I am a gaming nerd!! Everyother Thursday, I get together with a group of like-minded geeks and we engage in German boardgames. Good times.
Over the weekend, while hanging out at my brother's apartment in Brooklyn, I introduced my family to the world of Corcassonne. During the game, we spoke a bit about other rad board gaming fun. Two that came up were Class War, which I've only played once with my friend Andrew, and Guy Debord's infamous board game, which I have never played.
For those that didn't know, Debord has a De-board Game. In the late 1960s, Guy Debord (artist, activist, and member of the Situationist International) created a game called Kriegspiel or Game of War. It became available for sale in 1989, although sadly I've never played it. But now, I just downloaded a version for computer. I'm ready to rock!!
Last week I had opportunity to visit the advanced printmaking class at Portland State University here in Portland. Valerie Wallace teaches the class, and shares with me a fondness for large scale linoleum printing, so she asked me to come in and talk about my work with her students. I spent some time talking about justseeds and our collaborative projects, showed them some of my work, all then had the class all work together to hand print a linoleum print I have been working on (slowly) for the past couple years that is over 20 feet long.
I have to say it was a pretty great experience having 15 + people all inking up the blocks then getting on the floor to hand burnish. This was the first time I have had the print as one solid piece, and first time having this many helpers. We used one big roll of mulberry paper to print on.
My favorite part was pulling the paper off the block then having everyone snake through the room, and up the stairs to the second floor to hang the piece on the wall. Thanks to all the students for partaking on this social experiment.
Soon after I moved to Chicago in the late 90's, I decided that I loved life the most when making art, and that's what I wanted to do with as much of my time as possible. The anarchist scene in Chicago was strong, but art was far from central to it. There were some great artists and designers involved in projects like the A-Zone, but no one was really talking much about the role of art and culture in politics, or using it to reach outside of the small political and cultural communities that already existed.
It was in this context that I stumbled upon Temporary Services, and the beginnings of a whole world of alternative art practice in Chicago. I was interested in illustrations, printmaking and street art, forms of art that could easily be given political utility. Temporary Services helped introduce me to another world of political art, one not necessarily based in the production of art objects, but in experiences. Their early projects included creating a bunch of public distribution systems for ideas (signs, newspaper boxes, guerrilla library book placements), as well as having ever changing exhibition spaces which provided a location to launch free "temporary services": from a month of free haircuts, to a reading room, to free breakfast.
Temporary Services always provided a space to ponder the intersections of culture, politics and lived experience, which was a relief after feeling trapped by the often philistine and rote machinations of anarchist politics in Chicago in the early 2000's (meeting, meeting, writing long political text for a flyer no one will read, small protest, meeting, meeting). I didn't always understand all of Temporary Services' projects (turning your gallery into a month long homeless shelter seemed in many ways more cruel than generous), or agree with their theories (I'm in no way convinced that giving things away for free in any way subverts capitalism), but I was always inspired by the productivity and commitment of the collective, which has fluctuated in membership, but has settled for a number of years into a pretty sturdy tripod (Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin, Marc Fischer). Each of them brings a unique perspective, history and skill set which makes for a varied and powerful practice that is hinged together with an overlap in interests regarding the nature of generosity, a general rejection of the commercial art world, a thing for collections of all sorts, and a commitment to the idea that art can and should engage, interfere with, and change both people's lives and the world.
That is an extremely long introduction to the fact that Temporary Services is having a 10 year anniversary party this coming Friday in Chicago, and if I could be in Chicago for it, I damn well would be!
TEN YEARS OF TEMPORARY SERVICES
A 10th anniversary celebration & the Chicago book release party for Public
Friday, December 5, 2008, 7:30 PM – 12:00 AM
At the Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan, Chicago
Justseeds will be tabling at Art vs Craft in Milwaukee tomorrow. We will have books, zines, and tons of prints. Stop by and say hi.
My friend Mathew Curran has his first solo stencil show coming up. He's been involved in a number of projects I've organized, including the Paper Politics show and Reproduce & Revolt. Details for the show are on the flyer. Check it out!
There weren't many opportunities to be politicized, radically, growing up in a small town. I found most political ideas and became aware of activist "campaigns" through music. The Dead Kennedys, Conflict, Crass, and dozens of other bands exposed me to everything like Anarchism, animal rights, ecological destruction, pacifism, direct action, current events, and Political Prisoners.
Tom Gabel, frontman from Against Me!, has written a song about Eric Mcdavid, a political prisoner sentenced to over 19 years in prison. It's not anthemic, like many Against Me! songs, but its content has the ability to raise the consciousness of a handful his fans. Check out the video.
Anna Is A Stool Pigeon
Check out SupportEric for more info on his case.
I just got a rad book from the library called "Family Legacies" and it is about the art of Betye and her two daughters Lezley, and Alison Saar.
Here's a great video on printmaking, made by the folks at La Mano Press.
The show will be up from 12/04/08 to 01/23/09
Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative is a decentralized community of political artists who have banded together to support each other and social movements. We believe in the power of personal expression in concert with collective action to transform society.
This exhibition is an opportunity to view and purchase over 50 different handmade prints by more than a dozen artists. All art will be for sale, much of it for $25 and under. Perfect socially conscious holiday gifts for friends and family!
If you hadn't seen this earlier on the Justseeds blog, you should check out theStreet with a View intervention of the Google maps-Street View shooting.
Streets with a View is a totally brilliant and "community"-orchestrated event that folks in Pittsburgh were able to pull off. I just decided to watch some of the videos, and felt really inspired by the imagination of these folks. Check it out.
And A short documentary by Laura Klein offering an inside look at "Street with a View."
The IVAW website and the Groundswell Collective blog have a great post and video on a recent IVAW action who continue to amaze and inspire us with their incredible array of dissent, critique of war and power, visual resistance, street performance and tactical media. The action Operation W.A.N.T. (We Are Not Toys) took place on October 11th in the early morning where seven IVAW members of the LA Chapter placed 4,200 toy soldiers on the ground with a sign that read “The Price of Gas: 4171 US SOLDIERS”. The importance of these actions cannot be understated as they keep the unjust war and its terrible consequences in public view and memory and inspire us all to be more active in speaking out.
To view a You Tube clip of the action see:
To learn more and support IVAW see:
To learn more about the Groundswell Collective see:
Last year my friend Zoeann Murphy and I organized a show of 40 contemporary labor posters called Graphic Work: Imaging Today's Labor Movement. The Workforce Development Institute (WDI) in Troy, NY is trying to find more venues to hang this show, as well as distribute copies of six of the posters we did large-scale offset print runs of. Below is a letter from Teri Jones of WDI. Give it a read, and if you can think of any venues that might be interested in displaying the exhibition, drop her a line! If you are at a workers center, community center, union hall, etc., also get in touch with her to get copies of the posters to hang in your space!:
Friends, The American labor movement has an amazing history of graphic production, creating some of the most effective political images in the history of this country. However, work and workers, along with the labor movement, are often depicted as experiences of the American past: paintings of Joe Hill, photographs from the early1900s of children working in factories, historic strikes and Rosie the Riveter. Today’s workforce looks dramatically different from the majority of images used to depict labor. To address this issue we asked innovative artists to create posters that depict contemporary jobs, the people that do them and the issues workers now face. What we found was startling. Most young politically engaged people don’t realize the American labor movement still exists and, if they do, they have little or no relationship to it. We found that now, more than ever, it is important to create new images of labor. Graphic Work: Imaging Today’s Labor Movement is an exhibit of poster designs curated by Josh MacPhee and Zoeann Murphy. It was sponsored by the Workforce Development Institute, Bread and Roses Cultural Project ll99SEIU, and JustSeeds.org. The posters comprise a beautiful beginning to a new wave of labor art. We invite you to participate in the dialogue about today’s workers and the issues they face by displaying Graphic Work posters in public spaces. There are sets of six 19”x25” posters available free of charge, as well as the opportunity to host an exhibit of all 40 pieces. You can view more posters at http://wdiny.org/unseenamericaposters.html and contact me any time for free poster sets or information on organizing an exhibit. In solidarity, Teri Jones Cultural Program Assistant Workforce Development Institute 24 Fourth Street Troy, NY 12180 (518) 272-3500 x121 email@example.com www.wdiny.org www.bread-and-roses.com www.justseeds.org posters above by Josh MachPhee, Art Hazelwood, and Nicole Schulman
Short Notice, this one is tomorrow in NYC:
Many Yeses, One No: Confronting Corporate Globalization
A Retrospective Film Screening and Panel Discussion
November 21st, 7pm
715 Broadway, NYC
Free and open to the public.
As the anniversary of the Seattle protests against the WTO approaches,
the world economic system- a system whose logic and shape has been
defined by neoliberal economic theory- is in ruins, and the United
States has elected a new president that many people hope and expect
will bring about "real Change."
What does this mean for a movement that seems to have seen its
heyday, but whose critique of the problem- neoliberalism run amok-
now seems more salient, and more urgently needed, than ever? If we
were to look at the Global Justice Movement, or Alter-Globalization
Movement, as historians, what lessons might we learn from this
history? How can these lessons be applied to the current moment?
Films to be Excerpted:
Breaking the Bank (2000)
Showdown in Seattle (1999)
Fourth World War (2003)
It's A Riot (1989)
The Debt Game (1992)
A Cry for Freedom and Democracy (1994)
Total screening time will be approximately 45 minutes, to be followed
by panelist remarks, and audience Q and A.
Sameer Dosssani, Brooke Lehman, Ritty Lukose, Manuel Pérez-Rocha, Rick Rowley,
Moderated by Stephen Duncombe.
Wisconsin Books to Prisoners is organizing an artshow on the prison industrial complex and will pair the Justseeds portfolio project with artwork that is done by prisoners. The exhibition will be in late January and I will post more information on the specifics in the coming weeks on the Justseeds blog. Below is their call for entries:
Wisconsin Books to Prisoners was the recipient of a powerful set of posters created by 20 printmakers from the JUSTSEEDS Visual Resistance art collective. These posters were created in anticipation of the 10th anniversary of Critical Resistance, a prison abolitionist movement, and call attention to the human rights catastrophe in U.S. jails and prisons, and the use of policing, prisons and punishment as a “solution” to social, political and economic problems.
The posters and artwork by prisoners will be displayed at a gallery in Madison at the end of January 2009. Art that addresses the condition of prisons and the daily drudgery and cruelties of prison life would be particularly appreciated.
Please do not send anything that you want returned or is not copyright free. Also, please let us know how you wish to be (or not be) identified. Submission are welcome throughout the years to come, but for this show the due date is: January 1st, 2009.
Many thanks in advance to those who make contributions to this event.
Please send artwork to:
Wisconsin Books to Prisoners
426 W. Gilman St.
Madison, WI 537033
for more information contact: Camy Matthay: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday,November 22 2008
8:00pm - 9:00pm
Death by Audio
49 South 2nd Street (between Wythe & Kent)
Music by The Measure, Cheeky, Love or Perish, Each Other's Mothers, and Homewreckers (Pop Punk from NYC. Feat. members of Party Line, The Unlovables, Girlcrush and Cristy Road sings)
DJ Sets by Sir Loins and Tommy Hottpants
Bad Habits: A Love Story
Moving to New York City for Carmencita Gutierrez Alonzo, otherwise known as Car, dictated the beginning of a self-imposed mental cleansing, denoting an era of destruction and change. THIS BOOK IS ABOUT OVERCOMING THE EFFECTS OF AN ABUSIVE AND MANIPULATIVE RELATIONSHIP, and Car's quest for rebirth. Consequently, rebirth was untamed and measured by shitty news, occasional breakdowns, destructive splurges, and life altering orgasms. Geographically escaping the past's trauma in order to get over the past, proves to be worthless without the additional, internal redemption. The route to heal earnestly is always winding in a world where healing without a steady paycheck, health insurance, a mainstream identity, or mental stability can often times seem impossible. That is, at least, without harsh self-doubt or unfortunate addictions. This journey of getting over trundles through wild living situations, drunks, punks, awkward mornings, semi-revelatory acid trips, complex definitins of love, complex embraces of lust, complex laws on sexual violence, and a decaying Brooklyn where every glass condo swells the cost of living for a minimum wage society. Finding solace in things like Coney Island, hair metal, and her circle of friends; Carmencita transforms her bad habits into some rendition of living, and somewhat, achieving.
Food Not Bombs Pittsburgh is having a benefit to raise funds for a second bike cart, so they can haul those pots of stew without fossil fuels! Like many punk activists, FNB was the first activist project I participated in steadily as a fresh-faced 18 year old, when I moved to Pittsburgh in 1996. We used to cook at the original Peach Pitt in Shadyside (pgh punx will recall the more well-known peach pitt on blvd of the allies in oakland, 1998-2007r.i.p.). It's great that new generations of kids keep cookin', and that several folks have continued to be involved with this project for years. I'm stoked to be able to lend support with my DJ styles!
Food Not Bombs Benefit
Friday, November 21st, 8pm-2am
at Your Inner Vagabond
Bowlegged Gorrilla (one man band with beatboxing from b-more) (on his b-day!)
Breakaway Marching Band (pgh's rad marchin band)
Troop Jazzercize Radical Pittsburgh (sexy aerobic glampunk neon spandex dance routines---see photo!)
Sean & Jen (accordion and trumpet)
Mary Mack (you know the deal)
Food Not Bombs collects surplus food and cooks it into tasty meals that are served to anyone that's hungry every Friday and Sunday in Market Square. More info at http://pgh-fnb.activeresistance.org/
"Our url is harder than yours."
Although Frentes, Coaliciones y Talleres: Grupos Visuales en México en el Siglo XX has been out since 2007, it was only yesterday that I finally got my hands on a copy. This is an aspect of the sad state of radical art throughout the hemisphere: even though many of us know about one another and what is happening in other places, there exists a poor distribution network across international borders. Why can't there be a larger network for accessing this stuff?
Needless to say, Alberto Híjar's recent edited anthology is an exciting overview of Mexican art collectives working throughout the 20th century. For those of you who don't know Híjar, he is a heterodox Marxist art historian working and teaching in Mexico City. He writes predominantly on modernist art in Latin America. I know him most for his writing on Diego Rivera and a book he edited on utopianism. Unfortunately, there is very little of his work translated into English and therefor he remains somewhat unknown in the English-speaking world.
Over the past year, I've been sporadically doing projections for my friends in the Lesser Known Neutrinos, West Philly's premier psychedelic synth-punk band. I just recently chanced upon some nice photographs of one of our shows at the Rotunda in West Philly and thought I'd share them here. To do the projections, I usually use two overhead projectors and a variety of colored gels, found images on transparencies, old papercuts and assorted detritus from my printmaking and puppetry practices.
The Neutrinos are on a tour of Italy right now and have a new self-released LP out (which I printed the covers for). I highly recommend 'em.
Thanks to HannahLa (whoever you are) for the photos.
The Paper Politics show is still tearing up upstate New York! It open at the Redhouse Gallery in Syracuse tomorrow night. If you're in the area, check it out! Almost 200 political prints from around the world, with work from all the Justseeds artists, as well as tons of other great printmakers like BSAS Stencil, Christopher Cardinale, Tom Civil, Sue Coe, Amos Kennedy Jr., Jesse Purcell, Favianna Rodriguez and Nicole Schulman.
Opening Reception: November 20th 5-8pm
Redhouse Arts Center
201 South West St.
Syracuse, NY 13202
Thursday November 20, 10AM
Meet outside 100 Centre Street, NYC
(Part 91 - 15th Floor)
On August 18, 2006, seven young African American lesbian women from Newark, New Jersey came to Manhattan’s West Village for a night out. A man named Dwayne Buckle harassed and assaulted the young women, making sexist and homophobic comments to them as well as lewd advances and telling one of the women that he would “F—k her straight.” A physical altercation ensued, and two men came to the aid of the women. One of the men stabbed Buckle, and then left the scene. The women continued on their way and were arrested shortly after. The trial that took place was a farce, the judge was condescending and offensive, the media demonized the women as a "lesbian wolf-pack", there was never a search for the two men who stabbed Buckle, requests for forensic testing on the supposed weapon were ignored as was footage from a surveillance camera that clearly showed Buckle was the perpetrator. After a year-long trip through the legal system, three women of the women- Chenese Loyal, Khymesha Coates, Lania Daniels took plea bargains and the other four were convicted of crimes and given shocking prison sentences in April 2007. Terrain Dandridge was sentenced to three and a half years behind bars; Venice Brown, five years; Renata Hill, eight years; and Patreese Johnson, was sentenced to an unbelievable 11 years. Terrain Dandridge’s case was overturned, all her charges were dropped and she was released on June 21st, 2008. She has recently been speaking out with her family and with supporters such as Angela Davis in San Francisco and in NY.
For more info, there is an excellent article Re-Thinking "The Norm" In Police/Prison Violence & Gender Violence: Critical Lessons from the New Jersey 7 in the most recent issue of Left Turn Magazine by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence & FIERCE! that addresses issues of violence and bias against queer youth of color and the struggle to make these issues visible.
There is a screening of documentaries about the lives of LGBTQ youth in the West Village:
Friday November 21, 7pm
343 Lenox Ave/Malcom X Blvd.
Panel 8pm, reception to follow
Fenced Out documents the fight for the Christopher St. pier, a long-established hangout and safe haven for New York City’s youth of color and lower-income, homeless, lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, questioning and two-spirited youth. In the summer of 2000, development for a state park began “fencing out” the kids, with support from residents of nearby waterfront properties. “You are lowering the property value,” notes one police officer bluntly. The video examines the clash between the groups that claim ownership of the pier, from the perspective of the youths who feel it is the only place where they belong. The documentary includes interviews with “pierets” about how important the pier is in their lives, and with LGBTQ activists about the history of the piers and their connection to the gay liberation movement of the 60’s. It explores how the struggle to save the pier connects to a larger historical and social movement, and develops a plan of action to save them.
Life on Christopher Street dir. Maria Clara, 2002
Through the eyes of these urban male youth, known as "Homolife on Christopher St. Thugs", we see gay rappers, "Blood" gang members, pimps, and sex workers in their struggle to maintain dignity. The film is an exposé of a rising subculture of Black and Latino gay youth born in the late 70's to early 80's, representing the Hip-Hop generation. These urban gay youth living on the most popular gay strip in the world maintain the aggressive hyper masculine image and attitude represented in the Hip-Hop culture, contradicting the stereotypical image of homosexuals.
Life on Christopher Street Director & Producer Maria Clara and Kimberly Gray, FIERCE!, RJ Supa and Steven Gordon of The Ali Forney Center (housing for homeless LGBTQ youth)
reception to follow
Friday, November 21st, 6-9 PM
~ STOLEN LAND ~
an exhibition of paintings, linoleum block prints, photography, and installation by
OTHER a.k.a. Troy Lovegates
Needles & Pens, 3253 16th Street, San Francisco, CA
Wander-lust ridden graffiti artist, Other, has scrawled, spray-painted, and pasted his beautiful, highly detailed, and often solemn-faced characters on the walls and doorways of buildings around the world. His work has mysteriously appeared in galleries and the streets of such distant places (far from his native Canada), as, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Bucharest, Fez, and Lima, Peru. However, it is on the elusive freight trains of the extensive North American railroad system that the majority of his imagery is on display. It is a rare treat to have a large collection of the artist's work assembled in one location.
My friend Julia Christensen has been hard at work for years photographing and documenting what happens to giant big box walmarts and other monstrosities once they go out of business (as they inevitably do, since most of these companies intentionally over saturate regions with stores they know will fail in the long term in order to put all their competition out of business in the short term). She has just released a book about the project, Big Box Reuse, on MIT Press, and it looks promising. Here's the press release:
America is becoming a container landscape of big boxes connected by highways. When a big box store upsizes to an even bigger box “supercenter” down the road, it leaves behind more than the vacant shell of a retail operation; it leaves behind a changed landscape that can’t be changed back. Acres of land have been paved around it. Highway traffic comes to it; local roads end at it. With thousands of empty big box stores spread across America, these vistas have become a dominant feature of the American landscape.
In Big Box Reuse, Julia Christensen shows us how ten communities have addressed this problem, turning vacated Wal-Marts and Kmarts into something else: a church, a library, a school, a medical center, a courthouse, a recreation center, a museum, or other more civic-minded structures. In each case, what was once a shopping destination becomes a center of community life.
Christensen crisscrossed America identifying these projects, then photographed, videotaped, and interviewed the people involved. The first-person accounts and color photographs of Big Box Reuse reveal the hidden stories behind the transformation of these facades into gateways of community life. Whether a big box store becomes a “Senior Resource Center” or a museum devoted to Spam (the kind that comes in a can), each renovation displays a community’s resourcefulness and creativity–but also raises questions about how big box buildings affect the lives of communities. What does it mean for us and for the future of America if the spaces of commerce built by a few monolithic corporations become the sites where education, medicine, religion, and culture are dispensed wholesale to the populace?
For those in NYC, stencil artist Logan Hicks has curated a show called Eye to Eye.
I'm excited to see Ephameron in NY, and have appreciated C215's additions to the streets of NYC. These are some hard working folks that have inspired me recently.
Check it out
Eye to Eye Opening Reception: November 20, 2008, 7pm November 20 – December 20, 2008 Artists: EPHAMERON (Belgium) C215 (France) JOAD (Greece) Invisible NYC 148 Orchard Street
The Justseeds/Gadabout/Halo Fauna tour has reached the west coast, and we are currently heading south in California. Come check us out if we're heading through your town!
19th - Berkeley, CA - the Long Haul Infoshop
20th - Santa Cruz, CA - TBA
21st - Santa Barbara, CA - The Biko Garage
22nd - San Diego, CA - Cassandra's House, then a party
23rd - Phoenix, AZ - The Trunk Space
24th - Flagstaff, AZ - The Cottage
25th - Albuquerque, NM - Basement Films
26th - Norman, OK - Universe City
27th - Little Rock, AR - The Radradrad House
28th - Nashville, TN - Little Hamilton
29th - Bloomington, IN - The Cinemat
30th - Columbus, OH - Chop Chop
Dec 1st - Pittsburgh, PA - ModernFormations
Dec 2nd - NYC - TBA
Come one come all to a special game night on Thursday, November 20th from 6-8pm! The first fifty participants at War Fair will receive a free coupon to play the carnival game, Fire in the Hole. Try your luck and kill the insurgents.
Fire in the Hole is a part of Colin Matthes's installation War Fair: Occupation Games for Citizens and Non-Combatants. This project is influenced by personal reflections from working at a small town county fair and noticing the increasing military presence (recruitment) there.
This event is at
2155 N Prospect Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Some other stuff I came across today
I went over to the Village Voice site to look up a movie listing and came across this Sam Mcpheeters piece. I felt like reposting it because there have been numerous auctions I've heard of. It seems like auction houses are a little late in the capitalist game of squeezing every dollar out of "movements" like punk, street art, and graffiti.
Christie's Nov. 24 "Pop Culture: Punk/Rock" auction is now available for online inspection. The sale features "a collection of memorabilia from the Ramones to The Clash and The Sex Pistols". The venerable auction house is older than the United States, so this is presumably not their first sale to dabble in controversy. But it is almost definitely the first Christie's auction to feature a depiction of elbow-deep fisting, chest-splooging, and no less than five throbbing monster cocks in one lot ("Fuck Your Mother T-Shirt", est. $1,000 - $1,500). Question; if one shells out $1k - $1.5k for a vintage punk porno t-shirt, is it to be worn with an extra helping of pride, or shame?
Japanese comrades Ill Commonz and Kei will be giving a report back from their trip to NYC on November 23rd in Tokyo, and they'll be hanging a show of my silkscreen prints at the university they're speaking at. They sent me this great flyer for the event!
Stuart Christie has a lot under his belt: anarchist, former anti-fascist prisoner in Spain, founder of the UK Anarchist Black Cross, founder of Cienfuegos Press, and more recently publishing books under his own imprint ChristieBooks. For a number of years he has been building up an amazing collection of films on his website, which now contains hundreds of films and videos, including Spanish Civil War newsreels, Jean Vigo and Luis Bunuel features, anarchist biopics and more current radical news footage. If you are at all interested in anarchism and film, it is well worth taking a look. Check it out here.
In addition, Christie is working on a new anarchist journal, called Arena, which is being published in collaboration with PM Press and the first issue should be out early next year. The first issue is focusing on anarchist cinema, and is guest edited by Richard Porton, author of the fabulous book Film and the Anarchist Imagination, published by Verso.
A friend in Argentina sent me these photos:
Long time prisoner and jailhouse lawyer and activist Harold H. Thompson died on November 11, 2008 of heart failure. Harold was an anarchist prisoner serving life plus sentences in Tennessee, USA. He was active in the 60's anti-war movement, associating with Viet Nam Veterans Against the War during the 60's and 70's era of mass civil disobedience and struggle in America. From the late 60's onwards Harold was repeatedly in conflict with the cops and the legal system, raising money for survival and political activities outside the law. Several of these expropriation activities resulted in him doing time in Wisconsin, Ohio, Georgia and Tennessee prisons.
Behind the walls, Harold was well known for his work as a 'jailhouse lawyer' and said he coped with prison by fighting for his fellow prisoners in the courts for some semblance of real justice. His legal work mainly consisted of other prisoners appeals, drafting their legal briefs for submission to the courts, filing civil rights complaints on behalf of prisoners who have been abused and had their rights violated. He helped file proper grievances in the prison system and courts. He also was a prolific writer and poet.
This information is from Harold's support group, more info can be found here
Astria Suparak, director of the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh), captured this touching moment as I helped hang one of two Haliburton SurvivaBalls in preparation for the Yes Men exhibit this past week. The show, "Keep it Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with the Yes Men", is their first exhibition of props and ephemera from their projects and was curated by Astria. It will run through February 15.
Hen of the woods
This summer I went mushroom foraging and even took a few Justseeds members on a couple of hikes! Mary Tremonte and Shaun Slifer both accompanied me on a few walks. We talked about blogging at the time, but lost track, so I am finally uploading photos from a couple of the sucessful hikes.
Libros Latinos, a San Francisco bookstore specializing in Mexican, Latin American and Caribian books, has just put up an online portfolio of 40 different Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP) posters. The TGP, whose most active period was from its founding in 1937 to the 1960's, was an organization of artists, primarily print makers, who used their skills to help develop and promote Leftist social movements. The posters on the Libros Latinos site are all for sale and pretty pricey, which begs the question of whether the images stay up once the objects are sold, so go take a peak here while you can! Those already well versed in the work of the TGP might want to check out the Gráfica Mexicana archive, which has over 3000 prints and posters archived, but a limited number of images.
Esta tercera feria se realizara en la cd de México los días 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 y 16 de noviembre de 2008.
Habra venta de Venta de libros, periódicos, videos, fanzines, comida y más...
I found out about Mexico City's Anarchist Bookfair smack in the middle of its events, and felt the need to tell yins about it!
Wish I was there.
Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley's "Street With A View" Project just got a nice write up on the AP wire, picked up in all kinds of publications and web-based news sources. Don't forget to check out Justseeds artist Nicolas Lampert's chicken at the corner of Sampsonia and Arch St - imported from Milwaukee special for the Google re-shoot! I wrote about the experience of doing this shoot over the summer - it's great to finally see it online.
In NYC this weekend!
Escupido de la Panza de la Bestia Parte 2! is a Collaborative Art Showing... A Tri City Exchange....From Valparaiso, Chile, Cordoba, Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina with love, to New York, New York, USA, Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island
In March of 2007, many independent U.S. artists showed their work in Chile and Argentina in a politically and culturally charges series of art shows called Spit out from the Belly of the Beast.
This November, 2008, work from various artists and collectives from the South American countries will be shown in continuation of this artistic dialogue. Included are drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs, mixed media, video and more!
New York City, NY:
285 Kent Ave. #2, Brooklyn 11211
Saturday, Nov. 15 12-6pm (PLWN music show at 9:30pm)
Sunday, Nov. 16 12-6pm
Monday, Nov. 17 12-6pm
Not Here, but Now
Noel Douglas (2007) recently commented “When the demands of Neoliberalism play havoc with our lives, it is time to fight back, and designers wield the sharpest tools.” Not Here, but Now is an example of how sharp our designer tools can be. Not only for the fact this campaign is visually intelligent, but it was also a pro bono campaign, designed for Amnesty International (Switzerland), by Walker Werbeagentur.
Here is the recent Justseeds Family Portrait taken in Milwaukee, WI. A couple new and old folks were missing, though. I don't think it was shocking to see Red and Black so heavily represented!!
My friend Marc Moscato is showing a collection of films about Chicago area activism and resistance.
Sunday, November 16, 7PM
Screening at The Select Media Festival
The Co Prosperity Sphere
3219 S Morgan St
Wednesday, November 19 (tentative)
Screening & lecture at North Central College
Wednesday, December 3, 7PM
Screening & lecture at
The Project Lodge (Co presented by The Media Embassy)
817 E Johnson St
Thursday, December 4, 7PM
Screening at Darling Hall
601 SW 6th St
Friday, December 5, 8PM
Screening at The Art of This
3506 Nicollet Ave
Abby Goldstein, professor at Fordham University in NYC, curated this dope exhibition which includes my work alongside fellow Justseed compañeras/os Favianna, Jesús, and Melanie. It's also got the Guerrilla Girls, Laurie Anderson, Bread and Puppet Theatre, Sue Coe, Milton Glaser, and countless other rad artists. Scope it out if in New Mexico.
Speak Out: Art, Design & Politics
November 1–December 20, 2008
Download the postcard in PDF format.
Hey, remember those Somali pirates who hijacked a ship full of guns and tanks?
Today marks their fiftieth day in control of the MV Faina, just off the central Somali coast near the port of Hobyo. It's been interesting to watch the situation develop, and, of course, to watch it drop from view in light of the recent electoral brouhaha.
The Somali pirates, who number about seventeen, hijacked the freighter from two small motorboats on the 25th of September. Of the 21 crew on board at the time of the hijacking, all remain alive except the captain, who died of hypertension after two or three days. His body remains on ice in the ship's freezer, under a close pirate guard.. The Faina has been surrounded for some time now by a phalanx of US naval vessels, who've been closely observing the goings-on aboard.
One reason for such concentrated US and international interest in the situation is that the Faina is carrying a huge cargo of Ukrainian military hardware, including 30 full-size battle tanks. The hardware's ostensible destination, the Kenyan army, is cast into doubt by an entry on the ship's manifest that mentions GOSS- the Government of Southern Sudan. Early speculation had the cargo destined for Khartoum's proxy war in Darfur.
A fundamentalist group, Al Shabaab, appeared on the coast in the middle of the chaos to request a share of the booty, but were apparently rebuffed. The crew have recently reported that they're out of food and fresh water, after having been cursorily resupplied at laconic intervals during the last fifty days. There's been a slew of other hijackings, and Russian warships are now escorting traffic in the Gulf of Aden.
What interests me most is a statement the pirates issued about two weeks into the standoff. They had demanded an $8 million ransom for the ship, its crew and cargo, a number which has since oscillated between $5 and $12 million. The statement said that any money they recieved from a ransom payment would be used partly to clean up the heavily polluted Somali coast, and blamed European and Asian shipping firms for dumping spectacular loads of toxic and nuclear waste material into the seas surrounding Somalia.
Nobody seems to be talking about that, now, do they?
SPECIAL TIMES EDITION BLANKETS U.S. CITIES, PROCLAIMS END TO WAR
Early this morning, commuters nationwide were delighted to find out
that while they were sleeping, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had
come to an end.
If, that is, they happened to read a "special edition" of today's New
In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million
papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged
pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass
them out on the street.
Articles in the paper announce dozens of new initiatives including the
establishment of national health care, the abolition of corporate
lobbying, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s, and, of course, the end of the
The paper, an exact replica of The New York Times, includes
International, National, New York, and Business sections, as well as
editorials, corrections, and a number of advertisements, including a
recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline. There is also a
timeline describing the gains brought about by eight months of
progressive support and pressure, culminating in President Obama's "Yes
we REALLY can" speech. (The paper is post-dated July 4, 2009.)
"It's all about how at this point, we need to push harder than ever,"
said Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper's writers. "We've got to make
sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do.
After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start
Not all readers reacted favorably. "The thing I disagree with is how
they did it," said Stuart Carlyle, who received a paper in Grand
Central Station while commuting to his Wall Street brokerage. "I'm all
for freedom of speech, but they should have started their own paper."
For video updates: http://www.nytimes-se.com/video
CALLING ALL VISUAL ARTISTS!
Haymarket looks for art for our calendar annually. We are now in the process of looking for a single piece of art to display on the cover of our 2009 calendar.
Haymarket People’s Fund is an anti-racist and multi-cultural foundation that is committed to strengthening the movement for social justice in New England. Through grantmaking, fundraising and capacity building, we support grassroots organizations that address the root causes of injustice. Haymarket also organizes to increase sustainable community philanthropy throughout our region.
Stacy Jackson at
617-522-7676 X108 or email@example.com
Haymarket People's Fund
This just in!
Tues. Nov. 11, 7pm
Free Workshop - Documenting the Struggle: Three Radical NYC Archives
451 West St (between Bank & Bethune Sts)
$5-$15 suggested donation to support Radical Reference
free food/cash bar
Join Radical Reference for a look at some of the ways libraries and
other institutions are preserving the people's history!
Presented as part of the NYC Grassroots Media Coalition "make this netWORK" series,
seeking to strengthen the fight for media justice by connecting local
activists and media makers.
The Yes Men will be in Pittsburgh this week with a lecture and survey exhibition!
Keep an eye out for future activist art exhibitions at the Miller Gallery.
FRI. NOV. 14
KEEP IT SLICK:
with The Yes Men
Curated by Astria Suparak >>>
Nov. 14, 2008–Feb. 15, 2009
Nov. 14, 5pm:
How To Be A Yes Man Workshop + Film clips from their upcoming movie. Miller Gallery, 2nd floor.
Sponsored by the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry + School of Art Lecture Series.
Business Casual Reception. Miller Gallery, 3rd floor.
Please bring offerings for the dearly departed Reggie the Janitor.
Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
Purnell Center for the Arts
5000 Forbes Ave.
Josh & Roger enjoying Milwaukee's fine cuisine
Help Keep Space 1026 (and Small Change) Going... again!
Hello friends of Small Change,
So it's that time of year again... Our "parent" organization Space 1026 where 90% of our shows are held (and whose cheapness allow us to give visiting artists money) is having its annual art auction fundraiser to keep its doors open. For those who might not know Space 1026 is a ten year-old artist run gallery, studio space, and show space. Members have spawned projects such as: LTTR, Free News Projects, Plastic Little, The Manipulators, The Mobilivre-Bookmobile Project, Cars Will Burn, Cantab Publishing, The Small Change Film Screening Series, Haveboard.com, and the Vaudevillains Mummers Brigade. You can find more info here: http://www.space1026.com
Each year we have an art auction to help with the cost of keeping the place open. As Small Change we usually auction off a large package of DVD's from our favorite filmmaker freinds. It's become a bit of a tradition and is always a big hit. It's helped out so much and we're hoping to do it again this year. For those who've participated in the past. THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!! It's really meant alot and to anyone who can participate this year we say the same.
So basically we're looking for our pals - namely YOU - to send us DVD's or really any artwork or books or CD's or whatever that you've made and would be interested in donating to this worthy cause. It's a good way for us to contribute while at the same time hyping the artists we like to support.
Please send things to:
1026 Arch St. 2nd floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
The deadline is DECEMBER 1st.
A new anarchist community space, SubRosa, just opened in Santa Cruz, CA. And they used one of Kristine's prints for their flyer!
Issue #6 of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest just released!
I've been reading the Journal from the get go, and always find something interesting in each issue. This one's got contributions by Gregory Sholette, Dorit Cypis, smartMeme studios, Rebecca Zorach, Kelly Marie Martin, Amy Franchesini, Lisa Ann Auerbach, Code Pink, Andrew Boyd, Iraqi Veterans for Peace, John Carr of Yo! What Happened to Peace and many more.
Here's a blurb about it:
Crafted & collected for 7 months, this sober eyed jumbo sized brick of a book explores 3 distinct premises in contemporary life: Sustainable Culture, Antiwar Activism, Contemporary Critical Theory. The book comes with in depth analysis of activist and art projects as well as resolute analysis of cultural conditions by people we want you to read.
"One could see the level of frustration in your eyes. There were ways to avoid it; staring to the internets, listening to radio, cursing, cursing news, attending protests, trying at little "political projects." But generally, it was all around, this horrible stasis. There were wars, the loss of a city, the disappearance of beloved bookstores, magazines, community centers , and the cruel inability for networks to amount to anything real. It appeared that nothing good could be generated out from under this era. And you were getting older." This issue finds a way forward.
It is titled Public Phenomena and let us tell ya, it looks beautiful! 152
glossy full color pages. We can't wait for you to see it.
This book is the result of over ten years of photographic documentation and
research on the variety of modifications and inventions people make in public.
From roadside memorials to makeshift barriers, people consistently alter shared
common spaces to suit their needs, or let both man-made and natural aberrations
run wild. The result is a new kind of public space – with creative and
inspiring moments that push past the original planned design of cities.
Images and text by: Temporary Services, Polonca Lovšin, Joseph Heathcott &
Damon Rich, Boštjan Bugaric, Ana Celigoj, Maša Cvetko, Marko Horvat, Meta
Kos, Darjan Mihajlović, Danijel Modrej, Maja Modrijan, and Sonja Zlobko.
November 8 at 7:30pm
Sixth Street Community Center
638 E 6th St, between Avenues B and C, in Manhattan
Suggested Donation $8-10, refreshments will be served
Longtime New Afrikan Anarchist Prisoner of War, Ojore Lutalo, is set to be released after 26 years of confinement in the New Jersey State Prison, having completed the maximum amount of time the State of New Jersey could hold him. While his exact release date is not finalized, it will most likely be late November or December. Money is being raised to help Ojore secure housing, food and clothing to help with this transition.
Ojore Lutalo is locked down in Trenton, New Jersey for actions carried out in the fight for Black Liberation. According to Lutalo, he is serving a parole violation sentence stemming from a 1977 conviction for expropriating monies from a state bank and engaging police in a gun battle which took place in 1975.
Kazembe Balagun, writer, activist, teacher, and biographer of the late New Afrikan Anarchist freedom fighter Kuwasi Balagoon will be in attendance to talk about New Afrikan Anarchism of the past and future.
There will be a screening of the film Frame Up! The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre (1973)
Frame Up! follows the story of Afro-Puerto Rican political activist Martin Sostre who served time in Attica prison during the early 1960s. He was arrested in 1967, at his Afro-Asian bookstore in Buffalo for sale and possession of narcotics, riot, arson, and assault- charges later proven to be fabricated by COINTELPRO. He was convicted and sentenced to serve forty-one years and thirty days. Sostre became a jailhouse lawyer and regularly acted as legal counsel to other inmates, and won two landmark legal cases for the advancement of prisoner rights- Sostre v. Rockefeller and Sostre v. Otis.
Soft Scrap is a show of scrap-inspired art which opens this Saturday in Detroit.
The artists are seamsters, fiber artists, sculptors, painters, printmakers, performers, and musicians. They hoard scraps that are piled on shelves, stashed in boxes, or stowed away in basements. These scraps are sometimes ridiculous, embarrassing and untidy, but sometimes they inspire. Artists include Julio Dominguez, Mary Carolan, Sarah Lapinski, Abigail Newbold, Sarah Burger, Connie Shea, Bec Young, Leah Retherford, Emily Linn, and Megan Heeres.
This show includes my series "stitches stories," which tells the story of my travels through Guatemala three years ago. The stories are embroidered into the clothes that were worn on the trip.
The show runs for five weeks with three special events. All events are open to the public.
The show is located at 1401 Bagley, one block South of Michigan Avenue, and one block East of Trumbull.
Nov. 7 Opening reception including performance by Kathy Leisen of SOFT LOCATION 7-10pm
Nov. 14 Regular viewing 5-8pm
Nov. 21 Regular viewing 5-8pm
Nov. 29 Scrap exchange party 7-10pm
Dec. 5 Regular viewing 5-8pm
Dec. 12 Closing with scrap food potluck 7-10pm
How does one turn google street view upside down? Easy.... check out this link to A Street with View, a super creative performance / google street view re-enactment that took place in Pittsburgh last Spring that is finally posted on google steet view maps. To view it: follow the link on the Street with a View website or go to google street view and search under the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh (that will take you to Sampsonia Way.) You might see mad scientists with a love laser, firefighters rescuing a pinata, and a very, very large chicken, among other things. Enjoy!
A description from the Street with a View website reads "On May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way. Neighbors, and other participants from around the city, staged scenes ranging from a parade and a marathon, to a garage band practice, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more...
Street View technicians captured 360-degree photographs of the street with the scenes in action and integrated the images into the Street View mapping platform. This first-ever artistic intervention in Google Street View made its debut on the web in November of 2008.
An incredible cast of real-life characters contributed their time, energy and talents to creating pseudo-street life on Sampsonia Way. "
New Zealand's Garage Collective has just launched a blog! Check it out here.
Just got a package in the mail from Microcosm Publishing with a copy of the hot-off-press brand new Zine Yearbook 9. Over 100 excerpts from zines put out in the last couple years, it looks to have some great stuff in there, including zine world favorites like Doris, Peops, Ghost Pine, You, Duplex Planet, The Match, Kerbloom, Spread, and tons and tons more. It also includes some photos excerpted from my zine Pound the Pavement #10.
This just in from my friend Fernando Martí:
Desplazamientos – Bajo y Suavecito: A show about Low Riders, a skate park, and the Mission then and now...
Photographs, oral histories and installations by Amanda Lopez & Fernando Martí, in collaboration with El Tecolote
November 8 - December 8, 2008 at Mission Skateboards storefront
Reception: Saturday, Nov. 8, 7-9 pm, with Low-Rider oldies by D.J. Chango Julius
3045 24th Street (at Treat)
Desplazamientos is an ongoing series of installations and publications created by Amanda Lopez, Fernando Martí, and El Tecolote, tracing the shifts and resistances of Mission District history.
A new political art show has just opened in NYC. Haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but it looks promising, almost all the artists involved have done engaging and compelling intersections of art and politics in the past.
October 29th – Nov 24th, 2008
Special Election Night Party November 4th, starting at 7pm
Featuring work by: Melanie Baker, Wafaa Bilal, Sandow Birk, Emory Douglas,
Hasan Elahi, Mounir Fatmi, Jon Hendricks, Arnold Mesches, Naeem Mohaiemen,
Sheryl Oring, Jenny Polak, Martha Rosler, Jackie Salloum, Hank Willis Thomas
and Raphael Zollinger
Curated by Dread Scott, Kyle Goen and Hajarah Abdus-Sabur
White Box (Bowery)
329 Broome Street New York, NY 10002 (NEW ADDRESS)
I just got an email from Kei (Irregular Rhythm Asylum) with some links to photos and video of the recent Tokyo Bookfair. Here is a cool video that shows the fair, including a bunch of our posters and even people silkscreening with Reproduce & Revolt images!
Mary (Mack) Tremonte and Heidi Tucker have a show of new prints that just opened this weekend at Morning Glory Coffeehouse in Pittsburgh. Mary's prints were all created over the past year, mostly from time at recent residencies at AS220 in Providence, RI and the Anchor Archive Halifax, NS. She released a split zine with Simone Roughouser that they created at the Anchor Archive: Chick Pea #4/ Risk-Oblivious Youth # 1/2.
The show also marks the grand opening of Morning Glory, which is run by former Providencer Jeffrey Alexander. The spot features fair trade organic coffee, vegan baked goods by My Goodies bakery, occasional live music, babies that look like gnomes and more.
The work will be up all month. You can buy prints and zines on the spot. Stop on by...
My friend Bani Khoshnoudi is doing a sneak preview of her new film A People in the Shadows next Friday in New York City. I'm really excited about the film, but unfortunately all of us Justseeders will be at our annual retreat in Milwaukee. Some of you will have to go and tell us how it was!
A PEOPLE IN THE SHADOWS (2008, 90 min.)
Friday, November 7, 7pm
87 Lafayette Street (south of Canal Street), 3rd Floor
(subways: N,R,W,Q,6 to Canal)
Almost thirty years after the revolution, and twenty since the end of the long Iran-Iraq war, A People in the Shadows takes us on a voyage into the heart of Tehran, a megalopolis of 14 million people. The city is still recovering from its past, as talk of sanctions and a possible American attack resonate. Using cinema direct methods, the film takes an intimate look at the way people live in this immense city today- caught up in the paradoxes and contradictions of their society, surrounded by images of past and future death, yet finding ways to juggle state propaganda and foreign threat on a daily basis.
If you are in the Providence Rhode Island area come check out the SUSTAINABLE art show! Over 30 artists; including 10 Justseeds/Visual Resistance folks and over two dozen local Rhode Island artists! Prices range from $2- $300. AS220 is a non profit community arts space and performance space (it's where I book shows! full time!) and is at 115 Empire Street. (http://www.as220.org)
This is an interview Chris Stain and Josh MacPhee did with artist John Fekner:
Chris Stain: About a year ago I got lucky for a few months and had a studio separate from my house. it was in LIC. I had heard from my friend Josh Macphee that it was an old stomping ground of the legendary stencil artist John Fekner. so I decided to look him up. just a year before that Josh and I were showing in Brooklyn at Ad Hoc and John stopped in posing as a vandal squad detective. i had never met John before so I didn't know the difference. After he revealed his true identity we all had a good laugh. Until then i thought the shit was gonna hit the fan. Below are parts of the conversation that josh and i had with john. you will be able to read the whole sha-bang later when johns book drops from powerhouse. i’d like to personally thank Mr. Fekner for the interview and his continuing inspiration. His work is a prime example of how much difference one person can make.
Chris Stain: What originally inspired you to cut stencils, get out there in the street and put it up?
John Fekner: It goes back to when I was a teenager. I grew up in Queens and like most street kids spent a lot of time in parks, hangin’ out, doing a lot of different things…it was the 60s. That’s ten years before I started doing stencils at the age of 26. The first outdoors stencils began during the winter of 76-77. In 1968, for some bizarre reason, I came up with the idea of calling our park ‘Itchycoo Park’ referring to the title of the song by the Small Faces that was a hit in 67 about a park in England. My hang out park was Gorman Park at 85th St. and 30th Ave. in Jackson Heights referred to by the local kids as just ‘85th’.
I said to my friends, “Let’s paint the words Itchycoo Park on the front of the park house. So undercover of the night with white paint and a few brushes in very large crude letters we did just that. The phrase just stayed with the park and it became known as Itchycoo and the local football team was called the Itchycoo Chiefs. It was really a strange thing. Little did I realize that this was going to be my format for quite a few years.
The name of this Buenos Aires gallery may be an indication to the sense of humor of the set of street artists which run it. Smart, sarcastic, and with gleeful colors, they've created a barrage of non sequitur images that storm across the rooftop part of the gallery, which is above the Post Bar in the Palermo neighborhood in BsAs. I took the Subte to the gallery one beautiful spring Sunday in September for their "Great Sales Event," which was an art show in a few rooms next to the roof with stencils and paintings, prices scribbled on the wall under them. There were also tshirts, books and posters for sale in another room. I was surprised to see the work of Nate Williams, a U.S. artist who lives in BsAs, included in the show. The gallery is organized by the street art collectives Run Don't Walk and BsAs Stencil, and is part of a continued experiment in bringing indoors the style that began in the street. Check out Erick Lyle's excellent article about the stencil scene in Realizing the Impossible for some background. Here's some photos I shot while I was there, including this one of a young porteño, who posed for me!
My friend Erin Yanke (Life During Wartime/Circle A Radio) and I just finished a zine about the life of James Chasse Jr. Chasse was a schizophrenic man living in downtown Portland. He was killed by the cops while taking a walk in the heavily gentrified Pearl District for looking homeless, acting unusual and running from the cops.Chasse had been a participant in Portland's first wave punk scene, making a zine called the Oregon Organizm and singing in bands. He was the inspiration behind the Wipers song Alien Boy.
The zine is a benefit for a film being made about his life and death, and it includes information about his murder, excerpts from his zine, his artwork, and friends' remembrances of him and the early Portland punk scene. Chasse's case has been kept in the spotlight mostly because of the hard work of the Mental Health Association of Portland, an advocacy group.
The zine is available from Reading Frenzy. The zine includes an audio cd/radio show about Chasse made by Erin. Erin did most of the content and I did most of lay-out.
For more information about the film Alien Boy click here.
Two great Events in Portland this week!
The Films of Helen Hill
Monday Nov 3rd, 2008
Hollywood Theater, Portland OR
As part of the Siren Nation festival here, there will be a screening of 10 short films by Helen Hill. Helen was a friend of mine who was killed in New orleans almost two years ago. Her films are scrappy beautiful things, truly DIY, warm, political and playful. Excellent stuff!
Beehive Collective Swarming Portland
Please join this empowering graphics collective on the eve of the election for a powerful and interactive story about empire, corporate globalization, resistance and sustainability.
The Beehive Collective and their "Dismantling Monoculture" graphics campaign will make a variety of free appearance around portland. The events will take place as follows:
Oct. 31st @ 3pm - PSU Smith Building, 1825 SW Broadway St. Hosted by Students for Unity and MECha
Nov. 2nd @ 7pm - Reed College Student Union. Hosted by Blue Heron Infoshop
Nov. 3rd @ 6pm - ILWU Local 5, 917 SW Oak Suite #206. Hosted by the ILWU Local 5, Independent Publishing Resource Center and Free School Portland
Nov. 4th @ 7pm - Red and Black Cafe, 400 SE 12th avenue (at Oak). Hosted by the Red and Black and Free School Portland
The Beehive Collective presents their three part narrative: Dismantling Monoculture - Mesoamerica Resiste: a visual exploration of the impacts of militarism, free trade, and corporate globalization in Latin America. The group's mission is to "cross pollinate the grassroots" through the creation of images as an effective medium for deconstructing and educating the public about complex geopolitical issues.
Just a quick post to share a recent project. My friend Matt Meyer has compiled a giant collection of writings about the struggle to free political prisoners in the US, co-published by PM Press and Kersplebedeb. He asked me to design the cover of Let Freedom Ring, so I took a graphic from an old 80's political prisoner support flyer, tweaked it a bunch, added color, and the cover was born. One of the most excited parts about this project was working on the spine, because unlike most books I've designed, this one is thick, a good inch and half wide spine, so I was able to make it nice and bold.
The next day we took off to Bugambilias, a housing project on the south side of Ecatepec. This was the spot closest to Mexico City, and the one that in many ways seemed the most like D.F. Bugambilias is a large complex of high rise apartment buildings set up sort of like a horseshoe. On either side are a half dozen 20 story cement buildings, filled with a lot of people. In between them is a giant parking lot, and at the end of the lot is a short one story cinder block building, the community cultural center. I wasn't able to understand the whole story, but basically the developer of the housing project had tried to screw the residents, and they had resisted, and somehow had forced him to build this center, even though it was not in the original plans.
Although the biggest of the cultural centers we visited, in many ways this one was the saddest, the inside having almost no electricity, and simply bare cinder block, with small bits and pieces painted. In the middle was a large hole in floor, filled with water. I couldn't figure out if this was a well, or just one of the community water tanks since most of the communities we visited only had very limited running water. Since so much of the space was bare, we wanted to cover as much as possible with art, and we took on a huge chunk of wall, about 30 feet long and 20 feet high, which took up a quarter of the largest room in the center. We decided to create an avalanche of posters, starting from the top left corner, with posters literally pouring down the walls, covering each other as they cascaded down and onto the floor. We had hoped to cover even more space, but just this section took hours to prepare and paste (as anyone that has wheatpasted knows, raw cement and cinderblock just gobbles up the paste, absorbing it and drying quickly, making it hard to get the posters to stick).
We took turns pasting and cutting stencils, Jesus cut a nice Flores Magon stencil, Melanie and I cut text stencils about access to water, Alex cut a bandana-ed militant, and John cut a beautiful large scale "PAZ" stencil that we used to finish off the wheatpaste wall. Like everywhere we went, the kids at Bugambilias were excited about the art, Alex teamed up with a neighborhood 12 year old to help him cut stencils, and some local graffiti kids came by, wanting to trade stickers and talk shop. The back of the cultural center was covered with pretty pro graf, including some awesome yellow and black creatures that were some of the best characters I saw during the whole trip.
Our handler of the day was Ricardo, who was really interesting, and deeply engaged in the Other Campaign. His primary work is with micro-power and pirate radio stations, working with crews of people to set up stations in poor communities to give a voice to the community process and political mobilization. Of all the people we met that were connected to the Festival and Ecatepec, he was the most skeptical of the potentials of the PRD. He explained that nothing was ever going to come from the political parties down, but the other way around.
Although I had known some about the struggle and repression of the flower sellers in San Salvador Atenco, Ricardo explained that the repression there had been a joint effort by all three major political parties, right-wing PAN at the national level, supposedly centrist PRI at the State level, and the supposedly leftist PRD at the local level. Many people were tolerating the PRD for now, but had dreams of large-scale popular movements like those in Chiapas and Oaxaca.
We sped off from Bugambilias to the Ecatepec city center, late as always. There was a 200 foot long (or so) wall that the muralist team had been working on but needed help finishing up. We dropped in and filled a bunch of the empty space with stencils and posters. I covered a chunk of wall with my Aqua Para Todos stencil I had cut that morning, and Melanie filled a ton of space with stencils too. Josue and Cece used the stencils as backdrop for their pieces, and really pulled the wall together.
The city center has way more traffic than anywhere else we've been, and the alley we are working in was swamped with people. Tons and tons of teenagers hung around, watching and talking it. Almost all the kids had cellphones, and wanted to get their photos taken with the artists. The strange part was that even though 3/4 of the crew I went with where Latina/o or Filapina/o, almost all the kids wanted their pictures taken with me and the other white artists. We were more "exotic."
Around 5pm we had a panel discussion inside, with Jesus, Melanie, Favianna and myself. Everyone talked about their art, its connection to politics, and some of their goals and aspirations for cultural work. I gave an abbreviated run down of the history of reproducible political graphics, giving background for the Reproduce & Revolt book, and connecting it to Mexican graphic history.
After painting and pasting for awhile, we had a big art jam in the city square, where we set up live screen printing and Reed and Geraldine had a video feed where they were doing live video mixing. It was basically an outdoor version of what we had done at the museum the night before. A bunch of people came out, and were really into the screenprinting, and super excited to be able to bring prints home.
All in all the trip was amazing. I feel like I learned and took away more than I gave, but that seems unavoidable for an initial trip. I'd like to maintain some of the relationships started, build a better understanding of the Other Campaign, and see what, if any, ideas and lessons can be used to further activities here in the States. One thing that we did down there that points to further collaboration is a joint poster project with Komal. As part of the call Art is a Human Right, Komal Collective organized the printing and distribution of 8 posters withthis as their subject to be pasted up all over Mexico City and Ecatepec. 4 of the posters were created by Komal, and 4 by members of our crew. The Yo! crew made one, Favianna, Melanie & Jesus, and me. We only had about 24 hours to come up with and build a design, so I used pieces of other posters to build mine, Arte Para Todos.