Cardboard Club Trashpo by Robert Ridley-Shackleton (Oxford, UK)


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Mail art by IUOMA member Robert Ridley-Shackleton (Oxford, UK)

December 21, 2015 - I am absolutely thrilled to have received mail art from British musician and artist Robert Ridley-Shackleton, which includes a one-of-a-kind cassette of his music that was encased in this amazing piece of art that – whether by design or happy coincidence – appears to be Trashpo. Thus I give Robert Ridley-Shackleton credit for having created the first Trashpo album art. (I have seen Trashpo album art before, but no real music was attached to it. This cassette I have received is original music.)

Discussions about what Trashpo music would be if it existed are ongoing. I do not make the claim that what Ridley-Shackleton is doing is Trashpo music nor do I have any evidence he has any interest in the subject other than the fact that he is engaged in a current collage collab project with reigning Queen of Trash Diane Keys (USA). What can be ascertained is that Ridley-Shackleton is a very interesting performer/composer who, like many before him, is extending his audience through the Eternal Network.

I have written about how, before the advent of the internet, the mail art network was a vital conduit for alternative music. For instance, one of the great network triumphs was bringing industrial music to the world. While Robert Ridley-Shackleton is producing a diverse array of music, he is definitely a master of the experimental and postavant modes (like industrial music) that continue to thrive in the network. The presence of such a vibrant musician is a valuable addition to the current community.

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Obviously musicians abandoned snail mail long ago for the superior marketing capabilities of the internet, and Robert Ridley-Shackleton has a strong web presence. Check out his music online! He is taking an innovative and refreshingly personalized approach to his interactions within the Eternal Network, which itself is now a global community whose communications are part digital and part snail mail. While time-intensive (and growing expensive), individualized compositions and one-on-one communication are a winning way to cultivate friends and fans. Ridley-Shackleton as well as others can make targeted contact with postavant/intermedia artists who are likely to appreciate his music. The handmade art is fantastic. I get the distinct impression that his art and music are far more important to him than ego-centric self-promotion. His Cardboard Club is worth a close look:

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The current network is slanted toward the visual arts. Both writing and music are not as prevalent as they have been in the past, so it is especially wonderful to receive work from musicians. Robert Ridley-Shackleton is creating some deeply interesting music and doing compelling performance. Many thanks for sending this mail art!

More free music by RRS:

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Comment by De Villo Sloan on December 21, 2015 at 7:23pm

Richard, your comments are always insightful & interesting.

Now let me be perfectly clear: I am not suggesting that Robert Ridley-Shakleton is egocentric. I don't see him as a self-promoter either. We have the wonderful Self-Absorption Ltd. group here at IUOMA (founded by Rain Rein Nevermind) to remind us about curbing the egomania. (Ironic that Rain Rein is remembered these days mostly because of his affiliation with Diane Keys. The tail wags the dog, as they say.) Anyway

No. No. I am praising RRS for doing custom-made recordings for his correspondents! Imagine - individualized compositions. Incredible. I think he loves the art & transcends ego.

RRS is doing some sort of collage collab process with Diane, so this will be interesting.

Comment by Richard Canard on December 21, 2015 at 3:57pm

21.12.15 Dare De Villo Sloan, ... it is gratifying & amusing to see all this new trashpo  ("trashpo" itself included )terminology being introduced into  play.  Recent hallmarks for me have been Mail Art Martha's"  "Trashpie" & now Robert Ridley-Shackleton's "Cardboard Club". ... welcome additions to the lexicon of of collage & mail art ...... &  also, I find it of interest that you refer to the expression" ego-centric self-promotion"....this is dangerous & daring talk & I am so glad that you didn't mention any names as I'm sure it would only lead to a slump in world-wide mail art activity. Ave uh nez dae. Richard Canard.....Post Scriptum: My ego is better than than your ego but only if it is smaller.



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