Mail Art

...while there are still post offices!

Join the exchange! Send me your post address per email and I'll try to send a work of mail art in return. You can also send me your mail art as regular letters or post cards.

🖂 holopainen at ristoid dot net 🖂

In the olden days, communication with strangers could take place by means of small notices in the local printed newspaper, as documented in the video Efterlysning from 2003.

Messages in bottles are always a good last resort and an even better first resort. With some patience they will eventually reach their recepient. Some bottles have traveled the seas for a century – peanuts compared to interstellar communication!

I once posted a bottled message and threw it in the river in my small home town. A few months later someone picked it up and wrote a reply letter. Bottles may be the ultimate vessel for mail art. Adorno, in one famous quote, compares advanced music to a manuscript in a bottle: Sie ist die wahre Flaschenpost. Random destination, random delivery time; nevertheless bottled messages may soon beat what's left of postal services.

With the current exchange I hope to be able to document the mail art I send out, bottled or not, in short format videos.


Mail art is said to have been popular in the 1970's and 80's. The privatisation of postal services has led to much confusion, inefficiency, and consternation. Although current conditions are perhaps less than ideal for a mail art revival, letters still seem to miraculously travel around the world and make it to the receiver if you put a stamp on it and write a readable and existing address on the envelope.

I must have been contacted by Italian mail artist Sassu Antonio of Gruppo Sinestetico around 2006 or 2007. He sent me some of his mail art, and I replied with a letter of asemic writing and drawings, the Lexique pour Sassu Antonio, which might count as my first contribution to mail art.