Swarms in the Archive

HeplerSwarm  Flight_2

American artist Anna Hepler’s “Swarm/Flight” from 1998 was found in a canvas bag in a box filed under Ted Purves in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet. Moving about in the archive, opening small envelopes, bags, or containers only to find smaller pieces connected to something or someone else – this sense of going in a möbius band – is somewhat similar to Hepler’s entanglement of thin threats on a piece of cardboard.

HeplerSwarm  Flight_1HeplerSwarm  Flight_3

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Mapping Not-arrived Letters

NikonovaVacuum_2Russian artist Rea Nikonova’s mail art piece with an “architectual” treatment of Nielsen’s letter to her + invitation to send contributions to her Vacuum exhibition including not-arrived letters, empty cases, and people without heads. (note to self: needs a new photo).

 

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Inappropriate tagging

  • Sender UnknownSend a Piece of Your Nature (3)_1
  • Nielsen’Sender UnknownSend a Piece of Your Nature (3)_2s archive has been moved to a relational database. In the database, all our work describing, scanning, photographing, and tagging are finally structured and connected. As a test, I search “nude”, and this piece from an unknown sender was one of the hits. Our tags were quite … explicit. Send a piece of your nature, 1985-87.
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A Modernist Construction

British artist Keith Bates reworking of Alfred H. Barr, Jr.'s famous chart “The Development of Abstract Art” from ca. 1936. Bates replaced the original content with bus tickets, postage stamps etcetera. This chart was filed with material related to The Pocket Museum .

British artist Keith Bates’ reworking “A Modernist Construction” (ca. 1984) of Alfred H. Barr, Jr.’s famous chart “The Development of Abstract Art” from ca. 1936. Bates replaced the original content with bus tickets, postage stamps etcetera. This chart was filed with material related to The Pocket Museum.

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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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