200 Postcards/Got Mail Art: Incoming! Incoming!

by Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”

So said Charles Bukowski and I agree. (Tip: flame retardant underwear helps.) Mark Hammond put the fire-walk words on the back of his view of Fuji:

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1) Mark Hammond, Kanazawa, Japan

Peterolpetal sent a distressed looking angel enrobed in an envelope of mystical significance.  Just what is that tower broadcasting?

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2) Petrolpetal, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa

Speaking of broadcasting, are you ready for some CircumSubstantial Playing & Blindfolded Tourism? Check out tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh circa 2001.

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3) Who Unit? Pittsburgh, Pa., USA. Message on back: “We meet again, decades later, at the due speed of snail mail!” Yes I say yes to reconnecting in slow mo–

and I will honor The Snail with these stamps from TICTAC POST.

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4) Ptrzia/Tictac, Starnberg, Germany

Tictac keeps right on ticking:

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5) Ptrzia (Tictac), Starnberg, Germany

The Tictac came with an AMBASCIATA DI VENEZIA book of wonders. Too large to be presented here. Just the cover, ma’am, just the cover. Inside, beautifully presented works by more than 50 artists and “the idea of a free space where the only leading power is that of culture”.

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6) AMBASCIATA DI VENEZIA, Tiziana Baracchi, Giancarlo Da Lio, Venezia Mestre, Italy

“Even if you are adult, your childhood is still inside of you” says Bernhard Zilling on the back of his hand-painted card. Hmmmm– the fellow on the card looks strangely familiar. Could he also be one of the three men in a painting by “anonymous” that hangs on my living room wall? If so, who are these men and why are they manifesting in art all over the world?

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7) Inside Childhood, Bernhard Zilling, Berlin, Germany. With detail from Three guys from a Thrift Store, anonymous, upstate New York, USA.

No anonymous here– photo by Reed Altemus, presumably of Reid Wood in a State of Being. Or is it Lord Laurence Olivier?

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8) State of Being, Oberlin, Ohio, USA

Then there’s this big eye from Gimel Patrick/Patrick Gimel, containing a reworked version of a postcard I sent. Our exchange ricocheted into a back-and-forth of photos within photos. One of my favorite Mail Art riffs.

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9) Big Pink Eye w. Red Hat Baby, Gimel Patrick/Patrick Gimel, Grenoble, France.

Another Mail Art tradition– games. Dan Buck sent instructions for Trial and Error, A Dicing Game. Keep the kids busy on car trips! Are we there yet, Mommy? Shut up and study your crime mag…

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10) Trial and Error, Dan Buck, Armour, South Dakota, USA

Pati Bristow stitched this card, which contains instructions for what may be pruning or grafting trees. “Stumps” are involved; trees seem a good guess. The bad guess? Think crime mag.

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11) Stitch instruction card, back & front, Pati Bristow, Los Altos, California, USA

Finally, an illustrated dissertation by Scott Thomas on “people who just don’t care what others think of their appearance”. Like Scott sez: “you just just have to admire that in some ways….many ways”. Also includes an ode to a real-life “semi-pro dumpster diver”.  Envelope and outer card bedecked with smiley faces. Several sinister. Try not to think crime mag.

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12) They Just Don’t Care, Scott Thomas, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Th-th-th-that’s all folks! For now….

 

The series so far:

Spring a Ding Ding, Eight from the Gate

Mail Art Confidential Part 2: Extreme Sports

Mail Art Confidential Part One

Five More for the Road

200 Postcards/Got Mail Art?

 

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