The Ray Johnson Videos

This website has been launched at

The videos are comprised of over seven hours of rare video footage of Ray Johnson, a conceptual and visual artist who is considered to be the founder of the Mail Art movement.

The painter Chuck Close in A Panel Discussion on Ray Johnson:

Ray was a much more important artist than was generally recognized by the art world. He was an idiosyncratic figure. I think he was very inventive in bringing his work, through his collages, and things that he's known for, actually, predating Pop Art with the use of pop subject matter before Lichtenstein and Warhol. But, probably, he is best known to the general public as the inventor of the Correspondence School and of mail art.


Lou Reed Transformer 10 March 2012

Section: rayjohnson

Categories: Film / dvd-mine

Bought and watched a nice documentary on the making of Lou Reed’s album Transformer. It includes excellent interviews with many of the people involved with its production, including extensive talks with Reed himself. He also plays a number of the songs on an acoustic guitar.

Also, as a nice surprise, Ray Johnson → appears in some footage shot in a bar or restaurant.

Just lovely.

  • Title: Lou Reed Transformer
  • Directed by: Bob Smeaton
  • Starring: Lou Reed, David Bowie, and many more...
  • Year: 2001 13 January 2008

Section: rayjohnson

Categories: Mention

I am proud to announce the launch of a new website:

The website showcases and offers The Ray Johnson Videos by my friend Nicholas Maravell, as well as initiating what I feel will be the central Ray Johnson resource on the web. It will itself be a growing project of communication, of documenting itself.

The project was launched at 12:01 AM U.S. eastern standard time, to mark the day of Johnson’s death 13 years ago on this date at the age of 67.

  • Title:
  • Year: 2008 (January 13th)
  • Further details: Designer and Developer of Website: Robert Bruce Rodger

Alice Miller, Kafka 31 January 2005

Section: rayjohnson

Categories: Mention

In connection with a recent entry here (under: “A Reading”) in which Kafka comes up: last week I finished Alice Miller’s newest book Die Revolte des Körpers (The Body Rebels) and found the following passages (pp. 159/160) on Kafka of interest. Miller has written extensively about Kafka in other books as well. The sentences below are my translation from the original German, I don’t have the English version.

Miller is writing on anorexics and bulimics here (Kafka himself essentially died of starvation, by the way, according to the Wikipedia).

The Hunger Artist by Kafka said at the end of his life that he starved himself because he could never find any food that tasted good to him.


Kafka’s Hunger Artist never named it [what food he needed] because Kafka himself wasn’t able to name it: in his childhood he never knew what true communication was. But he suffered unspeakably under this deprivation and all of his works describe nothing other than failed communication: The Castle, The Trial, The Metamorphosis. In all of these stories his questions are never heard, or answered only with strangely twisted answers, and the characters feel totally isolated and incapable of getting someone to listen to them.

  • Title: Alice Miller, Kafka

The Ray Johnson Tapes 13 January 2005

Section: rayjohnson

Categories: dvd-mine

Ray Johnson

Title: The Ray Johnson Tapes: Still from Tape 6

A Work by: Nicholas Maravell

Taped: 1987

Image © Nicholas Maravell

  • Title: The Ray Johnson Tapes