Erick Lyle/Josh MacPhee
Thursday, August 28th
123 Community Space
123 Tompkins, Brooklyn, NY
Erick and Josh will talk about their new books, tell stories and show pictures for you to look at. Erick recently released On the Lower Frequencies, a remix of the very best of his SCAM zine. Josh put together Reproduce & Revolt, a collection of over 500 public domain political graphics from 100 plus artists from around the big old world.
At least one of them will likely make you laugh, and hell, it's free!
Erick Lyle’s On the Lower Frequencies is at once a manual, a memoir and a history of creative resistance and fun in a world run rotten with poverty and war. Whether handing out fake starbucks coupons for free coffee, dropping flyers on mall-goer’s heads that say “aren’t you glad this isn’t a bomb?” or having punk shows in laundromats, Lyle (formerly known as Iggy Scam) has shown the world over the years that you can resist consumerism and have fun and have a sense of humor at the same time.
Lyle, an icon of the samizdat zine scene of the 1990’s, is equally at home on mainstream radio, where he has done several commentaries for This American Life. His “Secret History” traces the evolution of cities, for sure, and of neighborhoods, and of dissent, but also of his own thinking under the pressure of experience, from his early focus on the more outre forms of resistance, through more contemplative times as he becomes preoccupied with the passage of time and starts to articulate an affirmative vision of the type of society he’d like to live in and fight for. In writing, for example, on Reagan’s death he feels relief that came from realizing that by the time Reagan had actually died, his teenage rage had ceased being the motivating factor in his life, that what keeps him going is the sense of what he wishes the world actually looked like, inter alia, public art, squats, free breakfast programs, illegal peace demos in san francisco, punk holidays (joey ramone day, in which people gather and do a secret santa exchange of mixtapes), even a booklist.
But he never seeks refuges in the abstract. In one of the book’s key set pieces, “The Epicenter of Crime: The Hunt’s Donuts Story,” Lyle celebrates the history and passing of a donut shop that was once a nerve center in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood. On one level, it’s an epitaph for a beloved hangout. On another, it’s a metaphor for the racial and economic tensions that can accompany gentrification. And on yet another, it’s an untold history of an entire neighborhood via a single retail establishment.