Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Year...Making Goals

The Sent / Got tally for 2017.
I know that as every year passes, I tend to send more and more pieces. I have at least five or six different types of projects going at one time. When I started making mail-art I only made postcards. I created the postcard and then I mailed them. Things have become intensely compartmentalized and creating new things is only one aspect of my mail-art activities. I scan a lot of stuff. I print a lot of stuff. I facilitate ongoing projects that need special attention. I make bigger work. I make collaborative books that I collect, spray-paint, and then add a bunch of garbage to. I never made a conscious effort to add new things to my repertoire it just happened over time.  
I’m not sure that my 2017 mail-art tally tells me all that much. At best it gives me a ballpark figure of the things I’ve mailed. I only count things sent to mail-art friends in the 384. Things sent to people in my day to day life, don’t get a mark. Maybe I do this because I don’t expect to get something in the mail from them. I also don’t mark every piece that I send to mail-art friends. If I send a big pile of envelopes filled with the same types of add and passes or add and return projects, I only mark a few of them. In reality I probably sent close to 600 individual pieces (that’s a lot of stamps) to mail-art friends, as well as friends and family. The 575 figure received amount is probably right on target, I mark every piece that shows up in my mailbox.

Looking back at this year in mail-art, or making things in general, I feel pretty good. I think I’ve added a few words to my vocabulary that didn’t exist in 2016. The aspect of my creations that annoy me the most are the amount of time I spent on the digital end of the spectrum. I make too many damn copies! I attribute this to slow work days, ones where I can sit and play around at my desk, take those items home, and then make them into something else. Who knows, maybe that analog / digital thing will morph into something completely unique. As long as my work doesn’t look like anyone else’s (not exactly) then I feel pretty good.
Analog / Digital hybrid collage.
This past year, I set out to sell more things, especially larger items that have been screen-printed. People seem more interested in the figurative pieces that appear to be decorative…the tape rips, not so much. I sold ten or twelve canvases at a reasonable price and gave away about that many as silly jokes. I had my first solo show of tape-rip-collages. I gave a couple presentations about mail-art. I had a small hometown paper interview me right at the end of the year. I made a bunch of new correspondents, tried more intense decollage works, and continued to mail things around the world.
I don’t do resolutions but I have some things I want to work to in 2018. Here are some of these…goals

-Finish the 9x9 project. – Right now I have one and a half boards left to fill in, which is about 13 squares. I’ve been more than happy with the interest in the project that I’ve been working on since the start of last year. When I’m finished I’ll have 9 boards completed for a total of 81 different square pieces of art.  There’s a bunch of squares floating out there but I’m waiting a few weeks in between advertising the project just to get new people interested. There’s nothing worse than advertising a mail-art project every day, all day, for what feels like forever.
-Show the Trump cards. – Right when that idiot was elected I started a Trump ADD AND RETURN project. Basically the card had his face on it and a small sliver to write in some thoughts. So many people used swastikas or googly-eyes for their submission. When the idiot does something stupid I ask if people would be interested in the project…I’ve done this many times, I’ll do this many times. Since all of the cards are 5x7 I can easily fit them into uniform frames. It would be nice to have a show where they’re all on a wall.

Mim Golub Scalin (Richmond VA) sent in the last submission for the project.
-Limit my ADD AND PASSES. This past year I got mired in the world of ADD AND PASSES. It just happened. Although I like starting them and I like completing them, the amount of work is just too much. For me, pressing “print” is too comforting. When I press “print” out comes a long pile of things that I’ve created. Doing this alluring…it’s satisfying and can become seductive. I did it too much. When you sent a lot of ADD AND PASSES you end up getting a lot of ADD AND PASSES which means you end up completing a lot of ADD AND PASSSES. Slow the number; get less which means I scan less, which means I can work on other things more.

-Bigger tape pieces. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share for the Aperture show. Initially I thought I’d do a selection of items but I jettisoned that idea because I thought it would be confusing. Throw out some of the canvases with the tape collages and the decollages would make no sense. I decided on pile of tape works that looked good together. When I flipped them over I noticed that I hadn’t made any of these, in this way, in quite a while. All of them were done on watercolor paper for some reason.

-Force my aunt to continue sending me work. Six months ago my aunt started sending me these movie based puns. I love them! They’re my favorite pieces of mail-art out there. My biggest goal this coming year is to keep reminding her to do more and more of these. I just received the ninth in the series.

Three of my aunt's movie pun postcards.

New Year...Making Goals

The Sent / Got tally for 2017. I know that as every year passes, I tend to send more and more pieces. I have at least five or six di...