2023.12 Mike Film - A Mail (Art) Epic

This book is for sale here:


The above list shows who most of the distributors of Mike Film were. They're all represented in the book.


review of

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's "Mike Film - A Mail (Art) Epic"

by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - December 17, 2023




In August of 1978, I started making thirteen 50' super-8 movies of 20 of my main art objects that I'd made from roughly age 17 to, maybe, age 21. I then cut up the films frame-by-frame to produce roughly 46,800 separate frames of film. I called these "Mike Film". I then wrote a statement explaining this project & asking people to take these frames, to do something w/ them, & to tell me what they'd done. Having recently gotten a list of mail artists from my friend Cathy Gayhardt I picked the ones whose names interested me the most & I sent them this statement, in the form of what I called a "Mike Film Form Letter". These form letters contained a small pouch w/ Mike Film frames in it. When I got replies I included them in more form letters & sent those out. There were 8 form letters in all but the distribution project continued beyond the last of those, in 1995.

This bk documents this whole process, including the giving-away of the 20 art objects in what I think of as my transition from artist to mad scientist. Culling materials from super-8 & 16mm film in addition to the mail art & Mike Film reports sent to me the bk's presentation is of higher quality than the original reports b/c it uses higher resolution scans of some of the color mailings that wd've been originally presented in a lower-resolution black & white. Otherwise, it's also of a low quality for the images taken from super-8 & other early technologies.

The things that people chose to do w/ the film are a pretty good indication of a zeitgeist, a subversive approach to society & to the production & nurturing of culture. Not only is the bk an interesting sampling of mail art over a 12+ yr period it's also a look at the most micro of any microcinema I know of.

To quote from the "Afterbirth" ending to the bk:

"In retrospect, I think of things that I did & things that "Blaster" did as a sort of 'guerrilla playfare'. Mail (Art) was considered by many to be an alternative to the conventional art market. Instead of trying to have exhibits of our work at prestigious art venues where we might attain fame & fortune many of us were trying to network, to find kindred spirits, people we could have fun with, people from all over the world. Hence, the Guerrilla Playfare was an alternative to the business side of the Art World, a hit'n'run attack on the depersonalized in favor of actual friendships.

"Mike Film was/is a project that encouraged a subversive relation to the mainstream culture. It's not unimportant that one of the participants was in prison, that another sent Mike Film to Margaret Thatcher, that it may even 've been distributed by a CIA agent in Peking, that it may've been planted somewhere where the KGB would find it, that it was slipped into carcasses at a slaughter house. It was spread to Japan, to Africa, via balloons on the East Coast of the USA. The subversion lay in the scale, this was no full frontal assault on the White House or other centers of political power. Instead it was what I call a "Mystery Catalyst", something that does-not-compute, if it was even noticed. It was a bloodless revolt against the spectacle." - p 111

P.s. This is my SEVENTEENTH bk, my 10th bk, "footnotes", has been mysteriously removed from Goodreads. The last time I looked, "footnotes" was available for sale 2 places online. If you're interested in stopping bks from being 'disappeared' you might want to factor this in.




Here're some sample pages:







idioideo at gmail dot com


to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Anti-Neoism page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Audiography page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Bibliography page

to my "Blaster" Al Ackerman index


to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Censored or Rejected page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Collaborations page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (d) compositions page

to Amir-ul Kafirs' Facebook page

to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's GoodReads profile

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Haircuts page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Home Tapers page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE index page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Instagram Poetry page

to a listing of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's manifestations on the Internet Archive

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee index

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE'S Linked-In profile

for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..

to the mm index

to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Neoism page

to the DEFINITIVE Neoism/Anti-Neoism website

to the Philosopher's Union website

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Score Movies


to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important

to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page

to Psychic Weed's Twitter page

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Vimeo index

to Vine movies relevant to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE made by Ryan Broughman

to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's presence in the Visual Music Village

for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH

to a very small selection of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Writing

to the onesownthoughts YouTube channel