Tag Archives: Art

The Unseen Ghosts Brigade

This video is really black metal. I keep expect the hobo or mark twain to try to sacrifice Diamond Bessie. They are The Unseen Ghosts Brigade.

Some of my friends are joining in the fine anarcho tradition of building giant strange rafts out of dumpstered materials and floating them down the Mississippi to New Orleans. In this case, they’ve put together an ecological road show of music and puppets and all the finest in zaniness, but are of course reacting to rather serious circumstances.

From their press release:

The Mississippi River has been controlled, restricted, and polluted by the forces of industry. This has caused the cultures along the riverbanks to die and the River to become mostly a highway for barges, making it deadly to drink its waters or eat the fish and swim in its depths.

As the regulation of the Army Corps of Engineers has become more intense and increasingly prevalent, it becomes less and less possible for the average person to travel the River. With this focus comes a cost of a way of life: pollution has increased dramatically with industrialization, and whole communities have ceased to exist because life has become just another highway. Attempts to harness and control the power of the Mississippi have resulted and continue to result in decrease of wild flora and fauna, the relocation of numerous indigenous communities, and the loss of innumerable lives due to flooding and the failing of infrastructure.

We are taking a stand. Since 2009, the Unseen Ghost Brigade has been working to resurrect the ghosts of the past; they have come back to haunt the living with laughter, storytelling, and clown. We come to share a dream that things have not always been the way they are now, and that the present does not need to be the future.

What I like about this is the earnest nature with which they tackle the realization that our lives can be a fucking hell of a lot more interesting than they are now, if only we actually recraft reality to suit us by fighting against the monstrous, droll world that is killing the shit out of the planet.

They’ll be stopping in a ridiculously ambitious number of cities along the way, just check out their website.

In my next life, I’m going to be more than one person so I could have gone with them.

Dodgem Logic Number Two Is Out!

I haven’t gotten to see it yet (combine international shipping with my itinerant nature), but Dodgem Logic #2 is out now. Dodgem Logic is Alan Moore’s current brainchild, essentially a 60s counterculture magazine for the modern era (replete with strange illustrations of naked people, and advice about how to overthrow the government!). This second issue features an introduction to post-civilization that I wrote, expounding on the Post-Civ zine that Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness put out.

After the appreciative reception afforded to its premier edition, lauded throughout the gutters of the world, the second issue of Alan Moore’s mystifying new underground publication DODGEM LOGIC is available in early February. Delivering 52 pages of full-colour solid content thanks to its flinty-eyed Puritan policy of no advertisements, all for a frankly laughable £2.50, this plucky bi-monthly periodical is stuffed to the gills with wisdom and wonderment.

Behind a choice of three, count ’em, three luscious variant exteriors we have this issue’s cover feature, a sexy yet somehow sinister Burlesque photo spread from internationally acclaimed maestro Mitch Jenkins with an accompanying article on Burlesque past, present and future by our exotica expert, Melinda Gebbie. Former Steampunk supervisor Margaret Killjoy offers a pertinent and practical guide on ways to usefully pass our time before and after the collapse of civilisation, while Fortean Times godfather Steve Moore delivers a surreal survey of Northamptonshire’s bizarre phenomena, from phantom panthers to confused old men in treetops.

In addition to these delicacies, DODGEM LOGIC’s regular contributors continue to work their magic, with the exception of Josie Long who had a flimsy excuse and will be back next issue. Dave Hamilton’s environmental Eco Chamber column looks at the more worrying side of social network groups, while teenage mum Tink takes over our women’s page this time DL_covers_alt:Layout 1 around with an account of life on the disintegrating edge of England’s social services. Guerrilla gardener Claire Ashby dishes out another instructive communiqué from the urban undergrowth, spooky seamstress Tamsyn Paine knocks up an exploitative freak-show sock puppet, the magazine’s Spinning Doctors dispense more healthcare advice, winsome Wendi Jarrett cooks us a Valentine feast while M.C. Illuzion ruins our appetite for it with a discourse on Mechanically Recovered Meat. Meanwhile graffiti goddess Queen Calluz introduces us to three more Great Hipsters in History. Deities of delineation Savage Pencil and Kevin O’Neil continue to enthral, bewilder and unsettle with their subversive scrawls, while the unearthly Steve Aylett poaches the collective mind of the readership in tears of despair with his obscurely terrifying comic strip adventure, Johnny Viable. Then there’s the insurrectionary ranting and refined musical appreciation of eight-page local insert section, Notes from Noho, with the whole enterprise rounded out by Alan Moore’s illuminating dissertation on the history, difficulties and numerous delights of anarchy.

DL_covers_alt:Layout 1 Extending the ingratiating policy of quaintly and nostalgically including a free gift with every issue, and replacing the astonishing free CD of our debut, DODGEM LOGIC’s unkempt figurehead and founder also contributes a questionable eight-page mini-comic, Astounding Weird Penises, being the only solo comic book that he has managed to create in his otherwise lazy thirty year career.

With only one issue beneath its belt, DODGEM LOGIC has already managed to supply each of the sheltered-housing tenants of the area in which it had its origins with a halfway decent Christmas hamper, and is currently sponsoring its own top-rate basketball team from the same neighbourhood. If future issues do as well, the magazine hopes to extend its various activities across the district and then, ultimately, to construct an orbiting missile platform and demand all the Earth’s uranium.

DODGEM LOGIC ~ chuckling and stroking a white cat for a better tomorrow.

Photo Show, Feb 4th, Seattle

(graphic design of flyer by Libby Bulloff, photo by me of a chicken named The Childlike Empress).

On Thursday, Feb 4th, Seattle’s Starfish Studios will be hosting myself and jeweler Noah Beasley as featured artists for their monthly artwalk show. It’s at 619 Western Ave, Fourth Floor South, from 6-10. It’s a one-day show, so please come out! I’ll be displaying work I haven’t yet put on the internets, but I’m really proud of it: I think it is some of my darkest work I’ve done, exploring what it means to open someone you love with a knife and fill them with cotton.

Dodgem Logic: Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about

I got my copy of Alan Moore’s new underground magazine Dodgem Logic in the mail a few days ago and have been reading through it, pretty excitedly. Just finished it last night. And this thing is weird. Yet accessible. It’s very clearly in the spirit of 1960’s counterculture magazines, complete with the bizarre cartoon nudity, but does an excellent job of… normalizing radical politics? That’s a phrase I’m obsessed with these days. But basically, it’s good at saying “hey, of course you’re concerned with equality, surviving the apocalypse, and sticking it to The Man, aren’t we all?” The magazine isn’t all “a magazine for anarchists!” (though that can be done well, of course). But the very first person described, on the inside front cover (as “hipsters in history”) is Emma Goldman. Anyhow, there’s an excellent overview of the underground press, a recipe for a delicious pumpkin & quinoa soup that I’m eating as I type this, a piece on living without money (which was interesting to compare to my own traveling/crusty version that I pulled off for several years), and lots of other entertaining matter, like comics about guerrilla gardening or why you should dump people.

Public Domain For The Win!

Today I started a new website, Public Domain For The Win, in which I will dump public domain etchings and woodcarvings and general graphic goodness as high-quality tiff files. This is one of the main resources I use personally for my graphic design and such, so I figured I would try to make it as available as possible. Right now I’m going through my collection of illustrations from a 19th century book of fables (well, the fables are older, but the illustrations are 19th century).

Elizabeth Gilbert on the creative daemon

This 19 minute video is a really amazing talk that gets into the power of myth in modern culture–specifically, citing the lack of it as part of the problem. Really, this video is an excellent use of 19 minutes if you’re up to any sort of creative endeavor. The idea she gets across–that one person’s creation isn’t really their creation, reminds me of a quote from the interview with crimethinc in Mythmakers & Lawbreakers:

First of all, I want to emphasize that language and all the stories inside of it are collectively produced. That is not to say that they are horizontally produced, but they are collectively produced. Capitalism is collectively produced: it’s a collective relation that we all participate in, in some ways, but a hierarchical one. We collectively produce language, we collectively produce our ideas. They come out of the conversations we’re all having. One person takes some ideas that have been gestating for hundreds of years, writes a book about them, puts his name on it, and makes a whole lot of money or a whole lot of intellectual capital, wins a whole lot of respect, for being the person who’s basically privatized this previously wild rainforest of ideas. I think that’s bullshit.

I will say that this video elevates the concept of the “artist” onto the pedestal that I really don’t agree with it being on. At best, I would hold that being a creative professional is along the same lines as any other professional (at worst, I would point out that you can’t eat a poem and that photographs don’t put out fires).