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ISSM : TAM960128
MAY 1996


Over the years I have written several short statements. This list contains most of them as far as I could find them back. The date I wrote the statement is also mentioned.

On 22/05/1994 I started with putting all the statements I once wrote into one big file. I printed them out on colored paper now and then and scattered them into the network. End of 1995 my old computer broke down and I lost a big part of this computer-file. Now I decided to print the whole list of statements as they were scattered together with the date the statement was written.

Ruud Janssen - TAM , May 1996


DATE : 02/04/1985

Once you know about mail-art, your life changes. Well, anyway, it did mine. Mail-art is more than art ; it is a way of living your life.

DATE : 02/04/1985

The mail-art you receive every day inspires you to create new mail-art which inspires the one you send yours to.

DATE : 02/04/1985

Mail-art proves that all people -wherever they live- can communicate with each other in a peaceful way.


DATE : 14/04/1986

Mail-Artists all over the world must realize that the future of the mail-art network depends on the search towards new things in mail. The regular mail-art letter or postcard might vanish because of the new techniques

DATE : 12/05/1986

The only thing that is more fun than receiving mail-art is meeting the mail-artist.


DATE : 21/06/1988

If you want to receive a lot of mail-art you just have to send out a lot. If you don't want to receive anything anymore just don't send anything out yourself. These are the simple rules of mail-art. Start with one address and end with an endless list.

DATE : 03/08/1988

If you take mail-art seriously you are wrong!

DATE : 13/09/1988

The only people who really know what mail-art is all about are the ones that practice it. I tried several times to explain to others what mail-art is all about but they never really understood it. Sure, they know that it has to do with mail and art, but there is more to mail-art than just out a decorated envelope to somebody else.......


DATE : 10/08/1990

The nice thing about mail-art is that every mail-artist has his or her own views about this strange art-form.


DATE : 18/08/1993

Lucky enough it is quite easy to practice mail-art. Once you call yourself a mail-artist -in fact- you are one. There are no fixed rules, there is no quality-demand, there is no-one who will judge your work (besides saying it is good or bad mail-art, it is always mail-art).

DATE : 18/08/1993

When two mail-artists meet, and talk about this 'mail-art' they will always discover that it is something different for both of them. It is the way you have experienced mail-art, and how much it has affected your life.

DATE : 11/09/1993

Mail-art is a kind of energy that is passed on to the receiver. The sender can put his energy in a transmittable form, a mail-piece, and send it to the receiver. If the energy is on the same 'wave-length' for sender and receiver it will surely cause a reaction. Energy is transmitted back.

DATE : 28/10/1993

When you are lucky, you are able to answer all the mail-art you get. Lucky means you have the time, the energy and the money, to answer the mail. This is always the problem. If you answer everything you receive the amount of mail you receive will only grow until it is out of control. But then the time-, energy- and money-balance always gets it in orderagain. (It works for me that way, and I surely hope it also works for others too....)


DATE : 20/05/1994

When someone writes me and wants to know more about mail-art it is always from someone new to mail-art. Because he or she still has to find out that you have to discover yourself what mail-art is by doing it. By exploring the mail-art network you will find out that mail-art has a different meaning to everybody. To explain mail-art is a personal view of what you have found out so far. And it changes all the time.

DATE : 23/05/1994

It is strange to find out that mail-art is addictive to you.

DATE : 23/05/1994

The new forms in mail-art,like using the FAX and E-mail, have also to do with the factor time. You can get the message almost instantly at the senders address. But the sender chooses the time for getting the message over. The receiver will determine if he or she has the time to answer or even if there will be an answer at all.

DATE : 13/06/1994

The word 'MAIL-ART' is used by mail-artists to give a name to the things we do. Defining what it is all about is more difficult. Some use other words like "Networking", "Postal Art", "Netland", but this doesn't make it easier to explain what it is all about. The fact that there are no limits to this art-form other than the materials we can use for communicating over large distances makes it that difficult. Mail-Art, Fax-Art, Email-Art, Telephone-Art, Computer-Art, Congressing, Tourism, just choose a name but the essence is that it has to do with COMMUNICATION. I could call it "Communication-Art", but I rather call it "Life". It is quite a form of art to live your life in a creative way....

DATE : 14/06/1994

There will always be a balance between the mail-art you recieve and the mail-art you send out. So if you choose for sending out NONE-personal mail like chain-letters and xeroxes without even a personal touch to them. The result will be that your mailbox will be filled with none-personal mail-art too.

DATE : 04/07/1994

When you reach the point that you are sending out a xeroxed open letter to all your mail-art friends that you aren't able to answer all their mail you are doing something wrong. You should not scatter your energy over all those xeroxes but rather start to write more selectively. Your mail-art friends surely aren't waiting for a xerox from you telling them you want to stay in touch but can't answer their mail with a personal letter. Better take some more time and then start to write selective but personally.........The other choice is to start a magazine in which you answer all your mail.

DATE : 08/08/1994

The mail-art network is a playing ground for the creative people who are looking for more than they can find in their own surroundings.

DATE : 09/08/1994

........mail-art and luxury.......>
You need a lot of time for it.
You need a lot of money for the postage stamps.
You rarely get back the art you send out.
You are never sure that you will get an answer.......
And if you do so, you will like the answer.
It is a luxury when you are able to be involved in mail-art.
It is a luxury to be able to share your views with others
without having the feeling of limitations.

DATE : 18/09/1994

For every mail-artist there is the first time to hear about this network of friends. Then the learning-proces starts and you will find out your own definitions of mail-art. Slowly but for sure you will transfer from a learner to a teacher and you will start to tell others about what you think mail-art is all about. And the nice thing about mail-art is that everybody with a view is right. The unwritten rules in mail-art have been written down so often, but always in different words to describe the same crazy network.

DATE : 18/09/1994

Maybe it is stupid to write about the things you have to experience and can't understand by reading about it. But I know I am not the only one who has the problem of trying to explain still what mail-art is all about.

DATE : 15/10/1994

I still get those letters: "Please add me to your mailing-list". But I don't have a "mailing-list", a limited list with addresses I send certain things too. I am a real random mailer. I just answer the mail I'm able to answer. I just write to someone when I feel like it. I rather enjoy this freedom in writing my mail. The only reason I make address-list is to document all the things I receive and send out.But I must admit I sometimes wonder why I do that at all...

DATE : 18/10/1994

Sometimes I wonder if what I read about the mail-art history is all true. The things I read are mostly written by mail-artists themselves who claim to know a lot about mail-art.But since everybody has his own network of friends all those stories are rather subjective (probably my writings too).

DATE :19/10/1994

Why do so many people write about mail-art and not practice it that often. There is a lot of exchange of data but I sure sometimes miss the Dada. Lets play with the mail before we get too old to play.

DATE : 04/11/1994

More and more I realize that my private life and my mail-art work are mixed together. My work is my life and my life is filled with things I want to do. I guess I am lucky to be able to communicate with so many friends I would never had met if I hadn't stumbled on the network. The mail I get from all directions inspires me so much to continue with this life and to fill it with creations that come and go.


DATE : 20/01/1995

The new GLOBAL MAIL from Ashley Parker Owens in USA contains approximately 500 entries (addresses, contacts, projects). The impact of the magazine is large. Once you get such a magazine as a newcomer you can go any direction you choose. The network is no longer a closed circuit or an underground art-movement. Global Mail is a correct title, but it is strange too. The intimate contacts I built up in mail-art are very important for me, and this can only be with a small group of people. Now that this GLOBAL MAIL is on Internet too, all kind of networks are mixed together. They will influence eachother and build a new network of networks somewhere in the future. But I've learned that I don't need more and more contacts, I only need a limited amount of good contacts with old or new friends because my time and life are limited.

DATE : 22/01/1995

The large ART-institutes are discovering the Mail-Art movement. It starts with the Postal Musea which want to show that mail and 'real' art go together. But they don't follow the unwritten mail-art rules, they select works and look for works in mail-art of people who now are (a bit more) famous. But the most famous mail-artist for me is the one that makes my morning so many times beautiful with his/her wonderful mail- art in my post-box.

DATE : 24/01/1995

Oops, I made the mistake to number these statements, so now I got mail from someone who is collecting all of them. But I only send out a few at a time. So I advised him to visite all my contacts and to look for all the numbers. This statement is especially for him. I won't send this one to him, I won't tell him to whom I sent it, and so he must become a real TOURISM-addict just in search for this statement.....

(ps. in the WWW-version as well as the printed versions I removed these numbers)

DATE : 25/01/1995

After writing seven articles and experimenting with E-mail on the INTERNET I still don't know precisely what to do with it. It is fast and has lots of potential, but even with the snail mail I am not able to answer only half the mail I get in. With E-mail the amount of mail you get increases just too much because of the easiness of duplicating the digital information. So for the time being I still focus on all beautiful analog mail........

WWW-version: 16-6-1997


It is allowed to quote from this selection of statements as long as the text isn't changed and the source is mentioned. Also I would appreciate it to get a copy of the publication where the statements is included in.

there are also secret thoughts published on this site.......

Ruud Janssen - TAM
P.O.Box 10388
5000 JJ Tilburg

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 / P.O.Box 10388 / 5000 JJ Tilburg / NETHERLANDS.


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