MinXus Mail Bag: Vispo Collabs by Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

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Mail art by Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

This summer we received two large packages of mail art from visual poet Jim Leftwich in Roanoke, the first of which (chronologically) we are documenting in this blog. The vast majority of the pieces are collaborations between Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow. (The exception is one very interesting asemic work at the end.) According to Facebook, Evan Damerow resides in New Zealand. His work was unknown to us before the arrival of this missive.

While Jim Leftwich seems to us inclined toward the prolific naturally, we attribute some of this outpouring of work this summer to the 2015 Marginal Arts Festival. The event seems to have been a great success and a perusal of the documentation will be rewarding to Tenderfoots, no doubt:

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The Anti-Brain Rot mail art call and exhibition also accompanied the festival, which occurred in July (2015). Here is some partial documentation of the entries via C. Mehrl Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA):

https://cmehrlbennett.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/the-anti-brain-rot-mailart-exhibit/

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Unless otherwise indicated, all the pieces shown here are Jim Leftwich-Evan Damerow collabs.

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These Leftwich-Damerow collabs hold specific interest to the trashpoets and D-Kulters in the network (many of whom are rabid followers of our humble blog), as Jim Leftwich is acknowledged as having created some of the earliest Trashpo (2005). These pieces (the current work shown here) use found material, have the organic structure so recognizable in most Trashpo and also show the anti-art stance and the On the Road spontaneity of Trashpo composition.

Trashpo is a form of visual poetry. (Many current practitioners are either unaware of or disregard this fact). The pieces documented here make abundant and innovative use of text, text-image associations and juxtapositions, cut up, disruption, asemics and other approaches that are related to poetry and the poetic as well as the tenets of Trashpo rather than mere collage. In short, they are excellent examples. The work transcends Trashpo in many ways yet still offers insights into Trashpo theory and practice for the working trashpoet.

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A bonus in the package was the piece below: “Spirit Writing” by Jim Leftwich (1997), a piece of historical significance because it was made so early in the context of the current thriving and burgeoning asemic movement. Jim Leftwich, however, and as many know, has reservations concerning the use of the term “asemic” and having his own work labeled as asemic writing. So we encourage Tenderfoots to consider the perspective of visual poetry here, although we believe the tide of history is very likely to identify Jim Leftwich as an asemic writer (among other designations):

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A closer look:

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Many thanks to Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow!

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MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic Tacky Little Pamphlet (TLP) by Jason Motsch (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, USA)

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Mail art by Jason Motsch (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, USA)

The Tacky Little Pamphlet (TLP), a mail art staple, is an ideal vehicle for asemic writing projects. Certainly prize examples can be found in the massive body of John M. Bennett’s (Ohio, USA) work, among others. Now Jason Motsch has made another contribution to the genre with this wonderful piece he sent us. The opening scan is the cover. The pages are approximately 2 X 3 inches, and he faithfully follows the “official” TLP folding pattern. Here are the inside pages:

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This is a very free form, calligraphy-based asemic writing, somewhat traditional compared to current, exotic methods for generating symbols.

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This asemic TLP by Jason Motsch, as with most asemics that travel through the mail art network, is actually asemic-vispo hybrid work. The colorful triangles provide a useful continuity and anchors for the organic, apparently spontaneous writing.

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And the back cover:

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The TLP provides a brief yet sustained asemic cycle. As language is suggested, so is the structure of a lyric poetry cycle. We find the work interesting and engaging. Here is the envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Jason Motsch for sending more excellent asemic writing and vispo!

MinXus Mail Bag: New DKult Doodle Therapy Collab Pages from Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK) with Figgy Guyver & Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

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Mail art by Rebecca Guyver, Figgy Guyver (Suffolk, UK) and Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

Rebecca Guyver’s DKult Doodle Therapy TLPs (Tacky Little Pamphlets) are becoming a phenom in the Eternal Network, especially among trashpoets and Kulters. The contributors’ list is growing and impressive. Even the legendary and enigmatic Meeah Williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA) has contributed to a new edition.

Creation of the doodles is highly collaborative and involves a process similar to the stalwart add-and-pass. Rebecca Guyver kindly sent us this packet of in-process doodles that we are thrilled to be able to share. We also look forward to seeing the completed TLP somewhere down the long & dusty trail. Rebecca Guyver’s note:

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And back to the doodles:

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The envelope is a wonderful bonus with wonderful colours and, apparently, handmade paper:

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And the reverse:

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A close-up:

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Many thanks to Rebecca Guyver, Figgy Guyver, Diane Keys and others who might have contributed. Dark wall is experimenting with his own DKult Doodle Therapy, which he will pass along:

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MinXus Mail Bag: Correspondence Art by Thomas “Space Monkey” Brown (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

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Mail art by Thomas Brown (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Thomas Brown continues to perfect his visual-textual mail art in the tradition of Richard Canard (USA), David Stafford (USA) and perhaps even Ben Vautier (France). From our perspective, Thomas Brown seems to be gaining growing recognition for his humor that, at times, crosses into avant territory. Or at least he uses avant devices with alacrity when it suits his purpose. We are glad we remain on his mailing list and have these two (fairly) recent pieces to share. Here is the reverse side:

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An engaging Thomas Brown persona is emerging as well. Mail art has certainly produced a cast of memorable characters, most of them partly fictional and partly based on genuinely eccentric artistic personalities. Thomas Brown joins the ranks.

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Some Tenderfoots might wonder why we have nicknamed Thomas Brown “Space Monkey.” If recollection serves, it is based on a comment he posted on Facebook saying he wanted to be an astronaut. Commentary progressed from that starting point. In short, trust us. The “Space Monkey” moniker is perfect.

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Many thanks to Thomas “Space Monkey” Brown!

MinXus Mail Bag: On Bad Poetry: Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands), Maria Morisot/Moan Lisa (Iowa City, Iowa, USA), Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

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Mail art by Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands)

This Richard Canardesque card we received from Ruud Janssen is very thought provoking in terms of some of the Eternal Networkers whose work we follow closely. Specifically, Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) has founded the Museum of Bad Mail Art (MOBMA), which is very popular and consistently attracts work. Moan Lisa is currently inhabiting the Maria Marisot identity (Iowa City, Iowa, USA). Moan-Maria has a particular genius for founding movements and issuing mail art calls that generate widespread interest and responses. One of them is Bad Poetry:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/853769131332573/

http://iuoma-network.ning.com/group/badpoetry

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We greatly appreciate more DKULTN and Trashpo stamps, and Trashpo is relevant to the current discussion. But back to the main topic: We have kept some distance from both the Bad Poetry and Bad Mail Art calls because we are perplexed about defining what is “good” and what is “bad” in the context of mail art, especially when anti-art and found art are factored in. We are not against Bad Poetry or MOBMA; we are just confused. Ruud Janssen’s card suggests to us that we are not the only ones trying to define “bad poetry.” Is it good bad poetry? Is it bad good poetry? We do not know. We do know we are pleased to receive a great deal of poetry from Moan-Maria. But is it good? Is it bad?

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Mail art by Maria Morisot (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)

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Mail art (plasticized) by Moan Lisa-Maria Morisot (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)

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We can offer no insight in terms of helping to identify bad art or bad poetry. Perhaps the insinuation of the question is what is important. We will, however, conclude with the insights of Richard Canard that often address these issues:

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

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Many thanks to Ruud Janssen, Maria Morisot, Moan Lisa and Richard Canard.

MinXus Mail Bag: Doodle Therapy for the Great Confusion by Chepin (San Franciso, California, USA)

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Mail art by Chepin (San Francisco, California, USA)

Chepin’s reputation as a gifted and active correspondence artist precedes – in our awareness – her arrival upon our most humble blog. We were surprised and very glad to receive this wonderful postcard-size piece from her. We are equally excited to share it with Tenderfoots. We are not sure about a horizontal or vertical presentation, but we like this angle best. Her kind notes on the reverse side add some interesting information:

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Chepin is a member of the All Things Trashpo group at IUOMA-Ning, which geographically places her in DKULTNOCAL territory. We believe it is possible that this work, then, takes some inspiration from the doodle therapy developed by Diane Keys (Illinois, USA) and Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK). Doodling is prevalent in Trashpo circles these days. Is it possible there was some thought of asemic writing on Chepin’s part? We would not rule it out. The work is at least asemic suggestive.

We will add Chepin’s work as a most original example to the contemporary doodle canon. As for the Great Confusion: That is a term associated with a number of cultural, religious and even political events. We have used it specifically in reference to Neoism. Perhaps Chepin is making that association as well.

Welcome and deepest thanks to Chepin for beautiful and intriguing mail art as well as cryptic and intriguing messages.

MinXus Mail Bag: DKult Doodle Therapy TLP #5 by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK)

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Mail art by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK)

Our faithful correspondent Rebecca Guyver sent us the fifth Tacky Little Pamphlet (TLP) in her stunning DKult Doodle Therapy series. This new installment is as innovative and entertaining as the previous editions we have received. The DKult Doodle Therapy concept is inherently collaborative. While Rebecca Guyver is unquestionably the guiding force behind these soon-to-be historic TLPs (we’re sure), many other artists have contributed doodles. Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) and Figgy Guyver are given credit for contributing to TLP#5; we gather there are others as well. Rebecca Guyver is also a wonderful correspondent in terms of sending us generous envelopes stuffed with both art and news. These opening scans are of a card that accompanied TLP#5. Here is the reverse side:

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Without further digression, we are very pleased to now present you – dearest Tenderfoots – with complete documentation of DKult Doodle Therapy TLP#5:

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Cover of DKult Doodle Therapy TLP#5 by Rebecca Guyver with additional contributions by Diane Keys, Figgy Guyver and others.

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(Click to enlarge)

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Detail from Dkult Doodle Therapy TLP#5

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Back cover Dkult Doodle Therapy#5

A wonderful production! Rebecca Guyver also included a wonderful example of her plasticized, sewn work.

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And the envelope:

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And the reverse:

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As ever, thanks to Rebecca Guyver!

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