Chris Drew on 27 Sep 2000 04:00:15 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] ART-ACT Notes 25a

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  ART-ACT Notes 25a

  1) Link to "T-shirt Art Harvest Festival" Press Release
  2) Testimony of the ART-ACT Judges

Learn how we intend to celebrate the art of ART-ACT at our "T-shirt Art
Harvest Festival on Friday, September 29-30 at this link....


Untitled by Mat Heugly. I picked this one for my first choice for its
simplicity and content, because it would reproduce well and because I would
wear it myself.  Written comments: Simplicity of design, obviously well
thought out, excellent graphic statement, good text.

Number 2, I picked "Together, Tolerance between Cultures" by Rui Bernardini
Azenha. It goes straight to the point. Solid Reproductive qualities.

"Red, Black and Proud" by Kaminelana Cheatem is really strong. I think its
highly intellectualized but it makes you read and look and I like that.
Written comments: Strong visual and excellent text!

Those are my choices and for a fourth - although they are not eligible it is
a tie between Robert Wapahi's "Not Enough and Carlos Cortez's "Chicago Sings
in Many Voices." I've got to run. Thanks for including me, Carlos, Robert,

Kharl Walker exits.

"OK, my number one choice is "All the Same Under the Skin" by Pat Apt. My
reason is it expresses the theme of racism without singling out any specific

And my second Choice , "One Race - the Human race" by Jeffery Szeto. A
simple design and easy to read. It expresses the same (content) as my first

3rd Choice, "Tolerance Between Cultures" by Rui Bernardini Azenha. I think
it speaks for itself. There should be tolerance between cultures.

And my fourth choice is this little cartoon here, "Media Take" by Tim
Jackson. though it does single out a specific group - it exposes the denial
that racism exists in Amerika. In other words the idea that its only a few
racists - a few crazy individuals and, yet - the fact is it does exist and
has existed since the first European landed on these shores. Historically,
it wasn't brotherly love that chased the Indians off their land an shot 'em
down if they weren't fast enough or - it wasn't brotherly love that
exploited the labor of kidnapped Africans.

those are my four choices.

I avoided mention of specific groups. That's why I didn't choose yours,"
Carlos said referring to Robert Wapahi's "Not Enough." This image of a
native with his hands and feet cut off reflects the horror which Christopher
Columbus perpetrated on Native Peoples when they did not enrich him with
gold enough to justify to his creditors - those who send him back to this
hemisphere on his second trip. Carlos Continued, "... besides you being a
member of the Board of Directors and a Judge," he added laughing.  "This
addresses a specific group the Indians and does not address racism in total.

"Precious in His sight" by Shannon Burns. Just because of the design.
Because of my working with kids (tutor at St-Augustine's Excel Learning
Center) I know they think it (the smiley face) is their symbol. Young kids
have adopted it like bubble gum. Everybody's using it in one form or
another. I didn't notice the cross in it until later or I might not have
voted for it. It was the circle that caught my eye. (The circle is a sacred
symbol to a number of religions including the Lakota Nation of which Robert
is a member.)

"Mother's Child" by Katrina Joyner. Being a Mother - no matter how the
evolving of the child, is the most beautiful and yet the most draining, it
speaks directly to the viewer - the message there - "We are all a Mother's
child" - and literally, literally....

And this one, DWB - Driving While Black or Brown" by Carlos N. Molina.
Only because of the recognisability, it that a word? It's 15 letters!
Because of the initial - kinda - mentality (J.P. for John Paul or an
acronym), it is something read quicker. Anything with three letters like
AOL, SOS ...

ANNE: "What does DWB mean anyway?

ROBERT: Driving while black or brown. (A play on DWI - a common acronym
meaning - Driving While Intoxicated, a legal bind many North Americans find
themselves in.)

That's the main reason. Because of the initial thing - in keeping with the
times of us - not everybody - but of everybody he is sending that message

And, yes I did get personal (laugh) - "Oppressors Bite the Dust" by Francis
Yellow. This one purely as a statement from US that answers for all the
oppressed! It is our image - the idea is in the title, 'Oppressors Bite the
Dust.' It has a direction based on the Ledger Book style. ( The ledger book
style is a body of artwork by Lakota artists - draws or paints on large
sheets of financial ledger book paper which was available after the invasion
of the Europeans.)

And those are my choices.

I picked "All the Same Under the Skin" by Pat Apt first because it is not
antagonistic but positive. It celebrates everybody's same-ness. We are all
the same under the skin. It uses the Mexican Day of the Dead imagery without
limiting humanity's "same-ness" just to Mexicans. People may wear different
clothes on the outside, be they skin colors, cultural traditions or what
have you - but underneath it all we are all exactly the same.

And this one second - "Oppressors Bite the Dust" by Francis Yellow. I like
revolutionary themes and I like the stylized rendering of the people and

And third, "Ourface" by Jesanmichael. I think its cool, you know, with the
black and white and the harlequin thing in the face. Its the same face but
it portrays the two sides of the face of humanity - the two aspects of a
larger whole.

ROBERT WAPAHI: I was looking at it up close and it was a little confusing.

ANNE:  I was looking for stuff that would jump up off the floor. (Fliers
each with an art submission were spread around the floor at the American
Indian Center for the judges to pick their selections from.) A t-shirt
design should be able to be seen from across the street.

"Tolerance between Cultures" by Rui Bernardini Azenha. The reverberations
between seemingly different ways of life are in apparent dissonance with
each other yet all fit within the circle of life.

I'm not going to put these in order. I think I'd be hard pressed to put
anything in order as far as these images go. I know half the artists - some
for years - and the other half - I've met some of them a bit as well through
e-mail. There are a lot of good designs. For those reasons I am too biased
to be objective and so I'll just be random.

I like Tim's (Jackson) "Media Take." Tim Jackson, he's not eligible as a
Board Member too win the $500 prize, but these comments that go along with
the work in this contest are still valuable in my opinion. To me they are
the more valuable for the many who view these pages.

Because I felt that it spoke strongly of a system of denial in these United
States  - in terms of racism and other wrongs in our History and presently.

"the Power of the Image to Educate or Mis-Educate" by Charlene Teters.
Today, if I had to single one out, I'd probably pull this one out as much
for the artist courageous actions as for the image. It is an image out there
(in society) doing good work right now, to make people think and become
aware as to how mascots fall into the whole scheme of racism. And because
the artist, with this and other earlier images she created, gave a major
energy boost to a movement to stop the use of Native Americans as mascots
for sports teams. She risked her life when she first used her art against
the use of a Native American mascot on her own university's campus, the
University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana.

Her art and protests that followed put that university's mascot tradition
under the public glare and she stood behind it against much ugliness by
those who opposed any change in their habits. They still continue to insult
Native Americans with maintaining a mascot which Native American groups from
across this continent point to as disrespectful and stereotypical.

I wanted to nominate "Increase the Peace" because I believe the artist is
young and taking a first stand to speak out. This can be a turning point in
a person's life. Is this a young person discovering the power of the pen?
Someone who has the courage to submit to our contest by snail mail because
he had something to say? He had to send his Bio information or an Artist's
Statement in a later post, and he did this, as well. That is follow-through.
Those are the qualities a young person needs to be a successful artist, a
reason to speak out and follow through, in my opinion.

And this artist too, "Family rights are Human rights" by Ellen Papciak-Rose
because it examines the complexities of racism. Her work reflects a mature
style and her voice - how well she communicates her ideas - is clear. Also
for me because She was the first artist from outside the U.S.A. to take our
contest and struggle seriously. Many of my comments have to do with the "the
process of art in community or my perception of the role of art in a
community setting rather than aesthetics. She seems to be making a sincere
effort to communicate issues important to the healing needed in South
Africa, presently.

Those are my choices. I could have made other on another day without
remorse. I won't order them because I might have picked others as well and
because i think the entering, the showing , the doing is much more important
than the winning. I am more interested in the making of comments then in
making the winner. I will let others determine that.

CARLOS: I like that footnote, I made my choice on its potential to
communicate the idea, its simplicity and the impact of its content.

"Death to Racism" by Jason Bowman. I think this is a very profound piece of
work. I remember you said it was by a skinhead?

CHRIS: An Anti-Racist Skinhead. There are violently racist rock bands
infiltrating the Skinhead movement - the Punk Rock movement. A rift
developed between the Skinheads that aligned themselves with the racist
bands and those that objected to their music scene being invaded by bigots
and twisted toward hate. They organized a response, the Anti-Racist
Skinheads to defend their music scene from the bigots.

LYDIA: It shows a very powerful statement of an individual and the Gothic
Script he used like in Church or in the Bible. Its powerful because of the
elements the symbols - he uses and the way he used them - you know - in our
face - with the club coming out of the image at you - the viewer. It doesn't
hide the symbols of racism - it shows them and how wrong they are.
He doesn't say it with words - he illustrates it. I think it is an artistic
approach to expressing the racism of this country.

My second choice, "Why" by Audrey Gubin, is one much more simplistic but
very quiet and it makes another powerful statement. It asks WHY.

ANNE: The Swastika is not exactly a quiet symbol.

No - but the way it is done in shades of gray, less black - like a quiet
question - not a bold contrasty image. And then the two question marks "Why
it had to start in the first place?... and how come we let it go?

CARLOS: May I make a little commentary? The Swastika has been a millenium
old symbol of harmony - a symbol co-opted by Hitler, and of course, he even
co-opted the word "socialism" and as a person of indigenous ancestry, I
can't see a sacred symbol perverted by twenty-years of European History. I
think those Swastika for all practical purposes are dead anyway and consider
the cross as a symbol tarnished by the Crusaders and the dollar sign itself
which is an even more pernicious symbol. that's my comment.

TIM JACKSON: I sort of feel that way about Swastikas too because I know
whenever I do something (a drawing/cartoon) about racism I never use it.

LYDIA: I just think - for me - it is asking "Why has it come to this?"

TIM: I like the image."

LYDIA: I like it, too.

CARLOS: I see your point there. Yes...

LYDIA: Unity by Jeffery Szeto. this is also very strong to me, I like the
way the hands come together to show unity. It also shows that to do things
constructive you use both hands and it is a very simple design and it says

CARLOS: In fact - I think it has every bit as much impact without the term
'UNITY' to see two hands of different colors clasping. I think that - in
itself - has a visual impact.

Chris Drew
Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center   We dress Chicago and the
Internet in t-shirt art.  Come get some! 773/561-7676

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