Postal Collage

Project Description, Notes and Schedule


The Postal Collage Project is a six-month, six-stage, mail-art project, with a timeline running from the 1st of September through end of February.

Assembled in working-groups of five members each, with each group arranged in a ‘circular’ sequence, participants will send and receive works-in-progress, and contribute to that progress. Each participant will be the Principal Author of one collage, and a Contributing Author of four others.


Before collage work begins, working-groups will be formed. Participants will be assigned to groups by the project coordinator, or working-groups can be self-organized. When a group has been assembled and members introduced to one another, a delivery pattern will be determined, and necessary mailing addresses will be exchanged. Then, collage work may begin.

More detailed information about arranging working-groups can be found here:


STAGE ONE [Initiation]

Each and every participant will begin a collage, and will thereafter be called the Initiator, or Originator, of that work-in-progress. On a separate piece of paper, each Initiator will write their name and the date, plus any expressive, strategic, or documentary information they wish to pass along.


Each Initiator will deliver the new work-in-progress and the accompanying informational sheet to the group-member who follows them in the sequence. Thus, each will receive a work-in-progress and info sheet from the group-member who precedes them in the sequence.

STAGE TWO [Contribution]

Each participant will contribute to the collage they’ve received. They will add their name and the date to the accompanying informational sheet, along with any additional information they wish to include.


Each participant will, like before, deliver the work-in-progress and info sheet to the next group-member.

STAGE THREE [Contribution]

•See Stage Two


•See Second Pass

STAGE FOUR [Contribution]

•See Stage Two


•See Second Pass

STAGE FIVE [Contribution]

•See Stage Two

FIFTH PASS [Full Circle]

See Second Pass. At this point, when the work is delivered, each participant will receive back the collage they, themselves, initiated, now transformed by contributions of the group.

STAGE SIX [Completion]

Each participant will complete the piece they initiated, and thereafter be considered the Principal Author of that piece. Each Principal Author will deliver their completed collage to Berkeley for exhibition.

The PROCESS described in a half-minute, annotated video.



Participation requires a modest, though not insignificant commitment. Please carefully consider the following, before committing:

• Participants can expect to spend a few dollars on postage each month for six months.

• The Schedule must be respected. Consistent, dependable deliveries will be required in order to complete the cycle and achieve the characteristic return of each piece to its originator.

• Each participant accepts responsibility for the completion of the piece they initiate, and agrees to deliver that piece for exhibition.


Each collaborator will be the Principal Author of one collage (the one they start & finish), and a Contributing Author of four others.

A Contributing Author, while making their contribution, has sole authority regarding development of the work-in-progress. When the contribution is made, and the work is passed along, that authority is relinquished to the next contributor.

A Principal Author, when starting a collage, and when completing the collage they started, has sole authority regarding development and completion of the piece. 


Larger, heavier, bulkier works-in-progress will cost more to deliver than smaller, lighter, flatter work. Consider the costs your fellow collaborators may incur. Also consider this: The creative autonomy to which every collaborator is entitled allows any current Contributor to turn a large, heavy, bulky work-in-progress into a smaller, lighter, and flatter one.

Also consider your fellow collaborators when choosing materials, and avoid dangerous and commonly offensive objects and substances (sharp, explosive, toxic, noxious, or perishable).

In most cases, works-in-progress are delivered by public postal services, and therefore, materials must conform to the legal and policy requirements of those postal services.


Participants are strongly encouraged to make and share documentary photographs and videos. At selected exhibitions, a slideshow/video will accompany the completed collages.

Collaborator accounts, descriptions, stories, and reflections enrich the project and are very much appreciated. Collaborator Experiences


Over the course of several months, people’s schedules change, sometimes suddenly, and in unforeseen ways. Project participants are encouraged to keep one another apprised of progress and delays.


At the end of the exhibition season, ownership of each collage is determined by its Principal Author, according to a choice. One option: The Principal Author requests the return of their collage, and such arrangements are made. The other option: The collage is bequeathed to the Berkeley Commonplace Collaborative Collage Collection. This collection is catalogued and maintained for posterity, and selections are included in an ongoing, rotating exhibition. If, by the end of the calendar year, no arrangements for a collage’s return have been made, that collage becomes part of The Collection.


Sent by‘ dates are recommendations aimed at assuring timely deliveries. Actual delivery times will vary. ‘Received bydates are deadlines.

Collage work officially begins on September 1
First post sent by September 15
First post received by October 1
Second post sent by October 15
Second post received by November 1
Third post sent by November 15
Third post received by December 1
Fourth post sent by December 15
Fourth post received by January 1
Fifth post sent by January 15
Fifth post received by February 1 (full circle)
Completed collages submitted* for exhibition by February 15
Completed collages received in Berkeley by March 1

*Send completed collages to:
Berkeley Commonplace
2571 Shattuck Avenue, 1A
Berkeley, CA, USA 94704