Thursday, November 17, 2005

Not Paying Your Postage Dues

Zeke Mishanec, "...thought the" (10 Oct 2005)

This card, produced for my wife's mailart lesson in her creative writing class, never made it into our mailbox. Instead, Nancy received a postage due notice for $3.62. Since every piece of mailart sent by the class was a postcard and Nancy had given each student a postcard stamp, she assumed this card was actually a package of some kind and she never picked it up. Eventually, the post office returned the card to Zeke Mishanec, and he took it to class. Then everything became clear: on the front of the card, he had taken a "priority mail" sticker and cut it into jagged shards that he placed on the card--and the post office saw the sticker and assigned this the standard priority mail rate, rather than the postcard rate.

The postage due sticker obscured part of the face of the card, including a little note that now consists of nothing more than "thought the / were stupid." The obverse of the card remains a beautifully simple design. On the back of the card, which is a single sheet of stiff red plastic cut out of a larger piece of the same, he has painted a ragged set of colors. He has obviously laid the plastic down upon bits of wet paint, but there is something else going on here. A few partial portraits of letters appear--almost totally disguised and usually as negative spaces--upon the card: the rising incline of an M, an e almost transformed into a theta, and other bits, scattered about like a discouraged thought giving up its goal.

un violon d'ingres

No comments: