Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Failed 2005 Mail Art Mission

The first time I ever heard about mail-art was from the movie How to Draw a Bunny. I was so excited that I took to the internet to find out more. It is there that I discovered IUOMA, the first time. This was 2005. I distinctly remember asking folks if they wanted to share creations through the mail with me. A couple of folks said yes. I don’t think I ever sent anything to my friends. In my hastiness, I did set up an account on IUOMA and asked folks if they wanted to share with me. I got two things in the mail. I didn’t send them anything.
Not getting things back from people is going to happen. It happens a lot. If you send out blankly to strangers there’s not a great chance you’re going to get things back. When I do one on one collaborations I expect about half of them to come back. When I do add and passes I’m thrilled if any of them come home. When I send things blindly to folks I get a response about half of the time. In order to keep all of this straight I keep meticulous notes about what I’ve sent and who has sent to me. I try and keep a fair balance with things. I do this so as not to “sin” when it comes with the back and forth. I try and be a “generous mailer”
This wasn’t always the case. The two cards that I have shared here are the ones I received during that first flirtation with mail-art. I found them when I was looking for random ephemera in one of my many plastic boxes. I tend to keep a lot more things than I should.
Thankfully the names on the cards aren’t recognizable to me, they’re not people that I have sent things to in the interim time. Maybe they were making things for a longtime and stopped once I got going for real? Maybe these were the only two cards they ever sent? I know nothing about them.
I’d like to publically apologize for not sending anything back. You fine folks made something for me and I didn’t return the favor. I’m publically announcing over ten years after the card came to me how grateful I am. I wasn’t committed then, you see. It took a few more years before I dove into the deep end of mail-art. But that’s where I live now; I hang out in the deep end all the time. Anyway, thank you for my first specimens of the genre.

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