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Showing posts from July, 2017

Making a Billboard in the Backyard

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I like dilapidated billboards / signs a lot. This infatuation might come from the amount of them strewn about country roads near where I grew up. Most of the time they’re there to advertise some new detergent or hate spewing preacher. One layer is put on top of the next. Whenever no one rents a billboard for years on end, the layers start to meld into one big creation. Whole sections of the billboard will fall off exposing what’s underneath. Better than whole sections coming off, little bits will flake off giving the billboard a bit more movement, a bit more drama in the unintended artwork.
For a while I tried to document these as much as I could, mostly taking pictures of billboards near where I grew up. They were always nestled in out of the way places or disused highways. Sometimes they were overgrown with weeds, left to be taken over by the surrounding foliage. It was a nice way to see the gross commercialism of highway driving slowly disappear into something more beautiful.
I wond…

Misty and Jon Getting Married Add and Returns Project

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I feel like I’m stuck in an add and pass hell. As soon as I finish work on some add and passes, scan them, and then post the images, I end up getting more. Instead of making things of my own I end up spending a lot of time just “adding to” and then moving things along This routine is fairly recent to me. For the first few years I was making mail-art I never really added anything. I’d pass without adding. I could never think of what to add to the composition. One day I just put down some stamps or an image and that was it, I was making them.
About two years ago I started making my own sheets. Most of the add and passes that I’ve started have a place attached to them, either a wall in New Orleans, a billboard in Lexington, or a taco joint in Lexington North Carolina. All of the former were based off pictures that I took and then monochromed. There’s some other sillier ones out there, my favorite being four blank squares and another of my face with the words “fix this face.” I use my vis…

9 x 9 Update / 36 Participants

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One of my weekly routines is to hit up the thrift stores. Sometimes I spice in a little off-brand dollar store shopping to this routine. My favorite off-brand dollar store chain is called Mighty Dollar. There’s a couple around the area but the one in Thomasville is the one I end up going tomost often. I mainly look for weird things to use in mail art. They have a lot of remainder and “fell of the truck” type of stuff. I buy stickers, tape, strange pens, and whatever strikes my fancy. Out of the blue I saw these cheap wood boards. Inside of the frame were nine blocks that fit neatly together. I bought a couple of the boards without thinking what I might use them for. I stacked the boards off in the corner of my “making things” room. They sat there for a few months before I had the whim to make a collaborative project out of it. My idea was to send a block to each person, have them fill it up, and then they could send it back to me. Initially I was just sending the blocks out to people,…

Clerical Work Part 2 With Quotes and Pictures

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My first blog post about mail-art clerical work was meant more as a rant. I wrote it out of mild frustration with how my time was being spent. Somewhere along the way the focus of many of my mail-art related activates become documentation. Rarely do I get comments about my blogs when I put them out into the world but my initial post garnered some attention. It seems that many folks are a little bothered by the imbalance of creating mail-art versus documenting mail-art.
Amy Irwen wrote about this issue by adding, “sometimes I spend a complete day just taking photos and posting...but I also feel that need.” I think Amy is right, it’s that “feeling of the need” that causes this anxiety. If I didn’t feel like I needed to keep things organized then I wouldn’t worry about it, I’d just make and then move on.
DeVillo Sloan wrote, “Do you consider scanning clerical? Because for me it's the equivalent to a heavy part-time job.” Considering the quality and quantity of Sloan’s words on mail-a…

Mail-Art Clerical Work

I’ve noticed something about my usual mail-art routine. The amount of my mail-art clerical work is insane. Often I feel like I spend as much time documenting things than I do actually creating, which is a problem. The creating is way more rewarding. When I first started making mail-art I probably made 80 percent of the time and did about 20 percent clerical work. Let me back up, when I mean clerical work I mean basic documentation, scanning, and organizing of my many projects. Now that number is closer to 50/50.
The shift in this has come from being involved in more and more projects and corresponding with more people. At this exact point, I have about three projects going. I have the 9 x 9 blocks, the Trump project (slowly going away), and the marriage Add and Passes. While it doesn’t seem like those would take up a lot of time, they kind of do. Not only did I design the layout for the images, but I printed them, advertised that the projects existed over and over to willing participa…