Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mimeo Mimeo

I might be preaching to the choir here, as I bet that most readers of this blog already read or subscribe to Jed Birmingham and Kyle Schlesinger's Mimeo Mimeo, but if you haven't seen issue 6 buy it now, here
The conceit behind this issue is deceptively simple. It prints new work by eight poets, all of whom were associated with the Mimeo Revolution to some degree - Bill Berkson, John Godfrey, Ted Greenwald, Joanne Kyger, Kit Robinson, Rosmarie Waldrop, Lewis Warsh, and Geoffrey Young. After I sat down and read through it, I was struck by how well these poets rub shoulders under these covers. I thinking the grouping is quietly provocative, because it forced me to see a commonality between these writers I had missed before. I call this quality consistency only for the lack of a better word. Out of the ephemerality and immediacy of the Mimeograph Revolution, all these writers have forged remarkably durable and ongoing bodies of work, and the work benefits from being presented together in this context.
Also, laid into this issue is a multiple entitled Manufact Hologram by Robert Strong. I won't say anything about this piece, except that it is very, very cool and worth the price of admission alone.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lucky Catalog #13

Catalog 13. Stab-stapled in sandpaper. The Division Leap crew no longer have fingerprints.

Our lucky catalog #13 has just been issued. Highlights include art by Joe Brainard and Ray Johnson, Ray Johnson's first artist book, the flier for Andy Warhol's film Empire, signed by the cameraman, the first book ever designed to be a weapon, complete runs of several zines and magazines of the Mimeograph Revolution, Ed Sander's Fuck You Press, Graffiti, the student movements of 1968, Chicano low rider magazines, the Red Army Faction, Hip Hop, the Kommunication Liberation Front, No Wave, Hacktivism, and the Symbionese Liberation Army. 

The pdf can be accessed here

There are a handful of printed copies available, which are bound in sandpaper (apologies to Jorn and Debord). Email me if you'd like to receive one.

The Birth of An American Prayer

The original poster for this May 1969 reading at the Sacramento State College Gallery, which featured Jim Morrison of the Doors along with Michael McClure and D. R. Wagner. This was the first public reading of Jim Morrison's long poem "An American Prayer." It documents a watershed moment in Morrison's career as a poet, and is also a fascinating link between Morrison and the poetry of the Mimeograph Revolution. Around the time of this reading Morrison, after being shown some of Wallace Berman's publications by McClure, was inspired to publish his first poetry book, the Lords, in a loose leaf folder format. One has to assume that the publication was Semina. [Reference: Davis, Stephen. Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend pp. 130-1]

Yet another post in which I obsessively mention Wallace Berman. 

Morrison, Jim and Michael McClure, D. R. Wagner. Reading and Show. Sacramento: SSC Gallery, nd. [1969]. 16 1/2 x 21 3/4", offset printed. Folded twice, with some toning along fold lines, else fine. SOLD.

From our upcoming lucky catalog no. 13, out in a matter of hours.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wallace Berman, Lenny Bruce and Dinner with the Cops

The Digger Papers was the final Diggers publication. The entire contents also appeared as issue no. 81 of Paul Krassner's The Realist, but this edition was printed separately for free distribution in San Francisco, as had their previous leaflets - some of which are reprinted here, along with new material. 

All the work in the Digger Papers is uncredited, in keeping with the Diggers non-attribution policy. I already knew that the book contained work by Gary Snyder and Richard Brautigan, but I was surprised to see a collage I recognized on one of the pages.

"Untitled" (Lenny Bruce) by Wallace Berman
I recognized this Wallace Berman collage, having seen it in the excellent 2009 exhibition at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery. It is also reproduced on p. 17 of Semina Culture. It accompanies a poem called "Take a Cop to Dinner". The poem is probably a reaction to a proposal by the Haight Independent Proprietors (HIP) to improve communication between the police and members of the Haight Community by having dinner with a cop. There is an account of this meeting, and the reaction of the Diggers to it on p. 292 of Emmet Grogan's Ringolevio, which I've been reading along with Peter Coyote's Memoir Sleeping Where I Fall. 

It is a fascinating and beautiful page. Wallace Berman and Lenny Bruce both had problems with censorship and police response to their work. In Berman's case, the seizure of copies of Semina in the Ferus Gallery raid led to him withdrawing from the art world of the "City of Degenerate Angels." I wasn't aware of any connection between Wallace Berman and the Diggers. From reading Peter Coyote's memoir, I know that Billy Jahrmarkt (of Batman Gallery infamy) was associated with the Diggers - perhaps there are other links as well. The Diggers produced some of the most beautiful radical publications of the sixties, and this is a fascinating association with the Semina Circle and their work. 

The Digger Papers. [San Francisco]: Free City, nd. [c. 1969]. Some spotty foxing and staining to the wraps, but very good. 

From our upcoming lucky catalog no. 13, out in a matter of hours.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"The Hand Becomes a Framing Window"

Danieli, Fidel, ed. L.A. Artists' Publication Nos. 1-4 1/2 [All Published]. 

Los Angeles: L. A. Artists' Publication, 1972-73. Five numbers, each an unbound assemblage of posters, textpieces and pageworks housed in a printed envelope. 

The entire run of this formally inventive artists' periodical from Southern California. Each artist was responsible for the printing of their own piece; they submitted their work along with a list of 25 people (later, 10 people) whom they thought would be interested in receiving the magazine. Includes contributions from the great Eleanor Antin (her piece 'Renunciations' in no. 1, and 'Domestic Peace' in no. 2), Betye Saar, Bob Haas, Jim Edson, Caroline Kent, John Beckman, and a variety of Mail Artists, including The Northwest Mounted Valise, John Dowd, Lowell Darling, and Dana Atchley. With it's unusual form of production and distribution the magazine provided a fascinating template for artists to communicate their work with each other and interested parties outside of the gallery system, somewhat in the spirit of other "newsletter" artists' periodicals such as Floating Bear and Semina - in fact, no. 2 contains a very cool homage to Wallace Berman by the editor. 

"Wallace Berman: A Portrait" by Fidel Danieli

Contents fine: envelopes addressed and mailed, and in some cases opened roughly, but very good. SOLD

From our upcoming lucky catalog #13, out this week.