Lens, the photojournalism blog of the New York Times, has posted a collection of photos by Katie Orlinsky of Central America immigrants in Mexico City waiting to hop trains to the US, as well as a story about her work to capture the images. Katie provided amazing photos of the 2006 Oaxaca teachers strike for my show Signs of Change, and is a great photographer. Check out her images and the story at Lens here.
I recently went to see Propagandhi play in Milwaukee. At this show I first heard about the Tar Sands, a dirtier more toxic way of producing oil than usual. Some basic information about the Tar Sands, links to more info, and a sticker design I made about the Tar Sands are below.
In the Canadian Boreal forest just downstream of the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains are the Canadian tar sands. The region contains some 2 trillion barrels of oil, but getting to it will mean destroying an area larger than the state of Florida.
Tar sands consist of heavy crude oil mixed with sand, clay and bitumen. Extraction entails burning natural gas to generate enough heat and steam to melt the oil out of the sand. As many as five barrels of water are needed to produce a single barrel of oil.
Tar sands oil is the worst type of oil for the climate, producing three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally produced oil because of the energy required to extract and process tar sands oil.
The tar sands creates a toxic landscape for first nations people and local people, threatening Indigenous rights, public health, and water quality.
There will be many new pipelines running through the us/especially midwest.
Mark Vallen, who is a painter and printmaker and runs the art-for-a-change blog, has a bunch of really nice prints for sale on his site. He just posted a Sandanista print from 1986, and when I went to look at it, I found a bunch of other great stuff, solidarity with Palestine, South Africa, and more. Check out his sale page here.
RUST (Radical Urban Silkscreen Team) 2009, a project of Artists Image Resource and The Andy Warhol Museum, is coming to a close. During the month of July, we cooled down a storefront on East Ohio Street in the North Side with lots of radical teen printmaking. Don't miss our closing party tonight! July 29th.Visiting Justseeds member Bec Young even made an awesome red cabbage-beet-fennel salad for us! You can also catch us at the opening of Transformazium's Community Silkscreen Studio in Braddock, Pa on Thursday, July 30th.
PARTY OVER HERE!
RUST 2009 CLOSING PARTY
WED JULY 29th
632 East Ohio Street (old Liberty Tax building, last one on your left before 279)
LIVE SILKSCREEN PRINTING!
SEE & BUY TEEN-CREATED PRINTS!
OPEN TO ALL! FREE!
Hoodstock is a two-day gathering striving to be the ultimate urban musical event, with an explicit socio-political bent, accompanied by a social forum. This event, not to be missed by folks in Montreal-North and neighbouring areas, seeks to provide space to understand the past, root oneself in the present, and organise for the future.
This festival has been organized in part to mark the one year police shooting of Fredy Villaneuva.
Justice for Fredy!
(Queers Against the singular model of the Gaygoisie- Capitalist White and Male)
This year’s Pervers/Cité – Montreal’s 3rd Annual “Underside of Pride” – will be taking place from August 6 to 16, 2009 throughout the city. The final event of the week will be a Queers Against Israeli Apartheid contingent in the pride parade.
Pervers/Cité is a collaboratively organized summer festival that aims to make links across social justice groups, queer communities, and radical visions of pride. In a climate of corporatized gay agendas and whitewashed homogeneity amongst queers, Pervers/cité strives to provide a critical and accessible schedule of activities, designed to bring back the radical underpinnings to the pride movement.
read on for a full listing of events in French then English
check out Queers against Israeli apartheid in Toronto pride earlier this summer.
Our friends at the Center for Urban Pedagogy are looking for designers and artists to work with on their great Making Policy Public project. Check it out:
The Making Policy Public project pairs advocates and policy experts with designers and visual artists to produce foldout posters that explain complex policy issues. The series encourages innovative design while giving designers the opportunity to engage important social issues deeply.
We're really excited about this year's topics and advocacy partners, it's a great mix of very local, and very national issues spanning labor, public space, criminal justice, electoral politics, and food –from very nerdy to quite immediate. The groups and issues are:
+ Keeping parks public with FIERCE
+ Participating in public housing with Community Voices Heard
+ Redistricting reform with the Brennan Center for Justice
+ Navigating the juvenile justice system with the Center for Court Innovation
+ Mapping the tomato supply chain with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Just Harvest USA
You can check out the full briefs on the Making Policy Public website.
The call for designers is posted here:
My friends at Jura Books in Sydney need help! They are holding a cool raffle to raise money, with one of the big prizes being this great historic Australian political poster to the right. More info below and on the Jura website.
Jura Books is facing a crisis and an opportunity. Last year the bank that holds the mortgage for our property called in the loan. They asked us to pay $5,000 immediately and the rest - another $15,000 - as soon as possible. With the help of the Jura community, we managed to raise enough money to make that first payment of $5,000. But we still owe $15,000.
Jura is one of the few activist organisations in Sydney that owns its own property. This is an amazing achievement, built through the effort of members, supporters and friends over the last 31 years. The building is a stable resource for the broader progressive community, and in it we can prefigure real alternatives to the present society. We don't want to lose our building.
We need your help to raise the remaining $15,000 - please buy some raffle tickets!
Jura is a not-for-profit community bookshop, library and organising space. We stock thousands of books that you won't find anywhere else - anarchist, enviro, feminist, libertarian socialist, vegan, street art, history, fiction and more. We try to make these available to the community for the lowest possible price in order to build social justice and a better world. We also host community events - everything from gigs, poetry nights, and films to political talks and fundraisers for activist causes. Many different groups use our space, and we also maintain a library and archive of political poster art. We're all volunteers.
Our friend Kazembe Balagun, who runs the blog Black Man with a Library, has just posted a podcast interview he did with Black Panther artist Emory Douglas. I've embedded it below, or you can check out Kazembe's blog.
Southern Californians take note! There's a benefit in San Diego for the Mexico City infoshop La Furia de las Calles. With a beautiful flier made by our friend Santiago Armengod. here's the info:
Saturday August the 1st
@ Bikes del Pueblo,
2754 Snowdrop St. Azaea Park
City Heights, San Diego, CA.
(619) 283 3109
Come join us next Saturday at Bikes del Pueblo. We are gonna be throwing a benefit dinner for the La Furia infoshop, publishing house and Community Garden in Mexico City.
Cena Beneficio para El espacio informativo La Furia de las Calles en
Sabado 1 de Agosto
-Musica en Vivo
@ Bikes del Pueblo,
2754 Snowdrop St. Azaea Park
City Heights, San Diego, CA.
(619) 283 3109
Te invitamos el proximo Sabado al espacio Bikes del Pueblo. Estamos organizando una cena en beneficio para el espacio informativo de La Furia, casa editorial, y huerto comunitario en Mexico DF.
Para mas Informacion: http://espora.org/furia/
Our friends at Tadamon!, a Montreal-based activist organization, have produced a new poster in their on-going series of propaganda pieces in support of Palestine. Designed by LOKi Design, this new image is quite striking, and we hope to have some here on Justseeds to distribute soon. A high-res pdf of the poster can be downloaded from LOKi here.
My friends Benj Gerdes and Jennifer Hayashida have just finished up an interesting video they've been working on for awhile called Strike Anywhere. Strike Anywhere takes as its direct subject Ivar Krueger, the match king of Sweden, who in the 1930s used financial markets to create matchstick monopolies in at least 34 countries, and become one of the richest men in the entire world. On a broader scale, the piece is a meditation on early finance capital, how me got into the mess we're in now, how it makes us feel, and where we go from here. The video is traveling around European art spaces right now, but if you're not going to be in Germany or Sweden in the next month, you can watch the entire 32 minute film on Benj's website here.
Friend, Paper Politics contributor and Reproduce & Revolt artist David Loewenstein has just installed a cool series of window installations at the Power and Light Building in Kansas City. David has filled the 10 ground floor windows of the building with large scale black and white paintings of strong, stylized graphics, at least one of which is in Reproduce & Revolt.
BNIM Architecture (ground floor windows)
106 W. 14th Street (Power and Light Building)
Kansas City, MO
If you're in KC, check out the install, and here are some pics:
Here's an article from the NY Times City Room Blog, by Colin Moynihan, about yesterdays land occupation in NYC, by Picture the Homeless.
Its a good article about the action yet not much information about the reasons why an organization would be taking such measures, such as the lack of city housing for homeless, or the land grab that has resulted from the hyperactive economy and now its collapse. Check the Indymedia article for more, and read on!
At first glance on Thursday morning, it looked as if a fashion photo shoot was in progress on East 115th Street. Men and women with digital cameras and boom microphones assembled on the north side of the street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. A green awning was set up on the sidewalk over a table holding bagels, cherries and lime seltzer. A few feet away was a portable metal clothing rack with hangers holding slinky dresses. And there was a model wearing black fishnet stockings, a shiny sequined skirt and three-inch heels as she walked back and forth in front of a large empty, grassy lot.
“Action,” one woman shouted to the model. “Flip your jacket across your shoulder. Now cut.”
The purported fashion shoot was actually a ploy, intended to provide cover for a political protest, which by early evening resulted in at least 9 arrests.
As the model walked back and forth, trailed by a camera, two people holding a large green screen were shielding others who sliced through an eight-foot-tall, chain-link fence that separated the lot from the sidewalk. Then, at about 10:30 a.m., about 20 people entered the lot — which they said was owned by JPMorgan Chase & Company — and began transforming it. They constructed simple tents out of bright blue tarps. They assembled a wooden gazebo with a roof and a sign that read “A place to call home!” Soon, they were joined by others.
By 11, about 100 people were inside the lot, some playing musical instruments including bongos and guitars, others strolling through the lot picking up trash and placing it into plastic bags. More than two dozen police officers, in uniforms and in plainclothes, watched from 115th Street, some of them standing behind blue wooden sawhorses. By noontime, they had not made any attempt to eject the protesters
I am Xicano. My family roots tie me to this land. My ancestors have moved across the Americas for thousands of years. I grew up in South San Diego just 10 minutes from the U.S.- Mexico border. Today my family still struggles to cross this (U.S.) militarized and surveilled line, sometimes waiting for hours, to cross the same land that only a few generations before they had freely moved across.
My life experiences, historical ties to this land, my spirituality, and my worldview all inform my politics. I stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and see clear connections between our common struggles for land, life and self-determination. In my role as an artist-activist I have dedicated much of my time to developing young people as leaders of our locally grounded struggles for justice. This work has included teaching how art and culture play key parts in our movements.
The group I have worked with the most, Huaxtec, I been involved with since my arrival to the Bay Area in 1994. I am so happy to support folks representing this group as part of SNAG magazine’s delegation to Palestine.
As part of my support I will be printing a second edition of one of my favorite prints called Sobreviviendo. This print features Leila Khaled a Palestinian freedom fighter. It says “Long Live Free Palestine” in English, Spanish and Arabic. Since the first edition was printed in 2004 many people have asked how they can obtain the print and this feels like the perfect reason to print a second edition.
I will be reprinting a limited edition of prints to help support the fundraising efforts. The print is valued at $100 but will be available for only $50. All proceeds will benefit the indigenous youth delegation.
In solidarity, in struggle, and with love,
TO PRE-ORDER A $50 PRINT NOW that will be available in LATE JULY (delivered to you by mail; or in person at our final Bay Area fundraising event) CLICK HERE FOR OUR PAYPAL LINK if you are already logged into Paypal. Otherwise, go to http://www.paypal.com and click on the “send money” tab. When it asks who the payment is to, type in the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
OR MAIL CHECKS TO:
Delegation c/o Snag Magazine
P.O. Box 40597
San Francisco CA 94140
We will confirm the receipt of your order by email.
Some friends of mine are on a bicycle trip in Indonesia at the moment. Photographer Tod Seelie has posted some beautiful images on his blog Suckapants, there are 1, 2 , 3 installments so far. Check in on their misadventures on tall bikes and exploring, since they'll be there for a couple more weeks, and will then go to Japan!
Tod has a large collection of photos hes adding to on his Sucka Pants Flickr as well.
This week we took our RUST youth print group to a "youth peace rally" organized by the MGR Foundation and Teens Against Senseless Violence (TASK). The kids in our group were printing posters for TASK on the spot, handing out their designs as well as teaching folks how to screenprint hands-on.
I was surprised and excited when someone in the rally handed me this brochure for the Human Rights Coalition's Fed-Up! branch here in Pittsburgh - the front of the pamphlet features Justseeds' artist Nicolas Lampert's "Missing" poster design!
Please join us Thursday, July 23rd, as we help launch Revolt on Goose Island, the new book by award-winning Washington Post staffer Kari Lydersen. Lydersen will read from Revolt and discuss how she wrote the book “live” by blogging about events as they unfolded during last year’s worker takeover of Republic Windows and Doors factory. Labor rights activist Danny Postel will moderate and C-Span will record the event.
Thursday, July 23rd, 7-9 pm
Stop Smiling Storefront
1371 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Wicker Park, Chicago
This past weekend Peter and I participated in Artscape. We had a booth on the bridge outside the train station alongside of "the duelling court", "dunk the chump", space alien fortune telling puppets, bunnieties fortune tellers, and other kooks. Our project was the Love Particle Accelerator.
Almost 2,000 people from the ages of 2-70 participated. Everyone seemed to have fun; even if they were initially skeptical. Several people meditated; several middle aged couples smooched; there were several dude parties; tons of young kids worshipped kittens and pizza; and I even had a woman hug me afterwards. Overall, it was our first attempt at making interactive public art and seemed to go over fairly well.
The instructions were to write or draw (with crayon on colored paper) something you love. Then you insert your love into the love box. Then you meditate on your love and hit the gong. Then you feel your love accelerate into the universe. It was so simple and corny and not pretentious or "arty" that I think it made people feel immediately comfortable trying it out. Even many of those who were initially skeptical left with huge smiles on their faces.
Here are some photos:
If you want to see more images check out this weblink:
We even made it to the blog spot at the Baltimore Sun...
Oh my goodness! I was completely taken off guard at work last night, I had to project a 16mm print of Agnes Varda's film "Mur Murs". The film is about murals, street art, and street culture in 1980 Los Angeles. I've always liked Varda enough, but seeing some of her older documentaries has been a real eye opener, they are colorful, playful, serious, political, and funny. This one includes lots of great shots of graffiti, those weird giant LA hyper realistic murals, goofy Venice Beach culture, lots of street shots... but especially cool were some of the scenes of the more political and community based mural projects. Judy Baca is interviewed, many of her projects are shown, and a portable mural is shown (where they drive around with highly political murals presented in the back of pickup trucks and parked in front of the unemployment office, the Bank of America, etc...). The best (to me) was a bit on Willy Herron's awesome murals (which have a really great modern sharp/punk aesthetic that is heavily influenced by the Mexican muralists), an interview with him walking down the street looking (and acting) way too cool in 1980s sunglasses and skinny tie, an outdoor performance by his seminal punk band Los Illegals, an interview with his aunt who managed the bakery where two of his murals are located (one pictured above) and then a weird performance art piece by him and his crew. Anyone with an interest in murals, street art, radical culture, street culture, Chicano history in LA, experimental film and documentary, early punk etc... should try and see this!
The good news is it's playing again in Portland (OR) this Friday, July 24th at 7PM at the NWFC (Whitsell Auditorium- 1219 SW Park Avenue)
The bad news is that I don't think you can find this on DVD or readily available anywhere. (But this is part of a touring exhibition of Varda's films, so keep your eyes open). (and if this touring program does come through, also keep your eyes peeled for Uncle Yanko, a documentary about a distant relative of hers who lives in the late 1960s Bay Area freak houseboat scene, also quite awesome!)
Green Day commissioned artist Logan Hicks to assemble a group of artists to create works of art based on each song from 21st Century Breakdown. The exhibition will travel with Green Day’s tour.
A couple friends have sent along a link to a new collection of Counter Globalization Movement posters someone has put together in a online image album. It's a great collection, well over 200 posters and counting, starting with sweatshop awareness posters from 1998 and WTO posters from 99, moving up through anti-IMF/World Bank, various G8 summits, World Economic Forum, and more. Check it out here. The collector has put some info about each poster up, but a lot is missing. I'm sure they'd love it if people filled in the gaps.
From Kevin McCloskey's blog:
I was surprised to learn the man who taught the radical young printmakers of Oaxaca's ASAR-O collective was a mild-mannered seventy-five year old Japanese master printer. I had the privilege of speaking with him earlier this year in Oaxaca.
His own artwork is generally not political in nature, but he has been an inspiration to a new generation of activists/artists.
Maestro Takeda spoke about his outreach project to Oaxaca’s poor. He is devoted to the nurturing students from the underclass, the sons and daughters of “campesinos” or landless peasants. Oaxaca is among the poorest Mexican states and one of the poorest regions of the state is the remote Costa Chica. Nearly 8 hours by bus from Oaxaca City, the Costa Chica is home to Afro-Mexican communities. An activist Roman Catholic priest there, Padre Glyn Jemmott, has made it his life’s mission to raise awareness of Mexico’s racial diversity. Padre Glyn is himself of African descent, born in Trinidad, and like Maestro Takeda, devoted to expanding opportunities for the campesinos. During the 1990s Maestro Takeda arranged for some of best students go to the Costa Chica and work with Padre Glyn
When the political turmoil hit Oaxaca in 2006, Takeda challenged his students to respond to the crisis as artists. If one is an artist, then one responds to any phenonomenom, be it natural, social, or political, as an artist. He teaches his students about Mexico’s proud heritage of activist artists. He shares his own collection of books of Taller Grafica Popular prints with his students. He is impressed with both the quality and quantity of political prints his former students in ASAR-O have produced. He recalls with pride how ASARO upended the whole idea of the preciousness of art, selling their unsigned prints for just a few pesos more than the cost of the paper it was printed on.
RUST (Radical Urban Silkscreen Team), a Pittsburgh youth print project of the Andy Warhol Museum and Artists Image Resource, is kicking off to a fresh Summer 2009 season. Justseeds members Shaun Slifer and myself are teaching in collaboration with two other awesome artist-activist-organizers, Heather White and Ashley Brickman. Last year RUST took over a storefront in Downtown Pittsburgh for two months, hosting guest workshops from Justseeds members and creating many vibrant prints for social change and sustainability. This year we are housed at 546 East Ohio Street in the North Side, just a block from AIR (Artists Image Resource). Check out the sweet German restaurant/ski chalet decor!!! The 2009 RUST team are all residents of the North Side, and we have been doing some projects particular to that neighborhood. Teens can print for free Wednesday evening in July at Youth Open Studio. Most fun-wise, we are doing mobile silkscreening at the farmer's market every Friday from 4-6pm. Come check us out and make radical local food and fun-themed prints!
Clockwise from top left: Shaun teachin'. Mixing a fresh batch of emulsion. Rita & Valerie printin'. Rainbow carrots in process
This just in from fellow-traveler Andalusia:
In less than 10 hours me and a bunch of participatory radio enthusiasts are packing into a van and driving to Detroit for the 11th Annual Media Conference. If you haven't heard of the AMC before it's this amazing dynamic conference where participants have evolved the definition of media, and the role it can play in our lives – from zines to video-blogging to breakdancing, to communicating solidarity and creating justice. Each conference builds off the previous one and plants the seeds for the next. Ideas and relationships evolve year-round, incorporating new networks of media-makers and social justice organizers. This year's AMC will draw strength from our converging movements to face the challenges and opportunities of our current social justice moment.
We Are Ready Now! Radio will be hosting a live broadcast throughout this weekend including the amazing opening and closing plenaries as well as part of the "The Zapatista's Other Campaign Breaking Down Borders: Live Cross-Border Press Conference with Mexico" Tune in to the webstream right here.
Additionally, throughout the weekend The Prometheus Radio Project along with People's Production House will be hosting a live radio broadcast featuring the voices, beats, and stories of Detroit Summer, Elementz, Project South, Palestine Education Project, Bump, Community News Production Institute, Radio Rootz, Philadelphia Student Union, The Media Mobilizing Project, Making Contact, Free Speech Radio News, Various LPFM stations and more. The station will also air all of the pieces produced by participants in the AMC-FM workshop. The radio schedule will be available here.
Molly found this, but I don't think either of us wanted to re-type all the info, so I'm just re-posting this pdf announcement for Black Panther films in relation to the upcoming Emory Douglas exhibition at the New Museum here in NYC:
My friend Tom Civil and his brother Ned ("Evil Brothers") installed what looks to be an amazing cardboard ghost train at the There Goes the Neighbourhood exhibition at the Performance Space in Sydney back in May. The show looks like it was pretty interesting, and included other friends like Temporary Services, 16Beaver and Michael Rakowitz. Tom also designed the catalog, which looks great. You can buy one here, or download a pdf here.
Here are a bunch of photos of the Evil Brothers install. It's hard to see what the entire thing looked like, but it's a glance into another world:
This weekend I will be selling Justseeds prints, books and postcards at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, and assisting with the Saturday morning stencil and silkscreen workshop by Juan of the Beehive Collective. If you're in Southeast Michigan, you must make it out for this amazing annual conference. As I will be the lone Justseed at the conference this year, please assuage my loneliness by stopping by the Justseeds table and saying hello. Here's a photo from last year.
Justseeds members who come to town to do a residency at AS220 also end up doing a mushroom foraging residency.
Aha! Luck at Last! Pictured are a couple Bolete mushrooms. In the background you can see our raspberry bushes!
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics has just put up some great new online exhibitions. You can go to their site and look through each of these exhibits virtually, clicking through dozens of images, each with credit and historical information. This is the kind of use of the web to distribute images and info that I get excited about, where I can look at current and historical material, learn something about its creation, and think about issues and struggles and how they have been represented visually. In addition, multiple of the shows include Justseeds folks, including Favianna, Jesus and myself. In addition a lot of our friends and fellow travelers are in there, such as Andalusia K. (whose prison print was also in our 2008 portfolio), John Jennings, Design Action, John Carr, Karen Fiorito, and Scott Boylston.
Here are the 4 new exhibitions, check them out!:
Real to Reel: A Political Reflection of Hollywood Film Posters
Here is a photo of my most recent linoleum block that reveals my latest secret to more colors on one print. Pictured here is me inking 5 colors on one block. The print will be cut apart and collaged later.
Justseeds fellow traveler Marc Moscato is about to head out on 2 week Northwest bike tour showing a collection of short films and videos by artists in his hometown of Buffalo, NY. Riding along with David Gracon (and organized with Julie Perini), Marc will bring Tough Stuff from the Buff to a dozen theaters, all ages venues and non-traditional spaces throughout the Pacific Northwest this July-August.
Here's the dates:
July 17-18 Anacortes, WA | What the Heck Fest
July 19 Bellingham, WA | TBA
July 20 Vancouver, BC | Pacific Cinematheque
July 21 Vancouver, BC | Spartacus Bookstore
July 22 Nanaimo, BC | Outdoor show at CHLY
July 24 Victoria, BC | Open Space Gallery
July 26 Port Townsend, WA | The Boiler Room
July 27 Langley, WA | private screening
July 28 Seattle, WA | The Vita Warehouse
July 29 Tacoma, WA | private screening
July 30 Olympia, WA | Olympia All Ages Project
July 31 Chehalis, WA | The Matrix
August 2 Portland, OR | The Waypost
According to Marc:
Tough Stuff from the Buff highlights Buffalo’s DIY media arts community, focusing on works that blur the lines between video art, personal documentary and media activism. Representing a diverse group of artists, from accomplished media makers to youth-produced projects, the collection reflects the city’s public spaces, political struggles and its resiliency under late capitalism. Tough Stuff from the Buff acknowledges the origins of this tradition, while focusing on contemporary examples of those persevering against the odds of creating media in a dying rustbelt town. A website (tuffstuffbuff.wordpress.com) will be regularly updated, with photos, video and stories from the road.
Here are a couple shots from the Food Security show at the Cass Cafe in Detroit. In the first couple pictures, giant papercut squash blossoms grow up the lattice on either side of the prints. The photo in the lower left hand corner shows the 14 foot tall papercut I made for the exhibit. Besides twenty Justseeds artists, the show also has work by six local artists: Stacey Malasky, Megan Heeres, Gerrick Reidenbach, J. Rae Warren, Jenna Lyn Utter and Nadia Abou-Karr. For more info on the show, please see the post below from earlier this week. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
Erik Ruin has been spending the month of July in Providence at my work place, making art and having a blast. Here are some photos of the liberation banner he is working on!
Check for more photos in progress!!!
The insurrection in Greece in December was a visible and mass expression of the social war that rages at all times and will continue until the destruction of all domination.
Thousands fought in the re-appropriated streets of the necropolis. Hundreds were arrested and, with exceptionally swift procedures, several were thrown in prison. Six of them still remain imprisoned up to this day. Because for those in power someone has to pay the price for the negation in practice shown by all of us against this decaying world.
There is an American comrade publishing news and accounts from Greece, currently, on the blog Two Hundred and 77 Street Fights. There are some reflections on the uprising from last winter, news of repression against immigrants, resistance to state repression, prisoner updates, Greek poetry, and excerpts from the first "proper" book about the December insurrection, Instead of a Conclusion. It is a resource for those who wish to read, in English, about the direction the struggle in Greece has gone since December.
Jared Davidson/Garage Collective has put out possibly his last issue of Rivet, a journal o art and anarchism. Jared has been at the center of a number of political debates in the New Zealand art scene about the role of politics within art production, and he collects much of that material here. He is also the designer of the very handsome Red Feds Celebrate People's History poster. You can download a pdf of Rivet #4 by clicking here.
If you understand the logic of the economic system in which we currently live, the following story will come as no surprise. Nonetheless our understandings don't prevent us from having our hearts broken over and over. So the story I'm referring to goes something like this...some friends and colleagues of mine worked collaboratively on a bunch of projects meant to be critical of corporate and military engineering and helpful to activists. For years they participated in the development of engaged cultural projects and then went somewhat separate ways. Last week one of them shows up on a Nike website celebrating this great event: having sold one of these collectively developed projects to Nike (without mentioning not having consulted anyone who had worked on the original project.) Video is here. (Looks like Shepard Fairey is also part of this Nike campaign.) What to do when something like this happens? Accept its inevitability? Try to get in on the deal? Sue them? I'm not sure what the best response is but these options seem less than ideal. The good people at the Institute for Applied Autonomy who had worked on the earlier projects put out a press release which articulates the original values of the group - a public response seems like a good move. Here is a link to their press release which I am also pasting below. It's strange that Nike and these artists "care" so much about cancer and think Nike offers some kind of contribution to fighting it...as someone who recently donated my bone marrow to a relative with cancer, this ad campaign doesn't give me hope but rather feels like a cynical approach to selling sportswear. Although I couldn't find a recent article (I did find this 1997 report mentioning the toxins and chemicals that workers are exposed to in sneaker production for Nike), I have a hunch that it is highly unlikely that industrial sneaker production can in any way contribute to a cancer free world....their campaign states "join the fight against cancer," hmmm how about transforming the toxic way we produce this economy...
(btw: the "We're all friends" is a quote from the Nike Chalkbot promotional video)
Ink & Paper
The Biannual Studio Opening of the Taller Tupac Amaru
Jesus Barraza, Melanie Cervantes & Favianna Rodriguez
July 11 & 12, 2009. 11am-6pm
Radical Political Art | T-Shirts | Books
Printmaking Demos, Raffle, Youth Activities and More!
1505 33rd Ave. Oakland, CA 94601
(accessible via Fruitvale BART)
Join members of the Taller Tupac Amaru, a collective of Xicana/o artists and printmakers, at their biannual Open Studios. They will be showcasing their latest political and fine art prints. Self-guided studio tours will give visitors a unique opportunity to meet the artists and see their work in the place where it was created. This is a family friendly event.
Also The Great Tortilla Conspiracy will be joining us on Sunday at noon.
featuring: Rene Yañez, Rio Yañez, and Jos Sances
MUSIC by DJ Max Champ and DJ Quix
I'm setting up an intense and fun installation in conjunction with the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, called Food Security. The show starts Sunday, July 12th and ends Saturday, July 18th at the Cass Cafe, Detroit's hottest spot for contemporary art (...that also serves food). In this show, twenty Justseeds artists and seven local artist explore the issue of what we eat with a variety of media, tone and message. While some of the pieces question the the systems for making safe and healthy food available to everyone, others celebrate the creative work of many Detroiters who have taken this matter into their own hands and created an incredible network of urban agriculture. Among other wondrous works, I will be showing a 14 foot tall papercut that is so freshly cut it hurts. The opening reception is Wednesday, July 15th from 8pm - 1am with bands I, Crime, Blair and the Boyfriends, Noman, and General Population.
I've had the discussion about my frustration with the saying "vote with your dollars".
Thats not voting, its consumerism. Its an economic relationship and system that denigrates activity and participation to buying. I'm not interested in how some consumer choices are better than others. I could go on, but I think Derek Jensen articulates it a bit better than I do in a recent piece from Orion Magazine:
Forget Shorter Showers-Why personal change does not equal political change
WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?
Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.
The Progress Illinois site has a good post on a recent action by the TAMMS Year Ten coallition demanding that the Chicago Tribune retract a fault-ridden editorial about TAMMS. The newspaper had refuesed to meet with the coallition until the protest took place.
Below is section of the story and link to the full article:
"Back in May, the Tribune ran a puzzling editorial criticizing State Rep. Julie Hamos' bill (HB 2633) to reform the Tamms Correctional Center in downstate Illinois. While acknowledging the harsh treatment of inmates there, the paper misread key sections of the bill, falsely asserting that it would limit terms at Tamms to one year "in almost all cases." We criticized the piece the following day, but no retraction was ever issued. Today, the Tamms Year Ten organization asked the paper to do just that.
Holding two "stone tablets," which contained their inscribed list of "Ten Corrections," the group of prison reformers marched outside the paper's Tribune Tower headquarters this afternoon."
To be honest, I do not know that much about Andrés Ramírez, other than that he is a Mexican poster artist whose posters I've seen over the years and think that they're dope. This weekend, Sr. Ramírez has organized a conference in Oaxaca de Juárez, MX in conjunction with the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca (IAGO) and the Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CASA). The conference addresses the theme of '10 Years of Music Against Power.' I'm sure it will prove an amazing event.
If anyone happens to be in Oaxaca, check it out:
Thursday | 09 July 2009
Patio of the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca
Macedonio Alcalá 507
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, México
Its summer in NYC, and despite June having the 2nd most rainfall on record dumping on NYC 23 out of 30 days, Chris Stain was able to paint with some folks on a large outdoor wall in Brooklyn. From Chris' website:
There’s a swell group of fellows that go by the name Skewville. About a month or so ago I was contacted by their commander in chief to participate in the India St mural project that they were apart of. 9 cops and a whole lot of bullshit later, Skewville, Logan Hicks, and myself teamed up for the work in progress you see above. If you are in Brooklyn make sure to stop by and say hello. To see what else Skewville has goin on check out Skewville.org to see what Logan is up to check out Workhorse Visuals
So Chris and I recently took part in the Willoughby Windows project here in Brooklyn. Organized by Ad Hoc Art, the project is one of those strange hybrids between business interests, real estate and art entrepreneurship that rightfully make a lot of people uncomfortable. I'm still up in the air as to how to feel about it, but I'm definitely glad to have been invited to participate and struggle with the issues embedded in this.
Ad Hoc negotiated a deal with the Metrotech Business Improvement District (BID) in Downtown Brooklyn to temporarily turn a block of abandoned storefront windows into artist installation spaces. The trick is that the storefronts don't just happen to be abandoned. Awhile back the same developers behind the BID kicked everyone out of these buildings and basically leveled the existing community. These business luminaries then ran out of cash, and now are hoping artists will salvage the situation by bringing people back onto the block and keeping the buildings "safe" from vandalism and crime. So us artists aren't actually kicking anyone out, that dirty deed is long since done, we're sort of like mid-fielders, keeping the ball in play until the developers can siphon off enough bailout money to tear out the storefronts and start building another hideous glass tower for rich people.
Today's Daily News article about the windows makes it seem like I'm not the only skeptic. Former tenants and even passerby's argue that the art is no replacement for the former businesses and community. This is the type of tough situation all kinds of people in all kinds of fields find themselves in: inheriting situations and problems we had little role in creating. What to do? Because thousands of people are going to be looking at these installations for the rest of the year I decided to fill my windows with Celebrate People's History posters. Might as well use the space to advertise little known political histories....
But rather than just listen to my issues, definitely check it out yourself. The opening is this Friday, July 10th at 2pm. Here's the info:
86 - 106 Willoughby Street, between Duffield and Bridge Streets
July 10, 2-7pm
Willoughby Windows transforms 12 vacant storefronts into a street level gallery that brings art to the community. Over 12 well known artists, all with deep roots in the street art movement, have contributed to this project, many creating site specific works. This network of visual experiences can help redefine how people visiting, working and living in Downtown Brooklyn think about and interact with their environment during a time of transition. Artists include: Ad Hoc Art, John Ahearn, Tom Beale, John Breiner, Cannonball Press, Cycle, Michael De Feo, Ellis G, Gaia, Logan Hicks, Lady Pink, Greg Lamarche, Josh MacPhee, Dennis McNett, Morning Breath, Chris Stain and Werdink.
On display July 10 - Nov 5, 2009.
Erik is the artist and residence at my workplace right now, and we spent 20 minutes today at lunch having fun making this exquisite corpse:
Protests against the G8 meeting are underway in Italy and the IMC is covering the events as they unfold.
On the opening day of the G8 summit, Greenpeace activists occupied 4 coal fired-power stations across Italy, to demand stronger leadership on the climate. (As of today, it is being reported that the G8 failed to agree Wednesday on specific cuts in heat-trapping gases by 2050, undercutting an effort to build a global consensus to fight climate change.)
Here is a video of some of the actions:
Additionally, Greenpeace dropped a banner at Mount Rushmore-a tactic that has been done many times before, both by Greenpeace and more specifically by the American Indian Movement. The banner was taken down after a few minutes and ten people were arrested.
It is hard to argue against choosing symbolic locations for actions and Mount Rushmore obviously fits this bill, but my concern is: what if the media does not cover it? Although this story is just breaking, I have not seen a lot of mass media coverage, as of yet. Greenpeace has created their own media campaign about it but many of the major news outlets have yet to pick it up. This might change, but if it doesn’t, does that throw a monkey wrench into the tactic of banner drops? This blog is at its best when we debate these issues and tactics, so please post away.
Are banner drops becoming an outdated tactic?
Do they get the media's attention?
If they don’t, what does?
What does this all say about our reliance on mass media coverage for movements to be successful?
My partner Peter and I just made a couple tinctures from herbs we grew in our garden! ((Disclaimer: Before you make your own tincture, you should do a lot of research on the herbs you want to use, which parts of the plant to use, and also make sure there are not toxic, dangerous, etc. Some herbs are toxic or potentially dangerous, so make sure you consult with herbalists, friends, and books! The following tinctures we made are mild and have no known dangerous effects.))
This just in via the email pipeline:
Left Turn, a national publication and network of activists engaged in exposing and fighting the consequences of global capitalism and imperialism, is currently seeking artists and photographers to submit their work for the upcoming issue. We are interested in promoting artists whose work is rooted in a variety of social movements and are working to build resistance and alternatives to corporate power and empire.
Issue #34 of Left Turn includes the following themes:
- Emerging economies of Asia
- Migrant labor in Asia
- United Auto Workers
- Gentrification and the economy
If you are interested in submitting artwork or photography to the magazine, please contact Vasudha.
To view previous covers of the magazine, look here.
If you like to share your work but it does not address these themes, write to us anyways!
Left Turn is an all-volunteer project. Unfortunately, we are not able to pay artists (or ourselves). However, we do offer wide exposure in an exciting publication that is read throughout the U.S. For more information on Left Turn, please visit our website.
If you're in the Philly area this Friday, I'd highly recommend checking out this benefit for a worthy cause- in addition to some inspiring speakers, this will be the first Philly display of the Justseeds portfolio Voices From the Outside.
Charges have been dropped against four of the SF8! For actual information about the case click here.
From the UWM SDS blog…
"This 4th of July, SDS celebrated revolution, and independence from empire. Students from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and Marquette University jumped into two parades, holding multiple banners.
As we stepped into the first parade in Glendale, WI, we held a banner which read "Bailout For Education, Not For Corporations." Many people stood to cheer for the message. Other banners declared "End The Occupations, No War For Empire", and "No Human Is Illegal."
Although much of the parade crowd was delighted to see our message represented, the police acted quick to shut it down. After less than a minute in the parade, one officer on a bicycle demanded that we leave the parade, and threatened us with arrest if we did not comply.
Benefit for SafeWalk and RightRides
Rude Mechanical Orchestra
Old Hat, and
There will be music, baked goods (vegan and non), beverages, informational tables, and dancing. More info to come.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009 8-12pm Silent Barn 915 Wyckoff L to Halsey or M to Myrtle-Wyckoff
All funds will go towards RightRides' operational costs. SafeWalk is a program of RightRides for Women's Safety that offers anyone a free, safe walk to any destination in northern Brooklyn on Friday nights.
$6-10 sliding scale
For those in the NYC area, after 18 months of being open, the new New Museum is finally doing a show worth going to! They're mounting an exhibition of posters and artwork by Emory Douglas, former Black Panther Party Minister of Culture. Most of Douglas' work was originally published as graphics, covers, and centerfold posters in the Black Panther newspaper in the 1970s and early 80s, where he collaged together his drawings, found photographs, and ziptone patterns to create an amazing array of graphics in service to the Black Revolution in the US. For whatever reason (likely cannibalistic), a portion of the art world has recently taken a shine towards Emory, and I'm not going to complain, this promises to be a great opportunity to see a huge collection of difficult to find work from a political graphics master. Here's the details, and a link to more info and more images(!):
Emory Douglas: Black Panther
An Exhibition Curated by Sam Durant
7/22/09 - 10/18/09
New York, NY 10002
I just stumbled across this interesting site, a re-purposing of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis in an attempt to discuss recent events in Iran. I can't say I agree with all the content (Not that I disagree, I'm still trying to figure out what's going on in Iran), but it's fascinating how activists have taken frames from the original comic, reordered them, changed the text, and generated an entirely new story, as if it is an extension of the original comic! Persepolis 2.0 is a relatively crude re-creation, but since the original comic is so graphic, it really works. An interesting attempt at open source creativity...
You can read the whole comic (12 pages so far) here. You can download a pdf from the site as well.
I used to play in a park across the street from the county jail while growing up. I vividly remember (when I was really young) heavily armed policeman guarding those facilities. The pictures of state troopers with shotguns, on the covers of the local papers, burned into my memory. And the activity of so many government agencies surrounding the town.
I would learn later in life about the "Brinks Armored Car Robbery" and its connection to many radical organizations of the sixties and seventies. The images and memories of my childhood are from the change of venue of the trial of Judy Clark, David Gilbert, and Sekou Odinga to the county courthouse across the street from my swingset.
One night, a couple months ago, Josh was looking through the window of a new used bookstore in Brooklyn and pointed out a title on the shelf, The Big Dance. He told me it was about the failed armored car robbery by the BLA in the early eighties, and it immediately sparked my interest and I purchased it the next day.
The Big Dance: the untold story of Kathy Boudin and the terrorist family that committed the Brinks robbery murders by John Castellucci is an interesting book written a couple of years after the robbery and trials. Castellucci was a journalist in the county where the events took place and he gives a very detailed account of the robbery and history leading up to it. Castellucci wanted to write a book that would display the motivations by providing a biography, of sorts, of each of person involved.
He follows the political development of everyone from Kuwasi Balagoon to Marylin Jean Buck, and gives his analysis of the inner dynamics of the various groups.
There is a lot of radical history from the 60s and 70s that I encountered for the first time in The Big Dance. He illustrates the involvement of these individuals in groups like the May 19th Communist Organization, Republic of New Africa, The Black Liberation Army(BLA) The Weather Underground Organization, and the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee
And talks about events like the occupation and takeover of Lincoln Hospital, in the Bronx, by the Young Lords and other radical groups. This led to a drug detoxification unit being created to serve the neighborhood which, at the time, was suffering a severe heroin epidemic. It was in this program that Mutulu Shakur and other Panther 21 defendants would volunteer and help junkies kick their habits with alternative methods, such as acupuncture. The detox center would be a main component of actualizing the radical politics of many involved in the expropriations, and continued at BAAANA (Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America) after being ousted from the hospital. It also explores the jailbreak of Assata Shakur in detail.
The book is practically a primer (for the 1980's) on living underground. It illustrates how the various expropriations were achieved, the materials they used, and the networks that sustained them.
Even though the writer expresses that he is attempting to be unbiased, his judgments come forth when discussing the politics and development of each individual involved. He writes with clear disdain on the idealism and anti-racism of the white revolutionaries in the group, Kathy Boudin receiving most of the direct criticisms.
The information in this book is pretty invaluable and hard to find elsewhere, just be ready for some problematic politics and perspectives of the author.
Maybe this means something different in Iran.
(Sorry, if I knew where this photo came from I would credit it)
Just got this package in the mail. Awhile back Kristine Virsis and I had been contacted about having our art used on this benefit CD put out by the anarcopunk label Cabaza De Vaca in Venezuela. They pulled our images from the site and contacted us with a mock up layout which looked great. Months later this lovely package arrived; looks like they screen printed and hand assembled all these. Check out the blog and website for Cabaza De Vaca to get your own copy.
Here's some info on the CD:
CVR-010 Dissension/Anarcolepsia "Solidaridad" Cd
Bonita edicion en Cd en caja artesanal a serigrafia en 2 colores en total beneficio del Comited de Victimas del Estado Lara. Grabado en vivo por "el coach" directo desde la ONG .
I'm getting this up a little late for celebrating Pride, but my friend Sam sent me this great flyer/story made by one of the Stonewall veterans. It's an amazing narrative of the Stonewall Riot from someone who was there that night. Hopefully it'll be readable here:
Rising Tide activists dropped a 25 ft high banner off the Environmental Protection Agency in Boston. Image below, and the rest of the story here.