"On the Road" Mail Art by Jessica Manack (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Jessica 7.31.2019 - 1

Mail art by IUOMA member Jessica Manack (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)


“who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,” – Allen Ginsberg, Howl

July 31, 2019 - Travel mail art, usually serial, usually issued as postcards from different locations on a journey, is a fascinating & fun correspondence art genre. I have documented this travel or “On the Road” mail art in the past. But I have not received much recently.

So I was thrilled to receive a perfect example (albeit one postcard) of travel mail art sent by dear postal friend Jessica Manack. (This also provides me with yet another occasion to include a beloved quote from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl that describes perfectly the travel mail art genre. Some of you are probably sick of it.)

“On the Road” mail art chronicles a journey & thus constructs a narrative. In the imaginative hands of correspondence artists, the story usually becomes much more than a record of places, landmarks & events (like what you ate for dinner).

Such work is often focused on the stream-of-consciousness process in the traveler’s mind rather than the exterior world. For example, Marie Wintzer did an extraordinary series of cards on a train trip across Japan that included her inmost thoughts & corresponding sketches of what she saw passing outside the train window.

The legendary Grigori Antonin (Minnesota, USA) issued cards describing a visit he supposedly made to Prague that in all likelihood never occurred. (Or maybe it did?) He carefully presented his views on tourist postcards of historic & cultural sites mixing fact & fiction in a most confusing way. He used various locations in Prague to reflect his views about other mail artists, among other musings.


Jessica 7.31.2019 - 2

Jessica Manack is known to many in the Eternal Network. As you might infer from her comments, she is a part of the group that works in & advances the spirit of Fluxus (aka Post-Fluxus, Neo-Fluxus). (Although her work is not limited to Fluxus!) Fluxus had a foundational role in the mail art network, especially in the 1960s & 70s & the tradition continues. Indeed, Jessica Manack has attended the annual FluxFest in the past & even met Diane Keys!

Deepest thanks to Jessica Manack!


Lisa dvs 6.18.2018 - 21

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