Part – 2 (page 440-919) of the book “Where the Secret is Hidden” , Collected Essays, 1979-2011 containing 106 essays written over 30 years on the 20th Century cultural avant-garde including Duchamp, Cage, Mail Art, Fluxus, DiY, zine and artist publishing, international cultural networking, performance art, rubber stamps and other artistic mediums the mainstream considers marginal. Each essay is illustrated with the publication in which it first appeared or an associated item.
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By Jokie X Wilson
Feb 11, 2013
Part two continues the stories begun in part one, covering the continual influences on mail art by Ray Johnson and other artists. The interesting effect of this is that John keeps returning to many of the same artists again and again. This, of course, is because there are more details to reveal about them to further clarify the intent and structure of the world of mail art. But, in so doing, he reveals that even with such an egalitarian medium, a creation of stardom can in fact result rather than a never-ending quest to document new artists. And that is just as well, because such an effort could so dilute the genre as to render it impotent. So, where to from here? While John's writings do not necessarily serve to merely inspire others to contribute to the genre either by making mail art or writing about artists of their own interest, that is in fact an important part of why these writings exist. They serve as both historical document and a sort of how-to in regards to inspiring others... More > to create their own universes of expression. The basic structure of exchanging communications in written form can be adapted to literally any era that still allows for its physical transport. John has offered us a seed that can take root anywhere this condition exists.< Less
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