Poplite Services - Arte Postale! Story

Arte Postale! Story

"Vittore Baroni's publications are the international grassroots of aesthetic redemption" Musicmaster.

ARTE POSTALE ! (with - often forgotten! - exclamation mark) is a totally no-profit mail art publication, founded in Italy by Vittore Baroni in October 1979 and distributed only through the postal system. It is one of the most well known and long-lived magazines in the whole Eternal Network.
There is no fixed size or periodicity to Arte Postale!. The first 51 issues were produced in 100 copies only with the "assembling" technique, gathering together original pages contributed by various international networkers (contributions included such 3D oddities as plant leaves, glass beads, ping pong balls and bee-wax bas-reliefs). Starting with N. 52, also the number of copies produced varies, from the single copy of the special "hommage issue" (N. 53) to the 600 copies of issue 63 and the "unlimited" issues N. 60-61-69 (xerox-copies always available).
In 16 years, over 500 networkers from approximately 35 different countries, ranging from elementary school kids to well respected artists like Ray Johnson and Ben Vautier, participated into Arte Postale! In pure mail art spirit, no form of censorship or selection on the original contributions was ever applied. Each contributor always receives one or more free copies of the issue he/she is featured into.
A complete collection of the magazine is housed in several international archives, such as the Administration Centre/42.292 Networking Archive in Belgium, the V.E.C. Archives in Holland and the Sackners Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry in Miami Beach, USA.

Number of issue - TITLE (or description of cover) - Date - Copies printed

. NB - "assemblage" issues: from 1 to 51, plus 53 and 59

1 - DEMONIA - October 1979 - 100
2 - PATTI SMITH ROCKIN' DEMONIA - November 1979 - 100
3 - ART SONGS FROM DEMONIA - December 1979 - 100
4 - MORE POLITICAL SATIRE: POST SCRIPTUM - January 1980 - 100
5 - CAVELLINIANA - February 1980 - 100
6 - AMERICAN MAIL ART DADA 80 - March 1980 - 100
7 - REFLUXUS ISSUE - April 1980 - 100
8 - AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ISSUE I - May 1980 - 100
9 - UK SPECIAL - June 1980 - 100
10 - AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ISSUE II - July 1980 - 100
11 - AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ISSUE III - August 1980 - 100
12 - ALL STARS ISSUE - September 1980 - 100
13 - T-SHIRTS ISSUE - October 1980 - 100
14 - DEVELOP MY DREAMS - November 1980 - 100
15 - (teacher with kids) - December 1980 - 100
16 - VISUAL POETRY ISSUE - January-February 1981 - 100
17 - ETOATLERPSA! - March 1981 - 100
18 - THE YAHOO BULLETIN - 1st April 1981 - 100
19 - THINK ABOUT MAIL ART - May-June 1981 - 100
20 - UT FONA RES - July 1981 - 100
21 - 44 88! - no date (July 1981) - 100
22 - MIDSUMMER ISSUE - August 1981 - 100
23 - THE YAHOO BULLETIN (II) - September 1981 - 100
24 - BOXED EDITION (in 3D cardboard box) - October 1981 - 100
25 - THIS ORDER - December 1981 - 100
26 - YEARBOOK 1981 - 31st December 1981 - 100
27 - POSTCARDSBOX (in cardboard box) - January-February 1982 - 100
28 - CONFIDENCES - March 1982 - 100
29 - CRISIS OF #29 - April 1982 - 100
30 - EAST-WEST CONNECTION - May 1982 - 100
31 - (vintage postcards) - June 1982 - 100
32 - BIDET - July-August 1982 - 100
33 - (mask cover) - September 1982 - 100
34 - ARE YOU IN LOVE? - October 1982 - 100
35 - BIENNALE DE PARIS - November 1982 - 100
36 - (badges cover) - December 1982 - 100
37 - S.I.N.EWS I - January 1983 - 100
38 - CONCEPTUAL MAFIA - March 1983 - 100
39 - LEWD CARESS (also CARE N.8) - April 1983 - 100
40 - (old Forte dei Marmi photo) - May 1983 - 100
41 - S.I.N.EWS II - June 1983 - 100
42 - POST-ART GUERRILLA - July 1983 - 100
43 - NETWORKART - August-September 1983 - 100
44 - (postman & drummer) - October-November 1983 - 100
45 - S.I.N.EWS III - December 1993 - 100
46 - A TRIP TO AKADEMGOROD - January-February 1984 - 100
47 - MAIL ART SHOW SHOW CATALOGUE - March 1984 - 100
48 - MCMLXXXIV! - April-June 1984 - 100
49 - THE MINIATURE ISSUE (in cassette box) - July-September 1984 - 100
50 - SILVER ISSUE - October 1984 - 100
51 - S.I.N.EWS IV - January 1985 - 100
52 - SCRIPTA VOLANT - February-March 1985 - 200
53 - HOMMAGE A VITTORE BARONI - no date (April-May 1985) - 1 copy only (this issue organized and edited by Mark Pawson,who also produced and distributed an unnumbered transparent xerox-sheet with names of contributors)
54 - CORNUCOPIA - June-December 1985 - 300
55 - MAIL ART HANDBOOK - January-December 1986 - 500
56 - MAIL ART & MONEY DO MIX! - January-June 1987 - 100
57 - THE BOX GAME - July-December 1987 - 500
58 - THE B.A.T. MANUAL - January-December 1988 - 300
59 - ALTERNATIVE PHILATELY - January-June 1989 - 500
60 - (the making of) NETZINE - July-September 1989 - unlimited edition
61 - SMILE - October-December 1989 - unlimited edition
62 - B-ART ISSUE - January-December 1990 - 500 (250 with insert booklet by Gunther Ruch)
(no Arte Postale! in 1991)
63 - LET'S NETWORK TOGETHER (with 7" record) - January-December 1992 - 600
63b- META-CONCERT IN SPIRIT (cassette) - January-December 1992 - 93
64 - UTOPIA INFANTILE (V.B. & Robin Crozier) - January-March 1993 -100
65 - GLASS ENIGMA (Davd Drummond-Milne) - April-June 1993 - 100
66 - THE ONE-MAN SHOW - July-September 1993 - 100
67 - STICKERMAN SCRAPBOOK - October-December 1993 - 100
68 - ARTURO G. FALLICO SPECIAL - January-December 1994 - 100
69 - RAY JOHNSON LIVES! - January-February 1995 - unlimited edition
70 - THE NO INSTITUTE/JURGEN O . OLBRICH - March-April 1995 - 100
71 - FUN IN ACAPULCO - May-September 1995 - 300

Call for future edition:
You are welcomed to send to the address below everything about "SCISSORS" and "MANITOU" (or your own visual interpretation of the name MANITOU'S SCISSORS), to be processed into a special 1996 issue of Arte Postale!
Free size and technique, all media accepted. Free copy to all participants. Deadline: March 1st, 1996. Mail to: E.O.N., Via C. Battisti 339, 55049 Viareggio, LU, Italy.

I QUADERNI DI ARTE POSTALE!
(a new series of booklets-supplements in very limited edition)
1 - Rea Nikonova-Serge Segay-Vittore Baroni ILIAZDIC ZAUMAIL - January 1995 - 40

. ARTE POSTALE! 1979-1995: MEMORIES OF A MAIL ART MAGAZINE MAKER

As the old saying goes, I am not an artist, I am a networker. When I started utilizing the mail art net, I was looking for something that the traditional art system could not give me. At that time, in the late seventies, I tried to restrain myself as much as I could from creating "fine" images. I did not want to make "artworks" and develop a style or please myself aesthetically. I wanted to find new ways to communicate my ideas, avoiding all the usual traps and clichés of the gallery-museum-critic-artmagazine routine.
I was very young and naif, and of course I was also wrong (a style always develops in spite of yourself, and you can't hide away indefinitely your love for pencils and colours), but my clumpsy idealism lead me instinctively to fully and wholeheartedly embrace this correspondence art thing. It was so liberating, the whole anarchic idea of Mail What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law. Furthermore, operating at distance (as those travelling the Internet are realizing thirty years later) permitted you to disguise yourself with harmless trickery, switching sex, age, status, credo and (pen)name as fast as you could lick a stamp. It was not art in the traditionally accepted sense, yet you could pretend it was and "play artist" with hundreds of others grown-up kids, create new real/fake art myths and throw them in the face of the official Artclique, or simply forget that such a thing as a cultural élite existed and make up your own ideal (net)working dimension, a planetary web with you at the centre.
For me, a networker is a new kind of cultural worker, with a new role in society and new tools and strategies of intervention at his/her fingertips: a sort of "cultural animator", a meta-artist who creates contexts for collective expression, instead of traditional art works. I always felt that, in the mail art medium, the "art work" is not represented by the single postcard or letter I mail, but by the whole process of interaction with my contact(s), including their replies and the spiritual link that is activated between us. A complete mail art project, a collection of contributions from dozens or hundreds of different people (not necessarily "artists"!) responding to one request or theme, is another form of what I regard as a proper networking art piece: not the single contribution, but the sum of all the interacting mailings.
In this sense, photocopied (or off-set printed) and self-distributed mail art magazines, often including manual interventions and original pages submitted by various contributors, are yet another form of genuine art work generated by networking practices. I consider the thousands of copies of Arte Postale! that I lovingly hand-assembled one by one in the past sixteen years as the best single documentation of my multifarious activities as a full-free-time networker. While many content themselves with simple lists of names and addresses, I believe there are infinite ways to turn a mail art catalogue or magazine into a fully satisfying little art piece in itself. All those unexpected holes or original fragments glued on the pages, one-of-a-kind enclosures or hand signed messages are not intended to mimic the preciousness of pricy artists' books, but to make the experience of reading a mail art magazine as fresh, unique and intimate as that of reading a personal letter. If only in a few cases I have been able to achieve this, then I am an happy networker.

by Vittore Baroni 28.04.95.




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