Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mail Art

While working on our current project of repurposing objects, I decided to work with printing on envelopes and sending them to friends. In exploring this idea I came across a kind of art I had never heard of before "Mail Art." I discovered Mail Art is a form of artwork that uses the postal system as a medium. It can refer to an individual message, a medium through which it is sent, or the artistic genre. Mail artists typically exchange letters, zines, and decorated envelopes. It is said that Mail Art began as a snub of gallery art, juried shows, and the exclusivity of the art world.

There are many different blogs and groups dedicated to Mail Art. One of the largest I found was the International Union of Mail Artists. The group is 18 years old and anyone can join once they write to the group's president, the artist TAM, what they think Mail Art is.

There are now exhibits dedicated to mail art. Which makes me question if the movement is staying true to it's original intentions.

Below I have attached a few images of mail art.

1 comment:

spatwong said...

I wouldn't worry about the seeming hypocrisy behind showing in a gallery because I think calling something art is subscribing to an art audience immediately, which is generally comprised of gallery patrons or critics (people that are more interested in art). What I question is the validity of the work taken out of context. Should the actual pieces of Mail Art be a part of the exhibition? Or should it be a documentation? How does showing it in a gallery change the meaning behind the work? Who is putting it on display?