Tag Archives: Mail Art

Come buy my art: Postkartenfestival in Basel

I will be in Basel at the Postkartenfestival, selling some freshly made postcards, along 150 artists. Amongst them are Dessi, Thomaso, Frida and Lucy.

It’s a one day thing, opening is at noon on Sat, Nov. 1st. It is at Unternehmen Mitte in Basel.

Postkartenfestival

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.

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;-)