Today is September 1st, 2014, and marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the last Passenger Pigeon in a Cincinnati zoo. That last bird, named Martha, represented the culmination of an unimaginable feat: the final destruction of what had been the most populous species on the planet. When we think of Passenger Pigeons, we recall stories of them blackening the skies, of masses of them snapping the groaning trunks of great forest trees, of storms of swirling birds battering themselves to death against the barns and walls erected in their flight paths by the burgeoning settler society that was at the same time hunting and eating them to extinction. It's a truly unpleasant reminder of what we, as a species under capitalism, are capable of when we really put our minds to it. Are we capable of anything else?
Martha is on display at the Smithsonian museum in DC until September, as part of an exhibit on multitudinous extinct birds entitled Once There Were Billions. Probably worth checking out!
I made a print about the Passenger Pigeon, pictured above, which you can check out here.
This week in “It’s the End of the World as we know and I feel fine, a look into Israel’s racism, riots in Paris in solidarity with Gaza, resistance to oil and gas infrastructure in Turtle Island, including actions in Utah, Vermont, Washington, 6 Nations and Unist’ot’en, the defense of Pizzeria Anarchia in Austria, PETA’s latest asshole move, new music by Rob Hustle, and an interview with Doug Gilbert on his book the “I saw fire”.
1. Ariel Sharon must die!
3. Turtle Island blocks oil and gas
4. PETA – Pretentious Egotistical Totalitarian Assholes
5. No Pizza No Peace!
6. Mi’kmaq Warriors almost free!
7. ***MUSIC BREAK – Call the Cops – Rob Hustle ft. Liv ***
8. The cops are not part of the 99%, interview with Doug Gilbert on his book the “I saw fire”
Don Martin ft Immortal Technique (US), Eltipo Este (Cuba), Tumi (South Africa), Tonto Noiza (France). Prod Tommy Tee. Video by Ulfdawg.
Visit bdsmovement.net for more information on boycott campaign.
Vocal sample from Arundhati Roys speach "Come September".
Today would have been Patrice Emery Lumumba's 89th birthday. Lumumba, first prime minister of the Republic of Congo, was an emblem of passionate resistance to Belgian colonial rule, and at the ceremony marking the handover of power he gave a speech that puckered the sphincters of the assembled dignitaries and oligarchs, vowing that Congo's independence would be complete and that a free Congo would strive to rectify the desperate and entrenched inequality that the Belgians had created. Someone in the crowd muttered "he's going to have to go", and within six months he was dead, assassinated with the collusion of the Belgians and the CIA, both of whom had deemed his government an unacceptable threat to foreign-owned mining and commercial interests in the southeast of the country. Lumumba's assassination opened the door for the assumption of power by the reptilian Mobutu Sese Seko, an agent of the US and Belgium who slowly disarticulated Congolese society over the following thirty years. We can mark Lumumba's death today by listening to this podcast from Foreign Affairs, which summarizes some of the information found in a recently declassified trove of documents related to the CIA's activity in the Congo.
Emma Goldman was born, June 27, 1869, Kovno, Russian Empire. She was an Anarchist known around the world for her writing, political organizing and speeches. Here are just a couple of the prints that she has inspired in Justseeds.
"Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution" book release party is a collaboration between artist and writer Alan Ket and Revolution Books. Ganzeer, one of the artists featured in Walls of Freedom will be at the bookstore to sign books.
Friday, June 27, 7pm Revolution Books 146 W 26th St. NY, NY
Walls of Freedom tells the story of the art that appeared on Egypt's walls over the past 3 years starting January 25, 2011. The Arab Spring saw an unparalleled explosion of graffiti and street art but few in the West know anything about it. Striking images transformed Egypt's walls into a visual testimony of bravery and resistance to the ruling authorities -- including Mubarek, the army, Morsi and the Islamic fundamentalists -- tracing the journey from the early days of hope and inspiration to the decline into today's nightmare. Spanning Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor, the book is a document of the volatile and fast-shifting political situation there.
This past weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman working for the Freedom Summer campaign in Mississippi in 1964.
I am inspired by the dedication of all those involved in the organizing, just to get black people registered to vote, in the face of intense racism and violence. These activities are what I hope we can celebrate more, as a society. Music is one of my favorite forms of cultural expression and here are two of my favorite songs resulting from these events.
Nina Simone- Mississippi Goddamn on Soundcloud
Our colleagues and collaborators in Taring Padi, the legendary Indonesian printmaking cooperative, have recently completed a series of actions and performances marking the 8th anniversary of the Lapindo mud disaster in north Java. Eight years ago, incautious drilling for gas resulted in a slow eruption of hot volcanic mud which has devastated the region. Click through for a ton of awesome photos and TP member Ucup's description of the campaign.
The Flying Lizards formed in 1976 in England and are one of the weirdest bands that produced an album on Virgin Records. Their first record features the song they are best known for - "Money (That's What I Want." This song has landed in several Hollywood movies over the years. However, that song barely expresses even 10% of the range of styles and emotions their other songs evoke. Their first release (self titled) starts with an incredibly high energy song, "Der Song Von Mandelay" - which was composed by German composer Kurt Weill, who notably worked with Bertolt Brecht on composing the soundtrack for "Threepenny Opera."
When I first heard the British band Huggy Bear, and their song lyric "This is the sound of the Revolution!" I really did feel like I was listening to the soundtrack to a gender revolution. My entrance into listening to this band was through their split LP with Bikini Kill, but once I heard them, I couldn't get enough. They intersperse poetry, discordance, anger, whispering, punchy drums, and inspirational chanting into an epic, thrilling ride which remains unparalleled. Karen Hill, the drummer, has an incredibly dynamic, staccato rhythm, part marching band, part pop dance beat, and a bit of jazz. If you listen closely, some of their songs also have snaps to help with the rhythm. Such an incredibly inspirational and powerful band within the riot grrrl movment.
This week in reviews: Liliput. This Swiss band started out being called "Kleenex" before they were threatened by the tissue company to change their name. Their music is unique, dynamic, and simply inspiring. Everything they made is interesting, and this record epitomizes what makes this band so special. The vocals are layered in a mix of low end narration, high pitched screaming, howls, throaty whispers, and at times combine much like witches chanting over a pot of boiling brew.
This is part of an ongoing series of links to music which has influenced me over the years. Valerie Scroggins remains one of my drum icons. They began in the early 1980's and some members have reunited for performances throughout the last few years. They've been musicians for several decades! They are incredibly talented.
The Fall is an incredible band. To date, they have recorded 30 LPs. The band formed in 1976 in Greater Manchester- a city in Northwest England. There have been many lineup changes through the years, but Mark E. Smith has always been the band vocalist throughout the many decades of the bands existence. My personal favorite recordings are from their first release in 1979 throughout the mid 1980s.
Welcome to Edition #2 of "My Awesome Record Collection" where I share some of the gems from over 25 years of gathering (mostly second hand) vinyl from around the world.This week's review is of Lizzy Mercier Descloux's "Press Color" 12." It's 8 songs, released on ZE Records in 1979.
Thee Headcoatees tackle sexual harassment in their song "Park it Up Your Arse." The members were Holly Golightly, Kyra LaRubia, Ludella Black and drummer "Bongo" Debbie Green. This song starts with a poppy, mid tempo rhythm and then the direct, spoken word takes us into the world of a woman dealing with an annoying drunkard in a bar. The direct simplicity of the song is what makes it brilliant. When all band members chime in with the chorus we get some comic relief to the tension built by the spoken phrases. The best line is "Oh, Dostoyevsky, that's a big word for a double turd" which really succinctly gives shape to an experience women have in bars and coffee shops where someone thinks it's impressive to insert common academic phrases into seduction language.
Paul Robeson was born today, 116 years ago,in 1898. Above is the Celebrate People's History poster in homage to him.
Also belated Happy B'day to Biz Markie!
I'm an audiofile. I've been collecting records since I was 11 years old, and I'm now 37, so it's been over 25 years of appreciating and collecting music. I've got so many records I have to store them at the edges of any room they live in to make sure the floor doesn't start to buckle underneath them. I've got over 2,000 LPs and a few hundred 7" records. for over ten years I played these records on several college radio stations - in Pittsburgh Pa at WRCT, on air in New Orleans at WTUL, and at BSR at Brown University. Many have spun round and round at house parties, where I've tried a number of tactics to (largely unsuccessfully) keep the records from scratching and bouncing as the floor and everyone inside bounce up and down to the beats.
Erase Errata is an experimental band which can perhaps be described a bit as "art punk." Very stylized sounds are evident in every aspect of this band. Their sound is very unique and actually a bit genre-defying. Bianca Sparta, the drummer, has a fast, steady, dance beat which reminds me of running through space and time. Fast tom action, and heavy hi hats create an exaggerated sense of urgency which I find really awesome as inspiration for doing tasks which I need an extra shot of energy to accomplish.
I ran into an old comrade, David Martinez, while at the Bay Area Book Fair. He made a documentary about Occupy Oakland, that he'd like people to share and see.
You can see more of David's reporting from around the world at
The Scissor Girls were a No Wave band who played shows in the 1990's and were based out of Chicago, IL. I saw them perform at a show in California in 1994 and they simply bowled me over with the intensity and uniqueness of their music. I found this awesome video where you can really see how much intensity and consistency the drummer has in this performance. When I was first learning drums, I would listen to the records repeatedly trying to learn Heather Melowic's drum beats.
The organization I've been working for in Congo, TL2, performs many of the functions that people in western countries would consider to be the responsibility of the state. From road-building to education to the provision of security against murderous bandits, TL2 is an organizational presence that would otherwise not exist in the remote locations in which it operates. In the absence of a state, it's organizations like TL2 that end up doing a lot of the work that people appreciate- and a lot of the work that many of them resent greatly. This is the first part of an essay that aims to consider, from an anti-authoritarian point of view, what it means to work for a non-state entity that essentially is acting as a sort-of state, including implementing elements of law-enforcement and trying to fend off powerful and extremely violent criminal forces that have previously been the de facto authority over much of the area in question. Click through to continue!
Panty Raid was extremely catchy, lo-fi, fuzzy, and super fun band. They released a 7" record called "The Secret's Out" on Raw Sugar Records in the year 2000. When I saw them play in New Orleans at a house show, they had a live kissing booth with every member of the band. No one could have arrived prepared for the incredible dance party which ensued at their show. Band members have been in many many bands (before and after Panty Raid) - a few mentionables are Hunx and His Punx, The Younger Lovers, and The Tourettes. The drummer Janelle produced a zine called "Tales of Blarg" and has drawn many many album covers, written and illustrated dozens of comics zines, animated several short films, and is overall an incredible comic genius. Her drumming in Panty Raid was a flurry of frenetic energy- if you blinked you might miss it! Definitely inspiration material.
When I first started going to underground music shows in the early 1990's most bands were made up of straight, white boys in their early 20s. When I saw the band "Spitboy" I was thrilled. They were an anarcho-punk band from California whose songs expressed frustration at patriarchy. Their song "Ultimate Violations" puts statistics about rape into powerful music. The drummer/lyricist Michelle Gonzales recently published a zine about her experiences touring with the band called "The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Female Punk Band." The zine is available at this link for only $5 plus shipping!
Doughnuts was the first all female hardcore band I ever heard of. They were on Victory records, so remained relegated to the "straight edge" sub-genre of Hardcore, so many folks outside of the Victory records scene have no idea who they were. My favorite of their songs was "My Black Days" which starts with an eerie, spellcaster-y intro.
Today is the last day of WFMU's fundraising marathon and I wanted to ask you to support my favorite radio station reach its goal for its operating budget. (You can donate anytime) Click below.
WFMU is a listener sponsored free-form radio station, broadcasting out of New Jersey, and streaming worldwide at wfmu.org. There's something for everyone on WFMU and I listen to it endlessly, while drawing, reading, showering, eating-everyth-ING.
Using their own words: "Tribe 8 is considered one of the first queercore groups, they take their name from the practice of tribadism, a “tribe eight” being a play on the word tribade. Their songs often deal with subjects such as S/M, nudity, fellatio, and transgender issues, and the band was the subject of controversy because of this. The makeup of the group changed over time, but Lynn Breedlove and Leslie Mah (formerly of Anti-Scrunti Faction) were consistent members. Other members included Flipper (Silas Howard), Slade Bellum, Jen Schwartz, Mama T, Kat Buell, and Tantrum. Tribe 8 toured throughout the United States, playing at venues such as DUMBA and 924 Gilman Street; they also played in Europe and Canada, and released a number of recordings on independent record labels. In 2003 the film Rise Above: A Tribe 8 Documentary, by director Tracy Flannigan, was released, documenting not only performances by the band but the motivations and reasons behind the band and the part it plays in their lives. The movie has won many awards at film festivals throughout the U.S."
Peter Glantz directed this ethereal and brilliant video with Death Vessel. The whole album and video were just unleashed upon the world today!
Trying to describe LiLiPUT renders me speechless. This band has had a huge influence over me and many of my musical peers. They have carved a legacy which has influenced incalculable numbers of art rock bands throughout the last few decades. The drums, the lyrical layering, the dynamics of the guitar and bass leave me speechless!
Originally their name was "Kleenex" but there was some issue with a soft tissue which inspired them to find the band label "LiLiPUT."
Freeform and listener supported radio station WFMU is running their fundraising marathon right now. I have been a huge supporter and listener, for almost two decades, and I want to encourage you to be one too! Help the state of New Jersey and the airwaves.
This is a little series of music videos of bands who have influenced me over the years. These are bands whose awesome drummers have not been given the recognition they deserve for their talents. This drummer is Atsuko Yamano. This band has been around since 1981! There have been some lineup changes in the last few decades, but they've all been playing music almost as long as I've been alive. Here is a link to their website so you can do more digging around.
Watch a video here.
There is mega issues with the mainstream culture marginalizing and ignoring the brilliant cultural production of women, queer folks, and people of color. With the necessity for us to tell our own history, I present a series of videos of awesome bands who have influenced me in my own musical journey.
First off: The Mo-dettes, with the song "White Mice." The drummer is June Miles- Kingston who went on to perform with the Thompson Twins, Everything But the Girl, The Communards, and Fun Boy Three.
I'm in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the next two months, working on a conservation theater project in and around a new national park in the east of the country. It's going to be an interesting effort, writing and directing some short skits about conservation with Congolese researchers and fieldworkers that we'll take out to small, remote villages in the upper reaches of the Lomami river. Our goal is somewhat complicated- to promote the idea of community forests, of community stewardship of forests and their fauna and flora, in the hopes of helping to defend those forests against commercial exploitation by criminal networks and well-funded poaching enterprises. This is an experimental effort- at least half the time we spend out in the field will be put to the use of determining if what we're doing gets the point across in any useful way at all. You can follow regular updates from the project here on its tumblr. If you're curious about what exactly is going on in that photograph, click here to read the most recent update from Kinshasa, Congo's vibrant and sprawling capital. If you feel like you want to support the project (which is running on the tiniest of budgets), you could consider buying a download of some amazing music I recorded in the region when I was last there.
If you're paying attention to the horror-story that is the continued development of tar-sands infrastructure in Canada, then you've heard about the megaloads. These are enormous shipments of equipment destined for the tar-sands projects, moving through Pacific Northwest ports and up small highways into Canada. There's been some pretty fierce opposition to these shipments, which is ongoing. The Nez Perce and Umatilla tribes have blockaded roads, activists from Oregon, Idaho and Montana have locked down to the machinery to prevent it moving, and more people are joining in. You can read about some of the opposition on the website of Portland Rising Tide. I made a graphic for the campaign, which you can see above, and you can download a high-resolution copy of to print out and put in your window by clicking on that image and then right- or function-clicking to download.
A 2-color print that I made of the image will be available in the Justseeds store soon!
Here's Artnoose. She's quietly been Justseeds' stalwart adjunct at Pittsburgh World Distro HQ for a few years now, covering our butts when we need to leave town (or work other jobs). More importantly, she's been doing a typeset-by-hand zine for 17+ years, the venerated Ker-Bloom!, while paying the bills with flawless custom letterpress jobs as Deep Ink Letterpress. Even more importantly than that, she's a mom. 'Noose is looking for a hand keeping her zine afloat in 2014 by easing some of the load of typesetting all day while juggling the combined responsibilities of raising a child and renovating their new abode. The funding request is modest, and $20 gets you a year's subscription to Ker-Bloom!, which is pretty well worth it. Donate here!
UPDATE: Artnoose reached her small goal in record time, but you can still donate to help with babysitting costs and get yourself a 2014 subscription! Did I mention that the covers will be in rainbow-colored order? They will.
I'm pleased to announce the release of Obenge Recordings- a compilation of music I recorded in the now-vanished village of Obenge in Democratic Republic of Congo in the fall of 2012. This is a collaboration with Portland's Ewe of Now label. It's available as a cassette and as a digital download on Bandcamp- you can get it here. You can read more of the story of Obenge and the projects I'm involved in in Congo here, or click through- the text included in the cassette is reproduced after the jump.
Projet Mobilivre-Bookmobile Project was an exhibition of zines and artist books housed in an airstream trailer, that toured around Canada and the United States with a rotating team of tour guides, who taught workshops on bookbinding and zinemaking and facilitated discussions and interactions around independent handmade media. Fellow Justseeds member Jesse Purcell and I were part of this decentralized artist collective project, and through visiting Montreal for retreats and working with collective members, I quickly developed a big affinity for Canada and particularly underground radical and queer Canadian subcultures.
Donate to our Kickstarter and support the completion and printing of this book documenting a far-reaching and resonant diy art project. For only $35 you get a book! For $100 a special edition dust jacket by your choice of Bookmobile artists, including Justseeds member Meredith Stern, as well as buddies such as Edie Fake, Peter Burr and Amy Lockhart. Check out the details at the Kickstarter page.
Welcome back to Sounds of the Week!, the musical musings of members of the Justseeds artist cooperative. For this installment I asked fellow seeders for their best sounds of 2013, or top ten of 2013. Luckily at least one person was up for the challenge. Here we have a top ten list from Roger Peet.
I'm just back from three weeks in Mexico, most of which I spent traveling with Santiago Mazatl in Chiapas, the southernmost state and home to the Zapatista movement and its system of autonomous rural municipalities. These communities are built on land expropriated from underutilized ranches, owned by wealthy land-barons and seized from them during the initial uprising of indigenous communities on January 1st, 1994. That was the date that NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) took effect, something which has been utterly disastrous for Mexico in general and the indigenous Maya communities of Chiapas in particular.
This year was the 20th anniversary of that uprising, and Mazatl and I traveled to San Cristobal de las Casas in hopes of painting a mural to celebrate the fact.
I recently pulled out the Voices From Outside portfolio at Interference Archive, when a friend asked me if I knew of any prison related graphics. They were producing a flyer for their organization, Milk Not Jails, and a campaign to reform the Parole system in NYC. While looking through the prints in became obvious that Nicolas Lampert's Missing: 2.3 Million Americans would be appropriate for the campaign, and organization. The graphics exist as downloadable high res files on the portfolios website, here, ready for activists to use them in exactly this way!
Above is the finished-folded flyer that they gave out at Columbus circle, NYC, where people wait for buses late at night to make the trek to visit family and friends in the various prisons upstate.
Read the following for more on their campaign and how you can participate!
A Call To Halt: A multimedia installation and critical timeline of the Euromissiles Crisis, and of the nuclear abolition movement in the United States from 1977-1987 is a new project by friend of Justseeds, Brandon Bauer. The installation includes a participatory reenactment of the 1982 Nuclear Freeze Referenda, in which Wisconsin was the first in the nation to put multilateral nuclear disarmament policy to a popular vote.
Up today on the Justseeds store is a collaboration between myself and fellow Portland artist Nina Montenegro. I thought it'd be appropriate to offer this as a free download, which you can get by clicking on the image and then right-clicking to download. Click here to read more about it and to buy a print.
1. 19 COPs won't do
2. Mi'kmaq kick out the frackers
3. Thai pigs back the fuck down
4. Front End Loader Dreams
5. Greek cops on Fire
7. Zwarte Piet is Racism
The Coup surfaces to serve up the official video premiere of “Long Island Iced Tea, Neat” – a stop-motion social commentary on the epidemic of police brutality and racial profiling in communities of color across the United States. The footage animated by Kelly Gallagher is a crafty homage to Occupy Oakland that celebrates the lives of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin and illustrates the social movements ignited by their respective deaths with protest photos, construction paper, skittles and glitter. The Coup tap Brooklyn punk-art squad Japanther for the assist on this track from their Sorry To Bother You LP.
Read more at okayplayer
One of my closest and oldest friends, The Buddy Cat ("B" to those who knew her well), passed away while I held her in my arms the week before this last. Looking back over the ~14 years we've spent together, and trying to find ways to memorialize her life, I remembered this comic by Mike Taylor and thought that maybe a little dose of laughter could be a nice antidote for my grief. The comic is from an old project of Justseeds' own Meredith Stern, a zine she organized called The Dragoman, which involved artists submitting stories and then getting someone else's story sent back to them to illustrate as a comic. I wrote a story about the early days of the Buddy Cat, when she first came into my life by insinuating herself into the house that long-time cohort Ally Reeves lived in back in Nashville. The story involved Buddy getting "sick" while Ally and some friends were away at a gigantic protest, and I stayed home to feed "B" and facilitate that week's Food Not Bombs cooking session (the smells of which are less memorable). Mike (who I've never actually met) got my little tale of ad hoc feline dentistry, and I always thought his take on the whole thing was truly hilarious. The rest is below...
Our comrades at the Beehive Collective have completed their latest epic design and are looking for some help printing it. Please support their kickstarter!
After 9 years of production, our fantastically intricate and inspiring hand-illustrated mega-poster is ready for the print house!
Over the past thirteen years we've researched, drawn, and re-drawn the story of corporate-driven globalization in the Americas, starting with posters about the Free Trade Area of the Americas and Plan Colombia. In 2004 we embarked on the initial research trip for the third poster in this trilogy, traveling from Mexico to Panama over 5 months to meet with people on the frontlines of resistance to a regional development plan then known as Plan Puebla Panama. The industrial-scale infrastructure projects of the plan (now renamed Project Mesoamerica) are what literally pave the way for the free trade model that devastates local economies. Our intensive grassroots research and collaborative design process continued for several years. After the pencil work was complete, inking the final drawings took several more years, with rotating teams of illustrators and studios in multiple locations.
Melanie and Jesus hosted an amazing and insightful event at SoleSpace in Oakland earlier this month- here are some photos and the text of the show description.
El Día de los Muertos is usually a time to look back and give thanks to our ancestors whose existence made it possible for us to be alive today. With Future Ancestors: A Ceremony of Memory we look at the present and give thanks and celebrate the individuals whose life work is contributing to a world we will leave behind for future generations while investigating what was handed down by their ancestors and continues to shape who they are today.
Through conversations with five people we reflect on lessons and objects held sacred that haven been passed down to them. We will meditate on how these inheritances shape and inspire these individuals to look at the world around them and concern themselves with the task of building a better world.
Today is the official launch of the newest "WorldWord" short video series. This is a collaboration between Becky Stark, Peter Glantz, and Kevin Hooyman. This series premiered on the relaunch of "Liquid TV" which can be watched here.
To purchase the poster that corresponds to this video click this link.
On a grim and drippy morning earlier this week I sat in my house reading an article about slave capitalism in the magazine n+1, specifically a review of Walter Johnson's new book River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom, published earlier this year by Harvard. The author, Gabriel Winant, compares Johnson's analysis of the slave economy with an opposing take, written in the 70's by theorist Eugene Genovese, and points to the way he sees each view as arising from the specific historical moment in which it was written.
This year I put a ridiculous amount of time and energy into making a solar powered remote control car demolition derby (Green Mini Demo Derby). From asking numerous businesses if they would consider sponsoring a solar powered remote control car demolition derby, to building a mobile solar power station, to learning about remote control cars, retrofitting them so they are able to efficiently destroy each other, and spending countless hours painting corporate logos on cars and uniforms, it was a long, often confusing, process. I was nervous and excited (mainly terrified) for the first event, hoping the cars got charged efficiently, ran well, broke well, and that the event would be exciting.
There's an interview with filmmaker Vanessa Renwick over on the Incite website. Vanessa's interviewer, Deborah Stratman- also an amazing experimental documentary/filmmaker, engages Vanessa into a conversation about her work, filmmaking, and hunting. I highly recommend that you look into these two powerful and talented women's films! Vanessa's compilations of films, NSEW, is available through us here.
Before I ever made a print, I made puppets. I used to live in Minneapolis, home to an astonishingly imaginative and prolific alternative theater and puppetry scene, and cut a lot of my artistic teeth making some weird-ass shit and participating in the quasi-collaborative process of other people's weird-ass shit. Not to wax overly nostalgic, but I sometimes miss those times of heavy performative weirdness now that I live in the light-rock/smooth-jazz advertising jingle that is Portland, Oregon. When friend Maren Ward invited me to come to Minneapolis as a section designer and lead artist on this year's 20th anniversary Barebones Halloween Extravaganza, I bit. We're creating a huge spectacle of puppetry and projection in Hidden Falls Park over the next couple of weekends, so if you are in the region, you should come out and check it. I guarantee you will not be underwhelmed. Confused, and perhaps cold, but not bored. Below the fold there's some photos from the ongoing build, and to the right is the poster I designed for the event.
The Neighborhood Print Shop is a beautiful community based printing space in Braddock, PA. Braddock is a small town about 7 miles outside of Pittsburgh, a site of one of the last functioning steel mills in the area, and it also is the location of the first Carnegie library in the US. The Print Shop is located on one of the upper floors of that library (accessible by walking through the library's basketball court).
Bill Bigelow, co-director of the Zinn Education Project, has another quick and lucid history lesson up. This week, identifying yet another sore gap in our popular history textbooks, he's illustrating the U.S. invasion of Grenada, a "lovely little war" that Reagan's administration spat out thirty years ago this week. You can read the article here and, as always, keep up with the Zinn Education Project, especially if you're an educator of any sort. They've got a wealth of good perspective and plenty of downloadable teaching materials to keep students (and teachers) asking the right questions about history...
Here's another new series which I'm going to do for the blog, in which I ask members of Justseeds to take pictures of where they make their work, ask them to describe it, and ask what would be an ideal workspace.
Up for the first edition are visits with Pete (in Milwaukee) and Thea (in rural Oregon)....
Here's some photos from some friends here who did a creative action during the Columbus Day parade in Bloomfield (Pittsburgh's Little Italy). The pictures speak for themselves, a small group dressed in funerary attire, walking the parade route (though in the opposing direction of the parade).
Brave, bold, and awesome!
More photos below...
Welcome back to Sounds of the Week, the (supposedly) weekly sound musings by members of Justseeds. This week Earth, and Sly and the Family Stone and more.
Justseeds is sponsoring a film at the Milwaukee Film Festival this year. It looks fantastic.
Narco Cultura - USA | 2012 | 106 min. Director: Shaul Schwarz
In Ciudad Juarez, thousands of homicide cases overtax the crime scene units as drug cartels slowly tilt the system's odds in their favor. Meanwhile, across the border, nestled in the safe embrace of El Paso, Texas, musicians work feverishly to meet growing demand for narco-corridos, waltz-like ballads that lionize the blood-soaked escapades of traffickers and kingpins (who play them over police radio channels in the wake of their violent acts) idolized for having escaped poverty and squalor. Cutting between these disparate scenes and showcasing a largely unknown counterculture taking hold across both borders, director Shaul Schwarz examines how a calamitous lifestyle remains so appealing as Narco Cultura continues to grow.
I spent two weeks in August traveling around Montana. My sweetie Elizabeth and I hiked to hot springs in the Bitterroot Wilderness, counted Golden Eagles and Nighthawks in the Paradise Valley, and watched the beetle-killed mountains burn. On our way back to Missoula we took an alternate route through the town of Anaconda, heading north on State Highway 1. Just outside the town of Drummond, we passed a small ranch-house with a yard full of impressive metal sculpture- a bear, a rhino, and was that a mammoth? A big hand-painted sign on the fence said "Usually Open". We turned back to check it out.
As we pulled into the yard, a man was leaving the building marked "Museum", moving slowly, tall and thin, bent slightly over a walker. He noticed us, waved and approached. "I just closed, but I can open up again. No, it's no problem." He swung open the door and we went in.
The interior was a big white space full of paintings and wood-carvings, lit by big windows. "This is all my work," said the tall man, who introduced himself as Bill Ohrmann. "Stay as long as you like."
We started over to the walls and began a cursory ogle of the hanging work. It became immediately obvious that we had found something absolutely amazing. Our jaws dropped as we moved from piece to piece. We were in the presence of greatness.
Among the photos my cousin Fannie took in the 1930s, one stood out for me. It was a picture of Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.
This photo reminds me of this print made by German artist Sella Hasse in 1916. It's called "Board Carriers" and it's plate 4 of 7 in a series titled "Rhythm of Work."
They both have a quiet reflection in them, depicting both the beauty and exposing the difficulty of the collective labor.
New installment of It's the End of the World as We Know it from Submedia
I've posted several images of my cousin Fannie Black's overseas excursions in the 1930s. Here are a few images on board the ship.
Here she is looking so stoic, beautiful, and strong.
Welcome once again to Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative. This week: Efrim Manuel Menuck and an archive of an Amazing Radio show broadcast by Meredith Stern and Erik Ruin.
Here's another set of postcards from my cousin Fannie's trip to France in 1935. I love these old black and white postcards. These pictures look so serene, and since there isn't any written information about her trip, I can only speculate about her as a young 26 year old embarking on a European trip. Both the countryside and Fannie unaware of the events about to take place with WW2, just a few years later.
Welcome once again to Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative. This week: Two Gallants and Nadja again.
Since the end of May 2013, political unrest has swept across Turkey. In Istanbul, a large part of the central Beyoğlu district became a battle zone for three consecutive weeks with conflicts continuing afterward. So far five people have died and thousands have been injured.
This short documentary tells the story of the occupation of Gezi Park, the eviction on July 15, 2013, and the protests that have continued in the aftermath. It includes interviews with many participants and footage never before seen.
I’m excited to finally have completed the first car for my upcoming Green Mini Demo Derby. I have sponsors that will have their own hand painted cars. After many tests, I have been building all the bodies out of wood and aluminum flashing, and on inspection you can see this one has already had a few repairs after testing. This car is sposored by Midwest Photovoltaics.
Culture about resistance, resistance cultural production!
Check out this video by Twice Thou about resistance to Bank of America Foreclosures.
This is another set of postcards discovered in the ephemera of my relative Fannie Black who recently passed away in January of this year. She has an amazing range of effects from the 1930s which I've been posting in a series of posts. I have no other information about this trip other than that she was a 26 year old woman when she travelled alone overseas.
This is a postcard of Schloss Schonbrunner from August 1935.
It is a rare moment when one celebrates a labor victory in Wisconsin, much less anywhere in the U$A, yet that is the welcome news coming out of the Badger state this week.
Workers at Palermo's Pizza in Milwaukee have won a number of gains - eight out of the one hundred striking workers that were fired have been reinstated and granted back pay. Palermo’s must also post a sign inside the factory that it will commit to not breaking the law again when it comes to workers rights to form a union. For more information, check out the report on Slice of Justice.
Welcome once again to Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative. This week some Big Blood, Cerberus Shoal, Sandy Bull and the Fear of Smell.
So, this is the second series of images of paper paraphernalia from my relative Fannie Simonowsky's family archive. The first was a series of photographs of her trip to Russia in 1937. This following series are photographs taken in New York City, where she lived her entire life. It's incredible to see how much the skyline has changed over the course of so many decades. I'd be curious whether any of those New Yorkers' out there could acquire contemporary photos of these spots.
Here's a first glance of Fannie at Central Park in 1930. She was born in 1909 so she's 21 in this photo.
Welcome to the 7th installment of Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative. This week: Kardeş Türküler, and bicycle themed songs.
First photograph: Moscow, The Kremlin, 1935
My third cousin, Fannie Simonowsky- Black, lived to the incredible age of 103. We all called her "Aunt" because in many ways she epitomized a typical role of an aunt. She was an elder who would educate, enlighten, share stories, and remark on our lives while also having the luxury of not being ultimately responsible for our daily needs. She passed away this January, and I requested that her photographs and paper memorabilia be handed to me for safe keeping and archival purposes. There is so much really interesting early to mid 20th century artifacts, that I am going to create a series of posts to share some of her collection. The first series is 6 postcards she sent home while visiting (the former) Soviet Union. I find it interesting that she visited in 1935, just one year before Stalin's "Great Purge." Fannie was a staunch supporter of social justice, and I am confident that she would have found Stalin's political repression the following year to be tragic.
Just turned on to this brilliant reworking of the Robin Thicke creepy top-40 tune by a bunch of Canadian coastal queers...it's all about how sexy consent is.
""Ask First!" was written by J. Mary Burnet & Kaleigh Trace in response to Robin Thicke's gross, unconsensual song and video "Blurred Lines."
Art is powerful and we are in awe of rad artists who write political rhymes. Writing this song and making the video is one of the ways we're doing our best to promote enthusiastic consent and sex positivity in a shitty, heteronormative, patriarchal culture that objectifies women, normalizes rape, and blames survivors for their assault because they had "blurred lines" or because something they said, did, or were wearing made their perpetrator "know they wanted it."
We don't want to have to listen to Robin Thicke tell us he knows we want it over such a damn catchy beat. We wanna dance to music that's sexy and radical. "
Lyrics and link to download HERE
Welcome to the 6th installment of Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative. This week Old Earth!
I've been following all the action in Pittsburgh following the Zimmerman verdict, and the connections to racial injustices locally in Pittsburgh. Yesterday, Pittsburgh folks delivered a letter of demands to the Mayor of Pittsburgh's office, conducting a sit-in for 18 hours when he refused to see them, and then going to the Mayor's house and tacking their demands on his front door, "Martin Luther style."
Sarah Quinter, a good friend of Justseeds, has been working hard on a great Sandy Memorial Sculpture project, melding storm debris and the voices of those effected by the storm. Support her if you can, read more HERE.
Welcome to the 5th installment of Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative. This week a pairing of releases from Mississippi Records: Marisa Anderson and a Mississippi cassette compilation.
Welcome to the fourth installment of Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative. This week: Jon Mueller and Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou.
I was recently commissioned by Dissent magazine to provide some illustrations for their special issue on climate change. Check out the magazine here and consider a subscription! You can see a couple more images after the jump.
Welcome to the third installment of Sounds of the Week, the weekly musical musings of members of the Justseeds cooperative.
Welcome to the second installment of the Justseeds music related blog post "Sounds of the Week".
Some colleagues made this awesome, star-studded explosion of a video tribute to Bradley Manning. Watch it, think hard about it. What are YOU willing to do for what you know is right, and against what you know is wrong? Time to draw new lines in the sand.
I've been keeping the same art scrapbook for 15 years. Back then, I was a seamstress who spent time designing and sewing clothing. So at first, I filled the scrapbook with pictures from fashion magazines, which I drew over and modified. In the passing years, the scrapbook has become much more important to my creative process. First, pasting in the book and perusing the messy riot of imagery is the perfect ritual to begin a studio session, getting my head out of the practicality of everyday life and into right-brain creative mode. Second, it's a place to deposit and collect images, colors, and words that I feel an affinity with; threads of thought that would otherwise be lost in a pile or tossed in the recycle bin. Third, because of the span of time and the consistency with which I've collected imagery, the book has become a virtual treasure trove of inspiration for me. Handled again and again, the book has taken on a magical quality; it's hard for me to look inside and not feel a creative spark, and when I'm stuck on an idea for an illustration assignment it is a great place to start.
There's a really nice collection of Joao Pina's photos of South America's Disappeared on NPR Picture Show.
In 1975, the right-wing dictatorships of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay embarked on a military plan called Operation Condor. The mission was to eliminate opponents to the regimes. Many of the victims came to be known as the "Disappeared," because the government would simply make its detractors vanish.
Welcome to the first installment of the Justseeds music related blog post "Sounds of the Week". I (Pete Railand) will be posting weekly about the latest musical musings, obsessions, inspirations and oddities that myself and other members of Justseeds have been ruminating on.
Radical Portland MC Mic Crenshaw has a new EP out and just posted a video for one of the tracks called "Free My MInd". It's a great cut: an homage to the Pacific Northwest, Black biker culture, and positive life changes. Also banging! He has another great new track up on his website called "Superheroes", featuring Dead Prez. Check it out.
In this video report filed from inside Taksim Square, independent journalist Brandon Jourdan brings us the voices of union members and others who have continued to join in the protest that began nine days ago and has continued despite police violence that has left thousands injured. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is set to return to the country today after being silent so far about the biggest anti-government rallies in decades.
The workers at the Vio.Me. Factory in Thessaloniki, Greece have quickly grown into a symbol of self-management internationally. After going on strike and occupying their factory, on February 12, 2013 they re-opened the factory and started production under worker’s control. For many, the factory represents a new potential way forward for unemployed workers in Greece – seizing the means of production, running factories without bosses, producing only goods that are needed, and distributing them through solidarity networks.
I have been asked several times about the use of cats in my artwork and so I now present a succinct explanation of why I am not simply obsessed with cats and instead am very intentionally choosing to use cats to represent ideas of social change. On a very basic level, cats are free of dog-ma. Also, using animals rather than people as the central figures in a piece allows for a more open interpretation of who is being represented. When images of people are used in artwork, it’s easy to attribute a specific ethnicity, age, gender, sexual identity, or other cultural associations to the person in the image. Through the use of animals, all these identities are vague, and the reader can instead allow themselves to be transported into the activities being presented in a fantastical and playful way.
Notes from the farm: is the first in a series of drawings and
writings telling of my experience coming back home to my family's farm.
It's been nearly three years now of watching the weather, the landscape and
the seasons change, as well as the shift from a family farm into a nature reserve.
Vladmir Mayakovsky: “Art is not a mirror held up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.”
Hannah Hoch: “I wish to blur the firm boundaries which we self-certain people tend to delineate around all we can achieve.”
Printmaking is an amazing form of creative expression. The basic materials you need to create a print are fairly inexpensive, and the medium itself is about creating multiple copies of an image in order to make the image available to multiple people to experience.
A doomed past doesn't mean a doomed future. The weight of history doesn't bear down forever- people shrug their burdens off. I've got two new prints (here and here) up on the site right now inspired by the time I spent last year in one of the world most dangerous and damaged countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo. They're attempts to talk about the history and the present of the Congo in the same breath- to mash together Congo's terrible colonial history of enslavement and exploitation with its contemporary struggle to rise above the shattered landscape and become a place of possibility for all.
I thought I'd share a bit of the process of making these prints, specifically where some of the imagery came from, and a bit of the thought process as well.
World War 3 Illustrated is a a semiannual political comix magazine publishing since 1980.
Toronto, join Fifth Column members GB Jones and Caroline Azar, artists, printers, and zinemakers Shannon Gerard, JP King, Erin Oh, Amy Egerdeen and more, for a weekend of talks, workshops, even a dance party, on feminism and zines.
All events are free or PWYC!
Check out this excellent interview with GB and Caroline, about Fifth Column, queer and feminist zines, and She Said Boom. HERE
Full list of events after the jump:
Two Cranes, 2012, 22.5x32.75in, ink on paper
I always enjoy my visits to Booklyn. I had to deliver copies of Occuprint and the Justseeds Migration Now Portfolio and knew I'd get to stay for more. Marshall Weber, an Artist and Curator at Booklyn is always happy to show me new materials. Here's a sample of what I saw.
Street Scene, 2012, 43x40in, ink, gouache, acrylic, and flasche on paper
Homemade Floatation Device, 2012, 12.25x14.5in, ink and acrylic on paper
The Engineering of a Disaster Proof Building, 2012, 21.75x31.5in, ink on paper
American Dreaming, 2012, 22x30in, ink, gouache, and acrylic on paper
Part of the month I spent at the Caldera Arts Center was taken up by attempts to fashion some music videos out of the clips I shot while traveling in Congo. Lacking an enormous amount of video editing experience, I ended up doing a bunch of dragging-and-dropping in IMovie while trying to sync things up with some of the recordings of choral groups from the tiny village I was staying in. I think they turned out pretty well! I showed some of them at a couple of presentations I did in Portland last week. Just prior to the first presentation I had some crazy news: the crashed plane that I and some Congolese colleagues found in the forest near Obenge had been tentatively identified by some people at the Aviation Safety Network.
Last week, on the sly, I went around with my phone's camera and took pictures of all of the variations on the "Fragile" icon from shipping crates at the museum I'm currently temping at. Some of them are simple, and others provided interesting (and rather humorous) variations on a theme while still maintaining the essence of the directive.
I've been working in museums and art galleries for almost twelve years now as an "art handler" (or "preparator"). This work has run the gamut from small, artist-run spaces in collapsing warehouses to upper-echelon, high-budget art museums. These past few weeks I've been on the job at such a museum, packing up a huge exhibition we mounted last fall of furnishings amassed from World's Fairs over the years...
Islands: they're good places to show up at if you are looking to evolutionarily diverge. If your species manages to arrive at an island with no native predators on it, you stand a pretty good chance of radiating spectacularly into a variety of odd forms. Charles Darwin saw this phenomenon, called biogeographical isolation, at work in the Galapagos Islands among the finches he made famous. Later on in his journey he came to another group of islands, equally remote, but with a resident animal that puzzled him greatly, and which continues to confound modern biologists. That animal was the Warrah, or Falkland Island Wolf.
It's week three of my arts residency in the high Cascade mountains of central Oregon. I'm at the Caldera Arts Center, in the burnt pine woods uphill from the town of Sisters, and I'm getting a lot done. One reason for this is the studio that I have available for use while I'm here. It's huge.
I'm working on several projects at the same time, but today I'm going to do a short process post about just one of them.
In March the members of Justseeds will be at the Southern Graphics Conference in Milwaukee, doing a bunch of live printing and giving some talks about the stuff we do. The theme for the art we're going to make while there is "Labor". Since my art usually has an ecological thrust to it, I tried to figure out how I might bend that theme to my interests. I reasoned that if there's any labor that's undervalued, it's the labor of the small beasts that keep our world running. Ants perhaps, or bacteria. Or maybe bees. I'd been wanting to make an image of bees for a while, and I recalled that I'd also wanted to try to make an image of a sunflower, tracing the Fibonacci spirals within the seed-head. I decided to combine the two.
There is a growing social movement in the small Eastern Europe nation of Slovenia. Protests against austerity and corrupt politicians began last December. Comrades sent this short video of the manifestation Friday, Feb 8th. I appreciate it for the translations of chants from Slovenian to English, and a sampling of the visual of the days protest.
ljubljana 8 feb 2013
Our comrades in Quebec are working on a film about the Ecole de la Montagne Rouge, a graphics collective that formed during the student strike last year. They are fundraising for some post-production costs. Help them out in their Indiegogo campaign it ends Wednesday, February 20th. Here's the trailer:
For his first documentary film, Maël Demarcy undertook to follow L’École de la Montagne Rouge, ever since the beginning of the student strike in spring 2012.
This documentary sheds a different light on the events that shook Quebec in the spring of 2012. Filming was spread out on more that 8 months, from the beginning of the student protest until the provincial elections. The proximity to L’École de la Montagne Rouge during the demonstrations and the reflection periods enables the film to weave an enlightened portrait of a youth in the midst of creativity and in a process of politicization.
People might have already heard that Mess Hall —the great experimental cultural space that has existed for 10 years in the Rogers Park in Chicago—is shutting down at the end of March. Mess Hall was important to Justseeds and the networks that we seek to support. Our prints hung on the walls of Mess Hall countless times. It was the location for Justseeds fourth retreat, and the space was the center for two key collaborations involving Justseeds members - the mud stencil action with TAMMS Year Ten, in conjunction with the Critical Resistance portfolio, and a IVAW street art action in conjunction with the War is Trauma portfolio. Mess Hall will be missed. May other spaces rise from its memory. Below are details on the final series of events at Mess Hall courtesy of their website.
I read an article yesterday at the Cluster Mag about the ever-widening circle of art-superstars who never actually participate in the fashioning of their own work. While this is nothing new, the recurring image of toiling masses laboring to produce works of supposedly high aesthetic rank always, well, rankles. I've always had a pretty general disdain for this sort of hierarchical creative process, with its cynical manipulation of our culture's lust for both the celebrity velvet-rope sausage factory and the shiny dream-deferred golden ticket mirage. How important can one person's ideas really be? The dreck dripping from the orifices of culture is a byproduct of our over-consumption of this art-world Olestra, the product that aims to provide the mouthfeel of real emotional involvement with creativity, but which causes an unfortunate level of leakage. We need more real-time, real-world collaboration, not this pseudo-epic horseshit.
The Unist'ot'en Camp is a resistance community in Northern BC whose purpose is to protect sovereign Wet'suwet'en territory from several proposed pipelines.
To mark the closing day of the "Posters of Inspirational European Women: Taken from the zine Shape & Situate" exhibition, Space Station Sixty Five will be hosting a collection of resources from other sociopolitical art, poster, zine and publication projects for everyone to explore.
Justseeds is represented with the Celebrate People's History poster series, Firebrands: Portraits of the Americas, and videos of Justseeds artists Melanie Cervantes, Jesus Barraza, Favianna Rodriguez and Mary Tremonte talking about their work.
Remembering Who We Are: Exploring artistic and creative sociopolitical memory, and art in social change movements
Saturday 26th January 2013
Space Station Sixty Five, 373 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PS
A day of presentations, exhibitions, a resource archive, video screenings, discussions, participatory zine-making, and more.
I have four exhibitions in the next few months. Lots of new work that I made while living back and forth between Milwaukee and Ireland the last two years.
To read more click here.
I woke up early and read another great post by filmmaker Adam Curtis on his excellent blog. In it, he describes the rise of fear and hatred among a populace searching through rubble for the remnants of their broken dreams. It's about Palestine, Israel and Egypt, and what happens when people stop believing that they and their world can be transformed, and instead take faith in the idea that there is evil in the hearts of all.
Curtis outlines a history of the conflict between Zionism and Arab Nationalism, and their twinned descent into poisonous right-wing self-destruction after the deeply flawed utopian ideals that informed both ideologies fell apart. Arising from the pit into which those ideals crumbled was a sort of many-headed Gorgon of grimly conservative reactionary politics, which attempted, through violence, to turn volatile, fluid societies into stone.
As Israeli missiles rained down on Gaza in November, Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power (BAAQUP) took over advertising space at two Bay Area Rapid Transit stations to counter Israel’s claims of eternal victimhood...
New from Submedia.tv
I've been enjoying the teaching materials and modus operandi of the Zinn Education Project ever since I discovered them back when we were working on the Firebrands book. These days they continue to grow, including some great articles lately in a series called "If We Knew Our History" on Huffington Post (there's a great new one about Abraham Lincoln here). I'm basically just using our blog as a platform to promote these folks because I think the work they do is utterly crucial - and hey, they're also doing a fundraising drive, and 'tis the season for that. As they say, "If every Facebook fan or registered user committed to make an annual contribution of $20, we wouldn't need to spend time fundraising. Instead, we could focus on providing teachers more resources to bring people's history to the classroom." (Click here for more info on giving Zinn Education a donation!)
My dad works as a Guardian ad Litem in rural North Carolina. As such, this year he was collecting donated Christmas packages from Toys for Tots, a project of the local Marine Corps Reserves, to distribute to some of the children in foster care under the auspices of the Department of Social Services. We were surprised to find this Marines Alphabet Book inserted into a package destined for an 8-year-old boy.
I can't argue much with Toys for Tots' practice of distributing free toys to kids that are on rough times (even if the official mission of the organization is Christmas-specific), but this book is dark stuff to put into the hands of a second-grader. Besides "assist(ing) them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens" it also seems like they'd like to interest some "less fortunate youngsters" to think about becoming hired guns when they're old enough to enlist. It's tempting to rip into this hard-hearted and tactless little piece of propaganda, but I'm inclined to let the images speak for themselves...
If you have a holiday order that needs to arrive by Dec. 24th, please place your order by Dec. 17th! ...although we can't make any guarantees, you know... and we won't be packing orders Dec. 22 - 25... happy holidays!
“We don’t cross borders; borders cross us” is a 12 poster series organized by the Cross Border Collective. The objective of the posters is to invite an engaged audience to consider a series of propositions about the Australian border, labor, race and incarceration.
You can check out the entire project HERE.
On November 14th 2012, thousands of people took to the streets of
Portugal as part of a European wide general strike. Until recently,
the International Monetary Fund held Portugal as an ideal example of
the effectiveness of austerity policies, but today, its economy is
heading in the same direction as Greece and Spain. This short
documentary details the week of the November 14th strike in Lisbon and
the events surrounding it.
In honour of the Day With(out) Art 2012, AIDS ACTION NOW! is launching 8 new collaborative activist art works as part of the poster/VIRUS project.
The posters were developed collectively with artists and activists working to respond to HIV. They will be plastered across the streets Toronto during the month of November. The posters will simultaneously be launched on-line through our Facebook and Tumblr pages.
Come celebrate the launch with AIDS ACTION NOW! at the AGO, along with the artists, speakers and awesome performers.
After party at Cold Tea 60 Kensington Avenue starting at 9pm!
Sublevarte Colectivo is currently installing a retrospective exhibition at Interference Archive, that opens tomorrow, Friday, November 16th. Here's a peek of them at work.
Opening Reception: Friday, November 16, 2012, 7-10 p.m.
As student movements around the world inspire us anew, Interference Archive invites Sublevarte Colectivo, a group born of the 1999 student strikes in Mexico City, to produce a retrospective exhibition of their thirteen years of graphic production. In La Persistencia de los Sueños, they will bring their graphic street interventions into the gallery to highlight the various social movements and uprisings in which they participated and supported.
Sublevarte Colectivo believes that the graphic arts should be a vehicle of expression and communication in society, and that these days the power of the visual image is stronger than words. They have brought this vision to their work with the Zapatistas, the flower sellers of Atenco, the striking teachers of Oaxaca, and dozens of other social struggles in Mexico.
Interference Archive and Sublevarte Colectivo are pleased to announce the following events as part of our upcoming exhibition La Persistencia de los Sueños/The Persistence of Dreams (November 16-December 31, 2012), featuring thirteen years of public-art interventions by Sublevarte Colectivo:
Friday, November 9, 4:00-8:00 pm
Dia de los Muertos
Sublevarte Colectivo members will join the "Understanding Violence and Politics" panel at 6:00 pm
224 W 29th St.
One of my favorite consequences of posting video work on the internet is the possibility that someone might take the time to tweak your project in a new direction. Over at submedia, they've already got a remix up of the All Power To The People! video I posted just a month ago - and they've reworked the image flow a bit and added a hardcore techno score: "Raise Your Fist" by Angerfist. Nicely done! Now I'm holding out for a remix to the tune of Loretta Lynn's "Fist City"...
Roadtrip, 2012, 40.5x48.25in, ink and acrylic on paper
Free-form radio station WFMU, out of Jersey City, NJ had their silent marathon happening the last month. They are endless inspiration and education of music for me. As a totally independent radio station they manage to have cutting edge apps, updated playlist, and a ton of wacky stuff. In this last weeks storm they've had damage to their studio and both of their transmitters have been knocked out. If you are able please support them and donate some funds. The folks from the mostly volunteer run endeavor will appreciate it and I will be ever-grateful to you for keeping my favorite station on air.
Moving On, 2012, 40.25x58.5, ink, acrylic, gouache, and flasche on paper
The following essay was written for the anthology Revolutionary Love Letters (Minor Compositions, forthcoming in 2013), edited by Jamie Heckert, who kindly and lovingly gave me permission to share it with you now. I originally wrote my “letter” last April, in the bittersweet time of the spring after Occupy, but recently polished it a bit, following an extraordinary summer of social-movement amour in the streets of Montreal, amid the student/social strike. Perhaps what I want to say about love and transformation lies somewhere in between.
The Shades of Love
When I was a little kid, we had this big weeping willow tree in our backyard, and when it was in full bloom, its slender overhanging branches would form a porous pale-green umbrella arching from sky to ground with expansive space underneath. Open space. Yet delicately screened too.
From inside, seated on the gently compacted earth, you could see outside, softly, through the millions of little leaves playing gaily as the wind touched them. You could look outward through tiny peepholes, which in turn let in winking shapes of light like stars on a crystal-clear night, with each glimmer held in the embrace of the shadows cast by leaf after leaf.
I recently asked my six-year-old bio-niece what she meant by the word love, which she says several times a day to her mom, and she responded matter-of-factly, “Love is all that’s good.” She doesn’t have a weeping willow in her Orlando-sprawl backyard; only crunchy-dry grass and a too-small palm tree and blindingly unmediated sunshine.
Still, maybe my niece is on to something.
I haven't worked with teens in a few months, but my tireless totally teen education life partner, Heather White, passed this poster design along to me, from Libby at CAPA. Love the colors on this one!! What are you going to wear on purple day?
Hey all- we're in the final few days of Print Lottery 2012, an uniquely structured benefit for AS220 Community Printshop. Members of the public can purchase a $100 ticket, guaranteed to win a print at the culminating event on this Saturday September 29, 2012. In the interest of fun, artwork in the show is won by way of a blind lottery. Yes, you can order long-distance and have your prints shipped to you!
Prints have been donated by a wide variety of folks, including Justseeds members Meredith Stern, Melanie Cervantes, Jesus Barraza, Mary Tremonte, Bec Young and of course myself, as well as a bunch of other friends/favorite printmakers like Swoon, William Schaff, Amos Paul Kennedy, Kyla & James Quigley (AKA Gunsho), Dennis McNett, Emmy Bright, Xander Marro, Pippi Zornoza, the list goes on! the AS220 Community Printshop makes printmaking accessible & affordable to a lot of folks, myself included, and deserves yr support!
For added inspiration, check out this sweet video about the shop-
NYC Book Release:
Freedom Through Football: The story of the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls
by Will Simpson & Malcolm McMahon
Tuesday September 25th, 7pm
131 8th st. #4
Brooklyn, NY 11215
The anarchist football team [Easton Cowboys] formed out of a kick-about between a group of punks and kids from St Pauls and in 2012 celebrated its 20th year. Freedom Through Football tells the tale of a journey that has seen them smuggled into Zapatista communities under cover of darkness, play cricket in Compton, South Central LA, and soccer on the dusty pitches of Palestine. Along the way they’ve sheltered asylum seekers from Mozambique, spent an afternoon as uninvited guests at Windsor Castle and been joined by rampageous netballers, can can dancers and an up and coming street artist named Banksy. At times it’s been nothing if not a bumpy ride - as a team and as individuals they’ve had to confront imprisonment, death, drug and alcohol problems and meet them all head on.
This is the world the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls have created for themselves. Freedom Through Football is the guide to this punk and anarchist-inspired, community-minded club that truly is like no other in British sport.
Presented by one of the founding members, Roger Wilson
I was out of the country for the past year. While I was away my father Neil designed and built a solar powered golf cart (in our case a work cart). I worked with him this summer installing electric at the Jefferson County Fair and it was amazing to see how effective the solar cart was. It was as fast as the gas powered carts, completely quiet, and was used for over 12 hours a day never needing a charge or any maintenance.
Neil making sure everyone knows he is solar powered.
I'm so inspired by this project taking place in Portland, Oregon. Street Books is a bicycle-powered mobile library for people living outside. It is bicycle with a built in cart that is full books and two street Liberians; Laura Moulton and Sue Zalokar. Patrons are able to check out books with out the usual requirements of an ID and proof of address. They use the old school card with the pocket inside the cover and the patrons return the books when they are able. Those who wish to can be photographed with their book of choice, offer reviews, and contribute their own stories from the road which get shown at www. streetbooks.org.
A new friend here in Toronto, Ponni, shared some amazing political graphics by Aarti Sunder, criticizing the government's use of the charge of Sedition to silence over 6,000 anti-nuclear activists (residents of the community) in Idinthakarai, Koodankulam, India. Literally pushed into the sea, people have been nonviolently protesting literally in the water, for hours at a time.
Take a look after the jump
The Illuminator, in case you haven't heard, is a tactical media machine (aka a van with a really powerful projector, sound system, and library) that has been roaming the streets of New York City and beyond, bringing the spirit and message of the movement of the 99% to street corners and public squares everywhere.
My friend Katie Yamasaki, an incredible Brooklyn artist in Brooklyn, will have a mural dedication this week for a Kickstarter-funded project that connects incarcerated mothers with their children on the outside. The project, If Walls Could Talk, was developed in partnership with STEPS to End Family Violence and the NYC Dept. of Corrections.
Children from the East Harlem Community and the greater NYC area worked to design a mural that I painted with the mothers inside of the women's jail in Rikers Island. The women also created an image and message dedicated to their children and the East Harlem community. Last month, I worked with their children and other members of the East Harlem community to bring their message to life.
Please join community members, families of the incarcerated mothers, local representatives, and supporters of the project dedicate If Walls Could Talk (pt 2) on Friday, 9/14.
Mural Dedication: If Walls Could Talk, Part 2
Friday, September 14
SE Corner of 118th Street and 1st Ave. (Side of Patsy's Pizzeria)
You can see photographs of the mural in its Kickstarter Updates
The rubbish and anti-teacher statements from Rahm Emanuel is becoming hard to stomach. No wonder Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney is standing in support with him. And go figure - Obama has yet to take a side. Another case of the neo-liberal and neo-con design to privatize all things public. Truthout posted an informative article here that tells the teachers side of the story. And one can also check out the Chicago Teachers Union site for the union perspective. Much respect to all the Chicago students and parents who are standing in solidarity with their teachers.
I've been fascinated by my friend Jenn Pascoe's quietly growing collection of name stamps from the bottoms of paper bags. She keeps a Flickr set of these images, right now still a self-defined work in progress. I like these small gestures at some sort of individual humanity inside the industrial manufacturing machine. Anyone out there know more about the story behind these stamps?
Portland-based Justseeds colleague Nina Montenegro coordinated a great project last month in the St. Johns neighborhood of northeast Portland. Working with Depave Portland, Nina painted a giant mural on the asphalt of a decommissioned parking lot scheduled for removal. The word "WILD" was cut from the asphalt some weeks prior to the depaving process and sown with grass-seed, resulting in trenches of green springing up through the tiger's stripes. Nina says: ""The mural was inspired by William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” which marvels in the beautiful duality of ferocity and tenderness in nature and in our own hearts. Painting the tiger on asphalt before we depaved it became a way to welcome back the soil beneath that hadn’t seen the sunlight for sixty years, and to celebrate the plants that would begin to grow, and the animals that would make this place their home. The mural was painted entirely with dry milk and iron oxide pigment." More pictures after the jump.
Ecole de la Montagne Rouge:
August 9- September 20, 2012
Thursday, August 9th, 7-10pm
131 8th St #4
The École de la Montagne Rouge (EDLMR)—an initiative of young, socially-engaged artists who are mainly from the bachelor of graphic design program at École de Design - UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal)—is collaborating with the Interference Archive to experiment with ways of using the spaces of the gallery as sites for gathering, place-making, production and exchange on students protest in Québec and all around the world. Through its actions, thoughts and research in the area of graphics, EDLMR offers a unique aesthetic approach to revolutionary movements and an alternative way of helping the Quebec Spring makes it mark:
“We and thousands of other students across Quebec believe that education is a right, not a privilege reserved for the well-off. The tuition increase jeopardizes access to higher learning for our generation and future generations. Sensing that an unlimited general strike is looming, many protest movements and pressure tactics are being organized across Quebec. This is an opportunity for all students to show solidarity, defend our points of view and get involved so that we can create a balance of power in relations with the government. Our victory depends on the daily efforts made by each and every one of you.”
This is a gift. A gift of 1 love letter per night, for each of the 100 nights we’ve shared the Montreal streets together. The romantic rebel-red streets that they tried so hard to snatch away from us. To tear us apart. But our illicit affections for each other only grew stronger. And so did our determination. Emboldened, evening after evening, we increasingly gave voice and body to new social relationships. Winks toward a new world of abundance, popular power, social goodness, and so much more. Each 1 of these picture-poems is a small token of what we’ve gifted each other for 100 tender nights, on this first day of a red-hot August.
Love and rage, Thien and Cindy
French filmmaker and troublemaker Chris Marker died yesterday at the age of 91. If you haven't seen his film Grin Without a Cat, put it on the top of your to-do list.
Over at Mythological Quarter, cohorts Bonnie Fortune and Brett Bloom are constantly letting loose sharp, well-researched and inspirational projects all over the place, and thankfully documenting them relentlessly! Bonnie most recently designed a series of ten posters: "Metropolitan Habitat" details incidents of animal "encroachment" in urban, human-built environs. Bonnie says: "News stories play these incidents from a few common angles: comedic effect, danger to humans, or the nuisance factor of the animal population. The posters appropriate the language of the news but for me are part of my larger interest in how animals shape and are shaped by our urban spaces. Ultimately, I want to know how human habitat can be better designed to accommodate the inevitable wild life visitors. We should not be surprised when the coyote enters the sandwich shop, rather we could expect it and be prepared for this kind of eventuality." Download each of the posters as PDF's here, and keep your eye on Mythological Quarter.
A couple weeks back I read an interesting story in the New York Times, about a nascent protest movement in Sudan, inspired by Tahrir Square and Occupy, and struggling against unbelievably repressive forces in Khartoum. The protestors, who began mostly as students but have expanded to a broader movement, have been naming their protests, but unlike our dull names based on months and dates, aka J18 and S17, etc, they've got a knack for a turn of phrase. One of the best protest names is "Licking Your Elbow," a great reference to accomplishing the impossible. I made this poster in support of the protestors in Sudan, and in defense of utopia!
I've finished the drawing for my project in DR Congo this fall- I'll be printing the image at right (click to embiggen) onto about four hundred big bright bandanas and taking them with me to hand out to the people who live near the new Lomami National Park in eastern DRC. It's an exciting project to be a part of, conservation from the ground up! I've started a Kickstarter campaign to help me fund it, please take a moment to go check it out! Rewards aplenty. I'm pretty excited that the project was featured on the fantastic conservation news website Mongabay, and the write-up has a little interview with me.
I recently finished reading a book called "Built by Animals", by Mike Hansell, published by the Oxford University Press. It's a quick read, but quite full of fascinating things to think about. I picked it up because I'm always looking for engaging pop science reading, especially if it includes any ruminations on the biological aspects of human culture. This book is no exception. In one of the chapters, entitled "Two routes lead to trap building", Hansell reveals a simple and elegant fact that is one of my favorite minor eureka moments of the year. The fact is this: out of all the tens of thousands of vertebrate species on Earth, including the mammals, the birds, the reptiles, and the amphibians, humans are the only species that makes traps.
The Red Square is the symbol of Maple Spring and the student movement currently happening in Quebec. Justseeds comrade Cindy Milstein has an obsession with documenting the red squares of Montreal. When I visited last month, she had already taken dozens of photos of the multiplicity of ways Quebec is exhibiting solidarity with the student movement.
I helped Cindy set up SeeingRedMontreal for the endless photo examples. It's a visual reminder of how public space looks when "our" messages don its surfaces. Cindy is also publishing her thoughts and observations of the movement on her blog Outside the Circle. Another great resource for information in English is Translating the printemps érable
Our comrade Cindy Milstein has been participating and writing about the Maple Spring from Montreal for quite some time now.
The following piece is from her blog, Outside the Circle.
June 29, 2012
Yesterday, I shared some Montreal street art on my Facebook page. A Montreal anarchist friend had just introduced me to the work of this particular Montreal street artist, Harpy, who produced the piece pictured below (and who self-describes as: “Harpies have wings, they can fly and shit… Also, they turned against the Gods”).
The image provoked a lot of “likes” & shares, but also a lot of heated feelings on my Facebook page and others. Many of the comments concerned what the wheatpasted image was getting at — or not — in relation to capitalism/anticapitalism. They also touched a lot on yoga.
The Voice of Art team (including Justseeds friend John Carr) spent the month of May filming members of the Chicago IVAW chapter as they carried out protest actions against the NATO summit. Featured are Aaron Hughes, Iris Feliciano, Greg Broseus and Alejandro Villatoro. Readers of the Justseeds blog will be familiar with the long history of collaboration between IVAW and Justseeds from mud stencil actions (featured at the start of the video) to street art actions to the War is Trauma portfolio.
I will post part 2-4 of the IVAW videos from the Voice of Art series when they are released.
Part 1: 6/29, Part 2: 7/6, Part 3: 7/13, Part 4: 7/20
I just finished the first sketch of the image for the Lomami National Park Bandanas! What are those, I hear you cry. Well, they're going to be a pile of brightly colored bandanas with a refined version of the above image screenprinted on them. I'm making them to take with me to DR Congo this fall, where I'll be volunteering with a group that is working to set up a new national park in the east of the country, in one of the last patches of unbroken forest left in the country. What's really great about this project is that the idea of the park is being promoted from the ground up, agreed upon by the people who actually live there, instead of being decreed from on high by those with political clout. The bandanas are intended to be useful objects that also carry information about some of the species the park will protect. It's my hope that people will see a lot more of these than they would of a poster hung in an office somewhere. Something that occurred to me while drawing this is that I seem to be designing a logo for a national park. In Congo. The mind boggles slightly. I'll be running a Kickstarter campaign in July to help fund the project, please do stay tuned for that. Also, below the jump: the cover for the Justseeds/ Culture Strike "Migration Now" portfolio, which should be done in mid-July. Busy times!
Couldn't resist posting this radical patch by Lauren Jurysta, a former teen of mine super active in Pittsburgh queer/dyke community. Lauren co-organized this year's Dyke/Trans March as well as Rhinestone Steel, an all-day queer music festival this past weekend, featuring Katey Red, Silky Shoemaker, Nicky Click, and many more amazing queer performers. I picked up this patch there. Lauren was in the riot grrrl influenced teen punk band Smells Like Gina, an active participant in Warhol teen programs such as The F Word and TTYL (Totally Teens Youth Lounge), and is currently in Slag Womb. Now in her mid-20's (no longer even a post-teen really!), she does a lot in Pittsburgh to bring people together and create community.
Pussy Riot, in case you haven't heard, is a feminist punk band from Russia who have been arrested for their punk anti-Putin prayer at Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral. For more info on Pussy Riot, check here: http://freepussyriot.org/
Finding inspiration in IWW Labor organizing and Joe Hill…......while thinking about how the uprising in Wisconsin lost it’s way during the huge protest at the capital when the Wisconsin 14 (14 Wisconsin Democratic Senators) came back. That day the energy shifted from a labor central grassroots movement with capital occupations and growing momentum for strikes to recall efforts and electoral politics.
My friend Sandy K., who is regularly producing inspiring work at his design firm Image-Shift, has jumped into a more embodied form of organizing with his neighbors, and they have occupied/squatted the big public courtyard in front of their building at Kottbuser Tor in Kreuzberg, Berlin. They've been out there for awhile now, and plan on staying out there to keep visible the struggle against gentrification and evictions. More info HERE.
From a series of drawings titled Life Skills.
A beautiful video that isn't selling ANYthing!
It's message is stronger than any advertisement.
Greg Miller has posted some incredible photos of the NATO/G8 protests in Chicago and the IVAW-led demo where veterans returned their medals.
To see more photos from the action, click here.
To see video coverage, click here.
From a series of drawings titled Life Skills.
Ecole de la Montagne Rouge (School for Red Mountain) is a group of graphic design students producing work for the student strikes currently happening in Montreal. Their designs and methods are clearly influenced by the Atelier Populaire, from Paris in 1968, and are supposedly modeled after the Black Mountain College.
Check out their website, in French.
Ecole de la Montagne Rouge.com
and a tumblr of images
Ecole de la montagne rouge .tumblr
I just recently came across their activities and hope to share more on their struggle!
As a result of Neoliberal austerity measures towards Quebec education, this Tuesday will mark the 100th day of the student strike in Montreal.
The kids are alright, they're showing their discontent, every day.
Come out to the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair tomorrow, Sunday May 20th.
From a collection of drawings titled Life Skills. They are a sort of instructional drawing project.
"The whole story has still not been told. The agencies have gotten away with everything, a lot of people involved with the agencies have gotten away with everything, and nothing has changed for the benefit of the jaguar at all. Nothing in conservation, I mean, these fools can do this all over again. They got away with it once, why not try it again if the opportunity presents itself?"
In March 2009, headlines told us that “the last jaguar in the United States” had died in the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona after being snared in the wild during a routine study. His given name was “Macho B,” and his death – euthanasia at the hands of veterinarians shortly after an orchestrated capture – was originally publicly lamented as a necessary course of action for the aging, endangered cat, whose last days were wrought in an agony that could have only been brought by fifteen years of living wild. That’s how the story played, at least – until Janay Brun, a field tech for the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project, came forward to blow the whistle on the operation, out her superiors for neglect and hubris, and set the wheels in motion for a federal criminal investigation into the illegal “take” of an endangered species.
From a collection of drawings titled Life Skills. They are a sort of instructional drawing project.
This silkscreen print was created by Deria for Planned Parenthood of Western PA. No Glove No Love!!!!
A stunning short film documenting the movement in Barcelona. Take a couple minutes and give it a view. "And we continue..."
....and go have fun!
This week's silkscreen print was created by Talonda and Iysha, to promote healthy food habits.
A detail from a series of images titled Life Skills.
It has been a while since I have done a drawing all the time post. I have been living in rural Ireland and the internet feels far away.
This week's silkscreen print is by Ella, for Planned Parenthood of Western PA. Planned Parenthood is using this series of posters by Power Up in their youth education programs.
This week's silkscreen print is by Lauren, in response to a presentation on healthy eating by Kimberly Bracken of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum and YMWAHA.
Here's some random snapshots of graffiti, signs, and lettering that have warmed my heart as I move through Portland and Pittsburgh.
This weeks Rad Teen Print was created by Talonda, and printed as a group by Power Up as a thank you gift to all our wonderful partners in this round of the program, including New Voices Pittsburgh, Planned Parenthood of Western PA, Milestone/The Art Market, YMWAHA, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, and more.
To me Ai Weiwei defines courage. He defines the role of the artist as taking a leadership role in transforming society and speaking out against oppression no matter what the cost.
I just learned that Elizabeth Catlett died on Monday, at her home in Mexico at the age of 96. Catlett was an outstanding participant of the black arts movement in the US, as well as an early (and long time) member of the Taller de Grafica Popular in her adopted home in Mexico. She was a sculptress and a print-maker; and her masterful synthesis of line, form, and content exerted a huge influence on folks around the world, and especially on many of us involved in Justseeds.
Hey there! A new Kickstarter Project just launched featuring several Justseeds artists including Melanie Cervantes, Favianna Rodriguez, Molly Fair, Thea Gahr, Bec Young, Mary Tremonte, Meredith Stern, and several artists. Please check out the kickstarter video for info, and HERE is a link to the page!
For the past seven months I have been an artist in residence / teacher at the Burren College of Art on the West Coast of Ireland. Eileen Hutton is getting her PhD here and focusing on art and ecology.
She is making super inspiring work in collaboration with honeybees and small birds. Here are a few images from her thesis show.
Rad Teen Print of the Week is back for 2012!
I was looking through old entries and realized that I started off numbering them, and then stopped...after counting, I realized that I've posted 25 rad teen prints so far! There is so much more to come.
This print was created by Ella, one of the Power Up girls, in celebration of Women of Color HERstory Month. It was one of several prints that Power Up created as takeaway cards for New Voices Pittsburgh's Young Women Celebration on February 22. Celebrating their 8th birthday, New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice, is an inspiring and powerful group; this is the third time Power Up has worked with them.
Some exciting news for me- I'm going to be working with the Center for Biological Diversity to develop art for the next round of Endangered Species Condoms. The condoms are a part of the Center's work to bring the subject of human overpopulation to a wider audience, a goal I wholeheartedly share.
Discussions of human population are hair-triggers for many on the left who feel that any mention of overpopulation is code for racist eugenics programming. Simultaneously, those on the right looking for a backdoor into the environmental movement have tried to make immigration-related "population control" an issue. All demagoguery aside, however, the exponential increase in human population is a fact, and a fact that brings with it a raft of consequences impossible in a world with fewer humans. Humanity monopolizes an enormous percentage of the world's surface, as well as the products of that surface, and whether rich or poor, more humans means less room for anything else. It's past time for a non-ideological discussion on population that cuts through the hate and fear and gets to the heart of the matter: other species live on this planet as well, and they need to be able to get away from us. As our numbers increase, that is becoming impossible. This project aims to make the link between the dwindling numbers of so many distinct forms of life and the swelling of one big, rude one: humanity.
Help out a true freeform radio station out of New Jersey reach this years fundraising goal.
I have been getting my musical education from WFMU for 18 years, and I pledge as often as I can. Help them out, there's only two days left!!
What an incredible two-week span in Chicago! First the news broke that two prisons in Illinois are shutting down, including the TAMMS prison that prison justice and human rights activists have lobbied to close for the past decade. Next, news broke yesterday that the Fisk and Crawford coal burning plants in Chicago are shutting down! This is a tremendous victory. Community coalitions and environmental groups in Chicago and beyond have lobbied for decades to close the Fisk and Crawford plants - both of which are located in dense Latino neighborhoods and near downtown. This victory will be celebrated in Chicago and beyond for years and it signifies the power of a multiplicity of tactics - grassroots organizing, working inside and outside the system, direct action, and creative resistance - all working in concert for a common goal: protecting human health and the environment.
Dara Greenwald, February 27, 1971–January 9, 2012.
Check out the new Stim for Pres episode that includes some reporting from Australia.
or at Submedia
Hey all- I'm trying to raise funds right now for a really exciting portfolio project on the theme of religious heresy featuring Justseeds artists Bec Young, Dylan Miner, Mazatl and myself alongside other luminaries like William Schaff (be sure to watch to the end of the video for his bit!), Xander Marro, AMTK, Charlotte Desedouey, Corina Dross, Ian Cozzens, Lee Relvas, Mandy Katz and Katrina Avocado.
Click here for more info and to contribute!
For only $40, you get the whole thing shipped to you (in the U.S.)!
Here are a couple of interesting stories from the gorilla regions of central Africa: The Fossey Gorilla Fund, which operates a variety of active conservation efforts in Rwanda and DR Congo, reports that some wild gorillas in their study groups have been observed dismantling snares. These homemade traps, set by poachers to catch wild forest animals for meat or for the pet and zoo trades, kill significant numbers of gorillas each year. Meanwhile, in the border region of Cameroon and Nigeria, scientists are making progress in surveying the territorial connections of groups of the Cross River Gorilla, the rarest of all gorilla species. These gorillas, down to about 280 individuals in the wild, normally flee when encroached upon by humans. In past years, however, the gorillas have been observed throwing sticks and tufts of grass and mud at bushmeat hunters in an attempt to drive them off. While stories like these really don't represent any real positive trend toward the attenuation of the grim dangers wild populations of these animals face, they are at least a spot of good news for them, and a moment of inspiration for the rest of us.
For the past two months Wisconsin has been swept by recall fever. The recall movement was given 60 days to gather 540,208 valid signatures needed for an election to take place that will pit Walker against a Democratic challenger. This was a huge task and some doubts were cast if that many signatures could be obtained in that short of time.
Sins Invalid is a San Francisco/Bay Area based performance project that celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists. Since 2006, thier performances have explored themes of sexuality, embodiment, and the disabled body, impacting thousands through live performance. They're raising money to get a film together incorporating interviews and performances - check out their Kickstarter page here.
Video was only one medium in Dara's amazing body of work, but every bit of her brilliance, sharp social and political critique, and raucous sense of humor comes through in the videos she made. Last November, Dara and Todd Chandler spent an afternoon going through her hard drives and consolidating over 20 videos in an effort to catalog them online. They're going up on a Vimeo page - right now there are 16 pieces on there and the rest will be uploaded soon. Please watch, share, and screen widely.
Abigail Satinsky wrote a beautiful eulogy for Dara Greenwald for the Bad at Sports blog that speaks volumes about the impact that Dara's work had on so many of us - especially in the cities that she called home - Chicago, Troy, and Brooklyn. Satinsky points us towards reflection and the need to carefully understand Dara's practice and what collective work, group projects, and radical culture meant to her and what it means to us - her friends, co-collaborators, and admirers...
On Monday, the Justseeds family lost our dear friend and collective member Dara Greenwald who passed away from cancer at age forty. We cherish the memories of an incredible person and an incredible life. Many will remember Dara for her art and activism - her video work, her scholarship, the Pink Bloque, the United Victorian Workers (pictured above), Spectres of Liberty, the Interference Archive, and the Signs of Change exhibition. We will remember her as a friend - someone whose sense of humor and wit was second-to-none, and someone whose words and actions will inspire us for the rest of our lives. We love you Dara.
Last year two species of Rhinoceros went extinct. The Vietnamese sub-species of the Javan Rhino and the Western Black Rhino of Africa are gone forever, casting no more shadows. Their lengthy presence on earth was snuffed out not by any phenomenon of natural pressure, but by the real-world consequences of human beliefs.
The world's rhinos are dwindling faster now than ever before, pushed to the utter brink by the adherents and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The burgeoning purchasing power of the human populations of China, Korea and Vietnam has led directly to a surge of growth in the number of rhinos of all species being poached for their horns. The horns are used in therapies for colds and minor flus, and not, as is often mistakenly stated, as aphrodisiacs. Regardless of the purpose, those in Southeast Asia and the diaspora who are currently paying equivalents of upward of $2000 per pound are being fleeced: Rhino horn is composed of keratin and nothing more, just as are human hair and fingernails. Until quite recently there was additional poaching pressure from nations on the Arabian peninsula, where rhino horn was traditionally made into the handles of the ceremonial daggers that represent the passage of boys into manhood. The massive increase in price and conservation pressure have reduced that demand, and almost all horn is now traded to Asia.
Uh, the name kind of says it all.
This is a collaborative drawing that Shaun and I made at the London Anarchist Bookfair, for a zine project that was supposed to come together that day. The project got canceled, so we were left with this ridiculous drawing. Thought someone out there might appreciate this "political cartoon."
Our Hen House recently posted this short video interview with Sue Coe, wherein she discusses the powerful motivation behind her work. It's part of their "Art of the Animal" series of videos, articles, podcasts, etc. Take a few minutes to watch it, and then take a few minutes to dive into their website, which is loaded with "resources that you can use in order to find your own way to change the world for animals." There's a podcast with some more of the Coe interview here.
When my friend Katherine Ball was being interviewed by the Oregonian here in Portland during the Occupation this fall, she asked me to write up something to address the so-called lack of demands on the part of the occupiers. This is what I came up with: the paper didn't run it, but I think it works. Demand the Impossible! Impunity for All!
What do we want?
Empathy. Generosity. Solidarity. Creativity. Mutual Aid. Personal Responsibility. Inter-ethnic, trans-gender, omnisexual and pan-national notions of kinship and respect. A demolition of materialism and crass consumption. A washing away of bad fear. An end to the brute conversion of the glories of the natural world into abstract quanta that serve no purpose except to warehouse crude and gloating power. A notion of connectedness to the networks and webs of life. An end to our humanist hubris, our presumption of supremacy and dominance. A new rule of nature to supersede the rule of law- you must not take what can't be replaced. More importantly even than that- you shall not lie to yourself about the good you are able to do, whether by action or by inaction or by refusal. You cannot buy your way out of a burning world. We want all of this and we want it yesterday, or better still we want it ten thousand years ago, and forever.
photo: Getty images
The two big blockprints from the We Agree project are finally available today in the Justseeds store; one made by three Justseeds artists, and the other by the Taring Padi cooperative of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Each one is 3 feet by 9 feet, printed on heavy canvas. Read more about the project here. Click through for images, and click over to the store to check out the prints.
Adam Curtis, the BBC filmmaker behind a series of amazing documentaries like The Power of Nightmares and Machines of Loving Grace, has a great entry on his blog this week. He calls it a "ghost story for Christmas" and it's typical Curtis: insightful dissection of the weird realities that our spectacular culture creates and feeds to itself in strange ways. This entry in particular is about a BBC TV show called Ghostwatch, a fictional drama about poltergeists and ghost-hunters that provoked a massive reaction from the British public when it was shown in 1992: people thought it was real, just as happened with the War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938. Curtis breaks down the social psychology of this phenomenon in his inimitable way, demonstrating that the ghosts we fear now live inside our media, populating the fictions we build there, feeding our fear back to us like a shrieking amplifier.
On December 6th a group of over 1,000 went on a tour of East New York, Brooklyn, a neighborhood immensely affected by predator lending and foreclosures. It was a powerful event that the community supported and neighbors came out to tell the stories of their own foreclosures and evictions. The following video illustrates the culmination of the day, occupying a new home for a previously houseless family!
This past Sunday Justseeds tabled prints at Milwaukee's Public House - the best bar in the country. Why you might ask? Because the Public House is cooperatively owned and profits earned go to start up more cooperatively run business's in the Riverwest neighborhood. Second: no televisions(*). Third: amazing events. Fourth: weekend brunch by the Riverwest Food-Coop. Fifth: walls covered in radical art. Sixth: LED "Recall Walker" sign that hangs on the exterior. Seventh: monthly debates. Eighth: You get the point.
Pepper spraying cop on the Bowery, November 2011, NYC, NY
Look at Pepper Spraying Cop for more.
Here is a new graphic for you to download. I intended to make this image during the inspiring uprisings in Wisconsin, but never got to it. Then when the Occupy movement reared its head I thought again about making this image...and now, the image finally finished, I hope it can be of use...
Download a high-resolution PDF of this image to print out for yourself by clicking HERE.
A friend just sent me this graphic of geek feminism icon Ada Lovelace, credited by Wikipedia as "The World's First Computer Programmer". The portrait was created by Colin Adams, Fred the Oyster, and Ryan Kaldari for the Ada Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women in tech. It's scalable and public domain, so feel free to reuse it however you like (many download options here).
I'm enjoying the memes coming out of the Occupation movement. here's one inspired by the UC Davis officer that used "less than lethal" weapons on students last week.
More at Pepper Spraying Cop.
Brooklyn based artist Christopher Cardinale presents slides of his artwork and process for the children's book Which Side Are You On? written by George Ella Lyon.
Saturday November 19th, 1pm
172 Allen Street (btw Stanton & Rivington)
Artist/activist Lane Hall has been reporting weekly on the labor struggles in Milwaukee and the efforts to recall Walker. Below is recent post on the Daily Kos by Hall on the "Occupy the Hood" march last week that focused attention on how Walker's devastating policies prevented the Talgo train manufacturing company from setting up shop in Milwaukee's inner city - a move that would have created hundreds if not thousands of jobs. Hall's writing is telling the story of movement building and the efforts of working people of all races to fight back in Wisconsin. It is inspiring stuff written by a gifted author and a fiery activist.
Congrats to the working people of Ohio for repealing SB 5, the anti-union legislation that had ended collective bargaining rights for 350,000 public workers in Ohio. Last night voters overwhelmingly defeated the bill 61 percent to 39 percent. Let's hope the momentum carries over to Wisconsin where efforts to recall Gov. Walker are in full swing.
For many political graphic artists, illustrators, and printmakers, the work of Frans Masereel is a huge inspiration. He pioneered the "novel without words", books consisting solely of his woodcuts, a predecessor of the graphic novel which has influenced artists such as Clifford Harper and Eric Drooker.
One of his earliest novels The Idea depicts a writer who summons forth an idea manifested in the form of a nude woman springing from his head. She escapes into the world, challenging the social order and inciting passionate action.
I stumbled onto an animated adaptation of The Idea, which is absolutely phenomenal, directed by the visionary animator Berthold Bartosch.
Justseeds is a 25 artist cooperative scattered across 14 cities and 3 countries. There is no way we could do what we do without the amazing online tools created by the Riseup Collective, an autonomous political tech collective that provides email addresses, list serves, and the social media/activist organizational software called Crabgrass. Riseup needs our help!! Read their call below, and think about sending them a donation, small or large, HERE.
Riseup works tirelessly to create grassroots technology alternatives that address the communication needs of people and organizations working for social change. When you get a service from a corporation that doesn’t charge you, chances are that the money comes from extensive surveillance. Riseup, on the other hand, relies on donations by users like you who believe in supporting democratic alternatives.
I just got this book in the mail. It is a companion to an exhibition at Monash University Rare Books Library, Melbourne, Australia.
From the dust jacket, " a journey through some of humanity's most inhumane and hypocritical moments. The catalogue provides insights into 77 influential books and works presented in book form, of the past 90 years."
Those of us who normally run the shipping department here at Justseeds will all be in Europe for the next 3-5 weeks for a number of events and a little bit of exploring. We've hired our friend Artnoose to keep the whole dirigible in the air in our absence, so if you order something from our store in September/October, she'll be packing it (wholesale customers should be the only people who may have to wait longer than usual)! Artnoose is a Pittsburgh-based printer known mostly for her bi-monthly letterpress zine Ker-Bloom!, which she's been doing for the last 15 years. She also does custom letterpress invitations through Deep Ink Letterpress. If you're in the Pittsburgh area on Sundays, stop in to the office (we're open 2-6pm) and say hello! In the meantime, we sat down for a silly, Tigerbeat Magazine-inspired interview with Artnoose right before we left - read below...
We're getting ready to debut our huge installation in Pittsburgh this weekend as part of the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial! We worked a lot throughout the summer, with one heavy group work week this July, to produce a series of immigration-themed billboards in the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University. Above is a slideshow of our in-progress install shots from our Flickr site - have a scroll-through! The installation was coordinated by Pittsburgh-based Justseeds members, exhibition curated by Astria Suparak. Stay tuned for more details, and visit the overall Biennial website here (details specific to the Miller Gallery show are here). The opening reception is this upcoming Friday, Sept.16 - please come by if you're in the neighborhood! Opening is 6-8pm, but there's an exhibition tour with all the artists (not just us) at 5pm.
I recently came across Tahrir Documents, an amazing website and resource that is archiving, scanning, translating, and representing a huge collection of documents, fliers, posters, and newspapers produced as part of the Egyptian Revolution and the occupation of Tahrir Square. Check it out HERE.
To the left is a hand painted sign which states, "Happy spring, Egypt!"
My friend Chas just forwarded me this link to a real awesome website dedicated to Labor Arts. Their mission: "To present powerful images that encourage understanding and appreciation of the overlooked contributions working people make to our society."
There are some great photos, murals, pamphlet art, and other inspiring imagery. I figured I would forward the link for interested folks!
Lately, I have been enamored with hiking and backpacking blogs, particularly those interested in retro outdoors gear and the centrality of the so-called out-of-doors. As I enter middle age, I become progressively less interested in the pace of urban living and increasingly return to my childhood experiences of rurality. Maybe the misanthropic views of fellow Justseed Roger Peet are wearing off on me or possibly it is the nostalgia for my own childhood spent in the woods. Either way, I am beginning to realize that I don’t desire to live in big urban settings. In fact, they actually make me depressed and somewhat unhappy. For too long, I have been enamored with the politics of urban intellectual and radical thought, often dismissing the realities that can and do exist at urbanity’s margins, even here in the rural spaces of North America. No longer do I think that I need to live in New York or Chicago or Mexico City or Toronto to work in a way that challenges people. My own collegetown realities and rural lifestyle may, likewise, transform the social institutions that I detest. Maybe this is just me explaining my life in Michigan.
Workers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are waging a critical fight in Longview, Washington - blocking trains and scab labor, and showing the rest of the country that standing up for one's rights can and should go far beyond simply marching and recall elections - aka the failed labor strategy in Wisconsin.
Memorial de Agravios, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2006 brings together the work of 24 photographers who followed the social movement in Oaxaca during 2006 and 2007, along with essays by five Mexican writers translated into English, French, and Italian. A remarkable edition, conceived as an art book is a testimony to the difficult months in which citizens confronted the corrupt administration of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, is an independent work which encourages critical reflection on the violence that dominated Oaxaca during 2006 and 2007.David Jaramillo, photojournalist/activist from Mexico City, covered the movement, will discuss the trajectory of the movement, its current state, and present images of the uprising. Copies of Memorial de Agravios will be sold to benefit widows of this movement
172 Allen St
Milwaukee was festive today with a large labor day parade today that showcased the best attributes of the city - diversity, dissent, and creativity. The "Recall Walker" signs were out in force, as was an incredible array of floats and puppets created by the "All City People's Parade." My personal favorite was the "Wheel of Misfortune" float that spoke volumes about the draconian cuts that the Milwaukee Public School system has faced.
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?
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.
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.
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…
One of the most frequent questions I get when I lecture in universities around the country is: "What Art School did you go to?"
I actually did not attend art school, in fact I didn't finish college. I left the University of California Berkeley after 3 years of study because I did not find that a college education was truly fulfilling me. I didn't know how to explain it then, but I believe that at age 20, I was in search of creating something that incorporated my many identities, something that I could really feel passionate about.
I finally made the trip up to the Museum of Modern Art for German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse. The exhibition will only run until July 11th. The Neue Galerie has offered many opportunities to view Expressionist works, I was fortunate to attend the Otto Dix and Brücke exhibitions there. The current MoMA exhibit has a variety of mediums but most interestingly, to me, are the portfolios and books. I enjoyed seeing Kandinsky, Beckman, Grosz works and how incredibly printed all these works are. An exhibition should be dedicated to the master printers and print shops of this period.
The two artists I was most excited to see were Otto Dix and Kåthe Kollwitz. The German Expressionists have had strong influence over many Justseeds artists, as well as our projects. The War (Der Krieg) Portfolio by Otto Dix is an incredibly dark and visceral depiction of the destructiveness of battle. Drawn from his memories of World War I is the fear and horror that soldiers, dead or dying, experience. According to the MoMA's website the publisher, Karl Nierendorf in Berlin,
circulated the portfolio throughout Germany with a pacifist organization, Never Again War, though Dix himself doubted that his prints could have any bearing on future wars. Despite the intensive publicity, Nierendorf sold only one complete portfolio from the edition of seventy.
A good friend of Justseeds, Bill Daniel, has recently launched a new photosite called Tri-X-Noise. Bill has been taking fantastic photos of American sub-culture since the early 1980s, from early punk shows in Texas to skateboarding around the country to classic SF graffiti. Like the rest of us, Bill is a struggling artist trying to make ends meet, and he's launched Tri-X to both share his work with the world, but also sell very inexpensive hand-printed photographs. Checking out and buying Bill's prints is a great way to be able to take home a bit of this history, and help out an artist at the same time. Check out the site HERE, and pick up some awesome photos! (To the right is a great shot of the work of early 90s SF graf artist Reminisce, and click below for a great skate shot!)
I have been in Antwerp, Belgium this month, enjoying many of the benefits of a country that values cultural production in much more tangible ways than I am used to. In comparison Milwaukee (and Wisconsin in general) feels pretty rough around the edges.
It seems like life is gonna get a bit tougher in Wisconsin before it gets better, I'll be back and resisting in Milwaukee next week. Until then feeling like Antwerp is a second home and having an opening at Artspace Leguit, (Leguit 23) on Friday, 17 June, 18.00-23.00hr. If you are in Antwerp stop by. Jams by DJ's Rufus Mich and Tina Schott.
This is an image of the wall drawing I finished last night:
If you want to see more images check out my flickr
These flashmobs put a smile on my face. They are creative, fun, great pop parodies, and opportunities to engage with folks that may be unaware of the issue.
This is part of the escalating nonviolent movement headed by Palestinian youth activists in the West Bank, Gaza, 1948 territories, refugee camps, and the diaspora. Palestinians and human rights activists from all over the world will be participating in this event in their own way.
Their demands are simple: Freedom , Justice, and Dignity.
On June 5th they will be struggling to practice their right to pray in Jerusalem, their right to freedom of movement, and their right to return to their homes that they were ethnically cleansed from in Jerusalem.
Gil Scott-Heron, one of the great poets and musicians of our time, passed today. Few artists could fuse politics, social justice, and the language of the street as well as he could. He inspired us and will be missed.
a project of Miller Schulman, one of the rad teens I have the pleasure to work with...
Print Haiti: Fine Artibonite Prints from the Hangar Prosthetics Clinic, Hopital Albert Schweitzer, Deschapelles, Haiti
OPENING:May 14th, 7:00-11:00pm
Brigadoon Art Salon
1033 S. Braddock Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15221 in Regent Square
On display will be original screen prints made by patients and their families at the Prosthetics Clinic at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, located in Deschapelles. Many of the artists are amputees as a result of the earthquake of February, 2010. Subjects include reflections on Haitian life and culture, responses to the earthquake and to the ongoing problems of AIDS and cholera, but the exhibit is ultimately upbeat, joyous and colorful; you’ll even find a mango or two in the prints.
Screen printing is a relatively new art medium for Haitians, but luckily Miller Schulman and Erin West, trained at CAPA and at Ellis, with some help from AIR (Artist Image Resources) and with backing from local arts stores and organizations, were able to bring supplies down to Deschapelles and instruct both youths and adults in the fine art of screen printing.
There will also be a representative selection of vintage Haitian prints and paintings in the show.
Most prints will be available for purchase, with all proceeds to benefit Hospital Albert Schweitzer.
My friends Bettina and Devon in Chicago have recently released a new album as Teko Sãso, a 2-piece anarchist folk death metal band! Their first record, 11/11, is based on the story of Haymarket and the Haymarket martyrs in Chicago. They just got a great review on Foxy Digitalis (HERE), and you can download the record (for free or a donation) on their site HERE. Or listen below:
I just finished hanging a window installation of my Queer Scout prints, embroidered patches, and bear hankies at 5013 Penn Ave in Pittsburgh, where it will stay on view for for the month of May. Many thanks to Lisa Toboz & Jeff Shreckengost, who live/work in this lovely storefront, and especially to Lisa, who curates the windows of Studio 5013 for First Fridays Unblurred events on Penn Avenue.
Every week I have been making a drawing of one of my favorite scavenged objects. It is a nice way to think about all the amazing things you can get for free while scraping by to pay bills.
Click on post to see the whole image.
Russian art interventionists Voina (whom you might recall from this wonderful action and it's hilarious world-upside-down aftermath) have donated a portion of the funds that Banksy gave them for bail money to a trio of young activists recently arrested for altering an anti-STD billboard. The action involved pasting images of Russia's political establishment in among the cartoony monsters of Herpes, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis. The STD campaign copy asks: Do you really want friends like these?
Here is a preview shot of the Celebrate People's History Show opening tonight from 6-9pm. We also hung the Resourced Portfolio!
Astrix Gallery, 524 W National, Milwaukee, WI.
If you are in Milwaukee this Friday (April 22) stop by Astrix Gallery (524 W National) from 6-9 pm.
Come see an exhibition of posters from Josh MacPhee's Celebrate People's History Poster Project. Over 40 posters celebrating a range of topics including Act Up, Womens Resistance in Oaxaca, Judi Bari, Crass, Malcolm X, The Occupation of Alcatraz, and the EZLN will be on view in the gallery.
Artist's include Cristy C Road, Chris Stain, Courtney Dailey, Swoon, and Pete Yahnke, as well as local artists Kate Luscher, Nicolas Lampert, Brandon Bauer, and Julio Cordova.
Get there early, posters will be for sale under $5. A limited number of books about this project will be available as well.
Also, make sure to go down the block earlier and check out the Carlos Cortez show that is open until 5pm!
Click on post to see the whole image.
Just got this today from MoveOn. Please share far and wide on tax day!
Click on post to see the whole image.
Here are a bunch of photos of work at the Carlos Cortez show in Milwaukee.
Ai Weiwei is missing! The provocative Chinese artist was arrested at the Beijing airport on April 3 2011 and hasn't been seen or heard from since. My friends Amy Harwood and Ryan Pierce of Signal Fire have started a campaign for artists to show their solidarity with him and their opposition to China's ongoing crackdown on dissent. The site is weiweiworkshere.org and features downloadable graphics for people to print out and post in studios, public spaces, galleries; wherever art appears. Do it now. You're next.
Justseeds' Mary Mack Tremonte will be a special guest star on Radio Free Pittsburgh on WPTS this Sunday March 27th from 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon. Tune in on your radio dial (92.1 fm) or by streaming online (www.WPTSradio.org) . Phone lines will be open, so if there is anything you ever wanted to ask her this is your chance! We'll be talking about Justseeds, radical art, signifiers, and the politics of social space, particularly the danceparty. Mary Mack will play a few records as well.
Here are a few photos of the protest in Madison today. After some disappointing news this week, it was inspiring to see the largest protest in Madison yet. Labor is high-energy, determined, and a bit pissed in Wisconsin. The Tractorcade was yet another reason to love Wisconsin.
Her work is devoted to the idea that everyone should be free to grow and experience their lives on their own terms, liberated from a power and material-driven society that so often values things above people. By helping to provide a visual platform where different communities can have a public voice, Katie is committed to the idea that art can play a major role in social transformation.
Visual Dialogues: Public Art and Social Transformation
Friday, March 11, 6-8pm
Asian American/Asian Research Institute
25 W. 43rd Street,
(btn 5th & 6th Ave)
Photo: Graffiti artists collaboratively paint a wall in Santiago during the multi-day Planetta Graff festival
Our buddy Andalusia just had this great article on the Planeta Rock hip hop fest in Santiago, Chile published in Toward Freedom. She talks about how the movement is DIY, anti-capitalist, and based in popular education.
Check it out HERE!
Thanks to Jason Urban for giving what's going on in Wisconsin more exposure over at Printeresting!
Most of us are watching events unfold in Wisconsin from a great distance but Nicolas Lampert and Colin Matthes of Justseeds are in the eye of the storm. The two have been screen-printing their support for unions non-stop and disseminating their images in Milwaukee and Madison...
Check out the rest on Printeresting.com
Also there is currently an exhibition called SolidARTity, "that reflects the incredible breath of creative voice that exists RIGHT NOW in Madison",
The Project Lodge
817 E. Johnson St
Yesterday at the protest in Madison, Wisconsin union supporters were banned from entering the State Capital. Only a few supporters were allowed to stay inside. The vast majority of opposition to Scott Walker and his bill to end collective bargaining rights for public workers was locked outside this public building. The energy at the protest was great; more defiant and angry than the past few weeks.
This is also drawing all the time : week 46.
The March on Blair Mountain will be June 5 to 11, 2011 in West Virginia. It commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, when 10,000 coal miners rose against the rule of the coal operators and fought for the basic right to live and work in decent conditions. Today, Blair Mountain is threatened with obliteration by mountaintop removal (MTR) mining. It is here that a new generation of Appalachians takes a stand to preserve Blair Mountain, abolish mountaintop removal, defend worker's rights, and begin a just transition to a sustainable economy in Appalachia.
Silly post this week. I was hired to draw for a few hours in the lobby of the business school at Marquette University last week. It was a bizarre experience. a few cell phone photos of the experience....
Click on post to see a larger version of the image.
I've got a new print on the site called "The Burning World". It's based on a graphic device called a radial tree of life, which is a method of depicting the incredible diversity of life on Earth and the ways in which those life-forms are related, and when they diverged from each other. Here's the tree of life with it's radii labeled. You can click on the image for a larger version.
I'm still following the Egyptian demonstrations with an incredible amount of excitement. Almost 2 million people demonstrating in Tahrir Square in Cairo, with hundreds of thousands of people in many other cities around Egypt. Demonstrators from across all social and class boundaries are out in the streets demanding Mubarak "step down".
You can live stream Al Jazeera news at:
Al Jazeera Watch Now.
There is finally a position forming in USA foreign policy with Senator John Kerry saying
"President Hosni Mubarak must accept that the stability of his country hinges on his willingness to step aside gracefully to make way for a new political structure."in an op-ed in todays New York Times.
This week's Rad Teen Print is by Maya Dean, and is another piece for Just Harvest. Maya puts a contemporary twist on the familiar Rosie the Riveter image in her style of dress and also references the services of Just Harvest, and the fact that many students use social services, and stop after graduating. The crux of this project was combating myths and stereotypes about who is on welfare, how it is used, and for how long. Just Harvest is using this design for T-shirts, which Power Up is printing at the Cotton Factory. Power Up!
I recently completed and installed a mural of Carlos Cortez.
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:
Mary Tremonte is having an artist in residency at Wonderland!
See photos of the studio where the magic happens!
And Mary making magic!
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
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~!
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.
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!
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.
I was visiting some of my old haunts in Nashville last week, and walked upon this old, weathered People's History poster of Emma Goldman that I must have put up in 2002-3! Most of the wording has weathered away, but I love that her face is still sternly watching traffic...
A friend just forwarded me this link to a design called Looptagger. Some folks figured out a really clever and quick way to spray stencils. Check their How-To on their site, Looptaggr
I think this is a homesick image. I made this in Belgium after being away from Milwaukee's landscape of numerous cranes for a month. I was just appreciating a row of three cranes on my way to work today. Click on image to see a large version of the image.
Come to think of it the last time I made an image with numerous cranes, it was after I was in the woods a few weeks in Ohio.
When I was a mini-proto-krusty-skater-travel punk, in the 90's, I went to a handful of DIY punk and hardcore shows. The self-produced culture and autonomy involved always intrigued me. Growing up in NY's Hudson Valley, I would end up in spaces like ABC No RIo for Saturday matinee's or riding in the car for hours to drive another state away for a basement show of touring or local bands.
Plenty of fanzines documented "the scene", provided advertising and promotion of the independent activities, and were outlets for the philosophy of Punk. In the Northeast Slug and Lettuce, with its incredibly tiny print, was a loud voice of the community. I frequently read the columns, consistently about seasonal mood swings, the record and zine reviews, and Fly's comics. The values represented in S&L contributed to my budding anarcho-punk lifestyle. I was humored to learn that Christine Boarts Larsen, S&L's creator, has started an online archive of Slug & Lettuce.
You can search through the countless photos of live bands shot by Christine, from 1998-2006. and you can also catch a glimpse of some earlier artwork by my contemporaries. A handful of Cristy Road illustrations are available as well as my comrade Meredith Stern.
It's entertaining to look back at the images and artwork. To gauge our progression and pay tribute to the culture we created. It's a refreshing reminder that resistance can be fostered in subcultural "scenes". Maybe not evident, in these images, to anon-participating viewer. Yet it was at these shows that I became informed about countless political campaigns which led me many years of different forms of activism, and currently political printmaking!
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh just unveiled a huge exhibit of Marilyn Monroe photographs and related art, and a billboard campaign to advertise it. I caught this local opinion on the museum's advertising tactics near our office last week.
"People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn't see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one." Marilyn Monroe as quoted in On Being Blonde, by Paula Munier
I first saw Laura Lopez in her cap and gown after following a twitter to this article.
At the time, undocumented migrant students were conducting sit-ins in congressional offices on Capitol Hill, risking arrest and deportation in order to draw attention to the DREAM Act.
Because I was working alongside the Trail of Dreams campaign, I knew very well the dreams of these undocumented youth - dreams that were worth even the most dangerous risks.
But still, there are moments when I am greatly moved by the sheer courage of these young people. I grew up in this country as a citizen. I have never known the fear of what it means to be stopped in the street by immigration agents, to be taken from everything you have known as a child and put in detention centers that ship you off to countries you have never even visited.
She represented a lot of what I wanted to be, breaking rules, teasing boys and girls alike (as in sexy teasing), messy hair, loved to dance even by herself!
My blog entry about Madonna is gonna launch my new blog series, Flashback 80's Arte!
This week, although I'm drowing in work around DREAM Act, I really wanted to launch my new mini project. I think about 50% of my art pieces have been named after my favorite 80's songs, so I will disect each song and the piece is derived from it.
I'll start with a confession.
I totally love all the played out, cheesiest, ultra-pop, whitest 80's singers and bands you can imagine. I'm talking about the stuff most common folk like. Yes I like the indie, hard-to-find stuff, but nothing amuses me like Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Depeche Mode, Bruce Springsteen, Def Leppard, Journey! Yes, Journey!
I have three theories on why this type of music makes me feel really warm and comfortable. People make a lot of assumptions about me. Like - why would a girl from the Oakland hood, a first-generation, U.S.-born daughter of two Catholic, Latino immigrants, like this music SOOOO much?
On the plane ride back to Providence from Chicago, I dug into my backpack and pulled out the book I have been intending to dive into for years-- Dorothy Allison's "Skin". Years ago I had read her fiction book, "Bastard Out Of Carolina" which was incredible, and I stayed on the lookout at bookstores for her other works. I found "Skin", which I immersed myself in so successfully, I read half the book on the flight home. Dorothy's writing is so fluid, it carried me weightlessly across the sky. It's a series of autobiographical essays, all of which are thoroughly engrossing. I lost myself in the pages, and was completely drawn into her words. She starts with giving a context for her perspective- growing up poor in the South. She writes about her subsequent migration to New York where she finds a radical, feminist, lesbian community. She expresses the mixing of her past and the new life she creates as initially opposing identities. Her description about how we can compartmentalize certain aspects of our self in order to survive, and how that can create a splintering of self, resonated very deeply with me. Her essay "A Question Of Class" discusses in a very real way her attempt to construct a new identity, and to put to the side the experiences she had that shaped her life. I particularly was drawn to several lines in this piece, "Busywork became a trance state. I ignored who I really was and how I became this person, continued in that daily progress, became an automaton who became what she did."
She writes about working feverishly with the radical feminist community- including becoming involved in starting a women's bookstore, editing feminist magazines, and living in a feminist cooperative. She very eloquently expresses the tension between her realities growing up poor, and how that often contrasted with the romanticized perspective of poverty that was envisioned by the middle and upper class feminists around her. Dorothy's description of her path towards writing is expressed in a way that I think resonates with many people (particularly activists) who struggle towards liberating themselves creatively. In her words, "the idea of writing stories seemed frivolous when there was so much work to be done, but everything changed when I found myself confronting emotions and ideas that could not be explained away or postponed until after the revolution."
These writings describe her personal journey exploring her identity, confronting and describing the events that shaped it, and her path to writing and self liberation. For the reader, we may all be carried away with her by the strength of her writing- but also find the inspiration to explore our own identities and liberate our own creative minds. I find her writing to be revolutionary in that her words can be a seed for us to plant on our own path, or be much needed water on a seed we have already planted.
I highly recommend reading this book!
M'Antayla Jackson created this silkscreen print in protest of the strict school uniform policy at her school.
The text reads:
"Do you think Urban Pathways Charter High uniforms seem to be taking our identity away? I do!! Each year they have added more and more uniform policies. We are banned from wearing hoop earrings and colore shoes, we have to have our shirts tucked in at all times, a black or brown belt, white undershirt, a certain pair of paints, and black or white socks. We are not allowed to wear more than two rings, our jewelry has to be tucked. They are taking our identity away. It seems like we're in jail. If you break any one of these uniform policies you will be punished. I think since they have gone this far they might as well take away our names and just give us numbers."
Go girl go!!!
Cannonball Press proudly presents: PRINTS GONE WILD 2010!
The fifth-ever annual vernacular printacular mega-hairy Brooklyn affordable print fair!
The ORIGINAL AND ONLY 50 bucks and under American print fair, November 5-6th.
Brooklyn’s own legendary Cannonball Press has again assembled an extraordinary menagerie of graphic artists under one roof, who will be present, displaying their prints, and selling them for $50 or less for two days only at SECRET PROJECT ROBOT, the Place with the Best Name.
Long-time champions of the affordable art cause, Cannonball Press has brought together these great artists as part of New York Fine Art Print Week so that New York can have a chance to see first-hand the incredible resurgence in affordable fine art printing that is happening across the country.
Dirty Printmakers of America Austin, TX
Wolfbat Studios Brooklyn, NY
Sean Star Wars Laurel, MS
Czentrifuga Berlin, Germany
Evil Prints St. Louis, MO
Yeehaw Industries Knoxville, TN
Space 1026 Philadelphia, PA
DRock Press Lexington, KY
Justseeds Brooklyn, NY
Kayrock Brooklyn, NY
The Amazing Hancock Bros. Austin, TX
Fri, Nov. 5th, 6pm-12am- Opening reception and party
Sat, Nov. 6th, 12-6pm- Fair is open all day
Secret Project Robot
210 Kent Ave.
Come join us for music by Tyromous Rex, beer, and a big fat stack of prints!!!
I'm not sure what one might call this, its created before it could be considered a reappropriation. The Yes Men, Rainforest Action Network, and Amazon Watch install bunk Chevron advertisements.
From the Chevron Thinks We're Stupid site:
When Chevron rolled out its fancy new "We Agree" ad campaign, we were ready for them. We had only the tiniest fraction of Chevron’s budget — the company typically spends as much as $90 million on an ad campaign like this — but we had the element of surprise, and we were determined to press our advantage.
Before Chevron’s press release announcing the campaign could hit reporters’ inboxes, we sent out a press release of our own... on the company's behalf. The company’s own press release was guaranteed to be full of greenwash. We wanted ours to be a bit more truthful. It featured quotes from real employees, but in this case they were describing a campaign we might actually be inclined to agree with:
"Chevron is making a clean break from the past by taking direct responsibility for our own actions," said Rhonda Zygocki, Chevron vice president of Policy, Government and Public Affairs.
Some of us at Justseeds are working on an upcoming project with IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War). It has been really inspiring to be a part of it. A sketchbook page from thinking about the project.
It is a little known secret, but Justseeds can only do what it does because groups like the Riseup Collective create online tools that facilitate 25 artists in 14 cities being able to make decisions together. Since we became a coop 4 years ago, we have been using an online platform called Crabgrass to have decentralized discussions and decision making. Crabgrass is a bit like the activist monster child of a wiki, facebook, and google docs, with social networking tools, online image galleries, group file editing, and consensus/decision making applications. Check out Crabgrass HERE.
Right now Riseup needs our help to keep doing what they are doing! They have created a new, improved Crabgrass but to implement it, they need to raise $12,000!! Please, take a minute to go check out what Riseup does HERE, then head over HERE and donate a little bit of money! Every dollar counts!
Once again, here is the link to the most useful way you can donate to Riseup Networks. This allows them the most versatility with the money:
f you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation, the best way to do that
is through Riseup Labs. Labs is also the way to go if where you work
provides matching grants for donations.
If you'd like to send a check or money order addressed to either Riseup
Networks or Riseup Labs, mail that to:
PO Box 4282
Seattle, WA 98194 USA
A drawing made for two billboards. This double billboard is sponsored by In:Site, a public art org in Milwaukee. You can see it going west on Capitol Drive (near 32nd st) in Milwaukee.
It is called Internationalocal and references the immediate area, which was once a location of 1000's of manufacturing jobs and now contains vast open spaces and empty buildings. Many of these jobs were lost to manufacturers relocating, one example is Tower Automotive moving much of it's production to Mexico. This area is struggling with poverty and unemployment, like much of Milwaukee, the fourth poorest city in the US, according to the 2009 census report. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/detroit_cleveland_buffalo_poorest_xg9YRt76wF57xG8m1wBIqL
This image also finds beauty in small groups of people performing tasks usually reserved for massive machines and major corporations.
See more images of the project, which includes a Row Boat Lookout Tower and a 18x48' mural here.http://ideasinpictures.org/
Over the weekend with the help of family and friends I installed a "Rowboat Lookout Tower" on 35th and Capitol in Milwaukee. This is part of a project organized by In:Site, a public art org in Milwaukee.
Raising the boat
I've really been enjoying Icky's process posts on his excellent blog, Blackout Print, and I thought that I'd make one for this blog here. I use a variety of techniques to make my prints, but the method shown here is probably the one I use most. The print shown in production here is called "There is No Way", and is based on a slogan/phrase I wrote down years ago, in combination with a bunch of ideas that have been lurking in my sketchbooks for similar stretches of time. The print is available in the Justseeds store.
I am going to try and do a semi-regular post on things that interest me in, of, or about New Mexico. I'm still very much learning about this place so let me know if there's anything you think I need to check out. This post is on one of my favorite places in New Mexico, Tinkertown. I visited here in 1996, and named my dog "Zarata" after one of the carvings in the circus scene. Tinkertown is the creation on Ross Ward, who passed away in 2002 from Alzheimers. Tinkertown is located on the east side of the Sandia Mountains on the road that leads up to Sandia Crest.
Hip-Hop activists Rebel Diaz, based out of the Bronx, have a new video- Libertad.
(September 15, 1963)
Four little girls Who went to Sunday School that day And never came back home at all But left instead Their blood upon the wall With splattered flesh And bloodied Sunday dresses Torn to shreds by dynamite That China made aeons ago- Did not know That what China made Before China was ever Red at all Would redden with their blood This Birmingham-on-Sunday wall.
Four tiny girls
Who left their blood upon that wall,
In little graves today await
The dynamite that might ignite
The fuse of centuries of Dragon Kings
Whose tomorrow sings a hymn
The missionaries never taught Chinese
in Christian Sunday School
To implement the Golden Rule.
Four little girls
Might be awakened someday soon
By songs upon the breeze
As yet unfelt among magnolia trees
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!
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.
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.
I am making a bunch of drawings and sculptures of "plausible inventions." Here is one of them.
I am making a bunch of drawings and sculptures of "plausible inventions." Here is one of them.
Justseeds RESOURCED Portfolio Launch Reception
Friday, July 30th - 6-10pm
Free and Open to the Public
3410 Penn Ave 2nd Floor
(entrance and bike parking around back via Spring Way)
Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is launching our newest collective portfolio project, RESOURCED, at our new space in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh) on Friday, July 30. Prints from the portfolio will be on display and portfolios will be for sale. Artwork by Justseeds artists will also be available for sale, as well as books, zines, and Celebrate People's History posters. The event is free and open to the public from 6 to 10pm.
I am making a bunch of drawings and sculptures of "plausible inventions." Here is one of them.
Tomorrow (Saturday) is the last day to see this show in person:
Sailing the Barbarous Coast: work by Colin Matthes and Anthony Smith
Walker's Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI
Here are a few install photos:
Sculptural work by Colin Matthes
I am making a bunch of drawings and sculptures of "plausible inventions." Here is one of them.
I had a long phone conversation with writer Daniel Fuller this winter - he had driven to town from Philadelphia specifically to find the Howling Mob Society historical markers after hearing about the project at the Creative Time Conference in NY last fall. Daniel recently published a nice article on Afterall Online, even if I take some issue with the Shepard Fairey comparison at the end (his posters were more recently pasted nearby, but I would argue that the motivation behind Fairey's "Obey" brand is of a very different nature than the HMS work). Daniel also wrote captions for all his photos which offer some good further insight as to the placement and orientation of the markers. Feels like this project launched in my home city ages ago, and it's nice to read fresh opinions on it!
I am making a bunch of drawings and sculptures of "plausible inventions." Here is one of them.
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!
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!
Take a look at some of these photos of the printing session we had yesterday in rainy Portland. People came over to help jump up and down on the giant block, in the traditional Taring Padi manner... This print is part of a collaboration with the Indonesian print group Taring Padi, addressing issues of natural gas exploitation on both sides of the Pacific. Next up, the Northwest Natural shareholders meeting on the 27th!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 5:30pm-7pm Free
Colin Matthes Artist In Residence Presentation
Wednesday at 5:30 for no charge at all Justseeds artist and May AS220 Drawer/Inventor in Residence Colin Matthes will present his work of the past month. He'll be giving a slide talk of recent projects that include survival objects realized with scrappy materials, a carnival of War Fair, small "i" inventions (like the kind you might see on an infomercial), contemporary Potemkin villages, and surveillance camera birdhouses.
These are a few in progress studio photos of work at AS220
This drawing is from 2007, titled Yesterday or Tomorrow.
Arizona is on the verge of enacting the most anti-immigrant legislation the country has seen in a generation, SB 1070. This is a bill which apparently mandates racial profiling. This bill allows Arizona law enforcement stop and search any person that they have “probable suspicion” may be “illegal”. SB 1070 is quite literally intended to terrorize immigrant families and force “self deportation”.
We are hopeful Governor Brewer will consult with her legal counsel, issue a veto, and spare Arizona the expense of defending an unconstitutional, unwise, and odious bill in federal courts. But we will not rely solely on hope. We urge all artists who are opponents of this bill to TAKE ACTION and create a IMAGE. The images will be used as part of our online viral campaign for ALTO ARIZONA. Selected images will eventually be published as prints to generate revenue for this campaign with consent of the artist.
Create an image that shows your opposition to SB 1070. Keep in mind the effect that this bill will have on immigrants if fully enforced.
Make sure to include the title of the bill in the work which is: “SB 1070”.
Send all submissions and questions to
orders (at) hechoconganas.com
Image size must be 18x24 inches with a 1/2 inch border all the way around.
The reason for these dimensions is because if in the future your image is chosen to be published the image is ready to go.
I have been a big fan of Guru, Gang Starr, and the Jazzmatazz albums and wanted to share some tribute shows I've been listening to over the last week.
On the graf tip check out this fresh tribute from Slovakia!
Translated blog post at: Guru Memorial Wall in Trnava
Yeah, I admit it. I draw birds every once in a while.
The Rondos were a punk band from the late 1970s from Rotterdam. They have a pretty thorough website documenting not only the band, but the many collective projects that the band members (and their wider circle) were involved in. The first I heard of the Rondos was the song A Black and White Statement on a bootleg compilation a number of years ago. The musical was minimal, angry, and incredibly sharp (ouch!). The lyrics were about the bankruptcy of culture and going out on the street and spray-painting... "no oilpaint illusion/ no three colour pollution/no remote controlled artist/ no culture sick and pissed/ a black and white statement/destroy the entertainment/graffiti and aerosol/art in revolution calls". I was smitten.
Years later in Amsterdam I was shown the Red Rat comic books, made by the singer, and also Rood Rotterdam... a DIY book about Dutch left wing and anti-fascist activism in Rotterdam in the 1930s that was also produced by members of the Rondos.
I keep revisiting this site, finding new gems, listening to their music, and looking at all the great (and highly political) art, graphics, and publications that came out of this collective of people. The website is in dutch (except for their bio), so only pretty pictures for all of us non-dutch speakers! (There's been a reissue of their music both on LP and CD in Europe (LP from Red Wig) and in the US on PM press.)
A review of my recent exhibition in Portland can be found here: Ultra
This is one of many "Mr." drawings.
Harvey Milk posters! Yes that is a rainbow mustache!!!
Shaun Slifer and I just wrapped up another partnership with Schenley High School's Theory of Knowledge classes, the day before I left for Brazil, and three days before Shaun left for Australia and India.
This is a detail of a large drawing that will be in E X P O, an installation at Igloo Gallery in Portland, OR that is opening Thursday (April 1) from 6-10pm. The detail is of a fallen gas station sign row boat.
Some friends from the Prometheus Radio Project and Palabra Radio are touring around the United States right now to "promote the use of radio as a tool for participatory communication that facilitates community organizing". They've been traveling for a few weeks, through the South, and are currently in Texas. You can check the Making Waves blog to see, and hear, about the various groups that they've encountered in the dozen locations they've already visited. This is a group of very dedicated media-makers that advocate radio as a tool to organize for social justice.
They are facilitating bilingual workshops on:
Analysis of corporate media: In this workshop participants will analyze the media and discuss the impacts that media has on our daily lives. Through participatory exercises people will have an opportunity to experiment with creative forms of communication.
Participatory Radio as a tool for community organizing: Making radio is more than transmitters and djays and strikes right in the heart of community organizing. This workshop helps groups to spell out the pieces-often invisible-that are need to construct participatory radio.
Here's a little photo essay showing the printing process used by Indonesian print cooperative Taring Padi, including images from all stages of the process, from sketching to carving to printing. I had the chance to help print some copies of this massive block, which is the Taring Padi half of a project addressing issues related to natural gas exploitation on both sides of the Pacific: the three Portland Justseedsers (Pete, Icky and Roger) will be working on their half in the coming month. We'll be working with local nonprofit Bark to promote exhibits and displays of the two prints in towns along the route of the proposed Palomar gas pipeline this summer. Enjoy the photos!
Sketching the initial design on MDF hardboard.
Here's a list of ten of my favorite quotes pertaining to the state of the world that I've gleaned in the past several years:
A: "We don't change our behavior, we adapt to the results of it" James Tiptree Jr, 1972.
B: "This century will see the end of significant evolution of large plants and terrestrial mammals in the Tropics" Scott Soule, 1980
C: "...Extinction allows no second chance. There is a large measure of quixotic hubris in trusting human institutions to prevent something that is truly irrevocable. Unfortunately, there is no alternative." John Terborgh, 1997
D:"So what if species go extinct? Extinction is a natural process. There have always been extinctions. So why worry about these extinctions currently being caused by humanity? And there has always been a pilot light burning in your furnace. So why worry when your house is on fire?" David Quammen, 1997
E:"One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds." Aldo Leopold.
F: "There is hope, though not for us" Franz Kafka
G: "My wife pleaded with me to bring you light. But there is no light. Everything is going to get unimaginably worse and never get better again." Kurt Vonnegut
H: "There is no escaping the conclusion that in our lifetimes this planet will see a suspension, if not an end, to many ecological and evolutionary processes which have been uninterrupted since the beginning of paleontological time" Soule again.
I've recently returned from six weeks traveling in Indonesia, during which I spent a week with the artists of the Taring Padi cooperative in Yogyakarta, Central Java. I'll be posting entries for the next several weeks pertaining to aspects of my travels, some art-related, some not. I thought I'd start off with a bit of a bang- a partial photo-gallery of some of the pictures I was able to take of art made by one of my gracious hosts, Mohamed Yusuf (also known as Ucup).
Enjoy more images below!
Artnoose of Ker-bloom! zine fame is trying an unusual experiment to get her own house in which to set up a letterpress shop -- she's raising the money on Kickstarter.com, in which individuals are asked for a donation but only charged if the money is raised in full. I wanted to post this because it's a totally cute video, and Artnoose is quite a force for good in Pittsburgh, creator of many interesting events, sweet prints, tattoos and vegan cupcakes; but also because it's an inspiration to see someone creatively fundraising for their dream. Artnoose has punctually printed a new edition of Ker-bloom! every two months since 1996, so I think it's safe to say this is more serious than a pipe dream; she's in it for the long haul.
Probably the silliest image I have posted. I was looking through my planner and it as on a blank page. It cracked me up. I have no idea when or why.
Mary Kelly Here is a drawing in celebration of Mary Kelly, the Irish nurse and mother of 4 who decommissioned a US war plane with an axe while it was illegally refueling on its way to Iraq. I do not like the drawing a whole lot, but Mary Kelly is an inspiration. Read more below.
Mary Kelly's Statement
ABC No Rio's bi-annual building-wide show is opening this Friday! There is a contribution from Justseeds member Kevin Caplicki, in the computer center on the 5th floor, check the flicks below. This will be the last Ides show in the current building, since ABC has raised enough money to construct a new building in the same location. Come out!
ABC No Rio's Ides of March
The Seventh Biennial Building-Wide Exhibition
March 19 - April 9
Over 50 Artists on 4 Floors
OPENING: Friday March 19 at 7:00pm
This week I'm bringing you rad art, rather than print...this drawing is from a project that students in Schenley High School's Theory of Knowledge course did a few years ago. Students were directed to illustrate a key quote from Marx. Shaun and I were totally captivated by these drawings when we spied them in a stack in the corner of the classroom---this was not a project that we had any hand in creating, rather, this was just part of their high school curriculum! You can peep more of them HERE. The text on this drawing reads: The state, an engine of repression, can never be made into an instrument of welfare. There are so many great details on this drawing...enjoy!
Two weeks ago I finished a residency at AS220 in Providence, RI., where I spent a lot of time printing in the community print shop. This short video about the print shop was finished while I was there, and it's a great introduction to the shop and some of the people you might meet there.
During my residency, I lead a participatory workshop called "Picturing Cooperation." The premise of the workshop was that we don't see a lot of images of cooperation in the media, and if we are not so fortunate as to see it in our lives, how do we know what it looks like? And if we can't visualize it, how are we going to create it? During the workshop we brainstormed where cooperation happens, with what actions and by whom, and we took turns posing in groups while the other group sketched. After that we headed over to the print shop and made a giant collaborative print. Here's a photo of the workshop, and the print I made that was inspired by it. I am always interested in group process: how it can work, and why it doesn't sometimes; and I really enjoyed my sojourn to a new city to draw a group of strangers and friends into the outwardly dubious but ultimately satisfying project of getting along.
My favorite listener sponsored, freeform radio station is doing their annual fundraising drive. Its the best station out there. I've been listening since I was in High School, half my life! Help them out and listen to it at wfmu.org.
Half brainstorming, half drawing. not sure where this is going yet.
This is one of the first prints created at Power Up, a new after school program I am teaching, by Shaleia McElligott. This poster is to promote Planned Parenthood of Western PA's G.Y.T., or "Get Yourself Tested" program. The girls have created many graphics for PPWP, and will have a show of their work in their window on Liberty Ave Downtown. Stay tuned!
This is a detail of the drawing series titled "Bonus Footage about Loving, Leaving, or Existing in a Country that Revels in its Wars." It is installed at the Central Gallery at UMass Amherst as part of the two-person show, "Sailing the Barbarous Coast."
Another old skool image here...this silkscreen print was created by Abby Gordon and Kimi Hanauer for a Celebrate Pittsburgh People's History project as part of RUST 2008. This piece is about the construction of the Civic Arena (now Mellon Arena) in the 1950's, and the devastation it wreaked on the Hill District, versus the self-congragulatory nature of the media and the Great White Men who funded and supported the project.
Check out Thurman Oherlihy's blog "Permaculture for Kids." I've known Thurman since he was a little tike (he is eleven now-if memory serves me right) and its great to keep up with his latest project in SW Wisconsin through his blog. His drawings are amazing! (As an aside, Thurman had his first solo show at our old storefront space in Milwaukee when he was two!)
This week's Rad Teen Print of the Week is from Schenley High School Theory of Knowledge class from Spring 2008. This project was a Pittsburgh People's History print, and the first time Shaun and I taught this class together. The image is of the Highland building in East Liberty, a neighborhood that suffered one round of urban renewal in the 1960's, and then again now, with developers even renaming parts of the neighborhood "Eastside," or "East Shadyside," to make a connection to the much more affluent neighborhood on the other side of the railroad tracks (literally!). Pittsburgh has some textbook examples of terrible urban redevelopment schemes that have destroyed the pulse of a neighborhood, from Penn Circle in East Liberty to the Civic Arena in the Hill District to Allegheny Center on the North Side.
We're about to embark upon another round of TOK projects next week. Fresh prints soon!
This drawing is called Lean To. I made it while setting up the show Sailing the Barbarous Coast in Boston.
I was thinking about symbols of power as theatre, a stage set,...and making a simple useful structure from a fallen part of this stage set. The drawing is on luan scavenged from the basement and spans across the pulpit of an old church. It measures over 25 ft long by roughly 10ft high.
This week's rad teen print is a t-shirt design, collectively conceived, drawn and printed by the girls of Power Up, a new after-school youth program I am teaching at the Warhol Museum.
Heather White and I wanted to synthesize some of the best bits of past programs we have done: silkscreen printing (of course!), activism and advocacy, self-actualization, health, feminism, and of course relevancy and FUN.
We are working with a group of seven African American teenage women to teach graphic design and silkscreen printing through health topics. We are working with many organizations and individuals as guest speakers and clients, including the East End Food Co-op, Planned Parenthood, Youth Empowerment Project, The Birth Circle, and more.
Just heard the sad news, Howard Zinn died Wednesday of a heart attack. I know all of us here at Justseeds were inspired by this great historian. These are some big shoes to fill...
image by Rober Shetterly
This is a little slice-o'-life blog entry.
the van, all done up in front of the ranch
Justseeds Artists Cooperative have a collective wealth of skills beyond making radical prints. One skill that many of us share, including Shaun Slifer and myself, is the art of ROAD DAWGGIN. We have logged thousands of miles on road trips between the two of us, often together. Shaun is also very adept at cutting and installing vinyl text and graphics. We took these skills to the road last week, when we drove an extended passenger van from Pittsburgh to Austin, logging over 1700 miles in three days! The purpose of this kinda hairbrained trip was to decorate and deliver a van to my brother Chris, who purchased it for his Endurance Ranch triathalon training camp.
This drawing is in the show Sailing the Barbarous Coast that opens at the New Art Center, Newton, MA on Jan 15.
My good friend Dwight, owner-operator of the Tucson multi-functional art/community/print space the Gloo Factory and allied enterprise Peace Supplies has been struggling against eviction from his crazy downtown space for years now, in the face of idiotic plans for redevelopment. At this point it looks like he's going to lose the space, but he's energized to find a new spot! A vacant lot with a big steel shed! Dreams of a Quonset hut! Located in the city of South Tucson, away from the boondoggles of Tucson proper! To accomplish this, he needs our help. Take a moment to navigate to the Save the Gloo Factory website and make a donation. Tucson's radical print infrastructure will thank you.
I've been creating a mix of music & other auditory ephemera every day for the month of January 2010. They're all posted here in downloadable form. This project is a part of Art Clash's annual Fun-A-Day project, which is this amazing project where various folks do a project every day in various cities. Folks have done everything from interpreting someone's dream every day to my friend Sharon's current project to draw a portrait of a friend as a Simpson character every day.
So far, this project has been somewhat of a challenge, but as I've been pondering for a while now a possible return to radio, it feels like a good way to explore that possibility and further justify my obsessive tendencies.
This drawing is part of the series "Feature Presentation about loving, leaving, or existing in a country that revels in its wars." It is titled "Protection Project." It is on a truck right now, headed to Boston, where I will be soon to hang it on a wall at the New Art Center.
This is a drawing from a series of drawings tentatively titled, "Bonus Footage about loving, leaving, or existing in a country that revels in its wars.”
This is a drawing from a series of drawings tentatively titled, “Feature Presentation about loving, leaving, or existing in a country that revels in its wars.”
Here's a little gem that Icky forwarded to me, which is oh-so apropos in the aftermath of the Great Failure of the Copenhagen Forum. Keep on telling yourselves you can fix it! All the self-righteous self-aggrandizing and moral outrage is positively hilarious to watch for those of us who've kicked the hope habit. Especially when people start chanting "Reclaim Power!" Since when have any of you had any power? And what on Earth would you do with it? When I say "Humans", you say "Out"! "Humans!" "Out!" Take it away, Derrick!
Our pal Brett Story's film Roads Through Palestine can be viewed online now. It's an impressive collection of imagery captured in the West Bank over 2003-5, I believe.
I came across the video on Art Threat, where Rob Maguire says:
Billowing smoke pours from a bus, as a fire crew attempts to douse the flames. Long, aching lines of motionless vehicles sit at one of Israel’s hated checkpoints. Two men habitually pray on the road alongside their stopped car. A lone helicopter hovers overhead, reinforcing the reality of perpetual occupation.
Roads Through Palestine is a cinematic portrait of life in the West Bank, and an intimate reflection on the geography of war. The short film, directed by Brett Story with music by Stefan Christoff, features scenes that are eerie and evocative, yet painfully commonplace.
Having spent time in the West Bank myself, I recalled the outrage I felt every time I was trapped at the checkpoint, where a handful of teenaged occupiers unjustly stood between us travelers and our destinations. But the feel of the 11-minute piece, with its muted colours and choppy, slow motion picture, more closely reflects the banal humiliation suffered by the Palestinian people day in and day out, for whom occupation is not a novelty, but a 40-year curse.
This is a drawing from a series of drawings tentatively titled, “Bonus footage about loving, leaving, or existing in a country that revels in its wars”
I am working on a drawing titled Staying Afloat for an upcoming show at the New Art Center in Newton, MA (near Boston). Here is another detail of it (about 18x24" of the 90x126" drawing).
I am working on a drawing titled Staying Afloat for an upcoming show at the New Art Center in Newton, MA (near Boston). This is a detail of it (about 18x24" of the 90x126" drawing).
The month before my cousin got out of prison I sent him a drawing each day to help break up the days. This is one of em.
It is pretty common knowledge at Justseeds that I'm a complete ice cream addict. I'd eat it 3 meals a day if I could. So my eyes lit up when I came across this new print by Ad Deville of Skewville. You can get your own HERE.
The month before my cousin got out of prison I sent him a drawing each day to help break up the days. This is a drawing of a table in the visiting room. Notice the offender chair with the O.
Some old English comrades, a few I met in Mexico over 8 years ago, are in NYC giving some presentations on the Bristol Radical History Group, a project they've been doing since 2006:
The 'History Workshop' movement was founded in 1966 in Ruskin College, Oxford, U.K. by the Marxist academic Raphael Samuel, a champion of 'history from below.' He famously defined this movement as being "the belief that history is or ought to be a collaborative enterprise, one in which the researcher, the archivist, the curator and the teacher, the 'do-it-yourself' enthusiast and the local historian, the family history societies and the individual archaeologist, should all be regarded as equally engaged."
In 2006 in the U.K., Bristol Radical History Group was formed with a view opening up some of the hidden history of their home city to public scrutiny, to challenge some commonly held ideas about historical events and approach this history from 'below'. Unlike Samuel's 'History Workshop,' the group actually came 'from below' its genesis being in an expanded sports club rather than in the academy. As a result it has been able to successfully integrate both the formal lecture with street performance, the organic intellectual with the academic and engage the public in the excitement of radical history by the use of different media.
This week's rad teen print is a postcard designed and silkscreen printed by Autumn Morgan for RUST 2008. Students created postcards for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture's (PASA) local farm tour. They got really into the politics of food, from . Autumn's dad is a union organizer for SEIU, and that worker's spirit infuses her work.
My bro just sent me this photo of him in the 'Hot In Here' polar bear shirt I made him, at 14,000 feet! I'll be running off more of these shirts, as well as more prints on paper, for the Handmade Arcade, December 12th in Pittsburgh.
This print will be back in the Justseeds store very soon!
October 28th, 2009. For over one and a half hours, hundreds of corporate lobbyists wishing to attend the annual BusinessEurope conference were prevented from entering the Charlemagne building.
The Climate action group Climate Alarm!, consisting of activists from Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany, blocked the main entrance to the conference.
Some more info on this action can be found at Climate IMC
This makes me so happy tears form in my eyes, I like people that care. Thanks to everyone that organized and executed this!
It should happen everywhere, everyday!
"1917, Day of the Revolution, soldiers on [maybe a street name?]"
This is a postcard set detailing the Revolution(s) of 1917 in Russia. Someone was auctioning these awhile ago and I kept the images. The October (Bolshevik) Revolution was only 92 years ago today!
My great grandparents were Armenians in the Russian military on the Turkish front, and had to flee the country following the revolution. I only bring this up because these images seem like forever ago, but my grandmother was with them and is still alive—this all happened within a lifetime! Anyway, my Russian is pretty spotty, and I am especially bad at reading cursive (also the resolution on these images is not so good) but here are some vaguely, hopefully, accurate translations!
This week's rad teen print is another from the archives, by Hannah Thompson. Hannah created this two-color marmoleum-block print during RUST 2008, with the guidance of visiting Justseeds Artist Pete Yahnke. After hearing a presentation from Bike Pittsburgh about current bike advocacy issues, students created two-color block prints that were turned into vinyl stickers that can be stuck on bikes. This sticker in particular is the perfect size for a milk crate!
This is a timely sticker, as Bike Pittsburgh has recently been able to get an ordinance passed by the City Planning Commission to create more and safer bike parking in the City of Pittsburgh. They are now putting pressure on City Council to have it passed into law. You can check out their site to lend support.
"The purpose of this little program is to expose the seductions of rhetoric, not to criticize actions taken. Despite my admiration for many of the actions taken in the name of insurrection, I'm suspicious of how easy it is to substitute style for substance in the communiques describing these actions. And this is not to say that all "insurrectionist" texts are meaningless, despite its difficulty, I found the Coming Insurrection to be, with all its excesses, a serious (if contentious) contribution to revolutionary thought. And, to point out just one other exemplar, the recent "Communique from an Absent Future: The Terminus of Student Life" is by and large an excellent piece of analysis. This program is intended only to demonstrate the pitfalls of language which sounds too good to be meaningful."
No More Corporate Bullshit-Fuk Wall St
Gowanus, Brooklyn. 2008
This was an artists response to last years economic crisis and collapse. Below is a more recent photo of the response of someone with money to burn on brown paint.
Its interesting, that, whomever buffed this building only had a problem with the overt statement and not the self aggrandizing throw-ups. Is offending Wall St. bad for property values? Couldn't the financial institutions be blamed for valueless land and homes?
Funny, bankers and graffiti artists supposedly have the similar effects on a neighborhood. I'd rather read the walls any day than have the mystery and of the market impact my neighbors.
"Les miettes " (Crumbs) directed by Pieree Pinaud in 2007.
I projected this silent film last night at my work, in a program of new French shorts. It's a beautifully made, aesthetically retro, allegory about capitalism, solidarity, and (even) the necessity of armed self-defense.
Well worth a half hour of your time!
It's time once again for...rad teen print of the week!
This week's print is from Ben Page, a junior at Pittsburgh's High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, who was part of the RUST team this Summer. Ben took this photo of a penguin at the National Aviary, also on Pittsburgh's North Side, and used his wicked Photoshop skills to alter the contrast, before burning silkscreens and printing it. I don't know if you can tell by this photo, but this print features silver ink. Fabulous!
This one is called "Extras." Ink and paint on paper, 10" x 14"
To go along with Mary's posting about media coverage at the G20, here's an awesome remix of the police order to disperse, heard in the streets of Pittsburgh during the G20.
Thanks to whomever put that together. Its funny cos I was just listening to WFMU the other day, and heard a song called Resist. It was a DJ remix of a very popular Radical Cheerleader chant during the anti-globalisation hey-day, by Plastique Du Reve f/ Radical Resistance Cheerleaders.
At the suggestion of Shaun Slifer, I am going to post a new rad teen print each week...(some of my teens would totally make fun of me for using the word 'rad'..."way to bring it back to the 90s!")
I've been working with youth via The Andy Warhol Museum for about seven years now, and I have increasingly geared the programs and projects I facilitate towards socially conscious printmaking. While we don't have any programs going on at this moment, there is a wealth of archived material to choose from.
This first image is by Katie Kaplan, who worked with us at the Warhol for four years...she is now a sophmore printmaking major at Pratt. Keep an eye out for her! This print is from a prison poster project students did for FedUp!, who work on upholding prisoners' human rights. Students learned how to use rubylith from visiting Justseeds artist Erik Ruin to make layers for their prints. Katie was so inspired, she now uses this technique to make a lot of her work. Enjoy!
The Esplanade is a narrow strip of land that lies between the Willamette River and Interstate 5 in Portland (OR). In 2001 the City of Portland remodeled this into a riverfront parkway, with some public art, a partially-floating bike/jog path, and some new boat docks. This area (near rail lines, social services, and with plenty of bridges and overpasses) has also been a long time spot for homeless camps, car campers, train hoppers, and also (of course) skate boarders & graffiti.
I put up a blog posting a couple weeks ago about a public art install, Live Debris, which occurred in this area. It was organized by the group Red Semilla Roja, and one in "a series of international events sharing reuse traditions as a means of reducing stigmas around garbage, poverty and street culture."
I went down late on a Saturday, added some art to the wheat paste wall, sat on a woven-from-garbage hammock, and looked out over the river. I then wandered back down the Esplanade and checked out all the different projects that were part of Live Debris. I was impressed and inspired by the project and interviewed Taylor Stevenson from Red Semilla Roja for the Justseeds blog via email on September 25th, 2009.
(photos taken from Live Debris website)
I have been taking a bunch of flicks of the Read fire extinguisher tags, here's one of em. You may see Boans, Reader, Read More, or other stuff. If you find em, let me know. I'd like to compile a bunch more!
YNKB is an arts group in Copenhagen (you may remember them from an old post I did on a trip Josh and I made to Europe). I continue to be inspired by how they blend local, neighborhood concerns with global issues, and also how they approach global issues in a very specific neighborhood-y kind of way. There's also a sense of play and joy in what they do that is pretty scarce in political art projects. One of the projects they have been involved with, The People's Museum (in Birzeit, Palestine), is opening on October 2nd. This is from their website:
"The idea is to create a “from bottom up” museum, which represents a collection of items, histories and memories of the residents in a specific locality in Palestine. The form, the site and the collected items are decided upon through a dialogue between the local residents, local grassroots organisations, art students and artists with connection to the specific locality and the Danish artist groups Parfyme-YNKB.
This project seeks a different approach to the concept of a museum.
It is about how people want to represent themselves.
The role of the artists in the project is to open up the discussion with local residents about what is important in their existence and how to memorize, and retain collective and individual identity. How does people identify themselves? In which way, and through what kinds of objects? The goal of the museum is to collect the history of people, and show it in a museum context."
Both artists have produced similar videos, David, having collaborated with a group called the Barnstormers as well as many of his own projects. This was the first time these two artists have worked together. The video is interesting and enjoyable, visually. There is so much context and information that I wish was available along with the it. I have obvious questions about the logistics of such a piece and place, as well as the purpose and intention behind the collaboration. Maybe there's an interesting interview out there somewhere that will explain everything I have to inquire about...
Another drawing in the group I post each Wednesday at 8am.
Labor historian William J. Adelman has passed. His walking tours of labor sites in Chicago, his books, his union organizing, and vision inspired and educated many generations of activists and made sure that the labor struggles of the past are remembered and carried into the present. Below is tribute to his legacy.
"William J. Adelman, 1932-2009: Teacher formed a union at school, became labor history expert
By Joan Giangrasse Kates
Special to the Tribune
September 21, 2009
When it came to the labor movement in Illinois, William J. Adelman was not only a fierce advocate at the ground level but also a devoted historian and preserver of its legacy.
The longtime Oak Park resident got firsthand experience helping organize fellow teachers at Morton West High School in Berwyn during the 1960s.
"He'd teach all day and then conduct union meetings at night," said his son Marc.
Mr. Adelman later became a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, during which time he penned a series of walking tour books on significant sites involving the labor movement in Chicago. In 1969 he also co-founded the Illinois Labor History Society in Chicago and was its vice president.
I went to Peter Kuper's presentation of his recently published book Diario De Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico on PM Press. The event was an opening for Peter's current exhibit up at the MoCCA Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, at 594 Broadway, Suite 401
"MoCCA is pleased to present Peter Kuper's Diario de Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico. This exhibition is in conjunction with the release of his book published in a bilingual edition from PM Press in the US and Sexto Piso in Mexico. Diario de Oaxaca is Kuper's chronicle of his experiences in Oaxaca, Mexico during the political uprising of 2006 and its aftermath. The exhibition includes sketches, illustrations and comics, capturing both the light and shadows that defined his time there."
The exhibit is really simple and stark. I started to notice how Peter was using the nationalistic colors of Mexico in the wall text. It then occurred to me that the wall to my right was painted red, to my left, green, and the wall in front of me had an eagle eating the serpent on the cactus. He incorporated simple elements like the Mexican flag along with stenciled slogans from the streets of Oaxaca on the walls amidst his journal sketches. There are two large screens in the gallery one, a multimedia collage of Peter's stenciled "Day of the Dead" self-portrait, and another displaying dozens of slides he took while living in Oaxaca. The images range from the immense amount of graffiti and visual culture produced in the streets as part of the uprising to buses, which were commandeered and burnt to provide barricades in street battles against the Federal Police, to snapshots of his daughter in front of a line of riot police.
After our justseeds retreat in Pittsburgh in August I took a trip to my homeland of Wisconsin. Now I am sure most people don't daydream of Wisconsin imagining how amazing it is, but truly it is a special place. I was taking a little road trip to visit friends in the rolling hills and bluffs of SW Wisconsin when I realized I was passing the infamous "House on the Rock". Growing up in northern WI I had heard of this place before but like many things in my home state hadn't thought much about it. I assumed it was maybe an old church on the top of the hill or maybe an old world heritage type of place, basically something I wasn't going to be too excited to go out of my way for. I only recently had learned that the "House on the Rock" might be worth checking out when I heard they had a few of the amazing sculptures of Dr. Evermore, the creator of the Forevertron (another reason WI is the best). I assumed if they had some of his work there it most certainly was not a church and was likely going to blow my mind. It did. If you are ever in the Spring Green area of WI (West of Madison) go there, smile nice at the elderly ticket man, give him your $30, just do it don't think twice, and enter the overly sensational experience that is HOUSE ON THE ROCK!....
This drawing, Spectators, is from my sketchbook.
I will post a random drawing each Wednesday at 8am.
The world is over.
A goat with its throat slashed may buck against its bonds, but the blood will drain out and it will die. A gentle hand might give it a pill to ease the suffering. Like the goat, we've swallowed the pill, and so it comes to this. Buy an efficient lightbulb. Drive a "hybrid" car. We have eaten the host that was laid on our tongue, the host embossed "HOPE". We've supped from the poisoned chalice to wash it down.
Our sad flapping jaws will keep on hurking out positive affirmations like trained seals clapping for the ringmaster. Our prating of determination and principled struggle and positivity of all sorts sounds now as do the grunts of a dental patient turned loose to the street with a toothless gape and gums full of anaesthetic. For it's Hope that has killed us these many long years, and it will continue to kill us, though it will seem like famine, and it will seem like war. It's hope that strangles the life of the earth, hope that fills the land and water with poison, the hope that something might be better for our children, and the hope that our pestilential children might somehow impossibly behave other than humans have ever done. Hope places around our necks the thin, piano-wire garrotte of sustainability, and chuckles in syncopation with our breathless gasps. Hope throttles us with our efforts to bring "justice" and "peace", to fight "oppression", for we stand in the shadow of one hundred thousand years of world-rending growth and ecological annihilation and proclaim that without darkness, we would never have been able to understand the properties of light.
I draw obsessively and was recently asked if I would blog drawings now and again. I will be posting a random drawing to the justseeds blog every Wednesday at 8am.
I sent a drawing to my cousin everyday for the last 30 days he was in prison. One goal was for him to receive mail everyday to help pass the time. This is one of those drawings. It is about making hot pot burritos in his cell.
This Summer has been crazy, it started in May with a three week trip through the U.S. with Latino and Indigenous artist from New York, Oaklahoma, Guatemala, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador. The trip was part of a artist exchange titled SALPICA, it was organized by ITD which operates out of Amherst. We travelled through Amherst, Boston, DC, New York, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Los Angeles. It was a blast we visited museums, tourist sites, the beach and even a Indian casino all the while discussing art, culture and the many realities indigenous people occupy through out this hemisphere. I will remember those three weeks for the rest of my life, but it was just the beginning.
After returning from my trip, Melanie and I begun to prepare for our exhibit at Galeria de la Raza. Titled Dignidad Rebelde: Art in Action, this was the first of three exhibits that make up the Contrabando Series, which invites artist to take over the gallery space and transform it into their studio. We took full advantage of this studio in the Mission, we printed 4 editions and about 500 1 color posters ranging in issues from Honduras, El Salvador, Iran and Immigration.
As the exhibit came to a close it was time for the second leg of the SALPICA artist exchange, this time the US based artist travelled to Latin America. Melanie and I, along with three artist from New York travelled to Guatemala to spend some time with artists from the country. This was one of the greatest weeks in my life, we had the opportunity to travel trough the whole country, checking out the big city, galleries, tourist spots, the mountains, cultural centers and ancient temples.
The folks over at Arthur Magazine are building a cool online archive of printed papers created by the Diggers back in the mid-60s. For those new to them, the Diggers were a San Francisco-based political counter-culture group, sort of like anarchist beatniks and hippies. They took their name from the 17th century British Diggers, a revolutionary band led by Gerrard Winstanley, who basically believed in creating economic equality through complete communal land ownership. The SF Diggers created a free food program for kids in Golden Gate Park, a Free Store, where donated and stolen goods where distributed, and free rock concerts. The existed at the same time that Black Mask was organizing in NYC and the Provos where doing their thing in Amsterdam. All 3 groups were the first big wave of 60s anti-capitalist youth organizing, setting the parameters for what would happen latter in 1968 with the global youth revolt.
The funnest source for reading about the SF Diggers is the book Ringolevio, the semi-fictional autobiography of Digger Emmett Grogan. The text can be found online HERE, but it's a book well worth having, and can be found HERE.
Arthur has been collecting the flyers produced by Communication Company, who were sort of like the Diggers publishing wing. From the Arthur site:
Most of the documents that we are presenting are broadsides originally published on a Gestetner machine owned and operated in the Haight by the novelist/poet Chester Anderson and his protege/sidekick Claude Hayward, who used the name “Communication Company,” or more commonly, “Com/Co.” According to Claude, these broadsides were then “handed out on the street, page by page, super hot media, because the reader trusted the source, which was another freaky looking hippie who had handed it to him/her.”
All of these Communication Company mimeo flyers can be found on the Arthur site HERE.
Other SF Digger info, posters and flyers can be found at the Digger Archives HERE.
I don't know where Justseeds would be without Riseup.net. Using the beta version of Riseup's Crabgrass software, sort of like a car crash of a wiki, facebook and google apps, has allowed the 23 of us, in a dozen different cities, to functionally maintain multiple and simultaneous conversations, decisions making processes, critiques, and idea generation. It makes online conversations and decision making amongst decentralized groups possible, opening all kinds of opportunities for new offline organizational development. If you haven't checked out Riseup lately, drop by their website and see what they are up to.
But what I really want to promote here is a cool new e-zine they've put out called Digital Security for Activists. It can be downloaded from this page HERE, and is well worth the read. Here's their own description of it:
Here at the Riseup Collective Headquarters, we have just completed collecting personal stories and practical advice about digital security and online organizing. For activists, by activists.
It is all in our new, 60 page zine, which is full of daring tales of adventure and geeky narratives about how we can protect and advance our movement.
RUST (Radical Urban Silkscreen Team) 2009, a project of Artists Image Resource and The Andy Warhol Museum, is coming to a close. During the month of July, we cooled down a storefront on East Ohio Street in the North Side with lots of radical teen printmaking. Don't miss our closing party tonight! July 29th.Visiting Justseeds member Bec Young even made an awesome red cabbage-beet-fennel salad for us! You can also catch us at the opening of Transformazium's Community Silkscreen Studio in Braddock, Pa on Thursday, July 30th.
PARTY OVER HERE!
RUST 2009 CLOSING PARTY
WED JULY 29th
632 East Ohio Street (old Liberty Tax building, last one on your left before 279)
LIVE SILKSCREEN PRINTING!
SEE & BUY TEEN-CREATED PRINTS!
OPEN TO ALL! FREE!
This week we took our RUST youth print group to a "youth peace rally" organized by the MGR Foundation and Teens Against Senseless Violence (TASK). The kids in our group were printing posters for TASK on the spot, handing out their designs as well as teaching folks how to screenprint hands-on.
I was surprised and excited when someone in the rally handed me this brochure for the Human Rights Coalition's Fed-Up! branch here in Pittsburgh - the front of the pamphlet features Justseeds' artist Nicolas Lampert's "Missing" poster design!
Oh my goodness! I was completely taken off guard at work last night, I had to project a 16mm print of Agnes Varda's film "Mur Murs". The film is about murals, street art, and street culture in 1980 Los Angeles. I've always liked Varda enough, but seeing some of her older documentaries has been a real eye opener, they are colorful, playful, serious, political, and funny. This one includes lots of great shots of graffiti, those weird giant LA hyper realistic murals, goofy Venice Beach culture, lots of street shots... but especially cool were some of the scenes of the more political and community based mural projects. Judy Baca is interviewed, many of her projects are shown, and a portable mural is shown (where they drive around with highly political murals presented in the back of pickup trucks and parked in front of the unemployment office, the Bank of America, etc...). The best (to me) was a bit on Willy Herron's awesome murals (which have a really great modern sharp/punk aesthetic that is heavily influenced by the Mexican muralists), an interview with him walking down the street looking (and acting) way too cool in 1980s sunglasses and skinny tie, an outdoor performance by his seminal punk band Los Illegals, an interview with his aunt who managed the bakery where two of his murals are located (one pictured above) and then a weird performance art piece by him and his crew. Anyone with an interest in murals, street art, radical culture, street culture, Chicano history in LA, experimental film and documentary, early punk etc... should try and see this!
The good news is it's playing again in Portland (OR) this Friday, July 24th at 7PM at the NWFC (Whitsell Auditorium- 1219 SW Park Avenue)
The bad news is that I don't think you can find this on DVD or readily available anywhere. (But this is part of a touring exhibition of Varda's films, so keep your eyes open). (and if this touring program does come through, also keep your eyes peeled for Uncle Yanko, a documentary about a distant relative of hers who lives in the late 1960s Bay Area freak houseboat scene, also quite awesome!)
Green Day commissioned artist Logan Hicks to assemble a group of artists to create works of art based on each song from 21st Century Breakdown. The exhibition will travel with Green Day’s tour.
From Kevin McCloskey's blog:
I was surprised to learn the man who taught the radical young printmakers of Oaxaca's ASAR-O collective was a mild-mannered seventy-five year old Japanese master printer. I had the privilege of speaking with him earlier this year in Oaxaca.
His own artwork is generally not political in nature, but he has been an inspiration to a new generation of activists/artists.
Maestro Takeda spoke about his outreach project to Oaxaca’s poor. He is devoted to the nurturing students from the underclass, the sons and daughters of “campesinos” or landless peasants. Oaxaca is among the poorest Mexican states and one of the poorest regions of the state is the remote Costa Chica. Nearly 8 hours by bus from Oaxaca City, the Costa Chica is home to Afro-Mexican communities. An activist Roman Catholic priest there, Padre Glyn Jemmott, has made it his life’s mission to raise awareness of Mexico’s racial diversity. Padre Glyn is himself of African descent, born in Trinidad, and like Maestro Takeda, devoted to expanding opportunities for the campesinos. During the 1990s Maestro Takeda arranged for some of best students go to the Costa Chica and work with Padre Glyn
When the political turmoil hit Oaxaca in 2006, Takeda challenged his students to respond to the crisis as artists. If one is an artist, then one responds to any phenonomenom, be it natural, social, or political, as an artist. He teaches his students about Mexico’s proud heritage of activist artists. He shares his own collection of books of Taller Grafica Popular prints with his students. He is impressed with both the quality and quantity of political prints his former students in ASAR-O have produced. He recalls with pride how ASARO upended the whole idea of the preciousness of art, selling their unsigned prints for just a few pesos more than the cost of the paper it was printed on.
The insurrection in Greece in December was a visible and mass expression of the social war that rages at all times and will continue until the destruction of all domination.
Thousands fought in the re-appropriated streets of the necropolis. Hundreds were arrested and, with exceptionally swift procedures, several were thrown in prison. Six of them still remain imprisoned up to this day. Because for those in power someone has to pay the price for the negation in practice shown by all of us against this decaying world.
There is an American comrade publishing news and accounts from Greece, currently, on the blog Two Hundred and 77 Street Fights. There are some reflections on the uprising from last winter, news of repression against immigrants, resistance to state repression, prisoner updates, Greek poetry, and excerpts from the first "proper" book about the December insurrection, Instead of a Conclusion. It is a resource for those who wish to read, in English, about the direction the struggle in Greece has gone since December.
I've had the discussion about my frustration with the saying "vote with your dollars".
Thats not voting, its consumerism. Its an economic relationship and system that denigrates activity and participation to buying. I'm not interested in how some consumer choices are better than others. I could go on, but I think Derek Jensen articulates it a bit better than I do in a recent piece from Orion Magazine:
Forget Shorter Showers-Why personal change does not equal political change
WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?
Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.
Maybe this means something different in Iran.
(Sorry, if I knew where this photo came from I would credit it)
Just got this package in the mail. Awhile back Kristine Virsis and I had been contacted about having our art used on this benefit CD put out by the anarcopunk label Cabaza De Vaca in Venezuela. They pulled our images from the site and contacted us with a mock up layout which looked great. Months later this lovely package arrived; looks like they screen printed and hand assembled all these. Check out the blog and website for Cabaza De Vaca to get your own copy.
Here's some info on the CD:
CVR-010 Dissension/Anarcolepsia "Solidaridad" Cd
Bonita edicion en Cd en caja artesanal a serigrafia en 2 colores en total beneficio del Comited de Victimas del Estado Lara. Grabado en vivo por "el coach" directo desde la ONG .
Celebrate your queerness and nerd out at the New York Public Library with this rad exhibit:
1969: The Year of Gay Liberation
June 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009
Stokes Gallery (Third Floor)
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY
The year 1969 was a flashpoint in the history of LGBT civil rights struggles, marking a paradigmatic shift in the ways that gays and lesbians saw themselves and fought for their full inclusion within American society. In the wake of the Stonewall Riots on June 28 of that year, gays and lesbians in New York City radicalized in an unprecedented way, founding activist groups—Gay Liberation Front, the Radicalesbians, Gay Activists Alliance, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries—that created a new vision: Gay Liberation. This exhibition charts the emergence of this new vision through photographs and original documents that show the evolution of Gay Liberation in New York City from the Stonewall Riots to the first LGBT pride march—Christopher Street Liberation Day 1970.
From the NYPL archives Diana Davies photographs, 1965-1978, Demonstration at City Hall, New York City, in support of gay rights bill "Intro 475," 1973 April, left to right: Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Barbara Deming, and Kady Vandeurs
Josh Macphee and Kevin Caplicki collaborated on a 5-color handprinted poster for an upcoming benefit for the Brecht Forum.
The event features Noam Chomsky who will deliver a lecture called Crisis and Hope:Theirs and ours. He'll be introduced by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, and features music by Earthdriver and Mahina Movement
The event will be held
Friday, June 12
At Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive (Btn 120 & 121 St)
Sliding scale for talk: $20/$25/$30
Reception with Noam Chomsky (includes reserved seating for the talk): $50/$100/$250/$500
Special Benefit for the Brecht Forum,
Please contribute what you can afford.
The poster, a signed and numbered edition of 60, will be available for sale at the event, and tickets can be purchased through the Brecht Forum website.
I shold also mention that Justseeds will be tabling the event along with others, like our comrades from Bluestockings Bookstore
My colleague Ryan Burns has been hard at work on an ambitious project of late. It's to be a massive reliquary of the Congo mineral wars; a huge slab of excavated central African soil, displayed as if it were an archaeological find shipped to a research center in a massive crate. The dig reveals layer upon layer of exploitation and devastation, destroyed forests, rent cultures, annihilated wildlife, and gruesome paramilitary struggle for control of the stream of minerals.... These minerals, hacked by hand from beneath the Congolese subsoil by teams of preteen miners, make their way through unscrupulous chains of corporate commerce into all our modern high-tech devices, our computers, our cellphones, blackberries, i-phones, x-boxes, playstations, anti-lock brakes, and so on, and so on.
We are all complicit in this, and the fact that I'm blogging about it is the ultimate irony. None of this dissemination of information is possible without the grim calculus of total destruction that has been wrought on the lands, life and people of the Democratic Republic of Congo during the past twenty years. Blood is on our hands.
Profane Relics will be on display at the Sea Change gallery in downtown Portland, Oregon, starting in July. More details coming soon.
My dear friend and housemate Heidi Tucker has a collaborative cardboard installation opening tonight at Morning Glory Coffeehouse in Pittsburgh...I thought it appropriate to post on here, what with Justseeds' affinity for cardboard, and some Justseeds peeps in the show...check it out, it will be up for the month of June.
June 5, 2009 - 7pm
Heidi Tucker - ART OPENING
at Morning Glory Coffeehouse
1806 Chislett Street, in Morningside
free food + wine
412-450-1050 for info
HEIDI TUCKER painted cardboard installation. come on dahn. will be up throughout the month of June
Cardboard installation floor to ceiling...
with pieces by
Mary Mack, Emilie Bosworth-Clemens, Nathan Mould, Morgan Cahn, Carly, Teresa, Leslie Stem, Gina, Ally Reeves, Caleb Gamble, Ashley Brickman, Niko Gomez, Chris St.Pierre, Aurelia Freidland, Mick, Blair, Gretchen Ann Neidert
Evil Twin will perform at 9pm.
Head over to Cat and GIrl for another good comic
Riffing off Kevin's post about art and resistance in Northern Ireland, I thought I would post some photos of murals by the Bogside Artists' in Derry, Northern Ireland. I took these photos in 2006, when I was in Ireland for a few months. These photos blew me away and had a major impact on the whole spirit of Derry. I cannot image how my walk through Derry would have changed if these murals were gone. These murals are attributed to the Bogside Artists' collective.
Irish Republican Bobby Sands died on his 66th day of hunger striking in Maze Prison. He was trying to get the British government to recognize IRA members as political prisoners and allow them to wear civilian clothes.
One current photograph depicts a memorial mural of Sands. Murals in Northern Ireland were very common symbols of resistance to the British, allegiance to the IRA struggle, and solidarity with other struggles of self-determination. The Drawing Support photo book series documents some, of the supposed 2000+, murals of Northern Ireland.
Steve McQueen's Hunger is an incredible film about Sands' last days in prison. The visual composition of the film is totally beautiful and allowed me to make it through the brutality of the political prisoners' treatment and the conditions that humans are incarcerated in. Definitely check it out if you get the chance!
Sex Education for All by Shira Rascoe
More radical teen printmaking totally!
Pittsburgh's CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) High School students in Shannon Pultz's printmaking class visited the Signs of Change exhibition at the Miller Gallery in February. Students designed images inspired by the show on issues they are personally passionate about (sound familiar?) and learned relief printing to create these posters.
Some of them were particularly timely, as Shira Rascoe says of her print: "When I was creating my poster, many people in Pittsburgh were in the process of convincing the Pittsburgh Public Schools to adopt a comprehensive sex education curriculum, meaning not just abstinence. I feel that it is crucial for the safety of my peers to teach teenagers about contraception. The peeled banana with the condom on the bottom symbolizes exposure versus protection. Luckily, the PPS has now adopted an Abstinence Plus policy."
Here are a few more examples.
Some friends in Barcelona decided they were "fed up with the crisis, were tired of the fear that mass media communicate everyday, and sick of suffering in silence at home, [so they] decided... to go dancing at an unemployment office.":
Their statement (rough translation):
Today, Thursday April 30, we held the party Inem (Unemployment Office).
We had been preparing since the last few weeks. It was truly enjoyable! 40 people appeared at 12:00 on the Inem branch located in the street Sepúlveda de Barcelona. There we waited in the usual atmosphere of these places at this time: a mixture of stationary people (local and foreign), tired of waiting and wasting time, bored, angry and disgusted faces, full of fear created by the crisis. Less than five minutes of messing around and dancing have been required to change their crisis faces into smiling and cheerful faces. Some joined with us in the dance, and others applauded. All, without exception, have appreciated this wave of light and color, this outburst of joy and enjoy places where you least expect it: in an office job in crisis.
These are pictures Katie B. took while on tour with my band last summer in Europe, some highlights of street art, graf. and alternative spaces.
Stencil on left from Hamburg, the right from Germany somewhere.
Our friend Sandy K. from Image-Shift sent us a communique of links and images to their recent poster project for Mayday Berlin. The project consisted of two sets of posters. The first set consisted of 6 posters, each one with a single large pink letter on white background, the letters: K, R, I, S, E, !, spell out CRISIS! in German. Each letter also has another word it stands for, K for Kapitalismus, S for Solidarität, etc. I've roughly translated the text from each poster below (with online translators, so sorry it is a little rugged!). The second set are all white text on blue background, and are specific information about the Mayday events in Berlin.
I was flipping through various comics anthologies the other day (looking for wordless comics for a friend's thesis project) when i rediscovered the work of Carol Moiseiwitsch. I remembered her bold scratchboard imagery & dark sardonic wit always standing out in comics collections like Twisted Sisters, but had never seen much of her work beyond that. So imagine my delight when i discovered a whole site of her images- comics, paintings, posters etc., all available for non-profit use! I was also impressed to see Carol continuing to create relevant, charged graphics in reaction to current struggles in Palestine, Oaxaca and elsewhere.
I highly encourage everyone to check out the striking work of this dedicated and under-appreciated radical artist!
In preparation for May 1st Immigrant Rights mobilization in Oakland youth gathered for a banner making party to paint graffiti banners, screen print bandanas, posters, and t-shirts. It was great to see so many black, brown and red youth gravitate to the two screen printing stations we set up. They quickly learned the process and took over, teaching each other how to screen print. The youth painted three banners, screen printed about 50 posters, cut a stencil and sprayed 20 posters and made about a dozen shirts. Betty Bastidas and some youth from Huaxtec helped document the event, you can see the video below.
The workshop came a week after a conversation with Lincoln Cushing, we talked about the re-emergence of screen printing as a social movement medium. I think it is important to help spread the medium to as many youth as we can as well as other printmaking mediums. It was great seeing all the art produced by youth at the May 1st march in Oakland and I hope that this trend continues and we have more youth making art in the community.
This week saw the culmination of a project I've been working on the last couple of months alongside Mary Tremonte (also of Justseeds), Pittsburgh artist (and beekeeper) Ashley Brickman, and Jenn Knops from University of Pittsburgh's Street Law program. As agents of the Warhol Museum's Education Department, we worked with three "Theory of Knowledge" classes at Schenley High to create posters about current social justice issues.
We started by taking the classes on a field trip in late February to see the "Signs of Change" exhibit while it was on display at the Miller Gallery in town. The students had to pick images from the show to discuss with the group, and began thinking about how to communicate through poster design. Over the course of the next several weeks we held discussions about current events, helping the kids focus on problems they saw in the world and researching them to gain a better understanding of the issues they felt were important. Jenn brought in a lot of information on international human rights for the students to chew on, and once they broke into groups we started going over some design fundamentals, using imagery from some Justseeds artists along with the "how to" design chapter at the beginning of Josh and Favianna's "Reproduce and Revolt" (a great, encompassing primer on fundamentals of clear graphic design). The kids set to work collaborating on their designs, combining their experience at "Signs of Change" with their own knowledge and opinions. The best part, of course, is the actual printing of the posters, which happens in a day-long field trip for each class to Artist Image Resource (AIR)! There they screen print their poster designs and learn the whole process firsthand! Besides getting some amazing posters printed and having fun doing it, I'm really proud of how this project worked out, and it's amazing watching the kids' eyes open to the possibilities of printing! In the coming weeks the students must find places in the city to hang their posters (storefronts, schools, etc) in order to spread their messages. Check out our Flickr album for more images of the students making their posters...
Friend of Justseeds Brandon Bauer is a part of the project, Bathas Internationale, which now has a public access television show.
BATHAS Internationale is a Milwaukee, WI based American art collective that produces a public access television show, makes video art, installation art, interventionist art in the public sphere, sound art, and performance art. BATHAS was formed in 1996 by Brandon Bauer and Theo von Briesen. BATHAS stands for "Beaten About The Head And Shoulders" the "Internationale" moniker was added in the summer of 2008 to the introduction sequence on their public access television show.
A couple weeks ago Kevin, Erik and I headed down to Baltimore for the City from Below Conference, which was quite awesome. A large and diverse group of really hard working people, trying to build urban democracy from the bottom up. The conference organizers had asked Justseeds to design posters for them, and Erik, Icky and I answered the call. Erik's image is here to the left, and Icky's is here, and mine here. The organizers have been collecting all the video, photo and audio documentation from the conference, and putting it up on their website. You can see a lot of what happened in a great collection of videos here. In addition, there was a very cool companion conference for kids called Kid(z) City, which had a whole parallel track of activities for kids. They also produced an awesome coloring book, with a ton of great taking back the city images. They also included my "Free" image, which got some cool coloring jobs (thanks to Emily for the flic).
Here is my first attempt at sharing my academic writings with you. Thought I'd start with this encyclopedia entry I wrote on 'Indigenous Radicalism.' Nothing too challenging here. This is an entry for the recently published International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest.
Let me know if I should keep uploading my writings (and maybe those of fellow radical academics).
A friend told me about this artist Knaan, a Somali-Canadian who recently made this video. I found his work and political views to be really provocative and interesting. He was brought up while discussing piracy and the recent hostage situations off the coast of Somalia.
I was referencing Roger Peet's previous post. Somali Pirates Twist the Knife, about pirate demands for money to be used to clean up coastal pollution. I was then referred to the following article You are Being Lied to About Pirates on Huffington Post, which states:
Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a 'tax' on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia - and it's not hard to see why. In a surreal telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was "to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters... We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas." William Scott would understand those words.
It appears that mass media and governments are using labels like "Pirates" to be dismissive of their demands and context. Labeling people and groups with the methods, or tactics, they use to arrive at their goals is incredibly effective in disassociating them from the conditions that lead them to act. If they are just pirates, then they just want booty. Nothing more, nothing less. The same dynamic is created when people are labeled "terrorist", the demands or impetus that leads one to act isn't important at all. They are isolated and demonized. Institutional terror by militaries or piracy by looting public wealth in crisis is not labeled as such. Its a problem of the general perspective, that leads to lack of empathy and understanding. I think its necessary to acknowledge this difference in the work we do, and to communicate the depth of these circumstances to avoid replicating mass media narratives.
Without further ado you can read the article below or by going to Huffington Post
I found this book called Humanities nestled into the Social Science section in a used bookstore in Pittsburgh a few years ago. A thin handsome old spine, I pulled it and was surprised to find full pages of illustrations going along with scathing political text about the state of the world in 1935.
The illustrations were by John Vassos, who was a fairly successful graphic and industrial designer. The text was by his wife Ruth Vassos, and I was taken aback by the cynicism, absurdity and bitterness shown, reminded me more of Crass then anything I'd ever seen from the 30s.
John Vassos was born to Greek parents in Istanbul. A political illustrator for liberal newspapers in his youth, he fled to Britain in time to be drafted into the navy in WWI. Following the war he moved to NYC and worked predominantly in advertising and design. At least from the internet I can find no reference to Ruth Vassos at all (except that she was married to John- surprise surprise).
John and Ruth had about a ten year run of making books like this. John went on to design radios, accordions, advertising, etc... Dover reprinted some of his stuff in the 70s.
Anyway the work speaks for itself. More images if you click below....
Sad news from Chicago. Franklin Rosemont passed away this week and will be greatly missed. His profound legacy as an artist, activist, historian, IWW scholar, and co-editor of the Charles H. Kerr Press is described well by Kate Khatib in an obituary that appeared on the InterActivist Info Exchange.
Franklin Rosemont RIP April 12th, 2009
"Franklin Rosemont, celebrated poet, artist, historian, street speaker, and surrealist activist, died Sunday, April 12 in Chicago. He was 65 years old. With his partner and comrade, Penelope Rosemont, and lifelong friend Paul Garon, he co-founded the Chicago Surrealist Group, an enduring and adventuresome collection of characters that would make the city a center for the reemergence of that movement of artistic and political revolt. Over the course of the following four decades, Franklin and his Chicago comrades produced a body of work, of declarations, manifestos, poetry, collage, hidden histories, and other interventions that has, without doubt, inspired an entirely new generation of revolution in the service of the marvelous.
Franklin Rosemont was born in Chicago on October 2, 1943 to two of the area’s more significant rank-and-file labor activists, the printer Henry Rosemont and the jazz musician Sally Rosemont. Dropping out of Maywood schools after his third year of high school (and instead spending countless hours in the Art Institute of Chicago’s library learning about surrealism), he managed nonetheless to enter Roosevelt University in 1962. Already radicalized through family tradition, and his own investigation of political comics, the Freedom Rides, and the Cuban Revolution, Franklin was immediately drawn into the stormy student movement at Roosevelt.
I came across Cat and Girl the other day and found it a charming and provocative comic.
This one interested me since I've been discussing the values and necessity of art at this particular juncture in time.
I enjoy discussing and critiquing ego, the production of art, and its use for communication.
And like Dara said something to the effect, if I want to see something beautiful, I go to the mountains. I've been wondering, what role should "beauty" play in contemporary art?
I got this from Brian Ponto today:
On this first day of spring we are proud to launch LANDFILL--an annual publication made in collaboration with our friend, the environmental printer, Greg Barber Co. Each issue explores a conceptual approach to its printed components. Second Chance's theme, 100% post-consumer papers and non-toxic toners, was made in partnership with Mohawk Fine Papers and the vendor Digital Connection.
After the interviews, our stories of second chances were printed using non-toxic toner onto paper containing flower seeds and buried throughout New York City. Brooklyn Photographer Luke Barber-Smith photographed these burials. As the sprouts reach the topsoil, the first lives push through the earth and grow into real wild flowers for the spring.
What can I say? The Justseeds installation was totally fun and I feel a bit of post-installation depression or something being back in my daily routine... Finding myself a little more pessimistic than usual and thought maybe other people may either be thinking similarly and i won't feel so alone, or, be more positive and put my downturn in check. I find myself with more questions than answers these days... So, read below and respond if you have your own thoughts or ideas on these ridiculous questions... or some good reading that relates to some of these ideas?
This is a design I made recently for a t-shirt for the Earth First roadshow. It got me thinking about how nice it would be if the beavers did take some kind of action against the destruction of their worlds, because they'd probably do a better job of it than humans ever could. Human ideas are a toxic and destructive force in and of themselves, but seldom more so than in the service of righteousness.
Recently my friend who works at the Buckminster Fuller Institute in Brooklyn told me a story about the connection between visionary Bucky to the much beloved community group CHARAS that, "was instrumental in starting community gardens, the University of the Streets performance space and the first Lower East Side recycling center. CHARAS helped open a local credit union, developed solar energy for urban use, and developed and implemented a housing program that provided the first sweat equity buildings in the U.S, and became a National model for low income home ownership." I'm a sucker for NYC radical history in general, and I asked him to write it up the story of their forays into dome building to share:
R. Buckminster Fuller is well known for a variety of ideas, inventions, and curious tales. One of particular interest, and minimal publicity, is his involvement with and influence upon CHARAS, the Lower East Side community group. CHARAS (an acronym for its founders Chino, Humberto, Angelo, Roy, Anthony, and Sal) came about in the late 60’s in the wake of a 5 hour lecture delivered by Fuller to The Real Great Society (RGS) in an empty loft on East 7th Street.
A member of RGS, a collective attempt to transform a community suffering from the plagues of poverty, drug abuse, and crime into the much talked about “Great Society”, contacted Fuller in 1968 after hearing about his ideas of improving the human condition and radical housing. Despite his age (72 years old), upbringing (New England WASP), and appearance (black suit, thick black-framed glasses, and large hearing aids) Fuller was able to relate very well with the group through his vision of a world of change, equality, and opportunity.
CHARAS were the ones that took to Fuller’s ideas the most. They reached out to him again in 1969, and soon got involved with dome-building projects. The geodesic dome was a manifestation of Fuller’s ideas about humanity’s survival and “doing more with less.” Fuller sent an assistant of his, Michael Ben-Eli, to introduce CHARAS to geodesic math, and guide them along in their building projects.
The process of teaching and learning spherical trigonometry was difficult at first, but they persisted for a full year with no money or regular meeting space. They began to build models, reached out to organizations, and secured a grant from the NY State Council on the Arts. While their first ferro-cement dome (built from cardboard and covered with cement) was constructed on a development site in East Harlem, as a sponsored installation tackling issues of urban space diversity, their eventual focus was the construction of two 20-foot diameter domes on a plot of land at South and Jefferson Streets in the Lower East Side. The process became a huge project for the neighborhood, bringing in many outsiders and media, including the New York Times and CBS, to witness the construction.
There were many setbacks to the cardboard structures due to high winds and extensive rainfalls, but both domes remained fully assembled and covered in plastic sheets, awaiting cement covering, come Fall of 1971. It was at this point that one of the domes was destroyed by the fire department, when an unknown person had entered the dome to escape the rain, started a small fire to stay warm, and eventually filled the entire structure with massive amounts of smoke. Nevertheless CHARAS continued on the remaining dome, covering it tightly with a plastic lining, chicken wire, and eventually concrete. The dome, with its hard concrete exterior and open window sections, was complete just in time to coincide with Fuller’s next trip to New York City.
On January 15, 1972 Buckminster Fuller, along with his wife and secretary, came to visit the dome on South street. He greeted CHARAS members and Michael with great enthusiasm and joy insisting that everyone, including neighborhood children and even his cab driver, take a group photo in front of the structure.
Chris & I were fortunate enough to go check out an exhibit in LA on Saturday. It was called Gouge: The Modern Woodcut 1870 to Now, at the Hammer Museum. We noticed an ad for it in one of the local weeklies and snipped it hoping to catch it after the install. In a borrowed car we made it over to Westwood, an affluent area of LA, where the Hammer Museum resides, part of UCLA.
Gouge: The Modern Woodcut 1870 to Now examines the woodcut in terms of its diverse forms and uses in the modern era. A thematic survey, it invites parallels between the medium in countries as diverse and geographically distant Mexico, France and Korea. Woodblock printing is, in fact, one of the most common artistic practices throughout the world. Although the motivations of each artist and the circumstances in which the woodcuts were made may differ greatly, the visual character of the gouge cuts is a defining thread among the selected works in this exhibition
There were a handful of really inspiring prints and original woodblocks alongside the pieces. Chris became really stoked when he realized there were some Kathe Kollwitz prints in the show. He is a real big fan of her work, so he studied her self-portrait and the Woman in the Lap of Death, 1921, Woodcut for quite some time.
Along with the German Expressionist work that I enjoyed seeing in person was some Gaughin, Matisse, and Munch pieces that i found really inspiring. I wasn't entirely surprised but excited to see the familiar likeness of Zapata printed on grey paper. I immediately knew it was a print from one of the ASAR-O artists from Oaxaca. The print was made during the APPO uprising yet strangely made it into the Images in the Grain section and not the following room, The Voice of the Activist.
A friend sent me link to some interesting montage made by Sergei Larenkov in honor of the 65th anniversary of the Leningrad Blockade, juxtaposing present day street shots with shots of the same location during the 872 day siege of Leningrad by the Germans in WWII.
(If you have a fleeting interest in the blockade then you should check out the book:
Blockade Diary by Lidiya Ginzburg)
My friend Shaun Gilheeney from Providence, RI just sent me a link to his new site, which documents a large body of print and painting work he's been doing over the past 3 years. All his paintings and prints are based off of what must have been an amazing decaying laundry building near his house. The textures and haunting mood he's been able to pull out of the subject are quite amazing. Here's a couple of his images, one painting and one etching, go to the site to see more.
I was just sent an event listing called Biggie, Brooklyn and the World at the Brecht Forum. The title and description are intriguing, and posted below, and what I found immediately inspiring was Harry Allen's blog, Media Assassin. His bio in the email is as follows
Hip-Hop Activist & Media Assassin, writes about race, politics, and culture for VIBE, The Source, The Village Voice, and other publications, and has been doing so for over twenty years.
As an expert covering hip-hop culture, he has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on National Public Radio, MTV, VH-1, CNN, the BBC, and other information channels. Others know him for his long-time association with the seminal band Public Enemy, and for his widely-heard "cameo" on their classic record, "Don't Believe the Hype."
It gave me a few chuckles and a lot more to search thru.
Have Our Weary Feet Come to the Place for Which Our Fathers Sighed?
The Year of Living Sexually is a post about Nonfiction a program on WBAI.
The New Blackface of Fashion is what it appears.
and the first post I saw
Super Zero a link to Marvel's new create your own superhero!
OK, I did mention there is an event at the Brecht Forum, its Wednesday, Jan 28th, read below:
There is a brand new site called Think-Palestine-Act which will house resources "to (help) learn, teach, organize, and act with Palestine". The site is described on their homepage as a place where
you will find resources for learning about the Palestinian struggle while developing ways to articulate and address all of our connections to colonialism, racism and militarism. We will provide concrete activity suggestions, lesson plans, curriculum resources, and audio-visual materials for educators and community organizers to use in connecting grassroots movements in the U.S. and Palestine
Some folks changed the lyrics to Down by the Riverside to reflect the current needs of everyone living in Gaza. They went onto the NYC subways and sang some songs for Martin Luther King's Birthday.
My pal Tod Seelie was recently interviewed by Revel in New York. Tod is a tireless photographer and is always helpful and generous with his tools. Photos for the Threat of Chance show wouldn't have looked so good if they weren't taken with his camera and tripod. Thanks Tod!
Whats more effective than adbusting?
Taking the whole damn thing down!
Found this while reading over at AnimalNY
Ladies and Gentlemen, the jury has returned from their deliberations and they have delivered the following verdict: we are fucked. Yes, fucked. The Earth is strapped down to a filthy bed in a back alley of some benighted slum and is having the guts ripped out of it by the forsaken human race. Let's examine a brief digest of current news that illustrates this problem, namely the problem of OUR BEING FUCKED.
It was recently the 20th anniversary of the death of Chico Mendes, the Brazilian rubbertapper who was murdered by a cattle rancher and his son for the crime of opposing rainforest clearance in Brazil's Acre region. Mendes' legacy is a network of what are known as "extractive reserves", where people can make a living from the rainforest without chopping it down. That living takes the form of tapping trees for rubber, collecting medicinal plants, and the like. Unfortunately, since the world rubber price has crashed, the tenants of the extractive reserves are now chopping down the forest to grow corn and soybeans and FUCKING SUGARCANE FOR YOUR GODDAMN BIOFUEL CARS. Economics trumps principles, as per usual. Of course it does. If you've got starving children to feed and there's a pristine rainforest right outside your backdoor, guess who loses?
Evo Morales, much vaunted defender of indigenous rights and Bolivian energy independence, opponent of neoliberal development schemes and water privatization, has agreed to permit oil exploration in 400,000 hectares of pristine rainforest in Bolivia's northeast. That oil is going to be used to earn hard currency to raise the standard of living for the vast number of impoverished Bolivians, the majority of whom are indigenous. If you've got starving citizens and a pristine rainforest in your northeast, guess who loses?
all matter related
ana on corners
ana incarcerated light
you can’t see me
ana blood wa memory
it was all a dream
lion kissing me
ana wa ana
please excuse my state of disappearance
been renovating structure
hype earrings on
...here the poet figures herself as gaza. and as gaza she disappears...Taken from the blog Body on the Line
15 years ago, on new years day the EZLN declared war on the Mexico, taking over the town of San Cristobal de las Casa in Chiapas in an attempt to start a revolution in Mexico. In the face of the North American Free Trade Agreement the Zapatistas took up arms against the Mexican government with the aim of taking President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and the PRI out of power to restore legitimacy and stability to Mexico. The Zapatista offensive lasted 13 days, after which the EZLN agreed to begins negotiations with the Mexican government. The negotiations eventually fell apart when it became apparent that the government had no intent for real change. In January of 2006 the EZLN began La Otra Campana, a campaign to form a united opposition to neoliberal capitalism which plagues Mexico as well as the rest of the world.
Click through to read the EZLN's declaration of war from 1994.
In light of the current events in Israel/Palestine, a friend of mine asked me where I look for news about the agressions. I told him I usually check in with folks I'm familiar with that follow events there more closely than I do.
Anomalous on flickr is a spot I'll stop by to see what news articles, essays, and statements he's found, and sometimes just ask him his opinion. His flog is a good spot to begin with finding sources to dig into.
Haaretz.com an Israeli newspaper is another spot where I find really good coverage of current events of the region.
Al Jazeera.net is a place to find superficial BBC-like accounts that can be helpful.
It is hard to interpret what the reasons for this aggression are and what the outcomes will be. Its troubling everyway I approach it. Having just seen Waltz with Bashir an animated Israeli documentary about a massacre in the 80's during the Lebanese War, I can only imagine future accounts of the current actions. The film explores the soldiers attempts to recreate these events and his memory. It approaches the violence of war in an objective manner. I found its conclusion to be anti-violence after illustrating many of the conditions, social and political, that led to the Sabra and Shatila massacre. You should definitely see it if you have the opportunity.
My question to others is "where do you find your information about resistance and protest to these aggressions?" In Israel, Palestine, and globally. I have found myself disconnected to communities that are organizing demonstrations and opposition to these aggressions, and want to know more about what is happening in response. (Please don't tell me to join Facebook, the "main" source I've heard of protest outreach here in NYC)
Modern Chinese Woodcuts
A few years ago I picked up a book of Chinese woodcuts, written in the early 80s, put out by a state press and updated in the mid 90s. Most of the book covers the technically impressive (yet politically questionable) period around the Cultural Revolution. Lately there's been a few new books I've seen that broaden the scope a little, focussing on cosmopolitan and bohemian art movements centered around Shanghai in the 20s/30s/and 40s. I just want to do a brief survey of what I've gleaned.
I'm super-honored to be performing my shadow-show FLIGHT (a slightly edited version) at Great Small Works' Spaghetti Dinner on Dec. 30th, alongside a great lineup of amazing musicians & puppeteers. if you're around NYC, please come, as it will be the last-ever performance of what i consider my best work to date.
December 30, 2008, 7:30-10pm
at Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Sq. South NYC
MICHAEL WINOGRAD'S INFECTION skeleton mambo with a twist!Michael Winograd, Jessica Lurie, Petr Cancura, Jeremy Udden - reeds; Joe Moffet, Frank London - trumpets; Dan Blacksberg - trombone; Patrick Farrell - accordion; Avi Fox-Rosen - guitar; Jorge Roeder - bass; Jon Singer - xylophone, percussion; Jason Nazary, Kenny Wollesen - percussion; Kristin Slipp -vox
FLIGHT - a shadow theater piece depicting the journey of a person displaced;
shadows created & performed by Erik Ruin, with assistance from Leslie Rogers & live violin score by Katt Hernandez
A Great Small Works Chanukah Shadow Puppet Show
Special New Year sonic massages performed by WOLLESONIC
and, Bread & Puppet Theater DIRT CHEAP OPERA, after Bertolt Brecht
While I have been ranting and writing so confusedly, about the economic crisis, since September, some friends were putting together Radical Perspectives on the Crisis. Check it out, contribute, this mess isn't fixed yet, and a broad localism is far from ever materializing.
The Christmas tree in the center of Athens, see Icky's earlier post.
Greece: Protests and Unrest Enter Third Week
Protests continue across Greece in response to the police murder of an anarchist teenager, opposition to the government and unhappiness about the economy. Solidarity protests and actions continue around the world
Here's some news from a friend in Argentina:
A month ago the students of Escuela Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano in Buenos Aires, responding to plans by the city government to close down the school, took and occupied their building. The faculty decided to join the students and have continued classes though out the occupation.
The students, whose ages range from 16-26, run the occupation by popular assembly and have opened the school to the community–holding workshops on sculpture, painting, screen-printing and theater. In the upper wings of the school they take turns sleeping on makeshift bedrolls and the lithography studio has become a temporary kitchen. The police and school administration have not yet made an attempt to retake the building.
The city's plan includes shutting down a number of historical schools throughout Buenos Aires and replacing them with semi-privatized new schools. This comes as part of a larger movement under the new mayor Mauricio Macri to privatize and reduce the public sector within the capitol itself.
In the last few days the students and faculty at Belgrano received notice from the education administration that they would have to take their final examinations and receive their graded critiques at three other schools. The faculty met and decided that they would not abide by this directive and will hold final examinations in Belgrano, as they normally would be. The students have decided to support this decision and will not have any final examinations outside of Belgrano, even though the administration is threatening not to honor the grades they will receive. In response the students threw a "party" in downtown Buenos Aires that blockaded a major street near the National Congress. They took all four lanes, one by one, moving displays of their art work to block traffic and hanging banners between light posts. A stage was set up and several bands played, there was also a public block printing station.
My friend elin o'Hara slavick just sent me this great holiday card designed by British political artist and photo-montagist Peter Kennard. Kennard has been making political collages for decades, he is behind some of the best known anti-nuclear graphics, but he is sadly almost unknown in the US:
Last week I had opportunity to visit the advanced printmaking class at Portland State University here in Portland. Valerie Wallace teaches the class, and shares with me a fondness for large scale linoleum printing, so she asked me to come in and talk about my work with her students. I spent some time talking about justseeds and our collaborative projects, showed them some of my work, all then had the class all work together to hand print a linoleum print I have been working on (slowly) for the past couple years that is over 20 feet long.
I have to say it was a pretty great experience having 15 + people all inking up the blocks then getting on the floor to hand burnish. This was the first time I have had the print as one solid piece, and first time having this many helpers. We used one big roll of mulberry paper to print on.
My favorite part was pulling the paper off the block then having everyone snake through the room, and up the stairs to the second floor to hang the piece on the wall. Thanks to all the students for partaking on this social experiment.
I just got a rad book from the library called "Family Legacies" and it is about the art of Betye and her two daughters Lezley, and Alison Saar.
Hen of the woods
This summer I went mushroom foraging and even took a few Justseeds members on a couple of hikes! Mary Tremonte and Shaun Slifer both accompanied me on a few walks. We talked about blogging at the time, but lost track, so I am finally uploading photos from a couple of the sucessful hikes.
This is an interview Chris Stain and Josh MacPhee did with artist John Fekner:
Chris Stain: About a year ago I got lucky for a few months and had a studio separate from my house. it was in LIC. I had heard from my friend Josh Macphee that it was an old stomping ground of the legendary stencil artist John Fekner. so I decided to look him up. just a year before that Josh and I were showing in Brooklyn at Ad Hoc and John stopped in posing as a vandal squad detective. i had never met John before so I didn't know the difference. After he revealed his true identity we all had a good laugh. Until then i thought the shit was gonna hit the fan. Below are parts of the conversation that josh and i had with john. you will be able to read the whole sha-bang later when johns book drops from powerhouse. i’d like to personally thank Mr. Fekner for the interview and his continuing inspiration. His work is a prime example of how much difference one person can make.
Chris Stain: What originally inspired you to cut stencils, get out there in the street and put it up?
John Fekner: It goes back to when I was a teenager. I grew up in Queens and like most street kids spent a lot of time in parks, hangin’ out, doing a lot of different things…it was the 60s. That’s ten years before I started doing stencils at the age of 26. The first outdoors stencils began during the winter of 76-77. In 1968, for some bizarre reason, I came up with the idea of calling our park ‘Itchycoo Park’ referring to the title of the song by the Small Faces that was a hit in 67 about a park in England. My hang out park was Gorman Park at 85th St. and 30th Ave. in Jackson Heights referred to by the local kids as just ‘85th’.
I said to my friends, “Let’s paint the words Itchycoo Park on the front of the park house. So undercover of the night with white paint and a few brushes in very large crude letters we did just that. The phrase just stayed with the park and it became known as Itchycoo and the local football team was called the Itchycoo Chiefs. It was really a strange thing. Little did I realize that this was going to be my format for quite a few years.
In her dream job as curator of the Labadie Collection of Social Protest Literature at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Julie Herrada has curated a timely new exhibit. The Whole World Was Watching: Protest and Revolution in 1968, Selections from the Labadie Collection provides a snapshot of a complex and pivotal year in American history, highlighting protests against the Vietnam War and the draft, the highly fractured Presidential election and the violence that erupted outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago against anti-war demonstrators, and the activities of student and other protest groups such as the Ann Arbor-founded Students for a Democratic Society, the Black Panthers, the White Panthers, and the Yippies. The exhibit notes the women's movement and international matters such as Prague Spring and the May Paris uprisings.
The exhibit is on view in the Gallery (Room 100) at the Hatcher Graduate Library. A related display of original record albums and political buttons from the University of Michigan's Special Collections Library is also exhibited in the Special Collections Exhibit Room located on the seventh floor (same building). Julie has also launched an online exhibit guestbook that visitors can write their 1968 memories in. An afternoon panel discussion featuring activists from the era and a live performance in the evening by Country Joe McDonald will take place in The Gallery on November 13. The exhibit runs until December 19.
The Ann Arbor Chronicle ran an article about the show on Wednesday.
In recent years many of the projects I've worked on have involved the creation of signs, and in the case of the ghost bike project- signs and a corresponding map to mark the location of each ghost bike and the person it honors. I was deeply affected a few years ago when I learned of a rape map that was created by a woman in 2004 in response to several rapes in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint sections of Brooklyn. The project evolved into NYC SafeStreets, which includes a map of locations where the rapes had taken place, and also provides a resource section, along with a list of businesses that have agreed to be safe havens and provide assistance if one is in danger, indicated by a poster with a yellow whistle which is taped to the window. Other resources such as a list of car services and police precint locations, sexual assault hotlines, and know-your-rights info.
A while back I started making stencils of the famous image of Janet Leigh screaming in the shower in the movie Psycho. I was drawn to this image for many reasons- one being that it has a lot of notoriety in pop culture as a scene where you can't really turn your head away from the violence- but at the same time it is really exaggerated and undermines the reality that assault against women whether harassment on the street by strangers, or violence done by someone you know is commonplace and normalized.
One night I spraypainted the stencil in Bushwick with Kristine. It was kind of a girl's night out. Walking around in the dark doing illegal activity has it's own danger involved, but it's always in the back of my mind that I am a target for violence. I never intended to spraypaint the stencil in specific locations where known instances of sexual assault had occurred, but we were walking around in a pretty desolate area with no safe places for cover. When I walked back to the spots I'd gone to in the daylight I found the image expressed a message that was lurking around in my subconscious- I was marking my territory and I wanted to travel these streets safely. I am always on guard but I am not helpless.
The other day my friend sent me this link from ANIMAL- it's a sign that was put up in Bushwick.
A woman was raped by a stranger on this block. Please protect your friends, lover, sister, daughter, mother, grandmother, niece, cousin, neighbor, the woman hear call for help late one night. 1 in 6 women in the his country have been victims of rape or attempted rape. This needs to stop happening
This is your nation on White Privilege
By Tim Wise
For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.
White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.
White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.
White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”
To read the entire piece and comments go to The Red Room
Does capitalism work?
I need someone to explain this crisis to me, cos I can't seem to figure out who gains with this most recent economic calamity. Anyone?
AbandonView tipped us off to an action that happened in Brasil on September 6th.
No dia 06-09-08, um grupo de 30 Pixadores invadiu a Galeria Choque Cultural em protesto à comercialização, institucionalização e Domesticação da Cultura de Rua, por parte dos galeristas e do Poder Público.
On 06-09-08, a group of 30 Pixadores invaded the Galeria Choque Cultural (Cultural Shock Gallery) in protest to the marketing, and institutionalization of Culture of Domesticação Street, from the gallery and the Public Power. In addition to the physical dependencies of the gallery, about twenty works exposed there were also victims of the attack and a work of the artist Speto was damaged. The owners of the Shock were doing an exhibition in London.
Only armed with translation sites online, I've enjoyed reading Ataque à Choque Cultural and the various threads on the Choque Flickr page. There seems to be a large discussion about the commodification of Pixacao and graffiti. While translation sites are super limited and I'm not familiar with the "players" involved it seems to have captured people's thoughts more than NYC's splasher actions.
Lots of comments on the Flickr thread discuss the gallery's function in the art market, many of them supportive of this role. Also represented is the fundamental sentiment that it belongs on the street, which is why, I assume, these grafiteros went to town inside the gallery. Other comments raised larger issues with commercialization, eef
pena que o protesto contra a 'comercialização, institucionalização e domesticação da cultura de rua' tenha focado em galeristas e não publicitários, marcas de tênis, roupa de grife, festivais, refrigerantes, e outros que fazem a tal 'cultura de rua' virar modismo, commodities, sinônimo de produto pseudo moderninho.
"unfortunate that the protest against 'marketing, institutionalization and domestication of the culture of street' has focused on galleries and not advertising, brands of shoes, clothes, grife, festivals, soft drinks, and others who make such a 'culture of street' fashion, turn commodities, synonymous with pseudo moderninho(?) product"
From RRAURL "According to the Folha de S. Paulo, the action was organized - by email- by Rafael Guedes Augustaitiz (Rafael Pixobomb), the same artist who in July this year had been expelled from the Faculty of Fine Arts (SP) for having done a similar action on the premises of the course"
With slogans that proclaimed "Open your eyes and see the inevitable mark of history", the action at the Faculty sounds very performance like and attempted to awaken the viewers to the exclusivity and economic realities of the institutions. The recent action called "ATTACK PART 2 : A CAMINHO DA REVOLUÇÃO 2008" in the flyer, seen to the right, appears to have a similar intent.
I'm inspired and totally interested by these actions and would am stoked if anyone has more info or contacts about this.
The update on the rraurl.com site states:
Tuesday 09/set the owners of shock came with a representation in the 14th Police District of Sao Paulo (Pines) against the group of pixadores. Low Ribeiro, one of the owners, made a bulletin of occurrence and in their testimony stated that the loss of the gallery was something between $ 10,000 and $ 15,000. Rafael Guedes Augustaitiz is taken as a major contributor.
While Republicans tried to take advantage of the potential destruction by Hurricane Gustav, and the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, stencil artist Banksy visited New Orleans to paint his own pointed messages. It appeared like the GOP, and the current administration, wanted to seem caring and prepared for Gustav's believed force, with photo-ops and "promises" of support. Thankfully for the Gulf Coast residents the storm caused no severe damage, and the Bush has to live with his poll ratings.
More popular than ever, Banksy commemorated the 3 year anniversary with jabs at military "security" and the "Grey Ghost", with other pieces that celebrated New Orleans culture and Second lines
.Again using his cleverness and wit to raise some poignant and necessary issues.
Like why, 3 years later, hasn't the necessary infrastructure been created to protect ALL its citizens from another storm?
Someone finally decided to do a street poster based on American Apparel's Dov Charney. Most folks can identify the intriguing and sexual advertisements of American Apparel, yet probably didn't know that there have been accusations of sexual assault against him(just throw his name into a search engine) You probably get that from the posters, or not.
Over at AnimalNewYork.com there's a slew of posts of the previous posters that are worth checking out.
Anyhow, for you ethical shoppers there's plenty of other "socialist" t-shirt factory experiments, try No-Sweat or follow these simple guidelines
Its the last Friday of the month, which means another Critical Mass for many cities. This months ride is the 4 year anniversary of our historic Republican National Convention (RNC) ride, where many thousands of folks took to the streets. (image by Fly)
The NYC Metro seemed to remember this too.
Arrests set course for protests in city
by Amy Zimmer / metro new york
AUG 29, 2008
Friday night’s Critical Mass marks a seminal event in the ride’s history: Four years ago the police arrested more than 250 people during the monthly ride that attracted thousands during the Republic National Convention.
Hundreds of protesters were arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. Excluding costs associated with the RNC, the NYPD and courts have spent more than $2.3 million on Critical Mass according to numbers compiled by Times Up!
There's a bunch of press on Steve Powers-ESPO- new sideshow installation, “Waterboard Thrill Ride”, in Coney Island. It appears that Powers made some robots that simulate waterboarding in a space out on West 12th Street, just off Surf Avenue, in Brooklyn. Before you check it out you can read about it on the NY Times, BBC, ABC News, and probably a ton off other blogs. The piece will move to the Park Avenue Armory in September and be a part of Creative TIme's Democracy in America: The National Campaign events there. Chris Stain will also have a 70' mural included as well!
This is a great project worth supporting at any level if you are down with art, zines, radical cultural spaces, and freight train hopping. Hard to imagine a better alternative art space than one in a boxcar! Below is their call for support.
From the BBCRC website “In mid-July the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture (BBCRC) in Northern California made an arrangement with the Heritage Junction Museum in McCloud to acquire two historic pieces of rail equipment - an ex-Sacramento Northern wood boxcar (SN 2349) and an ex-Pacific Fruit Express iced refrigerator car (PFE 55224). Both cars date from around 1912 and are in reasonably good condition. We plan to move both cars to Black Butte later this year.
We intend to use the boxcar as a resource center/library/info shop and as an arts/project space for visitors to Black Butte. We hope to be able to have some art shows in the boxcar and to use it for special events. The reefer will be located alongside the boxcar and will also provide community space and add to the historic railroad atmosphere at Black Butte. The railcars will both be owned by the BBCRC, a California based non-profit agency. The intention is that they will be a long term resource for our project and our community.
Right now, we are appealing for help in raising funds for this ambitious project. Acquisition of both cars, moving them to Black Butte, and site preparation will all together cost about $10,000. We will also have additional restoration and rehabilitation costs. We have already raised about $4000. But we need A LOT of additional help in a fairly short period of time if we are going to pull this off. If you are able to make a contribution of any size, please write out a (tax-deductible) check to the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture and send it to us at 800 Black Butte Road, Weed, CA 96094.”
BBCRC Boxcar/Reefer Project
As you may have noticed the Justseeds site goes thru some minor adjustments from time to time, one being the recent addition of the "blog roll". (Its found on the right of your screen) I wanted to highlight one of the links because I've been looking over the Groundswell Collective Blog. They have a really good looking site that is "Dedicated to clever and innovative trends of art and design in activism." And cover a lot of similar topics and themes we hope to here at Justseeds. So when you're cruisin the blogosphere and we haven't been on top of things check them out, or likewise.
Gonna make this garden grow....
My garden is in full bloom, and I thought it would be nice to share some photos!
I'd love to see other gardens in bloom also! Let's start a garden blog!
I am sitting in the airport in Pittsburgh after a workshop with RUST - the Radical Urban Silkscreen Team. RUST is a rad goup of teens making prints in Pittsburgh and they were a blast to work with.
My plane is delayed and I have a few minutes to sort through some photos of the completed Justseeds exhibition at Space 1026 in Philadelphia. Here they are.
I booked a tour this week to take some of the kids we're working with at RUST to see the murals of Maxo Vanka at St. Nicolas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale, PA (just north of Pittsburgh). Vanka, a Croation immigrant to the States, painted these murals inside the church in two stages - in 1937 and again in 1941 - commissioned by Father Albert Zagar. They are filled with fierce and vivid anti-war and anti-fascist imagery, and seasoned with some illustrations of the reality of the immigrant experience in industrial America. I've never seen work like this inside a church of any sort, and each time I go back to see them I'm still amazed.
I first read about the murals at St. Nicolas four years ago in Icky A's zine Nosedive (#13), and went to see them with friend and Justseeds artist Erik Ruin while he was in Pittsburgh for a visit. Mary Petrich, who remembers Vanka painting the murals when she was a child, gave the tour today - by far the best oral illustration I've experienced with these paintings. The church building is in need of financial help since the fallout from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 flooded much of Millvale and damaged the walls and roof of St. Nicolas. The church is accepting donations towards this work, which will include efforts to preserve the murals before the water damage gets any worse.
If you're in Pittsburgh, do not miss these murals! Mary Petrich can be reached for her amazing tours at 412-681-0905. Also, visit the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka website to see much better photos than I posted here!
John Jordan (mover and shaker in Reclaim the Streets, We Are Everywhere and the Climate Camp UK) is helping put together an amazing looking new event/project called The Great Rebel Raft Regatta. It looks and sounds like a more political and decentralized Miss Rockaway Armada, with an invite for anyone and everyone to build a raft and join:
A strange fusion of futuristic flotilla, activist armada and charity raft race floats down the river Medway. Hundreds of rebel rafts of every shape and size are swarming towards Kingsnorth power station, like a giant shoal of disobedient fish with a single aim, to shut down the climate criminals.
Launched from the Climate Camp on the 9th of August, as part of the mass day of Action to stop the construction of the UK's first coal fired power station in 30 years. The GRRR will be made up of a multitude of rebel rafts constructed out of flotsam and jetsam of this overheating world.... There will be pirate ship rafts, musical rafts, desert Island rafts, migration rafts, polar bears floating on ice-berg rafts, apocalyptic rafts, yellow submarine rafts, car wreck rafts, Robinson Crusoe rafts, battle ship Potemkin rafts, Viking rafts, Kontiki rafts, life rafts and love rafts, dark rafts and hope rafts.
9th August, high tide, RIver Medway, Kingsnorth Power Station, Kent
Get a team together < Build a raft of your dreams < Come to the Climate Camp August 3-11th > GRRR Launch >>> August 9th
Today in 1892, Anarchist,Alexander Berkman, entered the office of Henry Clay Frick and attempted to assassinate him, holding him accountable for the deaths of strikers in the Homestead Massacre. This attentat was intended to avenge the murders, by Pinkerton Detectives, and inspire the working class to revolt.
Frick survived, due to Berkman's poor marksmanship, and Berkman spent many years in prison.
I woke up today thinking about how can movements build power as opposed to taking it. While in an election year all anyone talks about is changing our elected officials. It doesn't feel much more than making another consumer choice, Coke or Pepsi (or some "natural" soda), to shop at Starbuck or Not, Obama or McCain?
On the ground it's not Presidents or congresspeople that are confronted with the reality of the economy, unemployment, foreclosures, or incarceration. It is a matter of some real progress in thinking, acting, and organizing ourselves that will wield "power"
We can neither eliminate, or hold accountable, any one individual that will spark the revolution we need in the world today.
Mr Berkman had incredibly strong conviction to carry out his act. I wonder what he would do today?
What are we going to do today?