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SHELFLIFE #27A: OVERSIZED WASTE NEWSPRINT POSTER

[BUILT] 12.01.2009 by visitordesign

Every step of WASTE has taken considerably longer to complete than I’d hoped. I’m finally starting to letterpress finished books on laser-cut, grommet-bound canvas pages. Printed Matter should have at least a few early copies in the next 2 weeks. Upset with how much time each book takes to make–and the resulting book price associated with those hours–I decided to do something to at least make the content of the book accessible to people who might not otherwise want to shell-out for a spendy edition.

I made 50 MASSIVE newsprint xeroxes of a first-proof collage from the hand-burnished prints I pulled off of the woodblocks. That basically means that the artwork represented in this edition is, in some cases, substantially different than the artwork that’ll be in the final book. I’ve made a number of revisions after having seen these proofs. So, in effect, this poster is an artifact of my book-making process.

The posters are 36″ x 72″ in a numbered edition of 50 and have obi wrappers to keep them rolled. The obis are all coffee cup hand-protectors I’ve been pulling out of the trash and spraypainting with a stencil of the WASTE logotype. Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, 7-11 and an assortment of other random local coffee houses are represented in the re-purposed cardboard wraps.

Printed Matter has them here for $30. If you contact me directly, I can sell you one for $20 in NYC or $25 shipped in the US.

waste poster edition

SHELFLIFE #26A: BUT THEY DON’T BLINK VOL. 2

[BUILT] 11.21.2009 by visitordesign

I can’t believe I released this thing almost a year ago and keep forgetting to mention it. I posted about Volume 1 of BUT THEY DON’T BLINK last year. That volume was a series of 5 hand-painted posters addressing the hardships facing families in what remains today, an uncertain job market. The relevance of many of the tableaux depicted in that volume has been amplified by events having occurred since its release.

Volume 2 OF BUT THEY DON’T BLINK tackled the decaying US social safety net. Now, more than perhaps last year when it was released, do the tableaux in this volume bear weight. Beyond this administration’s rhetoric and circumlocution–very few of the topics discussed in the first 2 volumes of BUT THEY DON’T BLINK have been substantially addressed. The issues broached by BLINK still plague a massive percentage of Americans. Instead of embarking on a long-winded diatribe about those issues, I’ll just share the images I drew:

but they dont blink pages 1 &2
but they dont blink pages 3 &4
but they dont blink page 5

Each of the 3 volumes of BUT THEY DON’T BLINK consists of 5 individually hand-painted 18×24 inch posters, a block-printed mylar cover and a removable, screw-bound, plastic and cardboard spine. The folios are each signed, numbered and rolled into hand-printed kraft paper blueprint bags. Volume 1 & Volume 2 are available from Printed Matter for $60 each. Volume 3 is in production.

SHELFLIFE #25B: TWENTY-FIVE CENTS

[EARNED] 10.06.2009 by visitordesign

Fashion week a few winters ago, Vinny and Nikki Haas came over to borrow some stencils. Gallo’d seen all of the simple cuts I’d been testing for FORE, knew that there were a few of his heros in there and wanted to quickly spray some on the back of a Helmut Lang parka he would wear to the shows.

“Vinny, put a little spraymount on the back of the mylar or the spraypaint’s gonna vignette all over.” “Habib… Habib… Just… You got any change? Some quarters–nickels? Nikki? Change?” “Gallo, you don’t have any change…” “Habib, you seen the size of the roll I’m packin’? You think I got change in my pocket? Habibi…” It’s true. I hadn’t expected change to be jangling in his pockets, but drawing out the experience of Vinny squatting down in a filthy stairwell spare-changing us was a momentary guilty pleasure.

We got him a few stacks of change. He dropped ’em around the stencils and sprayed. Reagan’s spritz went everywhere–in ways Nancy hadn’t seen since the late 60’s. Dubya’s was a little less stochastic. Maybe I’d misunderestimated the master’s technique.

“Habib, I need a Sharpie. Nikki, look at this studio. It looks like a 12-year old’s bedroom. Habib, your studio looks like a 12-year old’s bedroom.” He assigned Reagan “LEGEND” and Dubs “HERO”. I cried a solitary tear for progress. “GREAT! This is great. You wanna come with us?” “Nah. I got work to do.” “Habib, lemme see that Sharpie again. [scribbles signature on a quarter] Here. The jacket’s worth every penny.” “Gallo… this is my quarter…” “It is. But it’s got my name on it.”

And there you have it. SHELFLIFE #25B, 25¢.

vincent gallo quarter

SHELFLIFE #25A: WASTE TEST LETTERPRESS

[BUILT] 09.25.2009 by visitordesign

It feels like I’ve been working on this new book forever. Par for the course, I guess. FORE took me 10 years to finish. A year after delivering the first two volumes, I’m still waiting on politics to deliver the final volume of BUT THEY DON’T BLINK. WASTE is different, though. It’s a different sort of forever–a forever from another place.

I wanted WASTE to be all about potential energy. It’s a collection of scrap illustrations and studies for sculptural work I’ve done or am presently working on. I forced a ridiculous tale of explosive potential atop a curated set of 12 sketches, xeroxes, stamps and collages. “Not enough,” I thought to myself. “This has gotta be a more outlandish game.” So, I begged for and stole some lumber. I got a cheap, used 10-Ton bottle jack. I got some scrap steel.

Two sleepless weeks after collecting things and 4 or 5 months after pulling the story together, I’ve built my own letterpress on which to print the book. I tracked down scrap canvas in the form of sail-maker scraps, military tarps and painter’s drop-cloth (could still use more of any of this if anybody’s holding…). The canvas all gets laser-cut into specially shaped pages. The story gets pressed on ’em. The pages get grommeted together and a lot of waste delivers on its potential.

I’ve not yet decided on the edition size, but I know it’s being split up 75%-25% between two flavors. One’s gonna be a bit more expensive and use special ink. The other’s plain-jane jet black. That said, the amount of time it seems it’ll take to generate each book means it’s looking like this sadly isn’t going to be an inexpensive edition. Each hand-pressed, 12-page, 11×17, laser-cut, canvas book will likely be between 100-200 dollars. The caveat here is that the book can also be made to “do things.” More on that when I launch the edition in November…

Here are the very first proofs off of the woodblocks for the first two pages. I’ve never used a letterpress before, so I have no idea what I’m doing, but it actually seems to have worked–even on this crappy utrecht newsprint. A bunch of grumpy whiners on printing forums seemed to imply that using anything larger than a 9×12 block in a homemade press won’t work. To the whiners out there–fuck you. It works. Build the press frame out of steel and use a more robust jack along with a platen design that considers pressure application to your target-size block.
waste by visitor first two page proofs

SHELFLIFE #24B: DISMAY

[GIVEN] 09.11.2009 by visitordesign

I’ve been pained for a few years now by how superficial and almost categorically devoid of experimentation and innovation fashion has recently become. Tonight was FNO09 here in New York. The only schwag I left the evening with was a concerned knot of dismay in my gut.

There have been unrepeatable moments in even the recent history of fashion where technology, crisis, artistic innovation or synaesthetic translation have stimulated sincere and radical excitement in designers. The explorations of cubists, constructivists and futurists; streamlined hyper-minimal simplicity; the spiritual, moral, urban and financial decay of the late 60’s thru the 80’s; the realization that one could selectively and individually abuse consumers thru conceptually arbitrary pricing; exclusivity-smashing situationist runway performances that exploited an unrehearsed city as a catwalk; the commodification of unfashionable concepts as unwearable couture; the palpable translation of sound into clothing that then fedback into clothing to inspire sound. Anyone with even a vague memory of or interest in fashion since the 30’s can almost instantly place any of the aforementioned moments.

Then we roll up onto days like today–days that do not bode well for the creative future of fashion. Dumbing down the love and the craft that once made your work so enviable in an effort to see it grace the racks of Target is not fashion. Hiring the most immediately delicious genre-DJ of the week to really pack ’em in is not fashion. The caché you built by the drugs you did with who and where is not fashion. The celebrity trunk your publicist crammed with the contents of your showroom– guaranteeing a few choice tabloid snaps–is not fashion. Your hip photographer and his Yashica T4 click, click, clicking away at those t-shirts, jeans and tights is not fashion. The artists who once defined couture and now acquiesce to playing mannequin are not fashion. Streetwear is no longer fashion. Workwear isn’t fashion until it’s produced by some newer, faster, more durable and nano-autonomous process.

Confusing mere clothing with fashion is just as backward as confusing design with art. Art and fashion are serious mantles to grab at–ones I don’t think I’ve ever really touched. While I’ve designed lots of things and made lots of stuff, I’m not certain that I’ve yet made any art and I’m pretty sure I’ve never generated any fashion.

Couture is fashion. Concept is fashion. Conscious and unconscious stumblings into and around the ludicrous and the sublime are fashion. It’s time to stop confusing style, marketing, reach, design, cred and practical utility with fashion. Fashion is a wardrobe of impractical dilemmas excavated in secret at great temporal, emotional or monetary cost that can only be made sense of by the caretaker of the wardrobe–be they the inventor or the consumer. I for one cannot wait until that’s in vogue again.

SHELFLIFE #23B: RICHARD KERN SCUMBAG SUPER-8s

[GIVEN] 08.19.2009 by visitordesign

In 1995, Simon Henwood/Purr Magazine pulled together a screening of Kern’s id-driven, 80’s super-8 films at the National Film Theater in the UK. Lydia Lunch and Kern presented. Purr generated a zine to commemorate the screening and plug their just-then-released “New York Girls” compendium of Richard’s celebrated hot-lit, cross-processed lower-east side pussy pics.

He’d always shot stills while cranking 50′ reels of super-8 out of his Canon 814XLS. This zine’s a love note to some of those. X is Y, Submit to Me, Fingered and Manhattan Love Suicides are all represented. Hell, there’s even a Marilyn Manson shot in the zine. Richard’s immortalized on the cover at the height of his junked-out oblivion. I once heard a story about the gun in that image. It involved children who’d thrown eggs.

richard kern scumbag super-8\'s

SHELFLIFE #24A: THEY GROW UP FAST – STUDENT #1 / GIRL ( NEON SCULPTURE )

[BUILT] 07.15.2009 by visitordesign

2007 statistics on global human trafficking state that in the neighborhood of 1.2 million people are sold into slavery annually. That was up from around 800,000 in 2005 by Department of Justice accounting. I’m guessing that close to 2 million people will have been sold into slavery this year alone by the time January rolls around. So, every minute, nearly 4 people are disappeared as commodities. 95% of them are sexually abused. 70% are female. 50% are children. Almost all are under 21 years of age and most are at least marginally educated.

THEY GROW UP FAST is several thousand volts of flickering testimony to the brutal efficiency with which human traffickers grind lives into ruin. STUDENT #1 / GIRL is the first of two editioned visitordesign works addressing contemporary slavery. Manufactured by LiteBrite in Brooklyn from visitordesign drawings, THEY GROW UP FAST is a component of a larger conceptual visitordesign project in progress.

Additional info on They Grow Up Fast here


Dimensions are around 80″ x 24″ x 30″.
3-stage neon sculpture on child’s school desk. Edition of 4 plus artist prototype.
Price available by request. The GIF below is animated
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