Now I'm going to move into the next sub-collection of prison book covers, books about political prisoners in the U.S. Officially the U.S. does not acknowledge that it holds political prisoners (PPs), but at last count by the Anarchist Black Cross, a political prisoner support organization, their are over 50 PPs being currently held in U.S. prisons and jails. For those of you asking "What is a Political Prisoner," here is a good definition by Bill Dunne, a revolutionary that has been in prison for over 25 years: "those persons incarcerated as a result of political beliefs or actions consciously undertaken and intended to resist exploitation and oppression, and/or hasten the implementation of an egalitarian, sustainable, ethical, classless society, predicated on self determination and maximization of all people's freedom."
Stuart Christie has relaunched his Anarchist Film Archive, it is much easier to use, and has a ton of rare and hard to find material. Check it out now, HERE!
I've been glued to my computer screen and speakers listening to the news from Egypt. There has been a growing social movement the last few days that has erupted into a "leader-less" nationwide popular struggle demanding:
-The downfall of the regime of Hosni Mubarak and his ministers.
-The cessation of the Emergency Law
-The formation of a new, non-military government with the interests of the Egyptian people at heart.
-The constructive administration of all of Egypt's resources.
Al Jazeera has a livestreaming video that can be see at:
In preparation for the Friday protests against the 30 year rule of Mubarak, protesters created a primer for demonstrating in the streets. The Atlantic has published some pages, with English translation, on its website. The primer looks similar to many "how-to" demonstration pamphlets produced for the Anti-globalization demonstrations of the 90's and early 2000's. If anyone has any access to physical or digital copies of these pamphlets, please contact us- blog (at) justseeds.org.
It's an incredible manifestation of the human will for freedom, led by the people. It will be interesting to see how politics and ideology will shape the course of the movement. I found the government control of the internet to be an incredible use of state power, yet tactically inefficient illustrated by the mobilizations all around Egypt today.
Spectres of Liberty (an art project I collaborate on with Dara Greenwald & Olivia Robinson) is in a great looking show that opens Friday in Chapel Hill, NC. We're exhibiting video documenting and prints made at our Syracuse project, The Open City Workshop in the Great Central Depot:
Local Histories: The Ground We Walk On
an exhibition of over 50 artists from across the U.S. exploring Alfredo Jaar’s idea that
“place can not be global,” curated by artist elin o’Hara slavick + art historian Carol Magee, Professors in the Art Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
January 28 – April 29, 2011
OPENING RECEPTION: February 11, 5-9pm
523 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 USA (formerly the Chapel Hill Museum)
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 2-7pm; Saturday 12-7pm; closed Sunday + Monday
Keevin Lewis, Community Services Coordinator at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), recently wrote a blog about the various awardees of the 2010 Artist Leadership Awards from the NMAI. This summer I spent two weeks in DC using the NMAI archives investigating Native transportation and Métis art. From this research, next week I will begin working with urban Anishinaabeg youth building lowrider bikes based on Great Lakes Native history. Keevin talks a little about the project in his blog.
In addition to my award, the other artists awarded Artist Leadership Awards included John Hudson (Tsimshian), Erica Lord (Athabascan/Inupiaq), Royce Manuel (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian), Jeri Redcorn (Caddo/Potawatomi), Kelly Church (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Ojibwe Indians), and Eric Hamar (Haida).
Read the NMAI Blog
Learn about the projects here.
Book Release Party - Friday, Jan. 28th 5-8 pm
The book release coincides with an exhibit of the Celebrate People's History posters and printed matter from a local 1970s printshop in Lawrence, the Kansas Key Printer.
For more info click HERE. And click below for more photos (thanks to Dave Lawrence for his organizing efforts and photo taking)!
I've been trying to simplify my life and that includes simplying my stuff... getting rid of things I do not need that create clutter, including files on my computer. As I sorted through my old art archives, I ran into this piece that I completed more than 5 years ago. This work represents an early stage of my character development (as in the people I draw), which has now evolved to a more confident line stroke.
In this drawing, I'm experimenting with my circular lines and triangular edges that intersect into each other. Two years later, I would do a piece titled De Avion en Avion, which would really take this curvacious, thick, bold line to a whole new level.
Here's how my process went down for this one. I started with a drawing:
Bishop Samuel Ruíz passed into the Spirit World on Monday. Ruiz, known by many in Chiapas as Tatic, was a supporter of the Zapatistas and their struggle for collective autonomy. ¡Tatic Presente!
These are some pictures from the printing of Extincion 3. This last December I sent half of the 33-print edition to JS HQ in Pittsburgh but black magic spells were cast on the print and the store entry disappeared... also the remaining prints in Pittsburgh apparently turned to dust.
Nevertheless I recently sent the remaining half of this run (and the remaining half of Extincion 1) to our Headquarters for the JS wizards to make available again.
To make this print I had to go through the excruciating experience of going to the Mexico City Zoo to sketch both the Mexican Gray Wolf and its skull counter part. Though sad it was a good reminder why we need these beautiful creatures in the wild.
I got to print this lino cut with my friends at Grafica Chaparral. If you're ever in Mexico City and want to check out a cool workshop and studio don't hesitate to get in touch.
Black Metal influenced Extincion 4 is in the works and an edition of 33 will soon be out there!
Thats right... Black Metal.
Brooklyn, December 2010.
Hey people... for anyone interested, I was just interviewed in the latest blog on Craftland. Craftland is a local artist store owned and run by local RI artists. It started as a yearly holiday store, and has grown to be a year long space for purchasing all things crafty!
The full article is at Craftland.
DANCING FOR DARA: a multi-city fund-raising screening for Dara Greenwald
Video Data Bank of Chicago has assembled a 75-minute video program composed of work by internationally recognized artists who have donated their work to raise money for Dara Greenwald, an artist and activist who is currently battling cancer. Please find detailed information on Dara below.
Thursday 27 January 2011, 8pm
17 Edinboro Street #3, Chinatown, Boston
$5-15 suggested donation
All proceeds will go directly to Dara.
This program will be screened in cities across the country in the first part of 2011. Click below to see the program list.
If you are in the Bay Area, check out Galeria de la Raza's 40th anniversary exhibit in San Francisco, which closes this Saturday, Jan 29th.
I have a special bond with Galeria de la Raza because it's one of the spaces that influenced my formation as a radical, political, feminisit, brown artist. As a teenager, I remember walking into Galeria and seeing the work of Chicano artists, Rupert Garcia (art below on left) & Juan Fuentes. This art gem, located in SF's Mission district, has played a key role in fostering public awareness and appreciation of Latino/Chicano art.
"The exhibition traverses through the organization's inception born of cultural activism to its current standing as an international forum for examination and expression of artistic concepts central to the Latino/Chicano experience," explains Galeria's website.
Speaking strictly in terms of political posters (my field of interest), what many people don't know is that the biggest, ongoing output of political posters is from the Bay Area!
I recently completed and installed a mural of Carlos Cortez.
We recently received a request for the "Stop the Budget Cuts" poster created by a friend a couple years back.
You can see the original blog post of the print at,
Biggest Middle Finger
Since the economic crisis continues to effect the allocation of monies in the world, we are making this graphic available for download.
To download an 8.5" x 11" file control+click: Download file
We received an envelope at the shipping office this past month with a couple of these stamped US$1 bills and this brief statement:
The line between security & tyranny is a fine one, and justice requires close and continuous attention to it. The 'Oscar Grant' dollars put into circulation around 1/1/11 are intended as a non-violent reminder of that idea.
My friend Sean Stewart ran a bookstore in San Francisco for a couple years called Babylon Falling. He's since moved to NYC, and is hard at work on a new book, On The Ground: An Illustrated Anecdotal History of the Sixties Underground Press in the U.S. (due out on PM Press in the Fall)
He's currently got a great tumblr/website up HERE. It's a stroll through political counter-culture, from the 60s to the present. The image to the left I pulled off his site, it's from the 1969 Harvard Student Strike.
Here is Swoon's lecture given at the TEDxBrooklyn conference late last year.
Another poster for Just Harvest, this time by Shaquanda Winbush. The text both refers to overcoming obstacles in general, and an Usher song, that the girls listened to for inspiration while they created their designs. I really dig the arrows!
More info on Just Harvest at www.justharvest.org
Just finished setting up a ceramics studio in our basement. Working on making some pickling pots for the Spring Season. Here is where they are spun:
Some sneak previews of pots in the kiln waiting to be fired:
About 3 or 4 years after I first got involved in the then-tiny prison activist movement, the movement began quickly growing on college campuses, and a new round of activist, academics, and journalists began writing and publishing on prisons again. Many of these authors were friends or people I had organized around prison issues (Eli Rosenblatt, then director of the Bay Area Prison Activist Resource Center and Daniel Burton-Rose are two of these) or writers that had some experience working within the growing movement (Eric Cummins and Christian Parenti are two of this variety). By the year 2000 there was an entirely new literature about prisons published, with dozens and dozens of titles. There is no way I can look at them all, so I'm focusing on ones that I've read, have a copy of, or have interacted with in some way. The first book, to the right, is by Eric Cummins, and is a good example of the visual look of this new batch of books. The graphic tropes are slightly updated to seem modern, but they are the same old visual tropes: bars, bricks, barbed wire, and that damn stencil font!
I found this online summary of my art.
Now I can quit!
The install for the Watershed show in Milwaukee is getting closer to completion. Six days to go.. Here are some photos of the progress. The show opens Friday, January 28th 5:00-8:00 if you're in the Milwaukee area.
(foreground) "The Future of Farming" (aquaponic sculpture/fish-vegetable farm system by Sweet Water Organics.)
Exit Art, 475 Tenth Ave (at 36th)
New York, NY 10018
Tuesday – Thursday 10:00am – 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Closing Reception: Friday, February 4, 7-9 pm
Graphic Radicals is a 30th anniversary retrospective of World War 3 Illustrated, an independently published political comic magazine founded in 1980 by artists Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper. Comprised of original comics, drawings and paintings, posters, commissioned murals, documentary film, animation and a complete set of issues, Graphic Radicals will be the largest World War 3 exhibition to date and will highlight the history that World War 3 has scrutinized, documented, and participated in for three decades.
World War 3 Illustrated was first established in response to the Iran hostage crisis and impending election of Ronald Reagan and since then has confronted social and political issues ignored by the mainstream press. The magazine is an annual publication produced by a collective of artists with each issue addressing a particular theme. WW3 has covered topics as diverse as the Tompkins Square riot, homelessness, first-person accounts of 9/11, the prison industrial complex, a teachers’ strike in Mexico, Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts and, in the upcoming issue, the food chain.
On the one-year anniversary of the Jordan Miles case, in which undercover police brutally beat up a violin major from CAPA (the arts high school where I often do rad print projects with students), someone posing as the Fraternal Order of the Police sent out this Yes Men-esque press release, reversing the FOP's previous stance on the Jordan Miles case.
The press release states:
Following a special Officers Meeting of the Pittsburgh F.O.P. called over the last weekend, we are urgently releasing a statement to coincide with the first anniversary of the Jordan Miles case. At the special weekend meeting, called the week before by majority phone vote of the Lodge's Officers, a kite vote (privately-marked squares of paper, folded and placed into a hat) resulted in an unanimous decision to amend our previously unconditional support for officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak, as they face federal civil rights assault charges, likely in the coming week.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, a new film about environmental activist and political prisoner Daniel McGowen, is playing at this years Sundance Film Festival. You can read more HERE, and check out the little promo video below:
Mary Tremonte is having an artist in residency at Wonderland!
See photos of the studio where the magic happens!
And Mary making magic!
Regular viewers of the Justseeds blog will remember Nicolas' essay on the censorship of street artist Blu's mural, a short while back. Recently a group calling itself LA RAW have executed a few actions against the LAMoCA, and director Jeffrey Deitch. They recently handed out the above condoms, and had this to say, on ArtInfo.com:
The action at the Fowler Museum consisted of passing out labeled "Deitch" condoms which said "Don't be Blu, Practice Safe Art" to people prior to them entering a panel discussion titled "How Does Street Art Humanize Cities?" The use of the condom as a product that speaks of how the artwork of an artist that challenges the current state of affairs is handled, and how the message of an artwork can be watered down in order to be deemed appropriate for the public by various institutions and/or individuals. The purpose of this action was to provoke a dialogue for those attending the panel, keeping the issue from being safely tucked away without addressing the dangers of impeding freedom of expression.
This Rad Teen Print of the Week was created by Carrie McGinnis and M'Antayla Jackson for Just Harvest. Founded in 1986, Just Harvest is a membership organization which promotes economic justice and works to influence public policy and to educate, empower and mobilize the citizens of our community toward the elimination of hunger and poverty. Just Harvest helps folks navigate the system for services such as food stamps, and also advocates for legislative and social change. The girls met with co-director Tara Marks who shared her own experience, and the girls discussed stereotypes of welfare recipients versus reality, and the stigma attached to receiving services (which this print addresses) More info at www.justharvest.org
Also, see pics from Just Harvest's visit to Power Up at the Warhol HERE
Affinities has a new issue out, and they used my art ('the idea') for their cover image. Affinities is a web-based journal that strives to: "strengthen the links that exist between academic, activist, and artistic communities, and to aid in the creation of new links wherever possible. We are therefore committed to publishing both academic and activist writing, as well as other forms of radical cultural production."
This issues has a host of articles that I think would be interesting to any Justseeds blog followers. Check it out here!
The real game changing book for prison studies was Michael Foucault's Discipline and Punish. Interestingly, the covers of the book in English, from the first hardback to the current paperback, don't focus on it's inventiveness or trailblazing qualities, but seem to want to brand it a classic straight out of the box. Over the covers I'm only going to show three, but they are a fair sample of all the English-language editions I've seen. The one to left us the first (I believe) Penguin edition. The classic penguin style laid over the expressionist painting of the prisoners really works for me. I don't have the actual book for this edition, so I am unsure of the painter, but it is almost reminiscent of Van Gogh, and carries with it that sense of being classic. The early American hardback (not shown) and paperback (below to the left) use historical etchings to evoke the classic quality. I do like the inventiveness of the type of the paperback, if it does feel a little dated today. And finally the current American edition, which follows the post-modern style of the entire series of Vintage-published Foucault trade paperbacks. Objects referenced by the text float in a empty space that is given depth through shadow, and then a classic (yup, there's that word again) titling box is laid on top. As a whole series, these are quite nice, even if as a one off this cover doesn't do to much for this particular title.
Busy days in Milwaukee. Here are a few install photos of the Watershed exhibition that opens in Milwaukee on Friday, January 28th at the Union Art Gallery at UWM (same space that Justseeds created an installation at in 2008.) Watershed: Art, Activism, and Community Engagement addresses the shifting ecological and political dimensions of water. This project, organized by Nicolas Lampert and Raoul Deal brings together artists, scientists, and urban farmers and uses art as a form of activism to comment on water issues in Milwaukee and the Great Lakes Basin, and their impact on the world at large. It tackles issues such as water shortages, notions of abundance, water privatization, invasive species, industrial pollution, and water as a human right.
I just got home from the opening and workshop for Graphic Protest. I'm pretty excited about the opportunity to show work at Central Michigan University (CMU). I was born in the town where CMU is and spent the first few years of my life there. So getting back for an installation called 'Reoccupation' (about the Occupation of Alcatraz in 1969-1971) was pretty amazing. I also installed 150 pennants (out of 300 I made) in Ojibwe (Anishinaabemowin).
The show was also amazing, because it allows me to engage in dialogue with rural folks. Since I am one of the remaining rural contingents in Justseeds (I think Roger migrates between the rural and urban), it is all that more amazing when I can work with rural youth who would otherwise have no regular access to this type of art or political thought. While I frequently wonder about my place in a rural and semi-urban environment, projects like this reinvigorate me.
1) Chloe Eudaley of Reading Frenzy in Portland, OR chose Celebrate People's History! as one of her top 3 books of 2010! She calls the book "a beautiful document of history and hope and a handy primer for young upstarts!" Read it all at the Portland Mercury website HERE.
2) Truthout published a nice long-format review of Celebrate People's History! by Eleanor J. Bader HERE. She says, "Celebrate People's History is a paean to ongoing activism, and the book offers a graphic reminder that people all over the world continue to oppose colonialism, war, workplace violence and exploitation, sexism, racism, homophobia and discrimination."
3) Amy McKie wrote a really nice review of Celebrate People's History! on her blog Amy Reads HERE. She says the book, "certainly made me want to learn more about all of these events, and they made me want to be more of a participant in my community."
4) The British magazine Red Pepper just published a 3 page illustrated interview with me and Alec Dunn about our journal Signal! It piece looks great, and features the art of the Taller Tupac Amaru. It hasn't been published online yet, but you can find it in their Dec/Jan 2011 issue on newsstands now.
5) Art Crimes just wrote a nice short review of Reproduce & Revolt. Susan write that R&R is "for everyone from eager politickers to the street art aficionado who knows there's more to the genre than just Banksy." Read the rest HERE.
Looking through my files of prints I realized that there is this whole set of handmade prints that don't make it onto the store, but may nonetheless be interesting- - show posters. Announcements of community events; whether they be for a protest or a punk show, public announcements are one of my favorite aspects of printing. A call to the masses to come together to celebrate something fun. We are inundated with ridiculous posters and billboards all the time, to buy products, to sell our junky car, or ugly house, or to buy a new cancer causing product like a telephone or computer. But the true beauty of art on the street can be found in many art forms, from the political sloganeering, to graffiti and tagging, to the posters announcing a public event.
so, here is a selection of some of these posters.
The New Bloods/ Fucking Ocean poster and the Microcosm Tour/ Screaming Females poster were collaborations between Mike "hotsauce" Stoltz and myself. The two port-o-party posters (the koala bear and the howling wolf) were collaborations with my sweetheart Peter Glantz.All others are show announcements I made for AS220 (the art space where I currently book shows). Enjoy~!
By Lush, from rebel:art. The above is a humorous piece about the commodification of street art. A handful of the work is clever, while other pieces can be easily critiqued, as replications of the dominant ideology in society. I'm using big words to avoid the obvious. You'll see, at the links above.
A few months ago I picked up an amazing book called Print: How Your Can Do it Yourself by Jonathan Zeitlyn. It was first printed in 1974, in the heyday of self-publishing and the alt press scene. I was amazed that the copy I had was the 5th printing from 1992, since this didn't seem like the type of thing that would have longevity. In the introduction, Zeitlyn explains that it is aimed to show various inexpensive design and print methods, and how to establish your own/community press.
Filled with great hand drawn graphics and step by step instructions, it is easy and fun to read. It goes into detail about different print methods including relief, letterpress, photocopy, stencil, silkscreen, offset. It also has info on techniques like jelly pad printing and spirit duplicating, and more. It also explains techniques of design including typesetting, text, layout, gridding, borders and tone. Equally valuable is info on choosing paper, and dealing with "professional" printers, setting up our own printshop, and safety. It also has a helpful glossary of terms.
I first became sensitized to the problems within the U.S. prison system in the early 1990s. A friend brought me to an event in Washington, DC about the political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal (stay tuned, Judging Books #45 will be entirely dedicated to books by and about Mumia). The event (and Mumia's case, more generally) was a great introduction to how the U.S. prison systems sit at the intersection of many important issues in out society, in particular race, class, violence, and political engagement, but also gender, health care, sexuality, age discrimination, and much more. Once my eyes were opened to the basic facts (yup, facts, there's no arguing with them) that the U.S. imprisons more people per capita—by far—than any other developed nation and that percentage-wise the vast majority of those people will be poor and people of color, I started digging around for more info. It turns out that there had been a significant movement to reform/abolish prisons in the 1970s, and a lot of books had come out in the 70s and 80s, but by the mid-80s the Reagan revolution was in full swing, and "tough on crime" was the mantra of most politicians, left, right, and center. For the next couple weeks I'm taking a look at the books from that era that my friends and I were able to track down and read. After that I'll be looking at the next generation of prison books, which started coming out in the mid-90s and my peers began publishing.
The book to the right is the oldest of the books I'm looking at, a nice Penguin from 1962 with a great perspective-heavy view inside a prison.
I was just recently able to see Army of Shadows(1969), directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, for a second time at NYC's Film Forum.
The film is adapted from Joseph Kessel’s Army of Shadows, an account of the author’s experience in the French Resistance, published in London, in 1943.
Army of Shadows follows Gerbier and the members of his small cell (it is 1942, before the rise of the maquis guerrilla bands, and the number of active Resistance fighters is only in the hundreds) as they are arrested, tortured, imprisoned, find a way to escape or to engineer the escape of others, and eventually murdered, in some cases by the Nazis, in others by their own comrades, who have judged them a danger to security. "Those who come to the film with expectations of romantic heroes and daring action sequences that culminate in uplifting endings, that is, will be bewildered and disappointed by Melville’s rigorous focus on process rather than action and by the pessimism that tempers his characters as individuals and comrades in arms." -Amy Taubin from Criterion
The film is an incredible piece of art that illustrates the discipline and organization of the French Resistance. I left the theater feeling quite somber and curious about what kind of political climate inspires social struggle. Will humans resist without a clear fascist threat? Are clandestine activities impossible under the modern surveillance state?
Army of Shadows evokes so many questions, and daydreams, of how we could organize resistance to the multiplicity of social and ecological ills, today. This film is inspiring and can be an example of the level of commitment that coordinated resistance can attain.
Another semester of radical teaching begins tomorrow, so my apologies in advance for those bored by this brief introspective essay. Although not the usual politico-aesthetic essay you generally find here on Justseeds, I will nonetheless spend a few minutes this evening discussing my personal thoughts.
Celebrate People's History!
Poster Exhibition - Book Release Party
La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705 USA
January 7 - February 27, 2011
Reception: Saturday, January 15, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
There's a good chance that at some point in your life you've seen a Celebrate People's History poster decorating the walls of your classroom, community center or neighborhood book shop. Initiated by Josh MacPhee in 1998, this far-reaching project uses poster art created by over ninety artists to document the hidden history of social justice movements. The complete set of these posters has just been released in book form by Feminist Press. More than 50 posters will be on display at La Peña from January 7 - February 27, 2011
A few years ago I found this guide on how to make a slingshot on the sidewalk. From the looks of it, it was drawn by a kid. I really hope so. Vartan Grey, if you are out there, you rule. The booklet folds out horizontally, so it is just one long piece.
A while back I saw my friends Noah Apple and Colin Atrophy, collectively the Puppet State Players, perform a brilliant satirical puppet show on a street corner in Brooklyn. I proposed to them that we do a video version, and Mommy's Little Monster was born. Enjoy this coming of age story of a teenage monster and how he gains a critical view of the factory farming of human beings. Love, danger, and food fights ensue.
Longtime Justseeds ally, experimental filmmaker, and kick butt lady, Vanessa Renwick needs your help! She is throwing a kick-starter drive to fund a compilation DVD of her short films. The Oregon Department of Kick Ass is her film moniker, and this is a link to her website. And here's a link to her kickstarter page. Check it out!
Five Celebrate People's History poster artists live in Philly, and they've banded together to put on a larger exhibition of the CPH posters, and a book launch! Morgan Andrews, Dan Berger, Beth Pulcinella, Erik Ruin, and Eian Weissman have organized a show at Studio 34 on Baltimore Ave. in West Philly. Check it out tomorrow night, books and posters will be available!!!! I was hoping to be at the opening but have come down with the flu, but now I plan on coming to the closing on February 4th:
Celebrate People's History!
Opening: Friday, January 7, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Studio 34 Yoga Healing Arts
4522 Baltimore Ave
Here's a link to the site of photographer James Mollison, who has undertaken a great project of portraiture in Indonesia, Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo: Passport photographs of apes. These are truly wonderful images of survivors of the trades in live pets and in bushmeat. Mollison's got some pretty great pictures of the life and times of Pablo Escobar on his site too.
Next week, my new show opens at Central Michigan University. Exhibiting alongside US-based Mexican printmaker Alynn Guerra, the show is called Graphic Protest and was curated by Anne Gouchenour. Similar to my recent show in Cleveland (and incorporating my baseball bats), this installation also focuses on notions of immigration and indigeneity. To make this happen, I screened over 300 pennants (7 different designs) using Anishinaabemowin and English text as the subject. I am also including a large-scale wall painting addressing the Occupation of Alcatraz by Indians of All Tribes.
Click through for three images I took on my phone, just as a teaser. Sorry for the poor quality. For more information click here.
Check out this sweet lil video that Nicki Sabalu made for Thurston Community Television in Olympia, Wa...they used shots of the covers of both my zine Chick Pea #4 (a split with Simone Roughouser's Risk-Oblivious Youth #1), and Justseeds' buddy Ally Reeves' Another Chance: A Zine About Bioremediation, among others. Nice straightforward definitions and explanation, I think this could be a useful tool for educators.
For the past 4 years the Vaudevillains NYB has taken part in the Mummers Parade in Philly. They have been serving up hot dance moves, poppy jams, and day-glow costumes in the comics category with political commentary thrown into the mix. I have had the pleasure of marching in the brigade for the past two years, and let me just say it's a much better way to spend new years day than with a raging hangover. Save your partying for Two Street!
The theme this year was Philly Phantasy Phorest, featuring lots of fantastical creatures and trees fighting against the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry that is decimating the environment all over Pennsylvania and many other places. Currently PA is the only state where it is legal to dump toxic wastewater into rivers and streams.
In February 2009, the Pentagon decided to lift the two-decade long ban on photographs of flag-draped coffins. Somewhere down the line the military brass reasoned (or was forced to admit) that it was contradictory to champion “Operation Iraqi Freedom” while denying the media the freedom to publish images of soldiers returning home in caskets. Apparently, Jeffrey Deitch missed the memo that censoring anti-war images of coffins is something that democratic societies do not take kindly to.
For the next month of so I'm going to focus on the covers of books about U.S. prisons. Something uplifting for the new year! I first became involved in prison-related activism (including support for political prisoners, whose books will also be featured in the upcoming weeks) in the early 1990s, and slowly have amassed a large collection of books and publications on prison issues (in order to keep this manageable, I've pretty much stuck to books with spines, leaving out pamphlets, magazines, and chapbooks, as well as keeping it U.S focused). In addition, a couple friends have pretty large collections as well, so I've photographed some of theirs (thanks Dan Berger!), and pulled a select few off the web. This week we'll start with prison riots. And the daddy of the modern U.S. prison riot, Attica. Although it had begun to be an issue before, the Attica rebellion in 1971 awoke the American public to the fact that their were serious problems in the prison system, and a slew of both scholarship and sensational writing followed, including a series of reports like the ones to the right and below.
4th Avenue, NYC.
This is a terrible cellphone picture.
I took it cos I like the interrogation and think it is incomplete and should end with "...the way they are?"
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great time. Here's a little something for your hangover!
The National Science Foundation released a report on the 29th of December showing that an influx of non-native species can be a progenitor of a mass extinction event. The report draws on fossil evidence from the mass extinction of the late Devonian, approximately 375 million years ago, to describe what happens when hardy, adaptable species colonize areas dominated by more locally-focused ones. What happens is pretty chilling, as the report descibes: as the Devonian continents slowly merged, previously isolated species were able to enter new environments where those who could source their food more broadly tended to out-compete those with more limited menus. The newcomers, with their catholic tastes, were able to sieze control of the food chain for themselves and their exploding populations, leaving the natives to dwindle. In addition to their triumph in the field of nutritional economy, the newcomers accomplished something else: they dramatically slowed the rate of speciation. Most speciation, or the creation of new species, happens as a result of geographical isolation. A new mountain range, or perhaps a new channel cut through a continent by a rising sea, creates isolate areas from a previously contiguous mass. Within these disparate areas, species diverge according to the whims of natural selection, drifting towards different strategies of life, different food sources, different reponses to conditions of weather and wild nature. What the NSF report describes is what happens when this process occurs in reverse. New species are no longer busy being born- they are busy dying. This is mass extinction: old species disappear, and few or none rise to replace them.