semantikon feature literature
Feb 2008
Guest Editor
Ralph LaCharity
Privileged Miscellanea
works
1. Ralph LaCharity:  Following One's Nose: into the sounds and sights
2. Kate Polak: Between Skins
3. Mail Art From Geof Huth Blog "qbdp"
4. Kate Polak: John  Constantine in America
5. Ken Kawaji: Letters to Bill Polak and LaCharity
6. Ralph LaCharity: Intimations of Onward: a brief essay on the aforesaid
bio

Geof Huth: At work in the varied and contingent fields of mailart as networker & archivist, committed participant-poet and visual artist thereof; it was Huth who said, “e-mail is the un-protected sex of records management.” First encountered via Tom Beckett’s remarkable but now-defunct blogsite, interviewing the redoubtable Bob Grumman (that interview reprinted in Vol 19 of W’ORCs last year).

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From Geof Huth's Mail Art Blog QBDP
qbdp: the mailartworks

(used with permission Geof Huth, Editor)

Geof Huth Essay Poems Approaching the Visual


Click Images for Larger Picture

RF Cote
RF Côté
“ liberte d'expression” (10 Feb 2006)

Another nice photo-collage, this time backed with a notice for a new mailartzine, "Circulaire 132."



Geof Huth
Geof Huth
" Voici l'oiseau dans l'arbre" (qbdp # 120; 2006)

I'm tired from yesterday's creating and today's traveling and presenting, so I cut back to a set of a dozen cards today. (It would've been thirteen, but I produced one version of the fidgetglyph that wasn't acceptable.) This card was made more difficult by the slow addition of watercolors. The card took so long to create that I gave up on including a message on the back of each card. Instead, I used bits of the stamp sheet I was using in place of a message.

Geof Huth
Geof Huth "Dear _____" (qbdp # 199; 2006)
Sometimes, I'm a bit too ambitious, and tonight was one of those times. I decided to take twenty large postcards I picked up at the beginning of the month at the Hotel Saranac of Paul Smith's College and to write a faux epistle on the back of it to just as many people as I had postcards. The process of writing this multi-colored letter was time-consuming, but I'm drawn into the mesmery of this kind of work, even as I wear myself out (temporarily, at least) doing it.

David B. Herriman
David B. Herriman,
" An Outer Space Fish Ghost" (Jun 2006)

Last week at work, the postcard above appeared in my mailbox. What I find remarkable about this is that the card is not addressed to me--isn't, actually, addressed to any specific person--yet someone decided I was the person best to accept this correspondence. I never speak about mailart at work, and only occasionally about visual poetry, but somehow I became the recipient of this card. Good enough.



Ryosuke Cohen
Ryosuke Cohen
Brain Cell 657 (31 Aug 2006)

Ryosuke Cohen, the best-named Japanese mailartist in the business, sends me another copy of his Brain Cell, this one from August 2006. I wondered why he sent me this issue, but it might because he has added one piece to this normally three-piece zine. A usual Brain Cell consists of an envelope that never needs postage stamps to be mailed to me, a large sheet of paper covered with colorful rubberstampings, and a small tri-folded sheet listing all the participants in the issue and their addresses. This issue, however, includes another sheet, folded in threes then in twos, that includes a two-page essay dated June 2006 and entitled "Mail Art --- Networking Art." This essay covers a lot of ground quickly: the importance of collaboration and sharing in mailart, his point of view that mailart is slowing down, and how artists can learn from nature.


RF Cote
RF Côté
Circulaire 132 # 7, Page 2 (October 2006)

It's been a while since I've received anything from the great RF Côté of Québec, Québec——of course, that's only because I didn't send him anything for many months. And it is wonderful to receive mailart from Reg again. What an imagination and what style he has. Today, I received in the mail a copy of Circulaire 132 # 7, which is something like an assembling, but Reg stitches together the various pieces received from artists from all over the globe. There is plenty of beautiful stuff here: an interesting (and short) article on V-Mail (written in French, of course), complete with illustrations, scads of artist stamps (including one by Renéée Wagemans that resembles a small piece of chainmail), a little advertisement for this blog (complete with logo by Mick Boyle), a little poetry booklet produced by Richard Hansen (part of his Poems-for-All series), a little comic printed in color, a couple of collages, one of the spliced photos produced by Dan (of Portland, Oregon), and announcements on mailart projects. This is what a mailart zine is supposed to be!

Jim Leftwich
Jim Leftwich,
" Tritoma" (28 Oct 2006)

Jim sends me a small sheaf of new visual poems, including this beautiful shaped poem about, I have to assume, the flowers of the genus Tritoma. And the words bea uti full y confirm this.



Roy Arenella

Roy Arenella,
" Point & Shoot" (7 Oct 2006)

Roy Arenella is always pushing towards a poetry of the eye. He is the ultimate poet/photographer, merging word with image, as he does here with the simplest tools: rubberstamps. The giant round lens of the camera does double duty as an O, fully merging the visual image with the visible WORD. In the tiniest note, Roy– who can write smaller than anyone else I know – writes, "This (clearly condenses) is what I've been trying to say." Because his
mailart is about making points, this poet/photographer/philosopher.


frips
Frips
Beetle (5 Nov 2006)

What can I say? frips, once again, does a simple and amazing thing. This giant cut-out beetle, sewn by machine to a cardboard card is quite a beautiful surprise.


Jennifer Hill-Kaucher
Jennifer Hill-Kaucher,
" for The Fall Leaves Variations" (Nov 2006)

Dan Waber has released yet another card in the series, The Fall leaves Variations, this one another one by Jennifer Hill-Kaucher. I keep reveling in her use of italics. Such a good choice for these little concrete poems, this one a simple replication of a leaf in full tumble.

Pati Bristow
Pati Bristow,
" Peace" (3 Nov 2006)

Pati Bristow responds to a recent card from me (one months delayed on my part) with another peace-related item, this time a postcard. On the back of the card, she let's me know of the location of her weblog :
(http://pati_bristow.livejournal.com/ ).



endwar
endwar,
" Eye/I" (22 Jun 2006)

Only endwar can sit around and figure out such a perfect minimalist conceptual poem. I'm ashamed I haven't this ability, even though I know how to write each of these words (except for "I" in Chinese).



Jim Leftwich
Jim Leftwich,
Optych Xerolage (8 Jun 2006)




Dan Waber
Dan Waber, "The H" (23 Jan 2006)
I have to assume that Dan is thinking of bpNichol (H-lover, but only h-appreciator) when he put together this card of aitches over what appear to be teeth. And with a name like HUTH, I can't help but see shadows of my own name in here.



Mick Boyle
Mick Boyle,
" Tear of the Moon Tea" (Feb 2006)

A charming little image from Mick, and the back of the card is pink and blue with the outline of a rabbit and a snail. Two different worlds on one little card.



fat red ant
fat red ant,
" weeds in eden" (Nov 2005)
fat red ant sends me a stylish little picture covered with zeros and ones and exhibiting just three small leaves. These three represent the weeds in Eden. I think this is the only black and white piece fat red ant has ever sent me.



Dan Waber
Dan Waber,
" winKnow" (Jan 2006)
First, I see a window, but I hear winnow, and I see a wink and know a know. The K does all this.