Last Reflooration Cut-Ups + More! By Ficus strangulensis (Charleston, West Virginia, USA)


Mail art by IUOMA member Ficus strangulensis (Charleston, West Virginia, USA)


September 21, 2019 - I always look forward to receiving mail from ol’ bud the great Ficus strangulensis aka Panjandrum of Blorchistan, Fluxus Maximus, etc., etc. In response to a copy of Xerolage 71 I mailed him, Fike sent me these FAB images of his vispo, Fluxus art-in-life and, a rare prize: one of his cut-ups from 2006.

My views about Ficus strangulensis as a leading visual poet, Eternal Network all-star and contemporary master of the Burroughsian cut-up technique are a matter of public record. (The Ohio State University is collecting his work as well.) So I am especially pleased Fike sent a cut-up I do not have to add to the venerable MinXus-LynXus Archives. I am equally pleased to share this wealth with you, faithful & dear reader. A closer look at the piece:



Classic visual poetry by Ficus strangulensis (Charleston, West Virginia, USA)

The envelope is tremendous mail art:



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Comment by Robin Jeree on October 8, 2019 at 7:04am

De Villo, this is very interesting, thank you. Is there some source/resource/site where I can read more?

And many thanks to Fike of course.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on September 24, 2019 at 7:29pm

The Burroughsian cut-up (William S. Burroughs) differs from the earlier DaDa cut-up in that Burroughs believed cutting up a text offered a near-mystical insight into the true nature of what the text is communicating. (IMHO)

The DaDa text is more an experiment in absurdity and randomness.

Burroughs was very open about the fact that he manipulated and edited his cut-ups. They opened possibilities for new texts. As I've said, I think Fike is one of the more successful heirs to the Burroughs cut-up.

A lot of the Post-DaDa and Fluxus writers - poet Jackson MacLow being a prime example - devise systems to create randomly generated texts. The human and self is removed as much as possible. Computers have, of course, created vast possibilities for random text generation.

Again, I think Fike's cut-ups are more on the humanistic side.

Robin makes an interesting point about context helping explicate the cut-up. Fike's battle with the Reptilian does explain a lot.

Otherwise, the cut-up is extremely formalist and structural and self-enclosed (that's why postmodernism claims cut-up as its own discourse.)

Comment by Robin Jeree on September 23, 2019 at 5:57pm

What a horrible text to find during a re-flooration. But now I see it does tie in with the snake trauma, thematically reflected in vis-po here. Multi-layered indeed (I mean the piece pictured here, not the floor). An example of how knowing the biographical/situational background of a work can be so enriching. Or sometimes not.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on September 23, 2019 at 2:20pm

nice find, res. thanks

Comment by De Villo Sloan on September 23, 2019 at 5:42am

Hi Jayne, I haven't heard from you since I advised Julie Van Bortel to send those sheafs (?) sheaves (?) sheeps of add & pass sheets to you and Joey Patrickt.

I see you're a Fike Fan.

I don't know the story behind the reflooring & the reptilian invasion. I am still hoping that Fike - like Dare Richard - might step up to the silver IUOMA microphone & enlighten us. But alas, Fike is no Richard C.

As you approach Fike he proportionally (?) recedes creating a mirage similar to a pool of liquid on a sun-beaten desert highway always beckoning but never providing the restorative powers of the oasis. Sort of asemic, I guess.

What was the question?

Comment by Jayne Barket Lyons on September 23, 2019 at 2:54am

Reflooration...reptilian invasion! Must be an intriguing story there!

I have a silly question, but I'd like to understand what transpired. When reflooring did he find book pages, and then he made vispo / cut-ups out of them?  



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