International Honorary Artistic Committee

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Padín Clemente – Uruguay

Thanks, dear friend, Thomai

I accept your proposal.
Here is your article....fraternal greetings,

Network: the work in the net

by Clemente Padín

Mail Art by emphatizing communication, i.e., the character of use -not of change- of the artistic product and networking, by enhancing the co-operative forms of creation and diffusion opposed to the ideology generated by the individual forms of production and against the cultural dictac of the official system of the Fine Arts and their coryphaeus, the critics and curators are both situated outside the habituals codes used as legitimazing screens of well known social structures.

There is a future for Mail Art and Network if they remain in the area of use. Works must not be sold. The theme is to maintain art in the area of use, within its irrestrictive social function and not in the area of change, which would inmediately throw it in the market and the search for profit or lucre in a mercantile function, in or out the margins of its social function. Also, Mail Art will survive in the meanwhile the postal service survive because there is no art without channel or fisic support.

The new media only will change my personal expression but not my contents. Mail Art and Network are alternative arts that put the accent on communication. The new media, like fax, video-telephone, audio-dubbing, video, laser, hologramme, satellites, sticks, computers, etc., including the mail services, are instruments of interrelation between men. But, the new media, like other machines, do not produce on their own. They do not create aesthetic information if the human mind and hand are not there. Communication is not an abstract being, it is neccesary to produce and distribute it for its materalization, id est, its consumption and legitimation like product. Communication does not exist until it is consumed and does not generate feed-back. In other words: the work can only exist in the net. Art only exists if the "others" also exist.

Artistically, you can not create new contents, because constents exist in the social life. P.e., "love" is the same chose all the times and everywhere, only changes how to express it. But,all change. And Mail Art is not the exception: "Because things are like they are, they do not remain like things" (Berthold Brecht). Also, communication will be while there was two persons in the world.

Between other choises Mail Art was born because products of artistical communication was losing their essential objective: the social communication. Art was losing his social function by the mercantile one. Our economical system put price to all, including communication. You know: Mail Art and Network is a product of human work and reproduce the social relations. Life artistical product is specificly art with a value changeable by money (sometimes the price is not equal to value). The artwork like product of communication is a part of the whole social production and it can not leave to express our reality but symbolically. Both artistical and communicational parts are inseparables but a part prevails over the other one according the objective of the work.

Originality in Mail Art stems from the revolutionary communication of people through the mail. This and other characteristics of Mail Art are essential if we are to understand appropiate concepts. Mail Art is communication, rather than a mercantile product subject to the laws of the marketplace. Mail artworks are not made for the art market to be consumed, rather, they are products of communication. The aesthetic value of Mail Art lies in the communicative effectiveness of transmitted ideas. Yet, the cultural regime dictates in an oppresive system where certain privileged beings are “allowed” through divine mandate to produce art. Mail artists should question this form of false cultural dialetic. Sometimes the images and works which mail artists produce are created to please critics.The cultural regime is satisfied when artists create images and works which build an ideal world without contradictions and without wounds. This only succeeds in placing society under a blanket which hides art in a false reality without purpose or function.

Ideological hegemony in society define priorities of what is “beautiful” and what is not, that which is “art” and that which is not. Given free option to communicative proposals, the viewer´s right and that of everybody else are affirmed in the decision making process. Mail Art and other conceptual disciplines permit the spectator to have direct interaction with artwork according to that which has living value for one´s self. Herein lies the propitiation of consummate creative that are applicable to every individual case. Avoiding the active approbation of art by ideologies which seek only to maintain hegemony is precisely what a viable ethic. We know that the art establishment has functioned for its own ends and is a system in which human values and one´s breath of air is paid at the price.

Mail Art is not a code but a channel. It is known, mail like channel can participate in the content of the work, but like expression, adding more aesthetic information. Also, languages are codes. Channels carry the signs of codes and languages from senders to receivers and viceversa. So, we see many forms of expression and many different languages in Mail Art but only one channel: the mail or postal services.

When new media or channels appear on the horizon, like fax or e-mail, also appear new works that can be transmitteds in electronic or magnetic waves. (Really if we are formeds by corspuscles and waves, all are transmitteds by "magnetic camps". So, fisically, there are not differences between mail, fax or e-mail).

Art is the symbolic expression of humanity and it is created for to communicate. Only under this economical system was transformed in a merchandise but principally is an instrument of human interrelation. But, remember: "all that is solid will be disolved into air"(Marx) and, in front of the new media or last technology we can do 3 choses: oppose us, to accompany advances or to impels them (in words of Benjamin). Would you stop the scientific advances? or, would you only accompany or would you push them? It is your decision. When a new form is born in art, the old one is aesthetic(ed), i.e., it is transformed in art. By now both fax and e-mail was not useds like artistical channel because it is impossible introducing the autorreferential element in their expressions (like Jakobson wants for poetry and arts), i,.e., the intrinsic characteristics of the channels. Channels are part of the expression but they can not introduce into the content altering it message or adding a "plus" of information. The media "must to speak by itself" in the art-work.

Finally, art reveals itself as a sublimated for of the social conciousness and, as such, instrument of knowledge, whose function is auxiliar to its approval or desapproval of that same society, being able to convert itself, according to circunstances, in instrument of change and transformation or of consolidation and preservation of establisment. You can choice the Mail Art´s future. The vital issue is to work on...also is your decision: change or consolidate the imperant system from your art-work (not with your one).

From Clemente Padín to Thomai Kontou, June, 2010

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