Mail art by IUOMA member Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA)
February 7, 2016 - Included in a larger mailing from Diane Keys was this item that I believe deserves special attention. Log Book of Miracles is a series of unaltered, appropriated book pages from a Jane Austen novel that are, miraculously, still bound. I am not sure if this is a Trashbook variant or a foundation for a collab. A real treasure was tucked inside:
Vispo collabs by Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) and John M. Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA)
I have been very impressed by recent Keys-Bennett vispo-asemic collabs. So I am thrilled to have this TLP (Tacky Little Pamphlet) that gathers some fantastic pieces. This is issued by Bennett’s legendary Luna Bisonte imprint. Note that the NADAR cover also uses a page of Mansfield Park. Thematic consistency is present, but I am not sure to what end.
Regardless of the intent, the collabs in NADAR are spectacular! Not since her acclaimed chapter (inspired by David Chirot) for the Asemics 16 project have I seen Diane Keys return to vispo seriously and produce work of this quality. She performs on an equal level of accomplishment with John M. Bennett (one of the all-time greats, IMHO).
Classic John M. Bennett work is present in NADAR. Bennett and Keys complement each other so perfectly that the work is seamless. Unless you are familiar with the two styles, I believe it would be hard to identify that these pieces were composed by collaboration. I have written before that I view collaboration in mail art as a mixed blessing because the results, unfortunately, are most often disappointing, even if a fruitful exercise for the participants. Collaboration is uncommon in the visual arts and writing, and there is a reason why. Mail art has always provided a place where artists do feel free to explore collaboration. As Keys and Bennett demonstrate, sometimes the results can be impressive and present new possibilities.
From NADAR by Diane Keys and John M. Bennett
So in an attempt to summarize, inside a cereal box from Diane Keys was the Log Book of Miracles and inside the Log Book of Miracles was NADAR. Also inside Log Book of Miracles was what I think is a foundation page for vispo:
Then this is probably a collab kit, but it is also documentation of process in the creation of NADAR. I plan on keeping it intact, I am very pleased to have a hard copy of NADAR. Many thanks to Diane and John!