Friday, September 15, 2017

Four X Four Add And Passes

The Front
Back Directions

I find myself awash in Add and Passes. For years I didn’t do them, but I’ve recently relaxed that position and find myself making a lot, and adding to a lot. Some mail-artists hate them. I once was that person that dreaded seeing them show up in the mail. I imagine that my archives from the first few years are filled with un-passed-on (I know that’s bad) Add and Passes.

Part of the reason I wasn’t a big fan is that I’d look at them and have no idea what to add. When I see a blank page I’ve filled with possibilities. I can put something over there or over here. I can add color; I can add an image, or a stamp. When I get piece of paper that’s full of stuff I don’t know what to do. It’s just too much, I feel overwhelmed. I don’t want to completely cover someone else’s work but I want mine to stick out. It doesn’t seem like a proper negotiation. One side note, when they’re filled up they look like “mud.” You know that feeling when you start to put too much on a surface without letting the one before dry…yeah it feels like that. Like Easter egg dyeing. There’s no separation and often the personality of the piece is lost.
Adds From Tiina Kainulainen (Finland) + Bruno Chiarlone (Italy) + Maria Teresa Cazzaro (Italy) + Tiziania Baracchi (Italy)
Adds From Lubouyr Tymkiv (Ukraine) + Dave Araki (USA) + Dan Mouer (USA) + Terri Jones (USA)
Adds From Diane Keys (USA) + Toni Hanner (USA) + Strangroom (USA) + Gerda  Ostereek (Canada)
When I started making Add and Passes I used the whole surface of the piece of paper. [Another side note, I hate that paper sizes around the world (especially from Europe) aren’t the same. When I place finished sheets in my notebooks, at least an inch sticks out of the top of the plastic protective sheet, my thing, not a real gripe…silly, I know.] With an allover Add and Pass you end up getting the “mud” effect. Mail-artists will put stuff all over the sheet since there’s no real direction of where things might go. A guide sometimes is helpful with such thing. If the overall effect of the composition is cleared up a bit, I think the eye rejoices. Too much just looks like too much.

The only Add and Passes I’ve continued to move around (I often put new ones in circulation every couple of months) are the 4 x 4 ones. The idea is that each mail-artist will get one block to fill up and then pass on to the next person. When the four blocks are filled up the directions tell them to mail it back to me. I’ve gotten about twenty of these back and strangely they pretty much follow these rules. A couple folks have filled up all four blocks and signed. I’m fine with that. I like seeing the white space. I’ve always liked controlled chaos more than control or chaos just by themselves.
Mike Dyar (EAT ART) took the 4 x 4 and the Hugo Ball Add and Pass I made and incorporated them into a book on his signature paper.
Recently I’ve started to print these on strangely colored paper or paper I found in recycling to change things up since a lot of people end up getting these over and over again. Part of the problem with Add and Passes is reaching a new audience without too many repeats. Getting too many can be more of an annoyance than joy.

Thoughts on the Summer Makings Process

I’ve been productive this summer. Normally I wake up around eight o’clock and put on the coffee. I watch twenty minutes of online videos,...