Mail Art, also called Correspondence Art by its co-founder Ray Johnson, is art by mail.
Mail Art ostensibly refers to the letters, cards, objects and documentation of actions, exhibitions and other art projects sent via the network of a postal service, which are produced, sent, collected and archived by Mail Art artists. More essential than the material objects, however, is the process of the network's continued collective self-creation by its actors, i.e. action and communication: Mail Art is a net art. In the context of media theories and conceptual art since the 1960s, the objects and messages sent by mail artists or networkers were considered only traces of the comprehensive artistic, political and philosophical enterprise of mail art.
Following the concept of Fluxus artist Robert Filliou's "Fête Permanente/Eternal Network", Mail Art is often understood by those involved as an "Eternal Network" open to everyone, whether they consider themselves non-artists or artists. Mail art has a non-commercial character and maintains a distance from the art market.
As a social and political medium, mail art was a means of resistance in the dictatorships of Latin America and Eastern Europe. Like conceptual art, mail art bypasses the usual distributors such as galleries, art dealers or museums and is therefore difficult to control. Therefore, some subcultural groups, for example from the environment of punk and industrial music, participated and contributed to the network.