MinXus Mail Bag: Fluxus Space Buck + More! by Cathy Barnett (O Fallon, Missouri, USA)

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Mail art by Kathy Barnett (O Fallon, Missouri, USA)

 

Making & distributing Fluxus Bucks is another long-running activity that is currently experiencing a revival in the international mail art network.

We have especially enjoyed seeing images of Fluxus Space Bucks displayed at IUOMA-Ning. Mail artist Kathy Barnett kindly sent this wonderful example for our humble blog & the MinXus-Lynxus Archive, which has a very large contemporary Fluxus collection. This also marks Kathy Barnett’s MinXus-LynXus debut: We extend a secret MinXus handshake to her, give a wink & offer a “Big Howdy” to this Tenderfoot already sticking a toe in the sometimes muddy Fluxus Creek.

According to introductory information in Ruud Janssen’s IUOMA-Ning Fluxus Buck group, “Fluxus Buck is an artistic project from Julie Jefferies aka. ex posto facto (USA) which she started in 1994. A Fluxus Buck is an artists’ banknote which she distributed into the Mail-Art network. Others created Fluxus Bucks as well.” (Ruud Janssen’s Fluxus Word project is an even earlier – 1988 – mail art activity that is still very much active today.)

Fluxus Bucks have been circulating for nearly 25 years. Truly remarkable examples can be found from around the world on the internet. Fluxus Bucks are, in fact, a world unto themselves (in which anyone can participate) & the IUOMA-Ning group is one place to get involved & learn more. Here is a link to the IUOMA-Ning Fluxus Buck group:

https://iuoma-network.ning.com/group/fluxusbuckscreators

Fluxus Buck creator Julie Jeffries (Paquette) currently resides in Dallas, Texas, USA. She maintains a Fluxus Buck page on Facebook where you can see great examples of Fluxus Bucks & connect with the artists who made them:

https://www.facebook.com/FluxusBucks/

We honor Julie Jeffries Paquette as the founder of Fluxus Bucks. But given the relatively late date of 1994, this Fluxus Space Buck has led us to meditate upon possibilities of earlier Fluxus Buck inspirations from the Fluxus movement that goes back to the 1960s. (If anyone has any insights, please share with us via comments!)

Fluxus leader George Maciunas (died 1978) had a vision that grew more pronounced as he neared his demise of Fluxus becoming an alternative community of artists living largely outside mainstream society & being self-sufficient. Other Fluxus members shared his vision.

In addition to a radically different perspective on culture (which is the core of the movement), there were schemes for Fluxus architecture, Fluxus sports, a Fluxus island or submarine (no kidding!), even stranger things & various Fluxus economic schemes to support the artists including Fluxus products.

The idea of an actual Fluxus currency (more than a parody or criticism of capitalism) is very much in accordance with the original movement. So, given current information, Julie Jeffries’ project is a fairly brilliant addendum to the Fluxus of George Maciunas (which, in fact, demanded rigid adherence that few could tolerate for long). The participating artists keep the Fluxus spirit moving.

Our new mail art friend Cathy Barnett has brilliantly enhanced the Fluxus Buck. The concept of Fluxus in space is just natural & part of a logical progression. Cathy Barnett deserves credit for helping advance Fluxus in the 21st century & thus making it new – as someone somewhere suggested about something else.

AND Cathy Barnett also included some other great mail art along with the Fluxus Space Buck:

 

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Mail art by Cathy Barnett

 

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Mail art by Cathy Barnett

 

 

 

 

 

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“Folk Heroes”: An Explosive New Trashbook by Lisa Iversen (Indiana, USA)

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Folk Heroes – a Trashbook by Lisa Iversen (Indiana, USA)

 

Lisa Iversen (aka Skybridge Studios, aka Lisa Lisa, aka “The Quiet One”) was an Eternal Network veteran well  before she achieved the status of mail art  “Legend” via Trashpo & DKult. She has also produced notable vispo & asemics of lasting consequence.

Lisa Iversen is more humble & less flamboyant than many of her Trashpo counterparts, but those “in the know” can testify to her importance & network popularity. After nearly a decade of Trashpo, Fan Club Wars & asemic & vispo debates, it is not surprising that our dear Lisa Lisa now has chosen to live a somewhat secluded life on a vast overgrown plantation in the heart of Indiana, miles from the nearest post office. We can respect her privacy & hope you do as well.

But for whatever reason, the world-renowned Skybridge Studios re-opened at least long enough to create this contemporary Trashbook masterpiece: Folk Heroes. We are the lucky recipients & thus share with you.

The Trashbook (along with the Trash & Pass) is one of Trashpo’s greatest contributions to correspondence art. One need not dig back in time too far on the net to find Trashbook masterpieces, vast dumpster epics of visionary slack. Yet today, in a new era of add & pass & zine mania, few artists dare attempt the sustained discipline required to produced a Trashbook; the bar was set very high by the Trashpoets. Lisa Iversen, in our estimation, has produced a Trashbook instant classic with Folk Heroes.

Many networkers ask us, “Is Trashpo over?” What has happened to DKult?” Questions along those lines. We do not believe it is our place to answer questions of such great complexity & import, even if we could.

Lisa Iversen’s Folk Heroes might actually begin to answer these questions. Folk Heroes could well be one of the first serious reflections on Trashpo in a Post-Trashpo Era. Folk Heroes has a self-reflective quality that is absent in the earlier Trashbooks. Lisa Lisa seems to be looking back, brilliantly we might add, on the modes & individuals who shaped Trashpo & DKult. Insights & surprises are abundant The cryptic quality of the discourse is fabulous.

Deepest thanks to Lisa Iversen for this marvelous Trashbook.

 

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Cover of Folk Heroes by Lisa Iversen

 

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By Lisa Iversen. A nod to the great Nancy Bell Scott (Maine, USA)?

 

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Mail art book by Lisa Iversen

 

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Folk Heroes by Lisa Iversen

 

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Back cover of Folk Heroes by Lisa Iversen

 

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MinXus Mail Bag: “Pieces of Eight” Concept Mail Art by RCBz (St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA)

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“Pieces of Eight” : Mail art by RCBz (St. Cloud. Minnesota, USA)

 

Any Tenderfoot who has wetted her/his feet in the Eternal Network sufficiently (say a year or two) has probably encountered the very talented but elusive RCBz.

After close to a decade, here at The Ranch, we can’t claim to have learned all that much about RCBz, but we have gained an appreciation of his art. We do know that a number of networkers we deeply respect consider RCBz to be one of the finest digital collage makers out there. (That is, the collages are composed digitally but distributed via snail mail.)

RCBz has graced the humble MinXus-LynXus pages many times before. Yet time has been passing on the dusty, winding trail without so much as a smoke signal from our “Ol’ Bud” (as the great Fike calls a Camerado). Then we received this wonderful “Pieces of Eight” work from RCBz.

We call it “concept mail art” because RCBz built the composition(s) and mailing around a concept: He inter-connects himself & eight others through art. We believe this is the kind of “concept art” that makes mail art a great experience for participants & a unique genre.

Ironically, while the piece encourages unity & connects people who might not be ordinarily connected, it is achieved through fragmentation. (A “chance operations” element is built into the concept too.)

The concept is original – no question; but it echoes other concept pieces based on the dismembering of artwork by, for instance, Ray Johnson & Cheryl Penn (who cut up entire paintings & mailed the pieces all over the world).

Deepest thanks to RCBz!

 

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Samantha Price

Thea Hollister

De Villo Sloan

Jayne Birket Lyons

Pamela Suzanne Lashbrook

Fast Eyes

Jorge Martin

Stan Askew

 

The envelope:

 

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Scannerbed debris collab by RCBz & De Villo Sloan

 

 

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Secret Masters of Add & Pass: Joey Patrickt +! More (Oakland, California, USA)

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Mail art (a&p sheet) from Joey Patrickt (Oakland, California, USA) including contributions by Joey, Mike Dickau (Sacramento, California, USA); The Sticker Dude (New York City, USA); “Opal Moiety” (San Francisco, California, USA) & more explained below

 

My investigative mail art series documenting & exploring the current add & pass mania (add & passion?) sweeping the Eternal Network continues with this very interesting mailing from Joey Patrickt in California.

I have noted in previous posts in the series that “Old School” mail artists seem to be drivers of the a&p nouveaux, based on what lands in my mailbox & what I see posted online.

Make no mistake! Many new generation artists are contributing to contemporary a&p. In my opinion, the sheets (and books!) are becoming increasingly creative & sophisticated. Usually, though, I will recognize a veteran or two among the new names on any given sheet. (Often, a veteran launches the a&p.)

This is a pleasing continuity of tradition because – of course – the “Old School” folks can often be traced to associations with Ray Johnson & the New York Correspondance School. Ray Johnson & his cohorts pioneered the a&p we know today.

This a&p from Joey Patrickt boasts longtime West Coast mail art stars (as well as The Sticker Dude from the East) and a Rocola endorsement from the great John Held, Jr. I am afraid Opal Moiety (Jonkar Alex Nu-Jetson) is too cryptic or insider or esoteric for me to offer a comment of any use. The sheet has great pedigree but seems to be begging for additions. Here is the reverse side:

 

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Joey Patrickt also included additional items in the mailing including these amazing stamps:

 

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By Joey Patrickt

 

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Previous installments in the “Secret Masters of Add & Pass Series”

https://minkranch.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/secret-masters-of-add-pass-jon-foster-winston-salem-north-carolina-usa/

https://minkranch.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/secret-masters-of-add-pass-sticker-dude-jon-foster-ed-giecek-fleur-helsingor-debra-mulnick/

 

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MinXus Mail Bag: FAB Collage by Amy Irwen (Rosemount, Minnesota, USA)

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Mail art by Amy Irwen (Rosemount, Minnesota, USA)

 

We are in a golden age of add & pass, yet – clearly – collage remains the core genre in mail art. A casual gloss of the IUOMA-Ning gallery reveals networkers are producing extraordinary collage of astonishing variety and in large quantities.

Amy Irwen sent this FAB work that captures the spirit of contemporary network collage. The piece is large and substantial yet still very much mail art. The color and texture are astonishing, and we are thrilled to have the hard copy to admire, preserve in the M-L archives and to document.

Deepest thanks to Amy Irwen for this special work!

 

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Detail study of collage by Amy Irwen

 

 

Oops! (Outtake)

 

 

 

MinXus Mail Bag: “On the Road” Mail Art by Jessica Manack (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

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Mail art by Jessica Manack (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

 

“who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,” – Allen Ginsberg, Howl

Travel mail art, usually serial, usually issued as postcards from different locations on a journey, is a fascinating & fun correspondence art genre. Here at MinXus-Lynxus we have documented this travel or “On the Road” mail art in the past. But we have not received much recently.

So we were thrilled to receive a perfect example (albeit one postcard) of travel mail art sent by our dear postal friend Jessica Manack. (This also provides us with yet another occasion to include a beloved quote from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl that describes perfectly the travel mail art genre. Some of you are probably sick of it.)

“On the Road” mail art chronicles a journey & thus constructs a narrative. In the imaginative hands of correspondence artists, the story usually becomes much more than a record of places, landmarks & events (like what you ate for dinner).

Such work is often focused on the stream-of-consciousness process in the traveler’s mind rather than the exterior world. For example, Marie Wintzer did an extraordinary series of cards on a train trip across Japan that included her inmost thoughts & corresponding sketches of what she saw passing outside the train window.

The legendary Grigori Antonin (Minnesota, USA) issued cards describing a visit he supposedly made to Prague that in all likelihood never occurred. (Or maybe it did?) He carefully presented his views on tourist postcards of historic & cultural sites mixing fact & fiction in a most confusing way. He used various locations in Prague to reflect his views about other mail artists, among other musings.

 

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Jessica Manack is known to many in the Eternal Network. As you might infer from her comments, she is a part of the group that works in & advances the spirit of Fluxus (aka Post-Fluxus, Neo-Fluxus). (Although her work is not limited to Fluxus!) Fluxus had a foundational role in the mail art network, especially in the 1960s & 70s & the tradition continues. Indeed, Jessica Manack has attended the annual FluxFest in the past & even met Diane Keys!

Deepest thanks to Jessica Manack!

 

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MinXus Mail Bag: Stamp Vispo by William Mellott (Tainan, Taiwan)

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Mail art by William Mellott (Tainan, Taiwan)

 

We extend a secret MinXus handshake & a hoot & holler a big “Howdy” to William Mellott on this, his first Mink Ranch appearance. May we look forward to many more!

This wonderful card came all the way from William Mellott’s current headquarters in Taiwan – another Mink Ranch first DW says. But we understand he was actually raised in the Seattle (or Portland?) area of the United States West Coast and has participated in mail art for some time.

William Mellott is a vital contributor to the contemporary mail art scene. Here at the ranch we have been admiring his work from afar via the IUOMA-Ning gallery & blogs. We have even had the opportunity to exchange some electronic banter; but as the great Grigori Antonin used to say, “The proof is in the paper!” And here we have some material culture.

William is doing notable & very creative work with stamps (a foundation of mail art). This stamp vispo is a treasure, perfect for MinXus-Lynxus in every way. It certainly works as visual poetry.

Deepest thanks!

 

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