Mail-art statements from IUOMA founder Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands)
December 27, 2010 - Ruud Janssen sent me an envelope of mail-art last fall. I posted part of it here at the IUOMA. I saved this "New Generations" piece he wrote because I wanted to devote an entire blog to it. The closing of the year provides a good opportunity. This collection of short statements is a 2007 update of a piece written in 1996. It presents a clear and concise overview of different generations of mail-artists. I thought IUOMA friends, who have not seen this already, might be interested to see what generations they are a part of. I believe Ruud knew I was interested in the history, that I had a knowledge of some generations, but was completely in the dark concerning others. Being from the U.S., I somehow managed to be completely unaware of landmark events such as the Fricker and Ruch conference in Switzerland long after the fact. Here is Ruud Janssen's summary of the generations:
Based on demographics alone, I would guess many of us can claim to be third generation. I am personally very interested in understanding the first and second generations in the U.S.: What exactly was the relationship between Ray Johnson's group and the original Fluxus? Probably some serious overlapping. Here is the other side of Ruud Janssen's "New Generations" piece:
"New Generations" also talks about a Sixth Generation. Given that three years have passed, I wonder if that generation and the things that define it are clearer today? He also alludes to the impact technology has had on mail-art, and developments in that area can be traced through the text also. I have found this piece extremely helpful and send a belated thanks to Ruud for passing it along with mail-art from the, now closing, 2010 season.