MinXus Mail Bag: Vispo Collabs by Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 1

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:

afterMAF 2015 Day 2 - 100_6459

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/

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 2

Unless otherwise indicated, all the pieces shown here are Jim Leftwich-Evan Damerow collabs.

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 3

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.

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 4

Jim L. - 8.25.2015 - 5

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 6

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 7

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 8

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 10(A)

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):

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 9

A closer look:

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 10

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 11

Jim L - 8.25.2015 - 12

Many thanks to Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow!

Advertisements

MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic Tacky Little Pamphlet (TLP) by Jason Motsch (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, USA)

Jason - 8.23.2015 - 1

Mail art by Jason Motsch (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, USA)

The Tacky Little Pamphlet (TLP), a mail art staple, is an ideal vehicle for asemic writing projects. Certainly prize examples can be found in the massive body of John M. Bennett’s (Ohio, USA) work, among others. Now Jason Motsch has made another contribution to the genre with this wonderful piece he sent us. The opening scan is the cover. The pages are approximately 2 X 3 inches, and he faithfully follows the “official” TLP folding pattern. Here are the inside pages:

Jason - 8.23.2015 - 2

This is a very free form, calligraphy-based asemic writing, somewhat traditional compared to current, exotic methods for generating symbols.

Jason - 8.23.2015 - 3

This asemic TLP by Jason Motsch, as with most asemics that travel through the mail art network, is actually asemic-vispo hybrid work. The colorful triangles provide a useful continuity and anchors for the organic, apparently spontaneous writing.

Jason - 8.23.2015 -  4

And the back cover:

Jason - 8.23.2015 - 5

The TLP provides a brief yet sustained asemic cycle. As language is suggested, so is the structure of a lyric poetry cycle. We find the work interesting and engaging. Here is the envelope:

Jason - 8.23.2015 - 6

And the reverse:

Jason - 8.23.2015 - 7

Many thanks to Jason Motsch for sending more excellent asemic writing and vispo!

MinXus Mail Bag: “Posturban Wildlife at Night” by Joey Patrickt (Oakland, California, USA)

Joey - 8.13.2015 - 1

Mail art by Joey Patrickt (Oakland, California, USA)

Joey Patrickt sent us this highly conceptual, textual-visual work that raises questions about meaning and randomness, among other issues. Our approach is to see the various pieces posted here as a single, unified artwork. The puzzle stands at the center.

The pieces in the envelope reveal his keen sense of humor and irony as well as his ability to construct systems and structures. Initially, we appreciated Joey Patrickt’s ability to create self-contained, postcard-style pieces that have instant appeal in the network. But as this and other pieces we have received from him indicate, he has formidable talent as a conceptualist who can put together a compelling package.

The majority of the material is cut from old publications:

Joey - 8.13.2015 - 2

And the reverse:

Joey - 8.13.2015 - 3

Joey Patrickt references “POSTURBAN,” but this mail art conjures the postmodern. The work focuses on the process of weaving materials together into structures and designs. These objects can express meaning but also have both spiritual and utilitarian functions. Also included is a piece about floors:

Joey - 8.13.2015 - 4

Absurdity is working here, as is Joey Patrickt’s ongoing critique of consumer culture. Are vinyl floors and oriental carpets being purposely placed in relation to each other? The unaltered page has the quality of Trashpo mailings, which often contain this kind of unadorned found material. The purpose is ambiguous. and this piece of mail art retains ambiguity. The recipient can view such inclusions as finished art or use it in a new piece or simply pass it along. Here is the reverse side:

Joey - 8.13.2015 - 5

“POSTURBAN WILDLIFE AT NIGHT” is, in our estimation, an exceptionally done piece of mail art in the conceptual art strain. We can make the case that it is a thoughtfully constructed system intended to make a point about process and meaning. Yet a tension exists where the tropes that establish its meaning threaten to collapse into an envelope of nothing but old magazine clippings and a plastic puzzle. Many people must view it that way. And it is precisely the “shadow of doubt” that gives the work its true strength. We are compelled to consider what is and is not art. We are compelled to consider the relation of constructs to reality. We can glimpse – perhaps just for a moment – a place where art and life are a unified whole. Many thanks, again, to Joey Patrickt!.

Joey - 8.13.2015 - 6

Joey - 8.13.2015 - 7

MinXus Mail Bag: Collaborative DKult Narrative by res and Tammy Riggins (Clarksville, Tennessee, USA)

res - 7.31.2015 - 1

Mail art by res including stamp by Tammy Riggins (Clarksville, Tennessee, USA)

“Trashpo has no future, only a present.”

– Diane Keys

Of course the reigning Queen of Trash Diane Keys never said that; it is a reworking of a quote appropriated from Ray Johnson and altered. The fraudulent quote is, however, an authentic example of the “collaborative narrative” that drives DKult as a mail art activity.

res, a gifted network newcomer who seeks to stay under the radar on the internet (thus the lack of personal info), took to the DKult collective narrative like, as they say, a duck to water with this wonderful, large collage she sent us. In a kind note she informed us: “The center bunny stamp is by Tammy Riggins. She gave me permission to reuse it.” So both res and Tammy Riggins have contributed to the lore of DKult. We want to take this opportunity to extend a biggy “Howdy” and a secret MinXus handshake to both res and Tammy who make on this eventful day their first appearance upon our humble blog.

We are always thrilled to have new artists who are not “insiders” contribute to the DKult narrative. Trashpo is a form of visual poetry made with found material. That requires little explanation and anyone can do it. DKult, we gather, is more mystifying to the uninitiated. Really, it is the equivalent of one of the many mail art fan clubs built around people, objects, activities, etc. For instance, the IUOMA has a Richard Canard Fan Club as well as a Moan Lisa Fan Club. We might have called it the DKFC (Diane Keys Fan Club) only it would be associated with fried chicken and The Colonel (just joking).

DKult differs from a regular fan club due to the “collaborative narrative” where any participant can – in any way they want – contribute to the story of the past, present and future of DKult. This experiment has been going on for five years now with spectacular results and many, many contributions. Unfortunately, the narrative has become so complex, convoluted and contradictory that it is nearly impossible to follow. That probably contributes to the current state of confusion. We have a huge cast of characters, some actual people, some fictional, and some – we are not sure.

res does blaze new trails here, taking DKult back to medieval times. No one has done this before. We have in other DKult narratives references to the Roswell, New Mexico, UFO crash in the 1940s and DK’s psychic ancestors in Russia at the time of Rasputin but nothing further back, as far as we know. We have a clandestine organization named T.O.X.I.S. bent on the destruction of DKult (for some reason) and a place in Mexico called The Clinic where maybe you have been but do not remember. res has also created a work dense with arcane symbols, anachronisms and floating signifiers, which all are staples of the DKult narrative. It is a great contribution.

res - 7.31.2015 - 2

Deepest thanks to res and Tammy Riggins!

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

Juan - 7.29.2015 - 1

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.

Juan - 7.29.2015 - 2

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

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

David Stafford - 7.19.2015 - 1

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:

David Stafford - 7.19.2015 - 2

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

Three Concrete Poems by Dark wall – concrete poetry, visual poetry

hole.6.221

PYRAMID31

7.9.2015.31

Previous Older Entries