Mail art by IUOMA member Jayne B. Lyons (Lakeville, Minnesota, USA)
June 7, 2019 - The resurgence and vitality of Add & Pass in the current network is being duly noted many places. Zines are enjoying a revival as well.
Bonniediva’s Bon-Zine is one such new wave publication receiving much-deserved praise along with Jayne B. Lyons' Uproar. In fact, despite only one (triumphant) issue, the Uproar cover has already achieved network-iconic status. But I believe I would be remiss not to document the emergence of Uproar, even if other zealots have scooped me on reporting this mail art Happening. (However, I resist presenting the zine in its entirety since that kind of publishing is really not in my perview.)
Uproar zine by Jayne B. Lyons
The evolution of the contemporary mail art zine from the underground press of the 1960s, Punk fanzines of the 1970s and the “Golden Age” of network zines in the 1980s onward to the digital is a fascinating history to trace.
Contemporary zines tend to be smaller and content is usually provided by the zine’s creator, whereas zine predecessors easily included the work of dozens of other contributors in an issue (often patched in from mail art received) and subjects covered were literature, music, politics and a mix of related subjects.
The “Me Generation” focus of contemporary zines is not surprising and provides exposure to individual artists and writers in a field that is far more crowded than it was in previous decades. (Nor do I see anything negative in this shifted focus of zines.) Thus, it is interesting to note that both Jayne Lyons and Bonniediva are reverting to a more traditional magazine-like format that is broader in editorial focus (although the current zine elements remain pronounced).
Below, for example, Jayne Lyons includes a section of mail art received. This includes Amy Irwen (Minnesota, USA) and De Villo Sloan (New York, USA) me! so I am biased. On a practical level, I am sure the Old School zinesters quickly learned that empty space could easily be filled from entertaining mail art received. This is a trick not to be forgotten!
Excellent packaging as well: