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April 25, 2007

Mail Art [22]


Mail_5 Studio Place Arts is having three art openings on each of its floors this Friday, April 27th in Barre Vermont. One of the floors will be devoted to items that have been shipped through the post, thereby transforming themselves into mail art.

Gabrielle Dietzel and Delia Robinson have been sending mail art for decades. When they were neighbors, they sent each other strange things in the mail which they never spoke of: dog toys, children's shoes, a french press lid.

The trick is to mail the object WITHOUT an envelope or box. It only becomes "art" if it travels through the post without protective covering.  But be careful!! Once you begin the rebellious and thrilling act of mailing flip flops, chess games, birds' nests and half eaten muffins, it can become both addictive and competitive!

Mail_3 The Mail Art Show opening this Friday at SPA will include many objects that Delia and Gabrielle have sent to each other as well as many items mailed from all over the world.

Lovely tunes by Colin Clary and the Magogs, The Shape of this Town and Hearts with Little Strings from "Her Life of Crime."



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I remember hearing a piece on NPR about a mail art project which set out to truly challenge the postal system. One example was a single piece of single-ply toilet paper (with address and postage, of course). Frustratingly, I cannot remember in what condition it arrived, if at all.

I think the conclusion was that everyone was generally impressed with the dedication and patience of the postal service.

The mail art community is pretty huge - worldwide. I wonder how the post office feels about it?


Haw! A piece of TP going through the mail, why is that so funny? According to the mail artists who put the SPA show together, the post office workers are nothing but helpful. They even assist in choosing the perfect stamp to apply and they wait as 50 such stamps are stuck onto it! Perhaps it livens up their day as they very carefully transport that delicate piece of toilet paper with a stamp from one place to another. This show made me want to mail something funky just to see what happened...


obviously no mail artist ever got that horrid woman on elmwood avenue...


I emailed the postal service to ask how they felt about mail art, but I just got a form response about how to submit art for consideration to go on postage stamps. Phoo.


Phoo indeed! Or phooey even! According to Delia and Gabrielle, if you bring in an odd object, the postal workers are forced to sit with you as you choose stamps to adhere to it (if you do not like the tape). and many of them enjoy it! i think we need to put this to the test though. should we try to mail a used kleenex? no, that is just cruel. a piece of tree bark? a tulip?

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