Mail Art Mystery Bag

Bark trash 8.25.2018 - 5

Disintegrated bark fragment (with my address) rescued by the US Postal Service. Who sent it?


Postcards are endlessly wonderful, but it is also nice to receive physical objects via the mail. These “objects poems,” “found material,” “cryptic totems” – whatever you prefer to call them – are also a unique genre of mail art. I believe this propensity for sending objects is rooted in Fluxus but also not necessarily exclusive to those artists. The earlier generations of Fluxus folks mailed a lot of items that now can be viewed in museums and archives. The physicality and materiality of mail art cannot be reproduced in the digital realm. So this is another unique strength of mail art.

Conceptually, the work presented here is, to me anyway, very interesting and engaging. The artist/ poet mailed a “naked” piece of bark. Reminiscent of the Gutai interest in decomposition, the artwork deconstructed in the postal system. In fact, the postal system had a role in the destruction of the work. Going on intuition and the “littering” reference, I suspect the artist is aware of this work’s awesome conceptualism and s/he had a solid grounding in Trashpo, which incorporates many Fluxus and Gutai concepts.


Bark trash 8.25.2018 - 3


This, actually, is not the first piece of bark I have received as mail art. A picture of an actual piece of tree bark sent to me by Nancy Bell Scott (Maine, USA) will soon appear in a scholarly book on asemic writing published by a major university press.


Bark trash 8.25.2018 - 4



Bark trash 8.25.2018 - 2


A fun piece – many thanks. I would like to know who sent it!


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