The Internet’s Underwear: Bern Porter, Mail Art, & The Eternal Network
A Show-and-Tell by
SHEILA HOLTZ & SCOTT HUG
Take off the clothing of the 21st Century World Wide Web and what do you find? Its foundational garment – the Mail Art movement of the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. This cultural phenomenon has been dubbed by some “The Eternal Network.” And it included Colby’s own Bernard Harden Porter (class of 1932) as one of its prime movers.
Sheila Holtz, a long-time Mail Artist, ‘zine publisher and Porter devotee, shares her experience in the Network from the late ‘70s on up through her time as a “Scholar” at Bern’s “Institute of Advanced Thinking,” in Belfast, Maine in the 1990s. She currently puts out MAILBLITZ, a small-run monthly broadside containing her personal ruminations and appropriated/altered images.
Scott Hug, artist and filmmaker, features the work of eleven prominent Mail Artists among Bern’s contacts, in a visual/virtual gallery, along with clips from his own work-in-progress, a Porter documentary, The World is a Poem.
A Center for Book & Print program – organized by Colby College Libraries and Arts Office.
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