One of the edgier and more esoteric art forms of the dark pre-digital days in the 1970 and 80s was mail art – literally sending physical stuff that was art through the mail. I started doing this before I met Linda, probably about 1974 and we both continued doing it well into the 1980s.
We developed a worldwide network of mail artists with whom we exchanged mostly handmade art that sometimes challenged the handling abilities of various post offices around the world. I’m talking about physically making a piece, duplicating it, sending it out to 75 mail artists and a mail art exhibition if one happened to be going on somewhere on the planet. That meant filling, addressing and decorating 75 envelopes, taking them to the post office, paying the postage cost and smiling all the way home knowing that soon there would be dozens of weird and wild return pieces in our post box at Station C. We couldn’t afford airmail so it was the slow boat to everywhere for DickTool Co mail art. Projects went on for months. Mail art was wildly popular with us. Who doesn’t like “getting something in the mail” especially if it’s unique and from far away.
This is the teaser we sent along with the actual test page, not that mail artists ever needed much encouragement to respond. That was the fun of it! click to enlarge
In 1984, Linda and I came up with the DickTool Co Fashion Test, a mail art piece that eventually received 80 responses from around the globe. We had a great time thinking up the questions and statements for the test. It was typed on our old Remington typewriter, images from rubber stamps added and photocopied onto orange paper, as you see it here. The space at the bottom with Linda’s picture smiling in IF… originally had our post box address in it.
Be brave! Nobody fails The DickTool Co Fashion Test click pic to enlarge