With Joseph Ialacci, Richard Feigen, Frances Beatty, Mort Janklow. Mail artists regularly call for thematic or topical mail art for use in (often unjuried) exhibition. It can create paradigms for the reverential sharing and preservation of the earth's water, soil, forests, plants and animals. Johnson also staged and participated in early performance art events as the founder of a far-ranging mail art network – the New York … They also carve into erasers with linocut tools to create handmade ones. [2] Small assemblages, sculptural forms or found objects of irregular shapes and sizes are parceled up or sent unwrapped to deliberately tease and test the efficiency of the postal service. Because the democratic ethos of mail art is one of inclusion, both in terms of participants ('anyone who can afford the postage') and in the scope of art forms, a broad range of media are employed in creation of mail artworks. Fricker, a Swiss mail artist who was one of the organizers of the 1986 Mail Art Congress, nevertheless mail art in its pure form would continue to function without the personal meeting between so-called networkers. 1972. [9], In a 1968 interview, Johnson explained that he found mailed correspondence interesting because of the limits it puts on the usual back and forth interaction and negotiation that comprises communication between individuals. [31] Posted by Mick at … The official website of The Ray Johnson Estate. [5], Artist Edward M. Plunkett has argued that communication-as-art-form is an ancient tradition; he posits (tongue in cheek) that mail art began when Cleopatra had herself delivered to Julius Caesar in a rolled-up carpet. From our current vantage, it’s not hard to acknowledge that one of the presiding spirits of early-twenty-first-century art is Ray Johnson’s. [36] Artistamps and rubber stamps, have become important staples of mail artworks, particularly in the enhancement of postcards and envelopes. These unofficial rubber stamps, whether disseminating mail artists' messages or simply announcing the identity of the sender, help to transform regular postcards into artworks and make envelopes an important part of the mail art experience.[31]. The association of mail art with the rules and ambiguities of gift giving is present in Ray Johnson’s reflections on his artistic practice from the late 1950’s onwards. [15] Other Fluxus artists have been involved since the early 1960s in the creation of artist's postage stamps (Robert Watts, Stamp Dispenser, 1963), postcards (Ben Vautier, The Postman's Choice, 1965: a postcard with a different address on each side) and other works connected to the postal medium. Many of Johnson's missives to his network featured a hand drawn version of what became a personal logo or alter-ego, a bunny head. Video is also increasingly being employed to document mail art shows of all kinds. STUDIES IN TACTICAL MEDIA #3 >From Mail Art to Net.art: Ray Johnson and the Lives of the Saints. ), The Name of the Game. 3) Create person-to-person correspondence... 4) You have your own unique energy which you can give to others through your work: visual audio, verbal, etc. [2] Although English has been the de facto language, because of the movement's inception in America, an increasing number of mail artists, and mail artist groups on the Internet, now communicate in Breton, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Russian. His presents are, in other words, full of nothing, and his non-historical present fundamentally undercut by absence: with Johnson there is never any guarantee of community, of the perfect social immanence of togetherness and understanding. Always on the fringes but wildly popular amongst its practitioners, mail art continues to populate mailboxes globally. RAY JOHNSON. [5] Any person with access to a mailbox can participate in the postal network and exchange free artworks, and each mail artist is free to decide how and when to answer (or not answer) a piece of incoming mail. The night preceding the second panel on February 24, Carlo Pittore, John P. Jacob, Chuck Welch a.k.a. Ray Johnson / Mick Boyle Mail Art Mail Art sent from Ray Johnson to Mick Boyle. Inspired by the example of Cinderella stamps and Fluxus faux-stamps, the artistamp has spawned a vibrant sub-network of artists dedicated to creating and exchanging their own stamps and stamp sheets. The official website of The Ray Johnson Estate. At a time when so much artistic work is once again focused on “social action”, on all sorts of community-oriented practices, this questioning is of the highest relevance. Looking to help their fans avoid the high fees that are generated by national ticket services the Grateful Dead started their own service, commonly referred to as mail order. [9], Most of the Correspondance School members are fairly obscure, and the letters they sent, often featuring simple drawings or stickers, often instructed the recipient to perform some fairly simple action. It initially developed out of what eventually became Ray Johnson's New York Correspondence School and the Fluxus movements of the 1960s, though it has since developed into a global movement that continues to the present. Correspondence is "a way to convey a message or a kind of idea to someone which is not verbal; it is not a confrontation of two people. The answer is complicated, to say the least. Mail Art & Ephemera - Art - Mail Art & Ephemera - Art - Ray Johnson Estate [1][2], Mail artists appreciate interconnection with other artists. Ray Johnson (1927-1995) was a seminal Pop Art figure in the 1950s, an early conceptualist, and a pioneer of mail art. His preferred medium was collage, that quintessentially twentieth-century art form that reflects the increased (as the century wore on) collision of disparate visual and verbal information that bombards modern man. Photo: Courtesy the Ray Johnson Estate. It opens up the possibility of a democratic aesthetic in which any relationship, between anyone, can be the moment of creation and … [40], "Correspondence art is an elusive art form, far more variegated by its very nature than, say, painting. [6] In 1962, Plunkett coined the term "New York Correspondence School" to refer to Johnson's activities; Johnson adopted this moniker but sometimes intentionally misspelled it as "correspondance. Hyper-conscious of the ambiguities of gift giving (the difficult power balance between giver and receiver, the difficult distinction between coercion and voluntary action, between ritual and spontaneity and between gift and mere exchange), Johnson exploited the corresponding ambiguities of the modern postal system – a system founded on the premise that messages always reach their destination, but whose rich mythology is shot through with the anxiety provoked by the idea of non-received, displaced, returned and refused messages. Directed by John W. Walter. But then concept of nothing informed his artistic project in so many ways, from his mailings to performance-like activities to his rare exhibitions: it organized his very thinking on art and on the role of art and aesthetics in relation to that entity called the social. Donna De Salvo & Catherine Gugis (editors). Ray Johnson’s mail art. Instead of remaining, Cohen chose to leave the event. 0:05. The written word is used as a literary art form, as well as for personal letters and notes sent with artwork and recordings of the spoken word, both of poetry and prose, are also a part of the network. 6) the power of the network is in the quality of the direct correspondence, not the quantity." [16], The growth of a sizable mail art community, with friendships born out of personal correspondence and, increasingly, mutual visits,[17] led in the 1980s to the organization of several festivals, meetings and conventions where networkers could meet, socialize, perform, exhibit and plan further collaborations. Once called "New York's most famous unknown artist", Johnson also staged and participated in early performance art events as the founder of a far-ranging mail art network – the New York Correspondence School. Interviews with Christo, Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein, Judith Malina, James Rosenquist and others help illuminate the life and work of Warhol contemporary Ray Johnson. He organized meetings and assemblies (of the NYCS members), but these meetings were without content or purpose, as if mere gatherings of names on a mailing list. Mail-Art is an international network of hundreds of artists who apply communicationmedia as artmedia. Johnson was also a pioneer in the now worldwide “Mail Art” or “Correspondence Art” movement where works are literally sent through the … The initial network was named The New York Correspondance School (sic) – a spin or pun on the idea of artistic schools and the concomitant idea of art history as a succession of such schools. January 5. Performances recorded on film or video are communicated via DVD and movie files over the internet. Raymond Edward "Ray" Johnson (October 16, 1927 – January 13, 1995), was a seminal figure in the history of Neo-Dada and early Pop art. Photography is widely used as an art form, to provide images for artistamps and rubber stamps, and within printed and digital magazines and documentation,[31] while some projects have focused on the intersection of mail art with the medium itself. Ray Johnson mail art. [19], In the mid-1980s, Fricker and Bloch, in a bilingual "Open Letter To Everybody in the Network" [25] stated, "1) An important function of the exhibitions and other group projects in the network is: to open channels to other human beings. Mail Art Shameless second plug of the Raven Row exhibition of Ray Johnson's collages and mail art work. ... Well known for his involvement in the mail art movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Johnson created the "New York Correspondance School" artist club in 1962 and distributed his postcards, … [citation needed] In addition to being kept by the recipient, mail art archives have attracted the interest of libraries, archives, museums, and private collectors. But then mail art was seen as one of the new “communication arts”, a form of media aesthetics that evolved alongside video art as well as the new questioning of distribution and public access that informed much of the new performative and conceptual art practices: A collage-like work by Ray Johnson even claims to present a “history of video art”, however idiosyncratic. The artform promotes an egalitarian way of creating that frequently circumvents official art distribution and approval systems such as the art market, museums, and galleries. In a way, it was a performance of art to an audience of one. It was particularly widespread where state censorship prevented a free circulation of alternative ideas, as in certain countries behind the Iron Curtain or in South America. But then the quip about the history of Mail Art was itself a pun, of the most serious kind. Participants are invited by network members to take part in collective projects or unjuried exhibitions in which entries are not selected or judged. [3][4], Mail art can be seen as anticipating the cyber communities founded on the Internet. ‘The Name of the Game’ (11 January-9 March, 2003), curator Ina Blom. [37], Having borrowed the notion of intermedia from Fluxus, mail artists are often active simultaneously in several different fields of expression. Some mail artists lavish more attention on the envelopes than the contents within. We invited Dr. Gosse as special guest lecturer on mail art and the work of mail art pioneer artist Ray Johnson. Mail artists rely on their alternative "outsider" network as the primary way of sharing their work, rather than being dependent on the ability to locate and secure exhibition space. [24] Even if "tourism" was proposed satirically as a new movement by H.R. 9 - From Ray Johnson - Mail Art & Ephemera - Art - 9 - From Ray Johnson - Mail Art & Ephemera - Art - Ray Johnson Estate. Some for art's sake, others to grab the attention of the people that dole out tickets in hope of better seats. Nov 29, 2019. However, he continued to practice mail art even after this. ), Johnson at every twist and turn seems to undercut the social ties seemingly established by his practice of gift giving, in fact to continually question the very concepts of communication, communion and community that are associated with it. The manifesto concludes, "We have learned this from our own mistakes." [citation needed]. Ray Johnson is more than a human being. His preferred medium was collage, that quintessentially twentieth-century art form that reflects the increased (as the century wore on) collision of disparate visual and verbal information that bombards modern man. [according to whom?] Johnson, through his estate, has catalogued hundreds of “mail art and ephemera” works sent to and from the conceptual pop artist. It's an object which is opened in privacy, probably, and the message is looked at ... You look at the object and, depending on your degree of interest, it very directly gets across to you what is there ..."[10], In 1970, Johnson and Marcia Tucker organized The New York Correspondence School Exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York, which was the first significant public exhibition of the mail art genre. Anthropologists see this phenomenon at work, with different ritualistic expressions, in every known culture: the phenomenon of gift exchanges (whose rules are both uncannily similar to and emphatically different from trade and barter) is what ensures the existence of true collectivity. [5] Or, the works may be 'worked into' and recycled back to the sender or to another networker. - Ken Friedman[41], "Cultural exchange is a radical act. He corresponded with global artists, writers, and thinkers, including Richard C. and Bob Ray. The Correspondance School was a network of individuals who were artists by virtue of their willingness to play along and appreciate Johnson's sense of humor. Mail art (also known as postal art and correspondence art) is a populist artistic movement centered on sending small-scale works through the postal service. Johnson began making mail art in the early 1960s; he used the postal system to circumvent the confines of the traditional “insider” art world by encouraging mass participation. collagiste américain & artiste du mailart. He was called the father of mail art, one of the first … [23], The rise of mail art meetings and congresses during the late 80s, and the articulation of various "isms" proclaimed by their founders as movements within mail art, were in part a response to fractures made visible by the events surrounding the Franklin Furnace exhibition. Frank, Peter, E.F. Higgins III, Rudolf Ungváry. [34] Furthermore, attempts have been made to document and define the history of a complex and underestimated phenomenon that has spanned five decades. Ray would mail small artworks, or prints of his works, to friends and strangers, sometimes requesting further actions, like sending something on to someone else. The intent to edit, interpreted as censorship, resulted in a two-part panel discussion sponsored by Artists Talk on Art (organized by mail artist Carlo Pittore and moderated by art critic Robert C. Morgan) in February of that year, where Cohen and the mail artists were to debate the issues. Music and sound art have long been celebrated aspects of mail art, at first using cassette tape, then on CD and as sound files sent via the Internet. Mail art has adopted and appropriated several of graphic forms already associated with the postal system. Inkjet and laserprint computer printouts are also used, both to disseminate artwork and for reproducing zines and documentation, and PDF copies of paperless periodicals and unprinted documentation are circulated by email. Ray Johnson began sending his mail art to circumvent the insular gatekeeping of the New York gallery scene. One example of the activities of the Correspondance School consisted in calling meetings of fan clubs, such as one devoted to the actress Anna May Wong. [1][7] Johnson's experiments with art in the mail began in 1943, while the posting of instructions and soliciting of activity from his recipients began in the mid-1950s with the mailing of his "moticos", and thus provided mail art with a blueprint for the free exchange of art via post. Röder, Kornelia "H. R. Fricker, Mail Art and Social Networks," HR Fricker: Conquer the Living Rooms of the World, Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Warth, Switzerland: Edition Fink, 2014, p. 38. But Johnson's mail art is more than that. Various printmaking techniques, in addition to rubber stamping, are used to create multiples. [14] Filliou coined the term the "Eternal Network" that has become synonymous with mail art. Certain materials and techniques are commonly used and frequently favored by mail artists due to their availability, convenience, and ability to produce copies. [9][10], In the 1970s, the practice of mail art grew considerably, providing a cheap and flexible channel of expression for cultural outsiders. Ray Johnson mail art, ca. These words, written by Ray Johnson, initiator of the international mail art movement, provide a key to one of the most complex and idiosyncratic art projects of the 20th Century. MS 310. Mail art (also known as postal art and correspondence art) is a populist artistic movement centered on sending small-scale works through the postal service. Cooperation and participation, and the celebration of art as a birthing of life, vision, and spirit are first steps. [38], Lettering, whether handwritten or printed, is integral to mail art. [3] Mail art shows, periodicals, and projects represent the "public" side of postal networking, a practice that has at its core the direct and private interaction between the individual participants. 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