Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New issue of the Indy is out;

"A Woman with a Different Vision"
A review of an exhibit dedicated to Jane Jacobs that I hope to see very soon.

It was really weird doing this illustration because I hold such a deep admiration for the great Ms. Jacobs.
Yea. I've been out of words for the most part. I just want school to end. I want to be done with my meaningless finals and done with my empty relationships. I want to go back home to New York and live again.

Here's to sleep deprivation everyone!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I went back to New York this weekend for a class excursion. The duration of the time was spent being internally griping about some stupid girl and her inconsiderate snobbery that forced me into a bus for 6 hours more than I would have liked. It's a long story that I'd rather not recall.
The rest of the time I was left to observe the art has become completely fetishised (sp?) and undoubtedly commodified to the max in this city. There was this exhibit, that while the message was admirable it just confirmed a bunch of things for me. Essentially this gallery (26th b/w 10th+11th) had asked artists and had an open call for art not to exceed postcard size to be sold for $75 each, and the proceeds would go to aids researchers.

Whatever. Chelsea just drives me nuts. Occasionally I manage to come across some work that I actually appreciate and identify with, but generally when that happens I wonder about the artist. If they're just filled with a masochistic sort of vacuity and just see no other way in facilitating their work into the public; or if they just happen to be self-serving parasites that don't take issue in subjecting themselves to this sort of exposure in order to make some money. If you can't tell, Chelsea make me gag.

There was just one point where I was with my class, and then I just wasn't because I had to leave. Maybe it was the paint fumes, maybe it was the raging insurrectionist within me that was dying a little bit by hearing the gallery assistant talking to a buyer on the phone. Goodness.

So I was just got the hell out of there without much hesitation, and walked through the West Village, which is a place that is confusing to navigate. It was a pleasant walk, but for some reason I couldn't help but feel like an angry homeless person or something. I don't know.
Before long I was near the Bowery/China Town-ish region, and was refreshed to see some street art. The only place I see a future for myself. It's always good that the Pearl Paint is there too. I found a really great surface to do paintings on, and I'm excited to start working. I just need to find a vegan alternative to rabbit skin glue.

Yes. Now I'm in Baltimore enjoying some veggie Pad Thai from Thairish.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Oh man.

I'll start this by sharing a poster I created for a friends show, that's tomorrow night. It's weird to think that I made an endeavor to design this opposed to just sharing inforamtion in a way I found appealing and direct. There's so much unecessary banter in the art world surrounding the labeling of practice within art.

I just came from a critique where a girl expressed an interest in pursuing animation as a new avenue since painting had grown tired. My teacher made the important distinction however that it was still a painting.
I've run into the same thing when I would ask for critiques on the "illustrations" I've done for the Indy. People were interested in them, and once I revealed their contexts, they were completely dismissed.
For some reason painters really turn their noses up at illustration, and during critiques it's used as a derogatory term almost; "Be careful, these paintings look too illustrative. Try to avoid this.. blah blah" and I don't understand this. I don't treat my illustrations as illustrations either, and perhaps even my view is too narrow. I approach them as if they were paintings. The task is to covey convey the writers' specific view; so when I work on them, I would simply search a little deeper than usual to inject my perspective on the images I would be working with since I hadn't actually experienced them firsthand. Why is this a bad thing?

Really, I don't understand the necessity to categorize these pursuits when the intent is all the same; to convey a message in a way that reflects the creators aesthetic intent, time investment, personal experience, nostalgia, etc.

During the radical bookfair there was a moment after the "Anarchism & Art" talk where a member of the audience noted how crafting and the desire to create things with one's hands is an innate impulse for most people, and that the compulsion to define it as art or craft, and the notion of avante garde attitutudes on art have really limited arts' capacity by alienating large pools of individuals that effectively have the same goals. Really these people should be nurtured and emboldened to do these things, but instead they are belittled and patronized.

Funny how this wasn't my intention for posting. But I went there. Oh yes.

Anyway, I really wanted to share my experience last night going dumpster diving for the very first time.

It was a truly exhilarating experience, and I don't think I'll ever be able to look at grocery shopping the same way ever again. We went to a Trader Joe's in one of the suburbs, and apparently they ordered a surplus of over $4,000 in food, so some of the shipments they were getting were just sent directly to the trash. It's crazy. There was so soooo much good food there, I was just totally nonplussed in many ways. We managed to load an entire mini-van full with produce, and pies, breads (Ezekial Bread to be more specific), cheeses (buffalo milk mozzarella anyone?), etc.

It's weird to think of the amount I took as modest, but it is in relation to the overall acquisition. We got back around 4AM, going back to my apt. I was on my bike, and was just really grateful to get anything really, so you will hear no complaints from this end. Here's a list of the goods:
- Sparkling Cranberry Juice
- Les Salades du Midi (lamb's lettues)
- Asparagus
- Harvest Medley (blend of root veggies)
- Broccoli Florets
- Zucchini
- "Stew Mix" Vegetables
- Organic White Button Mushrooms
- Vegetable Pizza
- Certified Organic Mixed Pears
- Ezekiel 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- Certified Organic Roma Tomatoes
- Ciabatta Rolls
- Sliced Mango
- Marinated Celigne Mozarella Cheese
- Apple Pie
- Cherry Pie
- Tarte d'Amande de Chocolat (Dark Chocolate Almond Tart)

I also got a pecan pie and pumpkin pie tart that I gave to a friend who works for food not bombs.
I was just floored. I can't imagine how much that would have cost.
I can't imagine ever having to pay for food again.

And what a colossal waste. That all would have been in a landfill in two or three days, rotting away.
Fucken ay man.

I'm just stoked at the timing too, because I missed this weeks pay roll. But now pay checks just seem unnecessary and inconsequential in the grande scheme of things.

This is a dream world.

Monday, October 22, 2007

This week has been insane, and also good.

I have my bike now. It's made a huge difference.

Wednesday I attended a rally for equality in the Baltimore public school system, it was organized by high school students and other young students from the Baltimore Algebra Project. They're really an amazing/inspiring group. I committed to getting arrested, but amazingly didn't.

The rest of the week I was doing about a million other things, one of which was a radical calendar zine. It was amazing to be done, and now the next one needs to get rolling.

I for some reason [blatant stupidity] agreed to collaborate/contribute to a few different peoples projects, and thought I could maybe finish an illo I'd be content with for the Indy. In the mean time, there is no progress on my thesis, and have yet to think too deeply about the other 12 pages of my 16 page 40+ edition zine due Friday. I was however glad to participate in this zine about being of "mixed breed". This was my contribution:


Then I spent the weekend mostly at the 2007 Mid-Atlantic Radical Book Fair. There were so many amazing talks. A total oasis of radical thinkers.
Here are some of the talks I attended, and not one was even remotely bad. Each one was more compelling than the next.
- Muhammad Ahmed presents "We Will Return in the Whirlwind: Black Radical Organization 1960-1975"
- Unconventional Action in Denver and the Twin Cities
- Radical References: Community Librarianship and Free/Open Source Technology
- Update from occupied Afghanistan from a member of RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan)
- Ashanti Alston on international organizing
- Erik Ruin presents "Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority"
- Joy James presents "Warfare in the American Heartland: Policing & Prisons in a Penal Democracy, with a special phone-in by Black Panther and political prisoner Marshall "Eddie" Conway
- Independent journalist Dahr Jamail on the Iraq War, with members of Iraq Veterans Against the War

There were also too many amazing sounding talks I missed. There were always 3 talks/workshops going on at all times.

In any case, it was a lot to take in, but thought provoking in the best way.

In a few hours I'm pretty sure I'll be headed to a protest in D.C.

Dang, I have so much shit to do.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Per-Post #1

Today has been an exceptionally good day for my notions on art.
In the morning I learned that my etching made it into the juried show. So did my studio mates' painting, which made me doubly happy.

In the afternoon I went to the single best convention in my life; SPX!

What follows is kind of photo heavy? I got overzealous you could say. I don't know how to cut posts on blogger just yet. Sorry ya'll

The studio;
Don't let the sun
Best view from anywhere on campus.

Icarus Red Bar Stool
Painting I did based off of the myth of Icarus and Daedulus. Used it as an allegory for the generation protesters from the Civil Rights Era, and how their relationship with the contemporary protest is effecting the capacity of younger protesters.

I think the bar stool opens up an interesting dialogue.

Another painting I'm working on. It's going to be about the Campaign that took place last month to get the day laborers at Camden Yards a living wage. The guy pictured was a worker, and was one of the first to get the other workers organized and then get them involved with the UWA.

Photo of all of the goodies I got at the Small Print Expo;

What a damn amazing place. The people that I spoke to there were completely amazing. Made me feel so many million times better about being an artist.

Now I need to wake up to some level of reality and clean my room and do the dishes. It's historically the most disastrous it's ever been to my knowledge.. and I figure it would be good for it to be clean if I'll be going home for a while. Plus.. I've been really hurting my feet lately, stepping on all sorts of mess.

Christ. You know it ain't easy. You know how hard it could be.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Holy Cow!

"'Korean leaders issue peace call'”
"The leaders of North and South Korea have signed a joint declaration calling for a permanent peace deal on the Korean Peninsula."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Katrina Victims
The illo I did for the print version of this article;

"Surviving in Mormon Country: A Review of “Desert Bayou” Dir. Alex LeMay”
Public consciousness is moot

Take a gander at the 'most read' section. Somehow in the world of public consciousness, Britney Spears' custody battle ranks higher, or is at least more critical than finding out about all of the shit going down in Burma -which is at the bottom of a list of mostly trivial bullshit.

I'm confident in the direction the world is taking.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Right now I'm printing out copies of my zine, and plan on bringing them to a vendor at the Baltimore Book Fair whose been selling zines from my class. These however are free, because aside from producing the images, there was in essence no direct cost (aside from MICA tuition) in printing them. I'll post some photos soon.

I went to the protest yesertday and got to speak to Carlos Arredondo a little bit, and got more detailed information, which if nothing else is the only reason why this protest was worth attending.

Coincidentally, one of the Indy editors was at the protest with some of the interns distributing copies of the paper.

Here's the article I just submitted to the NY Indypendent Editors:

Amidst all of the distorted accounts of pro-war attendee numbers [for the Sept. 15th Anti-War rally in D.C.], and their sympathetic stance as part of the silent minority that approve of the racist and criminal war in Iraq, there seemed to be a general omission of all of the inflammatory remarks and actions made on their behalf.
Once the 'die-in' had been underway, Carlos Arredondo, a member of the Gold Star Families for Peace, had been walking down Constitution Avenue with the coffin of his son Alex, and some supporters. What soon unfolded would shock all of the protesters, and supporters immediately surrounding him.
A member of the "Gathering of Eagles", a faction of pro-war aggressors, had ripped the photograph of Alex from the coffin and darted towards his cronies to revel in the despicable act. As soon as Carlos had caught wind of this, he raced out to retrieve the photo of his son. This was the excuse the G.o.E. were waiting for, and immediately about 5 or 6 of the husky brutes loaded on top of Carlos, beating him in the head and had it not been for the help of some nearby activists, he would have most probably been left for dead.
The police arrived on the scene after the brutalizing had ceased only extend to extend it further, without hesitation a group of 7 to 10 officers had jumped in unison atop of the already severely injured Carlos. "You're attacking the victim! You're attacking the victim!" cried an outraged onlooker. The the main instigator had already fled, and the police were only left to take testimony from a few of the pro-war goons, and nearby witnesses. The entire series of events had
been caught on film, and had it not been for that the Police were dead-set on apprehending Carlos.
According to Carlos was rushed off on an ambulance and had "… sustained bloody cuts on his shins. He also reported bruises all over his torso and head where he was kicked." A supporter of his, Hannah Johns noted that after all was said and done, Carlos had attempted to press charges against the D.C. Police, however was informed he would face a counter-suit since one of the officers had sustained injuries after unnecessarily restraining him during the attack.
The following protest on September 29th wasn't quite as mired with misfortune as the previous rally was for Carlos, however he was forced by the police to remove photographs he had hanging near "Camp Alex".

Now we'll see if it gets published.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Right now I'm wokring on a zine based on some of my strongest convictions on contemporary society. It's kind of ranty, but I'm happy with it, and don't mind that I'm 'exploiting MICA print services'. It's got to be a joke that they have those signs hanging up. MICA doesn't hesitate to exploit the student body, staff and faculty, etc. so fuck 'em.
I'm pretty stoked about it, and plan on printing like a hundred and leaving them around campus. My zine class will also have a table at the Baltimore Book Fair, and will be selling some there. I don't care so much about that, and almost don't want to. I feel like people who would go so far as to pay for my silly zine would already identify with what I have in it, so I'm kind of conflicted about the whole thing.
I'll post some pictures maybe when I'm done.

This Saturday is another Anti-War rally in D.C.
October 9th I'll be speaking on behalf of Argentineans in respect to the "Che's" assassination fourty years ago.
October 17th is a mass action for the Baltimore Algebra Project, and it's going to be fucking amazing.

God damn. Baltimore, I hate to love this place.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The most recent publication of New York's Indypendent paper is out;
The Indypendent: "Playing With Fire"

Here's the Illustration I submitted for the review on "Walmartopia"
"When Wal-Mart Rules the Earth: A Review of “Walmartopia”

I also have a lot to say about the protest, and will post once I can collect myself.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Now, I'd just like to make note of something that ranks pretty high on my paranoia meter.

I was just at the PBS website because I was setting up my link list, and the first thing you see on their website is the Ken Burns documentary; "The War."

Not one second later! I get an email from Amazon informing me of the opportunity to pre-order a dvd of "The War" by Ken Burns. Is Amazon monitoring my internet use in some way, in an attempt to steer me into purchasing their crap?

Amazon is Creepy

I have ordered no titles by Ken Burns, and can only recollect one history textbook I bought for a class.

Is this not fucking weird?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

This video is just further affirmation to my already deep-seated belief that the United States is under a carefully constructed police state. Disgusting and sickening.
I feel like I've had this conversation several times in the past year, and the thought just terrifies me more and more each time. Earlier today, I was sitting in Conway Park, Baltimore with a woman who worked as part of the exploited custodial staff in Camden Yards Stadium. The stadium is the largest employer in Baltimore of temp-workers (mostly homeless), and happened to be paying sub-poverty wages to their workers, for a quite a while.
I've been a volunteer to help this campaign by the United Workers Association (UWA) to get these people the living wage they are entitled to as workers ever since Maryland's passing of the Living Wage Act. On Thursday it was announced that there was a 4-1 vote on passing a binding contract to give these people what should have been rightfully theirs from the get-go. ["Cleaning Up After the Orioles"]

Anyway, so I was sitting with this woman who was apparently apart of the initial group of workers to bring this situation to light, and as we waited to direct people away from Conway Park to the new concert location behind the AFSCME offices in Pigtown, I was compelled to ask.. "What's next?"
She informed me that the UWA would be moving onto more worker violations in the area, as seen in the public schools and in jails and other correctional facilities. I'm all for worker rights, and believe that no one should ever endure any exploitative circumstances for any reason, but it's especially hard for me to find a soft spot for correctional officers.
Although I already knew the answer, I couldn't help but ask if they were doing anything for the exploited prison inmates. While it's somewhat of a controversial issue, they are workers, unconventional workers, but workers nonetheless. Since they are essentially forced into slave labor to rebuild roads and participate in other physically demanding tasks, I would have to say they fit the criteria. And not to mention the constant violence they face either from fellow inmates or more often by the police. How can we ever expect to move away from the escalation of crime in this country when, during their time in 'correctional' facilities, the police (the only figures they make contact with regularly) perpetuate violence in a persisting manner? This is leading by example? It's maddening!

While I truly hate to generalize and lump people into stereotypes, correctional officers tend to fall into a group of individuals in this country that start out as well intended people, just trying to do the right thing. Without much time they turn into overwhelming beasts of ego and instead of helping the people they set out to initially protect, they now seek out those same people to harass and wrongfully punish, all in the name of the law. A person tends to forget their ethical boundaries when they're saturated with such a tremendous amount of authoritative power. Examples:
Amadou Diallo
Human Rights attorney, Michael Tarif Warren and wife Evelyn Warren
Raymond Smoot
Abu Ghraib

It's wildly terrifying. It's especially terrifying that there are laws in place specifically set to protect police interests, and really none at all to curtail indiscretions committed by the police and other law enforcement officials.

This is all withholding police actions at protests. Those are the scariest of all, and pose the greatest potential threat to myself. Protesters very rarely act in a violent manner and for the most part assemble in the most peaceable way possible. It boggles my mind why the police have historically always reacted to protesters in the most brutal way in an effort to protect institutions that go far beyond protecting themselves. I have a guess, but I'm hoping that I am just hopelessly wrong.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hello great wide world of bloggers and blog readers!

I'm here to claim my patch of the internet, and make advantageous strides in the wonderful world of self-publishing. Believe it or not, I've given some serious consideration to starting a blog of my own for some time now, and finally crossed the threshold into documenting projects and groups I am committed to in a semi-responsible way.
The timing is weird I think, I'm in the middle of a book trying to get across the dangers of self-publishing (Cult of the Amateur, by Andrew Keen), and after attending his talk at the Strand in June I think it was.. actually agree with a fair amount of his claims. Another weird coincidence is I suppose the 'zine class I recently enrolled in at my school, and there was a brief pause where our teacher acknowledged how zines and zine culture almost come across as redundant with the advent of the internet and the ensuing culture that manifested itself out of bytes on computers.

Anyway, after a passing conversation with my roommate, and thinking about the matter briefly. Ultimately I inwardly agreed with her sentiment despite my more outwardly vocalized skepticism of blogging as a viable means of communicating. Hence my unveiling at 2-ish am. I certainly didn't think I would follow up with it, maybe for another month or so, but the strangely synchronistic activities I've been partaking in as of late have been pretty alarming to me, and thought it merited some documentation.

Right now, I can only offer some delirious rambling, and the beautiful but blurry view from my studio:
Image Hosted by