Since the start of mail-art the number of mail-artists has grown and maybe declined over the years. I once did some research about how many mail-artists there are (an estimation) in a specific year. Any ideas how many mail-artists there are for instance now? (in 2009). On which statistics do you base your answer. How many mail-artists where there in another specific year? I am looking foreward to reactions

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A good historic start migh be the TAM-Rubberstamp Archive. Last time I published a complete namelist was 1996, and that was in the direction of 2000.
I think, 1500-2000 now, and 10% of them are active (make own projects, have intensive contact activity by mail/e-mail - almost all of them are here)
300 entered the IUOMA network. So if that is 10%, the estimate would be 3000.
It doesn't big matter how much people are mail artists, because everybody can be mail artist, if he participated, for example, in one mail art project. Really interesting, how much active mail artists, who are working years on own projects and form own social mail art network around themself, it's core of the mail art network, and this number is not more then 200 now. Big part of IUOMA members are newcomers and mail artists from time to time...
The 'core' of the mail-art network changes every decade I guess. Only a few from the old generation are left. The mail-artists I discovered in the 90-ies are very scarce, but some are still there. Newomers don't always feel that they are newcomer. If you have done mail-art for years you have seen a lot. Every decade has its own special features I guess. When Vanci Stirnemann started his ATC concept it was taken over by the network. Nowadays nobody realizes that he thought out this concept and had a conceptual idea behind it that has been absorbed by others.
Yes, "core" is dynamic, I agree. Newcomer is property of time and not of their feel, any newcomer can imagine what he wants, it doesn't any matter. You have field "Mail artist since", by means this field You can exactly define who is newcomer.

About ATC. If anybody don't want to think about concepts, nobody can insist that he will think... Several years ago Sztuka Fabryka made good project with Fluxus Bucks, for example, with text, describing concept, history, etc., and it was really good.
And another interesting problem. Mail artists have very different activity. They can organize mail art exhibitions (curators), write books (writers, researchers), make art in different forms and participate in projects, not only mail art projects (artists), make e-mail art (e-mail artists?), participate in mail art meetings, DNC, Festivals in active or passive form (networkers?), etc. Some people (of old generation) have various kinds of activity (You, for example, or Peter Netmail, or John Held Jr.), less mail artists have 2 activities (artists & curators often), big part of other mail artists have only one activity (usually artist, more rare - curator).
You are right, Gik! All the lines you wrote are OK.
I think that in the network you can find some thousands of mailartist, but they are quite different.
1 senior mailartists (they create mail art from 20 years and more)
2 junior mailartists
3 solo mailartists (they participate to 1 or 2 projects and nothing else)
4 swinging mailartists (they are very active for 1-2 years and than no more: but they come back to participate 8-10 years after)
4 curators mailartists (they organize mail art exhibitions)
5 ideologist mailartists (they write about mail art)
6 white mailartists (they participate to other people' s projects)
7 colour mailartists (they participate to other people' s projects and have their own projects)
8 black mailartists ( they have their own projects only to receive works: perhaps they sell something too; they do not send documentation)
9 blue mailartists (they have their own projects only to receive works: perhaps they sell something too, but they send a good documentation)
10 grey mailartists (they have their own projects only to receive works: they do only a documentation on blog or web site)
11 moving mailartists (they organize mail art and art exhibitions and meetings but they participate to the other artists' one)
!2 e-mailartists?: they do not exists. Mail art is art and communication, e-mail very speed communication, low cost communication, but only communication. I can manipulate a mail art, I cannot manipulate an e-mail.
The speech is long and everybody can add other class of mailartists, after Ruud 'll make sum and statistical graphs.
Ciao
TIZIANA
Wonderful classification, Tiziana! It's good idea to make artistamp sheet with this color mail artists!
If seriously, main part of mail artists now are white and grey, and it's not good, as I can feel. And number of ideologist mail artists is very small and, it seems to me, mail artist now has very few interest to own roots, history and theory - probably I know reasons: newcomers are lazy and non-informed, and good information about mail art is difficult to achieve: books are old and rare and money expansive, number of projects with good paper catalogues catastrophically decreased and mail art goes to commercialization, hence destroyng friendship relations between mail artists, and last years - world crisis...
Male artist? Who cares?! I want only to know the female artists and I want to know their numbers very well. Like 34-28-36, very nice! =D
I think are many many mail artist, but send small artworks is not be a mail-artist
me wanna be, but me dont have archive and no sistemate life as mail-artist
just the door is open in my hearth this year, and me must learn yet
yes I am d'accord....be real active mail-artist ...not at all but many artists send ...
me have a project right now, and me are not a great mail-artist
but feel want be!

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