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