Category Archives: Robin sagt das ist Kunst

Mail Art: Dear NSA

I wrote a postcard to the NSA making them aware of the fact that they should stop reading my emails while I am in the US.

I typed the postcard on my Triumph-Adler typewriter, because I loved the story about the Russian Intelligence Services going back to typewriters.

In case they can’t identify me by name or by  the typeface of the typewriter, i actually licked the stamp (mormally I use self-adhesive stamps).

Oh, and, dear NSA: You’re probably reading this. So: I’m always happy about mail art. Feel free to send me a reply to my P.O. Box. You know where to find me.

The front of the typewritten postcard to the NSA.

The front of the typewritten postcard to the NSA.

The back of the typewritten postcard to the NSA.

The back of the typewritten postcard to the NSA.

malá výstava – a little show in brno, cz

břeťa vomočil, terez kalábová, lukáš schejbal, peťa polášková, martin půček, pavel vech, nelleke kruijmer (NL), honza bleha, míra zítko, eunika munágová (SK), Kdy: čt 23. května v 18 Kde: v Lužánkách Kdyby pršelo: ve sklepích mendlák nebo v bb  Pověsíme to na provázky kolíčkama.

Banner (c) Terez Kalábová, individual images by the individual artists

This Thursday, May 23rd at 6pm at
Park Lužánky, Brno, CZ (copy/paste 49°12'50.618"N, 16°36'29.518"E into a map service of your choice)

A little one-nite only photo exhibition will take place. Organized by Terez Kalábová, Břeťa Vomočil, Lukáš Schejbal, Peťa Polášková, Martin Půček, Pavel Vech, Nelleke Kruijmer (NL), Honza Bleha, Míra Zítko, Eunika Muntágová (SK) and myself (DE) (all CZ if not mentioned otherwise) will be showing between one to six photographies each. Terez writes:

Some pictures are home made in bathroom-style dark room (Martin Půček and Lukáš Schejbal), some people are using old cameras: me, Lukáš and Martin have Flexaret/Yashica, Eunika and Honza are using Lomo, Břéťa is combining digital and old style camera, Peťa, Pavel, Míra and Nelleke are having some digital stuff [Robin too]. Míra is also used to paint as well as I do. Nelleke has [an] incredibly terrible camera but her photos are amazing.

Originally, the exhibition was supposed to take place in an old factory, but the developer was to fast and it is guarded now. I am excited to be showing one picture there. I wish I could come to Brno myself and see the installation on clotheslines. Fortunately, I think, enough photographers will be there to document;-)

Postcards from Sweden

Two weeks ago I received two Postcards from Andreas in Sweden.

Thanks Andreas! Let me know your address and I’ll send you something in return!

IMG_2580 IMG_2581

Souvenirs: Schwarzwälder Schinken

A postcard for Scott Blake. 90g of organic Black Forest Ham made in and sent from Freiburg. “Souvenirs” is an ongoing series of sending typical regional things somewhere else.
Surprisingly, the ham made it thru customs. Scott posted a photo in his Flickr-Stream.

A postcard made from Black Forest Ham send to Scott Blake

A postcard made from Black Forest Ham send to Scott Blake.

Cash instead of stamps

A couple of weeks ago Cornelius finally returned the ‘Paint me’ canvas I’d sent him.  Instead of painting it, he plastered it with 16 stamp-vending-machine-stamps of different values, adding up to the neccessary postage of €1.45. With Cornelius taking the interpretation of “paint” quite far, I decided to do the same with the postage. Instead of using stamps, I used superglue (admittedly, a lot;-) and coins, also adding up to the required postage of 1.45:

Canvas Postcard using Coins instead of Stamps as postage.

Canvas Postcard using Coins instead of Stamps as postage.

It actually took the canvas quite a while to be delivered (I mailed it Feb 9th, JC confirmed delivery on Feb 18th. He sent me the following snapshot of the canvas delivered:

Deutsche Post has removed the postage-coins. Image courtesy of Cornelius

Deutsche Post has removed the postage-coins. Image courtesy of Cornelius

So, Deutsche Post actually spent quite some time removing the coins and thereby tearing the canvas, as I had hoped it would. From the purple writing I assume that somebody in the mail sorting facility decided that the mailman was supposed to charge Nachentgelt (additional fee for non-standard mail/for annoying the people in the mail sorting facility) from Cornelius as well.

Dear Deutsche Post, …

…on August 9th I dropped the following canvas in one of your many mailboxes:

"Paint me" canvas sent to Maria on August 9th

“Paint me” canvas sent to Maria on August 9th.

and three days later you returned it to me like this:

“Paint me” canvas returned by Deutsche Post with one Stamp missing.

Somewhere in between the mailbox and the Briefzentrum Freiburg (the sorting facility), one of the two 145 Cent stamps was lost. You added a sticker stating that my shipment was lacking postage and that I had to pay another 165 Cents.

I had been using adhesive stamps on purpose, because I know that the other stamps usually don’t stick to well. Obviously, the adhesive stamps don’t either. Weird that I have sent out over 50 of these canvases so far and no other ones have been returned to me because of the lack of postage.

So now, dear Deutsche Post, you are going to make me pay extra for the poor quality of the adhesive used on your stamps?

Oysters for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

On July 25th, Wired’s Danger Room Blog reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington had posted a request for quote on FedBizOpps.gov was soliciting the delivery of 4,000 bushels of “shucked and air dried” oyster shells. By the way, come on, “bushels”?!

That was just too good to be true. So I went surfing the net and almost perished in the attempt to read and understand the jungle of provisions and clauses a possible vendor of oyster shells is required to meet. There are specific provisions on Child Labor (52.222-19), Convict Labor (52.222-3) , Trafficking of Persons (amongst the oysters?), Buy American (52.225-1 and -2) and, one of my favorites, Encouraging Contractor Policies to Ban Text Messaging While Driving (52.223-18). In it, the goverment expenses 70 words to define what “driving” means in this context, then another 100 words to define “text messaging” to then finally come to a point: “The Contractor is encouraged to Adopt and enforce policies that ban text messaging while driving”.

Well, no wonder government is so expensive. First, it needs to pay people who make up those provisions. Then it needs people who can express them in legalese. Then  it has to pay people to format those and put them somewhere on the web (and file a ton of paper in the meantime). Then the contractors have to pay someone to find, read, understand, implement and enforce those regulations, allthewhile facoring those costs into their bills to the government. And in the end the government has to pay someone inspect the implementation of regulations. To make this clear: I am not against a ban on texting while driving or child labor, and while all those regulations might have originated from plausible and good intentions, I still am idealist enough to hope that there is some way to make all this somewhat less bureaucratic. I mean, come on. 100 words to define text-messaging?

Anyway, after reading through a couple of these I decided I didn’t care too much (besides the fact that I have no idea where to get that many oysters) and that I would send the USACE just a single shell. AFAIK there is only one place that sells oysters in Freiburg, which would be the fish stall at Markthalle, where I went and got this:

I hate eating oysters by the way. Anyway, I gulped it down, treated myself to some candied Kumquats as compensation and went home to clean and “air dry” my oyster (it stank!).

A couple of days later it was ready to be sent to Denese Kushinsky who was mentioned as USACE Wilmington’s contact for the RFC. And this is what it looks like:

One Oyster shell sent to the USACE Wilmington as a response to their RFC Solicitation Number: W912PM-12-T-0

I am curious as to whether it crosses the ocean safely;-)

Come see some of my Mail Art in Copenhagen!

I was invited by A Kassen (blogged about them here) to participate in Den Frie’s Summer exhibition, which they curate.

From Friday, June 22nd on until August 12th 2012, some of my Mail Art will be shown at Den Frie  Udstillingsbygning.  The opening is this Friday. The invitation reads:

On opening day there will be a performance by Simon Dybbroe Møller. In connection with the opening of LIFE CLOCK, we cordially invite you to our big summer-party at DEN FRIE Centre of contemporary art.
There will be food from Øbro Spisehus and beer on tap, all on Friday the 22. of June at 17-21.

Here is the poster for the exhibition and some text about it:

Thank you to everybody who suffered my sometimes seemingly requests for parts, comments and know-how in preparing my works for this show. I will be blogging some of them here.

If you can’t make it to the opening (but still are around some time until the exhibition closes in August), keep coming back. I will be sending new works to Den Frie until the beginning of August, which will be added to the ongoing exhibition.

I am looking forward to seeing works of all the other artists at the show on Friday. It sounds really promising.

As always, I’m happy about mail at:

Robin
Postfach 301
79003 Freiburg
Germany

Art Week in Basel: Volta

I went back to Volta today and Ana Cristea told me to go look for a certain booth. Said booth belonged to H.Art gallery from Rumania. The gallerists and their art was gone. All that was left was the following writing on the wall:

20120615-192319.jpg

Rattrap to Rattray

Lena is WWOOFing of sorts on a pony farm in a town called Rattray in Scotland.

She received the postcard fairly soon, which surprised me for two reasons:

  • I can’t read my own handwriting annymore with absolute certainty. Had to look up the address again to decypher “Blairgowrie”;-)
  • IT exceeds Deutsche Post limitations.

Before you comment: I’ve read Wikipedia on Rattray, too. So:

The name Rattray is Raitear in Gaelic, and may derive from an English language cognate of Gaelic ràth meaning “fortress” plus a Pictishterm cognate with Welsh tref meaning “settlement”.