The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest #7 is out now, and chock full of material that looks both interesting and is by a bunch of solid people that have been friends in past and present. You can read it online HERE, or buy a print copy HERE. Here's the table of contents:
I just got some photos of the Justeeds (and friends) exhibition at the Hillyer Art Space in DC, and notice that the closing party is TONIGHT! A closing party for the Justseeds show and a fundraiser for Mountain Justice organizing at Hillyer Art Space from 7-11, Friday Feb. 29th.
"Join us for an evening of multimedia resistance featuring Appalachian Old Time music with "Here's to the Long Haul" and a screening of the film "Mountain Top Removal".
*A new limited edition screen print by DECOY
*New photo works by Emma Cassidy and Chris Eichler
*Anti-Mountain Top Removal artwork and design by RVLTN
$5 admission, FREE for those attending Funk the Warming! Proceeds will benefit Mountain Justice and Hillyer Art Space's local art programming. Look HERE.
A little while back I got an announcement from Magdalena Jitrik, one of the Argentine artists that had organized the Taller Popular de Serigrafía (who had designed and printed for the occupied factories and community assemblies during the Argentine crisis/rebellion of 2001-2005), that she had a new show up at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bahia Blanca. I clicked through to the info about the show, and the images are stunning! The exhibition, titled Red de Espionaje 2009 (or Espionage Network 2009), appears to be a trip through the creative work of the crisis period as reinterpreted through the utopian, particularly Russian, aspects of early modernism, with references to Constructivism, Suprematism, and Situationism. More information about the show can be found HERE, and lots more images HERE. References to art history in the US tend to be so depoliticized and abstracted, it is almost shocking to see such a direct connection made between contemporary political cultural work and historical attempts at liberation through art. I can't wait to see more...
Vanessa Renwick sent along info about this interesting looking show up in Portland right now:
What is a Trade: Donald Fels and Signboard Painters of South India
Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art
0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, Portland, OR
January 21 to March 14
gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11am to 4pm
This week has been great, I was able to spend most of the week in the studio working on a couple prints, one of Melanie's designs and one of my prints. It is a lot of fun having all this time to make art, it makes me feel very fulfilled as an artist and increasingly I will be spending more time in the studio. The decision was made because Melanie and I have been designing so many prints and posters but we have not had enough time to print them all. On top of this we have projects coming up and need time to be able to focus on those. In the coming months I will be posting more about the prints we are working on, documenting all the art we are making and sharing it with our community.
Howard Zinn changed my life. In 1999, I first read “A People’s History of the United States” and read it cover to cover, fascinated by his words, his sense of optimism, and belief that ordinary people can and have organized and challenged powerful institutions throughout history.
In 2003, I was so fortunate to meet him and strike up a correspondence and friendship. I remember sending him the full set of Josh MacPhee’s “Celebrate People’s History” posters as a gift to let him know that us young radical artists were attempting to visualize many of the histories that he wrote about. He responded by thanking me for the posters and said that they were too important to remain in his house, on his wall, in a drawer – that he would find a community space where they could hang, a place where people could see them.
That embodied his spirit. Such a genuine person who was always teaching, always inspiring, and always encouraging people to speak out and become active.
Howard Zinn reminds me of Grace Lee Boggs - two people who always remained radical - whose kindness drove their activism. Both have such a fierce determination to fight for social justice and both have so much confidence in the horizontal movements of today and the younger generations to create a better world. They remind us that being an activist is about never giving up and always about pulling more people into the movement.
I remember sending him some writing that I had done on radical art history and his response was, “Keep going! Write with conviction!, Write standing up!” That type of encouragement from someone that I admire so much continues to fuel me.
I sent him the manuscript for the book, “Peace Signs: The Anti War Movement Illustrated” a collection of anti-war posters and graphics that responded to the start of the Iraq War in 2003 and he wrote the forward. Included, he wrote,
“I have always been immensely impressed with how the artist can speak with a special force and passion, saying, with a few strokes of the pen, accompanied with a few words, what we call ourselves writers cannot possibly do with such economy, And when this talent is used on behalf of a profoundly important message, about war and peace, life and death, then it is especially welcome.
We all know that the machinery for dispensing words and images (in newspapers, on radio, on television) has been seized by giant corporations, hugely wealthy, possessed of enormous power, and determined to use that machinery to protect and enhance that wealth, that power.
We are in great need on an opposing power, one that does not depend on money and position, but on talent, determination, and moral courage. Art gives us that – as through history it has always placed itself at the service of the poor, the oppressed, the victims of war, the targets of racial and national hatred.”
Howard, thank you for believing in the power of art to change the world and thank you for inspiring us.
Just heard the sad news, Howard Zinn died Wednesday of a heart attack. I know all of us here at Justseeds were inspired by this great historian. These are some big shoes to fill...
image by Rober Shetterly
a newsprint magazine working to provide a forum for education, debate, and dialogue around the political issues affecting communities in the Southeast Michigan areahas used Amor Y Resistencia's contribution to the Justseeds portfolio Voices From Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex
Graphics from Voices From Outside may be downloaded for use by groups working on incarceration related issues at Voices From Outside-Images. Artist credit is always appreciated.
Our friend Klutch has recently expressed his dissatisfaction with the first year of Obama with this "Hopeless" print. To be hopeless assumes you once had hope, which might be a stretch for me and electoral politics, but I can still vibe on the frustration...If you want one of these lovelies to hang over your bed, go HERE.
Last week, on Jan. 19th, two groups from St. Petersburg, Russsia, Autonomous Action and Anarchist Artists, carried out a large scale street art action on the outside of the State Museum of Political History. They wheatpasted what looks like about 30 ft. of collaged posters in memory of murdered civil rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and anarchist journalist Anastasia Baburova. The action can be seen in the film below, more images if you click to the following page, and more info can be found HERE and HERE.
Iranian filmmakers have called for a boycott of this years Fajr Film Festival in Tehran, Iran in hopes of pressuring the government to ease up on repression and release political prisoners, some of whom are filmmakers. Other international artists are supporting the boycott, including Ken Loach, one of my favorite contemporary directors, whose new film "Looking for Eric" was supposed to play the fest. More info can be found HERE and HERE.
Dara recently found this very strange video on YouTube, it appears to be homemade music video for the 1960 song "Cantata della donna nubile" by Italian singer Edmonda Aldini. It's entirely constructed from late 60s/early 70s feminist movement posters, many are from the Chicago Women's Graphics Collective, but some I have never seen before. Ahhh, the things you find on the internet...
Billy da Bunny, of Loop Zine Distro, has started putting up very strange, yet engaging, video zine reviews on the We Make Zines website. He recently put up a set of reviews that includes my zine Pound the Pavement #8. It's the last zine he reviews, and he says some very nice things about Justseeds:
In recent years I keep coming across the graphics and posters of Luba Lukova, and have been increasingly impressed with their clarity, directness, and graphic efficiency. Lukova edited and designed the 2010 War Resisters League calendar, "Sparking Change: Poster Art & Politics" and I just got an announcement for her upcoming solo exhibition in Greece. More info on Sparking Change can be found HERE (we are also selling a number of vintage/historical WRL posters on Justseeds HERE), and more info on the Qbox Gallery show can be found HERE.
We are hoping to pair each participating artist with an organization/campaign to create a graphic image and poster. We are working with a broad theme, resource extraction, and I am curious about current campaigns tackling the harvesting of fish from the ocean.
If you have any advice please contact
blog at justseeds dot org
This is a little slice-o'-life blog entry.
the van, all done up in front of the ranch
Justseeds Artists Cooperative have a collective wealth of skills beyond making radical prints. One skill that many of us share, including Shaun Slifer and myself, is the art of ROAD DAWGGIN. We have logged thousands of miles on road trips between the two of us, often together. Shaun is also very adept at cutting and installing vinyl text and graphics. We took these skills to the road last week, when we drove an extended passenger van from Pittsburgh to Austin, logging over 1700 miles in three days! The purpose of this kinda hairbrained trip was to decorate and deliver a van to my brother Chris, who purchased it for his Endurance Ranch triathalon training camp.
Inaguración de la Exposicón Grafica Justseeds Cooperativa de Resistencia
Visual en la Z.A.M.
Con integrantes de Canada, Mexico y Estados Unidos.
Jueves 28 de Enero
Erick Lyle, longtime zine writer and journalist, of Scam Zine, On the Lower Frequencies, and more, spent the past month in Miami covering Art Basel and Take Back the Land,. The SF Bay Guardian has elected to run this enormous piece about Art Basel specifically in two fairly large halves over this week and next. Lyle is likely to self-publish a slightly longer version of this that includes the Take Back The Land stuff in a couple of months but here is all the Art Basel and Miami stuff: (click)
Here is a taste:
As Art Basel Miami Beach 2009 opened, the floor of the convention center was eerily quiet, with hardly a sound except a hushed, determined whisper a bit like paper money being rubbed together. It seemed to me like everyone was doing her or his part, as if the whole art fair was a sort of performance art piece demonstrating the vigor of the free market in dark times.
This murmur ceased completely, and the air filled with the muted clicking of camera shutters, as Sylvester Stallone passed me on the convention floor. Stallone, too, was stoic, his expression hidden by dark sunglasses at mid-day. He stopped next to me and began to talk to TV news cameras about his own paintings on display, presented by the gallery Gmurzynska. Close-up and in person, clumps of the actor's face, now just inches from mine, seemed to lay inert and dead like the unfortunate globs of oil paint he had arranged on his own canvasses. Pieces of puffy cheek hung limp and jowly under taut eyebrow skin, Botox and facelifts fighting age for control. For a paparazzi flashbulb moment, I thought I saw in Rambo's sagging face a metaphor for the doomed efforts to prop up a whole failing way of life.
This week there is an install shot of a drawing that is up at the New Art Center in Newton, MA. That lump on the ground is me. And yes it is in an old church.
New drag queen stencils from San Francisco street artist Jeremy Novy.
"This project is intended to bring gay imagery into a homophobic subculture, covering hateful and distasteful graffiti in our communities. It is nothing less then empowering our gay culture. Street art has become an accepted art form, reaching a larger demographic than just the patrons of museums and gallery shows. However, with that wider audience there is a problem. Street art itself is a dominantly male heterosexual community; being out of the closet is not accepted. Gay street artists have been assaulted, their art supplies stolen or damaged, and their works covered up." -Jeremy Novy
Welcome back to Radical Teen Print of the Week! This week's silkscreen print is by Valerie Dowling, created during RUST 2009. Valerie combined three images of things she likes, using an internet image search.
We are starting a new teen print program here at The Andy Warhol Museum today: Power Up is an after school design and print program focusing on themes of women's health and wellness. We are working with six young women from Young Men and Women's African Heritage Association for the next ten weeks. Keep an eye to this spot every Tuesday for some fresh radical teen prints!
This print goes out to Dylan Miner, Justseeds' resident sneaker affectionado!
One of my favorite filmmakers Jim Finn is a having a screening at MoMA on Feb. 1st. Jim's films are an amazing, crazy mash ups of communism, sci-fi, wacky humor, and oddball performances, and well worth seeing. MoMA is showing his most recent feature, The Juche Idea, plus a number of shorts. A short clip from The Juche Idea can be seen on Jim's website HERE.
An Evening with Jim Finn
Monday, February 1, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2)
Last week I uploaded my recent article on sneakers, masculinity, consumption and radical politics. Hopefully a handful of people trudged their way their the writing to uncover some insightful ideas. This week, I am sharing a book chapter that was recently published on the rhetorics of the Américas. In short, the book is about the multiple ways that Indigenous and Latina/o citizens throughout the Western hemisphere communicate with one another.
For my contribution, I use the revolutionary thinking of Frantz Fanon and Louis Riel to situate my arguments about Indigenous ways of seeing and ways of making art. By and large, the essay is based around Louis Riel's famous quotation: 'My people will sleep for 100 years and when they awaken it will be the artists that give them back their spirits.'
As anti-authoritarian and aboriginal artists, I cannot think of any more central function of our work then re-invigorating and and re-establishing our collective spirit and humanity.
Download the article here. Since the PDF is a scan, the download may take awhile…so be patient.
These guys jusst put up a cool mural in Williamsburg, check out more info at BrooklynStreetArt.
Postcard image from Learning to Labor, Remembering to Resist. Solo exhibition at University Gallery, Saginaw Valley State University (February-March 2010).
Note: to coincide with the release of my new Celebrate People’s History Poster, I have written the following blog, which discusses, in a round about fashion, the meaning of the print and the impact Michigan has on my creative process. I hope you are not too bored…
The Akonadi Foundation’s mission is to support the development of powerful social change movements to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society. Akonadi believes that racial justice movement building means communities of color lead efforts to build power, shape policy, and strengthen culture.
The Racial Justice Poster Contest is a new effort by the Akonadi Foundation to honor racial justice movement building in Oakland and inspire racial justice movement building in communities around the world. The Racial Justice Poster Contest builds on the legacy that the creation of political posters has sparked and nurtured as a part of virtually ever social movement in recent history.
If you are going to the Historical Materialism conference in NYC this weekend, stop by the Justseeds table and say hi!
This seems to be the year of political art calendars. I just came across this one, which looks great: New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) has just released Dulce Pinzon’s 2010-2011 “Superheroes” Calendar. Pinzon's “Superheroes” series is "a collection of 20 color photographs of Mexican and Latino immigrant workers dressed in the costumes of popular American and Mexican superheroes in their work environment, raising questions of both our definition of heroism and our ignorance of and indifference to the workforce that fuels our ever-consuming economy." All proceeds of the calendar sales will go to NICE, and it's only $12 if you get it HERE. More of Dulce Pinzon's work can be found HERE.
Here are a few photos from the install of Sailing the Barbarous Coast. opens Jan 15, Newton Art Center, Newton (near Boston), MA.
Cecilia Mendez and I installing.
Justseeds, Street Art, and Social Movements
A talk by Josh MacPhee
Office of Student Life Leadership Speaker Series
Tap Room of RISD's Memorial Hall
226 Benefit Street, Providence
Thursday, January 14th
This drawing is in the show Sailing the Barbarous Coast that opens at the New Art Center, Newton, MA on Jan 15.
Mark your calendars and come support La RED Xicana Indigena's organizing! This organization is one that I have recently started working with. It should be a great night.
Saturday, January 30, 2010 -8 pm (doors open at 7:30pm)
LA RED XICANA INDÍGENA presents A NIGHT OF QUEER WOMEN OF COLOR PERFORMANCE
Poesía • Teatro • Comedy • Music • Artesanía De Oaxaca • Comida • Books • Posters For Sale!
Also music by:
LAS BOMBERAS DE LA BAHIA | SoliRose
ADELINA ANTHONY, performing “Zen Ranchera” and excerpts from “La Chismosa” (directed by D'Lo)
CHERRÍE MORAGA, reading from new works, including an excerpt from her play,“Who Killed Yolanda Salívar,” with Anthony performing with Moraga
Multicultural Community Center, Martin Luther King Student Union, UC-Berkeley (corner of Bancroft & Telegraph) Suggested donation: $10 - $25 or more.
For more information, contact Elisa Huerta at UC Berkeley Multicultural Center 510-642-6528 or email@example.com
Tax Deductible Donations can be made to:
CNQI (Cetliliztli Nauhcampa Quetxalcoatl in Ixachitlan), earmarked "La Red."
La RED Xicana Indígena, which originated in 1997, is a network of Xicanas Indígenas who are actively involved in political, educational and cultural work that serves to raise indigenous consciousness among our communities and supports the social justice struggles of people of indigenous origins of this continent North and South, especially the human and civil rights campaign of undocumented migrant peoples and their children in the U.S.
My good friend Dwight, owner-operator of the Tucson multi-functional art/community/print space the Gloo Factory and allied enterprise Peace Supplies has been struggling against eviction from his crazy downtown space for years now, in the face of idiotic plans for redevelopment. At this point it looks like he's going to lose the space, but he's energized to find a new spot! A vacant lot with a big steel shed! Dreams of a Quonset hut! Located in the city of South Tucson, away from the boondoggles of Tucson proper! To accomplish this, he needs our help. Take a moment to navigate to the Save the Gloo Factory website and make a donation. Tucson's radical print infrastructure will thank you.
If you are in the Boston area come by to see the exhibition, “Sailing the Barbarous Coast.” It is a two-person show with Anthony Smith and myself. The show opens Jan 15 in Newton, MA (near Boston).
Who is Prester John 2, by Anthony Smith Jr
Detail of Staying Afloat, by Colin Matthes
Sailing the Barbarous Coast
Colin Matthes and Anthony Smith Jr.
January 15- February 24, 2010
Reception: Friday, January 15, 6-8pm
New Art Center
This popped up in the inbox today, you may recognize some Justseedsers.
Creative Violation documents the exploding underground art form of the street stencil and explores its roots in political street art, industrial signage and graffiti. These illicit spray paint markings, not to be confused with traditional graffiti tagging, steal the language and techniques of advertising and turn them against the imperatives of the mass market, punctuating the urban landscape in cities across the world.
Check it out on IMDb.
Its also available for purchase at: http://ffh.films.com/id/15958/Creative_Violation_The_Rebel_Art_of_the_Street_Stencil.htm
I've been creating a mix of music & other auditory ephemera every day for the month of January 2010. They're all posted here in downloadable form. This project is a part of Art Clash's annual Fun-A-Day project, which is this amazing project where various folks do a project every day in various cities. Folks have done everything from interpreting someone's dream every day to my friend Sharon's current project to draw a portrait of a friend as a Simpson character every day.
So far, this project has been somewhat of a challenge, but as I've been pondering for a while now a possible return to radio, it feels like a good way to explore that possibility and further justify my obsessive tendencies.
The 800 individual letters (in solar-panel font) that I helped to print for Katherine of SEA Change Gallery here in Portland were stitched together and made into banners in several different languages, which were then carried in marches during the climate forum. You can see some more photos of the banners at the SEA Change Gallery site.
For all the street art and stencil fans in Brooklyn, this show seems like one not to miss:
All Shook Up: Jef Aerosol
January 29 - February 21, 2010
Opening Reception - Friday, January 29, 2010, 6-10pm
Ad Hoc Art
43 Bogart Street
Brooklyn, New York 11206
(via subway take the L Train to Morgan Avenue Station)
Ad Hoc Art presents international stencil master Jef Aerosol in New York City for All Shook Up, a stunning show of cultural icons by one of the old school European street stencil artists. The show features brand new stenciled works as well as classic pieces on paper, wood, and found objects. A true originator who helped spark what is now known as “Street Art” when he sprayed his first stencil series across the city of Tours, France one night in 1982. The self-taught Aerosol has continuously rocked the streets with his oversized portraits and helped define a new public art nomenclature with other French artists like Blek Le Rat, Miss Tic, and Speedy Graphito.
Since I was unable to make my own opening in Chicago because of Lake Effect Snow (poor me), I have decided to upload another academic text I recently published in the journal CR: The New Centennial Review. CR "is devoted to comparative studies of the Americas that suggest possibilities for a different future." I'm pretty excited about the essay because it appears in a journal with a long history of publishing radical thinkers from a variety of left and anti-authoritarian perspectives. In the past few years, some cool folks have published in CR: Martin Hägglund, Rodolphe Gasché, Jean-Luc Nancy, Grant Farred (one of my favorite contemporary thinkers), Grace Lee Boggs, Ward Churchill, Ernesto Laclau, Gayatri Spivak, to name only a few of the more prominent names.
Pablo Pasarán Saturday, August 8, 2009 Age: 26
35th Avenue and 21st Street
Queens , NY
Pablo Pasarán, was delivering food on a bicycle for a restaurant when he was killed by Martin Ocasio, driving an SUV. Pablo was an immigrant from Mexico who lived in the Bronx. He left behind three children.
Ocasio was being chased at high-speed by the NYPD, who had observed him making a drug purchase nearby. He ran into a parked car, and then into Pablo, who was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
In addition to drug possession, Ocasio was charged with multiple offenses in connection with hitting and killing Pablo, including involuntary manslaughter.
Justseeds: Paper Politics for a New Decade
Hillyer Art Space at International Arts & Artists
9 Hillyer Court NW
Washington, DC, 20008
Exhibition Dates: January 8 - January 30
First Friday Reception: Friday, January 8, 2010, 6-9PM
Live music by experimental trio Vodka and Donuts!
Food and refreshments will be served
$5 suggested donation
The Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative is a decentralized community of artists who have banded together to collaborate, sell their work online in a central location and support social movements. Utilizing print and poster making techniques to address a variety of social and environmental justice issues, collective mates work together over many miles to create, resist, and bring meaningful artwork to the masses for affordable prices. These artists believe in the power of personal expression in concert with collective action to transform society. Featuring works by Justseeds artists and fellow political printers, including: Santiago Armengod, Jesus Barraza, Graham Boyle, Melanie Cervantes, DC51 Collective, Alec Icky Dunn, Thea Gahr, Sabeth Jackson, Nicolas Lampert, Josh MacPhee, Colin Matthes, Cesar Maxit, Dylan Miner, Roger Peet, Jesse Purcell, Favianna Rodriguez, Erik Ruin, Beth Schaible, Chris Stain, Meredith Stern, SWOON, Mary Tremonte, Kristine Virsis, Pete Yahnke, and Bec Young.
171 Cedar Arts Center presents a selection from Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now.
Houghton Gallery at the 171 Cedar Arts Center
155 & 171 Cedar Street, Corning NY
Jan 8 - Feb 5, 2010
Reception: Friday Jan 8th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
In conjunction with a celebration to honor Martin Luther King, the exhibition at 171 Cedar Arts Center focuses on the cultures created by during the Civil Rights Movement in America and the fights for freedom that were waged by oppressed people globally. (This exhibition consists of reprinted materials from a small portion of Signs of Change.)
In Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips, and ephemera bring to life over forty years of activism, political protest, and campaigns for social justice. Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee and originating from Exit Art in New York City, this important and timely exhibition surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements.
Tim Groves, the Toronto-based founder of the Missing Plaque Project, just sent me a link to a great video interview he did for RBNonline in December. In the interview, he touches on the importance of telling our forgotten histories through our own voices - especially those stories that happened not so long ago, as in the case of the Yonge Street Riots in Toronto (1992), which broke out in conjunction with the acquittal of the LAPD officers implicated in the 1991 Rodney King incident and concurrent local police violence against people of color. Tim finished a new run of his historical marker/posters specific to Halifax (Jipugtug) this past summer as a resident at the Roberts Street Social Center (which houses the Anchor Archive and Inkstorm Screenprinting Collective). You can check out the Halifax posters here, and a short interview with the Halifax Media Co-op here.
A double negative... or a critique of land use and popular culture. A devastated landscape mixed with an oversimplification of indigenous people as only belonging to the distant past and the natural world.
Welcome to the Teens, hard on the heels of the Noughties. As humanity continues to hack and chew at the earth, extinction rates continue to rise. I have a really hard time caring about anything but this issue, because it is an emblem and a symptom of a much larger phenomenon than any sort of social-justice issue could ever be. I'm currently reading an excellent book called "Where the Wild Things Were", by William Stolzenburg. Stolzenburg describes in this book what happens to ecological networks in the absence of large, powerful predators. Drawn from research in diverse locations all over the world, from the Aleutians to Venezuela, from Yellowstone to Rock Creek Park in DC, the worldwide crash in predator populations has caused ecological disruption on a scale hardly imaginable.
In case you are in Chicago this weekend, I have a solo exhibition at ARC Gallery, a feminist artist-run space founded in 1973. Hope to see you all in the Windy City. Brrrrrr!
ARC GALLERY | JANUARY 6-30, 2009
832 W. Superior Street # 204, Chicago, IL 60622
Reception: Friday, January 8 from 6:00-09:00pm
"In the Shell of the Old" | Dylan A.T. Miner
Print Media and Installation
ARC Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition In the Shell of the Old by Dylan A.T. Miner. Telling stories of the daily struggles faced by working in the building and dismantling of the rural and industrial Midwest, Dylan A.T. Miner's bold and unique vision valorizes the perseverance that contributes to the small victories of the everyday. Through the medium of politically charged relief prints and installation, Miner viscerally connects our daily concerns with those of the past by compelling us to act toward the building of “another,” possibly better world.
This drawing is part of the series "Feature Presentation about loving, leaving, or existing in a country that revels in its wars." It is titled "Protection Project." It is on a truck right now, headed to Boston, where I will be soon to hang it on a wall at the New Art Center.
"This is an altar created by young people in the Chicago neighborhoods of Humboldt Park and South Chicago. Altars like this one, memorializing an untimely violent death, are an all-too common sight on Chicago sidewalks and streets. Every street altar, including this one, is a remembrance of friends and family lost, and a representation of the shadow of mortal danger that hangs over everyday lives. It is presented to you, the person who finds this altar, as an encouragement to do something to help young people in Chicago—in how you think and speak about impoverished urban young people of color, as much as in how you vote and how you spend your money."
This text accompanied the above alters to victims of street violence in Chicago. The alters were made by students of Chicago artists Mike Bancroft and Bert Stabler. More HERE.
2009 was a dreadful year for foreclosures. In my home state of Wisconsin alone, there were 30,624 foreclosure filings (up 20% from 2008.) In Milwaukee, an average of 600 foreclosures took place per month in 2009. Vacant and boarded up houses are becoming common place.
One solution is to squat these buildings. An activist project that inspires me is "Reuben Kincaid Realty". The project is based out of Chicago and their website encourages people to locate empty properties, place a "For Squat" sign on it (the sign is available through RKR), take a photo, and email it to Reuben Kincaid Reality who will make the address of the empty house visible for people to seek out and move in. More so, the RKR site has numerous resources for those facing foreclosures and homelessness. Text from their website reads:
"Reuben Kincaid Realty is investigating solutions to the housing crisis in America. We have selected resources and online articles that can teach you more about the re-housing movement and alternatives to homelessness.
In many countries squatting is not illegal. In fact there are many programs that match vacant properties to those seeking shelter to provide low cost and very affordable options to home ownership .
As foreclosures, evictions and homelessness increases in the US, Reuben Kincaid Realty is highlighting potential re-housing policies and practices with the hope that it receives more critical attention and praxis.
In the coming months we will release a How to Squat guidebook and a first time Just Squatted Home Welcoming Kit."
In the meantime you can help us research and update our database of available properties to share with potential property seekers."
Our friend Kei from the Irregular Rhythm Asylum in Tokyo designed the very cool 2010 CIRA Japan calendar (CIRA is Japan's largest anarchist archive). This years calendar has a theme of the 100th anniversary of the High Treason Incident in Japan, and for the first time has English explanations for the images from each month, allowing people like me who don't know a lick of Japanese gain some incite into anarchist history there.
The High Treason Incident, also known as the Kotoku Incident, was a socialist-anarchist plot to assassinate the Japanese Emperor Meiji in 1910, leading to a mass arrest of leftists, and the execution of 12 alleged conspirators in 1911. To commemorate the people’s struggle against the Emperor in the early 20th century, the calendar highlights the key figures of the High Treason Incident and international campaigns of prison solidarity for the victims. Check it out HERE.
Just saw Avatar tonight. I appreciated the anti-capitalist, pro-environment message, its too bad it comes in the tired narrative of whitey coming to save the natives. It was exciting, the CGI was entertaining and helped numb the brain enough to deal with the bad dialogue.
The movie represents the characters relationship to Capitalism as a permeating factor in life's choices and lays bare its systemic view towards nature-resources to be extracted, to make objects for consumption, leading to profits/wealth for a few (late night simplicity for ya).
So what should one do about it? Well, the conscientious objection of one character during a "battle" scene still leads to the incredible devastation of the indigenous characters homeland. The real resolution portrayed in the film is-direct action and armed resistance.
From this portrayal I wonder if this film is capable of encouraging civil society and our governing institutions to expand the definitions of "resistance", reducing those of "terrorism". Because identifying with the films protagonists aligns one to many of the animal & environmental activists, and political prisoners incarcerated in the United States today. But that's a lot to expect from art, isn't it?
I also question "if a gabillion dollars was given to make a film from a perspective other than the white male hero, what would it look like?"
I guess we'll find out when that story can sell over a billion dollars in cinema tickets, worldwide!
Friday the 8th through Sunday the 10th of January
5pm to 8pm.
Al Jazeera online just posted an interesting short piece on graffiti in the Gaza Strip. It's well worth taking a minute to click over and read it HERE. All the images in the article are from a new book, Gaza Graffiti, by Mia Grondahl and published by the University of Cairo Press.
Everyone is invited to the
PRESENTATION OF THE MOVIE CORAZON DEL TIEMPO A Journey to the heart of the
Thursday the 7th of January 2010
Archivist Lincoln Cushing has been doing the painstaking work of combing through and cataloging the All Of Us Or None Poster Archive, and we'll all be the better off for it when we have access to this massive and impressive collection of left political posters. He's been hitting a couple stumbling blocks along the way in terms of sussing out the origins of some of the posters, and hit on the smart idea of calling on our collective braintrust to fill in some of the blanks. He's put up a page of "mystery posters" on his website, which you can check out HERE, both to see cool posters, but also offer help in deciphering the origins of these images. Bookmark the page, as Lincoln will be adding posters as he needs help figuring them out.
The poster shown here has cool artwork by cartoonist Spain Rodriguez, but does anyone know what the "May 5th Legal Defense" was for?
The (NYC) Street Memorial Project has decided, despite a forecast of very cold and windy tomorrow(Sunday, Jan 3), we are going to go ahead with the memorial ride tomorrow.
But we are encouraging people to do what they think they can do given the weather and there will be someone riding each leg of the ride, but we are essentially canceling the Harlem portion of the ride (though the ride leader will be there to ride down with anyone who shows up).
We are especially encouraging people to come to the 3pm Grand Army Plaza meet up, which will be the shortest portion during the warmest part of the day and which will end at a warm spot with warm food and drink.
...spread the word that people should meet us at any of the later meet-ups and remove or cross out the first meet-up and memorial from your blogs, schedules...
Other meetups are:
11am Central Park West and 7th Ave
11:30 Queensboro Bridge, Queens
3:00 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn
4:45 Milton and Manhattan Aves, Brooklyn
full schedule is at streetmemorials.org
(redirected from ghostbikes.org, which is down)
Here's a recent sign of mine - installed just outside of Viroqua, Wisconsin.
by Jesus Barraza & Melanie Cervantes
A year ago, early New Year's Day in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police murdered unarmed, 22-year old, Oscar Grant III by pushing him face down to the ground and shooting him in the back. After he was shot he was handcuffed. The shooting was fatal.
A year later there is no justice for Oscar Grant and his family. There is no justice for the people of Oakland who have lost their sons and daughters to State violence.
The trial of BART police officer Johannes Mehserlese has been moved to another city where the community might be tolerant of white men killing black people. The community here in Oakland awaits a verdict that will most likely end with the officer getting off.
As Barak Obama is about to complete a year in office we witnessed escalation of war in the Middle East and the administration's lack of significant action to address climate change and the global ecological disaster that the Global South, people who live in poverty and most living species with little power will have to bear the burden of. Instead we find this government looking out for the interest of multi-national corporations who are making a killing.
While generally bored by recent street art output (or the lack thereof), I've always been a fan of Poland's M-City, and his interlocking and evolving urban stencil grids of buildings, factories, and public spaces. M-City has finally landed in NYC, and with the help of Ad Hoc Art, put up a mural in Queens. You can check it out in person at 1108 30th Avenue, Long Island City, NY. More info HERE.
On Tuesday, August 3, 2010, long-time political prisoner and acclaimed poet and translator Marilyn Buck, 62, passed peacefully at her home in Brooklyn, New York.
A few short weeks earlier, on July 15th, Marilyn had been released from the federal Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Carswell, Texas and paroled to New York City. Thanks to the efforts of her long-time friend and lawyer Jill Soffiyah Elijah, her release came several weeks before the date originally set for her release on parole, August 8th.
Marilyn served a total of 33 years of an 80-year prison sentence for politically motivated actions undertaken in support of self-determination and national liberation and in opposition to racial injustice and U.S. imperialism. Throughout her years in prison, Marilyn remained a steadfast supporter of fellow political prisoners and an advocate for the women with whom she was imprisoned.