Belonging to which Network?

The small poll I did on some Facebook IUOMA groups shows that most people in my larger network do feel at home with the term Mail Art.  The other names, like Social Art, Correspondence Art, Arte Postale, Net Art, Communication Art, they all are focussing on other feelings we get in the essence.

Mail has to deal with sender and receiver, the communication form, and the fact that the distance is not set. You can send mail to any corner of the world. If there is a receiver, you might reach him


So the name of the network you belong to isn’t that important, the fact that you use communicationforms to reach others is the essence in here.  There are other networks too that focus on specific subjects. Artistamps, Asemic Works, and mucht more. Also connected to the ‘pataphysical world and discover that I fit right in, and IUOMA and all other things I do could have a broader basis. But time will tell.

Somehow fitting in a group isn’t what an artists does. he reacts on the world outside him/her and creates artworks as a reflection to what he sees, hears, feels and thinks. But communication is essential, even when it isn’t all the time.

So I settle to the fact that I belong to many networks, actually also created my own network, but also mingle with other new discovered networks I find on my path. Life itself then becomes the artwork. And all you created will be left behind when you die. Other will decide if it tells them something. If not; like life itself, all is recycled again and new life follows the path for the next journey.


It is funny how my drawings from a few years back now fitt in with the thoughts I write down. The digital World doesn’t change that much, but the factors speed and distance that are essential in communication; those two have changed.

Ruud, April 9th 2017

p.s. Some topics are interesting enough to make a drawing about. So is this topic, and I just made a start for a new work that will be ready within a few weeks I guess:

2017-04-09 10.03.56




One thought on “Belonging to which Network?

  1. Ruud, a term that has been used a lot to refer to the social-dimensions surrounding mail-art and related activities — a term you also refer to above — is NETWORK (“networking,” the eternal network, etc.). This term would be a candidate for the wider, more umbrella-like label I seek, but, unfortunately, I think it is too general and too abstract/”lifeless” to capture the essence of a social phenomenon that is so immediate and personal as creating and mailing art to someone, collaborating with someone on a physical or digital collage, or this: Most “social networks” are fairly large and impersonal (i.e., people in the network may be “connected”–i.e., able to influence each other– without being directly aware of each other). In contrast, the essence of most mail-art seems to be creating for and exchanging mail directly with someone you know or are aware of. It has a small and personal, more direct spirit and mutual personal context to it than studio-produced/gallery displayed art. I think this spirit is still preserved, even when the art is created for a mail art show or a catalog compilation. And it’s still true when someone uses the internet to send some digital art they’ve created on a digital device to someone else or to a group they belong to. The personal and social context seems to be more the essence of the activity than the mediums involved. The participants know of each other, and create and respond to each other in the context of this “personal” knowledge. Networks are built on personal, direct relationships, but networks (even at Ray Johnson’s level) are rarely the level at which mail art works or its spirit resides.

    I’ll keep thinking about this.


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