Mail-art by IUOMA member Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)
March 26, 2012 - Just when I had given up all hope of maintaining a correspondence, this classic piece from Richard Carnard - in a style known to some of us as cerealism - arrived to brighten an otherwise dreary early spring mailbox.
Mr. Carnard is always at least a few steps ahead of me. Can any discerning reader recognize the elaborate proper noun wordplay forthcoming that has already been established in the image above? I do not believe cerealism has evolved into post-cerealism yet. Instead, Mr. Canard chose to take the route of a very novel object-haptic-bio-poem, which I shall treasure for as long as it endures:
Indeed, the poem is ripe for all sorts of fruity puns. We must, we have to assume this is a poem in honor of Ray Johnson - "A Raisin in the Sun" - yet the idea of sin? And Ray-demption? I believe I am taking this too seriously!
Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) and I have been discussing the idea of biopoetry - poetry that is literally a living organism. Mr. Canard seems to have invented a prototype for us. In fact, a few might recall I traced this idea to the "Beatnik" poet Michael McClure, who once suggested that poems will eventually evolve into living organisms.
Here we have a close-up of Mr. Canard's masterpiece (ready to be converted to a stamp) establishing its form as a mushed raisin. It passed through the postal system flalwlessly:
Many thanks to Mr. Canard! With great hopes for a continued correspondence, of the New York School sort, and all that.
I feel almost guilty in having been complicit in sending Jen Staggs (Texas, USA) an Elgin Shroud shred. I think Jen supports Diane Keys and Trashpo. The problem is that the notorious bits of cloth have received so much much criticism for the noxious purple color, and Jen has a tremendous knowledge and appreciation of fashion. Yet the task had to be done, and in return Jen sent me a great new piece:
First and foremost, I admire Jen as an artist. But I can't help also being in awe of her tremendous knowledge of the history as well as social and cultural significance of women's fashion. What impresses me about this piece is that she presents images of the patriarchy crowding in on a female image that is ghostly and faceless. Jen seldom gets into this sort of commentary or approach to image structures. I am very pleased to add it to the the growing collection. Here is the reverse side:
Jen's work seems as if it is (nearly) all part of a huge project that explores the key issues of gender. New discoveries and ideas are constantly emerging; I find myself amazed with each new turn she takes. I hope, in whatever direction her work moves, this project remains a part of her artistic program.
Speaking of the darker days in March, last year Lindsay Stewart in Nova Scotia, Canada, sent me this great zine that went out to a number of people and was really impressive:
After that we lost touch, and I was surprised recently to receive something from her. It was completely unexpected. I could talk about what it might mean or what it means to me but this one functions on the level of the magic of mail-art:
Mail-art by IUOMA member Lindsay Stewart (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
It's a card based on a lexicon and found words. It made me smile and really brightened my day. It's fun. It's thought-provoking. It carries some of those strange cryptic connections found in things engineered through chance operations. Sometimes - through mail-art - it is nice to know that somewhere else there is someone who gets it and feels the way you do. How do you say thank you for something that is ultimately some genuine form of human contact and caring? Maybe that ultimately what this is about. Or at least it sure helps with the other part. Here is the piece when it is is opened:
And the address side:
Great Lindsey! Could there be greater perfection? Not a thing out of place. Many thanks!