MinXus Mail Bag: In the Spirit of Fluxus from Virginia Milici (Virgy) (Treviso, Italy)

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Mail-art by Virginia Milici (Virgy) (Treviso, Italy)

A big Mink Ranch howdy and a secret MinXus-LynXus handshake go out to Virginia Milici in Italy who sent us this FAB mail-art and appears for the first time upon our humble blog.

We know of Virgy as an active and prolific networker, and we gather from this mailing that she is inspired by Fluxus. In fact, based on work received, we are impressed with just how much Fluxus is alive and well in Italy. The piece (see scan above) Virgy sent is long enough that we had to scan it in two parts:

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Here is some documentation material on the reverse side:

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The art was enclosed in an interesting envelope:

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And the reverse side:

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Many thanks to Virginia Milici (Virgy) – a new mail-art friend from Italy! To see more of her work and to learn more about her, make sure to visit:

http://www.virginiamilici.org/

MinXus Mail Bag: (Part III D-Kit Series) – Trashpo by Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

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Mail-art by Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

We conclude our documentation of a D-Kit from Diane Keys in Elgin with the remaining Trashpo and DKult promotional materials that were stuffed in this epical mailing.

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We and other awestruck Tenderfoots following the series have noted the conceptual nature of many of the pieces.

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The work also has a strong anti-art quality and is very spontaneous.

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Classic (found) Trashpo (above).

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No DKult mailing of this nature would be complete without the stamps.

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The reverse side:

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And the envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Diane Keys for opening the year with this FAB material. Here are links to the other entries:

https://minxuslynxus2.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/minxus-mail-bag-the-dream-of-dkult-norway-part-ii-d-kit-series-by-diane-keys-elgin-illinois-usa/

https://minxuslynxus2.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/minxus-mail-bag-trashpo-dkult-d-kit-from-diane-keys-part-i-elgin-illinois-usa/

MinXus Mail Bag: Elvis-Themed Ray Johnson Fake by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

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

Many Tenderfoots are aware that Richard Canard’s fake Ray Johnson collages are a part of mail-art history, rooted especially in the years following Ray Johnson’s death (January 13, 1995). These Johnson fakes are a wonderful homage. They are packed with allusions and wit. They have also been controversial, generating ire and accusation. In 2013, MinXus-Lynxus conducted one of its renowned investigations into the matter of the Canard/Johnson fakes. We filed this report that might be of some interest to those who do not know the background:

https://minxuslynxus2.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/minxus-mail-bag-authentic-fake-ray-johnson-from-richard-canard-carbondale-illinois-usa/

Very likely as a remembrance of Ray Johnson’s demise 20 years ago this month, Richard Canard sent us an absolutely stunning fake to add to our collection. Twenty years is indeed a landmark, and Johnson is more “famous” today than he was at the time of his passing. Despite grim predictions, the mail-art network is thriving in the digital age. The collage was carefully protected:

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Now for the main attraction. The Johnsonian iconography is particularly rich in this piece:

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We consider this a treasure as it features both Elvis and the Lucky Strike logo. And we consider all aspects of a Richard Canard mailing part of the art:

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And the usual suspect:

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Deepest thanks to Richard Canard for sending us this spectacular fake! This is one of our faves – ever!

 

 

MinXus Mail Bag Mystery: Who Is Jayne Wayne?

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We received an absolutely FAB, postcard-size work that just belongs on our humble blog. Unfortunately, we cannot properly thank the Tenderfoot who sent it. We are blanking on “Kris” (?) right now:

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Perhaps the title should be changed to: WANTED. Then again, sometimes folks prefer to remain anonymous. Either way, we thank the sender for this great mail-art.

Incompleteness and Duplicitous Reality Constructs: A Review of “dough” by Bruno Neiva

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Cover of dough by Bruno Neiva published by erbacce-press publications in the UK

We consider ourselves very fortunate indeed to have first met the multi-talented textual artist and writer Bruno Neiva a few years ago through the international mail-art network. His reputation, to date, has spread far beyond the relatively underground machinations of the network. We do our best to follow Bruno’s work as it appears in various online venues.

http://barbarambarbara.blogspot.com.es/

Bruno Neiva is originally from Portugal and currently lives in Spain. Given our own interests and inclinations, we are usually most drawn to Bruno’s work that we consider visual poetry and that is rooted in collage. In our estimation, he produces very distinctive, aesthetically pleasing, and highly intellectual/conceptual work.

Bruno Neiva was very kind to send us a copy of his book dough, published in Britain last year. dough is an excellent collection of 18 well-wrought, conventional poems: conventional in the sense that we cannot apply designations such as visual, concrete, haptic, asemic, etc. to them. They are decidedly not conventional in the sense that they draw from and contribute to the literary post-avant.

Having the opportunity to dig into and explore Bruno Neiva’s poems has been a pleasure and a revelation. Returning to them again and again with fascination and with the intent to write about them, as we have been doing in recent days, we can report to you, dear Tenderfoots, that skillful minimalism provides the allure and success of dough. And we do proclaim dough a smashing success. Here are two pieces from the book we admire especially:

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Given Bruno Neiva’s inclinations toward the verbal-visual elsewhere, we are surprised by the rhetorical nature (as opposed to, say, imagist approach) of these poems. (Of course we are of the opinion that those poets who surprise us are the ones with the most potential.) The poems in dough advance in surprising and unexpected ways through, a perhaps associative, counter logic.

Bruno Neiva is literally and figuratively miles and miles away from the small world of American poetry; however, we want to provide a comparison because, for one thing, it might provide a useful shorthand: We find reading the poems in dough similar to entering the near-magical rhetorical twists and turns of John Ashbery’s poems. If the reader finds a comparison to Ashbery implausible or inappropriate, then we propose more generally the late postmodern impulse has a strong presence among the enjambs and cadences of the book. The poems are highly self-reflective and comment upon themselves; they are preoccupied with language and the crucial role of language in the construction of our shared reality.

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We admire dough, however, because it does not fall into the trap of dead end circular self-reflection or meta-language. This is avoided through the masterful use of minimalism. The poems are short, but – we believe – Bruno Neiva’s triumph via minimalism involves not just an economy of syllables but the creation of incompleteness in the poems. The absences are used to imply a larger world beyond the limits of the pages’ one dimensional whiteness, and the poems are engaged in a relationship – perhaps a dialog or dialectic – with this larger world, albeit focused upon language. The relative rhetorical purity (we understand the danger of such a term, but it seems accurate) of the poems contrasts with the corrupted and duplicitous constructs that define this outer world, the world we share.

We are aware that our reading of dough has grown abstract. So we will conclude attempting to end upon a note of relative clarity and solidity in terms of illuminating the preceding paragraph. We have emphasized the use of rhetoric in dough. The poems do make use of imagery as well, if sparingly. The most persistent pattern of imagery we detect relates to warfare and weaponry. As you can see in “seventeen” above, references to economics and commerce are present too. dough is deeply concerned with the current situation of the world and the role of language and signification in creating “realities” that confine and enslave. Other incomplete narratives buried in the lines suggest the importance of human relationships and stories for the reader to reconstruct. The good news is that Bruno Neiva champions the role and power of poetry to change and transform eschewing the nearly obligatory nihilism of postmodernism. The engaging quality of the poems, compelling us to return again and again, helps make us believers as well.

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MinXus Mail Bag: Add & Pass Boekie + More by Eduardo Cardoso (Sines, Portugal)

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Mail-art by Eduardo Cardoso (Sines, Portugal)

Visual poet and artist Eduardo Cardoso sent us a hefty package of mail-art that includes an add & pass boekie (aka artists book or TLP (Tacky Little Pamphlet). Certainly many a&p books and pamphlets have circulated in the Eternal Network. We just cannot remember any lately and highly commend our faith correspondent Eduardo for this FAB concept! We think the network needs more a&p books. Here is the cover and back cover:

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Eduardo Cardoso made the first entry:

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The rest is thus far unwritten, but we shall make our entry and send this along to a worthy recipient. Eduardo included some great examples of his recent work:

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The reverse side:

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Tenderfoots likely know Eduardo Cardoso as an active trashpoet and the dynamic president of the thriving DKult-Portugal (DKULTPOR) chapter. His MinXus-LynXus correspondence often and necessarily involves Trashpo subjects. We enjoy that work a great deal, but it is nice that Eduardo removed his Trashpo hat this time around to focus on the broader directions of his current art and interests. When the Trashpo filter is removed, it is apparent that he has roots in anti-art. This inclination, no doubt, drew him to Trashpo. His work has had an influence on trashpoets all over the world. This next piece offers another perspective on Eduardo Cardoso’s style:

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And the reverse:

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We greatly admire Eduardo Cardoso’s stamps and how he uses them. He also sent us a fantastic and interesting piece that could be legitimately called Trashpo for its use of found material and commitment to recycling as well as its (anti-)aesthetic stance:

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When opened we find:

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Brilliant and engaging! Tenderfoots will note the minimal holism. Eduardo Cardoso’s envelopes always match in mail-art splendor what they contain:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Eduardo Cardoso for sending such a comprehensive package! To see more great work by Eduardo and to learn more about him, make sure to visit:

http://hypnonauta.tumblr.com/

MinXus Mail Bag: Aesthetics & Anti-Art by Brooke Cooks (Seattle, Washington, USA)

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Mail-art by Brooke Cooks (Seattle, Washington, USA)

Brooke Cooks made her MinXus-Lynxus debut last October:

https://minxuslynxus2.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/minxus-mail-bag-correspondence-from-brooke-cooks-seattle-washington-usa/

She has an interest in Trashpo and found material, but this beautiful collage we are so thrilled to have received reveals an aesthetic sensibility that can hardly be considered anti-art. She included a kind message on the reverse side:

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We are happy to share what we know about mail-art and the Eternal Network. We are more than happy to learn we have readers! Brooke Cooks does have a point. Ray Johnson-oriented mail-art, which is where we come from ultimately, has strong ties to conceptual art. Conceptual art is highly theoretical. Visual poetry, concrete poetry, asemic writing and related forms that thrive in the network (largely due to Fluxus) often lead to a healthy dose of theory when one tries to explain them. Most Tenderfoots realize MinXus-Lynxus is an advocate for visual poetry. Despite these strains and sub-groups, mail-art remains egalitarian and an activity open to anyone. Much can be learned from looking into mail-art’s over half century of history as well as current trends. That should never stop anyone from participating or following their own artistic inclinations.

Following Trashpo tradition, Brooke Cooks sent us some unaltered, found material:

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These items have multiple possibilities in mail-art. Brooke Cooks compels us to meditate upon how human connections to people and places are formed through the circulation of objects. Trashpo supports this (as well as recycling). In the add and pass spirit, they can be used and shared further; but the recipient might choose to keep them as permanent mementoes of friendship. Often in Trashpo, these sorts of items seem to have been selected because they have a talismanic quality or communicate a cryptic message. (Pure randomness is used by some as well.) Brooke Cooks’ reality and environment are illuminated through this material for us.

The work arrived in a great envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Brooke Cooks!

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