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.


Mail Art Call by Jim Leftwich for Roanoke/Collab Fest – Deadline Approaching! (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

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Some Tenderfoots know him simply as “Jesus Jim,” inventor of Trashpo.

Others know him as Jim Leftwich, a visual poet and theorist of great distinction. Regardless, if you visit our humble blog then you are called upon to send mail art to this year’s event in Virginia, which is associated with the former Marginal Arts Festival.

Note that the deadline is June 27, 2015!


422 Walnut SE#2

Roanoke, VA 24014-USA

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For more information:


The Gift that Keeps on Giving

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“Virgin Mary Toast” from the Mystery Gift Box (Barfa Stewart Tacky Gift Exchange)

The Barfa Stewart Tacky Gift Exchange of the 2014-15 holiday season will be remembered in mail-art history as one of the most poorly conceived, organized and executed events in a half century of otherwise smooth sailing. Nothing like it should ever be allowed to happen again. The human wreckage can never be mended. The disaster of the gift exchange raises at least two questions: Can a traditional gift exchange be considered a true mail art activity? Can re-gifted items be considered mail art?

Participants in the Barfa Stewart Tacky Gift Exchange were Diane Keys (organizer), KDJ, Rebecca Guyver, Dan Mouer, Nadine Wendell-Mojica, De Villo Sloan, Lisa Iversen, Angie Seffker Cope, Kendra Given, Jim Santamour, Paula Peters Marra and Amanda Villacreses. The event became a mail art version of Lord of the Flies. Friendships have been damaged beyond repair.

Most participants survived the gift exchange. The travesty that occurred involved the public lynching of one participant who was wrongly singled out as being a parasite trying to procure free and expensive gifts from other members.

We will not participate in spreading rumors or relating details of events that are already well known. We will display for you selected re-gifted materials – aka the Mystery Gift Box – that are STILL circulating as the result of the Barfa Stewart Tacky Gift Exchange. The food items, which have been circulating for several months, are rotting and decomposing. Raw garbage has been dumped in the box creating a horrible stench, and the material now – in our estimation – poses a health risk. The intent, to us, is clearly malicious and rooted in paranoid revenge fantasies.

Is this truly in the spirit of mail art? Or is this behavior we should condemn and not tolerate? Is this art or a malicious prank perpetrated by crazed Kulters bent upon getting even? Perhaps the mail art community can intervene and censure the miscreants.

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The return address says De Villo Sloan mailed this from Diane Key’s house – a virtual impossibility. DVS has no memory of mailing this to himself.

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This panel of the mystery gift box implicates another party in the mailing, although we should never jump to conclusions.

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Forged document from the Mystery Gift Box.

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Bag of trash from the Mystery Gift Box.

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Detail of toothbrush from the Mystery Gift Box. The notes say: “for teeth after all that chocolate,” “so u no cut ur self,” “please send 2 Angie 4 me” and “DKULTHQ sent this threat if I no send.” We assume the reference is to Angie Seffker Cope.

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More trash from the Mystery Gift Box. Note “Angie’s” – clearly a reference to Angie Seffker Cope.

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Incoherent rambling on the Mystery Gift Box plus kitty litter and candy from inside the box.

Many will find it shocking that someone actually considered this mail art, and it is scary to think “re-gifted” items like this are circulating in the network. We ask again: When has it gone too far? And how can we better police the network so things like this cannot occur?

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Releases Rare SMILE Zine Material

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The current Neoism revival is generating related interest in SMILE: a premier zine from the Age of Zines closely aligned with the international Neoist effort that had a nascence in the 1980s and into the 90s.

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE has launched a website – a fascinating extension of his voluminous documentation and commentary on Neoism – focusing specifically on the SMILE phenom, and – very important – variants and sources that contributed to SMILE. The names and exploits of those associated with various permutations of SMILE chronicle an era.

Given the de-centered and collaborative nature of the SMILE publishing model, a complete history of the zine is likely to take some time and will require a collaborative effort involving many individuals. This gargantuan effort by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, by no means complete, is an invaluable contribution to the historicization of a cultural impulse notoriously resistant to conventional analysis and documentation.

The fact that tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE was a witness to and sometimes central player in both Neoism and aspects of SMILE also make this specific archival project unique and absorbing. Obviously multi-talented, tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE is a gifted writer. His commentary and descriptions of SMILE are as engaging as the rare images that can be found on the site. This is a project worth exploring and following as it evolves.

Here is the link to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE’s SMILE site:


Thanks to Borderline Grafix in Texas, MinXus-Lynxus has done several SMILE postings in the past:



Microtonal Music Collection by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

We acquired a link to an extensive collection of microtonal compositions and performances by the Mink Ranch’s favorite (former) Neoist tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE. Our effort to keep track of his work has revealed a quantity and depth never before realized. This collection is extremely well documented, explained and presented. Please dig in!


And a fun link for Tenderfoots who have not yet completed tENT 101:


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tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE – from the MinXus Who Has The Best Hair Contest

(finally) A New Neoist Website


Included are historic videos from nascent era apartment festivals that appear to be authentic, although we cannot claim to be able to verify. Many great examples of Neoist irrationalism as well. We think you might want to think of the site as a simulation of Neoism or a simulacra.

MinXus Mail Bag: “Snarl” (aka “Smile”) Zine 1988 w/ Karen Eliot Interview from Borderline Grafix (Austin, Texas, USA)

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Cover of Snarl zine (Fall 1988) published in Madison, Wisconsin, USA

As the third installment featuring documentation of a huge mailing we received from Borderline Grafix in Texas, we are pleased to present excerpts from a rare 1980s zine movement artifact. Smile is one of the better known mail-art network zines from that era and Snarl, released in the Fall of 1988, is one of the fascinating variants. Borderline Grafix managed to obtain a complete issue, which he kindly shared with us.

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Much of the content of this issue of Snarl is dense essays that take an anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-sexist and anti-consumerist stance. The spirit of Bob Black’s The Abolition of Work is much in evidence. Snarl reflects the dominant (leftist, radical, anarchist) ideology that permeated the zines; but it is much more academic and pointedly political than the majority of its post-punk counterparts. We would venture to guess it was connected to (graduate) students at the University of Wisconsin. The true identity of the authors is obscured, giving the impression of collective writing. Plagiarism was much in vogue then as well. Snarl does include reviews (above) which appeared in many zines and helped build the network.

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While text-heavy, Snarl does offer some good examples of zine art.

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Of special interest to us in this issue of Snarl is an emphasis on the Karen Eliot multiple-user identity so central to Neoism, which by 1988 had reached a peak and was slipping into a decline, at least of its first iteration.

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Karen Eliot is very erudite in Snarl.

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And even more, helped by some artwork…

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A punky back cover:

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Many thanks to Borderline Grafix in Austin, Texas for sharing this lost classic with us!

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