Mail Art is art that uses communication methods (postal, virtual, or physical) for sharing. Original or mass produced, it is made of a variety of materials and colors.
embraced Mail Art because of its collaborative nature. Mail Art is a perfect medium for creative collaboration as you can start off with a postcard with a single image (such as an imprint from a
rubber stamp) and as people pass it along and add their own images—viola!—a piece that many hands have added to is born.
Some cool Mail Artists I learned about in this week’s Coursera
online art class include the following:
Ray Johnson—created small collages using cut paper and recycled materials. He juiced these up with puns, riddles, and rhymes. Sending these to specific and random people, he asked them to add to the collage and pass it along. Stylized bunnies became his signature motif. His small collages are known as moticos.
Eleanor Antin—created a series of images of the adventures of 100 black boots in everyday environments (such as the beach and church). Due to this class, I now see her as a precursor of the traveling gnome prank.
Ryosuke Cohen—in 1985 he started the collaborative “Brain Cell” project in which he sends out a post card to others to add their own images. This Mail Art is a many layered collage of random forms and shapes and lacks a distinct focal point.