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Author Archives: Josh MacPhee

  1. A Visual History of Climate Justice

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    Exhibition Opening: Thursday, February 20, 2020, 6:30-9pm
    Exhibition Dates: February 20 – May 3rd, 2020

    Join us for Like the Waters We Rise: Climate Justice in Print, a two-part exhibition that tells a story of our contemporary climate justice movement through printed works, both past and present.

    A Visual History of Climate Justice, hosted at the Interference Archive, includes a collection of archival prints documenting the historical struggles that gave birth to the current climate justice movement. These materials—from the anti-nuclear movement, Indigenous sovereignty movement, Black liberation struggles, the farmworker justice movement, and more—illustrate that the climate movement is made of many movements and one that encompasses many terrains of struggle.

    Climate Justice in Print: Katrina to Now, currently on view at the Nathan Cummings Foundation through April 17th, contains print based work from 2005-present and illustrates the climate justice movement beginning the year that Hurricane Katrina crashed onto the shores of the Gulf Coast.

    Artists have long been at the heart of the climate justice movement, finding bold, inspiring ways to help uplift struggles, revealing connections between climate and intersecting issues, building public support, and painting a picture of the world we are working to create. Like the Waters, We Rise underscores the role of art in shaping and documenting our actions toward a more just future.

    Climate Justice in Print: Katrina to Now
    Nathan Cummings Foundation
    November 21, 2019-April 17, 2020
    475 10th Ave. 14th Fl. New York, NY

    This project was organized by Raquel de Anda (lead curator) and Nora Almeida, Ryan Buckley, Sophie Glidden-Lyon, Rachel Jones, Josh MacPhee, and Siyona Ravi.

  2. The Politics of the Joy of Printing

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    December 5th, 2019, 6:30–8:30pm

    Author Danielle Aubert will talk about her exciting new book, The Detroit Printing Co-op: The Politics of the Joy of Printing. Hopefully the first in a series of events about the evolution and explosion of “movement printshops” in the 1960s–80s, Aubert will dial in on the specifics of this experiment in mass production in the radical community of Detroit, including Fredy Perlman and his Black and Red Press, the Black nationalist project Black Star Press, the autonomous Be/Wick Editions, and others.

    The book is published by Inventory Press, and will be available at the event, and can be found online here:
    http://www.inventorypress.com/product/the-detroit-printing-co-op

  3. A Quest for Home Zine Launch & Party

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    September 28th, 2019, 5–8pm

    A Quest for Home was a series of writing workshops presented by Arts & Democracy for the South Asian diaspora and led by the wonderful Pakistani writer, Roohi Chowdhury. For six weeks, the participants joined together to write away their mythic journey towards home and identity.

    At the end of the 6 weeks, we created our own zine with all of our writing, personal pictures and beautiful artwork.

    From stories about being queer, relationships with their brown mom, magical kingdoms to bad dates, join us for a magical night and celebrate the launch of our zine!

    All attendees will also get a copy of the zine!

    〰️

    This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and The Brooklyn Community Foundation Brooklyn Youth Voice Award.

    Thanks to Roohi Choudhry for her leadership, City Council-member Brad Lander for his ongoing support.

    〰️

    Arts & Democracy engages the power of creativity to increase people’s participation in the decision-making that impacts our lives. With a core practice of cultural organizing, Arts & Democracy integrates arts, culture, and media into organizing strategies. We believe that all people and communities have a right to their creativity and traditions, and that deep and sustained transformation happens when people bring their full selves to their activism. Arts & Democracy cultivates year-round arts and cultural programming with and for immigrant communities, including the Bangladeshi community in Kensington. www.artsanddemocracy.org

  4. Notes on Solidarity: Tricontinentalism in Print

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    Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12th, 6-8 PM | The James Gallery

    The exhibition is NOT AT INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE, it is at the James Gallery in the CUNY Grad Center, and open to the public from Tuesday, September 10th through Saturday, November 2nd, 2019.

    Exploring a chapter of the anti-colonial struggles that unfolded after World War Two, Notes on Solidarity: Tricontinentalism in Print considers the role played by printed materials in the practice of Tricontinentalism. A political project born of the mid-1960s, Tricontinentalism aimed to unite liberation movements across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Inquiring into the relation of print culture to political feeling, this exhibition looks at how Tricontinentalism and its solidarity discourse inspired a vibrant graphic production by self-determination movements from Havana to Hanoi during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Striking, emotionally persuasive and, above all, highly mobile, printed materials of all kinds during this period assisted in visualizing and spreading messages of affinity and shared struggle between centers of dissent. Bringing together a selection of international graphic production from the era, this exhibition seeks to show how the solidarity that Tricontinentalism proposed was performed through print.  

    While graphic production relating to Tricontinentalism is often closely associated with OSPAAAL (the Organization of Solidarity of the People of Africa, Asia, and Latin America), based in Havana, this exhibition explores the international engagements with the movement that took place through printed materials. Original documents presented trace both Tricontinentalism’s promotion by a still-young socialist Cuban state and its swift radiation outwards from Cuba, adopted as an ethos by self-determination movements that spanned the globe. While mapping this international circulation, the exhibition also asks after the particular qualities of print that made it so effective at carrying a Tricontinental discourse of revolutionary community through the world. Acts of identification and exchange that were germane to printmaking as a technology based in mechanical reproduction are foregrounded, with print considered as an organizing tool. At the same time, the exhibition invites contemplation of print as an affective medium, capable of transforming solidarity from an abstract concept to a visual and tactile object that could be held in the hand. Assembling posters, newspapers, magazines, books, flyers, and postcards issued in the swell of Tricontinental feeling, Notes on Solidarityexplores a moment when the project of anti-colonialism and practice of visual production came into close alignment; when printmaking and solidarity were one.

    The exhibition comprises examples drawn from international collections of graphic work. Featured artists and organizations include the Organization of Solidarity of the People of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL)René Mederosthe Comité des 3 continentsPeoples Press and Jane NorlingEmory Douglas and the Black Panther PartyMalaquías MontoyaRupert Garcíathe South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO)Marc RudinIsmail Shammout, and Kameel Hawa.

    The exhibition is curated by Debra Lennard, Curatorial Fellow at the James Gallery and doctoral candidate in the PhD Program in Art History at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

    Notes on Solidarity: Tricontinentalism in Print is presented in cooperation with Interference Archive, Brooklyn. Thanks to the PhD Program in Art History. The curatorial fellowship and exhibition is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  5. Historical Memory, Citation, and the Archive: Activating the Components of Our Culture of Revolt

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    Slideshow Lecture and Discussion with AK Thompson
    June 23, 2019, 6-8pm

    How do recollections and invocations of past struggles inform contemporary campaigns against injustice? Drawing on material from his new book Premonitions, movement-based scholar AK Thompson reveals how historical memory, citation, and the archive operate unconsciously to constitute the political field and shape our culture of revolt. What political opportunities arise when historical memory, citation, and the archive are brought into consciousness, and when their invocations are made deliberate? Following the insights of Walter Benjamin, Thompson alerts us to the possibility of a politics that is simultaneously more radical and more mass-based then current movement configurations.

    About PREMONITIONS: Bringing together a decade of AK Thompson’s essays on the culture of revolt, Premonitions offers an engaged assessment of contemporary radical politics. Inspired by Walter Benjamin and addressing themes ranging from violence and representation to Romanticism and death, Thompson combines scholarship and grassroots grit to disabuse readers—and rebels—of cherished certainties. Whether uncovering the unrealized promise buried in mainstream cultural offerings or tracing our course toward the inevitable moment of reckoning ahead, the essays in Premonitions are both practical investigations and prescient provocations. https://www.akpress.org/premonitions.html

    About the author: AK THOMPSON got kicked out of high school for publishing an underground newspaper called The Agitator and has been an activist and social theorist ever since. Currently a Professor of Social Movements and Social Change at Ithaca College, his publications include Sociology for Changing the World: Social Movements/Social Research (2006), Black Bloc, White Riot: Anti-Globalization and the Genealogy of Dissent (2010), Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (2016), Spontaneous Combustion: The Eros Effect and Global Revolution (2017), and, most recently, Premonitions: Selected Essays on the Culture of Revolt (2018). Between 2005 and 2012, he served on the Editorial Committee of Upping the Anti: A Journal of Theory and Action.

    Copies of Premonitions will be available for purchase at a special event price.

  6. Australian Political Posters: Four Decades

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    Thursday March 28, 2019, 6:30 pm

    Australia has a rich history of political poster collectives that emerged in the 1970s and are now experiencing a resurgence. Curator Macushla Robinson will [do her best to] contextualize the political posters on display as part of Hi Vis: Australian Political Posters within the broader frame of Australian political movements, protest work and print culture over the past 40 years. Drawing on research that she initially developed for an exhibition at The Art Gallery of NSW titled See you at the barricades, she will draw out some of the key themes and constitutive tensions that arise looking back at four decades of political posters. 

    Macushla is a curator and writer based in New York. Formerly a curator at The Art Gallery of New South Wales, she is now a doctoral candidate in political theory at The New School for Social Research. Her work blends politics, aesthetics, memoir, critical race studies and gender studies in an effort to understand the political implications of material cultures.

    This discussion is part of the exhibition Hi Vis: Australian Political Posters, 1979–2019 currently on view at Interference Archive.

  7. Hi-Viz: Australian Political Posters 1979–2019

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    February 8 – April 14, 2019
    Opening reception: Friday, February 8, 6-9pm


    From the collection of Alison Alder

    HI-VIS: AUSTRALIAN POSTERS 1979–2019 is an exhibition of screen-printed posters that provide a visual commentary of politics and life in Australia over the last four decades. Renowned for their high visibility, particularly in the 1980s with their saturated fluorescent colors, these posters describe the times and events that have engaged socially active artists throughout recent periods of major change.

    Many of the topics addressed in these posters remain relevant today including Indigenous rights, gender politics, unemployment, and the environment. Contemporary Australian artists are reinvigorating the screen printed poster as a form of protest and information sharing by pasting the work onto the wall and value adding to its potency by posting on social media.

    These wonderful posters, with their ability to encapsulate ideas into a single image, continue to provoke debate, galvanize ideas into action, and invigorate those working toward an equitable and just society.

    poster credits for the above, clockwise from top left: Alison Alder and Leonie Lane, Redback Graphix, Art and Working Life Festival, 1985, Screenprint; Michael Callaghan
    Redback Graphix, What Now Mr Mao, Dance?, 1979, Screenprint; Colin Russell, Alison Alder and Neil Roberts, Megalo Print Studio, Greetings from Canberra, 1983
    Screenprint;Wendy Murray, We All Need Nuclear Energy, 2011, Screenprint; Gregor Cullen, Redback Graphix, The Workplace is No Place for Racism, 1985, Screenprint.

    About the collector: Alison Alder is a visual artist whose work blurs the line between studio, community and social/political art practice. Her formative years as an artist were spent working in the screen-printing workshops of Megalo (Canberra) and Redback Graphix (Wollongong/Sydney) where she was co-director from 1985–1993. The next major period of her art practice was spent working within Indigenous organisations in the Northern Territory, primarily for Julalikari Council in Tennant Creek. Alder received an International Year of Tolerance Fellowship from the Australia Council in recognition of her work toward social justice and equity through art practice. Alder’s work has been exhibited in several key Australian exhibitions including, amongst others, Roads Cross: Contemporary Directions in Australian Art at the Flinders University Art Museum and Gallery (Adelaide & touring), Making It New: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) and Ghost Citizens: Witnessing the Intervention at Cross Arts Project (Sydney & touring). Alder is currently Head of the Printmedia and Drawing Workshop at the Australian National University School of Art.

  8. if a song could be freedom . . . Organized Sounds of Resistance

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    February 21st–March 23rd, 2019
    Opening: Thursday, February 21 at 5pm


    AT THE COLLEGE OF STATEN ISLAND ART GALLERY

    2800 Victory Blvd
    Building 1P
, Room 112
    Staten Island, NY 10314

    This exhibition looks at how music has shaped the manners in which we understand ourselves in the past, present, and into the future. It features the picture sleeves of more than 200 political recordings—as well as other ephemera-from across the globe that expose the broad scope of the intersection of music and politics. Visitors are invited to listen to mixtape podcasts, which will also be played on WSIA 88.9FM during the course of the exhibit.

      Exhibition Events

    Sound Effects: Discussion and Book Party
    with Professors Jillian Báez, Racquel Gates, and Reece Peck of the Department of Media Culture at the Art Gallery of the College of Staten Island on Tuesday, March 5 at 2:30pm. This is a CLUE event.

    Music and Movements: Discussion and Listening Session
    with Josh MacPhee of Interference Archive at the James Gallery of The Graduate Center, The City University of New York on Wednesday, March 13 at 6:30pm.

    if a song could be freedom . . . Organized Sounds of Resistance is produced in conjunction with Interference Archive. Its programming is co-sponsored by Katherine Carl of the James Gallery and the Film Studies Certificate Program, both of The Graduate Center, CUNY.

  9. Certain Days 2019 Calendar Release Party

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    Friday, November 30, 7:30-9:30pm

    Join us for the Certain Days 2019 Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar launch party! The calendar is in its 18th year and is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Hamilton, New York and Baltimore, in partnership with a political prisoner being held in maximum-security prison in New York State, David Gilbert.

    This year’s theme is “Health/Care,” and features art and writings by David Gilbert, Bec Young, RISE: Radical Indigenous Survivance and Empowerment, Aviva Stahl, Debbie, Mike and Chuck Africa, Roger Peet, Addameer, Leah Jo Carnine, Suzy Subways, Farha Najah, Ashanti Alston, Alec Dunn, Barbara Zeller, Hikaru Ikeda, Giselle Dias, Micah Bazant, Alisha Walker, Fernando Marti, Sins Invalid, Tom Manning, Dave George, Laura Whitehorn, Frizz Kid, Abolitionist Law Center, Cindy Milstein, and more.

    Local contributors to this calendar will be speaking about their art and articles printed in this year’s calendar. We will also have copies of the calendar for sale and holiday cards for political prisoners for you to sign.

    This event is co-sponsored by NYC Jericho, Prolibertad, NYC Free Peltier & Samidoun.
    More info via certaindays.org

  10. Armed Love: A Screening

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    Friday, June 29, 2018
    7:30–9:30pm

    Interference Archive is excited to be screening the new short documentary, Armed Love, by Sean Stewart. The film is a meditative look at and conversation with Ben Morea about his role in the groups Black Mask and Up Against the Wall/Motherfucker. Ben will be present for a free-flowing discussion after the film.

    “Walking through his former stomping grounds on the Lower East Side, Ben Morea charts the evolution of Up Against the Wall/Motherfucker—the network of action-oriented radicals, freaks, and street fighters that emerged out of the group surrounding the journal Black Mask during the late ’60s in New York City.”