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HeMi (Henning Mitterdorf)

by Henning Mittendorf       
If one wants to foresee the shape of "super-mankind" by means of science,
one will not find it in a "super-brain" but in a "super-socialized" group.
Teilhard de Chardin
A long time ago I read about an anthropologist who studied some North
American Indians of quite a primitive stage. From time to time they would
get around in a circle, everybody, and-just talk and talk and talk, as equals.
They made no decisions or anything and at some point they just stopped.
Then everybody seemed to know what to do.
David Bohm
Mail artists have the - one,could say "oecological" - vision that ali things ara parts of a whole, - called cosmos or world. AII parts in their turn have a dialogical character that is thry have an inviting, asking, answering, signalizing quality. And because of their immanent insatiable longing for the you, the other, the strange, called leve, they ara combined by lively relations in form of dialogues and interactions to each other: men, women, children and ali the other creatures; ali creatures ara combined with each other forming the active whole, totality. They ali ara participating, Le. communicating and interacting, thus perpetually changing themselves, living.
Within the participation-process men ara not determined at ali. They ara in a certain extend free far their contributions to the big process of participation.
In the mail art's net of participation and in its expressions - works, actions etc., mostly visual, verbal or acoustic signs and transmitted by mai! or internet - one can find the reflected images of man's exclusive one-sided and narrow-minded referring to ratio and violence more and more pushing away the language that fits far man and includes leve as a substantial parto The adoration of ratio and violence is culminating in ma n' s endless and various catastrophes' productions, in his growing inability in solving the self-made existential problems of mankind, nature and world, in the barbarous and bloody aims and methods of his controlling the behaviour of his fellow-creatures, including the pacifying of man' s mind and ending in the perversity of mankind enjoying through the massmedia, especially through television, the coming to an end of its own automatical accelerating self-destruction.
To stop this development the mai! artists interfere far and express life within their participati,pn's grocess. It becoO1es one of the apposite and defying power of man's spiriUo forca open the one-sided adoration of ratio and ago by nearly the whole mankind. As the danger of destruction has grown in the meantime to a global, a total dimension, the mail artists try to overcome the spatial and temperai locations of the "oecological" participation of ideas, especially in art-making, by combining the individuai points of creative art through individuai and at every ti me solvable quasi barter's relations te a global unit, yet an eternal net of ali the participating mai I artists, to the immensely growing participation's process of mail art, of mail art.
In front of the intricate world the mai I artists don't want to be anymore separated in thinking and feeling when living. They strive to come to a clear-sighted feeling, to a clear-feeling thinking to make out sense with ali their qualities and possibilities.
They want to reconcile the irrational and rational, the trespass and the prohibition, the chaos and the arder, the self and the nothingness. The mail artists search far the wholesome natural language fitting far the whole and its parts, including man, as supplement to the language of ratio, of exact knowledge. They try to find it by seeing, hearing, dreaming, revaluing, by fancy, by thinking with imagination and intuition, by searching to participate in the whole.
The mail artists's leve aims at the melting into one another with the chosen beloved object, his leve intends to bring the object in its essence and existence into his self, finding at the same lime the way of correspondence between different things within an unstable difficult balance full of presence, happiness and fullness. While living this procedure is repeated and the mail-artists are changing and evolving themselves, trying to realize the infinite task of leve in a final man, and by growing experience and feeling for life's values they get conviction about their piace in the world, get their identity.
The mail artists therefore attempt to combine the common and the different, the similar and the unlike, the fragments to the whole, the opposite to the unity, the resisting to the harmony, the subject to the object and the separate to identity to become at the same lime ego and you, lime and eternity, this and that, unity and totality, fulness and substance. With their structures of an irregular aesthetics they want to break open the colloquial language, including traditional art, both once full of meanings like lite, buI nowadays mutilated by analytical reduction, to refer to the whole. They oppose the jerking of human inner lite against the happy-making, buI wretched "Iie, against the artificial honey of polished functionalism and handsome articles of com merce, against art as a handsome article of commerce. And they do ali this in anti-hierarchical that is democratic dialogues independent of status and style of the participants who don't want to determine, to decide, to regulate the process of participation's art. They only like to contribute their individuai impulses to initiate new aspects in the process, changes, evolution with regard to the whole and its parts. Driven by their leve the mail artists - always keeping their individualities - dip into the process of participation of mai I art, into the process of participation to appease their insatiable leve in somewhat bigger and greater, in art and at the same lime in lite, knowing and noI knowing where the way willlead. The way becomes the aim.
Besides the existential dangers in the world, the mail artists start recognizing and experiencing signs of growing solidarity in the world, too, its other tace. It is illuminated by participation and its expressions.
The mail artists notice that they work together with other similar movements, buI they with artistic-aesthetic expressions, to overcome the one-sidedness of man's believing in ratio culminating in his various attempts of final and definite destruction of ali nature and lite in a chain, respectively nel, of tradition for lite in ali its richness and mystery, a nel to preserve the creating power of lite including the one of mankind.
It doesn't matter if this is an utopian scheme or not. Mail art itself is a part of lite, and therefore it stands for the never ending struggle for liberation of the individuai from outer and inner pressions and misunderstandings. In mail art life in form of partecipation and its mostly artistic-aesthetic-expressions, in the changing and the evolution, including the one to give birth to identity, is only obliged to freedom for leve. It is thus turned against stupidity in the form of the dissolving and the stiffness trying to control in bloody one-sidedness ali the world.
Mail art in so far is much more than established, traditional art. It is an attempt to create a
" super-socialized " group, trying to bring more friendship, individualism, sensibility, freedom, leve, hope, confidence, tolerance, pluralism, democracy, soci al balance, peace, harmony and much more into the world and into every man (1985/2000).



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Contenitore d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea