Mail Art Legend Eerie Billy Haddock (Luna Bisonte Prods)

Haddock - 2.15.2016 - 1

Cover of Haddock TLP (Tacky Little Pamphlet) published by John M. Bennett’s Luna Bisonte Prods (Columbus, Ohio, USA 2015)

John M. Bennett sent me a generous package of vispo and publications by his Luna Bisonte Prods, which has been a major publisher of Eternal Network, postavant, Otherstream, and underground masterpieces for several decades. I will blog choice excerpts from the package for the next few weeks.

First up is a TLP (Tacky Little Pamphlet) of work by Eerie Billy Haddock. Haddock – located in Eugene, Oregon, USA – is a veteran networker and, in my estimation, has evolved one of the great and enduring mail art personas. Eerie Billy Haddock is still active today; you see his work turning up on all the “usual suspect” blogs. He emerged from that extraordinary era in mail art that also produced giants in the USA such as Blaster Al, David Zack, C. Mehrl and John M. Bennett, Reverend Malok, Miekal And Liz Was along with many others.

Identity – on many levels – was a main preoccupation of this group. Haddock today somehow manages to be both an anachronism with his unflagging shock-the-bourgeois stance and a purveyor of the fashionable with the TLP, cut-up and collage. He has a curious relevance in the current, as they say, “popular reality” of the network. Haddock is, strangely, less recognized as the icon that he truly is in comparison to a Blaster Al. He backstrokes along very comfortably as just another weird guy doing interesting things and answering his mail.

Eerie Billy Haddock does have some notoriety among the new generation of mail artists because he is credited as the inventor of the TLP (Tacky Little Pamphlet), and the TLP is currently a popular form. Thus, The Tales of Haddock is a kind of meta-TLP. Haddock is known for his collage work as well. You can see some relatively recent work at Matthew Stolte’s Construction Sea blog:

http://constructionsea.blogspot.com/2013/04/works-from-eerie-billy-haddock.html

The Tales of Haddock has some visual art; but as the title suggests, it features Haddock’s fiction. This is a great service because Haddock holds great interest as a practitioner of the cut-up technique (or his unique variant upon it), which is also currently a very popular pastime. I do not want to digitally reproduce the entire hard copy publication John M. Bennett sent me, so I will limit the posting to one fascinating cut-up by Eerie Billy Haddock:

Haddock - 2.16.2016 - 2

Cut-up by Eerie Billy Haddock from The Tales of Haddock (Luna Bistone Prods 2015)

I like the content a great deal, a very self-reflective text that I suspect is based on more than pure chance operations (a characteristic of Otherstream cut-up (based) work). What I also like is that the reader can see the seams and how the text fragments were assembled into a single composition. This reveals process and demystifies the act of “writng,” it emphasizes fragmentation over (false) unity, focuses on the materiality of language and creates a visual-textual work that holds much more interest than the garden variety cut-up.

Haddock - 2.15.2016 - 3

Back cover of The Tales of Haddock by Eerie Billy Haddock

Many thanks to John M. Bennett! Stay tuned for more, and a visit to Luna Bisonte Prods is sure to be illuminating:

http://www.johnmbennett.net/new-luna-bisonte-prods/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s