Mark Bloch

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For the French historian and founder of the Annales school, see Marc Bloch.

Mark Bloch (born January 23, 1956), also known as Pan, P.A.N., Panman, Panpost and the Post Art Network, is an American multi-media artist. He is from Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Since 1982 he has lived in New York City. He is a conceptual artist in the tradition of Dada, the Surrealists, Marcel Duchamp, the Fluxus group and Ray Johnson.

Bloch has been interested in digital electronics since 1977 when he created his first computer-related artwork. His art uses the postal system as well as other communications media. In 1989, after over a decade working in mail art, he began to work on the Internet and soon after created a "digital performance artwork in progress" called Panscan for Echo Communications.

Bloch has done video, performance art and experimental music since the late 1970s and also works with networks, e-mail art, postcards, 'artistamps', coded envelopes, information theory, mass media, speaking, journalism and broadcasting.

He became active with mail art in 1977 and created several international postal art, post-art games including the infamous Last Mail Art Show which created controversy. He also raises eyebrows by eschewing institutionalized anarchy such as Neoism, preferring instead the strategies of Arthur Cravan. However, he supports the work of Neoists and other traffickers in Externality everywhere and is an advocate for artists' rights and against the mythic stereotype of the "starving artist." He adheres to principles originated with Situationism, DIY and other forms of Postmodernism in his theoretical approach to issues of art and commerce but refers to it in his writings as "Pan-Modern."

For the past 24 years, since embarking on his personal Art Strike, Bloch creates a new manifesto every day upon waking. These writings remain unpublished.

Bloch also creates articles, pamphlets, books, and mail art-related projects in the tradition of Johann Gutenberg, William Blake, William Morris, Thomas Paine, Wallace Berman and El Lissitzky. He recently revived his irregularly issued fanzine called Panmag in the form of a public access cable TV program in New York called Panscan TV.

Bloch's formative years were spent in Kent, Ohio at Kent State University, where he was influenced by the performance artist in residence Joan Jonas and faculty members Adrian deWit and Robert Culley. Bloch founded an offshoot of the punk rock movement called The New Irreverence which also included Kim Kristensen, Daniel M. Lewis, and Michael Heaton, and a group of painters that later came to be known as M'bwebwe in New York City.

Bloch is the editor and author of Robert Delford Brown: Meat, Maps and Militant Metaphysics, a catalog for the first museum exhibition of the work of Robert Delford Brown in 2008 at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, North Carolina. The book contains contributions by Walter Hopps, Emmett Williams, Allan Kaprow, Hermann Nitsch, Peter Frank, A.D. Coleman, Richard Kostelanetz and others.

In 2010, Bloch's exhibition Secrets of The Ancient 20th Century Gamers was presented at the Emily Harvey Foundation in New York City.

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