Milwaukee-based artist Jesse Graves created a number of mud stencils that he recently put up on sidewalks and the sides of buildings. Below is his “how-to-guide” and a link to his website with more images.
To avoid using toxic spray paint, I found a way to make mud stencils. Here is how you do it.
Materials: Mylar, X-Acto knife, tape, mud, sponge.
1. Design your stencil. Draw your stencil the size you want it, or design it on a computer and print it. Make sure you do not have islands (parts of an image that will fall out if you cut around them, like the middle of an O.) If you are using text, use a stencil font. If are using a computer print your design the size you want the stencil to be. If it is larger then 8X10 cut it apart in photo shop and print it in pieces, or enlarge it at a local copy store.
2. Cut it. Tape your design behind or in front of the transparent Mylar. Mylar is the same stuff used as transparencies for projectors, you can find a roll of it at art stores. Use the X-Acto knife to cut your deign out of the Mylar.
3. Get Mud. Find or make some mud. I mixed soil and water then beat it with a whisk. Make sure your mud is not watery. It should be about the same consistency as peanut butter.
4. Post it. Tape the stencil to whatever you want it on, it works on sidewalks or walls. If parts of the Mylar roll up put some tape under it. Then use the sponge to dab the mud on your stencil. Do not press too hard because if you squeeze muddy water out of the sponge it may sneak under the stencil.
5. Enjoy. Remove the tape on the outside of the stencil. Carefully remove the Mylar, and enjoy you non-toxic mud stencil.
This is still an experimental process. Post your comments, ideas, and pictures at http://mudstencils.wordpress.com/
(Skull image by Xander Marro)
Merrydef will be a DJ among others this New Years Eve at the Dirt Palace, arts studio space in Providence, Rhode Island. Also come for the Theatre! "The Theatre of the Circle! Starring the Story of the Center!" The debauchery! The artistry! The Dance Competition! The Love!
Ring in 2008 Hard New Year’s Eve
In Downtown Los Angeles, Dec. 31 with Justice, Peaches, more
Check out the website http://thescenestar.typepad.com/ss/2007/11/ring-in-2008-wi.html
This just landed in our inbox:
The Southern California Library, in South L.A. will be hosting Making Our Own Art Histories, a series of art exhibitions as an effort to make contemporary art accessible in a community where there are very few galleries or contemporary art museums. The first art exhibition in this series begins with Word on the Street, opening in January of 2008. In the same way that SCL uses history to advance social justice while preserving the histories of communities in struggle for justice and making our own histories, artists and activists have created works to educate, organize and inspire people towards action for justice. Often these creative works are not always seen in galleries or museums, they are in the street. This small exhibition will focus on showing works that have been created and used for political, spiritual, social and environmental justice campaigns, actions and interventions. Works that we are especially looking for are those that have been put out on the street, guerilla style, in the effort to educate the public as well as to incite action and critical thought. Such works may include silkscreen posters, printed media, stencils, stickers, flyers, and photos of graffiti and guerilla street art.
If you are interested in participating in this exhibition, please contact Joy at 323.687.6743 or majikalnature [at] gmail.com before Jan. 1st!
For the 8th year, the Chicago Anarchist Film Fest is seeking un- and under-distributed films and videos to include in next years film fest, which will be happening April 25-27th, 2008. This is the same weekend as the Finding Our Roots anarchist conference in Chicago.
The Film Festival will present a sample of films from mainstream sources, rediscovered classics and the works of filmmakers engaged in social change with an anarchist vision. Along with submissions of actual work, they are also looking for "suggestions for titles that may inadvertently allow anarchy to seep through the cracks of the status quo. Movie collage, music videos and trailers for works-in-progress will also be considered."
It's taken me a long time to get this together, but I wanted to throw my ideas into the discussion around the artwork/plagiarism of Shepard Fairey that has been spinning around the web. For those that might not know, Shepard Fairey is the creator of the "Andre the Giant has a Posse" sticker campaign, which became a long running series of "Obey Giant" posters. Mark Vallen, a Los Angeles-based artist (who created some of my favorite street posters from the early LA punk scene), recently published a long critique of Fairey on his blog, Art For A Change. What I'm writing here directly relates to Mark's piece, so if you haven't read it, give it a look here.
Mark's write-up came out of a long discussion that has been going on between a number of politically-motivated artists and archivists about Fairey's work. Throughout the whole process of discussion it has seemed clear that we have been coming from parallel but divergent positions, with different parts of the larger issues at hand being more or less important to each of us. Mark is clearly concerned with social and political potentials of ART, and believes Fairey's wholesale "theft" of historical images cheapens the potential for art to make change in the world. Lincoln Cushing, an artist, archivist and author who has been involved in the discussions, is very concerned with how plagiarism hurts efforts to empower our communities with their own revolutionary art history. However, he also supports strategic use of existing copyright law, and recently got Fairey to pay retroactive royalties on a t-shirt with Cuban artwork appropriated without credit. Favianna Rodriguez, also involved, has been particularly frustrated with Fairey's use of and profiting off of the art of people of color, and the images of the struggles of people of color, while he has had to pay none of the costs for having to live as a person of color in this society or world.
"The Subversive Imagination: The Artist, Society, and Social Responsibility"
Edited by Carol Becker
One of my favorite quotes from her is: "The more that is hidden and suppressed, the more simplistic the representation of daily life, the more one dimensional and caught in the dominant ideology the society is, the more art must reveal.”
This is a selection of essays about topics Justseeds members have all thought about in our work. I am so excited about street art as our strongest tool of enacting true freedom of visual artistic expression. Most visual images in our landscape are advertisements. The only so-called "legitimate" arts works are done through public arts projects. This book brought up so many questions for me, I wonder what people's thoughts and experiences are with these issues....
-who decides what images/art should be displayed in a neighborhood?
-who has a voice? How do we provide spaces for these voices to be heard? Particularly peoples voices who are underrepresented and marginalized? Money, access to resources, information, and native language and writing/reading skills create an unequal playing field
-if public art is expected to be representative of the environment it lives in, how do we contact the public for their input?
-is the public defined by organizations, individuals, people who can afford to forward their own opinions?
-what is the responsibility of the artist in society?
-what is the responsibility of the society to the artist?
-what role should public and private funding play in the future lives of artists?
-art which claims/aims to be community based: what is community? What communities can/should artists relate to? Who constitutes community?
-Is public art supposed to imitate life? Or envision a better world? Or something entirely else?
-is art supposed to be democratic?
-Is art supposed to represent the artist? The viewer? The patron? Does one take precedent over the others?
After a few months work, the NYC Street Memorials project is launching GhostBikes.org, a website documenting ghost bike projects and locations in 28 cities across the world. Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists killed on the street.
Members of Visual Resistance have been working on the New York Ghost Bike project since June 2005. It's the project closest to my heart. The new site is a step towards connecting activists in different cities and creating a platform towards safer streets for all.
The new site is intended to be a site for the worldwide cycling community. We hope to create a space where those lost on dangerous streets can be remembered by their loved ones, members of their local communities, and others from around the world. We hope to inspire more people to start installing ghost bikes in their communities and to initiate changes that will make us all safer on the streets.
This site was initially set up by the NYC Street Memorial Project. We have collected information on many other cities, but for the most part have only had access to media reports. This site reflects the NYC project very well, but much of our information on other cities is incomplete. If you have info on ghost bikes in other cites, please check the site and let us know.
Here is a call for entries from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, located in Los Angeles, California.
"Reclaiming the F Word" Submissions Deadline: December 15, 2007
This show will open March 2008 at the Art Galleries, California State University, Northridge.
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) is asking artists,
organizations, and activists for poster submissions for our upcoming exhibition
entitled Reclaiming the “F” Word--Posters on International Feminism. This
exhibition will feature posters about the ongoing struggle for women’s rights
showing us that feminism must not be treated like a dirty word.
If you're in the Baltimore area this weekend, please come and check out the Nothing Factory, an epic musical shadow theater experience by Erik Ruin, Reid Books, & co., this saturday December 15th at St. John's Church.
Also performing will be Tacky Masks, an all-new configuration of Baltimore improvising veterans, & Wham City comedian Ed Schrader, perfroming "Grad Libs".
The Nothing Factory uses shadow-puppetry, projections, hand-altered slides, giant cardboard puppets, painted banners, dramatic narration & a live avant-punk soundtrack to tell a dystopian allegory, the tale of a fictional world where everybody wanted everything,and noone was happy having nothing.
Story & songs by Reid Books, formerly of West Philly ensembles Greetings from Urbania & International Anthems for Irrational Numbers.
Shadows & sets by Erik Ruin, puppeteer, printmaker & editor of the zine Trouble In Mind & the anthology Realizing the Impossible:Art Against Authority.
Narrative performance by Anissa Weinraub, of Liberty Cabbage Theater's Olive on the Seder Plate.
Live rock soundtrack provided by the unlikely named Aetherial Underpants Orchestra- members of Red Devil and International Anthems for Irrational Numbers banging away subtly on drums, bass, percussive guitar,trumpet & bass clarinet.
Dramatic consultance courtesy of Sarah Lowry of the Missoula Oblongata.
Our friend Rachel Budde (formerly one of the most unique street artists in NYC who shall remain unnamed) has a show of new work opening up in Brooklyn on December 16th! If you are in the area, definitely check it out!
Sunday, Dec 16th 7pm
Tillies of Brooklyn
248 DeKalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205-4101
I guess it's definitely calendar season. An old friend from Chicago (who now lives in Puerto Rico), Dave Buchen, has been hand printing these great animal linoleum cut calendars every year for the past 10 years or so. The 2008 one looks great! You can check it out here, and also find out how to order one. And to the right here are a couple of the months to give you an idea (you can see the rest on his site.)
We just got an email from our Bay Area friends Liberation Ink. They are selling some of the best political t-shirts I've ever seen, and a chunk of the money goes to political and activist organizations they are working directly with. Definitely check them out!
The image to the right is the Loteria shirt design by Mariana Viturro.
Call for Entries: Deadline January 12, 2008
"Experiencing the War in Iraq"
An Artist Curated, Multi-Media Exhibit of Art about the War in Iraq
(Following text is copied from the call for entries):
What does it mean to experience this war firsthand,
in combat, or as an Iraqi civilian? What does it mean to
experience it from a distance, or on television? How can we
in America reconnect to the reality of war? Are there shared
visions of peace despite cultural and religious differences? The
work will be selected on artistic merit and look to include as
many perspectives as possible, beyond politics.
Check out more details and download a submission form at the following link:
As if the war in Iraq wasn't surreal and fucked up enough already (with televised "victory" events before the real war even started, mass public spectacles like the tearing down of Saddam's statue and the freeing of Jessica Lynch which were completed fabricated by the US Military, and regular "We're Winning" announcements when it is painfully clear that the largest, most trained and well equipped military in the world is generally unable to do much of anything in the face of a ragtag Iraqi resistance with little or no comparable weaponry or training), Abu Ghraib, home of the famous "thumbs up, we've got you naked and on a dog leash" torture and photos is now home to a strange US Army PR stunt, an art contest!!!
I shit you not, we are now supposed to think warmly about how well we treat our prisoners in Iraq because we let them paint the outside of their torture chambers! Awesome! This has to be one of the strangest public art projects of all time....Here's the lead paragraph in the Army press release come news story:
"Concrete bunkers, strategically placed within the confines of Abu Ghraib prison for detainee protection, turned into works of art when juvenile detainees were offered the challenge to paint them in the form of a contest."
You can read the rest here. Does anyone else think this is totally bonkers?
One of my favorite organizations, the Institute of Anarchist Studies, is accepting grants for their 2008 funding cycle. The IAS is a group dedicated to encouraging and aiding new anarchist writing, publishing and translating. 5 or 6 years ago I received a small grant from them to produce a set of essays around art and anarchism, a project that eventually led to the publishing of Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority.
If your an anarchist or anti-authoritarian writer (or are writing on the subject), look into applying for a grant, as well as supporting the IAS more generally. Here's the grant info:
IAS Writer/Translator Grant Applications
Due January 15, 2008!
Twice a year, the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) awards grants to writers and translators worldwide for essay-length works. Our next application deadline is January 15, 2008, and we encourage writers and translators exploring social domination and/or reconstructive visions of a free society to apply. For more information and/or to apply via our online application, go here.
The IAS, a nonprofit foundation established in 1996 to support the development of anarchism, has funded almost sixty projects by authors from countries around the world, including Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Ireland, New Zealand, Chile, Nigeria, Mexico, the Philippines, Germany, Uruguay, South Africa, the Czech Republic, and the United States. Other IAS projects include the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition (RAT) conference, the Radical Theory Track at the National Conference on Organized Resistance (NCOR), the biannual magazine Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, and a Mutual Aid list of speakers available for public talks.
Washington, DC troublemaker BORF is back, with a great 5 color silkscreen print to help support Daniel McGowan, one of the activists imprisoned in the recent US government round-up of environmental activists. BORF and friends at the Brian McKenzie Infoshop in DC have produced the print and are working with us here at Justseeds to get it out into the world. The print is available here, but we only have 40 copies (of an edition of 50) and these are going to move fast.
Check out this great new book! “Visions of Peace & Justice is a full color book containing over 500 reproductions of political posters from the archives of Inkworks Press. Inkworks is a worker cooperative-union shop-green business in Berkeley, California started in 1974. During the 30+ years of Inkwork's history, the shop has functioned as a pillar of the progressive community in the Bay Area providing printing services including discounts and donations to social movements, community groups, and non-profits. This unique position has allowed Inkworks to accumulate a comprehensive and fascinating archive of beautiful political posters that have been printed on its presses compiled for the first time ever in this important historical document. Whether it's the American Indian Movement, Latin American Solidarity campaigns, Women's Liberation, community-based struggles against environmental racism, the current efforts to end the war in Iraq, or a broad range of other post-1960s US social movements, Visions of Peace & Justice records it all through the timeless powerful art of the poster.”
Featuring Essays By:
David Bacon, Lincoln Cushing, Angela Davis, Anuradha Mittal, Carol Wells, and more
Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History
Traveling Exhibit! Arriving in New York at CUNY Graduate Center
Opens: December 10th, 6:30 - Recital Hall
To read the article in it's entirety: http://www.friendlyagitate.net/category/art/
This text lifted directly from their website:
The SDS Comic Show, a traveling exhibit drawing upon the book Students for a Democratic Society: a Graphic History, will be open at the CUNY Graduate Center in December. Come see the exhibit and join us for a book signing and panel discussion for Students for a Democratic Society: a Graphic History, scripted by Harvey Pekar and others and edited by Paul Buhle, editor of the 1960s SDS magazine Radical America. Harvey Pekar, real-life star of the award-winning film and the book series American Splendor (and sometime Letterman Show guest), will deliver a talk on comics and politics, followed by a panel including Buhle, former SDS-NY regional officer, Weatherman Jeff Jones, and members of the New SDS.
One of my all time favorite political art publications, World War 3 Illustrated, is coming out with a new issue! Started in 1981 as a response to Ronald Reagan's aggressive free market ideology and the US' swing to the right, WW3 is a one of a kind publication. For 26 years they've been publishing some of the most compelling political comics and art, and have published some of the most interesting graphic artists at work in world, including Christopher Cardinale (one page of his new comic in WW3 is shown here), Sue Coe, Scott Cunningham, Eric Drooker, Fly, Sabrina Jones, Peter Kuper (who did the cover of the new issue shown here), Mac McGill, Kevin Pyle, Joe Sacco, Nicole Schulman, Chuck Sperry, Seth Tobocman and Anton Van Dalen. When I was in high school I stumbled upon WW3 and it really helped me understand the first gulf war, pulling together great art and radical politics. To this day I think it still think it is one of the few places to regularly see visual artists grapple with the most important political issues in the world. Last issue included some amazing work by Christopher Cardinale and Seth Tobocman on the New Orleans.
Anyway, I'm blabbling and here's the info on the release paty:
World War 3 Illustrated #38
the ‘Facts on the Ground’ issue
Friday December 14th, 7:30 pm
at the Time’s Up! space
49 West Houston Street, NYC
Featuring multi-media presentations by:
with music by the I.E.D.s
Justseeds is having its first annual meeting and retreat in Pittsburgh this weekend! And while we're here we ran into some amazing political street art. The Howling Mob Society has installed a series of historical markers correcting the public perception of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, which was one of the most lively and violent labor uprising in the history of the US. Here's who they are (from their website):
"The Howling Mob Society (HMS) is a collaboration of artists, activists and historians committed to unearthing stories neglected by mainstream history. HMS brings increased visibility to the radical history of Pittsburgh, PA through grassroots artistic practice. Our current focus is The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, a national uprising that saw some of its most dramatic moments in Pittsburgh."
Justseeds will be tabling at the Portland Radical Book Fair this Sunday December 2nd, alongside many radical publishers from the Northwest. Portland locals come on down please! It's at Liberty Hall (311 N. Ivy.... near the intersection of Vancouver and Fremont). Also there will be a bunch of Justseeds stuff at Reading Frenzy's Cheap Art Show, Thursday December 6th. Reading Frenzy is at 921 SW Oak, downtown near Burnside and 10th, opens in the evening and the show is up all month.
Michael De Feo and Ad Hoc Art (both of whom have been extremely supportive of Justseeds over the past couple years) have put together what looks to be a kick ass street art related show opening Dec. 13th in Bushwick, Brooklyn. If you're in NY, check it out!
Behind the Seen
a group exhibition curated by Michael De Feo
December 13th, 2007 through January 20th, 2008
Opening Reception: December 13th, 7pm-9pm
Assembling a group of well known street artists from around the world, De Feo invited the participants to showcase work they're not typically recognized for. Behind the Seen includes personal projects, works in different mediums or styles and pieces not necessarily intended for view on the streets. The mediums include paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and audio art from 39 artists.
Street artists develop a level of notoriety for their originality, talent and frequency of a style or visual vocabulary. Like most successful artists, they don't limit their creative endeavors to what they're known for.
Behind the Seen goes beyond the familiar to build upon what we already know... providing connections, challenges, and insights to other facets of the artist's oeuvre.
Participating artists include:
Aiko, Blek le Rat, Martha Cooper, Michael De Feo, Elbow Toe, ELC, Shepard Fairey, Ellis G., Eltono, Ron English, Jean Faucheur, John Fekner, Flying Fortress, G, Richard Hambleton, Keith Haring, Maya Hayuk, Jace, Mark Jenkins, Lady Pink, L'Atlas, Don Leicht, Lister, Momo, Caleb Neelon, Nuria, PMP, Lee Quinones, Leon Reid, RIPO, JM Rizzi, She Kills He, Skewville, Ian Stevenson, Judith Supine, Swoon, Thundercut, Tofer and Dan Witz.