Monday, September 30, 2013

Simon Warren's ink blot test

While I think about how to respond to Simon, my mind wanders.  Is Simon now out of shirt cardboard and is he divesting himself of his possesions, beginning with those that fit the A4 format, trimming his hankies in measured precision?

The absense of words or imagery,the pale stain under the sewn-on stamp and the choice of white...

Meanwhile Diane Keys is making her own version of ink blots.

Guido Vermeulen's Faces of Universal Tragedies 7

Guido's original envelope arrived in one of those we're sorry envelopes.  It was not damaged, I guess some cautious postal clerk wanted to make sure this parcel made it in its totality - I guess the ink made the envelope feel a bit delicate. 
 A card 'ON FIRE" based on reflections by Gaston Bachelard (France) from R Budha Thoki (Nepal) and Guido Vermeulen (Belgium).  On the back of Guido's book 7 I find this 'Rant' (his word not mine) from Guido:

Universal tragedies: Official His-storyis written b the conquerors and victors; not by the defeated ones of victims.  Worse even: the victims become the bad guys; they are equal to the tormentors or the reason for all the drudgery; they are the real villains to justify genocide.

I have selected a few of the wonderful faces from Guido's book 7.

There are more questions than answers, always. 

L'ouverture n'est pas toujours si simple que cela!

Nero discovers the poetics of space, tribute to Gaston Bachelard

We are surrounded by the unknown, more than we know...
 Below is a list of the faces illustrations.

Tofu is having a recycled beer packaging exhibition in San Francisco!

You will be able to see Tofu's work at CITY BEER
1168 Folsom St
San Francisco
October 8-Nov 3, 2013
The opening will be Thrusday October 10th from 6-9
To contact Tofu go to tofu!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Simon Warren is making a version of the trash quilt!

Simon has sent me A4 card instalments for quite some time now.  These are punctuated by responses (white envelopes with letters inside) to the occasional replies I send.  I mean to respond more often but unlike Simon I need days to reply.

Interpretation of mail art is a curious thing because unless the dialogue goes back and forth and gets refined, the recipient 'owns' the interpretation.  Strange to think that my meaning might be nothing like Simon's meaning and my response may be irrelevant to the initial response. So when I say Simon is making his own take on the TRASH QUILT, I may be barking up the wrong tree entirely. Still.

Simon has a way of inspiring new work from me and no. 106 (top) was the catalyst for a fusepo response (fused plastic trash quilt) that seemed to arrive from somewhere else.

In the end I did not send Simon the original as not ready to part with it, but the version I sent him is differently inspiring (to me). 

Later that day, I visited facebook to upload some work by other mail artists to the IUOMA site and was delighted to see that Simon had inspired another artist /mail artist / poet, Theresa Williams. I read on her facebook page that:

The poem "torch" has just been nominated for BEST OF THE NET.

Read it, it is wonderful!

While I was making my piece in response to Simon, I wondered about why certain people help us to find what we want to say. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Aristide sends the stuff of life: Encardted DNA



More beautiful work from Aristide!  I am reminded in a personal message that I have not yet sent 'my best mail art'.  I have finally sent something, although what is best? 

I love the way this and the other mail I have recieved from Aristide 3108 is about the essence of life.  The organic nature of the pieces, the way the ideas spill out and hint at meaning, there for me to take, understand and respond to. I get the sense that Aristide finds a moment in the vortex of life to carve out a contempletive space.  I have not found the equivalent, this autumn yet, but if and when I do I hope to find a voice as strong and sure as Aristide's. Love this beautiful work!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jim SantAmour takes me to my turntable days.

Jim's card arrived Saturday.  I love a thick postcard! Hang the expense. That's the first thing I thought as I weighed Jim's card in my hand.

The next thing I notice is that those cool circles are actually a real proof sheet strip of a turntable! And Jim has me hook line and sinker! Everything about this card takes me back to a particulalry fun and feckless period of my life. The KZSU record room was amazingly well-stocked and I spent as much time as I could in there listening.  One of the grad students in the art department found me fun to rib and one day he had festooned my door with a particularly fay 45. With Jim's card I am there.  I was a TA in the darkroom, and I still miss the smell of the trays as I fiddle around in photoshop.

I love the visual impact of this card.  I have this idea to match people up based on their mail art style, some of the matches may be a tangential, but there's an Art lecturer in Falmouth whose work I think you'd like. I may launch that project soon with you as my guinea pig.

And finally, 'Bad Becky'.  Sometimes you wonder if anyone really listens to the stuff you post and this is proof positive that Jim did.  Thanks so much.

 But Jim, did you mean this to be a memory?  It certainly brought them back for me!

PS And I have one more entry to the Mobma contest but I still need to take the pic.  It's definately a contender...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Poem For Rebecca (from Vizma Bruns)

A Sentimental circus

al battle-
her ma-

so close
the pho-



mental cus

What clues lie in the washing-machine-pulped-letter Vizma has affixed under the cellophane window?
I'm sure the winking man with stubble knows.

This lettter makes me homesick for the Castro.
Equal! Justice! Freedom! FOREVER!

No need to be sorry Viz, I love the chaos and I wouldn't have mistaken this for BAD ART, and besides, I'm not the judge.

Lots of fun and thoroughly enjoyed.  Thanks Viz.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mark Sonnenfeld (NJ), a Marymark Press give-out sheet, newspaper cutting and experimental poetry!

Boredom and lonliness have never been states I've known, particularly, but now that so many of us can find each other with so much more ease, it feels as if the world is getting bigger and more exciting every day.

Great to get this from Mark out of the blue!  Great to hear his approach to collaborating widely (read the article) and how his writing world has come to be. His words are delicious to read and we all know I'm a sucker for stuff that inhabits that space where words and the visula intersect.  It would be fun to collaborate some time.

I found this about Mark at:

typewriter art
By: Mark Sonnenfeld
Marymark Press
45-08 Old Millstone Drive
East Windsor, NJ 08520
Price: $4 / 16 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-9798819-9-2
Mark Sonnenfeld is a unique creature in the small press. His world is one that lives at the intersection of poetry, word, and visual art. Many times his use of language has nothing to do with complete thought or meaning, but rather the splattering of words in a random cascade. We might call his work “experimental”, but for the fact that poetry, as one of writings shortest forms, lends itself to constant variation and experimentation. His new book, “typewriter art”is no different. Dedicated to small press pioneer and all around good-guy Joseph Verrilli, he takes words, or rather the ink-on-paper-image of words, and collides them with a phrase. On page 8 we find word the word “Mark” in 68 point type face and below it the phrase, “Magazines from the stack”. On page 5 we find the phrase “I woke to head pressure” in 14 point type laid onto a page that has a series of letters extracted from words in 68 point bold black type face. His work is so conceptual that it is even hard to clearly describe – it must be both seen and read.
So what is one to make of this? Is it poetry or is it visual art? Certainly it is experimental, and in each art form there is a mad scientist who will push the medium’s relevance toward the absurd, toward meaninglessness, through the trap door of context, and perhaps, toward yet new meanings. Will this become the rage? Will thousands of writers try to do what Sonnenfeld has done? I doubt it, but the highest form of flattery isn’t always imitation, sometimes it is our acknowledgement to artists like Sonnenfield that we have experienced their creation and encourage their continued exploration. The great literary unknown will be a richer friendlier planet because we have pioneers like Sonnenfeld orbiting the “word”.
and this:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I've been saving this one (Marie Wintzer replies to the Bowie card)

This is what happens, sometimes. I get far behind and can't even seem to make a mark of any sort because the barriers mount and without a long stretch of grass to fling an ariel cartwheel in it just seems impossible.  So I play games.  I stack things.  I make myself promises.  I practice the art of patience, badly. 

and now on the cusp of being caught up briefly, I come to Marie's mail. Feast your eyes on this!

It was hard to imagine how I could convey to you the lightness, the whimsy of this piece.  Each of the five thin plastic squares is afixed with a (trademark) paper clip.  You can rotate the layers, over turning the reality of  the images - the images that make you want to enter them, so full of the stuff of life.

Marie has called this Kaleidopo.  For me it's Lucy in the Sky in the Diamonds, kinda stuff. I believe she has acheived the effect with tape transfers on acetate.

So ingenious, so compellingly tactile and curious.

Marie's envelope is iconic, hinting at some of the other goodies that are inside. The inside is an endless sea of campbells soup cans. I have hidden Marie's address with some of my plastic.  Do I need to hide Marie's address, I've never asked?
Inside, the dreamiest photography, that makes me want to sing, 'Fashion! Turn to the left. Fashion! turn to the right...beep beep' Marie creates a peculiar tension that makes me want to look briefly and then to feel as if in a moment I may need to look away.

And then, the words.  THE WORDS.  How many languages does Marie speak? So many favourite lines in these words, for the relationships, for the sounds, for the way it all looks, for the ambiguous language, for the sense and nonsense.

Marie tells me that her poem is inspired by a David Bowie card I sent.  I wan to hold my hand up right now and take any credit Marie wants to give me, but honestly folks, she did it all herself, and SO perfectly.

Received this card from Stripygoose recently. We were on the 365 roster together and discovered our mutual love of tea. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't visited mailart 365 in some time... time was I was there every day! Check it out if you're interested:

I noticed that this card is no 110 so went to the blog as see that Stripygoose has begun again.  She's on number 3, I think. 110 seems to be from the first series, made on the 19th of June.  I guess Stripygoose is mailing her cards out over time.  Lots of 365 mail artists did that and I certainly understand, but If you know me you'll understand that I timed the final day with mailing the final card and had to control myself not to mail (and finish) a day early.

Love the balance of this and that afternoon feeling.  Stripygoose, I have never had dandelion tea, but fennel and ginger are faves of mine too.  Having said that, I have to admit that in the afternoon I usually need a little Lapsong Souchang, smoky Earl Grey or Mrs Kant. Bottoms up and have fun with 365/2

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

David Schulze sends a fragment of a failed art landscape

This is my first mail art from DAvid and I wonder if David sent me this particular card as a reminder of a conversation at IUOMA about whether you should send experiments (failed and otherwise) to your mail art correnspondents.  Obvioulsy I was in the YES camp but as I recall it was a heated debate with two rather determined sides standing off.  I sense that David is a flexible sort of guy  and his tag line, 'Art is Life: Make Art' certainly makes sense to me! 

I have to admit wondering how an emaciated pair of elephant legs got into your landscape, though.

Simon Warren 100, 101,102 and some thoughts

I don't always know what to make of Simon's instalments.  I think that's OK. I try to reason with them sometimes and other times I come back to them. Sometimes i get letters from Simon (after I send something to him) and between the last posting and these, I got a letter.  Although I found it a bit difficult to know what Simon's words were meant to make me feel, as seems to happen they helped me to think differently.  I have sent Simon some code.  Are his instalments code?  Is he trying to break me? 
When I am perplexed I revert to what I know, looking for something beautiful to take away, a whitewash of all that disturbs me.

I took some of the words Simon has sent me over the summer, quickly, and somewhat randomly and this is what they said:

between is a gulf
whereas from the perspective
of today
are difficult to locate

does not live
in the early hours

when the day starts

many of the stories

never had

cannot go anywhere
I did not want

A key
The slot
And letters

Erry less

Foreigners in time