Are Buddy Jams a New Mail Art Form? ATCs by Erin Young (Innisfil, Ontario, Canada)

Erin - 11-.15.2015 - 1

Mail art by IUOMA member Erin Young (Innisfil, Ontario, Canada)

November 15, 2015 - An interesting development in contemporary mail art is the growing popularity of the Buddy Jam. Canadian artist Erin Young, an energetic and enthusiastic jammer, sent me a package with an invitation to participate in this popular form of collab. I will give it a try!

IUOMA-Ning is a center of Buddy Jam activity. You can see jammer creations and find exchange information in Karen Champlin’s ATC Rebels (Artist Trading Card) group. Dear friend and mail art legend Karen Champlin started the group several years ago and has since moved on. The very capable and talented jammers have established their headquarters in this digital space that Karen founded. I conjecture Karen Champlin is thrilled that she is connected to yet another wave of network innovation.

http://iuoma-network.ning.com/group/atcrebels

From what I can observe, the Buddy Jam is rooted in the ATC. A traditionalist might see the Buddy Jam concept as simply an ATC variant. Practitioners, however, have transformed the already popular ATC form into a collaborative process. The old ATCs were used as an ego-centered promotion of an individual artist, so the jammers have made a clear ideological break. The Buddy Jam process is simple, and Erin Young explains it eloquently in her kind note:

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Here is the reverse side of the opening scan:

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Erin Young also included a second Buddy Jam kit:

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Here is a view of all four cards she sent. Each one is approximately 2 X 3 inches, so the format is relatively small.

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And the envelope:

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Many thanks to Erin Young! These will be coming back to you soon.

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Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 18, 2015 at 3:47am

A classic Fluxus event score. If you integrate the event score into the mail art, then you can make it a kind of performance art.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 18, 2015 at 1:26am

Ruud Janssen's Fluxus Words project is probably a better example because it's based on an event score. If you use an event score in your m-a, it is performance. Know what I mean? Fluxus Words is ongoing. In fact, I'll be doing an update soon based on mail received.

http://fluxuswords.blogspot.com/

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 17, 2015 at 6:51pm

Res, I don't know about the ATC performance specifically, but there are people who see the exchange of mail art (or some projects) as a form of performance art. Some of the Fluxus people see it that way. You see some of these performance-oriented pieces at IUOMA from time to time. It could involve event scores. Ruud's Fluxus Words project is mail art/performance art.

Bifidus Jones and Erni did one that was memorable involving cheese:

http://iuoma-network.ning.com/profiles/blogs/reincarnated-from-erni...

Comment by Ruud Janssen on November 17, 2015 at 4:54pm

1996
september CONCEPT "ARTIST TRADING CARDS (ATC)" BY M.VÄNÇI STIRNEMANN

see: http://www.artist-trading-cards.ch/history.html

1997
januray THE PROJECT IS DISCUSSED WITH CAT SCHICK & GIDO DIETRICH
april 23 - may 17 FIRST ARTIST TRADING CARD SHOW AT INK. art & text, ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND
1200 CARDS BY M.VÄNÇI STIRNEMANN
may 31 1ST ARTIST TRADING CARDS SESSION AT INK. art & text
september 27 "ART A GOGO", ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND, exhibition of ARTIST TRADING CARDS BY M. VÄNÇI STIRNEMANN
1ST ARTIST TRADING CARDS SESSION AT "THE NEW GALLERY", CALGARY, CANADA
oct 16 - nov 15 "ALBERTA COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN", CANADA; Faculty Exhibition, ARTIST TRADING CARDS BY CHUCK STAKE (aka DON MABIE)

1998
april ALTBAU DER STAATLICHEN AKADEMIE DER BILDENDEN KÜNSTE STUTTGART (DEUTSCHLAND) : ATC COPY-LEFT EDITIONS. ONGOING PRESENTATION.
june 2 - july 12 1ST FLOOR, ROOM 118-120.
KUNSTWINKEL VAN OVERBACH ARNEHEM (HOLLAND)
oct 15 - dec 27 KUNSTWINKEL VAN OVERBACH NIJMEGEN (HOLLAND)
"ARTIST TRADING CARDS" SHOW AND TRADING EVENTS
COPY-LEFT ARTIST TRADING CARD editions shown at KUNSTHAUS ZÜRICH

1999
may 7 ARTIST TRADING CARD SHOW AND EVENT AT KUNSTHAUS AARAU (SALON 99)

2000
sept 8 through 30 THE NEW GALLERY, CALGARY, CANADA
1ST INTERNATIONAL ARTIST TRADING CARDS BIENNIAL
CO-CURATED BY DON MABIE AKA CHUCK STAKE AND M. VÄNçI STIRNEMANN

2009
March 9 - 22, 2009
'This is My City' Artist Trading Card exhibition
Epcor Centre for Performing Arts, showcase windows across form the Max Bell
Theatre
opening reception: March 19, 7 - 8 pm

Comment by William M on November 17, 2015 at 3:39pm

considering the collaborative nature of a lot of mail art it makes perfect sense for ATCs to branch off into that area. i'd learned of them shortly before joining IUOMA. it would be interesting if they could be traced to some specific beginning.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 16, 2015 at 11:54pm

Susan & BG, thanks for adding to what's known of Buddy Jams. My own research didn't yield a lot. I think it is, to some extent, an IUOMA phenom, given you have to allow for the fact ATCs are a world unto themselves - very popular. Susan confirms that.

We have m-a forms such as add & pass, TLPs, vispo collabs and ATCs. Could be Buddy Jams will join the list.

Thx again

Comment by Borderline Grafix on November 16, 2015 at 8:21pm

Here is one (or two, actually) that I just received from CZ Lovecraft.

Comment by Susan McAllister on November 16, 2015 at 3:43am
DeVillo, I remember doing collaborative ATC's eight or nine years ago in online ATC groups and in a local ATC get together. I don't remember what we called them, but it wasn't buddy jams. I wonder if IUOMA folks came up with that term. No matter what you call them, they sure are fun.

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