MinXus Mail Bag: Trashpo All-Star Trashbook Collab: meeah williams, Diane Keys & Moan Lisa

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Cover of mail-art Trashbook collab by meeah williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA), Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) & Moan Lisa (Des Moines, Iowa, USA)

Here at the Mink Ranch, we’re knocked out by this stunning Trashbook received from Brooklyn correspondent meeah williams. This instant classic brings together for the first time under one cover the work of Trashpo All-Stars Diane Keys, Moan Lisa and – of course – meeah. The chemistry is palpable, and we’re thrilled to share the work in its entirety.

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meeah williams included a doily identifying the contributors.

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Above is the inside front cover and first page. The Trashbook is filled with pockets that sometimes contain items that can be removed and studied.

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The “Duchamp is a jerk” material on the left is by Moan Lisa. On the right, meeah williams makes fine use of Yellow Pages that have a great texture.

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In the middle portion of the book, the concept of the page deconstructs or, perhaps a more exact term, decomposes into shreds dominated by the Yellow Pages. Indeed, the paper itself seems to be decomposing; and we see a superb example of Trashpo Gutai that is second only, perhaps, to work by Wendy A. Rogers.

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Above is another view of the D-Khaotic center section of the collaborative Trashbook.

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Having passed through the Gutai section, the Trashbook seems to magically reform into a more conventional artists book format. meeah williams even included a hole, no doubt as a nod to Holism.

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Above is the last page and inside back cover. We can’t call this an Aesthetic Trashbook; it has far more affinity with the anti-art Trashbook strain. meeah williams does, however, manage to provide some incredible juxtapositions of consumer trash with fine art.

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And the back cover of this tour-de-force. Nor does meeah ever fail to deliver in terms of envelope art:

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The usual suspect:

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Thanks and congratulations to meeah, DK and Moan Lisa!


MinXus Mail Bag – Slipping into the Warhol Zone with Susan McAllister (Berkeley, California, USA)

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Mail-art by Susan McAllister (Berkeley, California, USA)

We’re always excited to receive mail-art from Susan McAllister who brings us perspectives from Berkeley, another favored location in MinXus-Lynxus symbolic geography. She has even been known in the past to send us Trashpo from the streets and telephone poles. While remaining faithful to her red & black, abstract art explorations, this time Susan McAllister sent us something we find very clever and amusing.

We almost missed it, and we’re still rubbing our eyes to make sure what we think is there is really there: In the upper-right, does it say (or possibly could it be construed to say), “Warhol Zone”? Then wouldn’t the “15 minute” time limit reference the ubiquitous Warhol quote about 15 minutes of fame for everyone? Maybe we’ve finally lost it. The monkey/clown is even more ambiguous. Tenderfoots know monkeys have been a huge theme at MinXus-Lynxus. Many other interpretations are possible as well. For personal meaning, we find this a great commentary on “The Spectacle” (see Situationism) of the modern world.

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This is a great addition to our growing collection of correspondence from Susan McAllister. We’ve had some fun puzzling over the message and reaching an understanding. Many thanks!

MinXus Mail Bag: Collage by Svenja Wahl + New Zine Launch – “Excavations” ! (Heidelberg, Germany)


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Mail-art by Svenja Wahl (Heidelberg, German)

We are thrilled to share mail-art received plus exciting news from Svenja Wahl, one of our fave German collage artists. Svenja graces our humble page today with beautiful and thought-provoking, post-card size work. Here is the reverse side of the opening piece:

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That cool stamp deserves a close up!

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We can safely surmise that Svenja Wahl carefully and deliberately searches for and finds old books, magazines and related paper ephemera to use in her compositions. This adds a haptic and textural dimension.

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Here is a classic example of Svenja Wahl’s art. Might the application of a feminist reading (above) yield insight? We are certain it could but leave the application to you, should you wish to pursue it and ponder. And the reverse:

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Tenderfoots will note this batch reveals an emphasis on text and calligraphy from various eras of the 20th century. And here is the news that threatens to overshadow the amazing art received:

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Yes, Svenja Wahl has launched Excavations, a new mail-art zine! This is an assembling zine that is, we believe, in the spirit of recent triumphs produced by Cheryl Penn (South Africa), TIC TAC (Germany) and others. The assembling zine appears to be alive and well. Those who wish to participate should note, “Please send 22 originals” as well as page size specifications. Contacting Svenja if you wish to participate might also be advisable.

Excavations has a website. What’s needed now is YOUR best work!


All of the above was enclosed in a wonderfully decorated envelope:

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Svenja Wahl favors animal images and imaginary creatures. We like the gorilla on the reverse side a great deal:

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We are very happy to receive mail from Svenja and offer congratulations on the launch of excavations. Count us in on this one, as long as we can muster 22 pages of original material. We look forward to following the issues as they appear.

MinXus Mail Bag: Vispo, Asemics & Poetry by Moan Lisa (Des Moines, Iowa, USA)

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Mail-art by Moan Lisa (Des Moines, Iowa, USA)

Moan Lisa has been doing some fantastic visual poetry lately with strong asemic elements, and we are thrilled to share a recent batch received via snail mail. (Moan has a big presence in the digital realm as well.)

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Moan is becoming a master of the layering school. Often, text is overlaid upon images of women. What we find interesting about this set of pieces is that the images are more distorted than in other comparable works (by Moan Lisa). The asemics are, of course, indecipherable; and now the images are succumbing to the process. In fact, in the case of the work above, we’re not sure if we have presented it right-side-up, if there is a right way. So here is another option:

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Text and image are becoming integrated (as we say, the Holy Grail of vispo). Moan Lisa also makes free use of appropriation. Work by friends is woven into the piece. We see some fragments of a Dark wall composition.

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Gorgeous! Some interesting experimental writing was included as well:

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And the envelope:

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Many thanks to Moan Lisa for sending us the great work and hard copy for the archives!

MinXus Mail Bag: Mystery Mail-Art from New York City Stuffed with Ray Johnson Material

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Postcard picture of Ray Johnson

Someone likes us. We received an envelope from New York City stuffed with mail-art and Ray Johnson ephemera. (These are postcards and copies of articles; the days of receiving authentic material from Ray Johnson, of course, or having people pass it along to you have long since ended.) We can’t determine who sent this, and work by several different artists and writers is included. Collective packages like this are typical of the “Old School.” We greatly appreciate having this. Here is the reverse of the opening scan:

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We are only posting a portion of all the material received.

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Some of these are classic shots that can be found elsewhere, but it’s great to have the cards. We will pass some along in the mail. The reverse:

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Here is a card with work by Ray Johnson:

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The reverse:

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A lot of stuff from the 60s and some preoccupation with death.

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Another classic shot. The reverse:

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The reverse:

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Then there is a poem by Ron Emolo, who is a mail-artist and poet in the New York City area:

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The reverse:

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W.S.? Not us. A phone number was included, which we thought best to block out. Then there was a pad that was designed by the Sticker Dude.NYC - 14


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Clearly, this entire package is a giant promotion of Ray Johnson; but we have no problem with that. The articles are really interesting, and there are multiple copies. The idea must be to pass them along. This piece is by William S. Wilson who was a close Ray Johnson associate. It discusses the history of mail-art and Ray Johnson’s place in it:

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Another interesting article:

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Here’s is the envelope:

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Tremendous material here, especially to learn more about mail-art and Ray Johnson. We are thrilled to receive and share it.





MinXus Mail Bag: Neo-Phrenology from Jeanne Kasten (Olathe, Kansas, USA)

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Mail-art by Jeanne Kasten (Olathe, Kansas, USA)

In her sensational MinXus-Lynxus debut last year, Jeanne Kasten made a foray into Trashpo and triumphed:


In this recent missive, she has returned to the more conventional mail-art medium of the collage. Some might consider this “vintage.” We are intrigued by her choice of images because the piece is suggestive of (if not directly connected to) all those wonderful phrenology charts and diagrams from the 19th century. Many mail-artists (including some notables in the Fluxus wing) have done collage work with these diagrams, and Jeanne Kasten makes her mark upon the genre with this engaging piece. Here is the reverse side:

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As the Age of Print recedes, we find discarded and often damaged books everywhere. What seems like a tragedy (books relegated to the landfill) has created a windfall of inexpensive material for collage artists. (If you can’t bring yourself to cut-up an undamaged book, remember that you can copy pages.) Pickings have never been better, and old material is being recycled into exciting new art. Jeanne Kasten’s collage is an example of the possibilities.

We are very happy to receive mail-art from Jeanne: Many thanks! We look forward to more exchanges.

MinXus Mail Bag: The Victorian DaDa Revival continues with Gin (Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

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Mail-art by Gin (Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

Actually, we can’t claim a Victorian DaDa Revival is happening; but this FAB work by our Southern correspondent, Gin, makes us feel like a revival in spirit. As Tenderfoots might recall, in a previous post we were searching for words to describe what Gin is doing in her completely unique mail-art collages. Resorting to principles borrowed from Retro-Futurism, we settled upon “Victorian Dada.” The terms has stuck and even, as they say, has legs, although no one has yet arrived at a satisfactory definition of “Victorian Dada,” other than it is what Gin makes and she is the acknowledged master. The fan base is growing. This recent work received is another stellar example.

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Deepest thanks to Gin! We look forward to more exchanges.

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