Category Archives: visual arts

‘To Change Everything’ Outreach Project Introduces Anarchist Ideas to General Public with Free Primer in 20 Languages

‘To Change Everything’ Outreach Project Introduces Anarchist Ideas to General Public with Free Primer in 20 Languages

WASHINGTON, DC — This week underground publisher CrimethInc. launched To Change Everything, a multimedia outreach project intended to introduce anarchist ideas to the general public. The project consists of a free, full-color 48-page print publication, a video by Submedia.tv, an interactive website in a many different languages, and a sticker and poster campaign. Participating collectives in 19 countries across three continents have prepared two dozen different versions of the project, each tailored to their local context.

“Anarchism is the idea that everyone is entitled to complete self-determination,” To Change Everything asserts. In place of state and corporate power, anarchists seek to create horizontal, voluntary networks as the basis of all social organization. The 21st century has seen a resurgence of this philosophy, ranging from peer-to-peer networks to globally linked protest movements. Anarchists erupted onto the world stage at the turn of the century, famously participating in the demonstrations against the 1999 summit of the World Trade Organization in Seattle. Over the past seven years, anarchists have played a leading role in revolts from Greece to the Arab spring, gaining further prominence in the US through Occupy and #blacklivesmatter. “As successive waves of dispossession and disillusionment sweep new demographics into social movements, interest in anarchist ideas and practices is growing,” explains CrimethInc. spokesperson Cesar Dmitri. “To Change Everything is a harbinger of things to come.”

Promotional events for the project have already taken place in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Drawing on a Kickstarter campaign that raised tens of thousands of dollars, CrimethInc. has printed 185,000 copies to distribute in North America, including 25,000 in Spanish. Three thousand copies are earmarked for prisoner support groups to send to some of the 2.5 million people behind bars in the US.

CrimethInc. is a publishing group that functions as the hub of an international network of anarchists and aspiring revolutionaries. For 20 years, CrimethInc. has produced books, magazines, posters, and other resources by and for participants in social movements: all copyright free, composed collectively and anonymously. In 2002, CrimethInc. published an anarchist primer entitled Fighting for Our Lives, ultimately distributing 650,000 copies. “Many activists I’ve encountered credit Fighting for Our Lives with introducing them to anarchist ideas and changing the course of their lives,” says Rae Valentine of Agency, an anarchist PR project. “With faith in government and capitalism at an all-time low, the time is ripe for a meaningful vision of social change. To Change Everything steps into the breach.”

Celebrities, Luminaries, Journalists, Artists and Activists Release Video PSA Declaring ‘I Am Bradley Manning’

[Fort Meade, MD]   A video PSA in support of Bradley Manning was released last week, featuring celebrities and journalists calling for the government to drop the dangerous “aiding the enemy” charge. The video follows a short teaser video that surfaced at the beginning of Manning’s court martial, and calls for an end to Obama’s war on whistleblowers – now even more salient in light of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s public disclosure of information about secret NSA mass surveillance programs on US citizens, during Manning’s historic trial.

The video calls against the reckless prosecution of Bradley Manning by the Obama administration, as well as the importance of whistleblower protections. Manning’s trial, expected to last several more weeks, could open other whistleblowers like Edward Snowden to the death penalty if the government is successful in their prosecution.

This video was created by volunteer producers around the country for the grassroots #IamBradleyManning campaign, where thousands of supporters have already shared photos of themselves in support at iam.bradleymanning.org.

THE VIDEO CAN BE VIEWED AT  IAM.BRADLEYMANNING.ORG

To schedule interviews with contributors, please contact Logan Price at logan@riseup.net or 206.234.2060 or Ana Nogueira at ana@riseup.net or 917.445.4619

Wondering Around Wandering Pop-Up Community Art Space Hopes to Revitalize & Celebrate Crown Heights

Wondering Around Wandering Pop-Up Community Art Space Hopes to Revitalize & Celebrate Crown Heights

[CROWN HEIGHTS, NY] Brooklyn artist Mike Perry’s recent endeavor, Wondering Around Wandering (WAW) is a 7,000 sq-ft creative wonderland nestled away amidst rows of former industrial spaces lining Dean St. in Crown Heights [938 Dean St, Brooklyn, NY 11238].

Conceived and Designed by Perry, WAW doubles as both a free exhibition space and community free space for life-long art making.  WAW is a revolutionary new concept in the way an art space interacts with the community.  Eschewing a typical NYC gallery opening process Perry began with a concept that everything had to be community-oriented and free …free entry, free refreshments, free classes, free workshops, free concerts, and all of it had to be available to people of all ages and abilities.  After several months of preparation WAW opened on September 15th with over 500 people in attendance.  Several successful community workshops followed the opening of the space and their second full exhibit titled Happy Accidents will be opening this Saturday, October 6th at 6pm.   A full list of WAW events is attached below* For a folder of print-quality images from wondering around wandering click HERE*

A celebrated graphic artist, illustrator and maker, Mike Perry is known for his big ideas.   With his finger on the pulse of the design world and a keen sense of Brooklyn’s ever-changing socio-economic geography, Perry quickly recognized that if a space like WAW were to succeed in Crown Heights then the Crown Heights community had to be part of the process.  Perry began his process by bringing his ideas to the local community board, and inviting them to become part of the journey.  Using the popular crowd-funding platform Kickstarter, Perry raised the start-up capital he needed to procure a discarded industrial building and with the help of local labor transformed it into a sprawling, brightly lit creative space.  Perry built bridges with local shops and artisans in the community and worked with them to create a “Handy Neighborhood Guide” that would be published along side event promotions as a way to encourage WAW visitors to patronize local businesses.

When Mike Perry moved his studio to Crown Heights 7 years ago he immediately fell in love with the community.  Wondering Around Wandering is a thank-you letter to the Crown Heights community that Mike adores and the start of a dialogue regarding art’s role in helping to transform Brooklyn’s abandoned industrial spaces.

for a photostream documenting WAW workshops & salons click HERE

About Mike Perry
Mike Perry (www.mikeperrystudio.com) is a designer and interdisciplinary artist. He draws, paints, illustrates, and animates. He creates sculpture projects and limited-edition silkscreen posters. He curates books and paints portraits. He writes children’s books and contributes to literary magazines. He teaches. His appetite for collaboration and creation is insatiable; the possibilities are endless. He works regularly for a number of editorial and commercial clients including Apple, The New York TimesDwell, Target, Urban Outfitters, Aldo, and Nike. In addition to his commercial, nonprofit, and personal artwork, he has also published extensively. His work has been exhibited around the world, including at two solo shows in Tokyo: We Are the Infinity of Each Other at B Gallery and Color, Shapes and Infinity at Public Image 3D Gallery. His 2012 monograph published by Rizzoli, Wondering Around Wandering, is an anthology that is at turns humorous, mystical, poetic, warm, sexy, and charming.  Mike Perry is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Now 31, he is seduced by a contemporary visual culture and the experience of life itself. His art forms and installations can be meditative and/or hyperactively sublime.

WORKSHOPS & EVENTS:
All events are free and open to the public, but space is limited, so your RSVP is required. RSVP links and more events will be added to the calendar soon. Check back often! Or joing the mailing list.

Thursday, October, 4
Open Drawing Night
(Sponsored by Duvel)
Must be 21+ to participate.
Thursday, October 4, 8:00–10:00pm
Limited to 30 people – RSVP HERE!
We opened up a few more slots!

Saturday, October 6
Happy Accidents Zine Workshop
(Hosted by Dr.Me)

Saturday, October 6, 10:00am–12:00pm
Limited to 30 people – RSVP HERE!
Scroll down to register for a future workshop.This workshop marks the opening day of Happy Accidents, WAW’s second group show. Led by the Manchester-based duo DR.ME — Ryan Doyle (DR) and Mark Edwards (ME) — this workshop celebrates the collision of the unexpected. Mix cut-outs, collage and hand drawing to create strange and amazing mini art-zines. We’ll have supplies on hand, but feel free to bring any old books or magazines you want to tear up and transform.

Happy Accidents — Opening Reception
(Curated by DR.ME)

Saturday, October 6, 6:00–11:00pm – RSVP HERE!
Essentially silliness crossed with the unexpected, this group show curated by DR.ME features a nonaccidental international group of multidisciplinary artists: Linus Bill, Rhys Coren, Ryan Doyle, Daniel Eatock, Mark Edwards, Jonathan Flanders, Sebastian Haslauer, Steve Hockett, Hannan Jones, and John P. Come to the opening party or see it anytime at WAW from Oct. 7 through Oct. 31.

Thursday, October 11
Goodbye Brooklyn: A one night performance byAndy Byers
Must be 21+ to participate.
Thursday, October 11, 8:00–10:00pm
Limited to 100 people – RSVP HERE!
Goodbye Brooklyn is a film-based performance that explores the greatest influences and tragedies the artist has faced during his 7 year stay in New York City. The performance will include three dances choreographed by Jennifer Mellor, musical performances by the artist as well as special guests Hospital Ships and sets designed with the spirit of what Wandering Around Wondering is trying to achieve in its vision to make art happen.
“I moved here to fall in love with the movies. And that’s exactly what happened. Now I’m leaving to make them.” – Andy Byers

Saturday, October 13
Ghost Notes: Understanding the Elements of Popular Drum Beats
(Hosted by Homer Steinweiss)

Saturday, October 13, 10:00am–12:00pm
Limited to 15 people – RSVP HERE!
Brooklyn-based drummer and songwriter Homer Steinweiss talks about the various elements that go into playing and creating rhythms for the drumset, and will attempt to perform a song with the help of the audience and special guests.

Greetings from Brooklyn
(Hosted by Santtu Mustonen)

Saturday, October 13, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Limited to 24 people – RSVP HERE!
Explore the impact of writing and drawing at breakneck speed. With pencil, ink, and paint we’ll craft spontaneous messages onto postcards, spending 1-2 minutes on each piece. In the end, we’ll pin the postcards to a wall and discuss the meaning of both their individual and communal presence. Each postcard will be mailed to a random address with recipients encouraged to send in pictures of their unexpected gift to be cataloged online for ongoing dialogue and sharing.

Thursday, October 18
Open Drawing Night
Must be 21+ to participate.
Thursday, October 18, 8:00–10:00pm
Limited to 30 people – RSVP HERE!
We opened up a few more slots!

Saturday, October 20
IMAG(in)ING the CITY
(Hosted by Jim Datz)
Saturday, October 20, 10:00am–12:00pm
Limited to 30 people – RSVP HERE!
Scroll down to register for a future workshop.
Let’s create a large-scale modular drawing of an imaginary city! Participants will be provided with all materials needed for this active drawing session, during which everyone will draw individual pieces of urban space: a house, a park, a subway station, a bodega, a high-rise, a library, a farmer’s market…or anything else that comes to mind (a dirigible launch pad, a hot dog factory?). The size and complexity are limited only by our imaginations. At the end of the session, we’ll “build” the city on the wall of the gallery.

Thursday, October 25
Vehicle – a Dance Performance
(C
horeographed by Lindy Schmedt & GREYZONE)
Thursday, October 25, 8:00–10:00pm
Limited to 100 people – RSVP HERE!
Vehicle is a dance created by choreographer Lindy Schmedt with her company GREYZONE. Inspired by the WAW space, the project involves five dancers as they create a dynamic landscape executing architectural forms. The work will be a special visual collaboration between GREYZONE and Mike Perry.

Saturday, October 27
Never Nude!
(Hosted by Josh Cochran)

Saturday, October 27, 10:00am–12:00pm
Limited to 30 people – WORKSHOP CLOSED.
Scroll down to register for a future workshop.
For this workshop we will draw from a costumed model in a unique and amazing setting! Music and stories will be played to enhance the mood while we draw. Please bring your own drawing materials. All ages are welcome.

Saturday, November 3
Still Life
(Hosted by Playlab Inc.)

Saturday, November 3, 10:00am–12:00pm
Limited to 30 people – RSVP HERE!
This workshop will mark the opening day of Artypes’ Salon No. 4, called ‘Still Life.’ You will be given a tote bag full of materials, and prompted to make a collaged Still Life from those materials. You will have the entire premises of “Wondering Around Wandering” to use as subject for your piece. Your piece will be framed, and hung on the wall for the duration of the ‘Still Life’ Salon. Artists will be present to provide critiques and encouragement.

Artypes: Salon No. 4 “Still Lifes”
Opening Reception
(Curated by Playlab Inc.)

Saturday, November 3, 6:00–11:00pm
RSVPs open on 10/8

Saturday, November 10
Create Repeating Patterns
(Hosted by Dan Funderburgh)

Saturday, November 10, 10:00am–12:00pm
Limited to 30 people – RSVPs open on 10/8
Make your art follow itself into infinity. Imagine your tiny drawing multiplying seamlessly across all surfaces out into space. Create patterns for wallpaper! Textiles! Camouflage! Curtains! Wrapping paper! Dan Funderburgh will show you how.

Saturday, November 17
Mega Zine
(Hosted by Joel Speasmaker and Mike Perry)

Saturday, November 17, 10:00am–12:00pm
Limited to 30 people – RSVPs open on 10/8
Joel and Mike share their favorites from their respective zine collections, explaining why they are so passionate about both the collection and creation of them, as well as walking through their personal working process. A collaborative zine will certainly be made!

Tuesday, November 20
Closing Party
Tuesday, November 20, 6:00–11:00pm
RSVPs open on 11/5

 

Vegucated Releases International DVD in Conjunction with NYC #ClimateWeek & Vegetarian Awareness Month

Vegucated Releases International DVD in Conjunction with NYC #ClimateWeek & Vegetarian Awareness Month

[NEW YORK, NY] Award-winning eco foodie documentary Vegucated continues striking a chord with viewers at environmental film festivals around the world. It is available digitally, on DVD and for community screenings licensing worldwide in celebration of Vegetarian Awareness Month (October) and International Vegan Month (November).

Vegucated features three meat and cheese lovers who agree to accept the challenge to abandon their old eating habits and become vegan for six weeks. Hopeful the change will result in a healthier lifestyle and trimmer waistline, these volunteers  —Ellen, Tesla & Brian— are surprised to discover that much more than steak at stake and that the fate of the planet may well fall on their plates.

Thought-provoking and always entertaining, Vegucated takes viewers on an eye-opening journey of transformation far beyond a few tofu food substitutions as three daring people share one common adventure and ultimately find their own paths in creating a greener, cleaner world, one bite at a time.  To celebrate the growing global awareness of veganism, Vegucated debuts a new, international edition DVD this Autumn. The new edition features subtitles in Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Hebrew, Spanish and Traditional Chinese. The DVD is available in select Whole Food Markets and other retailers around the country as well as through the Vegucated website HERE.

One year after its world premiere and first award, Vegucated received its Caribbean premiere in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as a selection of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival. This is the eighth film festival and the fifth environmental film festival that has selected the film.

Closing out the annual NYC Climate Week (September 24th -30th), Vegucated  joins up with award-winning short “What’s For Dinner?” (shot in China) for a double-feature free screening sponsored by VegFund. Tickets are free and first come, first serve to the public with general admission. Remaining tickets are available at vegucatedbrightergreen.eventbrite.com. This free screening is Saturday, September 29th, 1 to 4 pm at Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Avenue. Executive Producer Mia McDonald (“Dinner”) and writer–director Marisa Miller Wolfson (“Vegucated”) will do a Q&A post-screening.

On Monday, October 1, Yippie Museum & Cafe asks “Are You Vegucated?”. To celebrate World Vegetarian Day along with Meatless Mondays, YMC screens locally-made Vegucated and serves dinner beforehand. Sweets will be provided afterwards along with a filmmakers Q&A. Dinner will be cooked by local vegan chef–caterer David Lee Hall of Harmony Kitchen NYC.

For more information about Vegucated, visit http://getvegucated.com Press kits are available in .pdf format HERE.  Screeners and cast/crew interviews are available upon request.

 

Occuprint & OWS: Notes on Art as a Weapon for Non-Violent Insurrection

Occuprint & OWS: Notes on Art as a Weapon for Non-Violent Insurrection

On the evening of February 16, a group of about 20 artists, designers, muralists, art historians and activists gathered at Interference Archive in Gowanus, Brooklyn, to discuss a selection of posters that have emerged out of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The event was organized by Occuprint—a collaborative project that curates, collects, prints and distributes various posters and graphics by and for the global Occupy movement. The Archive grew out the personal collection of its co-founder, artist Josh MacPhee. This unique space houses an impressive volume of print objects created as part of various social justice movements. One of its goals is to allow this kind of art to exist outside of dominant institutions (that may not be sympathetic to OWS) and instead take it into “the commons”— making it thereby more accessible to a greater range of artists and activists.

occuprint crit session

The Occuprint event was an energizing experience. The posters hanging on the walls represented a wide range of ideas, slogans and executions. It was exciting and affecting to see just how many artists and designers had been impacted by the Occupy movement. The passion in their work was evident. During the discussion, the politics and implications of the images in the posters were hashed out and debated; opinions were exchanged on the importance and problems of text, slogans and general aesthetics. Ultimately, the discussion transcended its original original aim of reviewing the posters, and progressed into a wonderfully inspiring brainstorm on how Occupy art could become as impactful and unforgettable as possible.

OccupyEverythingPieChart

The posters reviewed during the Occuprint event elicited a variety of reactions and contrasting opinions, which made for a dynamic discussion. One example of this was the “Occupy Everything” poster.  Some saw tremendous power in its blankness and argued that the message of the movement was effectively crystalized in the simple graphic. Others noted that the poster’s starkness made it lack emotional resonance, and that it was unclear who the protagonist was.

A poster with the slogan “You Are On Our Watch” hit a nerve. Unwarranted police brutality and attacks on peaceful OWS protesters during the past 6 months have uncovered the ugly reality of a police state. The shout “The whole world is watching!” had become a ubiquitous presence on videos of police assaulting innocent people. The poster reminded protestors of the power of their recording devices. While everyone agreed that the message was essential, some disliked the cubist style of the poster and wondered why the images of riot police were not made more realistic. Others were unclear about the ultimate destination of the poster and where it would be most effective: amongst protestors, or on the wall of a police precinct.

The poster for Occupy Oakland has in many ways become synonymous with the Occupy movement. The image of the protestor waving an Occupy flag, while facing down a riot gear army, evoked feelings of courage and triumph. However, some at the event disliked that protestors were (inaccurately) represented by a single figure; and that the enemy was defined solely by police, boiling the movement down to an “Us against Them” sentiment.

MonopolyTower

The Monopoly Tower poster was singled out for its creative execution. The object of the beloved board game (also a popular event at McDonalds—a massive & corrupt corporation) is to accumulate the most money; inarguably, the game taught children the concept of wealth and big business. With this in mind, the Monopoly Man becomes a potent symbol of universal greed, as effectively shown on the poster.  To view the entire collection of over 250 posters, please visit http://occuprint.org/Posters

Being originally from Russia, I see parallels between the Occupy Wall Street movement and Perestroika—a period of reform in the former Soviet Union in the mid to late 80’s, initiated by then-head-of-state Mikhail Gorbachev. One of the movement’s main policies—Glasnost— was designed to usher in a new era of greater freedom of information and governmental transparency. These government-intiated policies (imagine if OWS was an initiative of the US government…) ultimately took on a life of their own, leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union and an end to the Cold War. In reflecting on all that movement accomplished, it is impossible to ignore the artwork that emerged during that time. In hindsight, it is clear that it had a huge impact on the mind set of the population. “Artists had rediscovered the power of their weapon, and crowds of people would gather in front of their works.” (from “The Russian Poster”, published by the Russian State Library) What also made the political art of that era particularly interesting was that, contrary to prior Russian art like Constructivism and Socialist Realism, it was beautifully non-conformist and free from the constraints of one unifying aesthetic. Here are a few unique examples:

The writing on the plate reads, “The one who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat”– a popular Communist slogan. The shattered plate, its fractures are the hammer and sickle symbol, is a powerful metaphor for the crumbling Soviet regime.

your fate

The movement reinergized the consciousness of the country in many ways, including bringing about a new environmental awareness. “The fate of the planet—is your fate.”

“Don’t wait for orders!” implores this poster, intended to encourage autonomy and initiative amongst the people.

Leaders

The artist humorously yet poignantly depicted the great men of Communist ideology-Marx, Engels and Lenin as inflated with ideals of little practical value. The words “The great are only great because we are on our knees. Let us rise!” surround the image— the motto of the newspaper “Les Révolutions de Paris,” a paper which appeared from July 12, 1789 to February 28, 1794.

The radical changes born out of Perestroika once seemed unfathomable, almost fantastical. And yet they occurred, largely thanks to the persistent, unified action of the people. So what kind of changes and improvements in the United States right now seem so radical as to feel impossible?.. The dismantling of the military-industrial complex?.. And end to factory farming?.. Quality education and healthcare made accessible to every child?.. If they feel impossible, then they are worth striving for.

Towards the end of the Occuprint discussion, Rodrigo Dorfman—a Chilean filmmaker who was in attendance— shared a few stories from his youth. He described how in the mid-80’s, young activists would defy the nightly curfew imposed by the Chilean dictatorship, and put up giant posters under the cover of darkness. “WE ARE NOT AFRAID” and “JUSTICE FOR THE DISAPPEARED” were some of the slogans on the posters, painted in huge block letters. Rodrigo recalled how he went out to film one of these actions with the full knowledge that he could get shot on the spot. This was the kind of risk activists faced in order to bring these posters to the public, to inspire and motivate people, to give them hope; and to stand up to the tyranny of the authorities.

And this was the question we were left with: What kind of poster is worth getting arrested for?.. or even worth getting shot at for? This poster must be of tremendous urgency and relevance; it must agitate and disturb; it must stop you dead in your tracks; it must enlighten and inspire you to act. This poster must be so compelling that distributing it becomes essential. This poster requires courage.

Art is indeed a weapon, and an especially powerful one in the midst of a peaceful movement.

In 2012 Occuprint will be producing thousands of posters and printed materials for Occupations around the country.  If you would like to support Occuprint’s efforts you can contribute to their Kickstarter fundraising campaign → HERE