MinXus Mail Bag: From the Netflix series by liketelevisionsnow (Tamworth, New Hampshire, USA)

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

We’re doing a long spring cleaning here at the Mink Ranch after a horrendous winter and a busy autumn. As a result, we are revisiting some FAB mail received that has not until now been properly documented, archived or acknowledged for way too long. Here is one such example from our enigmatic friend and correspondent liketelevisionsnow who must now be also at last emerging from winter in New England.

On the net, liketelevisionsnow is an elusive and mysterious presence, very similar to many Neoists we know, although ltvs has no connection to Neoism as far as we know. In the real world, he must be a force constantly in motion. We have followed his work for several years and observed a steady flow of texts, publications, visual arts, music and videos. All of it we highly recommend. liketelevisionsnow also somehow manages to be a consistent Eternal Network pillar with clever and compelling mail-art, unique mail-art calls and blogging.

He sent us this original collage (above) from his Netflix Series. liketelevisionsnow writes: “The series comprises take-offs from Netflix envelopes. Please accept this as my thanks for the kind reviews of my work you have done.” We are thrilled to have an original, and what ltvs does not mention is how we have at times absolutely badgered (or minked?) him to send us work. Are these reviews that we write? Perhaps partially. Our regret is that we can never do enough for the remarkable artists we meet through the network and the incredible work we receive. A real joy in all this for us is to be part of a living, participatory culture rather than an official dead culture prescribed by institutions and corporations. Here is some further documentation on the collage:

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And the envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks for the original collage, ltvs.

Make sure to check out the ltvs Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/liketelevisionsnow

MinXus Mail Bag: Vispo collab & mail-art call from Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds (Payson, Arizona, USA)

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Mudhead & DVS vispo collab received from Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds (Payson, Arizona, USA)

We send out a big howdy and a secret Mink Ranch handshake to Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds in Arizona upon the occasion of his first appearance on our humble MinXus-Lynxus blog.

Mudhead is a gifted and highly original visual poet, writer, mail-artist, performance artist and visual artist who often works in the spirit of Fluxus. Here at the ranch, we have been big fans for several years. Mudhead sent us (above) this collab he did with the great genius and deeply misunderstood De Villo Sloan 😉 The piece is a concrete poem by DVS skillfully overlaid on a photo by Mudhead. We are thrilled to have a copy for the MinXus USA Archives. Here is the original DVS poem:

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On the reverse side Mudhead included a call for mail-art:

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We know our faithful Tenderfoot readers tend to be deeply contemplative and thoughtful, so this metaphysical/phenomenological mail-art call might challenge you in a very positive way! Note the specifics:

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The envelope from Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds includes cryptic, associative, deep-structure rant notations:

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And in particular the reverse:

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Many thanks to Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds for the FAB work. His “Seers” group on Facebook is well worth a visit; you might want to join:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/519126414875792/

MinXus Mail Bag: “This is not Black Mountain College” by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

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

 

Prolific correspondent Richard Canard consistently sends us tremendous mail-art. This readymade (slightly altered) is our favorite to date, and the reason for this requires some explanation for Tenderfoots who are not longtime network veterans.

First, Richard Canard is extremely humble. He will not tell you (but we certainly will) that he was a member of Ray Johnson’s original New York Correspondance School. Most Ray Johnson fans who have delved into the matter know RayJo attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina, USA. This brochure Richard seems to have found in Kentucky is, of course, a wry reference to BMC and a commentary on ever-changing cultural contexts.

Black Mountain College (1933-57) had an astounding impact on global culture. Although it closed many years ago, the spirit continues today. Mail-art can be considered one of its many legacies. Ray Johnson studied at BMC from 1945-48. It was there that he made friends and contacts including John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Willem de Kooning and Robert Rauschenberg who were of such importance in his life and to the mail-art network:

http://www.blackmountaincollege.org/history

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John Cage staged early, intermedia events at BMC that would blossom into “Happenings” and performance art elsewhere, ultimately contributing to Fluxus. Concrete and visual poetry from Brazil and Europe were introduced in the United States through Black Mountain College (and other locations as well), helping to establish the international visual poetry network that has been connected to mail-art for decades. In the years following Ray Johnson’s graduation and under the leadership of Charles Olson with Robert Creeley editing the Black Mountain Review, the college became the center of a literary movement associated with the Beat Generation.

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Volumes have been written about BMC with endless speculation about how and why a cultural revolution in the West began in rural North Carolina USA rather than, say, New York or the great cultural centers of Europe. Richard Canard, ever ironic and perceptive, raises all these issues with this ingenious mailing. He creates nostalgia while at the same time reminding us to question myth-making.

Deepest thanks, as ever, to Richard Canard!

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MinXus Mail Bag: Invoking Bad Romance from Jon Foster (Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA)

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Mail-art by Jon Foster (Winston-Salem, North Caroline, USA)

Intrepid correspondent Jon Foster in North Carolina sent us this wonderful example of his ripped-tape collage work: Many thanks! We are always happy to receive work from Jon. The romantic theme of this postcard-size mail-art fits well in the wake of the Who Has the Best Hair Contest and our fav current mail-art call: Bad Romance, sponsored by the Museum of Bad Mail-Art (MOBMA) at the IUOMA and coordinated by Rebecca Guyver aka Miss Becca (Suffolk, UK).

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The Mink Ranch is a Lonely Hearts Club these days. As ever, we are always here to commiserate with Tenderfoots about love gone wrong and to dispense practical advice concerning romance.

You can learn more about the Bad Romance mail-art call by scrolling through the always fascinating posts at the Museum of Bad Mail-Art:

http://iuoma-network.ning.com/group/iouma-mobma-museum-of-bad-mail-art

 

 

MinXus Mail Bag: New Asemics by Nancy Bell Scott (Old Orchard Beach, Maine, USA)

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Mail-art by Nancy Bell Scott (Old Orchard Beach, Maine, USA)

This month we were excited to receive new asemic writing from our longtime correspondent Nancy Bell Scott in Maine. Nancy Bell Scott has developed her own, highly recognizable asemic style. The piece above (approximately 5 x 8 inches) is particularly rich in her cursive, organic, highly expressive deep-structure language explorations.

Nancy Bell Scott’s gorgeous work never fails to lead us to consider the relationship between asemics and automatic writing, as each piece seems to bring to the surface texts that originate in the unconscious. Much contemporary asemic writing is generated digitally and invokes both the technological and industrial, essentially composition and even algorithmic generation via machines. Yet another strain is firmly based in more directly human activity as it is hand-drawn and calligraphic. Nancy Bell Scott is firmly rooted in the latter category as well as self-reflective meditation upon the Age of Print and literature as opposed to the post-literate. Here is the reverse side:

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As this scan indicates, Nancy Bell Scott favors antique paper and book pages as a foundation for her work. This contributes to a consistent tonal quality and allows for an interplay of asemics with the conventional- textual. At times, even a cut-up element is present; yet the work remains grounded in the materiality of language and the printed page.

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This amazing work (above) was also included. The ghost of the printed page is an unobtrusive presence beneath the paint-over.

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The legendary mail-artist CrackerJack Kid has noted that Nancy Bell Scott’s work strikes him as being rooted in abstract expressionism, which makes a great deal of sense to us.

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Above is another great piece Nancy Bell Scott included in the package which emphasizes the integration of the verbal and visual. Here is the reverse:

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The envelope remains consistent with the aesthetics of this mail-art package:

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Note the Carl T. Chew stamp immediately above.

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Great Trashpo stamps! Nancy Bell Scott is an asemic writer and artist with whom we always seek to remain current. Many thanks for sending this new work for our growing collection.

MinXus Mail Bag: “Wind Ponies” by Allegra Sleep (Taos, New Mexico, USA)

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Mail-art by Allegra Sleep (Taos, New Mexico, USA)

Tenderfoots involved in the Eternal Network might have already received or seen this piece by artist Allegra Sleep. If not, we are thrilled to share it with you now and to take this opportunity to thank her for thinking of us here at the Mink Ranch. Allegra Sleep is, in our estimation, a splendid painter. We have perused her work further and you can too:

https://www.facebook.com/allegrasleepfineart

Engulfed as we are in vispo, asemics, cut-ups, haptics and other verbal-visual explorations into deep abstraction, it is indeed refreshing – even novel – to experience art that is representational and pastoral, even if expressionist. We should do this more often!

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And a great cat stamp as well! “Wind Ponies” is a postcard version of an Allegra Sleep’s painting, and her approach to this mailing is worth noting. Many artists deeply engaged in work not suited for the postal system but who wish to participate in the mail-art network do exactly what Allegra Sleep has done: Reproduce paintings, sculptures, photos, etc. on postcards with correspondence and, as in this case, stamps. Some mail-art purists might object. We note that Yoko Ono and Ray Johnson have used this method, among many others including Fluxus artists. We note here that others do take different approaches. For instance, Cheryl Penn (South Africa) has been known to cut up canvases and mail the pieces to different recipients. In this specific case, we would far rather have an image of Allegra Sleep’s whole painting rather than a piece of it.

This was a wonderful introduction to work by Allegra Sleep, and we look forward to more correspondence in the future.

MinXus Mail Bag: “Vertical Thoughts” – a book by Ptrzia (TIC TAC) (Starnberg, Germany)

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Cover of Vertical Thoughts by Ptrzia (TIC TAC) (Starnberg, Germany)

TIC TAC sent us a package of mail-art that includes her artists book Vertical Thoughts, a remarkable series of her distinctive visual poems. The book is documented here from front-to-back:

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Above: Inside front cover of Vertical Thoughts by TIC TAC

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Single page from Vertical Thoughts: TIC TAC’s visual poems are (often geometrically centered) constructs of images integrated with symbols sometimes incorporating puns and wordplay

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Her work tends toward the minimal and uses overlays sparingly

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The title Vertical Thoughts suggests linearity involved in reading and the unfolding process of ideas and memories. The work above could be viewed as a mapping of consciousness in time with circles identifying areas of attention and concentration, a very abstract and meditative approach

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The unfolding vertical patterns also suggest syntax

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Here (above) is the center section of Vertical Thoughts

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Another view of the center section showing the use of transparent sheets and holes

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Vertical Thoughts uses the structure of a series a lyric poems

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Information about the edition included in Vertical Thoughts by TIC TAC

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Inside back cover of Vertical Thoughts

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A TIC TAC stamp

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The envelope containing Vertical Thoughts also held ephemera including this postcard

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The reverse side (above) references the book

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The envelope

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Detail from the reverse side of the envelope

Many thanks to Ptrzia TIC TAC for this stellar work!

Make sure to visit TIC TAC’s blog:

http://tac-tictac.blogspot.com/

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