MinXus Mail Bag: Michael Orr: A Trashpo All-Star (Clarkston, Georgia, USA)

Official Michael Orr “Legends of Trashpo” collector card by DKULTNY

 

Michael Orr, as most networkers know, is a tremendously talented artist and a deeply D-voted DKulter. We were thrilled to receive a new piece for M-L from Michael. His distinctive style is much in evidence here:

On the reverse, unfortunately, he reports his Asemic Front collab is delayed:

We felt it was high time for DKULTNY to issue a Michael Orr Legends of Trashpo (aka Trashpo All-Stars) collector card (ATC). So the Michael Orr’s 5089 stamp was used:

Many thanks to Michael Orr. We look forward to featuring his work on Asemic Front.

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MinXus Mail Bag: Textured Collage by Norma Soulet (Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA)

Mail art by Norma Soulet (Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA)

A big “Howdy,” a secret MinXus handshake and a wink go out to Norma Soulet in Florida. (We hope she is surviving the bad weather!). Norma Soulet makes her first appearance on MinXus-Lynxus with this dashing and totally FAB collage. The images are beautiful and the piece has a distinct tactile quality. Please indulge our admiration for this work by meditating upon it from another perspective:

And time for a close up:

The reverse:

And the envelope:

Beautiful work. Many thanks to Norma Soulet!

MinXus Mail Bag: Trashpo ATCs by Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

Mail art by Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)

By now, most participants in the Eternal Network are familiar with the art associated with Trashpo and DKult. Trashbooks are particularly well known and appreciated. Trashpoets and Kulters have made significant contributions to the ATC (Artist Trading Card) as well. Here are two recent ATCs (although she considers them name badges) by Queen of Trash Diane Keys.

These cards are approx. 2 X 3 inches. The other piece:

The B-side message is the same:

MinXus Mail Bag: Kosmo Vinyl Puts Auburn on the Network Map (New York, New York)

Mail art by Kosmo Vinyl (New York, New York)

 

Ray Johnson’s mail art network brought avant garde art to unusual and unlikely locations around the world, created a network of like-minded people that is still thriving and inspired new generations of artists who found a not-insignificant audience and support. So here at MinXus-Lynxus we are thrilled to have received this large postcard work on sturdy cardboard from none other than the artist Kosmo Vinyl in New York City. With a red bunny-nod to Ray Johnson and some glam retro-popart for good measure, Kosmo Vinyl helps make humble Auburn, New York an Eternal Network destination! We’ve seen Kosmo Vinyl’s work at the venerable IUOMA site and are very pleased to have this original work for the archives. (That’s one of the added benefits of mail art: Real art.)

Since the days when Yoko Ono regularly responded to correspondence at the Dakota, the mail art network has been populated by fascinating and wonderfully talented people willing to make themselves accessible. An accomplished contemporary artist, Kosmo Vinyl is one such figure. First, his cultural involvement goes back to the London Punk scene and specifically The Clash and Ian Drury and The Blockheads. In terms of mail art, this is of special interest.

As the history of mail art is increasingly explored, it has become apparent (to those who didn’t already know) that Punk and mail art are connected. When one factors in fanzines and cassette tape culture, the movements are inseparable. But mail art’s underground roots have made it notoriously hard to study (for those of us interested in such pursuits). The internet provides considerable illumination. We are consistently discovering people and work that provides an increasingly comprehensive overview. It’s great to be able to give an added context to Kosmo Vinyl.

For several generations, we contend, Ray Johnson’s conceptualism was supplanted by Punk’s anti-art stance. (Our view is that RayJo lost influence and relevance in the face of the Fluxus, Neoist, Punk, Anarchist (among others) hordes that seized an opportunity.) So for the Eternal Network, it is always significant to find artists, musicians and writers who got their start in the Punk movement. We can learn about their work and how they have evolved. (However, not every artist “goes gently” to the idea that they are now revered as an “Historic Figure.” So we hasten to add that Kosmo Vinyl’s career to the present moment is vital.)

Kosmo Vinyl’s personal narrative shows the evolution of an artist from Punk roots to a far more expansive aesthetic. In fact, he mirrors the trajectory of the lives of thousands upon thousands of networkers. (Some estimates indicate the zines, music and art that traveled globally through the network in the 80s reached millions of people through a kind of fever-pitch cosmic chain letter momentum). And the network’s alternative culture has advanced across the ensuing decades. What has been the result of this huge cultural experiment? We can best view it and understand it through the trajectories of the individual artists. So make sure to learn more about Kosmo Vinyl. You can find some great material here:

About

In classic mail art fashion, Kosmo Vinyl attached a Fluxus stamp. Time for a close up:

Deepest thanks to Kosmo Vinyl for thinking of MinXus-Lynxus. And thank you, Kosmo, for your contributions to the current Eternal Network!

MinXus Mail Bag: Mother of All Trashbooks by Neil Gordon (Connecticut, USA) & Diane Keys (Illinois, USA)

Trashbook by Neil Gordon (Connecticut, USA) & Diane Keys (Illinois, USA)

 

Here at MinXus-Lynxus we have long-maintained that the Trashbook is among Trashpo’s most important contributions to the arts. Trashbook history has been made upon these humble pages before, and we are now thrilled to share this Instant Classic that brings the Trashbook form again to the forefront of the Network: A hefty Trashbook collab by Neil Gordon and Diane Keys.

Newer Tenderfoots might not be familiar with Neil Gordon, the primary author of My Favorite Color is Twilight. More seasoned travelers on the long and circuitous trail know Neil Gordon as an authentic “Legend of Trashpo” and a DharmaDaDa who is a disciple of the great German Beatnik Erni Baer. Neil Gordon took a leave of absence from mail art for several years (a not unusual occurrence among networkers) after an extraordinary run during the formative days of Trashpo. Now he is back. I am not aware of other collabs between Diane Keys and Neil Gordon, so this is indeed a special occasion.

Next is a representative page from My Favorite Color is Twilight. They go on and on like this, and I assume these pages are written by Neil Gordon:

Diane Keys stuffed another Trashbook and other assorted ephemera into Neil Gordon’s book, turning this into the Moby Dick of Trashpo:

Trashpo by Diane Keys (Illinois, USA) included in Trashbook by Neil Gordon (Connecticut, USA)

Many thanks to Neil and Diane!

MinXus Mail Bag: Collage Collabs by Bonniediva (Illinois, USA) & De Villo Sloan (New York, USA)

Mail art by Bonniediva (Gurnee, Illinois, USA) & De Villo Sloan (Auburn, New York, USA)

Collage Diva Bonniediva and Mink Ranch legend De Villo Sloan joined forces with vintage advertising to produce these two large (8.5 X 11 inches) collages. Bonniediva wrote in a note that came with the pieces: “I love a theme or challenge. I use humor to show some of the terrible ads which targeted women. They border on the surreal! Most of these [Bonniediva’s image contributions] come from a wonderful collection of True Story magazines, 1934…”

From the envelope:

Many thanks to Bonniediva!

Karnival of Trash Mail Art Call: Artist Stamps by Bradford (Deadwood, South Dakota, USA) w/ Gina Ulgen (UK)

Artist stamps by Bradford (Deadwood, South Dakota, USA)

 

I called the Karnival of Trash Mail Art Call “The Greatest Show on Earth,” which was hyperbole of course. But it was a wonderful, wonderful experience. Friends both old and new sent incredible work and it just kept coming! The KoT is, I believe, one of the great monuments erected to Trashpo and DKult. The entire show is archived here at MinXus-Lynxus, and I plan to document it elsewhere for posterity.

Gu (Gina Ulgen) of Norwich, Norfolk, UK provided an image that defined the KOT “brand” perfectly (see stamp). I made it into a sticker and it appeared widely during the show. Bradford of Deadwood, South Dakota, USA turned Gina’s image into exquisite stamps. Some time ago he sent me three sheets, which I am now sharing. (Please excuse the delay.)

Bradford is a phenomenal stamp maker and highly regarded in the Eternal Network. I am not particularly strong in the stamp area of mail art, so I’ll refrain from going much deeper than saying I am a big fan of his work. He is very active on the IUOMA-Ning platform and very supportive of other artists, which is a quality I admire very much too.

The envelope showcases more Bradford work:

The Fluxus stamps are not to be missed:

Now let us, as they say, “talk turkey” concerning the ongoing Kot clean up. I know I promised a lot to people in order to get that great work for the show. I’ve sent some hefty missives in reply, but I have hardly completed my responses. I have three sheets of Bradford KoT stamps, and will be glad to share them (in small quantities of course) with KoT participants. If you especially want some of these amazing stamps make sure to contact me. Otherwise, I will share them as I think is appropriate. I just can’t see filing these away.

Many thanks to Bradford!