16 December 2014

Never Sent Mail Art

I would like to keep track of all the mail I send. Sometimes this is impossible. For instance, there are some mail art calls whose organisers do not care enough to send you an e-mail like: "Your work has arrived". But you still can keep track of your sendings if they have a blog or a site.

But... What happens if they published something you have never sent? I recently discovered a supposed work of mine in a site about mail art. Just that that was not mail art! This is just the back of a postcard I sent as a thank you for one contribution to the Oz Postcard Project! But they published it even with a title that, of course, I never wrote: Amore Retro (?).

What worried me is that this is just a cover of a magazine which, of course, has an author. And he or she could think I am publishing this work under my name. I know I can use images for mail art, especially if I do not get  money for it. But this one... Well, I did not make any intervention on it. It was just a page.

I wrote to the mail artist whose I sent my postcard in order to retire it from the exhibition. He did unwillingly. I think he never understood my reasons.

This kind of things discourage me a lot.


  1. Another way to look at it is that you changed the image by sending it through the mail, turning the magazine cover (not originally intended for mailing) into a piece of mail art. Certainly the corresponding mail artist thought it had artistic value. He even gave it a title - was this his contribution to your piece? Does giving it a title make it a collaboration?

    Your post today made me think about my envelopes. All the images on them are someone's photograph, graphic design, or art. I don't make much of an intervention - just adding stamp and address. Is that enough to change them into something different?

    Of course, ultimately it is up to you - you felt strongly about it and took some action, which I think is great!

    On reflection, I think there is no black and white here...

    and I don't think you should be discouraged....

    and I apologize if my comment is too long and too philosophical :)

    1. Thanks for your comment, you don't need to apologize. I like long comments as well as long letters.

      What discourages me is that sometimes it seems communication doesn't exist. I didn't publish the address of the exhibition because the e-mail I received back wasn't nice. You know there are not so many artists based in Morocco. Sometimes I feel some exhibitions just wanted to add a new country to the list. And an African country is just cooler. (Let alone I'm not Moroccan and I don't consider myself an artist).

      But anyway, it doesn't mean I'm going to stop making mail art. I don't think I'm able to not send mail... :)

      I hope you don't dislike long and philosophical answers... ;-)

  2. True, it is easy to be misunderstood. Glad it doesn't discourage you from sending mail - and you definitely qualify as a mail artist!

    Off topic - I really like the simple trees in the background of your blog.


Thank you for coming. All your comments make me extremely happy.