RECEIVED: Mail-Art Intermedia Chart, Drawing, Add & Pass + More from Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands)

Mail-art by the IUOMA founder Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands)


February 16, 2011 - Wrapping up posts of fantastic mail-art from 2010 is this package I received from Ruud Janssen toward the end of the holiday season. Above is what I call an intermedia chart that maps communications systems and technology tools for the mail-art network. Much can be learned from this; it is a roadmap for mail-artists.


Many of the IUOMA members are familiar with this series of charts Ruud created covering IUOMA history, Fluxus, and physics and art (one of my favorites), among others. These are an extension of numerous charts created by Fluxus artists that can be traced back for decades and today provide valuable information. Ruud's are a step forward because they deal with issues of the 21st century; and they are in color not black and white! Art and information are more integrated than in the older work.


Last summer, when the IUOMA was smaller and many people were on holiday, Ruud would post new charts from the series, almost on a daily basis I recall. Darn, I cannot remember - think they are ink and watercolor? The paint came from St. Petersburg? It was fascinating to see them evolve. So I am very happy to have a print as mail-art from Ruud Janssen. Thank you so much! On the reverse reverse side is one of his distinctive paintings:

We have seen this aspect of his work in similar pieces from the IUOMA gallery. They have repeating symbols built in (the hooks for instance), rely on geometry, and sometimes look to me like puzzle pieces: interlocking planes (literally a real plane in the piece above) or surfaces. Different work by Ruud using this style vary widely between the abstract and representational. It's great to have this one, as I do not recall having seen it before.


Included also was this colorful add-and-pass. In addition to the interestingt typography, it carries a message that amounts to a mail-art manifesto or some guiding concepts to apply to our art practice and involvement in the network. The problem with many add-and-pass pieces I receive is I do not want to give them up :) But this one has some creative options for sharing:

Next is an IUOMA logo. What do you keep as a series in your mail-art collection? There are so many different IUOMA logos you could build an entire collection around them alone. And did you know IUOMA is a Fluxus word? Indeed, I think it was the first one created by Ruud Janssen in the Fluxus word lexicon, B.Z. Before ZALOP:

Ruud Janssen always manages to include a personal note in his mailings:

Another distinctive part of Ruud's Janssen's mail-art is the frequent use of eye-popping, hand-painted envelops. The scans do not do them justice. You have to find one in your mailbox to know completely what it is all about  This piece, with its symmetry and the spirals in the hair, is my favorite so far. And yes, I do collect them:

Here is the reverse side. Through IUOMA and beyond, Ruud Janssen practices the information related in the mail-art intermedia chart from above through a number of excellent blogs and websites.

Many thanks, for this tremendous mail-art package to closeout 2010

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Comment by Marie Wintzer on February 1, 2012 at 11:44pm

I'm well known for commenting on expired blogs, but this must be a record :-)) I've seen this chart before, can't remember where :-))

Comment by De Villo Sloan on February 21, 2011 at 12:35pm

This is my second envelope from Ruud. It contains Fluxus words:

Comment by De Villo Sloan on February 20, 2011 at 7:36pm

Excellent Ruud, thank you again. Here is the first from you. A nice one too:

Comment by Ruud Janssen on February 20, 2011 at 6:21pm
sweet revenge : an addition to your collection is on its way.... Ruud
Comment by cheryl penn on February 16, 2011 at 9:20pm
Great work, FAB envelope, and excellent blog.  I had forgotten the terminology chain letters - the add and pass ons are a curious thing to me, but that made me remember.  The puzzle made faces - entrench the mystique of the face - how 4 features can be arranged in never ending computations to make us all unique.
Comment by Ruud Janssen on February 16, 2011 at 7:31pm

Yes, you remembered quite well. Indian Ink and watercolours bought in St. Peterburg (Leningrad it was called then). Special water colours with honey in them. Works so well and very intense. Also good for transparent use. I combine both with the ink and use that for decades already.

Since you collect the envelopes you are bound to get one again. Especially when you write so thoughtfully on what I do. A busy life leads to a lot of results. Even in 'vacation-times' when Litsa and I are in Athens.



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