The “add and return” strategy is a characteristic mail art strategy: One artist sends out a piece, and artists in the network rework and return the piece to the sender (or send it further into the ephemeral network). Like other mail art strategies this one creates some difficulties at the museum, where we are trying to categorize Mogens Otto Nielsen’s mail art archive, because more often than not do these pieces have multiple and/or unknown senders.
Birger Jesch (East Germany) returned this postcard as a response to Mogens Otto Nielsen’s “add and return to”-invitation (on the left). The original invitation was a postcard with a small cut out probably from the kind of envelope that banks use to mail codes, passwords and other personal information to its costumers.
Another “add and return” project is from Dutch artist Ruud Janssen. He simply asked people to leave there mark on the wall and return it to him. Mogens Otto Nielsen tagged the wall with his “heartheartheart” imprint, and along with other returned items it is now in another archive: Janssen’s TAM archive (Traveling Art Mail).