State of Illusion: Copyart, Asemics & More by Richard Canard

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Mail art by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)


Richard Canard is a faithful and generous Mink Ranch correspondent to the point we cannot possibly document everything received from him, but we do try to choose a few plum gems from the laden branches of the C-Tree to share with Tenderfoots. How is that for a confused-mixed metaphor?


Richard - 5.11.2018 - 2Mail art by Richard Canard


Several copy art and asemic compositions by Richard caught our eye. As we have discussed before, Richard C is a master of avant forms and strategies. This includes copy art. So we’ll focus on the copyart aspect this time. He also has taken an interest in the current asemic craze, although some skepticism could possibly be detected.


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Here is a large piece by Richard C that was composed last January. I believe it refers to a polar swim ritual, the kind that takes place around the turn of the year. Ruud Janssen and Litsa Spathi are the subjects of the work. The piece is so large I had to take it outside to get a good pic:


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Richard 5.11.2018 - 6Mail art by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)



Richard - 5.11.2018 - 4“Asemioky” by Richard Canard


And another:


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Many thanks to Richard C!


Karnival of Trash Mail Art Call: Original Copy by Mikel Untzilla (Euskadi)

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!

MinXus Lost Weeked: Painting Cut-Up & Vispo by Cheryl Penn (Durban, South Africa)

Mail art by Cheryl Penn (Durban, South Africa)

Here is a new feature for older work called the “MinXus Lost Weekend.” I have found a large cache of work that, for whatever reason, was never documented (to the best of my knowledge anyway). Actually, I find it hard to believe that this material has eluded the scanner. I will start this irregular feature with some classic and amazing work by Cheryl Penn from the era of the “Authentic Massacre Of the Innocent Image Series.” The long and dusty trail becomes, for a moment, a wistful walk down the memory path. Let’s go back to August 2012.

Belated thanks to Cheryl Penn!





New Work by Nancy Bell Scott (South Portland, Maine, USA)

MinXus-Lynxus is thrilled to share a sampling of new compositions by Nancy Bell Scott, a network fave and legendary member of the Martha Stuart School of Asemic Wallpaper and Cheryl Penn’s vispo book projects, among other credits.


“alternative contra country dance” by Nancy Bell Scott


from “alternative facts” by Nancy Bell Scott (click to enlarge)


“but you promised” by Nancy Bell Scott


“we’re still here” by Nancy Bell Scott


“call me” by Nancy Bell Scott


“take note” by Nancy Bell Scott


“asemic legend” by Nancy Bell Scott

Deepest thanks to NBS for granting M-L permission to share these exciting new pieces!

Karnival of Trash Mail Art Call: Asemic Trashpo (Trashemics) by Chris Wells (Columbus, Ohio, USA)


Mail art by Chris Wells (Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Chris Wells has earned a solid place in the latest wave or “Neueste Wache” of visual poets, many of whom are inclined to explore asemics. At the same time, he participates in the culturally egalitarian Eternal Network and has clearly incorporated, with some thought, Trashpo concepts into his work. After all, Trashpo is a form of visual poetry pioneered by none other than Jim Leftwich. Beneath the anti-art posturing, something of value – indeed – might be found in Trashpo; I am convinced. This work Chris Wells sent specifically for the Karnival of Trash is an interesting example of Trashpo’s possibilities realized. Asemic elements are present, as this close-in reveals:


And the reverse:




Many thanks to Chris Wells for making the Karnival of Trash the greatest show on earth!

Karnival of Trash Mail Art Call: “Trak” Trashzine by Carl Baker (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)


Mail art by Carl Baker (aka Carlyle Baker) Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)

Alas, dear Tenderfoots, the Karnival of Trash is nearing the end of the dusty trail, the sun setting in the Western sea of retro-futurist post-history.

But linger on for a while ’round the frozen campfire because our long goodbye offers a breathtaking fireworks show that includes this special and unexpected contribution by network icon Carl Baker. His work has graced the humble pages of MinXus-Lynxus before, and I would guess anyone who has engaged in the network with any intensity has encountered him. If you do not know his art and poems, I would be thrilled if this entry could be your introduction.

Being able to include any work by Carl Baker is yet another artistic score for the Karnival of Trash. I call this entry “special” because Carl Baker did more than send a package of great work. He assembled a zine just for this occasion and at the same time generously shares a wide range of his work. His kind note explains:


Participants in the Karnival of Trash have made significant advances in the (anti-)art of the Trashbook. Carl Baker’s Trak is a zine, which I am tempted to re-classify as a Trashbook. But I won’t. So what we have instead, in terms of genre, is a very interesting variant of DKult fanzines that have been issued since 2011. I do not believe, until now, anyone has issued a Trashpo zine not affiliated with a Kulter chapter. Additionally, knowing his sometimes fierce individualism, I doubt Carl Baker would ever affiliate too closely with a specific DKult chapter. So we have here a unique example of a Trashpo zine that emphasizes the poetic rather than the Kult of personality.


Page from Trak by Carl Baker

I am not publishing Trak in its entirety: These are representative selections.


Many of these pieces will be of great interest to fans of visual poetry and the current asemic writing/art movement.


No doubt a CB self-portrait and response (?) to the Kulter p(r)overb: “Fluxus needs to stop stealing from Trashpo.”


Whether by intention or accident, the reference to the Church of the SubGenius is brilliant!


Trak also includes the style of collage that took root and evolved during the Age of Zines, one of mail art’s many contributions to the culture.



Back cover of Trak by Carlyle Baker (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)

Deepest thanks to Carl Baker for this thoughtful entry. I will be sharing other work included in the package in future posts.

Meanwhile, more documentation for the Karnival of Trash is forthcoming. Many exciting piece will be shown. But the call is closed and I am considering both new projects and additional ways to document the historic KoT.


Karnival of Trash Mail Art Call: 3-D Asemic Poem by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)


Mail art by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Richard C has long experimented with the non-traditional poetic forms that are permanent fixtures and that, in fact, thrive in the mail art network. These forms include minimalist, concrete, haptic and visual poetry as well as object poetry. Richard Canard has made fascinating contributions in all these genres. Trashpo and asemics are more recent additions. I am including this asemic/object poem by Richard C in the Karnival of Trash for reasons that I believe are fairly obvious. The trashpoets will surely claim it as their own. Perhaps it is Trashemic.


Ruud Janssen (Netherlands) has been making interesting and innovative creations with his 3-d pen. If we are to take Richard C at face value, the asemic poem was composed with that 3-d pen. This is a tremendous concept indeed. Who knows where it might lead?







Thanks as ever to Richard!