samedi, mars 19, 2005

Add & Pass...

Yesterday in the mail Jo.Ann Hill sent, there was this copy on a text written by Monty Cantsin. I don't know where the text is from but I read it a few times and I found it rather interesting. I've seen on different boards comments about Add & Pass, but I think, this one is the best so far.
I often questioned myself about participating to Add & Pass. I most of the time feel obliged to answer since the person who sent me the Add & Pass first, made an effort to send it and second, spent money on stamps. But at the end of the day, Add & Pass is not something I am inspired about (more like a burden).
I often challenged originators of Add & Pass about where the completed sheets were going and for what purpose. I was ( I am still...) trying to understand the purpose of Add & Pass. I never got any answers back except once. This guy was producing a sort of topical zine by presenting the completed (when a sheet is completed?) sheets received/returned, and sending copies to participants.
Anyways, I was never warm to answer or forward Add & Pass and I made the decision to never participe anymore. When I receive Add & Pass, they will go in my archives unanswered.
This opens a full can of worms. For those of you familiar with ATCs, as far I am concerned, JAM cards fall into the same category as Add & Pass sheets.

Comments? Here's the text:


By Monty Cantsin

I receive add & pass sheets in the mail all the time. To those fortunatly ignorant, a pass & add sheet is a piece of paper filled with rubber stamps, stickers and clippings. At the bottom of the page is a list of addresses to show the providence of said paper. It has been here and it has been there.

This compulsive passivity is the pseudo-activity of merely pasting a photo or stamping a stamp on a prearranged sheet. The addiction is manifested in the need to return to the post office to perpetuate this fraud disguised (and often praised) as ''creativity''.

What does it matter that one add and pass sheet is mailed? The add & pass sheet is devoid of any personality or ideas beyond a linked hyper-monotony. No ideas, no entrees, no communication about who the sender IS only an advertisement for self that indicates egotism as these future baton wielding cultural policemen trot from mailbox to post office. Add and pass sheets are determined to continue the status quo by turning a cultural form based on communication into an advertisement of the alleged gifts shining forth from the name of the ''artist''. These people are right wing counter strategists designed to infiltrate the network by their suggestive passivity - oh this is what I have to say (my name & address) I say pass on this Very important ''statement'' to you, who have been ''chosen'' not think, tape address here, rubber stamp there, shove in envelope send.

The tyranny is adding and passing. Add and pass is shorthand for addiction and passivity. Those who live by add and pass die by add and pass, that is addiction and passivity. Correspondence art is the exchange of ideas through the state sponsored medium of postal awareness, of postal ubiquity.

Correspondence art is about corresponding, it is about tessellation, the link up of ideas and images. Mail art is exactly that, mail: cancelled checks and receipts, mail is/are/was physical assemblages being exchanged, male art is phallic dominance-the erection of a pyramid of stamps spurting its cosmic identity (sperm) (return address) (gooey). You've been stained...

I throw all add and pass sheets into the garbage can thoughfully provided by my local post office. I never correspond with anyone who sends an add and pass sheet. I never contact anyone who has ever been part of an add and pass sheet as they are obviously collaborators determined to destroy all aspects of freedom. I urge all correspondence ''artists'' to boycott all who participate int he vile detritus that is add and pass. Let those scum have their own network where they can cozily kiss and exchange their addresses...

8 commentaires:

Ed Giecek a dit...

Here. Here! Pleeeze add to this comment and pass it on.

kiyotei a dit...

I'm glad I know this now so I don't send you any more ATC Jams, although I really liked the last few I got with your mark on them. I Especially enjoyed the sunburst pencil shaving.

So how do you feel about Add&Pass collaborations like:

Or my favorite one I've seen of yours:

Are these projects still considered Add&Pass by your definition or are they something else?

Take care my excellent friend. Thanks for the recent mailings- they were fantastic.

* kiyotei-blog-dog

RF Côté (reg) a dit...

Hi K friend,
Well, you are bringing interesting points. Personnally, I don't have a definition for Add & Pass but the Face it project was more an Alter & Return since one page was reserved for one individual. End product was a collation of similar original pages not altered, which was BTW, an interesting project!
About JAM ATCs, I have to admit that I have been swamped with them for the last couple months. Projects originated by new ATC artists mainly. If a project (either JAM or Add & Pass) is more interesting than others, what is so? Things that make you go Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Is a sheet deliberatly sent to an artist with Alter & Return instructions, falls into the same category as Add & Pass? I don't think so because the intent of communication is still there instead of random sendings and passings. Well the floor is still open for discussion, comments.

Of topic: I'll be away for two weeks on vacation, keep an eye on your mailbox for mailart coming from the Guadeloupe. Take care!


drosspriddle a dit...

a defence of addnpasses
why do people hate these things so much? i actually kind of like them: here's a few of the things they have going for them: 1) chaos! what self-respecting mail-artist doesn't love a little chaos? 2) collaboration! doesn't a sort of "group-mind" emerge on some of these? especially when you can't tell who did what? 3) series of gifts: mail-artist A sends out some work as a gift to mail-artist B who adds a gift and sends it on to C and so on 4) letting go: a) letting go control of the art work: when you send it on it's out of your hands what happens next b) letting go of the physical object (not easy for some of us archivers & collectors!) letting go to the point where the next person may very well destroy or round-file the work (i.e. throw it in the garbage) 5) karma! it strikes me as extemely bad karma to throw these in the garbage 6) random! who knows what the next person is going to put on the page or who it will go to next? 7) trust: you pass on the thing trusting the next person to do the right thing with it (whatever that may be) 8) history! every addnpass is a little history lesson: who's been active etc. some of them go right back to Ray Johnson (and before that there was the exquisite corpses of the Dadaists or maybe the Surrealists)

it strikes me that to be anti-addnpass is to be anti-mailart
these are the heart and soul of the network
so cheer up and get to work!

Ed Giecek a dit...

What is an atc jam ??

Sound'zZ delicious, by the way...

RF Côté (reg) a dit...

ATC JAM are collaborative work where the support is an ATC (Artist Trading Card). It's a collaborative work between the originator of the card which is then passed to (normally) a maximum of three other participants since the size of the card does is rectricted. An example can be found here:

I don't know were the name JAM is coming from but the fist JAM I participated was from Ed Beals (Halifax).

kiyotei a dit...

I'm not sure, but it probably comes from a music Jam - like a jazz session.

Not to be confused with a Round Robin ATC, where a packet of cards is sent to a total of three people and each puts something on the cards. Then each person gets an "original" card--not a scanned copy--back.

Ed Giecek a dit...

Sound'zZ like fun...