Monday, February 26, 2007
Blogs, or web logs, have exploded in number in recent years and have grown
to millions on the web. Blogs have become part of mainstream politics,
been banned in some countries, broken media stories, and been thoroughly
reviled and also lauded for providing space for anyone to publish their
thoughts on the web. This workshop is for anyone interested in writing
blogs, reading blogs, and/or looking at blogs analytically. Topics
covered, using examples of existing blogs: political possibilities and
limits, types of blogs and blog communities (personal/ political/
informative/ issue-based/ identity-based), safety (confidentiality,
anonymity, online personas, tracking readers, online relationships),
radical online culture, interdisciplinary writing, blog rings, blog
carnivals, blog design. Participants will be encouraged to looks at blogs
through different analytical lenses: as possible radical alternative
spaces; tools for diasporic cultures; forms of media with implications for
social movements and democracy; and sites of anonymity, (in)authenticity
and fantasies of freedom. Participants will explore these pitfalls and
possibilities of blogging through applying these lenses to a blog design
of their own.
About the Facilitator: Rabea Murtaza
Rabea Murtaza is a community worker, facilitator and writer. She has
worked in the areas of peer counselling, online support groups, magazine
publishing, feminist anti-racist queer-positive crisis counselling,
employment services and youth engagement. She works to create inclusive,
radical, creative and fun spaces for people to write, make art, connect
and explore new possibilities.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Yummy refreshments will be served! RSVP at
email@example.com (preferred) or leave a message at
Where: Centre For Women and Trans People, 563 Spadina Ave, Rm 100 (just
north of College)
When: Thursday, March 1st, 2007, 6:30-8:30pm
**we are wheelchair accessible**
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
The Zine Scene: Small Press Means (Big) Business
Past decades may not have stood for low budget paperbacks masquerading as high art, but these days, small press publications are well known, widely read and an economically sound solution to starting a revolution - or simply getting one's voice heard.
"Zines are self-produced print publications, mostly photocopied and hand-assembled," said Tara Bursey, a volunteer collective member at the Toronto Zine Library. "Their roots lie in Dada publications of the early 1900s, science-fiction fan magazines of the '30s and Beat chapbooks of the '50s and '60s."
Zines were a large part of the punk rock movement in the '70s and '80s, gaining notoriety in the early-to-mid '90s as a part of the grunge/punk revival. These days, zines are a participatory cultural art form with a dedicated following and an unmatched reputation of inciting societal and institutional change. Zine fairs, such as Canzine and Cut N' Paste Toronto, as well as the Brampton Indie Arts festival and various small press conventions across the country have opened up to the idea of these rough and ready creations as a valid literary art form.
"Some of my favourite zines from our collection are more art-focused," said Bursey. "[They] involve hand-touches such as silk-screened covers, sketchbook excerpts and reproductions of drawings."
Patrick Mooney, another collective member, relates to the somewhat radical roots in which zine subculture was first instated. "Some of my favourite zines include Cometbus, America? and Doris," said Mooney.
Aaron Elliot, creator of Cometbus, is a lyricist, drummer, self-proclaimed poet and "punk anthropologist" who produces his seminal punk rock zine out of pure passion. Despite the Internet invasion and blogging overload, Elliot has created a name for himself through his and other hardcopy publications for which he has written - including Absolutely Zippo and Tales of Blarg.
Although print publications are slowly falling to the wayside in a world of electronic communication, Bursey suggests the sometimes-painstaking creativity involved with small print press is part of the appeal and authenticity, whereas virtually anyone can create a Web site. She lists her favourites in terms of true artistry rather than out-there ideals.
"A few that come to mind are zines by Michael Comeau - a Toronto printmaker, and a zine called Thumbprint Biographies by his wife, Tara Azzopardi," said Bursey. "Both contain drawn and silk-screened elements."
"We recently acquired a zine called Old Weird America, in which the author recounts things that happened to her in her hometown of Detroit. All the stories are rather dark, and involve the poverty and extreme social conditions that some parts of Michigan are known for."
The cost of making a bi-monthly zine of a couple hundred copies is approximately $100, give or take the corners one cuts; however, the expression of self is priceless and, as the Toronto Zine collective suggests, worth the effort it entails.
"I would say that the most important thing," said Mooney, "is to just do it."
The Toronto Zine Library is located at the Tranzac club in Toronto. If you happen to be in Toronto, the collective encourages volunteers to work throughout the weekdays or 1-3 p.m. on Sundays.
The Brock Press, February 6, 2007.
Monday, February 5, 2007
Call For Submissions:
Help Create the Shapetionary!
What is the Shapetionary? It’s a visual index of objects.
It started from looking at the dictionary and wondering why some words are illustrated and others aren’t, then thinking it would be interesting to illustrate the whole dictionary, or all the object nouns...then organize them by shape.
So I extracted all, or most (aprox 9500), of the object nouns, now I am setting out to get them illustrated by as many different people as possible. I am interested in our subjective/collective understandings of objects. So far over 550 people are participating, I estimate that between 1200-1500 drawers are needed.
That’s a brief description. So, if you are interested in illustrating some words, email velvetbicycle and you will receive a list of 6-8 words, along with complete instructions.
All participants will be acknowledged.
Questions and comments can be directed to:
Sum Zine No. 1 is to be an art-lit-zine published by Something Collective, a small Toronto-based writing group.
Members are playwrights/actors/writers/editors/crafters. There are three of us. We are creative collaborators who have each done something to claim these titles and who aspire to do more, independently and together and with others.
Sum Zine will be the composite of our efforts and yours – an equation in which 'x' stands in for what is not yet known (this call is for submissions to our first issue!) and what is to be multiplied.
If you create something we can duplicate -- comix, poetry, publishable spoken word, illustration, literary fiction, chick lit noir, photography, experimental theatre, whatever – please submit.
This is a zine with no theme and no limits, with the exception of this: please submit no more than 5 pages.
Please include a brief bio, your coordinates and the name under which you wish to be published.
Editorial decisions will be collective.
Every single copy of our zine will be idiosyncratic--hand-stitched books crafted with glue, collages of text and images, odds and sods, yarn, string, or buttons --so we may need to edit submissions. Edits will be judicious and collaborative, made with submitting artists. As we will be producing a 'first run' of only a few zines, contributing artists will be sent a scan of the handcrafted book.
Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2007.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Big Hands #2 Aaron
Brainscan #20 Alex Wrekk
Crudenoise #4 Meredith Stern
Free Society #17 Stu
Griotzine #3 Brian D.
Griotzine #4 Brian D.
Konstrusjon #4.5 Asne Hagen (Norwegian!)
The Perfect Mix Tape Segue #3 Joe Biel
Wisconsin Heather F.
thanks to everybody for coming to our workshop!