! Bravo! You are non-commercial artist, but You are making money on it (because if You are selling - it's of course commercial activity, and, certainly, mus be separate - it's steps of Your thoughts; from Antic Greeks we know this process as demagogy)! In any case, You are not non-commercial artist (and not mail artist, in purist words, because any mail art related activity for purist is non-commercial) if You are selling any works or products (books about mail art).
 

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