Postcarts, cartoline d’artista

Vittore Baroni

Coniglio Editore, ISBN 8888833730
The mail art network, self-defined as ethereal, had long conceptually anticipated the telematic one, and its own media (the postcard, the stamp and the rubber stamp) have been field for experiments in tiny spaces, transmitting contents through global, and delayed, distances. These cultural objects, that still circulate in the physical network of shipping in pre-formatted data structures, constitute as many media deeply manipulated in years by mail artists. The postcards are examined here are a specific archetype, already used without causing an uproar by the major twentieth century avantgarde. In the synthesis constrained in a few square centimeters a completely open communication takes place. Derrida effectively defined it as ‘not private nor public’, or rather both. The medium has the peculiar characteristic of being readable in any of the distribution nodes through which it travels. This process has been often exploited in the past as a transformation tool, nevertheless it’s still unknown to the net art community. The delayed time of communication was of a many-to-many type well before the theorist of the electronic networks told us the news. And this type of communication has enabled a different awareness of the network and its extraordinary reactivity when properly aroused with few strategic moves. Those who actually can use a few megabits of bandwidth per second should learn this very important lesson.