MinXus Mail Bag: DKult Doodle Therapy TLP #5 by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK)

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Mail art by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK)

Our faithful correspondent Rebecca Guyver sent us the fifth Tacky Little Pamphlet (TLP) in her stunning DKult Doodle Therapy series. This new installment is as innovative and entertaining as the previous editions we have received. The DKult Doodle Therapy concept is inherently collaborative. While Rebecca Guyver is unquestionably the guiding force behind these soon-to-be historic TLPs (we’re sure), many other artists have contributed doodles. Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) and Figgy Guyver are given credit for contributing to TLP#5; we gather there are others as well. Rebecca Guyver is also a wonderful correspondent in terms of sending us generous envelopes stuffed with both art and news. These opening scans are of a card that accompanied TLP#5. Here is the reverse side:

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Without further digression, we are very pleased to now present you – dearest Tenderfoots – with complete documentation of DKult Doodle Therapy TLP#5:

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Cover of DKult Doodle Therapy TLP#5 by Rebecca Guyver with additional contributions by Diane Keys, Figgy Guyver and others.

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(Click to enlarge)

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Detail from Dkult Doodle Therapy TLP#5

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Back cover Dkult Doodle Therapy#5

A wonderful production! Rebecca Guyver also included a wonderful example of her plasticized, sewn work.

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And the envelope:

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And the reverse:

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As ever, thanks to Rebecca Guyver!

MinXus Mail Bag: Altered postcard by Babs Bird (London, UK)

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Mail art by Babs Bird (London, UK)

“who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall…”

– Allen Ginsberg in Howl

A biggy “Howdy” and a secret Mink Ranch handshake are extended to Babs Bird. This is her first appearance upon our humble page.

The postcard is a dominant form in contemporary mail art. Babs Bird’s reconfigurations of the postcard foundation through collage are fascinating and an interesting, self-reflective commentary on correspondence art. In this piece and in her work we have seen elsewhere, Babs Bird takes utilitarian, rote and often contrived postcard images and alters them so they express a different, sometimes contrary, narrative or message. The original model village/tin mining image in this piece received is, we believe, brilliantly deconstructed.

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And as for the fave Allen Ginsberg quote that opened this humble blog

“who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall….”

Babs Bird of London has been active on the IUOMA-Ning platform in recent weeks. Today when we went there to find some information about her, we found her gone. A click into her profile produced only a big paragraph of garbled code. Maybe it is a tech glitch at our end. Who knows? We have miles to go and promises to keep, as somebody once said.

Perhaps we will never encounter Babs Bird again. So many thanks for this wonderful mail art.

MinXus Mail Bag: UK = UnKnown Trashpo (Liverpool, UK)

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Mail art by unknown trashpoet (Liverpool, UK)

We have received some wonderful, D-Klassic, anti-art derived Trashpo from Liverpool in Britain. Unfortunately, we are unable to identify the sender and do not recognize him/her as any DKULTUK member we know. We are exceedingly grateful to receive this mail art. The work is on a small, almost delicate, scale and reflects considerable understanding of Trashpo and/or its antecedents.

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These are very small pieces, the largest hardly an inch wide. Our trashpoet has been very discerning in terms of the textual aspect, color and texture. Thus the work has a haptic dimension. The envelope is fantastic:

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And the reverse:

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We cannot place an “L.C.S.” but consider him/her a very fine trashpoet/mail artist. Whether we eventually make a connection or not, deepest thanks to L.C.S.

MinXus Mail Bag: The new issue of “Flummox – A Journal of Extinction” is here by David Stafford (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)

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Mail art by David Stafford (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)

Actually it is not a journal; it is a large postcard-size piece from David Stafford that looks like a journal cover. We are thrilled to receive mail from David. We learned through the grapevine he made a trip to New York City not long ago. Perhaps that excursion inspired him to make this commentary on the condition of the (post-) avant. From his perspective, the future is not bright. We tend to agree that most of the current tepid avant posturing we see seems like a eulogy delivered by an Assistant Professor of Medieval Studies at a poorly attended funeral.

If we wrote that David Stafford is the unquestionable reigning king of mail art satire, we might offend the sensibilities of egalitarian networkers who do not believe such value judgments should be uttered or proposed. FLUMMOX – A JOURNAL OF EXTINCTION addresses numerous publications, both online and off, that present what some call “intermedia” work, along with theoretical commentary. The overlaid letters on the image strongly suggest, of course, visual poetry aka vispo. Flummox contains the word “flux,” so David Stafford has made a sweeping inventory ranging from vispo to Fluxus. These various iterations of the post-avant are currently fashionable in and outside the Eternal Network. Too bad he did not work Oulipo in there – that one is especially trendy! While Fluxus is part of history, it is certainly enjoying a revival.

As if FLUMMOX – A JOURNAL OF EXTINCTION were not enough, the reverse side has David Stafford’s wonderful drawing and more humor:

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David Stafford always provides perspective, a dash of common sense and gales of laughter. As ever, many thanks!

MinXus Mail Bag: Lucky Bucks for Diane Keys’ Irish Guide Dog (Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

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Mail art by Lucky Pierre (Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

This is slightly convoluted. Queen of Trashpo Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) posted a comment saying she might be losing her eyesight or at least we, representing DKult New York, thought that is what we read. So we began a campaign to raise funds to buy her a seeing-eye dog. This would not be just any seeing-eye dog. This would be a seeing-eye dog from Ireland. Somewhere we got the idea that Irish seeing-eye dogs were superior to all others. Any questions? The campaign is closed because DK did not lose her eyesight after all. Crisis averted.

The ever-compassionate and always resourceful Lucky Pierre responded quickly.

Mail artists have a fascinating tradition of printing fake currencies. Fluxus Bucks are probably the best-known example. Given the alternative art concept, exploration of alternative economies seems almost logical in the network. And DKulters have explored the idea of a D-Konomy (an alternative economy based on Diane Keys’ theories) although both theory and practice are vague at this point in time.

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So, while Diane Keys’ brush with blindness – fortunately – proved to be a false alarm, the Lucky Buck – also fortunately – was born. We hope to see more and that they become a part of the various kinds of trash dollars (trash dolls) that are in circulation. Lucky Pierre put the Lucky Buck in what appears to be an old wedding invitation. Recycling, after all, is a core value of Trashpo:

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Lucky Pierre’s kind message:

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The Lucky Buck came in a FAB envelope:

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And the reverse:

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As ever, many thanks to Lucky Pierre!

A Note on Fluxus Bucks

Fluxus Bucks were created by Julie Jeffries (USA) in the 1990s. They are a world unto themselves or at least a mail art genre. Make sure to take a look:


MinXus Mail Bag: For All the Dopesick SF Haters (Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA)

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Mail art by Dopesick San Francisco aka Michael Kelly (Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA)

A few years ago we started seeing work by Dopesick San Francisco (DSF) posted online. We were impressed, a little perplexed and have since become diehard fans. In our estimation, art by DSF is sophisticated, ironic and intelligent. Sure, there is the façade of moronic crudeness and Artaudian ultra-violence; that is what makes the Punk aesthetic so great. That’s why DSF is so great and one of the best anti-art slingers in the contemporary network.

We were convinced right away this guy knew what he was doing (or had made ineptness a form of genius), and he must have honed his skills somewhere. DSF clearly came out of a Punk or post-Punk milieu and had absorbed the anti-art stance brilliantly – the one that can be traced back to DaDa. Punk and mail art were once deeply intertwined. Jon Foster (North Carolina, USA) explored these roots in his own Punk mail art revival not long ago.

The DSF vision might seem anachronistic in a time when we refer to folk art strains in mail art. The in-your-face vomit-on-Xerox-machine tactics of the Punk mail artists have been abandoned (except maybe Moan Lisa). Yet DSF is neither reactionary nor nostalgia act. The Punk presence in the art seems natural and effortless. He updates the classic tropes with street art and popcult infusions.

The perplexed part mentioned earlier came from not knowing anything about DSF. We know the Punk Era folks pretty well. Today, we do not know much more about DSF than we did when we first became fans, except that his name is Michael Kelly. He is on the East Coast, not the West. He actually sent us this postcard-size piece, and we are thrilled.

DSF aka Michael Kelly remains mostly a mystery to us. He is on Facebook and has a lot of friends. He does, indeed, seem to have some sort of connection to music. He even has a DSF-Dharma Punx T-shirt for sale. So he must be somebody who came from somewhere. Take a look at his work:


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DSF/Michael Kelly is currently receiving some interest from the Trashpo crew, not that he needs a larger audience, but because what he is doing with anti-art is innovative enough to be instructive to Kulters and trashpoets. We are thrilled to have some of his work for the archives. Many thanks!

Also find DSF on Facebook:


MinXus Mail Bag: Pan-demonium from Mark Bloch (New York City, USA)

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Mail art by Mark Bloch aka Pan (New York City)

(Part I)

Mark Bloch is a veteran mail artist who needs no introduction to those familiar with the Eternal Network. If you are a Tenderfoot who has not yet made his acquaintance, then we are thrilled to have this opportunity to share his work with you (in several installments). First, Mark Bloch’s website is a fantastic resource:




He generously sent us a hefty envelope packed with articles and artwork spanning different stages of his career. Here is a FAB piece he sent from the time of his involvement in the global art strike of the early 90s, which was closely connected to the network:

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Mark Bloch has an incredible knowledge of mail art history. We believe he is a vitally important figure – even if controversial and sometimes vexing – on the current scene. After all, he helped shape that history and witnessed it firsthand. Additionally, he is an excellent writer. We were thrilled he sent us this piece on mail art history:

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We think this is a must-read piece for mail artists, especially those involved in IUOMA-Ning discussions attempting to define mail art and Ray Johnson’s connection to it. As some of our readers have no doubt observed at other venues, Mark Bloch’s views on the current situation of Fluxus in the mail art network (as well as newer generation artists who call themselves Fluxus) can and do generate heated debate. We will not attempt an analysis of this complex situation, but we will share an erasure piece Mark Bloch sent. The Fluxus naming controversy provides, we believe, important context for the piece:

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(Click to enlarge)

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In our view, a fantastic (and incredibly humorous) erasure. Another piece from the package:

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And the reverse:

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Our deepest thanks to Mark Bloch for sending all this great material! Watch for more installments in the days ahead…

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