Social art as its best is a way to empower the people. In this project i will highlight all this creative foundation below the actual heroes in art with their works shown in the museums all over the place. This top on an iceberg is in the view, but the foundation not so much.
Check Updates for new information about this project while re-visiting this side.
In 2022 the project was started slowly by preparing some first rubber stamps, preparing some envelopes and sending them out to artist friends. Later I used another of my social art projects to promote it further. As part of an MUARCO exhibition i invited guests in an opening in a gallery space to work on the stamps. Also i started to use the IUOMA network to find more artists to join the project.
Now i am happy to collect first Add&Returns from the Mail Art scene and to prepare for the next step. From the beginning of 1st of September 2023 we will go for the target directly.
An this is the story behind.
At the end of the last century, a young German, then a student of fine arts, sent a drawing to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The drawing was simple, on an A4 sheet, spontaneous and direct. In the cover letter, the student offered his drawing to the museum as a document of contemporary history, for the archive. It should be a contribution to and evidence of current contemporary art in Europe and as such it should find its place in the Museum of Modern Art collections. The people in charge of the museum responded very kindly and sent the artwork back. Unfortunately, their archive does not allow for storage. But the young contemporary artist was wished all the best on his creative path. The drawing, the artist’s letter, the reply from the museums management… it’s all together in a showcase at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Nice in France.
The artist’s name is Josef Beuys.
Now I am – as a the German-Spanish contemporary artist – setting out again and sending a work of art to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this time a world-wide social sculpture and you’re in!
By using social media and extensively Mail Art i collected already hundreds of creative manipulations and interventions of these handmade rubber stamp pieces. With the beginning of September 2023 i will target the museum directly. Affiliated galleries that support me will invite their visitors to paint, write, draw, glue collages directly onto the small cards or to change the stamp imprints in some other creative way. The results are collected on the spot and sent directly to the museum.
(ARTIST) If you want to join this project as an creative person, just write me a Mail, include your postal address and i manage to send you some stamps to work on. Before 1st of September you will send them back to me, after 1st of September i will provide you with the contact details and you can send your work directly to the museum.
(GALLERY OWNER) If you want to join this project as a gallery (before 1st of December 2023) please write me a mail and include a possible date, on which you could offer your guests as part of an art event to join this project by working on the stamps “in sitiu”. In this case i will provide you with a bunch of stamps and contact details to send the outcome directly to the museum.
(CURATOR) If you like this social art project and you like the idea to publish the outcome in the future or to manage some research about its deep anchor in these times, feel free to write me a Mail and introduce me to your idea.
Anyway here you will find further documentation and links in the future. For now just some…
CASAdelDRAGON – the artist residence where this project idea – like many of them – was born
My profil on the International Union of Mail Art artists IUOMA
2023-09-07 | The German artist Rolf Habel joined the project with a whole collection of works. Habel is working in the field of social sculpturing since many years.
He is one of the first artists to address the discussion about gender in his contribution.
2023-09-06 | Communication in times of troubles – an overview on what we did so far in reaching artists and other creatives in the world
At the end of summer 2023, many art production projects will come together in CASAdelDRAGON. The frequency of communication is high. This was foreseeable in this project. At this point I would like to report on how we proceeded and what we have done and when so far.
Most of the contacts who were actively contacted come from the IUOMA network. After a year of use, around 5% can be identified as active users. Another 5% appear to use the network sometimes or rarely. A very small minority, perhaps 5% of that 5%, use the platform intensively. These users start projects themselves and invite other artists to discuss and exchange ideas, even beyond mail art. This very small group is easy to reach. It has a high natural frequency of using digital media. This group also selects very quickly and easily identifies the projects that seem interesting to them. Questions are targeted, precise, and usually very helpful in uncovering and correcting your own weaknesses in communication.
As a result, some colleagues were contacted directly via the IUOMA network. A focus was placed on countries with a low proportion of registered mail art artists. The largest country was Brazil. Another filter was new registrations and another “friends in the IUOMA network” in the period up to October 2023. The “birthday” filter was added in September.
All of these filters are evaluated; in total, they should result in a randomized use because the aim of the Social-Dada project is to show the diversity of creativity in the world using a simple example: what do many creative people do with a very simple, simple and inexpensive template to ship. The feedback is phenomenal. Some have already been described and shown here. We receive new works from artists almost every day. Some also announce this via email.
No matter how you evaluate the low response rate, the artists who request material are so numerous that I’m reaching my limits when it comes to the financial side. For this mail art project alone I calculate over 250 euros in postage costs per month. And the project will run for another 3 months.
Since September 1st, sets of multipliers have been sent out. These are colleagues who hold their own event at one location and invite other people to take part in the project. This optimizes the postage costs somewhat because, in the best case scenario, 10-20 mailings are generated to moma from one mailing. So far, a gallery in Kansas (thanks to Coco!) and a gallery in Valencia have confirmed. Another gallery in Germany will also be holding an event soon.
This will also be reported here later.
It is wrong to draw a conclusion in the middle of the action. But you can see a trend. The saturation of people through social media overload probably means that personal contacts, real conversations at events and exhibitions, real physical encounters, make the greatest contribution to a) inviting more creative people to this project and b) to more mail art that will reach the moma.
The – probably artificially caused – scarcity of direct social contact opportunities in a society has consequences. So I ask myself how such a project can be realized if the transmission of a depeche (an old word well chosen) far exceeds the hourly wage of a worker.
Everyone who took part and those who are still taking part are invited to formulate their own thoughts about this project. Because these thoughts are also a reflection of social sculpture, and therefore part of this social art project. I look forward to your contribution to this!
2023-09-05 | We are happy to announce the first gathering / happening in Germany. The evnt take place in the gallery WORDSPEICHER in Quedlinburg on 2023-09-08 at 6pm (PDF).
2023-09-01 | KOSMO VINYL was sent in one of the first envelopes to reach the MoMA in New York. The artist lives and works in New York.
The “hot” phase of the project has now begun. So far, over a hundred artists from all over the world have requested material and many will be sending their selected masterpiece directly to the museum in the next few days. Creative people can still join in. I need a postal address. One email is enough.
The project will run until December 31, 2023. After that, no new “blanks” will be put into circulation.
2023-08-24 | After a little road trip in Europe I returned to the CASAdelDRAGON. The mailbox was full! Many submissions from all over the world to the project. I am happy about the participation of some long-time active mail art artists and also about contributions from completely unknown new colleagues.
M. Goetz’s ingenious solution to place his cloth drawings on the back (sik!) of the stamp imprints is simply GENIUS. I am very happy about the extraordinarily great creativity to explore the limits of such a project. Along with this, the idea of appropriately documenting these special technical and graphic solutions also matured. This will keep some art historians busy.
2023-08-14 | I write a mail to 33 danish mail artists and the first positive reply i got from Marina Salmaso. For the record. she is the first from Denmark joining the project!
2023-08-10 | After a Zoom-Chat with Coco i am happy to announce that she will host an event in a US based gallery in Kansas on 03.09.2023 (more information soon) to invite other mail artists to join the project directly.
2023-08-03 | i wrote a mail to 60 New York based mail artists and invited them to join the project and to join a zoom meeting (ext. link to the zoom meeting, 10.Aug. 2023 03:00 PM MEZ Amsterdam, Berlin, Rom, Stockholm, Wien). If you are a mail artist and based in New York or nearby you could join this meeting. We will talk about a kind of gathering / happening / performance in front of MoMA on 30.08.2023 ! Any idea for such an event are highly welcome!
2023-07-25 | i was sending out the first 15 envelopes with material to target MoMA directly. Hopefully all participants understand the importance of synchronicity and send their work after 01. of September. I used also IUOMA network to find creatives and received around 3% of positive response (5 out of 165 listed German mail artists joined this project).
2023-07-23 | The great American mail artist sticker dude promised to make a visit at MoMA on 30. of August in NEW YORK. Now we try to figure out how we could use this date to give more power to the project.
Please re-visit this page in a while for new updates.