Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Mail Art

I thought I’d share with you one of my passions: mail art. Say what? Quite simply, mail art is art that uses the postal system. The post is the artist’s support, as a painter might use a canvas. As an art historian, I am accustomed to looking at art in a museum or gallery. I research the artist’s biography, the techniques, the historical context... What’s fantastic about mail art is that it’s exchanged outside the museum setting. Any correspondence has the potential of becoming art. So next time you are about to write a thank you email, think about how cool it would be to use snail mail. (And maybe you could transform it into art!)

Here are a few examples by Harriet Russell, who, for years, put her local postmen to the test by sending puzzle envelopes (FUN!):

Interested in this topic? Check out works by Ray Johnson, General Idea, Anna Banana, Henrik Drescher, Image Bank, Sarah Jackson, Ed Varney and Frank Warren, to name a few. Or read Pushing the Envelope:  The Evolution of Mail Art in Canada, by yours truly.

1 comment:

  1. Love this :) I never did read your thesis, by the way. Maybe it's time I learn more about this fascinating topIc from my favourite expert!