Friday, September 2, 2016

Commodity Civilization IV - Cascadia Artpost



I love Cascadia Artpost's artistamps! They require careful inspection and make a biting commentary on American civilization. I hope what Cascadia sees is only part of the picture and must admit that the English and other culutres probably share some of the evils he highlights. Whatever, although I like them, they make me sad.

And Cascadia may be cheering tonight on hearing the news that I heard this morning… apparently the biggest shipping company with 7% of the market has gone bust and that means 7% of the goods heading around the world for consumption will have a harder time getting there!

Many thanks for this provocative mail art!

In Memory of Susan McAllister - amalgamated confusion



Such a bitter sweet moment to hold Amalgamated Confusion's tribute to our friend, Susan McAllister.    I can't supress a smile but have a heavy heart. I hope I ism in some direction.



Inalienable truths and trumpdities - Sticker Dude

What with all the activity from the sticker dude in my mailbox lately, I can sure spot one of his envelopes! They are fat and stamped with nods to biting humour and frivolity, all at the same time.  His rubber stamps make me smile and reach for my letter opener.

Wise words curated together with Thomas Kerr's striking imagery tell it like it is…so I guess I am old, then, because all of this seems true to me! Except that I am young at heart and while moaning about twenty-somethings, I am secretly vying for them to stand up to those with the power!

Now most of you won't know about my Grateful Dead past… that I lived in California in the late seventies/early eighties and that the bulk of my friends were total, absolute deadheads. And I had a new music radio show and teased them mercilessly because we went to very different concerts. Towards the end of my time in Palo Alto, I guess the constant din of Garcia, Lesh, Weir, Hunter, etc… got under my skin eventually and I found I knew the lyrics and the tunes.  I even went to one of their concerts in LA, once. Another time, in a frenzy of art making for a friend, I made a visual representation of a box of rain, my favourite Dead song. Later on, in the Peace Corps my friend Ken, who recorded everything he went to, sent me a stream of Dead recordings that I passed on to volunteers as I departed. So in Kenya, as I type, I suspect there is a volunteer somewhere jigging up an old tapedeck listening to this song… such beautiful lyrics and related to Mary's quote above.  We'll always be looking for answers to those slippery questions...



Sticker Dude's throws key icons of an age at me… Elvis, Duchamp and the Dead into one mailing. And then as an afterthought, or perhaps as a striking contrast, he includes TRUMP'dities'




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Groovin redheads from 15C




Just fabulous to get some fat mail from Vizma! I love my mail art 'nickname' in lights - that burlesque thing was a highlight for me and I love that Vizma has sent this reminder! Maybe this will be the catalyst for my own wacky mail art sensibilities to return… 


 Vizma and I agreed to make four postcards each and then to send them and add to them.  We'll keep two and send two back. Can't wait to get started with these:





The back of the postcards have Vizma's stamp and signature.  They have a haptic quality and understated colour - fun to respond to.



Nothing about Vizma's mail art is ever too serious.  This card makes me wonder if some cats need glasses and whether some cats are vain?

Above is for my eyes only - silly stuff is perfect!

nd finally…this boekie is a REAL gem. It's a real tiny matchbox book, not just a zig zag book in a box!  I ADORE it.  Vizma's use of text and the way she blends her media results in the kind of book you love to hold, read and begin again. The language, inuendo and strong imagery are something special.












I finally have a few things on deck to send out and one is going back to Vizma, but I need a bit more time to respond to this wonderful mail! Huge thanks!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Inbetween Music - Subscription Opus 91


It must be quite annoying to be a musician, performing, when the audience rustles, coughs, claps or when a phone rings . I think Jude's Inbetween Music gives us an insight into what it feels like to wait between movements for a musician. I suspect musicians have their 'ticks', adjusting the music stand, turning their chair, etc... and that Jude is bringing them together, imagining them as music, recognising the gaps as something interesting too. Perhaps Inbetween is the time when the musician becomes the audience listening to the silence, or something.  Attacca, the devil! Who would deny the musician the inbetween time to hiss, tune, make funny faces or scream?


And now for a bit of Greek Dada - Remembrance of Books lost


I love when opening mailart that sits in a queue on my desk results in a link!  while Dave the Rave doesn't do dada (see previous post) Katerina Nikoltsou does.  And not only that, while Dave does pink and lots of people in power, Katerina chooses purple and focuses mostly on animals, abstractions and a hint of nature.

Katerina's boekie is folded paper bags, stapled and taped.  Inside the pouches are lots of trashpo, perhaps pieces of books lost?




in pouch one...


in pouch two...


Katerina always has a way of making me pine for the sea and wish I could visit her Greek vantage.



Friday, August 26, 2016

Dave the Rave and the dichotomy of the cigarette


I made Dave The Rave a mail artist.  I mean, Dave heard about mail art from me and started sending me pieces when he traveled. The mail art he has sent me is full of meaning, often has doodles and trashpo but is always intentional.  No dada for Dave.

Dave would like to exchange with other mail artists, so not long ago I suggested he send to TOFU for his pink call. It turns out Dave is a bit like me, he didn't read the fine print before he began and instead of making his piece postcard size, made it A3; so I am the beneficiary of his first attempt beginning for Tofu's PINK mail art call.

Dave is yet to send the real PINK piece.

This three-D piece is about Dave's father, smoking and the way we were hoodwinked into smoking by the likes of Ivor Novello in years gone by. Cigarettes had a glamour it's impossible to describe now these icons made them irresistible. 

Dave is still cut up over his father and mother's deaths - both smokers. I suspect they were both English from a different era, with different pastimes in a different kind of world.





If you would like to exchange with Dave the Rave, let me know and I'll send you his address!=