[-empyre-] relational poetry and semiotics

You wrote:
"How are you finding net/web.art in comparison to mail art?"

My dear Jim,

Accidentally I have some memorandums on the topic that you ask me. I
prepared them in order to respond to my dear friend's FAGAGAGA comment. If
you permit me it I send you them so that you pass it to the net of our
Mail Art and Web Art

                                                            "Reading the
commendations of nowadays to the Internet and investigating the individual
websites, we remembered that the mailartists has been making the same
activity 10, 20 and, sometimes, from 30 years ago. The decentralization of
the art and the communication to distance from the art centers of the world,
in charge of the artist-s-mail, they happened many before the World Wide

Fagagaga, 15 of Nov.´99, personal letter to me

The things don't happen scatteredly, all are linked. The art in the Net of
nowadays is not casual and it is originated, certainly, in Mail Art. Who
have been the objectives of the art mail from its beginnings in the first
experiences of Ray Johnson of half-filled of the 60s, but the communication
and the interation? Ray sent unconcluded works to his friends so that they
ended them. Born from that original project, nowadays the Mail Art, already
at the end of century, preserve with great difficulty its force and its
impulse in spite of the changes caused by the scientific and technological
advances and the foregone absorption of the market. It is true that so much
years of validity have weakened that
remotion of values and that today a growing institutionalization, absorption
and banalitization are attended, on the part of the stablisment, of the
principles that consecrated to the communication like only representative of
our art, above the inconstant and whimsical artistic fashions, the more than
the times imposed by the market of the art. The decentralization of the art
is an implicit phenomenon in the art mail because a current of artistic
specific expression centralized in an is not "ism" (like Surrealism or
Abstraccionism, etc.) but of an artistic form that admits any half or
support and any aesthetic well-known current and by knowing:  "The Eternal
Network" of Robert Filliou, the utopian project, perhaps unreachable, of the
permanent communication of all through all the available means.

Even we suffer the confusion or false contradiction betwen art and
communication. The artistic product is, above all, a product of
communication and therefore part inseparable of the social production. On
the other hand, the same as the rest of the products that the man creates,
is constituted in aiding of that same production (upon favoring or hinder
its processes). In some contexts its nature "artistic" will prevail
(museums, galleries, classes, etc.). In another one its nature of instrument
of communication will prevail. But, both facets are inseparable. In this
particular form of art (since it is a symbolic form of expressing our
reality) prevails the value of use above the merely mercantile or of change.
The components of relationship of communication (or fatics)  prevail and
predispose to the talkative act.

There is, perhaps, the reasons of its persistense like current of artistic
expression: it don't take place for the market of the art, for which it
isn´t sold neither there are juries that select the works, neither limits in
relation to the techniques employees neither in relation to the currents of
ideological expression or aesthetics, not refund, etc. Neither interests the
artistic, either literary gender, plastic, musical, even the own presence of
mail-artist could be considered as talkative act (like Turism Art, derived
of the Mail Art), etc. Lastly, neither there is categories neither elites,
neither upper-class neither beginners, neither leaders neither submissive,
neither obligations of no nature. One could enter and leave from the nets of
communication without no problem. However, fruit of the progressive
merchandising of the Mail Art is begun already to appear groups of
artist-s-mail that, with the pretext of conserving and improve the aesthetic
levels and of assuring the edition of good catalogs, they are organizing
exhibitions for invitation sponsoreds for Galleries and Institutions applied
to the market of the art.

Would  Networking (name that adopts the Mail Art upon adding another means
of communication to distance like fax and electronic mail), be pointing out
the new road that will travel the art of the 2000 in order to resume its
primary function of communication to the service of the community, before
the money and the merchandising come to corrupt those tacit mechanisms?
Nowadays, of face to the 2000, many critics are surprised  of the character
masive and interactive of the art that is generated in the Wegsites, without
knowing that those nets and those characteristics already existed from ends
of the 60s., in the artistic work of those pioneers that saw in the
communication to distance or Mail Art the means for which diffuse their
ideals of understanding between all in a climate of respect, happiness and
worthy life. Who don't remember those booklets or postcards that we arrived
with the application that you will add something and pass to other artists
in the net (the "add and pass on") or those postcards to which should we
make give the turn to the world through the mail conserving the postals
stamps and the postmark? Or the incomplete leaves of stamps of apocryphal
mail that we should complete? Or the accusations against the violation of
the human rights and against the outrage of the dictatorships?  And the
exhibitions in pro of the freedom of political prisoners (like, for example,
Mandela in the 70s.) or for the right to the sovereignty enslaved of the
countries (like, for example, Cuba and Panama), etc.? And many, many other
projects. In fact the interactivity and the communication are the
foundations that sustain the nets of Mail Art. And those basic
characteristics have been transmitted the Networking and to the Art in the

Fraternal greetings,

----- Mensaje original -----
De: "Jim Andrews" <jim@vispo.com>
Para: <empyre@lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
Enviado: Jueves, 31 de Octubre de 2002 02:55 a.m.
Asunto: RE: [-empyre-] re: Jorge Luiz Antonio, Jim Andrews - relational
poetry and semiotics

> I know that prior to the Web, you were very active in mail art, Clemente,
among other things.
> How are you finding net/web.art in comparison to mail art?
> ja

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