Saturday, October 16, 2004

Arenellamail and Altemuspost


Returning to my accumulated mail, I discover that the earliest one, from almost three weeks ago, it's a photocard mailed out by Roy Arenella on September 23rd.

Roy is often a documentary visual poet, a photographer who finds texts in the wild and captures them in their native environments. The photograph on the obverse of this card is a simple capture: a license plate, from the state we share (New York), with the message "1 POETIC." On my copy, the rollers used to move this card through the mailworks left smudges on the card. These smudges suggest speed and movement, which is appropriate since Roy uses this card to tell me he's traveling with his wife (Martine) and dog (Dash) all over that part of upstate New York to the west of me.

This card is number 405 CXP/C, meaning it is the 405th mailing and also a photocard with color xeroxing. The pseudo-cancellation includes a wavy red rectangle inside of which we find the characters, "NY!" Roy is (was) traveling the state!

Roy Arenella, "1 POETIC" (1987)

Roy addressed this card to "gE(+)F UTH." The presentation of my first name, which I very much enjoy, follows a common Arenellan pattern. But the UTH without an initial H is new. There is no way that Roy could know that Uth is actually one of the forms of my surname, not necessarily a "correct" form, but it is one form that h-dropping priests, guessing a spelling, entered into sacramental registers in Alsace, France.


On the same day that Roy sent me his card, Reed Altemus sent me a large envelope of mailart, decorated with colorful artists' stamps.

Inside the envelope there are, according to Reed, "Some recent and not-so-recent page works & stamps. Also some small treats of the networking variety":

The note quoted above on a Lettrism Against Fascism postcard.

Three "Typollages," rectangles filled with a beautiful collection of asemic type speciments in full paragonnage.

A copy of the zine, Unarmed, out of St. Paul, Minnesota.

An announcement for the assembling project, Floss.

Two remarkably vibrant color xerox "collage journal" pages.

A couple of sheets of photocopied text movements.

"100 Percent Recycled Mail Art Content Stampsheet No. 3"

Three other visual poems (my favorite includes a chameleon surrounded by a mishmash of letters).

Weirdest of all, Reed has included a small card with the words "THANK YOU" in raised lettering, though I cannot imagine why Reed would thank me!

Reed Altemus, "ffeyo" (2004)

un violon d'ingres

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