April 27, 2011 - This intriguing mail-art sent to me by visual poet Matt Stolte is apparently not political as I had first thought. However, I like the blog title so much I'm keeping it. Matt has sent some thought-provoking pieces in the past that weighed in on the found art side of things. This tips the scale completely. The front, from all the evidence I can gather, is an unaltered door sign. Or, if that guess fails, it's a piece of junk mail.
The challenge, because I'm past trying to apply critical theory to Matt's work (having been badly burned on the cell phone debacle), was to determine what CBR stands for. Given the time I received it, I assumed it had something to do with the labor protests going on in Wisconsin and in Madison in particular. There's no evidence for that. Googling supplies a number of possibilities ranging from computer applications to something to do with cars to something to do with beer. I guess I'll have to label this (jokingly) indeterminate because I'm not really sure what it stands for. The other side of this postcard-size piece offers another example of Matt's one-word minimalism that is becoming almost familiar:
Why do I get so hung up reacting to Matthew Stolte's work? If I received this from a FluXus mail-artist, I'd respond that it's a life=art piece. If I received if from Diane Keys, I'd respond that it's part of her junk mail project. I think it's because I know Matt's work in most cases is different from what I'm receiving and as in recent exchanges with John M. Bennett there seems to be a playful but at the same time rigorous challenge to explore and test ideas about things that are found vs. things that are not - or at least that's how I respond. I have to say it has resulted in some very serious thought and clarifications of positions. Meaning - I actually do appreciate receiving this work very much.
On a bad day, I might moan that stating an interest in FluXus sets you up to receive the contents of people's waste baskets from all over the planet, and you are deleted from the list to receive anything that might remotely resemble art. However, it's not a bad day; and most of the time I don't think of it that way.
Matthew Stolte has an excellent blog where you can see more examples of his work as well as work by other outstanding visual poets: