Dot Cow

StagnaroCow

Italian artist Umberto Stagnaro’s poster from 1982: An indifferent cow surrounded by colour pencil strokes.

 

 

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Body Samples

BurgSend a Piece of Your Nature_1

American artist Robert Charles Rudine aka. Dogfish’s contribution to Mogens Otto Nielsen’s “Send a piece of your nature” mail art project. Hair, nail etcetera glued to a postcard with the written text: “Piece of my nature / now clone me!” Below: Dutch artist Sonja van der Burg’s contribution to “Send a piece of your nature”.

Back (top): American artist Dogfish's contribution to Mogens Otto Nielsen's "Send a piece of your nature" mail art project. Back (below): Dutch artist Sonja van der Burg's contribution to "Send a piece of your nature".

Back (top): American artist Robert Charles Rudine aka. Dogfish’s contribution to Mogens Otto Nielsen’s “Send a piece of your nature” mail art project.
Back (below): Dutch artist Sonja van der Burg’s contribution to “Send a piece of your nature”.

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Museum Controlled

NielsenMogens Otto Nielsen Postcards_4

In Mogens Otto Nielsen’s mail art archive, I found this postcard with a picture of the galleries in Kunsten Museum of Modern Art. With a typewriter Nielsen has written “atmosphere controlled” which is the name of his workshop/lab and art business/practise. Years later, the postcard would actually become a part of the museum along with the rest of the archive. The archive is still in the basement, though, but one day the Nielsen archive will ascent to the galleries. When it does, the mail art will be presented in a different fashion than the artworks you see on display here.

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Inspecting Venus

Joseph Huber's (East Germany) small mail art piece from the Huber ring binder in the archive.

Inspecting Venus: A small photo collage with the “Sleeping Venus” by Giorgione (also known as the “Dresden Venus”) by German artist Joseph Huber.

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You Have the Right to Copy, Change and Destroy

You Have the Right to Copy, Change and Destroy

In the archive files, I once stumbled upon this mail art piece by the Danish artist Mogens Otto Nielsen. The piece is a picture of an “asphalt igloo”, the word “Supertanker” meaning either “super tanker” or “super thoughts” in Danish, and one of the artist’s recurrent rubberstamps that reads:

ALL REPRODUCTION • MODIFICATION • DERIVATION AND TRANSFORMATION OF THIS OBJECT IS PERMITTED

Mogens Otto Nielsen’s rubberstamp is a parody of the postal and governmental bureaucracy, but it is nonetheless a sincere statement. By stamping it, the artwork is open for change, copying, additions etc., thus spelling out the mail art network’s intention to creating and facilitating open-ended, ever-changing works of art. So, Mogens Otto Nielsen’s small “Supertanker” is one of these ideas meant to be circulated, copied and absorbed in other people’s work.

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Pulped Mail Art

 

Pawel Petasz

Pawel Petasz’ (Poland) hand-made “Artforum” from the mail art pieces others sent to him. The table of contents is exactly that, that is a list of the what the paper material is made of. Of course, the title “Artforum International: Bimonthly Magazine of Mail Art and Ephemeral Art” is a play on the official ARTFORUM Journal. Petasz made the art paper in 1980-1981, but it wasn’t mailed out until 1983 due to material law in Poland. Stephen Perkins has written about Pawel Petasz and the Artforum International in Annmarie Chandler and Norie Neumarks (ed.): At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet, MIT Press 2005.

PetaszArtforum_2

Pawel Petasz’ Artforum (back).

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Bananas in the USSR

Bananas in the USSR

Pawel Petasz’ (Poland) contribution from 1990 to Mogens Otto Nielsen’s mail art archive. A print from the early days of computer printing. This small pieces was among a lot of other Petasz material in a file folder with prints, collages etc.

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