artistamps [1984-1998…]

The word ARTISTAMP was formed by the Canadian artist Michael Bidner from London, Ontario in 1982. Artists have produced their own stamps throughout the 20th century, going back as far as Fluxus and Dada. The production of an artistamp was usually meant as an item of use — mainly next to a postage stamp on a letter or postcard. However, artistamps became collectibles too.

In the 1990's, when the internet became available for public use, the use of personal letters sent by post moved online, emails started to dominate. I produced my first email-attached artistamps (now called cyberstamps) and manifested this as part of an exhibition in 1998 where you could see artistamps attached to telephone wires. The manual pleasure of creating an envelope or a postcard was gone. Most artistamps you find in this archive originate before that time. They were printed on gummed paper, then hand-perforated. Since I used lots of these for my personal correspondence before I had the idea of archiving my work, this artistamp archive will remain incomplete.