MinXus Mail Bag: Minimalism Less than Zero by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

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Mail-art by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Richard Canard has ridden many successive mail-art waves. As a result, he has acquired a useful tool box of avant techniques and has even managed to contribute a few. His forays into minimalist poetry are always of interest, and this example we share with you today might well be an outlier – even for Richard Canard. He pushes the envelope of the minimal into the domain of absence so that we are confronted with the unadorned materials of mail-art. We might consider this a “Nothing” as opposed to a “Happening,” although good conceptual art has a way of raising complex questions with complicated answers.

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So we submit this unusual item to the formidable Richard Canard canon and add many thanks to him for sending.

MinXus Mail Bag: Susan McAllister’s Red & Black Saga Continues (Berkeley, California, USA)

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Mail-art by Susan McAllister (Berkeley, California, USA)

Susan McAllister has been a fantastic correspondent in 2014 and has factored into our sub-project of mapping West Coast USA mail-art. She closes the year by sending us this piece, which we believe is a spectacular addition to her series done in red and black.

Stepping back and taking a look, Tenderfoots will likely agree that Susan McAllister’s work is very diverse. We have praised the red and black pieces specifically, so she has kindly responded. We believe we detect a more “edgy” quality in this most recent postcard-size drawing. We find a hint of R. Crumb, something hallucinatory and a little menacing. A street art aesthetic is woven in as well, yet there is a retro hint of Escher and probably a dozen other things we didn’t catch. In short, Susan McAllister has an incredible ability to synthesize a wide range of influences into a cohesive work, and that includes the incorporation of found material (sometimes). This is a seamless and flawless piece that could easily be a FAB zine illustration.

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Deepest thanks to Susan McAllister for her great mail-art and faithful contributions to M-L!

MinXus Mail Bag: The Courage to Misspell by WA Rodgers (Takoma Park, Maryland, USA)

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Mail-art by WA Rodgers (Takoma Park, Maryland, USA)

Our inside-the-Beltway, Washington, DC-area correspondent WA Rodgers sent us this lovely holiday mail-art that displays her distinctive style and associative mind. This oversized postcard is both deeply thoughtful and tantalizingly cryptic. WA Rodgers’ work this time around is more language-centered than previous pieces received, and we can see some of her themes and preoccupations more articulated. Her message, we think, is wonderful:

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Many thanks to WA Rodgers for her wonderful work and contributions to MinXus-LynXus! We will be in touch!

MinXus Mail Bag: Mail-Art the Way Nature Intended by liketelevisionsnow (Tamworth, New Hampshire, USA)

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Mail-art by liketelevisionsnow (Tamworth, New Hampshire, USA)

This has been a good year for learning more about the amazingly talented and always elusive and ephemeral liketelevisionsnow. After four years of following his work, we aren’t even sure we know his real name. All the same, he was very kind to send us this classic holiday card.

For Tenderfoots who have not yet traveled far on the Long and Dusty Trail, liketelevisionsnow’s choice of this card has relevance to mail-art. Mail-art’s rising popularity in the 1970s (likely achieving a nascence as a pure form in the 1980s before the widespread adoption of the internet) was fuelled, in part, by Yoko Ono’s involvement. Sending strange things through the mail even became a bit trendy. Word spread quickly that if one sent art to her at The Dakota, one was sure to receive a reply. George Maciunas and Fluxus officially endorsed and became involved in mail-art in a big way during this era, probably convinced that Ray Johnson’s notion of an alternative artworld outside the gallery system could be achieved and was worthy of support. Ono’s involvement likely stemmed from her Fluxus ties, although she and Lennon contributed to an astonishing number of “underground” art and literary efforts during that period. (Their generosity really didn’t work out that well for them or anyone else who put their neck out in the art-activist lane.)

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The Lennon-Ono card carries some sad irony, in that war hasn’t ended during the ensuing decades. But it also carries a message of hope, and we thank liketelevisionsnow for that aspect and wish the best for him.

“The Knotted Peach” by Dark wall – asemic fiction, asemic writing, asemics, visual poetry, vispo

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Asemics by DVS featured on Michael Jacobson’s New Post-Literate Blog


MinXus Mail Bag: Holiday Trashpo by Mail-Art Martha (Beckenham Kent, UK)

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Mail-Art by Mail-Art Martha (Beckenham Kent, UK)

In the Trashpo world, 2014 has been a spectacular year for DKULTUK. Membership has grown, phenom innovations have been made and the chapter has been heaped with praise and accolades. The UK is now, indeed, a force in global Trashpo going into a new year.

At the forefront of the charge is Mail-Art Martha of London, already a network legend. Our humble MinXus-LynXus blog has been enriched with Mail-Art Martha’s marvelous contributions. As the year winds down, we are thrilled to have received these wonderful holiday greetings from her. We are certain she approves of us sharing this material with our dearest Tenderfoots.

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Mail-Art Martha’s holiday greetings came on a conventional-size sheet of paper (found material on one side) with these wonderful panels bearing the message.

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Mail-Art Martha includes some important dates in Trashpo as well as IUOMA history. Her Front Door Gallery is becoming iconic to many Tenderfoots, we are sure.

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We are not sure what all the Sundays are meant to signify. Mail-Art Martha’s envelopes are always worth a gander because they are a place where she displays her stamp art:

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And the reverse:

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DKULTNY is not likely to issue anything of importance during the remainder of the year, but a fanzine will like be released in January. So happy holidays and best wishes to Mail-Art Martha! We will see you on the other side.

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