Postcards are the tweets of the mail art world. Pithy, quick and often clever, they communicate without the ceremony of unveiling that most other mail art exploits.

Since we first transmitted our general call for submissions to the Mail Art Bulletin, we’ve received dozens of postcards. Today, we’re publishing 11 examples from eight artists from as far afield as Belgium, Canada, Uruguay and a number of US states (California, New Hampshire, New York, Washington).

What I’ve discovered about the mail art postcards is that those created in unexpected materials — like the very thick cardstock from one Alberta artist — or with elusive meanings — like Tamara Wyndham’s redacted text — are really well-suited to the medium.

I always thought of postcards as a simple way to remind someone you’re thinking of them even while you’re away on vacation trying not to think of your life at home. Perhaps the email, Facebook poke or SMS has eliminated the monopoly postcards once had but they certainly haven’t replaced them. Never mind the irritation of finding postage and a mailbox in an unfamiliar land or the feeling you get when you scrawl some cliche like “wish you were here” on its surface hoping the recipient doesn’t cringe when they read it.

Strangely, the beauty of postcards is their open anonymity, by which I mean that you’re not expected to provide a return address — though many of the postcard artists curiously did — and at the same time you know full well that the mail carrier or anyone else will be able to read them during the course of their journey. There are no secrets in postcards, not big ones anyway, yet they can still feel very personal.

If you would like to be considered for inclusion in our Mail Art Bulletin, please send your mail art to:

Hyperallergic HQ

181 N 11th Street, Suite 302

Brooklyn, NY 11211

Avatar photo

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

2 replies on “Mail Art Bulletin: Postcards”

Comments are closed.