you can also have a look on the 'public' thoughts about mail-art that are online:
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18
or have a look at the previous secret thoughts online:
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 .
BY RUUD JANSSEN
This is the sixth list of thoughts that are supposed to be secret. (February 1998).
Reproduction of this text is allowed provided that the text isn't changed, source is mentioned, and a copy of the magazine where the text is included in, is sent to TAM.
19-02-1998 : In the start of the 'thoughts' I started this month I mentioned the Memo-ry/Memo-random project by Robin Crozier (address : 5b Tunstall Vale, SR2 7HP - Sunderland, England). Robin is active this month, and I received today the memory of Michael Leigh, in which he writes about the project he is doing connected with Michael Scott (who died some years ago) in the IM-98 year.
Robin sent the memory in the recycled envelope in which I sent my own memory. Like usual, I don't know who has gotten my memory...... Normally no letter with these memories , and just an empty sheet on which he asked for new memories (he asks now what I remember about 14:2:98 - Valentines Day). This time he also reacts to the questions I asked him beginning of this month (I did send him a printout of the text , and will enclose a new updated print when I send in my next memory) which I will share with you:
14:2:98 - Dear Ruud,
Thanks for the SECRET THOUGHTS ABOUT MAIL ART Part-6 where you mention the Memory Project. I am always happy to read about your interest, encouragement and support for this. I do recycle almost all the memories I receive but I must admit that accasionally I do keep one or two of them for my archive if they are by "famous" artists like John Cage or Carl André but in any case they are not 'real' mail artists.... who is a real mail artists anyway? Also I keep some that I think are particularly beautiful or personal like those of Litsa Spathi and ................ but that is a secret! ............. I expect to continue the project for as long as I can and I know so many people enjoy it and are very enthusiastic about sending and receiving memories. So - here is another one for your archive.
very best wishes
As some of you know I do collect these memories that are part of the Memory project. If you participated in the project and have some memories lying around somewhere and don't know what to do with them, please send them to me. I have already exhibited the collection I have once , and who knows what I will do with it in the future. Already several mail artists have donated their collections of memories to the TAM-Archive, and I collect them in boxes, sorted by year. The collection contains about 200+ sheets so far.
17-02-1998 : Today I received mail from Dobrica Kamperelic (address : Ustanicka 152/73 , 11000 - Beograd , Yugoslavia) again , which included the new OPEN WORLD number 98. The magazine is always full of little info's that Dobrica receives. He adds texts to the mail art info's he receives and it always brings new contacts to whoever reads it. He writes about his new project "the ESSENCE of NEW ERA", his new book, meetings , mail art projects and about the planned exhibition middle of 1998. He wants to make a special project out of the 100th issue that will appear near the summer of 1998. He invites people to send in their ideas , or better , to come and visit him in one of the IM-98 meetings that Vittore Baroni is stimulating. Send your mail art info's of special texts , etc to Dobrica , a true networker. Support him for the 100th issue of Open World that is about to come out!
The last 3 years I have been building this site, and as a result now over 1000 pages of A4-paper are put online (part of it in Canada with the help of Jas W. Felter , who has the interviews in his library). In a way it is strange to experience that everybody has access to these pages. The mail art network, personal friends , unknown people , people from College (teachers and students). The reactions don't always get to me, but at the moment there are about 10 hits each day on the pages. About 40% comes from the Netherlands, another 30% from the USA , 26% from the rest of Europe, and only 4% from Africa , Azia , and South-America. I realize that the Internet is not a communication-tool for everybody yet......
10-02-1998 : Oops , almost forgot to mention that I received the new Global Mail #17. This magazine is almost like a legend to some mail artists , and unlike some might think the magazine is alive and well. After the wonderful work by Ashley Parker Owens , now Michael Dittman (Global Mail , Grove City Factory Stores, P.O. Box 1309 , Grove City , PA 16127 , USA) has published the new issue #17. On the cover there is an artwork done by Barbara Cooper ; Punch is investigating envelopes from Fluxus and Dada. Besides the printed version the Global Mail is online as well. Just go to: GLOBAL MAIL online.
The online version is a list of links that Michael will update when he finds the time. Unlike the Global Mail's online from Ashley , the new version offers not much text , but purely connections (links). The principle on which networking is build , and "the hole to the underground" , the subtitle of Global Mail, is really true. Lots of people active all over the world and there for you to be found. The older issues of Global Mail are also still available. See for those links at the mailart link-list I have put online.
The illustration besides this text is of Global Mail #12 , which was edited by Ashley Parker Owens. The graphic was scanned and put online by Gerardo Yepiz from Mexico.
07-02-1998 : A large sending with FLUXUS BUCKS arrived. Joel from NY decided to make some series of his own. The idea behind the fluxus bucks is simple. You receive them, add something to it and pass it on. In a way you pay the the persons you send your fluxus bucks to by adding some art to the buck, leave a trace on it. I know already some mail artists started to collect these fluxus bucks, and I must confess that I keep the good ones also in a growing collection. MORE INFO ON FLUXUS-BUCKS I do design my own as well and spread them into the network. Julie Paquette (who started these fluxus bucks) wrote to me recently that she continued the process. If you like the idea, just design your own. Geraldo Yepiz (Mexico) event put a text and some visuals of fluxus bucks online, which you could have a look at: just click on the two mini fluxus bucks I copied from Gerardo's site. You can there also have a look at the full-scale versions , and find links to other FLUXUS RELATED stuff
Also some good news from Michael Lumb from England. He finally finished his thesis on mail art. I will try to help him in spreading this work and plan to build a site for this thesis, where all the chapters are available. The visuals form a problem since they cost a lot of memory and time to load. So for the time being I will focus on the text and will let you know when it gets accesible. Since there are many things that are planned this month I will start probably in March 1998 with this work.
04-02-1998 : Vittore Baroni's IM98 - project is in progress. After the Congresses in 1986 and 1992 (in which I participated both) I am now a bit sceptical about another "congress-year". But rather than avoiding it I just follow it and play with it. In fact, I did that with the other two-congress years as well. One of those "congresses" back in 1986 , in Paris , was a beautiful vacation with a friend of mine , where I met with Kate Lanxner , a correspondent of mine from the USA , at that time working in Paris for a year. She worked for Rubberstampmadness at that time, so that brought the connection.
In 1992 I played again, because on of the congresses was in-fact arranged by the use of a computer. Charles François and me were both working with BBS-systems (TBHS and RATOS) , and one of our congresses was a meeting thought computer-communication.
This year I play again, an the first play has started. I have put Vittore's first REPORT 1B online , and only recently I received the SECOND UPDATE from him. I have put it online as well, but I have altered the list with one addition. A secret meeting of the IUOMA-members to discuss the new strategies of the Union. It will be held end of this month at the Rai in Amsterdam. A famous congress-center. But for people who will attend there...... I will probably be outside the country then, and will see what happens.
01-02-1998 : February started and I notice that I spend more time on the electronic communication compared to the paper communication. Of course the job I have causes this too, but also the mail art I get sometimes in my P.O. Box isn't always stimulating as well. Too much things that are a repetition of what I have seen before. Nothing wrong with that, but not interesting for me. Mail art is a process, and everybody who stumbles onto this art-form can start to learn. This goes for all people. The artists who have to realize that there are not real art-products in mail art, but that the proces is what is important as well. The non-artists , who think that a simple drawing with a ballpen on a thin piece of paper is a real piece of art. What is art? , what is not art? , it is not that important. The fact that there is a development in the work one does is more important. What I don't like in mail art are persons that keep doing the same over and over again. This can only be done when it is a project with a significant meaning. Robin Crozier's Memo-ry/Memo-random project is an example. I just received another memory from someone and the request from Robin to write down my memories of a specific day. He keeps on doing this for lots of years now, but THIS project still is interesting for me. A simple principle with the effect that you are always surprised with the memory of someone else. The work for Robin is simple. He just does the administrative process , and also makes copies of the memories to send to an archive. He tells all about this project in the interview I did with him. I sometimes wonder which memories he keeps for himself. Or does he really recycle them all. I will send a print of this text to Robin, so he can react. Robin just retired from his job, so he has moved to another period in his life. I will wait and see which memory I get next time.
In principle these thoughts are online only. But maybe I might distribute some prints via snail-mail. You, as a reader, can do the same as well, and you are even encouraged to do so, or to publish these secrets. What more fun is there than to publish secrets?
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