Corruption Test

Conceptual, Mail Art, Money

Corruption Test – Korruptionstest is an ongoing series of postal experiments.
Whenever I am abroad, or when friends or acquaintances of mine travel somewhere exotic, I ask them to send me two postcards. The instructions are simple:

I’m always happy about new tests. If you would like to participate, just follow the instructions below.

Instructions for Corruption Test
- Take a 1 USD note and the cheapest banknote of the local currency
- Use a marker to write "Corruption test" in English, German (and if possible) the local language directly on the banknote
- Adress it to "Robin Gommel, Postfach 301, 79003 Freiburg, Germany", also using a marker
- Buy a stamp for an international postcard, stick it on the banknote
- Take a picture of the banknotes, note the date of shipment and the location of the mailbox and email me those

I keep a database of the emails and the actual postcards I have received. This is far larger than the collection of sample images you see below.

Some arrive safely. Some get lost. Some take forever. Sometimes funny things happen.

Mailing Corruption Tests

Anna-Lena mailing Corruption Tests from Croatia, all lost
Corruption test Hungary 2021
Corruption Test Norway 2014
Mailing Corruption Tests to Peter Weiss Haus

Unaltered delivered Corruption Tests

Corruption Test Colombia, delivered
Corruption Test Norway 2014 not packaged by Posten Norge

Funny things that happened

Corruption Test Vietnam sent from Germany 2015. Three Euro postal fine (“300 ct”)

Deutsche Post did not like the packaging or lack thereof and charged me a three Euro fine.

Corruption Test UK, packaged by Royal Mail, 2019

Royal Mail packaged both tests in a plastic envelope 2019

Corruption Test Norway 2014 packaged by Posten Norge

Posten Norge packaged the NOK, but mailed the USD as postcard (see above)

USD Corruption test arrived at Peter Weiss Haus

The USD mailed to Peter Weiss Haus for the Art to Fail exhibition arrived, the € did not.

Corruption Test Germany, packaged by Deutsche Post, fixed a stamp with paper clip

Deutsche Post packaged the five Euro note and re-attached the stamp with a paper clip. The stamps bought from vending machines are notoriously unsticky.

Corruption Test UK, packaged by Royal Mail, 2014

Royal Mail packaged the GBP note in an envelope, the USD was lost in 2014

Corruption Test Hungary 2021. Delivered after six months in an envelop, stamps transferred to envelope.

In 2021 Magyar Posta packaged USD and HUF in an envelope. It arrived after 6 months. A USD and HUF note shipped from the same mailbox (at Keleti train station) in 2010 have not arrived yet.

Lost Corruption Test

Most Corruption Tests have been lost. Here are some of those.

Corruption Test USA 2015 lost, 2013
Corruption Test Poland 2015 lost
Corruption Test Ethiopia, lost
Corruption Test to Lubomyr Tymkiv, Lviv, Ukraine, lost, 2013
Corruption Test New Zealand 2014, lost
Corruption Tests from Croatia, lost