“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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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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MinXus Mail Bag: E’s Fan Club A&P by John M. Bennett (USA), J.F. Chapelle (France) + MORE A&P News

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E’s Fan Club add & pass by John M. Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA), J.F. Chapelle (Merignac) Bordeaux, France), Charles Dubay (Bordeaux, France), Christopher Masse (Bordeaux, France). Created by Miss Noma (2017).

 

Here is a spectacular E’s Fan Club a&p that has been patiently awaiting documentation. John M. Bennett’s distinctive art graces this homage to E – Ambassador of Utopia. The French Fluxus artist J.F. Chapelle (Jean-Francois Chapelle), very reclusive these days, has made remarkable contributions along with associates who are not known to us. Closer ups:

 

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Reverse:

 

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A second a&p was included in the mailing from John M. Bennett that requires further circulation:

 

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Incomplete “Nine Patch” a&p by Magda Lagerwerf (Sellingen, Netherlands); C. Mehrl Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA); John M. Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA); Ed Giecek (Concrete, Washington, USA); Mink Rancher (Auburn, New York, USA)

 

Envelope:

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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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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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