Friday Dada: How do you know?

Short of someone placing the word DADA somewhere in their work, how do you know it is a dadaist piece?

Today, I will go over some over the key characteristics of Dada.

  • DADA loves a pun! The punnier, the better. Whether a visual pun or a verbal one, it matters not, so long as it is punny. A prime example of this turned up this past week in a featured piece from Catherine Mehrl Bennett in my Tuesday Trash Bubbles Post. On the back of her bubble was this little gem :

MAKE ART NOT CENTS

Here is an excerpt of what Catherine responded to one reader who misunderstood the intention of the artistamp: “The statement, “Make Art/ Not Cents” is more ambiguous than it appears at first glance. Also you need to look at it in the context of mailart, for which this stamp is intended for use. The poetic intent is the phonetic sound of Cents = Sense, and is a Dada statement in that regard. The “mailart” intent involves two levels: One is the context of artistamp design based on official postage which always has a specific VALUE element, and this artistamp is thus given NO value. Two is the context of mailart, which has an unspoken rule of NOT being intended for sale in the official art market.”

  • At it’s core, DADA is nonsensical. The original poets and artists of the new Dada age were trying to escape the real world. Their world had been rocked by war and fascism. They were attempting to create a lighter, more creative atmosphere, one that embraced rather than destroyed. And yet, Dada was negative and destructive in nature. It took things like words, tore them apart and reassembled them. Surely, you recall our previous talks about Tristan Tzara and his cut-up poems. Tristan Tzara, the Romanian poet was the driving force behind literary DADA and editor of the periodical, DADA beginning in 1917 with its first issue. Below are pictures of the covers for the first three issues.

Visual Dada was much the same as literary Dada insofar as nonsense and cutups. Early on, one of the leading visual Dada artists was Marcel Duchamp whose work was indicative of the tearing down of a thing only to reassemble it in another manner. (Remember his cubist-style paintings?) He freely admits that he passed through several movements of art before finding his niche. You really need to watch the following BBC interview of Duchamp from 1968.

See and hear for yourself why Marcel stayed on the fringe… and don’t forget to notice the Ready Made sitting to his left in the film! Yep, it’s his Egouttoir, or Bottle Dryer. I’m not certain if it’s the original from 1914 or a later version, of which there were several.

If you want to check out the Great Glass (Large Glass) that they discuss, this is the best link I’ve found: http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/54149.html#

  • Cést la vie! This french phrase means such is life, generally speaking. Here in the US, it translates loosely to Shit Happens. Pure Dadaists embraced Chance. By that, I mean that they accepted that things happen and if a thing happened to their art, or during their performance piece, it was meant to happen and it was embraced as part of a thing. This happens all the time in mail art. The postal cancellation, the elements, a footprint, a broken machine that burns marks upon the surface of mail. I hear so many folks say, “I’m so sorry the postal service allowed that to happen to this…” great thing you sent, or received. Few understand the organic concept of embracing the marks as part of the piece.

Well, boys and girls, that’s my DADA talk for today. Go, watch, read and learn! Come back and tell me something cool!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

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From the Heart

Superman!

Today is my husband’s birthday.

It’s a pretty big deal to me because a year ago, I was terrified that he wouldn’t make it to his next birthday.

No, he wasn’t ill. I just had this irrational fear that he would die much like my father did, without reaching his 61st birthday.

There was little I could do to allay that fear. All I could do was wait and pray.

Fortunately, my world is still intact and will be for many, many years to come.

So today, I celebrate the man who supports me, holds my hand, understands even my most irrational of fears, encourages me, lifts me up and loves me anyway.

This is what I wrote for all to see on his fb wall this morning: A VERY Happy Birthday to the Love of My Life, The Protector of the People, The Champion for the Downtrodden, The Rescuer of Strays, The Fixer of Broken Things, The Lover of Ice Cream, The Jeeper’s Jeeper, The True and Loyal Friend, The Doting Grandpa, The Lover of All Things Civil War, The Incurable Romantic, The Grill Master, A True American, The Resident MacGyver at Piney Creek Acres and My Superhero! May your day be filled to overflowing with the love of family and friends. And when it winds down, come home to dinner and dessert. There’ll be ICE CREAM! & Presents. xo ❤

Obviously, there’s way more to him than that, but I’d have been there all day, if I didn’t just hit the highlights.

Considering the fact that he is my Superhero, along with his admiration of Superman, I was inspired to create a treasure box for him. I’ve tucked his other gifts inside it.

It began as a discarded product box and became this:

Superman Trinket Box

I first brushed the top and front of the lid with acrylic ink. I was running out, so I had to come up with a way to cover the sides and give it a more finished look. Washi tape, to the rescue! I then added a knob (Thanks to the Tim Holtz idealogy line) and the Superman clothing tag I’d hung onto for so long.

Superman Trinket Box (detail)

Superman Trinket Box (detail)

Here’s hoping that he likes it as much as I do!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

 

Tuesday Trash Bubbles: Think Green!

Next Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day.

This week’s bubble found me thinking a good deal about Earth Day and what it means to Think Green!

Think Green!

Think Green!

Think Green! (BREAK FREE!)

BREAK FREE!

Think Green! (THINK)

THINK

Think Green! (GREEN!)

GREEN!

Think Green! (Green by design.)

Green by Design.

Think Green! (trashy goodness)

trashy goodness

Think Green! (Red Hot)

Red Hot trashy goodness

Think Green! (bottom)

bottom view of trashy goodness

If one were to “read” the trash poetry of the bubble, it goes like this: BREAK FREE! THINK GREEN! Green by design. (It’s) RAD… Red Hot!

Onto other Trash…

A special treat arrived in the mail from C. Mehrl Bennett over the weekend. I thought you might enjoy a glimpse…

Fracked Planet by Catherine M. Bennett

Fracked Planet by C. Mehrl Bennett

It must be said that I love the way she incorporated the Global Moon stamp into her piece! Get it? Unless I totally misread this piece, the marble is Earth! I’m fairly certain that this arrived intact, despite being slightly crushed. If there’s something missing, I’m sure C.M.B. will tell us in the comments.

Fracked Planet C.M.B. (back)

Fracked Planet (back)

Bonus bits on the back included the artistamp collab with Matthew Stolte of Madison, WI and MAKE ART NOT CENTS. Gotta love it!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

Monday Morning Mail Art Call: FREEDOM

Last week, I featured an international mail art call on the subject of LOVE. This week, our MMMAC (Monday Morning Mail Art Call) deals with another oft elusive principle, FREEDOM.
As Americans, our country was founded on the premise that simple FREEDOMS are the right of everyone. Our forefathers fought for Freedom from oppression, Freedom from taxation and Freedom of religion, just to name a few.
In the United States, we have come to take FREEDOM in all forms for granted. We go about our daily routines relatively unconcerned for our own personal FREEDOM, unless some political or journalistic agenda brings us to question it. Even more rarely do we pause to consider the FREEDOM of other peoples from around the world.
freedom
“FREEDOM” Mail Art Call!
“…To live like a tree alone and free,
and like a forest in brotherhood… Nazım Hikmet Ran”
“Artists Without Borders” invites all artists to participate at AWB’s 3rd International Mail Art project and exhibition.
Theme: “FREEDOM”
Size: Free
Technique: Free (but no audio, video or perishable material)
Deadline: 12 September 2016
Exhibition: 23-29 September 2016
Exhibition Place: Riverside Studios
*Online Documentation!
-No Jury; No Fees; No Return.
-All artwork must be sent by snail mail only. No artworks sent by email will be accepted.
-Please, remember to add the title, your name, address and email, etc., in each artwork.
Send your artworks to:
AWB C/O Riverside Studios
130A North Main Street,
Ste. Genevieve MO 63670 USA
For more information and your questions: artists_without_borders@yahoo.com
Please, remember to visit our Facebook Page!
https://www.facebook.com/Artists.Without.Borders
Here are the links for the photos of our former mail art projects, themed “Green” and “Water”; May 2013 & 2014; KargArt, Istanbul.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…
*Sponsored by Riverside Studios*
Special thanks to:
Ayse Turemis
Gallery Saint Louis
Jen Cunningham
***
Today, I urge you to take time to consider the simple, yet complicated principle of FREEDOM… yours and that of others. If you are so moved, or inspired, please create a piece for this mail art call.
Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

When the Universe Aligns….

What to do when an opportunity lands in your lap? When the gap between said opportunity and your ability to seize it seems as wide and as deep as the Grand Canyon itself? When you cannot possibly fathom how you might make the impossible happen?

You DO NOT, as I nearly did, throw in the towel and say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

You sleep on it. You re-group. You approach your close friends, confidants and mentors. You brain-storm. You take a leap of faith. You dare to believe that you might be worth the opportunity at hand and that others might feel the same.

You embrace the stomach that is doing flip flops. You reassure the inner critic that says, “What if you fail?” even though you know it might well be right. You set aside your pride and you LEAP!

At least, that’s what I did this week.

You might already have heard that on Thursday night, I received my official acceptance to join Black Mountain School in its first inaugural session this May.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.37.49 PM

When I sent in my application, I was serious about it, but stated therein, that if I did not receive scholarship, I would not be able to go.

Imagine my surprise at receiving an acceptance letter after learning that the scholarships had all been awarded!

After the initial shock wore off and I began thinking realistically, I felt defeated. I had been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not possibly afford to accept. I very nearly declined within a few hours of hearing the news.

Instead, I had such a headache from crunching numbers and reviewing obligations and schedules, that I went to bed, telling myself that I would deal with it in the morning.

It was the best decision I could have made at the time, for everything looks better in the light of a new day, especially when you have friends.

Encouraged by close friends (you know who you are!) to do whatever was necessary, I set my pride aside and set out to create a Go Fund Me campaign. My knee jerk reaction to the idea had been, “No, I can’t put my hand out!” But something my mentor said took hold and I remembered something my father said to me years ago, “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.” Thanks, Dad. 🙂

Although I was now on board with the idea, I still wasn’t comfortable asking for help without offering something in return. It took a little while to figure out how I might give back, but once I did, there was no stopping the train as it picked up speed.

In thanks, everyone who contributes, no matter the amount, will receive a signed 8.5 x 5.5 print of an artwork of my choosing by mail. I am currently trying to decide which piece to print.

All of the details, including what this is and why it is so important to me, can be found in the link below. If you can see your way toward contributing, know that you have my sincere gratitude and I hope the Universe smiles upon you. If you can find it in your heart to share this among your friends, family, coworkers, etc., know that you have my sincere thanks as well, for THAT is as important as if you had contributed yourself.

https://www.gofundme.com/pmy4c6fc

To be completely honest, this journey I have embarked upon is slightly terrifying. I could really use your prayers, good vibes, thoughts and well-wishes. Thank you all in advance!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

Dada Poetry Review

You’ll recall the challenge I issued to create your own version of a Tristan Tzara dada cut-up poem?

Read the original post here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/dadaism-celebrating-100-years/

Read the follow-up post here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/a-look-at-dada-poetry/

Terry Owenby, of Portland, Oregon, bravely stepped outside her comfort zone to accept the challenge and this is what transpired…

Terry Owneby Dada Cut Up 2016

In the meantime, I completed two of my dada poems using the words played in Scrabble games and am sending them out to Terry Owenby and Keith Chambers, in thanks. Here’s one to whet your appetite:

Scrabble Dada Poem created within the confines of one game's word list.

Scrabble Dada Poem created within the confines of one game’s word list

Discovering new and unusual art is always a delight for me. This week, I found some great work being created by Ray Craig. I stumbled upon his “poem(s) set in stencils” and was immediately taken with them. I think you will be, too.

nurse ghost daughter bus by Ray Craig

nurse ghost daughter bus by Ray Craig

egg nurse by Ray Craig

egg nurse by Ray Craig

ghost egg sits at 8 by Ray Craig

ghost egg sits at 8 by Ray Craig

sits at by Ray Craig

sits at by Ray Craig

at too bus at 8 by Ray Craig

at too bus at 8 by Ray Craig

Hope you enjoyed this Dada poetry review.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

 

 

 

Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap 2016 (Update)

This was my third year participating in the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap. Kat Sloma of http://kateyestudio.com/ organizes it every winter, giving us something with which to break free of the blahs of gray nothingness. Many of us look forward to the swap with a fervor that is lacking in similar events.

Back in February, I shared my printed cards in this post: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/on-my-desk-liberate-your-art-2016/

Eventually, I chose to use only one of the two designs for the swap, holding the other in reserve for an upcoming project. (More on that in a later post!)

Sadly, the official swap is over. We were to take photos as our cards arrived, in their new environment. My haul can be seen in the following photos:

DSC_0706

First card of 2016 received from Kat van Rooyen, Certified Zentangle Teacher. You can find more of her work at HeartTanglesStudios.com

Mary Jane Henderson of Brisbane, Australia says that this photo was taken, "while on holiday in Vietnam and given slight enhancement to colour saturation."

Mary Jane Henderson of Brisbane, Australia says that this photo was taken, “while on holiday in Vietnam and given slight enhancement to colour saturation.”

From Cakers of cakersandco.com, this piece arrived with the following quote... The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

From Cakers of cakersandco.com, this piece arrived with the following quote… The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Sadly, this card arrived without artist identification of any kind. It merely said, "Dear artist, I'm working on images of dreams and memories." The dream-like quality of this slightly out-of-focus image was quite successful. Kudos to Anonymous, whomever you are!

Sadly, this card arrived without artist identification of any kind. It merely said, “Dear artist, I’m working on images of dreams and memories.” The dream-like quality of this slightly out-of-focus image was quite successful. Kudos to Anonymous, whomever you are!

Foggy Morning, Cabell Marsh, Finley Wildlife Refuge, OR by D.L. Correa. She says she took Kat's class in iphone photography and enjoyed playing with effects. Her card landed at Radiator Springs for it's photo shoot because despite its having been a marsh shot, it put me in mind of the dessert.

Foggy Morning, Cabell Marsh, Finley Wildlife Refuge, OR by D.L. Correa. She says she took Kat’s class in iphone photography and enjoyed playing with effects. Her card landed at Radiator Springs for it’s photo shoot because despite its having been a marsh shot, it put me in mind of the dessert.

Lastly, Kat's own card arrived. I immediately drew comparisons between her "Gatekeeper" to "Locusts" an etching by Susan Booth Titus, of Ithaca, NY, given to me long ago by my dear Aunt and Uncle. Susan graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (my own back yard) and I have long adored this etching of hers....

Lastly, Kat’s own card arrived. I immediately drew comparisons between her “Gatekeeper” and “Locusts” an etching by Susan Booth Titus, of Ithaca, NY, given to me long ago by my dear Aunt and Uncle. Susan graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (my own back yard) and I have long adored this etching of hers….

Thanks to Kat and the gang for another amazing swap!

Now, the side-swapping fun has begun! Yes, many of us long ago decided to battle the end of swap let down, by continuing to swap with folks whose cards we did not receive in the initial swap. As we rarely print the five cards required, we have leftovers. What better way to use them, than to keep swapping? None that we can think of!

Here, my side swaps are ready to post. I can't wait to see what they bring back to my mail box!

Here, my side swaps are ready to post. I can’t wait to see what they bring back to my mail box!

In a few weeks, I’ll be back to share the side swaps I receive.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!