[ welcome ]
Based in Orkney (the group of islands off the northernmost tip of Scotland), ussr1049 produce conceptual and experimental artwork and devise creative projects based loosely around a number of growing topics and themes, including;
We use a broad range of media - from traditional drawing and collage to mail art, textiles, photography and film - and often implement rubber stamping, xerox and mass media print techniques into our work. We also produce multiples, bookworks and ephemera. Our early work was predominantly mail art.
Note: this website is currently in development - and some sections are missing. We are in the process of documenting a number of recent projects, along with archiving work from the mid-1990s. We hope to have this work online soon.
[ history ]
ussr1049 started life in the early 1990s as 'watson press' - an underground mail art / artists' book / experimental art collaborative based in Hartlepool, in the north east of England. watson press primarily worked in the field of mail art - and compiled a mail art/visual poetry artists' folio/journal, entitled ussr1049 orange. The name watson press was then used for Rik's website design company in the late 1990s, so when we started to work together again on collaborative artwork, we modified our collective name to ussr1049.
[ the name ussr1049 ]
In the 1990s we needed a name for our mail art folio/zine. We had an interest in digital media, computing, the former Soviet Union and the roles that networking and communications have within art.
As mail art (correspondence art, arte postale) and netwrking art have similarities to computer viruses in the way they spread and disseminate, we had a look in a computer virus database for appropriate names. We found 'USSR1049' - which had been discovered in 1990 in the former Soviet Union (the USSR, or CCCP). We titled our mail art folio 'ussr1049 orange' - we added the word 'orange' because the folios we were producing at the time were contained in orange 'FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY' envelopes. We also made orange the theme for the first edition.
'USSR1049 : USSR1049 is an art collaborative which infects art and postage including yours. The virus is loaded into memory by opening an infected piece of mail (arte postale) and then affects the viewer's normal operation. Corrupts non-artists or artists'.