Monday, November 22, 2004

Interlacing Channels

Popped down to the post this morning and was surprised to find a rather large package in the box. The return address was reminiscent of Johns Wayne's real name but the city was Taipei Taiwan. Racking my brain to remember if I purchased a sweatshop t-shirt of Happy Bunny or a loaded CD-Rom of warez, I opened the package to find two paperback books (one large and one small).

The large book immediately caught my eye because the art on the cover was by long-time collaborator, Denis Mizzi of Australia, who ARTicipated in my first mailart call "X-Ray Spex" in 2000.

A brief scan through the books contents reveal quotes from religious and ancient texts juxtaposed with observations from the author's travels. The name on both books is Madison Morrison and upon opening the small book, I found a handwritten note on the back of a change of address card. It said, "Why don't you send me some of your work? I saw you listed in Braincell 593. All Best, MM."

For those of you who don't know, Braincell is one of the most well-known and long-running mail art projects created and maintained by Japanese artist Ryosuke Cohen. His wonderful project arrives from time to time in my box and is a colorful and fascinating beast. The collages are created from stamp designs, rubberstamps, stickers, drawings and seals he receives from other artists. He then prints these materials onto A3 size paper and creates 150 sheets and sends a sheet back with a list of addresses to each participant. He publishes the Braincell project at intervals of 8 to 10 days and each sheet includes about 60 people. Ryosuke is always accepting artwork and designs, so check out his pages for more info and the mailing address if you are interested in collaborating with him. You can view an example of this project at the Artpool Website in Budapest.

A search for the author by name on Google brought up another interesting mailart connection. It seems a certain Dr. Madison Morrison, who graduated from Yale and received his Ph.D. from Harvard recently spoke about Homer and Western Tradition of Literature at the Jeju Culture & Art Foundation (JCAF) in Korea on October 19, 2004. I had heard of the JCAF because The Jeju International Art Show in October 2001 hosted a mailart call titled "Peace Island." I submitted artwork to the call and received a beautiful jam-packed printed documentation for the show. You can view some really great photos of the conference and mail art exhibit by visiting Jas W. Felter's (Vancover, Canada) Peace Island pages.

Coincidence??? Mail art connections passing the globe from Hungary to Japan to Korea and on to Cali. Gotta love it. All art is good. I'm looking forward to reading these books.


michael said...

I'm always amazed at how Ryosuke can come up with that sheet of prints every week or so, realising how much work goes into printing just one postcard size image with the Gocco print process he uses. Mark pawson has a travelling set he brought here a few months back and i was privaledged? (i know i cant spell!) to take part in his proejt- printing 500 postcards which took three days!!

kiyotei said...

I know what you mean. I don't even think I could use a Xerox for 150 copies every week. It must truly be a lobor of love for him.

Sandragons said...

Hi, Kiyotei,

Yes, I've corresponded with MM for a number of years. He travels to many interesting places in the world, interspersing his writings with classic texts. Some of his upcoming destinations are Vietnam this month, and Seoul, Korea next year. It is interesting to see how mail art and the academic world can be a mutual stimulus and a source of new contacts.

kiyotei said...

It *IS* interesting to see how mail art and the academic world converge and collide. Thanks for the update and thanks for all the neat tricks (like recycling 12-pack cartons) you've taught me through your art. Have a Happy Holidaze!