February 26, 2011 - Katerina Nikoltsou sent a gorgeous piece that could be a contender for the first sandpo mail-art book, when taken as a stand-alone. I've displayed the back page at the top because it is so visually appealing. The "Homer, Hellas, Hellenic" themes built around the letter H on the front page indicate right away we are in the epic realm. Katerina has been generous in sharing information with us about life in Greece, and she appears to have excellent knowledge of the Illiad and Odyssey too.
I'm showing some excerpts from Katerina's book along with the complete Sandpo Manifesto because it captures a dramatic sweep of history and prehistory. Sandpo, too, has archaic roots. Here's a spread from Kat's book that uses sandpaper strips:
A great feature of this piece is the use of transparent paper to create overlays. In addition to the interesting illustrations, Katerina uses a lot of text, which also works as excellent visual poetry. Her color choices create an antiquarian feel. Unfortunately, it's not a piece that scans well; it's much better in person. All the same:
Interest in the Sandpo (Sand Poetry) Manifesto has surpassed expectations. Next is the first page that already has made an appearance at the IUOMA. This covers about 12,000 years of sandpo history and prehistory, sandpo founder William Blake, and ties to haptic poetry:
Next is a more focused look at the contemporary haptic poets whom I see as the foundation of sandpo. It shows their connection to art and art practices that have the potential to further the sandpo. I'll include an add-and-pass sheet when I mail the manifesto (very soon), and other people can sign if they wish.
Anyone, of course, can create sandpo. I imagine the manifesto will eventually be revised, but not anytime soon. Please remember in the Old Fluxus movement, George Macunias had frequent purges and expelled people routinely. As recently as last year we saw not one but two Monkey Purges. Certainly that involved a very virulent and deranged ideology that has been largely abandoned. Indeed, one of the sandpoets was a victim of Monkey Purge II and suffered the cruel indignity of an expulsion (but I shall never say who). Let us move forward, learning from past errors, confident in our belief that: "It can't happen here."
Sandpo is a subgenre within haptic poetry. Thus I defer in all matters to haptic bards Bifidus Jones, Katrerina Nikoltsou, and Erni Baer, among others. Being interested in theoretical matters, it is of great importance to me to name a sandpo theoretician. After much deliberation, I have determined that person is Diane Keys. She is the final word on all theoretical matters concerning sandpo. You can consult:
Cheryl Penn and I have been working on the creation of an incomprehensible mail-art bureaucracy that has resulted thus far in the establishment of the Ministry of Truth and the Ministry of Fun. Due to a systems logic that probably won't make much sense, sandpo shall be headquartered in the Ministry of Fun. I believe there is no more to be written concerning this matter.
The flip-flop wearing, no-make up wearing who was mail-art's frenemy in Cavellini's bad-girl take on Baroni's "Egyptian Headpiece." 22 of the 26 letters in D.C. Pot sticker = guo-tie. Lucky numbers: 2, 14, 32, 33, 39, 43
Mail-art color of the day: Mercury
Mail-art quote for the day:
The apparition of Katerina's floating Greek letters made me realize I completely forgot an important figure in the evolution of sandpo: Ed SANDers (an unknowing Godfather of all this for sure). He wrote "Let's Stop Fighting the Trojan War." Here is the final word on William Blake from Sanders' "Investigative Poetry":
"Or one can read that remarkable book, William Blake and the Age of Revolution ... to see how reactionary ... creeps, with their threats of jail, or worse, for accurately depicting the nature of the early parts of the French Revolution—how these reactionary creeps caused, in a significant way, poets like William Blake, who after all was a friend of Thomas Paine, to back away from historical poetry, and to retreat, if that is the word, into a poetry of symbols, where people like King George and William Pitt and others were known by code names such as Palamabron and Rintrah.3
"Nor let us forget that the federal government tried to seize the first printing of Howl and Other Poems (it was printed abroad by City Lights) as it was coming into San Francisco bay.
"Nor shall we forget the repressive corona of puke-vectors [see DK] that I believe drove Shelley—censored, hounded by police-statists, fearful of arrest—to take upon himself a self-destruction (rest in peace, o d.a. levy) and to set sail into a mad air; nor forget ever the corona of puke-vectors that sent the empty carriages.. shuttling along behind the cortege bearing the body of Byron.4"