MinXus Mail Bag: “Ghost Ship” Add & Pass from Debra Mulnick (Boise, Idaho, USA)

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Add & pass sent by Debra Mulnick (Boise, Idaho, USA)


I have referred to the present moment in the Eternal Network as the Platinum Age of the add & pass (a&p) because I have never received so many of these pieces from so many different people at one time in various states of completion (and even decomposition).

I gather others are receiving them too and launching their own. (I also include the disclaimer I am not a huge a&p fanatic. I am more interested in them in terms of their network history.) I also assume from the lore that there was an earlier Golden Age of the a&p overseen by Ray Johnson and the Correspondance [sic] School folks.

Debra Mulnick sent me this really interesting a&p that I would call “mature” or very close to completion. It appears to be what I named in an earlier blog a “ghost ship” a&p that has possibly been drifting around (North America and Europe) for not just years but decades! I might also have titled this a “distressed” a&p because it appears – as we used to say – “as if it had been around the block a few times.”

One stamp is from a mail art show in 1986. That’s the earliest date I can find in this ancient and cryptic text; that’s early if it actually dates the piece. A small Ray Johnson bunny stamp says, “The show must go on.” I’ve never seen that one before. For me, the piece is visually very interesting but – oddly – linear given the contributors. Perhaps this a more contemporary a&p made from recycled mail art? That is a great idea too.

Mail art on one level – like Fluxus – is a game of names: Endless lists of names in all different orders with sub-lists. This piece Deborah Mulnick sent (and contributed to) spans several generations ranging from “Old School” to absolute contemporary:


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Here are the artists I’ve been able to identify in this a&p: RF Cote (Canada); Ed Giecek (Washington State, USA) (Longtime networker Ed seems to be involved heavily in the current a&p phenom and might be recycling earlier pieces); Frips (Belgium) (Frips is a fab artist who was a network foundation but I haven’t heard much about her lately); Moreno Menarin (Italy); Maggie Mize (Texas, USA); Debra Mulnick (Idaho, USA); Gerda Osteneck (Canada) (a newcomer who has already achieved “Legend of Trashpo” status); Amber Scribble (Florida, USA). Great and interesting group!

Debra Mulnick enclosed this wonder in a FAB (word of the day) envelope with a retro vibe (right down to the typewriter print) and lovely colour:




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Many thanks to Debra Mulnick. I might just “retire” this piece in my own archives.



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