Rants and Raves


My recent thoughts around mail art are these-

Been surfing around the net peeking in and out of mail art sites and I'm noticing more and more calls that promise your contibution to be show in an Interent Gallery. Ok, fine, but what about where mail art came from, as a result of bucking the system of traditional art, a pulling away from galleries. Back when I started this site there were not very many sites that featured mail art and now there are tons of spots to explore and see what it's all about. Cool.

Also been thinking about just plain art be it mailed or not. My art comes in different forms, prints, collages, digital. My logo includes my very own hand drawn dragonfly. She is my creation and I'm proud of her considering I am not very good at drawing. While surfing the net last year I came across another mail artists website and there was a part of my dragonfly! She had been snagged, downloaded and used apart from my logo. This all makes me unhappy. I wrote to the person using my image and asked for a credit, a link, something, after all this is my artwork. But I never heard from her so I tried again, still no response. Rats! What's an artist to do? I have begun to look into digital watermarking and other ways to protect my art. Not really sure what to do. I don't really want to show my art on my site with those types of marks that go over your art, but then again how do we protect our creations? Any suggestions?


The recent debate which is a very old debate is censorship in mailart. I see no reason for one not to issue a call with parameters defined. For example, size, media, theme, etc. If I also include the words no pornography, I hope that folks will respect my wishes. BUT, the old mailart guards come out and say no, no, no, all work should be accepted and shown. Well, heck, if I say I will be showing on my web site which is g-rated, then I will not shown x-rated material. OK. I will include all participants in my documentation though. A mailart friend warns me that in the old definition of mailart, these defined parameters might be seen as censorship....sigh..... What's a mailartist to do....

In regards to my rant of 1/4, I spoke allot about this at the fake Ray Johnson weekend as sure enough I saw displayed some mailart that the same person sent to me, the same image! Ok, so this is my pet peeve, so shoot me. But it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. One mailart gal said she thought it was cool, that it was obviously this person's feeling that this is great art and he wants to show and share it with everyone. Plus, he probably wants to be in the documentation.... Ok, ok.

Another recent question which is also not new is WHAT IS MAIL ART?


The only real rant I have these days ,and I suppose I could get in trouble for it is this, why do folks who do mail art send items that have nothing to do with one's mail art call. Now I understand that perhaps it's cultural that we have different ideas of what one might be asking for. Example, if I had a mail art call out there for dragonflies and I received flies one might understand. But if I'm asking for dragonflies and I get goldfish I don't get it.


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