Mail-art by IUOMA member Marie Wintzer (Saitama, Japan)
January 2, 2012 - "The difference is spreading": Marie Wintzer said she likes that quote from Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons. I believe it does capture the growing interest in MinXus-LynXus in the mail-art network. She sent me some great new mail-art that arrived just before the holidays that displays her talents and has serious MinX-relevance.
In addition to her more conceptual work, Marie is a fantastic photographer. She has been experimenting with visual poetry lately, attempting, I believe, to refine a longtime interest in language and image. The opening scan reflects that interest. I think the place where the vispo integration most clearly begins to appear is where the vertical lines of the text engage in play with the lines of the crane. I am truly looking forward to more vispo from Marie.
I really like the way she is using the MinXus stamp, originally designed by Dark wall. Shrinking it so that it becomes minimal in the context of the mail-art and adding the red stamp are wonderful improvements. I always appreciate Marie's notes in that gorgeous script:
The shoe and leg shots are included as contributions to Dark wall's growing catalog of exotic and/or exciting shoes. He will appreciate it.
MinXus stamps are definitely circulating. To avoid the risk of fakery, be aware only five regional stamps currently exist: MinXus Alsace, MinXus South Africa, MinXus Tokyo, and MinXus New York. These are the Central Command headquarters of MinXus. Also there is a special MinXus Marie stamp. On the stamps, sometimes the mink is wearing a crown, sometimes not. The South African stamp always has a mink wearing a large crown.
Marie mentions including her data. For me, by far the most exciting piece in the package is the release of the legendary "Cryptic Circles" - that's what I call them; she calls them data. By chance, they have become central to the MinXus canon. I know others are receiving them, and I am very grateful to have received my own:
"That is your foot. There is your shoe." I love these text pieces Marie finds, and they are hardly random. The reverse side reads: "put it on. He had apparently mistaken his wife" For me, the beauty of the cryptic circles is that they have been released for all to enjoy, yet they remain a mystery, as much as when they were unseen. Here's the reverse side of the envelop with another MinXus stamp:
And the usual suspect:
Many thanks to Marie for sending the cryptic circles!
A MinXus Lexicon (under construction)
Academy of Cultural Elitists (ACE) - A cabal within the "official culture" of the art world that aids the efforts of T.O.X.I.S. ACE members include Wall St. gangsters, political disinformation operatives, and philanthropic ponzi scams.
Alsace - A region of France that is the ancestral home of Marie Antonette and Dark wall (minus several generations). A ruined estate named Maison Aux Visons is located in Alsace.
Arthur Rimbaud Symbolist School of Subtle Aesthetic Obscurity (ARSSSAO) - A South African mail-art school that produces the concepts that drive MinXus. Recently, it appears Arthur Rimbaud was expelled, and it is now called the SSSAO. Members believe Arthur Rimbaud is still alive, traveling in Africa, and claim to receive letters from him. Rimbaud supposedly discovered time portals in Africa.
Asemiotics - A highly theoretical form of asemic writing used by members of MinXus.
Cherry Blossom (CB) - One of the many fake identities used by Marie Antonette.
Civilian casualty - A mail-artist who accidentally becomes involved with MinXus intrigues.
Coffee - The official drink of MinXus! (Dark Roast)
Cryptic Circles - Codified mail-art by Marie Antonette that describes a scientific basis for Dark wall's "Vision of the Cosmic Meatwheel" and explains the source of the Monkey Purge. Both ACE and TOXIS are in a frenzy to obtain all the cryptic circles and decode them.
Dark wall - Mail-art slang for an annoying little punk. As in: "You are a groovy chick, CB. But could you bag the Dark wall?"
DharmaDaDa - A real German mail-artist aka Erni Baer. Grigori Antonin founded the Erni Baer Fan Club and has earned the nickname DharmaDaDa Grigster.
D-KULT - Mail-art group organized around the work and ideas of US artist Diane Keys. DKULT members enter contests for D-Koder rings and trade pieces of Keys' ripped shirts, etc. Possibly a manifestation existential nihilism or Spicerian pinball games. Related to roaDKill, Trashpo, DharmaDaDa.
DK-ULTRA - A secret and extremist organization within the DKULT bent on replacing art with a new religion. No proof of DK-ULTRA's existence has yet been found, but rumors abound.
Fluxus - An authentic cultural movement that has historic ties to mail-art.
Fur trade - Slang British expression for MinXus mail-art.
Grigori Antonin - A real mail-artist in Minnesota, USA and longtime associate of Marie Antonette (Chairman M.). His earlier ideas, expressed in Antonism, serve as a foundation for MinXus. Antonin's conversion to DharmaDaDa, Trashpo, and RoaDKill make his current role in MinXus unclear.
Groot Suster - Afrikaans for "big" or "very huge sister." Marie Antonette's mentor.
Hick Diggins - Dick Higgins - a real person (now sadly deceased) associated with the "old" Fluxus, although he was expelled by Chairman George Maciunas. Diggins aids the fight against TOXIS.
Holism - An earlier mail-art movement founded by Marie Antonette where the artwork is comprised of empty holes.
Little Red the Mail-Art Baby - Allegedly the love child of Marie Antonette and DharmaDaDa Grigster. According to rumor, the child is being raised by monkeys in South Africa.
Marie Antonette - Queen of MinXus. "Let them eat aesthetics."
Monkey Purge - One of the darkest eras in recent mail-art history when Antonism reigned. A race of mutant monkeys were unleashed across the world to wander in search of mail-art. They are also known as The Lost Tribes.
Mink Ranch - The home, "crib," of a member of the MinXus movement. As in: "Too much heat on the street tonight, RayJay. Let's head back to the Mink Ranch."
Minnesota Fluxus - A contradiction of terms. Grigori Antonin claimed MinXus = Minnesota Fluxus. This is not accurate.
MinXus - MinXus is a monarchy and a mail-art movement for those interested in using aesthetics in work that is otherwise experimental. There is so much anit-art, that MinXus provides a place to find friends and an informal network to trade when you feel like being "artistic." Anyone can participate in MinXus. Not all work by MinXus artists is MinXus; not all work that is MinXus is made by MinXus artists. Ultimately, work is MinXus if Marie Antonette says it is MinXus.
MinXus is Dead - According to rumor, MinXus ended on November 29, 2011 at 11:oo pm. This is not true.
MinXus-Lynxus - A highly refined version of MinXus that emphasizes the worst elements of consumer capitalism. See Fluxus-Luxus elsewhere.
Pelt - Demeaning British expression for a MinXus member.
Prague - European center where agents of MinXus and TOXIS are believed to have liaisons.
RayJay - RayJay and Jay Ronson are believed to be pseudonyms currently used by artist Ray Johnson, who is alleged to have faked his own death and is still alive. One theory contends Bob Dylan either is or is harboring Ray Johnson.
Ray Johnson - US artist given credit for having founded the mail-art movement. He stole the idea for his Spam Radio Club from MinXus.
RCBz - Another real mail-artist from Minnesota and longtime Marie Antonette associate whose work helped inspire MinXus.
Red sleeves - Marie Antonette's official MinXus gown has red sleeves.
[The] Russian - A mysterious woman, somehow connected to MinXus, who travels between Alsace and Russia - identified only by her bare feet.
[Jack] Spicer - Inventor of the fictional character Arthur Rimbaud.
T.O.X.I.S. - An underground movement seeking to establish a totalitarian, fascistic rule over mail-art and serve ACE's larger mission to propogate synthetic (& toxic) kultur.
T.O.X.I.S. Adventure - An epic visual poem by Dark wall that chronicles the history of MinXus. Also see "Early Adventures of Dark wall."
Trashpo - Trash poetry - a visual poetry form invented by US poet Jim Leftwich.
TRRH - Toxic Red Riding Hood - yet another Marie Antonette alias and the name of a character in Dark wall's "TOXIS Adventure."
"Evolution of MinXus" by Dark wall
MinX Fest 2012
Dark wall's "Mystery of the cryptic circles"
More great Jim Dine art and poetry on Tom Clark's blog. And who's the one-eyed guy? A wicker basket? Anyway, "Glyptotek drawings" and the "renewable archaic" seem relevant to discussions somewhere around here.