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Dazzle Canoe Coloring Contest

Dazzle Canoe Coloring Contest

Posted by on Feb 22, 2014 in Featured, zine |

Here at FRC we’ve recently been obsessed with the phenomena of dazzle ships and dazzle camouflage. There are dazzle wetsuits, dazzle dogs, and a mysterious Floridian camoufleur. There’s music for your tape recorder and  dubious claims by spanish artists. There’s makeup to hide from algorithms, and above all there’s the flash-bang of hiding your shape with loud stripes.   There should be more. So, my feral friends,  inspired in part by Carrie Schneider’s beautiful dazzle canoe (which we had nothing to do with but wish we did), attached below please find the official FRC Dazzle Canoe Coloring Contest form. Please note:  your interpretation of “dazzle” may vary, do not feel constrained by existing patterns. As suggested by @matthewbattles:  Submit completed entries to: whisper@feralresearch.org subject “camoufleur”, or post them to twitter with the hashtag #camoufleur. The contest will be a random drawing held on April 1. Three names will be drawn and each receive a limited edition FRC dazzle-sticker. A gallery of all entries will be posted to the site. No cash value. Void where prohibited by law.   Like this idea? You might also like the Infinitely-Expandable Extra-Illustration Exchange book club or our zine series!   • Dazzle Canoe Coloring Contest Entry Form (PDF – best for printing) • Dazzle Canoe Coloring Contest Entry Form (PNG – best for photoshopping)  ...

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IEEIE #1: The Master and Margarita

IEEIE #1: The Master and Margarita

Posted by on Feb 21, 2014 in Featured, M&M&M, zine |

The kick-off book for the Infinitely-Expandable Extra-Illustration Exchange will be The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. This previous post explains the IEEIE What is The Master and Margarita? It’s a lot of things. It’s magic and history and politics and literature. It’s about the Devil arriving in Moscow in the 1920s and Jesus and Pontius Pilate, censorship and a talking cat. And so much more. It is the book that I have recommended to more people than any other. It is dense and thoughtful and very strange. Want to know more about the book? Masterandmargarita.eu is an amazing compendium of all things M&M (in multiple languages) Here is how the IEEIE works: 1. Read the book. I recommend the Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O’Connor translation, which is recognized as one of the better versions and is based on the complete, uncensored text. The size of the final submission is based on the size of the paperback edition (8.3 x 5.3 inches), which has a maroon and black cover with a silhouette of a cat. There is no ebook version of this translation available right now, and it is one of several translations that often available at used bookstores. Goodreads has a pretty thorough discussion (with text examples) of the different English translations. 2. Make something inspired by the book. This can be anything that is reproducible in a 2D medium (drawing, print, map, poem, essay, recipe, photo, photo of a sculpture, dance diagram… you get the picture, surprise me.) The only rule is that the final, reproducible product must be the same size as the book (8.3 x 5.3 inches, see above). 3. Pass along this link to friends who might like to participate—the more people the better the final collection! 4. Send an email to me and you’ll get occasional updates related to the project: mary@feralresearch.org 5. Email me your item by Good Friday (read the book for the day’s relevance) April 18, 2014. I will compile all the submissions into a pdf booklet for you to download. The first ten people to submit material will receive a hard-copy version of the book via snail-mail, assembled...

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Infinitely-Expandable Extra-Illustration Exchange

Infinitely-Expandable Extra-Illustration Exchange

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in Featured, zine |

A multi-volume biography of Charles Dickens on the Des Moines episode of Antiques Roadshow was my introduction to extra-illustrated editions. The hosts explained the Victorian-era trend of adding items to published books (prints, letters, maps, etc). Books were printed with blank pages to hold the extra pieces, and examples like theirs had been rebound to contain all the added material. Doing a little research, I found a couple of great explanations of the history of extra-illustration: The Folger Shakespeare Library hosted an exhibition of extra-illustrated books in 2010, and has an excellent overview of the topic on their website. The Huntington has a nice video showing how to inlay a print into a book and another displaying pages from their 60-volume extra-illustrated bible containing more than 30,000 added items. Oh how delicious—a book expanded to hold all the tangents the reader could find. Like hypertext 150 years before hypertext. I wanted to see one. I wanted to make one. And the Master & Margarita & Me project was just waiting for me to make one. And wouldn’t it be more fun to share the experience? I was an architecture major in college, and was intrigued/jealous of my friends taking print classes. They would have print exchanges at the end of the semester, bringing in an edition of, say, 15 prints, and trade one with everyone in the class, ending up with a portfolio of unique prints. Sharing their work, receiving back examples of all their classmates art. (Here’s a version that explains the idea.) So, put 2 and 2 together, and you end up with the INFINITELY EXPANDABLE EXTRA-ILLUSTRATION EXCHANGE. Starting this month with Master & Margarita, we will be hosting a recurring online version of a book club/extra-illustrated/print swap. Two or three times a year, I will announce the next book, along with the due date and any specific directions. According to the OED (by way of the Folger article), prior to the early 1800s the word illustration meant “an elucidation” rather than specifically a picture. In that spirit, works in ANY text or image medium are welcome (photos, drawings, prints, poems, essays, rants, scribbles). Any and all...

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A Great Country Song: Feral on Zines

A Great Country Song: Feral on Zines

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Featured, zine |

Harlan Howard, country music legend, is credited with describing a great country song as “nothin’ but three chords and the truth.” If you’re like me, a northerner whose choice of southern music leaned more towards REM than Western, you probably mostly remember the U2 version where Bono told us that (and a red guitar) were all he needed. This proclamation, located in the extended outro to the Bob Dylan cover on Rattle and Hum, comes around the time the band was moving through their awkward teen years; Angry boys from Dublin easing into arena rock, performing the soundtrack to a film documenting their rise to stardom. There is something in this quote with its origins blurred;  A kind of truthi-ness that is both earnest and silly. An oversimplification that makes us cringe a little, but also activates a deep atavistic fuckyeah from the world where speaking truth to power works, and all a boy or a girl needs is their own voice and a flimsy soapbox to stand on. This is the spot where zines sit. Wikipedia (arguably the most famous of recent self-publishing ventures) tells us that: “A zine (/ˈziːn/ zeen; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier.” Adding: “A popular definition includes that circulation must be 1,000 or less…” This  definition, while probably correct in the most pedantic of ways, is wrong. It misses both the purpose and the meaning of zines, which are neither a stylistic exercise (photocopier) nor a deliberate player in any marketplace (circulation numbers). While both of these things might describe common characteristics of zines, they articulate only the red guitar, skipping  over the three chords and the truth. The zine is many things and like most punk efforts and all manifestos it contains the seeds of its own destruction. Zines have become a “thing:” a style and an attitude that can be duplicated cheaply. A shortcut for teen angst. An icon of the 80s and 90s. But while this great freight-train of an experiment called the Internet has blown the doors open on self publication and distribution, we haven’t ever needed anything more...

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On Politics and the Personal

On Politics and the Personal

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Featured, fieldnotes |

I’ve started reading art books. I have a nice (smallish but growing rapidly) library of art books which I use for inspiration and reference when I’m working on projects. I flip through the pages, scanning the images, looking for something that catches my imagination with a connection to my aims for a project. But now I’ve started reading them too. And by reading I mean actually paying attention to the words on the page and not just the pretty pretty pictures in these beautiful books. It turns out there’s lots of great stuff buried in those words. Showing how an artist developed, putting little weird/random illustrations/photographs in context, explaining how pieces came to be. Below are a couple of books that I’ve spent time with this month, with the text that got pinned with a pink sticky note. William Kentridge Five Themes Andrew was writing about political art recently on twitter asking whether it was possible to create (I believe he said) “quiet” political art. This struck a chord: p.64 Kentridge’s work in inherently political, for it intimately reflects the conditions of his locale: Johannesburg, the South African state, and Africa in general. The son of a politically minded family, Kentridge was raised on the political ideals of earlier utopian societies. Yet, though his work engages with that of past artists who were deeply involved with political themes, he has moved beyond what is traditionally considered political art. His is an art that does not seek to present (or re-present) tragedies or express outrage, as was the case with Picasso’s Guernica (1937). Rather, he introduces he perspective of the perceiver-ego. In effect, he is said that the macrocosm offers only unspeakable horror, whereas the microcosm—the individual—offers possibilities for art. and this: p.115 “This ‘responsible’ attempt to keep certainty at bay implies a negative dialectic, and also a suspicion of the possibility of a direct, positive communication of meaning. For the philosopher Theodor Adorno, that which is immediately (and unmediatedly) understandable is essentially false, and the truth of artworks lies in their ability to avoid it: ‘The truth of discursive knowledge is enshrouded, and thus discursive knowledge does not have...

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