#MailArt aficionados

Ok Twitter #MailArt aficionados,

Here is the deal:
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This project is to be serious fun, requiring your commitment and dedication to people and respect for relationships. From that the Art will follow.

As for the Art then, you are responsible for your own artwork on your own terms. So the content will be open ended. There will no theme this time around, unless you make a personal theme develop. You can share ideas in the blog comments below.

We have experienced artists on the list, and some novices trying their hand. Its an experiment and we should see where we can take it. I see it as coming from the equalizing joy that twitter interaction brings us.

In theory, I would like the project to turn into an online gallery, and secondly, if possible and all consenting, a show in multiple locations/cities/venues at the same time. If thats too daunting forget that part, but keep it in the back of your mind. The point is fun and sharing some of your freehand / collage / watercolour / digital / photography / you-name-it work.

Keep in mind that mailing addresses would never be shown in a public viewing, but you can run your work onto the back as well as the front of the card if you like. Also writing a personal note, at least one line, should be a nice gesture. Even if only, “Hey, how you doing? – Mark @Art_News” Sign your name in whatever fashion you like, remember that it is important to know who it comes from. Please include your your twitter name as indicated.

Keep in mind that half the fun is seeing the postal marks, florescent tags and just how it gets “damaged” from the postal process. Don’t make the work so precious that you will be broken-hearted if the card gets dog-eared.

The guidelines are as follows:
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1) Standard postcard sizes. It will likely be the only uniform element between all of us and would aids in mounting a show or an online gallery:
4-1/8 x 5-3/4 on some kind of more a less rigid 2-D material

2) Use real postage stamps. Not a metered stamp, unless your going insist that its a HUGE conceptual part of your work, then ok. But hey, there is a nostalgic component here with getting an “object” in the mail and stamps are pretty nostalgic these days, yet still widely available. Suggestions on this are welcome. Snail-mail rocks! Half of us were probably stamp collecting geeks as kids anyway. My #ArtConfess post would be that I was a member of the “Burlington Junior Stamp Club” that met every Saturday morning as a kid. Its in part how I fell in love with printmaking.

3) Now here is the commitment line: One postcard to all 30 people. That way you all get your own set.

In theory each person could in turn, “curate” his/her own mini-show in a venue somewhere.. or not. We can discuss this online in the comments boxes at the end of this blog post. The big thing is, each person has to pull their weight. No favoritism. Send the cards as you can do them on the list. I think 30 days should be a reasonable deadline, and we will try our best to get things in the mailbox by the July 1st deadline, right? For me personally, I am going send one a day for 30 days, and there will be a narrative puzzle to work out.

Back to the deadline issue. I know what procrastinators we twittering artist are. You probably don’t even have time for this project, but your going to do it anyway, so a later date is a bad idea. Why? Because you likely love the pressure and the adrenlin buzz. So I will be a demagogue on this one issue. The deadline is July 1st!! ok..?

Time management. Keep it a simple process. Think of how fantastic you will feel getting all this wondeful Art mail AND having others receive yours! I’m very jazzed.

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53 Comments on “#MailArt aficionados”

  1. Julie says:

    This is really awesome!! How do I sign up? Is it too late? I’d really like to be involved 🙂

  2. hey gang,

    mark mentioned the search for possible venues for our project. i would be thrilled if we managed to find a place that would host our work, because from what im hearing from you all, we should have some top notch stuff.

    theres a gallery in Boston that I know of, that opened somewhat recently: http://www.space242.com/about

    of the contemporary galleries, it seems to host more unconventional/less mainstream commercial exhibits, so it could be a possibility. however, it still is a commercial gallery so i don’t know if the odds are very good there.

    but like i said to Mark, i’m just trying to get the ball rolling and try to brainstorm some ideas for venues.

  3. HARDPRESSED says:

    Seeds of ideas are beginning to sprout for the MailArt project. Decided to go with different images rather than an edition of a single printed image. It will be good for me to get out of the printmaker’s “editioning mode” for this; but I still plan on using prints. When I get back to my studio tomorrow I’ll be ready to start exploring my options.

  4. I will have to start another MailArt post and figure out how we can all add scanned images of our received Mail Art, with the markings of the mailing process. Anyone know how you can post images on someone else’s blog, or would I have to do that? I’m the WordPress interface and options are quite accessible and well laid out. But I’m still learning how to use it.

  5. Museum Nerd says:

    This is exciting stuff. Just reading through the posts, is inspiring. I hope that art supply store is open. So many ideas…

  6. mikesorgatz says:

    Brilliant – looking forward to seeing everyone’s work. I esp like the idea of the table and would be willing to configure the html.

    • Mike, I think perhaps after all, it might be best to hold off on the table and do a tally after July 1st. Asking for “bookkeeping” before then might be counter-productive, since we want artists to concentrate of just getting the cards in the mail. Each person can check off on their own list.

  7. Dont give away your idea completely. You want it be a surprise in the mail right?

  8. Diann Haist says:

    Epiphany! Just got my theme.

  9. Diann Haist says:

    I too will be sending out a few at a time. So many possibilities to play with here.

  10. mosaicartbyla says:

    I will be mailing all my postcards at once, when they are all finished. So don’t expect to hear from me for awhile! Hope that’s not a problem, but wanted to let people know so they don’t think I crapped out on you 🙂

  11. See how the postal cancellation was printed on the front of the image. I just love that kind of process that happens when it goes through the mail. http://www76.pair.com/keithlim/postcards/voiceoffire.html
    Later when I post my website, you will understand why I like this painting, it has a special history in Canada.

  12. Lisa Berry says:

    Hi everyone, looking forward meeting you through the mail. I’m thinking about a “sum of the parts” theme, maybe painting bigger pieces and cutting them out into postcard quarters. Or a treasure map that requires all 32 cards to solve the riddle. 🙂

    • That could work. My only concern is that you feel free to alter your path as you do them. 32 is a good number and one theme might restrict you from trying different things. Plus you don’t want to give away your best secrets, until we get the goodies in the mail.

  13. Great!

    I’ll be working with photography in some way. I’m using this to experiment with new papers and techniques and such.

  14. Ok- wait a minute. I want to clarify something. We’re not making 32 of the same postcard to everyone, right? I thought it was 32 unique and different postcards. Am I wrong about this?

    • Yes Christi, Im making 32 unique postcards with variations on a theme. If they do merge together as a show, and someone does 32 the same, then they will only have 1 postcard to represent them.

  15. mischief says:

    2 more things. Firstly I notice that most of the participants are based in the USA. I hope that the fact that you are all over there and there are only 2 UK based #mailartists that you guys don’t keep all the fun to yourself!

    Also I would love to see everyone’s post for this in a sort of football results table! I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but you know those tables where, at the top you have a list of all the teams playing at home, then the same list is repeated down the side. This then forms a table, and you can stick in the results of all home games in the row and all away games in the columns.

    This would work really well as a google doc/spreadsheet, with all of us dropping the links in to our scanned or photographed mail in the appropriate place and by thw end of the project the whole sheet should be filled!

  16. mischief says:

    Just sent my first 2 cards out this morning!

    Personally I’m doing a single theme, as I think this is a great opportunity to put together a disparate set of postcards on a theme, where every member of the group can start to recognise a style threading through, despite the geographical distance between us.

    That idea of bringing people together through shared ideas is very exciting for me.

    My stuff is based on 2 loves of mine, images from the past and photography, but also I want my postcards to bring together strangers. You’lll see what I mean when they drop through your door…

    As for display and curation of images, your postcards will go up on my REAL wall whenever there is enough mail to make a REAL wall worthwhile. I try to put them up every couple of days. Try and spot yours on my REAL wall after you send it. At the end of the project I’ll put together my own mini-gallery on there. That should be really exciting!

  17. Since these are original works of art, does anyone have a problem with posting images of the postcards we receive? I’m fine with it.

  18. mischief says:

    Looking forward to putting up all the mailart received on my REAL wall

    It would be aweseome to see it all come together, nice idea Mark

  19. mischief says:

    A terrifying challenge, but I think I have 1 postcard a day in me for a month. I have some cool antiques that need a bit of treatment…

  20. The question of documentation has come up. You should photo document work before you send it. There is always the unlikely but small chance it could get lost in the mail.

  21. rejin says:

    Thanks for putting so much time into this project Mark.

  22. ted says:

    Yes, thanks again Mark, this will be excellent. got the email.

    @mosaicartbyla, yes thinking of a single theme here too.

  23. By the way, the missing link on the list was http://twitter.com/mikesorgatz

    As for a theme, my work will have a narrative that only when you all work together will understand. And Drawing and watercolour etc… still thinking about it.

  24. Mark,
    Just got the list. Thanks for all your upfront hard work. This will be fun.

  25. mosaicartbyla says:

    Ok – Here we go! Anybody else thinking of using a single theme for all 32 cards they produce?

  26. ted says:

    Mark: Thanks for thinking of me! I’d love to participate. this sort of reminds me of Fluxus!

    Very cool.

  27. I’m so excited! I think we should definitely pursue the exhibition idea. Doesn’t have to be anything major. There is a group here in LA who curates shows in empty store windows. Some last for one night, others longer.

    And I’m so glad you mentioned the damaging process of the mail service. Love that!

  28. HARDPRESSED says:

    OK Mark – I’m game. Not exactly sure how we will get the participants addresses though, but I’m sure you’ll send directions.

    By the way, this concept of “mailed art” was one of my regular assignments that I often challenged my students with. A big part of the project was the whole mail process and how that would impact the work. My students loved it and I would often do it as a mid-term exam. So, this will be my turn to feel the pressure!

  29. Diann Haist says:

    Sounds like a fun challenge!

  30. Please leave comments here, but keep in mind this is totally public, so don’t include unnecessary personal information. Your first post requires approval, but after that you can post freely, unless you trip up the spam filters.


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