Somehow people always think that if a group of artists work together that then there must automatically be some kind of organisation that coordinates it all. Well, in mail art there are many groups working together. These groups themselves also work together, but there is NO organisation that arranges all the things that go on in the mail art network. The I.U.O.M.A. is the Union that mail artists can become a member of. The Union has no rules. Everybody who is active in mail art and hears about the Union can become a member just by saying so.
In 1988 the idea of the IUOMA was born. I invented this name and made forms for people to become a member of this (fictive) union. About 300 mail artists reacted in a year, and official membership cards were made, even a official Union Magazine was published. Anybody who was a member of the Union could also claim a special function within the Union.
Even today, people still join the Union. And somehow it gives power, to say that YOU are a member of the International Union too. The Main address of the Union is at the TAM-address. It is just the center for archiving all the things that are going on. But I am not in control of the Union. I just invented it. And to make it official, I made myself General-President of this Union. Sure was impressive when I travelled to the USSR in 1991 and went to visit some friends there who were also members of this Union........
Well, lucky enough for you it is quite simple to become a member of the I.U.O.M.A. First start to discover a bit about what MAIL-ART is all about, and then write a short message about what you think MAIL-ART is. By sending this message to TAM you automatically become a member of the Union! Send you e-mail to :
the GENERAL PRESIDENT OF THE IUOMA.
In The IUOMA-magazine that was published in 1991 there were some interesting details. Some of those details ended up in a brochure I made for people who were interested in the IUOMA-concept. If you are interested in the IUOMA-brochure you can read it in the library of TAM-Publications that is attached to this site.
In the past years I have been making membership-cards for those who write to the Union. The cards say that yoy get discount at your local postoffice. Sure, that is a joke as well, but when some mail artists played out that joke some actually did get discount. It seems to be not that unusual that a mail artists gets discount when mailing his mail isn't it? He or she does make a lot of people smile when they send out their - not so normal - mail. Sometimes I think the best audience for the mail artists aren't the mail artists themselves , but the postal workers who have to deal with this mail. Probably a lot of mail art is making their endavours, to sort the mail electronically, very difficult.
Since March 1998 the IUOMA has launched a new advertising campaign. New stickers are sent into the network to let people know who is a IUOMA-member , and Joel (the Stickerdude from NY - USA) has designed some new rubber-stamps for the union that are available for you as well (ask for details!).
Since more and more people start to design things for the IUOMA in digital form I prepared a special LOGOS of the IUOMA page for you where the details are mentioned. Feel free to use the images to make propaganda for the Union. Especially members are encouraged to do so!
© 1996-2002 IUOMA & TAM.