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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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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Can Trashpo Endure in a Green World?: Cor Reijn (Zaandam, Netherlands)

 

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Mail art by Cor Reijn (Zaandam, Netherlands)

 

We are elated to have received this wonderful card from our good mail art friend – Cor Reijn – in the Netherlands. With this elegant and highly conceptual piece, Cor Reijn expresses an issue that we are confident many are pondering at this moment. (Yet no one before has been able to express it so perfectly!) Thank you Cor Reijn.

We believe the question is: Can Trashpo (solely based in found, discarded material) endure in a world that is growing increasingly conscious of being “green” (attuned to the environment; avoiding consumer wastefulness). We present no answer but are aware that Trashpo is, indeed, being tested in changing times. Yet is not all art tested to see if it is worthy of being passed to the nest generation and beyond? Trashpoets, Kulters and Jaynists must look into their own hearts for answers.

 

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Secret Masters of Add & Pass: Sticker Dude, Jon Foster, Ed Giecek, Fleur Helsingor, Debra Mulnick

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Mail art “add & pass book” including The Sticker Dude (Joel Cohen) (New York City, USA); Jon Foster (Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA); Ed Giecek (Concrete, Washington, USA): Fleur Helsingor (Oakland, California, USA); Debra Mulnick (Boise, Idaho, USA). Thanks to Debra Mulnick for sending!

 

Tenderfoots might recall we are applying our Investigative Mail Art skills at MinXus-Lynxus to the current Add & Pass (A&P) phenom that has embraced, engulfed and enthralled the Eternal Network. Formidable waves of paper (and now entire books) are circulating the globe. We would like to know who (to thank!) and why. Debra Mulnick kindly sent this very nice “add & pass book” (more on the use of this term later). This is certainly a fine example of contemporary A&P. We are thrilled to document this and other examples from the current mania.

 

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Our previous installment of “Secret Masters of Add & Pass” focused on the great mail artist Jon Foster. Based on his numerous appearances in this book, we can only conclude he is a central figure in the current “movement.” Jon Foster seems to have initiated this piece.

 

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We do not wish to serve in the role of Network Language Police nor Defenders of Eternal Network Heritage nor Network Nit-Pickers. BUT a recent, lively discussion on Facebook alerted us to the concept so apparent in this blog of “Add & Pass Books” and that the practice is not without controversy. These a&p books seem to be growing in popularity. We are making no attempt to thwart what might prove to be a natural evolution of a genre or a fad blossoming like a mutant puffball that expires in dust on a lonely midnight lawn. Practicing Investigative Mail Art, we seek only to report facts and/or draw conclusions based on evidence and reason.

Without reconstructing the lengthy discussion that took place among veteran and Tenderfoot mail artists concerning a&p books, we will now present the Official MinXus-Lynxus Position on Add & Pass Books based upon thoughtful meditation: We prefer not to call them “Add & Pass Books.” They are “Collaborative Mail Art Books” or “Collaborative Tacky Little Pamphlets (TLPs).” Mail artists, of course, should call them whatever they like. Should you want to know the reasoning for our position, contact us and we will be glad to explain. Otherwise, “no big deal.” Carry on.

 

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“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.”

 

 

 

 

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)

 

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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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