Umělec magazine 2001/2 >> Mixed Messages List of all editions.
Mixed Messages
Umělec magazine
Year 2001, 2
6,50 EUR
Send the printed edition:
Order subscription

Mixed Messages

Umělec magazine 2001/2

01.02.2001

Bodil Hovaldt Bojer | media | en cs

The expansion of the the global computer network over the past decade has certainly given rise to new art forms, but it has also helped to expand the much older form known simply as mail art. The Internet provided an environment free from institutional and market pressures, and has kicked off new forms of media activism, the same principles mail art was originally based on.
An international network of artists, consisting today of approximately 20,000 people, is engaged in producing mail art. They communicate by sending works of art to each other. The goal is the direct exchange of art, ideas and information between artists from different countries without having to deal with the established art market. In fact, the emphasis is on communication itself, which is regarded as the most important element in the art form. The structure of the network is similar to that of the Internet: horizontal, with a central organizing head.
The concept of e-mail art was created in 1991, when the mail artist Cracker Jack Kid launched a website of works by Ray Johnson, who is believed to be the father of mail art. Although the concept behind mail art is rooted in the Fluxus movement of the 1960s and Ray Johnson’s postal projects from the same time period, the origin of mail art could also be traced back to the beginning of the postal system itself.
Johnson was the original founder of the New York Correspondence School, which was an international network of artists and poets that used the regular postal system to launch their add-to-and-return system. They also traded a wild assortment of objects, text and finished artworks. Mail artists have always experimented with different art forms in the belief that anything could be done, and there really is no limit regarding techniques, materials or methods. Ray Johnson would send off to other artists his add-to-and-return collages — bunny-headed portraits, puns and rhymes designed to confound and amuse recipients. Art objects commonly sent nowadays include stamps, postcards, audiocassettes, video and computer graphics. The exchanges are mostly effected by post but the fax machine, the Internet and especially e-mail are now all common mediums.
E-mail art has become a logical extension of mail art. The Internet has in some ways changed and developed the form of mail art. It’s now easier to call people together for an exhibition or project by using one of the many message boards. Projects are then published on the Internet, making them accessible to any user, and computer graphics are often an intrinsic part of the show. Sending artworks by e-mail is less expensive, and it’s easier to reach a larger group of recipients. On the other hand, e-mail art requires that all participants have access to a computer and the Internet, to the exclusion of others, in contrast with the universality of snail-mail art.
In addition, while mail art is limited to a one-to-one relationship, e-mail art (or i-mailart) is capable of reaching a far greater number of people and is currently developing along the lines set by cyberspace, becoming a net of communication and information that plays with all of the many possibilities along the electronic highway.
With both mail and e-mail art there is no individual artist, viewer, critic or gallery as such, because everyone in the network functions as all components at once. It is a free-flowing interchange of creativity without borders, rules or money. It stands outside the kind of economic involvement and speculation that exists in the established art market and the pitch is level for equal production. A work is not likely to return to the original sender and is often transformed en route.
Despite mail art’s resistance to becoming a part of the established art world, the very museums and galleries it struggled to circumvent have taken notice, and works can now be found in many major museums, like the Getty, the Tate and the Whitney. Dissenters have questioned the artistic quality of mail art, mainly because there are no schools, critics or rules to separate the artists from the amateurs. The fact is, anyone can be a mail artist, which is exactly why mail art is not intended for the mainstream art scene and is in turn its particular strength. In a way, it continues the project of the avant-garde by breaking down boundaries and the art institution monopoly though free distribution, and the joining of life and art within a wider perspective.
But the animosity known between institutional and net art seems not to exist between classical and electronic mail art. The Electronic Museum of Mail Art features links to the history of the form as well as i-mailart newsgroups on the Internet. To e-mail artist and moderator of one newsgroup, Craig Purcell, all digital images on the Internet are found objects, which can be transformed to create new meaning. Users of the group are encouraged “to copy and modify” all posted images. By exploring these features of the Internet he joins a large group of net artists currently experimenting with Internet resources and succeeding in transforming artistic concepts. The next level for e-mail art will probably be the incorporation of sound and motion.




01.02.2001

Comments

There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

Magda Tóthová Magda Tóthová
Borrowing heavily from fairy tales, fables and science fiction, the art of Magda Tóthová revolves around modern utopias and social models and their failures. Her works address personal and social issues, both the private and the political. The stylistic device of personification is central to the social criticism emblematic of her work and to the negotiation of concepts used to construct norms.…
Le Dernier Cri and the black penis of Marseille Le Dernier Cri and the black penis of Marseille
We’re constantly hearing that someone would like to do some joint project, organize something together, some event, but… damn, how to put it... we really like what you’re doing but it might piss someone off back home. Sure, it’s true that every now and then someone gets kicked out of this institution or that institute for organizing something with Divus, but weren’t they actually terribly self…
Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism
Nick Land was a British philosopher but is no longer, though he is not dead. The almost neurotic fervor with which he scratched at the scars of reality has seduced more than a few promising academics onto the path of art that offends in its originality. The texts that he has left behind are reliably revolting and boring, and impel us to castrate their categorization as “mere” literature.
African Vampires in the Age of Globalisation African Vampires in the Age of Globalisation
"In Cameroon, rumours abound of zombie-labourers toiling on invisible plantations in an obscure night-time economy."
ArtLeaks
27.07.2014 19:39
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
Read more...
out - poetry
THC Review and the Condemned Past
THC Review and the Condemned Past
Ivan Mečl
We are the fifth global party! Pítr Dragota and Viki Shock, Fragmenty geniality / Fragments of Charisma, May and June 1997. When Viki came to visit, it was only to show me some drawings and collages. It was only as an afterthought that he showed me the Czech samizdat publication from the late 1990s, THC Review. When he saw how it fascinated me, he panicked and insisted that THAT creation is…
Read more...
prize
To hen kai pán (Jindřich Chalupecký Prize Laureate 1998 Jiří Černický)
To hen kai pán (Jindřich Chalupecký Prize Laureate 1998 Jiří Černický)
Read more...
birthing pains
Who’s Afraid of Motherhood?
Who’s Afraid of Motherhood?
Zuzana Štefková
Expanding the definition of “mother” is also a space for reducing pressure and for potential liberation.1 Carol Stabile The year was 2003, and in the deep forests of Lapák in the Kladno area, a woman in the later phase of pregnancy stopped along the path. As part of the “Artists in the Woods” exhibit, passers-by could catch a glimpse of her round belly, which she exposed especially for them in…
Read more...
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
"Slavíček vánoční (Little Chrismas Nightingale) is a part of the Bridel Creche....he picked out a medieval composition called...
More info...
7,85 EUR
Pencil Drawing, 21.5 x 28 cm
More info...
216 EUR
More info...
4 EUR
Publication about one of the most interesting contemporary Czech artists, painters, and performers. Jiří Surůvka in full-color...
More info...
99 EUR

Studio

Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...
 

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts

DIVUS LONDON 
Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford
London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom

Open Wednesday to Saturday 12 - 6 pm

 

Office: +44 (0) 20 8692 5157
 

Ivan Mečl
ivan@divus.org.uk, +44 (0) 7526 902 082

 

Shop
shop@divus.org.uk, +44 (0) 20 8692 5157

DIVUS PERLA
Former papermill area, Nádražní 101
252 46 Vrané nad Vltavou, Czech Republic
ivan@divus.cz, +420 602 269 888

Open from Wednesday to Sunday between 11am to 6pm. From 15.12. to 15.1. only on appointment.

 

DIVUS BERLIN
at ZWITSCHERMASCHINE
Potsdamer Str. 161, 10783 Berlin, Germany

berlin@divus.cz, +49 (0) 1512 9088 150
Open Wednesday to Saturday 2 - 7 pm

 

DIVUS WIEN
wien@divus.cz
DIVUS MEXICO CITY
mexico@divus.cz
DIVUS BARCELONA
barcelona@divus.cz
DIVUS MOSCOW & MINSK
alena@divus.cz

DIVUS NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION
Divus New book by I.M.Jirous in English at our online bookshop.