Thursday, May 10, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Never Alone Tour

Hi everyone,

This is just a reminder about the upcoming speaking tour about people behind bars for direct action in support of the environment.

Think about it this way: we all know that corporations are destroying the ecological basis of life on this earth. And we all know they are doing it legally-- in part because they buy the laws, and in part because the law itself takes property rights of corporate persons as sacred.

We all know that, but what do we do about it? Well, the people who are the subject of the presentation on Wednesday tried to do something about it. And maybe it was unwise, unsafe, could have been planned better... you'll come to your own conclusion about all that. But what is important is that these people are behind bars for trying to fight a system that is, everyday, fighting us.

Please try to make it to this event, and bring a friend!


Also, there will be a potluck at the Gaia House at 5pm with the presenters!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Crystal Eastman's speech "Now We Can Begin"

T.R.U.T.H Presents...

Cildo Mierles

also check out They Rule

Temp Services and the library project

the library project

Calling Cards

These were done by the artist and philosopher Adrian Piper in the 80s.


Toosi: the only reason

The only reason you are a citizen today...

The Only Reason
offset lithograph business cards

This edition of 1000 business cards was created to address the parallel between recent mobilizations by immigrant workers and the civil rights movement. The card is a direct re-versioning of a calling card created in the 1970s by the KKK that read: "The only reason you are WHITE Today Is Because Your Ancestors Believed & Practiced SEGREGATION." The card is available in issue 5 of artist journal LTTR, or you may print your own by downloading the PDF.

Read more about the concept in AREA magazine's im/migrations issue:

toosi's work

tactical media; Shop Dropping and other public tactical media projects

Here is a site that surveys a number of projects that use the strategy of inserting an item that inserts an alternative perspective into an official or institutional stream of communication. SHOPDROPPING.NET

Act up against Aids: Imitating an official sign and placing in public space.

Appropriation of Life Magazine

Fahlstrom; another appropriation

intervention in an event

Guerilla Art Action Group: founded 1969. Antiwar actions
LInk to the book produced by GAAG that documents their work:
PART 1 and PART 2

Creating a ticket or license that is appropriating authority as well as form

Diggers: (coined the term Guerilla theater): We present for you an Arrest

Pies as media

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Dove Commercial

OK.. so one more thing.  I am sure most of you have seen this before, but it just occurred to me that this is very applicable to what I am discussing on Thursday.  As a photographer who has done extensive work in the commercial and fashion world, I have participated in this type of activity, and I know it happens to EVERY photo you see.  I know, I've done it.  Something to keep in mind.  (Pst.  they also do this to men's photos, but I'm sure you already knew that... I just didn't want to drum on my feminism drum too much today).  Happy trails, see you Thursday.

Articles of Interest

Hello my fellow classmates.  Just in case any of you are really excited after tomorrow's presentation. I thought I would pass along a couple articles that I really enjoyed, and I think you might too.  Doesn't everyone want to spend their weekend reading feminist theory? lol.  I thought I would make it available if you so desire to consume the fruits of my labor.

And... here are a few website.. I know I will not get to even a small portion of these in class, so I wanted to share them with you in an eco friendly fashion. (aka: no handouts) Take each website for what it is, a little media literacy can also go along way and finding out who made each site and what their particular biases are.  I do not propose that these are all fact and without flaws, but expanding knowledge is never a bad thing.... enjoy.

and now... for a little giggle... This article is particularly entertaining (in all the worst ways) and troubling.  I see the points she was trying to make, but really has a tackless way of going about doing it, and she references an already controversial display as her one reference point of why "feminism is irrelevant".  I didn't want to be judged of only showing one side though! ;)

and... for those of you more into watching.. pop a bag of your favorite vegan pop corn and prop up your feet:;11/action;showpage/page_type;video/page_id;vital_statistics_of_a_citizen_simply_obtained_by_martha_rosler_flv/

All of us or none

A week of thinking about politics, political prisoners and prisons.

Yesterday i went to Ullin to hear the hearings about the proposed state closure of Tamms supermax prison. I wanted to show my support of prison closure by presence and also to help out Tamms Year Ten in their long campaign to have the prison closed due to human rights violations. One of the things that struck me was the lack of sympathy in the audience of mostly correctional officers for a few former inmates who testified; men who had done their time and were now out... and facing a whole bunch of new problems because of legalized discrimination. It reminded me of the ex prisoner activist group I met in Detroit a few years ago; All of us or none

From their blog, "All of Us Or None is a national organizing initiative of prisoners, former prisoners and felons, to combat the many forms of discrimination that we face as the result of felony convictions. After serving time in torturous conditions, we were met at the gate with prejudice and discrimination that made our re-entry into society difficult and in some cases impossible. Many of us recognize that our prison sentence never ends as long as the discrimination against us continues."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Interesting Article

Here was an interesting article I found, and wanted to share with the class in preparation for my presentation this week on feminism.  I look forward to it.

This particular article deals with the issues brought forth by the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer movement, and how it can be a distraction from some of the other more pressing issues in women's health.  Also, this movement is supposed to potentially be hurting women... but read the article and decide for yourself.  As I find very interesting in feminism, no one can really decide what the best mode of action is to solve the problems at hand.  What do you think?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Appropriation film- the S from Hell

The S from Hell by Rodney Ascher. Not political in itself, but it is a pretty interesting polemic about the power of the media to terrorize.
"Not an exhaustive historical documentary, THE S FROM HELL is a subjective film whose aim is make the audience feel the same fear and confusion as the children who were first confronted by the vexing, unfolding sights and mournful, dissonant sounds that hid in the cracks between their favorite TV shows."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Popular music and Consumption

HERE is a critique by the theorist Theodore Adorno who proposes that music used in protest makes horrendous acts more palatable and consumable.
The beginning is in German, but at 1:15 there are english subtitles.. do not be intimidated by not understanding the beginning!

What do you think? aGree or disagree?

Kleinau this week

March 22-24th, 2012 – Double Bill!
Where’s Queerdo? Disabling Perceptions!
Written and Performed by Julie Cosenza
Directed by Rick Jones
Meet Queerdo. A clown. A mime. A person. Combining physical theatre, video, music, and a wink ‘n’ a smile, Queerdo comes to life. With a little help from friends Alex and Julie, they challenge notions of ablebodiedness, sexuality, and the dreaded “normal.” This wacky tale, exploring avenues of queerness and disability, will complicate your perceptions of how different people move in different worlds.

The Real Housewives of Heather’s Head
Written and Performed by Heather Hull
Directed by Aubrey Huber
Tonight’s episode is brought to you by an insatiable affinity for pop/cultural portrayals of female social structures. You’re invited to the exclusive behind-the-scenes actions as our Personae negotiate the intersecting tensions of women’s relationships with self, other, and self-as-others. Special guests include intrapersonal identity constructions, critical-comedic sensibilities, performance of imagined reality, and mature themes.

With no language at all...

Some videos that are challenging my "Must have speech" rule.
Creativity rules instead!
These two are by Bryan Boyce- the first uses no text.

this next one using the mouth replacement technique that is probably familiar.. I think the first one is more effective as a message; while the second is more absurdist.

Protesting policy creation by a male dominated congress

from Male congressmen now being inundated with handmade vaginas.

this same site has reproductions of letters women are sending (via fb) to Rick Perry with questions that would ordinarily be directed to Planned Parenthood (about reproductive health problems).

Also, "Our Bodies Ourselves" at 40. Our Bodies, Ourselves was the kind of book that libraries banned and women stashed under their beds like pornography—a fixture of college dorm rooms that shocked conservatives with its candid discussion (and close-up drawings) of masturbation, contraception and the clitoris (spelled out as klit-o-ris). Pre-teen girls poured over it at slumber parties. Boys ran off with it, determined to learn its womanly secrets. The first season of The Wonder Years even had Kevin Arnold committing the ultimate sin when he swiped a copy from his mother’s bedroom. by Jessica Bennett -- more HERE

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Snatchel.. Just Wonderful

Here is a link to the Snatchel project that was discussed in class Thursday, March 22nd.  I found it and thought I would share.  I'm particularly fond of the "happy uterus" lol.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trayvon Martin- what is the situation?

Christopher Booker, an SIUC political science student, is posting a series of videos in which he follows through the bureaucratic tangles of law and justice to learn more about what happened to Trayvon Martin. Martin was a 17 year old African American male who was killed, unarmed, in Sanford, Florida last month.

Friday, March 9, 2012

anti-Kony Video - article

An article in the Guardian UK published today-- Kony 2012: what's the real story?
points out a number of discrepancies between the story about Kony as portrayed in the video and the reality on the ground. It is also an interesting article because of their use of letters from people on the ground; especially interesting to read the letter from someone in Uganda who says, like Steve Clair, "this is such an old story", Kony isn't even in Uganda anymore, and what we need now is development help-- versus a letter by a "mom" who feels it is moving kids to care. If Kony is definitely out of the country, and the children are generally safe, then is the Kony video hi production spam?

read the article
"A 28-minute film about the plight of children in Africa has been watched more than 21m times on YouTube. But the charity behind it is facing criticism for its Hollywood-style campaigning on the issue. Are the criticisms fair?"

State of Silence *(video by Husni Ashiku)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WEEK of March 8: additional resources on queer, aids and identity politics histories

A Call and an Offering; on Pilot TV Chicago - a four-day d.i.y. television studio built in October 2004.(Bordowitz at 12:40)

Greg Bordowitz Interview

Essay about Act UP. available as pdf here

New York Times: When Political Art Mattered

A couple more suggested readings by fellow students:

WITTIG, Monique. One is not Born a Woman

McINTOSH: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack

Gran Fury was a major part of the AIDS awareness movement, especially as the “propaganda” wing of legendary activist group ACT UP. A collective of artists, filmmakers and other visual types — including my former prof and mentor, director Tom Kalin! Shout out to Tom! — they first got famous for their incendiary, subversive posters, using the strategies of mass media and advertising to spread a message of tolerance, knowledge and anti-bigotry, all in an attempt to demystify and derail the prejudice and ignorance surrounding AIDS and HIV that came out of the 80s. Their work wasn’t obtuse or complicated, but still managed to touch upon the complexities of issues without flattening them. They, along with efforts of other major AIDS activist organizations, turned what many initially regarded as a marginal health concern into a major political issue that intersected queer and gay rights, public health, corporate greed, political indifference, sexuality and other taboos. It made AIDS an issue for everyone and took down a lot of homophobia at the same time.from: this website

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Compelling Photo-Journalism from Syria.  Text below from NYT:

February 23, 2012, 4:12 PM

Photographer’s Video From Homs Shows Urban Warfare in Vivid Detail

Updated | 4:49 p.m. Using footage recorded by a French photographer who was in Homs this month, Britain’s Channel 4 News has produced a remarkable portrait of urban warfare in the Syrian city, between government forces and the lightly armed fighters of the Free Syrian Army.
The 11-minute video report broadcast on Wednesday night features scenes of everyday life in the city divided along sectarian lines, and shows a battle between the rebels and government snipers for control of a local headquarters of the mukhabarat, or secret police.
The photographer, who uses the assumed name Mani to shield his identity and make it possible for him to return to Syria to work again, was present when the current assault on districts of Homs under rebel control began on Feb. 3.
As Jonathan Miller of Channel 4 News observed, “While the world has become used to grainy shaky and gruesome footage and images from Homs fed through whatever Internet connection is available, Mani’s crystal clear and incredible footage gives perhaps the clearest and most frightening account of what Homs has been like for the past three weeks.”
The new portrait of life inside Homs offers a closer look at the activities of the army defectors and guerrilla fighters who are battling government forces in the city than most of the video posted online by opposition activists.
One brief piece of video posted online by activists on Thursday, does seem to show that the rebels in Homs have acquired at least some heavy weaponry.
In a recent analysis of the widening gyre in Syria, the International Crisis Group wrote that while “the regime strove to deny the existence of a deep-seated popular protest movement,” at first, choosing instead to claim it was battling foreign-backed armed gangs, “now that it faces an emerging insurgency coupled with a broad international coalition bent on its demise, it appears wholly unprepared to cope with the very enemy it initially fantasized and which its short-sighted behavior largely helped bring to life.”

Found this on the Facebook grapevine, thought it was worth a share.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

LBJ by Santiago Alvarez

DJ Spooky's Birth of a Nation

"the birth of a nation set the tone for the portrayal of history." Birth of a Nation (1915, film by DW Griffith)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yes Men and other activists spied on by corporations

Feb. 27, 2012

Dow pays "strategic intelligence" firm to spy on Yes Men and grassroots activists. Takeaway: movement is on the right track!

WikiLeaks begins to publish today over five million e-mails obtained by Anonymous from "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs (see below), also include several discussions of the Yes Men and Bhopal activists. (Bhopal activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.)

Many of the Bhopal-related emails, addressed from Stratfor to Dow and Union Carbide public relations directors, reveal concern that, in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, the Bhopal issue might be expanded into an effective systemic critique of corporate rule, and speculate at length about why this hasn't yet happened—providing a fascinating window onto what at least some corporate types fear most from activists.

"[Bhopal activists] have made a slight nod toward expanded activity, but never followed through on it—the idea of 'other Bhopals' that were the fault of Dow or others," mused Joseph de Feo, who is listed in one online source as a "Briefer" for Stratfor.

"Maybe the Yes Men were the pinnacle. They made an argument in their way on their terms—that this is a corporate problem and a part of the a [sic] larger whole," wrote Kathleen Morson, Stratfor's Director of Policy Analysis. More

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gran Fury and Act Up -- show currently in NY

this is a link to the review. The writer is also active with one of the art arms of occupy wall street.
When Acting Up Meant Arting Up
Published: February 2, 2012 The American art world has never gotten over its first love, Europe. And so, when the Occupy movement heated up last year, many art types reached instinctively for European theory and precedents. But in recent decades examples of direct action and a sustained movement made of small affinity groups have flourished in New York. An exhibition devoted to one such group, Gran Fury, is on view at New York University. continue here

IMAGE: Gran Fury: Read My Lips "Welcome to America," left, a billboard sponsored by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1989, is in this show about the art collective Gran Fury, at New York University's 80WSE gallery. (The Keith Haring sign is not related.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Here's the link for the book I was telling you all about on Thursday.  The author has licensed the book under creative commons, and has listed all different formats for free download if you prefer that to buying the book.  I hope you guys check it out.  If you do, let me know what you think!
about the book
Little Brother is a scarily realistic adventure about how homeland security technology could be abused to wrongfully imprison innocent Americans. A teenage hacker-turned-hero pits himself against the government to fight for his basic freedoms. This book is action-packed with tales of courage, technology, and demonstrations of digital disobedience as the technophile’s civil protest.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

The People Speak: Film - Mon Feb. 20 6-9 pm

The People Speak
a film by Occupy Discussion and Film Presentation–in the Student Center Auditorium from 6 pm til 9 pm. The film is a documentary based on A People’s History, a book by Howard Zinn.

"From the moment that we had any kind of influence in this town, we were trying to get this project off the ground. - Matt Damon
Using dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries and speeches of everyday people, the documentary feature film THE PEOPLE SPEAK gives voice to those who spoke up for social change throughout U.S. history, forging a nation from the bottom up with their insistence on equality and justice.
Narrated by acclaimed historian Howard Zinn and based on his best-selling books A People's History of the United States and, with Anthony Arnove, Voices of a People's History of the United States, THE PEOPLE SPEAK illustrates the relevance of these passionate historical moments to our society today and reminds us never to take liberty for granted
THE PEOPLE SPEAK is produced by Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Chris Moore, Anthony Arnove, and Howard Zinn, co-directed by Moore, Arnove and Zinn, and features dramatic and musical performances by Allison Moorer, Benjamin Bratt, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Robinson, Christina Kirk, Danny Glover, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, David Strathairn, Don Cheadle, Eddie Vedder, Harris Yulin, Jasmine Guy, John Legend, Josh Brolin, Kathleen Chalfant, Kerry Washington, Lupe Fiasco, Marisa Tomei, Martín Espada, Matt Damon, Michael Ealy, Mike O'Malley, Morgan Freeman, P!nk, Q'orianka Kilcher, Reg E. Cathey, Rich Robinson, Rosario Dawson, Sandra Oh, Sean Penn, Staceyann Chin, and Viggo Mortensen."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

James T Hong and CHEN Yin-Ju

Suprematist Kapital

The Form of the Good

A Rough Poster Idea

Here's the basic concept I'm going for with my poster.  I realize it's a bit sparse but I'm hoping others in the class will be willing to help me flesh it out.

I was inspired to create this poster because of the political rhetoric that tends to surround any kind of social justice action.  I get very frustrated when things like marriage equality or equal pay are referred to as part of the "homosexual agenda" or the "feminist agenda."  Why does equal rights for everyone have to sound like an evil plot?

Sandpaper Shoes

Sandpaper shoes by Chris Velan

Gen Why

Generation Why Interlude by Domino Effect

Antioch Confidential

Spectres of Liberty

Spectres of Liberty

and The Ghost of LIberty Street

The Ghost of the Liberty Street Church from Spectres of Liberty on Vimeo.

Beginning with a sense of loss about the changing built environment of Troy, New York, we set out imagining ghosts of demolished buildings and structures. Through imagining inflatable sculptural extensions to buildings whose facades have been destroyed to thinking about recreating vanished historic sites, we decided on creating a ghost of the Liberty Street Church.
The Liberty Street Church is not only significant as a vanished part of Troy's architectural history, but also for its value as a historic site in the fight to abolish slavery. From old photos of the site provided by the Rensselaer Historical Society, we created an inflatable 1:1 scale reproduction of the church and installed it at the former site of the church, which is now a parking lot. We animated this ghost church through video projections that call forth the history of the site, as well as through the social context of a cultural event that brought community members to the site to think more deeply about the space and its history.
Through our research we learned more about Henry Highland Garnet, the pastor of Liberty Street Church from 1843-1848. He was known around the world for his militant orations and publications calling on people to actively participate in the fight to end slavery. When we read Henry Highland Garnet's words from the 1840's: "Let your motto be resistance! resistance! resistance! No oppressed people have ever secured their liberty without resistance," we do not think they are dead words from a forgotten time - but a call, an urging, to participate in transforming our world now.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lautreamont sez..

Plagiarism is necessary. It is implied in the idea of progress. It clasps the author's sentence tight, uses his expressions, eliminates a false idea, replaces it with the right idea.
Among the works plagiarized were Blaise Pascal's Pensées and La Rochefoucauld's Maximes, as well as the work of Jean de La Bruyère, Marquis de Vauvenargues, Dante, Kant and La Fontaine. It even included an improvement of his own Les Chants de Maldoror. The brochures of aphoristic prose did not have a price; each customer could decide which sum they wanted to pay for it.(from Wikipedia Comte de Lautreamont

Military recruitment guide: keeping out of the trap

The guide can be downloaded here

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Collette Gaiter article


"Starting in Tunisia, spreading to Egypt and eventually everywhere, resistance to dictators, government policies and economic inequalities had such a global impact that Time magazine declared “The Protester” person of the year for 2011. In the United States, the Occupy Wall Street movement, an idea conceived by the Canadian activists of Adbusters, mobilized on September 17, inspired by the Arab Spring protests." more linked

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Husni's "DeMarkus Watson"

Hey, this is Peter, uploading "DeMarkus Watson" on behalf of Husni. He isn't an author yet.


Interrupting this spectacle

star acad 3 (intermittents du spectacle) by seb-du59

This ad ran right after the Super Bowl

This ad ran nationally (although, some markets decided against it) right after the Giants won the Super Bowl. Regardless of your views/ideology, how can the FCC allow this, but then fine NBC and others for the notorious "nipple slip" of Janet Jackson a few years ago.

fanzui Xiangfa (music)

Fanzui Xiangfa is a hardcore-punk band from Beijing, China. Formed in 2006, they came together with a common desire to do something in a scene where "do nothing" has become a constant mantra. The members, all deeply involved in China's music scene, are sick of the apathy and despair so present around them and instead believe in empowering people to take control of their own lives and to actively create the world they dream of. Fanzui Xiangfa relentlessly embodies the DIY ethic in an atmosphere of creative fun and a roar of hardcore-punk.

Fanzui Xiangfa "Peasant Uprise

I am not like you!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I'm linking my latest "blog entry" as it were:

It is a greatly expanded artists' statement from my last show....

All the best, Adam

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Posters for the CNT-FAI and Spanish Revolution:

pyramids of the capitalist system, old and new

Here is a 1911 poster that provides a visual interpretation of the capitalist economic system. Capitalism sustains itself, in large measure, by "naturalizing" itself; by convincing us that it is the natural order of the world. The pyramids attempt to illustrate the all-too-human hierarchy that this system rests upon, and invite us to imagine the possibility of knocking the whole edifice over.

For the artist a description of the poster, click here.

Below is an attempt at updating the poster for today. Capitalism has undergone significant changes in the last century, but the basic structure of exploitation, domination, and suppression of revolt has persisted. It was produced by Crimethinc. ex-workers collective. Their website has a number of other posters and written works that are very influential in contemporary anarchist circles.

And... here are a few more.  They are not necessarily all related, so don't read into the order and grouping much.

I love both the message and the curb appeal of this particular poster. 
Barbara Kruger, 1997 

                                                 These graphics are really quite catching.

Faith Ringgold, 1971