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Mail Art

50th Anniversary Polytechnic University of Catalonia · BarcelonaTech — Beyond the ETSAB Archive 1875–2025

The archive as institutional circulation

As described in the call for submissions, with the winning proposals of the three ARCHIVE SERIES editions, circular correspondence will be established with the main institutions and agents involved in the edition of the prize. Mail Art is the name used for original art activity that uses postal distribution as a means of expression.

These mailings could be messages, collages, objects, slogans or poems, among others, that are for a broad public, often unknown to the author, who aims in this way to escape from the traditional channels of art distribution.

There are several examples in history. One is the foundation in 1962 by Ray Jonson of the New York Correspondence School of Art, with the participation of conceptual artists such as On Kawara, and members of Fluxus, such as Robert Watts and Ben Vautier. Exhibitions were held in 1970. A year later, this movement was confirmed in the heart of the Paris Biennial.

The movement’s critical nature was designed to overcome the monopoly of the galleries and the art market as forms of art dissemination established by consumer society. The movement was expanded to broader concepts such as, in our case, the discovery, through literature and the word, of the narrative potential of an academic and university archive. In turn, it is proposed that the basis of the future ARTS UPC Museum will be established through this initiative. The museum will house as a permanent collection the donation of the art critic Arnau Puig, along with temporary exhibitions from the ARCHIVE SERIES, a periodic activity that will be held until 2025 to celebrate the 150 years of ETSAB-UPC.


 Collection — ARCHIVE SERIES — 2