I love books, the feel of them, the way they are made, how the spines bend and crack, and all of the amazing ideas and images that can fly out of them when opened. But there is some serious trouble brewing in the book industry. The problems are part current economic meltdown, but even more so they seem to be part byzantine, inane and ass backwards corporate models of publishing, distribution and retail. There is also the rising cost of printing and shipping, the collapse of independent bookshops, and the specter of everything turning digital. So, I'm seriously concerned about the future of these things I love.
All my friends involved in independent book shops seem to be deeply struggling. Some are no longer paying themselves, others are going out of business. Bluestockings, a worker-owned, largely volunteer-run bookstore in New York City, has an amazing community that has developed out of it, yet is struggling to survive. Every time I stop by there are lots of people in there, and even people buying books, but it is still a huge struggle to pay the rent. When I moved to Chicago back in 1997, there were a couple dozen used bookstores on the Northside of the city, many of which I frequented, or at least checked into once in awhile. When I moved from Chicago in 2005, there were maybe 5 left, if that. I travel a lot, on tours, tabling at events, going to conferences or speaking gigs, and in most cities I have favorite bookstores. Increasingly I go back to cities and find these bookstores gone. These spaces are not simply locations to find entertaining and/or important books, but are social spaces, locations to meet people and talk about ideas. In Europe there is a healthy social centre scene, but in the US these bookstores and infoshops are all we've got. Now is the time to support your local bookstores!!
Libraries appear to be finding themselves in similar situations. Shrinking budgets, static space, and increasing publishing schedules mean that libraries need to sacrifice
This weekend Melanie and I taught a screen printing workshop at the Galeria de la Raza in the San Francisco Mission District where we have an exhibit up. We stayed in the gallery afterward to make some screen printed shirts and patches. This is an interview with a young man from the Mission who came into look at the exhibit, telling us what he liked about the t-shirt we gave him.
Hard to resist not doing more mud stencils after the energy that came out of the Tamms Year Ten mud stencil action in early June in Chicago. Here's some new images and new themes, not connected to the campaign, but in the same spirit of using eco-art to put up messages in public space.
one by Jesse:
one by Nicolas:
We're having another art show at my house, we did this last year and it was super fun!
This is organized by Thea and will include new work from the Grafic Arts Collective Cordyceps (Thea, Santiago, and Geovanni- all who have work on Justseeds), Pete Yahnke, Justseeds' allies Katie B. & Lydia Crumbley, and me. Please come, everyone is welcome (I'll be there late, I have to work!). --Icky
Sunday June 28th
5205 NE 19th
Exsposicion Hazlo Tu Mismx de Grafica Radical
Domingo 28 de Junio a las 7:00pm
5205 Calle NE 19th
The Aberdeen Poster Collective is another UK poster group I've stumbled across online. This crew is from Aberdeen, Scotland, and appears to have had their heyday in the early 2000s. They have about 50 posters up online which you can download and reproduce. Some of them are quite simple and effective. Check them all out, and their manifesto, on their website.
Michael Jackson is dead and the entire world has something to say. MJ broke race barriers without a doubt. "He broke race barriers in the pop world which opened doors in the political world - he crossed over and back. He morphed. When the signs started to become clear, that the boy wasn’t right, that he was too isolated, underdeveloped, imperfect - we laughed, we stared, we assumed. He was our first boyfriend before he became our crazy cousin - always family," writes Adrienne Maria Brown, of the Ruckus Society.
Since yesterday, I have felt like that I am a part of a huge collective grieving process, watching folks gather FlashMob-style in London to dance to Billie Jean, watching people sing Rock With You at the Apollo Theater in unison, checking out folks post their favorite MJ songs and talk about their cheesy MJ childhood moments, even seeing folks in the markets breaking out with some 80s dance moves! It made me feel good to be alive, it made me stop and wish I could go dance Thriller in the streets, made me want to sing out with some MaMaSeMaMaSaMaMaCuSa! I have only felt once like this for a musician, and that was for the Chicana music pioneer, Selena!
Saturday june 27th, noon till 6pm
#1202, 5334 Avenue De Gaspé at Maguire
A new co-operatively run print store is opening in the 100 Sided Die the collectively run artists studio and print shop I work at. There will be over 75 works by Justseeds artists as well as a bunch of screenprinted works by myself and my studiomates Seripop, Jacinthe Loranger and Catherine McInnis and a lot of other folks as well.
I will be participating in From One, Many: Contemporary Wisconsin Prints, an exhibition opening Sunday July 12, 1:30-4pm at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, WI.
AIR is having their Annual Summer Benefit Bash this Saturday - and this year there are two exciting shows of political prints on view for the event. Check it out!
Saturday June 27th 4pm-11pm
Artists Image Resource
518 Foreland St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
A Visual History of the George W. Bush Presidency
a traveling print portfolio of 15 different artists critical take on 15 different moments of the Bush Administration's tenure.
as well as selections from the Seeing Red portfolio printed at Artists Image Resource in 2006. For more information please visit http://www.seeing-red.net/
the AIR artist submitted t-shirt raffle!!
one of a kind transformed threads on display throughout the AIR gallery.
raffle tickets for $1.
winners pulled at 10:45pm that night
The Yes Men were involved in another spoof paper last week, this one is an edition of the International Herald, and the re-made paper focuses on climate change and the upcoming COP15 conference in Copenhagen in December. You can check out the whole paper and download a PDF of it here.
What If? A Journal of Radical Possibilities was a short running journal that started coming out soon after the WTO protests in Seattle 1999, and ran for a number of years, putting out 3 or 4 issues. I was always generally impressed with it, in terms of being well put together, well designed, using quality artwork (Rini Templeton, Erik Drooker) and featuring the intersection of art and politics. What If? founder/editor Christy Rodgers has put the journal online, and plans on using this new web version to continue the goals of the print edition. Check it out here. (It also looks like Justseeds artist Fernando Marti will soon have a nice image gallery up on the site as well.)
Celebrate your queerness and nerd out at the New York Public Library with this rad exhibit:
1969: The Year of Gay Liberation
June 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009
Stokes Gallery (Third Floor)
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY
The year 1969 was a flashpoint in the history of LGBT civil rights struggles, marking a paradigmatic shift in the ways that gays and lesbians saw themselves and fought for their full inclusion within American society. In the wake of the Stonewall Riots on June 28 of that year, gays and lesbians in New York City radicalized in an unprecedented way, founding activist groups—Gay Liberation Front, the Radicalesbians, Gay Activists Alliance, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries—that created a new vision: Gay Liberation. This exhibition charts the emergence of this new vision through photographs and original documents that show the evolution of Gay Liberation in New York City from the Stonewall Riots to the first LGBT pride march—Christopher Street Liberation Day 1970.
From the NYPL archives Diana Davies photographs, 1965-1978, Demonstration at City Hall, New York City, in support of gay rights bill "Intro 475," 1973 April, left to right: Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Barbara Deming, and Kady Vandeurs
As a follow up to the piece we directed you to that Daniel McGowen wrote for the Huffington Post, here's an article from the LA Times about a lawsuit the ACLU is filing regarding the Control Management Units, one of which Daniel is being held in. Here's the beginning of the piece, click on the link at the end to go to the LA Times to read the rest:
ACLU suit to challenge isolation prisons
Civil rights activists question the transfer of inmate Sabri Benkahla to a federal facility that drastically limits outside contact.
By Dean Kuipers
June 18, 2009
Civil rights activists plan to file a lawsuit today contesting the transfer of a Tunisian American prisoner to a federal prison facility that some inmates have dubbed "Little Guantanamo."
The suit by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Sabri Benkahla could be the first of many challenging the secretive units, which drastically restrict outside contact.
Benkahla was transferred to the Communications Management Unit in Terre Haute, Ind., in 2007, eight months after his conviction on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in a terrorism case. Prosecutors contended that he lied to a grand jury about his contact with an alleged Al Qaeda fundraiser and other terrorism suspects.
The Terre Haute unit opened in 2006. Another began operations last year at the federal prison in Marion, Ill.
read the rest here.
My friend and old Chicago studio-mate Brooks Golden just had some studio shots posted by the Chicago Urban Art Society. It's great to see my old studio getting so much use, and Brooks producing so much cool shit in it! Check out these images:
Ever since Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the right wing has attacked her with racist and sexist remarks, part of a coordinated strategy to tarnish her credibility. Sotomayor is a Puerto Riqueña from the Bronx, and if confirmed, would be the Court's first Latina justice, and its third female justice.
I created a poster to celebrate pride in this historic nomination in collaboration with Presente.org, a national online organizing effort that strengthens the political voice of Latino communities.
The attacks against Sotomayor from the conservatives have been vicious. On his show, Limbaugh said that nominating Sotomayor was like nominating David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK. He also said, “Here you have a racist — you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist."
Spread this poster far and wide, download it, and invite your friends and family to do the same. Hearings on Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation are scheduled for July 13. That means we only have a month to get this poster distributed and reproduced everywhere—on web sites, in street windows, and on office walls.
I'll be at Think Galactic this weekend in Chicago! I'm looking forward to it, the schedule is packed with cool stuff. I'll be co-running a stenciling workshop, as well as on a panel about the continuing appeal of the apocalypse story in sci-fi/fantasy literature. I'll also be moderating panels on DIY and Climate Change, and having a small Justseeds table.
Here's the info:
Think Galacticon 2009
A full schedule, registration, directions, etc. can be found here.
Check out this new poster I've been working on...I have to say it took me a while to figure out what is going on in Iran and it seems like many places things are complicated. In the end there are many people struggling against oppression and to have their voice heard. As far away as we are from Iran we need to stand in solidarity with the people fighting for change and make sure that they have the opportunity to determine their own future.
Justseeds will be tabling this weekend at the New York City Zine Fest '09. For a number of years successful zine fests have been held all over the country; they're a place for zine makers to talk shop, people to find the coolest new self-published projects, and an introduction to zines and DIY publishing for the uninitiated. This is the first zine fest in NYC, so if you are in town, come up and take part in the fun.
NYC Zine Fest '09
Sat and Sun June 27 and 28
12 - 7pm
The mission of the NYC Zine Fest is to circulate and promote self-published, homemade, independent, and small publications called zines. The Fest aims to support and expand the network of creators who self-publish these zines, as well as independent publishers and distributors in and around the NYC metro area.
There will be more than 70 zinemakers, publishers and institutions participating in the Fest, including Printed Matter, World War 3 Illustrated and the Barnard Zine Library. There will be workshops, discussion groups and a screening of zine documentary '$100 & a T-Shirt' - the latter which will run at 5pm both days. As zines gain popularity and clamor, this fest welcomes a wide audience to attend, meet the artists, participate in the free workshops, and buy and learn about zines. There will be food, beer, coffee, and music!
The Fest will also include a raffle with prizes consisting of rare zines, books, gift certificates, art, and more. Raffle donors include Spoonbill & Sugartown, Printed Matter, Melissa Staiger, Picturebox Inc., Opal Massage, Microcosm, 92YTribeca and Trong Nguyen.
For info and programming schedule: http://www.nyczinefest.org
The anarchist newspaper Onward!, which ran from early 2000-2002, is now digitized and up online here. A couple Justseeds artists were involved in the paper at different points, but there's no images archived on the site yet.
I am so happy to share the 2009 San Francisco Dyke march poster design. Since I met Ani Rivera my contact for the Dyke March committee, a few years ago, I wanted to do the design.She was a pleasure tot work with and I am really happy about being able to visually interpret this year's theme: Dyke Rights = Human Rights, Human Rights = Dyke Rights. The best part of the experience was one day when I sent a version of the poster for feed back and I could hear all the women in the background jubilantly yelling "make her fat, make her old, make her a leather butch!"Never had I heard women embrace aspects of a woman that mainstream society marginalizes so happily. It was the best feedback session I ever had.
The 17th Annual San Francisco Dyke March 2009
Saturday, June 27th, 2009
Starting from Dolores Park, at 18th and Dolores
Rally and Stage Begins @ 3:00 p.m.
March Takes Off @ 7:00 p.m.
Dyke Rights = Human Rights
Human Rights = Dyke Rights
"At the San Francisco Dyke March, we gather to experience and celebrate our collected energies, to acknowledge our many communities, to learn from our incredible diversity, to respect each other, and to create new ways to share our resources. We have pride for good reason: Dykes participate in every aspect of political, social and artistic institutions, illuminating issues of social justice wherever we are. . . "
All we've had is rain up here, but the garden seems happy enough...
Check out the garlic and the flowers!
Pictured here are perennials Rue, Feverfew and Sorrel, and also annual Chamomile and Cilantro. Chamomile makes a soothing tea if you dry the flowers and then add hot water. Feverfew repels aphids! Cilantro is a great and tasty ingredient for salsa, and as a garnish on curries.
Keep reading for lots more photos!
Tech savvy anti-authoritarians have set up a cluster of servers for anonymous testimony and coverage of the demonstrations in Iran from inside and outside of the country, Anonymous Iran. This looks similar to the kind of tech people have been working on to allow Chinese labor organizers to communicate with each other outside China's internet control mechanisms.
Marc Moscato just sent me a link to a great post he put up on his blog Whittlin' Away. It's on Art Front, a 1930s radical art publication from the US. Check it out (and go to Marc's blog to see more images and read other good stuff!):
In my research for the Art for the Millions bike ride, I came across an amazing little-remembered publication, Art Front (1934-1937). This magazine provided a fantastic resource and community sounding board for issues surrounding art and politics during the Works Progress Administration (WPA) period. Based in New York City, the magazine was the official organ of the Artists’ Union and served as a main organizing tool. Contributors included Fernand Leger, Harold Rosenberg, Louis Bunin, and Stuart Davis, among numerous others.
Art Front’s mission was “as wide as art itself.” Stated its editor, H.S. Baron, “Many art magazines are being published in America today. Without one exception, however, these periodicals support outworn economic concepts as a basis for the support of art which victimize and destroy art. The urgent need for a publication which speaks for the artist, battles for his economic security and guides him in his artistic efforts is self-evident.”
Within the pages of Art Front are things you would expect from a union paper — arguments for higher wages and more jobs in the arts. But also found are a marvelous assortment of manifestos for the creation of public art centers, tracts on revolutionary art vs. art for the bourgeoisie, reviews of (then) contemporary artists and reports on censorship and red-baiting (many WPA artists came under attack for political activity and leftist organizing).
One interview with Thomas Benton struck me as particularly insightful. How would we answer these questions today?
1. Is provincial isolation compatible with modern civilization?
2. Is your art free of foreign influence?
3. What American art influences are manifest in your work?
4. Was any art form created without meaning or purpose?
5. What is the social function of a mural?
6. Can art be created without direct personal contact with the subject?
7. What is your political viewpoint?
8. Is the manifestation of social understanding in art detrimental to it?
9. Is there any revolutionary tradition for the American artist?
10. Do you believe that the future of American Art lies in the Midwest?
Fascinating read if you can track it down (I inter-library loaned a microfilm copy).
As part of the 8th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the United Nations is hosting an exhibition entitled 'Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Cultures'. It isn't everyday that organizations such as the UN involve the work/ideas of Native people. So when I got an email about the exhibition during UNPFII, I was definitely interested. The curators liked my work and included it in the show.
Getting works to the UN in New York City, was nearly impossible, though. I sent three artworks using FedEx, as they were the curators' suggested carriers. However, FedEx made three unsuccessful delivery attempts and left my stuff sitting in a warehouse somewhere in Queens. When my brother (who lives in Brooklyn) attempted to pick the packages up to hand-deliver them, some knucklehead sent them back to me after the folks told me they'd hold it for me.
In the end, though, the works arrived. Thanks to America Meredith (Tsalagi artist, bike junkie and JustSeeds friend), we have photographic proof that the work was hung for UNPFII.
If visiting NYC, the exhibition hangs until the end of the month in the Main Gallery of the Visitor's Lobby.
Me and Melanie had an opening last friday for our exhibit at Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco, part of the exhibit was taking over the Billboard on 24th & Bryant...check it out!
Exhibitions Dates: Sat, June 20th - Saturday, August 15th
Galeria de la Raza
2857 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Here's another short missive from Iran:
Things were extremely difficult and violent yesterday...I went, just to be a witness, and having seen what I did, I am deeply hurt and afraid for all the poor souls who will lose their lives or loved ones...the sense of shared pain on the streets is phenomenal. People care about each other, which gives a sparkle of hope in this dark dark moment.
Here is something two musician friends have put together, although Youtube is filtered here (like so many other sites) and I cannot access it myself.
Were coming up on the last week to see Ilke Hartmann's show Outside Looking In. Ilke is a Bay Area photographer who has captured some amazing historical moments. She was kind enough to allow me to borrow her images of the 1969 Native Occupation of Alcatraz for the Signs of Change exhibition.
Outside Looking In
Photographs of California Chinese Communities in the 1970s
May 1 - June 30
Sacramento City College
Learning Resource Center Library
Open Monday - Thursday
8:30 am - 5:30 pm
"It is now almost 40 years since these photographs were taken. Waves of immigrants from many different countries have arrived since. We are living in a microcosm of the world, making our own communities here and keeping ties to our original countries.
I hope that these pictures will contribute to the memory of the Chinese people who came to the San Francisco Bay Area and made a life here, often under the most difficult conditions, a life of dignity and strength." -Ilka Hartmann
Sponsored by Sacramento City College's Cultural Awareness Center and the Library
We got this report in the mail the other day from independent writer, journalist and photographer David Bacon. It's a nice short piece, and a great photo essay. Bacon has a great site of his photos and stories, you can check it out here. He also recently released a new book on Beacon Press, Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants. You can find more about the book here.
NUEVO LAREDO, MEXICO - 05JUNE09 - The people of the settlement of Blanca Navidad, on the outskirts of Nuevo Laredo, just south of the U.S. border. This community was created by workers looking for land to build a place to live, and was founded on December 22, 2004. They called it Blanca Navidad (White Christmas) because they say it snowed in the desert on the day they arrived to begin building their homes. The barrio is part of a network of radical communities on the border, and throughout Mexico, sympathetic with the Zapatista movement. Most of its 1000 residents work in the maquiladoras.
Local authorities tried to force people to move and even brought out bulldozers to tear the homes down. On February 1, 2006 people were forced from their houses, often with just clothes and blankets. In their efforts to recover their community, residents were supported by Nuevo Laredo's progressive daily newspaper, El Mañana, and by the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras. After a visit from a delegation of Zapatista leaders in La Otra Campaña, "people began to realize that, in reality, Blanca Navidad still existed as a community," says community leader Blanca Enriquez. During the May, 2006 government attack on the town of Atenco outside Mexico City, Blanca Navidad residents demonstrated in their support, and briefly shut down the "Free Trade Bridge" connecting Nuevo Laredo to Laredo, Texas.
Although the barrio still has no electricity and sewage service, residents were able to force authorities to provide drinking water. Today Blanca Navidad has a community garden, a tortilleria, a community clinic, and activists who practice alternative medicine.
This is an amazing collection of images from Iran over the past couple of days. It is extremely interesting how important these images have become to people on he ground, and the extent to which the regime has tried to suppress the creation of images and documentation of what is happening in Iran, to the extent of beating foreign journalists. It seems that now is the most important time for us to keep our eyes on Iran, to keep watching, paying attention, and aiding the movements for social transformation in the ways we are able....
According to our friends there: "These are photos that are being photocopied and handed out, held up at the demonstrations... they show the extent of repression and violence, mainly by the Bassiji...who here are finally taking some form of visual representation to the world, although the reality of their presence is beyond description."
1: A supporter of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi shouts slogans during riots in Tehran on June 13, 2009. Hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared winner by a landslide in Iran's hotly-disputed presidential vote, triggering riots by opposition supporters and furious complaints of cheating from his defeated rivals. (OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty Images)
3: Protesters set fires in a main street in Tehran, Iran in the early hours of Monday, June 15, 2009. Iran's supreme leader ordered Monday an investigation into allegations of election fraud, marking a stunning turnaround by the country's most powerful figure and offering hope to opposition forces who have waged street clashes to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (AP Photo)
All the talk of waterboarding, stress positions, walling, psychological assault etcetera, has put me in the mood for a little perspective. Bush endorsed "enhanced" techniques, Obama hasn't put a stop to them, oh! The wringing of hands. Folks, torture is normal. Waterboarding is for the weak. Let's have a look at some REAL torture, of the sort that culture demands. This is some of the worst shit ever.
Click here to have an unpleasant experience.
This just in from our comrades in Mexico City:
Urgent denunciation: aggression against VOCAL member, David Venegas
(Spanish Translation Below)
This Wednesday, June 17, at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, the encampment set up in the Zocalo of the city of Oaxaca by the Family and Friends of the APPO Political Prisoners was attacked by a group of around 40 hired hoodlums (porros), well-known in the city as a paramilitary force that committed violent actions beginning with the
Oaxaca insurrection of 2006.
The attack occurred only minutes after several APPO members, including some of the teachers and VOCAL member David Venegas Reyes, started to give a press conference at the encampment to make their position clear about the accusations against David made by Hugo Jarquín, leader of the “8 Regions” organization.
Several days beforehand Hugo Jarquín accused David Venegas Reyes of being a “mercenary” and an “infiltrated agent” responsible for organizing “acts of vandalism” last June 14. Jarquín stated that he would form “shock groups” to put an end to the “insecurity generated by ‘El Alebrije’ and his followers.” Jarquín’s organization, “8 Regions,” and the FALP had withdrawn from the encampment on June 15 supposedly
because of their disagreement with our comrades, but they really left because of the agreement they made with the killer Ulises Ruiz’s state government to destabilize the camp and provoke its removal.
Liberating Lipsticks and Lattes
By COLIN MOYNIHAN
Published: June 15, 2009
in the New York Times
They arrived at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square in small groups on Sunday afternoon, proceeding two and three at a time to the fourth floor, where they browsed among shelves holding books by authors like Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger.
By 5 o’clock a crowd of more than 100 had gathered. Their purpose: to celebrate the publication of an English translation of a book called “The Coming Insurrection,” which was written two years ago by an anonymous group of French authors who call themselves the Invisible Committee. More recently, the volume has been at the center of an unusual criminal investigation in France that has become something of a cause célèbre among leftists and civil libertarians.
The book, which predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture, was inspired by disruptive demonstrations that took place over the last few years in France and Greece. It was influenced stylistically by Guy Debord, a French writer and filmmaker who was a leader of the Situationist International, a group of intellectuals and artists who encouraged the Paris protests of 1968.
In keeping with the anarchistic spirit of the text, the bookstore event was organized without the knowledge or permission of Barnes & Noble. The gathering was intended partly as a show of solidarity with nine young people — including one suspected of writing “The Coming Insurrection” —whom in November the French police accused of forming a dangerous “ultraleftist” group and sabotaging train lines.
We are throwing a big ole My So-Called Life-themed party at Free Ride, Pittsburgh's amazing recycle-a-bike shop. All proceeds from the party benefit Free Ride's Youth Mobile Bike Repair program and Book'Em's ongoing postage costs for sending reading material to prisoners.
Organizing crucial benefit danceparties is part of my practice as an artist, DJ, and organizer. Aside from raising much-needed financial support, creating social events like this allow new folks to connect to our ongoing projects, and create much-needed space and time for collective members and volunteers to hang out in a non-work-meeting setting. In collectives, relationships are so important, and sweet hangouts build that! Check out the details (Nutmeg B is Justseeds own Shaun Slifer) Thanks to A.Brick for the silkscreened flyer design.
In the 70s and 80s there was an explosion of community and political printshops in the UK. One of the most active silkscreen poster shops was called the Poster Film-Collective. I recently stumbled across their site, where they have a nice archive of images of all the posters they produced. Check it out here.
We're getting so little information about what is going on in Iran, and most of it seems so skewed, these reports from friends inside are amazingly useful at trying to understand what is going on and why:
TEHRAN, June 17, 02h00---Today brought thousands to the streets again, although protesters changed the initial location of the protest because Ahmadinejad supporters were supposed to gather at the same site. Official state television was calling all peoples of all opinions to gather there, which in Islamic Republic code means: go and fight it out; we will provide the armed militias, and you will provide the targets.
So the peaceful crowd changed their location, making their way from Vanak Square towards Tajrish, in the north of Tehran. Like each day, the protests are illegal, and people afraid of repercussions, but this has not kept them indoors. The government has announced that it will re-count votes, although what has happened to the votes is a mystery. Many have resigned from the Ministry of Interior and most likely the paper ballots we all hand-wrote have either been trashed or tampered with. In any case, it matters little. This is not about the elections, but about a people being mocked and disgraced over and over again by a fascist regime--YES...FASCIST... (with big capital letters, for all those who think otherwise!).
I took the day off from the rally to rest...and to move across the city to hide my video tapes, get internet access at a friend's house, and to converse and exchange ideas about what has happened and what will happen in the next days, weeks, months, and maybe years. We all think that this is a beginning of the formation of a movement towards major systemic change. The last decade, starting with the student movement of 1999, brought about a demand for a REFERENDUM. Yes or No to Velayat-e-Faqih, supreme and divine law as administered by the chosen Ayatollah. This will come with due time - people want a peaceful, yet determined transition, one that will mean change brought about through a long-term people's struggle. Our only hope is that this movement is not stolen or undermined as the 1906 Constitutional Revolution was, as the coup d'etat in 1953 brought an end to Mossadegh's fight, and as the 1979 Revolution turned from a people's (mainly leftist) revolution to an Islamic one.
TEHRAN, June 15, 3h30-
Today, at least 1 million people gathered for a 'silent' march from Revolution Square to Freedom Square. The crowd, which filled the wide avenue, extended further, and at one point it became impossible to move forward. There are no official figures (and those would of course be disputable), but I have never seen a demonstration like this in my life, anywhere!
People walked silently, hands raised. We had been warned to stay indoors, as the police have orders to fire live bullets, and this being Iran, we take that for exactly what it means, but people did not listen.
As night fell, and the crowd dispersed, Bassiji militiamen opened fire on the crowd, killing one (his photo is circulating) and many were injured. The city took flames again, but by this point I had come home. In our neighborhood, there were Bassijis stationed with police at the major square north of the house, pushing people and hitting cars with batons, telling people to go home. Again at 9:30 pm, people made their way to the rooftops to cry out, "Allah Akbar" and "Death to Dictatorship". We heard shots that sounded like tear gas pellets (although they are using some strange nerve gas or other chemical agent, not tear gas) but also live fire.
Today, students at Tehran University were in mourning. Many of their peers were arrested last night, and one student was shot dead, when Bassijis raided their dorms and beat them. Today, as the demonstration passed by the University, we saw students protesting from inside and speaking to people through the metal bars. They were locked in.
I won't get into the decisions and talks taking place in the high ranks of the regime, and amongst reformist groups. These people, no matter how much they represent 'change', are problematic political leaders with shady pasts.
Tonight we are only thinking of the dead, from the past and today, and preparing ourselves for more. Something is taking form, and it is only a matter of time before there is a bigger backlash than what we have seen.
Here are the names of the 5 people who have been confirmed dead from yesterday and Saturday's clashes. 2 women and 3 men, all of whom were buried in Behesht Zahra cemetery without their families being notified.
We do not yet know the name of the man shot dead tonight.
Tehran - June 14, midnight.
The streets of Tehran are under siege. After this coup d'etat, people are remaining in the streets, although today there was severe repression and riot police everywhere. The word revolution is in everyone's mouths, and people are refusing to stay indoors, as the regime and police are asking them to. The fascist apparatus is coming on full force. Riot police are accompanied by Bassiji militants, huge men with beards, dressed in emblematic khaki pants and white button up shirts, with one-meter long wooden batons in hand, and colt pistols. These men, usually hidden on a 'normal' day in the streets to monitor behavior and the dress code, are now working at full force with the police, especially at night.
Today we mostly stayed indoors, although there were some gatherings further into the city. Because Ahmadinejad was holding an official victory rally, where thousands had gathered (although as usual, many were probably brought in by bus from the outskirts of the city), people in opposition were encouraged to stay away. This is mostly because meeting face to face with these people would lead to violent clashes, and more deaths. Although there are no official figures, there have been some deaths. We have heard that 11 were killed yesterday, but there is no way to know.
[photo taken from Indybay.org]
Queens Museum of Art
New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
7 to Shea Stadium
opens Saturday, June 20
Red Lines is a large-scale installation that explores how we finance our living environments, and will remain on view through September 27, 2009. Opening day events include: a 3–5 pm screening and discussion of Primetime: Fighting Back Against Foreclosure, a documentary by Jennifer Fasulo and Manauvaskar Kublall looking at predatory loan practices and their aftermath, and a blow-out 5–7 pm reception. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Queens Museum Panorama of New York City has been used to map the pattern of 2008 foreclosures across the city. Red Lines is curated by Larissa Harris, and is a project of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). More information at
THERE IS NO REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE WITHOUT PROVIDERS!!!
Please read this article about George Tiller, if you aren't already familiar with the terrorism that abortion providers face....
(they even used one of my graphics!)
Check out the latest video about the Tamms Year Ten mud stencil action in Chicago that took place on June 6th.
The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University is proud to present the exhibition “Art, Archives, and Activism: Martin Wong’s Downtown Crossings” from March 6-December 18, 2009. From the mid ’80s through the early ’90s, artist Martin Wong and other downtown New York artists were affected by an intersection of major historic events spanning the AIDS epidemic, urban renewal and attacks on graffiti in the city, to Tiananmen Square abroad. The exhibition explores artists who crossed paths during this particular time, influencing and inspiring discussions, art works, and activism.
The exhibition winds a story through the voices of his closest friends and peers during Wong’s time in New York City from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s. As Wong would come to portray his friends, fellow artists such as Miguel (Mikey) Pinero, Sharp, Chris “Daze” Ellis, among others within his paintings, bringing them into a world of a Lower East Side re-imagined with the fantasies of escapism and romanticism of a barren land amid towering walls of crumbling brick where they dwelt, in this exhibition, the archival materials and lasting influences of Wong’s legacy and his friendships in turn shape a portrait of the artist—re-imagined and remembered.
The artist’s work shown in “Art, Archives, and Activism” range from the early ’80s through the ’90s and have been loaned from his estate at PPOW Gallery and the collections of his closest friends. Some photos, paintings and drawings have never been shown to the public before. Working with and drawing materials from the Fales Library and Special Collections at New York University along with personal collections, “Art, Archives, and Activism” presents a story of a time and the interconnectedness of the artists with the world around them through the artwork, letters, photographs, videos, postcards, posters, and flyers of participant artists. The exhibition traverses the artificial borders of these two decades, and instead is spread through the moment delineated by artists’ lives and the issues that engulfed them — their personal influences, artistic production and activism that were catalyzed from these connections and overlapping paths. The opening reception is also the reception and book celebration for the Asian American Art Symposium 2009 at NYU presented by A/P/A Institute and co-sponsored by The Noguchi Museum; The Japan Foundation, New York; The Asia Society; NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; and Museum of Chinese in America.
The folks at PEEL Mag are back to work. This time Holly is launching a Street Styles program in Indianapolis, bringing street art into public schools and community centers to teach youth about art, politics and public space. The Street Styles program was started in San Francisco by the street artist DAVE (Warnke) to much success, and hopefully will work just as well in the midwest...more info on the Street Styles website.
I don't think I ever posted this project here, and it just popped back up in my head, so I thought I'd share it. Back in early 2008 designer Brian Ponto asked a number of artists and designers to create posters inspired by the Atelier Populaire posters from France in May 68, but relevant to the realities of 2008. Among those invited to work on the project were Chris Stain and myself, as well as Jody Barton, Scott Boylston, Seymour Chwast, Sun Dawang, Gwenaëlle Gobé, Finn Nygaard, UG Sato, James Victore, Brett Yasko, and John Yates. The project culminated in a newspaper collection of black and white posters which also included an essay on the form of the political poster by Carol Wells, director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles. You can learn more about the project and read Carol's essay here and here. And since the posters were reproduced in black & white in the paper, I've posted a color version of mine below:
Mud stencil video by Gretchen Hasse.
Stencil Nation is a new book on the stencil scene that has full color spreads of stencils of our own Chris Stain and Swoon, and also includes a page on the Street Art Workers (SAW) with work by Josh MacPhee and Erik Ruin. There's a lot of other impressive work in this full-color book by artists like Adam 5100 of San Francisco and Janet Attard of Toronto. Check out author Russell Howze's presentation, which includes stencil history and vocabulary, if you are in one of the towns he is touring to this week or next, which include Toronto, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Bloomington, & St. Louis. More info on his tour schedule, and about the book in general, can be found at stencilnation.org.
I spent the last two weeks making art at the Penland School of Crafts, located in the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. The class I took was in papercutting, with the incredible papercut artist Béatrice Coron, who this week is back in New York busy on a new residency at the Museum of Arts and Design, for an exhibition in October called Slash: Paper Under the Knife. I cannot begin to explain what an amazing time I had there, except to say it was inspiring, challenging, transformative, ridiculous, fun, and exhausting. Here are a couple shots- above is a miniature part of the paper cut that Béatrice created during the two weeks. This part of her paper cut shows the printmaking studio, and the person working on the bird head is me. Far below to the right is a print of which I made a small edition, just printing directly from cut cardstock on a printing press. It shows the studios of Penland among the hills, and a friend swiftly skating to the bottom of the hill. Directly below is a studio shot and a group photo of some of my fellow papercutters- I don't know what they're doing, though, I just told them to say "cheese"...
Images Courtesy of Lincoln Cushing
'Hasta la Victoria (Deportista) Siempre: Sports Imagery in Revolutionary Cuba.'
Unlike many of my artist and activist friends, I grew up as a jock. My dad was a gym teacher (physical education, sorry) and I was raised playing football/soccer, basketball, and running track. When I became involved in hardcore, I was shocked when a punk friend of mine told me that the politics of sport did not intersect with those of athletics. Who knew that sports and punk were so separate? I guess my ex-friend did not realize that Kevin Seconds was a huge b-ball fan and the 7 Seconds song 'I Hate Sports' was written tongue in cheek. Remember the basketball on the inside of the Drop Acid album?
Artist and activist circles don't fair much better in regards to our position on sports. Notwithstanding the writing of folks such as Dave Zirin and CLR James, very little has been written about the relationship between sports and radicalism. This weekend I will be in Bristol, UK lecturing on Cuban sports posters. Although many of us are familiar with the silkscreened posters from socialist Cuba, little is written about the role of sports images within the larger domain of Cuban poster history. Hopefully the paper I present this weekend, as well as the article and book chapter that will emerge from it, will begin to lay the groundwork for what we know about revolutionary Cuban sports posters.
If you are in Bristol, stop by Burwals at 4:00pm-6:0pm Sunday evening. I will be presenting on 'Hasta la Victoria (Deportista) Siempre: Sports Imagery in Revolutionary Cuba.'
The Visual in Sport
13-14 June 2009
A Two-Day International Conference at Burwalls
University of Bristol, UK
Actually the show at the Cagibi came down this week.
But here is a review of the show in a local paper the Hour.
photos by Kevin Caplicki
A night of solidarity for the ongoing struggle of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, featuring groundbreaking native artists SAMIAN, CerAmony and Cheri Maracle.
When : Thursday, June 11, 2009 @ 8 pm
Where : Petit Campus, 57 Prince-Arthur East, Montreal, QC
The concert takes place on June 11th, the first anniversary of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology for the residential schools system – an apology that many survivors in Barriere Lake believe will take on real meaning only when the government changes its policies to ensure just relations with Indigenous peoples.
performances from :
* SAMIAN : celebrated Algonquin hip-hop artist
with members of Nomadic Massive and Sola y las Lolas
Beats for Barriere Lake
SAMIAN is an Algonquin hip-hop artist who is the first to perform in French and Algonquin. Born in the community of Pikogan in Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Samian (Samuel Tremblay) recounts the tales of the youth in his community and the plight and struggles of First Nations. Samian’s music has struck a cord in Quebec society and within the hip-hop community and beyond through collaborations with the celebrated Quebec hip-hop ensemble Loco Locass.
* CerAmony : Cree eclectic musical duo who hail from the James Bay region of Canada
* Cheri Maracle : Mohawk singer/songwriter from Six Nations with Ojibway singer/songwriter Marc Nadjiwan
* screening of Blockade on the 117 by filmmaker Martha Stiegman
Tickets for fundraiser : $10-12 at the door (sliding scale)
Presented by : Barriere Lake Solidarity, CKUT radio, Productions Multi-Monde, Tadamon ! Montreal and the National Campus and Community Radio Conference (NCCRC)
* background information on Barriere Lake
Since the Department of Indian Affairs ousted their Customary Chief and
Council in March 2008 and used the Surete du Quebec to forcibly impose
the authority of a minority community faction, the Barriere Lake
Algonquins have been organizing to roll-back the quiet coup d'etat. They
are campaigning to make the government honour a number of agreements,
including the Trilateral, a internationally praised land co-management
and resource-revenue sharing deal the Algonquins signed with Canada and
Quebec in 1991. It would significantly protect their forests from
clear-cut logging, but it remains unimplemented. They first signed the
agreement after a campaign of logging road blockades, which culminated
in a one-day blockade of highway 117, a crucial economic vein in
Northern Quebec, in 1990. In October, 2008, Barriere Lake once again
blockaded the 117, to force the government to respect their agreements
and their leadership customs. The SQ brutally put down the peaceful action.
info Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective:
Lori Waxman wrote an insightful article about the recent June 6th mud stencil event in Chicago for the online and print publication New City Chicago. Below is her text and a link to her website and the New City website.
by Lori Waxman
Dirt, water, whisk, sponge, bucket, box cutter, tar paper—these are not your typical artist’s materials. Mix the water and dirt in the bucket, lay the cut-out paper against a cement surface, and sponge on the mud, however, and the result is a handsome work of environmentally friendly graffiti.
Street artists often work with stencils, using them to shape spray-painted statements. But a chemical medium dispensed through an aerosol container reeks of toxicity, so Milwaukee-based Jesse Graves, intent on finding a more compatible way to apply his environmentally and politically conscious messages, evolved an alternate means of tagging: mud. The technique is nothing short of ingenious. Simple, cheap, graphically effective and not necessarily illegal, mud stencils, if protected from the elements, can last up to ten years; or, like all dirt, they can be washed off with water. Consistency is key, however, to achieving a bold visual with sharp edges: the mud mixture must be carefully controlled so that it achieves a viscosity akin to peanut butter or feces.
Yes, feces—like the feces sometimes smeared by inmates at Tamms prison on the walls of their cells. Cells where they are held in permanent solitary confinement, bereft of all human contact, for up to twenty-three hours a day, with breaks only for showers and individual exercise. It’s a supermax jail in Southern Illinois originally designed for the short-term punishment of violent inmates from other facilities, but one-third of whose occupants have now been locked up in extreme isolation for over a decade, with no clearly defined standards for transfer in or out. Widely believed to cause permanent physiological and psychological damage, these conditions contravene the Geneva Convention, two United Nations treaties and various other international human-rights accords. Conditions which have led inmates not only to paint their walls with shit in desperate attempts for attention, but also to mutilate themselves, to attempt suicide, and to require—for one in every ten men at Tamms—regular doses of psychotropic medication. All this for up to $90,000 a year per inmate, three to four times the cost of incarceration at other prisons in Illinois.
Josh Macphee and Kevin Caplicki collaborated on a 5-color handprinted poster for an upcoming benefit for the Brecht Forum.
The event features Noam Chomsky who will deliver a lecture called Crisis and Hope:Theirs and ours. He'll be introduced by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, and features music by Earthdriver and Mahina Movement
The event will be held
Friday, June 12
At Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive (Btn 120 & 121 St)
Sliding scale for talk: $20/$25/$30
Reception with Noam Chomsky (includes reserved seating for the talk): $50/$100/$250/$500
Special Benefit for the Brecht Forum,
Please contribute what you can afford.
The poster, a signed and numbered edition of 60, will be available for sale at the event, and tickets can be purchased through the Brecht Forum website.
I shold also mention that Justseeds will be tabling the event along with others, like our comrades from Bluestockings Bookstore
My colleague Ryan Burns has been hard at work on an ambitious project of late. It's to be a massive reliquary of the Congo mineral wars; a huge slab of excavated central African soil, displayed as if it were an archaeological find shipped to a research center in a massive crate. The dig reveals layer upon layer of exploitation and devastation, destroyed forests, rent cultures, annihilated wildlife, and gruesome paramilitary struggle for control of the stream of minerals.... These minerals, hacked by hand from beneath the Congolese subsoil by teams of preteen miners, make their way through unscrupulous chains of corporate commerce into all our modern high-tech devices, our computers, our cellphones, blackberries, i-phones, x-boxes, playstations, anti-lock brakes, and so on, and so on.
We are all complicit in this, and the fact that I'm blogging about it is the ultimate irony. None of this dissemination of information is possible without the grim calculus of total destruction that has been wrought on the lands, life and people of the Democratic Republic of Congo during the past twenty years. Blood is on our hands.
Profane Relics will be on display at the Sea Change gallery in downtown Portland, Oregon, starting in July. More details coming soon.
Benefit for Palabra Radio Network-International Radio Technical Support Network
For communities in resistance. Palabra Radio is a project coordinated to bring materials, equipment, and expertise to community radio projects in Central & South America, as well as immigrant communities in the USA.
June 12, 2009 7pm 687 Park Ave. #1 Brooklyn, NYC (Between Marcy and Tompkins Aves) Flushing, Line G $5 Minumun Donation
On Saturday, June 6th in Chicago, local artists partnered with the Tamms Year Ten coalition to protest state-sanctioned torture at the supermax prison in Southern Illinois. And they did it with mud.
Artists from Chicago and Milwaukee engaged in a non-destructive type of public messaging called “mud-stenciling.” More than 30 volunteers stenciled their message “End Torture in Illinois” in the afternoon on walls and sidewalks around the city offering fact-sheets about TAMMS supermax prison to curious pedestrians. The teams hit spots such as Navy Pier, The Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Jane Adams Hull House, Hyde Park Art Center, the Logan Square skate park, the Chicago Zoo, DePaul University, as well as sidewalks, underpass walls, and numerous other locations.
Mud as a medium is especially sensible for artists and activists who want to work outdoors with a non-toxic substance to reach a large public audience. Moreover, city governments and law enforcement agencies have little precedence in dealing with mud stencils so there is a gray area on whether it is legal or not. For if it is illegal, is it also illegal for kids to write with chalk on the sidewalk? Is it illegal to build a snowman in a park or for dirt from ones garden to touch the sidewalk? And, is it illegal to stencil with mud when the rain will wash it off?
That said, none of the 30 volunteers who mud stenciled on June 6th in Chicago were arrested or even questioned by the police.
Jesse Graves, a Milwaukee based artist who is gaining international attention for his street art, developed the mud stenciling technique and took part in the Chicago action. “I started stenciling with mud because I wanted to put environmental messages in public spaces, so it would not make sense to use a toxic material like spray paint,” said Graves. “I am using the earth, the most basic substance, to express my concerns regarding the state of the environment I am living in. I am using what sustains us to offer ideas on how we can sustain ourselves.”
Nicolas Lampert, a member of the Justseeds Radical Artists cooperative (www.justseeds.org), who helped coordinate the effort, views it as a tactical media campaign. “People first will be drawn to the stencils themselves, the medium, but it is our hope that a larger conversation evolves about Tamms and how people can get involved,” said Lampert, who helped cut the 6 foot by 9 foot stencils out of rolls of roofing paper. He feels the partnership with the Tamms Year Ten campaign is a needed collaboration: “In my view, activist movements need art, and artists need to be part of activist movements. A lot of artists do political art, but this is actually a case where artists can be part of a social justice movement itself.”
The action was designed to draw attention to the supermax prison in Illinois. Which has become the target of scrutiny by press, legislators, and even Governor Quinn, who appointed a new IDOC director last month with the top priority of reviewing the conditions at Tamms.
Prisoners at the supermax are held in permanent solitary confinement, and never leave their cell except to shower or exercise alone in a concrete pen. Their is no communal activity, no contact visits, no phone calls, an no educational or rehabilitative programming. Suicide attempts, self-mutilation, and other psychotic symptoms are common at Tamms, and are an expected consequence of long-term isolation, which can induce or worsen mental illness. Prisoners often hear nothing but constant screaming or banging and complain about the smell of feces, smeared on cells by mentally ill prisoners. The supermax was designed to be a short-term shock-treatment, but one-third of prisoners have been held indefinitely since the prison opened over ten years ago.
Tamms Year Ten, a coalition of over 70 groups throughout Illinois, initiated the campaign to end torture at the supermax last year and worked with Illinois lawmakers to introduce HB2633 that would establish accountability at the prison and prohibit mentally ill people from being held there. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called on the Illinois Department of Corrections and Governor Quinn to alleviate conditions at the prison immediately.
Laurie Jo Reynolds a Tamms Year Ten organizer, who participated in the mud stencil action said, “The mud-stencils help facilitate dialogues about Tamms with people all over the city.” She reported that people were surprised to see the word torture being used in connection with the state of Illinois. “Many people don’t realize that our supermax is more isolating than Guantanamo Bay, where identical treatment has been judged by Attorney General Eric Holder to be too isolating for prisoner safety,” Reynolds explained. All prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are now provided social interaction and phone calls, in compliance with the humane-treatment requirements of the Geneva Convention. She added, “Most people agree that psychological torture can’t be justified for American prisoners of war, or for detainees at Guantanamo, and it can’t be justified for people in custody in Illinois.”
Nationally, supermaxes are on the decline with some closing or converting to regular maximum security prisons due to the unwanted consequences of long-term isolation, as well as the high cost of supermax prisons. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, the average annual cost of housing a prisoner at Tamms is about $60,000, two to three times as much as any other adult prison on Illinois.
Tamms Year Ten: http://www.yearten.org/
Jesse Graves: http://mudstencils.com/
More photos, video, and articles will be posted over the coming weeks.
Northland Poster Collective is closing. As an organization that has struggled on for thirty years and three months, we have enjoyed long and deep relationships with many organizers, activists, students, teachers, leaders and rank and filers in unions, immigrant rights, nationalist , GLBTQ, farmer, women’s and too many other movements and groups to enumerate. We have worked community strategy sessions, union and labor dissident conferences and picket lines. We’ve designed demonstrations with high-schoolers and taught screen printing behind bars. We have friends for whom Northland has always been there and others who have just discovered us. We have friends who discovered us when they were rank and file activists and who are now national leaders.
Given these ties we have tried, once the decision was made, to close Northland in a deliberate, transparent and respectful way that will preserve some of the services that you have come to appreciate (see Life After Northland).
Ex-Pinochet army conscript charged with folk singer Victor Jara's murder
José Adolfo Paredes Márquez tracked down to Chilean capital almost 36 years later
It was the atrocity which symbolised Chile's descent into dictatorship: soldiers used rifle butts to smash the hands of Victor Jara, a political activist and folk singer, so he could not play guitar. Then they shot him 44 times.
Yesterday, almost 36 years later, justice caught up with one of killers. José Adolfo Paredes Márquez, a former conscript in Augusto Pinochet's army, was charged with murder.
From another article online at IPSnews.net
"It is not our aim to chase down conscripts, I want to make that very clear. The conscripts formed part of the larger scheme of things, but they were the weakest and most vulnerable link, and cannot be held responsible. I am interested in the chiefs that gave the orders to execute Víctor Jara," said Nelson Caucoto, the lawyer for the Jara family.
Because of Victor Jara's influence, as an artist, was considered dangerous enough by the military junta, to be tortured and killed in the first few days of the golpe.
There is an incredible account of the last day Joan Jara saw her husband, the day of the military junta, in Chile:The Other September 11th, published by Ocean Books.
We are 5,000 — here in this little part of the city We are 5,000 — how many more will there be? In the whole city, and in the country 10,000 hands Which could seed the fields, make run the factories.
How much humanity — now with hunger, pain, panic and terror?
There are six of us — lost in space among the stars,
One dead, one beaten like I never believed a human could be so beaten.
The other four wanting to leave all the terror,
One leaping into space, other beating their heads against the wall
All with gazes fixed on death.
What horror the face of fascism causes!
The military carry out their plans with precision;
Blood is medals for them, Slaughter is the badge of heroism.
Oh my God — is this the world you created?
Was it for this, the seven days, of amazement and toil?
My dear friend and housemate Heidi Tucker has a collaborative cardboard installation opening tonight at Morning Glory Coffeehouse in Pittsburgh...I thought it appropriate to post on here, what with Justseeds' affinity for cardboard, and some Justseeds peeps in the show...check it out, it will be up for the month of June.
June 5, 2009 - 7pm
Heidi Tucker - ART OPENING
at Morning Glory Coffeehouse
1806 Chislett Street, in Morningside
free food + wine
412-450-1050 for info
HEIDI TUCKER painted cardboard installation. come on dahn. will be up throughout the month of June
Cardboard installation floor to ceiling...
with pieces by
Mary Mack, Emilie Bosworth-Clemens, Nathan Mould, Morgan Cahn, Carly, Teresa, Leslie Stem, Gina, Ally Reeves, Caleb Gamble, Ashley Brickman, Niko Gomez, Chris St.Pierre, Aurelia Freidland, Mick, Blair, Gretchen Ann Neidert
Evil Twin will perform at 9pm.
This just in from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics out in Los Angeles:
High Art for Higher Purpose
June 6 - 27, 2009
Los Angeles City College
855 N. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Gallery Hours: Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 12 – 4 pm
From Dada to Punk, from anti-war movements to feminism and ecology, high art has been repeatedly incorporated into a visual language that ranges from the iconoclastic to overt protest. MasterPeaces shows how works by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Picasso, Warhol and many others have been parodied, appropriated or altered to make statements about a variety of contemporary issues.
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 6 12 – 4 pm
Symposium: Saturday, June 20, 2009 2-4 pm
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics, students and faculty in the Designing the Political course at Otis College of Art and Design, will discuss the dialogue between the original art and the contemporary protest poster.
Quick update on a project taking place this weekend in Chicago. The Tamms Year Ten coalition is partnering with Milwaukee artist Jesse Graves to publicize state-sanctioned torture at the Tamms supermax prison in southern Illinois. The prison watchdog group and local artists will engage in a unique project this weekend called “mud stenciling.”
Mud stencils are a non-toxic ecologically-safe, non-destructive public messaging technique developed by Graves, a Milwaukee-based artist, who is gaining international recognition for his work. Mud stencils wash off in the rain, yet while they are up, they dry to a dark brown color and have a three-dimensional texture.
Below are photos of the stencils being made (the majority are 6' x 8' with one being 9' x 11'). I'll post more photos, press, and reflections on the event early next week.
Read an article from the latest issue of Race, Poverty and the Enviroment that I was interviewed for. My homie Desi is also featured. His words are powerful! I shared my thoughts on the murder of Oscar Grant, the poster Jesus and I made in response and police brutality and state violence in general. See more about the project here.
The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is looking for advocates, organizations, and researchers with complex policy issues that need visual explanation. We seek advocates with a constituency who would directly benefit from an issue of Making Policy Public.
Making Policy Public is a program that pairs advocacy and policy organizations with graphic and information designers to produce foldout publications that make complicated policy issues accessible. The goal is to find organizations with issues that will advance a worthy advocacy effort but that will also engage and educate a broader public. Advocates chosen through the juried process get 1000 copies of the color publication to distribute directly to their constituents and an honorarium of $1000
Look at the Making Policy Public site for how it works
June 26 Deadline for proposals from organizations
July 16 Policy briefs posted and call for graphic designers posted
August 17 Deadline for applications from graphic designers
September 3 Publication collaborations announced
Portland (Oregon) is having its very own Anarchist Bookfair (our first! that I know of...)
Justseeds will be there, as well as Eberhardt Press, Axiom Collective, Little Black Cart, PM Press, the Multnomah County Library (?!) and many more....
Saturday, June 6, 10am - 6pm
Sunday, June 7, 10am - 4pm
Liberty Hall - 311 N Ivy | Portland, OR
503-516-9220 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Axiom Collective is hosting the Portland Anarchist Book Fair. This two day event will feature over 20 booksellers, publishers, and zinesters offering a wide range of radical literature and art. There will be a dozen workshops, cheap eats from the Red and Black Cafe, a rad raffle, and more!
This event is FREE to attend, and childcare will be provided!
My friend Michael McCanne, a book and printmaker and a founding editor of Lightful Press will be giving a presentation and slide show about the work of Eloisa Cartonera, an art and editorial project based in Buenos Aires, Argentina who he spent four and a half months working with. There will also be a workshop on the methods that are used to create books out of recycled materials with cardboard covers, how to paint them and bind materials into them. You can make a new book, or bring your own zines or art to use.
In the wake of the 2001/2002 economic collapse two artists, Fernanda Laguna and Javier Barilaro, and a writer, Washington Concurto, initiated Eloisa Cartonera, a cooperative editorial project dedicated to working with Cartoneros (cardboard scavengers) to produce accessible books bound in cardboard. The phenomenon of the cartoneros, who are estimated to number in the tens of thousands, arose as a direct result of the distingration of the Argentine economy under neo-liberal policies of president Carlos Menem and the structural readjustment program of the International Monetary Fund.
Eloisa Cartonera is a part of the multilithic popular response to that crisis, a response that is both creative and based on equal cooperation. The project purchases cardboard directly from Cartoneros at an elevated price and uses it to bind short stories and poetry collections of well know and experimental Latin American writers. The books are stenciled and hand painted in bright colors and then sold for five pesos (equivalent of $1.30). Eloisa produces books in Spanish, English, Portuguese and German and has over one hundred titles.
Since its inception in 2003, Eloisa Cartonera has spawned an organic and independent movement of cartonerias across South and Central America, with workshops in Paraguay, Columbia, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Ecuador. Each cartoneria is autonomous and each country has its own unique social and economic situation but Eloisa has set a model. This phenomenon has spread in which people are organizing alternatives by example–organically and without any structure or over-arching hierarchy. In the vacuum left in Argentina, a new mode of production was synthesized; a production based in reuse, creativity and cooperation.
Head over to Cat and GIrl for another good comic
From Boing Boing.net.
The excellent work of Guatemala-based photojournalist James Rodriguez has been featured on BB a number of times before. The most recent photo-essay on his blog documents a protest march that took place a few days ago in the capital here, carried out by indigenous people from San Miguel Ixtahuacan, where the Canadian mining giant Goldcorp operates the Marlin Gold Mine. Background here on the mine, and Goldcorp's campaign of harassment and intimidation of indigenous residents.
A few meters down the road from the Canadian Embassy, one of the many Goldcorp billboards that can be found in Guatemala City read: "We invest in the dreams of a developing country."
Some residents of San Miguel Ixtahuacan identified the billboard and felt it was inappropriate due to the damage they have suffered from the mine's presence in their communities. Gradually, protestors began tearing little pieces as an expression of discontent with the mining company that has incited grave social conflicts. Dozens of people suddenly charged the billboard euphorically in a festive mood.
Here's the schedule for the tour I'm headed out on with Bill Daniel this week. We'll be showing Bill's film "Who is Bozo Texino?", as well as putting up a couple shows of Bill's work along the way. I'll be opening for his film with a short presentation about a couple of current projects of mine. If you're in any of these spots, drop in!
June 5 -> St. Louis, MO - Cranky Yellow
June 6 -> St. Louis, MO - Black Bear Bakery
June 7-9 -> Dallas, then Austin, then back to Dallas... (that's in Texas, no gigs there)
June 10 -> Shreveport, LA - Danzell House (? house show ?)
June 11-12 -> Little Rock, AK - Chaulk Legends @ Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative (w/ Buz Blurr aka Colossus of Roads) (pictured below)
June 13 -> Nashville, TN - Little Hamilton Collective / Firebrand Infoshop
June 14 -> Knoxville, TN ?
There's a lot of misinformation out there about legal rights and responsibilities in the digital era.
Teaching Copyright will require your students to think about their role in the online world and provide them with the legal framework they need to make informed choices about their online behavior.
This is especially disconcerting when it comes to information being shared with youth. Kids and teens are bombarded with messages from a myriad of sources that using new technology is high-risk behavior. Downloading music is compared to stealing a bicycle — even though many downloads are lawful. Making videos using short clips from other sources is treated as probably illegal — even though many such videos are also lawful.
This misinformation is harmful, because it discourages kids and teens from following their natural inclination to be innovative and inquisitive. The innovators, artists and voters of tomorrow need to know that copyright law restricts many activities but also permits many others. And they need to know the positive steps they can take to protect themselves in the digital sphere. In short, youth don't need more intimidation — what they need is solid, accurate information.
EFF's Teaching Copyright curriculum was created to help teachers present the laws surrounding digital rights in a balanced way.
Teaching Copyright provides lessons and ideas for opening your classroom up to discussion, letting your students express their ideas and concerns, and then guiding your students toward an understanding of the boundaries of copyright law.
In five distinct lessons, students are challenged to:
* Reflect on what they already know about copyright law.
* See the connection between the history of innovation and the history of copyright law.
* Learn about fair use, free speech, and the public domain and how those concepts relate to using materials created by others.
* Experience various stakeholders' interests and master the principles of fair use through a mock trial.
I recently completed a two color poster for the awesome Celebrate People's History poster series distributed by Justseeds. The CPH posters are a venue for radical artists to highlight social movements and examples of popular resistance that are often left out of most historical narratives. Below is the finished version of the poster I created and I want to use this post to go into a little more depth about where the imagery comes from and why I chose it. Links for more info and where to purchase the poster follow.
As I began work on this project at the end of 2007, I chose to focus on the uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca during the second half of 2006 that took control of the state capital for six months. It has since been compared in scale and importance to the Paris Commune. The uprising began when state police attempted to violently evict an encampment of the teachers' union in the center of the city that had been protesting the corrupt and repressive regime of Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz. When the people of the city rallied in defense of the teachers and drove the police and state government out of the city, the demonstration quickly exploded into a full on uprising against neoliberalism and the traditional power structure of Mexican politics. More specifically, I chose to highlight the crucial role that women –many of them self-identified 'housewives'– played in sustaining the rebellion and opening up new possibilities for radical liberation.
A close friend of mine, Barucha Calamity Peller, was one of the few independent journalists in Oaxaca during the uprising and she spent much of her time documenting the rebellion from the front line barricades that protected the liberated city from attack by the state. At the height of the uprising there were upwards of 3000 active barricades in Oaxaca city and many towns and municipalities in the surrounding countryside had joined the movement to kick out Ulises Ruiz. After the movement was brutally crushed by the federal government at the end of November, she returned to the states with an amazing collection of photos and testimonials from participants in the movement. Barucha and I worked together on the concept for the CPH poster and we used her images and interviews as inspiration.