From: Mark Rossmiller, a.k.a. Moan Lisa (0125-0619)

Mail from Mark Rossmiller has been blowing up my mail box this month. I have received nine envelopes from him. I'll blog about those items at a later time, but I've got to share the awesome mail that came my way today!

Features a drawing of the DIVINE MERCY JESUS, "Jesus I Trust In You."

I had a "parcel pickup" notice in my post office box. I went up to the service counter, and the postal worker came back and said (in a not so amused voice), "It's a skateboard." Imagine my surprise and delight!

A "Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet" pamphlet is affixed

to the bottom of an Element Brand "Twigs" Skateboard.

The skateboard has a drawing of the DIVINE MERCY JESUS, along with the phrase, "Jesus I Trust In You." It is based on the Diary of Saint Faustina, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote around 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God's mercy. A "Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet" pamphlet is affixed to the bottom of this Element Brand "Twigs" skateboard deck. ​

​It is interesting that Mark should give me this mail! As a Catholic, I have prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet many times, and consider it one of my favorite devotions.

A detailed look at the skateboard from Mark Rossmiller. Love the shoe print!

Our six pound Yorkshire Terrier, Rosie, had to give the skateboard a try!

I hope to hang this piece in my studio. A conversation starter, for sure! Thank you very much, Mark!

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Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on June 28, 2019 at 5:00pm

Oh Kat, I just spent an incredibly hysterical hour reading every word of those 2 blogs, and remembered the Dean saw blog but had never seen the Erni-Bifidus cheese one. Fantastic! (That was a few weeks before I joined.) All three are sorely missed. Thank you ever so much for posting the links--you've made my day.

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on June 28, 2019 at 2:44pm

And my mail box saw a saw...

from the Artist in Seine,Dean in Paris who would always send items "naked"

see the blog:

 Dean Marks' art is the cutting edge!

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on June 28, 2019 at 2:38pm

Thanks for blogging the "unusual" and the "amazing" mail art...

yes, the past has seen some fun items in-the-mail.

We are recalling the Erni in Hamburg CHEESE=ART send to Bifidus jones in MN,USA:

see the blog:

  'Reincarnated from Erni Bär, Germany--Dieter Roth: My life as Came...

(the aroma went round-the-world!)

Comment by De Villo Sloan on June 28, 2019 at 5:54am

Thanks for the memories, NBS. I had forgotten some of those, some of them classics for sure. David Stafford definitely deserves note.

You reminded me that Erni Baer (Germany) and Bifidus Jones (Minnesota - sadly no longer active) engaged in mailing pungent cheese back and forth across the Atlantic for some sort of cheese performance that is documented somewhere in the labyrinthine IUOMA basement.

Yes, Diane Keys belongs in network history. She took to mailing me rotting food for a while.

Mail art is definitely about sending things as well as conventional visual art.

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on June 27, 2019 at 10:32pm

Great question, Jayne, and very nice blog. I've not been around long enough to bring in pre-2011 mail art history, but here are a few of many favorites on-the-wonderfully-surprising-side sent to me since then:

From David Stafford (New Mexico): Very large poster from his presidential run in 1976 (gripping photo of a not-grounded-looking Dave with the caption "The Sane Choice").

From Erni Bar (Germany): In addition to hundreds of crushed cans from the streets of Hamburg, Erni sent a *fine* pair of leather shoes that he'd given up in favor of new ones (the shoes fit me fine as I love looseness and am not attracted to new things).

From Diane Keys (Illinois): Funky trashpo mobile/hanging that still spills from my favorite bookcase knob, original trashbooks, AND a fabulous wall assemblage piece that is much-loved + indescribable, and that I adore every day.

From Dean Marks (Artist in Seine, Paris): Fancy red leather glove ("mail art omen," he said) from Paris street that he found and sent on a cardboard cut-out hand, just like that, with stamps and all, and it made it to Maine. wow.

The special beauty of mail art can be the element of surprise, or at least the unexpected or unplanned. DVS in his comment brings in valuable earlier history, a definite plus, especially with the bizarre-side and even less-conventional elements. Great. Jayne, many thanks for this trip today --- 


Comment by De Villo Sloan on June 27, 2019 at 6:37am

Hi Jayne, the subject of craziest mailings has come up often on the IUOMA platform so we have heard some pretty wild tales - verified and not - such as Reginald Brey (?) who mailed himself in a box. Val Herman has a bunch of those. The Ray Johnson folks mailed some unusual things. Our Dare Richard knows more than he'll ever disclose, I'm sure.

I've seen some bizarre stuff among the Trashpo folks. I think I mentioned Marie Wintzer mailing her gold tooth to Grigori Antonin. A Church of the Subgenius guy supposedly mailed a harmless sort of firecracker stink bomb (or something) to a well-known anarchist we know on FB. That wound up in court.

One bizarre mailing that has made it into art history documents is a Fluxus guy in the 60s who stole a human ear from a hospital and mailed it to someone as a birthday present.

When postal regulations were more lax, you can only imagine what went on. We probably only know a small portion of what mail artists have done.

Comment by Jayne Barket Lyons on June 27, 2019 at 6:00am

Thanks! So, De Villo, what’s the craziest thing that’s made it’s way through the mail (that you’re aware of)?

Comment by De Villo Sloan on June 27, 2019 at 1:38am

Pardon me, but this is so seriously f--d up. Moan Lisa is, however, one of the great mail artists of the 21st century. Love the Jesus stuff.

Very nice work blogging this, Jayne.



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