MinXus Mail Bag: Pan-demonium from Mark Bloch (New York City, USA)

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Mail art by Mark Bloch aka Pan (New York City)

(Part I)

Mark Bloch is a veteran mail artist who needs no introduction to those familiar with the Eternal Network. If you are a Tenderfoot who has not yet made his acquaintance, then we are thrilled to have this opportunity to share his work with you (in several installments). First, Mark Bloch’s website is a fantastic resource:

http://www.panmodern.com/Ray.html

http://www.panmodern.com/home.html

http://www.panmodern.com/neoism-intro.html

He generously sent us a hefty envelope packed with articles and artwork spanning different stages of his career. Here is a FAB piece he sent from the time of his involvement in the global art strike of the early 90s, which was closely connected to the network:

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Mark Bloch has an incredible knowledge of mail art history. We believe he is a vitally important figure – even if controversial and sometimes vexing – on the current scene. After all, he helped shape that history and witnessed it firsthand. Additionally, he is an excellent writer. We were thrilled he sent us this piece on mail art history:

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We think this is a must-read piece for mail artists, especially those involved in IUOMA-Ning discussions attempting to define mail art and Ray Johnson’s connection to it. As some of our readers have no doubt observed at other venues, Mark Bloch’s views on the current situation of Fluxus in the mail art network (as well as newer generation artists who call themselves Fluxus) can and do generate heated debate. We will not attempt an analysis of this complex situation, but we will share an erasure piece Mark Bloch sent. The Fluxus naming controversy provides, we believe, important context for the piece:

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(Click to enlarge)

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In our view, a fantastic (and incredibly humorous) erasure. Another piece from the package:

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And the reverse:

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Our deepest thanks to Mark Bloch for sending all this great material! Watch for more installments in the days ahead…

MinXus Mail Bag: From Jesse Edwards (Villemoustaussou, France) + A Message for Facebook Friends

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Mail art by Jesse Edwards (Villemoustaussou, France)

We believe correspondent Jesse Edwards continues to travel in Europe this summer. Fortunately, he provided us with a backlog of material that we will share until he returns to his home and continues with his usual, prolific output.

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Many thanks to Jesse Edwards! But no! We are not Moan Lisa, which might possibly (but not necessarily) have something to do with the following:

Our Facebook Fiasco

Apologies and thanks are due to Tenderfoots who have contacted us back channel concerning our sudden disappearance from Facebook (specifically the DVS profile).

The account has been “disabled,” and we are attempting to restore it.

On July 4 (ironically) we attempted to log into the account, only to discover we were denied access. We have a form email from FB saying they suspect DVS is not DVS, that the account is possibly fake and we must provide “government identification.” Despite a strong impulse not to do this, we have complied. We have hundreds of images of artwork by DVS and others in our FB albums. Should we at least be allowed to “clean out the desk” before being locked out? The corporate world usually allows that much. So, in short, FB has confiscated our art.

We have discovered FB has almost no customer service, and their information is uniformly vague. We have no idea when our “case” will be reviewed. Yes, suddenly they are using the word “case.” We have not the slightest idea why we are a “case” and find the situation exceedingly embarrassing and humiliating. Mostly, we post pics of mail art and news about contemporary poetry. Some have suggested that someone had to have reported us for a violation. If this is the case, we would like to know what that alleged violation is, if it is more than the charge of DVS being a fake person. There is an appeal process we will pursue if the “government identification” we sent is not sufficient. Reports concerning the appeal process are not positive either.

Some of our FB friends are people we have known for years. Some are current coworkers. (We use the FB account for art and professional (which overlap) and communicate with family elsewhere.) The account is not fake, and friends can attest to that. Yes, we admit to having a sense of humor. However, we have provided FB with accurate information and followed the rules to the best of our knowledge, so the disabling of the account comes as a surprise. The assumption of guilt – the disabling of the account with minimal explanation and no timeframe – is unlike anything we have encountered in cyberspace before.

A quick search reveals that people report disabled FB account issues are resolved from a day or two to never. What looks like a large segment of posters claim they submit the required information to FB and never receive a response and the accounts remain disabled. Even without an official ruling on guilt or innocence by FB, the people with disabled accounts are not permitted to open new accounts, based on online information. So we are not sure when, if ever, we will be back on FB. Actions like this by FB must be devastating for people who use the site for commercial purposes or to keep in contact with family members – not people guilty of an infraction but innocent people who suddenly find themselves frozen out with little explanation or recourse.

Clearly, IUOMA-Ning is not adequate any longer for the great work of MinXus-Lynxus. We will continue to post and participate at IUOMA-Ning, of course; but we will look into establishing a presence on Twitter, Instagram and other similar venues. We will return to FB if possible, as so many friends are there.

After this Orwellian and Kafkaesque experience with FB, all we can advise Tenderfoots: “Watch your back.”

MinXus Mail Bag: Can Anyone Give us a Hand with a Mail Art Mystery from Richmond, Virginia, USA?

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Work by unknown mail artist (Richmond, Virginia, USA)

Lately, it seems, we have been dealing with a greater than average number of mail-art mysteries here at the Mink Ranch. Some of it, we contend, has resulted from Meeah Williams’ identity pranks and fallout for the (illegal) formation of her DKULTBRO (or DKULTLYN = DKult Brooklyn). Her deportation to DKULTJER (DKult New Jersey), we thought, had eased the tensions and lessened perplexity associated with strange mailings and internet postings. However, we did receive this unsigned work that appears to have been mailed from Richmond, Virginia, USA. The miniature artwork (above) was carefully enclosed in a small envelope within a larger envelope:

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The outer shell:

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Our first thought (not always best thought) was that this originated with Meeah. The style seems to be hers and she somehow has the ability to mail work from locations a good distance from her Brooklyn headquarters. Otherwise, we can only think of our good friend Dan Mouer is in Richmond. Would Dan send us this? We think not, although we await his view on this matter. Diane Keys – now publically defending the illegal formation of DKYLTBRO and thus again at odds with the monolithic DKULTNY – has suggested this is work by David Stafford (New Mexico, USA). She has a point. The work reflects David Stafford’s style as well. But how did he arrive in Richmond, Virginia, and why would he mail it from there?

As with all these cases, we seek assistance in identifying the artist so that person can be properly thanked and the work can be appropriately archived.

 

MinXus Mail Bag: Tinsel Town Trashpo is Social Realism in the Hands of Nadine Wendell-Mojica (Burbank, California, USA)

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Mail art by Nadine Wendell-Mojica (Burbank, California, USA)

We are eager to share a fresh installment of our very popular Hollywood report from our FAB, on-the-scene M-L correspondent, Nadine Wendell-Mojica. The Las Vegas pendant (above) with the wonderful, faded letters at the top works for us splendidly as a Trashemic object poem. Nadine’s report contains a wealth of just marv material. The opulence and abundance is connected to the (now fading) holiday season that, in this case, still retains a rough-around-the-edges sparkle:

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Tenderfoots will note that in the upper-right portion of the scan (above) Nadine perceptively included some dialogue by Joe Friday (Jack Webb) from Dragnet. We have been making allusions to the LA-centered show for some time when writing about Nadine’s report. Dragnet, indeed, is part of the concept of the MinXus-LynXus Hollywood report.

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This scan (above) mostly displays reverse sides. We do appreciate the way Nadine always includes some of her trademark caricatures when filing her report.

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We hold the position that Trashpo is, or can be in the hands of a master, a form of social realism. Nadine Wendell-Mojica could well be writing a great Hollywood Trashpo epic upon the demure pages of our humble blog. We are thrilled!

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Thus we have another edition of the MinXus Hollywood report filed, shared and recorded for posterity. Many thanks, Nadine – scouring the gritty streets of Hollywood so that we might know the truth.

 

The Strange Case of Nadja Seven, Alesandra Crowley & the Meeah Williams Look-Alikes

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Mail-art by Alesandra Crowley (Berkeley, California, USA) and/or Meeah Williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA)

Last week Borderline Grafix (Austin, Texas, USA) posted online documentation of mail-art he received from an unknown artist supposedly in Westport, Massachusetts, USA. He attributed the work to CZ Lovecraft because Lovecraft’s Westport address appeared on the front of the envelope even though the name Nadja Seven accompanied the address and not Lovecraft’s. (Nadja Seven is possibly a reference to an anime character.)

Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA) observed the actual work sent Borderline Grafix resembled the distinctive style of Meeah Williams in Brooklyn. The likeness was uncanny to the point where it had to be considered a brilliant forgery. Thus the buzz began. Why would Meeah Williams claim to be Nadja Seven and use CZ Lovecraft’s address in Massachusetts? Questions were posted. No answers were forthcoming from those in a position to explain the odd affair. Only silence.

Now, faithful Tenderfoots, lightening has struck again and this time closer to the ranch. We have received an envelope containing this spectacular asemic work that reminds us of a rare tapestry. The work, approximately 8 X 10 inches, is one of the finest asemic works we have ever received. Here are some detail shots:

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And another:

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We doubt that anyone familiar with Meeah Williams’ work would deny she created this extraordinary piece. If anyone does object or have insights, please leave a comment! The envelope is equally spectacular and also includes the perplexing information that this was sent to us by an Alesandra Crowley (any relation to Aleister Crowley?) in Berkeley:

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And the reverse:

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We are thrilled to document asemics of this caliber but unsure how to thank the creator. Alesandra Crowley and her Berkeley address both appear to be complete fictions. Nadja Seven is a similar dead end; she might or might not have something to do with CZ Lovecraft, who is a real person. Is this a conspiracy? We wonder if we are part of some cleverly orchestrated mail-art event, the purpose of which is beyond us now but will be made clear eventually by the mastermind behind it. Until then, we are only hapless pawns. Will similar mailings be received (or have they already been received?) by unsuspecting others? Or is this the end? Another cold case in the bulging mail-art X Files?

An incredible trashbook was also included in this mailing also revealing Meeah Williams’ distinctive style:

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We could speculate concerning cryptic messages, but it is simply all too vague.

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Many layers of wonderful Trashpo are included.

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Some especially cryptic messages on this page.

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We are thrilled to be able to exhibit this FAB work on our humble pages but wearily resigned to the fact that the hard cases all seem to arrive on the MinXus-Lynxus doorstep. We hope that someday, all will be explained.

MinXus Mail Bag: The “Lost” Excavations Collages by liketelevisionsnow with Svenja Wahl (Tamworth, New Hampshire, USA)

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Collage by liketelevisionsnow (Tamworth, New Hampshire, USA)

Fave artist and mail-art friend liketelevisionsnow sent us a package of his beautiful collage works. This mailing is so exceedingly generous and amazing that we can scarcely think how to express our thanks adequately. Fortunately, we can keep the gushing to a minimum as there are back stories to relate we think will help contextualize this work by liketelevisionsnow (ltvs) for Tenderfoots. The opening piece (above) is a gorgeous, original collage mounted on cardboard worthy of instant exhibition. Documentation is included on the back:

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In an accompanying message to us, ltvs wrote: “Thank you for writing the review of the ‘Glitches’ video. It was very well written and very much appreciated. I would like you to have this original collage entitled ‘Auto Suggestion’ as my way of thanking you.” Tenderfoots might recall we provided extensive coverage here at MinXus-Lynxus of the DK glitch art feature in the eminent of Redux: An International Magazine of the Arts:

https://minxuslynxus2.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/redux-an-international-magazine-of-the-arts-features-diane-keys-and-video-by-liketelevisionsnow/

This was a very exciting “Happening” for us to say the least, and it is we who should be heaping ltvs with gifts for including our humble review in such an august publication and such a worthy feature on Diane Keys and glitch art. Regardless, we treasure this wonderful collage. And as if that were not enough, ltvs sent us a truly remarkable publication:

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This beautifully produced “zine” (the term is used tentatively to describe a publication of this quality) contains 21 plates of a series of collages ltvs made for Svenja Wahl’s (Heidelberg, Germany) Excavations zine project. Here is our announcement of the launch of Svenja Wahl’s Excavations project from last summer. (Yes, now – technically – we are talking about a publication by ltvs and separate publications by Svenja Wahl, but they are closely related):

https://minxuslynxus2.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/minxus-mail-bag-collage-by-svenja-wahl-new-zine-launch-heidelberg-germany/

We will provide for you some representative excerpts from Excavations by ltvs as it is not our intention to reproduce the ltvs zine entirely in digital form, but we do very much want to share the art with you:

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We have been able to reconstruct a backstory that provides insight into why and how this series was created. Svenja Wahl has asked each participating artist to mail her approximately 22-28 pages of original content for inclusion in issues of her Excavations zine. ltvs thus created these pieces and mailed them from New Hampshire to Germany. The situation, sadly, became MMM (More Mail-Art Melodrama). Alas, we gather that the hard copies were lost in the postal system. They did not arrive. MIA. Then it was a tragedy. Most artists can relate to the heartbreak and anxiety this would cause for all involved. BUT ltvs had the foresight to keep digital versions of the series (something we should all do always!). He turned near-tragedy into a remarkable project considerably enlarging Svenja Wahl’s Excavations concept.

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Collage by liketelevisionsnow (Tamworth, New Hampshire, USA)

In his letter ltvs further explains: “I’m also sending a recent collection of my collages called ‘Excavations.’ The collages were done on printed copies of Svenja’s piece, which in German was also titled ‘autosuggestion.’ The Excavations were done for a zine that Svenja is working on at present.”

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Due in part to the collaborative nature of the work with Svenja Wahl and the ltvs sensibility, the series has a remarkable serial quality employing and at times working against repetition. Visual syntax is present creating (arguably) an ambiguous but clearly present narrative.

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Again, we deeply appreciate both the original collage and the Excavations publication sent by liketelevisionsnow. We hope we have given Tenderfoots an adequate view of this work without “letting the cat out of the bag” completely. Surely more work from the ltvs/Wahl series will surface elsewhere. We have issues of Svenja Wahl’s Excavations zine to look forward to as well.

The MinXus Hollywood Report by Nadine Wendell-Mojica (Beautiful Downtown Burbank, California, USA)

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Mail-art by Nadine Wendell-Mojica (Burbank, California, USA)

Nadine Wendell-Mojica, our faithful MinXus Hollywood correspondent, has filed a new report that we are eager to share with you. We greatly appreciate her efforts as a sleuth searching the gritty streets of Tinsel Town to find the Trashpo that separates rumor from truth and illusion from reality. This installment presents yet another studio parking pass from Nadine. We are beginning to wonder how she gains access to the studios, although that is likely a secret that makes her such a wonderful MinXus Hollywood correspondent. Here is the reverse side offering an insider view:

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After presentation of this spectacular find, we have the main body of Nadine’s report. As ever, Nadine Wendell-Mojica is humble about the shocking new revelations that come with every installment of the MinXus Hollywood Report:

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And the flip side of the pieces above:

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Nadine Wendell-Mojica is also a gifted artist in addition to being a trashpoet. She has a gift for caricature in particular; an example appears in the upper right corner (above). She makes lovely envelopes, and you can even send her mail directly:

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And the reverse:

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Another segment of the MinXus Hollywood Report is filed and put to bed. Deepest thanks to Nadine Wendell-Mojica.

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