Friday, 11 November 2011

Angela & Peter Netmail

A cassette from February 1992 when Angela & Peter were on their world tour delivering mail art by hand in countries such as Russia, China, Indonesia and Australia. In melbourne they were invited to talk about their journey on Radio Melbourne with Warren Burt ( Netlink Co-ordinator ) and about their personal Net Mail Delivery Service. I met up with them some months later in a cafe in South London close to where I worked. Hazel and I were just about to have a special delivery of our own with the arrival of our son Archie in October so didn't really have time to talk to them about their journey as much as I'd hoped.

Read more about Angela and Peter HERE -


As far as I remember this tape from the 80's or the early 90's was the result of a mail art project by C. Reider where you had to send in bits of found audio tape - the strands you sometimes used to find by the side of the road. The resulting motely strands were cut into suitable lengths and spliced together to form a cacophonous mix which sounds rather like radio surfing.

Damn Fools

Nunzio (James Cobb) sent me this tape back in the mid 80's. It's a band comprised of Nunzio -guitar, melodica, vocals and doubek drum. Godfrey Daniel - vocals, sax, flute and tone box. Arthur Sarkis - moog opus 3, casio MT-68 and bass.

Read about Nunzio/ James Cobb">HERE

Just four tracks each side of this 60 minute tape -

1. We Want To Eat Your Feet
2. Under The Woof
3. Suburban Fantasy
4. Blood On Shirt

Monday, 12 September 2011

O. Jason (Jason Skeet)

Not sure who O.Jason was or if it was his real name. Just one of many mail art contacts through the 80's who came and went. Lived up in Staffordshire I think? An art student maybe? Anyway, here's a snippet of a long rambling tape of conversations and sound bites.

Did some trawling and found this -

"There is no established principle of methods for exhibiting mailart and the nature of display is frequently dictated by budget. English networker, O. Jason (Jason Skeet) has used the interesting strategy of retaining all the works unopened until the aptly named 'opening' of the show at which he invited the public to open the contributions.42 The involvement of the public turns the 'exhibition' into an 'event' and can be seen as being in the spirit of mailart. Although involving the public in opening the 'work' addresses some of the problems surrounding exhibiting MAPs, the very nature of the falseness of the situation of the public opening the mail, as opposed to Skeet sitting at home opening each contribution as it arrived prevents the participators experiencing the thrill of expectation each morning and the exciting thud on the door mat. It is important to note though that in this project, Skeet announced in his fliers that all contributions would be retained unopened until the preview.43 This would in itself have affected the nature of the contents, but does nothing to alter the fact that the viewer still misses-out on the reciprocal aspect of mailart, although in this instance they could have chosen to note down the addresses of the senders of the envelopes that they opened and to reply to them."

O. Jason - Side One

Sunday, 11 September 2011

IM 98 Documentation

A tape compiled by Vittore Baroni for the 1998 Incongruous Meetings Mail Art project. Side Two features such people as Roger Radio, Birger Jesch and Charles Francois.

The official IM 98 website says -

unlashed on an unsuspecting planet. You waited enough for it, now here it

in-con-gru-ous adj. (L. incongruus) not congruous
a - lacking harmony or agreement; incompatible.
b - having inconsistent or inharmonious parts, elements, etc.
c - not corresponding to what is right, proper or reasonable; unsuitable;

You have done the hard work already, congressing and lecturing in 1986,
re-congressing and networking in 1992, so relax: NOW YOU CAN HAVE FUN.

Participation in the IM98 is open and free to all: mailartists, netsurfers,
musicians, shopkeepers, shoplifters, aliens, subgenii, rabbits, rabbis,
There is not a single sound reason to meet again but there are all the
incongruous reasons in the world, IF YOU CAN JUST THINK UP ONE: so keep
working-sleeping-consuming or FIND A THEME, ORGANIZE AN IM IN 1998 and take
part in as many IM proposed by others as you wish/can."

IM 98 DOC. - Side Two

Bill Whorral

One of many tapes from Bill Whorral who sent similar compilations and "radio surfs" where he would twiddle the dial while the tape was recording to catch many snippets from all kinds of weird American stations from his area ( rural Indiana ) which featured ranting bible thumpers, crazy adverts and country music.

"Bill Whorrall teaches art at Precious Blood School and Holy Family School in Jasper, Indiana. He lives in rural Martin County, Indiana and has done two books on Southern Indiana, one on Amish life in neighboring Daviess County and three on Martin County. The Martin County history book and the Amish book have been called the best books ever done on these subjects. His new book entitled: The Amish Community in Davies County, Indiana has been praised by the Amish as the most comprehensive and accurate book on their culture ever printed. Anyone interested in Amish life should see this book. His current project is a book that will document the natural beauty of Martin County."

Bill Whorral - Side Two

Dave Zack/ Snowwhite Jung

No date on this cassette from Snowwhite Jung but imagine it was late 80's sometime when she went to Mexico to stay with Dave Zack. Banter between Zack and Snowwhite. Tape is typical of Zack's ramblings and guitar plucking. I have tapes of ramblings and cello scrapings which are similar. The audio quality hasn't improved over the years so sorry for your ears. Keep that sturdy sack handy!
Zack was one of the first mail artists I contacted when I joined the network in 1980. He was very prolific with his letters which were also long and rambling and sometimes took up several sides of A4 and included photo copies of letters to other people on his network and spidery pen and ink drawings. The tapes arrived at intervals and always on very cheap cassettes like the one depicted. Sonni indeed!

"David was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1938 and received his Canadian landed immigrant status in 1970. He died in Texas, in 1995.

He studied at the University of Chicago and Cambridge University and taught at the University of Puerto Rico, San Francisco State College, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the University of Saskatchewan in Regina.

David is known for initiating the Nut Art movement in the late 60s in San Francisco together with Roy DeForest, Maija Peeples, Clayton Bailey, David Gilhooly and others. He became involved with mail-art in the early 70s and became one of its leading figures. He devoted the rest of his life to 'correspondense-art', and invented the Monty Cantsin Open-Pop-Star project together with Maris Kundzins and Istvan Kantor. David also got involved with Neoism in the early 1980s.

David took part in countless mail-art exhibitions around the world. He was also a professional art writer/critic with articles appearing in many publications in the 1960s and 1970s.

A retrospective of his work entitled: DAVID ZACK: Wizard?! Perturber?! Possessed! Letters and other works of a correspondence artist will open at The New Gallery in Calgary, on October 10, 2008, collected, designed and produced by Istvan Kantor. "

Dave Zack/Snowpes - Add This To Your Lentils

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

FSA - Demonstration

Another Fake Stone Age tape from the mid 80's. I think I contributed to this one with excerpts of a wobbly tape I sent them interspersed throughout the cassette.

Joey Know (Patrick T ) says - "That is a genuine Fake Stone Age radio show cassette tape. FSA was a 2-5 person experimental, punk rock band who played live shows around the San Francisco Bay Area and radio shows at KPFA Berkeley. Mainly as guests on Don Joyce's KPFA 'Over the Edge' radio show."

Fake Stone Age - Demonstration (excerpt )

Flea Art

I met Flea Art once at a book fair in Westminster where he kindly introduced himself. He had taken part in one of my Tape Exchanges in the early 90's and this is the cassette he sent me complete with Tunnocks boy collaged insert which instantly made it stand out amongst all the others of that time. Refreshingly too it contained some of my favourite novelty songs including Thunderbirds soundtrack and song by Lady Penelope and Parker. Also Everything's Fresh Today ( The Raspberry Song ). Some of the tracks are unknown to me so any detective work greatly appreciated.

Flea Art - Side One

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Another Thematic Tape Exchange cassette from the early 90's. Wermoewe was German mail artist Achim Weigelt who sadly is no longer with us. The tape contains several jolly tunes ranging from bird songs and choirs of children ( not sure if Achim was a school teacher?). Also a birthday song about "an odd 25 year old screech owl named Thomas".

The Mail Art Index says -

"Weigelt was born April 30, 1965. In 1983 he came into contact with Mail Art via Klaus Groh. Weigelt was especially known for his carefully done, rich in detail drawings made on his envelopes. He worked with ink and watercolors and developed a re-appearing character for his “stories”, the little bird “Wermöve”, that resembles an envelope. He later on started calling himself that way: Wermöve. On November 30, 1990 he died at the age of only 25 years."

Wermoewe - Side One

Red Herring

Another tape for the Exchange project I did back in the early 90's. Not sure who or what Red Herring were apart that they lived in Bath and we sent each other mail art for a couple of years on an irregular basis.

Red Herring - Musak For Seaports

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Hoagart Sings

Another of those rare tapes from the 80's which I know hardly anything about. Back then it was a delightful mystery who Hoagart was and why did he make such poor recordings of his delightful songs? The tape was actually sent to me from Stoke On Trent by Ona Doddle ( hence the name on the cassette ) and maybe she copied it from another tape? Who knows? Who is Ona Doddle anyway? Just another of those people who dabbled in the murky waters of mail art for a short while and dabbled off to pastures new.

Anyway . turn up your speakers as this is very quiet but great fun.

Hoagart - Side Two

Blaster Al - "If Not This Then What?"

Al "Blaster" Ackerman has been around the mail art network for as long as I can remember. He was one of the first people I became aware of that was doing mail art with a twisted humourous slant. Originally in San Antonio , Texas and then in Baltimore, Maryland. Infamous for his "tacky little pamphlets" and small run 'zines like the "White Worm Review" ( the first 'zine I participated in back in the early 80's ) and "Ling Masters" to name but a few.

Wikipedia says -

"Blaster Al Ackerman is the most commonly used name by an American mail artist and writer who has been active since the early 1970s.

Heavily influenced by post-war pulp writers like Theodore Sturgeon, Raymond Chandler and Fredric Brown (with whom Ackerman corresponded as a young person) as well as by modernists like Ray Johnson, Francis Ponge and the Oulipo, the name Al Ackerman is a pseudonym most likely alluding to the Science Fiction editor and collector Forrest J. Ackerman.

Al Ackerman's writing has dealt playfully, if obsessively, with themes of madness and weird phenomena. His visual work is also in the tradition of black humor, often including a trademark character, the hebephrenic, with a wide upper lip and two protruding teeth.

His voluminous mail art output was anthologized in The Blaster Omnibus and given a one-man show at the Chela Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland. Other books include Let Me Eat Massive Pieces of Clay, I Taught My Dog to Shoot a Gun, and Corn and Smoke. Over the past twenty years, he has been mostly frequently published The Lost and Found Times, published by frequent collaborator John M. Bennett, and in the Shattered Wig Review published by Rupert Wondolowski, although his massive body of work is difficult to track due to his regular use of a variety of pseudonyms (which he relates to his childhood love of the pulps), including Eel Leonard, Luther Blissett (nom de plume) (a reference to the footballer of the same name), and Swarthy Turk Sellers among many others, as well as regular anonymous and collaborative works.

His influence in the 80s was strongly felt by neoism founder Istvan Kantor, performance artist Andre Stitt, photographer Richard Kern (who published Ackerman's writing in his magazine Dumb Fucker) and musicians Genesis P-Orridge who used one of Ackerman's letters as the text of Throbbing Gristle's song "Hamburger Lady." Many of his stories have been made into videos by Steve "Sleeze" Steele, and one, about a man who give his life over to the creation of a garment made of vienna sausages, was given feature-length film treatment by Catherine Pancake under the name The Suit. In 2005 a long playing record of his spoken performances, titled I am Drunk, was issued. His latest book entitled "Misto Peas: Tiny Special Stories", was published in 2009 by Luna Bisonte Productions. The book contains reworkings or "hacks" of poet John M. Bennett's writing. He read most recently from this new book at Shattered Wig Nite hosted by Rupert Wondolowski at Baltimore's 14 Karat Cabaret in November 2009."

Side Two is just Blaster having some fun sorting through his pile of tapes and playing exerpts whilst muttering foul oaths.

Blaster - Side One

Artpool Radio

Second side of a tape from 1983 made at the Artpool Studio in Budapest in Hungary. If you enjoy self indulgent cacophony then this is the tape for you!

An event organised by Robert Adrian X and Helmut J. Mark, members of the BLIX Group, Vienna.

Side Two features work by Veto & Zuzu, Halofern and Pas Paravant and Indigo.

Artpool Radio - Side Two

Find out more about Artpool HERE.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Church Of Subgenius

Aquired through the mail art network back in the 80's this tape is a sampler of what to expect if you join the Church Of Subgenius - a kind of spoof of cults and pseudo religious groups and right wing propaganda which teeters on the edge of self parody.

Wikipedia says -

"The Church of the SubGenius claims to have been founded in the 1950s by the "world's greatest salesman" J. R. "Bob" Dobbs. "Bob" Dobbs is depicted as a cartoon of a Ward Cleaver-like man smoking a pipe, an image originally seen in one of the many "can you draw this" ads commonly found in the back of comic books in the 1950s and 60s.[citation needed] The church really started with the publication of SubGenius Pamphlet #1 in 1979. It found acceptance in underground pop-culture circles and has been embraced on college campuses, in the underground music scene, and on the Internet.

Because of its similarities to the tenets of Discordianism, The Church of the SubGenius is often described as a syncretic offshoot of that belief. However, its members state that the organization developed on its own with the publication of SubGenius Pamphlet #1[citation needed] (also known as The World Ends Tomorrow And You May Die!) by Reverend Ivan Stang and Dr. Philo Drummond. A group that formed after Stang and Drummond began mailing their first pamphlet to publishers, using such pseudonyms as "Puzzling Evidence", "Dr. Howl", "Susie the Floozie", "Palmer Vreedeez", and "Pope Sternodox", helped forward the literature to a number of underground pop-culture figures such as R. Crumb, Paul Mavrides, Harry S. Robins, the New Wave rock group Devo, and Erik Lindgren (producer and president of indie label Arf! Arf! Records in Boston), who embraced it and incorporated it into their work. Crumb's promotion of the Church through his comic book series Weirdo brought many new members into the fold, including artists, musicians, and writers. Their efforts resulted in the publication of the Book of the SubGenius in 1983, followed by Three-Fisted Tales of "Bob" in 1990, Revelation X: The "Bob" Apocryphon in 1994 and The SubGenius Psychlopaedia of Slack: The Bobliographon in 2006. In the late 1980s, the video ARISE! was produced by Cordt Holland and Ivan Stang, and narrated by "Dr. Hal" (Harry S. Robins), then distributed by Polygram.

The popularization of the Internet in the mid-1990s brought a new surge of interest in the Church, resulting in dozens of home-made, elaborately decorated web sites and two Usenet newsgroups, alt.slack and alt.binaries.slack. A third newsgroup, alt.binaries.multimedia.slack, was created later, in 2005. Ivan Stang currently maintains the official SubGenius home page. The Church's weekly radio program, the Hour of Slack, is a staple of many college radio stations. It draws from live broadcasts by Stang, his wife Princess Wei R. Doe and voice comic "Lonesome Cowboy Dave" (comedian/musician Dave DeLuca), as well as from other SubGenius radio shows."

To learn more visit the Subgenius official website HERE.

Church Of Subgenius - Side One

Fake Stone Age

Not much is known about Fake Stone Age who were based in Berkely in California in the 80's. Associates of Patrick T of "Eat It Up" 'zine fame from the same area. A mix of radio, field recordings and studio chatter based on Patrick T's European trip of 1985. I met Patrick, his wife and baby daughter in Covent Garden in London when they came over as I had been a contributor to his 'zine. I seem to remember we had a coffee and chat and had a microphone shoved under my nose. You can hear bits of our rather self consciece banter interspersed amongst all the other snippets. Not sure what KPFA is ? probably some sort of public access radio station. If you know who Fake Stone Age is or what KPSA is please let us know.

Just did some searching and found it. Seems I was right. KPFA Radio.

Fake Stone Age - Side Two

Art Strike Mantra

A cassette on the Crackerjack Kid's own label - a pot pouree of gibberish and noise from around the mail art world back in 1991. Our contribution was recorded by Crackerjack in our flat in Lambeth Walk where we lived at that particular moment. Based on the infamous "Art Strike 1990-93" - this tape was one of many projects at the time to use this as a theme.

The Mail Artist Index says -

"Chuck Welch, aka CrackerJack Kid, was born in Kearney, Nebraska, in 1948. He was first exposed to Mail Art through the exhibition Omaha Flows System, curated by Ken Friedman at the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska in 1973. Welch became actively involved in mail art in 1978. He adopted the name CrackerJack Kid because going to the mail box each day reminded him of opening a box of CrackerJacks – you never knew what surprise you would find inside. Welch was a member of Ray Johnson‘s New York Correspondance School. Both were in regular contact and Johnson kept mailing to Welch daughter – now a Mail Artist herself – who he referred to as CrackerJack’s Kid.

Besides being an active participant in mail art for approximately two decades, Welch also published two significant books about the network – Networking Currents (1986) and Eternal Network: A Mail Art Anthology (1995).

As the Internet began to evolve, Welch explored the relationship between Mail Art and the Internet through the project Telenetlink (1991). He also developed Netshaker On-Line (1995), an e-zine, and EMMA (the Electronic Museum of Mail Art), the first web-based site devoted to mail art and first virtual art gallery (showing besides others Mail Art’s first online exhibition “Cyberstamps”).

As the decade of the 90s ended, Welch had withdrawn from active participation in Mail Art, but is now active again, writing about Mail Art, making works on paper and artists’ stamps. Besides that Welch is also active as a folk singer, and lives in Hancock, New Hampshire."

Art Strike Mantra - Side One