I’ve noticed something about my usual mail-art routine. The amount of my mail-art clerical work is insane. Often I feel like I spend as much time documenting things than I do actually creating, which is a problem. The creating is way more rewarding. When I first started making mail-art I probably made 80 percent of the time and did about 20 percent clerical work. Let me back up, when I mean clerical work I mean basic documentation, scanning, and organizing of my many projects. Now that number is closer to 50/50.
The shift in this has come from being involved in more and more projects and corresponding with more people. At this exact point, I have about three projects going. I have the 9 x 9 blocks, the Trump project (slowly going away), and the marriage Add and Passes. While it doesn’t seem like those would take up a lot of time, they kind of do. Not only did I design the layout for the images, but I printed them, advertised that the projects existed over and over to willing participants, packaged the images, mailed them, but I scanned all of them and then posted the images when they came back to me. If people are willing to participate I feel inclined to show their work to others, just part of the deal.
If they’re going to send me something I feel like I have to send them something back and make sure I don’t cheat them. This means that I take diligent notes on how much each mail-artist has sent me and how many I’ve sent them in return. Mostly I have a one in and one out relationship with most of my correspondence, although they’re a couple I need to do a little catching up with. Folks outside of the US (because of price) tend to see longer lag times. Thinking about all of this means I take time away from creating to the simple process of documenting, filing, and scanning. Although it came be time consuming, I think it’s worth it to share as much as I can and try and find as many new correspondents as I can,