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
Art from Ephemera (Mail Art and the Internet) was a multi-media studio class where students explored the distribution of images and text through network systems, creating art from ephemera in the form of hand-made mail art, as mass-produced printed material, and in digital format as e-mail art and blogs. Students were introduced to strategies of visual communication traditionally associated with Dada, Fluxus, and Mail Art movements, initially looking at a range of artists from Marcel Duchamp to Henrik Drescher. Our investigation each semester progressed towards more recent approaches to these strategies that utilize digital technology and the Internet, both as a broadcast medium (one to many), as well as a system that enables new forms of emergent content (many to many). In this way, students considered the medium of the Internet from both aesthetic and conceptual perspectives. Students had the opportunity to develop their personal voice through several short individual assignments, paying particular attention to the interface of art and technology, as well as contemporary theory around access, public and social spaces, interaction, audience, and community during class critiques, slide lectures, readings, films, and special presentations.