MinXus Mail Bag: Mail-Art the Way Nature Intended by liketelevisionsnow (Tamworth, New Hampshire, USA)

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

This has been a good year for learning more about the amazingly talented and always elusive and ephemeral liketelevisionsnow. After four years of following his work, we aren’t even sure we know his real name. All the same, he was very kind to send us this classic holiday card.

For Tenderfoots who have not yet traveled far on the Long and Dusty Trail, liketelevisionsnow’s choice of this card has relevance to mail-art. Mail-art’s rising popularity in the 1970s (likely achieving a nascence as a pure form in the 1980s before the widespread adoption of the internet) was fuelled, in part, by Yoko Ono’s involvement. Sending strange things through the mail even became a bit trendy. Word spread quickly that if one sent art to her at The Dakota, one was sure to receive a reply. George Maciunas and Fluxus officially endorsed and became involved in mail-art in a big way during this era, probably convinced that Ray Johnson’s notion of an alternative artworld outside the gallery system could be achieved and was worthy of support. Ono’s involvement likely stemmed from her Fluxus ties, although she and Lennon contributed to an astonishing number of “underground” art and literary efforts during that period. (Their generosity really didn’t work out that well for them or anyone else who put their neck out in the art-activist lane.)

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The Lennon-Ono card carries some sad irony, in that war hasn’t ended during the ensuing decades. But it also carries a message of hope, and we thank liketelevisionsnow for that aspect and wish the best for him.

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