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This piece is (altogether) about 40 printed pages long. It is copyright © Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Jacket magazine 2009.
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Mail Art is/was an international artwork activity, emerging from movements like Dada and Fluxus. It was a communication and gift exchange, before internet and email, sent through the post, in which every aspect of the communiqué (from the envelope on in) had a collage aesthetic and playful, verbally inventive, and jaunty elements. Among the features that I can’t replicate in this work are the joking extra postage stamps often from odd countries like Canadada, the rubber stamps all over envelopes, the extra-national postal services (Fluxpost), and the textual materiality of the collage. Yet this work is an homage to and recollection of Mail Art from inside Drafts. Some of the collages were done on a Rockefeller Foundation grant at Bellagio, Italy in February 2007, with many thanks for this opportunity. Others were done in summer 2007 and summer 2008. They were completed at the National Humanities Center, North Carolina. Infinite thanks to Phillip Barron, of the National Humanities Center, for his help with the final (and web) presentation of this poem; without his help, the project could not have been completed.