From W.A.G.E: "Calling all friends of W.A.G.E., believers in the W.A.G.E. wo/manifesto, beneficiaries of W.A.G.E. Certification, and fans of the W.A.G.E. Fee Calculator: we are closing in on the final 48 hours of the Wages 4 W.A.G.E. campaign and we still need your help!"
"Thanks to the hundreds who have already given, we're over $33K—please help us reach $48K in the final 48 hours! Support W.A.G.E. by Tuesday November 25th at 12:00 a.m. at wages4wage.causevox.com. All donations are tax-deductible and givers of $50 or more will receive a W.A.G.E. wo/manifesto poster!"
On December 5th ABC No Rio will reprise its Clothesline Benefit Art Sale. We are asking artists who support ABC No Rio to participate by donating work to this benefit event.
As in years past, all work will be presented on clotheslines strung through No Rio's gallery space, and should be unframed, two-dimensional work no larger than 11" X 17". As space is tight, we're limiting work to one or two pieces from each participating
For this benefit event we are setting prices at either $25 or $50, depending on the size and complexity of the work, and to be decided by you.
Work can either be mailed to ABC No Rio at the address below, or delivered on December 3rd or 4th between 7:00-9:00pm. Please provide the information requested below for each work donated.
Your participation and support is crucial and important to ABC No Rio. Please freely forward this request to friends and fellow artists. Announcements and invitations for the Clothesline Benefit will be sent to all participating artists. Please invite your
friends, colleagues and collaborators!
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day to honor those who have died due to transphobic actions. It is incredibly sad to bear witness to hate-based killings, as in this list of folks being memorialized this year. TDOR was started by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1998. Actions all over the globe are listed on tdor.info.
Please let's also honor Leslie Feinberg, who died last week, the activist and author of Stone Butch Blues, Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, and Transgender Warriors: Making History.
There are trans people among my dear friends, old and new. Gender non-conformity is gaining visibility but there is still so much work to be done. Education starts in a conversation. As an ally, help others see beyond their binary ideas about gender, to see the spectrum. Everyone needs to be able to be themselves, and in doing so, be accepted, healthy and safe. No one should have to conform to gender expectations to thrive, or survive.
Last week I posted this to my instagram, made sense to share it here:
I spent the day harvesting in the field but constantly thinking about the students and families of the 43 disappeared, in #Guerrerro, #Mexico. On the streets citizens have been displaying their of mistrust and demands of the Mx government. Regional politicians and police have been implicated and some have resigned. Many still demand justice and an end to the corruption and deaths rampant in Mexico the last few years. Since I've been busy in the field with no other way to illustrate my thoughts I decided to work with what was on hand, veggies. Families are making the simple demand of "where are they" and they demand hard evidence that they have been murdered. My thoughts and solidarity go out to everyone in struggle, to the families for the disappearance of their loved ones and to those individuals who's fate we will learn of. #Ayotzinapa
Check out this recent story of Ayotzinapa on Democracy Now!
Mayday is a movement space and soon-to-be-opened bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn for community events, nightlife and social justice organizing. We’re transforming the brand new building into a neighborhood resource and a citywide destination where people come to work, learn, dance and build together.
Less fines, more bankers with jail times. Impeach as a new online shop with some of his artwork, you can check it out HERE.
In my mind, three of the most significant social realist printmakers that were working in the US in the second half of the 20th Century were Leonard Baskin, Antonio Frasconi, and Ben Shahn. While all three largely existed within an art world context, each also had a career doing commercial illustration work within the publishing world, and each racked up quite a collection of book cover credits. While a huge favorite of many Justseeds members, Baskin (more HERE) is the one I know the least of, and I only really began to look at his work quite recently.
I started noticing his work on book covers a year ago or so with this striking cover for Ortega y Gasset's The Dehumanization of Art (1956). A basic drawing of a column sits in a black field, squeezed between two white stripes. The lone column aches of alienation, yet the human hand visible in the drawing's details belay the "dehumanization" of the title. This tension gives the design a level of strength unexpected for its simplicity. This is one of five covers of 1950s and early 60s Doubleday Anchor mass markets I've found designed by Baskin.
Phrases I'm sick of reading lately, usually found in the stumbling copy of cultural critics hoping to remark on the current, rapidly shifting state of image capture and regurgitation: "Generation Y (or Millenials) with their Instagrams and Snapchats", "everyone a photographer with their smartphones these days", "Photography Singularity". Really though, I get a lot of joy out of sheer graphic communication online (and off). Great images, regardless of their provenance, beat most of what people write and publish on the internet (or in the NYTimes), and I don't necessarily believe that cameras in all pockets is the end of some formerly pristine culture. But what is holding a real live photograph worth these days? And who the hell drags film and lenses everywhere they go anymore in order to make such an ancient thing happen?
Bill Daniel is a photographer. He's also a filmmaker, a gear head, a seasoned tourer, inveterate raconteur, a bit of a wanderer, and a damn nice guy. He's taking a pop-up photography show on the road for the first time in a while, and if his timeless van is parking in your city, you should save the date and make the time. Like some rare and thought-extinct bird, Bill still believes in the beauty of silver gelatin on paper as a legitimate form of memorial, and he's deft at capturing elusive moments on actual film. Go see what he's been on about for 30+ years. There's a little write up of what Bill is bringing to you here, and tour dates are posted below as well...
I just opened a solo show of prints, installation, sound, and video in the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Gallery 214. It's up until the end of November, so if you find yourself in Portland, go check it out. It's all about traps- in culture, in biology, in psychology. How do we get the world to give us what we want- and how do we get stuck wanting what we've taught ourselves to get. The show features collaborations with Portland filmmaker Jodi Darby and MC Mic Crenshaw; Jodi and I made a movie wherein I reenacted my father faking his death in order to abscond from the British Air Force and fly helicopters for the CIA in DR Congo, and Mic layered some of his rhymes and thoughts over field recordings I made in a vanished Congolese village.
Click through for more images, and an artist statement!
Eric Ayotte and the Gadabout Film Fest are rounding up a long autumn tour soon, and they're stopping in Pittsburgh this Sunday, November 16th at the Babyland studios. Babyland also happens to be my hands-down favorite local complex of creative makers-of-things, running the gamut from Metalworker Dudes to Punk Accountants and studio home to Justseeds' own Bec Young!
More details below...
A new excerpt from A People's Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements that was published by The New Press. This excerpt looks at ACT UP and the design collective Gran Fury that is hands down one of the most important groups for activist artists to study today and to adapt various tactics (especially their structure) to today's struggles. Here is the excerpt:
In early March 1987, more than three hundred gay and lesbian people gathered in New York City and founded ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). ACT UP’s mandate was specific—“medication into bodies”—free access to antiviral drugs to help those who were infected and more public awareness to stop the spread of AIDS. ACT UP embraced direct action as the primary way to respond to the AIDS crisis, to force the government, pharmaceutical companies, and the media to respond. Each meeting began with members stating in unison that they were “united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis.” These words were quickly backed up in practice.
The first "Judging Books by Their Covers" post was on April 12, 2010. Four and half years and over 2,000 book covers later, I've reached the two hundred post mark. I've been trying to learn how to appreciate accomplishments, and not just roll through and over them, so I took a day off and designed myself five fake book covers for my 200th post. They're all originals, except the last one—I couldn't resist making a fake Penguin/Pelican. Enjoy! Next week we're back to our regular programming, with the first of two posts about the covers of printmaker Leonard Baskin.
Come join us Friday, Nov 7th for the eighth-ever annual printacular mega-hairy Brooklyn affordable print fair. A New York City Print Week tradition!
PRINTS GONE WILD 2014!
Presented by Cannonball Press
Drive By Press Brooklyn, NY
Florence Gidez Brooklyn, NY
Bikini Press International Minneapolis, MN
Sean Star Wars Laurel, MS
Non Grata Collective Parnu, Estonia
Raking Light Projects Colorado
Evil Prints St. Louis, MO
Deerjerk and Haypeep West Virginia
Church of Type Los Angeles, CA
Justseeds All Over Turtle Island
The Amazing Hancock Bros. Austin, TX
Cannonball Press Brooklyn, NY
At: LITTLEFIELD NYC
622 Degraw St.
Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY
btwn. 3rd & 4th Ave
This winter, join Librarians and Archivists with Palestine for an exciting international reading campaign: “One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin.” The project draws inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea—wherein people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common book. Librarians and Archivists with Palestine invites readers, librarians, and others to organize gatherings in January 2015 to discuss Mornings in Jenin, the acclaimed novel by Palestinian-American author and activist Susan Abulhawa.
The New York City campaign launch is this Saturday, November 8th at Bluestockings Books. Click HERE for more info!
Ronald Clyne is best known as the brilliant designer of most of the Folkways label record covers, over 500 from the 1950s through the early 1980s (for more on that, check HERE). I was surprised when I started finding covers he designed on used book racks. Turns out he started as a book designer, mostly of sci-fi and horror books published by Arkham House in the 1940s. These books are highly collectable, and you rarely find one with a dust jacket for less than $50. Needless to say, I'm no focusing on those, but instead on his cover work (mostly with Vintage mass market paperbacks) in the 1960s and 70s.
The Horowitz cover to the right is archetypal of this period of Clyne's design work. Almost all of the books come from a Marxist, or at least left, perspective, and all he designs are exclusively typographical. Much of the type is sans serif, and as you can see on the Horowitz, the only graphic elements are color switches and framing boxes for the type.
This past Saturday, Stuart Anderson and I dragged the penny smasher prototype out into public for the first time for a "soft" debut before the Flood Tide screening at the Mattress Factory. To the tunes of locals Red Bells, we helped folks crank out pennies, shimmed and re-shimmed the dies, and quietly took stock of all the kinks we still need to work out for next time. Below are some photos from the night...
The Second Annual Earth First! Journal Art Auction is coming up fast!
We are asking artists interested in supporting the Earth First! Journal and ecological resistance to consider donating your art to this fundraiser. All money raised supports Earth First! Journal projects.
The deadline for submissions is November 24, 2014.
Several of our friends in Portland, Oregon are working on a powerful documentary addressing the city's history of police abuse and community resistance. It's called "Arresting Power", and is being created by the powerhouse filmmaking team of Jodi Darby, Julie Perini, and Erin Yanke. They've opened a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to finalize the film and begin distribution, and they could use your donation!
Portland has a long and sordid history of police misconduct, and this effort brings in the voices of many of the long-term activists and agitators that have fought to hold them accountable. From the Black Berets and the Black Panthers to Copwatch and the Portland Community Liberation Front, the film is full of powerful voices. In addition to the histories and the stories of resistance, this project also "explores alternatives to the current system of policing and considers strategies for keeping communities safe from harm without the threat of constant surveillance and ubiquitous violence. "
Another excerpt from A People's Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements that was published by The New Press last November. This excerpt focuses on the Combat Paper Project - a group that Justseeds has some personal history with. In 2013 Justseeds collaborated with Drew Cameron during the Southern Graphics conference in Milwaukee where Drew and Robert from Black Hawk Paper set up shop for a week and created a new body of work. This past week, Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan have been at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee doing workshops in the Printmaking Department. Drew was a co-founder of Combat Paper and now he and Margaret co-run Peace Paper. It is great to see both Combat Paper and Peace Paper doing such important work across the country and the world.
From Uniform to Pulp, Battlefield to Workshop, Warrior to Artist
“We all have the ability to do something. We can push back.” —Drew Cameron
Creative resistance as personal and political action is also at the center of the Combat Paper Project by IVAW member Drew Cameron and artist Drew Matott. Cameron was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and served in the 75th artillery. In 2007, three years removed from active duty, Cameron put on his uniform outside his home in Burlington, Vermont, and asked a friend to take photographs of him cutting it off with a pair of scissors. He recalls, “My heart started beating fast. It felt both wrong and liberating. I started ripping it off. The purpose was to make a complete transformation.” His action provided the impetus for the Combat Paper Project. Cameron teamed up with Matott at the Green Door Studio in Burlington and learned the art of papermaking, and then they shared this process with the veteran community.
Readers of the Justseeds blog likely recall the 30-city wheatpasting campaign of images that were put up in August and September to promote the People's Climate March in NYC and climate crisis issues in general. One of the stellar hosts was Lisa Johnson who is currently teaching in Houghton/Hancock region of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. She made the project truly collaborative and engaged students to make the project their own and to find unique places to situate the work. Here is an article by Michele Bourdieu about their work in the U.P.
Burgettstown, PA, USA - story here. (Thanks, Becca!)
I recently came across this video made by Michael Lopez, a collaborator with Friends of the Orphan Signs in Albuquerque.
I recently got sent a nice cache of new photos from middle America's graffiti troubadour, IMPEACH. I'll be posting a new photo each Tuesday morning for awhile, enjoy!
In honor of my upcoming trip to London, I thought I'd do a feature on a little known lefty publisher from the UK. For awhile now I've been running into some handsomely designed lefty books from England in the 1970s. It took picking up a couple to make the connection that they were all put out by by stage 1, a small London-based publisher which apparently ran for about a decade from the late 1960s until 1979 (the lowercase name appears to be intentional). In this internet age it often feels that information about just about anything is always at our fingertips, but stage 1 is a ghost online. I can find almost nothing about them. Politically they appear to fellow travelers of US independent socialist publishers Monthly Review. Like MR, their catalog is heavy with both Third World revolution and dense political economy. Rather than being particularly Trotskyist, Maoist, or Stalinist, they seem more ecumenical. They also have similarities to two other UK leftist publishers, Pluto and Zed, but appear to pre-date both.
While their design aesthetic is in someways as ecumenical as their politics, the core of their output does follow a simple convention, which is wrap-around covers which are largely graphic or photographic, with all of the titling bound within a small square box which sits top center on both the front and back. The Pesquet cover to the right is one of my favorites, with the May 68 factory repeated over and over to create wallpaper, nicely broken up by the boxed titling convention. One of the nice things about this format is that their are no limitations on font usage, so this cover features an ultra-thin Helvetica in all capitals, while other covers use wildly different type faces.
The latest Global Uprisings film chronicles a year of resistance and repression in Turkey in the wake of last year's Gezi uprising. It looks at the continuing protests against urban redevelopment projects, police repression, and the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Erdoğan, as well as the Kurdish struggle for democratic autonomy.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, photo courtesy of the Joseph A. Labadie Collection, University of Michigan
Here is another excerpt from A People's Art History of the United States. This excerpt starts at the beginning of the chapter and discusses the Paterson Pageant in 1913 and the alliance of IWW strike organizers, silk workers, and Greenwich Village avant-garde artists.
Blurring the Boundaries Between Art and Life
On June 7, 1913, an event occurred that completely blurred the boundaries between performance and protest. Journalist and poet John Reed led a procession of more than a thousand striking workers through the streets of Paterson, New Jersey, to board a special thirteen-car train destined for New York City. When they arrived in the city, they gathered for a rally at Union Square, followed by a march up Fifth Avenue toward Madison Square Garden, while the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) band played “La Marseillaise” and “The Internationale.” On top of Madison Square Garden’s tower, the IWW initials glowed in red lights. Inside, the venue was transformed into a Wobbly hall, with red IWW banners, sashes, and ribbons throughout the building.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA These are known as "sharrows", a type of lane-sharing marking that cities often use on streets where bike lanes won't fit (or for other mysterious municipal reasons). Usually sans rider, or featuring a male-gendered icon riding, local folks put a woman on these bikes!
I’m deep in preparation for my upcoming solo show at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland. The show is called “Traps, Flows, Echoes” and it opens Nov 6th, running until Nov 28th. There’s an opening reception Thursday Nov. 6 in Gallery 214 in the PNCA main campus, 1241 NW Johnson St. in Portland. Here’s the text I wrote for the flyer-
Portland artist Roger Peet will open a show of new installation, video and print work in Gallery 214 at PNCA on the 6th November. The show, entitled “Traps, Flows, Echoes” focuses on the idea of the trap, in both the physical and cultural realms. Much of the show will focus on Peet’s relationship to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he has worked for several seasons to promote community conservation through art. Some of the work addresses Peet’s complex relationship with his father, who faked his death to go AWOL from the British Air Force and to fly helicopters for the CIA’s interventions in Congo in the 1960’s, an event which Peet recreates in a video collaboration with Portland director Jodi Darby. In his travels and work in Congo, Peet experienced first hand the disastrous consequences of the history his father had helped to shape, and this show will contain vivid and evocative print, installation, and sound pieces that evoke the trauma and brutality of that trap of history, as well as the ways that he and the friends that he made in Congo are trying to get out of it. The work also features sound collages and poetry by Portland MC Mic Crenshaw.
This year marks the 38th annual Raza Day at UC Berkeley. It is a day of workshops and activities intended to encourage middle school, high school and community college students to pursue higher education.
I will be speaking at this year's event at 9:30 am on Nov 1st in Wheeler Hall.
It is free and open to the public so bring your kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors etc.
This is the poster I designed that will be give out to all the youth in attendance.
culturalorganizing.org recently posted a review of my book A People's Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements. Here is the full text:
Review: A People’s Art History of the United States
Posted on October 18, 2014
By Nicolas Lampert
New York: The New Press, 2013. 345 pp. $35.00 (hardcover).
The newest in a long line of people’s histories inspired by the work of Howard Zinn, A People’s Art History of the United States by Nicolas Lampert uncovers the many ways that the visual arts have served as a space for political action and resistance throughout US history. With hundreds of images of political art from across the past five centuries, this book makes a compelling argument that art and politics — often seen as separate realms — have always been intimately and inextricably intertwined.
Despite the cover image, which brings to mind a framed work of art, this is not a story about political paintings hanging in museums. Instead, it is a story about how popular and public forms of art — from posters and photographs to cartoons and statues — have always been a part of civic and political life. When professional gallery artists do show up, they are likely to be organizing a union or protesting against the gallery system.
Back in 2011 I published a couple posts looking at the covers of New Century Publishers, a Communist Party-run press that published from the 1940s into the 1960s, and appears to have been the progenitor of the more recent and still existent New World Paperbacks. While much of their output is standard Stalinist muck, there are some gems in the pile (check out my earlier looks at NCP HERE and HERE). The well-known labor historian Herbert Aptheker wrote a number of pamphlets for the press, I've found three of them. The nicest cover is on John Brown: American Martyr, a pamphlet published on the hundredth anniversary of John Brown's death. The unattributed image is taken from the cover of a 1959 edition of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, which in turn was based on an 1859 daguerreotype attributed to Martin M. Lawrence. The designer smartly uses red, white, and blue, as well as a border of small stars, to conjure the American flag, and thus paint Brown as both a patriot and deeply American. This publication is from 1960, showing just how long the Communist Party-USA kept promoting the idea that Communism and the Left were fundamentally centrist and patriotic positions.
Our comrades at Monkeywrench Books in Austin, Texas have been operating for 12 years and they're looking to renovate their space. Help spread their Indiegogo campaign and kick down some dough for a great radical bookstore!
Support an all-volunteer collectively-run radical bookstore in Austin!