MinXus Mail Bag: Seriously distrupted texts & found material from Alicia Starr (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)

Alicia - 1 - 2014

Mail-art by Alicia Starr (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)

Moan Lisa is currently bringing the great state of Iowa in the USA heartland to international attention in the Eternal Network. Our good friend Alicia Starr is making equally noteworthy contributions in the same geographic location. What is “happening” in Iowa? We are not sure, but we like it.

Presented here are two pieces received from Alicia Starr. The work above, spectacular in our view, is language-centered and an innovative approach to “textual disruption”: a favorite pastime of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets (we prefer the original spelling from Charles Bernstein’s seminal zine) and thus a practice laden in theory which we will bypass in favor of simply enjoying the work’s visual power. We believe Alicia Starr employed the tape transfer process that we have already praised at length in the work of Jon Foster (USA) and Carina Granlund (Finland). The Fluxus notion of language as material is also present.

Rather than using more conventional approaches such as the cut-up or insertion of words and  phrases into existing text, Alicia Starr uses overlays and letter fragmentation to create this stunning visual poem. Chance operations are at work here. The ghostly images and silhouettes are also tremendous. We have seen similar works described as asemic. Indeed, the asemic component is certainly present, making this a piece that has it all. And of course the work is uniquely MinXus. Here is a detail scan revealing the effect achieved though the overlay and transfer process:

Alicia - 2 - 2014

Do we spy a mink or ermine? Here is the reverse side of the little-larger-than-postcard size piece:

Alicia - 3 - 2014

Much earlier, when we were taking a blog hiatus, Alicia Starr also sent us this wonderful mail-art using found materials:

Alicia - 4 - 2014

The stark polarities of black & white, the raw qualities of shredding, the suggestion of Trashpo – we believe – work together to make this yet another powerful piece by Alicia Starr. She provided some explanation on the reverse side:

Alicia - 5 - 2014

Our deepest thanks go to Alicia Starr for sending this amazing work that so skillfully draws from varied avant techniques!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. suffolkrebecca
    Jan 16, 2014 @ 17:21:06

    This looks even better here than it does on the Iuoma blog!


  2. Ficus strangulensis
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 20:17:32

    I graduated with a criminal justice degree and $40k in student loan debt so I started right in using my education and robbing banks.


  3. Ficus strangulensis
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 20:23:18

    Wait just a teensy minute here. In Usonia, right coast, it is 5-hr earlier than the stated time above!


  4. Ficus strangulensis
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 20:24:10

    This comment is immoderate!


  5. minkrancher
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 21:04:29

    Rebecca – Aloha!

    Fic – one of the great criminal mastermind language disruptors!
    I have been thinking boutya – They robbed your banks – your river banks!
    Were you upstream or downstream of the WVa toxic spill?
    You can’t drink poetry. People have noted this.
    Was following the whole lurid story of that company in the news.
    We gotta get these guys.


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