Postcard Project (2006)

500 postcards are being, or have been, mailed to people that are somehow related to the fine arts community.

The text on the postcard reads: “This postcard is part of a work of art. Please tell me if you got it.” It then lists the artist’s physical address and email address and further indicates that “responses will be posted on noprogram.org.”

The website is comprised of an image of the postcard, a brief explanation of the project and a list of recipients including the date the card was mailed, name, occupation and, if one was sent, a response.

The postcard project was conceived in the spirit of the Fluxus movement, incorporating such ideas as social/political activism, chance, playfulness and the unity of art and life. It directly draws from and incorporates many of the long-established themes of mail art including, like that of the earliest works, and to a ...

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500 postcards are being, or have been, mailed to people that are somehow related to the fine arts community.

The text on the postcard reads: “This postcard is part of a work of art. Please tell me if you got it.” It then lists the artist’s physical address and email address and further indicates that “responses will be posted on noprogram.org.”

The website is comprised of an image of the postcard, a brief explanation of the project and a list of recipients including the date the card was mailed, name, occupation and, if one was sent, a response.

The postcard project was conceived in the spirit of the Fluxus movement, incorporating such ideas as social/political activism, chance, playfulness and the unity of art and life. It directly draws from and incorporates many of the long-established themes of mail art including, like that of the earliest works, and to a lesser degree contemporary works of Internet art, the deliberate positioning of art outside of the rigid art/museum/gallery system.

Those within this system, however, who will be/were unknowingly targeted by the artist to receive the postcard, are the ones who are, or will be, providing the content of the project, that of access (exclusivity), hierarchy (importance) and commercialization of art. Out of the 500 to whom the postcard is addressed, who will actually receive it, who will choose to reply and in what fashion? An analysis will follow.

The project does find its home within, and is certainly an exploitation of, the commercial space(s) of the internet and direct mail advertisement. The postcard is glossy, obviously professional printed and will undoubtedly arrive with several unsolicited offers for credit or other forms of "junk mail." The webpage is clean, inspired by the design of Google, and with the utilization of bookmarks or tabs, could simply be one click away from sites such as Ebay or Amazon.

Lastly, while the public exhibition of mail art has occurred numerous times over its comparably brief history, the postcard project deliberately takes that which is by nature private, mail and email correspondence, a physical address, and makes it intimately available to a mass public, a community of individual users.

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