I'd like to hear other members' opinions on something. Would you rather be asked if you would like to receive an add & pass, or would you rather just have them arrive in your mailbox without warning? 

It would be nice to hear from as many people as possible. 

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Well said! 

Nicely said, Pam. I think you describe the current situation at IUOMA.

I've been on this platform since 2010 and the dynamics are always changing. (I've been involved in m-a for a whole lot longer.)

Lately there has been an influx of active people who are coming from communities with different practices. I think you make a great point about that, Pam.

I think it's clear IUOMA is rooted in the Ray Johnson style of mail art, which is a community of shared practice and friendships going back over 50 years! We have members who have been involved for 50 years! Mail art is open to everyone and I believe it's a great sign for the validity of m-a. Seniority is really not a factor. But there are people with questions about process as a result. The "Old School" folks learned what Ruud calls the "unspoken rules" long ago. So the best thing is to ask! Hopefully you make friends fast and they can help when needed.

The good news that in this particular branch of mail art (and Ray Johnson basically invented the kind of m-a we know today) THERE ARE VERY FEW RULES and a tendency not to want to make more rules.

This IUOMA group does face challenging issues from time to time. They seem to get settled in online discussions and of course the buck stops with Ruud Janssen. Sometimes they result from someone who joins, doesn't know what to expect, gets offended by something they receive or feel their privacy violated etc.: I've seen that on the platform a number of times.

Mail art slowly evolves too. Things are not written in stone other than, maybe, mutual respect and support, acceptance. Yes, there are people who have been doing mail art for years and never heard of Ray Johnson nor the Eternal Network. Great that they found this home.

So I guess you gotta ask when you're not sure! Don't get hung up on rules that probably aren't there. Some say in m-a the relationships are more important than the art. (Not sure if I agree,) BUT build your circle of friends and they will help you.

take care

Yes Pam, we're in agreement. I know there are other sites bigger than IUOMA that are basically mail art. I don't know if their spin-offs from the original mail art movement or what. It would be interesting to find out. IUOMA can only be a learning experience that broadens and deepens things for people.

Pam? I thought you were new. You've been at IUOMA for a time? Did you go by PJ before? If so, we're actually old friends. But I might be mistaken.

PJ! Welcome back then. You were part of the old crew. It slowly dawned on me who you were. Well, there's little you don't know about IUOMA and m-a.

Pam XOX

I think more exciting just to receive it without warning

I like the spontaneity of them just arriving in the mailbox. If there is a series of emails or comments it just makes it feel over-worked, to me. 

When I receive an A&P with addresses from artists I haven't corresponded with I assume they are open to receiving uninvited MailArt. 

Whatever shape MailArt takes, they are a window to another artist and their community. I will probably never meet most of the artists  I exchange ideas with which, in a way,  makes this process exciting. Random thoughts, random mail, cool stuff, a beautiful hello. 

What attracted me to mail art in the first place, is its lack of rules. I love the freeeeeedom of mail art! 

I don't mind surprise mail either. I say if you have joined this group, you agree to add and pass mail. No extra steps required. ;)

I wasn't much into Add & Pass, but now that I've seen a variety of them, I think it is fun.  It is nice to know when your A&P is coming.  For instance, I had carpal tunnel surgery last summer and could not hold a tool in my hand.  That hand is still numb but I manage.  Now I expect some sort of surgery in my left hand as it is giving me sleepless nights.  I  don't think it is carpal tunnel.  Warn me so I can warn you if I can't keep up. Thanks, for asking, Carolyn Cline!

I’ll put you on my “pass to” list now! Sorry about the carpal tunnel pain. I’ve got cubital tunnel syndrome. No fun.  Maybe you can post when you need a break... or just hold onto them till you can.I’ve had a few come through from the Jurassic Era and started them back on their journeys thinking, “Boy, somebody’s gonna be surprised when they getTHIS back!

I am new to this site and was a little confused by the lack of rules.  I have been swapping mostly ATCs since Yahoo groups in the late 1990s.  Somewhere around 2006, I joined swap-bot (original member) and have been swapping there since.  Those swaps have lots of rules.  You have a deadline and very specific rules.  If you don't make your swap according to the rules and send by specified date, you get a low rating...too many low ratings and no one will swap with you.

I am liking the idea of just sending stuff and not worrying about having to rate or even keep up with what was sent.  I am one of those who just received an add & pass and was totally confused by what I was supposed to do with it.  Thanks to the discussions I have figured out that it doesn't really matter what I do with it...lol.  :-)  That does open the door to unlimited creative process.  

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