I just got this great poster image from Sue Simensky Bietila in Milwaukee, check it out. This is a high res file, so download and use in your town!:
Justseeds is putting together a book to be published by Microcosm Publishing and we're all currently hard at work producing illustrations for it; the subject matter is essentially radical personas from the last six hundred years of struggle in the Americas. I thought I'd post a couple of my images as a li'l teaser for the project.....
That's Geronimo... click ahead for more....
Last Saturday I was lucky to be able to take part (at least marginally) in a great project organized by the Public Ad Campaign. Dozens and dozens of artists and volunteers descended on Manhattan (at least from Midtown down) and first whitewashed a significant number of corporate posters and advertisement spaces (all of which were technically illegal), and then went back hours later and covered them with art. Part of the idea was to show the city that these spaces could be used for something way more interesting, engaging, and ultimately more democratic, than advertisements. Turns out 4 people ended up getting arrested, 2 whitewashers, a videographer, and one of the artists. It's interesting to me that the whitewashers took the biggest hit for destroying the ads, not the artists, who were doing graffiti, something which the city claims is much more criminal.
Personally I was feeling the whitewash more than the art part, but that might be because I've been in a serious "Less Is More" mood of late, and I really like the visual breathing room the whitewashing created. For me in was enough to allow the city to project its own ideas onto these newly blank canvasses, there was no need to immediately fill them back up. I guess in this way I'm thinking more in line with the European anti-advertising movements that have developed in the past 10 years, like Stop Pub in France, which regularly covers ad space with blank white posters.
There has been a bunch of media coverage about the project, but the best 2 places to read about it are on the Public Ad Campaign's own website, and on Animal NY's blog. I'd love to hear what other people think. Both about ad creep and ways to combat it, but also the differences and similarities between corporate advertising and street art, so much of which has basically become advertisements for the artist's current of future art world career.
Here's a really nice write up on Favianna's recent trip to Toronto, from the Rabble website. Click here.
I created this image in the last few hours of the Justseeds installation, at UW-Milwaukee. I'm kind of obsessed with current economic events. So I decided to make a poster about it. The text came out of some discussions that Roger and I were having during the collaboration. Condos and high-end development projects have been a high priority for NYC's current mayor Michael Bloomberg, one that I reference in this image is the Atlantic Yards.
The Atlantic Yards is a mega-development project designed by Forest City Ratner a company with close relationships to powerful NY politicians as well as the NY Times. The company wishes to build a basketball arena and 13 towers, mostly residential, near downtown Brooklyn. There are so many problematic factors to this project like traffic congestion, desire to use eminent domain, community displacement, request of
"Federal Stimulus" money, and so much more. You can find a ton of information on blogs like NoLandGrab.com and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and Atlantic Yards Report to name a few.
I felt like referencing the renderings of this development project was appropriate in highlighting how overdevelopment of cities, like Brooklyn, has led to economic crisis. Construction combined with predator lending and stretching potential homeowners beyond their means has brought us to the stage of crisis that we are experiencing.
One hope of mine is to make this into stickers, for the front door of every new condo in NYC. If you are interested in using this image, gimme a holler, I can pass along a high-res file.
In thinking about my next image, maybe it will be about the wealth extraction from the majority of the populace to a small percentage of bankers, er, the ruling class?
Here's a flick of my friends loft, where I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow and use as a printing studio for this run. Thanks Jesse!
Friend of Justseeds Brandon Bauer is a part of the project, Bathas Internationale, which now has a public access television show.
BATHAS Internationale is a Milwaukee, WI based American art collective that produces a public access television show, makes video art, installation art, interventionist art in the public sphere, sound art, and performance art. BATHAS was formed in 1996 by Brandon Bauer and Theo von Briesen. BATHAS stands for "Beaten About The Head And Shoulders" the "Internationale" moniker was added in the summer of 2008 to the introduction sequence on their public access television show.
World War 3 Illustrated Release Party
Thursday, April 30, 2009 7-9PM
Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA)
594 Broadway, Suite 401 (Between Houston and Prince st.)
New York, NY 10012
Come celebrate the release of "Wordless Worlds" issue #39 of World War 3 Illustrated.
Featuring multi-media presentation of art by:
Paula Hewitt Amram
and many others...
with an animated film by Onur Tukel
and live music by Eric Blitz, Steve Wishnia, Andy Laties, Breeze and more!
In Burma/Myanmar, the military junta has ruled since 1962, brutally suppressing human rights and the flow of information. Yet in the fall of 2007, the military found itself challenged by Buddhist clergy and ordinary citizens who used nonviolent actions and 21st century technology to challenge the regime. Although the so-called Saffron Revolution failed to result in regime change, dedicated Burmese activists are continuing to risk their lives to work for change in their country. In a country of 58 million with less than 1% internet and cell phone penetration, how is technology being used to challenge a military regime?
Join us for an evening conversation on this topic, including:
-- A presentation by Digital Democracy on the use of technology inside and along Burma's borders.
-- Footage from the Sept. 2007 Saffron Revolution, where tech such as mobile phones and the internet allowed protesters to coordinate and publicize the largest protests seen in a generation,
-- A Q&A with "Stanley", a Burmese computer programmer and chairperson of the All Burma IT Students Union.
Monday, April 27th, 7:30pm, free
The Change You Want To See Gallery
84 Havemeyer Street, at Metropolitan Ave
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Back in December the Paper Politics exhibition I curated was hung at the Red House in Syracuse. I got a bunch of photos from the show, but realized I had never posted them here. So below are some flicks of the show. I'm working out the details for a couple more showings of the exhibition now, and I'm definitely look for more venues. If you know of a good space for the show in your town or city, let me know!
Also, I'm working on a new catalog/book of all the work in the show. The first edition of the catalog has been sold out for a couple years. This new book will be published by PM Press and should be out in the Fall.
Karen Fiorito (of Hard Pressed Studio) has new project/studio she's launching in LA called Buddha Cat Press:
Last evening I presented with Bec Young at The NorthStar Center in Lansing, MI. In the discussion following our presentation, one of the women in the audience (who happens to be my good friend María) asked an interesting question about archival work and the role that radical graphics play in the visual history of movements. She was interested in discussing the lack of movement ephemera being saved or archived within mainstream institutions. As radicals, she noted, we rarely do a thorough job documenting ourselves and our histories. Moreover, she was disappointed by the absence of material written about radical art and culture.
In response, I noted that this is, in fact, quite a large problem. However, as some of know (or actively participating in) there are some folks out there doing amazing things to change these absences. For instance, I mentioned the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in LA. The director, Carol Wells, does an excellent job documenting radical graphics, both inside and outside the US, with Justseeds contributing one impression of each print to the Center.
Additionally, I began to think about the various curatorial and writing projects that JustSeeds members are engaged in. It is striking that JustSeeds is not simply producing art and participating in various radical social movements, but many of us are also actively writing texts about the history of radical. Although serendipitously happening on the very night that I posted my first writing on the blog, this discussion concretized my desire to post blogs of my writing.
With that said, here is my second attempt at offering my academic writings to the JustSeeds community. These two articles are a little older (2005). The first is an article I wrote about Diego Rivera's labor activism in Detroit. The second is an essay by Mexican philosopher Alberto Híjar Serrano that I translated into English for Third Text. They were published alongside one-another and function as a unit.
Feel free to post comments or responses!
Brandon Bauer - a great Milwaukee based artist and longtime friend to Justseeds sent in this photo of his baby girl. He wrote, "Eden is already a budding radical, she sleeps with her fist in the air!"
There's a giant new show about squated social centers opening at ABC Nno Rio in NYC. If you are in town, check it out. Read through the whole post here, there is a schedule of great looking films and events at the end:
House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence
exhibition at ABC No Rio
April 21 to May 10, 2009
evening events Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings
The social center movement in Europe will be the focus of a project exhibition at the Lower East Side cultural center ABC No Rio during later April and early May. Images and information, videos and discussion will engage the realities of this vital urban movement.
An outgrowth of political squatting, the social center in occupied vacant buildings was a key feature of the Italian Autonomist movement of the 1970s and '80s. Squats on the Lower East Side of New York City in the 1990s borrowed elements of the English and German social center models, including cafes, infoshops (library/bookstores), performance spaces and art galleries. These models also influenced the “infoshops” of the anarchist movement throughout the US. Across Europe, the often short-lived social centers became important organizing foci of the global justice movement during the first decade of the new century.
The House Magic exhibition will be an open structure, a channel for a continuous flow of information from the social centers themselves. Bulletins will be posted, banners will be painted, soup will be served. Video documentaries will be screened, and guests will discuss their experiences with social centers.
The social centers arose out of direct action squatting. In the new century, however, these actions have been less about housing, and more intended to create social, cultural and political space for action in the city.
In many cases, social center squatting is a response to gentrifying development in the city, an instance of "bottom up planning and architecture." The social centers are usually well integrated into the neighborhoods in which they are set up, and provide free space for cultural activities to take place. Many social centers work closely with immigrant groups, organizing, supporting and demonstrating to protect their rights.
From April 21 to May 10, we will be working the theme at ABC No Rio, processing and presenting information about the social center movement. A key node in global justice organizing, squatted social centers have sprung up in cities throughout Europe. They represent a new wave of activism, often highly theorized, with participation by both radical intellectuals and grassroots activists.Increasingly architects, urban planners and artists are joining political activists in this movement.
A couple weeks ago Kevin, Erik and I headed down to Baltimore for the City from Below Conference, which was quite awesome. A large and diverse group of really hard working people, trying to build urban democracy from the bottom up. The conference organizers had asked Justseeds to design posters for them, and Erik, Icky and I answered the call. Erik's image is here to the left, and Icky's is here, and mine here. The organizers have been collecting all the video, photo and audio documentation from the conference, and putting it up on their website. You can see a lot of what happened in a great collection of videos here. In addition, there was a very cool companion conference for kids called Kid(z) City, which had a whole parallel track of activities for kids. They also produced an awesome coloring book, with a ton of great taking back the city images. They also included my "Free" image, which got some cool coloring jobs (thanks to Emily for the flic).
It talks a little bit about the drawing pictured above. Here is an excerpt from the link:
As you enter the Haggerty, you are confronted by Colin Matthes’ floor-to-ceiling wall drawing, "Winners Circle." Brushstrokes of shiny silver ink create a chain-link fence raised high above your head to separate you from the overweight, slouching Wisconsinites blankly gazing at a colorful carnival attraction in action. Above the game’s wheel hangs a large banner declaring, “Winners Circle. The future is some of yours.” A few drawn figures stand with us on the outside of the fence gawking at the spectacle, excluded from experiences that would have probably been disappointing.
April 5, 2009 - June 5, 2009
Troy Night Out Reception: April 24 5pm - 9pm
at The Arts Center of the Capital Region
265 River Street, Troy NY, 518-273-0552
In Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips, and ephemera bring to life over forty years of activism, political protest, and campaigns for social justice. Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee as part of Exit Art's Curatorial Incubator, this important and timely exhibition surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements.
Organized thematically, the exhibition presents the creative outpourings of social movements, such as those for Civil Rights and Black Power in the United States; democracy in China; anti-apartheid in Africa; squatting in Europe; environmental activism and women's rights internationally; and the global AIDS crisis, as well as uprisings and protests, such as those for indigenous control of lands; against airport construction in Japan; and student and worker revolution in France. The exhibition also explores the development of powerful counter-cultures that evolve beyond traditional politics and create distinct aesthetics, life-styles, and social organization.
Although histories of political groups and counter-cultures have been written, and political and activist shows have been held, this exhibition is a groundbreaking attempt to chronicle the artistic and cultural production of these movements. Signs of Change offers a chance to see relatively unknown or rarely seen works, and is intended to not only provide a historical framework for contemporary activism, but also to serve as an inspiration for the present and the future.
Sponsored by iEAR Presents! and Humanities@Rensselaer
Here is my first attempt at sharing my academic writings with you. Thought I'd start with this encyclopedia entry I wrote on 'Indigenous Radicalism.' Nothing too challenging here. This is an entry for the recently published International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest.
Let me know if I should keep uploading my writings (and maybe those of fellow radical academics).
A friend told me about this artist Knaan, a Somali-Canadian who recently made this video. I found his work and political views to be really provocative and interesting. He was brought up while discussing piracy and the recent hostage situations off the coast of Somalia.
I was referencing Roger Peet's previous post. Somali Pirates Twist the Knife, about pirate demands for money to be used to clean up coastal pollution. I was then referred to the following article You are Being Lied to About Pirates on Huffington Post, which states:
Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a 'tax' on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia - and it's not hard to see why. In a surreal telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was "to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters... We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas." William Scott would understand those words.
It appears that mass media and governments are using labels like "Pirates" to be dismissive of their demands and context. Labeling people and groups with the methods, or tactics, they use to arrive at their goals is incredibly effective in disassociating them from the conditions that lead them to act. If they are just pirates, then they just want booty. Nothing more, nothing less. The same dynamic is created when people are labeled "terrorist", the demands or impetus that leads one to act isn't important at all. They are isolated and demonized. Institutional terror by militaries or piracy by looting public wealth in crisis is not labeled as such. Its a problem of the general perspective, that leads to lack of empathy and understanding. I think its necessary to acknowledge this difference in the work we do, and to communicate the depth of these circumstances to avoid replicating mass media narratives.
Without further ado you can read the article below or by going to Huffington Post
Nicolas, our friend Adam McKee, some UWM workers, and I took down the which side are you on show. Here is what it looks like now....we gotta organize our studio next!
As a 'day job,' I teach at Michigan State University . Although I rarely engage with the same people in both worlds, my work as a teacher and intellectual worker parallels the visual work that I do with Justseeds. As part of my intellectual labor, I spend quite a bit of time lecturing at other univerisities and conferences. This spring I have been at Rutgers, Notre Dame and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as have a half-dozen other talks scheduled before June. Since I write mostly on Indigenous and Chicana/o anti-colonialism and its relationship to art, I thought that I would start keeping the Justseeds community up on my whereabouts and intellectual projects. In fact, I may even begin posting PDFs of my droll academic writings to the Blog.
To start off, I'd like to let y'all know that I'll be participating this Saturday in the Newberry Seminar in Borderlands and Latino Studies. According to their website, the 'Newberry offers highly acclaimed programs for serious readers: fellowships for scholars, seminars for undergraduates, professional development activities for teachers, and a variety of seminars, lectures, and workshops.' The Borderlands Seminar allows attendees (anyone who wants to show up) the opportunity to read and comments on participant's writing. It is an interesting exercise, I believe, in a form of egalitarian dialogue and intellectual debate. Alongside other professors and graduate students, I will be workshoping my paper entitled 'Migración y Movimiento: Aztlán in Chicana/o Art and Visual Culture.'
And then maybe I'll go get some vegan eats at the Chicago Diner. Yummmmmm.
SDS Milwaukee continues to amaze. Below is a post detailing a recent victory to make UWM clothing apparel sweatshop free and how creative resistance and perseverance aided the campaign.
"The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee recently signed on to the Worker Rights Consortium, pledging to participate in the Designated Suppliers Program, a set of standards which intends to guarantee living wages and the right to organize to the garment workers who make university apparel. The University's letter was the culmination of over two years of student organizing, and it made UWM the 46th university to sign such a pledge.
Getting UWM signed on to the program was one of the initial projects adopted by the Milwaukee SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) when it formed in Fall of 2006. Since then, SDS members have met with reluctant administrators, organized petition drives, held protest rallies, expanded membership, and chalked the sidewalks of the campus on an almost weekly basis – even in freezing weather.
In the week before the victory, SDS sponsored a traveling workers’ tour, a sweat-free fashion show, a student/labor rally, and a sweatshop clothesline display outside the Chancellors office window.
The rally, held outside of the chancellor’s office, was initially expected to be a protest. However, a few hours after the sweatshop clothesline was installed, the administration called group members promising to sign the DSP pledge, turning the protest into a celebration.
Members of labor rights groups, and local unions joined university administrators, and student activists in celebrating the victory, while also focusing on the many battles ahead, which include Milwaukee’s Paid Sick Days initiative, the DREAM Act, and Employee Free Choice Act."
I found this book called Humanities nestled into the Social Science section in a used bookstore in Pittsburgh a few years ago. A thin handsome old spine, I pulled it and was surprised to find full pages of illustrations going along with scathing political text about the state of the world in 1935.
The illustrations were by John Vassos, who was a fairly successful graphic and industrial designer. The text was by his wife Ruth Vassos, and I was taken aback by the cynicism, absurdity and bitterness shown, reminded me more of Crass then anything I'd ever seen from the 30s.
John Vassos was born to Greek parents in Istanbul. A political illustrator for liberal newspapers in his youth, he fled to Britain in time to be drafted into the navy in WWI. Following the war he moved to NYC and worked predominantly in advertising and design. At least from the internet I can find no reference to Ruth Vassos at all (except that she was married to John- surprise surprise).
John and Ruth had about a ten year run of making books like this. John went on to design radios, accordions, advertising, etc... Dover reprinted some of his stuff in the 70s.
Anyway the work speaks for itself. More images if you click below....
While in Buenos Aires last fall, I met and talked with Flor of Serigrafía 26, a silkscreen workshop that is part of the Frente Popular Darío Santillán (FPDS). The FPDS is social and political movement that consists of many autonomous groups of people including unemployed workers unions. It is named after a young piquetero striker named Darío Santillán who, along with another compañero named Maximilano Kosteki, was killed by police in 2002. The silkscreen workshop is a small part of this huge movement. They design and print graphics according to their ideals, and also operate as a worker-owned print shop, printing designs for customers. Flor showed me some of her wonderful paintings and her graphic designs, many of which have been turned into prints sold by the Serigrafía 26. Some of her work also appears in Reproduce and Revolt. The last image reads, "Revolution in the streets, in the house, and in the bed!"
If you look beyond the cover (with the image of the politician everyone has already forgotten about, I honestly can't even remember her name right now...), the new issue of Overspray is pretty darn good. It's got a lot of Justseeds love inside, including a piece about Swoon, a 2-page spread on the Street Art Workers with images of posters by Icky and Erik R. (see images below), as well as a review of Reproduce & Revolt. Also inside are pieces on the Billboard Liberation Front, Revered Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, Free Tibet street art, Palestine graffiti, and a short piece on the Situationists and Paris 68 graffiti.
Next Tuesday, April 21st at 7pm, Dylan Miner and I will be presenting about Justseeds at NorthStar center in Lansing, Michigan. Dylan and I will talk about the history of Justseeds and more recent collective projects, including the 2008 Prison Portfolio and the recent installation in Milwaukee. We will also have prints for sale.
The NorthStar Center is: "a radical community space working for social justice and to create lasting change in the Lansing area... committed to building community empowerment, self-education and a culture of resistance through community organizing and grassroots democracy."
Justseeds (Molly, Kevin and I) will be tabling at the Left Forum in New York City this weekend! In addition, Molly co-organized a panel which I'll be speaking on on Sunday at 3pm, and I will also be moderating a separate panel at 3pm on Saturday. All the details are here:
Sat. April 18 & Sun. April 19
One Pace Plaza
New York, NY 10038
(across from City Hall)
Counter Culture Industries: Capitalist, Anti-capitalist, Non-capitalist
Jesse Goldstein - Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
David Spataro - Geography, CUNY Graduate Center
Brandon Joyce - Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Studies
Stephen Duncombe - Gallatin School, New York University
Chris Carlsson - author, "Nowtopia!"
Tianna Kennedy - artist and curator
Josh MacPhee - author and curator
Illustrating Resistance: Art, Activism and Popular Education
Molly Fair - member of Justseeds Artists' Cooperative
Kevin Pyle - artist, illustrator of Prison Town: Paying the Price, for The Real Cost of Prisons Comix
Peter Kuper - artist, editor of World War 3 Illustrated, author of Diario de Oaxaca
Susan Willmarth - artist, illustrator of Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children for the Real Cost of Prisons Comix
Josh MacPhee - artist, member of Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, editor of Reproduce and Revolt/ Reproduce Y Rebélate
We'll also be tabling all day long both days, so please come and say hi!
As a lover of books, I've been meaning and wanting to regularly review them here on the blog. Unfortunately life and work seem to rarely leave much time to convert the jangly explosion of thoughts that occur when reading into coherent discussions of the books being read. For lack of in-depth reviews, here's some short shout outs to a half dozen books I've read in the past 6-9 months (only a couple will fit on the front page, so please keep reading beyond that!!!):
E.H. Gombrich, A Little History of the World
Rod Palmer, Street Art Chile
Martha Cooper, Going Postal: Mailing Label Street Art
Seth Tobocman, Disaster and Resistance: Comics & Landscapes for the Twenty First Century
Chumbawamba, English Rebel Songs 1381-1984
To be honest, the reason even picked this guy up was because of the Clifford Harper illustrations on the front cover. I was excited to find that the book is chock full of small but beautiful spot illustrations by Harper, which are an exciting treat for the eyes as your brain literally jumps through history while reading this book. There's barely a line out of place as Harper renders the history of the world in 3 inch x 1 inch boxes, from the beginning of language to Alexander the Great to the Seven Years War. I've always loved seeing Harper's work scattered across the anarchist press, but it is fabulous to see Harper taking on the breadth of the history of the world!
Onward to the actually text, it doesn't much disappoint either. Originally written in the 1930's for a middle-school age reader, when published in Germany it was a best seller. In the following decades it was translated into dozens of languages, but this is the first time it is available in English. Gombrich, in plain and simple language, carries us through the entire history of the Human-populated world. His history is extremely (or maybe I should say EXTREMELY) Euro-centric, with only a handful of pages dedicated to Asia, and none to Sub-Saharan Africa or the Americas pre-Columbus. This is a major fault, but I don't think it should stop a reader from benefiting from what Gombrich has done, which is give a concise and easy to understand history of Western civilization, from Egypt to the fixing of modern European nation states.
I wouldn't suggest reading this if you are looking for a detailed political economy of Europe or want to understand the finer details of the transition from feudalism to capitalism, but, if you, like me, are often at a loss as to how specific pieces fit into the general puzzle of history, there might be no greater resource. A few quick page flips and a couple paragraphs of reading and Gombrich helps us place the who the Visagoths were, or how Rome was captured by the Gauls, or how Germany became a modern nation state. A must read for anyone that wants to get a basic understanding of European History in a few nice afternoons on the beach!
Street Art Chile
Gingko Press, 2008
After Kevin (from Justseeds) came back from Chile a couple years back with stories of anarchist mural brigades and political stencil crews, I was anxious and excited to get my hands on this book. Unfortunately I have to say it is a little disappointing. To be fair to Palmer, he may effectively capture the Chilean graffiti and street art scene, I've never been so I can't say, but if so, then the scene is not as exciting as I would have hoped. There are some real standouts in the book, and I'll get to those below, but 75% of it is filled with the same "international" looking street art that seems to have sprouted everywhere. The recipe seems largely rote at this point: Take NYC graffiti as your base, throw in a quart Euro wild-style and character development, add a cup of S. American pichacão and Os Gemeos, mix in 2 tablespoons of Barcelona street mural craziness, and a pinch of international stencil culture. It may be great that all these international artists are getting to travel around the world and paint, and the internet is beaming flics from the farthest reaches into billions of homes, but it seems to really be homogenizing what ends up on the street.
The recent Justseeds install in Milwaukee included a public art component. Here are examples...
A bunch of our friends are heading out on the Microcosm tour for the next month. Check them out in your town:
Microcosm Tour 2009
apr 15 columbus - The Legion of Doom, 7 PM, 1579 Indianola
apr 16 pittsburgh - Carnegie Library, 6 PM
apr 17 Bard College - Root Cellar Infoshop, 7 PM
apr 18 buffalo - Sugar City, 19 Wadsworth St., 2 PM
apr 19 syracuse - Westcott Community Center, 4 PM
apr 20 albany - SUNY college, Humanities building of the Uptown SUNY Campus (rooms 116, 122, and 123), 7:30 PM
apr 21 providence - as220 w/ Screaming Females 10 PM
apr 22 new haven - Elm City Infoshop, 7 PM, 810 State St
apr 23 new york city - Bluestockings, 172 Allen St., 7 PM
apr 24 Brooklyn, NY - Surreal Estate, 15 Thames St., 7 PM
apr 25 philadelphia - Borrowed Time, 6:30 PM, 1202 s 46th street (near kingsessing)
apr 26 baltimore - Atomic Books
apr 27 dc - American University w/ Derrick Jensen
apr 28 richmond - Gallery 5, $3
apr 29 harrisonburg, VA - Clementine, 7 PM, 153 s main st, 22801 / 540.801.8881
apr 30 norfolk, va - Offbase, 2501 Fawn St.
may 1 Durham, NC - Bull City Headquarters, 7 PM
may 2 columbia, sc - help!
may 3 savannah, ga - The Pony Pen, 650 East 36th St, 7 PM, $3-5
may 4 atlanta - Central Library, 11 AM
may 5 knoxville - Birdhouse, 5 PM, 800 N. 4th Ave
may 7 murfeesboro, TN - Linebaugh Public Library, 6 PM, 105 W. Vine St.
may 8 nashville, TN - Firebrand Infoshop, 7 PM, 1318 Little Hamilton Ave
may 9 louisville - Skull Alley, 1017 East Broadway
As the garlic scapes sprout forth wipe your forehead with the euphoric richness of the earthy dream, and the earliness of the day innoculates your seeds with the promise of life away from empire, summon forth your new seedlings of resistance, wipe the sleepies from your weepies and compost this ground, The Nation Of Gardeners, to the space of taste in your yard, kitchen window box, porch, or rooftop. It will guide you to embrace your repressed instincts which will harmonize you with the circular world, and we will be in the front lines of peace and radical social change when we banish the bureaucrats and sing, "Plant, which is the greatest dream, as it gives you life, as it restores your wisdom." Plant is a drug, a life like state, which creatures burrow themselves into like a tunnel, and it is to us an exquisite condition which must be attained.
"We strongly believe that our future is in the hands of the young folks."-Mutulu Shakur
Last week Jesus and I worked at Oakland's Spanish Speaking Citizen's Foundation with several Raza youth ages 12 to 17 to conduct five workshops on how to develop political posters. The weeklong series of workshops acted as an alternative Spring Break. During this period the students met and worked with us, Xican@ community artists, to learn about the history of political posters as developed within the context of social justice movements, learned the steps in developing a poster and created posters of their own that reflect their values and interests.
We gave a slideshow presentation on people of color graphic artists who have used the medium of poster as part of their movement building work. We included our work as part of this trajectory. After this presentation of a history of political posters we taught students how to create thumbnail sketches. This was interesting and challenging because we were giving all the workshops in English and Spanish. We worked diligently to make sure anyone who was monolingual in either Spanish or English always understood. It was so great to know the young people were down to translate what they said to make sure everyone was included.
Each of the students learned how to create a thumbnail sketches for their poster layout as well as brainstorming ideas for our group design. We used Josh MacPhee and Favianna Rodriguez's book Reproduce and Revolt to show the students examples of existing graphics. Collectively the class created designs for a poster that they will distribute for the May (im)migration mobilizations. We did daily group critiques as we continued to develop the collective poster.There are various distribution plans-some students will give the posters out at their schools and post them in classrooms, others will work with community organizations to distribute picket signs and others will approach store fronts to post them in their windows. They chose the name Da Town Graphics for their group after much deliberation and discussion.
We had a very focused group that was determined to finish their posters and put as much thought and time into them as possible. The youth also designed individual posters on topics that they felt passionate about.The poster topics ranged from calls for universal health care, demands to stop ICE raids, a declaration of Indigenaity and a call to end racism.
We look forward to the students coming by the Taller to help us produce the prints for the mobilizations.
A short video by Ross Nugent documenting the Justseeds installation Which Side Are You On? at the Union Art Gallery in Milwaukee.
Got caught on camera ridin' dirty over the weekend... check out these dirty pictures!!! (read below for much more)
Sad news from Chicago. Franklin Rosemont passed away this week and will be greatly missed. His profound legacy as an artist, activist, historian, IWW scholar, and co-editor of the Charles H. Kerr Press is described well by Kate Khatib in an obituary that appeared on the InterActivist Info Exchange.
Franklin Rosemont RIP April 12th, 2009
"Franklin Rosemont, celebrated poet, artist, historian, street speaker, and surrealist activist, died Sunday, April 12 in Chicago. He was 65 years old. With his partner and comrade, Penelope Rosemont, and lifelong friend Paul Garon, he co-founded the Chicago Surrealist Group, an enduring and adventuresome collection of characters that would make the city a center for the reemergence of that movement of artistic and political revolt. Over the course of the following four decades, Franklin and his Chicago comrades produced a body of work, of declarations, manifestos, poetry, collage, hidden histories, and other interventions that has, without doubt, inspired an entirely new generation of revolution in the service of the marvelous.
Franklin Rosemont was born in Chicago on October 2, 1943 to two of the area’s more significant rank-and-file labor activists, the printer Henry Rosemont and the jazz musician Sally Rosemont. Dropping out of Maywood schools after his third year of high school (and instead spending countless hours in the Art Institute of Chicago’s library learning about surrealism), he managed nonetheless to enter Roosevelt University in 1962. Already radicalized through family tradition, and his own investigation of political comics, the Freedom Rides, and the Cuban Revolution, Franklin was immediately drawn into the stormy student movement at Roosevelt.
How could you possibly miss this? Picture WWF theatrics meets bad ass women arm wrestlers competing like their lives depended on it!
LAY-DEES! Come put your elbows down and your hands together. Let's get dressed up, crank the volume, and twist some wrists! At BRAWL events, wrestlers like Jackie-O-Nasty and Queen Victorious duke it out to the tune of their own theme songs, and they don't do it alone: each girl brings her posse as back up.
This is beyond sport. This is beyond entertainment. This is brute strength on stage.
Place your bets on the broad of your choice, wager for the babe of your desire, put your wrists up and throw your dough down. Then watch your cash go towards local organizations whose services benefit women and girls.
There is no cover charge at any of the three events BRAWL is hosting this spring:
Friday April 17, 2009
The Black Swan in Tivoli, NY
(Proceeds from our first event will go to Family of Woodstock Domestic Violence Shelter)
Friday May 1, 2009
The Black Swan in Tivoli, NY
Friday May 15, 2009
THE BARN at 33 Broadway in Tivoli, NY
Learn more about our wrestlers, judges, and ref at
All proceeds go to Family of Woodstock's Domestic Violence Shelter
If you are interested in being an arm wrestler in the future, contact email@example.com.
1310 Mission St. (near 9th)
San Francisco, CA 94103
With dynamically illustrated perspectives across the art form, hundreds of photographs and numerous essays have been curated by StencilArchive.org’s founder, Russell Howze. Stencil Nation builds upon published works to give the most extensive and up-to-date history of stencil art, as well as how-to tips from the artists. [Photo: City Transit Chaos: Cars, Get Out of Here! (Belem, Brazil, Jan. 2009) by Chris Carlsson]
Its good to find a support campaign webpage that has downloadable graphics available.
Check out the Freinds of the RNC8 propaganda page. And learn about the RNC8's struggle for charges against them to be dropped at RNC8.org, get inspired create a new image and send it to them at Friends of the RNC8.
Just read this morning that the Terror Enhancement for the RNC8 has been dropped.
The RNC8 are a group of Minneapolis people that were organizing protests for the Republican National Convention last year. Their arrest and charges are seen as persistence of the criminalization of dissent in the USA.
Learn more about the RNC8 at their support website Friends of the RNC8. Organizing dissent is not conspiracy!
Gaertner Drops Terrorism Enhancements, Continues Criminalization of Dissent April 9, 2009
In the surest sign yet of the power of post-RNC court solidarity, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner has dropped two of four unfounded charges against the RNC 8. Caving to months and months of public pressure, Gaertner dropped one count of Conspiracy to Commit Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism, and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Damage to Property in Furtherance of Terrorism.
“We are heartened by the fact that our supporters have won this concession,” said defendant Nathanael Secor. “It’s taken a tremendous show of strength and solidarity over the past seven months.”
Originally facing a single charge–Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism–Gaertner’s office added three additional charges against the eight defendants in December of last year. Now, two of those charges have been dropped, clearly demonstrating that all the charges are a matter of political maneuvering, not a reasoned look at the evidence.
Good to see that some of the graphics from the Justseeds Prison Portfolio project are finding their way onto fliers and the covers of periodicals. The portfolios that were donated to groups organizing against the prison industrial complex each came with a cdr of all the images from the portfolio - plus prison justice related images from Reproduce and Revolt (a book of copy-right free graphics available through Justseeds / co-edited by Josh and Favianna.)
Here are examples of three. If you know of more, send us an email. Additionally, there are a few remaining copies of the portfolio left for sale on our site that help us recover the cost of creating 100 portfolios.
I'm spending this week at Columbia College in Chicago as part of the school's Critical Encounters program. The theme this year is "Human|Nature", and I'm going to have my hands full. Monday I'll be working with Joan Giroux's class doing a version of the coyote tracks project and hopefully getting some of them installed in spots around Chicago (which has a burgeoning coyote population). Then I'll be performing a day of back-to-back presentations in Fereshteh Toosi's class, where I'll be wrangling my ideas regarding the ongoing animal-attack videos I've been plugging away at for the last two years. And, later in the week I'm doing a public lecture about some of my recent individual and collective projects, including Justseeds. The public lecture will be this Thursday, April 16 at 6:30 pm in the Hokin Lecture Hall at Columbia (623 S. Wabash, 1st floor). Come by if you're in town!
I've also had some work included in the current exhibit "Loaded: Hunting Culture in America", curated by Audrey Michelle Mast and Ann Wiens at the Glass Curtain Gallery, 1104 S. Wabash in Chicago. I have two videos in the exhibition, both fairly new. I've posted one here, which was originally created for the Fugitive Projects' 60 Second Video Project (2009), which I was invited to participate in this winter. The footage is edited down from a pivotal scene in Jean-Jacques Annaud's "The Bear" (1988), which I first saw as a child. Other influences include listening to Sonic Youth while snowed in, camping in the woods, and a bit of that old fear and anxiety regarding "wilderness" that's been the fuel for all my videos lately...
A friend brought this to my attention in an email using the title of the post as the subject.
It's not just philandering husbands who fear Google Street View's roving cameras; the residents of a wealthy British village have taken to the streets as well. Literally.
Villagers in Buckinghamshire formed a "human chain" to stop one of Google's vans from taking pictures for the Street View feature of Google Maps and Google Earth. One particularly irked villager stopped the van before rousing his neighbors to join him in the street.
His beef? Thieving poors should not be allowed to ogle his valuables! Here's how he put it to the Times of London:
Mr Jacobs said: “This is an affluent area. We’ve already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it’s an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police.”
The van made a peaceful U-turn and left.
The story illuminates an important truth about privacy in the modern era: It's not so much an illusion as a precious commodity, bought above all with the time and energy the rich have (or hire) in abundance.
Unfortunately, most people can't afford nearly so much privacy as the citizens of Buckinghamshire. (One wonders how the police and driver would have responded if a similar mob had formed in a poor inner city neighborhood.) But don't let that stop you from setting up a neighborhood Google Watch group if you have the time and inclination.
Rich people of the world unite!
There's people out there that want your stuff!
As for the rest of us without much to steal, we hope to intervene in
other ways, check out Street With a View.
The NYC Anarchist bookfair takes place today. Come kick it with us at our Justseeds table in
55 Washington Square South
My friend Rutger from Amsterdam just sent me these great flics of some street art from Barcelona. I'm not sure who the artist is, but these are really, seemingly nice quite portraits of everyday people on the streets, but with their (potential) inner thoughts written out beside them. The work feels like it has double resonance in Spain, capturing the present, but also referencing the dual consciousness that was needed to exist under Fascist dictatorship for 30 years. The translations are thanks to Emily, who also sent along the final photo, which appears to be the remnants of a large scale work by the same artist. Anyone who knows who's doing these, let us know!
translation: "They say that immigrants are dangerous. But I've seen how the army shoots at them, how they detain them, how they leave them to die. It is the government that is killing them, and that lies to us every day."
A group of approximately 60 people occupied the New School today. The University and NYPD responded with force, arrested and have held many of the participants overnight.
The following story can be found on the NY Times City Room, aaccompanied by videos shot at during the events. At the moment of writing this there is a "support" rally being held outside of New School President Bob Kerrey's house, in Manhattan.
(Photos by Andrew Hinderaker)
Updated, 10:37 p.m. | About 20 police officers wearing helmets and carrying batons, plastic shields and pepper spray entered a New School building at 65 Fifth Avenue around 11 a.m. on Friday, arresting 19 protesters who had occupied it as part of a determined protest aimed at the university’s president, Bob Kerrey.
Come on over to Bluestockings Sunday April 12 at 7pm for a panel co-hosted by Justseeds and PM Press. Slideshows by Kevin Pyle and Seth Tobacman, Justseeds members Kevin Caplicki, Erik Ruin, Molly Fair moderating.
Kevin Pyle, artist, educator, contributer and co-editor of World War 3 Illustrated, author of Blindspot The Real Cost of Prisons Comix, for the Real Cost of Prisons Project, read Josh MacPhee's review on the Justseeds Blog Kevin Pyle's comic Prison Town: Paying the Price tells the story the ways in which the financing and siting of prisons and jails effects the people of rural communities in which prison are built. It also tells the story of the how mass incarceration effects the people of urban communities where the majority of people who are incarcerated come from. Included in the comic book are alternatives to the current system. There are 3 comics in total which explore different aspects of the prison industrial complex and contain stories and statistical information that has been thoroughly researched and documented. As of October 2008, 125,000 copies of the comic books have been printed and more than 100,000 have been sent to families of people who are incarcerated, people who are incarcerated and to organizers and activists throughout the country. The demand for them is constant and the ways in which they are being used is inspiring.Comic books are sent free of charge to organizations who submit a one page email or letter explaining how you will use the comic books in your organizing, community education and outreach work. Book versions of the comic are published by PM Press, and free PDF versions of the comic and flyers are available via the website.
presentation by Kevin Caplicki and Erik Ruin
Justseeds portfolio Voices from the Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex
In honor of Critical Resistance's 10 Year Anniversary, Justseeds created a portfolio of original prints that either critiqued the prison industrial complexor addressed alternatives to incarceration. Twenty one artists from the US, Canada, and Mexico contributed prints. Justseeds donated over 50 portfolios to anti-prison movements groups including Critical Resistance, Books to Prisoners, the TAMMS Year Ten Campaign, The National Public Service Council to Abolish Private Prisons, and numerous other groups. There have already been several exhibitions and the prints have been shared with a discussion group of men at the Oakhill Correctional Facility. We will talk about the process of creating the portfolio, how we hope it will be used for organizing purposes, and what responses have been so far. This will be our first New York presentation of the portfolio. If you can't make it, there will be another on May 8th at ABC NO RIO and the images from the portfolio will soon be available on our website so you can use them in your organizing work!
Seth Tobocman, artist, activist, co-editor and contributer to World War 3 Illustrated, author You Don't Have to Fuck People Over to Survive
Disaster and Resistance: Comics and Landscapes for the 21st Century
Promo From AK Press
In his new book Seth Tobocman he outlines pressing social and political struggles at the dawn of the twenty-first century, from post 9-11 New York City to Israel and Palestine, to Iraq and New Orleans. Disaster and Resistance outlines pressing social and political struggles at the dawn of the twenty-first century—from post 9-11 New York City, to Israel and Palestine, to Iraq and New Orleans. Fans of Seth's classic works, You Don't Have to Fuck People Over to Survive, and War in the Neighborhood, will see that his punch has not softened as his new work skewers the individuals and institutions reaping havoc across the globe today. In his bold comic style, Seth chronicles events as they happen, musing not on the chaos of instability and fear, but on the struggle against it.
The schedule is packed! The weekend of the 11th-12th we are tabling at the New York Anarchist Bookfair and will have a load of panelists. With events at Bluestockings Bookstore and the Brecht Forum throughout the week, and everything culminating at the Left Forum the following weekend with a sprinkiling of outside events...well you can see we will be busy! And we hope to see you around, it's going to be an amazing week indeed.
Jesus and Melanie took Russell Howze's Stencilada event a couple weekends back in San Francisco. Here are a couple photos of the stenciled mural panels painted at the event, and you can see more here. And here.
PM Press has been putting out a lot of interesting books, and I'm excited to be working with them on a lot of design and book covers. One of my recent covers just came out, wrapped around a massive 700 page collection of writing and source materials related to the German guerrilla organization, Red Army Faction. The Red Army Faction: A Documentary History, volume 1 is the most complete and in depth look at the armed German Left in the 1960s and 70s. You can pick up the book here. And here's the cover:
This is an interesting post to follow Roger's on the Jaguar. The word for jaguar is one of the 10 or so words in Portugese that I've learned so far (it's ónça, in case you were wondering...).
So it's been about a week since I arrived in Vitoria, Espirito Santo, and I wanted to share some experiences with the Justseeds blog world. I am here on behalf of the Warhol Museum with my cohort Heather White to organize museum and community silkscreen projects as representatives of RUST (Radial Urban Silkscreen Team), a Warhol youth project that we organized in Summer 2008. I had never been to South or Central America before, and my mind has been blown! We are in the tropics! The flora and fauna and weather and style are totally amazing...
We visited a community center in La Piedage, the neighborhood up-a-very-steep-hill where some young artists will be working on RUST-style projects with young folks after we leave...two lil ladies, maybe six years old, arrived early and enthusiastically joined in printing backgrounds with us...when their friends arrived they explained to them how the silkscreen process works. So sweet and stoked.
We gave an artist talk and advanced silkscreen workshop at an artist space in downtown Vitoria, that is closing ita doors at the end of April. Folks were experimenting with silkscreening and all manner of other things when we rolled in...all the artists we have met so far are full of ideas and energy and street art seems big...especially wheatpasting.
Clockwise from top left: the view from La Piedage; printing with small folks at the community center in La Piedage; silkscreen workshop for interns and community artists at downtown space; shirtless printing at downtown space
That's all, folks! The last Jaguar in the United States has been killed.
The beast in question, a sixteen year old male named "Macho B", was euthanized by state biologists after being caught and collared in a trap that was supposedly set to catch bears and mountain lions. There's an excellent article in the Zonie report that seems to sum it up. In fact, it sounds a lot like something I might have written. As usual, what we've got here is a story rife with inexplicably revolting and duplicitous human behaviour. Something I find fascinating about this particular case is the obvious role that the concept of science, and of scientific conservation, is playing in the destruction of the natural world. . All the monitoring, tagging, data collection, analysis, prognoses, spreadsheets, cost-benefit ratios and et motherfucking cetera add up to precisely one thing: Jaguars are extinct in the continental United States. Human scientific examination of the natural world functions in much the same way as a ray of sunlight focused through a high-powered maginfying glass: Subjects are illuminated in light so strong it immolates them, and the ash from their pyres fills the pages of sagacious texts. It brings to mind a proclamation by the Judge in Cormac McCarthy's awesome novel Blood Meridian, which, in paraphrase, goes something like: " Once mankind knows the names and properties of all the creatures and plants and processes of the Earth, he will control them utterly and they will writhe before him, impaled on the pin of his knowledge, unable to escape." Add in the million-dollar-a-mile border fence and you have a guarantee that whatever jaguars remain in Sonora will not be repopulating their northern range anytime soon. That's a terrible pity, because if there's one thing North America needs, it's some PREDATORS that aren't PRIMATES.
Antiretrovirals and Water Refugees: A Living Newspaper on Haiti
Performances and Post-Show Discussions on Haiti, Political Theater, and Global Healthcare
Thursday through Saturday, April 9 – 11; and Wednesday through Friday, April 15 -17
General Admission: $8, Students $6.
All shows at 8 p.m. Post-show discussions April 9, 10, 15, and 16 at 9:30 p.m.
Kresge Little Theater, 48 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139
Tickets will be available 45 minutes before showtime at the Kresge Little Theater box office.
For advance tickets: http://dramashop.mit.edu/tickets/
Further ticket information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new puppet, object, and music spectacle about the politics of global healthcare in Haiti premieres at MIT’s Kresge Little Theater for a two-week run from April 9 to 17. "Antiretrovirals and Water Refugees: A Living Newspaper on Haiti" looks at the past, present, and future of Haiti in terms of the politics of global healthcare, as refracted through the work of Paul Farmer's Partners in Health organization and its fight against AIDS.
The Real Cost of Prisons site has recently put up a large collection of art by prisoner artist Carnell Hunnicutt, Sr. It's pretty interesting stuff, Hunnicutt mostly takes existing texts such as reports by criminal justice organizations or other watchdog groups and brings them to life with his unique comics style. Mixing simple background images and characters that would fit comfortably in the newspaper funnies, he illustrates and even sometimes brings a little humor to these fairly dry and statistical documents. He seems to always we fighting with the texts, struggling to force them into the boxes of a basic 6 or 8 panel comic, to tame them into an more easily read and understand form. Sometimes it works, but sometimes the text takes over, literally pushing the images out of the frame. To me it's this struggle that makes the comics compelling...
Check them all out here.
Recently Jesus and I connected with the folks at the ¡Presente!, the newspaper of the movement to close the School of the Americas (formerly known as the SOA Watch Update). Check out the use of our artwork for the cover of the Summer issue which would put the civil society organizing of the Zapatistas and the people who struggle in Atenco - the solution - on the forefront instead of featuring the drug war smokescreen.
Content of the Summer 2009 issue of Presente:
This issue deals with the roots of the drug war currently raging in Mexico. Ana Esther Ceceña, a key organizer in the international Anti-Militarization networks, wrote an insightful article for ¡Presente!. The cover design was created by Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes, two artist-activists who work to foster a resurgence in the screen-printing medium for social change. Instead of focusing on the violence of the SOA and the drug war, their image portrays a woman from Atenco and a Zapatista, representing Mexico's powerful social movements. The grassroots struggles in Mexico that are proposing real alternatives to the racist system of violence and neoliberal domination are largely muted in the current Mexico coverage in the mainstream media. At the same time, the Mexican military is using the cover of the drug war to repress indigenous movements in southern Mexico ...
Also in this issue, SOA Watch council member Andy Kafel reports back from election observations in El Salvador and discusses the significant electoral victory of the Cover of the Summer 2009 issue FMLN when their candidate, Mauricio Funes, won the presidency on March 15, 2009. Adam Kufeld took amazing photos during the FMLN election campaign, that accompany Andy's article. We share information about the six SOA Watch prisoners of conscience who were sentenced earlier this year to prison and house arrest for their nonviolent direct actions to close the SOA/WHINSEC. And SOA Watch Legislative Coordinator Pam Bowman compiles detailed information about the upcoming congressional vote to de-fund the School of the Americas -- exciting especially because the last bill (in 2007) lost by a margin of only six votes. This time around, we'll need all hands on deck and together we'll have to rededicate our efforts to win the vote. SOA Watch-DC organizer Vera Leone conducted an interview with Black Freedom movement activist Ruby Sales, who founded and directs the Spirit House Project, currently based in Columbus, Georgia. In their frank conversation, Ruby Sales and Vera Leone talk about police execution of Black men in the United States as a means of social control, the similarities to death squads in Latin America and about the history of state violence against oppressed peoples in general. Ruby Sales also raises the lack of recognition of the connections between repression inside the United States and in Latin America on the part of white people in the Latin America Solidarity movement.
I just got back to NYC from installing Signs of Change upstate in Troy. Here's the info for the show (please stop by if you're in the area!), and below are some photos from the install.
Reception: April 24, 2009 5:00-9:00 PM
Exhibition runs from April 5, 2009 - June 5, 2009
The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy NY, 518.273.0552,
Sponsored by iEAR Presents! and Humanities at Rensselaer
In Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips, and ephemera bring to life over forty years of activism, political protest, and campaigns for social justice. Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee as part of Exit Art's Curatorial Incubator, this important and timely exhibition surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements. Organized thematically, the exhibition presents the creative outpourings of social movements, such as those for Civil Rights and Black Power in the United States; democracy in China; anti-apartheid in Africa; squatting in Europe; environmental activism and women's rights internationally; and the global AIDS crisis, as well as uprisings and protests, such as those for indigenous control of lands; against airport construction in Japan; and student and worker revolution in France. The exhibition also explores the development of powerful counter-cultures that evolve beyond traditional politics and create distinct aesthetics, life-styles, and social organization. Although histories of political groups and counter-cultures have been written, and political and activist shows have been held, this exhibition is a groundbreaking attempt to chronicle the artistic and cultural production of these movements. Signs of Change offers a chance to see relatively unknown or rarely seen works, and is intended to not only provide a historical framework for contemporary activism, but also to serve as an inspiration for the present and the future.
Posted below is the long version of an exhibition review of Signs of Change that I wrote for the April/May issue of Left Turn.
800 Images, Histories, and Struggles: A Review of “Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now”
For radical artists and activists, the first experience of walking into Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now at Exit Art is like a kid walking into a candy store. Where to begin? Everything looks good. The walls of the 5000 square foot exhibition space are covered with an array of posters, prints and flyers from over five decades of social and environmental movements from around the world. Additionally, a row of tables that occupies the center ally of the gallery contains hundreds of items of ephemera, and video projections and monitors are strategically placed throughout the gallery showing documentation of numerous artists and art collectives. All told, upwards of eight hundred examples of activist art are presented.
A short list of some of the movements addressed within the show include the Black Panther Movement, the American Indian Movement, the squatters movement in the US and Europe, political liberation movements in Africa, anti-Apartheid movements in South Africa, democracy movements in China, global environmental and anti-nuke movements, anti-Vietnam War movements, Chicana/o farm worker movements, the Zapatista uprising, global AIDS activism, and Reclaim the Streets.
The show was curated by two Brooklyn-based artist/activists Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee through the Exit Art Curatorial Incubator Program. MacPhee largely focused on the prints and posters and Greenwald on the films and videos. Together, they also organized an ambitious program of panel discussions, film screenings, and screen-printing workshops. All told, Greenwald and MacPhee turned Exit Art into an epicenter of art and activism for the duration of the shows run from September 20 - December 6th. The result is arguably one of the more vital and interesting political art shows to emerge in a long time -- a show that raises key questions and insight regarding the art of social movements, the role of artists in these movements, and the complex and sometimes contradictory practice of exhibiting radical art within large-scale retrospective shows.
Deep Dish TV Presents Part Four of DIY Media: Movement Perspectives on Critical Moments
Resistencia y Solidaridad:
El Salvador, Colombia, and the U.S. Solidarity Movement
A Retrospective Film Screening & Discussion
April 7th, 7:00pm
Labowitz Theater of New York University
715 Broadway (at Washington Place),
New York City
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Presented in Collaboration with WBAI's Wake Up Call, and NY CISPES, this special community forum is a retrospective film screening and panel discussion where filmmakers, activists and scholars will get together to discuss the U.S. role in Latin America, and how grassroots, solidarity organizing by U.S. activists has made a difference in resisting those policies. We will specifically examine how video and other popular media forms have been used as a tool of resistance and solidarity.
Recent elections in El Salvador put the FMLN - the former guerilla group and long-time opposition movement - in control of the government after years of right wing domination, supported by Washington. In Colombia, the indigenous and popular Minga of 2008 has sparked a renewed call for broad-based change in a country that for years has been dominated by repressive, militarist leaders. In both these countries, as in other parts of the region, social movement activists have used video technology and other alternative media to promote their calls for change. As part of Deep Dish TV's commitment to using media as a tool for community empowerment, panelists will discuss some of the lessons learned over the last 20 years of resistance and solidarity, and their efforts to resist militarism, corporate globalization and U.S. interventionism in the hemisphere.
I can't remember if I posted something about this before, but either way, this is cool:
The Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP), a San Francisco-based homeless advocacy group, has posted a large collection of copyright free graphics on their website, free to download and use for housing and homeless activists and organizations. Most of the graphics focus on issues of housing, but there is also bleed into other interesting and important areas. Here's a list of artists whose work is available, click on their names for links to the download pages:
America has more than 2 million people in prison, more than any other country in the world. Prison Nation addresses many critical issues: the prison-industrial complex, the death penalty, Three Strikes, racism, privatization, torture, and re-entry into the community.
Prison Nation: Posters on the Prison Industrial Complex was produced by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Los Angeles, CA. The CSPG collects, preserves, and exhibits posters relating to historical and contemporary movements for social change. Political posters inspire discussion and action through provocative imagery and language. On display at the Kellogg Library 3rd floor gallery February 9 - April 30, 2009, free and open to the public during all library hours.
Kellogg Library 3rd Floor
California State - San Marcos
333 S Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096
(image by John Jennings)
I came across Cat and Girl the other day and found it a charming and provocative comic.
This one interested me since I've been discussing the values and necessity of art at this particular juncture in time.
I enjoy discussing and critiquing ego, the production of art, and its use for communication.
And like Dara said something to the effect, if I want to see something beautiful, I go to the mountains. I've been wondering, what role should "beauty" play in contemporary art?
Our friends at the House of Love & Dissent in Rome are putting on an exciting new show, an evolving installation by street artist Sten (along with comrades Lex and Lucamonte). My Italian is not so good, but it sounds like they'll be covering the space with a growing number of giant wall posters, building an environment focused on images of a woman that has the power to heal the world. The show is called PO-STErN, and initial images look pretty cool.
Beginning this weekend, my friend and amazing Cheyenne/Arapahoe artist Edgar Heap of Birds will be creating a public installation at Michigan State University. As part of his 'Native Hosts' series, Heap of Birds will be placing a dozen signs around the university's campus calling attention to the Indigenous peoples of Michigan.
In addition to his public installation which will be up through the Fall, he will also be creating work with my class, 'Art as Social Justice,' as well as giving two public lectures and working with tribal youth. If around Mid-Michigan, send me an email.
Justseeds will be tabling at the Bronx Anarchist Fair tomorrow, in the Bronx, NYC.
Here's the info:
Saturday April 4th
11am-6pm Brook Park
141st St. and Brook Ave.
It's been a while since I've posted any depressing stories about doomed animal life on this blog. Now that I've actually gone through with the whole moving-to-portland, thing, maybe I'll get back on the ball with it. The last posting in this category was related to the crashing hammerhead shark populations in the Gulf of California, and I said at the time that the next entry would have to do with the terrible story of the Totoaba, a member of the croaker or drum family, that once spawned in incredible profusion at the northernmost tip of the Gulf, and in addition reached sizes of up to six and a half feet and 330 pounds. Alas, this is no longer the case. Read on for a truly spectacular tale of human destructiveness and asininity.
From the G20 in London (thanks Paolo!)
.....The Palestinian hip hop crew DAM is comin back to NYC!...and being
joined by REBEL DIAZ, INVINCIBLE, FINALE, and DJ OJA!
PEP (Palestine Education Project) presents....
HOMELAND HIP HOP: A Benefit Show for the Indigenous Youth Delegation to
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
125 5th Ave
Park Slope Brooklyn
8pm doors, 9pm show
$12 in advance, $15 at the door
All proceeds will go directly to support the delegation of indigenous
youth, artists, and youth organizers traveling to Palestine this coming
The delegates are coming from the following organizations, check them out
and support their inspiring work!
Just heard the news, the great store and gallery Paper Boat Boutique in Milwaukee WI will be closing its doors, if you are in Milwaukee or passing through be sure to stop by and see the last show and pick up some of the amazing hand made work they sell.
here's what the folks there have to say:
Dearest patrons of Paper Boat,
As of May 31st Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery will be closing its doors after 4 great years of being open. The current economic climate is the main reason that led us to this very difficult decision.
We really hope you can join us for our last Gallery reception featuring work by Wisconsin artist Micaela O'Herlihy on Gallery Night, April 17th from 7-10pm.
There will also be a closing sale for the month of May to help us reduce our inventory. It will be a great time to pick up those items you've always been meaning to get. Also, don't forget to spend your gift certificates if you have been holding onto one!
We thank you so very much for your support over the past 4 years. Even though the Boat is closing, we are excited to seek out new opportunities and projects. We also want to stress the importance of supporting the remaining small businesses and galleries in Milwaukee. Those spaces are vital to keeping our city and our community unique and enjoyable.
We hope to see all of you during the last couple of months of being open!
The ladies of the Boat-
Faythe Levine & Kim Kisiolek
New Work by Micaela O'Herlihy
April 17- May 31st, 2009
Opening reception Gallery Night 7-10pm
2375 S. Howell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207
about 11' x 22'
This wall drawing uses the familiar language of carnival games as a means to think about the opportunities and exclusion that exist on the local level and beyond.