MinXus Mail Bag: Blaster Al Ackerman homage from Dustin Hamby aka Dustin de Wind (Austin, Texas, USA)

Blaster - 1

Santa Claus head mummified with rubber bands by Dustin “Ray” Hamby aka Dustin De Wind (Austin, Texas, USA)

Among many individuals who chose to express their talents through mail-art as established by Ray Johnson, Blaster Al Ackerman is a major figure. His work, notably his fiction, has circulated in the Eternal Network for decades. He has gained a large audience albeit “underground.”

If it had not been for the decline of the pulps, Ackerman might have been a sci fi/mystery/thriller writer with a propensity toward the avant garde such as Jim Thompson or Philip K. Dick.  Instead, he has pioneered new forms and genres becoming a true “correspondence artist.” We can only hope that someday David Zack’s correspondence novels will be more easily available. Blaster’s work has been gathered in an omnibus edition, although it can only be, as they say, the tip of the iceberg:


A reliable source tells us that at his peak, Ackerman was using approximately 18 different pseudonyms in the network. Along with Zack and Istvan Kantor, Ackerman translated the tradition of author pseudonyms into quasi-postmodern theory through Neoism, which at its core questions accepted views of the self and individual.

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Dustin is clearly having fun with this piece, and it took us a while to make sure this was not an authentic Blaster Al piece. He is also responding to the play and freedom of the multiple identity concept as well as Blaster Al’s numerous identities. The truth, the facts about Blaster Al are sometimes obscure due to the myths he invented and the hoaxes he perpetrated. The collective attempt to make Neoism undefinable and impossible to place in categories has only thickened the fog. This link, we are reasonably sure, leads to some accurate biographical facts:


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Blaster Al homage mail-art by Dustin Hamby (Austin, Texas, USA)

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Well, we know it is Dustin but certainly appreciate his homage to one of the great masters and someone who not only believed in but lived the dream of an alternative culture outside the constraints of societies and institutions.

The MinXus-Lynxus David Zack Investigation led us to the discovery of one very sad truth: Blaster Al is currently very ill and unable to answer correspondence at this time. We hope all Tenderfoots will join us in thinking positive thoughts for the Blaster and wishing him well. Obviously, his work goes on.

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Blaster Al - 6


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dustin Ray Hamby
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 04:11:41

    I am so sorry to hear the great Blaster is not doing so well. Thank you for posting, DVS! After looking into his work a lot, my head was spinning. What an amazing artist.


  2. minkrancher
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 07:25:03

    Dustin, you done good. No, you done great! I learned of Blaster’s not-so-great condition very recently. Before, I had refused to believe as Blaster-related stuff has emerged in the David Zack Investigation.

    In some ways, it’s like Ray Johnson. He put out fake death announcements so many times that many people did not really believe it when he did his real final performance, compounded by the fact his followers kept sending out work signed by him after his demise. It’s the nature of the beast.

    People like me remember when Blaster Al was very active, and he was truly a force. We can only hope he will be again.

    That mummy Santa – I did at first think it was a genuine Blaster master-piece. So I really think your work stands as an excellent homage.

    Thanks again! Now onward, right?


  3. minxuslynxus
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 08:17:35

    That mummified Santa is a gem. What a great idea, Dustin! Ever since I saw it on the blog this morning I’ve been looking around for things to mummify and mail out. But the impact would not be the same (and anyway all I have under the hand here are boring paper clips). For some reason it also reminds me of that taxidermised mink of the summer fest’s drawing contest. Don’t know why.
    Future president, est-ce bien reasonable?


  4. minkrancher
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 15:33:18

    The mummified Santa is great! Once Batgirl did a mummified cereal box I liked a lot.


  5. Ruud Janssen
    Mar 19, 2013 @ 19:08:33

    Blaster died a few days ago. He will be sadly missed. At IUOMA I made a rememberance group for him….


  6. Trackback: R.I.P. – The GREAT Blaster Al Ackerman (November 27, 1939 – March 17, 2013) | MinXus-Lynxus
  7. Trackback: Lost and Found Times issues posthumous Blaster Al Ackerman collection (Columbus, Ohio, USA) | MinXus-Lynxus

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