Rules: In a text post, list ten+ books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag [ten] friends, including me, so…
The Killer Inside Me, Jim Thompson Locas II, Jaime Hernandez The Unexpurgated Memoirs of Bernard Mergendeiler, Jules Feiffer The Passport, Saul Steinberg The Man Who Grew His Beard, Olivier Schrauwen Paper Rad BJ and Da Dogs, Ben Jones and Paper Rad Dictionary of the Khazars, Milorad Pavic The Complete Jack Survives, Jerry Moriarty Tank Tankuro, Gajo Sakamoto Powr Mastrs vol. 3, CF Area CC, Alex Degen The Freddie Stories, Lynda Barry Goodnight Punpun, Inio Asano Hyperspeed 2 Nowhere, Lale Westvind Well Come, Erik Nebel Missy, Daryl Seitchik New Engineering, Yuichi Yokoyama Cities and Spaces and, Rebekka Dunlap Strawberries, Mia Schwartz Tiny Bangs, Olivia Horvath Mister Cellar’s Attic, Noel Freibert Space Ducks, Daniel Johnston Multiple Warheads, Brandon Graham Unfortunate Horse Magazine #1, Dane Martin Shower Radio Station, Minipete Donald Duck, Carl Barks
writing this is a sickening reminder not only of how little I’ve read (2 fuckin prose books that I feel personally invested in and aren’t embarrassing to name), but of how detached I’ve come from the books I loved. it was such a struggle just to come up with this puny little list; I got up and looked at my bookshelf as a refresher of what I’m into, and almost none of the books spoke to me. either everything I like is ultimately disappointing or I disappoint it. regardless I’ve got to become a better reader.
Revolutionary Girl Utena (I know the manga sucks compared to the anime, but even just the covers stuck with me so much in middle school) - Be-Papas
oh my god it’s all animes
Hot Dog Beach - Lale Westvind
Electric Ant Zines
Mimi and the Wolves - Alabaster
Transmetropolitan - Warren Ellis
What Technology Wants - Kevin Kelly
Pure Beauty - John Baldessari
The Readymade and the Tube of Paint (essay) - Thierry De Duve
The Wretched of the Screen - Hito Steyerl
Ways of Seeing - John Berger
A Cyborg Manifesto (essay) - Donna Haraway
The Trial - Franz Kafka
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (essay) - Walter Benjamin
The Areas of my Expertise series - John Hogman
*edit I really want to add On Hiatus by Pete Toms
I’m saddened by the lack of women writers represented, but most of this list is what was available to me via my the library in the town I grew up in and what I was exposed to in college that have truly stuck with me. The community of small press and zine makers I’ve been exposed to now represent a lot more women. I’m sure the tides will change soon. These are the titles that crop up without me having to do deep digging into my brain and past.
Your art is worthless to me if you are not a feminist, and if you don’t care about class issues, or race issues, that’s where I’m at now. I’m not saying the work has to be social or political in nature, I’m just the type of person that mostly sees the work of people I know, and with the internet posts around the Isla Vista Killings, Ferguson, etc, it’s become pretty easy to spot who is worth any of my thought or focus.
”It’s our culture. It’s how we organize gender, separate by gender, men’s rooms and women’s rooms—it’s so ingrained in us that these things are different. And it’s not just men, it’s also women who have the same ideas.” via this article
I really love the coworkers at my new job (stuffing a prominent art magazine into envelops), it’s like 80% women: the circ director, marketing director, 3/4 publishers, editors, and all the fellow packers too. It’s something I haven’t experienced before. There’s a very nice spirit of camaraderie, respect, and interest for one another. For the most this is a progressive and refreshing environment, but dominant social narratives still creep up at times. Today there was a conversation about women being topless in public, my co-packer and I pointed out that this has been a legal practice in New York for years, but I guess the older women in our office had no idea and still thought it was a weird thing. I also got a text from my partner today after he got out of a job interview, he got the job, but the woman interviewing him asked him if he wouldn’t mind cutting his hair because she was “scared” he would look like a girl. I should add that the job is playing piano/drums for the benefit of toddlers. GOD FORBID children are exposed to androgynous-looking people that don’t enforce rigorous gender roles upon them IMMEDIATELY. I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s super depressing that even creatively-minded women in creatively-minded workplaces are stuck in the net of gender stereotypes.
I’m just venting. I think a lot about art fairs and economies of all types, the big bullshit ones, the press expos, conventions, regulated selling in public places. I wanted to see more institutions follow zinefeast, and I’m excited to be a part of a truly diy project like paperjam as well. I haven’t been engaged in much lately, trying not to get too stressed. I’m out of practice in almost everything. Joe might not have insurance and also might have strep throat (figuring it all out today). If he wasn’t sick we’d have a lot more ability to sell things and promote. Everyone’s moving around in my apartment because money too. There’s a lot in my head so I haven’t been careful about words.
I really shouldn’t have implied that ripe was part of the problem. In fact they are doing a lot to combat these problems. They were offering scholarships and seemingly set out to make the fee as low as possible. Ripe is run by a fine group of folks with the artists’ situations in mind. Let’s all continue make affordability a goal and mission statement.
To expand and vent a bit I would like to talk more about art fair transparency. Did you know artists featured in the Whitney Biennial don’t get paid? Why would the curators and board members deserve more money than the artists? The Biennial is one of the hugest fucking things and the artists are expected to only be compensated by exposure or the chance to sell? We need to be setting the precedent in our smallest art economies that artists deserve fair compensation. There should be enough of a community among fellow artist to sustain fairs by ourselves. Institutions (especially publicly funded ones) should be smart enough to provide spaces for artists, if not then they should be lobbied. There should be creative solutions so nothing needs to be paid for except the art itself, that should be the biggest priority. I run events. I know that there are always costs, but those costs should be dealt with as a sustainable community. The showrunners’ payment should be the ability to participate in the economy they help create. Allowing artists to expect that they need a certain amount of money to participate eliminates poor artists. This is true of art school itself, it is true of unpaid internships, but it doesn’t need to be true in diy spaces. We, as average participants in culture, can creatively control how we compensate art. It takes time and communication, but if you have access to those two commodities, I promise it can be done.
I’m all flustered ‘cause my boss is away for the summer and I’m terrible at promoting myself as a freelancer. I may try to sell work on the street this week. I’ll make a custom ceramic thing, just talk to me. I’ll do whatever digital thing, odd job, etc. I dunno if I can handle a regular job right now, but maybe I’d feel more regular with one. I have to make rent this month then immediately need a small amount of cash to sustain myself for the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo. I’m really looking forward to it, but I wish I knew what my table fee was going to. I doubt I’ll make enough selling there to cover it.