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:


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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