Considering everything that is involved to deliver a piece of international mail, I think it is amazing that hardly anything gets lost. The world postal system is more amazing than the internet, to my mind. I have had a very few things go missing over the years, but often it turns out to be lost on the recipient's premises. In their company post room, or on their own untidy desk. A recent 'lost' parcel turned out to have been left at the back door instead of the front as usual, to keep it out of the rain, and the addressee didn't find it for a few days. And sometimes I receive mail that I cannot acknowledge because they didn't put their name and address on it so I don't know who it's from!
I agree with you: sometimes the amazing fact is that mail actually arrives!
Before New Year İ sent 3 post cards to Netherlands, Usa and Belgium. Just the one to Netherlands has got to the destination. İ am really pissed off about this because İ didn't write my adress on the back of them so...they are lost :( .
I don't mind so much when a postcard goes missing, but when a more substantial package for a collaborative book with 27 copies, or an artists book goes missing, I start to wonder whether it's worth making and sending. I've sent to Cheryl Penn in S.Africa many times and she hasn't received three or four of my packages. I'm still hoping Encyclopedia of Everything book will arrive, sent in early December, 2013.
Good news. (for me anyway) This HAS arrived in South Africa!
One of my outgoing mailart envelopes developed a hole in it, perhaps the envelope was mangled in the post office machine, and the contents was separated from it's outer envelope. Fortunately, I had stamped my address on the contents and the post office returned it to me. Sad part is that I'd sent four versions of those contents out to four people and am not sure which one didn't receive my mailart. Not even sure if they received the outer envelope.
I always think of it this way. Maybe a postal worker liked your work so much that they risked their job to take it home with them and show their family & friends.
This means that your work is now in a good place and making someone really happy.
I scan all the pièces I send out and sometimes get around to asking people if I didn't hear from them. That's why it's nice to thank people right away, and then get around to blogging when you have more time.
I have only lost one piece from Ireland, many more from right here in the USA. One that showed up a month later from the US to the US. Not fun, but it does happen.
Yep, I sent a boekie from Richmond, VA. to Val in France back in July of 2013. I paid extra to have it hand cancelled and marked as not being machineable which was supposed to result in it being handled completely by hand throughout its journey. Unfortunately it has never shown up. I did make digital copies of some parts, but couldn't really get a feel for the whole thing since it was a 2 sided folded page book.
I like to think that maybe some unsuspecting soul got a nifty piece of mail art from a complete stranger. But probably, someone tried to machine it and it was destroyed. I'm not thrilled when it happens and it seems to happen a lot to all kinds of mail going out of Richmond (not just mail art), but I'm always surprised at the things that actually get through. Once I received an official looking plastic baggie thingy containing the shreds of something I couldn't recognize. One of the shreds had a partially readable address that included my name and I think a street number but nothing else. The outside of the baggie had a note on it from the post office explaining that delivering my mail was very important to them and at the same time apologizing for destroying my mail...LOL- Oh, I hope it wasn't that million dollar check from Publisher's Clearing House that Ed McMahon has been promising to send.....
I have spent my time and more importantly my money into posting my mail art and for it to not to arrive if very disappointing and annoying that if it couldn't be delivered they why wasn't it returned back to me. Thankfully I did scan it so at least I have a copy of it. I sent 2 pieces of art last month and neither were delivered, fortunately I did receive a piece of art back from one of my swap people. I know I should take a positive outlook on it in that someone may be enjoying my artwork but I don't think so as I am only a newbie so my work isn't that brilliant.