RECEIVED: Rosa Gravino's Chapter S - A Vispo Mail-Art Rosetta Stone (Rosario, Argentina)

Mail-art by IUOMA member Rosa Gravino (Rosario, Argentina)


March 14, 2011 - Rosa Gravino's Chapter S for the Project 26 collaborative mail-art book is a stunning piece of visual poetry. Her work is colorful and complex, often incorporating maps and map-like fields that accentuate the idea of contours within the work itself. A very nice addition to the wonderful textures she creates is the use of fabric impressions in Chapter S:

Rosa Gravino uses asemic writing liberally in this piece. She departs from the S and introduces a W that begins a chapter-within-a-chapter concept - and the primary thread that I think holds the piece together: the compass. This seems to echo the Homeric theme Katerina Nikoltsou (Greece) chose for her chapter. 

I like the way Rosa presents a variation of her mapping theme in this two-page spread (above). She moves from vispo to the representation of an an antiquarian text. The idea of overlaying certainly has its roots in tradition.

The chapter starts with a snake-like S and concludes with a further exploration of the symbol on these pages. This piece is definitely a kind of Rosetta Stone (is Rosa playing on her name?) with all these inter-connected symbols. She even manages to include a mail-art hole of sorts (above, lower right). Here's the final page:

Rosa Gravino is definitely one of the Latin American poets who is doing vital and distinctive work. I also gather she is a one of those people who is a mainstay of the network, working long and hard on the part of this that keeps people connected across the globe - and over the long haul.  Rosa maintains a very fine blog:


Here's Rosa's envelope:

Many thanks Rosa! It's time for me to send you something too.


Project 26 participants: Please note Cheryl Penn is traveling and will only be able to check in sporadically, if at all, in the days ahead. We'll all do our best to wrap up the last part of the project without her leadership. We'll certainly miss her "haffies" and "chuffs" for a bit.


Please consider participating in Valentine Mark Herman's effort to show solidarity with mail-artists in Japan. Marie Wintzer was in Tokyo and has now gone to Hiroshima (she noted the irony in a message to me), where she is safe and secure. She does manage to check in at IUOMA on a regular basis.




GB's TOP TEN (mail-art received and planned for blogging but not necessarily in this order)



David Stafford (USA)

Ruud Janssen (Netherlands)


Carl T. Chew (USA)

Angie and Snooker the Amazing Haptic Dog (USA)

Cheryl Penn (South Africa - an amazing sort of artistic tantrum - don't miss this one from Durban's finest)




Laurence Roberts (UK)


Katerina Nikoltsou (Greece)


Macron (USA)


Views: 201


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Comment by De Villo Sloan on March 17, 2011 at 7:26pm

The response to Rosa Gravino's work has been tremendous. This is a Special Chapter S indeed. Communicating with Rosa in Spanish is a little dicey for us primarily English types. She sent me an email I'll share:


Dear friend, I am very happy and am grateful very much for your words. Your concepts are a valuable contribution for me.
The rosetta stone ... it is true! 
I wait for your mail art. 
All the best for you!


All I had to do was some scans and write some lines. I'm glad we could see Rosa's excellent work.


Marie, everyone is thinking about you - and feeling powerless, I'm afraid to admit. I'll check in with an email later when you you usually come on. The media, the governments, the corporations - man, I'm not feeding into it right now. But generally like-minded people seem to be thinking the same things. Just take care, Marie.


Kat, I received your message about Chapter P. I will post it in the books group soon. Hey Kat, I wasn't serious about the Fluxus Boat thing. You know I'm a big fan. I thought with Fluxus you were supposed to take contradictory positions to yourself from time to time. The Devil's Advocate?

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on March 16, 2011 at 4:09pm

I think the fluxus boat would be just fine, 'will weather the storms and the troubles of this global village. Rosa's art is wonderful and poetic! Thanks for yet another great blog, Sloan. Cheryl and Marie, miss you and your blog-ness.  Keep in touch and things will return to "normal", Marie....we will become mutant ninja turtles and survive!We, on the sun-filled, radiation-filled beaches in 1986 survived here in Greece...Kiev survived....humanity will adapt and survive. And perhaps, just perhaps, ...learn.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on March 16, 2011 at 3:37pm
Comment by De Villo Sloan on March 16, 2011 at 3:26pm
Hi Marie, thanks for checking in. This is turning into a nightmare for the world. DW has offered to come rescue you. Please keep us posted. CP-SA - Fluxus is interesting and all, but would you want to go to sea in a boat they built?
Comment by Marie Wintzer on March 16, 2011 at 7:39am
I miss you my friends, I so wish I could go back to checking out all the blogs, sending letters, creating things. Is it ever going to be back to normal?
Comment by cheryl penn on March 16, 2011 at 4:06am
DVS - I've told you before, you create glimmers in the dark :-) All aboard a Fluxus boat - sounds good!
Comment by De Villo Sloan on March 15, 2011 at 10:50am

Hi Snooks, Rosa's chapter is a stunner. You've probably received it by now.


Cheryl, with "Attack" I want to pursue some ideas I wrote about David Chirot's work (not the draft essay you have - this was something else.) I want to use your work as an example of something Litsa Spathi has talked about. I'm reading that new book on Fluxus, the one with all the Jackson MacLow stuff. The book is basically OK. But it has this binary academic thing going on. The woman writes, and this is almost verbatim: "Fluxus was a response against abstract expressionism." Well, you know, that simply isn't the case at all with the "Old" Fluxus - and by extension a significant portion of the avant garde. Certainly, the "New" Fluxus people very much embrace abstract expressionism, especially the action painting concept. So I want to articulate this some more. It will make more sense when you see it, and I'm not casting you in the Flux boat by any means. But I'm going to do it. 

Comment by cheryl penn on March 15, 2011 at 3:15am
Being two and all, AND your schedule, o, this one can WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT :-))) Action painting! Action words, waving a stick and a sword about with letters instead of paint, o my... yip, that was a haffy and a half... You take care too x
Comment by De Villo Sloan on March 15, 2011 at 3:13am
hi cp-sa
Comment by De Villo Sloan on March 15, 2011 at 3:11am
I thought you'd react that way - but it's perfect actually - i want to go along the lines of action painting and Litsa's Spathi's Fluxus Poetics - I'm thinking it will be a good one - but probably not for a few days. Wow, it seems like forever already. Take care of yourself, ok?



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