ONE MAIL ART GENERATION
What comes next after next 20 years?
I started more than 30 years ago -
what will be in next 30 years?

no discussion - just a thougth - going inside.

mail art is not jail art -
art ist start
stamp art is not vamp art!

hope you all will have a creative healthy 2009.
klaus

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Are things a repetition or not. That is often the question. Mail-Art 20 years ago (or 30 years ago) wasn't the same as it is now. Nor is the world the same. Every (?) mail-artist using a computer and still sending out envelopes. Will that be the case in another 30 years?
Mail-Art is conceoptual. Postcards, envelopes, the complete communication process. Lucky enough I am not a purist I hope.
Ah, but also, the envelope IS the art in many cases. Some people don't even put anything inside.

I started out in the 70's doing postcards only but I like to do more than will fit on a postcard so I started doing envelopes AND putting something inside which was totally different or on the same theme but different. Then I got into non-postal objects - trying to push the envelope (sic!) to see what the post office could and would deliver from one place to another. When I started carving as a serious art project of my own, I became very solicitous of the prints they made... I didn't want them to arrive damaged or destroyed completely so I would put them in clear envelopes. Now, it's hit or miss - sometimes I get fussy about it and sometimes not at all. Lately, I've been sending things in envelopes because I want one part to show to the world and get roughed up (or not) along the way while the other part is for the recipient personally and I want that part to stay pretty much as it looked when I made it.

I have grown and changed over the past 30 years and so has my attitude about what is acceptable or desirable in mail art. I'm sure that will continue as long as I live. I used to get really riled up when people would try to change the 'rules' but now I am more easy going about it all and enjoy it more. :)
We always speak of the unwritten rules. When someone writes the rules donw we will sure see that everybody has different rules. It is an Evolution. Communication in the artworld gets a different place every year. No-one ever thought that a group of 300 mail-artists would plan projects on this platform. And then there are the other mail-artists too. These are so many networks we don't know.
Bonsoir.

Ruud said : we will sure see that everybody has different rules.

I think... it might be interesting to ask each of us "what are your own rules in mail art"...

When I started mail art in early 70s (I was 15), when sending letters to my friends, it was only drawing ou painting some improvements on the envelopp , trying to send a mail different from the usual standards. Or making envelops with magazine pages. Trying to make something the recipient will immediately recognize as coming from me.

In these years I didn't even know the words "mail art" ; I named it "enveloppes décorées" : decorated envelops, I suppose, would be the right translation (I speak french, must translate in english with my Harrap's shorter, and it's often difficult for me to find the right words to say what I really want to say...).

My friends and family thought I was someone strange, eccentric... and I felt very lonely with it... I kept on with mailart so so, for about 10 years... slowly gave up... get married, had children...

Now, 30 years later, I can see on Internet hundreds of mail artists all over the world...

No more loneliness !

Buth, on the other hand, I suddenly heard of rules...

.
the rules are mostly connected to mail-art projects. Only one aspect in mail-art. All accepted, all exhibited, documentation to all participants, no money involved, no jury, etc...... Like many rules, not all follows them.
These are rules for the projects, I know : rules about pratice, organisation...

I was telling about another kind of "rules". Something I would call fundamental rules.

You know, questions like : on what side the adress must be ; whether the adress has to be handwritten ; whether the mailart has to travel nude or can be put in clear envelop ; whether an empty envelop is still a "mail"...

Rules about what Mail Art IS (or has to be)...

I am awfully sorry when meeting persons who seem to know what the TRUE Mail Art is... (often seem to think that only their own Mail Art is the true one...)

But I would like to know how you (each of us) would describe your own way of mail arting...

Nowadays...

Could be funny to read it 30 years later...

Let's have an appointment here in 2039 !!!
Mail artists have rules on (primary, exhibition) projects (no fee for participation, no juri or work selections, doc to all), it's standard de-facto, initial author was Lon Spiegelman in 1970s, as I remember. This rules strong define mail art projects. So if You, for example, will declare own mail art project, but will make selection of works, or require money for participation - then it's not mail art (strong!). To define who is mail artist we can look if he is participating in mail art projects, first of all (not only exhibitions, but publications, mail art festivals or meetings). If any man is not participating in any mail art project (set of this projects with artists and relations organize mail art network), but simply sending decorated envelops to friends (who are not mail artists too) or is making artistamps (artist's books, zines, etc.) for sale without any communication with other artists - then he is not mail artist.
No fee, no jury, no selection ; and nothing to be sold. OK.

But...
If any man is not participating in any mail art project [...] but simply sending decorated envelops to friends (who are not mail artists too) - then he is not mail artist.
That lets me doubtful...

Do you mean that one must take part in collective projects and must communicate with other mailartists, to become a mail artist too ???

Do everybody agree with that ?
Yes, You understand me right! Mail artist MUST participate in collective projects of mail art network, it's criteria. Otherwise any person who is decorating envelope (I think, a lot of people who yet use postal service do it - some philatelists do it exactly, and they are very far from mail art spirit) is mail artist, obviously it is not true. Almost all mail artists are decorating envelopes, but not all who is decorating envelopes are mail artists, it's principle difference. And, certainly, mail artist can not decorate envelope at all, and be mail artist because of participation in mail art projects. Mail art is not about decoration envelopes, but it is primary spirit and continue of Avant Garde traditions...
Wow....

I'm afraid that's too intellectual for me...

I think I'm going to keep on sending my artist's envelops to those who will be pleased to receive them, mailartist or not...

I never could stand yielding to something looking like, you know, "la ligne du parti"... (= the party line, I suppose...)

Let's say I am an independant artist in mail !!!
that is a very exclusive look at "MAIL ART"

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