Seen around Bed-Stuy, historically predominant African-American neighborhood, in Brooklyn, NY. Begs the question...
The neighborhood has been forgotten and downright neglected by city institutions for decades, yet in recent years there has been interest in renovations of buildings and infrastructure. Most of this activity is a result of people relocating themselves to this neighborhood. The neighborhood is going thru a serious "revitalization". Many new condos are being built, empty lots are no longer so. And there is a different class and culture are taking root here.
So, as happens in NYC, things are always changing.
What change will this election year bring for Bed-Stuy, who knows?
I can't imagine it will be much more than the usual steamrolling of existing community for more affluent ones.
Did I mention that the neighborhood has one of the highest rates of incarceration and recidivism in NY?
LA vs. WAR is a huge anti-war show going up in LA next week! It looks to be amazing, so if you are in the area, definitely check it out!
LA vs. WAR
April 10-13 2008
12 noon to 11pm
710 S. Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90021
LA vs WAR schedule:
Thursday, April 10, 2008: 12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Friday, April 11, 2008: 12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 12, 2008: 12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 13, 2008: 12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
LA vs WAR highlights the travesty of a senseless war now going into its 6th year, giving LA artists a platform to exercise their freedom of speech. Hundreds of artists representing our diverse communities unite in delivering a universal message of peace and understanding, and offering resistance and opposition to the US government's war policies.
LA vs WAR highlights:
- Yo! What Happened to Peace?: posters on display from the international touring peace poster exhibition; live anti-war poster screen-printing demos
- Hit+Run: live t-shirt printing featuring custom artwork from the Hit+Run artist network
- Mark of the Beast: display of corporate-jammed logo spoofs
- Crewest Graffiti & Stencil Art Garden: graffiti artist network doing live graffiti and stencil painting
- Center for the Study of Political Graphics: anti-war themed display from America's premier political poster archives
- Artwork Exhibition: handmade creations by independent local artists
- Universal Peace Altar: a memorial to lives lost in the war created by Ofelia Esparza and Shrine
- Peace in Iraq Photo Project by Azul 213: audience participation photo project to promote peace
- Dublab: music selections created by DJs from the web radio collective
- Lost Film Fest hosted by VJ Scott Beibin: film and video celebration of culture jamming and illegal art
- Light installations and projections: interactive entertainment provided by Todd Lazer
All ages are welcome and admission is free.
EXPRESSION = LIFE: ACT UP, Video and the AIDS Crisis
Friday, April 18, 7pm
New York University Cantor Film Center
A rare gathering of veteran members of ACT UP, filmmakers, and media theorists will dissect the history of grass-roots media coordination in America and its role in advancing AIDS activism from the 1980s until today.
A screening of rare news and independent film footage will be the centerpiece of a panel discussion. Speakers will examine the origins of media activism and explore the myriad opportunities for new and alternative communication strategies in a world now dominated by corporate-owned media. Panelists will revisit the early days of ACT UP activism and how the resulting coverage and media strategies contributed to the creation of an underground communications network still in operation today.
The Panelists for the program include:
-John Greyson, award-winning director of numerous films, include Patient Zero. He currently teaches film at York University in Canada.
-Jean Carlomusto, award-winning filmmaker and video artist who co-curated the interactive AIDS archive project AIDS: A Living Archive, for the Museum of the City of New York. She currently teaches film making at Long Island University.
-Jay Blotcher served as media coordinator for the founding chapters of ACT UP and Queer Nation and was co-founder of Public Impact Media Consultants, which provided guerilla publicity for leading progressive, grass-roots organizations.
-Ben Shepard is professor of Sociology at the City University of New York, and the co-editor of From ACT UP to the WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building in the Era of Globalization.
-Stephen Duncombe is professor of Media Studies at New York University, the editor of Cultural Resistance Reader and Dream: Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy.
I'm excited to have been invited to be part of a show opening April 4th in Raleigh, NC called Heroes. In many ways the show has a similar form and aspirations to my Celebrate People's History poster series, with dozens of artists representing their "heroes," mostly people that are under-represented in the mainstream, or completely invisible. I've been on a Sacco & Vanzetti kick lately (Italian anarchists given the death penalty by the state of Massachusetts in 1927), so I made a set of stencil and spraypaint assemblages of them with old Boston Red Sox baseball cards.
Here's the info on the show:
Heroes at Lump Gallery
505 S. Blount
Opening Friday April 4th 7-11 pm
on display through April 26
For all you upstate NY rockers:
Justseeds Print Show
71 4th St., Troy
Opening Friday, March 28
show runs 3/28-4/22
We'll be hanging 3 or 4 prints by each Justseeds artists, some new work, some oldies and some classics. The last Friday each month in Troy is "Troy Night Out," a weird but fun scene, with lots of local spots having small art events and late hours. Come on down!
This week is full of events on Zapatismo.
The Forum on Urban Zapatismo where Movement for Justice in El Barrio will present the NYC film premiere of “NYC Encuentro for Dignity and Against Gentrification”
In October of 2007, people from 26 social justice groups from around the region gathered in the first-ever historic “NYC Encuentro for Dignity and Against Gentrification.” We invited groups from around the city who are fighting against gentrification from the ground up to come share who they are, what problems they face, who or what is their enemy and what are their dream. This film tells the story of what was said.
The event will be held
Wednesday, March 26th 7pm
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
And will also feature Gloria Muñoz Ramírez author of El Fuego y La Palabra, just recently published in English "The Fire and the Word". Gloria lived in Zapatista communities for 7 years, and will speak about the Zapatista resistance and history. Movement for Justice in El Barrio will share some of the ways in which they are inspired by this resistance and organize to achieve autonomy and self-determination by implementing urban Zapatismo here in NYC.
There have been a lot of activity around the current events in Tibet. A lot of actions focusing on the Olympics in China. One I came across today on the BBC newswire is about the disruption of the lighting of the torch in Greece.
Recently, in NYC, there were reports of some aggression outside of the Chinese Consulate on 42nd street, leaving injured people and broken glass. People are demanding a stop to the killing in Tibet and a boycott of the upcoming Olympics in China.
This past weekend in NYC, a march passed thru Union Square. Here's some flicks I was able to snatch of the posters and banners. The messaging was really clear in their images and chants, and was a very moving experience as the thousand or so demonstrators moved thru the Union Square Greenmarket.
Potosí´s story is tragic. That´s what it says in the guidebooks for Bolivia. Mostly, though, that assessment is correct. Potosí is located at the southern part of the Altiplano at about 15,000 ft above sea level, making it purportedly the highest city in the world. It´s frigidly cold at night, its steep hills knock the breath out of you as you walk up the streets, a layer of dust from car exhaust and dirt roads seems to seep into the cracks of everything turning the city a dry and hazy beige. Tucked deep into the Andes, peaks jut out of the landscape as if they had just broken out from the earth below, the largest of which stands stoic and broad-shouldered, casting its shadow over the houses of Potosí gently sloping upwards towards its base. Unlike other mountain towns, the center of Potosí is not the valley, but halfway up the slope to Cerro Rico, as if the mountain had a magnetic lure pulling its people up close enough to be within its reach.
Local legend believes that Potosí´s history began when an Inca named Diego Huallpa went searching for an escaped llama in the mountains and stopped to start a fire. It supposedly increased so much in heat that the earth beneath it began to melt and molten silver began to seep out of the ground. When the Spanish learned of the wealth potentially buried beneath the Cerro in the year 1545, they immediately took action by founding Potosí at its base and beginning the excavation of the mountain. Thus began the period of nearly 500 years of exploitation of the mountain and its surrounding populations. In 1572, the Ley de la Mita was established by the Spanish Viceroy to provide a steady stream of labor into the intense and dangerous working conditions of the mine. The law obliged all indigenous men over the age of 18 to spend several years as slaves to the silver production for the Spanish treasury. If they lived through their period of servitude, they could return to their village, but the intense physical labor and toxic working conditions--inhaling fine mineral dust, prolonged contact with mercury and other deadly chemicals, periodic tunnel cave-ins and carbon monoxide contamination made it more likely that the miteros would die in the mine before returning home. Because of the decimation of local populations as a result of the mita, the Spanish still desperate to maintain their output of silver began to force African slaves into the mines. It´s estimated that over the course of 3 centuries, 8 million miteros were killed in the mines. By the early 19th century, the output of the mine began to significantly decline, and compiled with looting during the wars for independence, Potosí´s boom began its stark decline.
As the mines silver deposits depleted, other minerals such as tin, zinc, lead and cadmium became the main mineral output of the mine. In the 1930´s, in reaction to the few "tin barons" that maintained control of the mines and exploited the workers, a few cooperatives of workers fought for autonomy and formed their own cooperatives.Today the mine is owned by COMIBOL, a nationalized mining company, working in partnership with Franklin Mining Inc. (a U.S. based company) with hopes of modernizing the technology used to extract minerals from inside the mine. Tunnels are rented to the cooperatives for a 6% piece of their total output.
As of today, however, the labor of the 30 cooperatives working the mines is still intensely manual and the miners are still using techniques that essentially haven't changed in the past 500 years. These techniques depend entirely on the use of special chiseling tools, dynamite, human-powered rail carts and pulley systems to get the raw material out of the mine.
I was pleased to be asked to design a cover illustration for a new poetry book, Being. Still, by my longtime friend and comrade, Jhon Clark. Jhon is a dedicated Detroit activist who really put his hands and his heart where his mouth is when it comes to creating community. Jhon's poem reflect, in his sparse style, the everyday tragedy and joy involved in living in a city like Detroit. He spends much of his time rebuilding his house and blogs about it at www.upsidedownhouse.wordpress.com. This is also a first release for White Print Inc., which sells the book online, "a new avant-garde Detroit press dedicated to unknown and emerging writers."
A friend of mine was working on this documentary, on what seemed like forever. Im proud to report that its done and screeningin NYC, in April. Trouble the Water will be screened as part of the programming at the New Directors/New Films Festival a
This astonishingly powerful documentary, at once horrifying and exhilarating, won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at this year's Sundance. Two weeks after Katrina made landfall, New York filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal flew to Louisiana to make a film about soldiers returning from Iraq who were now homeless. But the National Guard closed off access. Just when the filmmakers were ready to disband their crew, Kim and Scott Roberts, streetwise and indomitable, introduced themselves. Kim had bought a camcorder the day before the hurricane, and using it for the first time, she captured the devastation and its pathetic aftermath, including the selfless rescue of neighbors and the appalling failure of government. The strong center of Trouble The Water, though, are the Roberts themselves who, says Deal, "survived all the storms of their lives not because they were lucky, but because they had intelligence, guts, and the kind of hope that is based in will rather than experience."
Tickets are on sale at MoMA and the Walter Reade Theater box office as well as at the Film Society's Website.
Trouble the Water
Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, US, 2007; 90m
Thu Apr 3: 6:15pm (MoMA)
Sun Apr 6: 4:30pm (WRT)
Roger, Mary and Josh will be tabling for Justseeds at the San Francisco Anarchist Bookfair this weekend. If you are in the area, come by and say "Hello!"
13th Annual San Francisco Anarchist Bookfair
Saturday, March 22nd, 10am -6pm
Sunday, March 23rd, 11am - 5pm
SF County Fair Building
Golden Gate Park, 9th Avenue & Lincoln Way, San Francisco, CA
“Feral,” a new installation at the luggage store, the collaborative team of Canilao and Swoon, use their practice of portraiture and building immersive environments to stitch together a scene populated by wicked women and feral girls.
“the baba yaga waits for you at the center of the wood. the two from which they fell. the edges come apart. the center goes astray. the safety and routine of domesticity are no longer able to confine or describe a fitting existence, and sometimes one just walks out of this life and into another.” (Swoon)
Using wood, paper, paint and found materials, Canilao and Swoon will create a map of a world that builds itself --just that side of the fringes.
The Luggage Store, 1007 Market Street (nr. 6th St.)
San Francisco, CA
The show opens Friday, March 21, 6-8pm
and runs thru April 26
The gallery is open for viewing Wednesday-Saturday, 12-5pm
Hey folks! I am enclosing an interview I conducted with Nicolas Lampert on a porch in the summer time in Milwaukee in 2004. The entire interview is enclosed below. Enjoy!
This months installment of Jeff Stark's "Where Have You Been?" is happening tomorrow night, Wednesday March 19th, in NYC.
Stories about travel and far-away places. New Yorkers go all over the world but the city has a way of swallowing their homecomings. Orbit the earth and your friends just ask if you missed the pizza.
This homespun live talk show offers a chance for travelers to tell
stories, to bring the world home and share it with the rest of us
travelers as well as those of us who don't get out much.
This month features interviews with three intrepids, Bluestockings Collective member Brooke Lehman on Panama, Arone Dyer of Bikeworks on building bikes in Ghana, and Kevin Caplicki and Todd Chandler on hard traveling in the midwest.
Yup, Justseeds member, kevin, will hopefully intrigue the crowd with the typical and always talked about topics of most travel punks, hitchiking, hoppin frieghts, and the ups and downs of traveling when you fly by the seat of your pants. Come out to,
172 Allen Street, Manhattan
and check out my favorite NYC event!
Justseeds readers likely need no reminder of the importance of politically engaged street art, yet it is always good to hear when work put up in the streets not only stays up for a long duration, but is also greatly valued by the community in which it is placed.
Recently, a sign by Jenny Polak and David Thorne from a past REPOhistory project Civil Disturbances that was put up in 1998 in Brooklyn has drawn some renewed attention, especially from collective members who had assumed that the majority of the signs had been taken down.
For those unaware of the project, the Civil Disturbances was a sign project that REPOhistory collaborated with the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI.) Over a two-year duration from 1998-1999, 20 signs were placed at various locations in the city that addressed legal cases that had important social and political ramifications for New York City and beyond.
The sign by Jenny Polak and David Thorne commemorated three victims of police shootings and the families that attempted to prosecute the police. Specifically, it addressed the senseless death of Nicholas Heyward, a young boy who was shot and killed by a Housing Authority Officer in 1994 who mistook his plastic toy rifle for a weapon, Kevin Cedeno who was shot in the back in Washington Heights, and Anthony Baez who died from a police choke-hold in the Bronx. The signs were placed at each location where the deaths had taken place. For example the sign honoring Nicholas Heyward was placed on Baltic Street, between Hoyt & Bond in Brooklyn and helped focus public attention to this tragedy and the issues of police brutality and accountability.
Yet the sign did not remain up for long. Shortly after it was installed, the sign (along with a number of other Civil Disturbances signs) were either vandalized or quickly taken down against the artist's approval.
However, the artists and the community made sure that it was re-installed in 1999. Polak recently explained, “There is a story you may not know about why it's lasted. I came to know Nicholas Heyward, the father of the child the sign memorializes… A while after the project was done, he told me the sign had been knocked down - hit, he thought, by cops perhaps. He rescued it and we decided to rededicate it. At the time he was still living right there. I tried to make a bit of an occasion of it. Tom came to bring the spare sign, and a poet [Samantha Coerbell], did an intense poem she'd written about the killing which she came and performed on the street to a couple of people including Nicholas senior, and a local reporter I got hold of. I think the continued activism of Nicholas, his taking ownership of the sign, and the way people around here feel about the police all may have helped keep it there.”
Since this rededication effort in 1999, the sign has remained installed on Baltic Street for close to a decade and speaks of the importance of making sure that past and present struggles are honored and made clearly visible for all to see.
Photo by Daniel Tucker. For an article on the re-dedication of the sign in 1999, See, Michael Hirsh “Police Brutality Memorial Returns to Baltic Street”, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill Courier, Vol. XVIII, No. 16, April 26, 1999. For more information on REPOhistory, See http://www.repohistory.org
If your in Madison, Wisconsin in late March, check out a show at the Common Wealth Gallery on the Oaxaca teachers strike uprising. The show features woodcut prints, stencil art posters, photos, and comics.
MARCH 27-APRIL 6, 2008
Sunday March 30 • 7-9 PM: Opening Reception
Music by Son Madunza
Tuesday April 1 • 7 PM : Mexican Revolutionary Graphic Art from Posada to the present Gallery Talk by Melanie Herzog, Professor of Art History, Edgewood College
Thursday April 3 • 7PM: New Jill Friedberg documentary Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad (A little bit of so much truth) on people’s takeover of Oaxacan media
Common Wealth Gallery • 100 S. Baldwin St. • Madison, Wisconsin
The story is outlined well here with links to more about it. Basically the administration at my school, RPI, got pressure from the College Republican Club to shut down a controversial art show. Then the art show moved to an independent space http://www.mediasanctuary.org/ off campus. It got protested by a group of city employees for being "un-American" and then the entire media space got shut down for "code violations." We are working on getting the space re-opened and exposing the un-democractic nature of all of the actions. I will send out a more info soon.
ABC No Rio holds its 5th biannual Ides of March, building-wide exhibit. Work is contributed by collectives and artists collaborating. Some justseeds artists got together the last two days to install some work in ABC's computer center.
Opens Friday March 14 at 7:00pm
artcodex; Broadthinking; Collective Gesture; Endless Love Crew;
E.Y.E. (Erase Your Ego); Flux Factory; The G-77; Genefree; it/EQ;
JustSeeds/Visual Resistance; Mail/Art Global Collaborative; Perfect8;
Ridge Street Gallery; Subject To Change; Three Wise Goats;
Bartolomeu, Catbagan, Dunne, Ksel & Horton; Berenbaum, Ciarleglio &
Haske; Cueva & Wells; Fernando, Tiscareno & Doskow; Hair & Illjes;
Harrah & Kipp; Kokoronis, Heller & Weeks; Kretschmar, Brown & Mayton;
Liz-N-Val; Matles & Baracz; Mcgill & Harrington; Mcternan &
Goldstine; Porter, Bautista & Suma; Shepperson, Stein & Radford.
VIDEO: Shit TV; Dara Greenwald, et al.
March 14: The Friendly Falcons (10:00pm)
March 21: Zuvuya Collective (8:00pm & 10:00pm)
RSVP for either 8:00 or 10:00pm performance to firstname.lastname@example.org
ABC No Rio 156 Rivington Street NYC 10002
I think this little video clip from Brasil has been making the rounds, but it's well worth taking a peek at, so I'm reposting here. It's amazing what a little cleaning can do.
Mujeres Creando is a feminist organization in La Paz, Bolivia. Unlike other social projects in Bolivia, it is not run by an NGO nor affiliated with a church. It's run by a core group of Bolivian women and set up to be autogestionable-- they have a free day-care that´s supported by a restaurant, Internet café and hostel. They run classes at night on a variety of subjects including women in society and feminist law. They run a radio station in La Paz (Deseo 103.3 FM). They have a legal consultation office for women who have experienced physical or sexual abuse. They have published a few books: one, called Ninguna mujer nace para puta (No woman is born to be a whore) is based on a conversation between an Argentinean prostitute and one of the members of the organization, and calls out for readers to question a society that subjects thousands of women to exploitation through prostitution, and what this kind of exploitation means for the treatment of all women within society. They have done a few exhibitions in Bolivia and Argentina displaying powerful photos of women killed by domestic violence and images of prostitutes from the turn of the century police register in La Paz (a time where every prostitute had to have their photo on file in the police station with a record of personal information, activity with clients and results of compulsory vaginal exams.) They have organized protests in Bolivia and Argentina and provided support to women who were imprisoned for over a year after a protest in Buenos Aires. And they take to the streets with their actions and their graffiti.
In Ninguna mujer nace para puta they explain their belief that the streets are the single most transformative political space because it is the only place where you can establish a relationship "flesh-to-flesh" with society. For women, who have historically only been given domestic and private spaces for their own, they believe that taking over the street is the ideal forum for women's acts of rebellion to be shown and seen. At the core, their key word is rebellion: to destroy the role of a woman as silent and dependent in a society deeply entrenched with machismo. And the women of Mujeres Creando are doing it with the gut-wrenching frankness that probably hasn't been seen in the United States since the 1970´s.
Below are a few shots of the Mujeres Creando graffiti in La Paz. Some have links to more information when they refer to specific political events or figures.
"if Evo had a uterus, abortion would be legalized and nationalized"
"I baptize my abortion as redemption, the nun" "We give birth, we decide"
"I´m not an originator, i am an original"
Blanca Liliana was sexually assaulted in the bathroom of a bar in La Paz while celebrating her birthday. Because it happened so suddenly, her friends almost didn't believe it happened and the bartender´s response was to tell the group to leave the bar. Blanca went to the police station to file a report, but it quickly became clear that because she had been drinking the courts would try to call the assault an act of consensual sex. After battling the Bolivian justice system for some time, Blanca finally had a "fair" trial, and the rapist was found and convicted.Full story in spanish
"Justice for Blanca, not for the rapist"
"i want to rebel" "i want to fall in love"
A few others that are worth reading:
"Un pene, cualquier pene, es siempre una miniatura."
A penis, any penis, is always a miniature.
"De Gennaro: Si la prostitucion es una trabajo, sindicalice tu pija y tu ano"
De Gennaro (founder of Central de Trabajadores Argentinos union in Buenos Aires): If prostitution was a job, I would have unionized your penis and your anus.
"Las putas aclaramos que ni Sanchez de Lozada, ni Sanchez Berzain, son hijos nuestros."
The whores (bitches) would like to clarify that neither Sanchez de Lozada (president of Bolivia ´93-´97 & ´02-´03, resigned, fled to U.S., wanted for genocide and other crimes) nor Sanchez Berzain (ex minister of government under Sanchez de Lozada), are sons of ours.
Mar 6: 6:00 to 8:00pm: Private Viewing for Patrons at Machines With Magnets
Mar 7: 6:00 to 9:00pm: Opening night reception at Pawtucket venues, with music performances from 9 to midnight at Machines with Magnets, Featuring: Black Pus, Baba Yaba, and Riders Against the Storm
Mar 9: 3:30 to 5:00pm: Panel Discussion with artists Krista Caballero, Alan Tracy, and Dan Wood. AS220
Mar 19: 5:00 to 7:00pm: Anniversary of start of the War reception with music at MWM & Arts Exchange
7pm candlelight procession to Visitors Center plaza for actions
7:30 in Slater Mill Theatre: performance by Kenny Carnes. WORD! leads off with Phil Kaye, Franny Choi, Sarah Kay & Amina Massey
Mar 20 : Trolleys from Providence Gallery Night
Mar 27: 7:00pm: Closing reception with presentation by spoken word artists and Scott Ewing in Slater Mill Theatre
Mar 30: Last day in Pawtucket
Mar 31: 9:30 pm: Video screening at Cable Car Cinema
Apr 5: Show installed at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River
Apr 10: Opening reception with performance by Haale
May 3: Last day in Fall River
For anyone in or around Richmond, VA, I'm in a show opening this weekend at the Ghostprint Gallery. Here's the info:
Hey Everybody! If you happen to be in New York Friday March 14 come over to P.S.1!
The Dirt Palace will be performing a play as a part of a program called "WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution."
The after party will be featuring DJs Mery-Def, Ivanna b, and Jazzy Jexxx.
Check the link here:
If you are in Philadelphia Thursday night (tomorrow), then check out talk20, with Justseeds' very own Erik Ruin! talk20 is a giant dialogue/discussion/hang out with a dozen Philadelphia artists and educators who will all do short presentations, there will be food, and DJs.
Other than Erik, these folks will also be presenting: Theodore Harris, Aaron Levy, Fence Kitchen, Gary Yucker, Justin Staller (from Space 1026), Matthias Hollwich & Marc Kushner, Andy Schlatter, Mark Yim, Steve Tucker, Walter Palmer, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, and Lindsay Bremner.
Seems like a good time.
March 6th, 6pm
Philly ICA, 118 South 36th St.
This is a series of photos we received related to Street Theatre events in San Francisco and Berkeley. They are connected to an ongoing "Make Art, Not War" action Tuesdays, Noon to 2pm at the Berkeley Marine Recruiting Station, 64 Shattuck Square.
Peaceline Panorama: Recent Photographs by Frankie Quinn
March 5 – 29th, 2008
Opening Reception, Wednesday, March 5, 6:30 – 8:00PM
The Brecht Forum
451 West Street, New York, NY 10041
The Brecht Forum are pleased to present this exhibition of recent photos by Belfast photographer Frankie Quinn. Taken over the last five years, these photographs document life along the 48 walls and barriers, known as 'Peacelines', that divide the city of Belfast in the north of Ireland. The walls, many of which were constructed at the height of the recent conflict by the British Government, were initially conceived of as a temporary measure to separate communities divided along political and religious lines and to control mobility within the insurgent nationalist community. Far from being a temporary measure, the walls have increased in number and in height over the years, forming a network of enclaves, ghettos and deeply divided communities across the city. This exhibition of photos testifies that despite the developments of the recent peace process, the continued presence of these fault-lines ensure that Belfast remains a divided and segregated city.
Frankie Quinn has been a photographer for the past 25 years. His interest in documentary photography developed as a result of his involvement with the MacAirt Camera Club in East Belfast. Since 1983 his work has been exhibited extensively both at home and abroad. His work has also appeared in numerous local publications including 'Falls in Focus' published by the Falls Community Center (1987) and 'Shoot Belfast' (1986), a guide for amateur photographers which was funded by the Northern Ireland Arts Council. His work has also appeared n the book 'Garvaghy Road: A Community Under Siege' (1999). He was a founding member of the Belfast Exposed Community Photography Resource Center. He lives and works in Belfast, Ireland.
Tuesday March 11th is Wear Orange Day in San Francisco, where the art group Plain Human is inviting anyone concerned with the conditions in jails and prisons to wear orange in order to publicly represent incarceration (prisoners are often made to wear orange jumpsuits...). This is an activity which is part of the Prison Project of Intersection for the Arts, a socially-conscious and community -based gallery in SF.
Here's the schedule for the day:
-Public Art & Gathering Events: 11am - 2pm at various in SF [Locations of activities for this day will be available in this website and at The Intersection for the Arts]
-Participatory Performance-Physical Exercise: 3:30 – 4:30pm at the Civic Center lawn, San Francisco
-Reception: 5 - 6pm at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia Street, San Francisco CA 94103
My friend Sam just sent me this link from Queerty.com to an interesting interview with Avram Finkelstein, one of the members of Gran Fury. Gran Fury was a creative/graphic collective that produced a large amount of the more graphic art and design around the AIDS crisis in the late 80s and 90s, including the Silence=Death graphic, which I would argue is one of the most powerful political graphics of the last 50 years. Here's a quote:
AB: Do you think posters are effective today? There are posters and advertising on every space.
AF: I do - I mean, there was advertising then and that was part of the strategy: to intervene on the commercial space with a message that was not commercial. That’s why we chose postering. We decided against doing these flat-footed, didactic Marxist tomes with lots of text and instead chose to do high gloss posters. And, in fact, the design of the poster - we discussed it endlessly and decided to go with what we called “yuppie graphics” - fonts that were popular at the time, so it was deceptive and would draw an unsuspecting bystander into a very serious conversation. It had to work on two levels: you had to be able to see it and think about it as you were whisking by in a cab, but then it had to work on a street level.
Having said that, I don’t think it could ever work in this social landscape, no. I don’t think it would be possible. It’s not so much about having to compete on the media landscape as what public space is now, as opposed to public space then. Public spaces - although there are a lot of people who would argue against it - are largely new media. I don’t really think it’s about the streets. It’s about the internet."
I wish I could share his optimism about the internet. I think it is a powerful communications tool (which is why we are using it for things like this blog!), but it seems like folly to consider it the "new public space." The infrastructure (fiber-optic lines, traffic hubs, etc.) are in the hands of a very small number of corporations. It may be in their interest to allow for a fair amount of open communication and dialog now, but lets not forget their is nothing public about their ownership, it is completely private, with no real checks to even further consolidation.
That said, I enjoyed this interview immensely, only wishing it was longer and more in depth. I'd love to see a serious roundtable conversation between graphic artists involved in the AIDS struggle, and really hear about how they created the images, built the messaging, and assessed the efficacy of their designs.