"Happy death day." - Ray Johnson

Ruud Janssen with Ray Johnson

TAM Mail-Interview Project


(WWW Version)

This is the TEXT-VERSION of the two answers Ray give as part of my interview-project. I am still collecting all kind of information about Ray Johnson (before and/or after his suicide on 13-1-1995). In the furure I hope to publish a booklet about this research.

Started on: 4-11-1994

RUUD: Welcome to this mail-interview. A lot of mail-artists have stopped with sending out their mail into the network, but you seem to keep it up even till today. Is it true thatmail-art is more then art, that it is a way of living your life? (please put your answer on paper any length you choose....)

Reply on: 11-11-1994

(Ray's answer was written on the original invitation to the project. He reacted to one specific word on the invitation, the word 'LENGTH', and he decided which length the answer would be...)

RAY: O.K. I choose 14¬ Inch length. Another answer - Dear Lamonte Young, Happy death day. Please send second question.

(The next question was in the length Ray wanted, and to make it more difficult for him, I typed the next question on dark-red paper on which I indicated the length he choose with a golden pen. Ray wrote again his answer on this paper and returned it to me.)

RUUD: With this length of 14¬ Inch the depth of my questions will change (for better or worse, I don't know....) What kind of color would you like my questions to be? Not to dark a color for this second question I hope.

Reply on: 21-11-1994

RAY: THE MNO QP (mirror view) kind. What about Mimsy Star? She got pinched in the astor bar.

RUUD: Was it a mistake that she got pinched. Was she supposed to be punched. Does she like PUNCH at all?

(Because of the long silence I wondered if the third question arrived, and I sent a letter to Ray to ask him what was happened. I found out a few days later he had committed suicide on January 13th. 1995, a Friday).

Reproduced with the permission of
Further reproduction without the written consent of
Ruud Janssen and the Artist is prohibited.

Mail-artist: Ray Johnson (1927-1995)

Interviewer: Ruud Janssen - TAM, P.O.Box 1055, 4801 BB Breda, NETHERLANDS

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