I have observed many signs that make me feel as
if Mail Art is drawing to a close, and that there
are many past publications that could be seen as
'compilations' of Mail Art. Quite a few predecessors
of Mail Art have passed away, including Ray Johnson(USA),
the Father of Mail Art, G.A.Cavellini(ITALY), Robin
Croziel(ENGLAND), Robert Rehfeldt, (GERMANY), G.Deisler(GERMANY),
Carlo Pittore(USA), and others. This is probably
also because exchange by mail in the age of computers
is considered primitive, and after the end of the
COLD WAR between the East and the West, the necessity
of correspondence between those two different worlds
has been lost. On the other hand, I have been regularly
receiving mail art by mail and fax, in response
to my BRAIN CELL PROJECT dating from the year 1985,
which has been numbered issue no.652, as of June
2006. Every time I receive mail art, I am pleased
to see more and more new participants. After making
them a collage of their drawings, designs, logos,
seals, stickers and the like, I make it a rule to
send the finished project back to each participant.
Mail Art is far from finishing. I appreciate the
role of collaboration in Mail Art. It is important
to have new participants each time, but it is more
important to be evoked by other mail artists' ideas
from within the large and deep Network with a diverse
range of expressions and concept. I can make mail
artists' ideas more interesting by actively availing
myself of seals and stamps and other materials sent
from others and through my own printed matter. What
is more, I can give other mail artists the feeling
that they can utilise other's art and collaborate
We have the Doppler effect in physics. The sound
coming nearer to us becomes narrower between the
sonic waves and sounds higher and more urgent in
our ears. On the contrary, as waves travel away
from us they get relatively wider and the sound
appears lower. There are a variety of physical sounds
around us: for example, the sound of cars coming
and going. This phenomena is also true of art. Some
art comes towards me, while other art goes away.
People very often ask me how we can know good from
bad in art. It does not matter whether this representational
painting is good in composition and color and technique,
or whether that piece of abstract art is good in
balance and rhythm. I don't think it important to
generally decide which style of art is better than
the others. That is to say traditional ways of thinking
about art is fading away from me. I often other
artists only use limited new techniques in spite
of what is called 'originality and individuality,'
to the constant efforts predecessors had made for
so long. A variety of works of modern art with too
much false assertion of originality and individuality
are also traveling away from me.
When I was at art school, I used to draw or paint
representationally, moved by Cezanne's composition,
and Matisse's brightness and his own style of plane.
Later on I had some exchahge with members of the
Gutai Group, so I learned new concepts of art through
contemporary art. Consequently I have been participating
in Mail Art Networking. I claim that this was a
natural changeover and has no inconsistency with
my personal concept of art. We need no large studio
or storage space for paintings. Whoever wants to
take part in mail art does so freely. We can deny
the authority of the traditional art world, because
mail artists directly exchange their own artworks.
The fascination for Mail Art, more than twenty years
ago, approached me with a high sound. Even now the
collaborative concept of Mail Art is coming closer
to me with a much higher sound.
We don't have any fixed "ism" in the infinite expanse
of the Mail Art Network. Postcards, xeroxes, collages,
drawings, photos, CGs, CDs, and other forms are
sent in by mail, fax, e-mail etc. We are overwhelmed
by the diversity of how mail art members think and
express themselves. We realize that countless "isms"
are mixed together in a state of chaos that is represented
in Mail Art. Of course, we don't copyright our works.
Interested in others' works, we add something to
them or combine them together, and then send them
back or forward them on to a third party. We occasionally
find them changed into pieces with quite an unexpected
At a glance, the jungle looks as if it is made up
of gigantic trees, but the fact is that the rain-forests
in the Amazon of South America consists of numerous
species that cohabit harmoniously: ferns and mosses
parasitic to the gigantic trees, very tiny insects
that hide themselves under the fallen leaves, insects
camouflaging in dead leaves and twigs against the
enemies, puny insects swarming together as a threat,
birds displaying their existence with colorful feathers
and a shrill cry and many other mammals and birds.
We really wonder at how diverse these living things
are! We can lean from the rain forest that there
are a multitude of LIFE FORMS. We are not chained
to any fixed "ism" as this frees us from constraint,
nor do we care for copyright we prefer to revise
and copy others' works in a free and easy style.
In such a network there is the possibility of our
experiencing much by communication of mail art.
This is the very LIFE FORM that we can experience
in a variety of ways. Networking Art is art that
enables us to be a praying mantis in camouflage,
or butterflies flying on colorful wings.
Nowadays I have come to realize that we are all
part of a FRACTAL, and that I can be a piece of
that FRACTAL, and that I can create art, in a way
that extends beyond myself as an individual, in
communication with infinite mail artists' ideas.
In the same way that we appreciate the various kinds
of LIFE FORMS in the amazon, we can experience a
multitude of art forms in the MAIL ART NETWORK.
It is only human beings who can experience plural
LIFE FORMS, by which we can acquire a genuine sense
of new creation.