On occasion I’ve thought about the potential of using “spam” as an art form… graffiti is un-authorized use of space for art, so why not use spam as e-mail graffiti? And of course, there are various political chainletters that periodically go round (usually right-wing, but a couple leftwing one’s as well).
I’ve not thought too hard about it, since there’s generally a huge opposition to unsolicited e-mail. But I’ve seen studies that say that the reason companies spam is because it works. And if it can work for penis enlargement, why can’t it work for art or activism?
But it may be too late to do anything with this since Bush signed an anti-spamming bill. If this works, it will be a boon to ISPs everywhere who are dealing with the terrible bandwidth burdon of spam. And no one will miss the onslaught of porn, scams, and other misc. crap that builds up in their “bulk” mail folders. But think of this: that’s one less tool for activists and artists and small businesses. Megacorporations can afford to advertise to millions of people. The rest of us cannot.
Update: See also this Salon article on artist Netochka Nezvanova and this Wikipedia.