Friday, December 19, 2008


Consume is an online project created by a design student at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Florida featuring milk carton culture-jamming tutorials, minizines, and printable posters for everybody to enjoy. Thanks to designer and professor Allen Harrison for inspiring and sharing his student's work.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Paper food exchange

Lori Waxman recently told me about an interesting public printmedia project at the Sharjah Biennale: Thai art collective SOI Project created a fruit stand stocked with real fruit and printed paper models of fruit. Visitors to the stand could cut and fold their own paper fruit, which in turn could be exchanged for a piece of real fruit.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Anyone interested in the world of poster-printing as a creative business venture should know about Flatstock, a major exhibition/sales fair of rock poster art and related creative printing from across the country and abroad. The show, which is presented by the American Poster Institute, takes place at several large music festivals every year. This July Flatstock 17 took over a main artery of the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago with all sorts of gorgeous multi-screen prints. Showgoers could buy by Chicago favorites Jay Ryan, Mat Daly, Alana Bailey, and Dan MacAdam of Crosshair, as well as tons of other printers from across the country. Flatstock 18 and 19 will take place in Seattle, WA and Hamburg, Germany this August and September. Even if you're not interested in poster-making per-se, it's pretty graphically gratifying just to soak up the incredible ways these artists use color, texture, line, pattern, transparent layers, etc. etc. The music was great and all, but I think the astounding display of accessible, affordable, interesting prints was one of the most interesting part of the festival.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Art In Odd Places

Call for Entries:
In October 2008, the fourth annual Art in Odd Places (AiOP), Pedestrian will take place on 14th Street in Manhattan NYC: the great divider of uptown and downtown / highbrow and lowbrow. From the East River to the Hudson River, artists of all mediums will encourage the masses of daily pedestrians to rediscover this corridor of diverse commerce, political upheaval, and historic significance.

AiOP seeks proposals from visual and performing artists of all media who are interested in exploring connections between public space, pedestrian traffic, and ephemeral transient disruptions. DEADLINE FOR PROJECT SUBMISSION IS MAY 30.

In any event, you may want to check out examples from past AiOP festivals. Gumball-machine galleries, winking coins, and so much more! Visit the AiOP website for submission guidelines and images of past projects.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Contemporary Art + the Gap?

In an interesting twist on the whole artist-designed-tee phenomenon, a certain fashion chain has partnered with the Whitney Museum of Art in NY to create a series of limited-edition t-shirts designed by highly regarded contemporary artists including Sarah Sze, Jeff Koons, Kiki Smith, and a few socially-conscious ones like Glenn Ligon, Barbara Kruger, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and (gasp) my former grad school advisor, Kerry James Marshall. On the one hand one could see this as a way of expanding artistic ideas and practices to the masses -- making contemporary art more accessible and maybe even provoking dialogue at the mall! On the other hand, very few of these shirts operate as anything other than cool-looking hipster gear -- Cai Guo Qiang's wound/stain/explosion shirt stands out as an exception -- and I wonder what percentage of those buying these limited-edition shirts are those already well-versed in the art. I've got nothing against artist-designed consumer items, especially when they're as lovely as some of these are. I'm just a bit disappointed that so few of these artists took the opportunity to push the envelope in terms of how such a thing might operate in the world.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Art in your Trash Can

Check out this site-specific sticker campaign from a homeless shelter in Portugal. Found recently on Guerrilla Innovation.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Amy Walsh- sculpture/silkscreen hybrid

So I came across this article floating around the internet-

It's an interview with artist Amy Walsh, and has a very unique way with her art. She uses silkscreen in her sculptures. I like how the sculptures are interactive and sort of form into a public space all by itself. It's demanding presence, seems like it would make you want to go look inside it. And with examination, you find all these silkscreened goodies inside! Kind of reminds me of some of the more simplistic, but very elegant stencils that some of my classmates did...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Laser Lite Graffiti

In one of my history classes a teacher showed us this form of Graffiti, i had never seen or heard of before i thought it was really interesting. It's called Laser Light Graffiti. It's obviously not permanent, but it allows the Graffiti to be placed on a much larger scale. It's also not damaging or degrading. I think it's pretty sweet.

You can find more information at Graffiti Research Labs.

There is also a youtube video which demonstrates the performance.

Shoes + Graffiti Art

This from Justin, who's been having technical difficulties accessing the blog:

One thing I found interesting is that Barry McGee is designing shoes. What does it mean when a graffiti artist goes from the street to the gallery to the shoe store? Does that mean that the art world is recognizing street art as a viable art form or that graffiti is a passing fad like neon spandex that will become highly commercial for a couple of years and then fade out along with roller-blades and slap-bracelets? So then is Barry McGee a legitimate artist blurring the lines between street art, high art and fashion or is he just some guy trying to grab whatever money people will throw at him?

Friday, May 2, 2008

W-K Mart

I wanted to let the class and public know that the video of my receipt performances in Wal-Mart, Kmart, and my apartment are now posted on YouTube.


From the City of Chicago's Website:

Mayor Daley's Graffiti Blasters

"Graffiti is vandalism, it scars the community, hurts property values and diminishes our quality of life.

Started by Mayor Daley in 1993, Graffiti Blasters stepped up the battle against graffiti by offering a free removal service to private property owners. The Department of Streets & Sanitation's crews remove this vandalism with "blast" trucks or paint crews.

Graffiti Blasters employs 18 "blast" trucks that use baking soda under high water pressure to erase painted graffiti from brick, stone and other mineral surfaces. They also use 14 paint trucks to cover graffiti on the remaining surfaces.

This year, "Graffiti Blasters" is celebrating its 15h anniversary and has cleaned more than 1.6 million instances of graffiti vandalism. It has become one of the most popular municipal services offered by the City of Chicago, and a role model for other cities.

As with the City's many anti-crime and beautification programs, we depend on community groups, block clubs, chambers of commerce and individual residents to reach out to us for this invaluable service. If a cleaned building is struck again, we make every effort to return and remove the new graffiti quickly.

The Department of Street & Sanitation also works very closely with the Chicago Police Department to apprehend graffiti vandals in the act of defacing property. Parents or guardians may be liable for monetary damages, if a minor in the same household commits any type of vandalism, including graffiti.

No community in Chicago has to tolerate graffiti. Please join us in eliminating graffiti and making this an even more beautiful city.

To report graffiti or request its removal, call the city's service request line at 3-1-1."

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Go to I came across Alexis Mackenzie's work the other day. there is a video of the artist making a collage. at the end of it its played in fast motion and you really get a clear picture of how intricate and multilayered her collages are. She uses crystals and feathers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Falling Teeth Dream Pillows

I am interested in how something intimate like a dream can be so socially experienced. So as my final project I created four dream pillows. The "Falling teeth" dream is one of the most common and vivid dreams among dreamers. I did a little research and discovered multiple interpretations. It was some what difficult to create imagery for the three interpretations that I chose to print. (The three meanings are death, money, and lack of attractiveness and confidence.) It takes a while to grasp the imagery but I think that in the long run it is successful because, just like a dream, it its hard to decipher at first glance but they definitely give you something to think about. So any thoughts?

Monday, April 28, 2008

History of the Zine lecture

Hey all,
As part of Anchor Graphics' Scraping the Surface series, Craig Jobson will be giving a lecture on the History and Culture of the Zine, and will discuss his own work as designer and publisher of several diy magazines this Wednesday, April 30th from 6:30 - 7:30pm.

The discussion will take place at:
Columbia College Chicago
623 S. Wabash Ave. Room 203
It is free and open to the public.

Check out more pictures from my Postcard Project at

Hi Everyone.

I wanted to give you all the link to my project blog:
I invite you all to visit and comment if you like. There isn't much there yet, but I'm hoping to get some more responses. I passed my booklets out to people around campus and left some at Quimby's and Myopic books, so hopefully some curious individuals will pick them up. Here is an image of one person's take on their deity. You can read more about what it means on my blog!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I had been meaning to post my midterm project to get some feedback and ideas from others. I was interested in the idea of relationships in all its aspects ie. love, sex, and communication. Showing all these in a simple form was the man idea. When I was done with the project it seemed to work more on the sex level, which I think worked out better. I heard someone say, "that's dirty." I was interested to see if other people had ideas on how to improve or continue the idea. Some ideas from the critique were to shoot photos of a couple in the kitchen, restaurant, and other places. Then again maybe it works as it stands.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Look @ This

Found this interesting because they incorporated paintings. the artists are Pamela Lanza, Ellie Barrett Wilder, Glenn Hirsh, Michael Lewis, Nena St. Lewis.

Friday, April 18, 2008

L.A.S.E.R. Tagging

I found this article in Time magazine online and was shocked to learn that technology like this existed. It is exciting and I think it could become a new tactic for street artists although it is super expensive currently. I am interested in it as more of a tool to create imagery and its language being read differently than that of stencils rather than a politically charged tool. Has anyone ever heard of this or know anything more about it?-Kristen

The west wall of Hong Kong's City Hall is the kind of canvas graffiti artists long for. Unsullied and several stories high, its white surface can be seen from some of the city's busiest roads. It has never been "tagged" — to use graffiti parlance — but that doesn't deter local artist MC Yan, who is famous for having left his work on, of all places, the Great Wall.

On a breezy November night, Yan etches Chinese characters across most of the side of City Hall. They read "Save Queen's Pier" (an ironic appeal on behalf of a now demolished landmark), and the reason he can write them with impunity is because they are drawn using a laser pointer in high-intensity light — not spray paint. By standing on the roof of a parking lot across the street, he also avoids any danger of trespassing. When he's done, Yan erases the words by clicking a button on the laser pointer, connected to a laptop and projector at his feet. He then moves on to tag other prominent buildings, including the city's Cultural Centre.
The system used by MC Yan is known as L.A.S.E.R. Tag and is a creation of the Graffiti Research Lab (GRL), a New York City art group founded in 2005 to outfit the world's street artists with innovative, open-source technology. Given that L.A.S.E.R. Tag can be operated from hundreds of feet away, the opportunities for subversion are tantalizing. A message can be written on the face of a major public building and the perpetrators long gone before the authorities pinpoint where the laser came from. In a more everyday context, L.A.S.E.R. Tag's ability to allow artists to get their messages across without any permanent defacement of buildings may well increase public support for the art form. And ultimately, it is graffiti for a tech-savvy generation. "Kids these days are born with a computer strapped to their fingers," says GRL co-founder James Powderly, who formerly worked in space robotics but has always been obsessed with graffiti. "We see ourselves as Q, from James Bond, but we don't want just to show this new stuff, we want to implant it."
Along with co-founder Evan Roth, Powderly taught classes at New York's Parsons School of Design and over the past year they have showcased the laser technology in Mexico City, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Vienna. Last month they showed up at a Taipei conference on new media and left behind equipment as a gift for a local graffiti group. Next summer, Powderly and Roth will travel to Beijing,
In fact, the technology has already been demonstrated in the Chinese capital. New York–based Paul Notzold recently traveled to Beijing where he used L.A.S.E.R. Tag to create a kind of performance art, encouraging pedestrians to send text messages to a central phone hooked up to his laptop. The text messages were then projected onto the Millennium Art Museum. "I was tentative about putting up unsanctioned messages on buildings, because of the government," Notzold says. "There were your typical radio shout-outs, and there were also some statements that could be kind of activist protest statements." The event took place without incident.
Traditional graffiti is in no danger of being outmoded anytime soon, however. While L.A.S.E.R. Tag technology is getting cheaper, it's not cheap. The complete setup costs $8,000 — that's $7,993 more than a can of spray paint from a typical U.S. hardware chain. Jay FC, one of the founders of the Hong Kong–based graffiti collective ST/ART, maintains that the cost is contrary to the spirit of street art. "It's supposed to just be something that anyone can pick up and do," he says.
For now, Roth and Powderly must be content with loaning and donating L.A.S.E.R. Tag equipment, and they are finding a particularly enthusiastic reception in Asia. "Technology has a very different meaning in China, in Korea," says Marc Schiller of popular street-art website Wooster Collective. Schiller sees L.A.S.E.R. Tag as standing in the tradition of such pioneering new-media artists as the late Korean-born Nam June Paik. "[In Asia] it's not thought of as incompatible or separate from art," he says.
U.S. media lecturer Alice Arnold argues that if lighting-based expression has a real source, it's Hong Kong, because the city "has always been at the forefront of light signage." But there's just one snag: light pollution. Compared to Hong Kong's extravagantly lit skyscrapers, MC Yan's tags don't stand out as intensely as they should, no matter how big they are. "In New York we can be the brightest thing in town," says Powderly. "In Hong Kong, we've never felt like we were losing so badly." Perhaps his next project should be a system that works in daylight instead.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Here are some links to the work of Kelley Walker. I don't like his work that much, but Charles Saatchi does. I have been looking at similar topics with my work. Also here is a wikipedia article on reflexivity.

I used to get hung up on consumerism too (like a lot of people in this class seem to be), but not so much these days. Just consume what you like.

(posted by Adam)

Friday, March 14, 2008

When silkscreening becomes consumerized

We talk a lot about how art works in the social sphere and how it changes when it becomes consumerized. These are images from the website:

Although commonly sold in specialty stores, these t-shirts are often considered to be art in the social space. I'm sure that there are those who would disagree, but it would be interesting to identify exactly when an artwork starts to lose its identity as it becomes more popular.


My original idea for my final multiples project was to screenprint chalk outlines of animals to put in the street to call some attention to roadkill. I thought it would be an interesting comment on the difference in activation of space between roadkill and a chalk outline of a human in the street, or the difference in value placed on human deaths vs. animal deaths. Then Christa pointed out that this project didn't really require a repeated multiple, nor did it require silkscreening at all--why wouldn't I just draw the outlines in the street? She was right. Anyway, after some googling, I found that it had been done before. This one's kind of funny:

I decided to stick with street or ground space for the final even though I gave up on the roadkill idea. I made prints of the bottoms of my feet and tracked my existence around Evanston. I only attached the newsprint to the ground using water, and when I went back the next day, the prints were mostly gone, which I had expected--the effect mimics my own disappearance from Evanston. 

An interesting unexpected effect was that the ink from the prints got on the bottoms of people's shoes and, when I went back to check on my sites, I found that some of them were gone but had new ones in place. They looked like this:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Graffiti in the Not-So-Social Space

I may have been up on a floor of a campus building that I'm not supposed to be on and saw this image. I instantly liked it for the message and the execution, and I was glad that I had stumbled upon it in the manner that I had.

But it made me wonder: this image is technically in the social space, but it's limited to a very select group of people who get to see it. How does this change it's meaning and what would be different if everyone could have access?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Evanston Ordinance ###-##

Since January, there has been a large debate in Evanston about passing an ordinance which would restrict landlords and city officials to inquire about a tenant's citizenship status when signing a lease to rent in Evanston. City Counsel has been unwilling to recognize this as a pressing issue that needs to be addressed any time soon. At a town hall meeting last Wednesday, the issue was not recognized by the counsel although community supporters were present. They were merely advised to write to their alderman.

Abc News7 covered the story a few months ago, when the issue was 'fresh', reporting for both sides. The video can be seen here:

My final project was a comment on this issue, using a little bit of satire and humor. I did a "composite sketch" of four famous latino actors/singers. The faces of Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Gael Garcia-Bernal, and Mario Lopez are meshed together (a la Photoshop) to form this 'typical Latino' face who is wanted by the FBI because he attempted to illegally rent in Evanston. Just as in rough composite sketches in real Wanted Posters, I wanted to play off the idea of how social constructs define the features which make one stereotypically latino.

I posted 38 flyers in downtown Evanston and Northwestern, but especially around apartment complexes. Take a look, and tell me what you think!

Bed Bug Project

Long story short, my apartment had a bed bug problem earlier this year. Most people don't know much, if anything about bed bugs, but they're a growing problem in cities, so I decided to address this in my final project. I'm working on a collaborative piece with an online community of bed bug victims at

I was inspired by hobo symbols and wanted to create a image to tag infested buildings (like mine) to warn people away, but also to serve as a sign of solidarity among fellow sufferers of bug trauma and raise awareness of the problem.

Check it out at this link, which has more pictures and a detailed description of my goals and process.

if anyone has also had bed bugs and would like to become a part of the project, please email me at for further information

(posted by Debi. I can't figure out how to turn off my Blogger username)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Make Me Nervous Dot Com

In regard to our first project of creating a zine, I came up with an advertisement for my (at the time, very empty) blog. I started off with a few general ideas, but eventually landed on the concept of mimicking pull-tab flyers which are often used to advertise dog-walking or places for rent. I decided to post these mainly where I saw other pull-tab flyers, but also on other telephone posts and bus stop areas. I enabled comments and hope to eventually see some from people other than my friends. I also plan to distribute more flyers throughout the next few months.

Lately, in my own work, I have been very interested in the drawings/doodles I create in the margins of all my notebooks--sometimes without even realizing it. In my paintings I find myself constantly reiterating every detail from my photographic or observational references. Just like anyone else who doodles, I let myself fall into a completely different zone. Creating these shapes and creatures almost from my subconscious, and yet I also notice that even when I am simply scratching away at a tiny corner of my notebook, I manage to include even the slightest of details.

For the past few months I have been trying to incorporate the stylistic elements of my "doodles" and place them in areas other than scraps. So after finishing the design for my flyer, I started a sketchbook with the intention of drawing in it at least once a day and then updating my blog each time a new image developed. Though I eventually let go and included digital sketches and ideas for other projects, I still hope to maintain the website as a public sketchbook and an on-going project to motivate myself and my work.

Chris Tavares Silva

Though Christa has already posted a link under "ARTISTS" I wanted to reintroduce everyone to a Chicago-based artist named Chris Silva.

Rather than only using spray paint or silk-screen, Silva uses found objects and shapes them into eye-catching installations by either literally cutting into and around the surface and/or painting directly onto them with enamel. I was first acquainted with his work in the fall of '06 and have maintained an interest in his media. I find it intriguing that he puts a lot of time and detail into his work on these objects that people had originally thrown out and then gives them back to the community. What I also love is his attention to the material and location where he presents his work and how they affect his translation of what colors to use and objects or people to place in these particular locations.

Under Silva's artist statement he says:
"I believe that collective consciousness is infinitely more important than that of individual intellect. For this reason, I am most interested in the interventions of public art. It is my goal to find more ways to expose the general public to art that they can relate to and be inspired by. I want to create progressive, quality public artworks as visual alternatives to the manipulative energies of advertising in public spaces. My goal is to push the envelope of the public art movement by producing work that uses engaging combinations of materials and content to encourage the perceptual and spiritual evolution of the general public.

I am saddened by the cruelty, ignorance and greed of humans. My priority as an artist is not to receive accolades and praise for my talents, but rather to inspire others to help to create a just and meaningful world."

A couple questions I want to ask are do you think this is a successful and affective way to distribute art? Does the fact that most of his work can be easily removed add or retract from his goal? And just like questions brought up in class about Swoon, how does the idea of moving street art into an interior installation work for or against his purpose?

"Jobs not Jails" - Homeboy Industries

I am very interested in the "social" aspect of silkscreen. In the context of the class, that means interacting with work outside of the gallery space or the typical "art world." After some creative googling, I came across a different meaning of "social silkscreen."

I was very excited to learn about Homeboy Industries, headquartered in Los Angeles. It was started in 1992 by Father Gregory J. Boyle, a Jesuit Priest, to create businesses that provide training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. Other economic enterprises have been created since the first venture, including Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, Homeboy Graffiti Removal, Homeboy Maintenance, and Homeboy Landscaping.

Homeboy Silkscreen was started in 1996, and is currently the largest division of Homeboy Industries. It has employed nearly 500 gang members who have learned the fundamentals of silkscreening while developing a work ethic working side by side with their enemies. State-of-the-art silkscreening and embroidery techniques are used to create custom clothing and accessories for a variety of schools, churches, private companies, and city organizations.

Take a look at the Homeboy Industries Web site at

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New World Order Stencils

For my stencil project, I decided to relate it to the Freemasons and the Illuminati—secret related groups that have a lot of conspiracy (true or not?) behind them and supposed satanism. I chose four stencils: the symbol of the Masons (compass and ruler), the all-seeing eye (found on money), the words "New World Order" and the number 13 (number of the Freemasons). I printed the words "New World Order" on the front of dollar bills and the Masons' symbol on the back. I also printed "New World Order" with the all-seeing eye on the bumper and hood of a Dodge Minivan. The number 13 was printed with the all-seeing eye on a McDonald's fries carton. The logos of McDonald's and Dodge may be related to the Freemasons in that McDonald's old logo represents the number 13 and the Dodge logo is a modified ram's head to portray a goat's head which is a symbol of satanism.

I realize that many people may not know about these secret groups, but I believe that many people will recognize the symbols. Yesterday, during critique, I mentioned that it does not matter if a person knows all about the Masons or not, but it is more to function as a curiosity. People that recognize the symbols might want to learn more if they don't know much about the Masons, and people who don't know anything might go on the internet and search "New World Order." During critique, people mentioned that it is not enough information to put it together. I felt that seeing the all-seeing eye and those words together would connect some sort of meaning regardless of how much information a person knew, as well as the Mason's symbol and the words together printed on money. It was also mentioned that "New World Order" is a common phrase and may be used for different things, and that googling those words might land you in many places. I found that extremely hard to believe, so I did a little test. I googled "New World Order" and the whole first page only had sites pertaining to the New World Order I was speaking about.

I am curious to see what other people not in the class at UIC feel about this project and what suggestions you might have? And for the people that are in my class, do you still feel the same way knowing that "New World Order" really only means one thing?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Detroit. Demolition. Disneyland.

The DDD Project is a group of anonymous artists that came together a couple years back in response to the ignored decay of so many areas of Detroit. They cake on a layer of neon paint called Tiggeriffic Orange to the front of the most visible abandoned buildings in the city. Dilapidated, burned out homes have almost become part of the everyday landscape of Detroit and these artists have made them impossible to ignore. Two of the first houses painted by the DDD were almost immediately demolished.

These houses had all been previously marked with a circled "D"--a designation made by the city which meant that these structures were intended to be demolished. All it took was the simple gesture of painting the buildings bright orange for them to actually be destroyed. This destruction brings up interesting questions. In an anonymous letter to, the DDD writes, "From one perspective, our actions have created a direct cause and effect relationship with the city. As in, if we paint a house orange, the city will demolish it. In this relationship, where do the city's motivations lie? Do they want to stop drawing attention to these houses? Are the workers simply confused and think this is the city's new mark for demolition? Or is this a genuine response to beautify the city?"

The rest of the group's statement can be found here:

There are tons of other artists and groups whose work addresses the declining neighborhoods of Detroit. Artist Tyree Guyton decorated the abandoned houses on one street with discarded objects he gathered from the streets.

Back in 2001, Kyong Park stripped and dismantled an abandoned house from Detroit and shipped it to Orleans, France where it was reconstructed. There the house itself became an exhibition space.

For more photos and information on this project, visit