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: 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: Walmarth Advertising Supplement by Cascadia Artpost (Olympia, Washington, USA) with Mail Art Martha (Beckenham, UK)

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Mail art by Cascadia Artpost aka Jack Lattemann (Olympia, Washington, USA) based on art and concepts by Mail Art Martha (Beckenham, UK) and Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

Cascadia Artpost has helped realize the artistic visions of Mail Art Martha and Diane Keys through marvelous models and now an incredible publication which is currently circulating in the Eternal Network.

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Trashpo and DKult have always promoted an ideology of anti-consumerism and pro-recycling. Trashpo is, after all, a form of recycling. Mail Art Martha was well-known in the network for her trash trolley and use of found material long before she joined forces with DKult. She has helped make DKULTUK one of the best known and most innovative DKult chapters in the world. Mail Art Martha’s Walmarth Corporation is an entertaining and witty parody of corporate, consumer culture. Cascadia Artpost’s painstaking realization of Mail Art Martha’s ideas through detailed, special effects style models makes Walmarth Corporation one of the crowning achievements of Trashpo in the half-decade that it has been producing a large quantity of art.

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For those who believe Trashpo is simply collecting candy bar wrappers on the street and mailing them to people, Cascadia Artpost and Mail Art Martha reveal that the practice yields a wide variety of literary and visual creations. All that is required is imagination. The center section of the Walmarth Advertising Supplement includes usable stickers:

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Both Mail Art Martha and Diane Keys have created numerous Trashpo devices and inventions. Cascadia Artpost references these in the publication and offers new products as well.

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Diane Keys has proposed ideas for a Trashpo and DKult economy aka the D-Konomy, although the specifics of the program are not entirely clear at this time.

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And the back cover of the Walmarth Advertising Supplement:

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We have no doubt that this ingenious work by Cascadia Artpost is one of the great achievements of Trashpo and is destined for a place in Eternal Network history. We also applaud the collaborative nature of the work, which integrates and acknowledges the contributions of Mail Art Martha and Diane Keys, among others.

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MinXus Mail Bag: “Love is Blind” by the Blessed Father (San Diego, California, USA)

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Mail art by the Blessed Father (San Diego, California, USA)

We have received two fantastic mail art communications from the Blessed Father and his Church of the Right Now, which we have been slow to document due to a general piling up of material at the bottom of the mail bag and the slow summer months. So we extend our apologies to the Blessed Father and other Tenderfoots who, no doubt, daily await the appearance of their work upon our humble blog.

This first piece by the Blessed Father is a conventional-size postcard with some very unconventional material. Sometimes we wonder if our correspondence with this So Cal Holy Roller will result in a shared cell in the Big House. (Suggesting last year that we were “weed” farmers on a very loud envelope had us a bit skittish.)

We can always plead, protest and generally fall back upon the argument that what the Blessed Father is doing is “art.” We believe it is and have – in our West Coast Mail Artist Survey – identified him as an important contemporary figure. One of the Blessed Father’s special talents (in addition to finding excellent models) is stamp making. The reverse side of the card showcases his skill:

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Given the elements of the mail art genre, the persona of the Blessed Father is nearly as important as the art. The Blessed Father is an engaging – and enduring – character. His antics and the Church of Right Now provide numerous narratives that at their core satirize Evangelical Christianity and reveal the all too abundant hypocrisy attached to it. The Blessed Father’s “schtick” indeed seems timeless and (no pun intended) bottomless in terms of rich material. The Blessed Father joins the Church of the Subgenius and more recently DKult along with dozens of other lesser known ranters and temples that form the curious world of mail art religions and philosophies.

Confusion exists concerning the relationship of the Church of the Subgenius and Neoism since they both blossomed in the mail art network at roughly the same time. They were two separate entities on one level, no question. Yet they were also intertwined on a more practical level. For instance, Neoist tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE was named a saint in the Church and a number of his historic performances took place at Church-sponsored events. Thus, the “multiple user identity” concept as well as less noble and artistic scams to raise money involving fake religious groups and scholarship funds seamlessly passed from Neoism to the Church of the Subgenius. This strengthened the already strong tendency in mail art to invent imaginary people, places and organizations. The Blessed Father is a contemporary manifestation right down to his use of a costume.

In a second package, the Blessed Father kindly sent us a T-shirt and we have scanned the primary image on the front:

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The shirt is very high quality. The image, based on the date and subject matter, suggests some earlier iteration of the Blessed Father persona and narrative. R. Crumb comes to mind. The evolution of the Blessed Father from earlier, underground mail art (now very much a vestige of the past) is apparent in this amazing piece. The envelope is a stamp masterpiece:

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Note the nod to “Bob” Dobbs of the Church of the Subgenius. Here is a detail scan of a few of the stamps:

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Deepest thanks, as ever, to the Blessed Father.

 

MinXus Mail Bag: Po-card from Amalgamated Confusion aka Keith S. Chambers (Anaheim, California, USA)

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Mail art by Amalgamated Confusion aka Keith Chambers (Anaheim, California, USA)

We are thrilled to receive a breezy – albeit cryptic – summer postcard from Keith S. Chambers in California. He certainly has attained the DharmaDaDa rank in our eyes with current work we are seeing as well as some fantastic Otherstream writing he did last year. Some excellent stamps on the reverse side:

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Deepest thanks to Keith for staying connected. We hope for more exchanges with him in the months ahead!

 

MinXus Mail Bag: UK = UnKnown Trashpo (Liverpool, UK)

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Mail art by unknown trashpoet (Liverpool, UK)

We have received some wonderful, D-Klassic, anti-art derived Trashpo from Liverpool in Britain. Unfortunately, we are unable to identify the sender and do not recognize him/her as any DKULTUK member we know. We are exceedingly grateful to receive this mail art. The work is on a small, almost delicate, scale and reflects considerable understanding of Trashpo and/or its antecedents.

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These are very small pieces, the largest hardly an inch wide. Our trashpoet has been very discerning in terms of the textual aspect, color and texture. Thus the work has a haptic dimension. The envelope is fantastic:

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And the reverse:

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We cannot place an “L.C.S.” but consider him/her a very fine trashpoet/mail artist. Whether we eventually make a connection or not, deepest thanks to L.C.S.

MinXus Mail Bag: Lucky Bucks for Diane Keys’ Irish Guide Dog (Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

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Mail art by Lucky Pierre (Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

This is slightly convoluted. Queen of Trashpo Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) posted a comment saying she might be losing her eyesight or at least we, representing DKult New York, thought that is what we read. So we began a campaign to raise funds to buy her a seeing-eye dog. This would not be just any seeing-eye dog. This would be a seeing-eye dog from Ireland. Somewhere we got the idea that Irish seeing-eye dogs were superior to all others. Any questions? The campaign is closed because DK did not lose her eyesight after all. Crisis averted.

The ever-compassionate and always resourceful Lucky Pierre responded quickly.

Mail artists have a fascinating tradition of printing fake currencies. Fluxus Bucks are probably the best-known example. Given the alternative art concept, exploration of alternative economies seems almost logical in the network. And DKulters have explored the idea of a D-Konomy (an alternative economy based on Diane Keys’ theories) although both theory and practice are vague at this point in time.

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So, while Diane Keys’ brush with blindness – fortunately – proved to be a false alarm, the Lucky Buck – also fortunately – was born. We hope to see more and that they become a part of the various kinds of trash dollars (trash dolls) that are in circulation. Lucky Pierre put the Lucky Buck in what appears to be an old wedding invitation. Recycling, after all, is a core value of Trashpo:

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Lucky Pierre’s kind message:

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The Lucky Buck came in a FAB envelope:

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And the reverse:

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As ever, many thanks to Lucky Pierre!

A Note on Fluxus Bucks

Fluxus Bucks were created by Julie Jeffries (USA) in the 1990s. They are a world unto themselves or at least a mail art genre. Make sure to take a look:

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

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