As an artist, I like to work in series. When I prepare mail art, I prepare envelopes in advance. Analogous to the recycling of materials such as paper, I would also like to recombine and reuse stickers and material that have been sent to me for collages. In addition, newspaper clippings, photographs and other suitable material for collages accumulate in everyday life. The aim of the design of the envelopes is also to tell stories with the recombination on the envelopes and to give small hints about what is currently happening in the CASAdelDRAGON or what is related to the history connected with this place where most of these Mail Art envelopes were produced.
(1) In 2008, CASAdelDRAGON and the artists from the EL-DRAC network received an invitation to Cologne to exhibit in the atrium. This first major exhibition initiated a series of international exhibitions by the network. Selected guests were invited to the Cologne Rocket Club, a cabaret temple in Cologne’s Severins district. For decoration, 100 selected photos from the first years of the EL-DRAC network and the CASAdelDRAGON were hung on clothespins next to the stage. These photographs then rested in the archive for 15 years. In July 2023 some were then made into collages and others – in parts – found their way into some envelopes for mail art.
(2) The strategy of some mail art artists is to duplicate material and add it to their own mail art. This invites recipients to use this material in their collages. Here I accepted Coco Muchmore’s invitation and put her stickers on envelopes. In this case, a socio-political message is conveyed, which is rather rare in contemporary mail art from the North-West (Europe, North America).
(3) Many envelopes have been made at CASAdelDRAGON in Eastern Spain. The artists’ residency with gallery and their art camp (a finca directly adjacent to the village of Cervera del Maestre) has been the starting point for many social sculpture initiatives. If the envelope bears this stamp, it was actually made and filled in this magical place.
(4) During the reconstruction phase of the ruins of the CASAdelDRAGON, sayings were written on the old plaster in the stairwell. Each saying became a “running gag” in one of the Bua phases and was often and happily repeated. This tradition continued even after the building was completed. Time and time again, temporary people live together in a situation similar to a flat-sharing community. And again and again there are aphorisms or running gags. This comes from Dörte from Deutschaldn, who had worked in geriatric care for many years. The saying came up again and again when someone couldn’t remember, had moved or expressed themselves clumsily, or when someone repeated themselves in their speech or faltered because no more words came to mind. This saying also reminds of the bitter time in the retirement homes in the years after 2019.
(5) FLUXUS is a broad field in art and art history. Various sources claim the sovereignty of interpretation. That shouldn’t be an issue here. Rather, Spempel, one of several with different subtitles, is intended to remind of this art form and, in a time of constant reinterpretation of words, to point out the sometimes absurd reversal of meaning.
(6) At a time when some are longing for a one-world government, it is somewhat reassuring to remember geography. Geography is destiny. In this sense, the idea of a Free Republic of Eurasia is at least a contemporary artistic alternative. What began with the idea of an artist stamp was to expand into a social art project. Other creative people are now invited to participate in an edition of these stamps with their own motifs.
(7) There are a few very powerful multipliers on the move in Mail Art. They always manage to generate attention in the ranks of mail art artists and beyond. The Sticker Dude from America is one of them. And it’s always a pleasure to be able to use your stickers in such collages.
(8) In the run-up to the release of the first booklets within the ARTSURPRISE project, there were a number of demonstration copies and test prints. This is a piece from one of those first probes in the “AT the Art Museum” series by S.Cape.
(9) There are also other artists like Joey Patrickt from Oakland who provide stickers or cutouts for re-use in Mail Art colleges. I love this humor, after the paperless office, the paperless world, prophecies are such a thing, especially when they concern the future.
(10) Sometimes very personal artefacts are included. Here it is a business card of a gourmet restaurant in Berlin. The combination of beans and chocolate was amazing. Fine cuisine is part of fine art.
(11) Sometimes the artists also convey special messages in their art. Even then, distribution in paper form for collages is a good idea. I didn’t know there was a month of the chair. Anyone who knows more about this should get in touch.
(13) In autumn 2022 I invited artists from the IUOMA network to wish for a Christmas present in the form of a stamp. I made and sent an individual stamp to the first 11. Now there are artists on all continents who mark their Mail Art Post with this exclusive seal. The DADA COW 2023 will certainly be found on more than 2000 letters by the end of the year and will thus become part of the history of mail art as a whole.