This drawing was made for M.D. A collegue that works at the Radius College and will soon leave us to follow a new challenge. The drawing gives an idea of the complexity one deals with when working at a larger College and focusses on quality and the rules by and for others to maintain that.
When I draw I am always in drawing modus as I call it. I never know what will come out, but I know I want to create something. The essence is the creating. I make things. That might explain the text “Hope for new art is lost when you are in a museum”. You see so many things that are created that you don’t feel the need to create new things.
The drawing above has to do with the networking component of my art. In Mail-Art you share you art with others, and what you create goes straight to the one it is made for. I meet a lot of artists that aren’t connected to the network, and they have a hard time finding a ‘public’, someone who will react to what you see and make. In Mail-Art the network is your public. Only the Galleries and Musea are excluded from that network. No money is involved in the mail-art network other then the sending costs and the buying of materials to make your work.
But sometimes I am at the border of these two worlds. In the Art world you don’t just give away your art. You sell it, exhibit it, catalogue it, and build a portfolio. When I make drawings that aren’t made on envelope but on traditional thick paper. I tend to keep the drawings and pass on copies of the drawings. Somehow it is difficult to give away the things I create. I also don’t sell it. I just keep it as one big collection of which I am not sure where it will end up.
The IUOMA is also a network. Part of the mail-art network, but actually a large network of creative people working together in the mail-art tradition. Nowadays on a digital platform where the plans and productions are communicated too.
“Het verzenden van informatie via telefoon, of het versturen van een stukje telefoon per post” is written on the card attached to a piece of telephone. I sent the object to Guy Bleus in 1992 for his collection. In those years the digital communication was already taking place. I had the digital TAM-Bulletin online, and some communication-lines went via the phone-lines to the first Internetconnections. Mind you, the WWW concept was to start a year later in 1993, so it was all just happening.
The piece was a play with the moving from the analogue world into the digital world. And also how equipement used in the digital world would be sent through the analogue world.
In 2003 I was still living in Tilburg. I was painting envelopes on a daily basis, and sent thousands into the network. I made photo’s of all of them, lateron digitized them with a scanner. This blog is about a special series because the symbols can be interpreted in many ways, and these envelopes belong together although they are now all over the world. The one above To Anna Boschi (Italy) shows the setting quite well
The Background is a mixture of two colors that are integrated while wet. The envelopes were mostly sent to people I was doing the mail-interviews with. So a selected group received them. The one above to Clive Phillpot in UK, and the one below to Günther Ruch in Switserland.
The writings on the envelopes aren’t real letters. More acemic two symbol words. Painted with vermilioen Red and Oker Yellow. For postage alwats two or four postage stamps. Address stickers were prepared because I wrote to these contacts a lot these years. Like Below to John Held Jr. in the USA.
The envelopes were numbered too. You can see the red number in the corner below. In the year I made these (2003), there was no facebook and the Internet wast like it is now. So I never saw digital images of the received envelopes. Therefore it is funny to post them again in 2015, and will see what happened to the envelope series. The envelope below went to Bill Willson. The one abov to Julie Paquette. Both in the USA.
For Mark Greenfield (UK) I made a small exception in the series. I added a little green to it. That fits as a special one in the series. mark Greenfield never came to Facebook of the digital world. he remains the P.O. Box from which he writes. We are still in contact though now and then……
And a last sample, the enveloppe to Vittore Baroni in Italy. As you can see, also numbered, and signed with acrylic paint with my typical symbol JR and then the year the enveloppe is painted. The envelopes I make this year are with 2015, so you can easiliy date them……
In 2005 I made a batch of postcards. Thick carton with acrylic paint. SOme I kept for my own collection, some were sent into the network. I digitized them all, so I can still share them with you. Have a look for the fluxus words at the bloig:
There is an overview of those cards and also some envelopes with specific Fluxus Wors. Also it explains for you what I consider a Fluxus Word.
The score for Fluxus Words is simple:
Sometimes the cards were only visuals. I gives you the sence that you are only seeing a part of a larger picture. hat was intentional.
Sometimes the series has a special colour-setting. Like the ones below with the blue background and the red – yellow Fluxus Words
In the years before and after 2000 I started with a production of painted CD’s. I documented them with albums and a complete Blog that is online at:
The goal was to exhibit them, but the place I was hoping/looking for didn’t succeed. Maybe a new chance will come in the future when the CD’s are a unknown object for the new generation…..
On the old www.iuoma.org website I also documented some of my art. Always with low resolution, and not that good to look at. I am now placing the images in better resolution. Just click on them and see them full size. All made with acrylic paint on canvas. Size 60×40 and larger. These were exhibited too.
In 2014 I received this wonderful prize from Sweden. See for all the details their website:
Ruud Janssen is a fluxus artist engaged in mail art. He is the founder of IUOMA (International Union of Mail-Artists), and he also led the way for art on the internet. His outbursts of creativity colored the whole digital revolution – since 1996 we’ve been able to see his artistic work on the web and we are still able to follow his new mail art thanks to his blog.
By using the intermedia network Fluxus he also conducted original interviews with fantastic people from all corners of the world.
Thank you for all your letters Ruud – here is a gift in return from us!