To introduce, unfold and discuss the archive a number of writers and Mail artists has been invited to contribute. The essays included in the section TEXTS are of two different types: theoretical and historical texts by Peter van der Meijden, Fabiane Pianowski, and Kornelia Röder - and, essays and critical reflections by Mail artists who participated in the Mail Art Network 1970-1985: Anna Banana, Vittore Baroni, Klaus Groh, Terry Reid, Chuck Welch, and the editor Niels Lomholt.
The Bay Area became one of the most active centers of Mail Art, where artist’s projects and publications became the backbone of the network activities. In 1978 Anna Banana, together with Bill Gaglione, commenced on a Mail Art tour through the European continent. Banana shares a very detailed dairy of this journey.
Vittore Baroni gives a critical yet very personal journey into Mail Art, with the experienced insider’s point of view, and profound knowledge of how each artist used the network in personal ways, coming from other areas of activity, to end with a last note on what happened to Mail Art in later years.
Klaus Groh sets Mail Art as an important indicator of the 1970’s political history. The network of senders and receivers is the theme in Grohs essay, as a dialogue and democratization process going beyond the art institutions, taking place between the artist and the public.
Mail Art turns the physical journey into a surrealistic event: the physical experiences becomes linked to the Mail Art Archive as evidence. Niels Lomholt’s essay takes the form of a mental journey of Mail Art, with an ever increasing number of characters, stage sets and events.
Peter van der Meijden elaborates on the various ways exhibitions and archives are used, both as strategies and degrees of (or lack of) control of meaning, being different ways to communicate knowledge.
Fabiane Pianowski talks about the movement away from the official circuits of art galleries and museums during the 1960s and 1970s. As social authorships starts dissolving the borders between art and public, and with the democratization of art, Mail Art became one of several weapons in the struggle against dictatorship in Latin America.
Terry Reid makes a status quo on ‘Mail Art 2014’ and then moves on to begin a highly personal art diary, which contains a vide range of links and references to different Mail Art projects.
Kornelia Röder contributes with a detailed map of the particular significance of Mail Art in Eastern Europe, with activities directed against the ideological misuse of art, helping artists to evade censorship and state regimentation and thus maintain relative artistic freedom.
As is the case for most Mail artists, the journey is an important factor, pointing to the challenge of locating the Mail Art body, and the mental and physical journey of both Mail Art and artist. Chuck Welch makes an account of a journey, the fate of a number of archives, and contemplating possible new trajectories.