K. Moss



Glitter doesn't scan, so you can't make out that this card has shiny bits. It is made with commercial rubber stamps hand-tinted, & the stripe along the left edge is the edging from a pressure-gum postage stamp sheet.

Though it appears to be stamped & cancelled, the stamp is actually recycled, & the cancellation is a commercial rubber stamp that I really like because the wording in it says "Cosmic inconsequentialities, Dada Post, Fluxus" all designed to make a rubberstamper out of any mail artist. Kathlyn put the card in a decorated envelope since it was not actually addressed & postable.

Kathlyn by no means always does art from rubber stamps; she does all sorts of mail art, & is first-rate at whatevr method she decides upon on the given day. The reverse of this one is a small paper collage with a short communication dated 6-13-95, & which I quote:

"Finally she speaks! Rat on! John Held Jr
read your newsletter at the mail art
workshop in Salem, OR in connection with
his show of artistamps. Wonderful show --
you should come down and see it. -K."

Now this is an example of how going through a box of old mail art can be a nostalgia fest. The "Finally she speaks!" line is because I rarely include messages with outgoing mail art, & some people have tried for years to get me to correspond with them, but I don't correspond. But for a while I did do a newsletter called The Ratty Gazette which was part of a Cinderella/Artistamp project. People would send me sheets of their arty stamps, & I would break up the sheets & distribute them among all participants, folded inside a long sheet of paper with Wratty Writings all over both sides of the legal-length sheet. A few folks who'd long imagined me being as sweet as a lot of my mail art were a tad surprised that I'm actually a curmudgeon.

One of those newsletters crabbed & kvetched against people who were trying to make Big Bucks selling faux "prints" of artistamps, that were generally nothing but color photocopies or computer printouts. These would sometimes have prices on them of $20 or $100 per sheet. Some looked lovely, but I felt they were against the spirit of mail art, & they were just jackshit cheapy-ass pieces of paper that cost the artist little more than the time it takes to press the "print" button. If they'd been mezotints or something similar, numbered & signed with the master plate destroyed so no further copies could be made, & were not just color xeroxes or computer print-outs or quickprint offset lithography, only in that case was I was willing to consider the possibility that these would be actual artist prints imitative of what mail artists did first & shared freely.

To my surprise, pointing out what a ripoff load of hogswallow it all was got some people really peevish with me. A couple artistamp makers wrote me actual hate-mail about what a mean fuck I am, & corrected me by saying they never sold enough of their stamps to make any real money. But I convinced them I was even meaner than they thought by telling them this proved only that crime doesn't pay. Others agreed with me to varying degrees, & still others found it a mere matter of opinion, mine no better than anyone's, & suggested that if there are artists who can make a C-note now & then off a color photocopy, more power to 'em, it's not like artists often get paid what they're worth after all. Some of the Ratty Gazette issues included incoming correspondence responding to this topic, so it got dragged out a bit. I had no idea it was going to be a volatile topic that would get a bunch of folks in a twitter & even hold grudges over it. Just reinforced my sentiment that art images, & not correspondence, is the best thing for mail art!

I thought I might dig out the Gazette containing that old editorial & recycle it onto this website. But remembering how upset some people got, not sure I should. And anyway, I should probably dream up something totally new with which to upset people.

If not for having saved K.'s note to me, I would never again have remembered mail art giant & artistamp collector John Held, Jr.,thought well enough of my back-then-tirade to read it at an exhibition, which was, of course, an honor to have had happen.

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