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Großkreisentfernung (Great Circle Distance) Mail Art

46 artists

12 countries

66,678 km

Großkreisentfernung (Great Circle Distance) Mail Art project relied on the postal system to create a visual dialogue between 46 artists from 12 countries. Great Circle Distance refers to the shortest distance between two points on the Earth's surface. The project's total Great Circle Distance was 66,678 km.

Each artist created a new artwork in response to one mailed to them by another artist. This sequential process began and ended in Berlin and continued the tradition of Mail Art that dates back to at least the 1940s with Ray Johnson (New York), and the FLUXUS movement of the 1960s and 70s. Despite the ubiquity and instantaneousness of e-mail, there is still an important place for mail as a means of human communication, and for artworks to be made, exchanged and shared outside the traditional world of white cube galleries and the commercial art market.

The 46 works were exhibited in Berlin from 8-20 July 2019 at project space tête. Viewers were invited to explore the way that the stimulus of one work has been used to create the response of the next work; how visual elements arise then disappear, only to reappear later in the series; and how 46 visual artists have used the thrill of receiving a parcel in the post to create something new, and then send it off into the world.

Berlin was the common link among all participating artists: all were either alumni of, or contributors to the PICTURE BERLIN Artist Residency Program which marked its 10 year anniversary in 2019. The project re-established and strengthened the artists' connection with the city and each other.