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: Vispo Cut-up by Juan Lopez de Ael (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Pais Vasco, Spain)

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Mail art by Juan Lopez de Ael (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Pais Vasco, Spain)

In the last year, we have become familiar with visual poetry by Juan Lopez de Ael and admire it very much. He is, in our estimation, a master of the cut-up. So we are absolutely thrilled to have received this postcard-size piece, which is an original composition, not a copy. Like many visual poets and text-centered artists, Juan Lopez de Ael is an active participant in the Eternal Network.

In the work of Juan Lopez, we see an affinity to William S. Burroughs’ cut-ups and thus earlier DaDa prototypes. But Juan Lopez de Ael also departs from Burroughs significantly. The work of Juan Lopez is less linear and more dependent on the concept of defamiliarization. We see strong affinities to concrete poetry and those poets who focus on the materiality of language. Juan Lopez uses much material that comes from the mass media, and his work can be viewed as an interrogation of this public discourse and its visual manipulations (fonts in particular).

One should not overlook the recombinant and transformative nature of visual poetry by Juan Lopez de Ael. These literal deconstructions result in explorations of alternative syntax, the non-linear and the creation of whole new symbols. The result is more than base distortion. In the context of the current interest in asemic writing, the work of Juan Lopez de Ael deserves consideration.

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Deepest thanks to Juan Lopez de Ael for being so thoughtful and sending an original work!

“Captain Vispo” by Dark wall – visual poetry, asemic writing, asemic poetry

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“Captain Vispo” by Dark wall (version #1)

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“Captain Vispo” by Dark wall (version #2)

(After Gregory Corso’s “Captain Poetry”)

MinXus Mail Bag: Bad Poetry by Linda French (Two Harbors, Minnesota, USA)

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Mail art by Linda French (Two Harbors, Minnesota, USA)

Moan Lisa has a true talent for inventing mail art calls and concepts that have widespread appeal. The Bad Poetry call is one, as is 5089.

We deeply appreciate that Linda French sent us this “bad poetry” we believe is inspired by Moan Lisa. The thing about the Bad Poetry call is that, in our estimation, it is not necessarily producing bad poetry. Some of the works that can be seen online are parodies of what the authors consider bad poetry. We can make distinctions concerning bad good poetry or good bad poetry. Some of it, too, is actually very good poetry. We put this work by Linda French in the latter category. Thus, the Bad Poetry call asks us to explore our own views about what we like and do not like in a poem. It might actually be contributing to better poetry.

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And the reverse:

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MinXus Exclusive! Asemic Art by Kerri Pullo (Tucson, Arizona, USA)

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Asemic art by Kerri Pullo (Tucson, Arizona, USA)

Recently in another venue, we referred to longtime MinXus-Lynxus contributor Kerri Pullo as “everyone’s favorite asemic writer.”

We believe Kerri Pullo has earned this designation due to the nearly universal, positive response to her work. Both an audience within the visual poetry(-asemic) community and a larger audience outside that community are Kerri Pullo fans. She is able to satisfy the often demanding theoretical and literary requirements of conceptually minded poets and win favor with a broader audience. Her approach is time tested; one need only think of Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly.

Kerri Pullo’s ability to merge abstract art and asemics, we think, at least partially accounts for her success. We are thrilled to be able to share some new work by Kerri Pullo that emphasizes the visual art aspect of her work. The opening scan, to the best of our knowledge, is a MinXus-Lynxus exclusive! We are pleased to unveil this piece for the first time. Here is another piece Kerri Pullo recently shared with the Asemic Writing for Mail Artists group at IUOMA-Ning:

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Asemics by Kerri Pullo (Tucson, Arizona, USA)

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We conclude our feature of new work by Kerri Pullo with this re-mix of a gorgeous piece that appeared on the AAAAA blog. This blog, we think, is another project initiated by the great visual poet and MinXus-Lynxus contributor Fatima Quieroz of Brazil:

http://aaaaa-ffooom.blogspot.com/2015/04/kerri-pullo.html

Theme and aesthetic continuity are certainly present in these newer pieces.

This is also an appropriate place to mention that our MinXus-Lynxus e-book division at Scribd is proud to have published a full-length collection of asemics by Kerri Pullo. Make sure to take a look!

MinXus Mail Bag: Not Yeti by Thomas Brown aka Bhomas Trown (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

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Mail art by Thomas Brown aka Bhomas Trown (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

The ever-ironic, ever-witty and resourceful Thomas Brown of BalTIMORE (thank you tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) sent us another relatively minimal, text-centered piece. This one is a gallery invitation but works wonderfully as mail art as well:

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We admire the wordplay and, perhaps even more here than in previous work, think of Ben Vautier’s postcards and how effective they are.

Thanks again to Thomas Brown!

MinXus Mail Bag: Lightning Strikes in FAB Artists Book by Henry Denander (Stockholm, Sweden)

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Mail art by Henry Denander (Stockholm, Sweden)

A huge Mink Ranch “Howdy” and secret MinXus handshake are extended to artist and poet Henry Denander who so kindly and thoughtfully sent us this wonderful artists book and ephemera. We will display excerpts rather than reproduce the whole edition. Here are some essentials:

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Texture and color are particularly powerful in Rectangular Stacks of Lightning.

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The book incorporates both visual and textual elements. We note a visual-narrative continuity that holds it together.

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Henry Denander also included this loose piece that captures the spirit of Rectangular Stacks of Lightning:

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We found an accompanying note and card:

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The envelope is excellent:

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Many thanks to Henry Denander!

To see more work by Henry Denander, make sure to visit:

http://www.henrydenander.com/

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