So this morning I recieved an envelope from Bertha containing two google search image result print outs. One of Elvis images and one of 50's housewives.

I'm really confused. I can't find her on here but when I search her name she comes up as having sent mail art to others too. However is a print out mail art?

I'm new to all this so would appreciate help & advice as I can't find a way to contact her and don't want to ignore that she made the effort to send something.

Thank you :)

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Comment by Hgfh on June 20, 2015 at 8:07pm

Hi Poison Label Productions - I don't feel threatened at all, so don't worry. I was just not sure what to do with the print outs until I had asked here and then the penny dropped.

I'm enjoying IUOMA, so all is well :)

Comment by Poison Label Productions on June 20, 2015 at 4:19pm
There are some really great suggestions here..

However, I do not feel a violation has occurred.

If you feel like you are in danger or need assistance,
Please contact me.

We have full function tracking on this site & I can determine who Bertha truely is if required.
Comment by Poison Label Productions on June 20, 2015 at 4:13pm
I will state here what I always state...
Mailart is a thing of beauty...

There are no rules per se...
Only the unwritten social rules...

There is no requirement to send reteurn mail upon rcpt.

There is another item to consider here....

Some people,
Send mail art making materials....

I have gotten stuff from closing news outlets, 70's strip club ads, negatives from demolished photo outlets, pics of the dead from mortuaries and etc....

I sent art & got materials in return!

Having said all this...

I will be reviewing this thread to determine if a terms of service violation has occurred & if administration functions are required.
Comment by Hgfh on June 18, 2015 at 9:38pm

I'll message you Angie & Snooky :)

Comment by Hgfh on June 17, 2015 at 11:47am

You know what...I was really nervous about the original post in case anyone though I was being rude or stupid and not getting the concept, but now I'm glad that I took the risk. This has been a real help in understanding the concept and also showing that although I am a newbie and finding my way, my art will be appreciated for what it is.

IUOMA community, thank you for the security and the non judgement. :)

Comment by De Villo Sloan on June 17, 2015 at 3:22am

Heleen, I don't think you need to belong to a school or movement to participate in mail art - very much the opposite.

Adele, there are over 50 years of history and a lot to learn. But I don't believe anyone needs any prior knowledge to participate. In a way, it's good to jump in as a blank slate. (But then you run the risk of reinventing the wheel.)

The social aspect is in many ways as important as the artistic. You develop a personal network and thus you learn what to expect from people and what they like.

When Claire mailed me the contents of her wastebasket a few years back, I understood what that meant. Taken out of context, some people might have been insulted or grossed out. But it was part of an evolving dialog.

Sometimes Moan Lisa sends me work received from others and not originally intended for me. OK. I know people used to do that all the time, so I'm not going to puzzle over it or be confused.

Comment by FinnBadger on June 17, 2015 at 2:28am

I should have added to my list of options that I don't feel that any of them is a right or wrong way to respond. As Adele pointed out, Bertha did take the trouble to mail something out in the first place.

And thanks for the website, Heleen, I'll go take a peek.

Comment by Heleen de Vaan on June 17, 2015 at 2:02am

(W. Reginald Bray, I meant)

Yes, there is a lot to tell and to explore. You can browse this IUOMA site, for instance, there are various groups and discussions on various (sub)themes, among them about mail art history, about mail art books, about certain questions. And/or you could just leave all that 'luggage' and continue creating :-) 

Comment by Hgfh on June 17, 2015 at 1:38am

I have a lot of researching to do tomorrow ;) <3 thank you x

Comment by Heleen de Vaan on June 17, 2015 at 1:34am

I think there is not one culture within the eternal (mail art) network: the network consists of many, many cultures :-)

Speaking for myself, I don't feel really related to Ray Johnson and his Correspondance school. I much more feel touched by people like W. Reginald (the Englishman who experimented with the Royal Mail - over 100 years ago), and admire contemporary mail artists like Ptrzia (TicTac) and Carina.

So I feel I don't belong to Ray Johnson's culture. On the other hand, some of my works I am sending out I call 'fluxus'. Whether it has to do with the 'real Fluxus' school or not, is up to the receiver to decide. To me it is something created fast (the Dutch word 'vlug', fast, sounds a bit like the first part of the word fluxus), and/or some experimental object to post.

An other distinction I make for my outgoing mail, is between 'mail art' and ' mailed art'. The latter I would name my tiny drawings, added every now and then to the back of a regular postcard or on the envelope around a regular letter (or a tax companyform) sent to a non-mail artist, regular mail receiver.

Enough food for thought, as said, in mail art there are not really rules.

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