On the reverse of the card, Ruud asks me why I do with all the mailart I receive and assumes that I make some kind of archives out of it all. That is the truth. But here's the full story:
I'm behind on writing about the mailart I receive, but that is my first step. This is akin to "accessioning" for me (an archival term I won't bore you with the definition of). Next I place the mailart in folders by artist and then chronologically. This proves quite useful to me when I want to find an old piece of mailart sometime. The folders I use are pH-neutral and acid-free. (I buy them myself, and they're not cheap, but they help keep my collection in good shape. I also folder all the leaflets and booklets I receive, which can be quite a few over the course of a year.)
Last year, I collected about two cubic feet of mailart (that is two boxes 10 X 12 X 15 inches in size). I store my more recent mailart with my correspondence--appropriately enough--but I have only six cubic feet of filing cabinet space for these. So every year I have to box up some of my older mailart.
I also try to protect the pieces in my folders by isolating acidic materials with slips of pH-neutral paper, etc. One of my more recent problems is that my house is a bit humid during the summer, and Ruud's painted cards started to stick to one another. So now I have to think about separating all the cards from one another and about keeping the pressure on the cards as light as possible.
The big question is what will I do with my mailart collection. There are a few archives that will probably accept my papers into their collections (and I have had one offer already), so eventually these archives will probably find their way into a professional archives, making me one of the few archivist whose own papers are in an archives.
Ruud Janssen, "X Flu" (13 Aug 2005)
un violon d'ingres