Joshua David Stein has written an article titled Ghost Riders about the Ghost Bike Project for New York Magazine. Really beautiful photographs by Christopher Griffith accompany the article.
I disagree with Stien's opening statement
As cycling in New York has become more popular, it has become increasingly deadly.I don't believe that the threat of automobiles were ever benign, they are always deadly. The manner in which NYC is utillized and designed for automobiles plays a role in how deadly they are to humans. Pedestrians are also at risk, Transportation Alternatives states that "NY has the highest number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the U.S.", and over 170 pedestrians were killed in 2003 in NYC. Should the same statement be said for the popularity of walking? If so then I'd logically assume the issue is with automobiles and the manner in which people drive them. NYC has evolved from a city designed for walking, and small animal drawn carriages, to a complex system of roads intended mainly for the movement of freight, human's second to that. That is the essence of the problem.
Copies with the article can be found at newsstands now.
Readers Digest takes a look at the Ghost Bike Project in their June 2008 issue, and the "your america" section online. The memorials continue to garner attention in the media as a reminder to the fallen cyclists.
We finally got our new postcards back from the fabulous Eberhardt Press!!! If you'd like one, sign up for our mailing list, and include a snail mail address in your email.
In the Middle of a Whirlwind (Whirlwinds) inquires into current organizing efforts in the United States, and through that process, assembles a strategic analysis of current political composition as a tool for building political power.
Whirlwinds’ strategic context is this summer’s RNC and DNC protests; through these documents and the discussions that erupt from them we hope to directly impact the anti-Convention organizing. In a larger sense, and in the long-term, Whirlwinds is intended to provide a set of useful documents for contemporary radical organizing. Each essay and interview addresses the issues of movement, working class power and composition, and/or gives strategic insight into organizing, and the strengths and weaknesses of current movement/s in the U.S.
A one-off online journal of theory, art, activism and organizing to be released May 25th!
We live in a very, very strange world. The Street Art Workers have had a little blurb about them published in the Oct/Nov issue of the Indian edition of Elle Decor Magazine?!?!?
Check it out:
Quick update on JustSeeds: After a financial disaster in December and a few months of planning, it looks like JustSeeds will relaunch in March as a national, non-profit cooperative. Over a dozen artists are on board as owner-operators, including Josh MacPhee, Chris Stain, Pete Yahnke, Kristine Virsis, Colin Matthes, and Meredith Stern.
After the relaunch, Visual Resistance and JustSeeds will become partners, and the two websites will merge to create one online source for radical art and ideas. We're excited about this new opportunity and are working on a totally new website design that will hopefully bring together the best of both projects. Offline, the JustSeeds benefit show last week served as an example of what future collaborations will look like. The show raised enough money to finally pull JustSeeds out of debt, and provided some startup funds to build infrastructure for the co-op.
In anticipation of the JustSeeds.org relaunch next month, we're selling a new, limited-edition silkscreen print by Swoon as a further fund raiser. The print is the first in a series of small prints that Swoon will be distributing through JustSeeds. Printed by Visual Resistance, it's signed and numbered by Swoon, from an edition of 250. Size: 8.25" x 18" or about 200x450mm. The print is a detail from a larger piece inspired by images from Argentina. Click the image for a larger version:
Price: $100 + $5 shipping & handling. Limit 1 per household -- multiple orders will be canceled. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. UK buyers,
click here for special instructions -- other international buyers, please email us in advance for shipping costs.
Let us know if you have any questions about the print, or about the future of JustSeeds & VR. Thanks!
UPDATE 3/25/07: THIS PRINT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
Quick update as of 3/6:
Yes, the prints are still available. Swoon is going to be a member of the new cooperative, so this is the first of a series of small-scale, affordable prints she'll be releasing through JustSeeds.org. Check that site after the relaunch in April for more info. I think her plan is to print at least 3 or 4 different images each year.
Sorry for being a little slow with shipping; we've been a little overwhelmed with the orders. Anyone who ordered before today, you should receive your print no later than next Wednesday. Thanks for your patience!
It's been 18 days since Eric Ng was killed. It doesn't seem possible. Time moves strangely; every day I get the news again. I'm finding it hard to write about this again, but here goes:
After an excruciating week, friends of Eric's organized a day of memorial events on Saturday, December 9th, starting with a memorial bike ride from Washington Square Park to the site of Eric's death on the West Side bike path. Around 200 cyclists joined together for a silent ride and extremely emotional gathering at the site. Dozens of people placed flowers on Eric's ghost bike. We spoke, screamed, cried, and sang. We rode from there to St. Mark's Church, where Reverend Billy officiated a moving tribute. Later in the night we threw a party at Time's Up, with a dance floor like a group hug.
When we installed the ghost bike the morning of the ride, Andy asked me if Eric's would be the last ghost bike I would work on. There was a distinct surreality to the whole process; I had to stop cutting the plaque's stencils each time the horror hit me. Too close. Too real. But in an odd way, Eric's is the first ghost bike I've ever done. I'm more committed to the project than ever; everything else seems remote, abstract.
This city can kill you. This society can blunt you with indifference. When we create ghost bikes, or go on memorial rides, we tap into the hurt of this world and choose to honor that stranger we know could be our friend, our sister, ourself. We choose to remember, even if we never knew. That empathy is a holy rebellion. That choice makes us whole.
A few days after Eric was killed, Onto wrote a beautiful article that expressed a lot of the things I have been thinking but still find difficult to articulate:
How do we connect the stories and struggles, murders and violence of Brad Will and Eric Ng? One filming, one bicycling. One north, one south. Both members of similar communities in NYC. How do we connect them both to the murder of Sean Bell? And tie them to the repression against Daniel McGowan? Think about them in relation to the daily car murders and daily border deaths? [...]
The ghost bikes and memorial rides, the street demos and art making - these collective responses are both internally therapeutic and socially effective, creating a space both inside and outside ourselves to heal with tears and rage, amor y rabia. By consecrating the street - the only true home of an activist, especially bike activists - with collective acts of love and beauty, we remember the past by laying it in front of us, guiding our movements toward a place we don't yet know we're going....
Let us all struggle in the days ahead to build human-centered communities, to cherish those honest connections we've been blessed to make, to respect each other, and to remember to value collaboration and exchange over division and mistrust.
Thanks to everyone who came to the December 9th memorial ride. It has been immensely comforting to be a part of a community of activists and friends who knew how to come together and support each other. Thanks especially to Time's Up, and to Reverend Billy, who served as a true pastor, helping a community through their grief. Respect. If anyone has photographs from the day's events, please send them to us at email@example.com. Folks who weren't there, check out Clarence's video on StreetsBlog, as well as photos by Nick and Brian.
There's this feeling I get when I hear a perfect song and just go: yes yes yes. That's the feeling I always got when I thought of Eric. In that way I lived more, through him. That will stay with me.
I wish to God I didn't have to write this: On Friday, December 1, Eric Ng was riding his bike up the West Side bike path. He was on his way from a show to a party -- that was Eric, always busy, always seeing people -- when a fucking drunk driver ran him down. The driver had traveled at speed for over a mile on the bike path, ignoring dozens of exits, literally dozens of chances to return to the road. Dozens of choices. The car hit Eric with such force that his bike was crushed, he was thrown into the air, his tire and shoe landing fifty feet away. The horrific details are in the news, if you want them.
Eric. What can I even say? If you knew him, you know. I met Eric at NYU, four years ago. He was three years younger than me. Straight outta Jersey, a beautiful punk rock kid with a constant smile on a direct line from a big heart. A staccato laugh like a snare drum in a string section. A teddy bear with muscles. I remember his guitar, taped together & with a few screws missing, the one time we played music together: "Dude. I think we should play it faster."
And now a phone call and a shock. Not Eric. I feel old too soon; Eric was 22 perfectly. A body full of honest energy and a face like contagious hope.
I've been making ghost bikes for strangers for a year and a half. Eric's is not the first that made me cry, but it's the first that made me hurt. A big group of Eric's friends spent the weekend mourning, talking, and, finally, making. We made a ghost bike for him on Saturday and sunflowers on Sunday. Eric's memorial plaque reads "Love & Rage" -- no resting in peace for this rock star.
We are planning for a memorial ride this Saturday, December 9th, meeting at 1pm in Washington Square Park and then proceeding to the site of Eric's death. Non-bikers can head straight to the site, on the West Side bike path near Clarkson St. Please bring flowers (especially sunflowers), sidewalk chalk, paint, whatever you want. There will also be a memorial service after the ride at 2:30pm at St. Mark's Church with music and a slideshow, and a party at 8pm at Time's Up, at 49 E. Houston St.
Thank you to everyone who has been e-mailing and to those strangers who have already placed signs and flowers at the site. Thank you for your kindness and your anger both. A lot of people have been talking about pressing for physical barriers against cars on the bike path and other infrastructure improvements to help prevent future deaths. This is a great idea, and people should not hesitate to contact local elected officials, and get in touch with Time's Up and Transportation Alternatives, who I know already are working along those lines.
Eric's loss is a collective one; the sheer number of people who cared deeply for him is amazing. The depth of their pain is a mirror of the joy he brought to this world. That joy remains, pushed under but still there. If you ever had it, hold it.
I know my words are ever inadequate to express all this. Please feel free to use the comments section for memories and messages.
Update: Information on funeral services and ideas for contacting elected officials are in the comments.
Update 2:We've finally confirmed a full set of events for Saturday:
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9
1PM: Memorial bike ride. Meet up in Washington Square Park at 1pm. We will ride together to the site of Eric's death at 1:30 SHARP. Non-bikers can go directly to the West Side Greenway, near Clarkson St. By train: take the 1 to Houston St.
2:30PM: Memorial service at St. Mark's Church. Friends & family will share stories, show photos, and play music. St. Mark's Church is at the corner of 2nd Ave and 11th St. By train: 6 to Astor Place, R/W to 8th St, or F train to Houston St.
8PM: Memorial dance party. Do not go gently into that good night. DJs & live punk rock. At Time's Up, 49 E. Houston St. By train: 6 or B/D/F/V to Bleecker-Lafayette.
With several projects in the works and a massive benefit gallery show just behind us, Visual Resistance is in the red. While we've fundraised for other groups or friends in the past, we've never used this site to ask donations for VR projects. So, if you like what Visual Resistance does and can spare a few dollars -- or more! -- please consider clicking the button below:
Street Art Workers (SAW) is a national network of some of the best printmakers and street artists working today. This year's campaign is a major step forward for the group, as it's their first foray into mass production. The end result of nearly a year´s work will be 3,000 sets of a gorgeous, two-color, newspaper-sized booklet of 25 posters from artists from over 20 cities in 10 countries!
In other words, SAW is producing almost 65,000 large posters for free distribution around North America and beyond. If you want to see these posters on the walls of your city, help SAW and VR out by chipping in.
Below is a sneak preview of six of the 25 posters from this year's campaign:
The If They Come For You In The Morning art show was a huge success and we raised more money for Daniel McGowan's legal defence than we ever thought we could. Thank you to all the artists who generously donated their work, to everyone who came out to support the show, and to all the volunteers who were patient with our sweaty, grumpy insanity. This event could not have been a success without you!
A particular amount of adoration to our heroes of the past week: Steve Englander and all the ABC No Rio volunteers, Jeffrey and Bluestockings Books, Aaron Thompson & art.les.nyc, Ian Kuali'i, James and Evan of Graffiti Research Labs, Mark and Mattie from Fort Whitey, Jonathan Spies, Thadeaus D. Umpster, Angela Coppola, Mona Mady, Marianne, Eliza Calhoun, Josh MacPhee, Chris Stain, Brandon Bauer, Eric Drooker, Aaron Resen, Callie, Sen, Andrew and Brendan Story from Friends and Family, Cristina Chapman, Melissa Morrone, Meredith Sums, Benjamin Persky, and of course, Jenny Synan & Daniel McGowan.
Boundless thanks to you all of you
Anyone who has not yet picked up artwork from the If They Come for You In The Morning show, please go to ABC No Rio on Wednesday, August 2nd or Thursday, August 3rd, from 5pm - 8pm. If you can't come by either of these days, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
The first night of If They Come For You In The Morning was a huge success. Thansk to everyone who came out and braved the late July heat in ABC No Rio! We put a lot of red dots on the walls and gave out lots of information about Daniel's case so all is going well. For all information about the show, see visualresistance.org/mcgowan. Below are some pictures from the show taken from jabobito's flickr stream.
We've gotten a bunch of e-mails asking for details on how art will be sold at If They Come for You In The Morning, so here's a quick note to cut through any confusion:
All artwork in the show will be reasonably priced, with prints starting at $5. There is beautiful artwork available to meet every possible price range. Don't go home empty handed!
Selected work in the show is being offered at minimum-bid silent auction. However, the majority of artwork is available at flat (non-auction) prices.
To bid on auction items: Sign up for an anonymous identification number at the table at the back of the room. Bidding sheets will be hung on the wall next to each auction item. All bidding ends promptly at 9pm on Friday!
To purchase non-auction items: come to the table at the back of the room and let us know the item number or artist's name. Cash or checks strongly preferred. MasterCard & Visa credit cards accepted.
Can't make it to the show but would like to bid by proxy? E-mail us at email@example.com for information on specific pieces.
This is the eighth in a series of previews from the July 27-28 beneft art show If They Come for You in the Morning. We start hanging the show at ABC No Rio on Monday, so posting will probably be slow-to-nonexistant next week. Here's one big preview of multiple artists:
One of the best things about this project has been meeting incredible artists whose work was previously unknown to us. That is certainly the case with Aaron Resen and Julia Garder, two artists who came from out of the blue and sent us two of the best works in the entire show.
Left: Aaron Resen's gorgeous, delicate paper cutout:
Right: Julia Garder's Fuschia Plant:
Next up are two pieces that reference Judi Bari, the environmental and labor activist who was bombed in 1990 in retaliation for her activism with Earth First. Below, at left is Barry Newman's Who Bombed Judi Bari?. At right is Kevin Pyle's dramatic illustration is an original panel from his chapter on Bari in the book Wobblies!.
One of my favorite artists working anywhere in the world is RB827, whose unmistakeable style and painstakingly detailed technique has made searching out her rare street pieces a favorite hobby of NYC street art enthusiasts. RB has a number of small ink & gouache drawings in the show. Two are pictured below:
Eric Drooker, a World War 3 Illustrated vet and author of the wordless graphic novels Flood! and Blood Song. Eric sent three pieces for the show, one opaque watercolor painting and two ink-on-scratchboard drawings. Two are pictured below:
Finally, one of VR's main inspirations, Chris Stain, sent us a set of amazing stencils on salvaged sheet metal panels. One is pictured below:
This is all just a small sample from the 80+ artists who are included in show. For more information, see If They Come for You in the Morning.
This is the seventh in a series of previews from the July 27-28 beneft art show If They Come for You in the Morning:
Swoon certainly needs no introduction to VR readers. One of the leading lights of the street art movement, Swoon is a Brooklyn-based printmaker who has been working on the streets since 1999. Her paper cutouts were some of the first street art I remember taking note of after I moved to New York, and since then her art has developed remarkably. Her larger-than-life linoleum and woodcut prints are a window to the secret heart of the city's inhabitants.
After a massive installation at Deitch Projects last July, Swoon travelled quite a bit before returning to New York to begin working on building a three-raft scrap wood flotilla that will sail down the Mississippi River later this summer. Her prints are currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum, in addition to the walls of Chinatown, Bed-Stuy, Gowanus, Williamsburg, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Austin, TX, etc...
Swoon has three prints in the Daniel McGowan benefit show. Pictured above is a detail from the original two-color linoleum print for the poster she created for the Celebrate People's History series. As a testament to her work ethic alone, the piece is a knockout: each letter of the text is hand-carved from linoleum (in reverse). As far as I know the original print has never been exhibited before.
Also in the show are two prints from Swoon's series of subway portraits, pictured below. The subway series are linoleum block prints with spraypanted stencil. All three prints are on durable, semi-transparent mylar. One of the subway prints is available for online purchase through Visual Resistance.
Swoon was an early and constant supporter of this project --- many thanks to her for all the help!
Detail. More views here.
This is the sixth in a series of previews from the July 27-28 benefit art show If They Come For You in the Morning:
Doug Minkler is a printmaker from the Bay Area who has created posters for a wide range of organizations, including the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, Veterans for Peace, and the International Longshore Workers Union. He writes:
As part of the international Share the Commons movement, I have placed high-resolution scans of of my poster work on this website which you may download and print for free.
My work is about planetary preservation. The prints are inspired not by rugged individualism, but by the collective humor, defiance, & lust for life exhibited by those on the margins. Though the site is divided into categories such as war environmentalism and criminal justice i see the entire site under the category of labor. It is my hope that these works be used to boost the spirits of like minded comrades as well as the raise the consciousness of conservative relatives and friends. They are my contribution to the international struggle for peace and justice. Included on the site are some writing I have done on the subject of art and politics.
Current projects: Ban Tasers NOW, Ghosts of Guantanamo, Human Needs Not Corporate Greed ( WRAP west coast homelessnes activists)
Doug has two prints in the show. Both are vibrant multicolor silkscreens on archival paper. Above: Doug's "Campus Predator" poster takes on the duplicitous recruitment tactics of the United States military. Below: "Corporation" gets at the root of the problem with a caustic quote from Ambrose Bierce.
Nicolas Lampert is yet another great midwestern artist who uses collage as a primary tool in his printmaking. Working out of Milwaukee, he's involved in a wide variety of activist art projects -- he was a co-editor of Peace Signs, co-organized the travelling Drawing Resistance show, and has written for Clamor Magazine.
His Oil Soldier poster, pictured at right, is a potent example of his collage work, and has been distributed widely as an agit-prop image for the antiwar movement. The poster is in the show (and also available for purchase online)
Nicolas is probably best known for his Machine Animal Collages, a series of collages he began in 1995. He writes:
Juxtaposition has been central to my visual language and the content that I explore. Contrasts and comparisons between animal/machine; nature/industrialism; indigenous/modern nation states; local economies/globalization have often been reoccurring themes. By pairing together opposites, the viewer is left to come to their own conclusion and to consider the reasons, circumstances and future possibilities of the two different entities - both alone and when they merge. The visual statement is to ask questions rather than provide concrete answers....
Aesthetically, the machine-animal collage series embraces the low resolution and the deteriorated quality of a Xerox copy. The photocopied images and the cut and paste methods working by hand produces images that become difficult to date. The images could be seen as a relic from the past, a lost scientific manual, or a Dada-like, Max Ernst-like collage image. Or the images could be seen as a contemporary work, a manual for a design for the future.
The Locust Tank piece, pictured at left, is my favorite of Nicolas's collages. At almost four feet wide, the single impossible image has a hint of epicness about it. An even larger version of it was included in the Becoming Animal exhibition at Mass MoCA.
BORF probably needs no introduction for most VR readers. One of the most original, prolific, creative, and witty voices to come out of the street art movement, Borf had an incalculable impact on Washington, D.C.'s street scene until his arrest last July. Barred from possessing spraypaint or other "graffiti implements" as a condition of his parole, Borf is using new techniques to make art.
Borf has two pieces in the show: an oil painting of an nighttime urban street scene, and the briliant 10-color screenprint pictured here. What I love about this piece is how it distills the sense of joyous rebellion (or righteous mischief) that runs through all of Borf's best work, from his cryptic tags, to his oversized stencils. It's great to see Borf moving onward and upward after a long and difficult year.
Third in a series of preview from the July 27-28 benefit art show If They Come for You in the Morning:
Erik Ruin is another great Midwestern printmaker -- born in Michigan, currently living in Minneapolis, Erik is a stencilist & shadowpuppeteer. He publishes the fantastic Trouble in Mind zine, works on the Prison Poster Project, is currently co-editing (with Josh MacPhee) the forthcoming anthology Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority, and on a new puppetshow tentatively entitled SeamsLike.
Erik made a great four-color stencil for the show which demands freedom for Daniel McGowan, Jeff Luers, the SHAC 7, and Green Scare defendants Chelsea Gerlach and Darren Thurston. He explained his motivation:
my piece for the show is one of the more didactic things i've made in a while. i've been focusing on exploring the power of images liberated from slogans & words in general. i think its a real challenge to find a visual language that can evoke an emotional response that's somehow liberatory - whether it's summoning forth compassion, righteous anger, whatever... while still giving people something to think about, something that maybe takes a minute more to figure out... but all this can be pretty nebulous & hard to assess the impact of. which is why it's nice to make utilitarian, informative graphics like this.
Eric's piece is available for purchase online through our site: click here to get a closer look and more info.
Second in a series of previews from the July 27-28 benefit art show If They Come For You in the Morning:
Colin Matthes is one of the great Midwestern printmakers centered around Josh MacPhee's Just Seeds radical art distribution service whose work may be little known to New York City street art buffs but deserves exponentially wider recognition.
He's produced posters for the Celebrate People's History series, co-edits the Cut and Paint zine, was featured in the Paper Politics and Drawing Resistance shows. He also produces the phenomenal art zine Ideas in Pictures. From a Punk Planet review of Ideas in Pictures #4:
The thing about a zine as beautiful as ideas in pictures is that it can never be fully captured in a shoddy 150-word review. You need to hold it in your hands and let your fingers run over the texture of the screenprinted cover. You need to put the your nose up to the page, to smell the sharp toner splashed across the white pages. You need to sit on a park bench, on a weekday afternoon, and let Colin seep into your brain with his distorted line drawings of working class heroes. His chronicle of a strike against Tyson Foods is insightful, "This next series of images is about meat packers who went on strike in the town I grew up in. My interest in the humane treatment of farm animals has led to an interest in the treatment of workers in 'meat processing' industries." It's another nod to the personal as political as art, and it's fuckin' awesome.
Colin lives in Milwaukee, WI and makes drawings, prints, installations, and zines. Keep an eye out for the new zines, Ideas In Pictures #5 (about relationships between business, warfare, and leisure) and Cut and Paint #2 (a stencil template zine put out by Nicolas Lampert, Josh MacPhee, and Colin Matthes).
To see more of Colin's work check out www.ideasinpictures.org. Colin has three prints and one poster in the show, all featured here. Click the images for larger views:
Posting on this site has been slow since the Visual Resistance crew has been working overtime on the benefit show for Daniel McGowan. We've been overwhelmed and inspired by the generosity and sheer number of artists who are supporting this cause by donating artwork for the show. Close to 70 artists have donated over 200 pieces and the show is shaping up to be a real knockout!
So, for the next few weeks we're going to be posting sneak peeks at the work we've been getting in the mail. This first preview is from a painting by Goreb, whose street installations will be familiar to just about anyone who's walked a few blocks in New York in the last two years. GoreB is one of the most wildly prolific street artists working today and a member of the Endless Love Crew. I first noticed his work in Dumbo in the summer of 2004 and he hasn't stopped moving since. GoreB has three paintings in the show.
Yesterday, members of Visual Resistance and Time's Up installed two ghost bikes for 23-year old filmmaker Derek Lake, killed June 26 on Houston St, and Dr. Carl Nacht, killed June 22 by a NYPD tow truck that cut him off on the West Side bike path. Transportation Alternatives writes:
In the past three weeks there were four serious bike crashes in New York City, three of them resulting in the deaths of individual cyclists, Donna Goodson, Dr. Carl Nacht and Derek Lake.
On June 5, Donna Goodson was killed by a truck on Rockaway Parkway in Brooklyn. On Monday June 19, a taxicab driver opened his door and knocked a cyclist into the path of a passing bus on 10th Avenue in Manhattan. On Thursday June 22, an NYPD tow truck driver crossing the Hudson River Greenway hit Dr. Carl Nacht as he was riding with his wife northbound on the bike path. Dr. Nacht died Monday, June 26. On Monday June 26, Derek Lake was killed by a truck when his bike slid out of control and he fell beneath the truck on Houston Street at LaGuardia Place.
All four recent crashes were caused by dangerous conditions that are commonplace on New York City streets but should not be: drivers and passengers opening car doors into the path of cyclists; drivers failing to yield to cyclists and hazardous street conditions that can send bikes out of control.
Just a quick note that the benefit gallery show that Visual Resistance is organizing to support Daniel McGowan has been moved to July 27-28. The show is still at ABC No Rio. We have gotten an incredible response to our call for art, and the show is shaping up to be so large that we have extended it to two nights! The quality of work is amazing: already involved with the show are such greats as Armsrock, Arofish, Borf, the Endless Love Crew, GoreB, Peter Kuper, Josh MacPhee, Magmo the Destroyer, RB827, Nicole Schulman, Chris Stain, Swoon, Seth Tobocman, and a few dozen others!
We've also extended the deadline to submit artwork to June 20th. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to donate artwork or otherwise help out with the show. We will post "sneak previews" of the art we're getting, and select work should be available for purchase soon! Thanks to all the artists who have generously donated artwork for Daniel's cause -- without your support this show would not be possible.
Check out the (updated) call for artwork for all the details.
NOTE: DATE CHANGE! EXTENDED DEADLINE!
The benefit gallery show for Daniel McGowan has been moved to July 27-28 at ABC No Rio. We’ve already got Armsrock, Arofish, Borf, GoreB, Peter Kuper, Josh MacPhee, RB827, Nicole Schulman, Chris Stain, Swoon, Seth Tobocman, and lots of other great artists involved, and we’re still seeking donations for the show.
Call for Artwork: Benefit Gallery Show for Daniel McGowan
Thursday, July 27 & Friday, July 28, 2006 at ABC No Rio
Co-sponsored by Visual Resistance and Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan
Deadline: June 20, 2006
On December 7th, my friend was arrested at his workplace by federal marshals. The friend I know as a tireless activist and a funny, generous, caring person was ripped from his friends and family without warning and held without bail in federal prison, facing multiple felony charges and life in prison.
I met Daniel McGowan during the buildup to the protests against the Republican National Convention in New York. The Visual Resistance crew was organizing the No RNC Poster Project and Daniel was our first ally. In the time since, Daniel has been a personal friend to all of us in VR and to many more in the larger New York activist community. His constant smile and good humor belied his selfless devotion to making this world a better place.
And on December 7th, he was disappeared. Daniel was extradited to Oregon and held without bail for two months on charges whose statute of limitations were close to expiring. His arrest came as part of a massive government crackdown on the radical environmentalist movement which many are referring to as the “Green Scare.” His arrest left the community in shock.
Daniel has pled not guilty to all charges. Although he is currently out on bail, he faces a lengthy and extremely expensive trial. His family and friends have been scrambling to raise funds and organize a defense team.
Simply put, he needs our help, and we need yours.
We are planning a two-night gallery show and art auction on July 27-28 at ABC No Rio to help pay for Daniel’s legal defense. We are asking artists who are committed to social justice and political activism to contribute artwork. Some art will also be sold through our website. All proceeds will go to help pay Daniel’s legal costs.
Any artwork you can contribute will be a huge help, and we appreciate your generosity in advance. The work in the show will encompass a myriad of themes, styles, and techniques. Work that deals with the issues involved in the Green Scare are appreciated, but not required.
Please contact us if you are interested in donating artwork! We are more than happy to work with you on your terms and can cover incidental costs such as shipping. We can pick up artwork in the New York City area – email email@example.com for a mailing address.
Specs: While there is no strict size limit, we prefer smaller artwork (less than 18x24). All work should be ready to hang. Print multiples are very, very welcome.
For more information on Daniel’s case and the Green Scare, see:
Contact Visual Resistance:
Contact Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan:
PO Box 106, NY, NY 10156
Following the momentum of massive March 25th mobilizations, student walkouts, and April 10th's historic day of action for immigrant rights, comes the call for El Gran Paro Americano (The Great American Boycott). May 1st is a day for global action against upcoming anti-immigrant legislation and in favor of universal amnesty. Across the country, a broad network of immigrant rights groups, labor unions, workers associations, student groups, and collectives of all sorts have announced calls for a general strike, boycott, no sales or purchases, walkouts, marches, and actions in financial centers and at anti-immigrant corporations throughout the country. Groups throughout Latin America, such as Mujeres Creando and La Otra Campaña, have called for a boycott of all American products as well as actions in solidarity with the North American immigrants movement. Here is a selection from a call by a California based organization, ActionLA.org
On May 1, we are calling No Work, No School, No Sales, and No Buying, and also to have rallies around symbols of economic trade in your areas (stock exchanges, anti-immigrant corporations, etc.) to protest the anti-immigrant movements across the country.
We believe that increased enforcement is a step in the wrong direction and will only serve to facilitate more tragedies along the Mexican-U.S. border in terms of deaths and family separation. We will settle for nothing less than full amnesty and dignity for the millions of undocumented workers presently in the U.S.
Visual Resistance would like to offer our own call. A call for artwork to promote and support the actions of May 1st. We welcome art by organizations, collectives, or individuals. Whether you are a professional graphic designer, a fine artist, or just someone with a lot of heart and passion that needs expressing, please, SEND US YOUR ART! We will be posting submissions for free download on a separate and more permanent page. Our hope is that this archive of imagery will help contribute to an aesthetic expression of ideas and actions to stop government aggression against immigrant communities.
The graphic above, by schock at riseup d0t net
Last weekend, members of Visual Resistance installed a mural at the Whitney Museum. Our friends at Deep Dish TV had been invited to show their Shocking and Awful series at the Whitney Biennial. They were assigned a 20-inch TV mounted on a 20-foot wall, which they wanted to spice up a little bit. They called us about 10 days ago and asked us to come up with a mural based on Picasso's Guernica.
Picasso painted Guernica in response to Nazi Germany and fascist Italy's savage bombing of the civilian population of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The painting was toured throughout Europe to raise awareness of republican Spain's cause, and after the war was exhibited in New York to raise money for Spanish refugees. It has been an inspiration to antiwar activists and political artists for decades. Colin Powell had a tapestry reproduction of the painting at United Nations headquarters covered up before his speech selling the Iraq war. Artist Mary Frank created hundreds of placards with images from Guernica for people to carry during the massive February 15, 2003 protests against the war, and World War 3 Arts in Action created similar placards for the March 22, 2003 protest. Deep Dish interviewed Mary Frank for their Art of Resistance segment.
In 7 days, we created paper cutouts of four figures from Guernica and mounted them on a background of wheatpasted stock ticker on a wall measuring 21' x 10' on the Whitney's lower level. Here are some photos of the installation:
More photos on our photolog and flickr. One of our goals in this project was to create the images using common street art techniques so that they would be easily reproducible for use on the street. The paper cutouts turned out the be very intricate and fragile and took a long time to paste up, but I am including below two images that I quickly Photoshopped from pictures of the installation that you can download and use to create stencils, silkscreens, or cutouts:
The lamp is by far the easiest figure to recreate -- for stencils and paper cutouts, you just have to bridge the lightbulb to the top curve. The other figures are progressively more complicated, but each can be reproduced with any number of common printing techniques.
Several months back, John Unger proposed an open-source art project called American Guernica. The idea was to put Picasso's painting on billboards throught the US as a protest against the current wars being waged by the US. While billboard space is probably out of our range, working on this Whitney installation has gotten VR folks talking about using Guernica images on the street in New York. If you're interested, drop us a line. I'd especially like to talk to talented graphic designers who can transform some of the figures into ready-to-cut stencil templates using Illustrator.
Andrew Lynn has compiled footage from the Bicycle memorial ride on January 8, here in NYC and made a short documentary. It can be found on Breathing Planet, and worth a look. The event was a really powerful way to remember the lives of the 21 cyclists that were killed last year. And to remind people in NYC that we, cyclists, are a presence here in the city, and we demand respect and safety when we ride the streets.
Thanks to Sucka Pants for the heads up!
Our condolences go out to the families of Ivan Morales, the first NYC cyclist to be killed in 2006. And to Sarah Tucker, who was killed in a hit-and-run in San Francisco, on January 12.
She was heading down Polk Street at about 2 a.m., according to Inspector Pat Tobin with the department's hit-and-run detail, when she came to a green light at the intersection of Geary Street. A motorist driving a black Honda CR-V sport utility vehicle west on Geary apparently ran the red light, entering the intersection just before Tucker, who crashed into his passenger door.
"She sees him coming, she yells 'Hey,' that's what made some of the witnesses look up," Tobin said today. Tucker apparently did not have enough time to stop before slamming into the door of the Honda.
Tucker was catapulted off her bicycle, according to the Police Department, and landed in the street. She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she died at 9:46 a.m. The driver of the Honda is described as a black male, according to police.He apparently did not have any passengers with him. Damage to the door will be obvious, Tobin said. "All the witnesses said the passenger door had marked damage -- very noticeable," Tobin said. "All the witnesses got good looks at his face."
Any witnesses to the event itself or those who have spotted a black Honda CR-V with damage to the front passenger door are encouraged to call Tobin in the hit-and-run division at (415) 553-1641, or call the department's confidential tip line at (415) 575-4444
Visual Resistance and The Empty Vessel Project are screening Gillo Pontecorvo's, The Battle of Algiers, on Thursday, Dec 1st at 8pm. The movie is starting AT 8:30pm. It's on a boat and there will be booze, bring your own popcorn.
$2-10 sliding scale donation.
Enter the event on the West side of the Carroll St Bridge, btn Nevins and Bond St, in Brooklyn. Its two blocks east of the Carrroll St F/G trains. Or take the R train to Union St. and walk two blocks South to Carroll, then take a right.
The film deals with the atrocities of war carried out by both sides, the Colonial Imperialists, and Insurgents utilizing terror tactics. There may be some striking parallels between the historical events depicted in the film and the ongoing war in Iraq. For folks who have or havn't seen this film, come and join us!
For viewpoints on the film:
Saturday, October 29, was New York City's 2nd Annual Really Really Free Market. The day was filled with free food, massages, a piñata, a Dia de los Muertos altar, music, piles of useful yet random things and, of course, a stenciling workshop by Visual Resistance.
The picture on the right was taken by Ida Benedetto. Click here to check out the rest of the Really Really Free Market pictures she posted to the NYC Indymedia website.
Here are some reasons why the Really Really Free Market is so great:
- Because there is enough for everyone.
- Because sharing is more fulfilling than owning.
- Because corporations would rather the landfills
overflow than anyone get anything for free.
- Because scarcity is a myth constructed to keep us at
the mercy of the economy.
- Because a community-building day outside is better
than anything money could buy.
This site is a year old today. Our first post --- a probably too-general call for political art of all stripes --- was posted on October 30, 2004. The collective had just regrouped after a long summer spent working full-time on the No RNC Poster Project, a campaign that involved 50,000 printed posters, 10,000 stickers, and enough grunt work to make pissing off Republicans a full-time job for a few of us. We had very little idea what to do next, and we mostly made it up as we went along.
This site was started with the idea of giving voice to those artists who seek more than name recognition, and of opening a space for critical discussion on street art and political activism. In the past year, the street art movement has only continued to gain momentum, while the wave of activism that preceded the Republican National Convention crashed and receded following Bush's electoral victory and now finally shows signs of reviving. As a collective, we've had to struggle to find our place between these two worlds. In the past year, we've been lucky to meet and work with people we admire and respect, so thanks to the Toyshop Collective, Madagascar Institute, Not An Alternative, Time's Up!, Josh MacPhee, Street Art Workers, AI Firefly, and the Grassroots Media Coalition for being gracious giants.
The question now is: what next? This site has grown by leaps and bounds, adding new features and slowly getting more regular in its updates, drawing 10,000 readers or so a month. Thanks to all of you for keeping us going! What do you want to see? We've had a few voices noting the stagnation of street art's "manifesto" --- how can we push these ideas further, explore new territory? One of my unrealized goals for the site has been to get more contributors --- interested people from outside our collective --- anyone who wants to step up for Year 2 should drop us a line. What's missing from the site, and more importantly, from the real world art/politics scene? Shoot us an email or drop a note in the comments. Let's keep talking.
Some of our favorite neighborhood anarchists have been busy organizing the second annual Really, Really Free Market, set for this Saturday at St. Mark's Church. The RRFM is a chance to meet folks, get rid of good old stuff you know you shouldn't keep, and find treasure amongst others' trash. More on it here. It's a very relaxed and fun event, with impromptu activities scattered throughout the day.
A few members of VR will be hosting a stencil workshop at 1pm. Stop by if you're interested in trading tips and tricks, sharing your skills or learning someone else's, or just saying hello. Bring materials if you can --- cardboard, manilla folders, markers, x-acto knives, paint, etc. --- or borrow some of ours. We'll have supplies and stencil templates for people to work on. See you there.
A few months back VR members taught a stencil making workshop to teens at Time and Space Limited, a community arts and media center in Hudson, NY. The artwork they produced was really impressive, ranging from self-portraits to anti-war statements. Check out pics from the event on our photolog and in the new Sept./Oct. 2005 issue of Clamor Magazine.
On Sunday, September 18, members of Visual Resistance created and installed a ghost bike memorial for Jen Shao, a 65-year old grandmother killed by a hit-and-run driver in the financial district last Friday morning. Ms. Shao was struck by a charter bus while attempting to turn from Governeur Lane onto Water St., a busy two-way street with no bike lane. The driver never stopped; police are classifying this as a hit-and-run, a potential felony.
Creating and installing ghost bikes is a sad and moving process. The death of a fellow bicyclist hits home, since we travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be one of us. At Governeur and Water St. on Sunday afternoon, a collection of flowers and candles was laid out along with photographs and notes from neighbors and friends. We locked a bike painted white and bolted a small memorial plaque to a signpost as the cars continued to speed by. A biker and several pedestrians stopped and stood with us for a few moments.
The installation is intended as a reminder of the tragedy that took place on Friday, September 16th at this lonely corner in the financial district, and as a quiet statement in support of bikers' right to safe travel. Previous memorials have been installed for Elizabeth Padilla, Andrew Ross Morgan, and Brandie Bailey. Our hearts go out to their friends and families.
Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again --- but we remain comitted to making these memorials as long as they are needed.
See all the ghost bikes.
In the last few days we've posted two series of photos of street artists at work in our photolog. The first is of two folks working together to wheatpaste in a hard to reach spot, and the second is of a series of wooden animals being bolted to streetsigns in Flatbush. They're fun photos, so check 'em out, and be sure to keep checking the photolog as well as our flickr page --- they're updated pretty regularly.
Hey everyone --- We're in the process of updating our how-to zine with some new information and photos and I was wondering what you all would like to see in it. (If you haven't checked the zine out already, click here). We're going to add more legal info (especially on the 2004 sticker laws) as well as new sections on "3-D" street art. Hopefully we'll do a larger run of the print version, too.
But in the meantime, what would you like to see? Remember that the zine is meant as a general resource for people who love street art but think "How did they do that?", or "I could never do that!" What's missing from the zine? What's incomplete? What would be helpful? Do you have techniques or experiences that you want us to include? We'd really like to expand Version 2.0 to include more people's experiences than just our own, so if you've got something to share, drop us a line.
Take a look and let us know, either in the comments below or by emailing us at visual.resistance[at]gmail.com.
At around 1pm today, members of Visual Resistance installed a "ghost bike" on the corner of Houston St. and Elizabeth St. in Manhattan. A bicycle, spraypainted white, and a small stenciled plaque were attached to a street sign as a memorial to Andrew Morgan, a 25-year old bicyclist who was killed by a truck at the same spot on Wednesday, June 22.
The memorial is the third of its kind. The first was installed June 15 in memory of Elizabeth Padilla, a 28-year old bicyclist killed during her morning commute in Park Slope. The second was installed June 21 in memory of Brandie Bailey, killed May 8 on Houston St. and Avenue A on her way home from work.
As noted in the comments to a previous post, Houston St. is the most dangerous stretch of road for bicyclists in New York City. Bicycle advocacy groups like Transportation Alternatives, Time's Up!, and others are working overtime to lobby the city for more physical infrastructure to keep bicyclists safe. And a growing network of artists and activists --- of which Visual Resistance is a part --- are working to raise awareness of bicyclists' right to safe travel.
Anyone interested in getting involved, email us at visual.resistance[at]gmail.com, or keep checking this site for more information.
Creating and installing a ghost bike is heart-wrenching every time. It's a project we would like not to have to continue. But we will create memorials as long as they are needed, in respectful memory of each life lost. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Andrew Morgan, Liz Padilla, and Brandie Bailey.
Background: Ghost Bike Project.
Photos from the memorial vigil available here.
An article by Elizabeth Hays about the Ghost Bike project appears on the Daily News website:
Memorial outlines bike death
BY ELIZABETH HAYS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
A 10-speed bicycle, spray-painted ghostly white and a tombstone-like plaque have been erected at the Park Slope corner where a biker was recently crushed by a truck.
The eerie memorial - called a "Ghost Bike" - is part of an informal web of similar projects that have been slowly popping up across the country at deadly bike crash sites.
"It's a quiet statement in support of bikers' rights for safe travel," said Eliot, a 24-year-old artist from Clinton Hill, who installed the memorial after dark one night last week.
Eliot - who declined to give his full name because, as he put it, "I'm sure it's illegal" - said he did not know Elizabeth Padilla, the 28-year-old cyclist, but he felt personally moved by her death.
"I've been in close calls riding to work just like she was," added Eliot, a member of a group called Visual Resistance. "A split-second difference and someone could be painting a bike for me."
Padilla, a public-interest lawyer, was killed instantly June 9 on Fifth Ave. near Warren St. when the driver of a parked truck opened his door, causing her to swerve and fall under a moving truck.
Eliot said he heard of the growing Ghost Bike trend from a friend in Pittsburgh, where bike advocates have installed similar memorials. It is thought to have started in St. Louis.
Other cities, such as San Francisco and Seattle also have seen the unsettling, all-white bikes pop up on their streets.
"I don't know if it's happened before in New York City," said Eliot. "I thought it would be a nice and respectful memorial to do."
Bike advocates with Transportation Alternatives said they thought similar memorials may have been erected in the city in the past, but perhaps only temporarily.
"Anything that draws more awareness to the problem is a good thing," said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White.
So far this year, nine cyclists have been killed by cars or trucks - a 50% jump from last year, according to police statistics released by Transportation Alternatives.
Eliot said he hopes he has no reason to continue the Ghost Bike project.
"I'd like to say that we'll never do it again, but we may have to," he said.
Related: Ghost Bikes.
In memory of Liz Padilla, a 28-year old bicyclist killed last week, VR members created a small and somber memorial in Park Slope. The night before a memorial ride led by a coalition of bike advocacy groups, a bicycle painted all white was locked to a street sign and a small stenciled plaque was bolted in place above it.
The installation is meant as a reminder of the tragedy that took place on June 9 at the corner of Warren and 5th Ave., and a quiet statement in support of bikers' right to safe travel. It was inspired by Ghost Bike Pittsburgh, which was in turn inspired by a similar effort in St. Louis.
We'd like to never have to do this again.
Further info: Ghost Bikes.
We're kickin' off a new project with the Street Art Workers (SAW), a national collective of printmakers, stencil artists, graffiti writers and designers who use the streets for art and activism. The previous poster project themes were entitled, Whose Media?, Utopia / Dystopia, and Art vs. Prisons.
The call for this year's project is now up at streetartworkers.org/call:
SAW wants to look at how globalization has affected our lands and how people are fighting back. How has it affected land in the cities — especially housing? How has globalization impacted land and workers in the countryside with farming, mining, drilling, logging and other resource extraction? What are the connections between land struggles in the global south, indigenous nations and the industrialized north? What are some of the connections between the landless peasants movement of Brazil and the squatter movements of Europe and North America? What links together the struggle against dams in India, hydroelectric projects Canada and water privatization in Latin America and South Africa? How are farmers and campesinos resisting industrial agriculture, like biotechnology and GMOs (genetically modified foods), in the U.S., Mexico and India? What organizing strategies have worked and hich ones have failed?
These questions are a starting point. We want to see more questions from you and some hard-hitting answers. We want powerful ideas and inspirational art that we can broadcast directly to the streets in 2005.We want posters that build connections between international struggles and actual organized projects with high profile publicity.
We especially want to see multilingual submissions and work from the perspective of women, Third World communities and indigenous/First Nations. We suggest that artists collaborate with grassroots, social change organizations of their choosing to make posters. We want posters that are both imaginative and relevant to “on the ground” organizing around issues of land, housing and globalization. Working with an organization is not required, but it is encouraged.
The deadline is September 1, 2005 --- designs will be curated and printed in Winter 2005-6 and wheatpasted in Spring 2006. Full details on the submission process and specs for designs are available here. For more information, visit streetartworkers.org or email streetartworkers[at]gmail.com.
As some of you know already the 9 train's final departure occured on May 31st. We all know that sometimes saying good-bye is hard to do. So why not come out with friends and family "1 more time for the 9." Gospel music, story-telling, dancing, surprises, and of course 9's! Not convinced? Check out pics from the Q's final day. Also read the Gothamist post.
Meet at Chambers St. Station Uptown 1 train--last car. 9pm sharp. Tonight June 9th!
We've been working hard this week to set up a new website for our Critical Mass campaign. Today feels like this city's first summer day --- just the right time to kick-start a good project and go for a nice bike ride with a thousand of our closest friends.
If you want to help support Critical Mass this is the site to share ideas and inspire fellow riders (and pedestrians). Whatever your medium or interest, check out the site, give us feedback --- and some new designs! --- get out of the house, and hit the streets.
The link: http://visualresistance.org/criticalmass.
Last Friday, May 20th, members of Visual Resistance and the Teenage Lobotomy zine project facilitated a stencil making workshop at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Our workshop was just one among many great activities offered at the first Annual NYC Youth Activist Conference. The conference was organized by a local student group called Young Eclectic Liberation Leaders (YELL!) and included workshops by other youth based groups such as the Youth Activist Youth Allies Network (YAYA), the League of Young Voters and Teens for Racial and Ethnic Awakening.
We made sure to supply a large table's worth of inspiration. These flyers, posters, books and comics got our imaginations going and sparked an interesting discussion on style, and the difference between "high" and "low" art.
At first, we were a little nervous with the idea of promoting street art in a public school. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the level of openness, understanding and sensitivity that administrators and faculty demonstrated by allowing students to create a safe and supportive environment for self-expression.
Later, we walked out to the school's garden to try out our stencils on some pieces of cardboard. Students were able to practice their spray can techniques and discuss health precautions such as respirators to avoid overexposure to harmful fumes.
Some Visual Resistance members put together a zine a few months back on the "how-to's" of street art techniques. The zine is meant to provide folks with basic information on posters, stickers, and stencils. So if you're a street art fan who thinks "I could never do that" or wonders, "How's that done?" just click here for some tips, tricks, and ideas.
The zine is not an encyclopedia or a forum for experts. It's just a few individuals experiences and ideas --- and it's very much a work in progress. If you have additional advice or find errors or incomplete info, drop us a line at visual.resistance [at] gmail.com. Oh, and a disclaimer: all information in the zine is presented for informational/entertainment purposes only, and is not meant to encourage vandalism, which is illegal and wrong.
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.
Had a great time at the AI Firefly conference yesterday. Met a lot of great artists and activists and listened on some great panels. At our discussion, we talked a little bit about our experiences working on the No RNC Poster Project and our inspirations for doing political street art and poster campaigns. The back-and-forth afterwards was interesting and useful, but we ran up against out time limit far too soon.
So, whether you were there or not, some of the questions that are still swirling in around my head are: Does political art change people's minds? Or is it meant more to create/strengthen communities? Who is the intended audience? How do you avoid preaching to the choir? Should artists try to "bomb the suburbs" or at least the red states?
For those of you who were at the conference and are coming to the site for the first time, take a look around, add your comments, and drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and we'll try to get version of our zine up on the site sometime this week.
Just a brief reminder about this weekend's And So Forth conference at Office Ops:
You can register for the conference in advance for $10, or at the door for $12. The comlete schedule is pretty damn impressive. Check out the whole site and stop by our panel for what should be an informal, fun discussion.
Just posted some pictures of a Downey installation that was destroyed a few months back. The photolog is a new feature on the site, and will be updated more or less regularly. Go to visualresistance.org/photos or just click the link on the top righthand corner of this site.
Welcome to the new homepage of VisualResistance.org. This site will be regularly updated and interactive. Please look around and let us know what you think.
"Fuck those red states!"
"They’re a bunch of red-neck-sister-fucking assholes!"
"We should secede from those hillbilles!"
Here in NYC, I’m surrounded with the bitterness, anger and hatred towards the folks in the South, Midwest, and Southwest after the results from the presidential elections.
Shit, looks like red baiting to me. Toss the blame onto those red fuckers and blast them away!! Like we need another great witch-hunt in this country. Haven’t we had enough public lynchings?
Funny thing is that most of the people who I hear bash the "red states" aren’t doing a damn thing themselves to change society for the better. Another funny thing is that some of the intellectuals behind the Bush administration’s imperial-foreign policy are from a democratic city: NYC. (Look up neoconservatives.)
I can’t help but think of all the awesome folks who live in those "red states" and work their asses off to improve life there, ie. activists, community organizers, and artists. The damning of entire regions based on CNN’s
two-tone diagrams bothers me. I find it to be completely narrow-minded to condemn honest, hard-working peoples because the Republican party won the most presidential votes.
Quick story, one summer night as I was putting up posters in Brooklyn, a man and two boys walked by me. (I wasn’t alone. My partner was with me. ;)) The guy looked at the poster I was putting up and scowled. The poster was one of the "No RNC in NYC" series. "THE REPUBLICANS ARE COMING" the poster warned with the image of two armed soldiers walking towards the NYC skyline. The guy kept walking with the 2 boys. Not giving them much thought, I went on putting the poster up. Then the guy stopped and turned around. "We’re all one country, you know," he exclaimed.
"Yeah, I know," I responded as if what he said was an apparent contradiction.
"Republicans are people too," he said. "We'’re all one people. We’re all one country." I felt like he was trying to convince me and himself but it wasn’t working.
"Yeah, sure," I said. My partner held the other posters and quietly watched the whole thing.
Obviously annoyed the guy left with the 2 confused boys looking at us. I thought that the poster wouldn't be up for long with this guy in this neighborhood. He’ll see all the posters and tear them down in a fit of righteous rage.
Surprisingly the posters were up for more than 2 days. The poster the guy got angry about stayed up for a lot longer. One of the other posters I put up was ripped. Someone else actually used tape to put the poster back together. I thought the whole thing was amazing. This poster was creating a non-verbal political dialogue within this neighborhood in BK. This was more surprising to me considering that BK is a Democratic stronghold yet I couldn’t completely rule out that there could be - GASP - Republicans in our midst. Shit, there are people from my old hood in uptown - man, fuck that - there are folks in my own FAMILY who might as well get the word REPUBLICAN tattooed on their foreheads. What does that show me? Republicans are everywhere. Democrats too. (They aren't any fucking better, folks. Let’s be honest here. Although, instinctively, this sounds like an oxymoron to me but I wouldn’t even rule out that there maybe some cool Republicans in this world.)
So, here are my final words on this. Hopefully this’ll cool some heads and aid progress:
deal with the Republicans, right-wingers, conservatives, neoconservatives, religious right, etc in YOUR own hood and family. You know who I’m talking about,
finally, grab a marker, make a stencil, design a poster, weld a sculpture, carve a mobile, photocopy some stickers etc etc etc, and express yourself on the streets.
be more proactive than reactive. But be careful out there. It’s witch-hunting season.
To see another POV beside the overly-simplistic blue-red-state-diagram check out TomPaine.com
For more info on the neoconservatives, look up the American Enterprise Institute, Project for the New American Century, and the Rand Corporation. Dig deeeeeep.