Everything on Justseeds is now 15% off with a purchase of $25 or more. Sale runs through December 13th.
For years we've been talking about making blank/ruled/graphed notebooks with Justseeds art on the cover, and now we've finally done it! We've teamed up once again with Eberhardt Press (who print our amazing Organizers every year!) to produce six different blank books, in three different sizes. This first batch will have artwork from Jesus Barraza, Melanie Cervantes, Molly Fair, Fernando Marti, Roger Peet, Meredith Stern, and Bec Young. If these sell well, we'll roll out more, with new designs and paper combinations. Keep your eyes out for these to go up on the site in the next week or so!
A couple of weeks ago the AFL-CIO, the largest remaining union in the US, held its annual convention in Los Angeles. The centerpiece of the convention hall was a structure holding big, bright banners featuring the art of Justseeds artists, recontextualized to refer to 15 campaigns that the AFL-CIO is working on. Favianna and I (Roger) put the project together with help from Victor Sanchez of the union, and you can see all of the individual pieces here on Roger's Flickr page. A couple of them are included after the jump.
As you look at those images- notice something. Many of these campaigns are far away from the traditional purview of industrial unionism in this country: Carwash organizing, patient care workers, childcare workers- this represents something of a new direction for this sort of big-time national organizing (although I'm by no means an expert on current labor history or strategy). By bringing our art into this context, we're trying to contribute to that flexibility on strategy. Art is a tool for bringing people together, helping them realize that they agree, and giving them something to refer to when they doubt their path. While we don't often work this closely with the big unions, we found this project satisfying- helping to bring new tactics to new front lines. You can read a couple of articles about the convention and our art here, at the New York Times, and here at the Huffington Post.
Justseeds is tabling with Interference Archive at the New York Art Book Fair at PS1 in Queens, tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday and Sunday. Come say hello!
Sale ends Saturday night!
WAR IS TRAUMA
a collaborative project by IVAW and Justseeds
Saturday, August 10
Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative
426 West Gilman
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Please join us for a special night at Rainbow featuring an exhibition of the 34 prints from the War Is Trauma portfolio. Completed in 2012, the epic portfolio includes screen, linoleum, letterpress, and offset prints by noted antiwar vets Aaron Hughes, Ash Kyrie, Joyce Wagner and more. Celebrated Justseeds artists who contributed work include Bec Young, Josh MacPhee, Nicolas Lampert and more. Internationally recognized artist allies lending their talents to the project include Michael Rakowitz, Temporary Services, and current RBC board president Dan S. Wang.
The portfolio has been exhibited in Brooklyn, Chicago, Milwaukee, and outside the Lewis-McChord army-air force base, among other places. The portfolio has been purchased by many insitutions, including the Library of Congress, the special collections of Stanford University Libraries, Temple University, the Denison Library of Scripps College, the Labadie Collection of the University of Michigan, and the New York Public Library.
This pop-up exhibition is timed to occur during the Veterans For Peace annual conference, held this year in Madison. Come meet some of the artists, learn more about the place of art in the antiwar movement, and support the truest of American heroes: our veterans who fight for peace.
Five years ago Favianna Rodriguez and I assembled and put out the book Reproduce and Revolt/Reproduce y Rebélate, which still stands as the best collection of contemporary political graphics created by and for activists and artists working in social movements. We're putting the book on sale now for $10 each, half off the cover price! Pick up a copy now for yourself, friend, or organization that could use it. This is a big, giant graphic toolbox in book form, and a must have for anyone creating flyers, posters, or even image-based email-blasts. All the artwork is Creative Commons, and ready to be scanned and put to use. Buy a book HERE.
Tomorrow night, Wednesday June 12th, we are going to be having a in-depth discussion at Interference Archive about representations of labor. Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative recently produced a collection of two dozen large-scale prints relating to labor as part of their exhibition, Uprisings: Images of Labor. Artists were tasked with creating graphic works which both interpret and respond to the current state of work and labor organizing.
Interference Archive and members of Justseeds invite you to help us unpack and critique these prints. We ask: are these images are effective at representing labor and work in the 21st century? Can they help mobilize and organize workers or the working class? How does one create a poster that compels a viewer to think about a subject? Or to act on it?
(image: Roger Peet, Labor Creates All Wealth, 2013)
Jesse, Kevin, and Josh will be tabling for Justseeds at this year's Montreal Anarchist Bookfair, this weekend Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26. Come say "Hello!"
In addition, Kevin and Josh will be giving a presentation on Interference Archive at the fair at 11am on Saturday.
Justseeds is now on Tumblr! Follow us for a continuing thread of in-process pics, shots from our distribution office in Pittsburgh, photo updates on individual and group projects, and occasional goofing around. There are real people behind the prints we make, have a look! Follow! Re-post! OK!
Uprisings: Images of Labor, the new set of large-format silkscreen and relief prints that Justseeds created at Union Art Gallery at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, is opening tonight at Broken City Lab's Civic Space, in the heart of downtown Windsor. In addition to the prints, we'll have bandanas and posters that I facilitated printing as part of Mayday, and some prints, posters, and bandanas for sale. All my events in town are part of Windsor's Mayworks festival, a celebration of labor through art. Check out the full events listing and updates HERE.
You can also check out Broken City Lab's site, for ongoing updates on my activities, HERE, including a video of me printing bandanas at the Mayday march!!
Friday May 10th
Closing Danceparty with DJ Mary Mack
Friday May 17th
Here's a quick run-down of finished images of the prints we produced during our week at the Union Gallery at UWMilwaukee (concurrent with the Southern Graphics Conference). These will all trickle into our online store soon - stay tuned!
The printing of Josh MacPhee's 2-color screenprint during Uprising: Images of Labor, a Justseeds Artists' Cooperative exhibition at the SGC International in Milwaukee, WI
Dan S. Wang reviewed the Justseeds install "Uprisings: Images of Labor" and the two-day series of talks at the Union Art Gallery in Milwaukee that coincided with the Southern Graphics conference and concluded over this past weeknend. Here is a link. If you are in Milwaukee, there will be a closing reception on Thursday (5-8) with the local artists.
Close to 20 of us from Justseeds are taking part in the SGCI print conference in Milwaukee this weekend. We created a "print factory" installation, creating new work on the theme of labor, and organized a two-day series of talks on Friday, March 22nd and Saturday, March 23rd from 9:00am-5:00pm. All Justseeds talks are free and open to the public, and all take place inside the Union Art Gallery on the UWM campus.
The full schedule for our presentations and workshops is listed after the break:
Justseeds is on day 3 of our collective install in Milwaukee for the SGCI conference. Join us this Thursday for the "Uprisings: Images of Labor" opening (5-8), and Friday and Saturday for our two-day series of talks and workshops. Also meet the Combat Paper project who is also doing a project in the space. Join us also for another opening of our portfolio projects at the Sweet Water urban farm on Saturday night. Here are some process shots from the last few days.
The Milwaukee contingent of Justseeds, plus a few close allies, have begun printing for our upcoming exhibition/install during the SGCI print conference before the 15 plus other folks in Justseeds arrive at the end of the week. Here are some preview shots and links to our show and schedule of talks that run all day on March 22nd and 23rd.
I am showing the This Is An Emergency portfolio and speaking about Politics and Social Change Through Art on a panel as part of the Feminist Art Conference in Toronto on Saturday.
Registration is full, but if you come early in the day you may be able to get a spot from a cancellation.
This Is An Emergency will be on display again later this month at the EveryBody Conference in Guelph, Ontario. More info HERE
More information about FAC HERE
Feminist Art Conference
Saturday March 9
Foundary Coworking and Events
376 Bathhurst St.
I was interviewed a few weeks ago about Justseeds and Migration Now! for York University's CHRY105.5FM, definitely the most professional radio station I have ever been in. The interview will air this Thursday February 28 from 5:30-6:00pm as part of their News Now program.
The timing is amazing; hot on the heels of the city of Toronto's recent legislation (on February 21) to approve Access Without Fear, ensuring access to services without fear to immigrants without full status or without full status documents. This makes Toronto Canada's first "city of sanctuary," joining such US cities as Detroit, Seattle, and more.
For more information, check out No One Is Illegal Toronto's site HERE
To tune in live, go HERE . I will be posting an archived file too.
Over the last two months there has been a number of exhibitions on the West Coast featuring the "War is Trauma" portfolio. The next showing is at the Seattle Central Community College. Special thank you to art historian Susan Platt, author of Art and Politics Now, for helping to organize this show.
M. Rosetta Hunter Art Gallery at Seattle Central Community College presents, “War is Trauma,” showing Feb 26 to March 22.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Feb 27, 5-7 PM
This exhibition of handmade prints, produced by the Justseeds Artists Cooperative in collaboration with the Iraq Veterans Against the War(IVAW), transpired out of the Chicago based street poster project, Operation Recovery – a veteran’s campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops and win the right for them to heal. The project focuses attention on themes of GI Resistance, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sexual assault in the military, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The Feb 27 opening reception features speakers from GI Voice/Coffee Strong, a veteran run resource center for service members and veterans near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Gallery hours are 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday, with evening hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5 to 7 PM. Admission is free. The gallery is located at the north end of the Atrium in Seattle Central Community College’s main building. 1701 Broadway, Seattle Wa 98122
For more information, contact gallery curator Ken Matsudaira at 206-934-4379 or visit online at www.seattlecentral.edu/artgallery
It's in flash, so I can't embed it here, but there's a cool slideshow of Justseeds prints and work set to music (none other than Rage Against the Machine!) over at DesInformemonos.org. You can check it out HERE.
That's right - for all of you procrastinators out there, we've dropped the price on our remaining stock of spiral-bound 2013 organizers. We know you've been meaning to order one for yourself, and probably a handful for some of your disorganized friends and cohorts as well. Seemed like knocking a couple bucks off the tag price would be a nice touch - order them here! And now!
A handful of Justseeds artists (Melanie Cervantes, Nicolas Lampert, Josh MacPhee, as well as work from the Voices from the Outside portfolio and the Celebrate People's History Poster Project) have work in this exhibition organized by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. If you're in Southern California, check it out!
Prison Nation: Posters on the Prison Industrial Complex
January 19 - March 9, 2013
UC Merced Kolligian Library, 5200 N. Lake Rd., Merced, CA 95343
"Prison Nation: Posters on the Prison Industrial Complex" fulfills the Center for the Study of Political Graphic's (CSPG) mission to demonstrate the integral connection between art and social action. Powerful posters from artists, activists, and organizations around the country and the world, cry out against the devastating impact of the mass incarceration required to support the rapidly growing prison industrial complex (PIC). These graphics are evidence that there has never been a viable movement for social change without the arts being pivotal to conveying the ideas and passions of that movement. Grassroots efforts are more effective when strong graphics project their messages.
We had to reschedule the opening due to OCAD's snow day. Please see below for details.
Justseeds: Migration Now! And More Graphics for Social Change
February 8-14, 2013
at OCAD University's Graduate Student Gallery, 205 Richmond St W.
All events free and open to the public. Accessible space.
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 12, 2013. 6:00-10:00 pm
OPENING RECEPTION with music by DJ Teach, refreshments, print sale, and live silkscreen printing with Radical Design School
7:00 PANEL DISCUSSION with No One Is Illegal Toronto, Justice for Migrant Workers, The Beehive Collective, and Radical Design School. Moderated by Mary Tremonte of Justseeds.
Migration Now!, the limited-edition portfolio of handmade prints addressing migrant issues from Justseeds & CultureStrike, is debuting in Toronto! The exhibit will also feature a selection of graphics from No One Is Illegal Toronto, Voices from Outside, the Justseeds prison portfolio, Radical Design School, and the Imaging Apartheid poster project, based in Montreal. Programming will highlight the knowledge and experiences of activists and organizers from Toronto, and how art and social justice can impact one another. migrationnow.com http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org
Every year 2000-plus printmakers descend on a city for the SGC International conference in mid-March. This year it is in Milwaukee and Justseeds will be present. In fact, upwards of 20 artists from Justseeds will be in town doing a host of projects.
To register for the conference, check out the Print MKE 2013 website.
To learn about the various Justseeds projects at SGCI, including our print factory installation and our two-day schedule of talks on art and activism keep on reading.
I was interviewed yesterday on Prison Radio Guelph, at CFRU 93.3 fm, discussing the Justseeds: Migration Now! exhibit currently on view at OCAD University's Graduate Gallery at 205 Richmond St. W.
Check it out on their archive page HERE and tune in at 43:00 to catch me. You can also hear a bit of the so crucial A Tribe Called Red (pictured here, lifted from a great article in Now magazine), who I got to DJ with last night at the Art Galley of Toronto.
Bay Area friends: Check out the Justseeds-IVAW "War is Trauma" portfolio that is on exhibit at the "War and Healing" exhibition at the Euphrat Museum of Art at De Anza College in Cupertino in the Bay Area. The show features a great line up of veteran artists and artists in support of GI rights:
Combat Paper Project with co-founder Drew Cameron, Joyce McEwen Crawford, Thomas Dang, Mike Dooley, Pantea Karimi with Daniel Konhauser, Linden Keiffer, Rolf Kriken, Sanaz Mazinani, Giuseppe Pellicano, Ehren Tool, Elizabeth Travelslight, Diego Marcial Rios, the Justseeds Artist Collective / Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Xiaoe Xie.
War & Healing
February 4 - March 21, 2013
Open Monday - Thursday, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. during exhibits
Justseeds will be tabling at the first ever Los Angeles Art Book Fair in a week and a half. Meredith, Josh, and friends will be table-jockeying all weekend. It's free! Come say hi!
February 1-3, 2013
Opening: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 6-9 pm
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
more info HERE.
After a year of hard work, the Justseeds/Culture Strike "Migration Now!" portfolio is finally finished! It's a collection of 37 handmade prints from the artists of Justseeds and Culture Strike, addressing the full spectrum of migrant issues, from the drug war to deportation. The portfolio was co-organized by Favianna and Roger, and printed at Mullowney Printing in San Francisco and Flight 64 studio in Portland. Check out the project website for images of the individual pieces, all of which you can download at high-resolution. The portfolio is for sale now in the Justseeds store.
We've still got our popular offset-printed, spiral-bound organizers, deftly hand-crafted by Eberhardt Press, and featuring work by Justseeds artists in tandem with a clean, user-friendly interface guaranteed to be more intuitive than your smartphone. Copies of the new, larger 5x8" size are running low, but the ever popular 4x5" organizers are still in abundance. Order one for yourself today, and grab a couple for your friends/coworkers/comrades!
StreetArtNYC give a nice mention of Justseeds exhibition "Sowing the Seeds of Love" with some images on their blog. Thanks!
Here's a couple of install shots to whet your appetite for tonight's opening reception at the Munch Gallery in NYC.
Friday December 7th, 7-9 p.m.
245 Broome St
‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’ by collective group, Justseeds, is the newest exhibition in conjunction with Munch Gallery. Each artist has created a unique piece specifically for the gallery, and all original work will be accompanied by limited edition work. The exhibition will also include a site-specific collaborative mural. We are excited to present the first Justseeds group exhibition in New York City.
Artists include: Jesus Barraza, Kevin Caplicki, Melanie Cervantes, Mazatl, Alec Dunn, Molly J Fair, Thea Gahr, Nicolas Lampert, Josh MacPhee, Fernando Marti, Colin Matthes, Dylan Miner, Roger Peet, Jesse Purcell, Pete Railand, Favianna Rodriguez, Shaun Slifer, Chris Stain, Meredith Stern, Mary Tremonte, Bec Young.
Exhibition runs December 7-23, 2012
Check out the Facebook event
Here we go, getting ready for 2013 with another round of offset-printed, spiral-bound organizers, deftly hand-crafted by Eberhardt Press, and featuring work by Justseeds artists in tandem with a clean, user-friendly interface guaranteed to be more intuitive than your smartphone. This time, we're responding to the clamoring masses by offering two sizes: our usual-sized, handy small organizer at a humble 4x5", and (for those of you that just can't stop scheduling meetings) a new larger size clocking in at a very capable 5x8". Get 'em while we've still got 'em, last year we ran out before year's end! (For bulk/wholesale orders of ten organizers or more, we will put you in touch with Eberhardt Press directly.)
Tonight - Sunday October 7th, the Justseeds/IVAW "War is Trauma" portfolio will be on exhibit at the Public House in Milwaukee. At 5:00pm the Night School event will feature a discussion with Milwaukee-based Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) members, and Milwaukee-based Justseeds collective members. Join us.
815 E Locust st. Milwaukee, WI
More information on the War is Trauma portfolio, here.
Once again, Justseeds members have been heavily involved in the art side of the always fabulous Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar. This year Santiago's art is on the cover, and Jesus, Melanie, and myself have artwork on the inside. This is an awesome project which directly supports political prisoners and education around the issues, so definitely pick a copy up, and hang it where people can see it!
Get your copy of the Certain Days 2013 calendar from us right here!
This weekend we're picking up everything from our office of the last two years (a shared space with our friends at the workhorse cycling advocacy org BikePGH), and moving our operations into a new space at the Icehouse Studios. It's only about seven blocks East, and we're staying in Pittsburgh, but it's still an exciting shift! If you're not in Pittsburgh, but you still want to help us out, please consider a small donation! We need more shelving, more flat files, and some climate control (we're in an old warehouse, after all). Donations go straight to our PayPal account. Thanks for all your support over the years!
When we first arrived in Berlin, and were brainstorming about what our installation should look like, we started documenting what was on the streets. I was drawn to the construction and security barriers as emblematic Berlin street visuals, and started snapping pictures. All these barricades, fencing, and markers are red and white striped, throughout the city. Somehow this documentation spun out of control, and all I could see everywhere was red and white, red and white, red and white...
One of the most striking visual things about Berlin at street level is that there is still a thriving poster scene. While most of the posters are commercial, there are still a fair amount of political posters and stickers, particularly in certain neighborhoods, especially those like Kreuzberg which are historically left wing. Here's a selection of some of the political posters and such up while we were there.
In June, 2012, the World Distribution Headquarters for the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is moving to our new office space in Pittsburgh! The move will allow us to expand our operations and keep providing you with our political art and publications direct from Pittsburgh, but we need your support to make it happen.
Our show in Berlin was paralleled by a smaller exhibition of German political posters and prints, collected by Heiko and Andreas (who helped bring us to town) from over a dozen artists and political groups. Here's some images of their section of the show.
More photos of the Justseeds show in Berlin.
It's taken me awhile, but I finally want to get all these images from the Justseeds trip to Berlin last month up here on the blog. Here are pictures from our exhibition at the Neurotitan Gallery.
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.
Saturday, May 19 & Sunday, May 20Workshops, discussions, films, and a festival of Anarchy!
The Anarchist Bookfair will take place in two buildings across from each other in Parc Vinet:
Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier (CCGV), 2450 rue Workman Centre d’éducation populaire de la Petite-Bourgogne et de St-Henri (CÉDA), 2515 rue Delisle
No gods, no masters, no bosses, no borders.
FREE, Welcome to all!
For anarchists, and people curious about anarchism. Ever wonder What Happens at the Anarchist Bookfair?
Members of the G.I. Coffeehouse Support Network would like to invite you to:
A screening of the film Grounds for Resistance, a fundraiser for Under the Hood and Coffee Strong, the only two G.I. coffeehouses based in the U.S. There will be a short talk-back following the screening, which will include updates from the coffeehouses about their current G.I. rights and resistance work and ways to help out.
Friday, May 4 / 7:30pm The Commons 388 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, NY
The coffeehouses are looking for support from communities outside of the base towns they work in, so please join us for an evening of discussion about G.I.-led anti-war movement building. Justseeds members Molly Fair & Kevin Caplicki will also display the collaborative portfolio War Is Trauma.
We've been making a lot of progress on the upcoming Justseeds/Culture Strike Migration Portfolio (Title TK) that I'm co-coordinating with Favianna Rodriguez. We're producing nearly forty images by a broad range of artists addressing issues relative to migration and immigrant rights. In addition to a stalwart cadre of Justseeds artists, we're printing images by Emory Douglas, (the Black Panther Party's Minister of Culture) cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, artist Imin Yeh, undocumented youth activists Julio Salgado and Felipe Baeza, and many many more. The images are being printed in a new print studio in San Francisco, opened by master printer Paul Mullowney, and at Flight 64 Studio in Portland. A third are letter-press prints, produced on a Vandercook press by the inestimable Patrick Cruzan. The rest are being screen-printed by the equally inestimable Jesus Barraza (of Justseeds and Dignidad Rebelde) and the slightly less estimable myself.
Turns out that when Kevin and Santiago were here in Berlin in the Fall last year, they pasted up a big entryway in Kreuzberg with leftover prints from the Slovenia install. It's starting to peel, but most of it is still up!
While here in Berlin we've been absorbing the visual atmosphere, which includes a significant amount of interesting political markings and messages. Here's ten from my camera.
Are you in Berlin?? Come to our opening!!!
Agit-Prop and Interventions
April 27-May 27, 2012
im Haus Schwarzenberg, Rosenthalerstraße 39, 10178 Berlin
Opening Friday 4/27, 8pm
Art & Politics, a group discussion 4/28, 8pm
Dance dance dance again! Party 4/29, 10pm
with DJ Captain Captian (Kreuzburgh) and DJ Mary Mack (Justseeds/Pittsburgh) + Visuals (Shaun Slifer/Justseeds)
The exhibition schedule for the Justseeds-IVAW "War is Trauma" portfolio rolls on. Marc Fischer of Temporary Services recently presented the portfolio at the Speak Easy series in Kansas City. Will Stewart from IVAW was on hand to co-present and below are some photos that Marc passed on. Below also is a description of the Speak Easy which sounds amazing and proof positive that art and activism is alive and well in the Midwest.
So there are five of us Justseeds members (and two fellow travelers) trouncing around Berlin, in preparation for our exhibition at Neurotitan gallery (see HERE!). We've been here for almost a week, but have been adventuring so hard, we've completely failed to blog about it! This is the first of a series of posts to rectify the situation.
Recently IVAW member and field organizer Aaron Hughes sent a copy of the Justseeds-IVAW "War is Trauma" portfolio (plus copies of the 5 large silkscreen posters that Jesse Purcell produced) to a brand new GI Resistance cafe in Germany. The Clearing Barrel Bar and Café opened on Saturday, March 24, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, home to Ramstein Air Base and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, among a constellation of U.S. bases, with 50,000 U.S. military and civilian personnel living in the area.
I couldn't imagine a better home for the prints than a GI resistance coffee house and much respect and admiration to Chris Capps-Schubert, an Iraq veteran and war resister, and his wife Meike, an organizer and member of Military Families Speak Out, for opening this important space for organizing and resistance.
Learn more about Clearing Barrel here.
We invite everyone to download, print, and post these graphics everywhere and anywhere to help highlight the unseen psychological tolls to the Iraqi people and veterans.
There are a bunch more designs available for download at the projects own website
ivaw.org/war-is-trauma which states:
We invite everyone to download, print, and post these graphics everywhere and anywhere to help highlight the unseen psychological tolls to the Iraqi people and veterans.
Justseeds is proud to release our third print portfolio - the Justseeds-Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) "War is Trauma" portfolio. Today's date is significant. On March 19, 2003 the US launched the Iraq War under the guise of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Nine years later we are still living under the shadow of an illegal war and an illegal occupation. The cost of war has been $802 billion and counting. However, financial costs mean little compared to human costs. The Iraq War has claimed the lives of over 113,000 Iraqi civilians and the Afghanistan War has claimed the lives of over 12,500 civilians. In both conflicts over 4,500 US soldiers have been killed and over 32,000 US soldiers have been wounded. The toll of war on GI's has been intense. With the poor economy and no draft, service members have been pushed to their limits. Many have served multiple tours of duty. Some figures from the IVAW "Operation Recovery" booklet:
-The military suicide rate has increased 150% from 2001 to 2009.
-20% to 50% of all service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD.
-A third of soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan say they can't see a mental health professional when they need to.
-Nearly 20% of service members are taking some type of psychiatric drug.
-The number of US troops injured by roadside bombs in Afghanistan increased by 178% from 2009-2010.
-1 in 3 women are raped while serving in the military.
We've just released "Refuge: A Migratory and Momentary Guide to the City", a bilingual (Slovene/English) publication on the heels of our installation for the 2011 Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia this past fall. It features essays by our own Melanie Cervantes, Roger Peet, and Dylan Miner (who largely organized the project) as well as Slovenian sociologists Mojca Pajnik and Veronika, plus photos of Ljubljana and our brief work there by Dylan and myself. Copies are only $10 each! For more information and to get a copy for yourself, check it out here.
Born Eunice Waymon on this day in 1933, Nina Simone has been one of my greatest heros since I bought the 1974 album It Is Finished when I was fifteen. Ten years later I finally saw her in concert, only a few years before her death. Wearing a homemade ball gown and a fancy coat borrowed from a drag queen, I wept upon hearing her sing Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair and Mississippi Goddam in person. Sassy, emotional, fierce, graceful, and imperfect, I always appreciated the way Nina mixed her passion for justice with her love of music. In her concerts, she morphed with the mood of the room and kicked down the imaginary boundaries of genres like "classical," "pop" or "jazz". From her position as the "High Priestess of Soul," Nina could easily have been broken and humbled by the persistence of racism and ignorance in the U.S. or the corruption in the music industry, but she kept it real: "Ha! Do you know what an Obeah woman is? I kiss the moon and hug the sun, call the spirits and make 'em run. They call me Nina, and pisces too…there ain't nothin' I can't do." I still listen to Nina when nothing else helps.
Illustration from Firebrands: Portraits From the Americas.
2011 was a busy year for Justseeds! Amidst all of the art-making, art shows, installations, posters, murals, occupying, teaching, protesting, de-colonizing, DJing, graphic making, illustrating, book designing, book writing, blogging, mud stenciling, protesting, organizing, wheat pasting, speaking engagements, and slide shows done by individual members of Justseeds, we also found time to come together and work on many projects collectively. Here's a rundown of our last year:
Marlon Riggs was born on this day in 1957. A political filmmaker, Riggs started exploring themes of race and sexuality in his films while attending Harvard University. As he was originally from Texas, a film festival in Dallas named for him will run it's third annual event this year. The following text is from Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas: "Banned from numerous public-broadcasting stations, Riggs’ work sparked debates about funding and censorship in public television, and encouraged him to rally support for a more inclusive, diverse popular media. After contracting the HIV virus, Riggs became an outspoken AIDS activist, exploring his experiences in his film Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No, I Regret Nothing). He continued to work on his film Black Is…Black Ain’t, a personal journey and examination of a myriad of African-American identities, until his death in 1994."
Today is the birthday of Angela Davis. Davis is best known for her work with the Black Panthers in the 1970's, subsequent time on the lam, and incredible afro; she has also been a forceful and passionate voice in the prison abolition movement since the 1980's, working with groups like Critical Resistance. The following text is from Firebrands: Portraits From the Americas: "Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Angela Yvonne Davis is a scholar, orator and revolutionary. Davis became involved with the Black Panther Party in the summer of 1970, working on a campaign to free imprisoned Black Panther activists the Soledad Brothers. When a shotgun registered in Davis’ name was used in an attempt to free prisoner James McClain during a court hearing, Davis appeared on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list and was thrust into the national spotlight."
Muhammad Ali was born on this day in 1942 and has kicked ass ever since. A poet boxer, Ali publicly announced his conversion to the nation of Islam the day after he won the title of heavyweight boxing champion of the world. The following text is from Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas.
"In 1966, Muhammad Ali was drafted by the U.S. Army. Although it was clear that the celebrity Ali would not see active combat, he steadfastly refused any military service. Giving up his heavyweight title and millions of dollars, and risking his freedom and career, Ali was banned from boxing for almost four years for following his conscience. Ali’s actions resonated around the globe. He was a forceful voice in opposition to the war in Vietnam, a black man with courage and conviction and a fearless dissenter in a world where “jocks” were not supposed to be radically minded."
Booklyn has posted some photos of the War Is Trauma opening on their Booklyn Flickrpage. Pictured above is the portfolio cover, made by the Combat Paper Project, out of uniforms from active-duty soldiers. It was a really fortunate weekend to have the opening since the IVAW Board of Directors were in town for a meeting, and attended the opening! Come out and see:
War is Trauma: Justseeds & IVAW Dec. 3–Jan. 8. 2012 @ Booklyn Art Gallery
The Justseeds-IVAW portfolio "War is Trauma" has yet to be officially released (expect this to happen in late December) but that has not stopped a number of preview exhibitions from taking place. In Chicago, two exhibitions recently were staged including a show in Rogers Park that coincided with the finale of the IVAW residency at Mess Hall and a Warrior Writers reading. This was a special night that included a critique of graphics and a great overall discussion on the project and the issues at end. Here are a couple of photos of IVAW members Peter Sullivan and Aaron Hughes presenting.
This coming Saturday is the New York City release and exhibition of the new Justseeds/IVAW/Booklyn War Is Trauma print portfolio!
Opening reception: Dec. 3, 2011. 7 - 10pm
Booklyn, 37 Greenpoint Ave. 4th Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11222
The show will be up from December 3, 2011 - January 8, 2012
An exhibition of 30 prints including work by Justseeds, IVAW and their allies. War Is Trauma is a portfolio of handmade prints produced by the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative in collaboration with the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). For this project over 30 artists from Justseeds, IVAW, and their allies have each created a print to focus public attention towards important issues not being publicly discussed—GI Resistance, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sexual assault of women in the military, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). More information HERE.
I recently designed a new pamphlet about the failures of REDD, the UN's current carbon trading scheme. It is called No REDD Papers, vol. 1, was edited by Hallie Boas, with art direction from Justseeds' member Mazatl, and design by me (Josh MacPhee), and it is going to be mass distributed at the upcoming climate conference in Durban, South Africa. A print edition is being produced by Eberhardt Press, and a free downloadable PDF is available HERE. It includes over a dozen articles about the environmental impact of REDD, with illustrations by a half dozen Justseeds artists, including Melanie Cervantes, Erik Ruin, Pete Yahnke, Roger Peet, and Favianna Rodriguez.
I've been having fun designing a new pamphlet series for the Institute for Anarchist Studies called "Lexicon," which consists of short essays by different authors laying out definitions of political terms. The idea is to help create a baseline knowledge amongst people so that we can have more productive political discussions and actions. The idea was born out of the early days of the Occupy movement, going down to Zuccotti Park and participating in political conversations with total strangers that were exhilarating, but also deeply frustrating, largely because of a lack of common understanding of some of the most basic building blocks of political theory.
I've been getting really into creative pattern generation lately, and the covers of this series are a great opportunity to practice that, and have a good time while doing it! We've got the first four pamphlets written, the first three designed, and a handful more in the works already. The IAS just needs a little cash to get them printed (at a movement printer). There's a kickstarter up and running to fund the first 4 in the series, check it out and support it if you can! Check it out HERE.
We've got the NEW 2012 calendar from the Certain Days collective! As usual, it's filled with great art from Justseeds members (Santiago Armengod, Jesus Barraza, Kevin Caplicki, Josh MacPhee, and Favianna Rodriquez) and many others, as well as some informative essays—get your copy from our webstore HERE. (Apologies if you tried to order this calendar in the last week and were discouraged by absurd shipping charges, everything is clear now...)
If you missed it last week: the 2012 Justseeds/ Eberhardt Press organizer is out. I'm busy wiring them together as fast as I can, while Charles of Eberhardt stands behind me, sneering cruelly and slapping a cosh in his palm. Get one!
The Justseeds-IVAW portfolio "War is Trauma" is coming along! Aaron Hughes and I have spent the last two weekends printing like mad and we have one more session to do, plus the covers - letter press yo! The portfolio is stunning with over 30 prints by IVAW artists, Justseeds artists, and our allies. Be on the look out for a preview show this Friday at the Justseeds headquarters in Pittsburgh and shows in Chicago in late November. More details tba. For now...
The 2012 Justseeds/Eberhardt Press Organizer is finished and on its way to HQ. It'll be available for sale on Thursday. Click through for a preview of the inside!
Some months ago, while I was in Pittsburgh for the Justseeds exhibition part of the "Pittsburgh Biennial" at Carengie Mellon Shaun Slifer and I got to work on this mural based on a print I did some years ago. Which was a fun way to revitalize the old dusty image and help out the folks at Big Idea Books.
The 2012 Justseeds/Eberhardt Press Organizer is on the press! After some unforeseen technical difficulties, this year's datebook is currently in production and should be in the Justseeds store within twelve days. Hopefully you'll be able to hold out that long! I strongly advise it- this organizer, our third, features subtle refinement of the design of previous years. It's still wire-bound for ease of use, still gloriously uncluttered, and still full of great Justseeds art (curated by Roger) in full-color spreads. In addition, Charles has put all of the months-at-a-glance on the same pages for ease of location, tweaked the design of the lunar phase calendar, and upped the quality of cover and paper stock. When it finally hits JS HQ, we'll let you know here!
Paul Kjelland and I finished the public art install at the Villard Square Library in North Milwaukee this past Saturday at 4:30am - 5 hours before the grand opening! The project was a very rewarding experience from start to finish. I have never, ever experienced an opening quite like this one. The focus was on the neighborhood - a major community celebration and a testament to how essential the public library is to the community and the greater public sphere. In a time when all things public have been getting hammered, this victory stands as a tremendous victory. Proof positive that the greatest assets of a community is found in its public sphere.
Here are some photos of the public art that Paul and I integrated throughout the interior space and some links to recent press.
I just returned from Europe, having followed up the epic Justseeds Slovenia Install with some travel in Croatia and the UK. During my excursion to Croatia, I stayed on the island of Mali Losinj and was shown around by the amiable Domagoj Buljan.
He and I spent a day on the islet of Ilovik (about eighty permanent residents, no cars) and explored an abandoned Yugoslav army gun emplacement and bunker there. We discussed the wondrous plans that some folks from the area have to create an arts residency program there, squatting the bunker zone. There's a gorgeous bay, a couple of crumbling houses, and the bunker itself; which you can get a bit of a breathless tour of in this video I made. We were imagining an occupation of the abandoned anti-aircraft gun slots (seen at the beginning of the video), connected to each other and the bay by the network of cool white tunnels covered in the random graffiti of expatriate Ilovik teenagers returned on vacation from their homes in New Jersey. The nearby island of Susak is covered in stands of agressive bamboo,
which, we hypothesized, could be felled and carted over in a small boat borrowed from Ilovik town, where Domagoj has been working as an olive-press mechanic. Woven together into some sort of wickiup and covered in a quilt of space blankets, with a space at the bottom lined with mosquito netting to permit a breeze, the domes would be simple to build, easy to dismantle at the end of residency period, and glorious to inhabit.
Here's another downloadable poster I cooked up for the occupy movement. Based on a very, very old illustration I did (I think over 10 years ago), I've spiced it up a bit. Click on the image to the left, then drag the high-res to your desktop. Enjoy, hit the streets, stay safe!
Paul Kjelland and I have spent the past 8 months creating artwork for the interior of a new Milwaukee Public Library branch in North Milwaukee. Themes of social justice, community, and the importance of public libraries are central to the images that we created.
If you are in Milwaukee this Saturday, stop on by. We will be on hand to talk about the work and explain our process that included two months of listening sessions where the immediate community informed us about the themes and histories that they wanted represented in their library.
We've just wrapped up our installation for the 29th Graphics Biennial in Ljubljana, Slovenia at the Alkatraz Gallery in amazing Metalcova! I've posted a ton of new photos on our Flickr just now, have a look...
Today Colin showed up after a couple days on trains and planes, and we've started pasting images on the walls! Everyone present brought multiple images of migrant humans and displaced animals - we have dozens of multiples of about 50 different images, each reflecting the individual styles of various Justeeds members. They're being pasted in vast "swarms" all over the room, surrounding this shipping container that we're still hammering away at. It's coming together pretty rapidly at this point, so stay tuned for new uploads on our Flickr page throughout the rest of the week! Photostream here, Slovenia-specific collection here. The opening is tomorrow night, Thursday, at 9pm at Galerija Alkatraz, Metalkova - if you're in Ljubljana, Slovenia, come on by!
We're rolling out of our second full day in Ljubljana, with a shipping container created out of scrap wood and the walls washed and dotted with "obstacles". Tomorrow we're set to start pasting a mad number of prints all over the place. Posting new photos on our Flickr collection every few hours, check in often for updates as the whole thing comes together! Sorry if these posts are vague, I'm hoping the photos will fill in the gaps that I don't otherwise have time to write about...
We're deep into the installation of our work for the 29th Graphics Biennial in Ljubljana, Slovenia! As a customary first step, we're currently washing the walls with watered down wall paint. Twelve of us are here working in the Alkatraz Gallery in the Metalkova social center - we're still feeling our way through the whole process but things are moving rapidly. I'll be posting new photos here each day, but the majority will be in regular uploads to our Flickr page for those who want to follow from afar...
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...
Today was our first real day working on the installation for the Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana. Kevin and Mazatl have been in Slovenia for a couple days, while Erik, Thea, and I all arrived yesterday. This afternoon, Jesse, his partner Chandra, and Molly arrived. During the course of 13 hours, we did an extensive amount of planning, cut hundreds of screen prints, and scoped the exhibition space.
Although he couldn’t make the trip, the streets of Ljubljana are cut from the imaginary of a Pete Yahnke Railand print.
A month or so back Printeresting ran a great feature on a recent project Erik Ruin worked on called Neighbor Ballads. Check out the article HERE, it's a really nice overview of the project with some photos of Erik's work!
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.
There is going to be a sneak peak of four prints from the Justseeds/IVAW portfolio, War Is Trauma, at the upcoming exhibition, War, Materials & Lies, Part 2, in Hudson, NY. Prints from the portfolio by Kevin Caplicki, Molly Fair, Josh MacPhee, and Chris Stain will be included in the show!
War, Materials & Lies, Part 2
Time & Space Limited
434 Columbia St, Hudson, NY
Opening reception 5:00 - 7:30 Saturday, September 10th.
Gallery Hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 3pm; 1hr before weekend events and by appointment from Saturday, September 10th to Friday, November 11th
A friend of mine recommended that I take a picture of the stencil armature I built for a print I just finished, and I figured I might as well write up a whole How-To. Many of us in Justseeds are finishing up a run of prints for an upcoming portfolio we're doing with the Iraq Veterans Against the War, something of a followup to the Operation: Exposure street campaign we did last November in Chicago. I didn't make an image for the original campaign, so I needed to start fresh for this portfolio...
Next year's Justseeds/Eberhardt Press organizer is about to go to press! This is a cleanly designed, uncluttered, wirebound datebook featuring 12 months of Justseeds art, a lunar phase calendar, notepages, and months-at-a-glance. It will be available in the Justseeds store October 15th, so make sure you don't buy any other organizers before then!
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
It took awhile for me to realize that there was handwriting on the wall text, then I had to laugh at myself.
Not a laughing matter is how the Catholic Church harbors men that molest young people. I grew up and attended a church that did just that. Father Ed, moved from a church just 12 miles down the road in another town, preyed on many of my friends and peers. I thank him for placing the last, proverbial, "nail in the coffin" for me. I became an Anarchist as a result of his behavior and read Michael Bakunin's God and the State. I'd like to suggest the opposite of the imperative in this photo and ask all the priests to do only that.
Archdiocese Lists Priests Accused of Abuse
By ABBY GOODNOUGH
Published: August 25, 2011
BOSTON — The Archdiocese of Boston on Thursday published a partial list of clergy members accused of sexual abuse, nearly a decade after a scandal erupted here involving widespread abuse by priests and revelations that the archdiocese had been shielding molesters for years.
Read the rest at NYTimes.com
"From the Ashes: Works by Dylan Miner"
Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art
September 4 - 30
"We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old."
– Ralph Chaplin, Solidarity Forever (1915)
Today I put the final touches on the mural that's been my summer job. It's on the Citybikes Annex building at 8th and Ankeny in Portland, Oregon (Click here for more images on my Flickr page). Painting it has been a real pleasure and a pleasing exercise in concept and execution. Now that it's done I can finally get to work on making images for our upcoming installation in Slovenia! This has been a truly epic summer of art, and I'll be sad to see it go.
Justseeds is busy at work on our third portfolio project! War is Trauma, due out in the mid-to-late Fall, is a collaborative portfolio project between Justseeds, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and Booklyn. Close to 30 artists are participating including artists from Justseeds, IVAW, and allied artists including Michael Rakowitz, Temporary Services, and others. The portfolio itself will include a cover from the Combat Paper Project. In the next coming weeks, I will post more preview photos and information about the project that is a follow up to the Justseeds collaboration with IVAW last November.
I just finished installing at exhibition entitled Anishnaabensag Biimskowebshkigewag (Native Kids Ride Bikes). Based on a six month project building lowrider bikes with urban Native kids in collaboration with non-Native university students and Indigenous artists, we constructed a series of seven lowrider bicycles based on the sacred Anishnaabeg teachings known as Niizhwaaswi G’mishomisinaanig or Our Seven Grandfathers. These seven core values, seen in the pennants exhibited in the gallery, include concepts such as Nbwaakaawin (Wisdom), Zaagi’idiwin (Love), Minaadendamowin (Respect), Aakwa’ode’ewin (Bravery), Debwewin (Truth), Dibaadendiziwin (Humility), and Gwekwaadiziwin (Honesty).
The show will be up at Michigan State University through the end of September. Contact me if you are interested in bringing this show to your community.
Last April, Roger Peet and myself, traveled up to northern California immediately after the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair. Justseeds was invited to exhibit the RESOURCED portfolio and A Crisis in Common, at the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture, in Weed, CA. It's in a gorgeous place and the exhibition was hung in an antique refrigerated train car from 1923.
I have finally uploaded some images up to our flickr account, check them out at Justseeds/Visual Resistance. Thanks to everyone that I met in that adventure, Crackbox (who played in the adjacent railcar), Austin/the flopbox, and to everyone at BBCRC for making the exhibition possible.
The Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture was founded in 2008 as a way to support and develop a community-building institution focused on railroad culture in the western United States. The BBCRC is located on the site of a long-abandoned junkyard amid several acres of forest, chaparral, and wetlands directly adjacent to Black Butte Siding, the junction of the Union Pacific and Central Oregon and Pacific railroads right on the southeast edge of Weed, California.
Red Channels presents:
Madame X: An Absolute Ruler
MONDAY AUGUST 22, 2011, 7 pm
200 Hudson Street, NY, NY
This is something-this is extreme- the Outlaw-the Misfits- this is what I was looking for! - Betty Brillo
The notorious pirate ruler Madame X places a print ad, calling on women to escape their boring lives and promising "gold, love and adventure" to all who come aboard her ship, the Orlando. A motley crew including a housewife, diva and artist (played by Yvonne Rainer) embark on a quest for self-transformation, which quickly heads towards destruction as they are subjected to Madame X's sadistic, erotic escapades. Director Ulrike Ottinger's Madame X is a surreal subversion of the swashbuckler genre that challenges notions of feminism, sexuality, and liberation.
dir. Ulrike Ottinger, 141 min. 1977, 16mm print
I'm part of this art show, BIG MOUTH: contemporary voices in feminist art + illustration. I will be showing my prints and illustrations from Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas. Come check it out!
OPENING Tuesday, AUGUST 9, 6pm-9pm
@ Brooklyn Fireproof
119 Ingraham St (at Porter Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11237
A group show featuring: Suzy Exposito, Molly Fair, Kim Funk, Kathleen Hanna, J. Morrison, Adee Roberson, & Gabby Schulz
Curated by Kate Wadkins & Lauren Denitzio
BIG MOUTH: contemporary voices in feminist art + illustration is a platform for unpopular visual opinions. Feminist movements have historically grown out of interventions within radical communities in the face of silence, anger, and often, violence. Still, these conflicts and contentions are fought with the utmost passion and humor in hopes for a radical resolution. BIG MOUTH illustrates the ever-evolving search for feminist/queer identities and communities. This group show places feminist narratives at the center of radical art-making, where often our voices are poorly represented or left out altogether. BIG MOUTH is a celebration of our pluralism, our goofiness, and a proclamation of defiant love.
Oof. It's finally summer out here in the Best Coast, and I find myself caught up in a veritable storm of art-activities. When it rains, it pours, you know? Except that metaphor doesn't work because it has only just finally stopped raining here and it will probably start again after a couple of weeks.
In addition to printmaking for Justseeds (new prints about tiger beetles and monarch butterflies and going wild and crazy), I'm painting a big-ass mural for the Citybikes cooperative, on their building at SE Ankeny and 8th. I also have this weird installation/sculpture installed in an art gallery in the mall downtown; it's a bushmeat food-cart serving the severed hands of chimpanzees (read more about that here on the website; lots of juicy info and video links).
So yeah, a lot going on. Yesterday I decided to pack a bit of everything into one day.
I got a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to paint a big mural on the Citybikes Annex building at 8th and Ankeny in Portland; here's a picture of the projection and tracing crew! For more images of the design, go here.
Late Friday night we put the almost-finishing touches on our installation for the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University. The Biennial is spread across five venues and the whole summer - we're part of an exhibition focusing on collectives, curated by Astria Suparak and including subRosa, Transformazium, Temporary Services, and the trio of Lize Mogel, Sarah Ross and Ryan Griffis (more info on all of that here).
Kewana Duncan, a Maori filmmaker, put this short video together based on the first few days of the Emerging Indigenous Voices artist residency. Much love to all the artists involved in this amazing project.
We're part of the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial, and our installation is going up at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University this week! The whole deal doesn't open until September 16, but we're running full steam working on it right now! More info about our arm of the Biennial here, and tons of more installation photos are uploaded every day here.
I recently authored an account of the November 2010 Justseeds-IVAW street art action in Chicago for the Spring 2011 issue of The Veteran, a publication by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Check it out here.
Also, keep an eye out for a number of new collaborations between Justseeds and IVAW that are in the works, including an "Operation Recovery" booklet and our third portfolio project War is Trauma that is scheduled to be released in the late Fall and will feature over 30 prints by Justseeds artists, IVAW artists, and five invited guest artists.
These photos are from Pete's installation at Astrix Gallery, Milwaukee, WI.
I was recently commissioned by the Portland chapter of Veterans for Peace to design some images for their convention in August: It was a fun assignment. These linocuts will be made into polymer plates and letterpress printed on Combat Paper. Click through for all three images, and see them here on Flickr.
OPENING THIS THURSDAY-Staring at the Cracks art installation by Erik Ruin with Brett Story and Dan Blacksberg at 4212 Chestnut, West Philly (below Scribe Video Center).
(see below the jump for preview pics)
Tomorrow! Last Thursday, the 30th June, at Flight 64 print studio (down the alley off NE Alberta between 29th and 30th, behind Bella Faccia), an opening of new print work by Roger Peet and Garrett Price. Steel etchings, screenprints, and blockprints of corroded superstructures, insects, ships, sharks, and slogans. If you're in Portland, come on by between 5 and 10!
Tonight, 7pm, at the Fresh Pot on NE Mississippi in Portland OR, we're having a closing for the big Anti-LNG blockprints from this project. Stop by for some coffee, presentations from Amy Harwood and Olivia Schmidt about the threats still posed by LNG development plans, and a presentation by Roger about the project.
The Bushmeat Food-cart is opening today, in Downtown Portland, on the third floor of Pioneer Place Mall! Corner of SW Fifth and Morrison. Come and check it out between 6 and 9 pm. It is pretty unnerving, and the fact that it is in the mall makes it even more so. For more information, click this link.
I created this image a while back for my old friend Marie Mason, who's currently serving out a 22-year prison sentence for charges related to two acts of property destruction that occurred in 1999 and 2000. Noone was injured in either attack -against a facility researching/developing GMO crops- but Marie got swept up in the Green Scare hysteria- and is now serving a disproportionately long sentence as a result.
The good folks at Support Marie Mason recently printed up these t-shirts as a benefit and if i do say so myself, they look pretty sharp and are darn comfortable to boot. You can buy them directly from their site here- and i highly recommend you do.
When Anne Gochenour curated Graphic Protest (see the original posts here and here) at Central Michigan University, the gallery published a small catalogue. Gochenour wrote a solid essay placing the work of both Alynn Guerra and me into the matrix of the radical print tradition.
You can now download a PDF of the catalogue. The quality is a little low…sorry. I scanned the original and then compressed it for quick download.
A few photos of the Celebrate People's History Art Sow that was up in Milwaukee at Astrix Gallery last month.
Justseeds "Resourced" Portfolio is on display in Providence RI. The show is reviewed here:
Here's a new project: a bushmeat food-cart. The project is called Viande de Brousse, the French translation of bushmeat, meaning simply wild meat hunted from the forest, or bush, as it's referred to in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. I (Roger) and my colleague Ryan Burns have built a small mobile food-cart which will be selling the severed hands of Chimpanzees to the horrified public in Portland, debuting at PLACE gallery downtown next month. This is the result of years of attention to and research in the history, economy and environment of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congo is a vast pentagonal tranche of Sub-Saharan Africa, and has been a grim laboratory of capitalism's extractive priorities since Belgium began its colonial project there in the late 1800's. The stories of Congo's debasement and butchery at the hands of the Belgians, the Americans, the Chinese, assorted homegrown tyrants and the murderous throngs of small armies that swarmed through it during the African World War of the 90's-early 00's are woefully underreported. The history is nearly invisible. This is our attempt to dig our fingers into that steaming pile and pull it reeking into the light.
I've got two show up in Portland right now; if you are in town you should go and check them out! The first one is at Land Gallery, at 3925 N. Mississippi Ave. That one's closing this Sunday, so hurry! It's a nice space and I have packed it with prints. The other is at Extracto Coffee, in Northeast at 2921 NE Killingsworth. It's up until the end of May! Also, next month I'll be hanging the big anti-LNG blockprints at the Fresh Pot on Mississippi at Shaver, and will be debuting the Bushmeat Foodcart at Place gallery in the weird art zone in the Pioneer Place mall (!). More updates soon!
It's been a little while since I posted a collection of reviews and such, so here's a recent batch, plus some old ones that slipped through the cracks:
2) Daniel Tucker wrote a great review of Signs of Change in AfterImage magazine. They only have an excerpt on their site, but he has published the review in it's entirety HERE.
4) Kari O'Driscoll wrote a review of Signs of Change, also on the Elevated Difference site. She says, "Signs of Change is both a coffee table book and a full-color history lesson. For those who prefer an alternative to a boring textbook, this book is the ticket." Read the rest HERE.
5) Jason Urban posted a rave review of Signs of Change on Printeresting! He says, "With the current state of political upheaval and the growing strength of grassroots opposition in the Middle East, it might be a good time to visit the role of graphics in people’s movements. Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee do just that in Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures from 1960s to Now. . . . It functions as a short but thorough encyclopedia of people’s political movements." Read the rest, and check out the photos, HERE.
Please join us on Friday, May 6th for an art show and film showing. We are exhibiting all 69 printed posters from the Celebrate People's History poster series, curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.
Then we will show As Still As Horses, a short film by local filmmaker Israel Vasquez (with a short Q and A), and then Exit Through the Gift Shop, a feature film by the street artist Banksy.
This event is free, all ages, and BYOC (Bring your own cushion)!
6 - 8 pm -> Art show
8 - 10 pm -> Film showing
3410 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15201
Please park bikes and enter around back! We hope to see you there!
Click on the above image for a closer detail of the show.
A little while back the Georgia-based DIA (Dignidad Inmigrante en Athens) contacted us for graphics to use in their new publication Nuestras Voces. The first issue just came out, and uses images by me (Josh MacPhee) and Sanya Hyland. You can check out DIA and what they do HERE, and you can download the magazine HERE.
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.
This video, filmed and directed by Laura Klein, documents an art and ecology project by Amy Mall and Sherwin Ovid, one of 12 intervention projects that took place in Milwaukee during July of 2010 for the project Watershed: Art, Activism, and Community Engagement, organized by Nicolas Lampert and Raoul Deal. I will post other short documentary films from Watershed in the coming weeks.
Amy Mall and Sherwin Ovid write "Our conversations with elder Wisconsin dairy farmer John Kinsman explored the topic of water in the rural landscape. His land is at the peak of three watersheds. In stark contrast to factory farming situations, Kinsman’s small pasture-fed dairy farm exists in a paradigm where the earth is honored, ecological balance respected, animals are given a healthy long life, and manure is considered a resource rather than a waste product. The trees he planted over 50 years ago and woodlands that he maintains heal and restore natural ponds and streams. We visited his land, recorded his stories, and responded through art making to create images that correlate with his storytelling."
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!
Formerly Incarcerated People's Movement Event
We gather for an evening of discussion and movement building aimed at the prison crisis sweeping our communities. Come add your voice and your hands to our effort to kick the forces of repression and division out of our homes, schools, and streets!
Saturday, April 23, 7-10pm
721 Franklin AVE
This will be a multi-part event of:
Report back from FICPM organizational meet-up
Art by JUST SEEDS
This video, filmed and directed by Laura Klein, documents an art and ecology project by Xavier Tavera and Maria Cristina Tavera, one of 12 intervention projects that took place in Milwaukee during July of 2010 for the project Watershed: Art, Activism, and Community Engagement, organized by Nicolas Lampert and Raoul Deal. I will post other short documentary films from Watershed in the coming weeks.
Xavier Tavera and Maria Cristina Tavera write "This past year we had a major water leak in our house and decided to re-do our bathroom. In the process, we noticed how incredibly wasteful domestic water use is. We decided to create a video that spoke to this issue in ten short segments, which we could then project using a laptop, a data projector, and a car battery. We traveled around Milwaukee and projected our video on the concrete riverbanks, abandoned buildings, tugboats, salt mounds, and many other surfaces. We wanted the unsuspecting viewer, drawn in by the lyrical images found in unexpected places, to consider the importance of water in so many aspects of our daily lives. We hoped our audience would be inspired to be more conscientious about the water that we all waste."
The Justseeds Resourced portfolio is up in the concert hall at Casa Del Popolo and will be there until July 31st. If you are in Montreal come check it out at 4873 boul. St-Laurent.
Last weeks opening event was a 5 à 7 and discussion with local environmental activists, myself and members of The Dominion who were launching A People's Forecast, a special issue on climate justice.
More photos and and links below.
Thanks to Keith Race for all the photos
Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture
800 Black Butte Rd.
We will have an opening for the exhibition RESOURCED, a production of the Just Seeds screen print cooperative, which will be on display in our "reefer" gallery through June. It focuses on resource extraction and climate issues, major issues in our region, and includes 26 artist prints. See RESOURCED for more info. The show will also feature work by two of the individual Just Seeds members, New York City-based "Kevin Caplicki" and Portland-based "Roger Peet".
Later in the evening we'll have a boxcar music show with "Crackbox" (punk), featuring some BBCRC supporters and frequent visitors, on tour from New Orleans, making a stop at Black Butte.
Josh MacPhee is in Pittsburgh this weekend, working on a new print at Artist Image Resource with help from Mary Tremonte. If you're in town, come by our distro HQ for the closing of his solo show and a slideshow/discussion with Josh this evening! More details on the event here (and more pictures after the cut).
Justseeds will be tabling on both sides of the USA this weekend.
Roger Peet, Kevin Caplicki, Jesus Barraza, and Melanie Cervantes will be attending the
16th Annual Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair
April 9–10, 2011
SF County Fair Building (Hall of Flowers)
Golden Gate Park
While Molly Fair and friends will be holding down the
5th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair
Saturday, April 9th 2011
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
Find out all that is happening in the next few days at
Josh MacPhee is coming to our Pittsburgh Headquarters this weekend! Josh will present a short presentation/discussion entitled "Visualizing History from Below". The event is also the closing party for a solo exhibition of his prints. We hope to see you there! We are also now open on Sundays 2:00-6:00 pm! You can still email us at store at justseeds dot org to visit us at other times as well.
Josh MacPhee Talk & Closing Party: Visualizing History from Below
Saturday April 9th
3410 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
At Doughboy statue. Enter at the back on Spring Way. Bike Parking Available...
BYOB & Snacks
Prints, posters, and books available for sale!
Walker's Point Center for the Arts (WPCA) in Milwaukee is hosting a timely show this Friday that celebrates the art and life of Carlos Cortéz. Included in this show are prints by his allies in the labor movement/Chicana rights/anti-war/radical art community - many of whom are part of Justseeds. Prints by Favi, Josh, Nicolas, Dylan, and Collin are included in the exhibition. (Dylan also included some text and long-time friend to Justseeds, Susan Simensky Bietila, helped co-organize the show.) Many might recall that WPCA hosted the Paper Politics exhibition when it was in Milwaukee, so please come out and support this important show and vital art space that is at the epicenter of the community arts scene in Milwaukee.
Exhibition runs: April 1 – May 14, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, April 1 from 5 – 9pm
Spring Gallery Night: Friday, April 15 from 5 – 9pm
Checking Militarism - Public broadcaster giving airtime to war
I just completed this illustration for an article in The Dominion newspaper. For those or you unfamiliar it is a great monthly paper published by a network of independent journalists in Canada since May 2003. It is a project of Canada's first media cooperative. The piece is a look at the role of sports and militarism, in particular the role of right wing hockey commentator Don Cherry. He is the host of Coaches Corner which airs during the first intermission of Hockey Night in Canada. Exploiting the nations obsession with hockey he is constantly proselytizing Canada's involvement in the war in Afghanistan. He is a brash, bombastic, tackily dressed neo con loved and loathed across the country.
Saturday, March 19th, 7 PM
Doors at 7PM, bidding ends at 9pm, party till 10pm.
At Not An Alternative/Change You Want To See Gallery
84 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg Brooklyn
The complete Voices From Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex created by the JustSeeds Collective for the 10th anniversary of Critical Resistance.
AND Artworks by:
Bill Mazza, Chris Cardinale, Vikki Law, Vandana Jain, Audrey Dantzlerward, Mac McGill, Elizabeth Hamby, Antonio Serna, Mónica Félix, William Wulff, Eric Doeringer, Luis Martin, Priska Wenger, Sevonna Brown, Laura Whitehorn, Carey Lamprecht, Megan Books, christina armas, Kelly Savage, Kevin Hong
Guest speaker from the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative
Music by Avani Mehta & DJ Duncan
All funds raised will be spent on postage to send books to prisoners.
Learn more about Books Through Bars
I've been trying to work through some visual ideas around the Wisconsin struggle, and have come up with some beta designs I figure I might as well test here on the site...below are 3 different designs in progress. They all are based on the same idea, the general strike, but the first is the most developed, trying to clarify that we don't need a strike to maintain the status quo (losing benefits, pay, and "rights" while maintaining a legalistic definition of collective bargaining), but to exercise the on the ground power of workers and communities. Please feel free to leave feedback, and I can put up high-res versions of these if people are interested:
Please join us for a Political Poster Jam on Friday, February 25th at Oakland Museum from 8 to 11pm. We'll honor the power of political graphics and the Museum's recent acquisition of a major collection of political posters.
8pm - 11pm Printing Demonstrations:
San Francisco Print Collective - print your own screenprint!
The Great Tortilla Conspiracy - Edible tortilla prints and new technology of food breakthroughs in honor of African American History!
& Eddie Colla - cut your own stencil!
Emory Douglas, former Black Panther Ministry of Culture
Favianna Rodriguez, artist/activist
Lincoln Cushing, poster archivist
moderated by Carol A. Wells, director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics
Favianna Rodriguez is in Delaware visiting with students and faculty at the University of Delaware Art Department. Today she has a big lecture! Come check it out if you are nearby.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., in Brown Lab 101 @ Univ. of Delaware click here for map
Favianna is part of speaker series that will also feature Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, also from Oakland, California.
Thursday, February 17 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm
CUNY Graduate Center, James Gallery
365 5th Avenue, New York, NY
Join artist Josh MacPhee and director John Gianvito as they discuss the triumphs and challenges of Howard Zinn’s "A People’s History of the United States," which famously re-wrote American history through the eyes of the common people rather than political and economic elites.
John Gianvito's hour-long 2008 documentary "Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind" will be screened. There will be a one-night exhibition of the posters from Josh MacPhee's new book, "Celebrate People’s History: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution."
You can find the event on facebook HERE.
Happy Valentines Day!
Brooklyn, NY 2011
Why the media (and particularly Wiki leaks) is important
Publishing improves transparency, and this transparency creates a better society for all people. Better scrutiny leads to reduced corruption and stronger democracies in all society’s institutions, including government, corporations and other organisations. A healthy, vibrant and inquisitive journalistic media plays a vital role in achieving these goals.
Aaron Hughes of IVAW sent me a photo of my "Operation Exposure" image wheatpasted up in the streets of Lawrence, Kansas for a recent exhibition of the prints that Justseeds created for the IVAW Operation Recovery campaign.
Seeing my image large got the wheels spinning...a proposed mural. Anyone with a large white wall interested in making this a reality? If so, please post a comment and lets talk.
Toronto Free Gallery and Groundswell present Celebrate People’s History!, a show of poster art created by over ninety artists – including many of Toronto’s own – to document the hidden history of social justice movements. The Celebrate People’s History series is the culmination of 12 years of work, a massive collection of 110 posters, the complete set of which has just been released as a hardcover book by The Feminist Press. The full collection will be on display at Toronto Free Gallery from February 10 – March 19, 2011, and you’re invited to the opening on Thursday, February 10th at 7:00PM.
Operation Exposure: War is Trauma - a collaboration between the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative and veterans and supporters from Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). It is a direct response to the suicide epidemic and violation of GI's right to heal within the active duty community. The work focus is on a veteran led movement called "Operation Recovery" - a new IVAW campaign aimed to stop the redeployment of traumatized troops and focus public attention on Military Sexual Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Like many others across a continent that is being ravaged by a changing climate, Mid-Michigan experienced a foot of snow last night. In response to this blizzard, Michigan State University closed operation for only the fourth time in its 150-year history. Lazing around the house, my daughter and I decided to make use of our time and build a snow fort. No self-respecting Justseeds fort would be complete with the colors black-and-red. In the moments leading up to this photo, Mexica marched victoriously into the fort, waving the flag, before claiming the space as her own. A true, temporary autonomous space.
I hope everyone else enjoyed their snow days as much as I.
For all in Philly, please come out to these events!
I'm doing two different book release activities, this Thursday and Friday nights:
Thursday, Feb. 3rd, 7-9pm
Signs of Change Book Release
Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South Street
Signs of Change is a visual introduction to the past 50 years of social movements from around the globe. An archive of more than 350 posters, prints, photographs, films, videos, music, and ephemera, the material included and discussed here is from more than twenty-five countries. Surveying the creative work of dozens of international social movements, from the do-it-yourself graphics and media of the 1960s to today's instantaneous digital technologies, it investigates the themes and representations of global struggles for equality, democracy, freedom, and basic human rights.
Join co-editor and Justseeds member Josh MacPhee for the Philly release of Signs of Change along with his other brand-new book, Celebrate People's History!: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution.
Friday, Feb. 4th, 7-10pm
Celebrate People’s History: peace, justice, freedom, creativity, revolution and love
Studio 34, 4522 Baltimore Avenue
The closing event for the Celebrate People’s History art show, as well as a release party for the Celebrate People’s History poster book (Feminist Press, 2010). The posters and book beautifully visualize revolutionary movements from around the world and throughout history: antimilitarism, autonomy, Palestine solidarity, prisoners rights, queer and trans liberation, sustainability, Theater of the Oppressed, universal health care, worker rights and so much more.
We will be joined by Josh MacPhee, the curator of the CPH series and editor of the book; and former political prisoner and CPH poster artist Laura Whitehorn. Local poster artists and activists will also speak about their work in the book.
There is an article about Colin Matthes' Carlos Cortez mural at OnMilwaukee.com:
Mural project is a work of admiration and kindred consciousness
"The campaign increased my desire to make something really graphic with a specific message but it also made me want to focus on something that celebrated something a little more than 'Stop this. Or no that.' I wanted to do something celebratory about someone I admire and don't hear much about and that is how I got to Carlos Cortez," Matthes said.
There is a review of Justseeds book Firebrands: Portraits From the Americas on the ElevateDifference.com by Clarisse Thorn:
I was initially unimpressed by Firebrands, but that was because I approached it wrong. I tried to sit down in my living room and read it cover-to-cover, and that's not what this book is for. It's a pocket-sized compendium of amazing people—people "left out of the schoolbooks because they were too brown, too female, too poor, too queer, too uneducated, too disabled, or because they daydreamed too much." Each firebrand gets a page-long description, a lovely illustration, and a number of suggestions for further reading.
Book Release Party - Friday, Jan. 28th 5-8 pm
The book release coincides with an exhibit of the Celebrate People's History posters and printed matter from a local 1970s printshop in Lawrence, the Kansas Key Printer.
For more info click HERE. And click below for more photos (thanks to Dave Lawrence for his organizing efforts and photo taking)!
Brooklyn, December 2010.
Hey people... for anyone interested, I was just interviewed in the latest blog on Craftland. Craftland is a local artist store owned and run by local RI artists. It started as a yearly holiday store, and has grown to be a year long space for purchasing all things crafty!
The full article is at Craftland.
I recently completed and installed a mural of Carlos Cortez.
Here is Swoon's lecture given at the TEDxBrooklyn conference late last year.
The install for the Watershed show in Milwaukee is getting closer to completion. Six days to go.. Here are some photos of the progress. The show opens Friday, January 28th 5:00-8:00 if you're in the Milwaukee area.
(foreground) "The Future of Farming" (aquaponic sculpture/fish-vegetable farm system by Sweet Water Organics.)
Busy days in Milwaukee. Here are a few install photos of the Watershed exhibition that opens in Milwaukee on Friday, January 28th at the Union Art Gallery at UWM (same space that Justseeds created an installation at in 2008.) Watershed: Art, Activism, and Community Engagement addresses the shifting ecological and political dimensions of water. This project, organized by Nicolas Lampert and Raoul Deal brings together artists, scientists, and urban farmers and uses art as a form of activism to comment on water issues in Milwaukee and the Great Lakes Basin, and their impact on the world at large. It tackles issues such as water shortages, notions of abundance, water privatization, invasive species, industrial pollution, and water as a human right.
1) Chloe Eudaley of Reading Frenzy in Portland, OR chose Celebrate People's History! as one of her top 3 books of 2010! She calls the book "a beautiful document of history and hope and a handy primer for young upstarts!" Read it all at the Portland Mercury website HERE.
2) Truthout published a nice long-format review of Celebrate People's History! by Eleanor J. Bader HERE. She says, "Celebrate People's History is a paean to ongoing activism, and the book offers a graphic reminder that people all over the world continue to oppose colonialism, war, workplace violence and exploitation, sexism, racism, homophobia and discrimination."
3) Amy McKie wrote a really nice review of Celebrate People's History! on her blog Amy Reads HERE. She says the book, "certainly made me want to learn more about all of these events, and they made me want to be more of a participant in my community."
4) The British magazine Red Pepper just published a 3 page illustrated interview with me and Alec Dunn about our journal Signal! It piece looks great, and features the art of the Taller Tupac Amaru. It hasn't been published online yet, but you can find it in their Dec/Jan 2011 issue on newsstands now.
5) Art Crimes just wrote a nice short review of Reproduce & Revolt. Susan write that R&R is "for everyone from eager politickers to the street art aficionado who knows there's more to the genre than just Banksy." Read the rest HERE.
Celebrate People's History!
Poster Exhibition - Book Release Party
La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705 USA
January 7 - February 27, 2011
Reception: Saturday, January 15, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
There's a good chance that at some point in your life you've seen a Celebrate People's History poster decorating the walls of your classroom, community center or neighborhood book shop. Initiated by Josh MacPhee in 1998, this far-reaching project uses poster art created by over ninety artists to document the hidden history of social justice movements. The complete set of these posters has just been released in book form by Feminist Press. More than 50 posters will be on display at La Peña from January 7 - February 27, 2011
Five Celebrate People's History poster artists live in Philly, and they've banded together to put on a larger exhibition of the CPH posters, and a book launch! Morgan Andrews, Dan Berger, Beth Pulcinella, Erik Ruin, and Eian Weissman have organized a show at Studio 34 on Baltimore Ave. in West Philly. Check it out tomorrow night, books and posters will be available!!!! I was hoping to be at the opening but have come down with the flu, but now I plan on coming to the closing on February 4th:
Celebrate People's History!
Opening: Friday, January 7, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Studio 34 Yoga Healing Arts
4522 Baltimore Ave
4th Avenue, NYC.
This is a terrible cellphone picture.
I took it cos I like the interrogation and think it is incomplete and should end with "...the way they are?"
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...
Some great recent press:
1) Peter Linebaugh does a duel review of Signs of Change and Celebrate People's History for Counterpunch HERE. It's a great long-format review, and well worth reading in it's own right. He says Signs of Change is "explosive in its educational impact because of the full, eager, colorful, passionate page designs," and calls it "a massive and beautiful work." !!!
Of Celebrate People's History he says it contains (and shares with Zinn) "an optimistic spirit, skepticism to conventional ideas, a dogged search for the forgotten men and women, and a denunciation at once classic and fresh of that class of people, the possessioners, who control the money, the land, the arms, the images, the knowledge, and the capital of the USA."
2) Publishers Weekly writes up Signs of Change and Celebrate People's History, read it HERE.
4) The good folks at Last Hours in London have posted a nice review of Signal:01, calling it "a vital, fascinating and relevant history of politically antagonistic graphics, illustration and printmaking." Read the rest HERE.
This is an image that I created for the November 2010 "Operation Exposure-War is Trauma" collaboration between Justseeds and Iraq Veterans Against the War." The project involved Justseeds artists creating images for the IVAW campaign "Operation Recovery" to stop the redeployment of traumatized soldiers.
I got inspired to make text like this when a garbage truck passed me recently.
NYC trash hauling vehicles are hand painted and the lettering styles have always interested me. I took on the style of a baseball uniform since it has multiple cultural references in the USA. The concept of rooting for a team seems to me like such a typical relationship to war. One team must lose, the cost is the devastation of societies and the loss of life. Rooting for GI Resistance to redeployment is supporting the preservation of life, of both teams.
It can also be interpreted as a riff off of the military use of sports events and programs in recruitment leads. The numerous commercials during sports games, that offer adventure and education, is astounding.
—A book release party for Celebrate People's History! The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution.
—Release of the brand-new National Prisoners Reform Association CPH poster.
—Silk-screen station for printing your own t-shirts and posters!
—Screening of the film "3,000 Years and Life," the documentary about the Walpole Prison uprising.
—snacks and drinks!
The event is a benefit for the LPC Movie Projector Fund.
People! The 2011 Organizers have arrived and are now available in the store. This year's version is an upgrade from last year's: better binding, flashier colors, but with the same uncluttered design. You should probably get one or two so that you will know what to do with your future.
Brecht Holiday Party & Justseeds Print Exhibit!
Come celebrate the end of the year and the start of a new one with the annual Brecht Forum holiday party and a Justseeds print show and big-time art sale! The show features over 40 prints, which will be for sale along with books, calendars, and a special box of misprints and damaged work that will be extra cheap!!! This stuff will make perfect holiday gifts for all you anti-capitalists out there.
Did we mention it will be fun? We hope to see you there!
Friday, December 10th, 6-9 pm
The Brecht Forum
451 West Street (btw Bank & Bethune Sts)
New York, NY 10014
Jesse Goldstein, Laura Scheinkopf, and I are part of a group show called FRACKING: Art and Activism Against the Drill.
475 Tenth Ave, New York, NY
December 7, 2010 - February 5, 2011
Opening Tuesday, December 7, 7-9pm
Our installation called "We Share the Well", was initially developed this summer in response to new techniques of drilling for 'natural' gas, called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking". The Marcellus shale is a large rock deposit stretched across Pennsylvania and New York, miles below ground. Drilling companies use a toxic process called hydrofracking to extract natural gas from the shale, by injecting it with millions of gallons of highly pressurized toxic fluid. This fractures the shale in a way that releases natural gas. Most of the fluid that they inject returns to the surface and must be processed as toxic wastewater (often illegally dumped), the remainder stays underground. The local wildlife is being killed off, and drinking water contamination are on the rise, though the industry denies responsibility.
Only one day left!!!! Here's some more very cool art at the Heal Dara G art auction (Click on the artist name to go to auction page):
Here's part 2 of the Signs of Change sneek peek! Check out the book HERE.
Here's some more very cool art at the Heal Dara G art auction (Click on the artist name to go to auction page):
My new book Signs of Change is launching here on Justseeds this morning, and I wanted to give you all a peek inside!! Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now is a labor of love. Dara and I spent years collected hundreds of posters, flyers, photos, video, film, and ephemera from dozens of radical left social movements around the world, and it's all synthesized into this book! The cultural output of almost 60 movements are explored in seven sections: Struggle for the Land, Agitate! Educate! Organize!, Forward to People's Power! Freedom and Independence Now, Let It All Hang Out, Reclaim the Commons, Globalization From Below. Here's a look at a handful of page spreads. I'll put more up tomorrow...
Here's some more very cool art at the Heal Dara G art auction (Click on the artist name to go to auction page):
Swoon, Irina, block print on mylar with coffee, hand painting (image to the left)
Come out and celebrate the release of the new book Celebrate People's History! The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution
Thursday, December 2 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
172 Allen St.
New York, NY
Wanna learn history? Visualize it! Come out for a presentation of Celebrate People’s History!: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution, edited by Josh MacPhee. Since 1998, Josh MacPhee has commissioned over 100 posters that pay tribute to revolution, racial justice, women’s rights, queer liberation, labor struggles, and creative organizing. The book offers a visual tour across decades and continents of human rights struggles by over 80 artists. "Celebrate People's History" poster artists Christopher Cardinale, Alexander Dwinell, Molly Fair, Sabrina Jones, Mara Komoska, Erik Ruin, and Laura Whitehorn will discuss their work along with MacPhee.
Here's some more very cool art at the Heal Dara G art auction (Click on the artist name to go to auction page):
Erik Ruin, Diggers, paper-cut, 11″x17″ (to the right)
As many of you know, my partner, girlfriend, collaborator, and generally better half, Dara Greenwald, was diagnosed with cancer during the summer, and we've been struggling to kick it for the past 4 months. This has put her under great financial strain, and friends have pulled together an amazing art auction to help carry the load. The auction has almost 200 items from over 150 people, many of which are amazing, and would be of great interest to fans of Justseeds. You can go to the auction HERE and you can jump straight to the print section HERE. And click below to get a peek at some of the great art available!!!
Some recent press from the "Operation Exposure-War is Trauma" collaboration between Justseeds and IVAW in Chicago.
1. Two great articles by Fruzsina Eördögh. The second article shares our frustrations with the ad companies that cover up anything meaningful that is placed in the city.
a) Chicago Art Magazine "Veterans Bring the War Home"
b) Chicago Art Magazine: "Veteran Street Art Defaced"
2. Insight from Dan S. Wang at Proposition Press:
3. Article by Austin McCann on Common Dreams that reviews the "Chicago in War" series:
4. Brooklyn Street Art:
All of us at Justseeds are excited to announce our brand new 2011 wall calendar we produced in collaboration with AK Press and Eberhardt Press!!! The calendar explores the theme of what "work" is, and should be, through the lens of thirteen different artists, all with very different visual styles and approaches.
Designing this was a nice challenge—rather than working with a standard cmyk/4-color process, I worked up each image in a combination of 4 different spot colors, in order to work best with Eberhardt's old school presses. It was a struggle to try to maximize the intent and impact of the images while minimizing the color palette. Some of the months are one spot color, some 2 or 3, and a couple are all 4. In addition, it was a tough negotiation to get a calendar that works both as a calendar and a piece of art that hangs on your wall. I took a cue from Nikki McClure and her successful calendars and just gestured to the dates, allowing for maximum impact of the art.
AK Press only printed 1000 copies, and about half are already spoken for, so get one of these before they're gone! You can buy it HERE. Click below to see 6 of the months.
Some early reviews and mentions are coming in from the blog-o-sphere about Celebrate People's History!: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution:
Beyond Resistance says "This book is simply amazing," check out their write-up HERE.
CityArts NYC says, "Simply and radically, this book gives voice to the walls witnessing revolution and resistance and so rarely allowed to speak through public political artwork." Read more HERE.
The Library Journal has chosen Celebrate People's History! as one of its picks for Black History Month, more HERE.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian says, "What's special about [Celebrate People's History! is] a proactive focus on history's shining moments, those points in time where people came together and resistence against hegemony held." Read the rest HERE.
Our friends at Groundswell published a nice write-up HERE.
The Bay Area Reporter focused in on the queer contributions to history HERE.
Chicago, IL – “Operation Exposure: War is Trauma” hit the streets of Chicago on Monday November 15th. This collaboration between the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and veterans and supporters from Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a direct response to the suicide epidemic and violation of GI’s right to heal within the GI and veteran community. Veterans, artists, and supporters met in Rogers Park in Chicago and split into teams. They divided up posters that Justseeds had designed for IVAW and then wheatpasted the city. Teams hit advertising spaces and boarded up buildings with messages of GI resistance and "Operation Recovery" – a new IVAW campaign aimed to stop the redeployment of traumatized troops and focus public attention towards Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma (MST), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Hi Everyone! Coming out of the Justseeds annual retreat this past weekend was a renewed commitment from Justseeds to figure out more ways to get images into the hands of organizers, activists, and revolutionists that need and want them. While our long-term vision is an entirely rebuilt website that includes this functionality from the ground up, that's going to take a couple years, so we're moving things around behind the scenes to come up with some solutions in the meantime.
To this end, we're launching a "Downloadable Graphics" category on this blog. Basically, if you click on the "Subjects" heading to the left, and then click "Downloadable Graphics," you'll be brought to a running set of blog entries which include graphics that can be downloaded at high res for your use.
All these images will be copy-left, copy-riot, or Creative Commons, depending on the uploader. Most will be free for you to use as you see fit, but if you can, please let people know the name of the artist (if we've told you!) and that you pulled it down from Justseeds.org. I was rummaging through my digital image piles, and found this graphic of broken bars I originally created back in 1993 for a patch we printed in Wash. DC for the Anarchist Black Cross. I have since re-used it at least a half-dozen times, and as long as their are prisons, my guess is it will still have utility. So I'm passing it along to all our blog readers to reproduce and use, spread it far and wide! Just click HERE TO DOWNLOAD, it is a high-res pdf. Enjoy!
Friends in the Bay Area are putting on a big celebration of the release of Celebrate People's History!: The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution this Saturday!
November 20th, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Center for Political Education
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Favianna Rodriguez and Lincoln Cushing will speak, books and posters will be available, and everyone is going to have a great time! Let's Celebrate People's History!!!
More information HERE.
(The image is of Fernando Martí's brand new CPH poster about Los Seite de la Raza)
Justseeds just finished up a three day retreat in Chicago at Mess Hall in Rogers Park. The weekend meeting concluded with a exhibition of new prints about the IVAW campaign "Operation Exposure" and a street art action the following day. Special thanks to Mess Hall, Dana, Robin, the Stone Soup House, Allan, Amy, Matthias, Eric T., Laura, and the IVAW Chicago chapter for all the great hospitality and support. (Images and text about the Justseeds-IVAW street art action will be posted soon.)
Mary put up a short video last week, but here are a couple photos Shaun took of the exhibition/window display at Pittsburgh's Future Tenant Art Space that they installed of Celebrate People's History posters to announce the release of the new book: Celebrate People's History! The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution. You can get the book HERE.
1) The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal published a cool write-up by Faythe Levine (former owner of Paper Boat Gallery) on her recent trip to Pittsburgh, including a stop at Justseeds World Headquarters. You can read it HERE, and below is a photo I love that was printed with the piece.
Check out this great video by Callie Mower of the install of a Celebrate People's History poster show in the window and nook of Future Tenant in Downtown Pittsburgh!
Stay tuned for the book, for sale on Justseeds this Thursday, and see the show in person if you are in Pittsburgh through the end of the year
819 Penn Avenue
In celebration of the release of Celebrate People's History! The Poster Book of Resistance and Revolution, the Feminist Press and Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn have organized a week long celebration of people's history through film.
Beginning November 3rd (tonight), the series of films centered on People's Revolution kicks off at Spectacle Theater. 15 films that engage with revolutionary people, movements, and actions from all over the world and connect to people's history posters from the ongoing series and collected in the new book.
Check out www.spectacletheater.com for more info, and the schedule is below:
Wed., Nov. 3
The Murder of Fred Hampton – Howard Alk, (1971), [Black Panthers], 7pm
Germany in Autumn – various, (1978), [Red Army Faction], 9:20pm
Thur., Nov. 4
Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria – Victor Silverman, (2005), 7pm
Fast Trip, Long Drop - Greg Bordowitz, (1993) [ACT UP]
Sacco and Vanzetti – Giuliano Montaldo, (1971), 9:20pm
Justseeds will be tabling the NY Art Book Fair opening this Thursday. Come check out the RESOURCED portfolio along with Justseeds member's zines and book titles! Josh, by himself, has a great selection of new stuff!
Printed Matter presents the fifth annual NY Art Book Fair, November 5–7 at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens. Free and open to the public, the Fair hosts over 200 international presses, booksellers, antiquarian dealers, artists and publishers from twenty countries, offering the best in contemporary art book publishing.
The NY Art Book Fair includes special project rooms, screenings, book signings, and performances, throughout the weekend. Other events include the third annual Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference, and The Classroom, a curated series of informal conversations between artists, together with readings, workshops and other artist-led events.
MoMA PS1 22-25 Jackson Ave (at 46th Ave) Long Island City, NY
Thursday, November 4, 2010, PREVIEW, 6pm - 9pm
Friday/Saturday, November 5-6, 2010, 11am - 7pm
Sunday, November 7, 2010, 11am - 5pm
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!!!
1) "Paper Politics shows there's more than one way to shout a message" in the Pittsburgh City Paper.
2) "'Paper Politics' exhibit takes ink-stained jabs at topics" in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
3) "SPACE wrapped up in ‘Paper Politics’" in The Globe, Point Park University's newspaper.
I also wanted to share some photos of the exhibition that Shaun and Mary took, it looked great! Click below to see more photos...
Here is a video of the mural Chris and I rocked out, in four hours, just before the DUMBO Arts Festival.
No Longer Empty is a not for profit organization that orchestrates public art exhibitions in vacated storefronts and properties. Conceived as an artistic response to our present economic condition, No Longer Empty core mission is to revitalize empty spaces and areas around the venues by bringing thoughtful, high-caliber art installations with accompanying programming to the public.
Bronya and Andy Galef Center for Fine Arts
9045 Lincoln Blvd 1st Fl
Kim Abeles, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Frau Fiber, Garnet Hertz, Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, Seth Kinmont, Liza Lou, David Prince, Mark Newport, Alyce Santoro, Shada/Jahn (Steve Shada and Marisa Jahn), Eddo Stern.
Inspired by the cultural currents represented in the popular magazines MAKE and CRAFT published out of Northern California, MAKE:CRAFT includes contemporary artists who combine handmaking and building techniques to create, engineer and hack unique, mostly functional devices, objects, machines and accessories; making either a sociopolitical statement, creating new markets for individual styled products, or creating inventive ways to experience the tactile world, non-virtual, the “real.”
The exhibition is guest curated by Patricia Watts, founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace, who feels that recent trends in the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) movement of making and crafting have empowered contemporary artists and designers to create more socially relevant work that supports sustainable communities.
If you're in New York City on Thursday, I'll be presenting on behalf of the Howling Mob Society as part of Not An Alternative's Open Sourcing the City: Invited and Uninvited Participation series. I'm excited to be joining Jim Costanzo (Aaron Burr Society) and Gregory Sholette, who will be speaking about REPOHistory (which was highly influential to myself and the Mob project!). Read a more in-depth description of the themes we'll be discussing here.
Where: The Change You Want To See Gallery, 84 Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
When: Thursday, October 14 at 7:30pm
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.
Last week I ran a quick-n'-dirty set of the posters from our Resourced portfolio for the "Dig It! (But Not Like That)" pan-Appalachian, resource-extraction-themed exhibition and discussion at Artist Image Resource in Pittsburgh. Working with available inks (brown is easy to make!) on newsprint, I layered these on the wall as soon as they were dry, leaving a pile on the floor for people to take (and encouraging them to pull them off the wall as well). Mary ran some more prints the night of the show, and the pile kept getting snatched up! Thanks to Jude Vachon and Angela Wiley for organizing! See more images of the show here.
This past weekend I traveled with collaborator/Justseeder Mary Tremonte up to Meadville, PA to take part in the annual 8 Hour Projects exhibition at Allegheny College, curated by Darren Miller. Rather than approach the opportunity with a full-blown thesis, Mary and I worked playfully and loosely with imagery from American game-hunting culture and themes of predator/prey relationships in North America.
1) Beth Simpson is working up a new Champaign-Urbana-specific Celebrate People's History poster project. There's a nice write-up in a local blog the217.com HERE.
2) The Spectres of Liberty project I recently did in Syracuse with Dara Greenwald, Olivia Robinson, and Joanna Spitzner is up in a show in Rochester, NY, and got a great write-up in the free weekly, City Newspaper. Check it out HERE.
Now for a slight break from the usual program. When I was out in Wisconsin a couple years back for a wedding we stumbled upon a small town library book sale, and almost all the books were romance novels and westerns, but they were $1 a box! So I scooped up a bunch of really cool looking Western pulp novels. Very questionable politically, but some of these designs are simply awesome. All of them are from Lenox Hill Press, published in the 70s, and no notation of designer or illustrator.
Justseeds Print Exhibit opens Friday August 20 6pm
Birds, birds, birds. From the extinct passenger pigeon to the mysterious crow to the avian flu, birds hold a unique place in our urban imaginary. Justseeds artists depict animals in many of our designs. Birds can represent liberation, autonomy, mutual aid, and cooperation, as well as vermin, predatory behavior, extinction, and ecological collapse. Bird Brains, a collection of handmade prints from the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, takes on this versatile metaphor.
The Knitting Factory Front Bar Gallery 361 Metropolitan Avenue Brooklyn, NY
Ahh, the final installment of the covers of Mr. Berick Traven, or Ret Marut, or Otto Feige, or Hal Croves? No one has yet been able to fully pin down exactly who B. Traven was, and this mystery has led to an ongoing interest in his literary output and politics. There has actually been an outpouring of books about Traven, some of them with pretty handsome covers themselves.
Here are some photos of the RESOURCED exhibit at Marketplace Gallery, 40 Broadway Albany, NY.
Today marks the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. Three days prior, August 6, 1945 the USA dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. This flyer was made in March 2003 for anti-war demos against the USA invasion of Iraq.
You can read another post from the 63rd anniversary. Let's hope current administrations are willing to avoid such heinous tactics.
For part 5 of the B. Traven covers, I'm going to focus on a number of his lesser known novels (He wrote five or six outside of the Treasure of Sierra Madre, the Death Ship, and the six Jungle novels, and after 1940 he almost exclusively wrote short stories, which will be the focus of next weeks final Traven post).
The Cotton Pickers was Traven's first published novel. It was actually titled Der Wobbly (the Wobbly, after the nickname for members of the IWW) by the initial publisher, but all other editions are titled The Cotton Pickers, and it appears that is the title Traven intended. The above is is the book jacket for an early hardback, possibly the first American edition.
The first issue of Signal is out now published by PM Press. Signal is a full color, 140 page book about international political art, graphics, and culture. The first issue contains interviews with the Taller Tupac Amaru (aka Justseeds' members Jesus, Favianna, and Melanie), Johannes van de Weert (of the Rondos and squatter comic Red Rat), Rufus Segar (the brilliant designer behind most of the early issues of Anarchy magazine in the 60s and 70s), and Felipe Hernandez Moreno (a member of one the art brigades of the 1968 uprising in Mexico City). It also contains photos of seditious train graf by IMPEACH and a photo essay on adventure playgrounds.
Jesse Goldstein, Molly Fair, and I got started on our install of the Resourced portfolio last night. Here's some small deets.
Portland! Come out tomorrow evening, Thursday August 5th, to the SEA Change Gallery, downtown in the Everett Station Lofts, for the Opening of "We Agree: A Crisis in Common". Two giant blockprints about the impact of the natural gas industry on both sides of the Pacific: One made by the Portland-based members of Justseeds, and the other by renowned Indonesian printmaking cooperative Taring Padi! The prints are huge and dense and awesome, and the gallery is packed to the rafters with other work by Roger Peet, Alec "Icky" Dunn, Pete Yahnke, and members of Taring Padi. For more information on the project, navigate here
SEA Change Gallery
625 NW Everett Street
Opening at 5pm, refreshments will be available to those with quick feet and swift lifting elbows!
Justseeds members Kevin Caplicki & Molly Fair, with friend Jesse Goldstein, will be creating a multi-disciplinary installation incorporating the recently completed Resourced portfolio.
They will fill the gallery with large scale wall-paintings, 3-D sculpture, and video projection. Molly Fair & Jesse Goldstein will treat you to some Dimock "Lemonade" where one can taste the benefits of Hydro-fracking for Natural Gas.
Opening is August 6, 2010
Greenbush Tape & Label Building
Justseeds Artists' Cooperative has released the highly anticipated project, RESOURCED, a portfolio of 26 hand-made art prints that explore the devastating effects of resource extraction and environmental devastation. The collection provides a critical look at what people can do in defense of the planet. Graphics have always played a vital and powerful role in exposing injustices throughout history, and RESOURCED follows this tradition, offering urgent messages about sustainability, environmental justice, and clean energy. Included in the portfolio are some of today’s most exciting street artists and poster makers, including Gaia, Chris Stain, Favianna Rodriguez, Armsrock, and others. Artists collaborated with organizations to produce images illustrating topics around environmental destruction, food sovereignty, workers' rights, Indigenous struggles, and examining the effects of mountaintop removal, oil extraction from tar sands, hydro-fracturing, mega-dam projects, mining, over-fishing, and much more.
Recapping last week: In the decade from 1931 to 1940, B. Traven published a series of six books known as his Jungle Novels: Government (1931), The Carreta (aka The Cart) (1931), March to the Monteria (aka March To Caobaland) (1933), Trozas (1936), The Rebellion of the Hanged (1936), and A General from the Jungle (1940). The Jungle novels are a series of interconnected stories about the struggles of the Indigenous in Chiapas at the end of the 19th Century, and how their rebellion starts the Mexican Revolution. This week let's take a look at the second three novels, which includes my favorite, The Rebellion of the Hanged:
I recently completed this new print, entitled "The Process', which is now available in the Justseeds store. It feels like something I've been trying to make for a long time, and the process of creating it was immensely satisfying. It incorporates many visual ideas that have been paddling around in my notebooks for years, looking for a home, and does something more: it provides a framework through which to tell a multiplicity of stories. (View larger image)
The point of biodiversity is that it is complicated. Everything alive is leaning on everything else, exerting pressure, withstanding pressure, swaying like limbs in wind. Life in our cities and towns is so simplified, so basic, so free of the beauty and complexity of life that we have essentially lost all relationship to the world of biodiversity. At this point, its complexity and richness just alienates us, in large part because it implies an astronomical quantity of priorities that are at odds with our own. As humans, and especially as humans within this groaning, creaking hulk of industrialized civilization, we exist now only to propagate our ideas about the world. We are no longer a part of the world: the world exists now mostly within the human brain. We have been loosed from the tethers that keep every other living thing swaying smoothly in the gales, and the upshot is our descent into the realms of pure abstraction, pure thought, pure culture. Much as we long for a connection to the real world, for most at this point it is impossible. Why? Because we've upended the gamefield, and everything is up in the air. Places we see as emblems of natural beauty are in fact deeply impoverished, and everywhere all is falling further into tatters. We know no plants, no insects, no animals, and only our specialists and the curious few exhibit any curiosity towards the actual relationships that create the world. Our tragedy is that we constantly misperceive the frayed nature of this world we've made. We tend to see our environment as a thing that is whole but under attack, and seldom realize the damage already done. Our children will thus come to see the ash and corpses of their youth as the greenest playground they will ever know: they will build their definitions of ecological balance and beauty on that baseline. In this manner, for thousands of years, we've been working our way towards this contemporary frenzy, where all around is the rustle, roar and murmur of human thought and hunger, and everywhere the world of the non-human is in vast retreat.
In the decade from 1931 to 1940, B. Traven published a series of six books known as his Jungle Novels: Government (1931), The Carreta (aka The Cart) (1931), March to the Monteria (aka March To Caobaland) (1933), Trozas (1936), The Rebellion of the Hanged (1936), and A General from the Jungle (1940). The Jungle novels are a series of interconnected stories about the struggles of the Indigenous in Chiapas at the end of the 19th Century, and how their rebellion starts the Mexican Revolution. This week let's take a look at the first three novels:
Next up in the B. Traven book cover-athon is The Death Ship. My favorite Traven novel (well, maybe a tie with The Rebellion of the Hanged), The Death Ship is a great story of a sailor on a ship write after WWI, just as the borders of the modern nation states across the world are being fully codified, leaving him and the rest of the crew a ship without a country, and thus invisible and impossible to the modern world. This book had had some great covers. I was only able to track down eleven, but I've seen some others I hope to still find and put up here sometime in the future. The cover to the left is one of the best, carrying an illustration by Seymour Chwast.
This week we take a trip a little bit beyond the limits of my friends' and my book collections. This is the first in a series of posts collecting the book covers of the mysterious author known as B. Traven. Between my personal collection, a selection of friends bookshelves, the Kate Sharpley Library, and some serious internet hunting, I've gathered over 90 different covers for about a dozen Traven novels. Traven is most well known for his successful novel The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was made into an even more successful film in 1948 starring Humphrey Bogart.
The interesting thing for me is that Traven was also an anarchist and anti-capitalist, and because of the success of Treasure, as well as The Death Ship and his series of Jungle novels (all of which I'll be featuring in coming weeks), he is probably one of the most published and translated anarchist writers ever. Few other than popular fiction authors get such a diverse collection of covers, and Traven and his politics have had hundreds of covers over the 80 plus years his books have been in print. Today we'll start from the beginning, here's sixteen covers from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
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!
The Taller Tupac Amaru is a collective art studio founded in 2003 by Xicana artists, Jesus Barraza and Favianna Rodriguez, who are also members of Justseeds. The mission of the Taller Tupac Amaru is to produce political posters and art prints in order to revive the medium of screen printing. Jesus and Favianna were trained by printmaking masters in California, including Jose Alpuche from Self Help Graphics (Los Angeles) and Juan Fuentes from the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (San Francisco).
In 1998, Favianna was an intern for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles, where she was inspired to become a political poster artist. While working at Mission Grafica, in San Francisco, from 2001-2002 Jesus was mentored by Juan R. Fuentes, Calixto Robles and Michael Roman who taught him about the many applications of screen printing. In 2007, Melanie Cervantes joined the studio after learning how to screen print at Laney Community College in Oakland. Melanie is also a member of Justseeds and has played a key role in mentoring young Xicanas in screenprinting.
The three of us just did a super cool interview while we were at the US Social Forum.
Here's part two of the New World Paperbacks series. I've only got a dozen different books on my shelf, but if anyone else out there has some more cool NWP covers, send them my way! At the heart of this post are four covers of Kwame Nkrumah books. The illustration and color choice on Dark Days in Ghana is fabulous, and the simplicity of Challenge of the Congo is great. I used to have a fifth Nkrumah book too, but I must of lent it out and never gotten it back! And finally a couple classics, Marx and Foner.
My third and final "report back" post from the Allied Media Conference and the US Social Forum ends with a series of photographs that I took walking around the D.
One of more memorable experiences for me in Detroit this past week was seeing how people reacted so positively to the mobile screen printing unit that Mary, Heather, and Ashley brought to the Allied Media Conference and the US Social Forum. At the AMC, Mary and crew set up in a classroom at Wayne State University and taught silk screening for nearly eight hours a day! Dozens of images were burned and I wouldn't be surprised if over a thousand prints were pulled.
At the USSF, the mobile screen printing unit was set up at the Justseeds table at the Cobo Center and it drew crowds whenever it was up and running. People were thrilled to hear that the prints were free and lined up to have images printed on their shirts, canvas bags, or the paper that the Pittsburgh crew had provided. Best of all, people pulled their own prints and learned how to silk-screening by doing. In essence, the mobile silk screening unit became a week long skill share.
Personally, as a viewer, the mobile printmaking unit helped provide a counter balance to tabling prints were the primary goal is to move as many copies as possible. Justseeds is a worker-owned collective but selling activist prints, many of which fall under anti-capitalism themes, comes with its own set of contradictions. With the free silkscreen unit many of these issues remained unresolved, but at the very least, Justseeds could sell prints while also providing a free service where we could teach the basics of silk screening and help promote the medium that we love.
Below are some photos I took of the project in action.
Bec helping out at the print station:
The next couple weeks entries will be focused on the covers of New World Paperbacks, which was an imprint of the Communist Party, USA's main publishing house International Publishers. I know that New World was started in the early 1960s in order to make inexpensive copies of Marxist "classics" (i.e. Marx, Engels, Lenin, etc.) available to a wide audience. It seems that by the early 1970s, it had become the place where the CP published what it perceived of as "popular" titles, including those about race and gender in the US and national liberation struggles abroad. Many of the covers are surprisingly hip for the Communist Party, riffing off of both historical context of the book and relatively current design trends at the time (psychedelia, deco, etc.). For example, the cover "A Dangerous Scot" uses a type treatment that dates it to an early 20th century americana, but the design element floating in the center of the page is so odd that it makes the whole thing seem contemporary. Maybe not surprisingly for the CP, none of the books I have attribute a designer for the cover, or a printer for the book—yet most subject the reader to a turgid intro by CP leader Gus Hall, which clearly lets us know which part of the labor process of book production is most important! It appears as if many of the New World titles are still available from International Publishers, but New World itself doesn't have a website or any unique identity, and appears to have been absorbed by the larger publishing identity sometime in the 1980s. Enjoy the covers!
Nealy half of the Justseeds Artist's Cooperative was in Detroit this past week at the US Social Forum and the Allied Media Conference. Both events were incredibly inspiring and will take months to digest considering the range of activities and the size of the events (the USSF was estimated at 15,000 people and over 1,300 organizations.) One of the goals of Justseeds and the friends that we traveled with was to make radical art highly VISIBLE and presented as an essential part of social justice movements. With this in mind, we tabled, introduced the new portfolio project "Resourced," and gave talks and workshops about collective and individually based projects and campaigns. We also put up a ton of art in Detroit. Below are some photos and in the next post, I'll highlight the AMAZING mobile printmaking station that Mary, Heather, and Ashley brought to Detroit.
This week I'm just going to focus on one book, and actually open the cover! For years I've been giving various versions of a talk and slideshow about political printmaking, and I've often shown a slide of an anti-Vietnam War poster image by a Danish artist named Dea Trier Mørch. I didn't know anything about her, nor had I seen any other work by her, but this particular poster was great. Back in 2007, Icky and I took a trip to Europe, and I gave my political printmaking talk at YNKB in Copenhagen, and when that particular slide came up, everyone was like, "Hey, that's Dea Trier Mørch!," and they knew all about her. Turns out she was part of a Danish Marxist print collective in the 1970s called Røde Mor (Red Mother), that produced a ton of prints, including posters for the free town of Christiania, and had a very popular rock band. While in Copenhagen Icky and I scoured the bookshelves of all the used bookstores looking for things by Mørch and Røde Mor, and I came across a number of novels that she had written and/or illustrated. This week's book is Den Indre By (The Inner City), and hopefully after looking at this post you'll also see how awesome Mørch is...
If you live in Detroit (or are visiting for the US Social Forum) come out and help us celebrate our new book Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas, my not quite as new book Paper Politics, as well as other recent radical publishing with AK Press, Autonomedia, the Institute for Anarchist Studies, Microcosm Publishing, Team Colors Collective, PM Press, author Jordan Flaherty and artist Seth Tobocman, and many others.
Colin and I spent the last week immersed in creating an installation at the 58 Gallery in Jersey City. Here are some photos from "Plausible Inventions: Works by Nicolas Lampert and Colin Matthes." The show runs from June 11-July 5 with gallery hours on Friday (12-7), Saturday (12-5), and by appointment. Much thanks to Orlando and crew for their hospitality and providing such a great environment for artists to work and show.
Bark is an Oregon-based environmental group that is primarily concerned with preserving and protecting the wild areas around Mount Hood. Roger Peet, Pete Yahnke, and I partnered up with Bark and Taring Padi to work on a giant portable print to discuss the proposed Palomar Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Pipeline that would run from the Oregon Coast and then through the Mt. Hood national forest (after extraction in Indonesia). We were taken on two Bark field trips, the first was a hike through some pristine forest which the pipeline is proposed to run through. And a second trip, where we got to meet people whose homes and livelihoods would be effected by the pipeline and its construction.
For the upcoming Justseeds portfolio I wanted to keep working with Bark. I called and asked if I could produce some more images for their campaign against the LNG pipeline.
Here are a few install photos from "Plausible Inventions: Works by Colin Matthes and Nicolas Lampert" at the 58 Gallery in Jersey City. Show opens Friday,June 11, 7-11. 58 Coles St. (PATH train Grove St. station)
A quick-y this week, here are three covers of Norwegian-published anarchist titles I found in the shelves at my friend Bergsveinn's house in Bergen. The Kropotkin book is hilarious, with psychedelic Kropotkin both holding up a portrait of himself and having an image of himself holding up a portrait of himself flowing out of his forehead! Genius. I apologize for the blur, they were taken in poor light with a crap camera.
So the giant public art project I've been working on for a month with Spectres of Liberty is finally happening today, and there's practically going to be a monsoon in Syracuse tonight! So we're moving the whole operation indoors, and it is still going to be awesome. Details:
Great Central Depot in the Open City
Saturday, June 5, 2010
8:00pm - 10:00pm
XL Project Space
307 S. Clinton St, Syracuse NY
Justseeds has moved our global distribution headquarters! In May, the Portland and Pittsburgh worker-members packed up all our prints, books, shelving, flatfiles, the computer, and the dehumidifier into a truck. Mary and Shaun then piloted the rented rig across what's left of this beautiful land (stopping in Yellowstone) to arrive at our new and spacious digs in Pittsburgh! And a new chapter begins...
If you're in the area, please drop by for a housewarming and exhibition of new work by Justseeds! It's also a local book release party for the new Firebrands book we just released on Microcosm, compiled and edited by Pittsburgh Justseeders Bec Young and Shaun Slifer!
Friday June 11
3410 Penn Ave 2nd Floor (above the new Bike PGH offices)
enter in the back from Spring Way, bike parking in the back!
Refreshments & BYOB
works by Nicolas Lampert and Colin Matthes
Opening Friday, June 11th 7-11p
58 Gallery, 58 Coles St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Plausible Inventions is a collaborative installation by Nicolas Lampert and Colin Matthes that addresses a world engulfed in its own technology. Lampert and Matthes transform the gallery into an “inventors workshop” of low-tech machines, hybrid creatures, blueprints, drawings, notes, models, survival objects, and scrap leftovers that are both fantastical and commonplace.
I'm excited to share some photos from the first exhibition of the Celebrate People's History posters in New Zealand. Beyond Resistance and Garage Collective organized the show at the Eastside Gallery in Christchurch. Check out more info HERE.
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!
Here's the last installment of the Cienfuegos/Costantini covers. Bits and pieces. This Tifft cover is one of the best in my opinion, the graphic is crisp and commanding, and the type treatment is clean and stays out of the way. (Too bad the book itself is almost unreadable!). Also here is one of Costantini's first covers for Cienfuegos, for Alexander Berkman's Russian Tragedy. Great book and stunning cover, the corpse of a Kronstadt soldier says it all. The Wilhelmshaven Revolt is another cover attributed to Jean Pierre Ducret, but has many of the hallmarks of Costantini, including the thick black outlines, folds in the clothing, and extra detail in the faces.
Dan S. Wang and I recently collaborated on a print to voice our opposition to the Arizona Immigration Bill SB-1070. Copies of the print are available here and most of the edition was mailed to Arizona where friends put them up in the streets.
My friend Jim Finn is having a retrospective of his amazing films at Anthology Film Archives in New York starting tonight! I love Jim's films, so I was really excited when he asked me to design the poster and postcards for the screenings (poster to the right). If you are in NYC, definitely go check out his films, a full schedule is available HERE. Jim's films are a giant blender full of science fiction, language lessons, Shakespeare, utopian modernism, and all the strange and fascinating things that can come from resisting capitalism.
Here's more images from the Open City project here in Syracuse! Please come on by! Make a print! Drink some coffee! Help us build!
We (Olivia Robinson, Josh MacPhee, Joanna Spitzner, & Dara Greenwald) are doing a multi-faceted public art project in Syracuse, NY to engage ideas coming out of the cities' abolitionist past to current social conditions. Please forward this to people in the area.
The project has several components:
1. a storefront gallery workshop which is open every day from 12-6, (XL Project Space, 307 S. Clinton Street)
2. public discussions with local organizers and artists (see schedule below)
3. an outdoor multi-media installation on June 5th (at Lipe Sculpture Park)
PUBLIC PROGRAMS (all events are free & refreshments are served)
Pictures of our opening night event, Open Access, Open Art
Awhile back I got an email out of the blue from the band Born In A Cent, a NY-based political punk band with folk overtones. They were putting out their new record, and asked me to do the cover. So I did! It was a fun project, and the CD is about to come out, at the end of this month. Below is the info about the CD release show, and also images of the cover design.
Born In A Cent
CD Release Show
Bushwick Music Studios, 55 Waterbury St., Brooklyn (L train to Montrose)
May 29, 2010
with Huasipungo, The Last Internationale, Wild Babies, and more TBA!
Recently, six "historical" signs that I created went up in Madison, Wisconsin through a project with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The signs honor former spaces in the city that are no longer, but were pillars of underground music, queer culture, radical politics, D.I.Y. culture, and community organizing.
The signs will be up until the Fall and commemorate Mifflin Street Co-op, Whole Earth Co-op, Freedom House, Hotel Washington, Lysistrata Restaurant, and O’Cayz Corral. The last three spaces ended when fires destroyed their respective buildings - two by accident and one by arson (Lysistrata which was a radical space for feminist organizing in the late 70s/early 80s.)
The project itself was inspired by collectives and artists that I admire, particularly REPOhistory, the Howling Mob Society, and the Pocho Research Society, that have employed signage to draw attention to important community based histories through public art and street art.
We've gotten a couple more hits around the blogosphere:
1) Justseeds interviewed (long-format!) on Arrested Motion, read it HERE.
2) Paper Politics reviewed in-depth by Eric Triantifillou in the Brooklyn Rail, read it HERE.
3) Our brand new (and first!) book, Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas, is number one on AK Press' May Top 10 book list, check it out HERE.
Jared Davidson, designer of the Red Feds people's history poster and engine of the Garage Collective and Beyond Resistance has organized a Celebrate People's History poster show in New Zealand! Check it out:
Justseeds and Beyond Resistance are proud to present 'Celebrate People's History', an exhibition of over 50 international posters documenting radical moments in history.
Since 1998 the Celebrate People's History Project has produced an amazing array of political posters by different artists from around the world, each highlighting a historical example of social struggle. Here in New Zealand for the first time is the complete series, celebrating important acts of resistance by both individuals and collective movements who have fought tirelessly for social justice. From the Spanish Revolution to feminist labour organisers, indigenous movements to environmental sustainability, protests against racism to the Korean Peasant's League — Celebrate People's History canvases global movements in collaboration with a global network of artists.
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.
If you failed to pick up your April 2010 issue of Artnews you missed an article on Swoon. What you would also miss is that we have prints of hers available here on Justseeds.
Here's some flicks that I took of Chris Stain & Leon Reid IV, before I jumped on the bus for NYC. The installation opens today, Saturday, May 8th. The deets on my post from yesterday.
Saturday, May 8, 7-9pm
Creative Alliance at The Patterson
3134 Eastern Ave
As every schoolchild knows, John Henry was a giant of a man, who wielded a 20 pound hammer as though it were nothing, and won an epic contest against a steam engine, only to die on the spot. Henry was a slave, or former slave, and the battle that cost him his life is said to have taken place in Talcott, West Virginia on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Built from found materials by Leon Reid IV, a statue of John Henry towers over this Main Gallery installation, amidst Hoovertown shacks made of wooden pallets and railroad ties made of cardboard. Giant stenciled murals by Chris Stain form a backdrop melding WPA-era social realism and urban graffiti, expanding on the themes of John Henry’s story—struggle and pride, race and dislocation in the face of technological and economic change. In this way, their installation serves as an ideal introduction to Urban/Appalachia, Creative Alliance’s series examining the long and complicated relationship between Baltimore and Appalachia, from past generations seeking work in city steel mills, to a generation today shipped to prisons in the mountains.
There is an interview some Justseeds members did awhile back with art blog, Arrested Motion. Check it out at: Arrested Motion:Justseeds Interview.
Justseeds are one of the leading and most prolific artist-run radical art collectives at work today and count an amazing array of artists such as Swoon, Chris Stain, Kevin Caplicki, Meredith Stern and Josh Macphee among their members. AM recently caught up with many of the members of Justseeds and asked them a stack of questions about life creating and distributing a huge amount socially aware art and running one of the finest art resistance blogs in the world. Take some time out to check out their answers and more info about their work...
food not bombs
Justseeds is uprooting our physical plant from its' cookie-scented north Portland (Oregon) location and moving cross-country to Pittsburgh in mid-May. To commemorate this historic occasion (and in an attempt to lighten the load on the truck) we've decided to throw a sale: A MayDay sale! This is your chance to get your hands on all of the Justseeds art objects you've been coveting, covetously, for ten percent off.
For the first ten days of May (starting at midnight tonight!!), everyone that uses the coupon code "mayday" when placing their order on our site will get a ten percent discount on ANYTHING in the store...prints, books, zines, posters, postcards, everything. To use the coupon, place your order, and on the way to entering your billing information you'll be asked to enter a coupon code. Do so, and all of your art needs will summarily be met!
The coupon code expires on May 10. Also: make sure to share the coupon code with your friends, relatives, enemies, and random people on the street. Thanks, to all of you, from all of us at Justseeds, for continuing to support us, and look for thrilling prospects to emerge from our new Pittsburgh home!
This art auction / film screening / musical performance is only $5 to attend, and all proceeds go toward this groundbreaking project.
Domes for Haiti is a grassroots project based out of Brooklyn building ten 17' diameter portable pre-fabricated geodesic domes to send to Haiti to provide transitional hurricane resistant shelters to people left homeless by the earthquake. They will be delivering the domes personally and teaching the recipients how to assemble the domes on sites that are in need of safe and solid shelter. Each dome is large enough to comfortably house at least 10 kids and shelter many more in emergencies. DFH is also sending a tool kit with each dome to help with the rebuilding efforts there. They hope to also bring enough money to hire Haitians at a living wage to do the prep work on the dome sites. Please come out for a fun evening of art, music and film to support this project.
Screening of recent footage from Haiti by filmmaker Courtney Sheetz
A silent art auction featuring many fine artist's work including:
Swoon, Imminent Disaster, Lopi LaRoe, Tod Seelie, James Vogel, Ryan O'Connor, Saul Melman, Tianna Kennedy, Tony Bones, Zito, Kevin Capliki, Ray Cross, Black Label Bike Club, Ernie Sandidge,Fred Attenborough, Syd London, Lauren Simkinburke, Thom Markee, Dan Paul Roberts, Brett Hurley Lord, David Seigel, Serra Bothwell, Katelan Foisy, Elizabeth Bentley, Angie Kaylor, A'yen Tran and many more to be announced!
Performances by piano-wielding singer/songwriters: Dan Paul and Brett Lord
Special Guest- OUTMusic Award Winner: Rachael Sage
Justseeds is in the middle of an ambitious project and needs your help. We are producing our second handmade portfolio: Resourced. Resourced is a collection of handmade prints tackling issues of climate change, resource extraction, and environmental justice. It follows our 2008 portfolio: Voices From Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex. At a time when the world community is in dialogue about how to handle the human impact on the planet, this new project will inject fresh visual ideas into the conversation. We are in need of financial and material support to actualize this project.
Please read the following letter for instructions on how you can donate, or pre-purchase a portfolio. We are also in need of website design assistance. If you are capable of offering any labor or services please email us:
blog (at) justseeds.org
Here are some pictures from our Justseeds Earth Day exhibit. We used the occasion to preview 14 new designs for the upcoming Justseeds 2010 Portfolio: Resourced. The one night exhibit was at the Times Up! Brooklyn bike space, 99 S6th St.
Earth day bike ride starting 7pm from Union Square Park South. Dress in green with respect for the planet! Festive musical ride will end at a 8pm, BBQ and dance party at Time’s Up Brooklyn space and East River Bar at 97 South 6th Street, Williamsburg. Bring food to share.
Thursday, April 22, 2010 7pm BIKE RIDE Meet at Union Square Park South, Manhattan. 8pm AFTER-PARTY Justseeds Eco Art Show & BBQ
The Justseeds Collective will also be exhibiting members prints of an ecological & environmental nature following the Times Up Earth Day bicycle ride. Included in the exhibit will be previews of the upcoming Justseeds portfolio Resourced.
Resourced is a portfolio of handmade posters designed by over 30 different artists, including Chris Stain, Gaia, Armsrock, Design Action Collective, and many Justseeds Members. Justseeds is an artists’ owned and operated cooperative that is dedicated to producing socially engaged artworks. Prints and projects can be viewed at Justseeds.org
Go to Times Up for more information on the ride.
family with meat
A short interview that Fiona Smith, a student-activist, filmed and edited addressing the current Justseeds exhibition 'Celebrating and Collaborating' at LookOut! Gallery, Michigan State University.
Here are some photos of my recent exhibition at Igloo Gallery in Portland, OR. It was a blast installing the show. I received a warm welcome and so much help 'n' good times from folks in Portland.
The show is on view until April 24th (by appointment: 646-763-4905)
This piece is titled Shopping Cart Lounge Chair.
The idea for the show came about when I started thinking about an inventors convention (inventor with a small i) that would occur in the near future. I was also thinking about :
-addressing current environmental and economic concerns by imagining possible futures
-human ingenuity and resourcefulness and its relationship to commerce
-progress as in finishing the leftovers
"Celebrating and Collaborating: The Graphic Work of Justseeds"
April 05 - April 23 | LookOut! Gallery
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Michigan State University | East Lansing, MI
Reception: 5-7pm, April 16
Gallery Talk: 7pm, April 16
Workshop: 8pm, April 16
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.
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 some of my latest activity around the world of the web:
2. B. Cortez & B. Riley's Dolores Huerta Celebrate People's History Poster was used to illustrate an article on the Ms. Magazine website HERE.
4. I was just on the Jeff Farias Show radio program a couple days back, you can listen to it HERE, it's the 3/25/10 podcast.
Beginning March 5th, international artists’ cooperative Justseeds presents Bring Down the Walls!, a series of artistic exhibitions and educational events. The series celebrates radical movements that struggle to collapse the boundaries of class, race, gender and generation. The majority of events will take place at two locations, blocks apart on Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia. An Independent Project of Philagrafika 2010, Bring Down the Walls! is organized in collaboration with local activists.
At the A-Space (4722 Baltimore Ave.), there will be an exhibition of Justseeds' recent portfolio Voices From Outside: Artists Against the Prison-Industrial Complex and related materials. This project is a limited edition portfolio of original prints that either critique the prison industrial complex or address alternatives to incarceration. Twenty artists from the US, Canada, and Mexico contributed prints, which were then collated and presented to 50 different groups working on prison related issues. Many organizations have organized exhibits and have used the images as tools for educating and discussing incarceration.
At Studio 34 (4522 Baltimore Ave.) there will be a larger and more varied exhibition of prints from Justseeds members. This show will feature dozens of pieces from over 25 artists from across North America, with bold images addressing topics from personal inspiration to environmental devastation.
Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is a decentralized community of artists who have banded together to both sell their work online in a central location and to collaborate with and support each other and social movements.
More Events below!
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!
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
I was approached awhile back by a new fair trade lefty clothing outfit in the UK called ThreadMe about them using a couple of my poster designs on T-shirts. Well, it looks like that project has finally come to fruition, with two different designs now available for sale. The hipster fashion shots of the shirts really throw it over the top, they just crack me up so much, I love it! Buy a shirt from ThreadMe HERE.
Another reason to protest Obama: His support for nuclear power plants.
Here are a few daytime shots of the Cut and Paint clay mural we put up in Philly last week.
I've been trying to organize some of us Justseed-ers to start posting top ten lists of various things, I've always thought they were fun to both write and read. To kick it off, here's my list of the best 12 books I read in 2009 (in alphabetical order by author):
1. A Woman of the Iron People by Eleanor Arnason
2. Penguin by Design by Phil Baines
3. On the Wall by Janet Braun-Reinitz & Jane Weissman
4. Red Star Over Russia by David King
5. Bakunin by Mark Leier
6. Wobblies & Zapatistas by Staughton Lynd & Andrej Grubacic
7. Live Working of Die Fighting by Paul Mason
8. How to Make Trouble and Influence People by Iain McIntyre
9. Manituana by Wu Ming
10. The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
11. You Don't Have to Fuck People Over to Survive by Seth Tobocman
12. Incognegro by Frank B. Wilderson, III
Eleanor Arnason, A Woman of the Iron People (William Morrow & Co, 1991).
It had been a couple years at least since I had read much science fiction before this past year, but my interest was re-sparked when I was invited to the Think Galactic political sci-fi convention this past summer in Chicago. I had never heard of Arnason, but she was one of the invited guests, so I went to the library and picked up A Woman of the Iron People, one of her most popular novels. Wow, what a great book! Like the best Le Guin, Arnason builds a new and interesting world, and instead of wasting it with one-dimensional relationships and dramatic battles, she uses it to explore the implications of very different political, economic, and scientific realities on the fabric of individual relationships and larger social relations. Don't let the terrible cover scare you (Arnason has great stories about the terrible covers her books have been saddled with!), pick this up and give it a read.
There's been a small flurry of press and features on a couple of my recent projects, the Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today book, and the Signs of Change exhibition in Portland. Check it out if your interested:
1. Paper Politics interview on ZNET
2. Paper Politics review on Alibi.com
3. Signs of Change review on Printeresting.org
4. Signs of Change review in the Portland Mercury
5. A great radio show on KBOO about Signs of Change (narrated by none other than Justseeds' Alec Icky Dunn and Dara Greenwald)
and the street art is made with red clay.
A number of Justseed's members are in Philadelphia this week installing three different shows at three separate venues across the city as part of independent projects associated with Philagrafika 2010.
Here are install shots from the Medium Resistance show at the Ice Box (Crane Arts) of our red-clay mud stencil! The image is by Alec Icky Dunn (included in the Cut and Paint zine), the technique was inspired by Jesse Graves, and the mud stencil crew was Nicolas Lampert, Colin Matthes, Josh MacPhee, Erik Ruin, Emily Abendroth, and the fine folks at Crane Arts who provided incredible assistance every step of the way.
All three Justseed's / Cut and Paint shows open this Friday. Information posted below.
Here's the first of a series of posts from Swoon:
Here are some photo collage pages I made about the amazing Sambhavna Trust Clinic in Bhopal India. This place is one of the most impressive independent community initiatives I have ever seen. It is run by doctors, scientists, volunteers, and community members, many of whom are themselves victims of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster. It is a beautiful and welcoming oasis in the middle of one of the world's worst industrial disasters. These photos will be a part of a show benefiting the Bhopal Medical Appeal, who still continue to fight for justice for the disaster victims, for whom Dow Chemical (Union Carbide's parent company) still refuses responsibility. For more info, check out these sites: Bhopal.org and Artforbhopal.tumblr.com
I will be in Salt Lake City, Utah this week visiting the University of Utah and the Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts. My art exhibit will be up from March 1 - April 4, 2010. Location is: 631 West North Temple, Salt Lake City. Sign up for my Community Linoleum Cutting workshop on Friday, March 5 @ 6 pm. Call 801-669-4224 to register. Workshop sponsored by M.E.Ch.A.
This poster is available for sale on this site as well. click here
A National Conversation About Art, Labor, and Economics
Through Feb. 28, 2010 at the Miller Gallery.
Events This Week:::
Feb. 25, Thurs.
8-9:30pm: Discussion led by Marc Fischer (Temporary Services) around issues raised in Art Work: A National Conversation about Art, Labor, and Economics. Food available.
@ The Waffle Shop, 125 S. Highland Ave. at Baum, E. Liberty
The Pittsburgh contingent of Justseeds spent a grueling twelve hours tabling the Handmade Arcade early last December. The event was held in an armory in the middle of a well-off Pittsburgh neighborhood, so we spent the day in what amounts to a huge heated shed filled with people hawking their handmade stuff, weird trucks and Hummers and a bathroom that felt like some Boy Scout troop had built it. We took a break from the crafty side for a photo op with the big toys.
World War 3 Illustrated has just release issue #40 (and is now 30 years old!). Justseeds artists Colin Matthes and Erik Ruin are in the new issue, and WW3 is having a release party in NYC next week, Feb. 26. See info below:
There's an interview with Justseeds Member Mary Tremonte over at the Paper Trail Interview series site.
interview with mary mack tremonte
mary is a zinester, deejay, & artist living in pittsburgh. interview originally posted august 18, 2009.
how did you get involved with zines/d.i.y. publishing?
i am one of many women who came of age in the early 90’s and discovered zines through Sassy magazine! i started ordering zines & tapes & records by ladies after reading reviews in there. a crucial discovery was Action Girl, a newsletter of reviews of zines by ladies, i started making my own zine with my buddy leah early on sophomore year (this was 1993). zines gave me a way to connect to like-minded folks in other places—i had a very active pen pal life all through high school, it really saved me from feeling alone and gave me a big outlet for art and ideas.
Read the rest of the interview at Interview series
the paper trail interview series was launched in january 2006, in conjunction with my now-defunct (as of january 2010) zine distro, learning to leave a paper trail. i came up with a fairly wide-ranging set of ten basic questions about zine creation, zine culture, the creative process, history, advice, & philosophies, & started sending the questions around the zinesters i worked with through the distro. they answered & i posted their thoughts on the distro website.
'Learning to Labor, Remembering to Resist'
Print Media and Installations by Dylan Miner
University Art Gallery | Saginaw Valley State University
15 February - 06 March 2010
I just finished installing some new work at SVSU, a primarily working-class teaching university in Michigan. Using Paul E. Willis' famous book about educating working-class kids as point of reference (Learning to Labor), the work explores the state of Michigan's economic future by investigating local cultural practices. As a Michigander, I turned to different sites of education, particularly those sites where masculinity are commonly taught (such as an ice fishing shanty and deer stand), to re-think ways we may use these spaces and sites of radical pedagogy. I also threw in some references to hockey and sport, the IWW, and the usual prints.
I'd love to hear what you think about the work!!
Justseeds NW (Icky, Pete, and Roger) have been working on a large scale project challenging the building of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline in Oregon. They have teamed up with an environmental organization, BARK, as well as the Indonesian printmaking collective Taring Padi (Roger is over in Indonesia right now! Hi Roger!). It looks like the story has been picked up by The Jakarta Post, which appears to be the English language Indonesian daily paper. A story about the project, "An Artistic Alliance," was published a couple days back, and you can read it HERE. I'm also embedding it below for those that don't feel like clicking away from the blog (I know you want to stay...)
Rini Templeton was a prolific graphic artist and huge inspiration to artist like me who strive to serve their communities in their struggles for liberation and a better life. She traveled all over documenting direct actions and demonstrations by drawing beautiful, simple, bold black and white illustrations that she referred to as "Xerox" art because of how easy they could be reproduced. I've heard many stories about Rini attending a protest, capturing a moment from that protest and then handing the illustration over to the organizer's for use on flyers, signs, banners, t-shirts...really anyway they needed.
Chris Stain paints Flowers for January's Take 5ive event. Music by Cory Hillis.
Here's Chris' newest print in the Justseeds store.
You can see a bunch of other new prints Chris has available on his BigCartel store.
Alex Bodnar and Mark Ayala, art teachers Manual Arts Senior High School in Los Angeles, used Reproduce & Revolt, the book of copyleft images Favianna Rodriguez and I edited (check it out HERE), as the basis for a mural class, and students decorated the school with images from the book. Check it out:
If you're in Providence, Rhode Island this week, please come by AS220 on Wednesday the 10th and participate in the discussion and slideshow I'm putting on! It's free to the public and starts at 6pm at the AS220 performance space on Empire Street:
"I Brake For Historical Markers"
6-8:30pm, Wednesday, February 10
Pittsburgh-based artist Shaun Slifer will present a slideshow and discussion of problematic and progressive historical monuments and plaques with an eye towards remembering the often-buried stories of struggles for social justice. Slifer will discuss the Howling Mob Society's 2007 guerilla historical marker series commemorating the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.
From now until February 14th, I'm more than happy to be the Artist in Residence at Providence's multifaceted AS220. I'll be working exclusively in their letterpress print shop, taking a slight departure from my usual practice and focusing on getting some small prints out of my head and onto paper with the help of their Vandercook No.4 press. I hauled three bags, overladen with reams of new paper, through Amtrak trains and stations all day Monday with the generous help of Providence writer Walker Mettling, himself returning from a month-long residency at Pittsburgh's Cyberpunk Apocalypse. Besides printing and more printing, I'll be doing a presentation on Wednesday the 10th, at 6pm in the AS220 performance space. "I Brake for Historical Markers" will be a slideshow and discussion of progressive and alternative historical markers and plaques.
Bec Young will take over the residency for the second half of February when I return to Pittsburgh. Special thanks to Justseeds cohort Meredith Stern for making this happen for both of us! Look for some new work from Bec and I on this site soon...
Dara and I just finished installing our exhibition Signs of Change in Portland, OR at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). We're doing an artist's talk/walk through tomorrow, Wed. Feb 3th, at 12:30 (see HERE), and the opening is Thursday, Feb 4th, from 6-9pm (see HERE). If you are in the Pacific Northwest, please come check it out!
I just got some photos of the Justeeds (and friends) exhibition at the Hillyer Art Space in DC, and notice that the closing party is TONIGHT! A closing party for the Justseeds show and a fundraiser for Mountain Justice organizing at Hillyer Art Space from 7-11, Friday Feb. 29th.
"Join us for an evening of multimedia resistance featuring Appalachian Old Time music with "Here's to the Long Haul" and a screening of the film "Mountain Top Removal".
*A new limited edition screen print by DECOY
*New photo works by Emma Cassidy and Chris Eichler
*Anti-Mountain Top Removal artwork and design by RVLTN
$5 admission, FREE for those attending Funk the Warming! Proceeds will benefit Mountain Justice and Hillyer Art Space's local art programming. Look HERE.
This week has been great, I was able to spend most of the week in the studio working on a couple prints, one of Melanie's designs and one of my prints. It is a lot of fun having all this time to make art, it makes me feel very fulfilled as an artist and increasingly I will be spending more time in the studio. The decision was made because Melanie and I have been designing so many prints and posters but we have not had enough time to print them all. On top of this we have projects coming up and need time to be able to focus on those. In the coming months I will be posting more about the prints we are working on, documenting all the art we are making and sharing it with our community.
a newsprint magazine working to provide a forum for education, debate, and dialogue around the political issues affecting communities in the Southeast Michigan areahas used Amor Y Resistencia's contribution to the Justseeds portfolio Voices From Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex
Graphics from Voices From Outside may be downloaded for use by groups working on incarceration related issues at Voices From Outside-Images. Artist credit is always appreciated.
Justseeds, Street Art, and Social Movements
A talk by Josh MacPhee
Office of Student Life Leadership Speaker Series
Tap Room of RISD's Memorial Hall
226 Benefit Street, Providence
Thursday, January 14th
This popped up in the inbox today, you may recognize some Justseedsers.
Creative Violation documents the exploding underground art form of the street stencil and explores its roots in political street art, industrial signage and graffiti. These illicit spray paint markings, not to be confused with traditional graffiti tagging, steal the language and techniques of advertising and turn them against the imperatives of the mass market, punctuating the urban landscape in cities across the world.
Check it out on IMDb.
Its also available for purchase at: http://ffh.films.com/id/15958/Creative_Violation_The_Rebel_Art_of_the_Street_Stencil.htm
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.
Justseeds: Paper Politics for a New Decade
Hillyer Art Space at International Arts & Artists
9 Hillyer Court NW
Washington, DC, 20008
Exhibition Dates: January 8 - January 30
First Friday Reception: Friday, January 8, 2010, 6-9PM
Live music by experimental trio Vodka and Donuts!
Food and refreshments will be served
$5 suggested donation
The Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative is a decentralized community of artists who have banded together to collaborate, sell their work online in a central location and support social movements. Utilizing print and poster making techniques to address a variety of social and environmental justice issues, collective mates work together over many miles to create, resist, and bring meaningful artwork to the masses for affordable prices. These artists believe in the power of personal expression in concert with collective action to transform society. Featuring works by Justseeds artists and fellow political printers, including: Mazatl, Jesus Barraza, Graham Boyle, Melanie Cervantes, DC51 Collective, Alec Icky Dunn, Thea Gahr, Sabeth Jackson, Nicolas Lampert, Josh MacPhee, Colin Matthes, Cesar Maxit, Dylan Miner, Roger Peet, Jesse Purcell, Favianna Rodriguez, Erik Ruin, Beth Schaible, Chris Stain, Meredith Stern, SWOON, Mary Tremonte, Kristine Virsis, Pete Yahnke, and Bec Young.
171 Cedar Arts Center presents a selection from Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now.
Houghton Gallery at the 171 Cedar Arts Center
155 & 171 Cedar Street, Corning NY
Jan 8 - Feb 5, 2010
Reception: Friday Jan 8th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
In conjunction with a celebration to honor Martin Luther King, the exhibition at 171 Cedar Arts Center focuses on the cultures created by during the Civil Rights Movement in America and the fights for freedom that were waged by oppressed people globally. (This exhibition consists of reprinted materials from a small portion of Signs of Change.)
In Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips, and ephemera bring to life over forty years of activism, political protest, and campaigns for social justice. Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee and originating from Exit Art in New York City, this important and timely exhibition surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements.
A double negative... or a critique of land use and popular culture. A devastated landscape mixed with an oversimplification of indigenous people as only belonging to the distant past and the natural world.
Here's a recent sign of mine - installed just outside of Viroqua, Wisconsin.
I finally finished up a large print this week, and thought I would share some pictures of the process and the printing of the piece. I also took the opportunity to print a large piece I finished a few months back and never got around to printing. Along with these pictures you will get a little tour of my basement studio, which seems to be getting more and more cramped every time I turn around, and shares a wall with the Justseeds world wide shipping headquarters!
I went back through our blog from this last year and picked out some stuff that had stayed with me. Sometimes it was just an image, other times an article or an interview.
The links are in the full entry below. I didn't bother to write any text, so the images themselves link to the original blog posting.
Happy New Years!
This Sunday, January 3rd is the Fifth Annual Memorial Ride and Walk To Remember Cyclists and Pedestrians Lost on NYC Streets. Scheduled meet-ups and stops are subject to change: ride/walk updates @ www.ghostbikes.org & (day of ride) twitter.com/nyc_streetmem
Poster designed by Lauren Denitzio, check out her site blackandredeye.com and the print we have in our store of hers In Loving Memory
28 degrees and snowing is ideal conditions for......... mud stenciling!
Here are photos of a Chris Stain stencil image from Reproduce and Revolt put up in Milwaukee by his co-conspirators in collective art action.
In case you're not on Facebook(contributing to the demise of flyer and poster promotion) the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative is having an art show and book release party for Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today- featuring political prints by over 200 international artists, edited by artist/activist Josh MacPhee. The event will be today 8-11pm
at Book Thug Nation
100 N.3rd St.
There will be new work by the Justseeds artists on display and for sale, free snacks and drinks.
So come out, wish us a happy solstice, congratulate Josh on another book, meet Icky who's visiting from PDX, buy all your holiday gifts, and check out the Book Thug Nation space so you know where to sell/buy your used books!
Bike-powered and mostly waterproof.
Justseeds member Roger was caught on video printing letters for the Climate Change March in Copenhagen. Roger posted some stills from the project HERE a week back or so, but I just stumbled on this video, for those interested:
“Celebrate! Celebrate?” features four different poster series that visualize various people’s history and invites the viewer to contemplate the politics and the tactics of graphically celebrating people and events from the past. Significantly, how do these images operate? Do the images affirm our struggles, inspire, teach, and critique? Do they simplify history and rob struggles of their complexities? Do they accomplish both? The show invites these questions, varied opinions, historical context, and more.
Where: Mess Hall, 6932 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL, Morse CTA Red Line Train Stop
When: Now through January during Mess Hall events. Check Mess Hall website for times when Mess Hall is open. People's history talk and critique of graphics to take place in mid January. Time tba
As I type this, our first-ever run of Justseeds promo t-shirts are quietly being disseminated by our Viral Street Marketing Team. Some of us are also just giving them to people we know, like my flawlessly blithe roommates, shown here (I didn't ask them to match outfits, they just went and did it on their own). Shirts were gracefully printed by the deft Kristine Virsis with a stunning design in the limited palette we've come to expect from our marmoleum-cutting powerhouse, Pete Yahnke. I suppose this is kind of a teaser since you can't order these from our site...
I'll be in a 5-person group show at the Printmaking Council of New Jersey & paticipating in a panel discussion at the opening this Saturday. please come by if you can.
Art as Action features works by five acclaimed printmakers whose passion for complex social, economic, political, and environmental issues spills over into their art.
Featured Artists - J. Catherine Bebout, Karen Guancione, Curlee Raven Holton,
Doris Nogueira-Rogers, and Erik Ruin.
December 12, 2009 through February 20, 2010.
Opening Reception & Panel Discussion moderated by educator, essayist, poet and photographer John Ripton will take place on Saturday, December 12, 1 - 4pm.
440 River Rd
Branchburg, NJ 08876
Our friend Daniel is still locked up in Federal prison, and he needs your help! If you are in NYC, please come out this weekend and buy some art! More info about Daniel can be found HERE.
Art Auction to Benefit Imprisoned New York City Social Justice & Environmental Activist Daniel McGowan
On December 7, 2005, New York City activist Daniel McGowan was among the first people arrested as part of an FBI offensive against environmental activists called "Operation Backfire", which activists have dubbed part of the Green Scare (after the Red Scare of the 40s and 50s). Daniel began serving his seven-year sentence in July 2007. In August 2008, Daniel was moved to the Communication Management Unit (CMU) in Marion, IL, a federal prison unit that bypassed the usual review process and severely restricts inmates' communication with the outside world.
To mark the four-year anniversary of Daniel's arrest, and to highlight the continued repression of activists that the federal government has labeled "terrorists," Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan will be hosting an art show, auction and raffle this December. Proceeds will go to Daniel's commissary account and a number of his favorite environmental and social justice organizations.
WHO: Presented by Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan along with popular street artists; political printmakers; and renowned graphic designers.
WHAT: Art Show and Auction featuring artists such as SWOON; Nikki McClure; Justseeds Artist Cooperative members such as Josh MacPhee and Kevin Caplicki; BORF and many more.
WHEN: Saturday, December 12, 2009, 1-9pm. Reception: 7-9pm
WHERE: ADC Gallery, 106 West 29th Street, Ground Floor, NYC
Williamsburg Bridge, NYC. 2009
Today on NPR they reported that 10% unemployment is raising hopes. While so many people are living in precarity, no real solutions to the economic crisis are being proposed. No one is willing to admit that our economic system creates the very problem that is reported.
It is clear that current generations, and those to come, identify less with their companies and occupations. This leads to newer and difficult ways of organizing and manifesting solutions. I've been on the periphery of many groups of people reading numerous philosophical texts. They argue for more common affinities, fewer subdivisions, such as identity politics, and labor classifications. These politics are manifesting as occupations of Universities and social unrest in the streets. I am unsure where they will lead, and I wish to hear more articulated. In the new Obama world of lost hope we need mobilizations with teeth.
Justseeds tabled Arts vs Craft in Milwaukee this past Saturday in Milwaukee. Here's a few photos. Much thanks to Faythe Levine and company for organizing such a great event each year.
"The Burning" (subtitle: "The Thanksgiving Bonfire Bird Massacre")
Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today has just been released by PM Press! A brand new book which collects 200 political prints from 200 different international artists. Loosely based on the exhibition I've been touring around of the same name, this book is jam-packed full of image and text about the intersection of printmaking, politics, and social engagement.
I'm really proud of this one, it's chock full of great writing and art. There are essays by Deborah Caplow (art historian and biographer of Leopoldo Mendez!) and Eric Triantafillou (co-founder of the San Francisco Print Collective), as well as additional writing by a dozen artists in the book about why and how they print, and what it means to them. And the prints are awesome, ranging from street artists like Swoon, Chris Stain, and Sixten, to veteran political artists like Sue Coe and Carlos Cortez. There are gig poster makers like Emek and Seri Pop, and graphic/comic artists like Nicole Schulman and Seth Tobocman. It's all in here! Pick up a copy HERE, and check out some sample page spreads below.
Here's some wood blocks Chris is working on for the install of the project (above), and my latest hand painted sign is below:
Here's Chris and a couple students up on ladders sketching out the cityscape backdrop we've built in the gym. Man, these ladders are scary! And here is the cityscape getting painted in:
For the past week Chris Stain and I have been living, working, and teaching on a small island in Norway called Halsnøy! We're at the Sunnhordland Folkehøgskule (a small arts oriented "peoples" school, which is a Scandanavian program where people can get a year of specialized schooling between high school and going to university or entering the job market). We're here working with 80 students and 5 teachers on a project around consumerism and capitalism, which will culminated in a student show on Sunday integrating visual art, performance, dance, and theater. It's been interesting and a challenge, and I'm not even sure how to process it all, so I think I'll just post some photos for the next couple days...
Tonight! I'll be giving a presentation about Justseeds and the Voices From Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex.
Monday, November 16, 7pm
at Black Sheep Books
5 State St
In 2006, Justseeds a radical art distributor transitioned from a project run by its founder to a cooperatively run business and collective committed to creating and distributing socially engaged artwork. Over the last three years Justseeds has produced posters, calendars, print portfolios, exhibits, books, and collective installations tackling numerous contemporary themes and celebrating radical history.
Come join member Kevin Caplicki for a presentation on
the trajectory of the artist-owned and run Justseeds
Cooperative and an exhibition of "Voices From Outside:
Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex",
Justseeds portfolio project 2008.
Our friends Temporary Services have just launched a new project called Art Work, including a newspaper with a piece about Justseeds in it, as well as something by Justseeds member Nicolas Lampert. Check it out:
Art Work: A National Conversation About Art, Labor, and Economics
November 20 - January 15, 2010
SPACES hosts Art Work: A National Conversation About Art, Labor, and Politics, produced by Temporary Services, an independent, Chicago-based collective comprised of Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin, and Marc Fischer. Art Work is a newspaper and website that uses SPACES as its distribution hub. It consists of writings from artists, activists and academics on the topic of working amidst depressed economies and how that impacts artistic process, compensation and artistic property. The newspaper will be distributed throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Justseeds members will be tabling at Expozine 2009, Montreal's Annual Small Press, Comic and Zine Fair
Saturday, November 14 & Sunday, November 15, 2009, from 12-6 p.m. at
(Église Saint-Enfant Jésus, between St-Joseph and Laurier, near Laurier Métro)
This incredible event brings together nearly 300 creators of all kinds of printed matter – from books to zines to posters and graphic novels – in both English and French. Over the past seven editions, Expozine has grown to become one of North America's largest small press fairs, attracting thousands of visitors as well as exhibitors from across Canada, the United States and Europe.
Chris is following his usual themes of the importance of the individual's experience and the struggle of daily life. Here's some new work that will be on view at Art Basel in Miami during the first week of December.
Paris, France. 2007
"Anarchy" is from the Greek, prefix an (or a), meaning "not," "the want of," "the absence of," or "the lack of", plus archos, meaning "a ruler," "director", "chief," "person in charge," or "authority." Or, as Peter Kropotkin put it, Anarchy comes from the Greek words meaning "contrary to authority."
Anarchism is a political theory which aims to create a society within which individuals freely co-operate together as equals. As such anarchism opposes all forms of hierarchical control - be that control by the state or a capitalist - as harmful to the individual and their individuality as well as unnecessary.
So much to read, and do, I pulled the above from Infoshop.org.
I find that many of my Anarchist friends have been inspired by so many books, Emma Goldman's Living My Life having been an early foundation. A teenage friend of mine was recently asking me for a reading list on Anarchism. I figured I'd put it out to you readers if you had any suggestions on what made an impression on you. Feel free to throw it in the comment field
"United We Consume"
My pal Leslie at Transformazium is selling these Madonna del Ghisallo (patron saint of cyclists) patches to raise funds for the silkscreen studio at the Braddock Public Library, where I have been staffing Open Studio and printing lately...check out their etsy site HERE! and info on the silkscreen shop HERE!
This two-sided hand-screenprinted patch is for those who take to the streets on two wheels. It is a talisman for the messenger and the commuter and the cross-country adventurer. Originally distributed freely to fellow cyclists by creator and Transformazium member Leslie Stem, these are now for sale to raise funds for Transformazium's Neighborhood Screen Printing Shop in Braddock, PA. Each grouping of four is unique; share them with friends and loved ones.
Each patch is printed on fabric found travelling; some are taken from paint tarps, silk dress hems, and even dead umbrellas. The fabric has a lot of character and can have marks, and the edges are all rough. The prayer side is often printed faintly, it is meant to be there in intention alone and on thinner fabric would disrupt the saint graphic if printed heavier.
"Thank Heavens for 7-11"
I don't live in an idyllic state park like fellow Justseeder Meredith, but I keep my eyes peeled all the same. Last night I discovered that a stump at the end of the alley behind my house in Pittsburgh had flushed an amazing amount of edible oyster mushrooms! This happened last year in the summer, a few months after the tree was cut down. I'd been watching ever since for more fungus, but nothing until now...
Park Slope, Brooklyn. 2008
But sometimes someone else decides to censor it.
"The Other Side of the Mall"
washout area with papercuts by swoon, painted corner by josh tonies & leslie stem
I am working on a new print I'm really excited about in a space that I am really excited about---The Braddock Community Silkscreen Studio, a project of Transformazium at the Braddock Public Library. I am helping with setup and staffing, printing my own stuff to test-run the shop. It is a beautiful space on the 3rd floor of the library, next to the basketball court. (This library, the first of Carnegie's public libraries, could be a blog entry in and of itself! It was built explicitly for the workers at his steel plant, and featured in its heyday three floors of recreational and educational services, including a swimming pool - now empty - gorgeous theater, boxing ring, gym, showers and more...nowadays it has a kickin' ceramics studio with community access and now this silkscreen studio)
The print is inspired and in support of a Queers Bash Back chant, shared with me by my friend Etta: WE SHIT GLITTER. I have four colors done in the print, which will eventually have six colors, all shimmery.
Check out some more information about Transformazium, the silkscreen studio, and the Braddock Public Library.
If you live in the East End of Pittsburgh, and especially in Wilkinsburg or Braddock, this could be the silkscreen access for you!
This image is titled "Act Like Nothing's Wrong" and comments on the general public amnesia towards the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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.
Another week, another mud stencil action against prisons. This time in Madison, Wisconsin.
On Saturday, October 17th, 6’ by 9’ stencils reading “Why Deny Used Books to WI. Prisoners?”, “Books Liberate”, and “Missing: 2.3 Million Americans” were sponged in mud by 40 volunteers throughout downtown Madison, the UW campus and spots such as the Dane County jail, DOC headquarters, the Federal Court House, Camp Randall, the Governor’s mansion and public libraries.
The mud-stenciling action was designed to draw attention to the used book ban imposed by Dan Westfield, Security Chief of the DOC, in November 2008, interrupting a free book service that had been provided to prisoners by Rainbow Bookstore for years without incident.
The action was coordinated in Madison by Sarah Quinn and Camy Matthay and teams of 3-4 people hit various parts of the city. I was on a team with Jesse Graves, a Milwaukee-based artist who developed the technique (www.mudstencils.com) and Dan S. Wang and was encouraged by how the stencils immediately drew people towards us and created a dialog about the issue. We handed out information sheets on the campaign and the vast majority of people that we encountered were supportive of the issue.
Somewhere, in the world.
If it only were pleasurable and easy to fuck something like gentrification, maybe we'd be able to move beyond the boom and bust capitalist cycle. I appreciate the sentiment of "Fuck...something." Though I must tell myself, this was a visceral moment of a highly articulate human that happened to be intoxicated with a marker.
For those that want to get their paint ready, there is a essay called Gentrification is Dead, written by Max Rameau of Take Back the Land. It was released over a year ago, but still useful to checkout.
Every Thursday, I will post a new collage image - selecting between recent and past work. This image is titled "Nature as a Laboratory."
The Justseeds Prison Portfolio will be on display at this years North of Nowhere Festival in Edmonton, Canada! We'll be sharing the exhibition space with our friends from the Beehive Collective, who will also be on hand discussing their work. Check out all the info at the North of Nowhere Fest website HERE.
Some more install shots (close-ups) from my exhibit "Machine Animals, Meatscapes, and Public Interventions" at the Allen Priebe Gallery at UW Oshkosh. Show runs through October 28th. A cool mud stencil workshop also took place and I will post those photos soon.
Below are some install shots from my exhibit "Machine Animals, Meatscapes, and Public Interventions" at the Allen Priebe Gallery at UW Oshkosh. The opening is Thursday, October 8th 7:00pm-9:00pm and the show runs through October 28th.
Showered with Lies
Walking down the street after my acupuncture appointment, I looked up and was reminded of the barrage of messages on TV, in magazines, and on every advertised surface in this city, by a silly golden whale(?)
My pal Erok & I sent some copies of Favianna Rodriguez and Josh Macphee's book Reproduce and Revolt down to Chile about a year ago. Like many of the punks I know in Mexico, Chilean anarchists use screenprinting for making lots of patches and stickers. As it turns out a friend of mine just sent me a link to a screenprinting workshop she's been taking classes at, in Valparaiso, Chile. It appears the book is being put to use there!
I just realized that this nice group interview Milwaukee artist Brandon Bauer, creater of the Random Artwork blog, did with a bunch of us in Justseeds never got reposted here. So here it is. And check out Brandon's site, and the interview with images, HERE:
What is Justseeds?
Dylan: Justseeds is a Marxist-Leninist cadre of avant-garde artists who use fine art to build the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Nicolas: Justseeds is a motley crew of anarchists, punks, and rabble-rousers who oppose people who work in institutions.
Shaun: Justseeds would win in a snowball fight with the Beehive Collective because we hide rocks inside our snowballs and pretty much play dirty all around.
The Israeli Socialist Organization, better known by the name of its publication, Matzpen (Compass), formed in 1962. It was the first organization in Israel founded on principles of anti-Zionism. Its membership joined Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs to resist Israel’s apartheid policies. Matzpen challenged Israeli manifest destiny for twenty-five years, and its legacy continues to animate anti-Zionist organizing within Israel and around the world. The poster was designed by climate and social justice organizer Joshua Kahn Russell and anti-imperialist author Dan Berger. Russell and Berger interviewed each other over the recent Rosh Hoshana (Jewish New Year) about the poster, Jewish radicalism, and Palestinian self-determination.
September 20, 2009
Dan: Hi Joshua. Happy new year!
Joshua: Hey Dan, Shana Tovah. So we made a poster, huh? I hear 5770 is the year of liberation-history education through social movement art.
Dan: Cultural work on a variety of levels has been so important to interrupt the false consensus around all Jews supporting Israeli colonialism.
Joshua: Art is always and important medium and vehicle in social movements, but I think this is particularly so among Jews learning to challenge some of the dominant myths around Zionism. Artists like Israeli-born, Detroit-based rapper Invincible are creating amazing multimedia to tell stories and narratives of the occupation and colonialism, with songs that include extensive interviews with displaced people, footage of demonstrations and military violence, etc. I think this is partly because the subject is still (though increasingly less) taboo; art and creative expression is like the sugar that helps the medicine go down for an uncomfortable subject. We’re talking here about basic Jewish values: self-determination, social justice, freedom, interconnection and interdependence. Unfortunately, talking about them in the context of the harsh realities of the Israeli military and State make it confusing and difficult for Jews to speak frankly and honestly.
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!
In 2003, I took to the road and drove around the Northeast and Midwest United States and interviewed about 2 dozen radical artists about their work. I posted an edited section of the interview with Nicolas Lampert (one of our Justseeds members) about a year ago. So, here is the second installment...an interview with Josh MacPhee. Keep in mind that this is six years old, and as such, is dated. I will be posting others over time, so keep your eye out!
These interviews became a rough draft/sketch for the chapter I edited ("Subversive Multiples") in Realizing the Impossible, edited by Josh MacPhee and Erik Ruin and published by AK Press in 2007.
While the G20 is meeting in Pittsburgh right now, the General Assembly has been meeting at the United Nations in NYC. This week, Sept 20-26 has been called Climate Week NY by folks organizing various kinds of symbolic actions and demonstration.
I was asked by the 350.org campaign if I could make some last minute placards for a demonstration. I hadn't heard much about the organizing or demonstrations for the week, which probably should be taken note, since any outreach on activity like this would come across my radar. Anyhow, I was happy to be able to support and participate from the periphery.
Get inspired. Photos from the wall installation by Favianna Rodriguez, Ian Kualii, and Orlando Reyes. The work is amazing and part of “Movimientos: Two Generations of Chicana Artists” that features the installation and prints by Ester Hernandez, Favianna Rodriguez and Melanie Cervantes.
Erik Ruin will be representing Justseeds at the Radical Bookfair Pavilion as part of the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend. He'll be there all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so visit him and say Hello!
Radical Bookfair Pavilian
Mount Vernon Place
600 block North Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Friday Sept. 25, 12-8pm
Saturday Sept, 26, 12-8pm
Sunday Sept. 27, 12-7pm
it looks like a lot of great stuff is going on in Baltimore over the weekend, organized by the totally awesome Red Emma's crew. Check it out!!!
The Union Art Gallery in Milwaukee continues its long standing tradition of hosting exhibitions with vital political and social content. A show featuring the work of Ester Hernandez and Justseeds members, Favianna Rodriguez and Melanie Cervantes opens tomorrow night at the Union Art Gallery. Stop by if you are in the area!
Opening reception: Thursday, September 24, 5-8pm
Gallery Talk with Favianna Rodriguez : Friday, September 25th, 4pm
September 24 - October 16
Union Art Gallery
Campus Level, Room W199
2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri & Sat 12-5pm; Thu 12-7pm
As a follow-up to the Sustain Our Libraries poster I put up here last week...
benefit, art auction + dance party
REMEDY 5121 Butler St, Lawrenceville (x 51st Street)
Thursday, September 24th
Featuring artwork, homemade wares and services for auction, live silkscreening with D.H.
crazygood lady DJs Mary Mack, Drop That, ja(m) (bo)x
video projections by Blissy
music by Dean Cercone
Renée Alberts waxing poetic
library-themed coloring books, and more!
Sliding Scale admission $5-10 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Dara Greenwald, Olivia Robinson and I are presenting at the Conflux gathering in NYC this weekend:
Date: Saturday Sept. 19th
Start Time: 10:00am
Location: Einstein Auditorium, Rm. 105
Barney Building, New York University
34 Stuyvesant Street
A multi-media presentation with Dara Greenwald, Josh MacPhee, and Olivia Robinson about projects that intervene in public amnesia and memory. Followed by discussion.
In this session we will present documentation from several public projects that attempt to make visible histories of struggle that are submerged from public memory. The projects we will present raise important questions about the representation of both history and the present in the urban landscape, how public memories are created, how the control of public spaces reinforces dominant histories and the impact of that on the here and now.
more info HERE.
Like Colin's weekly drawings, I decided, to post a weekly photo up here on the Justseeds Blog. I got glasses when I was in first grade, but I've always been able to read the writing on the wall. I'll be posting new and old photos I've got of the things I come across in my day, in my home, of NYC, and in my travels.
This first installment, is clearly on an awning,
Houston St, NY.
ally reeves and me---this is very zine-y, right?
Ciara Xyerra, the proprietress behind Learning to Leave a Paper Trail zine distro, did an interview with me a few weeks ago, and it is up on their site.
Go to http://www.papertraildistro.com/ and click on "dossiers" at the bottom of the page. There are lots of other zine folk interviewed with the same ten questions in that section of the site, many of my favorites. Good company! You can order my zine there as well as from justseeds, but there are heaps of other wonderful zines on this site. Support d.i.y. publishing!
Check out the full interview with miss mary mack down here:
The Dirt Palace site just posted some nice-looking pics from my installation in their window, which just came down. You can check it out in slideshow format on Flickr.
The focal point of my installation were the banners i had printing during my residency at AS220. I also created with my dear friend the amazing Andrew Oesch two life-size painted-and-cut-out figures on red rosin paper and scores of painted clouds (with additional help from Susan Sakash).
The Dirt Palace window is a great place to exhibit as it faces onto the main square of the Olneyville neighborhood in Providence, and thus attracts the attention of a great number of random passers-by. I even had one enthusiastic fellow step into the window with me to chat while I was installing!
Big thanks to everyone who made my time in Providence such a dream- including all of Building 16 and AS220, Meredith Stern, Jean Cozzens for print help, Xander Marro, Andrew, Susan and Walker Mettling for delicious opening food & beverages.
Theres a handful of flicks of Justseeds members, Chris Stain & Swoon with friends at the Nuart Festival. The following links are from Brooklyn Street Art It begins here, continuing here, Swoon-ing here, growing here, to here with its most current post.
(photo by Logan Hicks)
Kevin just found out that Justseeds has been awarded the Grand Prix at the Biennial. What this exactly means is unclear at the moment, but the jurors have uploaded this video discussing some of the selection process and why they chose our work.
chick pea radio is back on the airwaves and internet-waves!
I've been doing this radio show on and off, with or without partners, and under various names for close to 13 years! post-punk-new-wave-crust-peace punk-mid-90's hardcore-riot grrrl-queercore-revolutionary dance jams and more
Wednesdays 10pm-midnight Eastern time
You can tune in to 88.3fm if you are in Pittsburgh or listen live over the interweb at www.wrct.org worldwide! I used to get occasional calls from Australia!
Check playlists online too, and holler at me for requests on the WRCT hotttline: 412-621-WRCT
here is a sample playlist: (last week's show)
Bikini Kill - new radio
Joy Division - transmission
R.E.M. - radio free europe
Radio Birdman - non stop girls
Wipers - up front
Wire - mannequin
Young Pioneers - meeting over yonder
Big Boys - complete control
Karl Blau - mockingbird diet
My Bloody Valentine - thorn
The Vaselines - monsterpussy
Pylon - the human body
Au Pairs - it's obvious
ESG - it's alright
Black Eyes - deformative
Erase Errata - owls
Essential Logic - collecting dust
The Magnetic Fields - no one will ever love you
Tender Forever - tiny heart and clever hands
The Blow - jet ski accidents
Mirah - recommendation
Os Mutantes - a minha menina
Sonic Youth - star power
My Bloody Valentine - when you sleep
The Vaselines - on of a gun
Huggy Bear - no sleep / can't kiss
Heavenly - p.u.n.k. girl
Red Monkey - in her own write
The Slits - so tough
zounds - dancing
Pylon - gyrate
Cat Power - he war
Palace Music - new partner
The Way it Was
By Justyn Dillingham
You might not know it to look at that small, trim-looking white building next to the School of Art, but inside those walls, universes are colliding.
“Confronting the Capitalist Crisis,” on display in the Joseph Gross Gallery through Oct. 7, is a display of prints brought together by the radical artists’ group Justseeds Radical Art Cooperative. It features the work of more than 60 artists from across the country, all illustrating familiar radical themes: the people against capitalism, the people against globalization, the people against “the prison-industrial complex.”
In the next room, the Lionel Rombach Gallery, Chris McGinnis’s “Heritage” is on display until Sept. 9. It’s a startling work: twenty-nine wooden panels spread across the floor (with one on the wall), all painted with eerie, evocative images of industrial America.
In terms of style and intent, these two exhibits are about as far apart as you can get. But their physical closeness is fortuitous. Spend an afternoon walking back and forth between the two rooms, taking in their ferociously detailed images, taking in their messages, and you can begin to imagine the two exhibits having an argument of sorts.
From anger to ambiguity
Slogans scream at you from the walls of the Joseph Gross Gallery: “Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” “How Many Dead Are Too Many,” “Strike While It’s Hot.” Engraved faces, emaciated and stark, glare out at you with despairing eyes — members of the “people’s history” the exhibit celebrates. It’s a striking and haunting compilation of images.
The energy and emotion that went into “Capitalist Crisis” is palpable. If you stand there long enough, you might begin to feel the eerie contrast between the silent noise conjured up by the emotional images and the stillness of the gallery itself.
What “Capitalist Crisis” has not done is find an original way to express its vision. It speaks the familiar language of the Old Left: flags, marches, fists clenched in solidarity. They seem archaic and clichéd because they are. You can almost hear Woody Guthrie strumming his guitar in the background.
Some of the prints are striking — the grim “Hope,” the Soviet-esque “Strike While It’s Hot” — but they’re drowned out by the deafening roar of the rest of the images, all clamoring for your attention. In a way, the visual blare of “Capitalist Crisis” is simply another version of the crass world of mainstream politics; it speaks in absolutes, and if your answers aren’t theirs, there’s no place for you.
Here's a new stencil that Chris made for his upcoming trip to Norway. It looks really good on t-shirts, as you can see even Burt Reynolds is sporting one!
If you're in Norway at Nuart maybe you can bug Chris for your own Burt approved Justseeds shirt!
One of the projects I did this summer that I'm proud of was to organize the making of a tile bench to go in the new 'native perennials' section of my community garden in Detroit (see previous blog post). Children from the neighborhood made the tiles with the help of local ceramic artists Soh Suzuki and Byron Nemela. They rolled leaves from the trees around the garden into the clay and painted around them, using the leaves as both imprint and stencil. As you can see, we also put the kids to work installing the tiles. I would recommend this project to anyone with access to a kiln; the terracotta tiles must be fired at a high temperature so that they can stay outside, if you live in a climate that has a freeze and thaw cycle known as Winter. You could also buy pre-made exterior tiles and paint them. To make the bench, we poured a cement rectangle, and a couple days later built the bench using cinder blocks and mortar. We used tile adhesive to stick the tiles on and grouted around the tiles later with a mixture of silica sand, cement, and acrylic paint. Now our gardeners have a permanent place to chill!
There's a really nice write up on the Richmond, VA Paper Politics show on the RVA Magazine website. RVA Mag is a cool art and culture publication focusing on Richmond. I did an interview with RVA's Preston while installing and this is what came out of it, read it HERE.
(image: Refugio Solis, La Otra Campaña, screen print, 2005)
I know this is extremely late, but I had the chance to make it out to Ad Hoc while they were closed to see the show unperturbed. I quite simply love what these two amazing artists have done to this space. I was talking to a friend recently, asking him about how the opening went, and he mentioned how refreshing it was to see such a political show. But despite the strong imagery, I did not feel ideologically repulsed. And while it was tremendously political, it was simultaneously a portrait of struggle, confusion, and daunting oppression. For the most part it made no movement towards clarity or certainty; instead it approached the human capacity of subjugation and horror with the hopeful statement, ” I Know There is Love”
More photos at Get Familiar
Nuart is an annual international street art festival based in Stavanger on the West Coast of Norway. From the first week of September an international team of street artists start to leave their mark on the city's walls and contribute to a one month long Nuart static show.
Justseeds is really excited to be included in the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia!!!
28th Biennial of Graphic Arts
September 4-October 24,
International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC)
Grad Tivoli, Pod turnom 3
1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
telephone: (+386) (0)1 241 38 00
fax: (+386) (0)1 241 38 21
The 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts is a multifaceted event with a long tradition; it consists of a number of exhibitions as well as other happenings. Once again, the Biennial's central exhibition, The Matrix: An Unstable Reality, on view for two months in Ljubljana galleries, will focus on contemporary graphic art in the broadest sense of the term.
At the invitation of the International Centre of Graphic Arts, which proposed the theme of the main show, this idea was further developed and shaped by Galerija Alkatraz, Galerija Ganes Pratt, Galerija Jakopič, Galerija Kapsula, and Galerija Škuc, which are also serving as venues for the Biennial. Alongside the central exhibition, the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts includes as well the Artist's Book Salon, the traditional exhibition for the winner of the Grand Prize from the previous Biennial, and a number of accompanying exhibitions.
The Matrix: An Unstable Reality
The exhibition responds to certain vital questions for society and art raised by the cult movie trilogy The Matrix. Does a medium stay the same once it incorporates new technologies in its discourse? Does this increase the audience for art? What is the social power of those who possess the matrix? Is the possession of the matrix enough to also justify exclusive reproduction rights? Can we create a perfect world, whether real or virtual? The exhibition offers a selection of more than eighty internationally established and emerging artists. Their work extends from traditional and contemporary printmaking to artist's books and interventions in the public space, in the mass media, and on computers.
The Justseeds show just opened in Tucson and it looks fresh! Quite a solid representation of the collective's working practices. It is up through the fall, so stop by! It's at the Joseph Gross Gallery of the School of Art at the University of Arizona, corner of Park and Speedway, open Monday to Friday 10-5.
Thanks to Brooke Grucella for organizing!
There are a handful of images from the "I Know There is Love" installation, by Chris Stain and Armsrock, up on the web. Check out the slideshow up on the Village Voice website as well as an interview with the two herbs that conceived it on Arrested Motion. The opening was well attended and Chris' daughter Amara made out by selling some crayon drawn portraits of the attendees. It was really inspiring having Armsrock in town for a bunch of days and we got to talk a lot about the efficacy of art, activism, and our future. He's a wiry and expressive little bugger and I look forward to his involvement in future Justseeds projects, such as our forthcoming portfolio, because of his passion for communication and social justice in this world. Thanks for comin to this side of the pond, buddy, you inspire me to create and keep on fightin!
And just so you know work is available through Ad Hoc Art. We did make these sweet zines with handscreened covers too! Also available at Ad Hoc
i recently completed a residency at AS220 in Providence, RI. during my month there I worked on a large-scale but intricate banner project. the first three weeks were entirely spent hand-cutting 6 feet of rubylith silkscreen film! i then printed a small initial edition on fabric. three of these were then incorporated into an installation in the window of the Dirt Palace in Olneyville Square.
photos of the work in progress are available here.
the intention behind these works is to provide a lending library of banners on the theme of Liberation that are available for temporary use in activist events, rallies, protests, etc. i eventually hope to produce 3 such designs. some initial funding for this was provided by the Puffin Foundation.
i'm super-excited about the potential of this project & wanted to reach out to all of my virtual friends. here's how you can help, if you're interested-
1. request a banner for an event, conference, protest,, etc. that you're involved with. requesters are responsible for the eventual return of the banners and shipping (if outside the philly area)- i hope to be able to eventually procure the necessary funds to negate that last part.
2. in order to procure the necessary time & supplies for this project, i'm attempting to sell a small number of the original edition of 12 banners. due to the price (right now i'm thinking of selling them on a sliding scale of $250- 1000) and extreme rarity of these items, i will most likely not be offering them for sale on the Justseeds site, so please send me a message here or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested..
3. arrange for a showing of this work!
thanks & take care,
photo by Kevin Caplicki
Here's some photos from Paper Politics Richmond at the Ghostprint Gallery. It opens TONIGHT!
Here's a slightly out-of-date flier I designed for Portland-area environmental group BARK and their campaign against the proposed Palomar pipeline, part of a massive network of interconnected energy development schemes slated to overrun the estuaries, forests, and farmlands of the Portland/Astoria/Mt.Hood/Columbia River region. It's all part of a plan to bring Liquefied Natural Gas to California via Oregon. Why via Oregon? Well, the politically savvy and comparatively wealthy Californians for whom the gas is intended have resolutely opposed and defeated all the proposed gas terminals on the California coast. Washington's done the same; the only one on the west coast so far is in Baja California. Less money, less power? That's why they're coming to Oregon! Two large LNG terminals are planned for the Oregon coast, one in the mouth of the Columbia near Astoria, and one in Coos Bay. Both will have massive impacts on local areas, requiring astronomical security provisions and ensuring some large measure of environmental destruction. Part of that destruction will be the pipelines that are slated to be laid through the forests of the region; the lush firs, spruce, hemlock and pine that make up the land's green mantle. Hundred foot wide permanent clearcuts? No problem? Tunneling under upwards of forty creeks and rivers? Okay! Destroyed farmlands, annihilated wildlife, industrial accidents? Yessssss! This is a wonderful example of capitalist strategy: there is, as yet, no large corporation involved in the planning of this. It's being executed by a gaggle of suits in a boardroom somewhere, drawing lines on a map and estimating cost-benefit ratios, growth projections, and flow potential. It is the rarefied atmosphere of infrastructural planning, cynically imposed on the land by economic analysts. Liquefied Natural Gas is popular all over (although not everyone is super enthused) and promises to bring us a warm, green, sustainable future where nothing ever goes wrong.
A few flicks I took the other day while at Ad-Hoc Art with Stain & Armsrock. Come out for Ad-Hoc's last gallery show, yup they're done after this one. Come out and support:
Friday, August 7th, 7-10pm
Ad Hoc Art
49 Bogart St
Other preview shots over at Vandalog and Brooklyn Street Art.
Our group photo of folks that attended the Justseeds retreat this past weekend, in Braddock, PA. There's another on our Flickr. Thanks to the Transformazium folks, and others, for feeding us, to Bill Daniel for housing, and countless other folks in the Pittsburgh area that helped us out!
Paper Politics, a show I curated of political prints from around the world, is opening on Friday in Richmond, VA. Please come by and check it out if you're in town!:
Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today
200 prints from 200 artists
220 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Friday, August 7th, 7-10 pm
show runs August 7th-August 29th, 2009
Wed-Sat, 1-7pm or by appointment
Photo essay from the 2009 Justseeds retreat in Braddock/Pittsburgh...
Chris Stain and Armsrock are pluggin away, with a a handful of breaks, over at the Ad-Hoc Art Gallery. They are making a collaborative installation in the gallery and hanging some original artworks. The show opens this Friday, August 7th
Ad Hoc Art
49 Bogart St
We just had the annual justseeds retreat! Three days in Braddock outside Pittsburgh, Pa across the street from a Steel Mill! Long days (10 hour sessions!) where we talked about our group projects (like the annual portfolio project- check out the Voices from the Outside project we did last year); our business structure, our blog, and all sorts of stuff. Here are a few photos that show us all meeting meeting meeting! We tried for consensus on all decisions. We will be tabling alot in the next few weeks (including at AS220 in Providence RI for the Anarchist Bookfair at the foo fest on August 15th where I booked the entertainment which includes SUN RA ARKESTRA!!!). Come check us out!
Among these photos is one of the more lighthearted activities we did to help us relax and break the ice; which was an exquisite corpse game where we would pass papers around the room and people would alternately write and draw. One was particularly funny; it started out as "I watched coyotes" and became a ridiculous drawing about a gerbil hypnotizing its pooh to teach it to clean up after itself.
Anyway, all this will lead to a great year of continued updates and info!
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!
RUST (Radical Urban Silkscreen Team), a Pittsburgh youth print project of the Andy Warhol Museum and Artists Image Resource, is kicking off to a fresh Summer 2009 season. Justseeds members Shaun Slifer and myself are teaching in collaboration with two other awesome artist-activist-organizers, Heather White and Ashley Brickman. Last year RUST took over a storefront in Downtown Pittsburgh for two months, hosting guest workshops from Justseeds members and creating many vibrant prints for social change and sustainability. This year we are housed at 546 East Ohio Street in the North Side, just a block from AIR (Artists Image Resource). Check out the sweet German restaurant/ski chalet decor!!! The 2009 RUST team are all residents of the North Side, and we have been doing some projects particular to that neighborhood. Teens can print for free Wednesday evening in July at Youth Open Studio. Most fun-wise, we are doing mobile silkscreening at the farmer's market every Friday from 4-6pm. Come check us out and make radical local food and fun-themed prints!
Clockwise from top left: Shaun teachin'. Mixing a fresh batch of emulsion. Rita & Valerie printin'. Rainbow carrots in process
Justseeds members who come to town to do a residency at AS220 also end up doing a mushroom foraging residency.
Aha! Luck at Last! Pictured are a couple Bolete mushrooms. In the background you can see our raspberry bushes!
Erik Ruin has been spending the month of July in Providence at my work place, making art and having a blast. Here are some photos of the liberation banner he is working on!
Check for more photos in progress!!!
Ink & Paper
The Biannual Studio Opening of the Taller Tupac Amaru
Jesus Barraza, Melanie Cervantes & Favianna Rodriguez
July 11 & 12, 2009. 11am-6pm
Radical Political Art | T-Shirts | Books
Printmaking Demos, Raffle, Youth Activities and More!
1505 33rd Ave. Oakland, CA 94601
(accessible via Fruitvale BART)
Join members of the Taller Tupac Amaru, a collective of Xicana/o artists and printmakers, at their biannual Open Studios. They will be showcasing their latest political and fine art prints. Self-guided studio tours will give visitors a unique opportunity to meet the artists and see their work in the place where it was created. This is a family friendly event.
Also The Great Tortilla Conspiracy will be joining us on Sunday at noon.
featuring: Rene Yañez, Rio Yañez, and Jos Sances
MUSIC by DJ Max Champ and DJ Quix
Its summer in NYC, and despite June having the 2nd most rainfall on record dumping on NYC 23 out of 30 days, Chris Stain was able to paint with some folks on a large outdoor wall in Brooklyn. From Chris' website:
There’s a swell group of fellows that go by the name Skewville. About a month or so ago I was contacted by their commander in chief to participate in the India St mural project that they were apart of. 9 cops and a whole lot of bullshit later, Skewville, Logan Hicks, and myself teamed up for the work in progress you see above. If you are in Brooklyn make sure to stop by and say hello. To see what else Skewville has goin on check out Skewville.org to see what Logan is up to check out Workhorse Visuals
Me and Melanie had an opening last friday for our exhibit at Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco, part of the exhibit was taking over the Billboard on 24th & Bryant...check it out!
Exhibitions Dates: Sat, June 20th - Saturday, August 15th
Galeria de la Raza
2857 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
We are throwing a big ole My So-Called Life-themed party at Free Ride, Pittsburgh's amazing recycle-a-bike shop. All proceeds from the party benefit Free Ride's Youth Mobile Bike Repair program and Book'Em's ongoing postage costs for sending reading material to prisoners.
Organizing crucial benefit danceparties is part of my practice as an artist, DJ, and organizer. Aside from raising much-needed financial support, creating social events like this allow new folks to connect to our ongoing projects, and create much-needed space and time for collective members and volunteers to hang out in a non-work-meeting setting. In collectives, relationships are so important, and sweet hangouts build that! Check out the details (Nutmeg B is Justseeds own Shaun Slifer) Thanks to A.Brick for the silkscreened flyer design.
I don't think I ever posted this project here, and it just popped back up in my head, so I thought I'd share it. Back in early 2008 designer Brian Ponto asked a number of artists and designers to create posters inspired by the Atelier Populaire posters from France in May 68, but relevant to the realities of 2008. Among those invited to work on the project were Chris Stain and myself, as well as Jody Barton, Scott Boylston, Seymour Chwast, Sun Dawang, Gwenaëlle Gobé, Finn Nygaard, UG Sato, James Victore, Brett Yasko, and John Yates. The project culminated in a newspaper collection of black and white posters which also included an essay on the form of the political poster by Carol Wells, director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles. You can learn more about the project and read Carol's essay here and here. And since the posters were reproduced in black & white in the paper, I've posted a color version of mine below:
Mud stencil video by Gretchen Hasse.
I spent the last two weeks making art at the Penland School of Crafts, located in the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. The class I took was in papercutting, with the incredible papercut artist Béatrice Coron, who this week is back in New York busy on a new residency at the Museum of Arts and Design, for an exhibition in October called Slash: Paper Under the Knife. I cannot begin to explain what an amazing time I had there, except to say it was inspiring, challenging, transformative, ridiculous, fun, and exhausting. Here are a couple shots- above is a miniature part of the paper cut that Béatrice created during the two weeks. This part of her paper cut shows the printmaking studio, and the person working on the bird head is me. Far below to the right is a print of which I made a small edition, just printing directly from cut cardstock on a printing press. It shows the studios of Penland among the hills, and a friend swiftly skating to the bottom of the hill. Directly below is a studio shot and a group photo of some of my fellow papercutters- I don't know what they're doing, though, I just told them to say "cheese"...
Lori Waxman wrote an insightful article about the recent June 6th mud stencil event in Chicago for the online and print publication New City Chicago. Below is her text and a link to her website and the New City website.
by Lori Waxman
Dirt, water, whisk, sponge, bucket, box cutter, tar paper—these are not your typical artist’s materials. Mix the water and dirt in the bucket, lay the cut-out paper against a cement surface, and sponge on the mud, however, and the result is a handsome work of environmentally friendly graffiti.
Street artists often work with stencils, using them to shape spray-painted statements. But a chemical medium dispensed through an aerosol container reeks of toxicity, so Milwaukee-based Jesse Graves, intent on finding a more compatible way to apply his environmentally and politically conscious messages, evolved an alternate means of tagging: mud. The technique is nothing short of ingenious. Simple, cheap, graphically effective and not necessarily illegal, mud stencils, if protected from the elements, can last up to ten years; or, like all dirt, they can be washed off with water. Consistency is key, however, to achieving a bold visual with sharp edges: the mud mixture must be carefully controlled so that it achieves a viscosity akin to peanut butter or feces.
Yes, feces—like the feces sometimes smeared by inmates at Tamms prison on the walls of their cells. Cells where they are held in permanent solitary confinement, bereft of all human contact, for up to twenty-three hours a day, with breaks only for showers and individual exercise. It’s a supermax jail in Southern Illinois originally designed for the short-term punishment of violent inmates from other facilities, but one-third of whose occupants have now been locked up in extreme isolation for over a decade, with no clearly defined standards for transfer in or out. Widely believed to cause permanent physiological and psychological damage, these conditions contravene the Geneva Convention, two United Nations treaties and various other international human-rights accords. Conditions which have led inmates not only to paint their walls with shit in desperate attempts for attention, but also to mutilate themselves, to attempt suicide, and to require—for one in every ten men at Tamms—regular doses of psychotropic medication. All this for up to $90,000 a year per inmate, three to four times the cost of incarceration at other prisons in Illinois.
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.
On Saturday, June 6th in Chicago, local artists partnered with the Tamms Year Ten coalition to protest state-sanctioned torture at the supermax prison in Southern Illinois. And they did it with mud.
Artists from Chicago and Milwaukee engaged in a non-destructive type of public messaging called “mud-stenciling.” More than 30 volunteers stenciled their message “End Torture in Illinois” in the afternoon on walls and sidewalks around the city offering fact-sheets about TAMMS supermax prison to curious pedestrians. The teams hit spots such as Navy Pier, The Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Jane Adams Hull House, Hyde Park Art Center, the Logan Square skate park, the Chicago Zoo, DePaul University, as well as sidewalks, underpass walls, and numerous other locations.
Mud as a medium is especially sensible for artists and activists who want to work outdoors with a non-toxic substance to reach a large public audience. Moreover, city governments and law enforcement agencies have little precedence in dealing with mud stencils so there is a gray area on whether it is legal or not. For if it is illegal, is it also illegal for kids to write with chalk on the sidewalk? Is it illegal to build a snowman in a park or for dirt from ones garden to touch the sidewalk? And, is it illegal to stencil with mud when the rain will wash it off?
That said, none of the 30 volunteers who mud stenciled on June 6th in Chicago were arrested or even questioned by the police.
Jesse Graves, a Milwaukee based artist who is gaining international attention for his street art, developed the mud stenciling technique and took part in the Chicago action. “I started stenciling with mud because I wanted to put environmental messages in public spaces, so it would not make sense to use a toxic material like spray paint,” said Graves. “I am using the earth, the most basic substance, to express my concerns regarding the state of the environment I am living in. I am using what sustains us to offer ideas on how we can sustain ourselves.”
Nicolas Lampert, a member of the Justseeds Radical Artists cooperative (www.justseeds.org), who helped coordinate the effort, views it as a tactical media campaign. “People first will be drawn to the stencils themselves, the medium, but it is our hope that a larger conversation evolves about Tamms and how people can get involved,” said Lampert, who helped cut the 6 foot by 9 foot stencils out of rolls of roofing paper. He feels the partnership with the Tamms Year Ten campaign is a needed collaboration: “In my view, activist movements need art, and artists need to be part of activist movements. A lot of artists do political art, but this is actually a case where artists can be part of a social justice movement itself.”
The action was designed to draw attention to the supermax prison in Illinois. Which has become the target of scrutiny by press, legislators, and even Governor Quinn, who appointed a new IDOC director last month with the top priority of reviewing the conditions at Tamms.
Prisoners at the supermax are held in permanent solitary confinement, and never leave their cell except to shower or exercise alone in a concrete pen. Their is no communal activity, no contact visits, no phone calls, an no educational or rehabilitative programming. Suicide attempts, self-mutilation, and other psychotic symptoms are common at Tamms, and are an expected consequence of long-term isolation, which can induce or worsen mental illness. Prisoners often hear nothing but constant screaming or banging and complain about the smell of feces, smeared on cells by mentally ill prisoners. The supermax was designed to be a short-term shock-treatment, but one-third of prisoners have been held indefinitely since the prison opened over ten years ago.
Tamms Year Ten, a coalition of over 70 groups throughout Illinois, initiated the campaign to end torture at the supermax last year and worked with Illinois lawmakers to introduce HB2633 that would establish accountability at the prison and prohibit mentally ill people from being held there. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called on the Illinois Department of Corrections and Governor Quinn to alleviate conditions at the prison immediately.
Laurie Jo Reynolds a Tamms Year Ten organizer, who participated in the mud stencil action said, “The mud-stencils help facilitate dialogues about Tamms with people all over the city.” She reported that people were surprised to see the word torture being used in connection with the state of Illinois. “Many people don’t realize that our supermax is more isolating than Guantanamo Bay, where identical treatment has been judged by Attorney General Eric Holder to be too isolating for prisoner safety,” Reynolds explained. All prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are now provided social interaction and phone calls, in compliance with the humane-treatment requirements of the Geneva Convention. She added, “Most people agree that psychological torture can’t be justified for American prisoners of war, or for detainees at Guantanamo, and it can’t be justified for people in custody in Illinois.”
Nationally, supermaxes are on the decline with some closing or converting to regular maximum security prisons due to the unwanted consequences of long-term isolation, as well as the high cost of supermax prisons. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, the average annual cost of housing a prisoner at Tamms is about $60,000, two to three times as much as any other adult prison on Illinois.
Tamms Year Ten: http://www.yearten.org/
Jesse Graves: http://mudstencils.com/
More photos, video, and articles will be posted over the coming weeks.
Here's the schedule for the tour I'm headed out on with Bill Daniel this week. We'll be showing Bill's film "Who is Bozo Texino?", as well as putting up a couple shows of Bill's work along the way. I'll be opening for his film with a short presentation about a couple of current projects of mine. If you're in any of these spots, drop in!
June 5 -> St. Louis, MO - Cranky Yellow
June 6 -> St. Louis, MO - Black Bear Bakery
June 7-9 -> Dallas, then Austin, then back to Dallas... (that's in Texas, no gigs there)
June 10 -> Shreveport, LA - Danzell House (? house show ?)
June 11-12 -> Little Rock, AK - Chaulk Legends @ Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative (w/ Buz Blurr aka Colossus of Roads) (pictured below)
June 13 -> Nashville, TN - Little Hamilton Collective / Firebrand Infoshop
June 14 -> Knoxville, TN ?
I recently completed a two color poster for the awesome Celebrate People's History poster series distributed by Justseeds. The CPH posters are a venue for radical artists to highlight social movements and examples of popular resistance that are often left out of most historical narratives. Below is the finished version of the poster I created and I want to use this post to go into a little more depth about where the imagery comes from and why I chose it. Links for more info and where to purchase the poster follow.
As I began work on this project at the end of 2007, I chose to focus on the uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca during the second half of 2006 that took control of the state capital for six months. It has since been compared in scale and importance to the Paris Commune. The uprising began when state police attempted to violently evict an encampment of the teachers' union in the center of the city that had been protesting the corrupt and repressive regime of Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz. When the people of the city rallied in defense of the teachers and drove the police and state government out of the city, the demonstration quickly exploded into a full on uprising against neoliberalism and the traditional power structure of Mexican politics. More specifically, I chose to highlight the crucial role that women –many of them self-identified 'housewives'– played in sustaining the rebellion and opening up new possibilities for radical liberation.
A close friend of mine, Barucha Calamity Peller, was one of the few independent journalists in Oaxaca during the uprising and she spent much of her time documenting the rebellion from the front line barricades that protected the liberated city from attack by the state. At the height of the uprising there were upwards of 3000 active barricades in Oaxaca city and many towns and municipalities in the surrounding countryside had joined the movement to kick out Ulises Ruiz. After the movement was brutally crushed by the federal government at the end of November, she returned to the states with an amazing collection of photos and testimonials from participants in the movement. Barucha and I worked together on the concept for the CPH poster and we used her images and interviews as inspiration.
I wanted to draw attention to AK Press' blog Revolution by the Book
there is a post about Josh MacPhee & Erik Ruin's book Realizing the Impossible called
Defining Anarchist Art:Gleanings from a Roundtable on Realizing the Impossible. There's a handful of links leading to some interesting stuff, if you like art, or anarchism.
The Howling Mob Society will be presenting in Pittsburgh on Thursday, June 4, during the Working Class Studies Association's annual "Class Matters" conference. The conference will take place on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Details from the conference program:
Session C—2:30-3:45 p.m. - Thursday, June 4
Pitt Cathedral of Learning, 2nd Floor, room 252
C3. "Contested Markers: Two Views on Historical Commemoration"
Chair: Joel Woller, History, Carlow University
Howling Mob Society, Independent, “The Howling Mob Society Reclaims the Historical Marker”
Kenneth C. Wolensky, Penn State University and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission,
“Preserving and Interpreting Industrial and Working Class History Sites”
After years of being out of stock, and people continually asking for them, I've started to reprint some of the older Celebrate People's History posters. I'm excited to announce that two of the most popular are now reprinted and available again, Ben Rubin's Emma Goldman poster, and John Gerken's Sylvia Ray Rivera!
My original hope was to reprint an old poster every other month for 2009, but two things have gotten in the way. On the downside, sales have dropped a little, so I don't have the cash flow to stick to that schedule. On the upside, I have been getting lots of great proposals for new posters, to the extent that for the first time ever I have a backlog of designs waiting to print. Given limited cash, and lots of new posters on the ready, I think I'll be focusing on getting the new ones out for the rest of the year. If there is an old People's History poster you would like to see back in stock, let me know, and I'll see about reprinting it in 2010. If you are an artist/designer and have an idea for a new poster, let me know as well!
Chris Stain just sent me this photo of a mural he painted with his long-time pal Billy Mode. They took advantage of the nice weather in Brooklyn to put up this piece on the side of our favorite Mexican Restaurant in Bushwick.
Chris has a nice set of flicks on the blog of his website chrisstain.com
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.
A month long exhibition of over 100 socially engaged print works by Justseeds radical artists cooperative and the Celebrate Peoples History poster series.
May 5th to May 31st, 2009
5490 St. Laurent
May 10th - vernissage 8pm, followed by a dance party
May 16th - print sale at the MTL Anarchist Bookfair (2515 rue Delisle)
May 18th - slide presentation and artist talk by Justseeds' artists Josh MacPhee and Erik Ruin, 7:30pm
Everyone in Justseeds has been cranking out illustrations for a collaboration with Microcosm to do a series of books about influential radical people/groups in the Americas. I had to make an image of Yuri Kochiyama (long time ally of liberation struggles and political prisoners).
It's interesting to think about how to approach illustrations like this, you want it to represent the person, you want it to look like the person and maybe capture some of what you consider interesting or inspiring (their spirit). I didn't want it to look like the weird 'portraits in history' that were in the Sunday comics when I was a kid.
I just finished up the poster for Think Galacticon 2009, a radical political Sci-Fi convention held bi-annually in Chicago. This year it's going to be the weekend of June 26-28 at Roosevelt University. You can find out all about it here.
The Celebrate People's History Poster Series is currently on display at the 56a Infoshop in London. 56A is one of the longest running anarchist social centers in London, I first visited back in 1994(!!), and it's still kicking. They have a bookshop, archive, food coop and bike fix-it space. If you're in London, stop by and check it out: 56A Infoshop, 56 Crampton St., London SE17 3AE UK.
Benefit for NYC's Books Through Bars
Friday May 8th, 8pm
Art & Resistance: Slideshows and Discussion
Seth Tobocman: Author of "Disaster and Resistance: Comics and Landscapes for the 21st Century"
Peter Kuper: "Stop Forgetting to Remember: The Autobiography of Walter Kurtz"
Kevin Caplicki & Molly Fair from Justseeds: Creators of the "Prison Portfolio Project"
Vikki Law: Author of "Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women"
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.
Inkworks, one of our favorite worker-owned print shops, has just release issue #3 of their Hot Off the Presses newsletter. And this issue's artists of the month are Justseeds own Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes!! You can see the entire issue here, jump straight to Melanie and Jesus here, or check out a small write up on Mayday and Mayday posters here.
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...
Justseeds is putting together a book to be published by Microcosm Publishing and we're all currently hard at work producing illustrations for it; the subject matter is essentially radical personas from the last six hundred years of struggle in the Americas. I thought I'd post a couple of my images as a li'l teaser for the project.....
That's Geronimo... click ahead for more....
Here's a really nice write up on Favianna's recent trip to Toronto, from the Rabble website. Click here.
I created this image in the last few hours of the Justseeds installation, at UW-Milwaukee. I'm kind of obsessed with current economic events. So I decided to make a poster about it. The text came out of some discussions that Roger and I were having during the collaboration. Condos and high-end development projects have been a high priority for NYC's current mayor Michael Bloomberg, one that I reference in this image is the Atlantic Yards.
The Atlantic Yards is a mega-development project designed by Forest City Ratner a company with close relationships to powerful NY politicians as well as the NY Times. The company wishes to build a basketball arena and 13 towers, mostly residential, near downtown Brooklyn. There are so many problematic factors to this project like traffic congestion, desire to use eminent domain, community displacement, request of
"Federal Stimulus" money, and so much more. You can find a ton of information on blogs like NoLandGrab.com and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn and Atlantic Yards Report to name a few.
I felt like referencing the renderings of this development project was appropriate in highlighting how overdevelopment of cities, like Brooklyn, has led to economic crisis. Construction combined with predator lending and stretching potential homeowners beyond their means has brought us to the stage of crisis that we are experiencing.
One hope of mine is to make this into stickers, for the front door of every new condo in NYC. If you are interested in using this image, gimme a holler, I can pass along a high-res file.
In thinking about my next image, maybe it will be about the wealth extraction from the majority of the populace to a small percentage of bankers, er, the ruling class?
Here's a flick of my friends loft, where I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow and use as a printing studio for this run. Thanks Jesse!
Back in December the Paper Politics exhibition I curated was hung at the Red House in Syracuse. I got a bunch of photos from the show, but realized I had never posted them here. So below are some flicks of the show. I'm working out the details for a couple more showings of the exhibition now, and I'm definitely look for more venues. If you know of a good space for the show in your town or city, let me know!
Also, I'm working on a new catalog/book of all the work in the show. The first edition of the catalog has been sold out for a couple years. This new book will be published by PM Press and should be out in the Fall.
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).
It talks a little bit about the drawing pictured above. Here is an excerpt from the link:
As you enter the Haggerty, you are confronted by Colin Matthes’ floor-to-ceiling wall drawing, "Winners Circle." Brushstrokes of shiny silver ink create a chain-link fence raised high above your head to separate you from the overweight, slouching Wisconsinites blankly gazing at a colorful carnival attraction in action. Above the game’s wheel hangs a large banner declaring, “Winners Circle. The future is some of yours.” A few drawn figures stand with us on the outside of the fence gawking at the spectacle, excluded from experiences that would have probably been disappointing.
April 5, 2009 - June 5, 2009
Troy Night Out Reception: April 24 5pm - 9pm
at The Arts Center of the Capital Region
265 River Street, Troy NY, 518-273-0552
In Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips, and ephemera bring to life over forty years of activism, political protest, and campaigns for social justice. Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee as part of Exit Art's Curatorial Incubator, this important and timely exhibition surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements.
Organized thematically, the exhibition presents the creative outpourings of social movements, such as those for Civil Rights and Black Power in the United States; democracy in China; anti-apartheid in Africa; squatting in Europe; environmental activism and women's rights internationally; and the global AIDS crisis, as well as uprisings and protests, such as those for indigenous control of lands; against airport construction in Japan; and student and worker revolution in France. The exhibition also explores the development of powerful counter-cultures that evolve beyond traditional politics and create distinct aesthetics, life-styles, and social organization.
Although histories of political groups and counter-cultures have been written, and political and activist shows have been held, this exhibition is a groundbreaking attempt to chronicle the artistic and cultural production of these movements. Signs of Change offers a chance to see relatively unknown or rarely seen works, and is intended to not only provide a historical framework for contemporary activism, but also to serve as an inspiration for the present and the future.
Sponsored by iEAR Presents! and Humanities@Rensselaer
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).
Nicolas, our friend Adam McKee, some UWM workers, and I took down the which side are you on show. Here is what it looks like now....we gotta organize our studio next!
Next Tuesday, April 21st at 7pm, Dylan Miner and I will be presenting about Justseeds at NorthStar center in Lansing, Michigan. Dylan and I will talk about the history of Justseeds and more recent collective projects, including the 2008 Prison Portfolio and the recent installation in Milwaukee. We will also have prints for sale.
The NorthStar Center is: "a radical community space working for social justice and to create lasting change in the Lansing area... committed to building community empowerment, self-education and a culture of resistance through community organizing and grassroots democracy."
A short video by Ross Nugent documenting the Justseeds installation Which Side Are You On? at the Union Art Gallery in Milwaukee.
Good to see that some of the graphics from the Justseeds Prison Portfolio project are finding their way onto fliers and the covers of periodicals. The portfolios that were donated to groups organizing against the prison industrial complex each came with a cdr of all the images from the portfolio - plus prison justice related images from Reproduce and Revolt (a book of copy-right free graphics available through Justseeds / co-edited by Josh and Favianna.)
Here are examples of three. If you know of more, send us an email. Additionally, there are a few remaining copies of the portfolio left for sale on our site that help us recover the cost of creating 100 portfolios.
I'm spending this week at Columbia College in Chicago as part of the school's Critical Encounters program. The theme this year is "Human|Nature", and I'm going to have my hands full. Monday I'll be working with Joan Giroux's class doing a version of the coyote tracks project and hopefully getting some of them installed in spots around Chicago (which has a burgeoning coyote population). Then I'll be performing a day of back-to-back presentations in Fereshteh Toosi's class, where I'll be wrangling my ideas regarding the ongoing animal-attack videos I've been plugging away at for the last two years. And, later in the week I'm doing a public lecture about some of my recent individual and collective projects, including Justseeds. The public lecture will be this Thursday, April 16 at 6:30 pm in the Hokin Lecture Hall at Columbia (623 S. Wabash, 1st floor). Come by if you're in town!
I've also had some work included in the current exhibit "Loaded: Hunting Culture in America", curated by Audrey Michelle Mast and Ann Wiens at the Glass Curtain Gallery, 1104 S. Wabash in Chicago. I have two videos in the exhibition, both fairly new. I've posted one here, which was originally created for the Fugitive Projects' 60 Second Video Project (2009), which I was invited to participate in this winter. The footage is edited down from a pivotal scene in Jean-Jacques Annaud's "The Bear" (1988), which I first saw as a child. Other influences include listening to Sonic Youth while snowed in, camping in the woods, and a bit of that old fear and anxiety regarding "wilderness" that's been the fuel for all my videos lately...
Come on over to Bluestockings Sunday April 12 at 7pm for a panel co-hosted by Justseeds and PM Press. Slideshows by Kevin Pyle and Seth Tobacman, Justseeds members Kevin Caplicki, Erik Ruin, Molly Fair moderating.
Kevin Pyle, artist, educator, contributer and co-editor of World War 3 Illustrated, author of Blindspot The Real Cost of Prisons Comix, for the Real Cost of Prisons Project, read Josh MacPhee's review on the Justseeds Blog Kevin Pyle's comic Prison Town: Paying the Price tells the story the ways in which the financing and siting of prisons and jails effects the people of rural communities in which prison are built. It also tells the story of the how mass incarceration effects the people of urban communities where the majority of people who are incarcerated come from. Included in the comic book are alternatives to the current system. There are 3 comics in total which explore different aspects of the prison industrial complex and contain stories and statistical information that has been thoroughly researched and documented. As of October 2008, 125,000 copies of the comic books have been printed and more than 100,000 have been sent to families of people who are incarcerated, people who are incarcerated and to organizers and activists throughout the country. The demand for them is constant and the ways in which they are being used is inspiring.Comic books are sent free of charge to organizations who submit a one page email or letter explaining how you will use the comic books in your organizing, community education and outreach work. Book versions of the comic are published by PM Press, and free PDF versions of the comic and flyers are available via the website.
presentation by Kevin Caplicki and Erik Ruin
Justseeds portfolio Voices from the Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex
In honor of Critical Resistance's 10 Year Anniversary, Justseeds created a portfolio of original prints that either critiqued the prison industrial complexor addressed alternatives to incarceration. Twenty one artists from the US, Canada, and Mexico contributed prints. Justseeds donated over 50 portfolios to anti-prison movements groups including Critical Resistance, Books to Prisoners, the TAMMS Year Ten Campaign, The National Public Service Council to Abolish Private Prisons, and numerous other groups. There have already been several exhibitions and the prints have been shared with a discussion group of men at the Oakhill Correctional Facility. We will talk about the process of creating the portfolio, how we hope it will be used for organizing purposes, and what responses have been so far. This will be our first New York presentation of the portfolio. If you can't make it, there will be another on May 8th at ABC NO RIO and the images from the portfolio will soon be available on our website so you can use them in your organizing work!
Seth Tobocman, artist, activist, co-editor and contributer to World War 3 Illustrated, author You Don't Have to Fuck People Over to Survive
Disaster and Resistance: Comics and Landscapes for the 21st Century
Promo From AK Press
In his new book Seth Tobocman he outlines pressing social and political struggles at the dawn of the twenty-first century, from post 9-11 New York City to Israel and Palestine, to Iraq and New Orleans. Disaster and Resistance outlines pressing social and political struggles at the dawn of the twenty-first century—from post 9-11 New York City, to Israel and Palestine, to Iraq and New Orleans. Fans of Seth's classic works, You Don't Have to Fuck People Over to Survive, and War in the Neighborhood, will see that his punch has not softened as his new work skewers the individuals and institutions reaping havoc across the globe today. In his bold comic style, Seth chronicles events as they happen, musing not on the chaos of instability and fear, but on the struggle against it.
The schedule is packed! The weekend of the 11th-12th we are tabling at the New York Anarchist Bookfair and will have a load of panelists. With events at Bluestockings Bookstore and the Brecht Forum throughout the week, and everything culminating at the Left Forum the following weekend with a sprinkiling of outside events...well you can see we will be busy! And we hope to see you around, it's going to be an amazing week indeed.
PM Press has been putting out a lot of interesting books, and I'm excited to be working with them on a lot of design and book covers. One of my recent covers just came out, wrapped around a massive 700 page collection of writing and source materials related to the German guerrilla organization, Red Army Faction. The Red Army Faction: A Documentary History, volume 1 is the most complete and in depth look at the armed German Left in the 1960s and 70s. You can pick up the book here. And here's the cover:
This is an interesting post to follow Roger's on the Jaguar. The word for jaguar is one of the 10 or so words in Portugese that I've learned so far (it's ónça, in case you were wondering...).
So it's been about a week since I arrived in Vitoria, Espirito Santo, and I wanted to share some experiences with the Justseeds blog world. I am here on behalf of the Warhol Museum with my cohort Heather White to organize museum and community silkscreen projects as representatives of RUST (Radial Urban Silkscreen Team), a Warhol youth project that we organized in Summer 2008. I had never been to South or Central America before, and my mind has been blown! We are in the tropics! The flora and fauna and weather and style are totally amazing...
We visited a community center in La Piedage, the neighborhood up-a-very-steep-hill where some young artists will be working on RUST-style projects with young folks after we leave...two lil ladies, maybe six years old, arrived early and enthusiastically joined in printing backgrounds with us...when their friends arrived they explained to them how the silkscreen process works. So sweet and stoked.
We gave an artist talk and advanced silkscreen workshop at an artist space in downtown Vitoria, that is closing ita doors at the end of April. Folks were experimenting with silkscreening and all manner of other things when we rolled in...all the artists we have met so far are full of ideas and energy and street art seems big...especially wheatpasting.
Clockwise from top left: the view from La Piedage; printing with small folks at the community center in La Piedage; silkscreen workshop for interns and community artists at downtown space; shirtless printing at downtown space
I just got back to NYC from installing Signs of Change upstate in Troy. Here's the info for the show (please stop by if you're in the area!), and below are some photos from the install.
Reception: April 24, 2009 5:00-9:00 PM
Exhibition runs from April 5, 2009 - June 5, 2009
The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy NY, 518.273.0552,
Sponsored by iEAR Presents! and Humanities at Rensselaer
In Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now, hundreds of posters, photographs, moving images, audio clips, and ephemera bring to life over forty years of activism, political protest, and campaigns for social justice. Curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee as part of Exit Art's Curatorial Incubator, this important and timely exhibition surveys the creative work of dozens of international social movements. Organized thematically, the exhibition presents the creative outpourings of social movements, such as those for Civil Rights and Black Power in the United States; democracy in China; anti-apartheid in Africa; squatting in Europe; environmental activism and women's rights internationally; and the global AIDS crisis, as well as uprisings and protests, such as those for indigenous control of lands; against airport construction in Japan; and student and worker revolution in France. The exhibition also explores the development of powerful counter-cultures that evolve beyond traditional politics and create distinct aesthetics, life-styles, and social organization. Although histories of political groups and counter-cultures have been written, and political and activist shows have been held, this exhibition is a groundbreaking attempt to chronicle the artistic and cultural production of these movements. Signs of Change offers a chance to see relatively unknown or rarely seen works, and is intended to not only provide a historical framework for contemporary activism, but also to serve as an inspiration for the present and the future.
Posted below is the long version of an exhibition review of Signs of Change that I wrote for the April/May issue of Left Turn.
800 Images, Histories, and Struggles: A Review of “Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now”
For radical artists and activists, the first experience of walking into Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now at Exit Art is like a kid walking into a candy store. Where to begin? Everything looks good. The walls of the 5000 square foot exhibition space are covered with an array of posters, prints and flyers from over five decades of social and environmental movements from around the world. Additionally, a row of tables that occupies the center ally of the gallery contains hundreds of items of ephemera, and video projections and monitors are strategically placed throughout the gallery showing documentation of numerous artists and art collectives. All told, upwards of eight hundred examples of activist art are presented.
A short list of some of the movements addressed within the show include the Black Panther Movement, the American Indian Movement, the squatters movement in the US and Europe, political liberation movements in Africa, anti-Apartheid movements in South Africa, democracy movements in China, global environmental and anti-nuke movements, anti-Vietnam War movements, Chicana/o farm worker movements, the Zapatista uprising, global AIDS activism, and Reclaim the Streets.
The show was curated by two Brooklyn-based artist/activists Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee through the Exit Art Curatorial Incubator Program. MacPhee largely focused on the prints and posters and Greenwald on the films and videos. Together, they also organized an ambitious program of panel discussions, film screenings, and screen-printing workshops. All told, Greenwald and MacPhee turned Exit Art into an epicenter of art and activism for the duration of the shows run from September 20 - December 6th. The result is arguably one of the more vital and interesting political art shows to emerge in a long time -- a show that raises key questions and insight regarding the art of social movements, the role of artists in these movements, and the complex and sometimes contradictory practice of exhibiting radical art within large-scale retrospective shows.
about 11' x 22'
This wall drawing uses the familiar language of carnival games as a means to think about the opportunities and exclusion that exist on the local level and beyond.
The Justseeds install in Milwaukee inspired me to try my hand at turning some of my prints into large-scale paintings and five new images are currently up at the Armoury Gallery in Milwaukee. The exhibition "Night Work" includes two collaborative teams, Nathaniel Stern & Jessica Meuninck-Ganger and Shana McCaw & Brent Budsberg, as well as new 2D work by myself and recent work by Sonja Thomsen.
Friday, March 27th 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Show runs: March 27 – May 2
Gallery Hours: Saturdays 12:00 – 5:00 pm
1718 N. 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI
The stories of immigrants, of working class folks of color, of single mothers, of young black and brown men being locked up day after day at alarming rates – those stories are left out of the “art world,” and yet, these are the majority of the stories in the country, in the world. This demonstrates to me that the art world continues to be an elitist body and that it caters mostly to the needs of white men. When I make work, I talk about the things I see in my own community, in the lives of the people around me. My work addresses themes of globalization, war, immigration, women, sexuality, and prisons. When I talk about those themes, my work gets labeled as political. It actually also gets labeled as women’s art, Latino art, Chicano art, propaganda art, and a host of other terms.
Those terms don’t really bother me.. My intention is to change the conditions of the communities I represent. I have been given a tool to do that and it’s through art. I view art as a tool for education, agitation, and social critique. Through an artistic practice, it is possible to confront the multitude of images of disempowerment fed to us by mainstream media.
I'm a little late to catch this, as the week is half over, but friends in Ottawa at the Exile Infoshop are hosting a great week of prison activist events, including an exhibition of our Voices from the Outside portfolio.
Prison Justice Week
March 20 to 27, 2009
256 Bank St. (second floor), Ottawa, ON.
reg. hours: Wednesday-Saturday, noon-8pm; Sunday noon-5pm
Featuring the Justseeds art exhibit “Voices from Outside: Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex” and nightly events!
All Events @ 7PM,
Free, but regrettably not wheelchair accessible
* Friday March 20th - Kick-off Prison Justice Art exhibit w/DJ
* Saturday March 21st - Panel Discussion: From Prisons to Colonialism : Global Apartheid w/ Jaggi Singh, Abdullah Al-Malki, Yavar Hameed (representing Abousfian Abdelrazik). Abdullah Almalki is a Canadian citizen who was detained, interrogated and torture in Syria because of information that could have only originated from Canadian government agencies.Yavar Hameed is a lawyer representing Abousfian Abdelrazik. Mr. Abdelrazik was abducted, illegally detained and held in captivity by Sudanese authorities for approximately two years at the recommendation of CSIS. While in detention, Mr. Abdelrazik was subjected to coercive interrogation and torture by Sudanese officials with direct Canadian involvement. For the past five years, the Canadian government has been illegally blocking Mr. Abdelrazik’s right to return to Canada. Jaggi Singh is a no borders, anti-capitalist, migrant and indigenous solidarity organizer based in Montreal. He is currently active with No One Is Illegal-Montreal, Solidarity Across Borders and other groups.
* Sunday March 22nd - Prisoner Letter Writing and Crafts Night
* Monday March 23rd - Film Night - Life Inside Out, NFB production, a vérité-style documentary that takes us inside the walls of Grand Valley Institution for Women.
* Tuesday March 24th - Panel Discussion: Indigenous People and the Criminal Injustice System featuring: Kim Pate - Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies; Sheila Grantham - Researcher on The Aboriginal Women and Stigma Project
* Wednesday March 25th - Prisoner Letter Writing and Crafts Night
* Thursday March 26th - Speaker Event and Journal for Prisoners on Prisons Issue 17 Release w/ Sophie Harkat, Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee
* Friday March 27th - Fundraiser Costume Dance Party.
Opening Grill Out
Saturday, March 28
1 to 5 pm
2050 Bryant St.
b/t 18th and 19th Sts.
SF, CA 94110
FREE (one day only, inside if raining)
Food on the grill, bevs in the cooler, music on the boombox, and art on the walls
(some food and beverages will be provided while supplies last)
Featuring eight panels of art by:
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza
Russell Howze with Hugh D’Andrade
John Koleszar (AZ)
Peat Wollaeger (MO)
with special stencils on paper by Tiago DeJerk (OR)
Bring your own cut out stencils to add to the ongoing collection of stencil art at CELLspace (some paint provided)
Recently I reprinted my little print of two hands holding a sunflower. When I first made the sunflower print, the idea of having a community garden in which to grow things was just an nice idea. Last spring this idea brought many of my neighbors out of their houses and into an empty lot, one of many in Detroit, to try to make something together. A bench and compost bin were donated, one neighbor built a tree-swing. The non-profit that owns the land built a fence around the garden and installed a water spigot in the apartment building next door. The Garden Resource Program, an awe-inspiring program connecting gardeners in Detroit to other gardeners, to plants and tools, and to education, gave us a huge head start. Folks built a dozen raised beds, and planted everything from asparagus to zucchini. Those neighbors who made it through the summer, carefully attending to the watering schedule, became the tried-and-true keepers of the garden. The work paid off, and not just in fistfuls of kale and dirt-encrusted potatoes. Although it sounds corny, I'm not lying when I say that the true prize was our relationships with each other, and with the neighborhood children that came, every day, to see if they could hold the hose and to ask us, again, to explain what an eggplant tastes like. Now, mid-March, it's beginning to feel like Spring again in Detroit, and any minute now we will all be out there with our hands in the soil, digging.
Chris Stain and Billy Mode spent a mild Sunday evening painting a wall in Bed-Stuy. Folks in the neighborhood were intrigued and expressed support to the artists as they worked into the night. A good amount of guys stopping to make mention of how they used to paint trains and played the "do you know so-and-so" with Chris and Bill, finding they had friends in common. Police took no interest in the two entitled artists. Chris mentioned the only person perturbed by their painting was an older woman who harassed them for a moment and took their pictures. Other Folks like Bed-Stuy Banana and Bed-Stuy Blog were less aggressive in their phototaking.
It turns out writer Goal was painting a legal wall, with some friends, down the street on a restaurant. Apparently a perfect day to be out painting.
This Thursday at 5pm is the opening for Current Tendencies at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, WI. I am working on a wall drawing called Winners Circle for the exhibit. So far so good, I am real happy with where it is at, and hope to finish it by tomorrow night. More information is below and you can check out images of the drawing as it progresses here
HAGGERTY MUSEUM OF ART
Current Tendencies: Ten Artists from Wisconsin
March 12 – June 14, 2009
Opening: Thursday, March 12 at 5:00 p.m. at the Haggerty Museum of Art
The Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University presents the exhibition Current Tendencies Ten Artists from Wisconsin that features recent work and new installations by contemporary artists from Wisconsin. As these artists work in a variety of media and on disparate themes, each artist or pair of artists will have a dedicated space within the museum for their work. The art in the exhibition will range from paintings, drawings and photographs to mixed media.
Site specific works are being created by Jennifer Angus, Colin Matthes and the duo of Shana McCaw & Brent Budsberg specifically for this exhibition. In addition to these installations, one gallery will be dedicated to the work of the late Peter Bardy, a self-taught artist from Milwaukee who transformed his home into a private world. New work by photographer Sonja Thomsen and paper cuttings by Xiaohong Zhang will be featured in the exhibition along with variety of mixed-media works by Anne Kingsbury and paintings by T.L. Solien and George Williams, Jr.
Programs offered at the Haggerty in conjunction with the exhibition:
The State of Art –
Open forum about the visual arts in Wisconsin Thursday, March 26 7 p.m.
- George Tzougros, Executive Director, Wisconsin Arts Board
- Polly Morris, Director of Development, Marketing & Outreach at the University of
Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts, Milwaukee Arts Board member
- Jane Simon, Curator of Exhibitions, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
- Deb Brehmer, arts writer, owner of Portrait Society Gallery and art history instructor at
the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
Lunchtime Learning Sonja Thomsen (photography) Wednesday, April 8 11:30 a.m.
Gallery Talk T. L. Solien (painting) Wednesday, April 15 6 p.m.
Gallery Talk Anne Kingsbury (mixed media) Wednesday, April 22 6 p.m.
Gallery Talk George Williams, Jr. (painting) Wednesday, April 22 6 p.m.
Lunchtime Learning Jennifer Angus (installation) Wednesday, April 29 11:30 a.m.
For more information, call 414-288-1669 or visit www.marquette.edu/haggerty
After the Justseeds install, I took off for Mérida, Yucatan. I just got in yesterday, but I haven't seen any exciting (street) art, yet. Send me a shout out if anyone knows some artists or areas to check out here in the Yucatan.
In the mean time, here are a couple of flics from the show I curated, 'In the Name of the Blood Shed.' Photographers Antonio Turok and Edith Sánchez Morales were in the house. Street Art collectives Lapiztola and Zzierra Rrezzia will hopefully be in Michigan conducting workshops for the closing. Stop by if in Michigan before the end of the month.
Jared Davidson, the artist behind the Garage Collective in Christchurch, New Zealand, has designed the latest Celebrate People's History Poster. His poster, Red Feds, is a celebration of early labor union organizing in New Zealand, and discusses the connections between New Zealand radical labor and the Industrial Workers of the World. I asked Jared to write up a bit about the inspiration behind the poster, and he sent along this text, which was also published in the New Zealand Labor History Project. Give it a read and check out the poster:
I never wanted to be a graphic designer — at least not in the traditional sense. An important part of my artistic practice has been to explicitly avoid the design industry and all that it encompasses — advertising, profitability, marketing, consumption, and ultimately, the advancement of our current exploitative and illogical system: capitalism. By setting myself up independent of this mainstream conception of design, I've been lucky enough to participate in projects which have been far more worthwhile and productive than encouraging profit margins, consumer culture and an elitist design minority. Work for the Labour History Project — in the form of the Blackball '08 and May '68 posters — as well my recent poster for the 'Celebrate People's History' project initiated by Justseeds (a collective of USA-based printmakers and illustrators) relects the sort of artistic endeavours I see particular value in.
As my interest in the role graphic and cultural work can play in political agitation and education has grown, I've come into contact with other like-minded practitioners at home and abroad. Justseeds Visual Resistance Artists' Co-Operative, like myself, realise that cultural production plays an integral role in the continuation of the values and systems that prevail today — including our sense of identity, and equally important, our understanding of history. Hence the 'Celebrate People's History' project — an ongoing collection of educational and agitational posters designed to illustrate aspects of our past which are often marginalised, overlooked and outright ignored.
When I was asked to contribute to the project I immediately knew that I wanted to concentrate on an aspect of Aotearoa's past, or more specifically, our vibrant labour history. A poster on the 'Red Feds' and the influence of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) in Aotearoa seemed a natural choice.
Death Row. Water Buffalo.
1 photo from the opening, 4 from the following day... More to be posted soon.
The Justseeds install at UWM in Milwaukee opens tonight! (Thursday, March 5th from 5-8pm) The Gallery is located in room W199 on the Campus Level of the Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Boulevard.
The show runs through April 3rd - hours are Monday thru Wednesday 12-5pm, Thursday 12-7pm and Friday thru Saturday 12-5pm.
We are not in the least afraid of making a mess.....
Here's some photos of day three of the Justseeds install "Which Side Are You On" that opens at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Thursday, March 5th. Slowly but surely it is all coming together. Much thanks to everyone who is assisting us with this project-our friends, the students who are helping out, and all at the Union Art Gallery who have been so amazing to work with. We're excited to see what the next two days bring forth.
...stay tuned..three more days of work until the show opens on Thursday, March 5th...
The Justseeds install in Milwaukee is off to a roaring start. 15 plus members from the collective and a host of Milwaukee friends are busy working on the six day installation from Friday, Feb. 28th-March 5th. If your in Milwaukee or nearby, stop by the exhibition preview (Tuesday, March 3rd 5:00-8:00) the opening (Thursday, March 5th 5:00-8:00), and a presentation by Josh MacPhee (Monday, March 2nd, 7:00-9:00) on political printmaking. Details are posted below and more photos of the install will be posted soon!
Which Side Are You On?
Exhibition featuring work from the Justseeds Radical Artists’ Cooperative
MILWAUKEE, WI — From March 5 through April 3 the UWM Union Art Gallery will present Which Side Are You On?, featuring the work of 20 plus artists who are part of the Justseeds Radical Artists’ Cooperative. The exhibition reception is on Thursday, March 5 from 5-8pm. An exhibition preview will take place on March 3 at 5pm. All events are free and open to the public.
Justseeds (www.justseeds.org) is a decentralized radical art cooperative consisting of 20 plus artists who live in Brooklyn, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Portland, Milwaukee, and other cities across North America. Together they work on a myriad of projects where art is used as a tool to serve social justice movements. Justseeds is best known for their political prints, a blog that serves as a home for socially engaged street art and news, their group installations, and a recent portfolio project in honor of the 10-year Anniversary of Critical Resistance (a grass roots organization committed to opposing the prison-industrial complex.)
In early March, the Justseeds Radical Artists’ Cooperative will create a massive floor-to-ceiling, all encompassing installation that combines elements of street art, sculpture, video, and other mediums. Which Side Are You On? examines the use of walls as physical and mental barriers that create de-facto segregation, whether it is the walls that divide nation states, the streets that separate one side of town from the other, or the barriers that separate humans from the environment. Which Side Are You On? challenges these barriers while envisioning a more just and sustainable future.
At 5pm on Tuesday, March 3, an exhibition preview will take place at the Union Art Gallery. Stop by for a chance to see the Justseeds installation in progress. During the walk through, meet and talk with the artists involved in the installation.
In conjunction with this exhibition, Union Programming is hosting an evening with Justseeds founder, Josh MacPhee, on Monday, March 2 at 7pm in the Union Fireside Lounge. In his talk, The Walls Are Talking: Street Art and Social Movements, MacPhee will present an in-depth discussion about street art and graffiti and their role at four historical times, between 1968 and 2003. The lecture is free and open to the public. Josh will also lead a printmaking workshop in the Union Studio Arts and Craft Centre on Saturday, March 7 from 12:30-3:30pm. Call 229-5535 for information on the fee and to register.
Which Side Are You On? is cosponsored by UWM Students for a Democratic Society.
Gallery hours are Monday thru Wednesday 12-5pm, Thursday 12-7pm and Friday thru Saturday 12-5pm. The Gallery is located in room W199 on the Campus Level of the Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Boulevard.
If you're in Pittsburgh this week, come to Morning Glory Coffeehouse to get a last look at the beautiful prints and print collages of Meredith Stern. A lot of this work is new, and it is colorful, loving, inspiring! Meredith will be here to play a reunion show with her old band The Accident. Other unusual and crucial live music and DJing, see below. FREE!
CLOSING PARTY! FREE FOOD + DRINK! SWEET JAMZ!
February 25, 2008 - 8pm at:
MORNING GLORY COFFEEHOUSE
1806 Chislett Street in Morningside, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
live music for the closing party--
The Accident (Meredith + Deanna one-time reunion)
2 DRAGONS BLACK + RED (underage and all the rage)
Etta - solo accapella - yessir
DJ MARY MACK will make your squirrel tail go BUMP!
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.
Images from Signs of Change Winter Harvest Reception, January 23, 2009
Join local printmakers and activists at a special Activist Print Open Studio, this Thursday, 5-8pm, at the Signs of Change exhibition at the Miller Gallery in Pittsburgh.
ACTIVIST PRINT OPEN STUDIO >>>
Thursday, Feb. 19, 5-8pm
@ Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Free and open to the public
Screenprinting open studio provided by Artists Image Resource + The Andy Warhol Museum. Observe printers in action, roll up your sleeves and print posters promoting local issues, or bring $5 and create a screenprint from images that you provide.
I wanted to announce the release of a new Celebrate People's History poster! The Cherokee Writing System was designed by Frank Brannon, Jr., who runs his own letterpress studio SpeakEasy Press in Dillsboro, NC.
The Cherokee Writing System was developed in 1821 by Sequoyah. Frank was interested in doing a poster about Sequoyah's syllabary after researching the Cherokee Pheonix, the first newspaper that used the writing system, as well as the first Native American newspaper. After studying and giving talks on the subject, Frank realized how few knew about Sequoyah and his work. Frank says, "I felt the Celebrate People's History poster series was the perfect way to get out the word to the people on his story. That's what compelled me to write." He also says letterpress printing normally means a small audience. Making a CPH poster was a way to translate few copies of a poster on Sequoyah to a larger audience.
You can learn more about Frank and SpeakEasy Press at www.speakeasypress.com.
I've been spending a lot of time in the studio in the day working on some new screen prints. At night I've had the time to work on some new digital prints. Here are a couple of prints, one of Marcos from the Festival de Digna Rabia (Festival of Dignified Rage) and another of Che from a old photo of him in Cuba.
I uploaded a set of flicks from the install and opening of Chris Stain's Up on the roof counting pigeons over on our Flickr page.
If your in Chicago or close by, come celebrate Mess Hall’s 5-Yr. anniversary this Sunday, Feb. 15th!
Mess Hall is an experimental cultural space. Located in the Roger’s Park in Chicago, Mess Hall is a place for visual culture, creative urbanism, sustainable ecology, food democracy, radical politics, and cultural experimentation. Mess Hall runs on the generosity of those who use it. This allows us to provide everything for free - from food and drinks to workshops and events.
Over the past five years, hundreds of events have taken place from art shows, film screenings, discussions, meetings, potlucks, sewing rebellions, performances, and everything in between.
So join us Sunday, February 15, 2009, 7:00pm to celebrate the past 5 years and make your mark on the space for future events.
What you can expect:
-An exhibit of Mess Hall archives & proposals for our next 5 years.
-The Justseeds Prison Portfolio Project
-Art by Burtonwood and Holmes (http://www.burtonwoodandholmes.com)
-This Is Not A Truck (http://www.blocartiststudios.com/index.html)
-kick-ass music with Mess Hall’s own Aay Preston-Myint DJing.
Mess Hall links:
Mess Hall website:
(BRAND NEW!) Mess Hall blog:
Links to some recent press...
News Star article on Mess Hall
Loyola Phoenix article on Mess Hall
Mess Hall's Ten-Point Statement:
Ever since Chris & I finished the installation and hung his show I've been taking in LA. I wanted to post a bunch of photos and links right after the opening but, go figure, real life is more interesting than staring at my extra brain.(photo by Kevin Caplicki-while borrowing Sesper's fisheye lens, thanks for showing me that trick!)
I mentioned to Chris awhile back that I wanted to make a rooftop installation in a gallery. When he was offered this solo show at the Carmichael Gallery, he asked me if I wanted to actualize that idea. Working with Chris is really enjoyable, so I jumped at the chance. We get along well and provide some balance for each other when things go awry. I really appreciate Chris for his confidence and encouragement in others, and feel the freedom to influence and create whatever is on my mind in these installations. So with that, I'm proud of what we made and encourage you to check out the show, in real life, and in the links I'll post below. First the info
"Up On The Roof Countin' Pigeons"
a solo exhibition of Chris Stain
February 5 - 26, 2009
Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art
1257 N. La Brea Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90038
or this flickr set from Carmichael Gallery
Our very own Erik Ruin will be giving a fireside chat in Philly tonight about his work and Justseeds!
Potluck Tonight: Tuesday Feb 10th 2009, 6-8pm EST
basekamp space: 723 Chestnut St, 2nd floor, Philadelphia
Local Philadelphia artist and puppeteer Erik Ruin will speak about Justseeds Cooperative, a graphic art distributor which he co-founded.
He'll be giving an informal slideshow on the imagery and themes that inform his work as a printmaker/puppeteer/editor. This discussion will touch upon everything from his influences and interests in/from epic theater, the history of radical graphics and direct film to collective work as a member of the Justseeds Radical Artists' Cooperative, Upsidedownculture Collective and Barebones Productions.
Tamms Year Ten and Mess Hall are holding another event related to the Justseeds Prison Portfolio, a poster critique and discussion of aesthetic strategies! I wish I was in Chicago, because this is exactly what I'm into, trying to discuss and suss out how to improve the effectiveness of our visual propaganda. If you are in Chicago, check this out:
Poster Critique + Discussion of Visual Strategies for Resisting the Prison Industrial Complex with Dan S. Wang & Laurie Jo Reynolds
Saturday, February 7 at 6:30pm
6932 North Glenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
Tamms Year Ten is hosting an open discussion of the prints in the Justseeds poster portfolio — each which critiques the "prison industrial complex." Let's talk about which images are effective for you--and use this as a basis for considering the visual and rhetorical strategies in the movement. We want to learn from the decisions made by these artists, and then we want to work with you to consider the very real representational problems we face as a movement!
- How do we depict the experience of long-term isolation? Or communicate the experience of long-term incarceration?
- What visual language will help us to imagine the abolition of prisons? To urge rehabilitation over punishment?
- Can commonly used motifs—fists through prison bars/broken chains/doves/barbed wire/slave ships/prison stripes—still work? Are new metaphors required?
We'll be talking about prison-related issues, but we hope that this event will be of interest to all artist-activists bedeviled and/or charmed by the problem of producing movement art which translates our political passions into visual form, renders visible the (often unacknowledged) problems of the present, and/or serves as an irresistible invitation to join us in our efforts to get free. We also invite you to bring other anti-prison movement ephemera (t-shirts, posters, stickers) for discussion!
Above are photos from an important event that took place at Mess Hall in Chicago on Feb. 1, 2009. The TAMMS YEAR TEN CAMPAIGN organized a show of posters, flyers, letters, poetry, postcards, banners, photos, videos, and ephemera from their multifaceted campaign. Included in the show was the Justseeds Portfolio Project: Voices from Outside - Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex.
The event focused attention on the current campaign against TAMMS (a super max prison in southern Illinois) and urged more people in Illinois and beyond to get involved in speaking out and contacting legislators about the horrid conditions and the methods of psychological torture that take place at TAMMS.
If you are outraged by Guantánamo Bay and encouraged by the Obama Administration’s call to close it down, learn more about TAMMS and speak out against torture in Illinois prisons.
About TAMMS YEAR TEN CAMPAIGN:
In 1998, the first prisoners were transferred from prisons across the state to Tamms CMAX, in Southern Illinois. This new “supermax” prison, designed to keep men in permanent solitary confinement, was intended for short-term incarceration. The IDOC called it a one-year “shock treatment.” Now, ten years later, over one-third of the original prisoners have been there for a decade. They have lived in long-term isolation—no phone calls, no communal activity, no ocntact visits. They only leave the cell to exercise alone in a concrete box 2-5 times per week. They are fed through a slot in the door.
Year Ten is a coalition of prisoners, ex-prisoners, families, artists and other concerned citizens who have come together to protest the misguided and inhumane policies at Tamms C-MAX, and to call for an end to psychological torture. We have initiated a program of cultural, educational and political events to publicize Tamms after ten years of operation.
Chris Stain & I are out in Los Angeles this week to build an installation for his solo show at the Carmichael Gallery. If you're around here or know anyone that is interested in hanging out with us on a NYC rooftop tell em to swing by the gallery. Maybe we can shoot the shit and drink 40's on the roof.
Here's the skinny:
A solo exhibition of new work by Chris Stain
Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art is proud to present "Up on the roof countin' pigeons", the first West Coast solo exhibition of work by Baltimore artist Chris Stain. Artwork featured in the exhibition will include stencil, spraypaint and mixed media on metal and found objects.
For "Up on the roof countin' pigeons", Chris Stain will transform the gallery into a NYC rooftop scene, complete with pigeon coop and live jazz music. The enigmatic stencil portraits integrated into the large-scale installation pierce the gaze of viewers and offer a unique perspective of contemporary inner city life.
"My work explores the emotional and physical struggle of growing up in an urban environment. Through hand-cut stencils and installations made from found materials I hope to inspire compassion for the often overlooked individuals of society." - Chris Stain
Thursday, February 5th
7.00pm – 10.00pm
Open to the public February 6th – February 26th, 2009
1.00pm – 7.00pm
I hope to tickle your fancy wih some tastes as the install progresses so check back here
or on our Flickr
Above are photos from the “Artists Against the Prison Industrial Complex” show that took place on January 30, 2009 at Project Lodge in Madison, Wisconsin. The exhibition was organized by Wisconsin Books to Prisoners (a project of Rainbow Bookstore) and over 70 works of art were on display (including the Justseeds portfolio project, other prison related images from Justseeds artists, art by prisoners, and art by local Madison artists. As well, spoken word artists from the First Wave Spoken Word and Urban Arts Learning Community, including Sophia Snow and Alida Carlos Whaley performed and inspired us with their words.
The opening was packed with people from Madison, Milwaukee, and beyond and the organizers did an incredible job in bringing everyone together and using culture as a tool to combat the prison crisis.
The organizers from Wisconsin Books to Prisoners kept the focus of the evening on activism and reminded us that the State Government in Wisconsin bans used books from being mailed to Wisconsin prisoners and urged people to phone the Governor’s office at 608-266-1212; the WI DOC Administrator at 608-240-5104; and the WI DOC secretary at 608-240-5055 to voice their objections.
To learn more:
To contact one of organizers of the show:
Camy Matthay: email@example.com
Also check out Community Connections -- a volunteer organization that does a myriad of programming and prison/family support work with inmates at the Oakhill Correctional Institution (OCI) in Oregon, WI.
In late February/early March 2009, upwards of fifteen Justseeds artists will converge in Milwaukee for a week to create a massive floor-to-ceiling installation at the Union Art Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that will combines elements of street art, stencils, sculpture and other mediums.
The installation is titled "Which Side Are You On?" and it will examine the use of walls as physical and mental barriers that create de-facto segregation, whether it is the walls that divide nation states, the streets that separate one side of town from the other, or the barriers that separate humans from the environment. "Which Side Are You On?" challenges these barriers while envisioning a more just and sustainable future.
During the install, we'll post photos on the Justseeds blog of the work in progress.
Monday, March 2nd, 7:00pm, Union Fireside Lounge: talk by Josh MacPhee on the present and past political, social, and aesthetic development of activist printmaking from around the world.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 5pm, Union Art Gallery: stop in the Union Art Gallery for a chance to see the Justseeds installation in progress. During the walk through, meet and talk with the artists involved in the installation.
Thursday, March 5th, 5-8pm, Union Art Gallery: opening reception
Saturday, March 7th, 12:30-3:30, Union Studio Arts and Craft Centre: printmaking workshop with Josh MacPhee. Call the Craft Centre at 414-229-5535 to register.
The exhibition will run from March 5th - April 3rd
UWM Union Art Gallery is located at:
Campus Level, Room W199
2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri & Sat 12-5pm; Thu 12-7pm
The exhibition "Which Side Are You On" is co-sponsored by Students for a Democratic Society at UWM
Brooklynstreetart.com has posted an interview I did with them about the Reproduce & Revolt book. Check it out HERE.
Wisconsin Books to Prisoners a project of Rainbow Bookstore, is sponsoring an exhibit ARTISTS AGAINST THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. The show will run from Jan 30 – Feb 5th at Project Lodge, 817 E. Johnson in Madison. Opening reception is at 7 pm, Friday Jan 30th.
Over 70 drawings by prisoners that address the use of prisons, policing and punishment as a “solution” to social, political and economic problems will be on display.
The show was inspired by printmakers from the Justseeds Radical Artists’ Cooperative (www.justseeds.org) who created more than 20 posters in 2008 in honor of the 10th anniversary of Critical Resistance, a prison abolitionist movement. Twenty-five posters from Justseeds, which include Wisconsin artists Nicolas Lampert and Colin Matthes will be on display. Other political artists in Wisconsin have also contributed prints to the show.
Spoken word artists from the First Wave Spoken Word and Urban Arts Learning Community, including Sophia Snow, Alida Carlos Whaley and others will perform pieces topical to the show. Again, please join us for the opening reception on Friday, January 30th, from 7 pm -10 pm.
Contributions to support the costs of shipping books to prisoners are appreciated. Those unable to attend the show are welcome to send donations to Wisconsin Books to Prisoners/Rainbow Books, 426 W. Gilman St.. Madison, WI 53703. Tax-deductible donations can be made out to our fiscal sponsor "PC Foundation” with "WI Books to
Prisoners" in the memo line.
Since the inception of Wisconsin Books to Prisoners in the fall of 2006, WBTP has sent over 12,000 books to prisoners nationwide. Although Wisconsin Books to Prisoners is still banned by the WI Department of Corrections from sending used books to prisoners in WI, it continues to send books to federal and state prisoners nationwide, including an outreach program for LGTB prisoners.
Wisconsin prisoners deserve the right to read and access to books from book to prisoner projects. Those concerned about the ban should phone the Governor’s office at 608-266-1212; the WI DOC Administrator at 608-240-5104; and the WI DOC secretary at 608-240-5055 to voice their objections.
Contact for the show:
Reviews: Realizing the Impossible: Art against Authority by Josh MacPhee and Erik Reuland AK Press 2007 – 319 pages – £16.00 – ISBN: 9781904859321
This monochrome book arrived shortly after an interview with Banksy, the “graffiti artist”, had been aired on the BBC. A commentator went along to a working men’s (sic) club in Bethnal Green to view Banksy’s diversion of yellow road markings across the pavement and up the wall to blossom into a flower. Banksy says in the book, “Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal…a city which felt like a living breathing thing which belonged to everybody, not just real estate agents and the barons of big business”. The club secretary was quite pleased to leave it there. But not all graffiti is of artistic merit and many regard it as degrading the environment. Do graffitos adorn their own dwellings thus?
This Spring, the New Press will release a graphic adaptation of Studs Terkel's Working. Not only is Studs a legend, but this book is quite possibly one of the most important texts of the modern era.
For this project, radical historian Prof. Paul Buhle (he co-edited the Wobblies graphic novel with Nicole Schulman, a good friend of Justseeds) gathered together an impressive assortment of artists to produce the imagery, while Harvey Pekar scripted the entire thing. I haven't seen the book yet (minus my own illustrations), but it's bound to be chingón!
• Pablo Callejo
• Gary Dumm
• Danny Fingeroth
• Peter Gullerud
• Bob Hall
• Ryan Inzana
• Sabrina Jones
• Peter Kuper
• Terry LaBan
• Dylan Miner (yeah, that's me!)
• Pat Moriarity
• Emily Nemens
• Joan Reilly
• Sharon Rudahl
• Nick Thorkelson
• Anne Timmons
• Lance Tooks
Greetings from frigid, frigid, Milwaukee. If you are also enjoying the lets call it brisk, -6 degrees F (-27 with wind chill) temperature in Milwaukee, why not plan to come check out a few art shows this weekend.
Opening Friday (January 16, 5-10pm) at the Armory Gallery is “Western States.” As part of this exhibition I made a new installation titled, “Everything is Fine.” While making it I did some wall drawing, climbed on a fire escape, and repeatedly hit a ceiling fan with a hammer. The show will also feature the work of Aili Schmeltz (Los Angeles), William Hundley (Austin), Colleen Sanders (San Francisco), Gavin Bunner (Los Angeles), and Adrianne Watson (San Francisco).
Armoury Gallery is at 1718 N First St 3N3, Milwaukee, WI, 53212
Last Chance! This weekend is also the last chance to see “War Fair: Occupation Games for Citizens and Non-Combatants,” one of my most ambitious installations to date. The show closes along with the rest of the Nohl Fellowship work on January 18, 09. The Nohl Fellows are Gary John Gresl, Mark Klassen and Dan Ollman (Established Artists), Annie Killelea, Faythe Levine, Colin Matthes and Kevin J. Miyazaki (Emerging Artists). You can also see images from the “War Fair” exhibition online.
Inova/Kenilworth, 2155 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202 Gallery hours are Wednesday & Friday-Sunday, noon to 5 pm and Thursday, noon-8 pm.
Also, If you will be in Texas, stop by the University of Texas-Pan American (Edinburg,TX) to view my solo exhibit “Credit Is Alright” Opening February 5th, 6-9pm.
The Locust Tank image that I first made in 1995 got up in some unusual places this year. From the lobby of the MOMA to Gavin's arm to Topeka, Kansas to an underpass in Chicago and to the cover of the Canadian radical journal Upping the Anti.
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
This winter I've started learning the nearly-lost art of typesetting and letterpress printing with friend and cohort Artnoose. I have a lot of ideas relative to my current video work that I'm hoping to flesh out on paper in the coming months, and these old printing techniques are really exciting me. I like the idea of trying to work in similar themes, but using very different media.
Below is my first letterpress print - the background layer is a quick dust of matte spraypaint. Inspired in part by a recent article in the New York Times about the overpopulation of white-tailed deer.
I guess that, technically, this isn't really my first letterpress image. I did do the covers for the latest Pittsburgh Directory Action resource guide last year, but that was using a polymer plate made from a drawing I did, and we had to rig the chase with a hefty amount of duct tape. It was a tad ridiculous. This time around, I'm trying to learn the whole process, including setting the type - although learning with Artnoose, I've found that there is a ton of packing tape involved in lining up the paper itself... what did they do before packing tape?
Favianna, Dara and I are in Rome, preparing for our show at the House of Love and Dissent on Thursday. We're hanging prints, People's History posters, and images from Reproduce & Revolt. It's going to be fun! Here is the poster for the show. Thanks to Erik Ruin for the hands (from the Realizing the Impossible cover).
Favianna and I have teamed up with the Bay Area t-shirt collective Liberation Ink on their new line of shirts, all drawn from images in Reproduce & Revolt! Liberation Ink is an all-volunteer, apparel and design collective that was created to provide an alternative revenue generating strategy for social justice organizing in the Bay Area. The new line features 6 designs by diverse artists from Reproduce and Revolt, including Miriam Klein Stahl, Beth Gutelius, Josh Sanchez, as well as Justseeds members Jesus Barraza, Favianna Rodriguez and me, Josh MacPhee. On top of being collectively run, Liberation Ink uses sweatshop-free shirts and union printing, and since 2006 they have supported two Bay Area coalitions: Deporten a la Migra and the May 1st Alliance for Land, Work, and Power. The Liberation Ink crew has been making some of the coolest shirts in the past couple years. Definitely check them out, and pick up some of the Reproduce & Revolt shirts!
I'm excited to share that I recently had an article I wrote translated into Italian, and published in a great journal called Zapruder: Storie In Movimento. Zapruder is a non-academic history publication, as far as I understand developing loosely out of the Italian Autonomia tradition, which attempts to mine history for ideas that are useful to contemporary social struggles. This issue is dedicated to political propaganda, and is themed "Wall Against the Wall: Design and Communication in Political Posters." My article is called "Street Art and Social Movements," and is an edited version of a talk I've been developing for the past couple years under the title "Street Art and Counter Power." I'll be cleaning up the English version of this text and posting it here soon....
Today is the last day to see Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now in NYC!!! Over 1000 posters, flyers, photos, videos, audio and ephemera from social movements around the world. Come by today and check it out if you haven't seen it yet:
475 10th Ave. (10th Ave. & 36th St.)
New York, New York
(the 34th Ave stop on the A/C/E train is only a couple blocks away)
And we're gearing up for the show to travel to Pittsburgh. It opens on January 23rd at the Miller Gallery at Carnagie Mellon University.
(installation photos by Kevin Caplicki)
at Ste-Emilie SkillShare * 3942 Ste. Emilie * metro Place St. Henri
Vernissage Friday December 5th, 7pm-midnight
Exhibit December 5th – 14th inclusive
In connection with the historic Critical Resistance 10th anniversary conference Justseeds Artists Cooperative has produced a print portfolio project that they are donating to prisoner justice organizations across North America. The portfolio consists of 20 prints, each by a different artist, that all either critique the prison-industrial complex or address alternatives to incarceration.
The vernissage will feature:
* a presentation on prison art
* letter-writing to political prisoners
* Certain Days 2009 Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar available for purchase
Presented by the Certain Days collective
& the Ste-Emilie SkillShare – both working groups of QPIRG Concordia
--> how to get to St Emilie Skillshare:
On Saturday, December 6 in Toronto:
Let Freedom Ring
Calendar launch - book launch - panel discussion - art show
6pm - Panel discussion about prison organizing
9pm - Launch party, with bar, snacks, and local DJs
(art will be up all evening)
$5/$15 with calendar
587A College Street, Toronto, ON
Check out the weird write up in our local Providence newspaper on the Sustainable show...
The show will be up from 12/04/08 to 01/23/09
Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative is a decentralized community of political artists who have banded together to support each other and social movements. We believe in the power of personal expression in concert with collective action to transform society.
This exhibition is an opportunity to view and purchase over 50 different handmade prints by more than a dozen artists. All art will be for sale, much of it for $25 and under. Perfect socially conscious holiday gifts for friends and family!
Last year my friend Zoeann Murphy and I organized a show of 40 contemporary labor posters called Graphic Work: Imaging Today's Labor Movement. The Workforce Development Institute (WDI) in Troy, NY is trying to find more venues to hang this show, as well as distribute copies of six of the posters we did large-scale offset print runs of. Below is a letter from Teri Jones of WDI. Give it a read, and if you can think of any venues that might be interested in displaying the exhibition, drop her a line! If you are at a workers center, community center, union hall, etc., also get in touch with her to get copies of the posters to hang in your space!:
Friends, The American labor movement has an amazing history of graphic production, creating some of the most effective political images in the history of this country. However, work and workers, along with the labor movement, are often depicted as experiences of the American past: paintings of Joe Hill, photographs from the early1900s of children working in factories, historic strikes and Rosie the Riveter. Today’s workforce looks dramatically different from the majority of images used to depict labor. To address this issue we asked innovative artists to create posters that depict contemporary jobs, the people that do them and the issues workers now face. What we found was startling. Most young politically engaged people don’t realize the American labor movement still exists and, if they do, they have little or no relationship to it. We found that now, more than ever, it is important to create new images of labor. Graphic Work: Imaging Today’s Labor Movement is an exhibit of poster designs curated by Josh MacPhee and Zoeann Murphy. It was sponsored by the Workforce Development Institute, Bread and Roses Cultural Project ll99SEIU, and JustSeeds.org. The posters comprise a beautiful beginning to a new wave of labor art. We invite you to participate in the dialogue about today’s workers and the issues they face by displaying Graphic Work posters in public spaces. There are sets of six 19”x25” posters available free of charge, as well as the opportunity to host an exhibit of all 40 pieces. You can view more posters at http://wdiny.org/unseenamericaposters.html and contact me any time for free poster sets or information on organizing an exhibit. In solidarity, Teri Jones Cultural Program Assistant Workforce Development Institute 24 Fourth Street Troy, NY 12180 (518) 272-3500 x121 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wdiny.org www.bread-and-roses.com www.justseeds.org posters above by Josh MachPhee, Art Hazelwood, and Nicole Schulman
Over the past year, I've been sporadically doing projections for my friends in the Lesser Known Neutrinos, West Philly's premier psychedelic synth-punk band. I just recently chanced upon some nice photographs of one of our shows at the Rotunda in West Philly and thought I'd share them here. To do the projections, I usually use two overhead projectors and a variety of colored gels, found images on transparencies, old papercuts and assorted detritus from my printmaking and puppetry practices.
The Neutrinos are on a tour of Italy right now and have a new self-released LP out (which I printed the covers for). I highly recommend 'em.
Thanks to HannahLa (whoever you are) for the photos.
The Paper Politics show is still tearing up upstate New York! It open at the Redhouse Gallery in Syracuse tomorrow night. If you're in the area, check it out! Almost 200 political prints from around the world, with work from all the Justseeds artists, as well as tons of other great printmakers like BSAS Stencil, Christopher Cardinale, Tom Civil, Sue Coe, Amos Kennedy Jr., Jesse Purcell, Favianna Rodriguez and Nicole Schulman.
Opening Reception: November 20th 5-8pm
Redhouse Arts Center
201 South West St.
Syracuse, NY 13202
The Justseeds/Gadabout/Halo Fauna tour has reached the west coast, and we are currently heading south in California. Come check us out if we're heading through your town!
19th - Berkeley, CA - the Long Haul Infoshop
20th - Santa Cruz, CA - TBA
21st - Santa Barbara, CA - The Biko Garage
22nd - San Diego, CA - Cassandra's House, then a party
23rd - Phoenix, AZ - The Trunk Space
24th - Flagstaff, AZ - The Cottage
25th - Albuquerque, NM - Basement Films
26th - Norman, OK - Universe City
27th - Little Rock, AR - The Radradrad House
28th - Nashville, TN - Little Hamilton
29th - Bloomington, IN - The Cinemat
30th - Columbus, OH - Chop Chop
Dec 1st - Pittsburgh, PA - ModernFormations
Dec 2nd - NYC - TBA
Come one come all to a special game night on Thursday, November 20th from 6-8pm! The first fifty participants at War Fair will receive a free coupon to play the carnival game, Fire in the Hole. Try your luck and kill the insurgents.
Fire in the Hole is a part of Colin Matthes's installation War Fair: Occupation Games for Citizens and Non-Combatants. This project is influenced by personal reflections from working at a small town county fair and noticing the increasing military presence (recruitment) there.
This event is at
2155 N Prospect Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Japanese comrades Ill Commonz and Kei will be giving a report back from their trip to NYC on November 23rd in Tokyo, and they'll be hanging a show of my silkscreen prints at the university they're speaking at. They sent me this great flyer for the event!
Here is the recent Justseeds Family Portrait taken in Milwaukee, WI. A couple new and old folks were missing, though. I don't think it was shocking to see Red and Black so heavily represented!!
Josh & Roger enjoying Milwaukee's fine cuisine
Just got a package in the mail from Microcosm Publishing with a copy of the hot-off-press brand new Zine Yearbook 9. Over 100 excerpts from zines put out in the last couple years, it looks to have some great stuff in there, including zine world favorites like Doris, Peops, Ghost Pine, You, Duplex Planet, The Match, Kerbloom, Spread, and tons and tons more. It also includes some photos excerpted from my zine Pound the Pavement #10.
I just got an email from Kei (Irregular Rhythm Asylum) with some links to photos and video of the recent Tokyo Bookfair. Here is a cool video that shows the fair, including a bunch of our posters and even people silkscreening with Reproduce & Revolt images!
If you are in the Providence Rhode Island area come check out the SUSTAINABLE art show! Over 30 artists; including 10 Justseeds/Visual Resistance folks and over two dozen local Rhode Island artists! Prices range from $2- $300. AS220 is a non profit community arts space and performance space (it's where I book shows! full time!) and is at 115 Empire Street. (http://www.as220.org)
My friend Erin Yanke (Life During Wartime/Circle A Radio) and I just finished a zine about the life of James Chasse Jr. Chasse was a schizophrenic man living in downtown Portland. He was killed by the cops while taking a walk in the heavily gentrified Pearl District for looking homeless, acting unusual and running from the cops.Chasse had been a participant in Portland's first wave punk scene, making a zine called the Oregon Organizm and singing in bands. He was the inspiration behind the Wipers song Alien Boy.
The zine is a benefit for a film being made about his life and death, and it includes information about his murder, excerpts from his zine, his artwork, and friends' remembrances of him and the early Portland punk scene. Chasse's case has been kept in the spotlight mostly because of the hard work of the Mental Health Association of Portland, an advocacy group.
The zine is available from Reading Frenzy. The zine includes an audio cd/radio show about Chasse made by Erin. Erin did most of the content and I did most of lay-out.
For more information about the film Alien Boy click here.
Just a quick post to share a recent project. My friend Matt Meyer has compiled a giant collection of writings about the struggle to free political prisoners in the US, co-published by PM Press and Kersplebedeb. He asked me to design the cover of Let Freedom Ring, so I took a graphic from an old 80's political prisoner support flyer, tweaked it a bunch, added color, and the cover was born. One of the most excited parts about this project was working on the spine, because unlike most books I've designed, this one is thick, a good inch and half wide spine, so I was able to make it nice and bold.
The next day we took off to Bugambilias, a housing project on the south side of Ecatepec. This was the spot closest to Mexico City, and the one that in many ways seemed the most like D.F. Bugambilias is a large complex of high rise apartment buildings set up sort of like a horseshoe. On either side are a half dozen 20 story cement buildings, filled with a lot of people. In between them is a giant parking lot, and at the end of the lot is a short one story cinder block building, the community cultural center. I wasn't able to understand the whole story, but basically the developer of the housing project had tried to screw the residents, and they had resisted, and somehow had forced him to build this center, even though it was not in the original plans.
Although the biggest of the cultural centers we visited, in many ways this one was the saddest, the inside having almost no electricity, and simply bare cinder block, with small bits and pieces painted. In the middle was a large hole in floor, filled with water. I couldn't figure out if this was a well, or just one of the community water tanks since most of the communities we visited only had very limited running water. Since so much of the space was bare, we wanted to cover as much as possible with art, and we took on a huge chunk of wall, about 30 feet long and 20 feet high, which took up a quarter of the largest room in the center. We decided to create an avalanche of posters, starting from the top left corner, with posters literally pouring down the walls, covering each other as they cascaded down and onto the floor. We had hoped to cover even more space, but just this section took hours to prepare and paste (as anyone that has wheatpasted knows, raw cement and cinderblock just gobbles up the paste, absorbing it and drying quickly, making it hard to get the posters to stick).
We took turns pasting and cutting stencils, Jesus cut a nice Flores Magon stencil, Melanie and I cut text stencils about access to water, Alex cut a bandana-ed militant, and John cut a beautiful large scale "PAZ" stencil that we used to finish off the wheatpaste wall. Like everywhere we went, the kids at Bugambilias were excited about the art, Alex teamed up with a neighborhood 12 year old to help him cut stencils, and some local graffiti kids came by, wanting to trade stickers and talk shop. The back of the cultural center was covered with pretty pro graf, including some awesome yellow and black creatures that were some of the best characters I saw during the whole trip.
Our handler of the day was Ricardo, who was really interesting, and deeply engaged in the Other Campaign. His primary work is with micro-power and pirate radio stations, working with crews of people to set up stations in poor communities to give a voice to the community process and political mobilization. Of all the people we met that were connected to the Festival and Ecatepec, he was the most skeptical of the potentials of the PRD. He explained that nothing was ever going to come from the political parties down, but the other way around.
Although I had known some about the struggle and repression of the flower sellers in San Salvador Atenco, Ricardo explained that the repression there had been a joint effort by all three major political parties, right-wing PAN at the national level, supposedly centrist PRI at the State level, and the supposedly leftist PRD at the local level. Many people were tolerating the PRD for now, but had dreams of large-scale popular movements like those in Chiapas and Oaxaca.
We sped off from Bugambilias to the Ecatepec city center, late as always. There was a 200 foot long (or so) wall that the muralist team had been working on but needed help finishing up. We dropped in and filled a bunch of the empty space with stencils and posters. I covered a chunk of wall with my Aqua Para Todos stencil I had cut that morning, and Melanie filled a ton of space with stencils too. Josue and Cece used the stencils as backdrop for their pieces, and really pulled the wall together.
The city center has way more traffic than anywhere else we've been, and the alley we are working in was swamped with people. Tons and tons of teenagers hung around, watching and talking it. Almost all the kids had cellphones, and wanted to get their photos taken with the artists. The strange part was that even though 3/4 of the crew I went with where Latina/o or Filapina/o, almost all the kids wanted their pictures taken with me and the other white artists. We were more "exotic."
Around 5pm we had a panel discussion inside, with Jesus, Melanie, Favianna and myself. Everyone talked about their art, its connection to politics, and some of their goals and aspirations for cultural work. I gave an abbreviated run down of the history of reproducible political graphics, giving background for the Reproduce & Revolt book, and connecting it to Mexican graphic history.
After painting and pasting for awhile, we had a big art jam in the city square, where we set up live screen printing and Reed and Geraldine had a video feed where they were doing live video mixing. It was basically an outdoor version of what we had done at the museum the night before. A bunch of people came out, and were really into the screenprinting, and super excited to be able to bring prints home.
All in all the trip was amazing. I feel like I learned and took away more than I gave, but that seems unavoidable for an initial trip. I'd like to maintain some of the relationships started, build a better understanding of the Other Campaign, and see what, if any, ideas and lessons can be used to further activities here in the States. One thing that we did down there that points to further collaboration is a joint poster project with Komal. As part of the call Art is a Human Right, Komal Collective organized the printing and distribution of 8 posters withthis as their subject to be pasted up all over Mexico City and Ecatepec. 4 of the posters were created by Komal, and 4 by members of our crew. The Yo! crew made one, Favianna, Melanie & Jesus, and me. We only had about 24 hours to come up with and build a design, so I used pieces of other posters to build mine, Arte Para Todos.
On Wednesday we headed way up the mountain that rests on the side of Ecatepec, winding around crazy narrow roads and huge speedbumps. The speedbumps up here are almost like hills, a good foot high so you have to drive at them on a 45 degree angle in order to not bottom out, and even then, there's a loot of scraping of car on pavement. We arrive at a community center in Ostor, which is pretty high up, above the smog line, with the sun beating down on us hard. The weather hadn't been so great up to this point, so it didn't even cross my mind to put sunblock on. That was a huge mistake, by the end of the day it felt like a chunk of my nose had melted off.
As we're pulling our gear and posters out of the cabs, a large crew of kids, all between 6-10, great us. Kids here are different then kids back in the States. They don't seem to be afraid of much of anything, and they carry themselves different, they seem much more self assured, but not in some macho aggressive way. They rolled up on us and wanted to shake all our hands, they introduced themselves and then asked what our names were and where we were from, and then once the formalities were out the way, they wanted to play. Here we were in their playground, so they expected we were going to deliver! We handed out posters, which immediately got rolled up into play swords and the fighting began, a dozen kids chasing me with newsprint sabers, until my asthma kicked in and I just couldn't run anymore.
This was one of the most fun spots we worked in, covering a large 12 foot wide by 25 foot high wall with posters, and then spreading around the sides and edges of the community center. The kids climbed around with us and played until most of them got bored and moved on, except one 8 year old named Jesus, who attached himself to me and intently watched as a started pasting Celebrate People's History posters around the edges of the center. He would pull out posters and hand them to me, and we'd talk in broken Spanish about the colors of the posters, what he enjoyed doing, etc.
Pretty soon he got bored of just choosing the posters, and took over the whole operation, carefully pulling a poster out, rolling paste on the wall, lining the poster up evenly with the previous one, and pasting over it, sealing it down.He must of pasted a couple dozen posters, it was pretty amazing, it's hard for me to imagine a kid in US having that kind of attention span.
3/4 of the way through pasting the walls in Ostor a red pick-up truck sporting the logo of the PAN (the right-wing party in Mexico) pulled up and 3 guys jumped out. A heated argument sparked up between our handlers (at least nominally representatives of the ruling PRD party, put really community activists and organizers inspired by La Otra Compaña) and these PAN goons, who were pissed that we were putting up posters with left political content. They were threatening the community center, saying that it would lose all its funding. They weren't violent, but definitely aggressive, even going so far as to threaten the elderly community women that were watching over the center and giving us instructions as to where we should paste and paint, and where not to.
Ostor was also the first spot we went to that had a fair amount of existent graffiti, but almost all of it seemed like gang markings (the "South Central Boys" seem to have strayed pretty far from Los Angeles) or random tags. My favorite was FLOYD written in giant pink letters, begging the question of whether some confused parents had named their poor kid Floyd, or somehow lost-in-translation that name had taken on a rough edge and became "hard," or maybe it was simply an ode to oddball British rock music in visual pun form.Either way, it seemed to be the one marking we covered over that anyone noticed, with a gang of older kids congregating as we were leaving, asking each other "What happened to Floyd?"
Off we went back to Xalostog, for an opening of the Yo! show, a stencil workshop, and another olfactory dose of the animal rendering plant. We rolled up and the walls we had pasted in the entryway had dried, and looked great. The center was really pleased with them, and planned on leaving it up for as long as it lasted. Unfortunately it wasn't just the community that showed up for the show and workshop, three cops were there too, one with an M16!! John Carr put it best, "What the hell is a cop with a machine gun doing in an art show called Yo! What Happened to Peace????"
Aside from the cops, who beyond the guns spent a chunk of the time harassing Melanie and Geraldine, the event went great. The workshop was really fun, almost entirely populated by 8-12 year olds and their parents, none of whom had ever cut a stencil before. There was also a crew of teenagers, young graffiti writers, who wanted to hang out and see what they could learn. Language made it hard to communicate, but they seemed cool and interested, and I gave them copies of Stencil Pirates. I ended up giving away a lot of books over the week, because people often didn't have much money on them (or much money period), but wanted to know where to get the books. In the States I'm used to just giving people a web address to go buy them, but in Ecatepec that just led to glazed over stares. I don't think a single one of these kids had a computer, never mind an email address or regular access to the internet.
Most of the younger kids struggled with cutting the stencils, but a good chunk were successfully able to carve their names out of the cardstock, and immediately got to painting them all over the place. We didn't suspect such a young group, but they ended up being able to handle sharp blades. The only one to cut themsleves was one of the older kids! It was awesome watching brothers and sisters helping each other, and kids struggle but succeed at their first spray paintings.
As if we hadn't already crammed enough into a day, we rushed out from Xalostog back to D.F., to the Museo de la Ciudad. Favianna had been invited at the last minute to be on a panel with Jorge from Komal Collective and Joaquin from the Ecatepec Ministry of Culture. I'm still a little fuzzy on the exact details, but sometime in the past month, Komal and other adherents to La Otra Compaña had worked with some of the more radical people in the Ministry of Culture to get the government (I believe the government of the State of Mexico, which includes Ecatepec and part of Mexico City) to pass a bill stating that Art is a Human Right that Must be Accessible to All. Part of this event was to celebrate and announce that, but also to strategize how to enforce it, how to make the government actually fund the arts for the poorest sectors of society.
For being last minute, there was a great turnout of 60 or so people. In addition to Favi speaking, Jesus, Bobby and Sombre set up live screenprinting, Alex and I wheatpasted on 4 or 5 4x8 sheets of plywood lined up, and Reed did live video-mixing of footage he had shot of the trip, art from Reproduce & Revolt, and live camera of the screenprinting. Jesus printed a poster design of mine, my "Free the Land" print I flattened to 1 color and changed to say "Tierra y Libertad."
The next stop on the trip is the city center of Ecatepec, where we meet four members of the local graffiti crew the Komal Collective. Komal Collective formed in 2006 as a response to the Zapatistas' La Otra Compaña, and the call for self-organization in many areas of society. The members of Komal are individual artists, focusing on stenciling and political graffiti, but they are also organizers, trying to bring together and politicize different elements of the street art scene in Mexico. Their stencils dot the walls of Ecatepec, and many surprisingly engage me, unlike so much of the street art that just seems to add to the heep of messaging already saturating NYC streets. Komal also recently organized a large scale museum exhibit of street art from artists all over Mexico called Las Calles Están Diciendo Cosas (The Streets are Saying Things).
I barely got a chance to make any sense of D.F. before we had to rush off to Ecatepec, which is no easy task. Although just above Mexico City, for some reason it was so difficult to get to, which each day bringing new routes, some taking 20 minutes, others 2 hours. We would pile into 3 or 4 taxis, or take 3 or 4 different subway trains, only to emerge in a location that ultimately didn't seems that far away. The trip was always beautiful, with Mexico City unfolding before us, covered in graffiti and amazing hand-painted signs. Almost every square inch is decorated, and not by Photoshop or Illustrator, but by human hands. The landscape seems crafted by hands of all different sizes, giant hands to mold the cinderblock sprawl, tiny hands to paint the smallest details on signs for food, she repair and photocopies. Although massive, the scale of life seems so much more manageable than in the US, I can see how each piece was constructed by a set of hands not all that different than mine.
Although they are advertisements, and operate just like corporate billboards in New York, I can help but fall in love with the giant sales pitch texts painted along the sides of the road. Each letter two feet wide and four feet tall, the names of Rock en Español bands stand tall like straight letter grafitti pieces, competing with throw-ups and tags, and time itself, as the walls crumble under the paint. We speed through Ecatepec and every inch is filled, with ramshackle buildings and texts of all sizes. The only space that escapes total saturation are the tops of the hills and mountains in the distance.
Our first stop is a community at the upper edge of Ecatepec, down a dirt road to a community center called the Centro Cultural Ricardo Flores Magon. The community just celebrated their 14 year anniversary, having started as a group of about 500 people with no place to live, squatting their land, building rudimentary structures, fighting with the government, constructing solid cinderblock dwellings, and now fighting to get utilities and city services. Although still living in a deep level of poverty, the people we met seemed really committed to their community, and embedded in a larger context of struggle for the improvement of everyone's lives. Although not all anarchists, they chose to identify with Ricardo Flores Magon because of his role in the Mexican Revolution and his organizing of the working class in urban areas (as opposed to Zapata and Villa's primary rural terrain of struggle).
We hung an impromptu show on the walls of the center, and gave a brief talk about what we all do in the US. It was strange talking about Justseeds and trying to building a self-sustaining artist network in the states in the context of a community that had literally built itself out of ground. The privileges we have here made me feel like our struggles seem somewhat trivial in comparison. But the community seemed appreciative of our words and art, and we got a tour of the area, looking for walls we could paint and paste on, and brainstorming ideas for public art. Unfortunately because of the size and sprawl of Ecatepec, and a fair amount of disorganization, I never made it back to this community before the trip ended. Some folks did make it back tho, and did a silkscreening workshop, printing Zapatista t-shirts and leaving the screens with the cultural center so they can keep using them.
I show up in Mexico City on Friday, October 3rd. This is one day after the 40 year anniversary of the Tlatelolco Massacre, a national day of mourning and anger. The day before tens of thousands had filled the Tlatelolco Plaza (and other parts of the city) in memory of 1968, and by night the city had erupted in violence, with sporadic rioting, street fighting and window smashing (there is a great slideshow of photos here). I arrived to photos of punks attacking cops on the covers of all the newspapers. This is my kind of town! On further exploration it is pretty unclear what really happened, as there are stories of the cops paying street kids to run crazy, and the mainstream news coverage was filled with stories of how restrained and well behaved the police were, as if the entire incident was a well managed photo-op.
But street fighting isn't the only action in Mexico. For over two months the teachers in Morelos have been on strike, and increasingly teachers, and workers in other trades, have been holding solidarity strikes in states across Mexico. This includes the mobilization of teachers in Oaxaca, and a march of members of the APPO (Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca), which formed out of 2006's popular uprising in Oaxaca, to Morelos to support the teachers.
The day I arrived right-wing tabloids pulled a trick from Paul Revere, and screamed from their mastheads "The APPO is Coming! The APPO is Coming!," as if that was a bad thing. Few seemed that concerned, the vast majority of Mexico's population is either struggling working class, poor or even poorer, and most seem to identify with the recent popular revolts in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Atenco.
The last time I was in Mexico City was back in 2002, and it definitely has changed. The city center has been seriously gentrified and deeply changed. Five years ago the area around the Zocolo (the massive public square in the middle of the city) was filled with people trying to sell anything and everything you could imagine, from bootleg cd's to the rubber feet on kitchen appliances. People, never mind cars, could barely manouver through the rows of stands and blankets filling almost every street. Now the streets are mostly clear, with cabs and cop cars (always with their lights flashing for no apparent reason) zipping around, each looking for action in their own way. The Zocolo had been filled with hundreds of tents, with people selling books, camping out in protest, doing educational activities. Punk kids hanging out by the giant flag pole had pointed me in the direction of UTA, the anarchist bar and social center. Now that's all gone. The Zocolo itself is clean and nearly empty, venders are pushed to the edges, their goods homogenized to lowest common denominator tourist shlock and weird religious knicknacks.
Carlos Slim and his cronies seem to have pretty successful killed off autonomous life in the center of Mexico City. It is still beautiful, but seems empty and hollow, like an ancient building with all the original stone and woodwork, but abandoned by its residents. The entire area used to be covered by posters and graffiti, Declarations from the walls called to stop the privatization of the electric utility, or the overthrow of President Fox, or support for the Zapatistas. Now the blank walls simply cry "No Anunciar" -Post No Bills.
There are still some pretty great cultural venues in the center. The National Palace houses some of Diego Rivera's most impressive murals, and Bellas Artes does the same for David Alfaro Siqueiros. We also stumbled upon a small art center off the Zocolo which had two great photography exhibits up, one of images of opposition to the coup in Chile in 1973, and the other of Mexico 1968. The images were powerful, and the politics very direct and upfront. Mexico is so different that the US in this respect, while our country does everything possible to bury our history of radical political activity, Mexico revels in their history, centering it in the national identity.
Two months ago or so, Favianna Rodriguez (co-editor of Reproduce & Revolt) asked me if I wanted to take a trip to Mexico City with a crew of artists. My answer, of course, was Hell Yeah! So starting on Oct. 3rd, a dozen of us headed to Mexico to take part in the Festival Internacional de los Nuevos Vientos (Festival of the New Winds) in Ecatepec, a sprawling, metastasizing municipality on the northern edge of Mexico City.
I'm not sure I fully understand how this trip came about, but here's the basic gist. Favianna (and other artists she works with, like the Taller Tupac Amaru) have been visiting Mexico City on and off for years, and one of the things they've been involved in is El Faro, a series of community centers spread across Mexico City that have a huge amount of art programs organized for and often by local youth. This includes silkscreen studios, block printing, murals, graffiti, etc. The founder of El Faro, Benjamin, is a 68er. In Mexico this means you participated in the student protests in 1968, and survived the Tlatelolco Massacre, where the government attacked and slaughtered hundreds of students and their supporters.
Recently the PRD (Mexico's left-liberal political party) came to office in Ecatepec. Once elected, a portion of the left-wing of the PRD left Mexico City and headed north to Ecatepec, seeing the possibility of more change there than in the old city. Ecatepec is almost defined by change. With over 2 million people, it is the most populous municipality in Mexico, and it is growing every day. Although at the center it seems to be a fairly typical, if poor, sprawling urban landscape, the closer you get to the edges the less stable the development. The city appears to spill out and up the mountain, with tens of thousands of single story, one room cinderblock homes, rebar poking out the top, waiting to be used to stabilize a second floor to be built on the roof. And beyond the cinderblocks are even more homes, constructed out of cardboard, corrugated steel, and other found materials.
Favianna's friend Benjamin headed up to Ecatepec too, and ended up the Secretary of the Minister of Culture. Benjamin's main platform has been Art is Human Right that Must be Accessible to All, and to that end he has been encouraging the development of local cultural centers in dozens of Ecatepec barrios, as well as organizing large scale free festivals that bring in thousands of international artists to share their skills with the city. This program has uneasily dove-tailed with groups of Ecatepec activists and artists organized since 2006 as part of the Zapatista's La Otra Campaña, or Other Campaign. We met dozens of people that came out of La Otra Campaña in Ecatepec, who are trying to use the left government programs as a launching pad for more radical activities.
Our motley crew walked into this context. We are all artists currently living in the US, the majority Latina/os, with a couple Filipina/os and gringos thrown in for good measure. Here's the roll call:
Favianna Rodriguez, Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes from Taller Tupac Amaru in Oakland; Maria Beddia and Bobby Nicholson from the Bay Area; Josué Rojas, muralist and journalist from the Bay Area; Geraldine Lozano, Reed Rickert and Sal, all videomakers, photographers or documenters from the Bay. John Carr, Contra One and Werc from LA and the Yo! What Happened to Peace? crew; Cece Carpio from NYC and Trust Your Struggle, and Me.
Cannonball Press and Supreme Trading proudly present the 2008 version:
PRINTS GONE WILD 4!!
The fourth ever annual vernacular printacular mega-hairy Brooklyn affordable print fair. (OK, we did one in St. Louis too)
The ORIGINAL AND ONLY 50 bucks and under American print fair.
Sat Nov. 1st 6pm-12am Opening reception/party
Sun Nov. 2nd 12-6pm Fair is open all day
213 n 8th St.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
The Amazing Hancock Brothers McGregor, TX
Yeehaw Industries Knoxville, TN
Howling Print Studios Brooklyn, NY
Tugboat Press Pittsburgh, PA
Bikini Press Minneapolis, MN
Justseeds Brooklyn, NY
Sean Star Wars Laurel, MS
Kayrock Screenprinting Brooklyn, NY
Space 1026 Philadelphia, PA
Purgatory Pie Press New York, NY
Drive By Press Madison, WI
Isle of Printing Nashville, TN
Cannonball Press Brooklyn, NY
After last year’s incredibly successful fair, Brooklyn’s own 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.
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.
An entertaining sideshow will take place during the fair, featuring traditional Mexican music from Grupo Diamante Norteno, “deathgrass” titans the Black Death All-stars, a print-o-centric fashion show, emcee David Rees (of Get Your War On fame), a performance by the Amazing Hancock Brothers, and on-the-spot printing with Drive-By Press, which operates a mobile press out of the back of their van.
The best affordable art in town, guaranteed.
The AK Press blog, Revolution by the Book, just posted a review of Realizing the Impossible written by Alan W. Moore, a long time NYC radical artist, theorist and teacher, who was also one of the founders of ABC No Rio! Here's the first couple paragraphs of the review, and the rest is here:
The artist in capitalist society is necessarily a revolutionary. S/he is as well necessarily an entrepreneur. Between these two positions lies a wide gulf in understandings. The artist must strive to change society according to a vision, because s/he does not fit. Creativity is not an absolute good and value in this society, and the artist is absolutely committed to creativity. Still, the artist must survive, and so must do what that requires.
What is that? What is longed-for utopia and what is impinging reality? The divide between our dreams of a perfect world and the realities of our lives, between what is necessary and what is desired has shifted. The Wall is gone; new walls are a’building. The organizers of the Documenta 12 exhibition recently proffered the assertion, “Modernity is our antiquity.” In finding new coordinates for radical position-takings today, we are continuously picking through those ruins for stuff we can use.
Realizing the Impossible bespeaks an exciting upsurge of attention to a world of dynamic committed artistic practices, past and present. It is largely a book on contemporary art, concerned first with explicating artistic practice now and in the postmodern past.
Dara and I were excited to have Kei and Illcommonz from Tokyo visit us in late September for the opening of the Signs of Change exhibition here in NYC. They have both been involved in actions and movements included in the show, most recently the organization against the G8 summit in Japan. Kei is also connected to the Japanese anarchist archive CIRA Japan, who lent us a handful of Japanese anarchist posters from the 60s-80s for the the exhibition.
While they were here we weighed them down with posters and propaganda from the US, much of it for Tokyo's infoshop Irregular Rhythm Asylum, which is largely run by Kei. I'm excited that Kei has created a small exhibition of my posters, which is being held at the 3rd annual Tokyo Bookfair, which is put together by a handful of DIY, punk and anarchist shops, zines and distros. They are also showing Dara's video Tactical Tourist, a 15-minute look at the Barcelona squatting scene in 2006.
Making and selling t-shirts is a giant pain in the ass. On and off for the past 10 years I've been designing and making shirts, usually finding friends to do the actual printing (because I hate silkscreening shirts: it's difficult, toxic, and to me completely unrewarding). I've finally given up. No more shirt making for me. Instead, I've farmed some of my designs out to AK Press, who are manufacturing, distributing and directly selling many of my designs. Now you can get my Autonomy, Chemicals Make Our Lives Better, and Zapatista designs from them. In addition, they've created a new shirt out of my Anarchy Hands print. Check it out here!!!
The Paper Politics show is currently hanging at the Dowd Gallery at SUNY-Cortland in Upstate New York. Andrew Mount, the director at the Dowd sent me these great photos of the show installed. Seems like it's made some ripples up there, upsetting some students who actually asked the administration to remove some of the prints! I'm heading up to Cortland to do a curator's talk on October 28th. Info and directions will be on their website.
Signs of Change Dutch Provo Event!
Friday, October 24, 2008, 6-8pm
at Exit Art, 475 10th Ave, NY, NY
PREMIERE SCREENING of Dutch Provo Footage
Premiere screening of newly subtitled short films and footage of the 1960s Dutch Provo movement, and book release of Richard Kempton’s Provo: Amsterdam’s Anarchist Revolt (in collaboration with Autonomedia Press).
Speakers include: Jordan Zinovich, Lindsay Caplan, and Janna Schoenberger
About the Book:
Provo staged political and cultural interventions into the symbolic
and everyday spaces of Holland from 1962-1967. In this first
book-length English-language study of their history, Richard Kempton
narrates the rise and fall of Provo from early Dutch "happenings"
staged in 1962 to the "Death of Provo" in 1967. This is the fourth
book Autonomedia has done on Dutch social movements.
About the Video:
This compilation of Provo footage, newly translated and subtitled by
Janna Schoenberger and Dennis de Lange, includes scenes from the early
happenings, Dutch political life, and interviews by key members of
Provo - including an interview held with Robert Jasper Grootveld on
his houseboat in Amsterdam.
Jordan Zinovich has been associated with Autonomedia since 1986, and
is currently a senior editor. He has been working on Provo for years,
and since 1997 has been going repeatedly to Amsterdam to meet with
members of Provo. He will discuss the renaissance of Provo going on
Lindsay Caplan is a member of the Autonomedia editorial collective,
and a doctoral student at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research
focuses on the intersection between art, aesthetics, and social action
- an arena in which Provo is an essential and exciting example.
Janna Schoenberger is a doctoral student at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
She received her master's degree in Art History from Utrecht
University in the Netherlands where she lived for three years. She is
currently working as a translator for the upcoming exhibition "In and
Out of Amsterdam 1960-1975" at the Museum of Modern Art.
Autonomedia is a small non-profit publisher of books and digital
material that investigate the liberatory impulse by way of radical
politics, philosophy, arts, history, and other categories of thought
and action. We have operated as an all-volunteer editorial collective
since 1983, and are based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With more than
100 titles in active distribution, and 6-8 new books each year,
Autonomedia provides an autonomous media zone for radical art and politics, and seeks to transcend party lines, bottom lines and straight lines. We also
maintain the Interactivist Info Exchange (info.interactivist.net), an
online forum for discourse and debate on themes relevant to the books
we publish. www.autonomedia.org
Posted below are a few images from the install, a statement about the project, and details about the opening. Also, you can check out more images from the install on my new flickr account.
"War Fair: Occupation Games for Citizens and Non-Combatants"
Over the past 16 years, I have worked with my father as an electrician at the county fair in my hometown of Jefferson, Wisconsin. My relationship to the fair and its motley assortment of demolition derbies, farm animals, carnival barkers, the God Mobile trailer, and cricket spitting contests is complicated, ranging from fondness to repulsion.
I am drawn to the chaos and the scrappy order of the fair-especially the signs and carnival games hand-crafted from common materials. But I am disturbed by the increasing military presence, with Army recruitment tents and displays of child-sized Hummer vehicles presented as lighthearted county fair entertainment.
My experiences at the fair have influenced me to create a carnival game and series of drawings that comment on war as spectacle and war as participatory game. War Fair transforms the viewer into a game player and asks, “How real does something have to become before you will not play (pay) anymore?”
The Institute of Visual Arts (Inova) at the UWM Peck School of the Arts opens an exhibition of work by the seven artists who received Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists in 2007.
When: Friday, October 10, 2008; reception 6-9 pm; gallery talk at 6:30 pm
Where: Inova/Kenilworth, 2155 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Who: Gary John Gresl, Mark Klassen and Dan Ollman (Established Artists)
Annie Killelea, Faythe Levine, Colin Matthes and Kevin J. Miyazaki (Emerging Artists)
Inova will host an opening and reception to honor the Nohl Fellows on Friday, October 10, from 6-9 pm. Inova curator Nicholas Frank will give a gallery talk at 6:30 pm.
Ten additional events have been scheduled in conjunction with the Nohl exhibition, including artist talks and presentations, screenings, a game night and other events orchestrated by each of the seven participating artists. All of these events are free; while most are in the Inova/Kenilworth gallery, some events occur offsite.
An exhibition catalogue will be available for purchase in the gallery during the opening and throughout the exhibition.
Inova/Kenilworth will be open on Gallery Night and Day, October 17 and 18. Gallery hours are Wednesday & Friday-Sunday, noon to 5 pm and Thursday, noon-8 pm.
Recently, Justseeds has completed a portfolio project for the Critical Resistance ten-year anniversary conference in Oakland, California that took place on September 26-28.
The project involved twenty artists from the US, Canada and Mexico who each created an original print that either critiqued or addressed alternatives to the prison-industrial complex. Each artist pulled 100 prints and the amazing JS crew at the Portland distro assembled the portfolios and created the covers that are displayed in the photos.
The point of the portfolio project was to donate work and to share graphics with groups working against the prison-industrial complex. In the end, each portfolio included the 20 prints plus a cdr with copy-right free TIFF files of the images (plus other anti-prison images from the recent book Reproduce and Revolt (edited by Favianna Rodriguez and Josh MacPhee.)
Justseeds donated the bulk of the portfolios to Critical Resistance and 30 other groups who are organizing against prisons.
In late November (once the groups have already had the opportunity to possibly use them as a fundraising device) Justseeds will have a limited number of portfolios for sale on our site.
Much thanks to all the artists and the organizers who donated their time and energy to the project. A number of plans are set for the prints to be exhibited in the late Fall/early Winter and we will keep you posted when dates for the shows are announced.
Here's some filcks of the mural Chris, our carpenter savior Nick, and I constructed and painted for Creative Time's Democracy in America.
This weekend, writer and performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña and his troupe were in Detroit. I joined perhaps fifty other people for a fairly intimate interactive performance of Gómez-Peña's Mapa Corpo at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This is the the first time I've been to one of his performances, but I'm told that it's par for the course that the event was visual overwhelming and emotionally challenging. I was forewarned by one of the maintenance guys at the museum that the Mapa Corpo was a naked woman's body stuck with acupuncture needles with many, many tiny flags of the U.S. and Britain (and one or two of Israel), which the audience was invited to help pull out at the end. He wasn't too impressed, but most of the audience seemed entranced by the visual and mental connections. The performance also involved video, music, poetry, and other simulations, rituals, and installations on the subjects of identity, power, and immigration. The event had the feeling of a dangerous but necessary ritual that we all somehow survived, together. This fall, Gómez-Peña's troup will be in San Francisco, Albequerque, Toronto, Alaska, and Arizona. Check his website for more specific information.
On a totally different note, I've just returned from a voyage to Buenos Aires to seek information for a project that I hope to do next year about art collectives in Argentina. Especially considering I was only there for two weeks, I learned about an amazing amount of artistic, radical, and collective projects, and had the opportunity to meet with people from a few of those projects. I'll be writing about some of the projects that I learned about in the coming weeks. Here I am in the Museo Municipal de Arte Hispanoamericano before the guard yelled at someone else for taking pictures inside the museum.
Chris Stain was asked to provide a backdrop for Creative Time's upcoming convergence of "Democracy in America" at the Park Ave Armory in NYC. Chris asked me to help him build a 40'x16' wall in the the largest unobstructed indoor space in NYC. With the help of another friend, Nick, we belted out the wall and mural that hopefully makes an impression on everyone that comes. Check it out at the opening
Sunday, Sept 21, 2-10pm
643 Park Ave, btn 66th/67th St
Also dont forget to head over to Exit Art Saturday, Sept 20th, for Josh and Dara's Sign's of Change exhibit.
I grew up in a small town in the lower Hudson Valley. Aside from the small crew of skaters and punks that I hung out with, there was very little "alternative" culture and even less radical politics. I'm super stoked to be bringing the Justseeds Cooperative's artwork to a cafe, run by some friends from high school, in Warwick, NY. It feels good to bring something back to where I used to feel the most sense of "place".
The show will open 7pm, September 19th
5 South St .
Warwick, NY 10990
We are hoping to have some live music from Laura Stevenson during the opening. Come check us out if you're in Orange County, NY.
Swoon has released a print over at Paper Monster
To celebrate the launch of Swoon's fleet of ships on the Hudson river...All proceeds from this print will go to help those involved in the traveling exhibition "Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea"This print the "Switchback Sisters", an edition of 106, is a reduction of the centerpiece of the Swoon installation that is currently at the Deitch space in Long Island City. The last two performances of the Swimming cities of the Switchback Sea will take place Friday Sept 12th and 13th in Long Island City, each starting at 8pm.
Because a girl can never be in too many art collectives, I recently started an illustration collective called Spiderspun with two fellow artists in Detroit. The adorable and amazing drawings of Stacey Malasky and Megan Diviney, which have populated many a show flyer around these parts, have earned the admiration of out-of-town bands and music fans for years; now they will be put to a different use. Stacey's passion to become a free-lance illustrator started the whole thing, which included a whole lot of joyful meetings over breakfast and field trips to bookstores to discover new and interesting illustrators. Stacey's blog has daily uploads of daily-life Detroit drawings and hilarious rants, and she currently is in a show organized by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The show, called Edibles, which runs Sept. 6th until Oct. 3, 2008, at 306 South State street in Ann Arbor, is about the storytelling power of food.
In the early evening on Sunday, September 7th, seven hand made boats, or more precisely, seven floating sculptures by Swoon, will dock in front of Deitch Studios on the East River in Long Island City. Their arrival at Deitch Studios will be the final stop on a three-week journey down the Hudson River and around the tip of Manhattan. The seven boats, built by Swoon and her friends from scrap wood and other discarded materials, began their sail down the Hudson River on August 15th in Troy, New York, stopping along the way for musical and theatrical performances. Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea is a two-part exhibition merging Swoon’s recent portraits, found objects of urban decay and a floating sculptural city. One part of the exhibition is on the water. The other is in the gallery.
The Swimming Cities is designed and organized by printmaker and installation artist Swoon. Collaborators include playwright Lisa D’Amour, the band Dark Dark Dark and circus composer Sxip Shirey. Propulsion systems brought by John Rinaldi and Kinetic Steam Works. Boat design and carpentry created in close collaboration with Jeff Stark, Iris Lasson, and with guidance from The Floating Neutrinos.
The Paper Politics show I've organized and have been touring around is heading for a couple dates in Upstate New York. The show is an international collection of over 175 handmade political prints by as many artists. Almost the entire Justseeds crew is represented, as well as tons of other awesome printmakers! If you are in or around central upstate NY, check it out!!!!
Dowd Fine Art Gallery
September 9th-November 6th, 2008
Opening Reception: September 9th 4:30-7:30pm
Paper Politics - Josh MacPhee: October 28th, time TBA
All exhibitions and events are free and open to the Public.
Here's a poster I designed for the RNC Anti-Capitalist bloc. Find out more about their activities here.
There's a nice entry about Chris Stain and Justseeds over at the Regarding Design blog.
Justseeds member Kristine VIrsis is having an art show:
Thursday, Sept 4th at
921 SW Oak St
She'll be in attendance with new work and old work, and prints are cheap as always. From Reading Frenzy's site:
We're pleased to present a talented artist and printmaker all the way from New York City at Reading Frenzy this month! Kristine Virsis is a member of the Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative, a group of artists and activists involved in socially engaged political printmaking.
Kristine's silkscreen prints, which begin their lives as intricate paper cuts and stencils, deal with the personal end of the political spectrum -- creativity, self-sufficiency, strength, play, nostalgia and the freedom that a wheel or two can afford you, as well as depression, isolation and resiliency.
Virsis' handpulled prints are produced in large or unlimited editions, in order to keep them affordable.
Last Friday in Troy, NY the Swimming Cities of the Switchback Sea was launched. It is a project of ridiculous proportions, over seven crafts being maneuvered down the Hudson River making occasional stops to do performances, and will be turned into a solo exhibition and installation for Swoon. The efforts of many dozens of people have gone into manifesting the crafts and coordinating the trip. Our pal Todd Chandler is working with a film crew that is shooting scenes on the crafts for a film in the works "Flood". The crafts will also turn into Swoon's solo installation in Long Island City at a Deitch space, which is an ambitious endeavor on its own, being thousands of square feet.
The NY Times has an article and images in their Arts Section called "A Floating City with Junkyard Roots" And you can see a slide show there at Floating Sculptures
“Among the earliest forms of human self-awareness was the awareness of being meat.”
- David Quammen, Monster of God
I've finally finished up a new video, (jokingly) entitled "Testing the Waters" - the first spur video from my tending-towards-sprawling "Wilderness" project. "Testing" is my attempt to get a grip on what, exactly, I'm trying to do with "Wilderness" - and indeed whether I can actually do what I think I can with this idea. My videos have typically been simple and performative, evidence of an action. This project represents something new for me, and as it is with any new creative thrust I'm not entirely comfortable with it. Maybe a big reason for this is also the most obvious: all of my source material for this project is other people's work. Add to that the general violence of the footage (animals attacking people and/or people attacking animals) and things start to get complicated. I'm enjoying the process, though, and I'm operating with the outlook that if these projects don't quite live up to the thesis they will at least make interesting YouTube fodder.
I post the first version of this video (in low-res, compressed form) in the hopes of getting some feedback as I continue with the project as a whole. Please share your thoughts! Comment on this blog, or email me personally.
Coincidentally enough, I finished the video on the same week as Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. The video montage of sharks leaping out of the water to the tune of "Flight of the Valkyries" on their homepage may already have my video beat...
"While some informed people may have decided that sharks are really not so bad, they yet may find reasons for not swimming in the ocean. Traditional island peoples widely regard the shark as a spiritual being whose analogous aspect in the human self is an embryo. That sharks rip open the body of their victims has a double horror of an unborn monster ravaging the self. Sharks are neither intrinsically terrible nor sacred, but they are utterly fascinating and therefore a perfect candidate for encoding extreme feelings and concepts."
- Paul Shepard, The Others
Daniel Tucker has written a nice piece about Justseeds that is going to be published in the upcoming issue of Alarm Magazine. It is also on their website here. And for those who don't want to click away from us, here it is:
Justseeds: Reminders of Emancipation and Justice
by Daniel Tucker
If in the last ten years you’ve traveled under the auspices of attending a lefty rally, protest, or conference, or you’ve spent time in a community center, a crusty punk group house, a union hall or a progressive bookstore, then you’ve probably seen some of the graphic arts distributed by justseeds.org. One particularly popular set of posters is the Celebrate People’s History series, organized by Justseeds founder Josh MacPhee. These posters, highlighting hidden and obscured histories of social movements, from the abolition of slavery to ACT-UP, show up in the most surprising and diverse contexts. In public school classrooms, they serve as the graphic curriculum equivalent to Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, whereas in the social centers and bookstores of today’s leftist and sub-cultural movements, they serve as a constant reminder of the roots of struggle and of significant battles for emancipation and justice.
Justseeds was started in Chicago in 1997 and was initially conceived as a distribution platform for MacPhee’s artwork (which included an assortment of stenciled and block prints, zines, and the people’s history posters).
Carlos Fernandez of Chicago Jobs with Justice was one of many activists that encountered this work in the streets, on tables at political conferences, and on the walls of social-movement centers. He reflected, “In my encounters with the work spread by Justseeds, I realized that art’s role in political struggle could be bigger. It has offered valuable commentary, but by politicizing its production—the costs, the collaboration—it could also show how to put the ideals we voice into creative practice. I saw this in lots of small but important ways: how it was made, where it appeared, how it got into people’s hands.”
Over the years, Justseeds gained street cred and notoriety amongst a diverse set of young teachers, community organizers, contemporary artists, and graffiti writers. As this happened, MacPhee took steps to build stronger networks in his new milieu of left-leaning artists (specifically the low-budget producers like print makers and graffi ti writers). His organizational aspirations found inspiration in the late ’80s Boston-area punk scene and various anarchist, prison solidarity, and anti-racist networks in the ’90s.
According to MacPhee, “Networks and organization are not simply tools to be more effi cient or successful, but the building blocks of creating a new world. Our current society is structured to make us feel like atomized individuals, alienated from others and ourselves. This makes us more vulnerable to the massive amount of corporate and state propaganda we are bombarded with daily. By building organizations and communities where we try to really connect, understand, and support each other, we can build the collective tools necessary to both live our lives for personal self-fulfillment as well as change the larger society so that all will be free to do the same.”
R.U.S.T. (Radical Urban Silkscreen Team), A Summer Project of The Andy Warhol Museum, Artists Image Resource, and Justseeds, is entering its final week of working with Pittsburgh youth to create prints on themes of sustainability and social justice. Students have completed projects on Pittsburgh People's History, Local Food, Bike Advocacy, and are currently completing a project on Prisons.
Images from RUST Local Food activities: visiting Mildred's Daughters Farm and the Market Square Thursday Farmer's Market, Onion Gang, and our inspiration: the KALE SMOOTHIE!
This week, Justseeds member Erik Ruin is our visiting artist, demonstrating rubylith techniques and working alongside the teens.
RUST is hosting two special events this week: a final installment of Youth Open Studio with a special Movie Night, and a Closing Exhibition & Party on Friday, August 1. Come visit!
Check out the rest of this entry for details and more images
Two years ago Visual Resistance organized an art show and benefit, If They Come For You in the Morning, for our friend Daniel McGowan. Over 100 artists from the Street Art and Graffiti community donated artwork in support of Daniel and to raise awareness about the Federal campaign against dissent in the USA. Daniel was arrested and charged for acts of property destruction.
The Benefit was very successful, hundreds of folks came out to ABC No Rio and a community of artists directed their efforts against the criminalization of protest.
Since the "If They Come For You In the Morning" art show Daniel has gone through legal processes, negotiated a plea, and was sentenced to 7 years. He has been incarcerated since July 2, 2007 and is serving out his sentence. Daniel was just recently "found in civil contempt for his refusal to answer questions before a grand jury." This, unfortunately, means Daniel will be spending more time incarcerated. The "clock" on his sentence has been stopped while he goes through this rigamarole.
I write this as a reminder of what kind of power our art can have, it can be multifaceted, beyond plastic toys, photo books, and solo shows.Thanks all of those that participated and supported the If They Come For You in the Morning, ABC No Rio and numerous others!
To learn more about Daniel, why he was arrested and his case, go to supportdaniel.org. A current address where he can receive letters is updated when necessary.
OUT OF THE SHELL OF THE OLD MUSIC NIGHT & CLOSING PARTY!
Friday, July 25th 7pm
1026 Arch St, Philadelphia
Donations will benefit our friends at the Shoe Shop to help them deal with the lingering repercussions of their harassment by the police dept. and L&I. For more info on their case look at PhillyIMC.
This will be the last chance to see the Justseeds exhibit and purchase cheap art as the show comes down the next day. SO please come on down, support some good people and listen to some fine music by-
DAN BLACKSBERG is a trombonist who is working to expand the range of the trombone in jazz and improvised music. A native and resident of Philadelphia, he has been seen all around town with such local musicians as Jack Wright, Toshi Makihara, Sonic Liberation Front and with Bobby Zankel's Warriors of the Wonderful Sound. He has appeared in concerts produced by Bowerbird and the Ars Nova Workshop. In addition, Dan has performed with Anthony Braxton (the premiere of Composition 19 for 100 tubas), Taylor Ho Bynum, Joe Morris, Mike Pride, Nate Wooley, Katt Hernandez, Daniel Levin and Joe Maneri in many venues in New York and Boston.
ASHLEY DEEKUS is a percussionist and composer who holds a dynamic approach to her marimba playing. A career beginning with Canadian rock artists, to a place in the NY/PA improvising community, to the local “anything goes” scene. Beautician by day, musician by night, she currently pursues her studies in various traditional folk musics without excluding jazz, classical, or contemporary dance. Some artists she has worked with are; Pauline Oliveros, Neil Feather, Matthew Welch, Katt Hernendez, Jack Wright, Evan Lipson, Dustin Hurt, Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Gina Fererra, Nicole Bindler, and Susie Ibarra. Performs with: Alokli (West African ewe drumming ensemble) West Philadelphia Orchestra (traditional Balkan explosions) The Old Goats (traditional Brazilian).
JOSHUA MARCUS is a singer/songwriter/banjo-player who lives in Philadelphia, PA and has produced nine recordings under different bands and monikers in the last nine years, including Fan of Friends. This spring Marcus released his newest recording, Reverse the Charges, on Chicago's Contraphonic and Philadelphia's High Two record labels. Joshua is currently working on a collaborative project to produce a folk recording dealing with current U.S. social and environmental justice struggles.
Hope to see you there! Thanks to all the wonderful folks who've helped out & participated in the exhibition and events!
I've uploaded a handful of flicks, on the Justseeds flickr account, of the collaborative installation at Space 1026, called Out of the Shell of the Old. If you get the chance this is the last week that it will be on view in Philadelphia, so get over there!
There's also some previous photo posts here on the blog by Colin , of the install and myself, twice
If you have visited it, I'm interested in any feedback you have, there's a whole comment field below. I really enjoy working collaboratively and on installations. I'd like to make them successful, in many ways. I hope they can contextualize the work, as well as communicate something larger. Im not sure how well we've accomplished that in Space 1026, mostly because I haven't reflected on it much, and all of my collaborators are on the other side of the ether.
Well its our first, and definately not my last!
To continue with our gardenblogging I figured I'd share too. I live on the third floor in an apartment building in Brooklyn with Josh, and this is the amount of garden we have up in here. And its not due to Macphee's green thumb.
It's ok tho, despite what many of you folks are thinking, about NYC, I also get to "garden"sit a decent size plot and a handful fruit trees just a few blocks away! mmm peaches.
For what the bounty of our fire escape lacks, I bring home plenty of "specialty" produce from my farmer Morse. Yeah I've got a farmer.
Please join us in Philly this sunday for our 3rd event in conjunction with the Out of the Shell of the Old exhibit at Space 1026!
SUNDAY JULY 20
1026 ARCH ST.
We'll be using short presentations by 3 local artists as a jumping-off point for a room-wide discussion around the whats, whys and hows of radical art.
THEODORE A. HARRIS is a poet, muralist and collagist born in New York City and currently residing in Philadelphia, PA. As a muralist he has been painting with the Mural Arts program of Philadelphia since 1983. In addition to being exhibited in one-man and group shows from coast to coast, Harris's work has appeared in numerous publications, including Long Shot, The Hammer, Unity & Struggle, AAR, and the important anthologies Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature and Art and In Defense of Mumia.
NAIMA LOWE writes, performs, directs, studies, makes movies, teaches, lives and loves in Philadelphia, PA. She’s currently working on creative and curatorial projects that focus on her favorite things: Queers, people of color, the art they make, and the worlds they devise. For more detailed information visit her website
BETH NIXON builds puppets, masks, piñatas, parades, pageants, magical lands and other spectaculah, on her own, and in collaboration with other humans of all ages. She comes from Rhode Island, lives in West Philly, and travels frequently to places where building, performing or
facilitating opportunities arise. Mostly she uses cardboard, "science", and the imagination. She specializes in beasts and is investigating The Utopian Performative… Beth believes in the power of bike helmets, cornstarch, tide pools, emacipatory pedagogy, and snacks. She is the creator of 'So Many Dynamos' a calendar of illustrated palindromes for 2008.
Forthcoming- a Music Night and Closing Party on Friday uly 25- a music show benefitting the folks at the Shoe Shop, whose home was taken away by L&I , with Dan Blacksberg and Joshua Marcus, and Ashley Deekus.
Friday was the debut of "Meet the Made" here in Pittsburgh, the latest in the Mattress Factory's "Gestures" series and a project of the Robot 250 program. Curated by Ian Ingram and Carl DiSalvo, "Meet the Made" addresses "the relationship between robotics and all aspects of human culture." Stuart Anderson and I were invited to work with this idea for the exhibit, and combined forces to create a work about the Luddite uprisings in England during the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. It seemed appropriate to address a popular uprising against the mechanized workplace in the context of a show which celebrates the mechanized. Not that we wanted to cause a stink, you know, but the setting was ripe. You can read more about the piece here.
I also installed a vinyl graphic on the outside of the gallery space - an illustration of an old sledgehammer with the caption "down with all kings but King Ludd" (a line from a Lord Byron poem depicting the Luddite mindset, written to a friend in 1816). King Ludd, or Ned Ludd, was the mythical head of the Luddite rebellions, and many of the threats and public notices issued by various Luddite groups were either signed "Ludd" or referred to Ludd specifically as an arbiter of justice.
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.
Well, Out of the Shell of The Old opened last friday at Space 1026 here in Philadelphia. After an exhausting week of building, it all paid off- as an enthusiastic crowd filled the space on a rainy 4th of July evening. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it such a wonderful event and to DJs Merry Def and Mary Mack for the bumpin' tunes...
If you couldn't make it out to the opening, never fear- you have at least three more chances! In conjunction with the exhibit, Justseeds Philadelphia (ok, that's just me) has organized a series of radical art-themed events. The first is a night of performances this Friday-
Puppet Uprising & Justseeds Present
3 MUSICAL NARRATIVES
Friday, July 11, 7pm, Space 1026
1026 Arch Street, Chinatown, Philadelphia
Suggested donation: $5 or less
More info: 267-909-2633 or www.puppetuprising.org.
Featuring FLIGHT by Erik Ruin & Katt Hernandez, Shadows & Violin
THE SOLDIER & THE PHOENIX: a Toy Theater by Shoddy Puppet Company
THE EXCREMENTAL CONTEXT: A Parody of Satire by Reid Books
PLus CHEAP ART from All the Justseeds Artists!
Puppet Uprising teams up with the Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative to bring 3 MUSICAL NARRATIVES to Space 1026 Gallery in Philadelphia. REID BOOKS (author/composer of "The Nothing Factory") debuts a new one-man-band performance “The Excremental Context,” in which Reid plays prepared guitar, bugle and truck horns while unraveling a satirical yarn. SHODDY PUPPET COMPANY (Leslie Rogers, Lucy Schneider, Michelle Posadas and Morgan F.P. Andrews) premieres “The Soldier & The Phoenix,” a toy theater fable with accordion accompaniment about a soldier’s memories of boyhood, a boy’s quest for chicken hearts, and a chicken’s desire for flight. ERIK RUIN gives an encore performance of “Flight: The Mythic Journey of a Person Displaced,” a wordless and cinematic shadow puppet play featuring a haunting violin and vocal score by KATT HERNANDEZ.
Future events will be a DISCUSSION NIGHT (5/20) with presentations by local artists Naima Lowe, Theodore Harris & Beth Nixon; and a MUSIC NIGHT (5/25) with trombonist Dan Blacksberg, percussionist Ashley Deekus and banjo-player Joshua Marcus, benefitting our friends at the Shoe Shop.
All events at Space 1026, all will have cheap art from Justseedsters available.
Here are some more flicks from the Justseeds collaboration at Space 1026. Lots of ideas starting to materialize and momentum being built. The space doesn't have any running water, so everything from rinsing brushes to the usual number one is quite difficult. Thanks to all the local businesses and bus stations for the use of your services. And sorry to the guy who was nearly hit by the fan that fell from the second story window.
Here are some photos of of the first couple days installing at Space 1026 for Out of the Shell of the Old, which opens Friday, July 4th (7-10pm).
A quick preview before I get back to drinking beer and painting over bad decisions.
Throughout the month of July, Justseeds will be exhibiting a brand-new collaborative exhibition at Space 1026 in Philadelphia. As a part of the exhibit, a variety of exciting radical art-themed events will also be taking place.
Out of the Shell of the Old is a unique collaborative installation/exhibition from members of the radical artists’ cooperative Justseeds. Based on the theme of “a new world rising out of the shell of the old”, this show will incorporate built environments, video installation, and printed work to explore both the dark and troubling times we now live in, as well as our hopes for a better, brighter world. Over 10 members of Justseeds will be traveling to Philadelphia from as far as Portland OR and Providence RI to collaboratively create a unique and exciting body of work
WHEN: Throughout July 2008. The opening reception will be on Friday July 4, with DJs and coop members Mary Mack (Pittsburgh) and Merry Def (Providence) from 7-10 pm.
Other events throughout the month will include-
july 11- performance night with "Flight", a shadow puppet performance by Justseeds member Erik Ruin (w/ Katt Hernandez on violin), Shoddy Puppet Company's toy theater performance "the Soldier and the Phoenix" and "the Excremental Context: a parody of satire" performed by Reid Books.
july 20- a discussion night with presentations by local radical artists - filmmaker/performer Naima Lowe, collage artist Theodore Harris, and puppeteer Beth Nixon.
july 25- a music show benefitting the folks at the Shoe Shop, whose home was taken away by L&I , with Dan Blacksberg and Joshua Marcus, more acts TBA.
All events start at 7 pm.
WHERE:Space 1026, 1026 Arch St., Philadelphia PA. www.space1026.org
For further information/interview requests, please contact Erik Ruin-
215.387.0356. email@example.com. www.justseeds.org
Sara Meister and I have finally finished work on a collaborative poster we started this spring as part of the Celebrate People's History poster project. During a visit to Sara's hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan last summer, we saw a great exhibit at the local history museum about the intriguing strike at the Kalamazoo Corset Company in 1912. As there was never much written on the subject, Sara embarked on a research project with the goal of producing a zine later this year. I'd been itching to do another "People's History" poster for some time, and we got to work this spring.
We've printed a limited edition silkscreen run of the posters which will be available soon from Justseeds (my first print in ages). The design will then go to Stumptown Printers, the Portland, Oregon-based shop that has been printing this project for years. Within the next month or two, the poster will be available in mass-produced form, distributed to individuals, schools, community spaces, libraries and the like. One of my favorite things about the People's History posters is how often I see them around...
You can click on the picture above to get a larger, readable version.
RUST (Radical Urban Silkscreen Team), pittsburgh's radical youth print collective, is in full swing!
young artist-activists completed their first project, celebrate pittsburgh people's history posters, and have begun a bike poster project, just in time for bikefest. one RUST member created an amazing RUSTy the shark mascot costume!
justseeds member pete yahnke is in town this week as a visiting artist, teaching students the fine art of marmoleum cutting & printing. pete's work can be seen in the windows of RUST for one-week only. this is a great location as it's right behind a bus stop on the main drag downtown, and the work is visible 24-7.
RUST is open to the public tuesday-friday 1-5pm.
wednesday night 5-9pm is youth open studio, open to ages 13-18. print what you want! free!
RUST is a project of the andy warhol museum and artists image resource
exhibition photos by Heather Kearns
The public library has always been one of my favorite destinations and resources in every city that I have lived in, but rarely have I thought of the library as a location to exhibit or see contemporary art (except, of course, in the many books within the collection.) This changed when curator Trish Nixon and gallery director Sherry Best invited me to exhibit 65 of my machine-animal collage prints at the Alice C. Sabitini Gallery which is located INSIDE the Topeka & Shawne County Public Library in Topeka, Kansas. As you walk through the main entrance of the library, the gallery is directly to ones right.
The beauty of this is location is that all types of library patrons will stop by and check out the current exhibit and be exposed to the art and the ideas conveyed. The curators also geared the specific show that I was in to kids and set up a room within the gallery with collage source material, a photocopier and supplies for kids to make collages, draw on the chalk-board painted walls, and put up their work up for all to see.
I was so moved by this experience for it was arguably one of the most non-elitist art exhibitions that I have been involved in due to the wide range of people who stopped by to see the show. Although this is a generalization, the majority of galleries, art museums, and even underground art spaces that I know about tend to cater to those who are already in the know -- those who already have an interest in visual art and art history. This space did this to, but since the gallery was in such a public space, a space that people were already going to, it attracted many first time visitors from all walks of life or those who needed to pick up a book or video and had a second to stop by and see the show.
This scenario has provided the gallery staff and the artists with a vital opportunity to discuss with the public what it is that artists do and why art is so important to our lives and the health of a community. That said, the gallery staff at the Topeka & Shawne County Library were incredible in how they talked to each visitor and made people feel so welcome within a gallery setting.
To me, this was a valuable lesson that MORE galleries should try to locate themselves in easily accessible, public places. Personally, I am not familiar with any other libraries or public buildings that also have a contemporary art gallery, so if other people know of examples, please post. A contemporary art gallery within a library is such a great concept that it would be amazing to see more libraries and public places adopt the model that the Topeka & Shawne Country Public Library has. Another reason why public libraries rock!
Alice C. Sabatini Gallery in the Topeka & Shawne County Public Library
more photos of the exhibition:
Here's a time lapse of the ups and downs of our inflatable church!
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa is working with 14 to 20 year old artist-activists to form a Radical Print Collective.
This Collective will work with Pittsburgh’s social justice and environmental community to create print materials that illustrate social, cultural and civic achievement milestones in Pittsburgh. The Collective will learn printmaking and design techniques and will use these skills to document Pittsburgh’s activist past and present in an effort to effect progressive social change.
Local and national activist artists from the Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative will be in residence throughout the summer to work with the youth involved in this project and to create an installation.
For more information, contact Mary Tremonte at tremontem(at)warhol.org, 412-237-8356
San Francisco artists celebrate the release of Reproduce & Revolt, an extensive collection of contemporary political graphics collected from around the world, featuring today's most exciting street artists, poster makers and graphic designers.
WHAT: An art jam and book release party featuring live printmaking, music, and refreshments.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 11, 6-10 pm
WHERE: CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St. (near 9th), San Francisco, CA 94103
WHO: Reproduce & Revolt Co-Editor, Favianna Rodriguez, Taller Tupac Amaru (Oakland), San Francisco Print Collective (SF), Political Gridlock (Alameda), and Chaman Visions (Los Angeles)
On the evening of Wednesday, June 11th, artists, activists, and art lovers will gather to celebrate the release of the new book, Reproduce & Revolt. Activism depends on design to capture imaginations and spread a message. Reproduce and Revolt not only documents some of the best activist design work of the past few years, it shows readers how to do it themselves. Political artists from the Bay Area will host an evening of live poster printing, political art displays, and other art making to promote a message of social justice.
Reproduce and Revolt features the work of artists from over a dozen countries. The collection contains hundreds of high-quality illustrations and graphics about social justice and political activism for use on flyers, posters, t-shirts, brochures, stencils, and any other graphic elements of social causes. The graphics are bold, easy to reproduce, and available to reproduce without permission. The book offers clear instructions on how to utilize the images to improve the effectiveness of visual campaigns. It also contains a short history of political graphics, highlighting the vital and powerful role that graphics have played in social movements all over the world – serving as tools to inspire, mobilize, and transform communities.
If you were interesting in seeing the exhibit, you can check out some flicks I took of the installation over at the Justseeds profile. We filled up a large container with the remains of the installation, that couldn't be used to redecorate Chris' house, on Monday. Thanks to everyone that came out!
148 11th Ave. btw 21st & 22nd St
New York, New York
Justseeds Collective member Swoon is installing a piece she collaborated on with Tennessee Jane Watson, regarding the Femicides in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and that occur all along the borders of Central America. This piece is also, currently, in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
We've just updated the page for the Daniel McGowan benefit, and have artwork available for purchase online from Swoon, Armsrock, and Eelus, plus a DVD from the Barnstormers and original prints by Kristine Virsis, Claude Moller, Magmo the Destoyer, Nicolas Lampert, and Eric Ruin.
Click here to check it out. More artwork will be added to the sale page in the next few days, so keep checking back!
Visual Resistance made a banner for last weekend's street party against the city's plan to line the Williamsburg waterfront with luxury hi-rise apartment buildings. The banner went up in an empty billboard frame in a lot on N. 7th st. Our photolog has pictures of the banner going up, as well as the the work-in-progress stages. It took two days to paint the banner on a windy rooftop in Manhattan --- the stencil was cut out of an abandoned window advertisement panel K. pulled from the trash. More pictures of the larger event are coming soon --- Fred Askew also has a gallery up on his site.
--- No Rezone!
Over in photo-land, rancor & k.see have posted reports from last weekend's Grassroots Media Conference, where VR hosted a stencil-making workshop. The whol conference was pretty great, especially the panel on culture-jamming hosted by Will of Complacent.org, Reverend Billy, and Swoon. After the panel, Swoon pasted up a new piece on 13th st, and the good Reverend led the crowd in some mass shop-lifting. Thanks to those who came out --- and to the GMC for hosting us!
Come hang out with the Visual Resistance Collective at the Grassroots Media Conference 2005!
April 9th --- 11:45 am-1:15 pm
New School University --- 65 5th Avenue at 13th Street, NY
The Portable Printing Press: A Hands-On Guide to Stencil-Making
The stencil is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of reproducing an image. Our collective will conduct a hands on skill-share that will cover the basics of making a stencil. We encourage participants to bring ideas and/or designs to share with the group. It is not necessary to bring supplies, but if you have your own x-acto knife we encourage you to bring it. If you have never cut a stencil before you will leave this workshop with one in your hand, and strategies for putting it up on the street. Folks with stencil-making experience are also welcome to come and share ideas, strategies, and projects.