MinXus Mail Bag: “Organized Chaos” by Erin Young (Innisfil, Ontario, Canada)

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Mail art by Erin Young (Innisfil, Ontario, Canada)

A big “Howdy,” a secret MinXus handshake and a wink go out to our new north-of-the border Tenderfoot Erin Young who so kindly sent us this stunning mail art. This is a wonderful abstract piece and roughly post-card-size. Information is included on the reverse side:

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Erin Young is wowing the network with the FAB pieces she is mailing. Based on what we see appearing online, she has a wide-ranging talent. This piece that we are so thrilled to add to the archives explores chaos and order. The colors are wonderful and the work has a tactile, haptic dimension as well. For us, the piece does invoke the idea of chaos; but it has the suggestion of underlying unity and structure as well, especially in terms of shape. Here is a related piece that was also enclosed:

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This was a very helpful inclusion in terms of understanding the process, and note the finger painting. Erin also included a kind note:

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These (above) arrived in an envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Erin Young!

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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: 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: The Opposite of Trashpo or the Gina Ulgen Fan Club (Norwich, Norfolk, UK)

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Mail art by Gina Ulgen (Norwich, Norfolk, UK)

Gina Ulgen has distinguished herself in mail art with contributions to DKULTUK. Now, an ambitious edition she has released into the network separates her from the trashpack and – if there were ever any doubt – confirms her standing as a highly original collage artist. This “let them eat cake” piece is ubiquitous these days and is receiving high praise. All the same, we will share the copy we received (14/50). We are thrilled that Gina Ulgen kindly thought of us. Visual puns highlight her wry humor:

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Gina Ulgen included a card with a note:

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She makes a reference to the Postage Due Club:

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We do not believe Gina Ulgen is a member of the Postage Due Club and thus has not burdened us with financial obligations (as did Diane Keys for no less than an entire year). This mail art package has a wonderful consistency throughout in terms of aesthetic choices, tone and theme:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Gina Ulgen!

MinXus Mail Bag: “Shower” by Monsenhor enVide neFelibata (Porto, Portugal)

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Mail art by Monsenhor enVide neFelibata (Porto, Portugal)

We extend a big “Howdy” and a secret MinXus handshake to Monsenhor enVide neFelibata who makes his first appearance on our humble blog with this fabulous print he so kindly sent us.

Monsenhor enVide neFelibata is a talented artist who, based on his commentary, is more interested in the fine art aspects of the Eternal Network than, for instance, the performance dimension or Trashpo. We are certainly thrilled to have this example of his work!! But we also note that in this and in other works of his we have seen, we detect a sense of humor, iconoclastic tendencies and some movement toward conceptualism. In short, he has the ability (and is) working in a wide range of styles and orientations.

One of the main attractions of “Shower” is the superb guilding, which we do not believe we were able to adequately capture in a scan. Fortunately, Monsenhor enVide neFelibata has an excellent blog where this edition is documented:

http://envidenefelibata.blogspot.com/2015/08/laser-printed-and-hand-gilded-set-of-20.html

This card was also included in the envelope:

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And the envelope:

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Many thanks to enVide neFelibata!

MinXus Mail Bag: Altered postcard by Babs Bird (London, UK)

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Mail art by Babs Bird (London, UK)

“who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall…”

– Allen Ginsberg in Howl

A biggy “Howdy” and a secret Mink Ranch handshake are extended to Babs Bird. This is her first appearance upon our humble page.

The postcard is a dominant form in contemporary mail art. Babs Bird’s reconfigurations of the postcard foundation through collage are fascinating and an interesting, self-reflective commentary on correspondence art. In this piece and in her work we have seen elsewhere, Babs Bird takes utilitarian, rote and often contrived postcard images and alters them so they express a different, sometimes contrary, narrative or message. The original model village/tin mining image in this piece received is, we believe, brilliantly deconstructed.

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And as for the fave Allen Ginsberg quote that opened this humble blog

“who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall….”

Babs Bird of London has been active on the IUOMA-Ning platform in recent weeks. Today when we went there to find some information about her, we found her gone. A click into her profile produced only a big paragraph of garbled code. Maybe it is a tech glitch at our end. Who knows? We have miles to go and promises to keep, as somebody once said.

Perhaps we will never encounter Babs Bird again. So many thanks for this wonderful mail art.

MinXus Mail Bag: The new issue of “Flummox – A Journal of Extinction” is here by David Stafford (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)

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Mail art by David Stafford (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)

Actually it is not a journal; it is a large postcard-size piece from David Stafford that looks like a journal cover. We are thrilled to receive mail from David. We learned through the grapevine he made a trip to New York City not long ago. Perhaps that excursion inspired him to make this commentary on the condition of the (post-) avant. From his perspective, the future is not bright. We tend to agree that most of the current tepid avant posturing we see seems like a eulogy delivered by an Assistant Professor of Medieval Studies at a poorly attended funeral.

If we wrote that David Stafford is the unquestionable reigning king of mail art satire, we might offend the sensibilities of egalitarian networkers who do not believe such value judgments should be uttered or proposed. FLUMMOX – A JOURNAL OF EXTINCTION addresses numerous publications, both online and off, that present what some call “intermedia” work, along with theoretical commentary. The overlaid letters on the image strongly suggest, of course, visual poetry aka vispo. Flummox contains the word “flux,” so David Stafford has made a sweeping inventory ranging from vispo to Fluxus. These various iterations of the post-avant are currently fashionable in and outside the Eternal Network. Too bad he did not work Oulipo in there – that one is especially trendy! While Fluxus is part of history, it is certainly enjoying a revival.

As if FLUMMOX – A JOURNAL OF EXTINCTION were not enough, the reverse side has David Stafford’s wonderful drawing and more humor:

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David Stafford always provides perspective, a dash of common sense and gales of laughter. As ever, many thanks!

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