MinXus Mail Bag: Mail-Art Breaking Bad by Finnbadger (Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Finn - 12.8.2014 - 1

Mail-art by Finnbadger (Columbus, Ohio, USA)

An extreme “Howdy” and a gloved, secret handshake are extended across the frosted fence to Finnbadger on the occasion of this, his first appearance upon our humble blog. We note Finnbadger fares from Columbus, Ohio, USA, which is also home to two mail-art luminaries: John M. and C. Mehrl Bennett. How could one Midwestern town be so lucky?

Finnbadger is sending out some very interesting, self-identified “bad mail-art,” which has captured the attention of none other than Queen of Trash Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) and her Museum of Bad Mail-Art (MOBMA) at the venerable IUOMA. We knew it was only a matter of time before MOBMA produced attempts at consciously bad mail-art that found its way into the network. Given the non-judgmental, non-partisan, anti-academic and anti-institutional establishment nature of mail-art, defining what constitutes “bad mail-art” is a near impossibility. A problem with MOBMA is that it could inadvertently spark standards of aesthetic value.

MOBMA can really only succeed as a series of highly contextual jokes, and we think that is a good thing. MOBMA is about fun. Let there be no confusion: We are supporters of fun and MOBMA, despite a few dilemmas it presents. However, we will likely be left to grapple with ‘loose cannon” and “Lone Gunman” bad mail-art efforts, such as this work by Finnbadger. The reality is that he has created something good – something positive and compelling – so attempting to avoid wiping away a possible delusion concerning the creation of bad mail-art, we will call this “good bad mail-art.” That leaves open the possibility of “bad good mail-art,” “bad bad mail-art,” and “good good mail-art,” which we decline to pursue.

Finn - 12.8.2014 - 2

What is so intriguing about this good bad mail-art by Finnbadger? First, it does not look like attempted art. We have labels placed in an orderly fashion upon unadorned cardboard; it doesn’t appear to be art; it has a quality of incompleteness. Upon examination, we learn these are found texts bound for modification in a kind of add & pass process. They are a novel form of cut-up. Incompleteness (perhaps a kind of minimalism) can be an artistic strategy. Consciously or not, Finnbadger has gained maximum benefits from incompleteness in this work. We believe similar work by Finnbadger attracted the attention of Diane Keys because label misprints definitely qualify as an original form of Trashpo.

Many thanks to Finnbadger for sending this work and kindly sparking our (unsolicited) views concerning the bad mail-art concept.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: