PIGEONNET Museo de la Filatelia
Oaxaca, MX

Hidden Cartographies: Circuits of Mail Art in Mexico

Pedro Ceñal Murga & Alfonso Fierro

Estudio Fi


Pigeonnet taps into the network of pigeon breeders in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and connects its participants by using their pigeons honing ability for delivering hand-written messages between them.

New York has a long history with pigeon keeping. Introduced by immigrants of Italian, Polish, and Irish descent, by the 1940s and 1950s, pigeon lofts could be seen on countless rooftops of the Lower East Side.  Real-estate development and population shifts caused the practice to dwindle and segregated it to parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island, neighborhoods undergoing racial changes. This shift created an unlikely camaraderie between working-class rooftop flyers of European descent and working-class blacks and Hispanics. This camaraderie turns into a fierce competition daily when keepers send their pigeon flock to fly and mingle. Once in the air, pigeons have no owners, and the game of pigeon luring pigeons into rival territory begins.

Despite having the infrastructure, rooftop flyers do not use the homing ability of their pigeons to exchange goods or messages. Pigeonnet tapped this existing network and invited its participants to engage in message exchanges, opening a new line of communication between friendly rivals.


Hidden Cartographies: Circuits of Mail Art in Mexico

During the 70s and 80s, Mail Art appeared as a network of aesthetic-political exchanges between artists from different parts of the world through the postal system. From archive material and contemporary reviews, Hidden Cartographies: Circuits of Mail Art in Mexico seeks to make visible the infrastructures that allowed the construction and registration of Mexican artists, collectives, and groups in this global network, as well as the aesthetic and political concerns that motivated it. The exhibition makes visible the participation in the Mail Art network from four curatorial nuclei that lead us from the appropriation of the postal system (envelopes, stamps, stamps) to the composition of the artistic communities that formed it (directories) as well as the consolidation of its ideology (manifestos, polls, debates) passing through the transmission of news, events, and updates through periodic bulletins, and the different forms of collaboration that developed in the collective activities of Mail Art. Meanwhile, a series of contemporary interventions suggests links between past and present, between Mail Art and current artistic concerns.

With documental material from:
Maris Bustamante, Ulises Carrión, Felipe Ehrenberg, Helen Escobedo, César Espinosa, Aarón Flores, Pedro Friedeberg, Jesús Romeo Galdámez, Lourdes Grobet, María Eugenia Guerra, Mauricio Guerrero, Alberto Híjar, Marcos Kurtycz, Magali Lara, Manuel Marín, Mónica Mayer, Leticia Ocharán, Santiago Rebolledo, Araceli Zúñiga

And commissioned pieces from:
Santiago Muédano, Federico Pérez Villoro, Edwina Portocarrero

Graphic Design:
Jackie Crespo