Address Books

At the end of this year I realized that I was running out of room in my current mail-art book. This book keeps all of the addresses for my correspondence. It also keeps a tally of how many pieces I send each year and how much I have received. Beside each person’s name that I correspond with I have the amount of work they’ve sent me and the amount I’ve sent them. I try and keep this as accurate as possible to ensure that I don’t cheat anyone. I try and stay equal with each person I send to, don’t want too much of a disparity. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen behind with some folks, those that are just too prolific. I’m sure that I miss something every once in a while.

I’m now starting on my third mail-art book. The first book I decommissioned about three years ago. Through the first two I have other types of lists. I have a world list where I tried to mark off the countries I’ve sent to, I have since abandoned that effort. I’ve also had lists for zines as well as CD’s and even as somewhat comprehensive list to mail-art shows I’ve sent to. Not going to try and keep this up with the new book, too much work, and it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

When I was typing up the new master address list to go in the new book, I omitted a lot of names. I kept addresses of people that I consistently send to, people that respond, and folks that I find truly inspiring. In other words, I was looking to trim the fat a bit, too many people to send to causes me a bit of anxiety. Sure I want to send to folks I’ve never talked with, but over a period of a few years you send a lot to these people and never get anything back. So, I trimmed the list down to 98 names. The book must have had at least three times that amount in it; lots were folks that stopped sending or some that had passed on. Two folks that I’ve mailed things to since the very beginning have died within the last year and another I had just started to correspond with died.

So the new book is nice and sleek, awaiting my marks and impromptu lists (I’m sure I’ll start new ones up) and of course, collages. So many stickers, so many stickers.

Looking over the list, I noticed that most of my correspondence and I have gone back and forth at least ten times, many others around the twenty time mark. There’s definitely a disparity between my domestic correspondence and my international ones. The price of a postcard rises by almost sixty cents once it goes over the border. I need to try and rectify this moving forward. The person I’ve sent the most to is Richard Canard. He was the third person I ever corresponded with! I think I’m going to send out awards for the top three. Either way, here is gold, silver, and bronze.

First Place - Richard Canard – 82 – IL-USA

Second Place - K.S. Chambers – 37- CA-USA

Third Place - Amy Irwen – 35 – MN –USA


Carmela said…
Jon--I'm a firm believer in documenting mail art that I receive and send out. I have a paper list, and a digital list of mail art calls to which I have responded. So please, don't give up on keeping some sort of list of your participation in the art scene. What you have collected may someday be part of an important archive and your lists may help some researcher.
Jennifer said…
I made my first mail art less than 6 months ago but pretty soon decided I needed to log all and everything and already I'm struggling to keep on top of 'answering' all the mail! So your blog post has been a relevant treat to read.