Based on the wealth of Mail Art material collected at Artpool, in 2015, we started compiling the most complete chronological history of the movement to date, titled Mail Art Chro-No-Logy, which has been used ever since by researchers and participants of the movement from around the world. Due to the nature of the genre, there are several blind spots in the chronology, i.e. information and data may be missing or in need of clarification, so we are constantly looking for amendments and contributions from the pioneers and participants of mail art.
In addition to the documentation of key Mail Art projects, the chronology includes contemporaneous source texts in the original language and in Hungarian translation.
The occasion for my writing is the recent publication and translation of a text by Argentinean Graciela Gutierrez Marx titled A Folk Art without Artists. The work was originally delivered at a reading by the author in Rosario in 1984, then published in English in 1995 in Eternal Network. A Mail Art Anthology, edited by Chuck Welch, from which volume we have already translated and published several primary source texts in Hungarian.
Marx is an inevitable figure in the international Mail Art network. Many of her works and artist’s publications are available for research at Artpool. In addition to her 1982 project Mamablancas Treasure, which is best known in the Mail Art community, her documentation of The Altar Popular, which followed a year later, is also available on our site, and some digitised issues of Hoje-Hoja-Hoy, her artist’s journal launched in 1985, are also available. On a website dedicated to the artist, Archivo Lafuente describes the publication as “a critical voice against the Argentine dictatorship.”
Already the first issue of 500 copies includes texts in Spanish by several important Mail Artists (Hilda Paz, Leonhard Frank Duch or Vittore Baroni) as well as a mixed media piece, which practice the editor repeated in subsequent issues. Thanks to donations to Artpool from German networker Peter Küstermann, it is possible to compare the unique artwork supplements, handmade with a variety of materials and techniques.