THE MAIL-INTERVIEW WITH Guy Bleus.
Started on: 3-11-1994
RJ : Welcome to this mail-interview. First let me ask you the traditional question. When did you get involved in the mail-art network?
Reply on: 8-4-95 (internet)
GB : //GUY BLEUS 42.292: DEAR RUUD, IN YOUR INTRODUCTION OF THIS PROJECT YOU WROTE ABOUT THE MAIL ART INTERVIEW PROJECT: “THIS PROJECT I MAINLY START FOR MY RESEARCH ABOUT THE HISTORY OF MAIL ART”// //MEANWHILE YOU MUST KNOW MY SHAMELESS & SICK OPINION ABOUT HISTORY & ABOUT THE HISTORY OF MAIL ART// //IF NOT, YOU (+ “FUTURE” READERS OF THIS INTERVIEW) CAN FIND IT IN THE FOREWORD “ART AS A COLLECTIVE MYTHOLOGY: MAIL ART” OF THE BOOK OF JOHN HELD JR. “MAIL ART: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ” (1991)// //YOU CAN ALSO FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ISSUE IN MY PUBLICATION “EEN DIALOOG TUSSEN DE POSTBODE EN ZIJN ELECTRONISCHE SCHADUW, ALSMEDE EEN ALGEMENE DISCOURS OVER MAIL ART, MEER BEPAALD EEN ONDERZOEK NAAR DE GRONDSLAGEN VAN EEN COMMUNICATIEF KUNSTFENOMEEN” (1994)// //THE LATTER IS AN ANTHOLOGY OF SOME OF MY TEXTS// //IT’S A COMPILATION OF 1991 FOR THE “KONINKLIJKE ACADEMIE VOOR WETENSCHAPPEN, LETTEREN EN SCHONE KUNSTEN VAN BELGIE”////ANYWAY, HISTORY _IS_ A LIE// //(YOU CAN READ MY ARGUMENTATION ELSEWHERE)//
//SO, I NEVER GOT INVOLVED IN THE MAIL ART NETWORK// //_WE_ (YOU + I + ALL THE OTHER NETLANDERS) _”ARE”_ THE MAIL ART NETWORK// //EVERY NETLANDER HAS HIS OR HER OWN WEB OF BORING AND/OR INTERESTING STORIES// //MAIL ART IS COMMUNICATION ART AND AS SUCH THE _”NOW”_ IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT// //AND THIS SUBJECT WILL INCREASE IN THE _ELECTRONIC_ AND _DIGITAL_ FUTURE// //AT LEAST, IF THERE IS ANY FUTURE AT ALL// //AT LEAST, IF THERE IS ANY FUTURE AT ALL// //AND IF SO, LET’S BARK TOGETHER// //WAF @ WAF// //WHOOF @ WHOOF//
//BUT OF COURSE, I COULD MENTION YOU THE _”HISTORIC”_ EVENTS I DID SUCH AS MY FIRST CORRESPONDENCE ART PROJECT IN 1968 WHICH RESULTED IN THE PUBLICATION “SUBTERRANEAN II” (EDITED BY THE ACADEMY OF ART IN GHENT) OR THAT A LOT OF MY MAILINGS WERE CENSORED WHEN I WAS A PUPIL OF 12 YEARS OLD IN THE BOARDING SCHOOL OF THE “KONINKLIJKE ATHENEUM OF TONGEREN” OR THAT I FIRST SAW THE ARTISTAMPS OF E.F. HIGGINS III IN THE MID SEVENTIES IN “HET PANDJE” IN HASSELT// //IT ARE JUST FACTS AND MEMORIES AND ANECDOTES// //THEY’RE ALL READY TO BECOME NEW MYTHS IN THE HISTORIC WORLD OF NETLANDING// //&/OR: _RAY JOHNSON IS GOD_// //LET’S PRAY// //LET’S RAY// //IT’S HIGH NOON BY NOW, I THINK I MUST BE HUNGRY// //DEAR RUUD, KEEP IN TOUCH//
//HAVE A NICE AND WARM SPRINGTIME// //WITH LUCK & LOVE & ENERGY// //GB 42.292//
RJ : The nice thing about the interview with you is that you have written down so many views, thoughts, etc… Most of the things I would like to know about you I can look up in your books, catalogs, etc. If history is a lie, you are giving lots of stuff to historians to write the history. Why do you publish that much? (I hope you did eat well before answering this second question!)
(because of the long silence I wrote several times to Guy Bleus if this was the only answer he was going to give, or that the interview would continue. As usual, Guy is quite busy, and only months ago I received the CD-ROM that documented his artistamps exhibition. The first CD-ROM catalogue in mail art. On July 24th I received a letter from Guy in which he wrote that the interview will continue in the autumn of 1996).
On August 23rd I received a postcard from Guy Bleus from Copenhagen. I guess it is no coincidence that just this summer there is the large exhibition at the Postal Museum there in Copenhagen, and I am sure Guy Bleus visited that too.
Reply on 28-05-1997 (via e-mail)
(The e-mail was sent twice. The answer was an attachment, and the first time the attachment wasn’t found by me. The second e-mail contained an attachment I couldn’t decode, so I forewarded the e-mail to my e-mail at the college where I work. There I could decode it and e-mailed Guy that I succeeded in reading his second answer. At home in Tilburg again I fitted the text into the interview so far and e-mailed Guy the next answer. Prints on paper were sent as well).
GB : B. //From (x) To Ruud Janssen (interview via internet)//
//I// //Dear Ruud, today (05.29.1997) i well received the interviews of carol stetser and e.f. higgins III// //thanks a lot// //as you know i keep everything in the archives of the @dministration centre-42.292// //Answering your question// //yes ruud// //you’re right, i make it easy for h/i/s/t/o/r/i/a/n/s// //but i really don’t know why// //i just make use of the opportunities when they arrive (from the unknown X)// //i take the chance to give the other mail-artists a publication// //networkers have the right to a publication when they send something for a mail-art project// //let’s fight for it// //it’s not that i want to publish that much// //it’s always a series of coincidences// //it just happens// //@/f/a/t/e// //& i follow my intuition//
//II// //1// //from april 1995 until … two years later. blue mail came out of the blue////x-ray johnson is dead. jo 42.langenaken (one of my best friends) is dead. sören kierkegaard is dead (again)////2// //in the meantime there was (is) @dministration: the 3 cd-roms, the psychedelic show, the e-pêle-mêles, the scents, the private art detective, the postal museum of brussels and the e-mail-art archives in hasselt//
//3// //in may 1997 the smiling network experience is remastered & digitalized. but i’m still in love with black vinyl. the savage resurrection (of history), the seeds (of internet) & the 13th floor elevators (of the mail-art building)// //electronic thunder simulation is not new, it’s but the logical consequence of an old tradition. art and philosophy dancing in yellow footsteps of science and technology. the mystic owl of sister minerva. always-too-late-mail-art, never in time for the golden deadline//
//III// //Waiting for the PELL-MELL network//
//With Luck & Energy//
//(x)// //Guy Bleus – 42.292//
//THE @DMINISTRATION CENTRE//
//p.o.box 43-B-3830 Wellen//
RJ : How do you experience the Internet and the e-mail after some years of practice. I know that you wrote texts about this subject as well (which I could use as appendixes to this interview if you like), but I am also interested in how far the electronic communication is integrated in your daily life…….
next answer on 3-3-1997 (e-mail with attachments)
GB : //dear Question Number 3//
//It would be nice if you could @ttach (as an appendix of this interview)//
//the following texts: “A Dialogue between the Postman and His//
//Electronic Shadow” (1994)//
//As well as//
//”Telecopying in the electronic Netland” (1991/3)//
//YES and/Or NO and/Or always//
//The ultimate spinach of the Internetland doesn’t “determinate” my ultimate snake dances//
//Electronic, telecopying or postal communication aren’t the issue @t stake//
//Loving the wonderful things one does (and/Or does not tomorrow)//
//Following the changing concepts of art in my blue Velvet veins//
//Experiencing the echO of the white e mailed rabbit//
//Constructing, deconstructing and recOnstructing//
//The non electronic @dministrative Scents//
//Eating the flowers of the Net O land//
//Coming home Again//
//e/v/e/r/y/ night //
//waiting for the remembrance of the Electronic address//
//the silver rope behind the P.O. Box//
//the silent resonance and suspense//
//W ithout the ancient platonic//
//W hite shadow of a stamp//
//W aiting for the sweet//
//Of repetition// //(((thepleasureofrepetition)))//
//Dancing in the ssswamping Inter net land//
//While Johnson’s Nothings are @t stake//
//& Nothing is crYptic anymore//
//There is no need for A//
//With 42.292 Luck and Energy//
RJ : Can we still find the spirit of the sixties in the mail-art networking? Or is mail-art already absorbed by the big Administrative Monster….?
(this question Guy formulated himself in one of his in-between e-mails he sent to me)
next answer on 31-7-1997 (e-mail)
GB : //A4 TO Q4// //AN _INTER NET VIEW_//
//DEAR FRIEND RUUD//
//YOU USE AN OLD INTERVIEW TRICK: ASKING ME MY OWN QUESTIONS// //IT REMINDS ME TO AN INTERVIEW ABOUT MAIL ART I DID COMPLETELY ALONE WITH MYSELF (IN 1979) FOR “SPACE Z” IN ANTWERP// //AS FOR ME, THE FREE SPIRIT OF THE QUICKSILVER SIXTIES IS STILL EXISTING IN MAIL ART// //THE NETLAND ISN’T (YET) ABSORBED BY THE BIG ADMINISTRATIVE MONSTER// //MAIL ART IS A BELIEF IN COMMUNICATIVE AND POETIC VALUES// //THEY CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM US// //IT ISN’T A SOCIAL OR ECONOMICAL PROBLEM, BUT AN ISSUE CONCERNING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PSYCHEDELIC ATTITUDES OF THE INDIVIDUAL NETWORKER// //AS LONG AS SHE OR HE REFUSES TO SELL HER OR HIS OWN DANCING SOUL// //THE ARTISTIC TRIP WILL CONTINUE// //BUT OF COURSE THERE IS THE HUGE PROBLEM OF SUCCESSION// //WILL THE NEXT INTERNET GENERATIONS STILL BE INTERESTED TO BURN DOWN THE NEW COMMUNICATION MEDIA// //OR WILL THEY SWALLOW THE FUTURE MTV/CNN/NBC NONSENSE// //SOME WEEKS AGO I RECEIVED THE NEWS ABOUT JO KLAFFKI// //IT’S ALL SO WEIRD// //I SAW JOKI A FEW MONTHS AGO ON TV// //AND NOW// //WITHOUT YOUTHFUL DESIRES THE PELL MELL NETWORK OF THE ADMINISTRATION CENTRE LOOKS LIKE A POETIC CEMETERY// //FINALLY, IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT MUCH// //BUT SOMETIMES I ASK MYSELF: “WHO’S NEXT”// //AND THEN I HOPE IT’S NOT ME// //NOT BECAUSE I’M SO AFRAID OF DYING// //BUT THERE ARE STILL SO MANY PROJECTS I HAVE TO REALIZE// //I’M NOT READY FOR THE FINAL DEADLINE// //YET//
//WITH LUCK AND ENERGY//
//GUY BLEUS 42.292//
//THE @DMINISTRATION CENTRE//
//POBOX 43 B 3830 WELLEN//
RJ : (lost question!) – did send participation to Guy’s new project.
next answer on 26-10-1997(via e-mail)
GB :> //QUESTION NUMBER 05 / VIA E FAX//
//1// //THANKS FOR YOUR “WORKING IN A COAL MINE” FAX AND E MAIL WORK// //AT THE MOMENT I’M DOING THE LAY OUT FOR THE CATALOGUE// //VERY SOON YOU’LL RECEIVE A COPY OF IT// //THERE WERE 50 PARTICIPANTS, INCLUDING A LOT MAIL ART FRIENDS SUCH AS BARONI, ALTEMUS, CIANI, FELTER, COLE, GAGLIONE, HELD, HUBERT, GROH, MAGGI, NIELSEN, PADIN, PERNECZKY, …//
//2// //DURING THIS HOT SUMMER I HAD A LOT OF WORK TO DO IN THE OLD CINEMA TO CREATE A BIGGER SPACE FOR MY NETWORKING ARCHIVE// //SOME ARTISTS ARE SENDING ME (OFTEN WHEN THEY STOP DOING MAIL ART) THEIR COMPLETE MAIL ART COLLECTION AND THAT CREATES A LOT OF EXTRA WORK// //IT’S MY GOAL TO DO A BIG OPENING OF THE CINEMA SPACE “THE SCENTS & ADMINISTRATION CENTRE 42.292” AT JANUARY THE 1ST 2000//
//3// //MEANWHILE I’M BUSY WITH 2 NEW MAIL ART PROJECTS: ONE IS CALLED “1001 DESKS/1001 BUREAUS: FOR AN OPEN ADMINISTRATION” IN GRONINGEN (NORTHERN HOLLAND)// //DEADLINE: 31.01.1998// //THE EXHIBITION WILL BE NEXT YEAR IN AUTUMN// //WITH A CD ROM CATALOGUE// //ONE HAS TO TRANSFORM AND SEND BACK A POSTCARD WITH THE DESK OF THE MAYOR OF GRONINGEN//
//4// //THE OTHER BIG MAIL ART PROJECT IS CALLED “AMBIORIX KING OF THE EBURONS / AGAINST CULTURAL OPPRESSION// .//IT WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE CULTURAL CENTRE OF TONGEREN (BELGIUM)// //DEADLINE: 30.06.1999// //THERE WILL BE A PRINTED CATALOGUE// //THE EXHIBITION IS IN “DE VELINX” IN TONGEREN WITH ALL THE ENTRIES FROM JUNE 11TH, 2000 UNTIL SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2000// //ALSO A NUMBER OF MAIL ART CATALOGUES & OTHER ARTEFACTS FROM THE T.A.C 42.292 ARCHIVES WILL BE SHOWED// //DURING THE “VERNISSAGE”, THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION THERE WILL BE A CLONING FESTIVAL INCLUDING “THE RESURRECTION OF AMBIORIX” AND AN AMBIORIX MAIL ART PARADE// //SOON YOU’LL RECEIVE THE INVITATIONS OF BOTH THE PROJECTS//
//5// //THE NEXT EXHIBITIONS IN THE E MAIL ART SPACE IN HASSELT ARE: CLEMENTE PADIN (10/97), PASCAL LENOIR (11/97), RUUD JANSSEN (12/97), BEN VAUTIER (01/98), GIANNI BROI (02/98) AND FERNANDO AGUIAR (03/98)//
//6// //THIS ARE SOME OF MY PLANS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE// //BUT THERE ARE HAPPENING SO MANY POST SURREALISTIC AND MAYBE DANGEROUS THINGS IN MY LIFE AT THE MOMENT// //I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT TO THINK OR BELIEVE ABOUT THESE “PRIVATE ART DETECTIVE” EXPERIENCES// //I’LL MENION IN A NEXT QUESTION, CALLED NUMBER SIX, THE WHO’S AND WHY’S//
//7// //HAVE A WARM AUTUMN////FROM WELLEN WITH LUCK & ENERGY// //GUY BLEUS 42.292// //THE @DMINISTRATION CENTRE// //P.O.BOX 43 B 3830 WELLEN// //TEL & FAX: +32 12 741415// //firstname.lastname@example.org//
(I didn’t ask a question! However I did send a contribution to a project that Guy Bleus is undertaking, where he selects single short statements. Also he is working on several other things about which he wrote in answer # 5 and again in #6)
next answer on 2-12-1997
GB : To: email@example.com
Subject: Internet Mail Art Interview
//6// //The 1400 invitations of the mail art project in Groningen “1001 Desks/1001 Bureaus: For an OPEN ADMINISTRATION” are sent out. Please participate to this new anti bureaucratic project. It was not easy to have a photograph of the desk of the mayor from Groningen. In the past I made a lot of installations with desks (since 1978). For instance, in Antwerp, in Amsterdam, Groningen, Hasselt, Gent, Heusden Zolder, Leopoldsburg, Brussels, Leuven, Munster, Köln, Aachen, etc. I hope that in the meantime you already received the Fax and Internet catalogue “Working in A Coalmine / Mail Art Networkers are Miners”, distributing last thursday. There are 50 participants.
Tomorrow I’m going to set up your individual exhibition in the E mail Art Space in Hasselt. I hope you like it a little bit, because it is always a lot of work. Sometimes their are a lot of visitors (students, artists and art critics). Many people ask me to show their work, but it’s only possible to do 12 shows in one year.
I trust that you accept my answer number 5 (and also 6 = this one) for your interview. Of course I also include Statements about e mail art for my Manifestos project, even if they are sent by snail mail. I don’t care at all. I don’t work for an Administrative Institute. I’m completely free. All my work is a parody of the neurotic bureaucracy. Very few artists understand this Irony. Probably they are much too Serious. Your Statement is the only one not transmitted (and received) via the net. There are already 16 participanting networkers such as, H.R.Fricker, Jas W Felter, Vittore Baroni, John M.Bennett , Sarah Jackson, Anna Banana, Artoposto, Reed Altemus, Andrej Tisma, K.Frank Jensen etc. (And in order of date and hour, you are number 8).
I always accept all the entries (without rejections). If someone participates in my fax projects and sends it by another medium, it doesn’t matter. I never rejected fax art without fax transmissions (ask José vdBroucke).
Maybe a little more fair play, mutual respect and real friendship is needed in Mail Art. Very few mail artists can understand how much work it is to organize a project with hundreds of participants and sending “every” participant every time a real FREE catalogue or a cd rom. This means working day and night, without being paid for it. And sometimes: not even a single word of appreciation for it. But I still continue because I love the Mail Art Stress, the Deadlines, the Irony and of course I’m not a quitter before I die.
(Here we can close the Internet Mail Art Interview)
//With Luck & Energy//
//Guy Bleus 42.292//
//THE @DMINISTRATION CENTRE//
//P.O.BOX 43 B 3830 WELLEN//
//TEL & FAX: +32 12 741415//
Guy Bleus – 42.292
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
by Guy Bleus 42.292
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE POSTMAN
AND HIS ELECTRONIC SHADOW
The position of the mailman as the ultimate man in the (pre )electronic communication process.
01. The history of communication is a lie. Because the story is only a story and therefore incomplete, selective and interpreted. Blatantly absent in the recollection is the anonymous, that which doesn’t have the power to make itself known, but that equally can make sense and be sublime. The conversations between past, present and future are always fragmentary and/or prophetic; a mishmash of truth, semi truth and fiction, the tension between reality and illusion.
02. It is not actual or postmodernistic (rather postexistentialistic) to move on the historical currents of the social problem of communication. For the mailman is not a son of Laszlo Moholy Nagy, but he is the inevitable sun for Mail Art. The mailman is no artist, but the moon of communication. The mailman is unkown, yet not without significance within the story of postal arts, day and night.
03. The eclectic novel of the new communicative space threatens to strangle the romantic narrative lines of man in communication. Technology dehumanizes the games between sender and receiver. But who is going to bother with the urbanization of cyberspace? Is there enough space for an ethic of the “social” superhighway?
04. The mailman is a communicative anachronism. But on the other hand he makes that same transfer of information visible. He is an essential trace within communicative reality. The letter carrier is not the owner of the information. But he is more than a symbol or an icon, moving on the level of language, in the language play between word and meaning. The mailman is a referent on the level of reality, a human of flesh and blood. It is of course nostalgic to presume that the 21st century will cherish the same totem animals as the 20th. Electronics are the guillotine of the mail (as a system of information). Postcards, post marks and stamps are the memorabilia of administrative rituals from a recent past.
05. “The end of a workers era is the beginning of…” Even Mercury, the mailman of the Gods, is impotent to complete the previous sentence. Ten years after 1984 we see an Orwellian hurricane approaching and no one knows where and when it will hit. Or are all sceptics wrong and is there an interactive and electronic nirvana lying ahead of us?
06. The spring of communication is over. The installation’s artifacts look back and take different positions: where is the (symbolic) center of communication? Which strategies do exist to save the frivolous adultery of democracy in a so called “decentralized” cyberspace?
07. The earth loses its cosmic position as a center to the advantage of heliocentrism. Theocentrism is defeated by anthropocentrism and humanism. After God, the (ultimate) man dies, too. One grumbles and talks about eco facism. Only on the materialistic level egocentrism is alive and kicking. The subject has been buried. Some are waiting for a resurrection.
08. The epistemological question of present communication is (still) possible, is socially and historically irrelevant. The vulture of power relations circles especially around the correlation between the quality and the quantity of communication. Not the values, but the numbers rule the planet. The merchandizing of information is a fact.
09. The distance between people gets increasingly smaller as the speed of communication increases. In theory this implies that the world will end in one point that is situated between nowhere and everywhere.
10. The social function of the mailman (the effective contact with man) disappears because of the increase of telecommunication. The notion of “social” gets a new dimension. One can be alone yet be very social within the myth of cyberspace. The psychology of personal space needs to be reconsidered urgently. Can this be a matter of pathological communication? Indisputably there is an increase of alienation regarding the “really” fellow human being. But what is still real? What is virtual?
11. The contradiction between man and machine is getting smaller. The machine that increases alienation among human beings within the social system, brings people closer together. The paradox of the cyberspace traveller or netizen.
12. A tribute to man seems unsuitable. The letter carrier who contributes to the realization of Mail Art, who is the carrier of postal art, is invisible. Man has become but a dilapidated metaphor.
13. An individual “pro mailman” position is not an a political theme in a time when man is subjected to the machine. De la Mettrie becomes the spiritual father of McLuhan and Gibson. Where is the information proletariat situated in this process of communicative “progress”?
14. A human approach of the post and communication commits itself on the level of the labor and labor intensity. The notion of “unemployment” threatens to loose its meaning in a new social reality, and thus get a new dimension. To be unemployed doesn’t apply anymore to man only, but to the lack of electronic communication equipment as well. On the other hand, the same electronics create a wave of unemployment.
15. A political subject would be: to recognize the superhighway as a culture of Power. It is being whispered: Internet is an “anarchist” way, without hierarchical structure, without leaders. Gossip or truth?
16. The attention to the role of “man” in the communication system is reduced to a linguistic or semiologic matter. The ethical consequences of hunger, of stress, of feelings, of shortages or of friendship in communication seem to be lost in the wrong millennium. Human activities disappear in the postal process “apparently” by an increase of electronic communication. The monitor estheticizes.
17. Yet one forgets one thing in this interactive story: the sedentary, electronic human being who is enclosing himself in order to do “home shopping” by means of his monitor and his keyboard, will have to appeal to “people” who deliver the parcels home. Hence the post’s function to distribute products will increase. Unless everything gets in the hands of privatized courier services. A political option with relation to “cocooning”.
18. In the installation the labour of the postal workers is visualized by a series of 60 mail bags, filled with information; also shown are portraits of unknown mailmen. The tools (stamps, ink and paper) used by postal employees are intended to focus on the human being behind the object.
19. The proper functioning of the postal services is accentuated by the individual project “indirect correspondence”, this means correspondence via a detour. For instance references to ficticious persons and/or addresses. On the schemes of the itinerary and also on the very same circulating letters appear traces on the post, in the snow of time and space. These traces indicate the respect for pieces of mail and the accuracy with which the postal system operates.
20. Opposing this are electronic appliances (such as telex, fax, modem) that alienate and/or eliminate man and reduce communication mere efficiency. The long strips of fax paper posted on walls emphasize the shortcomings of electronic communication. Smells or perfumes for instance can’t be transmitted.
21. In the construction of the Cathedral of Communication the anonymity of the mailman is an essential fact. His ephemeral contacts with correspondence, the content of which he will never know. An intuitive retrospective of the evolution of (electronic) communication shows a system of objects and traces, in which the letter carrier as a concept accentuates the democratic aspect of the postal services. An extracting sculpture about postal and post postal thinking, feeling and wanting.
22. The present is always the past to the future.
23. Fall 994.
Guy Bleus 42.292
The Administration Centre / Networking Archives
P.O. Box 43 / 3830 Wellen / Tel. & Fax: (+)32 12 741 415
E Mail: email@example.com
by Guy Bleus 42.292
TELECOPYING IN THE ELECTRONIC NETLAND
GUY BLEUS 42.292
//1// //THE WORLD IS A FAX VILLAGE// //AFTER A. THE AEROGRAM, TELEGRAM AND MAIL GRAM, B. THE TELEPHONE AND TELEX; THERE IS C. THE FACSIMILE OR TELEFAX// //ARTEFAX IS MORE RELATED TO TELEPHONE( ART) THAN TO MAIL( ART)// //NETWORKING OR (TELE ) COMMUNICATION ART IS THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR//
//2// //THE MYTHS OF FACSIMILE// //THE FATHER OF THE FAX IS THE SCOTTISCH PHYSICIST & CLOCKMAKER ALEXANDER BAIN (1818 1903)// //HIS INVENTION OF 1843 HAS BEEN IMPROVED BY FREDERICK COLLIER// //BLAKEWELL (1847), GIOVANNI CASELLI (1865), G. LITTLE (1867), SENLECQ DE ARDRES (1877), SHELFORD BIDWELL (1881), N.S. AMSTUTZ (1892), BUSS (1902), AR THUR KORN (1904), EDOUARD BELIN (1907), DIEKMANN (1917), AMERICAN TELEPHONE & TELE GRAPH COMPANY (1924/1925), WESTERN UNION (1924), NEC (1927), WISE (1938), XEROX CORPO RATION (& RCA) (1950/1961), THE FIRM OF RUDOLF HELL (1965), MAGNAFAX XEROX (1966), RI COH (1970), ETC.// //CIRCA 1970 APPEARS THE FIRST PROTOTYPE OF A LASERFAX// //DURING THE EIGHTIES THE FACSIMILE APPARATUS SPREADS WORLDWIDE// //IN 1990 THE FIRMS OF SHARP AND STARSIGNAL PRESENT THE FIRST PROTOTYPES OF COLORTELEFAX// //MEANWHI LE FAX HAS BECOME AN ART MEDIUM//
//3// //FACSIMILE// //N. (< L. FAC, IMPERATIVE OF FACERE, TO MAKE + SIMILE, LIKE), 1. AN EXACT LIKENESS, REPRODUCTION, OR COPY: ABBREV. FAC.; 2. THE TRANSMISSION AND RE PRODUCTION OF PRINTED MATTER BY A PROCESS INVOLVING THE USE OF RADIO BROAD CAST, MICROWAVE RELAY OR REGULAR TELPHONE LINES.; ADJ. OF OR HAVING THE NATURE OF, A FACSIMILE; V; T; ( LED, LEING), TO MAKE A FACSIMILE OF. IN FACSIMILE, AS AN EXACT LIKENESS//
//4// //COPY// //(< O. FR. < ML. COPIA, COPIOUS TRANSCRIPT < L. COPIA, ABUNDANCE)// //A CO PY HAS TO BE TRUTHFULLY BY DEFINITION// //”10. 22. 38 ASTORIA” IS MOSTLY ACCEPTED AS THE FIRST TEXT IN THE HISTORY OF THE XEROGRAPHY// //IT WAS REALIZED IN NEW YORK BY THE AMERICAN PHYSICIST CHESTER F. CARLSON (1906 1968) AND HIS ASSISTENT OTTO KOR NEI// //YET THE TRUE FATHER OF THE PHOTOCOPY SHOULD BE THE GERMAN PROFESSOR JO HANN HEINRICH SCHULZE WHO REALIZED THE VERY FIRST PHOTOCOPY IN “1727” IN ALTDORF (NURNBERG)// //THE FACT IS THAT MANY PRAISEWORTHY INVENTORS NEVER WILL SHINE IN THE CRUEL SPOTLIGHTS OF THE PHOTOCOPY HISTORY// //ANYWAY, TODAY ANYONE CAN MAKE A PHOTOCOPY AND BECOME AN ARTIST AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON// //ALTHOUGH CO PY ART & TELECOPY ART HAVE SEPERATE TECHNOLOGICAL ROOTS THEY CERTAINLY ARE ARTISTIC NETWORKING NEPHEWS//
//5// //FAX ART (ALSO CALLED “ART(E)FAX” OR TELECOPY ART) IS A LOGICAL CONSEQUENCE OF THE ECONOMICAL EVOLUTION OF THE TELEFAX MACHINE// //THERE ARE NO FAX TRANS MISSIONS IF NOBODY CAN BUY A FAX APPARATUS// //TELECOPY ART DOESN’T RESPECT THE SAME STANDARDS AS XEROGRAPHY OR COPY ART// //THE LATTER IS AN EVENT// //IT IS THE ARTIST WHO INDICATES AT A PARTICULAR MOMENT WHICH PHOTOCOPIES ARE ARTISTIC WORKS AND WHICH ARE NOT// //FAX ART NEEDS AN ELECTRONIC PROCESS// //IT IS TELE COMMUNICATION ART// //THE ARTIST CAN TRANSMIT HIS OR HER IMAGE OR WORK, BUT HE OR SHE HAS NOT THE FULL CONTROL OVER THE FACSIMILE EQUIPMENT OF THE RECEIVER// //SO THE AESTHETIC ASPECTS OF THE FAXWORK BECOME OF SECONDARY IMPORTACE IN COMPARISON WITH THE COMMUNICATIVE ASPECTS// //IN OTHER WORDS A WORK CAN ONLY BECOME FAX ART IF IT IS TRANSMITTED//
//6// //THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL FAX ART PROJECTS GO BACK TO THE EARLY EIGHTIES WITH IMPORTANT PROJECTS AS “THE WORLD IN 24 HOURS” (SEPTEMBER 27 & 28, 1982) AS A PART OF THE “ARS ELECTRONICA 1982” ORGANIZED BY ROBERT (BOB) ADRIAN// //OR “pARTiciFAX” (ELECTRONIC MAIL) (JUNE, 1984) CO ORDINATED BY PEETER SEPP, LISA SEL LYEH, MARY MISNER, MICHAEL BIDNER, A.O. WITH PARTICIPANTS FROM AFRICA, AMERICA, ASIA, AUSTRALIA, AND EUROPE// //IN THE LATE EIGHTIES FAX BECOMES AN INTEGRATED PART OF THE MAIL ART NETWORK// //IN THIS RESPECT WE CAN PERCEIVE MORE AND MORE MAIL ART PROJECTS ALSO MENTIONING A TELEFAX NUMBER, SO THE ARTISTS CAN CHOOSE THEMSELVES IF THEY WANT TO SEND THEIR WORK VIA POST OR FAX// //MANY NETWORKERS HAVE ALREADY CURATED OR ORGANIZED SPECIFIC TELEFAX OR ARTEFAX PROJECTS, E.G. ARTPOOL/GALANTAI, GUY BLEUS, PETER BRANDT, PAOLO BRUSCKY, PIERMARIO CIANI, NA TALE CUCINIELLO, KO DE JONGE, CHARLES FRANÃOIS, MAURICIO GUERRERO, JOHN HELD JR., GIUSEPPE IANNICELLI, LORA JOST, CHRISTIAN PFAFF, ETC.// //A GOOD ADVICE FOR FAX PER FORMANCES OR FAX PROJECTS IS TO HAVE PERMANENTLY MORE THAN ONE FAX LINE OPEN// //”WAITING” TO HAVE CONTACT SEEMS TO BE AN ESSENTIAL ASPECT OF TELEFAX COMMUNICATION// //BECAUSE THE LINES ARE ALWAYS BUSY//
//7// //THE TRANSMITTED OR RECEIVED TELECOPY IS ALWAYS AN ORIGINAL// //THE CONTEXT OR INTENSION OF THE TRANSMISSION CAN BE FALSE// //BUT A FAX DOES NEVER LIE// //IT IS THE INTERACTION AND RESULT OF A SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL PROCESS//
//8// //SINCE FAX ART IS ELECTRONIC MAIL ART ONE CAN ALSO TRANSMIT “INDIRECT” FAX WORKS// //X SENDS A FACSIMILE TO Y WITH THE REQUEST TO TRANSMIT IT TO Z (NOW Y CAN ADD OR ERASE SOME ASPECTS OF THE FAX BEFORE SENDING IT TO Z)// //THIS IS A GOOD AND FAST METHOD TO REALIZE CO ARTWORKS IN NO TIME//
//9// //FAXING CAN TRANSFORM THE NOTION OF TIME// //BY OBSTRUCTING THE “ORIGINAL” (NOT TRANSMITTED) TEXT OR IMAGE ONE CAN INFLUENCE THE DURATION OF THE FAX TRANSMISSION// //FOR INSTANCE, ONE CAN MANIPULATE THE TELEFAX MACHINE BY WITH DRAWING, STRETCHING, PULLING UP, PULLING FURTHER OUT (A PART OF) THE TRANSMIT TING PAGES// //BESIDES THESE VERTICAL MANOEUVRES ALSO HORIZONTAL (ZIG ZAG, SHA KING OR WAVING) ACTIONS ARE POSSIBLE// //MOREOVER THE MISUSE OF THE ELECTRONIC APPARATUS CAN BE REPEATED// //ALL THESE OPERATIONS WILL AFFECT BOTH THE PROCESS OF THE FAXTRANSMISSION AND THE TRANSMITTED IMAGE OR WORK// //THE LATTER CAN ALSO BE INFLUENCED BY INTERVENTIONS ON THE FAXPAPER: HEATING, CRUMPLING UP, THE USE OF CORROSIVE LIQUIDS, ETC.// //THESE OPERATIONS CAN GIVE WONDERFUL AND UNEX PECTED RESULTS AND CHANGE THE FAX PROCESS// //BUT OF COURSE ALL THESE ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS ARE NOT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR THE WELL BEING OF YOUR TELEFAX MACHINE//
//10// //OPPONENTS OF TELEFAX AS AN ARTISTIC MEDIUM CORRECTLY EMPHASIZE ITS SHORTCOMINGS// //FAX “IS” MORE EXPENSIVE THAN POSTAL NETWORKING// //ONE CAN’T TRANSMIT SCENTS OR 3 D OBJECTS// //FACSIMILE MEANS “SELECTION”// //ONE CAN NOT RE CEIVE SEVERAL FAXES AT THE SAME TIME (WITH ONLY ONE TELEFAX LINE)// //ETC.// //ALL THESE REMARKS AIN’T WITHOUT THRUTH// //BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT “EVERY” ARTISTIC MEDIUM HAS ITS OWN LIMITATIONS// //FOR INSTANCE, MAIL ART IS NOT THE PROPER OR ADEQUATE MEDIUM FOR A SCULPTOR// //SO, SCULPTURE IS HIGHLY SELECTIVE BECAUSE A BLOCK OF MARBLE OR BLUE STONE IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A FAX TRANSMISSION// //BUT THESE ARTFORMS ARE BEYOND COMPARISON AND DOING SO MEANS CONFUSING CONCEPTS// //SCULPTURE, FILM, MAIL ART, PHOTOGRAPHY, COMPUTER ART, FAX ART, ETC. ARE DIFFE RENT WAYS OF ARTISTIC EXPRESSION// //POSSIBILITY, FEASIBILITY, MONEY, IDIOSYNCRACY AND PREFERENCE ARE SOME OF THE APPLICABLE NOTIONS IN THIS TASTY RHUBARB//
//11// //FROM AN IDEOLOGICAL OR ETHICAL POINT OF VIEW ALL ART MEDIA MEAN “SELEC TION”, EVEN THE DEMOCRATIC MAIL ART NETWORKING// //HOW MANY MAIL ARTISTS ARE THERE IN NORTH KOREA, CAMBODIA, VIETNAM, TIBET, LIBANON, IRAN, SUDAN OR SOMA LIA?// //ART IS FREEDOM AND LUXURY// //FAX IS FUN// //IT HAS NO “ETHICAL” OR “IDEOLO GICAL” IMPLICATIONS// //EXCEPT THIS ONE: THE (ELECTRONIC) (MAIL ART) WORLD HAS BE COME A GLOBAL VILLAGE WITH MANY “BLIND SPOTS”//
//12// //TO FAX OR NOT TO FAX IS NOT THE QUESTION// //FAXING OR TELECOPYING JUST ADDS NEW ELECTRONIC PERSPECTIVES TO THE EXISTING MAIL ART ACTIVITIES// //THE CONSE QUENCES WON’T CAUSE AN INFLATION OF THE NETWORKING COMMUNICATION OR REPLACE THE PREVIOUS MAIL ART RITUALS// //BUT EXPLORING ALL THE ADDITIONAL ELECTRONIC POSSIBILITIES MEANS A NEW STIMULUS FOR THE ETERNAL NETLAND//
//GUY BLEUS / THE ADMINISTRATION CENTRE 42.292 / P.O.BOX 43 / 3830 WELLEN / BELGIUM//
//TEL/FAX: (+)32 12 74 14 15// //E MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org//