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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Ants and Mail Art

Ants are marching all over the mail art archive at KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. This is one of many examples: A Mogens Otto Nielsen print with ants returned from Stefanie Amrein in Schwitzerland. The ant is  a great metaphor for the  workings of the mail art network, I think. There are a lot, they are in all the cracks, staying close to the ground.

Ants are marching all over the mail art archive at KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. This is one of many examples: A Mogens Otto Nielsen print with ants returned from Stefanie Amrein in Schwitzerland. The ants (always plural) are a great metaphor for the workings of the mail art network, I think. They are all over the place, in all the cracks, staying close to the ground.

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Enlightened

Enlightened

Volker Hamann’s (Germany) contribution to Mogens Otto Nielsen’s mail art archive. Soon, we will transcribe the text on the light bulb. The best way to do it would probably be to put the light bulb in a socket, turn it on and read the text on the walls.

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A Bio-regional Nature

Fragments of Nature

Sonja van der Burg (1)Postcard (top): Robert Charles Rudine’s, also known as Dogfish, contribution to “Send a piece of your nature. Card with ear hair, beard hair, pubic hair, tears, sneeze, a fingernail and flatulent vapors. Accompanied by the text: “I would like to send something of a bio-regional nature. But I realized if I sent some bodyparts + juices it would be from a world natur”.

Postcard (below): Sonja van der Burg’s (artist alias Sunecho) contribution to “Send a piece of your nature”. Card with a piece af green plastic glued on to it. A Sticker from a tube of oil paint reading; “dunkelgelb”, a feather and two symmetrically placed pieces of string.

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