19MailArtMinneDaDa84 2016

Image  —  Posted: April 20, 2016 in collage, mailart, Mailart Call, Uncategorized
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The Peeps Photo Project book: published 2016
by Jack Lattemann (aka Cascadia Artpost of Olympia, Washington USA) with his co-editor, Colin Scholl (presently living in a California correctional facility, with future plans to live in Washington state). Both are part of the international mailart network.

Wow! Talk about project documentation! This blog entry is my tribute to both of these guys for going above and beyond what I’ve come to expect from participating in a mailart project…. and as a book object, it is truly a labor of love. The day I received it in the mail I almost immediately started reading it to find out how every else had photo-documented their peeps with their own creative take, often letting the miniature PEEPS share in their own life circumstances, and I could not put it down until I’d perused most of it.

Of course, right from the beginning (January 2015) quite a bit of thought and care was taken by Colin and Jack to formulate the PEEPS project: Jack first solicited participants among 30 of his mailart contacts (27 followed through to completion), and he painted hundreds of miniature 1:87 scale plastic people that came in a variety of races, ages, and social classes, etc. He made up 30 packets with 15 to 25 peeps, a toy vehicle, and a little bench or other prop. Jack and Colin created 30 beautiful mailart themed boxes (sized like a cigar box) in which to mail the project elements to us. Examples of complete street scenes in an urban setting were constructed by Colin with little peeps on the set, going about the miniature life as usual, and photographed to give us all inspiration. We were given full reign of how we, ourselves, might choose to pose our peeps; and to construct whatever environment we might conceive, with a September 2015 deadline to submit photos of our scenarios.

Three seasons passed before the September deadline, after which we were to wait for a handmade book documentation of the project. What a surprise it was to me that Jack Lattemann had taken a few classes with aspirations to become an experience book binder! The long awaited book turned out to be hard bound in gold fabric covered boards (burgundy fabric on the spine), astutely edited (Jack consulted with Colin via mail on editorial decisions), designed and laid out, with fine paper and type choices, full color photographs, etc. all of which makes it a treasure to hold and to have on my book shelf. Using archival quality materials and lots of toner cartridges for the copier, he exceeded $1,000.00 in personal expenses (and didn’t ask us to contribute anything for our book!) So now, Jack Lattemann is truely an experienced book binder after spending over three months on the process: cutting fabric, covers, hinges, and endpapers; hand sewing nine signatures together for each of 35 hand numbered books of the original printing; gluing the block and endpapers onto the cover; and finally placing this block lettered title on each book with a fine sparkling green glitter – “THE PEEPS PHOTO PROJECT”, subtitled, “LIVING THE MINIATURE LIFE”.
The book’s introduction details many of the project details I’ve already mentioned above, and is signed by both editors, Jack Lattemann and Colin Scholl. The book was larger than they both first expected it would be, and perhaps that was why they omitted photo scenarios from their own staging of PEEPS. The editors generously include six chapters by Jennifer Weigel as she had kept a diary about her peeps characters and adventures, submitted as dated entries between January and October 2015. The editorial decision to break up this diary as six chapters interspersed amongst the rest adds a sense of continuity between everyone else’s individual visions, as various peeps story lines string us along until the end, when a kind of collaboration happens between Colin Scholl and Jennifer Weigel.

A special addendum chapter was added after the books had already been bound, due to an unplanned life event with a participant from Lviv, Ukraine. Jack told me he’s considering a small revised edition (a dozen or more) that will incorporate the Lubomyr Tymkiv addendum and a new afterword. He did not receive Lubomyr’s emailed photos until late February, 2016, after Lubomyr had finished almost a year of military service. The peeps traveled with Lubomyr to the front, and were captured in photographs posing with tanks, military tents, machine guns, and the natural elements in the countryside. He included a photo of himself leaning on a camouflaged anti-aircraft weapon. The contrast of the miniature life with the surreality of war, along with Colin Scholl’s sobering account of life in prison, adds a whole other level of substance to The PPP.

International list of mailart pARTicipants:

ARGENTINA: Samuel Montalvetti, CANADA: Reg Cộté, Adrienne Mason, Stewart Charlebois, Mailarta, Carolyn Oord (Kerosene), GERMANY: Eberhard Janke, Jörg Seifert and Jorn Michael, Patrizia (TIC TAC), GREECE: Katerina Nikoltsou, HUNGARY: Torma Cauli, LUXEMBOURG: Fraenz Frisch, UKRAINE: Lubomyr Tymkiv, UNITED KINGDOM: Mail Art Martha, Andrea McNeill, and the U.S.A.: PJM, Gina di Grazia, buZ blurr, Bethany Lee, Jennifer Weigel (including one collaboration with Jonathan Stangroom), Kenneth Brown, Carol Stetser, Sally Wassink, C. Mehrl Bennett, Tallie Jones, Jennifer Utter, John Held Jr., and last but not least, Colin Scholl and Jack Lattemann.

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MTS CMB artistamps 2nd Edition

Sometime in 2014 or 2015, Matthew Stolte of Madison, Wisconsin, created a TRASHPO collage and mailed it to me as mailart. [More of Matthew’s work, which also includes paint and stencils, or found objects coated with paint and used as stamps, can be seen at his blog by clicking HERE.] Matthew often advocates in his artwork for less plundering of our oceans and less water pollution, and this message comes through in many parts of his TRASHPO piece and other mailart and smallpress leaflets/books which he publishes.

After a long period had passed, this trashpoem resurfaced and caught my attention as something ripe for collaboration. I wanted to focus in on smaller areas, and dividing the sheet into a grid seemed the way to go, which meant to me that it was good material for an artistamp sheet.

This is actually a SECOND (revised) EDITION, date stamped today by hand on each stamp, and it is a LTD Edition because I only had FIVE perforated sheets to put through my inkjet printer. (Side note: I spray my inkjet printed sheets with UV protection.)

The FIRST edition was fifteen artistamp sheets and did NOT include the rubber stamped words I added to each image — only two of those sheets had the hand stamped words/phrases. Matthew may have made copies of the one I sent him that had my rubber stamped words/phrases, but those copies were not perforated sheets.

Reformatting each stamp enabled my rubber stamped word/phrase to fit within the block and a few visual composition details were added along the way, also MTB CMB are noted on each individual stamp. A third and larger edition may be in the offing later this year when I have more perforated sheets. Darlene Altschul (a California mailartist around my age) has been perforating a ream of A4 sized blank artistamp sheets for me for awhile now, as time permits, mailing them to me in small batches at a time. Physical perforations vs. graphic perforations are kind of a luxury, but they really add class, plus I’ve figured out a system for the printing my square format stamps on these A4 size sheets sheets.

The above posted scan is a low resolution image of the entire sheet, and unfortunately has a pink/gray color cast. In an effort to show you more detail, here is a slideshow of the individual stamps. There are 24 different artistamps and the slideshow gives more detail at larger than actual size against the actual white background. They feel like mini-abstract paintings to me, though the different forms of text (scribbling, found text from advertisements, rubber stamped words) add a poetic dimension.

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Mailartist, Lynn Britton Radford, and I have exchanged bubble pack mailart this week.

I’m the the lucky recipient of “THE ADIRONDACK SOLUTION RANGER FOR ALL PROBLEMS AND SITUATIONS, NO MATTER THE SIZE!”

Mailart bubble pack from Lynn Radford March 2016Mailart from Lynn Radford March 2016

You can read more about this special piece at Lynn’s wordpress blog:

TRASH BUBBLES AND LIFE”S LITTLE BITS

Below is an image of the “Trash Bubble” I created as mailart sent to Lynn earlier this week, which she will most likely receive by Monday.  It is so cool that the trash bubble mail I sent Lynn and this piece both feature prominently a RED SHINY THINGY… plus love that she used a red TWIST’EM to top of the assembly in her packet. On another note: the plastic red crystal in the TICK ICK trash bubble was given to me by Jennifer Weigel… she used them in a menstruation art installation piece in Xenia OH, where five of us met up to do flux performances last year.

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Fluxfest Chicago 2016 will be happening around and on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. What sort of performance scores would one might experience there?  Well, here is a good definition I found today via a Facebook post that referenced this wordpress site:

https://guitai.wordpress.com/

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Photo and Maciunas quote below are from the INTRODUCTION post at guitai.wordpress.com

“Art-amusement must be simple, amusing, unpretentious, concerned with insignificances, require no skill or countless rehearsals, have no commodity or institutional value.” George Maciunas, Fluxus Manifesto (1965).

Here is a link to download a publication of fluxus scores that came mostly from participants at the 2014 Chicago Fluxfest – kindly assembled, edited, and produced by Mary Campbell, with some contributions from the art community that gathers annually at this event.  https://archive.org/details/fluxfest2014

For more information on Fluxfest Chicago as it becomes available, look for the Fluxfest Chicago page on Facebook.

We will be attending the mid-August Mpls. Dada event [mentioned by Lynn Radford in this post] via invitation of Tom Cassidy. One of the activities will be making collages which will then hang on a clothesline during the performances at Black Forest Inn.

Trash Bubbles and Life's Little Bits

Time got away from me… it’s already Saturday. So much for Friday Dada posts, huh? LoL! I figured that you wouldn’t hold it against me if you knew that I’d spent all of Friday with the cutest guy in the world…

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This week, we’re taking a look at Dada 100th anniversary celebrations far and wide.

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In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Minne Dada will take place August 11th thru the 14th. I found this post via Michael Jacobson on facebook. He says this will be, “A Summer Festival, and celebration of 100 years of Dada, here in Minneapolis! Film, poetry, noise, etc. More info coming soon. This party is organized by Tom Cassidy AKA Musicmaster. Here is Tom’s email for more info: tom.cassidy@mmha.com” I sincerely hope that those of you in the Minneapolis area will consider taking part.

Via Jackie Haynes on facebook, I learned of this event in Milan…

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This idea for a mailart email project came to me because of a confluence of two other projects. One was a collage exchange project by Cecil Touchon and the other was an artistamp project by Fraenz Frisch. The first was organized to be a physical gathering of people in one place to create & exchange, and the second involved emailing jpeg images by the participants which would then be incorporated into an artistamp sheet, and a copy would be snail mailed to everyone.

I could not take part in the collage exchange project due to my location on the other side of the country, but emailing a jpeg for the artistamp sheet was simple enough do. So, I thought, why not enable the exchange of mailart between a group of people with the following guidelines:

Thru the end of Sunday, March 6, 2016 – ONLY: 1) Create mailart (at a size/wght that can be mailed with one international or a first class stamp or less) and take a digital photo of it (a small file for web display only). 2) Email me your snail mail address and the jpeg. cmehrlbennett@gmail.com

On Monday, March 7, 2016: 1) I will post the images as a blog and draw names from a hat for each of you. 2) I will send you an email with the snail mail address (drawn out of the hat) to which you should post your mailart to, plus a link to the blog where jpegs are on display. Got it? [Note that all my wordpress blogs copy to Facebook as well.]

I will delete these directives on Monday – so if you choose to share this, be aware that it will disappear (I think??) The only evidence will be the mailart you receive and the link to the blog when it is posted on Monday. Hopefully, you will choose to continue the exchange of mailart with the person who sends you m.a.

I posted this project on my Facebook wall on Friday March 4th, and I added the following comments on Saturday and Sunday, respectively:

Dear friend, If you have not done mailart before, or if it has been a long time since you’ve been involved in the network, this is a way you can begin! – starting with one contact.

It’s getting down to the wire (midnight) to submit a jpeg of mailart you’d like to send to another participant via name pulled out of the hat!

HERE ARE THE MAILART DOCUMENTS INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT:

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C. Mehrl Bennett collaboration with Katerina Nikoltsou (Greece)

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John M. Bennett

Joe McCarthy

Joe McCarthy

Pier Roberto Bassi

Pier Roberto Bassi

After I post this blog I will draw four names out of a hat for each piece, then send and email to Joe, Pier, and John with the address to which they should mail these pieces, plus the link to this blog.

I plan to try this experiment a few more times, in hopes of garnering more pARTicipants! Meantime, for all you mailartist wannabees, one resource for getting started is IUOMA or friend me on Facebook (search for Catherine Mehrl Bennett and please leave a comment on this blog with your FB name?)…