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.

mail-interview with Jenny de Groot – Netherlands

THE MAIL-INTERVIEW WITH JENNY DE GROOT

jenny_de_groot

Started on: 31-3-1995

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: 5-4-1995

JdG: The first time I came across mail art was in 1983, when I was
studying photography and design at AKI (Academy for Arts and
Industry). One of my teachers was Bart Boumans, who at the time was
very active in the mail art circuit. He gave me a list of addresses in
Japan: I was doing some ‘research’ on Japanese calligraphy, and I
needed the addresses for information. Among those who replied were
people like Shozo Shimamoto and Ryosuke Cohen and voila: there it all
began….

RJ : What do you remember about the first contacts with mail artists?

Reply on : 12-4-1995

JdG: Do you mean contacts through the mail or in person? Anyway, on
Bart Boumans’ address-list was also Byron Black, who was then living in
Bangkok, Thailand. He wrote to tell me he was not preoccupied with
calligraphy at all so he could not provide me with information on that
subject, but he would like to exchange mail just the same. The first
audio-cassette came from him, and in 1984 he sent me a video tape that
I still show anyone who wants to see it. Until today I never met him in
person, although I would love to.

The first mail artists I DID meet in person was Barry Edgar Pilcher….
who responded to my first-project-ever. In 1987 my daughter Esther and
I went to see him and his family in their beautiful green valley in Wales.
This meeting was an experience I will remember and cherish for the rest
of my life.

RJ : Well, I meant the contacts through mail, but it is interesting that
you start talking about meeting mail-artists in person. How important is
meeting compared to writing to a mail artist?

Reply on : 28-4-1995

JdG: I am not sure if it is really important, but I think it is at least very
exciting to meet a mail artist in person, it always turns out to be a quite
different event than you expected it to be. Before you meet someone in
person you have a certain idea of that man or woman: you only know
him or her through the mail: from letters, photographs, sometimes you
know a voice from audio tapes. After a ‘close encounter of the personal
kind’ you find the image you have of that person is totally different
from ‘the real thing’, and the mail you exchange with that person
usually changes: it might get more personal, or it might even stop (after
I met Pat Fish in april 1993 – or was it 1992 – I never heard from her
again….)

RJ : Again you mention the audio tape. Because we already exchanged
lots of audio-cassettes I know that you like this medium. What is so
special about the audio tape that makes you use it?

Reply on : 2-5-1995

JdG: Audio-tapes can bring an extra dimension into the act of
exchanging mail. To hear someone’s voice on tape is one thing, but it is
also very good to hear all the different sound collages that people
make, sounds from the place they live in, pieces of radio-programs,
poetry, music: Barry Pilcher is a musician, and since we first started to
exchange tapes he has sent me lots of exciting examples of his own work
and the work of musicians he admires.

During the performance I did with Jos

mail-interview stucture on this website

One of the goals of this new website is to make the mail-interviews accesible for you. I place them in the blog, but also build a menu-structure so you can easily find any individual interview with just clicking on it.

The interviews are sorted in alphabetic order, and when in the Alphabet there are more names, a second pop-up menu will appear.

The first 27 mail-interviews are online now. Slowly the rest will follow until the whole set is online. With the individual mail-interview I will also include visuals when available.

When you click on the main menu choice MAIL-INTERVIEWs you will go straight to the latest published mail-interview.

mail-interview with Henning Mittendorf – Germany

This interview was done in 1995 by Ruud Janssen. It is possible to spread this information to others, but for publications you will have to get permission from TAM and the interviewed person! Enjoy reading this interview.

Henning
THE MAIL-INTERVIEW WITH HENNING MITTENDORF

Started on: 24-01-1995

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: 2-2-1995 (I)

HM: After having studied and practiced fine arts since 1959 (with interruptions), participated in shows and after having had some personal exhibitions since 1970, I decided to enter the network of mail art, i.e to become a conscious – networker in 1980.

During this year I made holidays for four weeks in the months of July and August together with my wife Angela and our two daughters in the Atelier Artistique International de S

mail-interview with H.R. Fricker – Switzerland

THE MAIL-INTERVIEW WITH H.R. FRICKER. 10

Started on: 17-11-1994

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: 26-11-1994

HR : July 16th 1981 I received the magazine “Sphinx No. 12/13 1981” from Thierry Tillier, Charleroi, Belgium. I found Thierry’s address (very small printed and the term “mail-art” above it) in the magazine “Gepein” from west-Berlin, which Felix K

mail-interview with Guy Bleus – Belgium

THE MAIL-INTERVIEW WITH Guy Bleus.

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3

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//

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//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

mail-interview with Edgardo-Antonio Vigo – Argentina

THE MAIL-INTERVIEW
WITH EDGARDO – ANTONIO VIGO
(1923-1997)

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TAM-PUBLICATIONS
TAM-980184
INTRODUCTION

After a long correspondence with Edgardo Antonio Vigo since 1983 it was only
natural to invite him in June 1995 for my mail-interview. The interview was almost
finished, and on August 28th 1997 I sent him the last question. Later I found out he
had died on November 4th 1997 , after suffering from a long painful desease.
During the interview there were always two letters we exchanged. One for the
interview , and one personal letter. This is how more interviews go , the personal
letters besides the ‘public’ interview questions.

Because I want to show with the booklet-version what kind of artists I am
interviewing I normally include illustrations of artifacts that came to me during the
interview-process. For Vigo’s interview I waited some time before I could bring
myself to the task of proof-reading the texts and do the layout for the booklet-
version. It isn’t easy loosing a friend and then publish the last words you received
from him. The online-version will contain the text of the interview – as usual – and will
be put online with the help of Jas W. Felter (Canada). For the booklet-version I have
decided to include both the answers and questions as well as the personal
correspondence. This will show you obviously what kind of man Vigo was , and how
these last years of his life went.

Besides the interview & the personal correspondence during it the booklet will
contain some appendixes as well. A text written by Clemente Padin (translated into
English for you and avalable online already , a letter from Ana Maria Gualtiera (she
has the task as ‘holder’ of the collection of Vigo’s work & mail-art and wants to
exhibit the collection in Argentina. She can be reached at the same P.O. Box that
Vigo used , and she works for the ‘Fundaci