"Weakened Union. Foreclosed. Lost Pension. Got Sick. Death of the American Dream."
Cliquez sur « cc » pour les sous-titres en Français
This week we look at the student led mobilizations that have rocked the streets of Montreal and Quebec City. From large scale marches, to occupations of university buildings to direct actions, the spring 2015 coalition has re-energized radical organizing in so called Quebec.
In this sedition, a round of the riots that rocked the European Central Bank’s inauguration in Frankfurt, plus a throw back from 1990’s German digital hardcore Atari Teenage Riot and an a double vegan cheeseburger worldwide exclusive interview with “Peter” from …ums Ganze! (which translates to “Crunch Time”) telling us about the coalition that fucked shit up for the EU technocrats this month.
We have our first retrospective show up at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland- it's up until June, so you still have plenty of time to check it out. We've been working with curator Mack McFarland and artists Danny Mackin and Arianna Jacob to coordinate a series of panels and presentations while the show's been up From discussions of gender and racial justice to workshops on strategic intervention for environmental groups, to presentations of how cooperative economics can work for radical artists. We've been live-printing in the gallery, giving away prints carved by Justseeds artists. So far we've had visits from Justseeds members Jess Chen, Chip Thomas, Fernando Marti, Alec Dunn, Josh MacPhee, Meredith Stern, Molly Fair, Nicolas Lampert, Paul Kjelland, and Shaun Slifer, with local JS members Thea Gahr and Roger Peet contributing too. There's more stuff coming up this month- Combat Paper will be here next week with new member Aaron Hughes, and another new member Julio Salgado will be here later in the month to work with local migrants rights group VOZ. Mary Tremonte will be leading a live-printing dance-party in the 511 gallery, which will likely be awesome. Keep an eye on the PNCA calendar page for details- we'll be posting them on our FB page too. See more photos here and here
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Over the course of the past year, I’ve been commuting the seven hours between Matewan, WV and my home in Pittsburgh to work with a group of community members to develop and open a People’s History Museum. We're collaborating to preserve and share the story of an era of working class uprisings wiped from the majority of U.S. history books, and now we're crowd-funding to put the last pieces in place!
The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum teaches about the decade of large-scale, militant strikes by a cross-cultural, united front of diverse miners and their families seeking not only a union, but basic social justice. In 1921, these struggles culminated the largest armed insurrection of US citizens since the American Civil War. It’s a history that has been nearly buried for almost a century...
Today I veer off from my regularly scheduled posting. 2015 is the 25 year anniversary of AK Press, one of the longest (maybe the longest?) running anarchist presses in the US (although founded in Scotland). This is an important and rare feat for an anarchist, collective, and worker-owned and operated project. We need to celebrate our counter-institutions, nurture them, critique them, help them evolve and grow. Unfortunately on March 21st, rather than get to have a birthday party, the AK Press crew found themselves grappling with a fire that destroyed the building behind their warehouse (killing two of their neighbors), and also seriously damaged their space (as well as 1984 Printing and other important projects).
AK is trying to raise serious capital to get themselves, their building, and their neighbors back on their feet, and you can help. Go to their funding site HERE, read the whole story, help out if you can, and spread the word. We need our counter-institutions strong and healthy for the struggles ahead!
So to support AK Press, and celebrate their birthday, I've picked out fifteen of my favorite covers from their output over the past twenty-five years. I hate ranking things like some sort of contest, so I've listed these by publication date, earliest to most recent, 1990–2015. And hopefully many more years and covers to come! Also, for transparency's sake, I should say I've designed covers for 15+ books in AK's catalog, but I didn't choose any of those here. I'm proud of some of them, but feel awkward posting them here. But what I will do is share (at the end of the post) a cover a recently designed for an upcoming title that I think is one of my best cover's yet!
Check out a great new article on IMPEACH by Paul Schmelzer, HERE.
Welcome once again to Sounds of the Week, a sampling of music Justseeds artists are listening to. For this entry Pete has rounded up some pleasant sounds for you to enjoy.
I just returned from traveling in Guatemala and Mexico for a month. I'm always incredibly excited by the hand painted signs. I really appreciate how unique each letter, no matter how well crafted or scratchy they can be. It's refreshing to see since I come from a city with mostly digitally printed advertising, billboards or vinyl cut signage.
I have revived this short lived photo series from four years ago to share the few photos I was able to snap while walking or through van windows while we traveled.
These are from Panajachel, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala.
Just wanting to direct people's attention to the fundraising efforts of an incredible freeform radio station, WFMU, out of Jersey City, NJ.
They broadcast in the NYC metropolitan area and online at wfmu.org. It's been exposing me to audio culture for almost twenty years and keeps me company in so many ways. They've built an impressive digital archive of all their programming of the last 15 years and maintain a blog about the obscure you never knew you wanted to know. The content is a wormhole that you could spend the rest of your life falling into, and I hope you do.
If you've got some scratch to give, they are all listener supported and will use it towards programming for the next year. They'll appreciate it and I will appreciate you.
Pledge now, they have until this Sunday to reach their goal
Thx Edward Snowden.
In November, while touring London with comrades from Interference Archive, we stopped at Bookmarks, a nice-sized bookshop run by the Socialist Workers Party (which is a sister organization to the International Socialist Organization in the the U.S.). They have a nice, cheap, used pamphlet section, with rows and rows of old leftist publications. I found some great stuff, including a small cluster of 1980s pamphlets put out by the SWP themselves. All were designed by Roger Huddle, who might have been their in-house designer for the decade. Huddle has a website now (HERE), and it looks like he still might be an SWP member. He was also part of a design group called Artworkers. The designs for the pamphlets are great examples of a neo-Constructivism, and appear to borrow heavily from the book designs of two other British leftist designers: David King and Richard Hollis. King is the more obvious influence, as Huddle shares with him a love for heavy black lines and sharp angles as dominant visual elements.
We can actually see the style evolve by looking at the first and then second edition of Missile Madness by Peter Binns. The first, published in 1980 and here on the right, boxes the object of study—the mad missile— between two sets of titles. The top left frame is created by text in bold boxes, author and publisher; the bottom right is created by interlocking of the title and subtitle at a 90 degree angle. The title smartly nestles into the subtitle, rather than simply sitting on top, and then the two words of the title read away from each other. This is a nice touch, not effecting readability but adding to the sense of a topsy-turvy world. Finally, the use of color is great, the red and green merging to create the almost black of the missile.
Signal:03 got a really nice review a couple weeks back on Dubdog.com. Check it out HERE. And you can always pick up a copy of Signal from us HERE. And keep an eye out for issue #4, it should be out in a month or so!
[image of screenprint by Medu Arts Ensemble, Botswana]
In this week’s show an homage to women everywhere, a look at the trolls from the Men’s Rights Movements and how the Gulabi Gang in India who are beating down rapitsts with big ass sticks. On the music break, Bambu with “The Queen is Dead.” Our featured guest is journalist Dawn Paley, talking about her book “Drug War Capitalism”
I just returned from traveling in Guatemala and Mexico for a month. I'm always excited about the hand painted signs cos appreciate how unique each letter is, no matter how well crafted or scratchy they can be. It's refreshing to see since I come from a city with mostly digitally printed advertising, billboards or vinyl cut signage.
I am reviving this short lived photo series from four years ago to share the few photos I was able to snap while walking or through vehicle windows during our transport. This is for all the other typography and hand painted sign geeks out there. Enjoy.
My first installment aren't the best flicks as they were shot through the window as we traveled from Guatemala City to Lake Atitlan.
Dignity: Power from the Bottom Up.
WolfPatrol.org is having an online benefit for their organization which "works on the ground to document and report on wolf hunts and illegal poaching, in the face of the removal of federal protection for these important and vital predators in North America."
Our own Mazatl has a huge and beautiful print in the show, check it out at their website.
Hello there buddies!
After a long hiatus, I am reviving my Rad Teen Print of the Week series as Rad Post-Teen Print of the Week, to share the amazing work from university students and other post-teens that I've been working with here in Toronto. I first forayed into this zone a few years ago with Lauren Jurysta's Free Pussy Riot silkscreen, HERE
This first print comes from Tetyana Herych, a four-color risograph print on the subject of palm oil and its impacts on orang-utans and other members of rainforest ecology. Doritos being a popular snack that uses extensive amounts of palm oil, Tetyana remixed the packaging to remind consumers of this impact.
Global Corporate Fascists.
For its inaugural exhibition at the new 511 Gallery at the new campus flagship, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, PNCA is pleased to present Gathering Autonomy: Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, the first retrospective exhibition of this print cooperative that produces graphics for activist organizations around events or actions.
Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative is a decentralized network of 30 artists committed to making print and design work that reflects a radical social, environmental, and political stance. With members working from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Justseeds operates both as a unified collaboration of similarly minded printmakers and as a loose collection of creative individuals with unique viewpoints and working methods. The Cooperative produces collective portfolios, contributes graphics to grassroots struggles for justice, builds large sculptural installations in galleries, and wheatpastes on the streets.
We're moving forward with the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum over in Matewan, WV. This community-driven, people's history museum opens to the public on May 16 (in the midst of the annual Matewan Shootout reinactment!). There's still work to be done getting the building, and our exhibits, in order - but we're moving quickly, and it's invigorating watching it all come together.
Last month several of us took on the task of cataloging the collection of board member Kenny King. Kenny's been scouring the known battlefields where skirmishes occurred during the Mine Wars era (~1912-1921) and picking up whatever artifacts he finds. His collection is the foundation upon which our burgeoning museum is built, and I was personally very excited to catalog and photograph his extensive collection - the first time his work has ever been assembled and documented in full. Below are some choice images from last month's work, all of which will be on display when the museum opens in May...
Peace, Unity, and Having Fun.
This past weekend was the big annual church book sale in neighborhood, and I found some great books, including a mini-collection of mass market paperbacks from the 1960s about Latin America. I'm behind on my research on the longer form posts I've got in the works, so I'm just going to share these four books this week. All are written or edited by Western writers, and like the content, the covers display different outsider perspectives on the nature of Latin America in the 60s. And although none are specifically about Cuba, they were all published in the wake of the Cuban Revolution, and display an attempt to either communicate or capitalize on the fear of revolution from the South that spread through North America at the time.
First is the one on the right, the anthology Social Change in Latin America Today (Vintage, 1960). The cover is by veteran designer Paul Bacon, who has designed over 6,500 book covers! The type treatment does little for me, but I love the illustration. A map of South America (not exactly Latin America, but oh well...) is entirely composed of squiggly arrows, some spiraling inward, some shooting outward. It's extremely simple, but the red, green, and black add some complexity, as well as possible political and social overtones. One can imagine the red sections, all with arrows spreading out, as the export of communism.
Wisconsin is in pretty rough shape right now, Gov. Scott Walker with the Koch Brothers backing him is cutting essential funding across the state, pushing privatization of everything possible, and the Republicans are fast tracking a right-to-work bill this week. In addition to all of that fun, on the down low there is a massive environmental disaster ramping up across the state. Pipeline L61 owned by Enbridge Energy already exists, and is getting upgrades that will up its pumping capacity from 560,000 to 1.2 million barrels of crude oil daily, that's 1/3 more than Keystone XL would. Only a Dane County (Madison area) zoning committee is holding up the process for the permitting of a pumping station.
In this sedition we look at the economic clusterfuck enveloping the globe, the mega drop in oil prices and the political party that has the left screaming like Justin Beaver fans.
The nice people at Portland Rising Tide asked me to design a t-shirt logo for them- and the above graphic is what I came up with. Fossil fuel exports are ramping up in the Pacific Northwest, with new plans for increased movement of Tar Sands oil, Wind River Coal, and a propane export terminal in the works. Portland Rising Tide is pushing back against these dirty, dangerous, and just basically stupid expansions in creative and powerful ways.
Thank You Snowden!
Back to Africa this week. I've got a massive backlog of African publishers I want to cover, but tracking down information about them is often difficult, as most no longer exist, and very few have any internet presence at all. (I wish this was a project I could afford to run out to the library to do more hardcore research, but as a labor of love, it's tough to find the time!)
This week lets look at Spro-cas, founded in 1969 by the South African Council of Churches and the Christian Institute. Its initial form, Spro-cas 1, stood for Study Project on Christianity in an Apartheid Society, and it was directed by Peter Randall. Randall was a white liberal with strong anti-apartheid sympathies, and he pushed Spro-cas to struggle against the limits of apartheid society, but still attempted to stay within the realm of the "reasonable," and thus be taken seriously by white people in South Africa. Later, Spro-cas 2 was formed—Special Project on Christian Action in Society—which was intended as the action wing of the organization. One of the primary activities of both wings was publishing, and between 1969–1973 they collectively put out about two dozen publications. Half of those are here in this post.
After San Francisco’s new mayor announced imminent plans to “clean up” downtown with a new corporate “dot com corridor” and arts district—featuring the new headquarters of Twitter and Burning Man—curators Erick Lyle, Chris Johanson, and Kal Spelletich brought over one hundred artists and activists together with neighborhood residents fearing displacement to consider utopian aspirations and to plot alternate futures for the city. Opening in May 2012, the resulting exhibition, Streetopia, was a massive anti-gentrification art fair that took place in venues throughout the city. For five weeks, Streetopia featured daily free talks, performances, and skillshares while operating a free community kitchen out of the gallery.
Welcome back to Sounds of the Week!, the musical musings of members of the Justseeds artist cooperative. For this installment I asked fellow seeders for the sounds that inspired them in 2014, not necessarily things that were released in 2014 but sounds that caught their attention or were the soundtrack to their work.
Here's the last Best of 2014 list, this time from Mary Tremonte!
This week I'm going to go through the second half of Little New World Paperbacks, roughly in order of their issue number. The last number I've found is LNW-39, although it's possible there are more and I just haven't been able to track them down. This week and last I've shared cover images for 25 of the books, so at least fourteen more are out there. I've also been able to build close to complete bibliography, filling in the blanks from the book lists on some of the back covers. That's at the end of this post.
To the right is the cover for Gil Green's Revolution Cuban Style (LNW-21). It's one of the nicer covers, drawing graphic elements from multiple political posters of the time (this was released in 1970). The image of a Viet Cong in the background is drawn for an anti-Viet Nam war poster, and the image of Ché in the front is a variation on a image by one of Cuba's well-known poster artists, Raul Martínez. The use of the poster images is interesting, because it suggests a play on the word "style" in the title, although I doubt that was intentional. But typical of the Communist Party USA, they still botched the attempt to be culturally relevant, using Martínez's pop style, but in muddy browns and greys, instead of bright pinks and oranges.
Justseeds will be tabling at Printed Matter's LA Art Book Fair!
January 30 – February 1, 2015 Please come visit us in the
XE(ROX) & PAPER + SCISSORS area with other folks in the "FRIENDLY FIRE" zone where Artists and Activists converge in a selection where the political meets the personal, curated by Printed Matter’s Max Schumann.