Mail art by Mora Chepin (San Francisco, California, USA)
Mail art is alive, well and thriving on the West Coast of the United States. I attempted to document the cuerrent scene in my (admittedly not very systematic) Survey of West Coast Mail Artists, which can be found somewhere in the vast bargain basements of both MinXus-Lynxus and IUOMA. I believe I neglected to include the great Chepin who sent me this wonderful asemic calligraphy that gives a very pronounced nod to street art. I’ve only become familiar with Chepin’s work since the posting of the survey. I hope to share more work by Chepin.
For me, this postcard-size work achieves the optimal conditions of asemic calligraphy, merging image and text, meaning and incoherence. One must spend time looking at the piece to appreciate and enjoy it. Following the asemic stream-of-consciousness, words and letters emerge and then fade back into the cursive flow. In places images emerge (or partially emerge) and then fade. Meaning begins to congeal but then quickly unravels into ambiguity and the unintelligible like a mirage, disrupting the idea of conventional reading but presenting the possibility of a different kind of reading.
Deepest thanks to Chepin!