Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hal: Are you still interviewing Mail-Artists?

Well Hal, it is a question that I get more often. Sometimes I do start an interview but only rarely and only when I have the time. People who request to be interviewed by me were also not choosen during the Mail-Interview project. Just because otherwise all contacts I have could be asking that. I did think out a system back in 1998-2000 where mail-artists could indicate who I should consider (they could not mention themselves), and that brought me hints on people to interview that I wasn't even aware of. Actually that turned into a kind of startistical event where I would find out about the existing networks outside my own network.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

6 kilo's of Mail-Interviews

Today my order of books from LuLu arrived. 6 kilo's of Mail-Interviews. As you can see the books are quite thick. Some are 360+ pages thick. If you are interested, you can order one or all of them yourself at: The copies that arrived in Breda now are for the TAM-Archive itself. The selling of the books goes quite well. About 50 are already sold and are now in some Mail-Art collections for sure. I am working on a new book as well. Details will follow when the time is right.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Johnny Boy: anything else you may want to add.

Well, sure. I am currious to what kind of question you really would like to have answered after reading my answers. Just leave a comment and I will answer that as well.

Johnny Boy: has your opinion about the network changed, and if yes, why.

Seems like I already answered that in connection to your previous question. Life is always full of changes. Networks too. They evolve, change, loose members, gain new members, change shape. The digital networks change even faster.

My opinion of the network. Has that changed? Not really. A network is a group of people who work together to reach a certain goal. That goal is mostly not fixed. It might be an idea by some which evolves too. The good neworks start with a good idea and live long. When the goal is reached the network has no function anymore. Maybe look for an unreachable goal, and the network lasts forever.

In digital networks the goal is sometimes hidden. When money gets involved the secret agendas are there. Large networks that are digital costs money which is earned by advertisings. That tends to get commercial also when they say they are not. In Mail-Art Lon Spiegelman claimed "Mail-Art and Money don't mix", and he has a very good point there.

Changes are part of life. So networks change too. The question is simple and always answered by yes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Johnny Boy: are you still networking, and why.

Yes, otherwise I wouldn't answer such questions. The network has changed. So have the tools. Is your magazine Kairan only a hardcopy version? No, also a digital version exists. The people you reach is a veru broader and different public. Old contacts that were never online suddenly pop up (like e.g. Anna Boschi and more who I discovered on ). Also I have just finished publishing all text-material of my mail-interview project in bookform. Six books have come out, so everybody has at least acces to this material in a compiled form.

Not many people will order these kind of books. That isn't important. The information was already out there in loose bits and pieces. Now it is collected in thick textbooks. In a way for me also a new phase. I will think of a new larger project to do. I know I like to experiment with the new tools that our world offers. In 1985 the BBS was already doing the same as what LuLu offers now to all. The distribution of digital documents. I now also work in the field where the new ways ar developed. My students build content management systems and know the Internet better then I do. We learn from each other and that is what it is all about.

Johnny Boy: what happened to you as a person and a mail artist in these 10 plus years.

Well, Johnny, a lot happenened. The Mail-Interview project stopped because there was not enought time to do all and some interviews never seem to get finished. You are asking the samen mail-artists some questions 10+ years later. In a way very funny. I always asked the questions one by one. That way the next question is always a reaction to the answer. In a questionaire like you sent the people just tend to sum things up and the results are less revealing. Who would have thought up a question like "Why do you live in a church" which I asked Dick Higgins. Because he revealed this hidden in one of his answers.....

As A Person:

Yes, changes. Moved to another city, got married, changed job, and that are mostly large changes for a person. Getting older means make dessicions before life itself takes over.

In Mail-Art:

Also here a lot changed. Because of the Internet the communication is shifting to electronic forms. Blogs, online shows, digital publications, etc. The old-fashioned mail-art is scarce thing these days. The old generation sometimes really treasures the snail-mail though, and so do I. But sending out a lot isn't that easy anymore. Time in these fast years, the costs of mailing an envelope, the vanished old generation of mail-artists I used to be in contact with. The mail-art network has changed. Newcomers discover mail-art again and start mailing too. That is the most fascinating thing I guess. Mail-Art starts a discovery course for someones life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tanja Vos: Why do you like to interview people?

Well, that is something that comes from the past I guess. I always have liked to ask questions. Also back when I still was studying I have learned that good questions are always interesting. With the right question at the right moment a world opens for you. The wrong question again won't bring you any further.

Asking questions is also a way to get information. Every person you encounter can teach you something. Sometimes we don't realize that. If you are interested in a very specific subject, the only way to learn more is by asking questions.

The Mail-Interview project I did was in a way a search for more information. I realized I didn't knew all I would like to about the persons that are inside that large mail-art network. So I started to ask questions in a very structured but yet very open way.....