Saturday, May 29, 2004

Roads and Wayss (qbdp # 8)

Still Point, Garlock Road, Caroga Lake, NY

Without my usual collection of pens, I created a simple and probably too spare fidgetglyph today, and I affixed copies of these to the backs of photographs of the boardwalk at Jones Beach on Long Island, New York, in July of 1934. The summer in that photograph appears warmer than the late spring here in the Adirondacks. Very cool, and dipping to freezing tonight.

Remarkably, I titled this fidgetglyph improperly at first ("cross roads"), then had to return to the cards and add the true title: "cross wayss." Cliches always dominate our imaginations.

cross wayss Posted by Hello


1/5 Ruth and Marvin Sackner

2/5 Bob Grumman

3/5 kiyotei

4/5 Roy Arenella

5/5 qbdp

un violon d’ingres

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Photocards and Return Receipt Ephemera

I returned home today to discover a postcard from Roy Arenella explaining that he had just discovered the fabled qbdp: the mailartworks, which documents his and my mailart. (I’m just getting started, so I don’t have enough participants yet.) Roy sent this new card now that he’s “seen the Lighght,” and I saw the lighght on his postcard as well: I finally figured out the code in his faux cancellation marks: Each includes the date plus an indication of the sequential number of the card for the year (in this case the 204th card). I’ll now have to update my other blog entries with this new information.

Roy Arenella’s new card:

He describes the postcard as “this [old] card with a new hello” (with the bracketed word being his). The picture side of the card includes a black and white concrete poem entitled “Optimist’s Ring” that consists of the words “BEGIN AGAIN BEGIN AGAIN” in a circle. The Arenellan cancellation stamp includes the date (25 May 04) a notation indicating this is his 204th postcard of the year (204 p/c), and a lighghtbulb to indicate that he has seen the light. Two tiny stamps (a miniature 13-cent stamp decorated with an Indian head penny dated 1877 and a 10-cent stamp of an “American clock”) complete the tableau.

Roy Arenella's "Begin Again"

In return I decorated an invitation-sized envelope with a handcarved stamplage visual poem (“mn mn”) and a handcarved return address eraser stamping, three small publications (G. Huth’s “Pebbleslight”; The Subtle Journal of Raw Coinage # 98: Psychedelinquent; and endwar’s “An interior definition for Geof Huth), and the following note added to the bottom of a discarded attempt at a steel-penned asemic visual poem:

Ah—you figured out about qbdp online, and on my birthday as well! I’ll document this mailing to you (filled with tiny pubs), but won’t number it as an official qbdp mailart. But your card goes online tonight. Also, I finally figured out the code in your cancellations! So dense of me!

un violon d’ingres

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

me+you (qbdp # 7)

Fairfield Inn, Room 313, Clay, New York

Most of the mailart I distribute while I’m spending nights away from home consists of fidgetglyphs wrawn onto postcards. Over time, I developed the rule that I had to design the fidgetglyph the same day I create the postcard, so I had to sit down today and make a brand-new tiny visual poem. This required enforcement of inspiration may sometimes lead to weaker poems, but the little vispoem decorating this postcard is cute (and inscrutable) enough in black and blue and red.

Yesterday, I created six postcards by cutting away one wing of a simple greeting card. The resulting postcard carries an illustration with fourteen stars of various colors. The reverse (or obverse, depending on your point of view) includes an address in many colors, my temporary address for the night (see above), the fidgetglyph “me+you,” my signature, the date, and an indication of the qbdp number.

One postcard, fully addressed, I’ve reserved for the qbdp archives, as usual.


1/6 Ruth and Marvin Sackner

2/6 Bob Grumman

3/6 Roy Arenella

4/6 Matthew Shindell

5/6 endwar

6/6 qbdp


un violon d’ingres

Monday, May 24, 2004

Eating at Home

Another card from Roy Arenella:

Similar to his last, a glossy black and white postcard with "HOME BODY" in white on a black square—but HOME and BODY share a giant O between them, suggesting other readings. Home remedy. A plate on a table.

The artist's cancellation stamp this time is a black circle around a rubberstamped cup of steaming coffee. The cancellation is dated 22 May 2004 and notes that this is postcard # 198 of the year.

Additionally, Roy has added a stamp that says "EAT AT HOME." Since I'm a modernday American, I find it coincidental that I did eat at home today—as well I should have, considering today is my wife Nancy's birthday. (Actually, this is also the most special day of the year, Magic Day, the single day in the entire year when my wife and I share the same age.)

Riffing off "eat at home" some more: My kids always want to eat away from home as much as possible, so I sometimes suggest that we eat at El Cariachi's, which instead of being a restaurant is a nickname for our home when conceived of as a place to eat. (The name is an execrable pun hardly understandable even if you know Spanish and are familiar with restaurants in New York's Capital District.)

Back to the postcard: In my address, Roy has drawn a roof over my surname (HUTH), transforming the name into a house, a home, the roof of which looks—punningly enough—like a hat.

The postcard ends—if there is an end to it—with a stamp (33 cents) of Thomas Wolfe, over whose right shoulder floats a statuary angel, its eyes downcast. Look homeward. Point made for the fourth time. An amazingly consistent piece of mailart.

Roy Arenella's "Home Body"

un violon d'ingres

Saturday, May 22, 2004

New Improved Lucky American Flag (qbdp # 6)

Still Point, Garlock Road, Caroga Lake, New York

Outgoing Mailart

Invitation-sized white envelope with "New Improved Lucky American Flag" on the premlip and finished with an American flag stamp.


A large sturdy cardboard label with a string doubled and looped through the eyelet. On the card, there are seven (instead of thirteen) stripes in seven different colors: brown, purple, blue, green, red, orange, and yellow.

A 3-by-5-inch index card with the following:


Tie flag around your left index finger to keep from forgetting to tie it around your right pinky finger.


1/4 Ruth and Marvin Sackner

2/4 Bob Grumman

3/4 Matt Shindell

4/4 qbdp

New Improved American Flag

un violon d'ingres

Friday, May 21, 2004

Documentation of the First of the Film Clips
(qbdp # 1)

Film Clips # 1

A Self-Destructing Compilation of Cultural Iconography and Mail Art


Life for the Autodidact

Opening salvo: Film Clips is a magazine of mixed means and media, a true mailartzine, bringing together the tendencies of garbage-satirical mailart and the aesthetic proclivities from the more thoughtful end of the field. It began, as all such things must, in the mail. A provocateur of the subgroundbeef level of artistic expression and defiance, the Baltimorian tentatively, a convenience, sent me a copy of his latest mailing documenting his film distribution project. What this consists of is a handful of frames from a super-8 film of tentatively’s art objects and usually brief notes explaining what the previous recipients of such had done with their soft-won film. Many ingenious and interesting ideas there, so I didn’t know what to do . . . until I thought of putting together a magazine to fold around each frame of film—the film being the germ of an idea. I invited four mailartistic types to join in by sending 15 copies of anything related (or not) to the idea of film clips, however they chose to interpret it. Two brave men complied.

Review of the Enclosures and Enclosings: First there is the large self-locking bag, then these sheets of paper in front of a folded cardboard pocket (on the back of which are a number of stickers picked up during my life—some self-adhesive, some requiring added wetness), and between the cardboard is most of the stuff. The important things are those that Mark and Larry sent. Larry sent five items which were housed (originally) next to each other: two photocopies of pencil sketches, two colorful artists’ stamps, and a Polaroid photograph from the videoscreen (each one different for each copy of the issue). Mark sent a large folded cinematic comic parody three panels long. The rest is mess and mirth and mush. Many cards of different types, items found in a large enough quantity, some of which have the name and issue number of this magazine written or stamped upon them. Oh, there’s a blank roll of microfilm for recording your dreams, loose videotape over everything (like chocolate syrup on a sundae), a scrap of 35mm camera film (unexposed, undeveloped)—these are types of film to us, even the tape. A baggie with two earring wires, one with a frame of color super-8 film, one with a frame of b&w 16mm film. A squarish baggie with two slips of crystalized (which once was coated) photocopy paper from the 1960’s and a piece of the Berlin wall (a newspaper story about the parent chunk of the wall is included in the magabag). There’s a matchbook which may automatically combust. A form letter from Ronald Reagan to volunteers (donated by John Eberly years ago), which is stamped with a rubberstamp altered by Malok. You’ll find an errata sheet from my wife’s college litzine, which carries a (re)movable self-stick label (suitable for transferring to other parts of this collection or the world). Each one different: a black and white photograph of an anonymous white junior high student (era apparent). A copy of “POOR COPY,” a praecisio moment by G. Huth (35 copies of which exist outside these bags). A wooden coffee stirrer. A green twist tie. A self-locking baggie with a few colorful pieces of paper, some of which are stickers repeated on the back of the collection. Unions and schools and other wonders of our times.

In(ves)tigation: This little bag of self-destruction is a tiny garbage pit of our lives. Items we could have saved for our children’s befuddlement are protected here until the acid in the paper east it away to dust, until the metal rusts, the plastic entropied (brown, then brittle, then broken)> At the end there will remain maybe the stone from a wall that a couple of tourists took apart before their divorce. Nothing holds together here. Each scrap of information is a part of a life, and it is our life, and it doesn’t form a plot, it doesn’t answer questions, and it doesn’t even wait for us to realize what’s happening. Now, now is when now comes. It never comes after; it never comes before.

Hope for the Fewture: How is life like a film clip, a piece of isaye? That is the program here: To find out and to show it. Broad and vague enough in conception that tape and stone and the actual film of plastic (or the film of skin that keeps us from rotting before our own eyes, wet as they are under their own glassine film) are included as movies, because life is a movie, and life is everything, so everything is a movie. Sit back and watch, and some day there will be another issue of this magazine, always in extremely limited runs (because that allows for more possibility). Sometimes tied to t,ac’s film distributions but sometimes appearing of its own volition will be Film Clips: not quite a magazine, not quite a life, but close enough for most of us.

What to Do Next: Anyone interested in seeing as issue of this cinegma had better contact the compiler [Ge(of Huth)] and ask for an invitation to the next issue because there are so few issues that hardly any are left after the contributor’s copies are distributed. Some issues may have only one contributor. There are no promises here. This magabag may fold after issue number one.

Addresses of the Bicoastal Can’tributors:

Larry Angelo, [address reserved], New York, NY 10023 USA

Mark Rose, [address reserved], Seattle, WA 98103 USA

compiled by Ge(of Huth) at [my old address], Rotterdam, NY 12306 USA

pdqb # 8 / 11 February 1991 / This is copy # --- of 15

un violon d’ingres

Monday, May 17, 2004

qbdp # five & incoming

The Fox Inn Bed & Breakfast, The Lucy Hall Fox Room, Penn Yan, New York

Mailart Received:

From Roy Arenella: Postcard of “S.KIN” with a brief note concerning the lack of any true pwoermds in Ken Gangemi’s Lydia (the question of their existence in this book appeared in the bibliography of my anthology of pwoermds, &2). Dated 13 May 04 and Roy’s 177th of the year, the card includes a rubberstamped address separating the message from the recipient’s address and is topped with an artist’s cancellation stamp. The last may explain why the two ancient stamps (8 cents and 15 cents) on the postcard arrived without any official cancellations.

Roy Arenella's "S.KIN"

Mailart Created:

Four large Popeye postcards (one retained, the other three mailed), the message of which is the asemic text of “Inscriptions on Birch Bark” written in layers of color (black, blue, green, then red). Numbered qbdp # 5 (the first four numbers of qbdp being reserved to retroactively number the first four issues of my mailart zine, Film Clips). The name “POPEYE” on the card I Saroyanized into “POPEYEYE.” I wrote one line of the text of the tiny visual poem on the face of the postcard, a different line for each card: line 1 for the first item in the printing, line 2 for the second item in the printing, etc. Each postcard includes calligraphic addresses written in blue. Cards numbered thusly:

1/4 Ruth and Marvin Sackner

2/4 Bob Grumman

3/4 Roy Arenella

4/4 qbdp


I’ve decided not to track mailart to my own family, such as tonight’s decorated envelope to Nancy, the found text postcard to Erin, or the weak concrete poem and the discussion of “correspondance” that I created for Tim.

qbdp # 5 (obverse)

qbdp # 5 (reverse)

un violon d’ingres

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Occasional Documentations of Mailart

I am creating this weblog as an experiment in documenting mailart.

In the past, as a good and loyal visual poet, I have occasionally worked as a mailartist (though never an important or active one)—but I’ve lost track of what I’ve done. There are many mailart shows I’ve contributed to where I don’t even remember what it was I submitted. As an archivist by profession, this lack of documentation seems particularly out of character, so this occasional blog arises out of the ashes of my imagination.

Whenever I create a piece of mailart (by mailing it), I will endeavor to include some slight bit of documentation about it to this blog. I have no idea if this experiment will end up being interesting or useful.

All I can say to myself is, “Welcome to the future. Hope you have a good time.”

For other news on my activities or thoughts, see my main blog:

dbqp:visualizing poetics

un violon d'Ingres