“Like A Leper Messiah” : DSFCult Responds (Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA)

Mail art by DSF (Dopesick San Francisco) (Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA)

 

Minxus-Lynxus was proud to be the first blog to report on the rise of #dsfcult in the wake of DKult and other strange quasi-spiritual entities that arise in the Eternal Network as part of some mysterious cycle we have not yet deciphered:

https://minkranch.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/not-just-your-average-jonestown-the-rise-of-dsfcult-dopesick-san-francisco/

#dsfcult is the creation of Dopesick San Francisco, a genuinely interesting persona created by Michael Kelly. We were thrilled to receive this follow-up report to our original post. The card reflects what we are obeserving: #dsfcult has “legs.”

 

 

 

 

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Lost Legend Found: Meta-Trashpo by Thom Courcelle (Vermont, USA)

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Mail art by Thom Courcelle (Rutland, Vermont, USA)

 

We’re thrilled to see art by Thom Courcelle circulating in the Eternal Network again after a lengthy absence. We’re even more thrilled that some of his wonderful work found its way to our humble MinXus-Lynxus blog.

We believe Thom Courcelle is a wonderfully inventive & talented artist generally. He is also one who has earned the designation Legend of Trashpo fairly & squarely. Thom Courcelle was part of the extraordinarily hard working & deeply creative group that launched Trashpo & made it a network phenom. His friendship & regard for Diane Keys made him an early & devout Kulter.

So Thom Courcelle ranks among Diane Keys, KDJ, Nancy Bell Scott, Erni Baer, Lucky Pierre, Richard Canard, Borderline Grafix, Jim Leftwich, Gerda Osteneck, Jain Lions, Rebecca Guyver, Mail Art Martha, Svenja Wahl & select others (apologies if we forgot) whom we know today as Legends of Trashpo.

Mail art is intense & time consuming. No matter how much artists love the network, it is not uncommon for them to take breaks often due to life’s changing demands. Some never return. The best we can ever do is be understanding, helpful & let people follow their individual paths & evolution. But it’s always great when someone, especially someone much beloved like Thom Courcelle, returns. We hope he can manage to stay connected because he brings so much to all of us.

 

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Mail Art Triptychs: A Retrospective

Triptych

Mail Art triptych by De Villo Sloan (NY, USA) for Karen Champlin (Illinois, USA) (circa 2013). Part of a call by Bifidus Jones (Minnesota, USA)

 

In yesterday’s blog we mentioned the creation of mail art triptychs a few years back & promised to find some examples in the labyrinthine MinXus-Lynxus Archives. Ever true to our dear devoted Tenderfoots, here are some examples from this interesting phase. The artists tend to be folks still active in the current network.

The triptychs were straight-forward three panel affairs (such as the one above) or tri-panel structures associated with the popular surge in artist’s books that was also taking place at that time. These include books with a total of six panels that can stand upright or even cards (ATCs) in sets of three.  Participants were generally aware that other network artists were experimenting with the form.

 

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Mail Art triptychs by Nancy Bell Scott (Maine, USA) (circa August 2013)

 

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Mail art triptych by Carina Granlund (Finland) (circa 2014)

 

Carina - 3 - 2014

 

 

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Mail art triptych by Kerri Pullo (Arizona, USA) (2011)

 

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Mail art triptych by Lucky Pierre (South Carolina, USA) (circa 2015)

 

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Mail art triptych by Marie Wintzer (Japan) (circa 2012)

 

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MinXus Mail Bag: Triptych by Cristina Blank (Worthsee, Germany)

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Mail art by Cristina Blank (Worthsee, Germany)

 

We were thrilled to receive an envelope from old & dear mail art friend Cristina Blank in Germany. Both Cristina and her partner Jurgen Oliver Blank are wonderfully inventive & talented mail artists. They always lift the spirits & challenge the mind. Cristina Blank made some wonderful Trashpo and DKult-related pieces that we will not soon forget.

The opening pieces might not fill the “Triptych” definition perfectly, but we think they work very nicely together. Also they remind us that a few years ago a number of mail artists were producing some truly notable triptychs (such as Karen Champlin & Marie Wintzer circa 2013). Hopefully, we will dig a group of them out of the archive & share. For now, let’s bask in the glow of Cristina Blank’s excellent mailing. An intriguing photo was included:

 

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Mail art by Cristina Blank

Cristina Blank included this interesting talisman/amulet/haptic poem (below). At this point the meaning is indeterminate for us. But we appreciate these cryptic mailings where we are invited to engage in the process of making meaning. We enjoy object poems & found material where we transcend conventional visual art & begin to explore fully the possibilities & limitations of correspondence art & the personality of the artist with whom we are interacting.

 

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Cristina 3.20.2019

 

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MinXus Mail Bag: Bonniediva’s “Bon-Zine” (First Edition!) (Gurnee, Illinois, USA)

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Mail art zine by Bonniediva (Gurnee, Illinois, USA)

 

Resuming a theme begun in yesterday’s blog, Bonniediva is another relatively new networker who is receiving faves & raves for her unique vintage-Pop approach to art and – more recently – her FAB Bon-Zine. Bonniediva does not need the humble MinXus-Lynxus to further her praise. In fact, we would gladly nominate her for a Hardest Working Woman in Mail Art Award. Bonniediva’s artwork seems to be sprouting underfoot like marvelous magical mushrooms.

Tenderfoots know we are great fans of zines, having been in the network during at least one golden age of the genre (1980s). So we want to document the contemporary zine, which seems to be alive and thriving. Bonniediva also kindly sent us a first edition of the Bon-Zine. Without reproducing the entire issue, we’ll note its presence in the network.

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The Bon-Zine exhibits the norms of contemporary zines we see; it also has the DIY and charmingly eccentric feel of the classic mail art zines. The Bon-Zine is smaller than the older zines; and it is more self-consciously aesthetic than the earlier zines. The Bon-Zine is also self-aware of its ironies & kitsch; the earlier zines were not. One big difference is that the classic zines used content by many different writers & artists. Mail art was an ideal source of content. Thus, mail art and zines formed a happy union. Today, the zine is more autobiographical, which tends to help establish the persona that each mail artist develops.

We do not believe the high-80s zinesters were particularly cognizant of design. They were pioneers of new copy technology. They were influenced by the crude anti-art of Punk fanzines and posters, but this had not yet hardened into an aesthetic via several generations of art students. Truth be told – we believe – much Punk art and music was produced by people without talent and without the slightest interest in gaining skills. Yet it is the ghost of Punk aesthetic – refined & reformed – that brings life to Bon-Zine.  Another form that persists in Bon-Zine is the collage made populist by Fluxus and mail art.

 

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Mail art zine by Bonniediva

 

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As the 1980s progressed, the number of zines in the USA increased dramatically. They were fascinating and mostly underground publications. By the end of the decade before the internet turned zinesters into bloggers DIY zines were likely in the hundreds. We simply do not know. They exist in collections, archives and entire runs of some can be found online; but our knowledge is partial. We cannot estimate how many have ceen lost, so watch for old zines! Here in the 21st century, we can hopefully be more thorough in our documentation of these amazing productions.

Deepest thanks to Bonniediva!

 

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“Sudoku & Paper Games” by Jean-Marc Rastorfer (Lausanne, Switzerland)

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Mail art by Jean-Marc Rastorfer (Lausanne, Switzerland)

 

We are thrilled to have received this exceptional correspondence art from Jean-Marc Rastorfer in Switzerland.

Jean-Marc is not an artist we recall personally from anywhere along the “long dusty trail,” but we are certainly thrilled to make his acquaintance now here in the New Order of things. Apparently Jean-Marc Rastorfer has been a considerable presence in the Eternal Network for many years. We found an early reference to him in the Lomholt Mail Art Archive:

http://www.lomholtmailartarchive.dk/networkers/jean-marc-rastorfer

Lomholt has material representing a time when mail art (late 70s – early 80s) was probably at its most conceptual and intellectual. This possibly gives a context for the interesting mailing being documented in this blog. Rastorfer is still active and turns up on contemporary blogs. For example, here he is on Rebecca Guyver’s wonderful The Postal Ledger blog:

http://thepostalleger.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-illusive-jean-marc-rastorfer-stamps.html

But enough background! Jean-Marc Rastorfer sent a wonderful letter explaining the mailing:

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Jean-Marc Rastorfer 3.5.19 - 2

Mail art by Jean-Marc Rastorfer (Lausanne, Switzerland)

 

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Interesting images – clearly vispo and asemics – appear on the reverse side of some of the cards:

 

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Mail art by Jean-Marc Rastorfer (Lausanne, Switzerland)

 

And the stamps:

 

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Mail art by Jean-Marc Rastorfer (Lausanne, Switzerland)

 

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MinXus Mail Bag: Stamp Collage by Ilya Semenenko-Basin (Moscow, Russia)

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Mail art by Ilya Semenenko-Basin (Moscow, Russia)

A wink, a nod and a secret MinXus handshake are extended to Tenderfoot Ilya Semenenko-Basin who appears on our humble MinXus-Lynxus blog for the first time with engaging and material culture art from Russia! We are thrilled to have this for the M-L Archives. At M-L we adore Russian mail art  which we find vibrant and active. In particular, Russia is a powerhouse of international visual poetry. We would love to receive more!

Lately, we have spotted what we believe is a trend in the use of stamps in mail art. Yes, right, of course, duh: Stamps are obviously a foundation of mail art. BUT we’ve noticed A LOT of artists making and using stamps in creative way these days. “More than the ordinary” as DW might possibly say.

Ilya Semenenko-Basin – new to the Eternal Network as far as we know (and we could be wrong) – is riding the meta-stamp wave nicely, as you can see. He is connecting with many networkers. We consider this piece he sent a stamp collage that makes very interesting use of negative space. Negative space with stamps: That is an approach some might call “novel.” Ilya Semenenko-Basin has done other similar pieces that can be found online.

It is the opinion of MinXus-Lynxus that this piece sent to us by Ilya Semenenko-Basin is most definitely authentic mail art (or correspondence art) rooted in conceptual art and avant garde tropes that first appeared in the 20th century. We send our deepest thanks to Ilya Semenenko-Basin and look forward to more interaction.

 

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