MinXus Mail Bag: Another Stop on the Mail Train by Annette Kesterson (San Francisco, California, USA)

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Mail-art by Annette Kesterson (San Francisco, California, USA)

Here at the Mink Ranch we tend to hoot and holler about new Tenderfoots who turn up in the MinXus Mail Bag for the first time, justifiably so. Yet what about the all-important second missive when a “drive by” (very common in mail-art, we think) begins, tentatively yet all the same importantly, to blossom into a correspondent? Ultimately, a friend?

With that thought in mind, we send a big “Thank You” to Ms. Annette in San Francisco for this very quick yet thoughtful response to our response to her first mailing. The front of this postcard-size work is encased in some sort of waxed paper, which creates a multi-layered piece with pockets. We have been a bit squeamish about dismantling the wonderfully constructed piece for fear we might destroy something. Here is the reverse side:

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In addition to the interesting writing on the waxed paper, the mail-art holds treasures:

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Note the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) card: We take this material, in the Trashpo tradition of sharing, to be found material for collage or simply to be collected as trash from a specific locale.

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Here is the core piece somewhat disassembled. Again, note the interesting typed piece that helps provide a concept. And again, many thanks to Annette Kesterson for this wonderful, second piece of mail-art.


MinXus Mail Bag: Tape Transfer Trashpo from meeah williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA)

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Mail-art by meeah williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA)

We can only assume this wonderful, large postcard-size work comes from our Brooklyn correspondent, meeah williams. The determination was not simple. We cannot find any sort of signature. More important, the front (above) manages to mimic the Trashpo style of Diane Keys (Illinois, USA) so perfectly that we consider the work an homage to Trashpo. While the scan does not reveal it well, this is a tape transfer piece; that is how so many of the wonderful effects are achieved. Thus, the work invokes tape transfer master Jon Foster (North Carolina, USA). meeah williams is remarkably versatile and constantly experimenting. This is a perfect example.

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Pondering the address side led us to conclude that only meeah williams could have made this. First, we believe we recognize the handwriting. Second, the layered asemics reflect meeah’s very recognizable style. They are worth clicking into for a closer look at the detail.

So many thanks to meeah williams for more wonderful mail. If meeah did not send this, please correct us!

Excavations #24 – #33 – asemic poetry, visual poetry, concrete poetry

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Excavations #33

MinXus Mail Bag: New Entries for the Richard Canard Fan Club (Carbondale, Illusion, USA)

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

Veteran mail-artist, former Ray Johnson correspondent and now Mink Ranch regular Richard Canard is as faithful with missives as he is inventive. We never cease to be amazed. We are now in the process of documenting work he has sent us going back to the late summer.

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This flattened plastic bottle passed through the postal system and will likely serve as an inspiration for trashpoets.

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This Slim Jim piece is a fave, given Slim Jim has become an officially endorsed product by the Mink Ranch. Here is the reverse:

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We are proud of our archives, of course. IUOMA-Ning has a Richard Canard Fan Club where Richard’s work is also shared in a sort of permanent, online exhibition.

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We always re-post work received from Richard Canard at the IUOMA-Ning Richard Canard Fan Club. We hope you do too.

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Here is a larger piece on conventional 8.5 x 11 inch paper:

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The envelope:

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With a great stamp on the reverse side:

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As ever, many thanks to Richard Canard!

Excavations #16 – #23 – asemic poetry, visual poetry, concrete poetry

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“Typewriter Art” – A Book by Fatima Queiroz (Gonzaga-Santos, Brazil)

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Cover of Typewriter Art by Fatima Queiroz (Gonzaga-Santos, Brazil)

We are honored to have received a signed and inscribed copy of Typewriter Art from Fatima Queiroz. Fifty copies have been made, and the book totals 36 pages of consistently gorgeous and compelling work.

With the current high interest in visual poetry, there has been a rediscovery of typewriter art and the related practice and history of concrete poetry. Old typewriters, largely an obsolete means of production, are being rehabilitated and used again in composition, eschewing at least temporarily digital aesthetics. (Ironically, digital work is being made as well to look as if it were composed on a typewriter in a sort or reverse engineering or de-technologizing). Concrete poetry, due to the historical era of its prominence, was widely produced on typewriters and thus has become associated with that primitive industrial technology, even if the relationship is far more tenuous than it seems. Concrete poetry seems to be widely considered a precursor to contemporary vispo, which also is likely a misunderstanding of the relationship.

Fatima Queiroz is a highly respected and versatile Brazilian visual poet. Her work is language-centered but often reflects the cutting edge of digital aesthetics and the concerns of contemporary vispo. It is her intimate knowledge of typewriter art and concrete poetry that has enabled her to look back in time and create this extended work where every composition is a revelation. It is an undertaking well worth the effort and would not have been nearly as successful in other hands.

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For this blog, we are presenting representative examples of the range of work included in Typewriter Art. Present are both dense compositions that engulf the page and works that are more minimal. Some of the work is abstract, some representational (leaning toward typewriter art rather than concrete poetry) and some more traditionally poetic:

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From Typewriter Art by Fatima Queiroz (Gonzaga-Santos, Brazil)

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To view Typewriter Art as merely a nostalgic journey or an exercise in retro-po is to miss its brilliance. This is not a gathering of imitations. Fatima Querioz is highly conversant in the techniques of typewriter composition, and her use of the techniques is a documentation of classic technique, a deconstruction of those techniques, self-referential commentary and – most important – a source of wonder as one turns the pages.

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The book displays an intimate knowledge of the modes of concrete poetry and the underlying theory that informs it. In fact, much of the work is so successful because it breaks the rules of concrete poetry from the Age of the Typewriter. The consistent use of overstriking is only one example that tells us this is work composed very much using sensibilities of the current era reflecting on the accumulation of texts using retro-stylization, façades that appear and then meld into other configurations: a standard tool of postmodernism.

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Thus, Typewriter Art is very much a contemporary work that plays with style, theory and technology on a very sophisticated level.

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And it is a particularly beautiful collection to experience again and again.

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Deepest thanks to Fatima for sending us this tremendous book!

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Excavations #8 – #15 – visual poetry, asemic poetry, conceptual poetry, concrete poetry

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Excavations #15

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