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Mail Art Bulletin: Return to Sender

Marissa Paternoster's Mail Art piece, stamped "Return to Sender"

It’s been nearly a month since we dismantled our mail art show, Presents: Three Months of Mail Art for Hyperallergic HQ, here at Hyperallergic. The show was a first in a lot of ways: me and Hrag’s first collaboration, Hrag’s first zine-making experience and my first time curating a show outside of my own initiatives.

Hrag and I responded to the temporality of mail art by placing a rule on our exhibition catalogue/zine: patrons were not able to receive the zine in person, they had to get it through the post. We sent out our entire first edition within a week of the show opening, which sold-out quite fast. We even sent our copies of the zines to each other.

One major benefit of sending the zines out was that it provided a forum for those who couldn’t attend the Presents opening to participate, and it gave them something tangible (like the mail art that was provided to us) from the show. The challenges of turning a zine/catalogue for a show with over 100 artists did pop up and each zine ended up being truly limited edition, with handmade corrections.

Mail art by Marissa Paternoster, 2011

I suppose the best part is that the fun didn’t end with the closing of the show. Mail art has continued to arrive at Hyperallergic HQ. With the added element of internet communication, I discovered that my friend (artist, Doodle Drag founder and rockstar superhero) Marissa Paternoster had, in fact, submitted mail art for our show that suffered the errs of the postal system. Her pieces were marked “return to sender.”

Mail art by Marissa Paternoster, 2011

What a shame! Hrag and I have the same reaction each time we get a new piece in the mail that would have been a great fit for the show. We’ve also received sweet sentiments about the show itself, like this piece from Dave LaMorte.

Mail art by Dave LaMorte, 2011
Mail art by Dave LaMorte, 2011

We will be continuing our Mail Art Bulletin, so if you’d like to be considered for inclusion, please send your mail art to:

Hyperallergic HQ
181 N 11th Street, Suite 302
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Also, there are still copies of the second edition of the zine available at the Hyperallergic Store.

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