Received: Fluxus Global Vacuum Cleaner Mail-Art from JF CHAPELLE (Bordeaux Cedex, France)

Mail-art by IUOMA member JF CHAPELLE (Bordeaux Cedex, France)


December 14, 2010 - In the wake of JF CHAPELLE's Fluxus Buck mail-art came this post-card size diagram. This certainly gave me a smile, but I have also personally sensed some serious intent in JF's work lately. Rather than venture to interpret, I will note instead this piece supports nicely the contention I have read in numerous places that Fluxus artists are a bit obsessed with diagrams. There are numerous diagrams showing the relationship of Fluxus to other movements. There are numerous lineage diagrams showing Fluxus artists and their relationship to each other. Some of these, like JF's piece above, use drawings of various types of a machinery as a basis for the diagrams, often used to signify a process.I recall seeing an amazing Litsa Spathi piece that uses a meat grinder. Here is the well-known intermedia chart created by Dick Higgins that is said to define the inter-connected parts of Fluxus. This is from the "Old Fluxus" era, but I suspect many mail-artists today recognize the areas identified and probably work in a number of them:

Diagram above by Dick Higgins

Remember Dick Higgins tended to the literary side, so things like the visual arts and music might not have quite the presence in the diagram they have in actuality. Over decades, the movement has remained very consistent. What would be added to make it contemporary is the strong interest in new media. Does this mean all mail-artists are part of Fluxus? Absolutely not. Are Fluxus artists a strong presence in the mail-art community? Absolutely. Mail-art has a diversity of styles and approaches and a spirit of acceptance and equality.

In comparison to this classic Dick Higgins' piece is one of my all-time favorites by JF borrowed (I hope he doesn't mind; he's not easy to track down), which is located in his IUOMA portfolio:


Mail-art above by JF CHAPELLE

I've admired this piece since the day I first saw it; and it is mail-art, or was at least issued in mail-art form. This is definitely a lineage-influence piece. That Fluxus has roots in the historic avant garde should come as no surprise to anyone. George Maciunas used an initial designation for Fluxus as Neo-Da Da; but significant differences have evolved between the two also. It's interesting to note people seem to be searching for new terms to describe the state of Fluxus today. Some I've seen surface in mail-art recently: Neo-Fluxus, Post-Fluxus, and the enigmatic Luxus - Luxus is a particularly interesting one, but that will have to be for another time.


Thanks for this new work, JF. Always deeply appreciated...




Opportunity awaits you next Monday or perhaps Tuesday depending on your time zone. Greater involvement with others will earn you respect. Lucky numbers: 8, 24, 16, 7, 19, 4

Mail-Art Color for the Day: Pizza

Mail-Art Word for the Day: Shu-cal=vegetable

Mail-Art Fashion Consultant: Especially in northern climes, consider dressing your pet. Those coats and sweaters for your dog can be pretty cool. And when your pet looks good, so do you.




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Comment by De Villo Sloan on December 15, 2010 at 10:59pm

Hi again Bifidus, that must be the "Purge Manifesto." Very interesting and very clear. You remind me of something I learned especially here at the IUOMA - you can see it a bit comparing JF's piece (he's French) and the Higgins diagram (Higgins was from the US). There are some differences between European strains of Fluxus and the US variety. Same movement, but definite differences :)

Comment by Bifidus Jones on December 15, 2010 at 7:46pm

I think the original Fluxus manifesto listed a sense of humor as one of the requirements of the art. I'll see if I can find the manifesto online some place. Thanks again DVS and JF for the great work.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on December 15, 2010 at 6:14pm

Hi Bifidus, you confirm what I was seeing in JF's piece. Totally, I don't think you should ever discount the element of humor in these things either. I wonder if you noticed in the Higgins diagram he identifies "object" poetry. I have been wondering if that is or is similar to haptic poetry. Thanks!

Comment by Bifidus Jones on December 15, 2010 at 3:28pm

Great blog, De Villo. I have a fondness for diagrams, maps, instructions, labels, and charts as a form of artistic expression too. It's about the perceived (artificial) clarification instead of a message that I enjoy. From what I understand about Fluxus is that it has a component that takes a stab at what others take seriously, whether it's modern art, politics, culture, or religion. Everything is fair game. In JF's art here, JF may be pointing out the ridiculousness of how governments take pieces of the planet and label the boundaries of countries. JF's use of a 3-D everyday object to connect it to art with a political commentary is brilliant. Plus it's fun to look at.



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