“I always feel that the margins tell you more than the center of the page ever could,” -Marcia Tucker, Founder of the New Museum, NY
Reflecting on a model that shaped an American museum built on cross-cultural dialogue and pondering on ways to engage artists and their peers during a time of isolation, Diverse Networks is a group exhibition that explores contemporary mail art collaborations between Miami-based artists and their colleagues, artist ephemera from William Pope. L, and historic works by Joseph Beuys, Ray Johnson, and James Lee Byars. From the Fluxus in the 60s and 70s to the Miami Dade Public Library ArtMobile in the 80s, mail art takes its roots in arts advocacy and radical thought.
Often lighthearted, witty, and playful, mail art seeks to challenge conventional exhibition spaces and offers a discourse about how a page can provide an opportunity for Concrete poetry, a script for a performance, an educational artifact, or a dialogue between artists and organizers. Artworks that include marginalia and artist publications provide windows into process. As a play on the phrase Eternal Network, invented by French artist Robert Filliou in the early 60’s and expanded on by American artist George Brecht who helped develop the concept, Diverse Networks draws both on the history of mail art both locally and nationally and explores recent incentives to support the USPS during the pandemic. We’ve asked current residents and alumni to correspond with other artists of their choosing to create new works for this exhibition.
We give special thanks to Debra and Dennis Scholl, Saul Ostrow, Susan Bowman, and the Miami Dade Public Library for lending historical works for this exhibition.