Mail art by IUOMA founder Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands)
May 27, 2018 - I seldom begin a blog post with an envelope. In the case of work received from Ruud Janssen – however – I often make exceptions. Ruud Janssen is a major network force, being a widely recognized artist, mail art scholar, founder of the IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), among many other accomplishments. His hand-painted envelopes are a trademark. I have an impressive collection, and I am thrilled to be able to add this colorful work.
The contents of a piece of mail art by Ruud Janssen are rewarding as well. In this case, he sent along an Add & Pass with instructions: Make sure this reaches Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) when complete. I’ll send it in the right direction!
Many newer IUOMA members have questions about the Add & Pass. They ask: Can we attach instructions to an Add & Pass? Network wisdom says: “In mail art there are no rules.” Certainly you can include specific instructions with any Add & Pass you create. Indeed, Ray Johnson’s mail art and Add & Pass materials often included detailed instructions. So you can shape an Add & Pass around themes and/or specific people and still be part of the venerable A&P tradition. (The Add & Pass is one of mail art's primary formal contributions to the art world.)
By including Trashpo Diva Diane Keys, perhaps this is technically a Trash & Pass (an Add & Pass designed specifically for circulation among the TrashPoets & DKulters often favoring found material). But this is a small point ultimately of little consequence. The participants will have an important role as well in defining this piece.
Ruud Janssen always includes interesting ephemera. Don’t miss it!
Many thanks to Ruud!