Alas, time's up for the Christmas Island pipistrelle bat.
The tiny winged mammals, endemic to Australia's Christmas island, are overrun by human-introduced yellow crazy ants, giant centipedes and wolf snakes. Earlier this year their extinction was predicted by government scientists, and a last-ditch effort to capture individuals to attempt to establish a captive breeding population has failed. Peter Garrett, ex-Midnight Oil singer and now Australia's environment minister, pledges further efforts to preserve the miniscule beasts, but acknowledges that the underlying reason for the bat's precipitous decline and probable extinction is the pulverized ecology of the island itself.
All over the world, species introduced by humans to environments where they have no ecological restraints are devastating ecological communities. From Leidy's comb jellies in the Black and now Caspian seas, to brown tree snakes on Guam, the ruthless intermixing of species brought about by human global domination is sterilizing much of the planet, reducing complex webs of interaction to stripped-down faunal deserts, as full of life and diversity as a Pong game. There is, of course, really only one invading species; the one that made all this possible, the one that has been burning through the life of this planet since it left Africa. No cultural distinctions or political ideologies can alter the harsh truth that we humans are the sixth mass extinction event, and no matter how hard we try, we can't think our way out of a biological problem. We are going to ruthlessly despoil this planet to an even greater degree than we've already accomplished, and then drown in the juices of our Pyrrhic triumph. All the while we'll be telling ourselves that it's important to have hope.
We've found a ton of oyster mushrooms in the woods next to our house! We've been going by the tree every few days to pull fresh mushrooms once they get larger. Here are the photos! Oyster mushrooms grow on dead trees. This tree is standing upright but is dead. Imagine if humans remained standing up after they died! They are all around you! Zombies! Halloween!!!
-love, Meredith Stern and Peter Glantz.
(banner drop on a bridge where bankers at the conference were passing by on tour boats)
“The major banking institutions, who have been raked over the coals of public opinion, saw their main public lobby, the American Bankers Association, assemble in Chicago, only to face the wrath of organized public outrage. Thousands of activists and citizens converged to take the ABA to task...Protesters entered the lobby of the Sheraton Chicago to face the ABA directly. This was followed by marches through downtown Chicago where thousands voiced their concern and called for accountability and positive change.”
October 29th, 2009
Political Prisoners Gloria Arenas Agis and Jacobo Silva Nogales were released from prison!
Compas: Yesterday the 28th and today the 29th of October Gloria Arenas Agis and Jacobo Silva Nogales were released from prison after ten years of imprisonment. Both activists, painters, writers were arrested and held for organizing with the Insurgent People’s Revolutionary Army (ERPI), their ideologies and political militancy.
This is the first news we've gotten so far, family members and organizations are already headed towards “Penal de Chinconautla” prison, Ecatepec, Mexico State, where our “compañera” had been held. And Jacobo is now in Tepic, in the state of Nayarit.
Just in time for the mayorial election on Tuesday!
My friend Amos created this sweet silkscreen of Pittsburgh's (good old) boy mayor, Luke Ravenstahl. This poster references Ravenstahl's decision to devote $20 million to security measures for the G20, while many public services in the city are struggling financially. For reference, here is also a photo of the mayor...snoopenstahl?
October 28th, 2009. For over one and a half hours, hundreds of corporate lobbyists wishing to attend the annual BusinessEurope conference were prevented from entering the Charlemagne building.
The Climate action group Climate Alarm!, consisting of activists from Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany, blocked the main entrance to the conference.
Some more info on this action can be found at Climate IMC
This makes me so happy tears form in my eyes, I like people that care. Thanks to everyone that organized and executed this!
It should happen everywhere, everyday!
Iraq Veterans Against the War have adopted mud stencils in their tactics! It has been inspiring to see how the technique that Jesse Graves popularized through his website has been employed in social justice campaigns, ranging from prison issues to environmental issues to anti-war struggles.
"The Other Side of the Mall"
Here's a couple of shots of a large piece I am working on for the Justseeds show at Sea Change Gallery in Portland. The show opening is on first Thursday, a big night for art openings in downtown Portland, and our first endeavor with this monthly event. Roger, Icky and I are all painting some large scale pieces, and we will be filling the walls with Justseeds art relating to the theme: the opposable thumb; the human hand at work. We also have a show opening that same night at Reading Frenzy. The Reading Frenzy show is work around the theme: Education and Literacy.
Here's a couple in progress pictures of my piece. I am painting this in my larger in progress project: a back porch on my house that I have been constructing over the past year out of 100% reclaimed salvaged wood, and bricks foraged from the forest of forgotten bricks.
here's a flyer for the show Icky made:
625 NW Everett Street
Portland, OR 97209
the show is open from 5:30 – 10pm
921 SW Oak St. ~ Portland, Ore 97205
the show is open from 6-9pm
above: collating artnoose's zine ker-bloom
I am doing a zine reading at the Carnegie Public Library on Thursday October 29th with awesome cohorts Leanne O'Connor (New to Everything zine), Artnoose (Ker-bloom zine) and Hannah Bean (Fat Snakes Are Patient zine). I will hopefully have my one-pager and the other ladies will have new zines to share. There might be treats. There will totes def be a zine-reading open mic without a mic after we read. Come enjoy sweet zine culture!
Thursday, October 29th
Carnegie Library Main Branch (Oakland)
free, all ages
This image is called Still Shopping and Soldiering. It references the Death by Trampling of a Wal-Mart employee on Black Friday. It is about 38" x 28"
Here are a few images of the mural I completed on the roof/deck of Heaven Gallery in Chicago this past Friday. This image was taken from Damen Blue Line Platform.
[Full disclosure - the author of this article has been employed multiple times in the Education Department of the Andy Warhol Museum as recently as June 2009, teaching screen-printing to high school students.]
Last week, Shepard Fairey opened a massive retrospective exhibition at Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Museum. "Supply and Demand" drew a sold-out opening night crowd that watched Fairey DJ alongside Z-Trip while sporting a swank three-piece suit. In the months prior, Fairey and his team toured around Pittsburgh wheat-pasting his familiar designs on building facades both permitted and not, and across from the museum he installed a temporary mural over top of a pre-existing mural by a younger local artist. The silent, creeping presence of Fairey's designs around the city felt eerily similar to the lead-up for the G20 summit this past September, in which faceless PR firms delivered meaningless graphics touting business and lifestyle opportunities to cover dozens of vacant storefronts in downtown in an attempt to scrub the visual landscape. All of this new wallpaper gave an impending and queasy feeling to anyone paying attention: Pittsburgh, once again and without consent, would play host as a playground for the powerful.
The first Independent Media and Video World Festival ~ Solidarity Has No Borders ~ In Memory of Brad Will. October 27th – November 30. 2009.
To all video and media activist, film makers, alternative and independent media journalist, radio activist and technicians, web activist, progressive audiovisual workers, and all peoples of the world in general, an invitation to participate in the first ever Independent Media and Video World Festival: Solidarity has No Borders-In Memory of Brad Will. The Festival begins October 27th, the day video activist Bradley Roland Will was assassinated by gunmen men protected by the Mexican government while carrying out his work as an independent media video reporter during the Oaxacan uprisings, and ends on November 29, the tenth anniversary of the indymedia.org project, born during the WTO protest in Seattle.
Who the hell was Brad Will?: Graphic Campaign
Brad Will was an Indymedia journalist from New York City. He was shot dead in Oaxaca, Mexico on October the 27th 2006, he received two shots one to the chest and one to the abdomen when two pro-government aggressors opened fire on a barricade in the barrio of Santa Lucía del Camino. Photographs on the newspaper "El Universal" clearly show two government gunmen shooting members of the “Calicanto” barricade, leaving Brad lifeless. The two gunmen who shot at the barricade were arrested, one being the former public security director Abel Santiago Zárate, and municipal personnel chief Manuel Aguilar, however the PGJE turned the tables around and accused Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno and Miguel Cruz Moreno y a other social activists. The government is attempting to imprison the “compañeros” who share the same vision of freedom as Brad did, and have the murderous government led by Ulises Ruiz Ortiz in impunity of punishment. We are inviting you to learn about this case and demand justice. We all know that the government lies.
Join us and be part of the campaign; Who was Brad Will? We Demand Justice!
If you don't have a Halloween costume yet, maybe you should make a mask of an extinct or endangered animal and spread awareness while you party! We had a little mask-making workshop at our house recently using cardboard and paper maché. I made a crescent nailtail wallaby, an animal the size of a rabbit which was last seen Central Australia in the mid-1950's. Mary Tremonte made a passenger pigeon, that infamous bird whose flocks used to cover North American skies before hunters took them out in the late 1800's. A saber-tooth tiger, polar bear, a lizard called a Kawekaweau, and a cute short-tailed bat were also part of the mix. If you want to make a mask, first you'll need a image and some information about the animal you want to make. I found a book called A Gap in Nature: Exploring the World's Extinct Animals which has amazing illustrations by Peter Schouten. We drew the shapes of ears, beaks, and faces on cardboard and cut them out, and then attached them together with staple pliers and duct tape. Then we added a layer of paper maché paper over that. If you want your mask to be extra strong, add another layer of paper maché once the first one is dry, but this time use muslin cut into strips. Once that's dry, then you are ready to paint, and add feathers, fur, and details. Here's some shots of the costumes in process!
We have three new members of Justseeds! Thea Gahr, Santiago Armengod, and Lesly Geovanni Mendoza all work out of Mexico City. They are involved with La Furia de las Calles infoshop, and comprise the graphics collective Cordyceps. We've sold their work through Justseeds for the last year or so, and are really excited to formalize their membership this autumn.
¡Tenemos tres nuevxs miembrxs de Justseeds! Thea Gahr, Santiago Armengod, y Lesly Geovanni Mendoza, quienes trabajan y colaboran desde la Ciudad de Mexico. Son parte del colectivo/espacio informativo La Furia de las Calles infoshop y conforman el colectivo grafico Cordyceps. Hemos vendido su obra atravez de Justseeds por un poco mas de un año, y estamos emocinadxs de formalizar su membresia este otoño.
Guest blogger Ali Gitlow sent us this great new interview with NYC street artist Dan Witz, check it out!:
Brooklyn-based artist Dan Witz has been contributing his unique brand of witty realism to NYC’s street art scene since before an easily identifiable ‘scene’ existed. Through his in-depth serial projects, Witz has made poignant commentary on the crumbling Lower East Side of the early ‘90s, September 11th, the gentrification of Manhattan and, subsequently, Brooklyn. Constantly engaged with the architectural fiber of the city, he has embedded poetry into the asphalt, hand-painted hummingbirds onto walls and installed real gloves clinging to drainage grates, making it seem a person is trapped inside, desperately clawing to reach the light of day. Witz’s work is not always so serious — some of his most engaging pieces are his pranks, for which he has affixed papier-mâché noses to building facades and installed renegade street signs reading ‘Don’t even think about thinking about parking here.’
On November 5th, Witz’s solo show entitled Dark Doings will open at the Carmichael Gallery in Los Angeles. We asked him a few questions in anticipation:
Ali Gitlow: Why do you usually work in series' on the street?
Dan Witz: I guess that’s my way of keeping things under control. Even though I’ve been at this for years, I never get used to how chaotic and unpredictable it all is. Every project I do starts one way, with what I think it’s going to look like, then one thing leads to another, all sorts of accidents happen and invariably I end up with something totally unexpected. To be honest, the lack of control can be kind of nerve wracking. I mean it’s exciting, but it’s like my life is lived in a state of constant emergency.
Sunday, October 25th was the Public Ad Campaign's second whitewashing and takeover of unsanctioned billboards in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Public Ad Campaign acts on the assumption that public space and the public's interaction with that space is a vital component of our city's health. By visually altering and physically interacting with the public environment, residents become psychologically invested in their community.
Outdoor advertising is the primary obstacle to open public communications. By commodifying public space, outdoor advertising has monopolized the surfaces that shape our shared space. Private property laws protect the communications made by outdoor advertising while systematically preventing public usage of that space.
The above billboard was done by the BoomCrash collective, on N7th & Bedford Ave in, knowingly amidst many of the unfinished luxury residential projects in Williamsburg. Yet unknowingly on the 80th anniversary of the 1929 stock market crash.
On October 24, 350.org organized the most widespread day of political action in history -- over 5,200 events in 181 countries -- to call for a clear solution to the climate crisis: reducing the level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere below 350 parts per million.
There's a ton of photos of the 350 campaign on the 350.org Flickr page. I found the one to the right to be one of the more powerful "actions". The undeniable human impact is illustrated along with the gathering of humans to characteristically form the 3-5-0.
This campaign has been interesting to watch and exciting to see the grassroots mobilizing around such a clear message. I'm not sure of the campaigns efficacy, it has been covered in plenty of media. Human activity and impact on this planet is definitely something that needs to be acknowledged. It may be a good jumping off point for most people, and especially legislators, around the world to discuss such matters. It is most definitely a problem that isn't going away.
Maybe a goal for the demonstrations in Copenhagen could be to make sure all the representatives attending come to some sane agreements, representing all our interests, before they are allowed to leave.
This stencil has been up for years in Milwaukee and makes me smile every time I see it.
"1917, Day of the Revolution, soldiers on [maybe a street name?]"
This is a postcard set detailing the Revolution(s) of 1917 in Russia. Someone was auctioning these awhile ago and I kept the images. The October (Bolshevik) Revolution was only 92 years ago today!
My great grandparents were Armenians in the Russian military on the Turkish front, and had to flee the country following the revolution. I only bring this up because these images seem like forever ago, but my grandmother was with them and is still alive—this all happened within a lifetime! Anyway, my Russian is pretty spotty, and I am especially bad at reading cursive (also the resolution on these images is not so good) but here are some vaguely, hopefully, accurate translations!
I've been reading articles on climate change and our food system and have found that the costs of transporting food across the country and around the world is totally unsustainable. I was also somewhat surprised to learn that the cost to our environment to sustain the meat industry has actually surpassed the damage done by transportation of vegetables. Around 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions come from the meat industry. If that isn't enough to make you become a vegetarian, we can feed 8 times the amount of people on a vegetarian diet than on a meat based diet. The land use for raising animals is obscene; as well as the methane emissions from the animals themselves.
We're extremely pleased to have another showing of our 2009 portfolio, Voices From Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex. This art show is part of 2009 North of Nowhere Expo: A Festival of Independent Media & Underground Art, that takes place annually in Edmonton, Alberta. They are theming this year's expo around Prison Justice issues, which is awesome!!
Voices From The Outside (with work from most of Justseeds and several friends) is showing at the Edmonton Room (ER) in the Stanley Milner Library.
They also have several movie showings, forums, and ongoing small press exposition at the Stanley Milner Library.
For more info, check out ESPA's website.
washout area with papercuts by swoon, painted corner by josh tonies & leslie stem
I am working on a new print I'm really excited about in a space that I am really excited about---The Braddock Community Silkscreen Studio, a project of Transformazium at the Braddock Public Library. I am helping with setup and staffing, printing my own stuff to test-run the shop. It is a beautiful space on the 3rd floor of the library, next to the basketball court. (This library, the first of Carnegie's public libraries, could be a blog entry in and of itself! It was built explicitly for the workers at his steel plant, and featured in its heyday three floors of recreational and educational services, including a swimming pool - now empty - gorgeous theater, boxing ring, gym, showers and more...nowadays it has a kickin' ceramics studio with community access and now this silkscreen studio)
The print is inspired and in support of a Queers Bash Back chant, shared with me by my friend Etta: WE SHIT GLITTER. I have four colors done in the print, which will eventually have six colors, all shimmery.
Check out some more information about Transformazium, the silkscreen studio, and the Braddock Public Library.
If you live in the East End of Pittsburgh, and especially in Wilkinsburg or Braddock, this could be the silkscreen access for you!
Iain McIntyre and Breakdown Press have joined forces to release a book length collection of the greatest hits of Iain's long running zine How to Make Trouble and Influence People. It's fully rewritten, reedited, full of new material, and beautifully designed by Tom Civil (I've had a sneak peak, it looks awesome!). I'm hoping to get some of these babies over here for people in N. America to check out, but in the meantime, have look at the new Trouble website HERE, and Breakdown Press HERE.
“These tales and images also serve to remind us that political activity need not be a predictable and grim slog. As well-resourced as our opponents may be, they are vulnerable to the use of creativity, solidarity, and humour. Indeed, these are often the only tools we have.”
This image is titled "Act Like Nothing's Wrong" and comments on the general public amnesia towards the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some more in progress shots of a mural on the roof of Heaven Gallery in Chicago. All of these were taken today, the morning of day 5, while Jacob Kart is helping to paint some stripes.
Out good friends at the Groundswell Design Collective havee been having some computer troubles as of late, but they are now fully back online. If you've never checked them out, or haven't been in awhile, take a peek at their design site HERE and blog HERE.
10" x 14" ink on paper
This past March, I cofounded an online advocacy organization centered around Latinos and our struggles - Presente.org. One of the most recent campaigns we launched has been around CNN's Lou Dobbs, the most dangerous man for Latinos in the United States.
WHY LOU DOBBS? We are targeting Lou Dobbs because more than ANY person in the media, he spreads misinformation and hateful messages about Latinos and immigrants. Lou Dobbs talks about immigrants as invaders, as criminals, as people bringing disease into this country, and he backs it up with false statistics and incendiary language. Even worse, he uses his platform to give airtime to the most extremist, anti-immigrant voices, like the Minutemen, FAIR, and Sheriff Arpaio.
He claimed that immigrants are creating an epidemic of leprosy, using statistics from a radical right-wing author that were totally false and debunked by Center for Disease Control.
This week's rad teen print is another from the archives, by Hannah Thompson. Hannah created this two-color marmoleum-block print during RUST 2008, with the guidance of visiting Justseeds Artist Pete Yahnke. After hearing a presentation from Bike Pittsburgh about current bike advocacy issues, students created two-color block prints that were turned into vinyl stickers that can be stuck on bikes. This sticker in particular is the perfect size for a milk crate!
This is a timely sticker, as Bike Pittsburgh has recently been able to get an ordinance passed by the City Planning Commission to create more and safer bike parking in the City of Pittsburgh. They are now putting pressure on City Council to have it passed into law. You can check out their site to lend support.
Here are a few shots of a mural I am working on. It is on the roof of Heaven Gallery in Chicago. Last weekend there were quite a few rain delays, so I gotta hustle to finish it up by Friday.
Our friends and awesome t-shirt makers Liberation Ink are struggling to survive at the moment, and need our help! Liberation Ink is an Oakland-based artist and activist run shirt shop that has created a number of shirts by Justseeds artists, including Favianna Rodriguez, Fernando Marti, and myself (Josh MacPhee), and always gives a portion of the money they bring in to local political projects. They have just set up a membership drive in order to raise the capital necessary to keep the gears turning, so if you're into political art on shirts, check them out, become a member, and buy some shirts!
Here's their call:
Join Liberation Ink as part of our new Membership Program and help us continue to sustain and grow our business to support social justice organizing! Your membership will help cover the basic overhead costs so that we can keep Liberation Ink open. So please join today and help us spread the word. We need to sign up 200 Members by October 31! For as little as $30 a year, you can help sustain and grow Liberation Ink and our efforts to fund social justice organizing from the grassroots.
Join at $30 a year (includes a free tee shirt) or at $50 a year (for free shirt and additional discounts). Click HERE.
Eleanor Mathieson, editor, text by Xavier A. Tápies
Street Art and the War on Terror: How the World's Best Graffiti Artists Said No to the Iraq War
Rebellion Books, 2007
I found this hardcover book in the Carnegie Library. I appreciate this documentation of street art, which includes color photos of art from the streets taken between 2003 and 2007 from many parts of the world. I thought it very useful that each piece is listed with the location, media, exact date the photo was taken, and the artists' name. There is also a short paragraph of text about each street art piece, which is clearly written for an English audience with its overuse of the word "brilliant" and other British slang, and which is pretty much unnecessary, but sometimes funny. There are a lot of great images in here, although I thought it a bit cheeky to include the word "Best" in the subtitle, because there is also a lot missing, and for the most part the book contains random street shots of unknown origin. There are disproportional number of works by Shepard Fairey and Dolk documented, even a Shepard Fairey piece that's been hit by the splasher! I was also dismayed to see that no great care was taken to record the artists names. In more than one entry, the artists' name is written right on the piece, or even included in the text, but still listed as "Unknown." "Oil Soldier" by Nicolas Lampert is included in the book, but his name is spelled wrong. I would have liked to know more of the process of compiling the photos of the book, but the forward only includes a summary of the political events leading up to the war. By the end of the book I was wondering what the point of the book was, at which point I found in small font in the Credits section: "The aim of this book is to produce a permanent record of the global anti-war street art movement." I believe it does that, although linking the book to a online, digital collection project would allow it to be a lot more inclusive. Currently, the website listed on the book doesn't lead to anything.
"The purpose of this little program is to expose the seductions of rhetoric, not to criticize actions taken. Despite my admiration for many of the actions taken in the name of insurrection, I'm suspicious of how easy it is to substitute style for substance in the communiques describing these actions. And this is not to say that all "insurrectionist" texts are meaningless, despite its difficulty, I found the Coming Insurrection to be, with all its excesses, a serious (if contentious) contribution to revolutionary thought. And, to point out just one other exemplar, the recent "Communique from an Absent Future: The Terminus of Student Life" is by and large an excellent piece of analysis. This program is intended only to demonstrate the pitfalls of language which sounds too good to be meaningful."
No More Corporate Bullshit-Fuk Wall St
Gowanus, Brooklyn. 2008
This was an artists response to last years economic crisis and collapse. Below is a more recent photo of the response of someone with money to burn on brown paint.
Its interesting, that, whomever buffed this building only had a problem with the overt statement and not the self aggrandizing throw-ups. Is offending Wall St. bad for property values? Couldn't the financial institutions be blamed for valueless land and homes?
Funny, bankers and graffiti artists supposedly have the similar effects on a neighborhood. I'd rather read the walls any day than have the mystery and of the market impact my neighbors.
Help support our friend Daniel McGowan, environmental activist and political prisoner, by contributing your artwork to an art auction benefit!
CALL FOR ART:
On December 7, 2005, Daniel McGowan was among the first people arrested as part of an FBI offensive against environmental activists called "Operation Backfire", which activists have dubbed part of the Green Scare (after the Red Scare of the 40s and 50s). Daniel began serving his seven-year sentence in July 2007. In August 2008, Daniel was moved to the Communication Management Unit (CMU) in Marion, IL, a federal prison unit that bypassed the usual review process and severely restricts inmates' communication with the outside world.
To mark the four-year anniversary of Daniel's arrest, and to highlight the continued repression of activists that the federal government has labeled "terrorists," Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan will be hosting an art show, auction and raffle on Friday and Saturday, December 4th and 5th, 2009. Proceeds will go to Daniel's commissary account and a couple of his favorite environmental and social justice organizations.
We are looking for art that embodies or deals with the struggles activists face in today's climate of government repression, as well as the heart-breaking effects of prison.
On the one hand, we would like to see art that explores the themes of the Green Scare and resultant political prisoners, the government fear mongering that tries to paint radicalism as terrorism, and the resulting repression of activism. On the flip side, we encourage art that explores what is lost and what is sacrificed when we lose parts of our community to prison. This art can explore the important aspects of being human that are lost to the isolation of prison, such as communication and expression, human touch and contact, and trusting relationships with those that surround you.
Submission Guidelines: Two dimensional visual works - photography, painting, silkscreen, printmaking, collage, drawing, illustration, postcards, et cetera. Please limit the size of your submission to 24" by 36".
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2009
Original works will not be returned and unsold pieces will be sold at a future date for the same benefit.
Send work to:
106 West 29th St, Ground Fl.
New York, NY 10001
For inspiration and more information on these issues, see:
The drama with Shepard Fairey continues…While the position that some of the Justseeds' members take on the work of Fairey is public knowledge (see Mark Vallan's 2007 essay, written with Josh MacPhee, Favianna Rodriguez, and Lincoln Cushing or see Favianna's blog or Liam O'Donoghue's article), recent news stories continue to look bad for any "progressive" street artist-turned capitalist entrepeneur.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Fairey admitted to using Mannie Garcia's photo of President Obama as the source for his famous HOPE poster. While Fairey has greatly benefitted from this poster, Garcia has received little. Today's LAT states:
Another week, another mud stencil action against prisons. This time in Madison, Wisconsin.
On Saturday, October 17th, 6’ by 9’ stencils reading “Why Deny Used Books to WI. Prisoners?”, “Books Liberate”, and “Missing: 2.3 Million Americans” were sponged in mud by 40 volunteers throughout downtown Madison, the UW campus and spots such as the Dane County jail, DOC headquarters, the Federal Court House, Camp Randall, the Governor’s mansion and public libraries.
The mud-stenciling action was designed to draw attention to the used book ban imposed by Dan Westfield, Security Chief of the DOC, in November 2008, interrupting a free book service that had been provided to prisoners by Rainbow Bookstore for years without incident.
The action was coordinated in Madison by Sarah Quinn and Camy Matthay and teams of 3-4 people hit various parts of the city. I was on a team with Jesse Graves, a Milwaukee-based artist who developed the technique (www.mudstencils.com) and Dan S. Wang and was encouraged by how the stencils immediately drew people towards us and created a dialog about the issue. We handed out information sheets on the campaign and the vast majority of people that we encountered were supportive of the issue.
"Les miettes " (Crumbs) directed by Pieree Pinaud in 2007.
I projected this silent film last night at my work, in a program of new French shorts. It's a beautifully made, aesthetically retro, allegory about capitalism, solidarity, and (even) the necessity of armed self-defense.
Well worth a half hour of your time!
Somewhere, in the world.
If it only were pleasurable and easy to fuck something like gentrification, maybe we'd be able to move beyond the boom and bust capitalist cycle. I appreciate the sentiment of "Fuck...something." Though I must tell myself, this was a visceral moment of a highly articulate human that happened to be intoxicated with a marker.
For those that want to get their paint ready, there is a essay called Gentrification is Dead, written by Max Rameau of Take Back the Land. It was released over a year ago, but still useful to checkout.
My buddy Deanna & I are starting a new monthly danceparty at Remedy in Pittsburgh. Each month will tend to be a benefit, this kickoff party benefits the G20 Legal Fund, for those arrested during the G20 protests in Pittsburgh last month.
Come out and shake it!
Saturday October 17th
a party for everyone
*positive vibes * no haterz *
DJ's DROP THAT * MARY MACK * SPECIAL GUEST DJ BUS CRATES
remedy 5121 butler st 2nd& 3rd floor
no smoking on the dancefloor
$3 (extra donations accepted, no one turned away for lack of fundz)
It's time once again for...rad teen print of the week!
This week's print is from Ben Page, a junior at Pittsburgh's High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, who was part of the RUST team this Summer. Ben took this photo of a penguin at the National Aviary, also on Pittsburgh's North Side, and used his wicked Photoshop skills to alter the contrast, before burning silkscreens and printing it. I don't know if you can tell by this photo, but this print features silver ink. Fabulous!
Last year I was asked to join the board of the Institute for Anarchist Studies, a cool group that gives small grants to people doing anarchist writing projects, and funded me years and years ago to do some writing, which eventually turned into the Realizing the Impossible book. Another board member David Combs was recently on tour in Europe and was interviewed about the IAS in London by Last Hours, who recently posted the interview on their website. I've re-posted it below, but it's also well worth your time to check out the Last Hours website.
The Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) is a nonprofit foundation, which was founded in 1996 to support the development of anarchism by giving grants to radical writers and translators across the world. David Combs works at the IAS, and on a recent visit to the UK took the time to talk to Last Hours about what the Institute is all about.
LH: What is the Institute for Anarchist Studies?
IAS: The Institute for Anarchist studies is an organisation that’s been around since 1996 whose purpose it is to fund anarchist writers who wouldn’t have access to traditional grant money through the various ways writers get support because of the content of their politics. So we have a small grant program. It’s not like we have a ton of money to give away but we raise money to give away for grants and then publicise people’s writings on our website and through a publication we do called Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. We are also starting a book series with AK Press for longer pieces and a group of people who have been involved with, or who have received grants from, the IAS who do public speaking. We offer that as a way to disseminate ideas.
Every Thursday, I will post a new collage image - selecting between recent and past work. This image is titled "Nature as a Laboratory."
The Guardian UK recently posted a short but interesting piece on the art, design, and technology used in the recent protests in Iran. The article is called "The art of protest in Iran: From cartoons of potatoes to boycotts of Nokia, Iranian political dissent is finding endlessly creative expression," and you can check it out HERE.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
NYU's Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South, room 914 at 8 p.m.
Doors will open at 7:30.
This event is free and open to the public, but please bring a valid, state issued ID to show at the door.
There will be screening of a 'sneak peak' of the film The Fire Next Time, followed by a panel discussion moderated by CBS and LOGO's 365 Gay News anchor, Chagmion Antione, with grassroots community organizers from FIERCE, the Audre Lorde Project and the filmmakers. The Fire This Time is a documentary directed by my friend Blair Doroshwalther about the New Jersey 7 (also known as the NJ 4).
In August, 2006 seven young African-American lesbian women from Newark, New Jersey were enjoying a night out in the gay-friendly West Village neighborhood of New York City. As they walked down the street, they were sexually harrassed by a man named Duane Buckle. When they told him they were not interested, and that they were lesbians, Buckle verbally attacked them using homophobic slurs, and physically assaulted them. In a not uncommon travesty of justice, the New Jersey Seven, as they came to be called, were sent to prison for defending themselves. 3 of the women accepted plea bargains and on June 14th, 2007 Venice Brown, Terrain Dandridge, Patreese Johnson, and Renata Hill received sentences ranging from 3 1/2 to 11 years in prison.The Fire This Time tells the story of the seven women’s trial and prison sentences, and the years-long fight by relatives and activists to get the women released. Along the way, the film reveals in devastating detail how the media, homophobia, and racism all work together in American culture to stigmatize and victimize gay people of color.
Please come out and show your support!
This drawing "The Fall of Omega Burger" is of a closed burger place I walk by each day. It is drawn from memory.
My friend Sam Sebren is in this show, looks promising:
Curated by Nancy Mahl of Progressive Culture Works
October 24 - December 5, 2009
Opening Reception, with performance, October 24, 7-10 PM
Panel Discussion and Screening: Saturday, November 7, 2009
73 Market St Newark NJ 07102
What is Art Without Money?
Filthy Lucre examines the transformative power of valuation upon art and the people who make it. The artists, performers, and writers participating in the project have investigated the definitions and functions of art as a commodity and queried the practice of artmaking from inside and outside the realm of monetary exchange. The work, from the purely theoretical to the frankly hilarious, is by artists representing a broad spectrum of age, background, education, and commercial success. Particular focus is brought to unsalable art and what becomes of it, the effects of commercial success on artmaking practice, the spiritual function of art, defining the consumer of art, the difference between precious and valuable, the economic element in definitions of high, outsider, and folk art; and the ever-fraught relationship of artist and patron.
Left Forum presents "Debating Capitalists' Power in the Age of Obama: Strategies for a U.S. Left."
* Debaters: Cindy Milstein, Stanley Aronowitz, and Tom Hayden.
* Debate questions: posed by a panel including David Harvey (author of Limits to Capital); Maria Svart (union organizer and chair of the NYC local of Democratic Socialists of America); and Josh MacPhee (artist, curator, and part of the political art cooperative Justseeds.org).
* Moderator: Esther Armah (host, WBAI's "Wake Up Call")
Thursday, October 15, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
The Community Church of New York
40 E. 35th St. near Park Ave.
Jesse Graves did a mud stencil workshop last Friday and one of the stencils put up in Milwaukee was my "Pitbulls Are Nice" image from the Cut and Paint zine. In retrospect the image should read "Pitbulls Are Super Nice!" or better yet "Pitbulls Are Very Cute!"
Stencil photo by James Hagner.
The Justseeds Prison Portfolio will be on display at this years North of Nowhere Festival in Edmonton, Canada! We'll be sharing the exhibition space with our friends from the Beehive Collective, who will also be on hand discussing their work. Check out all the info at the North of Nowhere Fest website HERE.
Art on Paper magazine has a nice article in the latest issue on the Center for the Study of Political Graphics:
Keeping the message alive
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics turns twenty
by Sharon Mizota
Although Shepard Fairey’s controversial image of Barack Obama may get all the credit, Carol Wells thinks the renewed visibility of the political poster might actually be a legacy of the White House’s previous occupant. “There’s a revival going on right now,” she says, “and I think part of the credit has to be given to George Bush and the Iraq War.” Wells, who is the founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) in Los Angeles, believes that the former president’s administration has spurred the creation of political posters to heights not seen since the Vietnam War. “The posters come from all over the world—it’s just been phenomenal. It is hard to keep up,” she says. Recent hot spots for poster production include Greece, where in December 2008 student protests erupted against police violence and corruption; Israel, during the bombing of the Gaza Strip; and Iran, where supporters of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi angrily disputed the reelection in June of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. ...
Read the rest of the article HERE.
The image is one of my all time favorite political posters: Rockwell Kent/International Longshoreman's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU), Save This Right Hand, lithograph, 1949
Any fans of the Dead Kennedy's, or critics of the ever miserable combination of god and capitalism, will be psyched to see that Paper Laboratories have just released a nice 5 color screen print of Winston Smith's Idol collage. It's a short print run of 50 copies, and looks pretty nice (at least on screen). Check it out HERE. Paper Labs also has some cool prints by other friends, like Know Hope, Karen Fiorito, Gaia, and Gee Vaucher.
Some more install shots (close-ups) from my exhibit "Machine Animals, Meatscapes, and Public Interventions" at the Allen Priebe Gallery at UW Oshkosh. Show runs through October 28th. A cool mud stencil workshop also took place and I will post those photos soon.
My old friend Jasson Perez is making a name for himself in Chicago as 1/3 of the political hip-hop crew BBU (Bin Laden Blowin' Up, or Black, Brown & Ugly). They're great, and I did a logo for them a little while back, using a Chris Stain handstyle....There's a nice piece on them in this weeks Chicago Reader (check it out HERE), and for those in NYC, definitely check them out at CMJ Music Fest, they're playing Thursday Oct. 22nd. Check out some songs HERE, and check out this video, too:
This just went up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, recrafting one of my old pieces into commentary on the development crash, and the condo skeletons littering the landscape.
See more econo-collapse street art at BoomCrash.org.
For those that haven't seen it, here's a good intro video to what went down on the streets of Pittsburgh during the G20:
So while we've been dealing with G20 fallout here, there's been a bit of stir over in the UK related to the G20 as well. British art crew the Space Hijackers were arrested for impersonating the cops at the G20 protests in London back in April, and now their going to court. Below is part of a letter from the Hijackers, and a story from the Times UK can be found HERE.
Hello, Robin from Space Hijackers here, I'm not sure if you're aware but the hijackers are currently in a bit of bother.
As you may have seen in the news, we've recently been arrested for the spurious charge of impersonating police officers at the G20 demonstrations. It seems the police didn't quite find it as funny as we did to discover us rolling around in our tank, playing Ride of the Valkyries whilst ridiculing the oppressive police tactics on the day of the protests.
This one is called "Extras." Ink and paint on paper, 10" x 14"
Below are some install shots from my exhibit "Machine Animals, Meatscapes, and Public Interventions" at the Allen Priebe Gallery at UW Oshkosh. The opening is Thursday, October 8th 7:00pm-9:00pm and the show runs through October 28th.
I came across this project while reading Kathleen Hanna's (of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and Julie Ruin) blog! They are a project by an Argentine artist which received a grant to design shoes built to assist immigrants with making the dangerous trek across the U.S.-Mexico border. From the BBC
The trainers are adorned with unusual items.
"The shoe includes a compass, a flashlight because people cross at night, and inside is included also some Tylenol painkillers because many people get injured during crossing," Werthein says.
The artist was commissioned by a cross-border arts exhibition called inSite to develop a project that "intervened" in some aspect of border life. While researching her project, the Argentine native became fascinated by illegal immigrants' primary mode of transportation - their feet. An Aztec eagle is embroidered on the heel. On the toe is the American eagle found on the US quarter, to represent the American dream the migrants are chasing. A map - printed on the shoe's removable insole - shows the most popular illegal routes from Tijuana into San Diego.
There is also an article at Delete the Border.
Showered with Lies
Walking down the street after my acupuncture appointment, I looked up and was reminded of the barrage of messages on TV, in magazines, and on every advertised surface in this city, by a silly golden whale(?)
This year's Posters for Peace & Justice Calendar features a piece by Justseeds artist Favianna Rodriguez. Check it out HERE.
My pal Erok & I sent some copies of Favianna Rodriguez and Josh Macphee's book Reproduce and Revolt down to Chile about a year ago. Like many of the punks I know in Mexico, Chilean anarchists use screenprinting for making lots of patches and stickers. As it turns out a friend of mine just sent me a link to a screenprinting workshop she's been taking classes at, in Valparaiso, Chile. It appears the book is being put to use there!
Legendary Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa of the Nueva Canción (new song) movement died today. Her poetic and political lyrics were a true inspiration to the social movements against the dictatorships and military regimes in Latin America. I was introduced to her music only a few years ago, and wish I had seen her play when she was in NYC. Here is one of my favorite songs Cuando Tenga la Tierra performed live in Managua in 1983:
I've always wanted to go to one of these CSPG annual events, but am never in LA at the right time. If you're in LA check this out and let us know how it went!!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
800 North Alameda
6:30 PM - Music & Silent Auction
Original art, vintage & contemporary posters
Music: Marcus L. Miller with Freedom Jazz Movement
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Buffet Dinner
On Location Catering
8:00 PM Program & Live Auction
Emcee: Sandra Tsing Loh
Auctioneer: Robert Berman
I just realized that this nice group interview Milwaukee artist Brandon Bauer, creater of the Random Artwork blog, did with a bunch of us in Justseeds never got reposted here. So here it is. And check out Brandon's site, and the interview with images, HERE:
What is Justseeds?
Dylan: Justseeds is a Marxist-Leninist cadre of avant-garde artists who use fine art to build the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Nicolas: Justseeds is a motley crew of anarchists, punks, and rabble-rousers who oppose people who work in institutions.
Shaun: Justseeds would win in a snowball fight with the Beehive Collective because we hide rocks inside our snowballs and pretty much play dirty all around.
Just a quick shot of a poster in Mexico City using the art of Rini Templeton. Her work is still getting around! If you don't know about Rini, check out the RiniArt site, built by Favianna R. and Jesus B.
Hell Yes! Chicago lost its bid to host the Olympics. An estimated 84 percent of the city opposed bringing the Games to Chicago but this did not stop the Daley-machine, Obama, and Oprah from trying to sway the Olympic committee to their favor. The result was a first round elimination! Now that is funny.
The bad news is that Rio de Janeiro will be saddled with the games in 2016 and Vancouver is feeling the ill-effects of the upcoming winter games in 2010.
More info: http://www.no2010.com/
Below: Sports writer Dave Zirin explains why the Olympics are a disaster for the host city.
To go along with Mary's posting about media coverage at the G20, here's an awesome remix of the police order to disperse, heard in the streets of Pittsburgh during the G20.
Thanks to whomever put that together. Its funny cos I was just listening to WFMU the other day, and heard a song called Resist. It was a DJ remix of a very popular Radical Cheerleader chant during the anti-globalisation hey-day, by Plastique Du Reve f/ Radical Resistance Cheerleaders.
Photos of some recent stencil work from San Francisco street artist Jeremy Novy. Jeremy was a long-time Milwaukee artist and consistently put up great work in the Cream City. Now he's hitting SF with stencils that make people think. Check out more of his work at:
At the suggestion of Shaun Slifer, I am going to post a new rad teen print each week...(some of my teens would totally make fun of me for using the word 'rad'..."way to bring it back to the 90s!")
I've been working with youth via The Andy Warhol Museum for about seven years now, and I have increasingly geared the programs and projects I facilitate towards socially conscious printmaking. While we don't have any programs going on at this moment, there is a wealth of archived material to choose from.
This first image is by Katie Kaplan, who worked with us at the Warhol for four years...she is now a sophmore printmaking major at Pratt. Keep an eye out for her! This print is from a prison poster project students did for FedUp!, who work on upholding prisoners' human rights. Students learned how to use rubylith from visiting Justseeds artist Erik Ruin to make layers for their prints. Katie was so inspired, she now uses this technique to make a lot of her work. Enjoy!
Missed the opening, but there's a big Elizabeth Catlett show in Syracuse! If you're in the area:
I got this forward and it has taken me months to put it up but here its is: a new infoshop A-raamatukogu (A-library)www.araamat.org opened in Estonia this past summer.
They are looking for donations for their library. They accept texts in English, Russian, Finnish and German. Below I have pasted their full announcement:
Pittsburgh is breathing a little easier since the G20 Summit has come and gone, but I think we'll be feeling the repercussions for quite a while.
(all images from twin cities indymedia) Many protesters pointed to the diversion of resources from the Pittsburgh and its residents to G20 security measures---$18 million at last count, not to mention all the time and $ towards 'reddin' up' Pittsburgh to look nice for the important world leaders
The best place, in my opinion, to find grassroots reports from the protests is the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's G-Infinity Media Project,at www.indypgh.org , with a steady stream of breaking news tweets and videos throughout the weekend and beyond..
Here is video exploring many different aspects of the Keffiyah; its history, colonization, the appropriation of symbols of resistance. and how Palestinian businesses are affected by the global market.
Watch the first part of Made In Palestine on Youtube.
Here is Part 2:
One might conclude, from this video, that the behavior of Israel is consistent with other colonizers throughout history.
Here in NYC and the USA the pattern found on the Keffiyah has been used by the fashion industry making it contextless, and significant only in its trend. Attractive people from all backgrounds enjoy wearing the scarves and may not know its reference to Palestinian resistance.
This "decontextualization" becomes more and more common, since everything is
capable of being commodified, that is when revolutionary cultural expressions are sold to the dominant, and mainstream, culture.
How does this effect or change the way people struggle?