Simon Warren has been sending me copious shirt card-boards of writing - memories of Tring, trains, England, himself all in his characteristic handwriting, looping prose. I've labeled Simon's words 'experimental writing' as I tagged the posts. I have been posting this wonderful gift on my blog and gathering the pages for upcoming exhibitions for 25 years of IUOMA (Memories are Made of This).
I've been interested to see what constitutes a memory as they've come in. I've only sent one in myself (to my daughter in Edinburgh - I can't bring myself to mail myself something) and it was both abstract and literal.
I have never met Simon and I guess I realise I can't be sure at all of what is real and what is play and what is symbolic in mail art in general and with Simon in particular. It challenges my idea of reality and realism. Interesting!
Since being a member of IUOMA the only 'pure' collaborations I have taken part in have been through Cheryl Penn- A Vispo book (orchestrated jointly with De Villo Sloan) and I've sent and received her zines and books. But I also feel responding is collaborating on some level. I respond when I send things into MinXus Lynxus, but I guess that is more a dialogue in the same way we receive and blog and send out work at IUOMA everyday. Sarah Churchill sent me a great pub book about what they do in Welsh pubs in response to a card I sent her, etc...That was fun and great, but again it was a response more than a collab, I guess.
So I guess I have answered my own question... this isn't a collab either because I have simply illustrated/responded to Simon's writing by making some 'automatic collages' sparked by his words. It was a satisfying process and I'd like to do more but what does a 'real collaboration' between two artists look like? What are the steps? Is it managed, agreed on?
I have uploaded the book to google docs and you can see it here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3g5q7Qjx55QaXZrbFBoMnpHekU/edit?us...