honoriartist (honoriartist) wrote,

Blast from the past

This week I'm researching the effects of the Internet on the Mail Art Network, and of course, this community is one of those effects. I've been looking at work and words by the mail artists who first started using computers and the Internet in the 1980s and early 1990s and it is invigorating to read their idealized views of the Net prior to its commercialization.

Here are a few of my favorites:
Charles Francois
"It's perhaps become a banality to say that informatics history is the accelerated history of car and plane transportation, but it's never unuseful to repeat it. The means actually exist to make soon a reality the big "pulsating spiritual sculpture" which will probably be one of the hot questions for art historians in the next century. Then Mail Art will find its right place in the Art of this century." -- From Francois, Charles, 1989, Networking by using the computer. From Two Letters to H.R. Fricker: Computer mail art from Charles Francois. R.A.T. Editions, 1991

Guy Bleus
The mailman is a communicative anachronism, but on the other hand he makes that same transfer of in-formation visible. He is an essential trace within communicative reality. The letter carrier is not the owner of the information. But he is more than a symbol or an icon, moving on the level of language, in the language play between word and meaning. The mailman is a referent on the level of reality, a human of flesh and blood. It is of course nostalgic to presume that the 21st century will cherish the same totem animals as the 20th. Electro-nics are the guillotine of the mail (as a system of information). Postcards, post marks and stamps are the me-morabilia of administrative rituals from a recent past.

CrackerJack Kid
I wanted to take mail art out of the mailbox and into the ethereal world of the internet. I felt this to be spiritually akin to Robert Filliou's meaning of an "eternal network" It seemed like a simple, natural progression from snail mail to the internet, but many mail artists were unwilling to let go of the materialistic obsession with the handmade object...

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