We just got some great news! By order of the Mexican Supreme Court, all 12 of the Atenco Political Prisoners will soon be freed from their 4-year unjust imprisonment. The ruling apparently grants them immediate release, but as of 7pm Mexico City time, we have no official word. When we do... We will tell you at what time the party starts!
Freedom for ALL Political Prisoners!
Attention Maui Residents! I will be in Maui in less than two weeks for an artist in residency at the Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center. My task is to engage Maui-based nonprofit organizations to develop a case study about how artists can collaborate with non-arts community groups to develop messages around social justice on a local scale. I will be hosting a wide range of hands-on activities, including a teen intensive workshops focusing on printmaking and street graphics. All prospective students under the age of 18 are eligible for financial aid to help offset the cost of tuition. The Hui is a place that has been visited by some of my favorite artists, such as Swoon, Enrique Chagoya, and Artemio Rodriguez.
If you are in Maui, pls come check out some of the events! Sign up now!
Friends over in the UK have been organizing like mad to call attention to BP's funding of the Tate Modern Museum, and their use of arts funding to put a happy face on their insanely destructive oil extraction activities. It's interesting when artists attempt to organize from within the art world, it seems like the activities of Art Not Oil are some of the highest profile since the Guerilla Girls back in the 80s and 90s. Check out what Art Not Oil has been up to HERE and HERE. Here is a video of their last action, oil-y birds and balloons in the Tate!!
Street artist Pivo has posted about an interesting new piece she has done in southern France about refugees from Spain in the 1940s. A nice, subtle wheatpaste addressing the troubles and difficulties of people forced from their homes by fascists during the Spanish Civil War. She's got an good write up on some of the background HERE.
My third and final "report back" post from the Allied Media Conference and the US Social Forum ends with a series of photographs that I took walking around the D.
One of more memorable experiences for me in Detroit this past week was seeing how people reacted so positively to the mobile screen printing unit that Mary, Heather, and Ashley brought to the Allied Media Conference and the US Social Forum. At the AMC, Mary and crew set up in a classroom at Wayne State University and taught silk screening for nearly eight hours a day! Dozens of images were burned and I wouldn't be surprised if over a thousand prints were pulled.
At the USSF, the mobile screen printing unit was set up at the Justseeds table at the Cobo Center and it drew crowds whenever it was up and running. People were thrilled to hear that the prints were free and lined up to have images printed on their shirts, canvas bags, or the paper that the Pittsburgh crew had provided. Best of all, people pulled their own prints and learned how to silk-screening by doing. In essence, the mobile silk screening unit became a week long skill share.
Personally, as a viewer, the mobile printmaking unit helped provide a counter balance to tabling prints were the primary goal is to move as many copies as possible. Justseeds is a worker-owned collective but selling activist prints, many of which fall under anti-capitalism themes, comes with its own set of contradictions. With the free silkscreen unit many of these issues remained unresolved, but at the very least, Justseeds could sell prints while also providing a free service where we could teach the basics of silk screening and help promote the medium that we love.
Below are some photos I took of the project in action.
Bec helping out at the print station:
The next couple weeks entries will be focused on the covers of New World Paperbacks, which was an imprint of the Communist Party, USA's main publishing house International Publishers. I know that New World was started in the early 1960s in order to make inexpensive copies of Marxist "classics" (i.e. Marx, Engels, Lenin, etc.) available to a wide audience. It seems that by the early 1970s, it had become the place where the CP published what it perceived of as "popular" titles, including those about race and gender in the US and national liberation struggles abroad. Many of the covers are surprisingly hip for the Communist Party, riffing off of both historical context of the book and relatively current design trends at the time (psychedelia, deco, etc.). For example, the cover "A Dangerous Scot" uses a type treatment that dates it to an early 20th century americana, but the design element floating in the center of the page is so odd that it makes the whole thing seem contemporary. Maybe not surprisingly for the CP, none of the books I have attribute a designer for the cover, or a printer for the book—yet most subject the reader to a turgid intro by CP leader Gus Hall, which clearly lets us know which part of the labor process of book production is most important! It appears as if many of the New World titles are still available from International Publishers, but New World itself doesn't have a website or any unique identity, and appears to have been absorbed by the larger publishing identity sometime in the 1980s. Enjoy the covers!
Nealy half of the Justseeds Artist's Cooperative was in Detroit this past week at the US Social Forum and the Allied Media Conference. Both events were incredibly inspiring and will take months to digest considering the range of activities and the size of the events (the USSF was estimated at 15,000 people and over 1,300 organizations.) One of the goals of Justseeds and the friends that we traveled with was to make radical art highly VISIBLE and presented as an essential part of social justice movements. With this in mind, we tabled, introduced the new portfolio project "Resourced," and gave talks and workshops about collective and individually based projects and campaigns. We also put up a ton of art in Detroit. Below are some photos and in the next post, I'll highlight the AMAZING mobile printmaking station that Mary, Heather, and Ashley brought to Detroit.
We have been having a ball out here in Detroit! Twelve Justseeders are participating in the USSF - conducting workshops, running the live silkscreen table, selling posters, and building alliances. Please make sure to come check out some of the new work by the collective, particularly our new print portfolio, RESOURCED (which you can buy at the USSF for a deal!) and new book, Firebrands. GET ALL THE DETAILS by clicking here.
Justseeds at our table in Cobo Hall!
This week I'm just going to focus on one book, and actually open the cover! For years I've been giving various versions of a talk and slideshow about political printmaking, and I've often shown a slide of an anti-Vietnam War poster image by a Danish artist named Dea Trier Mørch. I didn't know anything about her, nor had I seen any other work by her, but this particular poster was great. Back in 2007, Icky and I took a trip to Europe, and I gave my political printmaking talk at YNKB in Copenhagen, and when that particular slide came up, everyone was like, "Hey, that's Dea Trier Mørch!," and they knew all about her. Turns out she was part of a Danish Marxist print collective in the 1970s called Røde Mor (Red Mother), that produced a ton of prints, including posters for the free town of Christiania, and had a very popular rock band. While in Copenhagen Icky and I scoured the bookshelves of all the used bookstores looking for things by Mørch and Røde Mor, and I came across a number of novels that she had written and/or illustrated. This week's book is Den Indre By (The Inner City), and hopefully after looking at this post you'll also see how awesome Mørch is...
Who's heard of Menhaden? Anyone? Show of hands? Certainly not me, before a couple of months ago. Now, however, the oily fish that once schooled in innumerable masses on the East Coast of North America and in the Gulf of Mexico keeps leaping into my consciousness on a near-daily basis. Right now, it's the oil catastrophe and the daily stream of images of oil-soaked brown pelicans that's the trigger.
My friend Edd Baldry from Last Hours magazine and Hey Monkey Riot comic has really put my bookfair poster making skills to shame! He's come up with a totally amazing poster for this years London Anarchist Bookfair. You can read more about and see details and sketches on the Last Hours blog HERE.
If you live in Detroit (or are visiting for the US Social Forum) come out and help us celebrate our new book Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas, my not quite as new book Paper Politics, as well as other recent radical publishing with AK Press, Autonomedia, the Institute for Anarchist Studies, Microcosm Publishing, Team Colors Collective, PM Press, author Jordan Flaherty and artist Seth Tobocman, and many others.
Half of Justseeds members and half of the prints and posters in the store are in Detroit for the Allied Media Conference (June 18-20) and US Social Forum (June 22-26). Come visit our tables, chat us up, take a hand at the Mobile Silkscreen Unit, see beautiful prints in person, and take home some rad art and books!
If you are trying to order online, some items may appear out of stock because they are out on loan for tabling...please be patient and try back after June 28th.
Hope to see ya in the D!
Just got back from DC where I traveled to after spending week in Arizona, where I was with the Trail of Dreams as they faced off with Sheriff Arpaio on June 1, 2010. Like many others, I was extremely worried for the walkers facing one of the most anti-immigrant sheriff in the country. Three of the walkers are undocumented and Arpaio is dangerous and unpredictable, but their courageousness amazed us all. We traveled to Arizona to participate in the May 29th mega-march and to do what had never been done before - undocumented youth to confront Sheriff Arpaio. In their letter to him, the walkers said, "...we are writing to request an audience with you to discuss enforcement measures in your county, particularly the 287-G program. We want to share our stories so that you understand what it’s like for the millions of immigrants in this country who are unable to fully participate in society. We want to help you see the fear and destruction your policies spread, and convince you that there is a better way."
Check out this project from Chicago that merges a sign action with an environmental awareness campaign.
RAN Chicago teamed up with local artists to raise public attention to the Fisk and Crawford coal-powered plants on Chicago's near south side that have been poisoning the air for decades. Both Plants are located in highly populated neighborhoods - primarily Latino neighborhoods - and have operated with outdated equipment and safety standards that has made Chicago one of the worst cities for air quality in the US. Exposure to these plants has led to an average of 40 deaths a year and high rates of asthma and other upper respiratory ailments. The kicker is that these plants do not even benefit Chicago residents. Most of the power produced is sold on the open grid to Ohio and Pennsylvania while community residents (not to mention the ozone layer) suffers, while company execs get rich.
Local groups - LVEJO (Little Village Environmental Justice Organization), PERRO (Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization), RAN Chicago, and others are calling for the plants to be closed and for the end of burning fossil fuels as an energy source.
We got a nice email from street artist Back East a couple days back, he sent some flicks of recent work he put up in Arizona criticizing the recent immigration law. Here's one piece, more of his work can be seen HERE.
Dee Dee Halleck of Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish TV has been working on a mapping/survey of community media projects from around the world. An interesting and useful project, you can check out a cool world map of community media HERE, and learn more HERE.
I found this nice little collection of Portuguese modernist book covers in a friends academic office. They are from the 30s-60s. They designs are all hand painted, with the type treatment hand painted on most of them as well, don't see that much anymore! The Pasternak cover is a bit of a snoozer, but the Amado covers are great with their overlapping colors, line styles, and handmade type.
I just ran across a digital archive of Radical America, an SDS associated magazine that began in 1967. I downloaded a pdf of an issue at random and it was focused on black workers. It had some cool poetry, a couple of long articles about DRUM which I'd never seen and these great images accompanying the writing, credited to Dorothy Higginson. The early issues especially have a zine-like feeling to them. A great resource and worth a perusal!
Colin and I spent the last week immersed in creating an installation at the 58 Gallery in Jersey City. Here are some photos from "Plausible Inventions: Works by Nicolas Lampert and Colin Matthes." The show runs from June 11-July 5 with gallery hours on Friday (12-7), Saturday (12-5), and by appointment. Much thanks to Orlando and crew for their hospitality and providing such a great environment for artists to work and show.
Mexican curator, A. Arroyo, has just put together a fabulous exhibit about Arizona and SB1070. I have one piece in the show which opened June 11 and will run through June 26, 2010.
Arroyo, explained to El Economista, a Mexican newspaper - "a pesar de que estamos geográficamente alejados de la frontera y del de Arizona, la nueva ley afecta a la población entera y agudiza el sentimiento anti-inmigrante en todo el país; lo que en mi opinión está en contraste con la historia y la población tan diversa de la ciudad."
Location: Grady Alexis Gallery at El Taller Latinoamericano, a non-profit with a 30 year history (Broadway and 104th St.)
Ok—more insanity in the news... "The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of religious freedoms, America's relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items." It also tried to change the word "slavery" to "Atlantic triangular trade" but thankfully was shot down. Check out these two articles. The rewriting of history is very real indeed—and anyone who needed proof need only to check these articles I have linked below. We need to make sure to keep real People's History alive, since we can not rely on the schoolbooks!!!
The Rough Road to San Juan Copala
Six buses, several cars and vans, and a trailer truck packed with 35 tons of food, medical supplies, etc. left the Mexico City Zócalo for San
Juan Copala, Oaxaca, at 9:20 the night of Monday, June 12. The name of
the Caravana, “Beti Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola”, is in honor of a strong,
much loved human rights defender who worked tirelessly for the
unification of the Triqui people, and of a comrade from Finland who
worked with the VOCAL organization on food sovereignty and climate
change projects, also much loved and appreciated for his stance of
solidarity. The two were murdered by the UBISORT paramilitary group led
by Rufino Juárez on April 27 of this year for daring to participate in
the first humanitarian caravan to the Autonomous Municipality. Their
motive? Breaking through a paramilitary siege that has forced 700
families to live without light, water, school, medical attention and
with very little food ever since last November 27.
Ok—this is insane! Someone forwarded us this article and I am stunned. I understand with the current racist anti-immigration law in Arizona, this sort of racism is not surprising. However, I will never stop being shocked at just how backwards American mainstream politics is. It's crazy that Americans still consider ourselves the most "forward" thinking nation in the world when in the 21st century we are still censoring art because of our internalized and institutional racism. School administrators still believe that whiteness is the standard to emulate in art and media; even though we are a nation of ethnicities from all over the world and white people are the minority ethnicity when considering the world as a whole. America's first inhabitants were Native Americans, and everyone who has immigrated here (and stolen the land) come from all over the world. We are a nation of immigrants, and yet we have one of the most restrictive immigration policies- we deny our history and rewrite it constantly. When will we stop being hypocritical, judgemental, racist, classist, and so close-minded?
Here is the Article From the New York Daily News.com:
I recently traveled to NYC to participate in a panel discussion about Art & Immigrant Rights organized by the Opportunity Agenda. One of my favorite bloggers, Will Coley, interviewed me before the panel and put together a cool video about the event. I talk about what it meant for me to be a daughter of immigrants and make art about my family's struggle. Check it out!
Bark is an Oregon-based environmental group that is primarily concerned with preserving and protecting the wild areas around Mount Hood. Roger Peet, Pete Yahnke, and I partnered up with Bark and Taring Padi to work on a giant portable print to discuss the proposed Palomar Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Pipeline that would run from the Oregon Coast and then through the Mt. Hood national forest (after extraction in Indonesia). We were taken on two Bark field trips, the first was a hike through some pristine forest which the pipeline is proposed to run through. And a second trip, where we got to meet people whose homes and livelihoods would be effected by the pipeline and its construction.
For the upcoming Justseeds portfolio I wanted to keep working with Bark. I called and asked if I could produce some more images for their campaign against the LNG pipeline.
Here are a few install photos from "Plausible Inventions: Works by Colin Matthes and Nicolas Lampert" at the 58 Gallery in Jersey City. Show opens Friday,June 11, 7-11. 58 Coles St. (PATH train Grove St. station)
PRIMER JORNADA ECOLOGICA COMUNITARIA EN LA ZAM 11 y 12 de Junio
COMPARTIENDO SABERES PARA ENTENDER LOS DEBERES
Por un mejor entorno en el que nos desarrollamos y convivimos día a día. Viernes 11 y Sabado 12 de Junio 2010
A quick-y this week, here are three covers of Norwegian-published anarchist titles I found in the shelves at my friend Bergsveinn's house in Bergen. The Kropotkin book is hilarious, with psychedelic Kropotkin both holding up a portrait of himself and having an image of himself holding up a portrait of himself flowing out of his forehead! Genius. I apologize for the blur, they were taken in poor light with a crap camera.
So the giant public art project I've been working on for a month with Spectres of Liberty is finally happening today, and there's practically going to be a monsoon in Syracuse tonight! So we're moving the whole operation indoors, and it is still going to be awesome. Details:
Great Central Depot in the Open City
Saturday, June 5, 2010
8:00pm - 10:00pm
XL Project Space
307 S. Clinton St, Syracuse NY
Justseeds has moved our global distribution headquarters! In May, the Portland and Pittsburgh worker-members packed up all our prints, books, shelving, flatfiles, the computer, and the dehumidifier into a truck. Mary and Shaun then piloted the rented rig across what's left of this beautiful land (stopping in Yellowstone) to arrive at our new and spacious digs in Pittsburgh! And a new chapter begins...
If you're in the area, please drop by for a housewarming and exhibition of new work by Justseeds! It's also a local book release party for the new Firebrands book we just released on Microcosm, compiled and edited by Pittsburgh Justseeders Bec Young and Shaun Slifer!
Friday June 11
3410 Penn Ave 2nd Floor (above the new Bike PGH offices)
enter in the back from Spring Way, bike parking in the back!
Refreshments & BYOB
OAXACA. SUPPORT FOR THE MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN COPALA
A call to mobilize in support of the resistance of the Autonomous
Municipality of San Juan Copala next June 8
The Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala has been under siege for
the last 6 months. Armed paramilitaries continue to block roads and
refuse to allow people to come and go freely. As a result of their
actions, there is no electricity, drinking water, or medical attention
in Copala. The children can’t go to school because there are no
teachers. Paramilitaries shoot at townspeople daily, resulting in the
deaths of at least 21 people between last November and May.
works by Nicolas Lampert and Colin Matthes
Opening Friday, June 11th 7-11p
58 Gallery, 58 Coles St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Plausible Inventions is a collaborative installation by Nicolas Lampert and Colin Matthes that addresses a world engulfed in its own technology. Lampert and Matthes transform the gallery into an “inventors workshop” of low-tech machines, hybrid creatures, blueprints, drawings, notes, models, survival objects, and scrap leftovers that are both fantastical and commonplace.
I'm excited to share some photos from the first exhibition of the Celebrate People's History posters in New Zealand. Beyond Resistance and Garage Collective organized the show at the Eastside Gallery in Christchurch. Check out more info HERE.
Every year I've been posting photos of the EuroMayday posters that my friends at image-shift have been designing, but this year I've been so busy I let it slide...But, they're still busy designing awesome posters, this year for EuroMayday in Hamburg. Check out their entire 4 year run of posters and all the translations on a nice post about them up on Social Design Notes HERE.
We're very excited to announce the arrival of our first collectively realized book, Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas, on Microcosm Publishing. The book consists of illustrated profiles of 78 courageous people from the history of the Americas, from Muhammed Ali to Zumbi dos Palmares, from Alberta all the way down to Buenos Aires - distilling the hopefulness and passion of generations of Americans who challenged the tides of oppression.
Twenty Justseeds members contributed beautiful and unique illustrations - papercuts, paintings, drawings, stencils, block prints, and collages. Pete Yahnke's linocut graces the cover of the book, and each profile begins with hand-drawn script by Colin Matthes. Shaun Slifer and Bec Young wrote, researched, edited, organized, and designed the book, with advice on every possible detail from Josh MacPhee, generous copy-editing from Jessie Grey Singer, and indexing expertise from Molly Fair.
The book is $10 and you can get a copy right here!