thoughts on Mail Art

Mail art and the network known as Fluxus is certainly an interesting artistic experiment because there are some parallels that can be drawn to society today. Mostly, I think mail art has died off as a result of email and the widespread adoption of the internet. The internet is a much more public and accessible form of messaging and in some ways even more expressive. The one thing the internet lacks is tangibility. The process of making mail art and then going through the process of shipping is a highly physical activity compared to sending mail on a computer. You have to take into account size, weight, material. All of these things vary the price of the item you send. Also, mail art is an inherently private act. When you send a piece of mail it is addressed to a very specific individual. Email is also private, but it is a very different medium. email is virtually limitless but still confined to the digital realm – or is it? Email can trigger actions in the physical world, but for the most part the art would would just be consumed by ones inbox. While i’m sure people have sent email art, I think tumblr and Instagram are the modern version of mail art today. They are much more inclusive platforms which provide the platform, or library, for many individuals to share their work with others.

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