Mail art by Azzaro (Auckland, New Zealand)
An interesting twist in the final days of the Karnival of Trash is the appearance of work from New Zealand, a location which has hardly been a center of Kulter activity (although Australia has made magnificent contributions). Veteran Kulters and trashpoets will immediately identify the crushed can as a trademark of the great (and controversial) trashpoet, Dadaist and honorary graduate of Black Mountain College Erni Baer. However, I doubt newer generations are even aware of Erni’s contributions or the Fan Club Wars or other related events that transpired in the Eternal Network. Regardless, Azzaro has hit the mark perfectly with this piece, IMHO. Other work was included.
The contents are just FAB in terms of the KoT, and the work also has a very strong envelope, making this a 100% mail art masterpiece:
Many thanks to Azzaro!!!
Mail art by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK)
I am thrilled to finally document this piece by legendary DKULTUK member Rebecca Guyver. I have followed the DKult Doodle Therapy craze she initiated with great interest, and I believe here we have an example of a superb solo piece. Sometimes, and this is subjective I realize, I see slightly ominous caricatures of the bourgeoisie in Rebecca’s therapeutic pieces. The fact that this was composed on a train is interesting as well. Do any networkers recall when travel mail art was all the rage? People went on trips and attempted to send pieces from any location where they intersected with a mailbox. Spontaneous, cryptic works were plentiful and flying then. Anyway, the reverse side:
This would be the Trashpo B-side. Rebecca Guyver is known for her work (obsession) with plasticizing and wrapping mail art. This was a beautifully wrapped piece, so I documented that stage of its evolution as well:
As ever, thanks to Rebecca Guyver!
Mail art by Gerda Osteneck (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Gerda Osteneck is known in the Eternal Network as a Canadian trashpoet and devoted member of DKULTCAN (DKult-Canada). Her recent adventures in New Zealand are well-documented elsewhere. This journey gave her the opportunity to explore new dumpsters and litter-ature. Thus, the Karnival of Trash is able to exhibit for the first time (I think) Trashpo composed of indigenous New Zealand refuse. Gerda Osteneck’s aesthetic as well as sewing abilities make this a masterpiece.
As with the presentation of much Trashpo, it is possible I’ve presented the work upside-down (even though I’ve puzzled over the possibilities for some time). If so, here is a view of the main New Zealand section from another angle:
And the reverse:
Deepest thanks to Gerda Osteneck!
Mail art by Mikel Untzilla (Euskadi – Spain)
As part of the Karnival of Trash, I am thrilled to share this wonderful visual-textual work by Mikel Untzilla of Euskadi. (This is the legendary Basque Country of Northern Spain.) The Karnival of Trash has attracted much incredible work from artists and visual poets in Spain. This is a great honor and fascinating to see the work being created in this part of the world.
“ORIGINAL COPY” certainly provides a thematic center for the work. While it is great visual poetry, Mikel Untzilla incorporates found material and chance operations that show an affinity to Trashpo. The calligraphy also brings us into the asemic realm:
Many thanks to Mikel Untzilla!
Mail art by Ferran Destemple (Barcelona, Spain)
Party on intrepid karnival-goers! The Karnival of Trash will continue (with some interruptions) into the Summer of 2017. Important work remains to be documented before the greatest show on earth officially closes.
Here is a FAB postcard-size piece from Ferran Destemple of Barcelona. He is an active networker who produces excellent visual poetry as well as art. He seems to have some allegiance to Fluxus. Check him out if you are not already familiar:
Ferran Destemple is a talented and thoughtful visual poet. I am thrilled that he would turn his considerable abilities to an exploration of Trashpo (which is, after all, a form of vispo). The stapled fragments give the work a Frankentrash, sewn quality. We are in the realm of anti-art.
Even if not intentional, this is a piece that functions as well on the tactile level as it does on the visual. Exploring its contours with the fingers is an interesting, sometimes disarming experience. Thus we have a rare, but not unprecedented, example of Haptic Trashpo. Moan Lisa (Iowa, USA) has also pioneered the use of staples in Trashpo. Here we have another fine example.
Deepest thanks to Ferran Destemple for this outstanding contribution to the KoT!
Mail art by Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands)
The volume of mail and considerable time duration involved in the Karnival of Trash meant sidelining some other interesting currents at MinXus-Lynxus, such as the mysterious Miss Noma Fun Club. At long last I am documenting a comprehensive mailing from Ruud Janssen that arrived with a deluge of KoT material. So while this is not exactly “current” it is a great “snapshot in time” from the founder of IUOMA who always sends interesting things. The Miss Noma Fun Club is not the only subject of this mailing, but as you will see it is a theme. I am opening with this great, Ray Johnson-inspired stamp sheet. Here is a closer look:
The ubiquitous mail art cow:
Ruud Janssen’s kind note:
For the duration of the Karnival of Trash (covering about eight months!) I heard nothing from anyone claiming to be Miss Noma nor her fans sending me mail they apparently thought I could pass along to Miss Noma. Will we ever encounter Miss Noma again? I do not know. Miss Noma remains a mystery to me, although some refuse to believe that. The network craze for fan clubs we saw several years ago is slowing down a bit in my estimation. Among the recent fan clubs, fake identities (Karen Eliots, Moan Lisas, Monty Cantsins, etc.) I think Miss Noma remains one of the more interesting characters. Perhaps one day we will know the truth. Unfortunately, I have little to offer.
Ruud Janssen included one of the verbal-visual pieces from that time. I think many will remember this series:
If all of the above were not enough, do not miss the trademark, hand-painted envelope:
As ever, thanks to Ruud Janssen!
Mail art by Karalie Vest (Molalla, Oregon, USA)
After the long ride of the Karnival of Trash there is a certain homecoming feel to resuming the MinXus Mail Bag feature. Familiarity sometimes comes as a comfort. The end of a long journey leaves us to reflect: What has been gained and lost?
But the point – before I digress hopelessly – is the resumption with this lovely card from a newcomer to our humble blog: Karalie Vest of Oregon. Are these stamps? And we have some Holism play. From a larger perspective, origami appears in mail art often; and it is an excellent match. Like mail art, origami is egalitarian yet can rise to a complex artform. There is a suggestion of minimalism, a joy in simplicity. Karalie Vest manages to integrate origami and mail art perfectly, I think.
Deepest thanks to Karalie Vest!