SMILEs,

FILE, VILE, BILE, VAGUE, ETC..

Sometime between February & April of 1984, Stewart Home started a magazine called "SMILE". In it, he encouraged everyone to call their magazine SMILE. Sometime around then, he learned of the "8th International Neoist Apartment Festival" happening in London from an ad placed by Reinhardt U. Sevol in a London-based Performance Art magazine. He responded to the ad. He'd just completed the 2nd issue of SMILE in April or May so he went to the HQ for the festival & showed it to the Neoists & Non-Neoists assembled there.

All history is contended by conflicting memories from varied sources, often with ulterior motives unknown to the people who encounter their stories. Since my original writing of this introductory text, I received a critical email from Monty Cantsin (Istvan Kantor) & a more friendly 'pedantic' one from Ae Phor (formerly known as Monty Cantsin (Pete Horobin)). The original telling (no longer in the paragraph above or elsewhere in this introduction) was partially based on the following statement by Home in Lightworks #19 in which he claimed:

"Toward the end of April I came into contact with Pete Horobin, the Scottish Neoist. He told me about the Monty Cantsin "open pop-star" concept. An American called David Zack had made up the name in 1977. A Latvian musician, Maris Kidzin," [actually Maris Kundzins] "took on the name, and he and Zack mailed out postcards that asked other artists to use the Cantsin persona when they wished to take on the identity of a pop star. By the time I came across the name, I was the only one using it. As it tied in with my White Colours and Smile projects, I did my best to encourage more people to take on the name."

Now, Stewart was just point-blank vindictively lying there. Istvan Kantor was extremely active primarily under the name Monty Cantsin but Stewart didn't like him so he cut him out of the history. Kundzins' connection to the name was marginal, at best. Pete & I (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) had both used the name Monty Cantsin.

It was my impression that since Reinhardt moved to Paris before APT 8 even started & since it was Monty Cantsin (Pete Horobin) who greeted me in London when I arrived before the APT Fest that it was mainly Pete who was the organizer. Who should be given primary credit for organizing the festival is a subject that I won't give a 'definitive' answer to at the moment, if ever.

Given that Stewart's idea of calling multiple magazines SMILE conceptually coincided with the Neoist idea of people using the collective identity of Monty Cantsin & doing 'everything' in the name of Neoism, the Neoists immediately adopted SMILE as a Neoist magazine & began promoting it far & wide through the Mail Art network that most Neoists, except the young Stewart, were very active in. I wrote an explanation of Monty Cantsin & SMILE in a call for participation in a proposed all-transparencies assembling SMILE to be put together a year later in 1985. This English explanation was translated into German, Italian, & Farsi, & distributed internationally.

Lest this website be misunderstood, it is NOT a listing of Neoist magazines. There were Neoist publications before SMILE & there have been non-SMILE Neoist publications contemporaneous with SMILE & not every SMILE was necessarily Neoist. There was "NEO" (later "ORGAN"), 1979-1984, from the untiring originator, agitator, & organizer of Neoism Monty Cantsin (Istvan Kantor) Amen! - & David Zack's "NEO-NOOZE", 1983, etc..

What Stewart was probably unaware of when he created SMILE was the lineage that a magazine name ending in "ILE" connected to the Mail Art network would automatically be a part of: viz: the lineage of FILE to VILE to BILE. FILE, a publication produced by General Idea in Toronto, had taken their name as an anagram of the well-known photo-journalism magazine LIFE & had mimiced its look too. Sometime around all this, (in November of 1979) Tom Vague, in England, also created a magazine called VAGUE which mimiced VOGUE. I include VAGUE in here not because it was a SMILE project but because it was done in a similar spirit as (in a sense) the 'next step' in the FILE-VILE-BILE lineage (& is also the longest-lasting of all these projects). But what eventually made SMILE unique in this lineage was its multiple editorship & multiple points of origin.

While much of the above is commonly acknowledged in Mail Art history, one important precursor is usually left out: the Charlie Manson record called "LIE" that took its name & look from the LIFE magazine article about Manson. Below is my personal chronology of LIFE to LIE & FILE to VILE to BILE to VAGUE to SMILE, etc.. In the initial stages of this archiving, at least, most of the images provided are covers of magazines in my own archive. A few images are taken from online. I don't have any issues of BILE & I only have middle-era issues of VAGUE so my knowledge there is sketchy. Clicking on the index links &/or the thumbnail images will take you to separate pages where the images are larger & where there may be further explanation &/or more scanned pages (eventually).

In 1992, Simon Ford curated an exhibit of SMILE magazines at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The catalog was called "SMILE CLASSIFIED" & included a chronology of SMILEs previously published as "SMILE History Lesson" by Mark Pawson. In some instances I disagree with this chronology, in others I consulted it. Either way, Mark's "History Lesson" was an excellent one that only a deeply involved Mail Artist could've produced at the time. While I was in correspondence with most of the editors of SMILE & its variants, I had somewhat lost interest in it by the early 1990s, if not sooner. I wasn't in touch with Erica Smith, who did LIMES, &, no doubt, some others. I believe that this website is probably the most complete online resource regarding the SMILEs but I'm also sure that I'll have to continue to update it as I realize that I've missed many things.

My chronology's being written in 2015, there're bound to be some mistakes. There're probably also some misattributions. In at least one case, I don't remember where the SMILE originated from. I welcome corrections & missing links sent to the email address listed near the bottom of this page.

Some of these publications show smoke damage. That dates them as having been acquired by me before early 1985 when my apartment in South BalTimOre was set fire to by an arsonist. Also included in this chronology are reviews about or relevant to SMILE in places other than SMILE. Otherwise, things that I don't know enough about to place chronologically + ephemera will be (or are) placed at the end of the list.

As with all of my websites, this one's in-progress & will probably never be 'finished'. I'm completely burnt-out on creating it at the moment. Given that I'm using software that's at least 18 years old to make it & that that means that even for individual pages I tax the memory of the faux Mac OS 9 that the software runs on, even getting as far as I will by the time I upload this will be quite labor-intensive.

Aftere posting the 1st version of this online, I was informed in a March 22, 2015 email from Florian Cramer, the great Neoist scholar, that "In addition to the SMILE issues listed on your pages, there was a whole series of SMILE magazines published by an British industrial music/culture group (called something like Academy 23 - ?!?) in the 1990s, and a number of SMILE magazines published in Spain around the same time. I do not have any issues of those. In the early/mid-nineties, a German discordianist called Michael Liermann also published a SMILE issue." That's all news to me so there's obviously far more out there than I'm aware of. For the sake of my archiving, it would be great to have more information about the afore-mentioned.

SMILE listings that aren't accompanied by an image are taken from Mark Pawson's "SMILE History Lesson" & either aren't in my collection or aren't recognizable as being in my collection from Mark's description.

Some people will, quite accurately, accuse me of treacherously undermining the GREAT CONFUSION & historification-resistance of Neoism by clarifying some of the many origin-&-dating-pranks of the issues below. What can I say? I'm a natural-born contrarian - maybe - or maybe I just think it's time to revive some strong scholarly standards that I sometimes see withering away.

 

1969.12.19 LIFE - USA

1970.03.06 LIE - California, USA

1972.12 FILE Volume 1, Number 4 - Toronto, Canada - General Idea

1974.02 VILE #1 - San Francisco, USA - Anna Banana

1974.09 VILE #2 - San Francisco, USA - Anna Banana

1975.12 VILE #3 - San Francisco, USA - Anna Banana

1976, summer VILE Volume 1, Number 2 / Volume 2, Number 1 - San Francisco, USA - William John Gaglione & Anna Banana

1977, summer VILE Volume 3, Number 2 - San Francisco, USA - Anna Banana & William John Gaglione

1978 VILE #6 Fe-Mail-Art - San Francisco, USA - William John Gaglione & Anna Banana

1978 BILE - Buffalo, USA - Bradley Lastname

1979 FILE Volume 4, Number 2 - Toronto, Canada - General Idea

1979.11 - VAGUE 1 - London, England - Tom Vague

1983 About VILE (#8) - San Francisco, USA - Anna Banana

1984.02 SMILE 1 - Woking, England - Stewart Home

1984.04 SMILE 2 - Woking, England - Stewart Home

1984.06.SMILE 3 - Woking, England - Stewart Home

1984.07 proposal for Transparent SMILE - Monty Cantsin performing with White Colours - BalTimOre, US@ - Monty Cantsin (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE)

1984 SMILE, xerox 1 - Woking, England - Stewart Home & Mark Pawson

1984 SMILE, xerox 2, ritual - Woking, England - Stewart Home & Eugenie Vincent

1984 SMILE, xerox editions - Woking, England - Stewart Home

1984.08 SMILE 1 - Minden, West Germany - Joki Mailart (Jo Klaffki)

1984.08 SMILE 4 - Woking, England - Stewart Home

1984 SLIME - London, England - Mark Pawson & Erica Smith

1984 SMILE, how to write a stewart home style letter or postcard - London, England - Mark Pawson

1984.10 SMILE 6 (unreleased) Tim Ore issue - Woking, England / BalTimOre, US@ - Tim Ore (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) & Monty Cantsin (Stewart Home)

1984.10 SMILE 5 - Woking, England - Monty Cantsin (Stewart Home)

1984.12 SMILE 6 - Woking, England - Monty Cantsin (Stewart Home)

1984 NEO-SMILE - Dundee, Scotland / Northern Ireland / London, England - Pete Horobin / Ben Allen / Stewart Home

1984 SMILE FLAME - England - Rouska Rouska

1984 MILES / SMILE - Paris, France - Reinhardt Ü. Sevol

1984? SMILE - BalTimOre, USA - John Berndt

1984? EMILS 69 - USA - Dr. Emil Steiner (friend of Dr. Al Ackerman)

1984 SMILE cover - USA - Dr. Al Ackerman (friend of Dr. Emil Steiner)

1984?/1985? BIG SMILE - Montréal, Canada - Monty Cantsin (Istvan Kantor)

1985? Immortal LIES - Montréal, Canada - Monty Cantsin (Istvan Kantor)

1985? Immortal LIES - Montréal, Canada - Monty Cantsin (Istvan Kantor)

1985 LISME 1 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Monty Cantsin (Arthur Berkhoff)

1985 SMILE - London, England - Mark Pawson

1985 SMILE 1985 (RANT?) - USA - Creative Thing

1985.03 SMILE 7 - London, England - Monty Cantsin (Stewart Home) & Monty Cantsin (Pete Horobin)

1985.04 LISME - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Monty Cantsin (Arthur Berkhoff)

1985.04 SMILE 2 - Minden, West Germany - Joki Mailart (Jo Klaffki)

1985.05 VAGUE 16-17 - London, England - Tom Vague

1985.06 Smile / Snarl / TRAX - Ponte Nossa, Italy - Vittore Baroni

1985 SMILE - Italy - Vittore Baroni

1985? SMILE - Italy - Serse Luigetti

1985.07 LISME number 3 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Neoistisher Kontrollposten (Arthur Berkhoff)

1985.07 SMILE 8 - London, England - Karen Eliot (Stewart Home)

1985 SMILE Neoist Music Anthology - Montréal, Canada - Monty Cantsin (Istvan Kantor)

1985.09 Transparent SMILE - Monty Cantsin performing with White Colours - BalTimOre, US@ - Monty Cantsin (tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE)

1985.10.02.LISME 4 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Basis Orgumna, AKAUCN, Akademgorod United Cells of Neoism, pregroperativistic movement (Arthur Berkhoff)

1985 SMILE - EMIL, add-to & send-on - London, England - Mark Pawson

1985 SMILE - BalTimOre, USA - Monty Cantsin (John Berndt)

1985? SMILE, now is never - BalTimOre, USA - Monty Cantsin (John Berndt)

1985 C_NILE.(Panmag 15) - NYC, USA - Mark Bloch

1985 SMILE AKAUCN I.D.s - London, England - Mark Pawson

1985 SMILE piss-take of SMILE AKAUCN I.D.s - England - David Jarvis

1985? LIMES - England - Erica Smith

? SMILE - England - Erica Smith

1985 SMILE - England - Roger Radio

1985 SMILE - Dundee, Scotland - Pete Horobin

1985 SMILE 3 - Minden, West Germany - Joki Mailart (Jo Klaffki)

1985/1986? MILES *2 - Paris, France - Reinhardt Ü. Sevol

1985/1986? MILES *2 - Paris, France - Reinhardt Ü. Sevol

1985-1989 SCHISM issues 11-20 - San Francisco, USA - Janet Janet

1986 START - MontréaL, Canada - Monty Cantsin (Istvan Kantor)

1986? NOW - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Monty Cantsin (Arthur Berkhoff)

1986.01.10 SMILE - Dundee, Scotland - DATA Pete Horobin DATA

1986.04 SMILE 4 - Minden, West Germany - Joki Mailart (Jo Klaffki)

1986.05.31 SMILE Volume 64 - Berlin, Germany - Graf Haufen

1986 ATTIC SMILE - Dundee, Scotland - Karen Eliot (Pete Horobin)

1986.08 Deaf Education SMILE - BalTimOre, US@ - tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

1986.09.06 SMILE Volume 63 - Berlin, Germany - Graf Haufen

1986.09.21 SMILE Dundee, Scotland - Pete Horobin

1986.10 SMILE 5 - Minden, West Germany - Joki Mailart (Jo Klaffki)

1986.10 SMILE6/7 - BalTimOre, USA - Monty Cantsin (John Berndt)

1986.10 SMILE 7/6 - BalTimOre, USA - Monty Cantsin (John Berndt)

1986 "Death is the spectacle of oppression" T-Shirt - BalTimOre, USA - John Berndt

1986.10 SMILE 9 - London, England - Karen Eliot (Stewart Home)

1986.10.10 SMILE - Firenze, Italy - John Berndt

1986.12 SMILE - Dundee, Scotland - DATA ATTIC (Pete Horobin) + David Zack & Snowhite Young

1986 SMILE - Firenze, Italy - Karen Eliot / Monty Cantsin (John Berndt)

1986 SMILE CONGRESS - London, England - Mark Pawson

1986 SMILE portraits - London, England - Mark Pawson + Ben Allen + Pete Horobin + Stewart Home

1986? SMILE 23.1 - England - Pete Scott

1986? SMILE - England - D. Tiffen / A. James

1986? SMILE - England - Andy Semple

1986/1987? LISME - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Monty Cantsin (Arthur Berkhoff)

1987 (winter 1986/1987) review of SMILEs in Lightworks #18 - Birmingham, MI, USA - Charlton Burch

1987.02.10 SMILE - Dundee, Scotland - DATA (Pete Horobin)

1987.03 VAGUE18-19 - London, England - Tom Vague

1987 SMILE 6 - Minden, West Germany - Joki Mailart (Jo Klaffki)

1987 SMILE, at Archives - Dundee, Scotland - Pete Horobin

1987 SMILE UB40 - Dundee, Scotland - Pete Horobin

1987 SMILE - Dundee, Scotland - Pete Horobin & Karen Strang

1987 SMILE 1 - Wisconsin, USA - Schiz-Flux

1987.06 SMILE10 - London, England - Karen Eliot (Stewart Home)

1987.08 SMILE (again) - Doncaster, England - Ian Blake

1987.08.SMILE2.BalTimOre, US@ - John Berndt (published by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's démo tapes)

1987.10 Controlled Abandon - Raleigh, USA - Brian Gentry

1987.10 review of Neoism & SMILE in New Art Examiner - Washington, DC, USA - Grant Kester

1987.11 SMILE SMALL PLASTIC BABIES - London, England - Mark Pawson

1987 SMILE 2 - Wisconsin, USA - Schiz-Flux

1987 SMILE 23.2 - England - Pete Scott

1987 SMILE IMUURI - Australia - Imuuri (C. Roberts)

1987? SMILE SHRAPE - England - Strngy

1988.02 VAGUE 20 - London, England - Tom Vague

1988 SMIRK *1 - England - Sam Monk

1988 SMIRK *2 - England - Sam Monk

1988.10 Perpetual Motion #24 SMILE - Brooklyn, USA - Circle Arts (Matty Jankowski)

1988.10 SMILE 3 (snarl) - Wisconsin, USA - Schiz-Flux

1988.11.09 SMILE - Life's a Bitch - Dundee, Scotland - Pete Horobin

1988 SMILE - London, England - Monty Cantsin (Mark Pawson)

1988 SMILE Commodity Issue - Raleigh, USA - Karen Eliot (Brian Gentry)

1988 SMILE - BalTimOre, USA - Karen Eliot / Monty Cantsin (John Berndt)

1988.SMILE Raleigh, USA - Karen Eliot (Brian Gentry)

1989 (winter 1988/1989) Stewart Home's "To tell the Truth?" article in Lightworks #19 - Birmingham, MI, USA - Charlton Burch

1989.01 VAGUE 21 - London, England - Tom Vague

1989.03.01 SMILE - London, England - Monty Cantsin (Mark Pawson)

1989.03.13 SMILE - Doncaster, England - Ian Blake

1989 SMILE 3 - BalTimOre, USA Karen Eliot / Monty Cantsin (John Berndt)

1989.07 SMILE 11 - London, England - Karen Eliot (Stewart Home)

1989.08.01 MILE - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Arthur Berkoff

1989.08.18 MILE Amsterdam, Netherlands - Monty Cantsin (Arthur Berkhoff)

1989 SMILE - BalTimOre, USA - John Berndt

1989 SMILE - Adelphi, USA - International Entropy Annex (Scott Larson)

1990.04 SMILE - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Monty Cantsin (Arthur Berkoff)

1990 SMILE 5 (smut) - Wisconsin, USA - Schiz-Flux

1991.04.20 SMILE a hook is a hat - Kontanz, Germany - Monty Cantsin (Florian Cramer)

1991.04 SMILE 11 - Minden, Germany - Joki Mailart (Jo Klaffki)

 

1991.07 SMILE Stale Man's Letters - Berlin, Germany - Florian Cramer

1991.07.12.Victoria & Albert Museum invite to SMILE show - London, England - Simon Ford

1991.12 SMILE - Konstanz, Germany - Monty Cantsin (Florian Cramer)

1992.01 SMILE secretinization (single copy only in the archive of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE) - Berlin, Germany - Karen Eliot (Florian Cramer)

1992.01 SMILE 030/19855 - Hamburg, Germany - Karen Eliot & Lt. Murnau (Daniel Braunschweig & Florian Cramer)

1992.03.20 SMILE CLASSIFIED - Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England - Simon Ford

1992.05.SMILE The International Magazine of Entertainment and Revolution - Berlin, Germany - Monty Cantsin, Karen Eliot, John Kennedy, Karen F. Eliot (Florian Cramer)

1992.06 SMILE The Anatomy of Neoism (redacted) in German - Berlin, Germany - Monty Cantsin (Florian Cramer)

1992.07.28 SMILE The Anatomy of Neoism in English (less redacted than the German version) - Amherst, USA - Karen Eliot (Florian Cramer)

1992.08.10.SMILE CLASSIFIED - Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England - Simon Ford

1992 SMILE MACHINE - BalTimOre, USA - Turner Scientific (Dick Turner)

1992 SMILE Presence and Space - Amherst, USA - Alice & Ilsa (Florian Cramer)

1992 SMILE 6 (snicker) - Wisconsin, USA - Schiz-Flux

1992 SMILE Rhetoric is Pornography - Amherst, USA - John Kennedy & Karen F. Eliot, Karen Eliot, Monty Cantsin (Florian Cramer)

1993 SMILE issue 100 - Amherst, USA - Monty Cantsin (Florian Cramer)

1993? SMILE the rhetoric of neoism - Berlin, Germany - Alice, Jason, & Ilsa (Florian Cramer)

1994? SMILE 7 (squirts) - Wisconsin - Schiz-Flux

1994 SMILE Broadly - BalTimOre, USA & Brooklyn, USA via Berlin, Germany - Dr. Emil Steiner (David Cole + "Blaster" Al Ackerman + Florian Cramer)

1994.10.08 SMILE / The Elective Affinities - Berlin, Germany - Florian Cramer

2008.05 SMILE 8 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - A Neoist Research Project (Florian Cramer)

2008 article regarding VILE by Stephen Perkins

2008 article regarding BILE by Stephen Perkins

2008 article regarding SMILE by Stephen Perkins

2010.12.03 SMILE Neoist Research Project - WORM - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Monty Cantsin

2011.04 SMILE d2rve+a - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Monty Cantsin (Florian Cramer)

2013 VAGUE 73 - England - Tom Vague

2014.03.15 tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE interviewed by Matt Aelmore - Pittsburgh, USA

2014 VAGUE list

2015.03 Networked Disruption - Skuc Gallery/Aksiom Ljubljana Slovenia - Monty Cantsin  & visitors of Skuc Gallery

2015.05 SMILE - Rotterdam, Netherlands - no attribution (Florian Cramer, made at Zine Camp 2015, WORM Rotterdam)

 

***********************************

dark side

dunno

ephemera

 

 

tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

idioideo at verizon dot net

 

to the Neoism page

to the Neoism/Anti-Neoism page

to the Anti-Neoism page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee page

to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index

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

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

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

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

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..

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

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