[Jandek] [RE] Jandek autograph

derek hanson kyanize at lycos.com
Sun Jun 1 15:47:44 PDT 2008

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> Also, there are no stamps. I think that if his intention

> was in include stamps as part of his "art" (as was

> discussed here a little while ago), he could have very

> easily put some on the box. 


i never would have thought that on a music discussion list dedicated to jandek of all things, there would be so little appreciation for the idea that art can be expressed in other ways besides a literal practice of music, paint, collage, etc. an act of producing something for an audience, no matter a large group or one person, can be considered artful (and thoughtful for that matter) without becoming the actual art piece. from merriam-webster's online dictionary...


Main entry: art form 

Function: noun 
Date: 1868 
1: a form or medium of expression recognized as fine art <sees dance as both an art form and an entertainment>
2 a: an unconventional form or medium in which impulses regarded as artistic may be expressed <describe pinball as a great American art form— Tom Buckley> b: an undertaking or activity enhanced by a high level of skill or refinement <easy conversation—an art form in peril of being lost to contemporary schedules — Joanna Pruess>

the way jandek, or any musician, chooses to dress, both on and offstage, is a part of who they are. the feakin' cell phone they choose to use (or choosing not to use a cell phone) becomes a part of what people recognize as the artist's aesthetic. any choice we make in life makes a statement: about who we are, and who we want to be as artists, as consumers, as living, thinking beings. sometimes this choice is made consciously. sometimes subconsciously. and, of course, the choice is always affected by what is available. if, when jandek arrives at the post office, they are out of all stamps except for "frank sinatra" stamps and "minnesota statehood" stamps and he then picks the stamps with ol' blue eyes, he has made a specific choice, even if that choice was limited and/or subconscious. i doesn't matter that the choice was forced because the post office required stamps for mailing this time, and there are no stamps the next time because chose to use metered mail.


the artwork that accompanies his albums is one of the things that first help draw me in, to want to investigate his music more. the fact that he has consistantly maintained the wordless front art year after year is fantastic to me. i guess what i'm trying to say is that while i did not, and do not, think that he was trying "include stamps in his 'art' ", i certainly think the man has a visual element to what he is doing (think of the dancer at the recent show) and to dismiss these more mundane decisions as entirely artless is absurd.


i would recommend two books for anyone on this list. "peace is every step" by thich nhat hanh for examples of mindfulness in everyday life. (could washing dishes be art?) and "wabi-sabi: for artists, designers, poets &amp; philosophers" by leonard koren. i think of jandek's music as audio wabi-sabi.


sorry if this comes off as preachy. derek.


when i'm watchin' my tv and a man comes on and tell me/

how white my shirts can be/

but, he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke/

the same cigarettes as me

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