This year on June 11 - the International Day of Solidarity with Marie
Mason, Eric McDavid & all Eco-prisoners - we will be running the 2nd
annual Never Alone online exhibition. It will serve as an avenue not
only for fundraising for these political prisoners, but as a way to
reach out informatively to a broad audience on issues of earth &
animal liberation and state captivity. We would love to invite you to
contribute an artwork to this exhibition.
Submit work by May 1, 2014
All funds raised will go to the support funds of political prisoners Marie Mason and Eric McDavid.
You can help promote the exhibition. [Download] the quarter page flier and use it for tabling and display in public spaces.
Thee Headcoatees tackle sexual harassment in their song "Park it Up Your Arse." The members were Holly Golightly, Kyra LaRubia, Ludella Black and drummer "Bongo" Debbie Green. This song starts with a poppy, mid tempo rhythm and then the direct, spoken word takes us into the world of a woman dealing with an annoying drunkard in a bar. The direct simplicity of the song is what makes it brilliant. When all band members chime in with the chorus we get some comic relief to the tension built by the spoken phrases. The best line is "Oh, Dostoyevsky, that's a big word for a double turd" which really succinctly gives shape to an experience women have in bars and coffee shops where someone thinks it's impressive to insert common academic phrases into seduction language.
The ongoing blog series where I ask Justseeds members for five things that have been inspiring them lately. This one from Shaun Slifer from Pittsburgh:
I recently worked on a big project with Philadelphia Mural Arts, designing materials connected to a mural they are doing around issues of mass incarceration. A half dozen meetings were held across Philly with hundreds of "stake-holders" in issues around prisons and criminal justice. I filtered those conversations (as best I could!) into a set of posters, which Mural Arts is distributing across the city. We also recently converted three of the posters into public transit/commuter train advertisements, which are now showing up on trains and platforms! I'm also speaking on a panel on Tuesday April 15th in Philly on culture and prisons, as part of this same project. Check out more info on the conference HERE.
The Providence Journal featured one of my collages and gave a very nice review of my current solo show "Generations | 8 Chapters Blooming." This show is up at the AS220 Project Space in Providence, RI until April 25. Justseeds Artist's Cooperative gets a nice bump (even though the description of what we do isn't quite accurate). I'm flattered they spent time with the show and wrote such a nice piece.
A few weeks back I sat down with C.S. Soong, host of the "Against the Grain" show at KPFA in Berkeley and talked for an hour about the People's Art History of the US book, and specifically the chapters on the 1930s Artists' Union and the 1960s groups GAAG and AWC. Here is the audio archive of our conversation.
From the filmmakers:
"The emergence of the movements of the squares and the Occupy movement in 2011 can be seen as a reaction by people who opposed and began to fight the massive increase in social inequality and the dismantling of democracy in times of global financial and economic crisis. The movements of the squares are non-hierarchical and reject representation; direct democracy shapes their activities. The occupation of public places serves as a catalyst to develop demonstrations, general strikes, meetings and working groups on different focal points. Successful site occupancies in one place often inspire occupations in other cities, without a linear relationship.
The ongoing blog series where I ask Justseeds members for five things that have been inspiring them lately. This one from Bec Young of Pittsburgh:
Paul Robeson was born today, 116 years ago,in 1898. Above is the Celebrate People's History poster in homage to him.
Also belated Happy B'day to Biz Markie!
I'm an audiofile. I've been collecting records since I was 11 years old, and I'm now 37, so it's been over 25 years of appreciating and collecting music. I've got so many records I have to store them at the edges of any room they live in to make sure the floor doesn't start to buckle underneath them. I've got over 2,000 LPs and a few hundred 7" records. for over ten years I played these records on several college radio stations - in Pittsburgh Pa at WRCT, on air in New Orleans at WTUL, and at BSR at Brown University. Many have spun round and round at house parties, where I've tried a number of tactics to (largely unsuccessfully) keep the records from scratching and bouncing as the floor and everyone inside bounce up and down to the beats.
Erase Errata is an experimental band which can perhaps be described a bit as "art punk." Very stylized sounds are evident in every aspect of this band. Their sound is very unique and actually a bit genre-defying. Bianca Sparta, the drummer, has a fast, steady, dance beat which reminds me of running through space and time. Fast tom action, and heavy hi hats create an exaggerated sense of urgency which I find really awesome as inspiration for doing tasks which I need an extra shot of energy to accomplish.
I have an exhibition of flood resistant luxury objects and instructional drawings opening in Chicago on Friday April 11th. For more information check out the press release below.
Dave Dvorchak from AS220 interviewed me this week, in preparation for my art show titled "Generations / 8 Chapters Blooming." The show opening is Saturday April 4th from 5-7pm at the AS220 Project Space in Providence, RI.
Obama was in Chicago this past Wednesday and his motorcade passed by a spirited demonstration - Chicago Says No Keystone XL - led by 350.org and the Sierra Club Illinois that was intent to remind him to reject the KXL. Paul Kjelland and I made the four large oil heads for the demo. The Obama graphic read "Legacy on the Line"; the Stephen Harper and David Koch graphic "Tar Sands Profiteer"; and the Bush graphic "Big Oil Mercenary." Obama has a major choice to make this year: have the courage to reject the KXL and the fossil fuel lobby or be in the company of those who are truly destroying this fragile planet.
ENTER THE DARKNESS: Fire to the Prison Industrial Complez
New and neon work from
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Francisco, California
The California Department of Corrections (CDC) has unveiled a new billboard campaign to assist the U.S. Navy with transparency at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
On March 24, 2014, the CDC successfully apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged a billboard in San Francisco, located at Oakdale Avenue between Bay Shore Boulevard and U.S. Highway 101. With larger-than-life lettering the billboard reads, PAIN ISN'T ALWAYS OBVIOUS. LEARN THE SIGNS AT GUANTANAMO BAY. Next to its massive headline the ad includes logos for a California mental health agency and the tagline KNOW THE SIGNS.
The corrected advertisement can be seen on the CDC website at www.CorrectionsDepartment.org.
I ran into an old comrade, David Martinez, while at the Bay Area Book Fair. He made a documentary about Occupy Oakland, that he'd like people to share and see.
You can see more of David's reporting from around the world at
The Scissor Girls were a No Wave band who played shows in the 1990's and were based out of Chicago, IL. I saw them perform at a show in California in 1994 and they simply bowled me over with the intensity and uniqueness of their music. I found this awesome video where you can really see how much intensity and consistency the drummer has in this performance. When I was first learning drums, I would listen to the records repeatedly trying to learn Heather Melowic's drum beats.
My MFA thesis show/project with Ontario College of Art and Design University opens this week! Plenty of events over the next ten days, capping off with a closing reception and afterparty. Follow the jump for a full list of events.
This exhibition, situated in Flex Studio Gold, a former classroom at Artscape Youngplace, formerly the Shaw Givens School, includes an installation of silkscreen printed mirrors, a DJ booth, and hand-stitched silkscreen printed snuggies. Please join in for several discursive programs during the course of the exhibition, including a silkscreen printing workshop, a discussion on intersections between contemporary anarcha-feminism(s) and queer theory, and an all ages daytime tea dance. These activities will both activate and contribute to the exhibition, which will end with a closing reception and publication release on Saturday April 12.
Stay tuned for event details, and contact email@example.com for more information.
This week back to Zamyatin's We, and a look at all the non-English editions. (You can check out all the English-language covers HERE.) When first written, the book was not allowed to be published in the Soviet Union. But I found an image of a copy online from the Russian-language Chekhov Press in New York City, which published it in the US in 1952 (cover to the right). It's clean and very European looking, the only real adornment being the press logo, the Statue of Liberty emerging from an open book!
Justseeds will be tabling at on Saturday, March 29th for this printmaking extravaganza, exhibition, and block party, from 11AM to 5PM. Printmakers, artists, and print shops from across the country will be showing and selling their work. Live printing demos go on all day, including steamroller printing of extra large woodcuts by 15 artists in conjunction with CultureStrike and Syracuse University Print Department.
I've been busily printing and pasting and organizing away on my MFA thesis show for Ontario College of Art and Design University. The 60-page written paper is in, now for the show! Camoutopia: Dazzle, Dance, Disrupt is an exhibition and temporary social space that will exist for 10 days at Artscape Youngplace in Toronto, April 2-12, with a closing reception and afterparty April 12. Stay tuned for more programming information, for now I wanted to preview a few studio process shots.
The organization I've been working for in Congo, TL2, performs many of the functions that people in western countries would consider to be the responsibility of the state. From road-building to education to the provision of security against murderous bandits, TL2 is an organizational presence that would otherwise not exist in the remote locations in which it operates. In the absence of a state, it's organizations like TL2 that end up doing a lot of the work that people appreciate- and a lot of the work that many of them resent greatly. This is the first part of an essay that aims to consider, from an anti-authoritarian point of view, what it means to work for a non-state entity that essentially is acting as a sort-of state, including implementing elements of law-enforcement and trying to fend off powerful and extremely violent criminal forces that have previously been the de facto authority over much of the area in question. Click through to continue!
Panty Raid was extremely catchy, lo-fi, fuzzy, and super fun band. They released a 7" record called "The Secret's Out" on Raw Sugar Records in the year 2000. When I saw them play in New Orleans at a house show, they had a live kissing booth with every member of the band. No one could have arrived prepared for the incredible dance party which ensued at their show. Band members have been in many many bands (before and after Panty Raid) - a few mentionables are Hunx and His Punx, The Younger Lovers, and The Tourettes. The drummer Janelle produced a zine called "Tales of Blarg" and has drawn many many album covers, written and illustrated dozens of comics zines, animated several short films, and is overall an incredible comic genius. Her drumming in Panty Raid was a flurry of frenetic energy- if you blinked you might miss it! Definitely inspiration material.
I'm slightly embarrassed that I only read Yevgeny Zamyatin's (Eugene Zamiatin) We for the first time about two months ago. Not embarrassed because it's something everyone should read, but embarrassed at myself for having first got a copy in high school, and taking over twenty years to finally read it. And it is well worth reading. It is the original blueprint for the dystopian novel, written in the Soviet Union in 1921—as the reality of Bolshevik authoritarianism was sinking in. Through the narrator, an engineer known only as D-503, and his journal, we learn about a future world known as the One State. Everyone lives and works in transparent cubes, and all individuality is suppressed in the name of collective Freedom. Orwell clearly read We before penning 1984, and Huxley's Brave New World also owes Zamyatin a debt. Probably the crudest rewriting of We is Ayn Rand's Anthem, an poorly written attempt to turn a nuanced and satirical challenge to central authority of all types into a vulgar equation of individual freedom and free market capitalism.
Because We is now outside of copyright, there have been many editions and many different translations. The first copy I found was at a school yard sale when I was 16, and it was the 1952 Dutton mass market paperback version to the right. It's got a powerful Seymour Chwast cover, the four hands featured making up a collective "we," which is part message conductor, part monster. The image is bold and, would be even more striking without the white bar and text at the top. In 1952 the book likely needed to be explained, now it speaks for itself, and the hand logo could carry the entire cover.
This short documentary tells the story of the uprising in Bosnia and Herzegovina that started in early February 2014. Since February 5 2014, protests have swept across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The protests were started by workers from five factories in northern city of Tuzla: Dita, Polihem, Poliolhem, GUMARA and Konjuh. The factories had been privatized, bankrupted and stripped of assets, leaving the workers with large debts, no salaries, no health care and no benefits. The protests culminated on February 7, 2014 when several governmental buildings were set on fire in cities across the country, including the presidential building in Sarajevo. Under pressure of protests, four regional governments resigned. The protests were followed with mass popular assemblies, referred to as plenums, that quickly spread across the country.
People of Weed, CA and the Pacific Northwest people heading home from the Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair: Stop by the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture for a Justseeds print show, a radical art talk on the IWW by Nicolas Lampert, union organizing songs by Patrick Dodd, and performances by two touring bands: Unexamine and Kakeriak. All of which takes place in a boxcar!
Monday, March 24th, 6:00, Weed, CA
For the last six weeks or so, I've been in the Democratic Republic of Congo, volunteering with a project that is trying to develop a new national park in the east of the country. At the heart of my work was a three-week bike tour to villages near the proposed park, where we presented several short skits about conservation and forest health. This was undertaken with an amazing team of Congolese actors and fieldworkers, on a shoestring budget, as a sort of experiment to see what was possible in the format, whether the ideas would be effectively communicated, and to gather information about villagers' states of mind about the park and their lives in general. I wrote the skits, found a couple of performers from a local radio station in the city of Kindu, and made a couple of masks to accompany one of the skits It was a fascinating time, a somewhat grueling journey by low-end steel bicycle on terrible roads to remote locations with no means to exchange information about the local and the larger world save oral communication, what travels from mouth to mouth as people pass from village to village. I've got a tumblr going where I'm posting a narrative of the experience, and you can check that out here. I'll try to post some of my more explicitly political musings on the effort here on the Justseeds blog in the coming weeks.
We bringing prints, posters and books and joining toronto's slinger of political comics and graphic novels Ad Asra Comix tonight for their Equinox Party.
7:00 PM - Midnight
156 Bathurst St.( Soybomb), Toronto On M5V-2R3
more info here
Join Jesse Purcell and Mary Tremonte for an artist talk about Justseeds at Centre3 for Print Media this Saturday, in Hamilton, ON. Prints and posters will be available for sale.
Centre3 for Print Media
173 James Street North
Also be sure to catch our two exhibitions on view now through April 10:
This Is An Emergency! at Homegrown Hamilton
Celebrate Women's Herstory at Hammer City Records
For more information, check out event organizer Tara Bursey's blog, HERE
"La Autonomia es la Vida, La Sumision es la Muerte"
Opening Reception Friday March 21st
We are happy to invite you to the launch party for The Graphic Portfolio "La Autonomia es la Vida, La Sumision es la Muerte" a collaboration between Convergencia Grafica MALLA and Justseeds artists cooperative. A set of posters celebrating the Autonomous communities in Mexico. Entirely hand printed and crafted at the Escuela de Cultura Popular Martires del 68 in Mexico City.
The show is complemented with a large mural by members of the ECPM68 justseeds
'La Autonomia' will run from 3/21 through 3/29 only - don't miss it!
-Guest music appearances by Almas Fronterizas
My good friend Nathan Meltz is putting together what is looking to be a great institution, The Screenprint Biennial! The crew putting it together is working hard, but they need some help. Check out the video, and if you can, send them a couple bucks!
This Friday, March 21st, is the opening of if I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution at Haverford College. The exhibition " takes as its starting point a maxim by anarchist feminist Emma Goldman to examine the political movement of anarchism through counter-cultural artistic practices. Including works from the 1960s to today, the exhibition proposes three interlinked topics: “Free Love,” “Horizontality,” and “Black.” Each platform features archival documentation, works by self-identified anarchist artists, and pieces that both affirm and complicate strategies of disruption and resistance. Curated by Natalie Musteata, if I can’t dance to it anchors a variety of programs including a film series on the anarchist tradition."
Bay Area people: Justseeds will be tabling the Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair this Saturday - March 22nd from 10:00am-6:00pm - at The Crucible (1260 7th St. Oakland - near the West Oakland BART)
Two of us in Justseeds will be presenting on the 4:30-6:00 panel "City-wide Activist Art: Mud Stencils, Light Brigades, Street Signs, and Other Creative Disruptions" with Emory Douglas, Melanie Cervantes, David Solnit, and Nicolas Lampert.
Join us! More info on the panel below.
When I first started going to underground music shows in the early 1990's most bands were made up of straight, white boys in their early 20s. When I saw the band "Spitboy" I was thrilled. They were an anarcho-punk band from California whose songs expressed frustration at patriarchy. Their song "Ultimate Violations" puts statistics about rape into powerful music. The drummer/lyricist Michelle Gonzales recently published a zine about her experiences touring with the band called "The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Female Punk Band." The zine is available at this link for only $5 plus shipping!