iuoma.org – Interested in Mail-Art?

welcome to the International Union of Mail-Artists. This Blog gives you information and links to all activities undertaken by Ruud Janssen, who started with Mail-Art in 1980 and is still active.

Recycling of Mail by Terry Reid

Ruud J to TR to D Mizzi 1 150dpi

I am sending Ruud Janssen’s letter collecting fluxform rubber stamp impressions for his archive to Denis Mizzi for forwarding to you and to David Dellafiora and to Pete Spence. I think everyone has everyone’s address except maybe yours. Can you email an update for yours to Denis at the e-address on the Cc? And please Carbon copy it through to me.
Hope you are hunky-dory and that your dory is hunky.
Best to you and your art.

Ruud J to TR to D Mizzi 2 150dpi
That bottom bit with the not yet RETOUR GECONTROLEERD with the missing bit of visual language is ultimately for Eberhard Janke in Berlin with a Mediterranean solution from off the top of Vittore Baroni’s eclectic electric head.
Can someone tell Bill Gaglione that Tony Twigg and I over the phone found something from him from one of his places in the States in the archive of the Australian National Gallery in Camemberta.

TAM was HERE project by Ruud Janssen

The TAM was HERE projectScannen

This project was done in the 80-ies. I documented it on: http://tamwashere.blogspot.nl/ so you can have a good overview of the project. It was a typical Add & return project, where the result was exhibited in the Milkyway (Melkweg) Gallery in Amsterdam in 1985. Also I brought the collection to Ponte Nossa in Northern Italy, where I met Emilio Morandi and his family and exhibited the collection in his gallery.

As the Internet and computers came, I digitized the collection too and made the blog. Also on facebook I made a page of the project so it is now accessible to the world too. Have a look at: https://www.facebook.com/tamwashere


The Gallery had their own magazine in which the exhibition was announced (see above), and invitations were sent out (zee below)

Scannen0002b Scannen0007

Some contributions are historic, like the one of Joki (above). One of the themes was energy and the running out of it. The move to Nuclear Energy and the effect of all of what humans are doing.


In Ponta Nossa (Italy) I also did a performance (above) which is documented too.


And also political statements since the Eastern-Germany was active in the mail-art network quite a bit. mail from DDR was a treasure in those days.


The award of incompleteness – Sweden – 2014

2014-03-01 08.11.09 2014-03-01 08.11.33 2014-03-01 08.12.36 2014-03-01 08.12.51 2014-03-01 08.13.23 Award-of-incompleteness-610x374 CIMG8791 CIMG8807

In 2014 I received this wonderful prize from Sweden. See for all the details their website:


Ruud Janssen<br /><br /><br />
Fluxus artist, Netherlands

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!

mail-interview with Ray Johnson – USA

The Mail-Interview with Ray Johnson – USA (unfinished)


The Mail-Interview with Ray Johnson went in a special way. He reacted to the first formal invitation like this above. He also wrote on the backside, which added the dimension:


He sent it in one of his typical enveloppes:


I published the textual version of the interview too, which I will include here as well.This time also inserted the many visuals that make the interview so special:



This is the TEXT-VERSION of the two answers Ray give as part of my interview-project. I am still collecting all kind of information about Ray Johnson (before and/or after his suicide on 13-1-1995).

Started on: 4-11-1994

RUUD : Welcome to this mail-interview. A lot of mail-artists have stopped with sending out their mail into the network, but you seem to keep it up even till today. Is it true that mail-art is more then art, that it is a way of living your life?

(please put your answer on paper any length you choose….)

Reply on: 11-11-1994


(Ray’s answer was written on the original invitation to the project. He reacted to one specific word on the invitation, the word ‘LENGTH’, and he decided which length the answer would be…)

RAY : O.K. I choose 14¼ Inch length. Another answer – Dear Lamonte Young, Happy death day. Please send second question.

(The next question was in the length Ray wanted, and to make it more difficult for him, I typed the next question on dark-red paper on which I indicated the length he choose with a golden pen. Ray wrote again his answer on this paper and returned it to me.)




RUUD : With this length of 14¼ Inch the depth of my questions will change (for better or worse, I don’t know….) What kind of color would you like my questions to be? Not to dark a color for this second question I hope


Reply on : 21-11-1994

RAY : THE MNO QP (mirror view) kind. What about Mimsy Star? She got pinched in the astor bar.

RUUD : Was it a mistake that she got pinched. Was she supposed to be punched. Does she like PUNCH at all?

(Because of the long silence I wondered if the third question arrived, and I sent the following letter to Ray to ask him what was happened. As I found out a few days later, he had committed suicide).

Letter on : 21-01-1995 (I hadn’t heard of his suicide on this date yet!)


Dear Ray Johnson,

After my third question for the MAIL-INTERVIEW in November last year no reaction from you. So either you are busy or you have no time for the interview or you don’t like the idea. My attempt was to get some real views about MAIL-ART from you. If it is in ‘WORDS’ or in the form of ‘COLLAGE’, I don’t mind, but the idea will be that of every interview I start one booklet will be made. Some others who I am interviewing too by mail already expressed their interest in what you would say, and I must admit I still am curious about who you are and what is behind the messages that you send out. But then again, it is healthy to be curious. You will decide how the mail-interview goes, and I will document in this case too. Take care R.J.

Best wishes from another R.J.,




* On January 24th 1995 I received two mail-art pieces from the USA in which I read that Ray Johnson has died. Tim Mancusi wrote on his envelope: “Ray Johnson jumped off a bridge last friday the 13th & killed himself. He was 66, what a shame”. Michael B. Corbett (Tensetendoned) wrote: “I regret to inform you of the tragic drowning death of Ray Johnson on Jan. 13th 1995”.
* On January 24th 1995 I wrote my last letter to Ray, informing him that he will live forever, and I asked him about his new address, how high it ever might be…..
* On January 24th 1995 I received through INTERNET the E-mail magazine from Guy Bleus where it was confirmed too that Ray Johnson died.

From a researcher at the Feigen Gallery, years later, they sent me a colour image of Ray’s third answer. It seems he never came to sending it to me, but here is is anyway, years later:

Ray Johnson - Interview Answer

Later I did a mail-interview with Ray’s fried Mr. Postcard (Norman Solomon). He tried to explain a bit the answers Ray gave from the American perspective.

see: http://iuoma.org/blog_new_2015/2015/06/17/mail-interview-with-norman-solomon-usa/


Mail from my Father – 1949


My father, Herman Janssen, wrote this card in 1949. He was a soldier then, stationed in Indonesia, and sent this card back to his family.

I found the card after the sad duty to dismantel my own family house. My Father died in 1976. My mother died in 2013, and I found the card and kept it.