Over the course of the summer, I have been crazy busy. I finished a book manuscript, wrote a couple of essays for books, worked on a new series of prints, did the artwork for Michigan Indian Day, and it seems like a dozen other projects as well. Of course, this was all coupled with a two-week residency at the National Museum of the American Indian in DC and lots of trips Up North (as we say in Michigan) with my daughters.
Tomorrow, I will be driving to Cleveland to install a solo exhibition based on eighteen new prints that I created from incised baseball bats. Thinking primarily about immigration and the usage of Native peoples as sporting mascots, the show brings together a team of 'Indians' and 'Immigrants'.
At the beginning of the Iraq war it seemed like a bad idea. At the end of George W. Bush's final term in office it was a bad idea that had fossilized. This bound set of prints is the bookend to Art Hazelwood's Hubris Corpulentus, a series of engravings done in the first year of the war. Into Iraq consists of small linocut prints each one more full of bile than the previous. The subjects range from the battlefield to the media, to the neocons and the Congressional enablers in Washington. Oil Flag, Patriotic Tune, Sacrifice of Liberty, The President in his Labyrinth are some of the titles.
Back at the end of June I was in Toronto, strangely at an academic performance art conference to talk about the Spectres of Liberty project, and their was a table for TDR (The Drama Review), one of the longest running and most political drama/culture journals. They had a pile of old back issues really cheap, with great covers. Plus the contents are great too in the early issues, lots of material on The Living Theatre, Bread & Puppet, Futurism, and guerrilla theatre.
Come check out our 2010 portfolio RESOURCED this weekend in NYC!! RESOURCED features 26 artist prints that focus on the issues of resource extraction, climate change, and environmental justice.
@ the Armory in NYC
68 Lexington Ave & 25th St.
We were invited to participate by the amazing wonderful Samson Contompasis, co-organizer of the event, and the owner of the Marketplace Gallery in Albany.
Artists from across the world converge in NYC to present an epic exhibition benefiting families who have lost loved ones due to the Afghan and Iraq wars. CONVERGENCE NYC will be presenting art to the public, Aug. 27th –29th , at the Historic 69th Fighting Regiment’s Armory located at 68 Lexington Ave & 25th St. During these three days the public is invited to enjoy art and live music, while getting the unique opportunity to meet and mingle with the over 70 participating artists. Fifty percent of all sales will be donated to the NY/NJ chapter of Operation Homefront.
There's a great show up at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland this month, photos of the prisoner/volunteer-run hospice program at Angola State Penitentiary (LA) taken by Lori Waselchuk. Angola has a really high rate of life sentences, the photographer's website states that it's over 85% (!), with so many long term inmates programs where many prisoners are expected to die within walls, programs like this are pretty powerful. This show is only up another week so hurry down if you're in town. Bluesky's website is here, and the website for the show itself is here.
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics has just uploaded a couple more online poster exhibitions, including Art Against Empire: Graphic Responses to U.S. interventions Since World War II. Art Against Empire includes my poster "Places the U.S. has Bombed Since World War II," and pieces by Tomi Ungerer, Winston Smith, Art Workers Coalition, Adolfo Mexiac, Rupert García, Alfredo Rostgaard, as well as fellow Justseeders Jesus Barraza, Melanie Cervantes, and Favianna Rodriguez. Check out the exhibit HERE.
Looks like Wichita, Kansas just passed a broad and sweeping bill outlawing all kinds of "graffiti tools." Below is the text of an article from the Wichita Eagle found HERE, and an earlier piece is HERE. The comments are crazy as usual...
Wichita outlaws tools for graffiti BY BRENT D. WISTROM The Wichita Eagle
Leave the spray paint and fat markers at home.
Wichita City Council members passed a new law Tuesday that bans people from carrying spray paint, broad-tipped markers and a variety of other potential graffiti tools on public property or within 100 feet of it. It also bans stores from selling the materials to anyone under the age of 18.
If caught and convicted, violators face a fine of $250 to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
I recently spent some quality time in northern Wisconsin. The best way to spend a summer day in Wisconsin is at a cabin on a lake. Luckily my uncle has a little cabin on a lake just east of Phillips Wisconsin (about 6 hours north of Milwaukee). Aside from swimming, fishing, canoeing and various other outdoor activities this area is home to a very special place, that is Fred Smith's Concrete Park. Smith was a logger in the early 1900's, and later built a bar (which only served Rhinelander Beer!). In his 50's Fred decided to start creating some concrete sculptures which honored the people of his area. In all he constructed over 200 concrete sculptures which he inlaid with pieces of glass. His themes ran from Native Americans, Loggers, Farmers, Beer Drinkers and other people of the North Woods. Smith was truly a visionary artist, he had no intention of selling his work, and simply felt that this was something he needed to do and people needed to see. In the 70's the Kohler Foundation acquired the Concrete park and has been maintaining it since. If you find yourself anywhere near, do yourself a favor and pay a visit, it's amazing. Also at the gift shop you can pick up a 40pg book about the park with great quotes from Smith explaining his work and a T-Shirt screenprinted by the local high school art class honoring the park. I now own both!
My friend Shawn Gilheeney just sent me a cool install he did with his friend Greg, a pile of signs related to our unending consumption of toxic consumer goods... They remind me a lot of the signs I was painting a couple years back, which can be seen HERE. A video of Shawn painting the signs can be found HERE.
Now for a slight break from the usual program. When I was out in Wisconsin a couple years back for a wedding we stumbled upon a small town library book sale, and almost all the books were romance novels and westerns, but they were $1 a box! So I scooped up a bunch of really cool looking Western pulp novels. Very questionable politically, but some of these designs are simply awesome. All of them are from Lenox Hill Press, published in the 70s, and no notation of designer or illustrator.
Installation: Sam Sebren, Art Lesson #1
"The anthropomorphic shopping bunny has become a zombie, numb to any goal of existence other than to shop & consume. Viewers will be dwarfed by a billboard size graphic as they are invited to sit, connect the dots & color w/ crayons in the interactive "Art Lesson #1". What are the priorities of our 21st century, corporate-controlled, advertising-blitzed world? Where is the emphasis being placed as we raise children in this world where nature is seen as a commodity or even an inconvenience?"
—Sam Sebren, 2010
John Davis Gallery
362 1/2 Warren Street
Hudson, New York 12534
OPENING RECEPTION: SATURDAY AUGUST 21, 6 - 8 pm
Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, 10:00 till 5:30 p.m.
Justseeds Print Exhibit opens Friday August 20 6pm
Birds, birds, birds. From the extinct passenger pigeon to the mysterious crow to the avian flu, birds hold a unique place in our urban imaginary. Justseeds artists depict animals in many of our designs. Birds can represent liberation, autonomy, mutual aid, and cooperation, as well as vermin, predatory behavior, extinction, and ecological collapse. Bird Brains, a collection of handmade prints from the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, takes on this versatile metaphor.
The Knitting Factory Front Bar Gallery 361 Metropolitan Avenue Brooklyn, NY
My year-long Pittsburgh residency with Encyclopedia Destructica culminates this Friday with the release of SECRET POCKETS, a collaborative, interactive artist's book. We're throwing a release party at Space, where you can take another gander at Paper Politics
-THE FLYING DESTRUCTICATE: SECRET POCKETS RELEASE
Friday August 20th 6:00-9:00
Space 812 Liberty Ave, Downtown Pittsburgh
This book also features work by a slew of amazing artistic lifeforms:
Caldwell Linker, Bec Young, Ally Reeves, Shaun Slifer, Leslie Stem, Sarah Evans, Jude Vachon, Jen Cooney, Vincent Klopfenstein, Meredith Stern, Hannah Thompson, Mary Mack Tremonte and Heidi Tucker!!!!
This will be a Party to End All Parties! Not only will you be able to have and hold finished, immaculate copies of the new FLYING DESTRUCTICATE, but you will be entertained, thrilled, flabergasted by the performances of:
-DJ'S AMOR SECRETO (latino lover beatz) & D.H. (sappho sister)
-POP THROUGH THE AGES, WIZARDS OF SOUND
-A PHOTOBOOTH BY CALDWELL
-TAMALES MADE BY HEIDI & CALEB
-FREE EAST END BEER
-PLUS: peep PAPER POLITICS: AN INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF SOCIALLY ENGAGED PRINTMAKING, on view @ SPACE from August 13-October 23.
Encyclopedia Destructica can't do this without your help! Grab your friends, fiends, and family and come to Encyclopedia Destructica Studios, 156 41st street, Lawrenceville Wednesday August 18th around 7PM! See our studio space! Learn how to bind books! Consume alcoholic and/or caffeinated beverages! Have meaningful and life-changing conversations!
After we finished the First Stage of a Climate Change Graphic Campaign titled “Ante la Destruccion Ambiental, Organizacion!” where we screenprinted 11 different posters at the ECPM68 in Mexico City. We invited different collectives, friends, and anyone interested, to take a roll of prints and wheat paste them around Mexico trying to bring attention to the Subject of Climate Change and the Climate Change Summit that will be hosted in November and December 2010, in Cancun, Mexico.
It was lots of fun getting to work together to silk screen these posters, put together shows and more than anything to put them up.
Ahh, the final installment of the covers of Mr. Berick Traven, or Ret Marut, or Otto Feige, or Hal Croves? No one has yet been able to fully pin down exactly who B. Traven was, and this mystery has led to an ongoing interest in his literary output and politics. There has actually been an outpouring of books about Traven, some of them with pretty handsome covers themselves.
Here are a few photos of what I made at WERKKAMP this July at
Fort 8 in Antwerpen, Belguim. This wonderful event was put together by the fine folks at Scheld'apen.
Paper Politics: An International Exhibition of Socially Engaged Printmaking, curated by Josh MacPhee, opens tomorrow in Pittsburgh!
This exhibition has toured to over a dozen cities in North America, and I saw its initial form in Chicago in 2004, then Brooklyn in 2005 and helped hang it in Milwaukee in 2006, so it is dear to my radical print-lovin heart...in Pittsburgh, I have added a component of prints by local artists, including many rad teen prints from over the years...also Justseeds will be in effect with prints and books for sale...come peep it!
Exhibition Opening: August 13 6:00-9:00
with rad print & book sale from Justseeds
more books & zines from The Big Idea
90's Nite DJ's & more
Afterparty at Mexico City Wood St
full menu til 10, tacos late-nite, full bar & 80's jamz
812 Liberty Ave
I'm really happy to be a part of the Big-She Bang this year in NY! Come check out the amazing art, music, and workshops!
organized by For The Birds Collective
Saturday, August 14th
11AM to 10pm
at Church of the Messiah,
29 Russell Street (Lower Level)
Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY
The Big She-Bang is an all-day event of workshops, panel discussions, visual art, and music by and for women-identified artists & community members. The Big She-Bang strives to cultivate a space for women to share creative endeavors, exchange ideas, and provide support in a safe and open-minded environment. It is a multimedia event that serves as a platform for women artists and activists. This year’s She-Bang festival will include workshops and panel discussions, live musical performances, an all-day art show and tabling by various feminist organizations from New York. The event is always all ages, and everyone is welcome.
We are asking for a $6 to $10 sliding scale donation, although no will be turned away.
For The Birds is a collective of New York women whose main intent is fostering the creative empowerment of women, as well as the dissemination of feminist projects: art, music, information, and scholarly work. A large part of this feminist info-sharing occurs in the form of a distro and a label imprint. In our distro, we carry writing, art, and music by feminists and women-identified folks. On our label imprint, we continue to publish similar work.
Here are some photos of the RESOURCED exhibit at Marketplace Gallery, 40 Broadway Albany, NY.
The NYC Department of Sanitation is threatening to consider ghost bikes as "derelict bikes" that may be subject to removal. If you support preserving these memorials for those killed on city streets, speak out now!
Public Hearing - August 10, 2010 9:30-11:30am
125 Worth Street, Third Floor Board Room (room 330)
Comment on the proposed rules here
The NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has published "Proposed Rules Governing the Removal and Disposal of Derelict Bicycles". These changes would add a new section numbered 1-05.1 of Chapter 1, Title 16 of the Rules of the City of New York.
Although the City has made verbal statements published by the press suggesting that they would not remove ghost bikes, the Proposed Rules remain unchanged and continue to state that after 30 days ghost bikes can be removed.
Continue reading to learn more about the City's statements.
Today marks the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. Three days prior, August 6, 1945 the USA dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. This flyer was made in March 2003 for anti-war demos against the USA invasion of Iraq.
You can read another post from the 63rd anniversary. Let's hope current administrations are willing to avoid such heinous tactics.
For part 5 of the B. Traven covers, I'm going to focus on a number of his lesser known novels (He wrote five or six outside of the Treasure of Sierra Madre, the Death Ship, and the six Jungle novels, and after 1940 he almost exclusively wrote short stories, which will be the focus of next weeks final Traven post).
The Cotton Pickers was Traven's first published novel. It was actually titled Der Wobbly (the Wobbly, after the nickname for members of the IWW) by the initial publisher, but all other editions are titled The Cotton Pickers, and it appears that is the title Traven intended. The above is is the book jacket for an early hardback, possibly the first American edition.
The first issue of Signal is out now published by PM Press. Signal is a full color, 140 page book about international political art, graphics, and culture. The first issue contains interviews with the Taller Tupac Amaru (aka Justseeds' members Jesus, Favianna, and Melanie), Johannes van de Weert (of the Rondos and squatter comic Red Rat), Rufus Segar (the brilliant designer behind most of the early issues of Anarchy magazine in the 60s and 70s), and Felipe Hernandez Moreno (a member of one the art brigades of the 1968 uprising in Mexico City). It also contains photos of seditious train graf by IMPEACH and a photo essay on adventure playgrounds.
Jesse Goldstein, Molly Fair, and I got started on our install of the Resourced portfolio last night. Here's some small deets.
Portland! Come out tomorrow evening, Thursday August 5th, to the SEA Change Gallery, downtown in the Everett Station Lofts, for the Opening of "We Agree: A Crisis in Common". Two giant blockprints about the impact of the natural gas industry on both sides of the Pacific: One made by the Portland-based members of Justseeds, and the other by renowned Indonesian printmaking cooperative Taring Padi! The prints are huge and dense and awesome, and the gallery is packed to the rafters with other work by Roger Peet, Alec "Icky" Dunn, Pete Yahnke, and members of Taring Padi. For more information on the project, navigate here
SEA Change Gallery
625 NW Everett Street
Opening at 5pm, refreshments will be available to those with quick feet and swift lifting elbows!
News from the Beehive Collective:
THE TRUE COST OF COAL is finished, printed, and ready for you to enjoy!
It’s true! After 2 ½ years of discussions, feedback, eraser marks, sketches and rough drafts, THE TRUE COST OF COAL is DONE! And we can’t wait to share it with you!
It is hard to describe the mix of emotions we ‘lil bees are feeling after this final push. Somewhere between exuberance and exhaustion, all of it steeped in immeasurable gratitude to all the folks who have helped make this graphic possible. To all the powerful people and places in Appalachia who shared their stories and their struggles with us, to all the folks who have hosted shows and offered up their floors or couches, to everyone who has kicked down money to keep us going, to friends and family who have emotionally supported us through this rollercoaster of a project, and to everyone else who has touched or inspired this graphic in some way- thank you. No doubt, YOU all are what made this project possible!
You can order a poster from the Beehive here.
Justseeds members Kevin Caplicki & Molly Fair, with friend Jesse Goldstein, will be creating a multi-disciplinary installation incorporating the recently completed Resourced portfolio.
They will fill the gallery with large scale wall-paintings, 3-D sculpture, and video projection. Molly Fair & Jesse Goldstein will treat you to some Dimock "Lemonade" where one can taste the benefits of Hydro-fracking for Natural Gas.
Opening is August 6, 2010
Greenbush Tape & Label Building
I am making a bunch of drawings and sculptures of "plausible inventions." Here is one of them.
This week's Rad Teen Print was created by Deanna at RUST, in response to a quote chosen from a list at random. Students chose images and laid out text to create these first-time silkscreen prints. More to come!
Justseeds Artists' Cooperative has released the highly anticipated project, RESOURCED, a portfolio of 26 hand-made art prints that explore the devastating effects of resource extraction and environmental devastation. The collection provides a critical look at what people can do in defense of the planet. Graphics have always played a vital and powerful role in exposing injustices throughout history, and RESOURCED follows this tradition, offering urgent messages about sustainability, environmental justice, and clean energy. Included in the portfolio are some of today’s most exciting street artists and poster makers, including Gaia, Chris Stain, Favianna Rodriguez, Armsrock, and others. Artists collaborated with organizations to produce images illustrating topics around environmental destruction, food sovereignty, workers' rights, Indigenous struggles, and examining the effects of mountaintop removal, oil extraction from tar sands, hydro-fracturing, mega-dam projects, mining, over-fishing, and much more.
Recapping last week: In the decade from 1931 to 1940, B. Traven published a series of six books known as his Jungle Novels: Government (1931), The Carreta (aka The Cart) (1931), March to the Monteria (aka March To Caobaland) (1933), Trozas (1936), The Rebellion of the Hanged (1936), and A General from the Jungle (1940). The Jungle novels are a series of interconnected stories about the struggles of the Indigenous in Chiapas at the end of the 19th Century, and how their rebellion starts the Mexican Revolution. This week let's take a look at the second three novels, which includes my favorite, The Rebellion of the Hanged:
I recently completed this new print, entitled "The Process', which is now available in the Justseeds store. It feels like something I've been trying to make for a long time, and the process of creating it was immensely satisfying. It incorporates many visual ideas that have been paddling around in my notebooks for years, looking for a home, and does something more: it provides a framework through which to tell a multiplicity of stories. (View larger image)
The point of biodiversity is that it is complicated. Everything alive is leaning on everything else, exerting pressure, withstanding pressure, swaying like limbs in wind. Life in our cities and towns is so simplified, so basic, so free of the beauty and complexity of life that we have essentially lost all relationship to the world of biodiversity. At this point, its complexity and richness just alienates us, in large part because it implies an astronomical quantity of priorities that are at odds with our own. As humans, and especially as humans within this groaning, creaking hulk of industrialized civilization, we exist now only to propagate our ideas about the world. We are no longer a part of the world: the world exists now mostly within the human brain. We have been loosed from the tethers that keep every other living thing swaying smoothly in the gales, and the upshot is our descent into the realms of pure abstraction, pure thought, pure culture. Much as we long for a connection to the real world, for most at this point it is impossible. Why? Because we've upended the gamefield, and everything is up in the air. Places we see as emblems of natural beauty are in fact deeply impoverished, and everywhere all is falling further into tatters. We know no plants, no insects, no animals, and only our specialists and the curious few exhibit any curiosity towards the actual relationships that create the world. Our tragedy is that we constantly misperceive the frayed nature of this world we've made. We tend to see our environment as a thing that is whole but under attack, and seldom realize the damage already done. Our children will thus come to see the ash and corpses of their youth as the greenest playground they will ever know: they will build their definitions of ecological balance and beauty on that baseline. In this manner, for thousands of years, we've been working our way towards this contemporary frenzy, where all around is the rustle, roar and murmur of human thought and hunger, and everywhere the world of the non-human is in vast retreat.