Farming Uncle

Forty-one years. One hundred and eight issues. Published quarterly, an issue never missed. And yet, you’ve probably never heard of it. This masterful cut-n-paste affair is packed to the brim with various clippings and odds and ends. The notion of this being an elaborate work of conceptualist outsider art must have died at the 10th issue; as far as I can tell, this is the time-intensive product of Louis Toro, an obscurist and “alternative networker” who has set this zine up as a sort of bulletin board for pen pal solicitations, Native American paraphernalia and frequently acontextual ads and messages. Perhaps the most titillating aspect of this hefty work of art is Toro’s “BITS & PIECES!” which collect various anomalous facts and unique humorous tidbits that almost seem to come from another world. Reminiscent of the aesthetic employed by the Church of the SubGenius, Farming Uncle is haphazardly packed to the brim with content; as such, fully digesting it can be an effortful and lengthy task. In a way, Toro’s prolific work reminds me a lot of Jandek, evoking a sense of mysterious dedication and anonymity. Like the infamous outsider musician, Toro provides only a PO Box in terms of contact information. Yet, to those willing to delve deeper, there is something undoubtedly artistic and wonderful about all this. You’ll have to see it to believe it. (Michael Tau)

zine, Louis Toro, issue 108, $3 USA; $4, Farming Uncle, Box 427, Bronx, NY, 10458

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