Tuesday, July 06, 2004

A Small Flood of Mailart

I’m engulfed in mail now, and getting through the fun of it only begins the process.

Ficus strangulensis, mailed 1 Jul 2004

My old pal Fike has sent me a classic envelope of mailart detritus. In such mailings, the artist sends a possibly random agglomeration of art pieces and mail scraps. Fike has illustrated this envelope with a little op visual poem (“The Ling Terrazzo”). Inside, he’s sent four little artists trading cards in the muted colors of inkjet printing. He’s also included a partial printout of the database he uses to track his incoming and outgoing mailart. Fike describes my mailart postcard as a “coded letter composition” and explains to me that it mystified him. (Ah, mailart!)

Ficus strangulensis, "The Ling Terrazzo" (17 June 2004)

Considering that Fike, Roy Arenella and I all document our mailart activities in various ways, this may be a more common habit than I’d imagined. (Pay attention, Craig J. Saper, author of Networked Art.) Ficus also included an “add and pass” sheet for me to pass along until it meets Jim Leftwich or John M. Bennett. (So here's another collaboration for me to work on.)

Joseph Keppler, mailed 2 Jul 2004

After a separation of about 14 years, I’m back in contact with Joseph Keppler, the editor of the famed Seattle magazine, Poets. Painters. Composers., long (alas) defunct. He sent me a package filled with little pieces of visual and conceptual (okay, and a book of textual) poetry. A few of the pieces (including his charming “Art Book”) are obviously mailartlike, though I doubt Joe sees them that way.

Joseph Keppler, "Art Book," Outside View (1984)

Joseph Keppler, "Art Book," Inside View (1984)

kiyotei, mailed 2 Jul 2004

kiyotei’s work continues to surprise me. He now responds directly to my mailings. This mailing includes a beautiful asemic fidgetglyph, along with a reproduction of my fidgetglyph to him, and he also englyphs my name on the card. kiyotei is often interested in place, and he once again points out my location and his on a map, adding a humorous “Wish you were somewhere!” to the card, along with the locations of Pluto and Mars.

kiyotei, "Wish you were somewhere!" (2 Jul 2004)

Arenellanism # 279, mailed 3 Jul 2004

Roy responds to a blog entry where I discuss the allographs of the numeral 7, creating “13 7s = More Than 91” on the spot and sending it out to me as a photocard. The card’s pseudo-cancellation includes a die with 7 pips showing (Roy having added another to the six on the die). Also, one of the stamps used is a 13-cent Indian Head penny stamp. Roy asks me, "is the crossed seven an ‘insider’s’ problem for archivists to worry about professionally?” The answer: Of course, it’s not; I just focus on the small points!

Roy Arenella, "13 7's = More Than 91" (2 Jul 2004)

un violon d’ingres

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