New developements

When you are caught up in routines and daily work, there are always that unexpected moments that gives your live a new direction. When you think back, the major changes in your life came because of certain little events, happenings, moments and or meetings, that moved all upside down and became a milestone.

Trying to mention these milestones in your life only happens afterwards. When you are in the middle of the changes, you don’t know what hit you because all your energy goes into arranging the change. Yes, the changes never come from outside. You yourself change because of these triggers, and you only know what hit you afterwards.



Keeping track of you Digital Work

It isn’t that easy to keep track of all your digital work when you are online a lot of the time. You made some websites, created some blogs, and work on some digital platforms, and before you know it, all your info is on several places.

A new website was created to solve that problem. I am testing that now. I made a special place for links to all websites on: and that should then become the place where people can ‘bounce back to’ when they don’t find the right place.

Currious if that will work. I could leave the link also in the places I work, and instead of giving them a list of websites, I guide them to this place that is always actual with screenshots of the current state of the websites. Yes, it might work, but ‘the proof is in eating the pudding’ as the say in English.


Moving on again

In the summertime I normally take a break from the networking. I am not the only one as it seems. A break from the hectic life does wonders.

But starting up again always needs that bit of extra energy. The pile of unanswered mail that has to be read, the cleaning up of the rooms, the starting up of a house is always a lot of work, and you then realize what you normally do every single day.

The first envelopes went out already. And also this month I plan to work on the new book to celebrate the 30 years of IUOMA. The title of the book has to be found. The editing is on its way. Selection of illustrations, then the proofreading, and then the launch and PR to get the book out there. Seems like a small undertaking, but will take a lot of days to finish this one of.

We are all getting older, but still, we move on until the end.

The Secret Mail-Art network

With all the news about Mail-Art on the Internet, the social media, we often forget that there is still that secret mail-art network that isn’t visible.

I mean, the not digitized materials and experiences that aren’t documented and form the basic experience of Mail-Art. The decision to make a piece for someone, The placing of the postage, the putting in the mail of the piece and then realizing that your part is over and you can only wait for a reation (or no reaction at all).

In todays digital world, we publish the pieces, we send the image to the receiver, and we expect an answer…….?  But that was never the essence of mail-art. It is just what some consider to be mail-art too.

There are also the surprised. Someone found your address and sends you something without you ever have heard from that pesons. New ways are opened when you want it to happen (or not).

Mail-Art is supposed to be ‘guilt-free’, never expect an answer, never feel forced you have to reply. Only when you promis something (like in a project) keep your promis, just like in normal life.

Some people who discover Mal-Art on the Internet and start from there, they don’t realize that the mail-art network is essence was invisble for everybody exept sender and receiver. It is a very private network in which you can participate and explore the world on another level.

And believe me, this network still exists. Not all is on Internet, and there are massive archives of mail-art collections yet to be discovered.



More mail comes in

The last weeks I get more mail-art in the P.O. Box then ususal. Not that i have been sending out a lot the last weeks, but somehow the network finds my address and wants to make a contact.

Off course it is fun to get in that mucg mail-art, but on the other hand I hardly have the time (nor finances) to answer all that mail. International mail (even a postcard) costs now almost 1,40 euro, and that is quite a lot compared to other things we buy.

So the times for mail-art are difficult. Only if you have money to spare you can send out a lot. All others have to limit themselves because you can only spend money once………..


As a child you discover the world. When you reach 15-17 you can really start to research, but you don’t realy grasp all the connections. I know I loved art and poetry, but also the concepts of mathematics and physics.

So decided to study physics at the age of 17 and never regreted this step. Also combined it with mathematics, and somehow the whole computerscene and developements made it possible to do even more. So here we are, in the modern computer days where you can discover all you need if you learn to observe and make the right clicks.

Discovering ‘pataphysics is one of the findings. Suddenly you see the larger lines where science and logic don’t always bring what you were looking for.

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The research goes further and you discover the books, the websites, and the interest grows. As a networker you discover you are not alone, and the first contacts were made. And before you know it you are involved on a deaper level and see all the interconnections. The learning process really starts when you understand the concept. If you don’t, there is no logic to make the connections when you aren’t open and creative.

So it seems the start of IUOMA is also connected. You don’t have to be aware of the larger picture to be part of that larger picture. But in the end all fits togeher, and that is a wonderful thought.

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And the search continues and it is just a pity a life hasn’t enough years to make it even more complete, but tha larger line is that others find the same and move it further just another step. The essence of being creative is to add something to the things that already exist. That is something else then copying the things you find.

It isn’t always easy, but when you have started there isn’t even a stop or break. New things come every day, when you just observe and make new connections in the fascinating world.

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And indeed, the next step is to document what you discover and add something to it. Someone will find it and will move on with it. Also plenty of others that don’t get it. But that isn’t important. I am not writing things down for those.

The inter-connection of things is what is so fascinating for me. All is connected, even when we don’t see the logic behind it.

Ruud, May 20th 2017


The TAM-Archive

Just got an e-mail from Klaus Groh (Germany). He has just moved and wanted me to have his new address. In the message he also mentioned he moved from 300 m2 to 90 m2, and I know what something like that means. The archive and books he has collected over the years have to be moved to new places and or collections to take care of them.

It is the problem of networkers that are active for a longer time. Where to leave the collection you build up when you have to move to a smaller place.

So I focus now on the TAM-Arcive. When I started with mail-art in 1980, I lived quite small in TIlburg, and the appartment was filled quite well. When I moved with my partner and wife to Breda, we build a larger place with Atelier and enough place to keep the acrhive of bith TAM and the Fluxus Heidelberg Archive.  But this won’t last for another 30 years. We will move on for sure and will have to think of what to do with the collections.

One part of the TAM-Archive already found a good home. All mail from Easter-Germany that I received in the 80-ies was sent to the Schwerin Museum in now united Germany. The Schwerin Museum lies in the former Easter-Germany, so I found it ideal to have the outlet of artists from then going back to the collection of a larger institute that treasures the history.

I do treasure the book collection. All kind of books and catalogs on the subjects of mail-art and Fluxus which are rare and not easily to be found elsewhere. Also I have a collection of lots of Artistamps that are bundled in albums.  The correspondence is a larger problem. Lots of boxes with unsorted mailings, boxed ones every few years yo keep it archived. The stampsheets of the TAM-Rubberstamp Archive, that were actually exhibited too in San Francisco (1996), Moscow (2004) and New York (2010).  The collection from Moscow never returned (another sad story), but the collection from New York did return after a struglle, and is now back in Breda. There is also the large collection of orriginal rubberstamps. Also own designs, eraser carved rubberstamos, and lots of donations from the network.


Another large collection is the Mail-Inteview Project. Every correspondence with the interviewed persons is kept in a portfolio, and that is quite a treasure because the correspondence also meant exhanging questions, answers and artifacts to explain the whole idea. I have offered the collection to the MoMa, but they didn’t react yet. Maybe they will realize somewhere in the future they missed out on lots of correspondence with some old-times in the network where some of those already passed away (like Edgardo Antonio Vigo, Ray Johnson, Dick Higgins, and lots more interesting names).

So, after the e-mail from Klaus Groh I am triggered again to think of the fact that I will have to face the probem too, of where to go to with the collection. No hurry now. I have the space, and sometimes also send items for exhibitons, but a more permanent solution must be found. Also an essential part of networking.

Ruud, May 14th 2017.