Mail by nature is a demonstrative act, it requires a level of fluidity in language, text and imagery that often surpasses the abbreviated communications of our current Information Age. Over the space of a year, the US post office has delivered a microcosm of contemporary art from across the globe in response to the open call:
Asemic Writing, Trashpo and Fluxus are just a few of the artistic definitions within a large and loosely organized global community that exchanges small works of art and social commentary using the bewildering faith placed upon the postage stamp.
The placement of identity on a map of the world has been redrawn by globalization and numbers theory. Personal anonymity has been both accentuated and annulled by instantaneous electronic communications; identity can be synthesized to IP numbers, metadata and chat room aliases. In juxtaposition, mail art is based on recognition and community. It is in the act of reciprocity that mail art becomes a living memory exchange between individuals separated by continents and language, but remain resistant to being reduced into formulaic verse, prose or emoticon.
This selection of work is by no means a definitive representation of the themes and activities found in the mail art community. It does represent a spectrum of the contemporary voices that are working within the contemporary ideology of visual, lingual an aural culture and how these forms can then be intertwined by process and material into the form of deliverable mail.
For an introduction to the community that surrounds Mail Art; check the International Union of Mail Artists. IUOMA