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”


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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



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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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MinXus Mail Bag: Retrospective-In-A-Bag by Jayne Lyons (Lakeville, Minnesota, USA)

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Mail art by Jayne Lyons (Lakeville, Minnesota, USA)


Recently Jayne Lyons celebrated her first year in the Eternal Network. This was, we think here at the ranch, a cause for celebration indeed because Jayne Lyons is a Tenderfoot who is emerging as an engaging “mail art persona” & sharing art that crosses a wide spectrum & appeals to many friends.

The significance of one year in the network appears to shrink in comparison to the decades of accomplishment we see in, for example, John M. & C Mehrl Bennett, Richard Canard, CrackerJack Kid, Ficus strangulensis, Sinclair Scripa (Tania), Carl Baker… you get the idea. Yet even a relative veteran knows a year is a long duration (sentence?) in Mail Art Time, which is not conventional time as experienced by “Normals,” as the SubGenius folks say.

Jayne Lyons has made important contributions to Trashpo and DKult; vintage, crafts, folk art-oriented mail art ( known as Mail Art Nouveaux at the Mink Ranch); and now she is involved in vispo & asemics. The pieces on display in this blog are a mailing of scale that provides a convenient retrospective of her work in the network thus far. The pieces are large & numerous.

This is yet another occasion to mourn the cost of mailing art. Once mail art was an inexpensive, egalitarian way to share material art lavishly with an appreciative audience. We understand this is no longer the situation & thus appreciate more this tremendous collection from Jayne Lyons done in classic mail art form.


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Stamp collage on the reverse:



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Mail Art by Jayne Lyons (Minnesota, USA)


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“Ode to Sloan” February 27, 2019. By Jayne Lyons


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Mail art by Jayne Lyons (includes asemic vispo by De Villo Sloan)


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MinXus Mail Bag: Collage by Thea Hollister (Seattle, Washington, USA)

Mail art by Thea Hollister (Seattle, Washington, USA)

A huge “Howdy” goes out to Thea Hollister of Seattle who makes her first appearance upon our humble MinXus-Lynxus blog with two solid, oblong & suitably cryptic pieces of mail art collage & a wonderful envelope.

Of course, we also offer a wink & a secret MinXus handshake to this promising new Tenderfoot. Dark Wall made a point of mentioning how much he liked this work by Thea Hollister. He fished out of the brimming mail bag he fetched from up by the highway on this stunning April day.



We point out how many Tenderfoots we see joining the network from Seattle. That is only a positive reflection on the cultural climate of that great polis. We also point out that Seattle was a mail art center of great note in the Golden Age of the 80s. So what comes around goes around & all is well in the kingdom, etc. etc.



And from the Chance Operations Department: Here is a malfunction from a Thea Hollister scan that produced – we think – an interesting collab:

Deepest thanks to Thea Hollister!


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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Not Just Your Average Jonestown: The Rise of #dsfcult (Dopesick San Francisco)

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


We could begin this entry with a pithy, allusive statement such as: “By 2020 every mail artist will have their own cult.”

But any Tenderfoot who grazes even casually in these Elysian Fields of the Mink Ranch knows we are longtime DSF fans & can thus cut to the chase sooner than later. We’ve even named him among the Top 10 Mail Artists Active Today. And Dark Wall says it’s high time we fish in the MinXus Mail Bag for more recent work received from DSF that might have escaped earlier efforts. So here are some examples. And we want to give you an update on this #dsfcult business.

DSF is prolific & hardworking. He has a knack for producing memorable images (usually using the postcard form) & seeing they reach the right recipients on the ground & net for maximum exposure to benefit us all. The cards, stickers etc. are released in what could be considered “editions” with occasional hand alterations.


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Now for the Eternal Network news in case you missed it: DSF has now declared himself a cult. Apparently he is not content with the old Ray Johnson notion of fan clubs, but then we’ve all seen the influence & success of DKult for nearly a decade (preceded earlier by the Church of the Subgenius). #dsfcult might easily have the best marketing of them all. You can access a floating, changing body of material easily. You can even participate:

DSF/Michael Kelly has been embraced by DKult and the Trashpoets for some time. Relations remain strong despite this quasi-schism. Diane Keys & her court have no concern a neighbor has declared himself a cult. In fact, it as an inevitable & logical part of the evolution of mail art.

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Things have also changed in the DSF line-up due to the sad passage of Karina the Dog who was DSF’s double & artistic inspiration.  We have noted previously the phenom of animals becoming mail art “stars.” Karina the Dog is one of the greats – RIP. In the wake & grief of Karina’s passage, DSF was left to re-invent himself necessarily. What we might be witnessing here is the emergence of a new persona.

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And finally, a few words about DSF we believe are of importance & offer insight into an artist who can be as cryptic & indeterminate as anyone in the network. In previous posts, we have praised DSF for his continuation of the Punk/anti-art stance that gave mail art energy & a new incarnation spanning the 80s into the first half of the 90s. Whether DSF had any connection to the earlier postal wave is unknown to us, but he clearly lived the life of the Marginals.

With the Punk aesthetic came nihilism, angst, alienation & despair, which was yet a continuation of the existential despair that ran through Western culture in the 60s & 70s &, yes, mail art too. BUT in a close examination of DSF’s work you will find an uplifting message about the human spirit & salvation. He is a realist but comes from a philosophical place far different from the despairing Punks of yore. DSF is much more a modern reconsideration of time spent on “Desolation Row” with different conclusions.

Deepest thanks, as ever, to DSF/Michael Kelly!

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