As it goes, in April 2023, I dropped a Mail Art collage (with theme of pandemic-ness) into the mail *juuuusssttt* as we were heading to the airport to take my first trip back to Canada for a long time (as well as taking my wife and son to meet their relatives and pals).
As much as i can figure, the exhibit was put on by Kollaj magazine and PaperPost Boise for an exhibit at Boise State University, ergo:
“Paper+ Post is an international open call for mail art with collage as the theme. Postcard-sized mail art will be presented in an exhibition at Boise State University titled,Paper +Post.
This exhibition will feature collage and mixed media works highlighting current worldwide trends in collage. We are asking participants to respond to life during the pandemic these past three years. We welcome participants to ponder the question,“How has living with the pandemic for the past three years changed your life?”
Upon conclusion of the exhibition, artwork will be preserved in Boise State’s SpecialCollections and Archives at Albertsons Library.Paper + Post’s open call for collage-themed mail art is being held in conjunction with World Collage Day, an annual, international celebration of collage.”Paper Post Boise (dropbox file)
Made a few variations of scans quickly using flatbed scanner and an overhead laser scanner with very different colour results / collecting here as well as showing the envelope’s enclosures “opened up” and other hidden gems. Which variation do you prefer? It’s up to you, not me after all.
One of the curators found a common experience about the fable Yak & Yeti Hotel where i stayed with Cmdr Magnum,
“It’s perfect and so interesting. There’s a tiny bit on there that says Yak & Yeti (a very nice hotel in Kathmandu). It reminded me of a trip I was on, after crossing overland, camping between Lhasa Tibet on our way to Kathmandu, we stayed there! I’ve never checked into a hotel as dusty & filthy dirty as I was that day. And despite that, they served us some kind of welcome drink in the lobby right then. We were astonished and so grateful to have made it there.”
I replied: “it’s truly an historic hotel… As a kid growing up in Canada reading accounts of Himalayan expeditions in a canvas tent in our suburban backyard, I remembered expeditions using that as the first checkpoint in the last checkpoint on their trips… As it goes, I checked in there on the night before Nepali New Year’s Eve and it was a packed with a variety of clientele from expeditions with huge carts filled with climbing gear to distinguished local elites coming for festivities. was only there for one night and where am I “best outfit” a custom hemp clothes made in Pokhara (where my fictional aerogramme comes from) and a topi hat… Then I moved over to a six dollar a night flophouse in the Thamel district, and my freshly polished boots became filthy in the muddy streets and I went back to my usual “dusty dirty” mode as I hopped on a plane to Abu Dhabi filled with young Nepali fella with their travel scarves heading off to do dangerous challenging jobs (for low pay). Thanks so much for sharing your memories. If you have anything written or documented, please share with me.”
Other artifacts include: receipt from Sabriti Hemp Shop and vibes from my time at Ayurveda Health Home which i used as a context yet set in 1975 (Aug 1st as was the postal cancellation). Various stamps – wood/ink and postal – plus trekking permits, and a combination of typewriter (Olivetti Lettera 34) and fountain pen. Continued the conceit the aerogramme was refused for enclosures and thus lost in dead letter piles. Did Thor’s letter ever find Ms. Heda?
The exhibit happened while I was off on the ramble, and so kind missed it in real life, but there is a IG video and if you look closely, you can catch my piece. I guess now goes into a special collection. Not quite sure what that means but its fun (especially considering how infrequently I *actually* send something out for display rather than just “sending something out”)
As it goes, I’ve always made these kind of travel ephemera collages but just now realizing that other people enjoy this kind of stuff :-) I guess I’m a slow learner.