You wouldn't know it, but we're working full-stop behind the scenes on a brand new Justseeds website—with an entirely new content management system. I'm sorry I haven't had time to post new Judging Books entries of late, I've been too busy migrating the JBbTC archive over to the new site. We'll be launching in the Fall, and lots of more book covers are forthcoming! (ps. I've been posting some covers on instagram: @jmacphee)
One Night Only!
Thursday August 13th, 2015
6PM - 10PM
931 Treat Ave, between 22nd & 23rd
San Francisco, CA
Celebrate People’s History: Iraq Veterans Against the War—Ten Years of Fighting for Peace and Justice is a portfolio project celebrating Iraq Veterans Against the War’s (IVAW) ten year history. IVAW was founded in July 2004 to give voice to the large number of active duty service members and veterans who were against the war, but were under various pressures to remain silent. Over the past ten years, IVAW members have spoken out and taken action to end the wars they served in and to transform the society that fostered those wars.
This portfolio features contributions from IVAW members, Justseeds Artists' Cooperative members, along with allied veterans, artists and writers. It highlights key ideas, moments, projects, tactics, and individuals from IVAW history in order to uplift IVAW's ongoing struggle, inspire others to take action, and preserve the movement’s history for future generations.
Call for art from the Hudson Valley Seed Library:
We're doing a special seed pack to celebrate a pioneering collaborative project headed up by Glynwood Center. And we need a work of art for the pack!
Six farmers are each growing our rare local 1940's heirloom Hank's X-Tra Special Baking Bean from Ghent, NY. Each farmer will be providing one chef with locally grown beans. Each chef from the six Hudson Valley restaurants involved will be creating a unique dish to serve at their restaurant. To complete the circle of seed, to farm, to chef, to plate, and back to seed, each farm will be saving 10% of the beans they grow to return to the Hudson Valley Seed Library and keep this variety alive for future generations.
Boy Scouts of America have just voted to lift the ban on gay scout leaders.
The executive director of Scouts for Equality, Zach Wahls, said:
“For decades, the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay adults has stood as a towering example of explicit, institutional homophobia in one of America’s most important and recognizable civic organizations.”
Thanks to Bitch Media and Jes MacCormack for cluing me in to this very good news!
Here are some photos from IN//APPROPRIATE, a show of visual and audio media on display during July of 2015 at the Littman Gallery at PSU in Portland. The show incorporates digital collages and wearable “Whiteness Goggles” that make the colonial/military/police violence that underpin white supremacy disappear. It also includes a reappropriation of the gallery space by indigenous artists Sara Siestreem and Camas Logue, who are using it for drying basketry materials for fall workshops. Voicemails from Portland residents expressing their opinions on the subject play on two media players. The show is up until the 29th! The show website is here, where you can see all of the banner images and listen to all of the voicemails.
In conjunction with the if a song could be freedom...Songs of Organized Resistance exhibition Interference Archive is releasing a mixtape of political music each week. Check out their first two installments posted on the Interference Archive blog and Archive.org.
This mixtape is curated by Felipe Mujica & Johanna Unzueta on Artists from Chile.
This weeks mixtape was put together by Skot! Oh, host of Sunday Morning Coming Down a radio show on People Will Radio.org. Skot! has been a DJ for the last 12 Years on various pirate radio stations in Austin, TX and also an organizer with the literacy and books to prisoner project, the Inside Books Project.
Opening Thursday June 25
June 25 – September 6, 2015
Music has been at the core of hundreds of political and social struggles across the globe. With if a song could be freedom . . . Organized Sounds of Resistance, Interference Archive examines the social context for landmark recordings, the relationship between music makers and on-the-ground organizing, and how visual aesthetics complement musical production and circulation.
if a song could be freedom . . . Organized Sounds of Resistance is organized by Chris Bravo, Kevin Caplicki, Josh MacPhee, Amy Roberts, Valerie Tevere, and Ryan Wong. It features the picture sleeves of over 200 political recordings, showing the broad intersection of music and politics. The gallery will also serve as a collective listening room, where visitors can select and play records from Interference Archive’s collection. The exhibition includes written contributions from activists and musicians, flyers, lyric sheets, buttons, publications, and other ephemera. A series of programs, to be announced on Interference Archive’s website, will offer the chance to collectively listen to and discuss how music has shaped the manners in which we understand ourselves in the past, present, and into the future.
With the advent of the vinyl record album in the early 20th century, people were able to record and distribute these songs, allowing them to transcend geography and rapidly influence musicians around the world. From anarchist folk songs to anthems of African liberation movements, Latin American ballads to the songs of the Civil Rights Movement here at home, the record album has played a key role in our understanding of how social movements communicate. More recent music subcultures such as punk and hip-hop are both political and politicizing in their own ways, and created worlds and communities which both moved with and beyond the music, becoming ends in and of themselves. In addition, pop music began taking on an active role in politics in the 1960s: songs such as “Free Nelson Mandela” by the Specials successfully galvanized the anti-apartheid movement, while more suspect attempts like “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid promoted charity not change. Either way, popular music articulated a complex vision of globalization long before it was a catch-word for the evolution of capitalism.
Another great episode from the slaves at Submedia!
This week we take on the NGO led spectacle called the people’s climate march plus a look at Peru’s spectacular resistance against a copper mine, and the call from the east to disrupt oil extraction and infrastructure. On the music break, Ontario based hiphop group Flowtilla with Line 9. We wrap things up with an exclusive interview with Sea, an inhabitant of la ZAD, Europe’s largest post capitalist occupation.
"Support James Risen and Freedom of the Press."
No in-depth analysis this week, but a peek at one really cool book, inside and out. Frances Kay's This—is Grenada is a beautiful self-published travel book from 1966. After skimming the book a couple times, I'm still unsure if Kay is from this small Caribbean island or is a long-time transplant. She definitely put an immense amount of love and care into this publication, writing and illustrating it, as well as compiling a classified directory in the back to help pay for the printing. The paperback book has a sewn binding and both the images and text are struck from plates, making it a really handsome object.
The book is nice guidebook with a home-spun feel, like Kay is taking us on a tour of her neighborhood, with all its quirks and unique facets. The illustrations that start each chapter are a highlight, riding the nice line between outsider imagery and simple drawings by someone with an amateur hand.
Here's an episode we missed posting to our blog.
In this sedition, a round up of global May Day riots, plus a re-cap of the Baltimore insurrection propelled by the police murder of Freddie Gray. To top it off, a double cheeseburger with bacon exclusive interview with HIlda Legadeño, mother of one of the missing Normalista students.
This week we break Bill C-51, down Klanada’s sinister new law, that would give the Canucks increased spying powers over its population. On the break, long standing hip-hop act Onyx, returns with “Fuck The Law.” We wrap things up with an interview with Antoine, a computer security ninja, about how we can protect ourselves from surveillance.
For links to encryption software, to comment on this show, to sign up to the stimulator email list, to get the show as a podcast or to find a playlist of the music we played just visit his effin' website stimulator.tv
"Stomp Out the Trans-Pacific Partnership."
First off, we've been hard at work on a brand new Justseeds website, which will vastly transform the experience of both the posting and reading of blog entries like these. That's been taking a lot of my time, which has made it harder to keep up with these book cover posts. I'm hoping to get back onto a more regular schedule once the new site launches in a month or two. Now back to our regularly scheduled program:
I've never been a huge Vladimir Ilyich enthusiast, and even less so of his contemporary fan base. Whether of the newspaper selling or Žižek-ian variety, most seem to oscillate between boring and annoying. Yet some how I have still ended up collecting a Lil' Lenin Library all my own, without any conscious effort. I was doing some cleaning, and found almost two dozen books with his pointy chin beard featured prominently on the covers. He's definitely a major trope of Left book publishing, so why not do a post about these covers?
I must admit, he looks good in Arabic. The bright red field of the cover is punctured by his name in long, precise script. His portrait—rendered in block print, or at least illustrated to look like it—is strong, his gaze looking leftward, off the cover and towards the content of the volume (Arabic reads right to left, so the covers open on the opposite side of English books). It's great propaganda, and intended as such. Although in Arabic, the book was produced by Progress Publishers, and printed in Moscow (in 1970).
It's way too early to call the Vaquita extinct, but the world's smallest cetacean (the group which includes whales, dolphins and porpoises) is hanging on by the slenderest of threads. A recent article in Mongabay (perhaps the single best site for environmental news on the internet, outside the excellent Earth First! newswire) highlights the plight of the tiny stub-nosed swimmer- which, if it does pass away into the void of evolutionary time, will have done so almost entirely accidentally. People don't eat vaquitas, they don't hunt them down because they eat too many fish (unlike what's happening to cormorants in the Columbia River) and they don't process them into industrial products. The vaquita are being wiped out almost exclusively by being caught in gill-nets set to catch the totoaba, a gigantic croaker found only in the Gulf of California, whose swim-bladders fetch astronomically high prices in some Asian markets, where they are believed to have medicinal properties. This is another unfortunate example of the damage that aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine's focus on animal products are doing to the world's wildlife- from bear bile, to tiger penises, to rhinoceros horn, to totoabas; big, rare, slow-breeding species are being annihilated at breakneck speed to fuel a status-driven industry of palliative care. Much of this trade is controlled by large criminal organizations. I wrote before about the totoaba here- and although the Mexican government has just issued a total gill-net ban in the upper reaches of the Gulf, it's doubtful whether the enforcement necessary to stop the perilous decline of the vaquita will emerge. I really want to make prints about these creatures, but I want to make celebratory prints, not eulogies. Fingers crossed.
(Image credit: Omar Vidal)
Interference Archive is preparing for its next exhibition, if a song could be freedom . . . Organized Sounds of Resistance. As an accompaniment to the exhibition and catalog, we will also be pressing a limited edition 7” vinyl record in collaboration with Textual Records. As a friend of the Interference Archive, you can help us press this record by pre-ordering a limited edition 7” and catalog!
We have a pre-sale page up on our website HERE.
Last Saturday, after two years of organization and building renovation, the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum finally opened it's doors to the public on May 16th!
Join Mary and Jesse at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair from 10am-5pm Saturday May 23rd we will be on the main Stage in the CEDA building 2515, rue Delisle, Montreal QC.
(Please note that vendors will only be tabling on Saturday this year)
click here for links to the 100+ vendors
We will also be exhibiting a selection of Justseeds prints and the Celebrate Peoples History: Iraq Veterans Against the War Portfolio as part of Art and Anarchy May 22nd-24th on the 3rd floor of 2515, rue Delisle.
Workshops and Presentations will be taking place through out the day Saturday and Sunday click to check the Schedule.
Signal is journal of international political graphics and culture and is edited by Josh MacPhee and myself (Alec Dunn). We produce Signal because we believe that art and culture have a strong role within movements and we hope to engage in and contribute to a dialog about art and culture in political struggles.
"Cancel US–Peru Free Trade Agreement."
Justseeds artists Roger Peet and Mazatl are heading to Sandpoint, Idaho today to start the process of painting a big mural about the endangered Mountain Caribou herd that lives in the nearby Selway Mountains. These caribou are a relic of a larger population, much diminished by the transformations of western mountain forests over the past hundred years. They're interesting beasts, with huge flat hooves that help them walk on thick winter drifts of snow as they migrate up into the mountains in search of the lichens they eat. Other caribou descend to the valleys in the cold season- but these caribou rely on the deep snowfalls to bring them closer to the lichens on high tree branches. As the climate changes and the snow levels decrease, their precarious existence is even further threatened.
This project is funded by the Center for Biological Diversity- you can follow the progress of this mural and the future murals on Instagram at @endangeredspeciesmurals.
A couple weeks back Chris Stain and I (Josh MacPhee) painted a new mural at Houston and 2nd Ave. in Manhattan for Lower East Side History Month. It was great opportunity for us to mix up Chris' social realist figures and my wormy arm drawings! We worked with the Fourth Arts Block, and below is a cool time-lapse film by Mr. O.
We frequently receive "calls for art" from various places and are happy to broadcast them through our network. This is from the American Friends Service Committee regarding an upcoming, nationally touring exhibition on Militarism. The details on how to submit are below. Please share with any cultural workers you know. Also remember to send us your projects so we can share and participate as well!
A CALL FOR NEW WORK:
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has created a new, nationally touring poster exhibit called All of Us or None: Responses and Resistance to Militarism. The exhibit will launch in June and is already scheduled to travel to Chicago, Greensboro, Providence, and San Francisco with many other stops anticipated. We are looking for some additional work to include in this show.
From Ferguson to Gaza, we can see how militarism directly impacts all of our lives.
Militarism refers to physically violent and coercive ways of settling conflict or maintaining control what we see in the everyday actions of armed security forces such as the military, militia, police, border enforcement, and school security.
But do militarist policy decisions actually keep our communities safe and secure? What if we instead invested in the things that help communities, countries, and the globe thrive?
Our new nationally touring poster exhibit will explore these issues.
WE ARE LOOKING FOR ADDTIONAL WORK FOR THIS EXHIBIT EXPLORING THESE THEMES THROUGH THE LENS OF PRISONS AND IMMIGRATION, ESPECIALLY.
Work must be sized 22x28" and Hi-res digital file uploaded to our site by June 1.
SUBMIT YOUR WORK WITH THIS
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Read more about AFSC - afsc.org/about
AFSC is the creator of the internationally acclaimed Eyes Wide Open exhibit, which traveled the country for years. AFSC’s mural art exhibit Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan, composed of work donated by U.S. and international artists, traveled to 60 cities in the U.S. AFSC also produces the If I Had a Trillion Dollars youth video festival.
Je Suis Charlie.
This Friday, May 8, from 6:30 til late, join us at the Brooklyn Commons for a party to benefit AK Press.
Drinks, Music, Books. Dancing, Planning, Rallying, Raffling &...
ROOFTOP GARDEN CHILLING
We're partying to do our part to help get AK Press, and their neighbors in Oakland, CA back of their feet following a devastating fire on March 21. All entry money will go directly to AK. If you can’t make it, you can donate online at: http://www.gofundme.com/akpressfire
We're jut a couple weeks from opening the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum down in Matewan, Mingo County, WV! I've been working steadily for the last year with a great group of community members/organizers, historians, and retired coal miners to put together a genuine, independent people's history museum which details the Mine Wars Era (~1910-1921) from the perspective of the people who lived it. We've just reached our crowd-funding goal and are now able to open the museum!!! But, we've got a stretch goal of $20K that we can reach with your help. There are still great perks left (including some Celebrate People's History posters) and every dollar you contribute goes towards making the museum work, creating future exhibits, and educational programs to bring the history to the West Virginia Mine Wars to even more people! Our crowdfunding drive ends this Saturday night!
Want to know more about the museum? Check out our new website here. And, this week Marcus Constantino wrote up a great article about what we're doing and why we're doing it over at the Charleston Daily Mail. Shoot, we were even featured on Upworthy this week! Yep.
Print & Politics: Lincoln Cushing & Favianna Rodriguez
Wednesday April 29, 7pm
131 8th St., Brooklyn, NY 11215
A evening of discussion about print and politics, with Lincoln Cushing presenting a history and analysis of U.S. political and countercultural printshops and Favianna Rodriguez talking about her recent “Pussy Power” political poster project.
(image:Liberation News Service printshop, NYC)
UNCEDED VOICES : Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence fosters the idea of bringing together street artists of indigenous and settler origins and build an artistic community of shared anticolonial values. The convergence will promote a type of street art that advocates the decolonization of Turtle Island and will remind Montrealers of the city's colonial past and present. The artists, living across the Canadian and American states, already focus part of their work on issues related to indigenous resistance, anti-oppressive and anti-capitalist street art. This second convergence is starting on August 14 and runs until August 23 in so-called Montreal,unceded Kanien’kéhá:ka and Algonquin territories.
Support their indiegogo campaign here.
Back in 2012 I slide an eye-catching spine off the shelf at a bookstore in Boston and. It was an edition of Arnošt Lustig's Diamonds in the Night I had never seen before. 4.75" wide and 7.835" tall, it's a little wider than a mass market paperback, but way taller—a completely unique size. Turns out it was published by Artia, an old Czech publisher active in Prague in the 60s and 70s, and one of the Eastern Bloc publishers that had an export-wing for English-language books, like Progress Publishers in Moscow or Seven Seas in East Berlin (for more on Seven Seas, check out my posts about them HERE). Artia is most known for their children's books, but they also had this fiction wing under the title "Artia Pocket Books."
I spent three years keeping an eye out for more Artia books, with no luck until last week, where another one showed up at Human Relations in Brooklyn. Another unique spine called out, and I struck gold with a copy of Jan Otčenášek's Romeo and Juliet and the Darkness! Further search online found a small trail for a couple other Artia Pocket Books, but not a single image. Although two books hardly seems a big enough set for a post, who knows how long before I find another one!
The NYC Ghost Bike Project was created in response to cyclists deaths in NYC from automotive accidents. They were initiated by Visual Resistance, a graphic street art collective that included Kristine Virsis, Molly Fair and Kevin Caplicki and eventually coalesced into Justseeds.
It would be unusual to proclaim that we are proud, due to the somber and thoughtful nature of the project. Yet, last weekend, the 10th annual memorial bike ride was held in the five boroughs of NYC. There have been dozens if not hundreds of people that have supported and continued the efforts of this campaign. There are ghost bike memorials in more than 200 cities around the world in numerous countries. Over the years our friend Andrew Hinderaker has documented their creation and installation. His gorgeous images grace the article written by Dustin Drankoski, over at Mashable. Check it out.
It has been nearly ten years since I was riding to work and approached the intersection where Elizabeth Padilla has just been killed by a delivery truck. The first ghost bicycle installed in NYC was in respect of her life and remind everyone of the fragility of traveling on two wheels. It has been an honor to have participated in this project and cultivate a supportive community. I hope it continues to raise awareness and memorialize our comrades in hopes that we never have to install another white bicycle.
Plaque designed by Kevin Caplicki
Maybe not how many of us measure efficacy, but something we just noticed. We have 10,000+ people who have "liked" our Facebook page, are you one of them? You can be by going to the Justseeds Facebook
We're happier that you visit us here, on the "space" that we carve out of (the linoleum of) the internet. A little secret, we're working on a new website redesign!
Thanks for supporting and keeping engaged!