Monday, February 21, 2005

Scraps through the Mail: "ObJecT" (scrapmail # 1, qbdp # 45)

Hilton New York, Room 3213, New York, New York

Tonight, I finished putting together a mailing that I had actually begun about a month ago when I was preparing a few large-scale visual poems for a gallery show. As I slathered ink across large sheets of heavy paper, I occasionally made errors and had to abandoned an entire sheet. After that happened, I used most of the sheets to clean off my pens as I worked on replacing my failure.

A few days later, I cut these sheets into cards. Tonight, I took these cards and made them into qbdp mailings, complete with a fidgetglyph ("ObJecT"):

Geof Huth, "ObJecT," qbdp # 45 (21 Feb 2005)

The image on each card, however, is unique, and the cards (when put back together form a series of separate images). This is the image from the card maintained in the qbdp archives:

Geof Huth, "Scrapmail # 1," qbdp # 45 (21 Feb 2005)

These are the people who received a copy of "Ever now a thought" (Scrapmail # 1, qbdp # 45):

1/12 (A1) Ruth and Marvin Sackner

2/12 (A2) Bob Grumman

3/12 (A3) Roy Arenella

4/12 (A4) Ruud Janssen

5/12 (B1) Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

6/12 (B2) RF Côté

7/12 (B3) Bob Brueckl

8/12 (B4) j0llyr0ger

9/12 (F1) Luc Fierens

10/12 (F2) Reed Altemus

11/12 (G1) endwar

12/12 (G2) qbdp

Cards in Scrapmail, Series A (qbdp # 45, 21 Feb 2005)

Cards in Scrapmail, Series B (qbdp # 45, 21 Feb 2005)

Cards in Scrapmail, Series F & G (qbdp # 45, 21 Feb 2005)

un violon d'ingres

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Gates of Fire: "Ever now a thought" (qbdp # 44)

Hilton New York, Room 3213, New York, New York

I began work on this little mailart card long before Nancy, Tim, and I arrived in this hotel room. I originally created (with crayon and colored pencil) the visual poem that graces the front of the card back in the 1980s, when few visual poems in color were ever seen outside the home of the poem. The slight yellow haze to this card is actually the yellowing of the low-quality paper upon which I affixed the text. (I use bright, stiff, high-quality paper nowadays.)

I created the card itself by sending a high-resolution image to a commercial vendor, which then created this micro-run of ten cards on glossy cardstock. They even printed that part of the colophon that I could print ahead of time, everything except the exact date, the sequential number, and the location from which I sent the card.

Geof Huth, "Ever now a thought"
(qbdp # 45 [Obverse], 20 Feb 2005)

Once in the hotel room, I added that information, the addresses, and notes. All of this extra text appears in orange ink to memorialize our visit to Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates" in Central Park.

Geof Huth, "Ever now a thought"
(qbdp # 45 [Obverse], 20 Feb 2005)

The lucky recipients of this card are as follows:

1/10 Ruth and Marvin Sackner

2/10 Bob Grumman

3/10 Roy Arenella

4/10 Bob Brueckl

5/10 Ruud Janssen

6/10 j0llyr0ger

7/10 kiyotei

8/10 Mick Boyle

9/10 Jassy Lupa

10/10 qbdp

The visual poem, by the way, is a story about watching a campfire.

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Risk-Free Mailart

Jassy Lupa has used my card "quincelt" as the foundation for a collaboration, and she has created a much more colorful little word and image machine.

Jassy Lupa, "Poets&Writers" (Jan 2005)

On the reverse, she has made changes as well, but she left my message to her intact as her message back to me!

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The Epistolary Essays of Roy Arenella

Roy Arenella occasionally sends me a letter instead of a postcards, and each letter of his is a weird cache of information, a wondrous congeries of insights.

The last is from the end of January, and it includes (among its riches) an actual letter--this one about the use of sound in visual poetry. On the back of each sheet of the letter, there resides a visualization of some kind, in this case verbally-restricted, visually-enhanced visual poems. Following these, is a handful of visual essays, like this one:

Roy Arenella, "Slaying the poetry Beast" (26 Apr 200)

These essays make Roy one of the few people writing visual essays. (I now write one a month and post it to my dbqp blog, though I'm not sure anyone realizes I'm doing it.)

The letter also includes envelope A (filled with eighteen postcards) and envelope B (containing a note from February 4th and the essay "Of Language and Writing and the Desire to Turn from Them" by Henri Michaux--which is one way Roy's carries on the conversations I direct outward from dbqp).

Roy's letter begins for me with his envelope, this one decorated with extra notes, rubberstampings, and fifteen different postage stamps, each one different, and most from different eras in US postage.

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Considerations of Essness

Bob Brueckl has sent me a multi-layered examination of the serpentine letter of our alphabet.

First, there is the envelope, plain, so I cut it open. Second there is a card, with the following image, suggesting conduits, water, movement across space:

Bob Brueckl, "Please Consider an S." (31 Jan 2005)

Third, there is no message inside the card except for this:


Fourth, there rests inside the inner thighs of that card a light-blue envelope fashioned out of heavy deckled paper (ostensibly by Brueckl himself) bearing the emblazonement "AN S" on its face. Fifth, from within the second envelope, there appears a clipping of glossy paper with the image of bediamonded brooch in the shape of an S.

Sixth, thee is our careful consideration of this S.

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Desert Winds

kiyotei lives in the desert, where the wind moves the sand around all the time, where the wind moves the sand over the mountain, where the movement of wind holds superstitious power, where the wind is evil. Hence, this little photocopied card, backed with a beautiful stylized signature that I am keeping protected from the wind.

kiyotei, "Evil wind" (Jan 2005)

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Roping Cattle Down on the Ranch

This beautiful card came to me from Ruud Janssen with colorful strings tied through it. Ruud wondered if the ropes would slow down the postal system. I'm so far behind with blogging that I no longer recall if this took longer than usual to reach me.

But most importantly, somehow Ruud's reversed initials (his brand) on his painting for the first time made me think of JR of "Dallas" fame. Maybe it was the rope through card (two untied lassos) that made me think of this.

Ruud Janssen, "BUY ONE GET ONE FREE" (3 Jan 2005)

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The Front and the Back of Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

Way back on the 25th of January, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, the master of the visual manipulation of text, sent me the following digital postcard, front and back.

Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, "zerone" (Front, 25 Jan 2005)

It is interesting that most of the digital postcards I receive have two sides, since there is no real need to address them.

Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, "zerone" (Back, 25 Jan 2005)

Jukka has so distorted his source text that we cannot really perceive text anymore, but if you go to one of his websites (go to "mailXart" and follow the links) you will be able to see the tendency of his work towards increasingly abstracted text. Jukka explains this card thusly:

Thought to send this digital card to you, at least
it arrives before my next 'manual' version :-) !
I am studying and learning to use image editor,
I have always made my computer images by little
programs which I have written many hundreds, never
tried to compose these 'manually' by some software.
This and few current images in my blogs are made with
that editor, very interesting and also challenging
program !

un violon d'ingres

Friday, February 11, 2005

On the "fLoor" (qbdp # 43)

Cambridge Hotel, "Autumn Delight" (Room 115), Cambridge, New York

On this day, Nancy's and my twenty-first wedding anniversary, we spent the night in a small hotel in the wilds of New York's Washington County, and I decided to buy a dozen cards of the hotel and wraw a little fidgetglyph upon its back side. Somehow the floor of the bathroom of our hotel room (covered with white hexagonal tiles) served as the inspiration for this glyph.

The fortunate recipients of "fLoor" are as follows:

1/12 Ruth and Marvin Sackner

2/12 Bob Grumman

3/12 Roy Arenella

4/12 Mick Boyle

5/12 kiyotei

6/12 j0llyr0ger

7/12 Jassy Lupa

8/12 Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

9/12 Ruud Janssen

10/12 Bob Brueckl

11/12 R. F. Côté

12/12 qbdp

The proprietors of this hotel (which has remarkably thin walls!) brag about two historical features: First, that the Cambridge Hotel was the "Original Home of Pie a la Mode" (interesting to think that the original idea of adding a scoop of ice cream to a slice of pie somehow bears celebration); second, that this is one of the last "railroad hotels" (though, a brief search quickly uncovers quite a few).

Geof Huth, "fLoor" (11 Feb 2005)

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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Plausible Aitches and Pig Snouts

This time, Bob Brueckl sends me a smaller postcard. Using the pencil as his prime medium again, he produces a card quite soft to the touch. I keep rubbing my finger over the soft pencillings. The front of the card, if oriented correctly, appears to be an H with really fat sides.

Bob Brueckl, Postcard, Obverse (25 Jan 2005)

The message on the back side consides of a variety of rounded images floating in space, including one that resembles a pig's snout.

Bob Brueckl, Postcard, Reverse (25 Jan 2005)

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Can't Elope Tonight. Dad's on to Us

This charming little photcard arrived in my mailbox too long ago, but I'm still catching up on my backed-up mailart documentation! Roy sent me this photo as an "antidote to the snowdrifts & slush pools" that surround us at this time of year. That is why we have a photo of Roy's wife Martine (or "ti") standing in the market holding up two canteloupes. (Roy explains that, although the fruit in the picture are canteloupes, he used the quotation about watermelons "for its literary reference."

Roy Arenella, "What Are You Doing Down by the Watermelons?" (25 Jan 2005)

This photocard was Roy's 46th mailing of the year, and he decorated the back with an ice-cream cone in the pseudo-cancellation mark (ice-cream standing in for snow and ice) and a 22-cent Georgia stamp (quite summery) and an old green 3-cent "To Make the Best Better" stamp about the 4-H Club.

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Delicate Flowers of the Imagination

In the mail arrived a giant postcard (of high-quality 140lb watercolor paper)covered with simple yet striking designs that resemble highly stylized versions of plants. He outlines his drawings in ballpoint pen before filling in the voids with soft colored pencil.

Bob Brueckl, Postcard, Obverse (20 Jan 2005)

Bruekl even includes one of these beautiful little outsider art drawings as the only message on the postcard:

Bob Brueckl, Postcard, Reverse (20 Jan 2005)

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G Always Leads to H

Mick Boyle has sent me a rarity: a cream-colored card upon which he has drawn an image by hand! Interestingly, he's left plenty of space for a message on this card, yet not included one! On the other side of the card is a paired image (created via Mick's usual computer magic): a green man on a purple background facing a blue man on a pink background.

Mick Boyle, "Quibdip" (Jan 2005)

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Postcard from Pablo

This card is a bit of a surprise. The great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who died 13 days before my family moved to Bolivia on October 6th, 1973, is apparently still writing notes to people more than 30 years after his death. He's also decided to use a postage stamp with his own image on his card to me, made sure that this postcard bore no postal marks, and included a poem by John M. Bennett on the card (instead of one of his own). Apparently, Pablo is a big fan of the Five Million Copies Project of well-known cybersquatter Ross Priddle.

Postcard from Neruda (8 Jan 2005)

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