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MinXus Mail Bag: Vispo Collabs by Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

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Mail art by Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

This summer we received two large packages of mail art from visual poet Jim Leftwich in Roanoke, the first of which (chronologically) we are documenting in this blog. The vast majority of the pieces are collaborations between Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow. (The exception is one very interesting asemic work at the end.) According to Facebook, Evan Damerow resides in New Zealand. His work was unknown to us before the arrival of this missive.

While Jim Leftwich seems to us inclined toward the prolific naturally, we attribute some of this outpouring of work this summer to the 2015 Marginal Arts Festival. The event seems to have been a great success and a perusal of the documentation will be rewarding to Tenderfoots, no doubt:

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The Anti-Brain Rot mail art call and exhibition also accompanied the festival, which occurred in July (2015). Here is some partial documentation of the entries via C. Mehrl Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA):

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Unless otherwise indicated, all the pieces shown here are Jim Leftwich-Evan Damerow collabs.

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These Leftwich-Damerow collabs hold specific interest to the trashpoets and D-Kulters in the network (many of whom are rabid followers of our humble blog), as Jim Leftwich is acknowledged as having created some of the earliest Trashpo (2005). These pieces (the current work shown here) use found material, have the organic structure so recognizable in most Trashpo and also show the anti-art stance and the On the Road spontaneity of Trashpo composition.

Trashpo is a form of visual poetry. (Many current practitioners are either unaware of or disregard this fact). The pieces documented here make abundant and innovative use of text, text-image associations and juxtapositions, cut up, disruption, asemics and other approaches that are related to poetry and the poetic as well as the tenets of Trashpo rather than mere collage. In short, they are excellent examples. The work transcends Trashpo in many ways yet still offers insights into Trashpo theory and practice for the working trashpoet.

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A bonus in the package was the piece below: “Spirit Writing” by Jim Leftwich (1997), a piece of historical significance because it was made so early in the context of the current thriving and burgeoning asemic movement. Jim Leftwich, however, and as many know, has reservations concerning the use of the term “asemic” and having his own work labeled as asemic writing. So we encourage Tenderfoots to consider the perspective of visual poetry here, although we believe the tide of history is very likely to identify Jim Leftwich as an asemic writer (among other designations):

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A closer look:

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Many thanks to Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow!

MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic Tacky Little Pamphlet (TLP) by Jason Motsch (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, USA)

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Mail art by Jason Motsch (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, USA)

The Tacky Little Pamphlet (TLP), a mail art staple, is an ideal vehicle for asemic writing projects. Certainly prize examples can be found in the massive body of John M. Bennett’s (Ohio, USA) work, among others. Now Jason Motsch has made another contribution to the genre with this wonderful piece he sent us. The opening scan is the cover. The pages are approximately 2 X 3 inches, and he faithfully follows the “official” TLP folding pattern. Here are the inside pages:

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This is a very free form, calligraphy-based asemic writing, somewhat traditional compared to current, exotic methods for generating symbols.

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This asemic TLP by Jason Motsch, as with most asemics that travel through the mail art network, is actually asemic-vispo hybrid work. The colorful triangles provide a useful continuity and anchors for the organic, apparently spontaneous writing.

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And the back cover:

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The TLP provides a brief yet sustained asemic cycle. As language is suggested, so is the structure of a lyric poetry cycle. We find the work interesting and engaging. Here is the envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Jason Motsch for sending more excellent asemic writing and vispo!

MinXus Mail Bag: New DKult Doodle Therapy Collab Pages from Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK) with Figgy Guyver & Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

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Mail art by Rebecca Guyver, Figgy Guyver (Suffolk, UK) and Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

Rebecca Guyver’s DKult Doodle Therapy TLPs (Tacky Little Pamphlets) are becoming a phenom in the Eternal Network, especially among trashpoets and Kulters. The contributors’ list is growing and impressive. Even the legendary and enigmatic Meeah Williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA) has contributed to a new edition.

Creation of the doodles is highly collaborative and involves a process similar to the stalwart add-and-pass. Rebecca Guyver kindly sent us this packet of in-process doodles that we are thrilled to be able to share. We also look forward to seeing the completed TLP somewhere down the long & dusty trail. Rebecca Guyver’s note:

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And back to the doodles:

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The envelope is a wonderful bonus with wonderful colours and, apparently, handmade paper:

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And the reverse:

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A close-up:

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Many thanks to Rebecca Guyver, Figgy Guyver, Diane Keys and others who might have contributed. Dark wall is experimenting with his own DKult Doodle Therapy, which he will pass along:


MinXus Mail Bag: “Organized Chaos” by Erin Young (Innisfil, Ontario, Canada)

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Mail art by Erin Young (Innisfil, Ontario, Canada)

A big “Howdy,” a secret MinXus handshake and a wink go out to our new north-of-the border Tenderfoot Erin Young who so kindly sent us this stunning mail art. This is a wonderful abstract piece and roughly post-card-size. Information is included on the reverse side:

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Erin Young is wowing the network with the FAB pieces she is mailing. Based on what we see appearing online, she has a wide-ranging talent. This piece that we are so thrilled to add to the archives explores chaos and order. The colors are wonderful and the work has a tactile, haptic dimension as well. For us, the piece does invoke the idea of chaos; but it has the suggestion of underlying unity and structure as well, especially in terms of shape. Here is a related piece that was also enclosed:

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This was a very helpful inclusion in terms of understanding the process, and note the finger painting. Erin also included a kind note:

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These (above) arrived in an envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Erin Young!

MinXus Mail Bag: “Posturban Wildlife at Night” by Joey Patrickt (Oakland, California, USA)

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Mail art by Joey Patrickt (Oakland, California, USA)

Joey Patrickt sent us this highly conceptual, textual-visual work that raises questions about meaning and randomness, among other issues. Our approach is to see the various pieces posted here as a single, unified artwork. The puzzle stands at the center.

The pieces in the envelope reveal his keen sense of humor and irony as well as his ability to construct systems and structures. Initially, we appreciated Joey Patrickt’s ability to create self-contained, postcard-style pieces that have instant appeal in the network. But as this and other pieces we have received from him indicate, he has formidable talent as a conceptualist who can put together a compelling package.

The majority of the material is cut from old publications:

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And the reverse:

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Joey Patrickt references “POSTURBAN,” but this mail art conjures the postmodern. The work focuses on the process of weaving materials together into structures and designs. These objects can express meaning but also have both spiritual and utilitarian functions. Also included is a piece about floors:

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Absurdity is working here, as is Joey Patrickt’s ongoing critique of consumer culture. Are vinyl floors and oriental carpets being purposely placed in relation to each other? The unaltered page has the quality of Trashpo mailings, which often contain this kind of unadorned found material. The purpose is ambiguous. and this piece of mail art retains ambiguity. The recipient can view such inclusions as finished art or use it in a new piece or simply pass it along. Here is the reverse side:

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“POSTURBAN WILDLIFE AT NIGHT” is, in our estimation, an exceptionally done piece of mail art in the conceptual art strain. We can make the case that it is a thoughtfully constructed system intended to make a point about process and meaning. Yet a tension exists where the tropes that establish its meaning threaten to collapse into an envelope of nothing but old magazine clippings and a plastic puzzle. Many people must view it that way. And it is precisely the “shadow of doubt” that gives the work its true strength. We are compelled to consider what is and is not art. We are compelled to consider the relation of constructs to reality. We can glimpse – perhaps just for a moment – a place where art and life are a unified whole. Many thanks, again, to Joey Patrickt!.

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MinXus Mail Bag: Correspondence Art by Thomas “Space Monkey” Brown (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

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Mail art by Thomas Brown (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Thomas Brown continues to perfect his visual-textual mail art in the tradition of Richard Canard (USA), David Stafford (USA) and perhaps even Ben Vautier (France). From our perspective, Thomas Brown seems to be gaining growing recognition for his humor that, at times, crosses into avant territory. Or at least he uses avant devices with alacrity when it suits his purpose. We are glad we remain on his mailing list and have these two (fairly) recent pieces to share. Here is the reverse side:


An engaging Thomas Brown persona is emerging as well. Mail art has certainly produced a cast of memorable characters, most of them partly fictional and partly based on genuinely eccentric artistic personalities. Thomas Brown joins the ranks.


Some Tenderfoots might wonder why we have nicknamed Thomas Brown “Space Monkey.” If recollection serves, it is based on a comment he posted on Facebook saying he wanted to be an astronaut. Commentary progressed from that starting point. In short, trust us. The “Space Monkey” moniker is perfect.


Many thanks to Thomas “Space Monkey” Brown!

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