Justseeds will be representin at the 1st ever Pittsburgh Zine Fair, this Thursday September 1st at AIR (Artists Image Resource). Bec Young will be giving a lettepress demo at 7:00, and Mary Tremonte will be on a panel discussion about zines and social change also at 7:00. Mary and Shaun Slifer will be holding town a table of Justseeds goods. The event is free and features workshops, discussions, food, DJ's, and loads of zines! There is also a benefit raffle for Book 'Em, Pittsburgh's books-to-prisoners program. And it all happens during AIR's Thursday Night Open Studio. Come get your zine on and get your print on too.
Thursday September 1
AIR, 518 Foreland St, Pittsburgh, PA
for more info: pghzinefair.com/
Justseeds is busy at work on our third portfolio project! War is Trauma, due out in the mid-to-late Fall, is a collaborative portfolio project between Justseeds, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and Booklyn. Close to 30 artists are participating including artists from Justseeds, IVAW, and allied artists including Michael Rakowitz, Temporary Services, and others. The portfolio itself will include a cover from the Combat Paper Project. In the next coming weeks, I will post more preview photos and information about the project that is a follow up to the Justseeds collaboration with IVAW last November.
Once upon a time (in the 1980's & 90's) there was a sticker and a T-shirt that said "Corporate Rock Still Sucks" (also the slogan of SST records). The first time he was on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine (1992), Kurt Cobain made a hand scrawled T-shirt with the words, "Corporate Magazines Still Suck." This act gestured toward the difficulty of trying to stay independent in our society with all of the contradictions and seductions of corporate culture. These days I'm becoming increasingly confused about my/our (independent cultural producers) relationships to corporations. The cooptation of anything cool or resistant into visual advertising has been going on for decades. Although that can be frustrating, I find it less confusing than the recent crop of branded "community" and "space" making which seem to function a bit differently than the creation of advertising images. What I am talking about are the numerous, branded initiatives that offer people participatory and social experiences. Levi's offers free filmmaking, photo, and printmaking workshops, Van’s hosts shows with some great musical acts, Urban Outfitters and Levi’s have a touring DIY bike shop, and Converse even has "a community based recording studio" (their words). Part of the ideals of independent and DIY culture is both access to the tools/means of production and to free spaces for creativity and communication. Are these corporate ventures really giving us a gift? Or are these poison gifts—and at what cost and to whom—since we know corporations main goals are their bottom lines?
Friends and supporters, We are writing to announce our 6th Annual Benefit Book Sale for Daniel McGowan. We've had great success and good times with these book sales in the past and this year will be no different.
Why a fundraiser now? While you may not realize it, life in prison can actually be really expensive. From making overpriced phone calls and e-mail access, to having to buy basic necessities from the commissary at prices many times that of retail, Daniel’s living costs have add up. For that reason, even if you can’t make it to the book sale, please consider donating to Daniel today. Without donations from friends and supporters, Daniel would be unable to buy the minimal goods that provide a small amount of comfort while he is imprisoned. Not to mention the staggering amount of money he still owes for the legal representation during his trial.
The Art Threat blog has a great review of what looks like an amazing comic book called "Kenk: A Graphic Portrait". The subject of the book is a highly unscrupulous Slovenian expatriate in Toronto who ran a bike-shop notorious for the questionable provenance of its stock. An ardent environmentalist and erstwhile disciple of permaculture, Kenk was also an ex-policeman. He seems to be a weird synthesis of contradictory impulses and responses to consumer society: the refugee from a collapsed communism who arrives in the Land of Waste and builds himself a little empire from the cast-off and the un-secured. It sounds marvelously contradictory, morally and economically ambiguous, and sure to inflate the rage-pouches of the righteous! The art is also intriguing, based on post-Yugoslav-era punk-rock photocopy collage traditions; highly contrasted and filthy graphics that echo zine-culture and aesthetics.
I'm trying to decide what feature this week while riding out this hurricane hitting the east coast. Hopefully I'll get this up and posted before the power goes out (if it goes out, seems unlikely at this point).
Given the strange circumstances, I was thinking I was just going to post a handful of cool pamphlets I've picked up over the years, starting with this issue of the Irish political journal The Ripening of Time. This is issue #12 and the only one I've ever seen in person. I assumed that it was one of the dozens and dozens of issues of random political journals I've collected over the years that seem completely lost to history, but it turns out this one was important to people, and a number of different sites have been archiving different issues, and an Irish TV show even produced an episode about it! (you can watch it HERE).
MILK NOT JAILS is a consumer campaign to mobilize NY residents to support the dairy industry and the long-term sustainability of the rural economy. It is a political campaign to advocate for criminal justice and agricultural policy reform that will bring about positive economic growth. MILK NOT JAILS insists that bad criminal justice policy should not be the primary economic development plan for rural New York.
MILK NOT JAILS has made significant headway over the past year, and we are now at a critical moment in our efforts to build a new urban-rural relationship in New York State. We have mobilized farmers to help us achieve our political demands and we are working with them to build a political line of dairy products. We hope to make significant policy changes in New York and create a new model for social change that other groups around the country can utilize.
I just finished installing at exhibition entitled Anishnaabensag Biimskowebshkigewag (Native Kids Ride Bikes). Based on a six month project building lowrider bikes with urban Native kids in collaboration with non-Native university students and Indigenous artists, we constructed a series of seven lowrider bicycles based on the sacred Anishnaabeg teachings known as Niizhwaaswi G’mishomisinaanig or Our Seven Grandfathers. These seven core values, seen in the pennants exhibited in the gallery, include concepts such as Nbwaakaawin (Wisdom), Zaagi’idiwin (Love), Minaadendamowin (Respect), Aakwa’ode’ewin (Bravery), Debwewin (Truth), Dibaadendiziwin (Humility), and Gwekwaadiziwin (Honesty).
The show will be up at Michigan State University through the end of September. Contact me if you are interested in bringing this show to your community.
My friend Shawn in Providence sent me a link to this cool time-lapse video of on of his new installation paintings. How come we never make fun videos like this for Justseeds installs?
This show looks great, wish I was on the West coast!
Peace Press Graphics 1967-1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change
September 10 - December 11, 2011
September 10, 2011, 5:00-8:00pm
The UAM, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), will mount Peace Press Graphics 1967–1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change, a survey of the press’ work and their connections to artist collectives of the time. Founded in 1967 by a unique group of L.A. activist-artists who created an “alternate everything” printing and publishing business, the Peace Press (1967-1987) emerged from the tangle of progressive political and alternative groups that flourished during the decades between 1960 and 1990. The poster archive, now housed at the CSPG in Los Angeles, exemplifies an important element of visual and cultural history: art that reflects the desire and intention to create social and political change, as well as artists who attempt to affect change through both their work and their actions. More HERE.
image: La Raza Unida, c.1972, 21.50 x 13.50 inches, Collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, © Peace Press.
This SUNDAY, August 28th,
...and after that, the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writer-in-Residence Program and Justseeds present readings by Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela & Adriana Ramirez at 6:30 pm!
Light snacks and refreshments will be provided at Justseeds, more info on the readers and event locations after the cut...
I've long admired the work of designer Ray Noland, otherwise known as Creative Rescue Organization, or CRO. Although I'm not a huge fan of his turn towards largely working around electoral politics imagery since Obama was running in 2008 (isn't electoral politics represented enough in our society?), he still comes up with some real hits. Check out the below on marijuana criminalization, and check out the rest of his work HERE.
Last April, Roger Peet and myself, traveled up to northern California immediately after the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair. Justseeds was invited to exhibit the RESOURCED portfolio and A Crisis in Common, at the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture, in Weed, CA. It's in a gorgeous place and the exhibition was hung in an antique refrigerated train car from 1923.
I have finally uploaded some images up to our flickr account, check them out at Justseeds/Visual Resistance. Thanks to everyone that I met in that adventure, Crackbox (who played in the adjacent railcar), Austin/the flopbox, and to everyone at BBCRC for making the exhibition possible.
The Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture was founded in 2008 as a way to support and develop a community-building institution focused on railroad culture in the western United States. The BBCRC is located on the site of a long-abandoned junkyard amid several acres of forest, chaparral, and wetlands directly adjacent to Black Butte Siding, the junction of the Union Pacific and Central Oregon and Pacific railroads right on the southeast edge of Weed, California.
Red Channels presents:
Madame X: An Absolute Ruler
MONDAY AUGUST 22, 2011, 7 pm
200 Hudson Street, NY, NY
This is something-this is extreme- the Outlaw-the Misfits- this is what I was looking for! - Betty Brillo
The notorious pirate ruler Madame X places a print ad, calling on women to escape their boring lives and promising "gold, love and adventure" to all who come aboard her ship, the Orlando. A motley crew including a housewife, diva and artist (played by Yvonne Rainer) embark on a quest for self-transformation, which quickly heads towards destruction as they are subjected to Madame X's sadistic, erotic escapades. Director Ulrike Ottinger's Madame X is a surreal subversion of the swashbuckler genre that challenges notions of feminism, sexuality, and liberation.
dir. Ulrike Ottinger, 141 min. 1977, 16mm print
My friend "Ret" has sent me some great covers a couple times now. Originally a couple of B. Traven ones, and now a lot more (plus some Angela Davis covers I'll be featuring in the near future). A couple months back Ret sent me a great folder of a dozen Traven covers I hadn't previously featured, and that's what I'm going to share today. This will actually be the 9th week I've focused on Traven, and with these 11 covers, a total of 159 Traven editions! You can check out all the past covers HERE.
To start out, to the right is an interesting 1971 Penguin edition of March to Caobaland (the same as March to the Monteria, but according to Ret, an earlier translation). It's a great cover, and feels way ahead of it's time, a real slick post-modern mix of fonts, classic design elements, and contrasting color scheme. It has none of the human hand typical of late 60s/early 70s eclectic design (a la PushPin), so seems more late 80s or early 90s.
There is a successful campaign going on in Brooklyn right now. Last Friday supporters of, 82 year old, Mary Ward prevented Federal Marshals from evicting her from her foreclosed home. When I say prevented, I mean that the Marshals did not bother to arrive at the home, while 200+ people assembled outside her home. The elderly homeowner and her legal team also negotiated a meeting with her purported landlord, and are attempting to arrange an agreement. Organizing for Occupation will continue supporting Mary Ward, by gathering at 320 Tompkins Ave, Monday, August 22, 9am.
The Press release for last Friday:
NEW YORK, NY – Ms. Mary Lee Ward, an 82 year-old African American grandmother who resides at 320 Tompkins Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, is facing a foreclosure related eviction from her home of 44 years this Friday the 19th at 9am.
People of the Northwest: We'll be tabling at the Seattle Anarchist Bookfair this weekend. It's at the Vera Project, near the Seattle Center, and runs Saturday 11-5 and Sunday 12-5. Come out and say hello!
Hello! I'm Caroline Paquita, a visual artist, musician, bee-keeper, and in general, a maker and “sharer” of things. I live and work out of Port Quincy, in Brooklyn, NY. After many years of self-publishing, I'm officially beginning a small queer, feminist, total-art-freaker publishing house called PEGACORN PRESS. Through your help, I’m hoping to raise funds for new and better equipment to make this easier and all the more possible.
Themba Lewis has a great gallery of pictures of street art from the revolution in Egypt on his website. His photos captured an explosion of public art onto the walls and sidewalks of Cairo as the revolution surged through the capital and swept Mubarak's regime into the Nile. From portraits of martyrs to the participation of Cairo's sign-painting guild to ominous warnings of the revolution's betrayal, this is an amazing document of ephemeral visual communiques.
"the administration has moved to ramp up deportations, expanding the brutal efficiency of a system that Mr. Obama has acknowledged is broken, arbitrary and unjust." - New York Times, Aug 15. 2011
After hitting a record 1 MILLION deportations, the Obama administration just did the unthinkable: Forcing states and police departments to comply with a controversial program called Secure Communities or S-Comm – a move guaranteed to deport many more millions of people.
To the left is the cover of Dmitro Bedzik's Underground Thunder. Bedzik was a Ukranian writer and playwright, born in 1898, but I don't think this book was published until 1971. I haven't been able to find much out about it, but it is some sort of historical novel about the Ukraine, and given the block prints inside, it must have some connection to a story of revolution and repression. The cover is really nice, a paper-wrapped hardback, printed in red and black on an unbleached stock. The title is in a clean sans serif Cyrillic font, and the right 2/3 of the page is covered with a powerful red and black block print of emotive working class faces piled up below a banner.
In an article published yesterday in the Guardian UK (read HERE), it's come out that Shepard Fairey didn't receive the welcome he would have hoped for on his recent trip to Denmark, where he was beat up after his exhibition opening last weekend. It appears that Copenhagen youth decided to try to teach him that elusive life lesson that what you do as an artist might actually have real life consequences.
Fairey's mural on site of the former anarchist/punk squat Ungdomshuset (we ran a write-up on the importance of the site a couple years back HERE)—and ground zero for the youth riots of 2007—pairs a dove and the word "peace" with the Ungdomshuset rallying cry "69." The combination of Fairey's development of the cult of personality for Obama, the taking of Copenhagen city money, and the use of that money to paint a mural seen as trying to obscure the conflict between the city and the anarchist community was a step too far. Fairey's transgress, and attempt to shove his particularly friendly, Southern Californian-style neo-liberalism down the throat of Danish youth activists has landed him a black eye and bruised ribs for his troubles. To his credit, Fairey did go back and repaint a portion of the mural with input from some former Ungdomshuset members, but then again, when you depend on street cred to keep your career rolling, it's unclear if he had much choice. (photo: Tommi Ronnqvist for the Guardian)
I must admit, I ran out to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes the day it came out. I've been a life long fan of Planet of the Apes, but I honestly can't remember what initially drew me to the movies as a teenager. Maybe it was the Philip K. Dick-like pretzel of time travel and alternate reality shifts, maybe it was simply the irresistible combination of science fiction and old-school primitive fantasy with loin clothes and sword fights (a la Conan), but I've had a deep affection for the whole thing ever since. It's amazing to me that a 1963 French sci-fi book originally translated as Monkey Planet could turn into 7 feature films, a TV series, an animated cartoon, dozens of spin-off serial novels and comic books, as well as lines of toys and other merchandise tie-ins.
It wasn't until I went back and watched all the films again later that I realized what makes them so interesting and compelling is not the hokey special effects (yeah, yeah, I know they were miles ahead of their time…) or Charlton Heston's terrible acting, but the strange Hollywood channeling of white fear about Black Power.
Think about it, Planet of the Apes is a world run by violent, rage-filled, and seemingly irrational dark-skinned apes (clearly men in ape costumes), who have created a slave trade of (almost entirely) white humans, who are not simply silenced by their oppression, but ignorant, brutal, and literally mute, unable to speak! Apparently Black people in power leads to white people becoming completely stupid. I suppose in some ways that prediction has come true. Obama being elected—hardly Black Power!—has created an army of white nut jobs babbling incoherently about birth certificates.
I'm collaborating as a DJ with interactive installation artist Casey Droege and poet Christine Choi for COME TO OUR PARTY, DRESS IN WHITE, part of the Trespass artist-in-residence series at Future Tenant.
Thursday August 11th
Come to Our Party, Dress in White
a project of Casey Droege and Christine Choi
819 Penn Avenue
What moves you? Song drives movement—to feel, nod, shake, congregate, celebrate. How do dance lyrics function when lifted from their song-nested context and displayed apart as visual rather than auditory? How does this cognizance influence our moves/movement or tinge the dynamic of the party?
Come to our (dance) party, dress in white—LITERALLY. DJs Mary Mack, Drop That, and Square Peg will be in effect along with curious projections. Gesture-input poetry, lively investigation and laughter.
Here's the second part of the Ukranian communist book stash I found in upstate NY. (Part one can be found HERE.) To the left is the cover for a book which is oddly titled Honor and Dignity of Russian Names (Moscow, 1973). The red type has that fabulous Western look, which I would suspect read as something completely different in 1970s USSR. The blue floral fill is very conservative/classical, but the concentric frames around it add a more modern touch. Paired with the patriotic/space program red stripes and stars at the bottom, it all makes for quite a quirky cover.
Below we have the back cover, which lists either the author or publisher, Soviet Committee for Cultural Relations with Overseas Compatriots. The name is stretched and squished line by line into a tight little box of blue type, wrapped up in a frame emanating from a little red star, like the star is exclaiming the words!
I'm part of this art show, BIG MOUTH: contemporary voices in feminist art + illustration. I will be showing my prints and illustrations from Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas. Come check it out!
OPENING Tuesday, AUGUST 9, 6pm-9pm
@ Brooklyn Fireproof
119 Ingraham St (at Porter Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11237
A group show featuring: Suzy Exposito, Molly Fair, Kim Funk, Kathleen Hanna, J. Morrison, Adee Roberson, & Gabby Schulz
Curated by Kate Wadkins & Lauren Denitzio
BIG MOUTH: contemporary voices in feminist art + illustration is a platform for unpopular visual opinions. Feminist movements have historically grown out of interventions within radical communities in the face of silence, anger, and often, violence. Still, these conflicts and contentions are fought with the utmost passion and humor in hopes for a radical resolution. BIG MOUTH illustrates the ever-evolving search for feminist/queer identities and communities. This group show places feminist narratives at the center of radical art-making, where often our voices are poorly represented or left out altogether. BIG MOUTH is a celebration of our pluralism, our goofiness, and a proclamation of defiant love.
Yesterday, I took my daughters and nephew to see the studio of Gwen Frostic (1905-2001). Like many in Justseeds, my summer has been jam-packed with exciting and busy activities. I spent two weeks working with young Indigenous artists in San Francisco. Afterward, Estrella Torrez and I co-taught an undergraduate seminar traveling across New Mexico and Colorado on ‘Native and Chicano perspectives in the US Southwest.’ Now that I am back in Michigan, I am trying to spend time with my kids, as well as finish five forthcoming book chapters and prepare for fall classes. This, while planning a bunch of solo shows and getting ready for Slovenia. Gulp…
Oof. It's finally summer out here in the Best Coast, and I find myself caught up in a veritable storm of art-activities. When it rains, it pours, you know? Except that metaphor doesn't work because it has only just finally stopped raining here and it will probably start again after a couple of weeks.
In addition to printmaking for Justseeds (new prints about tiger beetles and monarch butterflies and going wild and crazy), I'm painting a big-ass mural for the Citybikes cooperative, on their building at SE Ankeny and 8th. I also have this weird installation/sculpture installed in an art gallery in the mall downtown; it's a bushmeat food-cart serving the severed hands of chimpanzees (read more about that here on the website; lots of juicy info and video links).
So yeah, a lot going on. Yesterday I decided to pack a bit of everything into one day.
UK's Huck Magazine has printed an excerpt of Dara and my intro to Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now in both their issue #25 and their winter mini-mag. Neither is online, but to the left is an image of the min-imag spread!
After reading Celebrate People's History: A Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution, the UK's Red Pepper magazine says they were "tempted to go out and form a revolutionary poster collective of their own." Check out the full review HERE.
A Limited Rebellion design blog calls Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, "truly essential reading." The full review can be found HERE.
In a second review A Limited Rebellion had this to say about Celebrate People's History: "This beautiful volume is the kind of coffee table book that will definitely spark conversations and should certainly be on the shelf of anyone who considers themselves a design activist." Read the rest HERE.
Jori, a great photographer from Providence, was at the Justseeds HQ a couple months back taking photos for the new Outpost magazine. She sent me a link to a flickr set of the photos, which look great! If you have any interest in what our space looks like, or what Justseeds does behind the scenes, check these out HERE!
Here is a link to check out a book project about the uprising in Wisconsin.
The book is edited by Erica Sagrans.
Tonight Red Channels presents:
The Communard's Pipe
dir. Kote Marjanishvili, 1929, 50 minutes
Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 9:30PM
124 South 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Set during the Paris Commune of 1871, A father takes his young son to the barricades and is killed. The boy is then captured (refuses to part w/ his father's pipe) and taken to the prison at Versailles where he is tormented by the ladies of the bourgeoisie, treated as a wild child.
Featuring live musical accompaniment by Silver Process:
Joe Merolla - violoncello
Coralie Lonfat - electronics
Chuck Bettis - electronics
with very special guests Nonoko Yoshida - alto saxophone
& David Pearson - soprano saxophone
Listen to Silver Process here
A couple months back I got to spend an amazingly fun and relaxing weekend at a strange old Ukranian summer camp in Monroe, NY called Arrow Park. It was the first annual retreat of the political collectives Resistance in Brooklyn and Wild Poppies, and although Dara and I aren't members of either, we we're friends and fellow-travelers enough to be able to get away to the beautiful grounds and lakefront of this retreat center frozen in time. It was like walking into a 1970s-preserved camp from the 1930s! At some point the place must of been connected to the Communist Party, either here or in the USSR, as the bookshelves contained a small but interesting collection of Communist literature in Ukrainian, Russian, and Byelorussian, all in Cyrillic characters.
I turned to my favorite Slavophile and Russian language student (and Justseeds member) Alec Dunn, who kindly translated the pile of covers I photographed at Arrow Park. To the right is a simple floral cover that exclaims Great October.