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International Mail Art Archives
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International Mail Art Archives, 2000:

Matt Ferranto

Mail art collections are commonly referred to as "archives." Geographically dispersed and highly diffuse in scope, they constitute a critical aspect in understanding the medium's rather idiosyncratic history. In addition, they represent a curatorial method that proposes an alternative approach to the structure of the art museum.

Between June and October of 1999, I mailed a letter of inquiry, a questionaire, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 150 individuals and institutions who were said to hold significant collections of mail art. The initial source for this was Appendix 4 of Eternal Network: A Mail Art Anthology, edited by Chuck Welch and published by the University of Calgary Press. Other suggestions came from mail artists and interested scholars. Thirty one mail art archivists sent replies to my queries. Their responses are detailed in an artist book and on this site.

Mail Art Archives in box
The "International Mail Art Archives, 2000" document was produced in an edition of fifty boxed units. Each unit contains 32 envelopes, one for each archive and one for the introduction. The envelopes are silkscreened with archive logo stamps and hold folded printed pages detailing that archive's responses. The boxes measure approximately four by three by three inches.

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