being a newcomer to IUOMA I have spent quite a bit of time reading mail art documentations, blogs and threads. As far as I understand one of the fundamental ideas of the mail art community is that it is non-judgmental and friendly, as opposed to the art world out there with power and money games, media attention and art critics. Senior mail artists and newcomers treat each other with respect and kindness. It is a community of "outsiders" and the diversity of the network is also its strength.
But unfortunately I have seen that a few members of IUOMA are rather nasty and hurtful in their comments. Also I have learned that quite a few senior members have left because of harassment, insults and bullying and that seems to be an indication of the opposite of what is being stated otherwise.
Whilst the Mail Art Movement has lived for many decades and will live on, the Internet has brought new possibilities but also new challenges.
I know that no internet forum, just as any other social group or network can survive long term, if no rules of conduct or etiquette are established and also enforced by its members and moderators. Now, it may be impossible to see a large number of mail artists and free minded spirits agreeing to any set of rules - just as it is impossible to herd cats, as the saying goes. :-) However, it may be possible to start a discourse about the underlying spirit or ethos of the mail art community and IUOMA online and how to deal with destructive tendencies.
The general questions that I am asking are these:
Can the ning group of IOUMA be a tiny place in the universe where goodness and kindness prevails? How can that be done?
Or is it already rotting from within and that is why more and more good members are leaving the sinking ship?
What can individual members do so that the overall atmosphere remains positive, generous and supportive?
On a more practical level I would like to ask:
Does the ning-group of IUOMA have a code of conduct?
If so, how is it enforced, and by whom?
If not, shouldn't there be one, so that various abuses can be reported, examined and rectified?
with love and respect
that is wonderful if a network like IUOMA can be seen like that. Mail-Art changed my Life too, and IUOMA is just a small idea inside this large network. I communicate with the network.
I have had my collisions with mail-artists too. Some persons (still active in the network) do not communicate with me, and on the other hand there are also people I rather not communicate with because I know we see things too different. I Always try to be respectful. Just in daily life and in work situations, and especially to strangers....