back to main page TAM / IUOMA

MAIL ART WORK in 2007 - WEEK 15

2007 - Week 15 - Ruud Janssen in Wikipedia

It is funny to see how the texts in Wikipedia are changing over the times. Here are the texts as I find them today:

Dutch

Ruud Janssen (kunstenaar)
Van Wikipedia

Ruud Janssen (1959) is een Nederlands kunstenaar. In het dagelijks leven is hij docent.

Biografie

Hij woont en werkt in Breda. Janssen heeft sinds 1980 diverse tentoonstellingen, publicaties en interviews georganiseerd in het Mail-Art netwerk. In 1985 was hij een van de eerste kunstenaars die experimenteerde met datacommunicatie middels een eigen BBS (Bulletin Board System) om zijn mail-art tijdschrift elektronisch toegankelijk te maken. In de jaren 1994 tot 2001 interviewde hij meer dan 80 Mail-Art en Fluxus-kunstenaars. De resultaten publiceerde hij in boekjes en later ook op het Internet.

Samen met Litsa Spathi heeft hij in 2003 het Fluxus Heidelberg Center opgericht waarin hij weer terugkeert naar de roots van mail-art: Fluxus.

In 1983 start hij het TAM Rubberstamp Archive. Naast de rubberstempels en catalogussen bevat dit archief voornamelijk stempelafdrukken van de duizenden kunstenaars die stempels gebruiken in hun kunstwerken. Een deel van deze afdrukken zijn tentoongesteld in plaatsen als Stamp Art Gallery in San Francisco en L-Galley in Moskou.

In 1988 richtte hij de "International Union of Mail-Artists" (IUOMA) op die ook nu nog actief is binnen het mail-art netwerk. Het principe van deze vakbond is eenvoudig: "je wordt lid door je aan te melden als lid".

In de laatste jaren richt Janssen zich meer op het teken en schilderwerk. Kleine kunstwerken worden in het mail-art netwerk verstuurd. Grotere werken worden tentoongesteld.

Een speciale collectie zijn de beschilderde cd’s, waar hij laat zien dat op zo'n specifiek formaat heel creatief gewerkt kan worden. Zijn werk bevindt zich in internationale verzamelingen en archieven en is ook op internet te vinden.

Hij behoort tot de Mail art en Fluxus.

English

Ruud Janssen (b. Tilburg July 29, 1959) is a Dutch Fluxus and mail artist currently living in Breda in the Netherlands.

Ruud Janssen studied Physics and Mathematics. He became active with mail art in 1980 and did several international mail art projects. From 1994 till 2001 he has conducted interviews with Fluxus and mail artists in different communication forms; the results have been published in booklets and on the internet since 1996. In later years he focused more on acrylic painting and individual correspondences. He always maintains his site with the latest details of his work.

Janssen publishes articles, magazines and booklets with his TAM-Publications and participates in international mail art projects, collaborations and exhibitions. He founded IUOMA (International Union of Mail-Artists) in 1988 and is also the curator of the TAM-Rubberstamp Archive, the result of a Mail Art collection that has been accumulated by him from 1983 to 2004. The archive contains prints, original rubberstamps, magazines and literature. In 1994 he started with his Mail-interviews which have been published as booklets and online. The interviews have a new concept where the question is sent in a specific communicationform and the interviewed person chooses his own way to get the answer back. This way the factor time is involved in each specific interview. Samples of interviewed persons are: Ray Johnson, Dick Higgins, Ken Friedmann, Anna Banana, Mark Bloch, Patricia Tavenner, Michael Leigh and Guy Bleus.

In 2003 Ruud Janssen founded together with Litsa Spathi the Fluxus Heidelberg Center for which they are building up a collection of Fluxus material and where they also publish their own works.

Janssen was selected to publish an essay as one of eleven contemporary "New Fluxus" artists who are seen to 'inhabit the site of Fluxus, developing and interpreting the Fluxus tradition in a new way.' in a special double issue of the journal Visible Language on Fluxus. The double issue was developed by Owen Smith and Ken Friedman and published through the Rhode Island School of Design The other artists included as representing New Fluxus artists: Alan Bowman, Bibiana Padilla Maltos, David-Baptiste Chirot, David Cologiovani, Eryk Salvaggio, Cecil Touchon, mIEKAL aND, MTAA, Litsa Spathi, Sol Nte, and Walter Cianciusi.

German

Ruud Janssen (* 1959 in Tilburg) ist ein niederländischer Maler. Janssen beschäftigt sich seit den 80er Jahren mit der Mail Art und Fluxus-Aktivitäten. 1983 gründete er das TAM-Stempel-Archive und gehörte 1985 zu den Gründern der IUOMA (International Union of Mail-Artists).

Eines der wichtigsten Mail-Art Projekten, die Janssen ausgeführt hat, ist das Mail Interview Project (von 1994 bis 2001). Mit verschiedenen Kommunikationsformen wurden weltweit simultan mehrere Interviews geführt. Interviews mit Fluxus-Künstlern wie: Dick Higgins , Ken Friedman und mehreren aktiven Mail-Art Künstlern wie Ray Johnson , Ruggero Maggi , Anna Banana. Die Interviews sind als Hardcopy herausgegeben, aber auch auf mehreren Internetseiten veröffentlicht.

Seit 2003 arbeiten Litsa Spathi und Ruud Janssen zusammen im Fluxus Heidelberg Center.

Spanish

Ruud Janssen (b. Tilburg July 29, 1959) es un artista Holandés Fluxus y Arte correo originario de Breda en Países Bajos.

Ruud Janssen estudió física y matemáticas. Su actividad como artista correo comenzó en 1980 y realizó varios proyectos internacionales. Desde 1994 hasta 2001 ha mantenido contactos con Fluxus y Arte correo por diversos medios de comunicación; los resultados han sido publicados en libros e internet desde 1996. En los últimos años se ha centrado más en la Pintura acrílica y correspondencia individual. Mantiene actualizada su página con los últimos trabajos.

Janssen publica artículos, revistas y boletines bajo el su editorial TAM-Publications y participa en projectos internacionales de Arte correo, colaboraciones y exposiciones. Fundó IUOMA (International Union of Mail-Artists) en 1988 y también es el comisario de TAM-Rubberstamp Archive, el resultado de una colección de Arte correo que ha acumulado desde 1983 al 2004. El archivo tiene pinturas, sellos, revistas y literatura. En 1994 empezó una serie de entrevistas llamadas Mail-interviews que se han publicado en boletines y en internet. Las entrevistas consisten en enviar preguntas en un específico medio de comunicación y el entrevistado elige su propio medio de respuesta. Este hecho hace que el factor tiempo este envuelto en cada una de las entrevistas. Algunas de las personas entrevistadas han sido: Ray Johnson, Dick Higgins, Ken Friedmann, Anna Banana, Mark Bloch, Patricia Tavenner, Michael Leigh and Guy Bleus.

En 2003 Ruud Janssen fundó junto Litsa Spathi el Fluxus Heidelberg Center mediante el cual han construido una colección de material Fluxus donde también publican sus propios trabajos.

MAIL-ART general info on Wikipedia

Mail art is art which uses the postal system as a medium. The term "mail art" can refer to an individual message, the medium through which it is sent, and an art movement.

Mail artists typically exchange ephemera in the form of illustrated letters; zines; rubberstamped, decorated, or illustrated envelopes; artist trading cards; postcards; artistamps; faux postage; mail-interviews; naked mail; friendship books, decos and three-dimensional objects.

An amorphous international mail art network, involving thousands of participants in over fifty countries, evolved between the 1950s and the 1990s from the work of Ray Johnson.[citation needed] It was influenced by other movements, including Dada and Fluxus.

One theme in mail art is that of commerce-free exchange; early mail art was, in part, a snub of gallery art, juried shows, and exclusivity in art. A saying in the mail art movement is "senders receive," meaning that one must not expect mail art to be sent to them unless they are also actively participating in the movement.

There is a rich history of creative examples sent through the post. The most familiar example is the illustrations on envelopes carrying first day issue postage stamps, which philatelists refer to as first day covers, but mail art encompasses other "decorated envelopes" as well as a wide range of other procedures and media such as rubber stamps and artistamps. Mail art is traditionally, though not always, distinguished from simply "mailed art," which is art that does not truly use the postal service but is simply regular art when sent through the mail.

Mail artists like to claim that mail art began when Cleopatra had herself delivered to Julius Caesar in a rolled-up carpet (although this was neither mail nor art). However, perhaps the initial genesis of mail art was in postal stationery, from which mail art is now typically distinguished (if not defined in its broadest sense). The first example of postal stationery was the pictorial design created by the English artist William Mulready (1786-1863) for mass printing-press reproduction on the first stock of prepaid postage wrappers or envelopes produced for the launch of the Penny Post in Britain in 1840. Mulready's design was not well-received by the public and various cartoonists and artists produced lampoon versions. However it was recognized that an innovative and powerful communication adjunct piggybacking on the basic letterpost service had become available, and over the next 50 years or so millions of pictorial envelopes with a wide variety of motifs and designs were processed by postal services worldwide.

As an art form the early genre produced low- and high-minded works ranging from the comic and satirical through commercial and industrial advertising to the promotion of social causes such as fair trade, world peace and brotherhood, and the abolition of slavery. Examples exist of pictorial propaganda envelopes with patriotic motifs produced by both sides during the American Civil War.

The enthusiastic use of this piggyback medium continued throughout the second half of the 19th century until postal administrations worldwide began to authorize the use of picture postcards, which were first approved and offered for sale at all Post Offices in Austria-Hungary on October 1, 1869.

In a sense this was the beginning of the end of the heyday of the pictorial envelope. Producing a card with an illustration on it, whether executed by hand or by a mechanical printing process, is less involved than producing it on an envelope. A card is flat and usually rectangular like a canvas; an envelope starts out flat, but the sheet from which it is formed has to be shaped and then folded. The extra difficulty which producing multiple printed envelopes entails eventually led to the establishment of the commercial envelope printing and overprinting industry which, like commercial envelope manufacture, is perforce an economy-of-scale activity, which means it is at its most economically efficient when the print run is very long.

This was the situation prevailing until the advent of digital electronics in the late- 1960s through early-1970s. The convergence of this technology with telephone technology led to the development of the social-change engine known as the Internet by the early 1990s, so that by the end of the 20th century it had become increasingly common to find households with a digital computer and a sheet printer. By employing suitable software the printer could be used to customise machine-made envelopes, each with a unique composition of colorful digitised text and graphics.

In principle this meant even the most graphically challenged could employ the pictorial or illustrated envelope medium and produce a work categorizable as mail art.(However producing printed envelopes from the sizes of sheet processed by sheet printers does not obviate the tedious cutting out of the appropriate shape (see Envelope manufacture)or the production of awkwardly-shaped waste offcuts. As much as 30 % of an ISO standard-size A4 sheet can be wasted if producing an ISO standard-size C6 envelope from it.

Standard sizes preferred by the postal authorities are relevant because some works, whether or not produced with the aid of a computer, might be constructed with postal distribution in mind; others might make use of the postal service to facilitate a collaboration or work of 'correspondence art' between artists.

When the electronic telecommunications network known as the Internet gave rise to e-mail art, conventional mail-art artists came to refer to the international postal service as the 'paper net' or snail-mail net. When a group of these artists are in some way linked through their works they are collectively referred to as a Mail Art Network or the Eternal Network.

The Mail-Art Network concept has roots in the work of earlier groups, including the Fluxus artists and the notion of 'multiples' or artworks manufactured as editions. Most commonly, Mail-Art Network artists have made and exchanged postcards, designed custom-made stamps or 'artistamps', and designed decorated or illustrated envelopes. But even large and unwieldy three-dimensional objects have been known to have been sent by Mail-Art Network artists, for many of whom the message and the medium are synonymous.

Fundamentally, mail art in the context of a Mail Art Network is a form of conceptual art. It is a 'movement' with no membership and no leaders.

The International Union of Mail Artists (see IUOMA external link) is a group of mail-art artists individually practicing in several countries. The IUOMA started in 1988 and has now their own online forum. Anyone can join just by saying so; in this way the group is merely unified conceptually.

Early online server Prodigy --*P*--had a large group of artists networking online and through the postal system to create and experience mail art in 1990. Many were hesitant to call themselves artists, but were encouraged and educated by arto posto (Dorothy Harris) as they ventured into mail art. Mail artists were among the first to see and use the networking possibilities of the World Wide Web when it appeared in 1992 to bring graphics to the previously text-oriented Internet. But at the same time, the Internet offered nothing new to them (as it is certainly not possible to send objects over the internet without ubiquitous 3D printing). Mail art artists, like graffiti and poster artists, often work anonymously or collectively under aliases. Artist trading cards or ATCs can also be sent by mail and are actively traded by many mail artists.

There are similarities between the two creative activities, MailArt and ATCs, as well as a very distinctive difference. What is unique about the concept of ATCs is trading, specifically face-to-face trading. If ATCs are sent in the mail they become yet another variation of CMA, but, once one attends a Trading Session "the cards come to life".

What is unique to ATCs is the social activity that takes place at the Trading Session along with the face-to-face trading. There is no difference in a formal sense between ATCs and CMA — that is, in both cases they incorporate the full range of art media and disciplines, they are not a formal innovation such as Cubism. Conceptually ATCs are extremely close to CMA, they are both about exchanging art without the interface of the artworld and without money being involved. Except for the concept of the Trading Session, which is profound difference, the two activities could be, for all intents and purposes, the same — but, trading via mail is a very diminished experience when compared to an actual ATC Trading Session.

Nervousness.org is an organization of artists who create LMAOs or Land Mail Art Objects, which are then swapped by post. The Snail Mail World Postcard Art Show in Canada is one of the largest of its kind, drawing in up to 1000 entries each year.

It is believed that some of the largest mail art projects are: -Ryosuke Cohen's Brain Cell project, started in 1985. As of 1998, more than 400 issues had been created, with new issues every 8 to 10 days. -Robin Crozier's Memo(random)/Memo(ry) project, started in the early 1980s. -The TAM Rubberstamp Archive by Ruud Janssen, started in 1983, in which he sends out standard-sheets to document the use of rubber stamps in the mail-art network. -Fluxus Bucks started in 1994 by ex posto facto in Garland TX USA. Thousands of Fluxus bucks are still being collected and circulated with documentation that acts as a networking tool(2006).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail-Art


Main Page | TAM-Publications | I.U.O.M.A. | Links | TAM Rubber Stamp Archive | Ruud Janssen | Mail-Interviews | Thoughts about Mail Art | Guestbook | F.A.Q. | MAIL ART | Mail-Art of the Week