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