TIA 2005: Art from Ephemera (Mail Art and the Internet)
Text and Image Arts
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Fall 2007 - Spring 2009

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

2nd project

Ok so my scanner is acting up and I couldn't post a picture, but what I plan to do is make stickers with one of the post cards from my first project on it. It'll be called "The Lima Bean Aftermath" to advertise a blog with all of the postcards and responses from the first project. I'm holding off on doing this advertising though until I receive more responses. I've gotten 2 so far. The first one I got was a rubber glove on which she had traced her hand wrinkles, and inside was a bunch of folded papers with drawings and writing. The second was two scenic photographs of Colorado. I'm gonna start harassing people to send me their responses so I can get going with the second and third parts of the project.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

2nd Project: Flyers and YouTube

For our second assignment, I created 12 diferent flyers. Each flyer contained stills from videos of mine, as well as a link to direct the viewer to the videos in wich the images came from. I printed about 25 of each of the 12 different flyers. I distributed flyers to students' mailboxes (Massart, Simmons, Northeastern and Berklee). I also slipped theminto the mailboxes in my apartment building. I also plan to bring some flyers back home with me in Western Mass while I am home on Thanksgiving break. I figure I can find a few places to distribute those while I am there.

I have yet to receive much feedback from people on my youtube page (where my videos are), other than some from people I already knew. However, the counted views of my page and videos has slightly increased, since distrubting the flyers this past weekend/week. I plan on monitoring the views regularly and will definelty keep you all updated!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

more linkage

Here are links to websites and projects we looked at in class on Monday.

A nice segue way from our first two projects into our third and final:

Croatian mail art project - a PDF presentation of a poster/mail art project

Online Projects:


0100101110101101.org - net art duo

Do It With Others (DIWO): E-Mail-Art at NetBehaviour

learningtoloveyoumore.com - participatory!

noonebelongsheremorethanyou.com - Miranda July's online advertisement for her latest collection of writing

Jesse Aaron Cohen's email exhibits; this is the index but you can also request to be added to his distribution list if you want to receive the exhibits by email

Sites about or showcasing Net Art:

Karen Verschooren's online index of institution-supported net art projects from 1994 through 2007

Dia's artist's web projects

adaweb.com - an archive of web projects between 1995 and 1998, now sponsored by the Walker Art Institute

Whitney Artport: The Whitney Museum Portal to Net Art

from their website: "Rhizome supports the creation, presentation, and preservation of contemporary art that uses new technologies in significant ways." You can become a member for just $25 per year.

turbulence.org: Commissioning and Supporting Net Art for 11 Years: 1996-2007

Upgrade: a monthly gathering of new media artists, curators, and the public (curated by Turbulence.org - the Boston meeting is tonight, November 8th @ 7 PM, at MassArt)

Furtherfield.org: they have a long "about" page; if you want more info about them, go here

Monday, November 5, 2007


Hey everyone-

Thanks for your feedback on the FWD:DVD project. I'm now thinking of a way to incorporate this into an online version that's different than just forwarding it to people, posting the video, etc.

Here's some documentation:

Here's the link: http://donotbreakthischain.blogspot.com/

show & tell: round two

As you did for your first projects, share with us an image and a little blurb about your second, mass mediated projects. Also let us know how you plan to distribute your ephemera, by mail, in person, as a performance piece, etc.

The Special Investigator

To: Someone I Don't Know
Slipped Under My Office Door

Monday, October 29, 2007


Originally I intended to send everything to my boyfriend. He and I live together, so I just thought it would be a weird thing to send a letter to someone who is constantly around you, someone who you have no reason to write a letter to. But all personal correspondence is like that, there is no reason to send someone a letter when it is so much easier to call or email them. Letters were once such a banal thing, but they have become precious because they are no longer neccessary.
I did send about half of the postcards to my boyfriend, and we have yet to recieve them. Honestly, I will be shocked if we ever get them back. The mail in our building is so unreliable. But the return address is my parents house, so with some luck they'll get them if I don't. I sent the other half of the envelopes to my siblings (in Maine) just because they will enjoy them.

Godzilla postcards

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

For the first project I chose to make postcards depicting stills from monster movies (mostly characters from japanese movies such as Godzilla, mechagodzilla, mothra etc.) I began by fiding movie stills on the internet, then manipulated the images in photoshop. After mounting the printed images on sturdier paper, I used text cut from the New York Times and adhered these words or phrases to the postcards.

I chose these images because they make me feel nostalgic. As children, my siblings and I watched these films over and over again. The majority of our childhood toys were from Japan, including a great many monster figurines. I wasn't really trying to make any sort of statement or do anything experimental with my project, I just wanted to make someone laugh or smile when they recieved their monstercard in the mail. Particularly my brother and sister, because they will have a similar reaction to me when seeing the postcards.

17 years late

This is a postcard I found while visiting my parents. My uncle sent this to my dad 17 years ago. The postcard came with gifts for me, I was 3 at the time, and because of how old I was (I guess) my dad never passed the gifts on to me. It was just so strange to be recieving them now, as a 20 year old, when they were supposed to be in the hands of a 3 year old.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, October 22, 2007

Distribution of 1st Project

For the first project, I sent my envelopes out to 20 peopleI had previously lived with. All of the adresses were to people who reside in the state of Massachusetts; including Allston, Mission Hill, Brookline and the farthest, in North Adams and Williamstown, which are about 3 hours west of the Bostone area. I figured this would allow for an interesting response that has endless possibilities.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Lima Bean Aftermath

I actually just got my postcards into the mail this morning. Very exciting. I'm excited to start getting responses. My audience/recipient list is just a random compilation of people I know. At first I was strategically choosing people who I thought would give the most interesting responses, but then I decided it'd be better to let myself be surprised and also just accept whatever comes back my way as awesome.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

class blog assignment #4: distribution

For the fourth blog assignment, share with the group a little information about who you sent your first project pieces to. Don't share actual addresses, of course, but give us some idea of your thoughts about your audience.

Monday, October 15, 2007

mail from a friend

this is a letter from a good friend of mine in Austin, TX.
this piece of mail is the only personal letter i have received in over 2 years.

Community and Steve Irwin

I approached this project with several vague goals. First, to initiate contact with a select group of essentially anonymous people by personally distributing these envelopes to random individuals in various semi-public spaces. Second, not to present myself anonymously (my name and address are hand printed on the envelopes). Third, to make as few direct demands on the recipients as possible through the objects - the envelope and the photo inside it. I do not think that the project requires the interaction of the recipients in order for it to be complete. Fourth, to question an aspect of authenticity by formally blurring what is mass produced and what is handmade.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

the postal shooting star project

The aim of the Postal Shooting Star project is to spread surprise and hopefully a modicum of delight around the postal system via the distribution of glitter. I have loosely covered business window-style envelopes stamped with my fake company logo with 1 tablespoon each of glitter and addressed them to my friends in far off places in the US. I have requested that recipients take a picture of the envelope after it reaches them and email it to me, so I would have a documentation of how each envelope's journey begins and ends, and hopefully construct some sort of theory about how much glitter ran amok in post offices across the nation.

Photocopied Images on Envelopes


For the first project, I photocopie images of myself and cut the pictures up to fit the envelopes shape. The return address is handwritten in bright colors, and the address of the receiver is typed, printed and put in place with clear tape. The back of the envelope also includes cut upsof the photocopied image. The envelope is sealed shut with handmade stickers I drew and colored. Inside the envelope is the another photocopied picture of the same image used for the envelope. None of the photos used for the project show my face or body in full.These will be sent to people I have lived with.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lima bean thought

My project is pretty simple. I'm making individual collages all based on and incorporating a bunch of old photographs from the 70's and 80's which I found snooping through other people's trash on garbage week :). I'm sending them out to a list of people in my life and asking for a reponse back. I want to use these collages as a form of communication and see what kinds of nonverbal responses start happening.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

show & tell: collage and the hand-made approach

Here goes class blog assignment #3. Scan and upload an image of one postcard/envelope from your first projects. Write a short description of your project to accompany the image.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

mail art and the internet

Here are some links to information available online about Mail Art:

mailart.org - a blog dedicated to the general mail art scene and open mail art calls; also home to the Small Art Project. I love their header/banner image.

Mailartist.com - Education and resources for mailart, ATC's, postcards, envelopes, and artistamps.

The Electronic Museum of Mail Art - their slogan is "the envelope is the museum." Looks like the person in charge of this site is Chuck Welch, who wrote or edited a couple of the books on our bibliography.

Nervousness.org - an online forum for the Mail Art community

And here are links to just a few Mail Art-related projects that are at least partially distributed on-line:

BOOK: Collaborative exhibition of a sketchbook shared by four artists from both sides of the Atlantic. I like the simplicity of the site, which really just documents the project, but the project definitely depended upon the international postal system to create a small network and communication system between the four artists. It's a great example to think about the transition from art practice (the sketchbook) to the mailbox and back to the white box (check out the exhibition page).

The Envelope Collective - an ongoing collaborative experiment in art that uses the transportation of mail as a medium. This one's both a document of past submissions while also using the Internet as an interactive tool in order to get additional examples.

Mail Art Postcard Exhibition - an exhibit of mail art postcards that uses Blogger as its platform. This is another open call so that you can participate! Some really nice examples for our first project.

Coffee Mail Art Project - A mail art project with the theme of coffee. I love this one because there are so many Mail Art sites and Mail Art projects; it's nice to find one with a theme or niche. And I love coffee...

Mail Art Projects - an interactive blog-based index/overview of Mail Art projects. Very meta.

Mail Interviews by Rudd Janssen, in blog format.

The Miniature Book Library - send in 5 miniature books and get four in return. Classic Mail Art model but using the Internet to disseminate the call.

The Poetry Postcard Project - a nice way to give form to your poetry, for any of you who may be writers as well as visual artists. Nice site design.

PostSecret - this guy solicits your secrets on postcards and posts whatever he receives that week each Sunday on this blog format. There are lots of similar projects on the web but I'm pretty sure this is one of the first to solicit secrets from strangers.

SpiralMail - While I enjoy the coffee theme of the project a few links above, on the other hand, I really like the openness of this one. Sometimes you have to try really hard to get folks to interact but sometimes something so simple can inspire communication and participation. Another project that uses the blog format.

Veronica Millon's cross-stiched envelopes. These make me so happy...I'm not even completely sure why. I applaud her for taking advantage of a pre-existing format like PictureTrail but I think the project deserves a site re-design! This is a great example of creating envelopes or postcards from unusual materials.

This is just a small smattering of examples. Many of these links have links to other sites and on-line projects and a search for Mail Art will give you tons of examples to look at.

Monday, September 24, 2007

love, mom.

i found this in my backyard when i moved in.

Mail Experiment

Found this website via StumbleUpon.com, thought it was relivant to our class:


At least the girlfriend got the letter!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007


This is not required reading, but here are some additional resources about and images of artists' stamps, if you're interested and/or looking for inspiration:

Robert Watts: The Complete Postage Stamp Sheets, 1961-1986, by John Held Jr.

Postal Modernism: Artists' Stamps and Stamp Images, by Peter Frank

Kunstterrorist Organisation - click on "see our stamp collection" for some interesting, politically-charged examples

an online gallery of artists' stamps

another online collection


This is the website we'll be using to have our custom postage stamps printed. The nice thing about Zazzle is they have three different sizes to choose from and many different postage denominations. So you can create a fairly large, 2 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch $.26 stamp for your postcards, for example. And the turn-around time is just 48 hours.

Take a few minutes to check out the site and create an account before we look at examples and do demos on Monday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This book belongs to...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There were more pages to this but I've only posted these 3

Monday, September 17, 2007

we are the institute

we live off-campus in a house that has constantly changed residents b/c it is rented out to college students mostly. as a result, we get a lot of mail intended for people who no longer live here.

however, though we just assume most of these previous tenants were college students like us, sometimes we get things that make us wonder what went on here in the past.

class blog assignment #2

This week, pay particular attention to the mail you receive. Scan an item, but keep in mind that you're putting this material in a public space. If you don't want your home address broadcasted to the World Wide Web, mark it out first. Or post the back of something. Or the front of a postcard. What's interesting about this is that we don't receive a lot of interesting mail anymore. But think about the relationship between junk mail and spam. Once you start paying attention, you'll probably find something.

Library Post-it

I work at the school library and over the years I have worked there, I have come across many a post-it scrawled with call numbers, titles, etc.

this is just one of the many found around the circ desk.

Hammer Block

front, back

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

stamps galore

this is the top i cut off of a package that my housemate's father sent me this summer. exact postage in stamps! and the complete chinese zodiac, too.

Monday, September 10, 2007


the 1st class blog assignment

Upload an image of ephemera, however you define that, personal or found. Save your comments for each other's posts. The idea here is to create a virtual setting similar to coming across a mysterious scrap of paper on the floor. What does that piece of paper tell you about itself? Is there any clue to a narrative attached to it? Does it seem like it might be a personal memory trigger for the person who posted it? Does it trigger memories of your own? How does the tangible translate to the digital/virtual?