And because Erni Bar believes I have enough trash-brains (his term), he sent me his worn-out black shoes: He's right, and he sent these to the right person. Not only do I have a thing for worn-out shoes but Erni's worn-out shoes fit me! That's right, I'm wearing these babies. They're slightly big and wide--just how I like 'em. If Erni thinks these are worn out, one can only imagine what he'd think of the shoes/boots usually worn around here. This is the best pair in the house! To top it off, the brand name is Bar, says so right on the soles. Here are two shots from above, with my favorite socks (tried a "model" stance in the second shot): These shoes are famous, too. Hamburg's best Pedestrian Speech Act was performed in these black shoes! Black because, as Erni quotes Frank Zappa more than once on his packaging, Brown Shoes Don't Make It. Erni says the shoebox he sent these in is the original box:  He had these high-quality leather shoes re-soled twice before giving up on them and sending them to Maine. I couldn't be happier that he did, and feel SO well-shod now. No closet archiving for this mail art. When they really do fall apart, they will be hung from the ceiling or painted or collaged. Thank you thank you thank you, Erni! from one of your many adoring Fan Club members

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Comment by Jen Staggs on November 25, 2011 at 12:37am

To follow that McLuhan quote, "The medium is the message."  In this case, Nancy is 'walking the walk', as receiver she can now continue on the 'DharmaDada Path' well-shod!

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on November 24, 2011 at 11:44pm

Yes, thanks DVS, very instructive, as Fluxus can sometimes be a foggy notion. You just made it much clearer.

A spontaneous sort of score did happen when Erni's shoes arrived. My husband was here in the studio and watched me open the package. I was saying things like "This is heavy, what has that funny Erni sent me now?" Once the box was open, I laughed in delight and said "Oh my god, look, he sent his shoes!" After reading the box-top note about the shoes being worn out and the Zappa quote, I put them on the floor and immediately said something like "Look, these might fit me!" Phil agreed, and I was excited and put them on and found it to be true.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 24, 2011 at 10:08pm

This black boot performance is very instructive. It is definitely Erni and Nancy collaborating and being themselves.


But Nancy, or anyone else who wonders about Fluxus, I think the core idea of Fluxus performance can be found here (as well as Erni's roots in Dada and elsewhere). The performance - facilitated by mail - involves Nancy putting on Erni's shoes. The performance could be repeated using other people and interpretations. A core idea is that things you set aside things traditionally associated with art and focus on an everyday activity. Interaction and participation are encouraged. A performance score for it could be as simple as: "Here are my shoes" or anything like that. To me, this is a simple but very brilliant performance you've done that gets to the heart of the matter. Again, well done!

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on November 24, 2011 at 8:52pm

Then thank you, kind sir ~

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on November 24, 2011 at 8:18pm

Yes! Jen, they are magic shoes. They had an aura the second I opened the box.

Erni, why do you have a picture of your own feet in your shoes??

Comment by Jen Staggs on November 24, 2011 at 5:32pm

Das Zauberschuhe!

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on November 24, 2011 at 3:49pm

Yah, that is magic, good analogy. I shall watch out, and so should those around me. I'm wearing the shoes today for Thanksgiving.

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on November 23, 2011 at 11:16pm

DVS, the something about them is probably "magic," in the least literal sense of the word.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 23, 2011 at 9:22pm

Perfect - I was using the word "interaction" in my first comments about this. Those shoes - you have a good eye. There's something about them. I keep looking at them. Don't know why.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 23, 2011 at 9:06pm

There was no performance score. And Erni has stated it was not his intent, yet still the work produced an active response and has drawn interest. And certainly no one here seems adverse to chance operations.



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