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A FLUXATLAS. Spatial poem no.2. - Mieko Shiomi


SHIOMI, Mieko.
A FLUXATLAS. Spatial poem no.2.
A single sheet [36 x 85 cm] folded into four panels, contained inside a printed card portfolio fastened with a string closure. Reprinted from the original edition produced by the artist in 1966 with design by George Maciunas. Signed, numbered and dated by Mieko Shiomi as 77 in an edition of 500 copies. New York: Reflux, 1995.

In 1965 Mieko Shiomi began producing mail-art events she called 'Spatial Poems'. Shiomi would invite a long list of friends and colleagues across the globe to respond to a simple instruction and the responses that would be received by mail would be mapped into a visual poem. Fluxatlas, is her second 'spatial poem' event. Shiomi's description on the edition records the precise time and intentions of the action: 'This is the record of various directions to which people were simultaneously moving or facing around 10pm (Greenwich time) on October 15th 1965'.

Shiomi's map loosely shows Japan, North America and Europe in outline populated with descriptions of her friends' actions. Some descriptions are cleverly plotted into a spiral so that they also visually read like a compass rose.

The activities recorded by Shiomi's colleagues range from mundane to hilarious:

'Alison Knowles was facing south-west, helping a man carry a large piece of lumber up the stairs in N.Y.'
'Bengt af Klintberg was possibly chasing a mouse that had come into his bedroom in Södertälje, Sweden.'
'Robert Filliou was on top of Marianne Staffeldt in Villefranche, France.' While 'Marianne Staffeldt was under Robert Filliou in Villefranchce, France'. Shiomi herself is recorded 'walking towards the sounds which were too distant to reach in Oakayama'.

A gorgeous edition that is testament to the wide network of artists collaborating at the time. Included here are Dom Sylvester Houédard, John J Sharkey, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Diter Rot, Ay-o, Ben Vautier, Robert Filliou, Stanley Brouwn, Wolf Vostell and many others.

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