Yesterday 200 shirts with different messages appeared on clotheslines and coat hangers throughout Oakland, California. Envisioned as "mini-murals", the shirts ask, Is This Justice? The shirts come from the Restorative Justice Leaders program, a project at MetWest High School, facilitated by artist Evan Bissell, Arianna Caplan and Community Works. Over the last six months the group explored ideas and practices relating to restorative justice and the prison industrial complex. The goal was to make Oakland safer through restorative justice by weakening the connection between the prison system and schools. Maybe you can still find a shirt? Check out their tumblr for some great photos!
Broken City Lab made this sweet little video of me silkscreen printing at the end of the
Mayday march, in Drouillard Park, right across from the Ford plant. Participants in the march were excited to choose a silkscreen printed bandana with labor slogans, and even print their own. With the historical re-enactment theme of this year's march, the phrase "Solidarity Forever!" the chorus of the IWW's theme song, resonated quite strongly with folks.
Notes from the farm: is the first in a series of drawings and
writings telling of my experience coming back home to my family's farm.
It's been nearly three years now of watching the weather, the landscape and
the seasons change, as well as the shift from a family farm into a nature reserve.
Ink Now: Posters, Collectives and Art
Lecture Theatre CR100, London Met University, 41-47 Commercial Road, London, E1 1LA
6.30-8.30pm, Tuesday 4th June.
An evening of presentations and discussion about how posters have been used in different radical, political, feminist, collective and community settings. By looking at specific historical moments we hope to open up a conversation about radical ideas and collective practices in the contemporary art context.
Jesse, Kevin, and Josh will be tabling for Justseeds at this year's Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, this weekend Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26. Come say "Hello!"
In addition, Kevin and Josh will be giving a presentation on Interference Archive at the fair at 11am on Saturday.
Vladmir Mayakovsky: “Art is not a mirror held up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.”
Hannah Hoch: “I wish to blur the firm boundaries which we self-certain people tend to delineate around all we can achieve.”
Printmaking is an amazing form of creative expression. The basic materials you need to create a print are fairly inexpensive, and the medium itself is about creating multiple copies of an image in order to make the image available to multiple people to experience.
Awhile back Midwest political graffiti powerhouse and freight train aficionado Impeach sent me a stack of photos of recent work. I've been too busy to get them up here on the blog, but now I've finally sorted, cleaned, and am starting to post them. I think I'll post one a week for the next couple months. Keep your eyes here on Tuesday mornings!
I was recently commissioned to design a poster for the law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal to commemorate their 20th anniversary. MG&C has spent the last twenty years aggressively defending the livelihoods and habitats of a broad array of species across North America, and they've had considerable success doing so. The occasion of their twentieth anniversary, however, has been clouded by developments in one of their most prominent struggles- against the abuse of elephants in circuses.
For this fourth and final entry into the books of Seven Seas, I'm going to just run through the rest of the titles I've been able to find. (To see the three previous entries about this publisher, click HERE.) Lets start with Johannes R. Becher's Farewell (1970). The tinted photo and ostentatious frame evoke the early 20th century setting of the novel (and also maybe Haight-Ashbury?), while the cut out and removed head of the young boy toy with the idea of "farewell." By this point, 1970, Seven Seas designer Lothar Reher appears to be extremely confident in his craft, and only does the minimal necessary in text and image work to pull a successful cover together. All the covers here are by him unless otherwise noted.
Justseeds is now on Tumblr! Follow us for a continuing thread of in-process pics, shots from our distribution office in Pittsburgh, photo updates on individual and group projects, and occasional goofing around. There are real people behind the prints we make, have a look! Follow! Re-post! OK!
Wildcat at Mead
Thursday May 16th, 2013, 7pm
Interference Archive, 131 8th St. #4, Brooklyn NY 11215
Wildcat at Mead is a 1972 documentary about a seven-week wildcat strike at Mead Packaging Corp. in Atlanta, during which almost all of the majority-Black workforce stayed out and won significant community support. The film was made by the October League, a communist group that played an important role in the strike.
Jim Skillman, who served on the October League (ML) Atlanta District Committee and who helped rally community support for the 1972 strike, will be present for the screening.
For this third entry into the books put out by East German publisher Seven Seas in the 1960s and 70s, I want to look in-depth at a single title. By far the coolest Seven Seas book I've picked up is Harlem, U.S.A., a huge collection of writings and art by Black cultural icons, most from the Harlem Renaissance period. The book was edited by John Henrik Clarke, and published in 1964 (and largely drawn from work originally published in the Civil Rights Movement-aligned journal Freedomways).
This is the only Seven Seas title I've seen with a cover designed by someone other than their house design Lothar Reher. The cover design is attributed to Oliver (Ollie) Harrington, an African-American cartoonist with an interesting political history. Popular with other Black artists in the 1940s and 50s, Harrington produced editorial cartoons for newspapers, became head of public relations for the NAACP, and eventually fell on the radar of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Fearing for his life, he fled to East Germany in 1961, and lived out the rest of his life in East Berlin.
Uprisings: Images of Labor, the new set of large-format silkscreen and relief prints that Justseeds created at Union Art Gallery at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, is opening tonight at Broken City Lab's Civic Space, in the heart of downtown Windsor. In addition to the prints, we'll have bandanas and posters that I facilitated printing as part of Mayday, and some prints, posters, and bandanas for sale. All my events in town are part of Windsor's Mayworks festival, a celebration of labor through art. Check out the full events listing and updates HERE.
You can also check out Broken City Lab's site, for ongoing updates on my activities, HERE, including a video of me printing bandanas at the Mayday march!!
Friday May 10th
Closing Danceparty with DJ Mary Mack
Friday May 17th
A doomed past doesn't mean a doomed future. The weight of history doesn't bear down forever- people shrug their burdens off. I've got two new prints (here and here) up on the site right now inspired by the time I spent last year in one of the world most dangerous and damaged countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo. They're attempts to talk about the history and the present of the Congo in the same breath- to mash together Congo's terrible colonial history of enslavement and exploitation with its contemporary struggle to rise above the shattered landscape and become a place of possibility for all.
I thought I'd share a bit of the process of making these prints, specifically where some of the imagery came from, and a bit of the thought process as well.
Over the last three weeks, I've posted 3 blogs around the creation of a print on our website called "Mass Incarceration is a Labor Issue." Here is the last blog entry about this print.
After the first color is printed, it is hung to dry and I carve away more linoleum to prepare for a second printing for the final color. This is a reduction linoleum block print, so any area that I carve away will stay light brown, and any area I leave on the block will be printed with the final color.
The first color is to the right:
You can download a high-res, 11"x17" version of this poster HERE.
Seven Seas also published a number titles related to Africa, in particular novels and short stories by South African writers. I've been able to find four of these titles, but the Seven Seas bibliography at 50 Watts (HERE) shows at least two additional novels, Enver Carim's Golden City (a great book about the working class Indian experience in Johannesburg, published in the US by Grove Press) and Harry Bloom's Transvaal Episode, as well as James Kantor's autobiography A Healthy Grave. Kantor was Nelson Mandela's lawyer during the Rivonia treason trial.
The gems of the lot are the two novels by South African author Alex La Guma. Both sport great montaged covers by Lothar Reher. The Stone Country (1967) cover is composed of black and white photos of a brick wall crop and cut into basic shapes, the top image is cloud-like, yet heavy, and the bottom is possibly intended to be a tree. The title is snuggled between the two, but appears deeply precarious, as if it will soon be crushed between the rock-like cloud and stone tree. The entire cover is black and white except for the author's name, which sits quietly but proud in red in the bottom right corner.
Good things arise out of collaborations and art exhibitions. During the Justseeds SGCI install in March in Milwaukee I noticed folks from Yes - Youth Empowered in the Struggle - who work in conjunction with Voces de la Frontera - attend many of the talks and workshops. After the event, discussions were generated on how to create more activist art projects in Milwaukee. Well, recently Jesse Graves shared tactics and gave a mud stencil workshop to Yes and Raoul Deal shared images from the "Migration Now" portfolio. The results can be seen in this video in preparation for the May 1 March for Immigrant and Worker Rights through downtown.
Opening Reception: May 3rd
I'm stickin to the Union! Shut It Down! "F*** Work! Si Se Puede! For as long as there has been work, workers have been withdrawing their labor in protest. Interference Archive is excited to present Strike Now, Strike Then!, an exhibition and programing series exploring the use, power, and viability of this tactic, and how it has shifted over time. Over the next three months, we will look at how work has been imagined and represented, how workers have both self-organized and been led, how economic conditions have shifted worker identities, and how “the boss” has been targeted, imagined, ridiculed, and transformed.
In the past two days both the New York Times and the New Yorker have featured the book bloc exhibition at Interference Archive, with a focus on the book shields as part of the organizing being done by students at both Cooper Union and CUNY (the City University of New York).
World War 3 Illustrated is a a semiannual political comix magazine publishing since 1980.
Join Broken City Lab and me as we silkscreen print bandanas and posters at Drouillard Park, in the heart of Ford City, with Dylan Miner's silkscreen bike, which he created with urban indigenous youth at the Turtle Island Aboriginal Education Center in Windsor, and with Latino youth at the Garage Cultural Center of Art and Creativity in Detroit, at the end of the Mayday march. BCL took a bunch of photos at the print party we hosted at Civic Space last night, as did I. Take a peek HERE!
Over the past couple weeks, I've been posting images of the process of this print on our website, "Mass Incarceration is a Labor Issue." Last week I detailed the sketching process.
Once I sketch the image on the linoleum, I carve away the linoleum around the lines, and then it's ready to print.
Here is a picture of the print as it is being covered with a layer of ink:
Justseeds will be in Windsor, Ontario for the next three weeks doing a residency at Broken City Lab during Windsor's Mayworks festival, a celebration of art and labor.
I am conducting a number of public programs, including silkscreen printing workshops and showing Uprisings: Images of Labor, the new large-scale prints that Justseeds made in Milwaukee in March.
Check out details on Broken City's blog HERE
Check out a full schedule of Mayworks events HERE
This just in from Marc Moscato and the crew that brought you the new Dil Pickle Club:
I was over my friend Aaron's house nine months ago or so, and stumbled upon a book on his shelf published by Seven Seas Books. The spine was clean and handsome, the title in a simple gothic and in English—but upside-down, like most French and German books. A bold black bar runs across a half inch of the bottom, and a bold Bodoni poster-style number 7 sits atop the bar. Aaron explained that it was a Seven Seas book, an English-language publisher in the 60s and 70s in the GDR, or East Germany.
I filed it away, and started looking for these while scanning the shelves at bookshops. In Milwaukee I found my first Seven Seas title, Franz Fühmann's The Car with the Yellow Star (1968). It turns out that the book is good example of what Seven Seas was publishing. Fühmann was a popular East German poet, and this is his only novel, the semi-autobiographical story of a boy growing up in Germany in the 1930 who is taken in by fascist ideology and becomes a faithful soldier of the Nazis until coming to a new consciousness in a prisoner of war camp.
This just in (or inbox):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 23, 2013 - San Francisco, California
Corrected Billboard Supports U.S. Military at Guantanamo Bay
The California Department of Corrections (CDC) has unveiled a new billboard campaign to support U.S. military personnel serving at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
On April 22, 2013 the CDC successfully apprehended and rehabilitated a San Francisco billboard between Potrero Avenue and U.S. Highway 101, near 19th Street. The CDC released the corrected ad to support our colleagues in the U.S. military who have recently come under scrutiny for their practices at Guantanamo Bay.
The CDC’s red and white billboard asks in larger-than-life type, CAN YOU NAME 5 TYPES OF TORTURE? Fine-print text responds, WE CAN…GREETINGS FROM GUANTANAMO BAY.
Toronto, join Fifth Column members GB Jones and Caroline Azar, artists, printers, and zinemakers Shannon Gerard, JP King, Erin Oh, Amy Egerdeen and more, for a weekend of talks, workshops, even a dance party, on feminism and zines.
All events are free or PWYC!
Check out this excellent interview with GB and Caroline, about Fifth Column, queer and feminist zines, and She Said Boom. HERE
Full list of events after the jump:
If you're in Southern California this week, there's a great film festival happening in San Diego. Click here to connect for their info. The first three nights are free, and the last night is cheap.
Different locations each night, so see the flier below.
Both Justseeds and Interference Archive will be at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair this year!
The entire month of May in Montreal is the Festival of Anarchy, with diverse anarchist-themed events occurring at different venues all over the island of Montreal. The Festival of Anarchy is organized as part of the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 25-26) and is the largest anarchist event in North America. info: www.anarchistbookfair.ca.
This year, the Festival of Anarchy features over 25 events at locations all over the island of Montreal. including: Introductions to Anarchism * Anti-Capitalist May Day * Dance Parties * Art Exhibitions * Community Bike Tour * Teach-In * Discussions * Demonstrations & Protests * Theatre Festival * Book Launches * Music * Outdoor Radical Reading Fair * Assemblies * Workshops & Presentations * Film Screenings * Cabaret * and more!
IN HONOR OF MAY DAY
INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE OPEN CALL FOR MEMES
For an upcoming exhibition about work stoppage—Strike Then, Strike Now!—we need your made and found memes depicting labor, bosses, anti-work sentiments, strike, etc! Memes will be exhibited anonymously on continuous loop via computer screen on view from May 3–July 31, 2013 at Interference Archive. More about the exhibition at Interferencearchive.org
SEND MEMES: email@example.com
DEADLINE: midnight on Friday, April 26, 2013
Art and Social Justice: Panel with the Artists Meredith Stern, Marshall Weber, and Josh MacPhee
Wednesday 24 April, 5:00 p.m., CFA Hall, Wesleyan University
More info HERE.
Free and open to the public.
This panel the exhibition Artists Take Action: Protest Posters Today, currently on view at the Davison Art Center.