A Trashed Book or a Trashbook? by Diane Keys & John M. Bennett

DK - 2.6.2016 - 1

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

Included in a larger mailing from Diane Keys was this item that I believe deserves special attention. Log Book of Miracles is a series of unaltered, appropriated book pages from a Jane Austen novel that are, miraculously, still bound. I am not sure if this is a Trashbook variant or a foundation for a collab. A real treasure was tucked inside:

DK - 2.6.2016 - 2

Vispo collabs by Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) and John M. Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA)

I have been very impressed by recent Keys-Bennett vispo-asemic collabs. So I am thrilled to have this TLP (Tacky Little Pamphlet) that gathers some fantastic pieces. This is issued by Bennett’s legendary Luna Bisonte imprint. Note that the NADAR cover also uses a page of Mansfield Park. Thematic consistency is present, but I am not sure to what end.

DK - 2.6.2015 - 3

Regardless of the intent, the collabs in NADAR are spectacular! Not since her acclaimed chapter (inspired by David Chirot) for the Asemics 16 project have I seen Diane Keys return to vispo seriously and produce work of this quality. She performs on an equal level of accomplishment with John M. Bennett (one of the all-time greats, IMHO).

DK - 2.6.2016 - 4

Classic John M. Bennett work is present in NADAR. Bennett and Keys complement each other so perfectly that the work is seamless. Unless you are familiar with the two styles, I believe it would be hard to identify that these pieces were composed by collaboration. I have written before that I view collaboration in mail art as a mixed blessing because the results, unfortunately, are most often disappointing, even if a fruitful exercise for the participants. Collaboration is uncommon in the visual arts and writing, and there is a reason why. Mail art has always provided a place where artists do feel free to explore collaboration. As Keys and Bennett demonstrate, sometimes the results can be impressive and present new possibilities.

DK - 2.6.2016 - 5

From NADAR by Diane Keys and John M. Bennett

So in an attempt to summarize, inside a cereal box from Diane Keys was the Log Book of Miracles and inside the Log Book of Miracles was NADAR. Also inside Log Book of Miracles was what I think is a foundation page for vispo:

DK - 2.6.2016 - 6

Then this is probably a collab kit, but it is also documentation of process in the creation of NADAR. I plan on keeping it intact, I am very pleased to have a hard copy of NADAR. Many thanks to Diane and John!


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