Ryosuke Cohen, Japan, is responsible for the Brain Cell mail art project, which he began in June 1985 and retains thousands of members in more than 80 countries. The project is a networked art project where individual artists contribute stamps, stickers, drawings or other images. These are sent through the mail to Cohen, who assembles and prints them as part of each cell. He prints 150 copies (30 x 42 cm) with a small silkscreen system called a Cyclostyle, (now out of production). Each participant is mailed a Brain Cell print along with a documentation list of contributors world wide.
Cohen keeps a copy for himself. Some of the remaining Brain Cells prints from each edition are assembled into sets of 30 consecutive editions. These set are sent to artists and Mail Art shows around the world.
Cohen also uses Brain Cells prints in the Fractal Portrait Project (another long running art series by Cohen) and as additions to Mail Art Add and Pass pages.
New Brain Cell editions are published every 8 to 10 days. As of December 31, 2012, there have been 847 issues.
Cohen described the origin of the project’s name in 1985: 🙂 “Well, I’ll title my work “Brain Cell”, because the structure of a brain through a microscope looks like the diagram of the Mail Art network. Thousands of Neurons clung and piled up together are just like the Mail Art network, I believe.”
Petrolpetal SA & Emily Coles, both members of the International Union of Mail-Artists.