Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Axis Alley Install This Weekend

Book Bombs has been busy cutting denim paper for our Axis Alley installation this weekend.

Artist Sarah Doherty has coordinated with the Baltimore Housing Authority and the Mayors City Council to utilize vacant properties in the Old Goucher neighborhood of Baltimore for site specific artworks. From the Axis Alley site: “Axis Alley seeks through creative engagement to utilize the backyards of vacant properties and vacant lots as a canvas for creative works that transform, activate and revitalize the overlooked, under-attended areas of Baltimore’s back alleys."

Book Bombs will be wheatpasting handmade denim paper cut into the shapes of endangered native plant species at the rear of 2212 N. Calvert:

The opening celebration for this and other installations at the rear of the 20xx-22xx blocks of N. Calvert St. will be on May 23, with a rain date of May 22, from 3pm to 6pm. (Check our blog, or the Axis Alley site, for updates.)

And look for some installation shots cropping up here next week!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Impractical Labor

Denim paper production is underway for an installation in a few weeks in Baltimore as part of the Axis Alley project. It's been a few months since Book Bombs has engaged in the pulpy side of production, and I was oh-so-ready to get my hands wet. While I got the vat set up, I was thinking of the absurd elements of the task we are undertaking: cutting up old jeans, pulling sheets of handmade paper, cutting this paper down by hand into the shapes of endangered native plant species, and wheat pasting all of this to the back of a building that will ultimately be demolished in a few months. The absurdity is heightened by the use of tools that were not designed for me: clumsily cutting rags using Michelle's large right-handed shears with my small left hand since I'd forgotten my own scissors, leaning into a too-tall vat to form sheets large enough to test the production limits of my five-foot frame. The labor is ultimately satisfying, but I couldn't help but think about the time in one's life of newly learning fine motor skills and constantly climbing up into kitchen chairs designed for humans twice one's size.

Look for more updates on the Axis Alley project soon, but this seems an appropriate time to share a link to Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA). ILSSA, instigated by our friends-in-labor Bridget Elmer and Emily Larned, serves as a point of solidarity for those of us who engage in obsolete technologies as a labor of love and perhaps compulsion.
ILSSA operates a listserv for communications amongst members. Union members also receive printed matter on a periodic basis from the ILSSA Research Institute (pictured above!). Their motto: "as long as it takes!" That sounds about right. Thanks for the solidarity, folks! Sometimes it really helps us get through the task at hand....

[posted by Local 215 Shop MT]

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Book Bombs Exhibits and Artist Talks

Book Bombs is pleased to announce two one-night only events in Philadelphia in the coming days.

Saturday, April 10, from 7-11pm, we will be participating in Acting Out, the first 2010 exhibition of the roving Homeskooled Gallery. The exhibit will feature documentation of recent Book Bombs print drops, alongside Michelle and Mary's independent zine work, alongside other artists. Acting Out will be held at “Mr. Mom,” 131 S. 50th Street in West Philadelphia. The exhibit signifies both HomeSkooled’s new, unconventional exhibition spaces and also themes of political and social “disobedience.” A local DJ and some drinks will enhance your artistic appreciation. Other artists include: Anonymous, Maisaloon Dias, Emily Smith Satis, Leslie Stickler. We hope you will come by and say hi!

Monday, April 12, Book Bombs will participate in the Plays & Players On Stage Philadelphia event. The complete suite of Book Bombs prints will be on display--again, for one night only--and we will give a brief artist talk as part of the evening's lineup of theatrical, dance, and other short performances. The program begins at 7pm at 1714 Delancey Place.