Close Quarters: Friedrich Kerksieck of Small Fires Press

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Close Quarters is a quarterly conversation with one or two interdisciplinary artists, designers, or craftsmen. Sometimes at the artist’s studio, these events allow for close, hands-on examination of work and engaging dialog. The first installment of Close Quarters will be with our very own Friedrich Kerksieck at Small Fires Press.

Friedrich Kerksieck – Small Fires Press
April 16, 7-9pm (presentation starts at 7:30pm)
Small Fires Press Studio – 1339 St. Roch Ave.

Friedrich Kerksieck is a letterpress printer, binder, paper maker & poet living in New Orleans with his wife, Gabrielle Trimm & their two cats, Bela Scoops & Bip Scoops. He runs Small Fires Press, an independent letterpress & binding venture. Friedrich attended the University of Alabama for his MFA in Book Arts.

20141119-am-sfp-7912For more information contact info@www.siftart.org

Next Close Quarters!

Sophie Lucido Johnson – Neutrons Protons
July 16, 7-9pm (presentation starts at 7:30pm)
Location TBA

 

Happy Hour Artist Salon: Steven Daiber

Happy Hour Artist Salon: Steven Daiber
Thursday, October 16
6:30pm
Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
3718 St. Claude Avenue

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Steven Daiber of Red Trillium Press/Aqui en la Lucha will present over 10 years of printmaking and book arts collaborations in Havana Cuba, at a Happy Hour Artists Salon beginning at 6:30 on Thursday, October 16, at Press Street’s Antenna Gallery. He will have a wide selection of books to share, including his own work, Red Trillium Press collaborations, and artist books from individual Cuban artists.

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About Steven Daiber
Steven Daiber has worked with books for more than twenty years. He has been to Cuba regularly since 2001 and to Hanoi in 2008 & 2014. Through book arts he has facilitated dialogue with artists in Cuba and Vietnam introducing them to a new medium of expression.

Daiber’s recent trips to Hanoi in 2008 & 2014 and Havana in 2010, 2011, 2013 included teaching printmaking, books arts and developing book collaborations with print artists. The artists Daiber represents and the books he creates in collaboration with Cuban and Vietnamese artists tell stories of the lived reality in Cuba and Vietnam in the 21st century.

www.redtrilliumpress.com

 

 

Reading Discussion #1

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Now that the summer is coming to a close and we’ve all gotten our page-turning beach-reading completed, we’d like to dig into something with a bit more tooth. SIFT is starting a reading group in which we look at articles or artist projects in depth. For each reading group, we will ask you to read several articles or investigate certain projects. Then we will set a time to meet up and discuss. For our inaugural art discussion, we would like you to read two articles and an interview. The first discussion will take place September 23, 2014, at Shake Sugary, 3600 St. Claude Avenue, date and location TBA . Check back for updates.

 

Revolutions in Making, text by David Rejeski, illustrations by Amanda McCorkle

Will There be Condominiums in Data Space by Bill Viola

A conversation with Alison Knowles

 

Happy Hour Artist Salon with Gerald Cannon

Happy Hour Artist Salon with Gerald Cannon
6pm, Thursday, May 1, 2014
Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
3718 Saint Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117

Gerald Cannon will give a talk at 6pm, Thursday, May 1 in conjunction with the Parameters exhibition on view at Antenna Gallery until May 4. The Parameters exhibition features four artists who use interesting rules or guidelines to create their work. Canon’s digital prints within the exhibition suggest natural forms, but were created using code and logarithms.

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Disposal 6 by Gerald Cannon, Archival Digital Print, 2013

GERALD CANNON currently teaches Digital Arts at Loyola University New Orleans. Cannon has had numerous one-person exhibitions and been included in group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe.  He has won fellowship grants from the Southern Arts Federation/NEA, the Southeastern Center for the Contemporary Arts, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Notable exhibitions include the SIGGRAPH’96 , the 2001 New Orleans Museum of Art Triennial, a twenty year retrospective exhibition at Clark Hall Gallery in Southeastern Louisiana University in 2001, and an exhibition and artist residency in Innsbruck, Austria in 2002.  In 2005, Cannon was awarded the Louisiana Regent’s ATLAS Grant – the first given to a visual artist for personal research.

Parameters

Parameters
on view at Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
April 12–May 4, 2014

Gallery Opening & Reception:
Saturday, April 12, 2014
6:00pm to 10:00pm

Happy Hour Artist Salon with Gerald Cannon
Thursday, May 1, 2014
6pm

Parameters, curated by SIFT members Amelia Bird, Angela Driscoll, and Yuka Petz, features work from national and local artists who use chance experiments, media or process restrictions, and conceptual rules as boundaries or guidelines to form their work. The exhibition includes artist books, sculpture and prints from Gerald Cannon (New Orleans, LA), Jessica Hoffman (Seattle, WA), Heidi Neilson (Brooklyn, NY), and Robin Price (Middletown, CT).

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Disposal 6 by Gerald Cannon, Archival Digital Print, 2013
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Stereoviews by Jessica Hoffman, 2013
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43, According to Robin Price, artist book, 2009

 

Artist Bios:
GERALD CANNON currently teaches Digital Arts at Loyola University New Orleans. Cannon has had numerous one-person exhibitions and been included in group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe.  He has won fellowship grants from the Southern Arts Federation/NEA, the Southeastern Center for the Contemporary Arts, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Notable exhibitions include the SIGGRAPH’96 , the 2001 New Orleans Museum of Art Triennial, a twenty year retrospective exhibition at Clark Hall Gallery in Southeastern Louisiana University in 2001, and an exhibition and artist residency in Innsbruck, Austria in 2002.  In 2005, Cannon was awarded the Louisiana Regent’s ATLAS Grant – the first given to a visual artist for personal research.

JESSICA HOFFMAN received an MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She received a BFA in Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC in 2003. She has also studied at the Pratt Fine Arts Center, Center for Book Arts, Fleisher Art Memorial, Project Basho, and the Maine Photographic Workshops. Her work investigates memory, obsessive behaviors, and interactions between people and communication technology. Her installations include work in several mediums, among them video, photography, books, and printmaking. Ms. Hoffman has exhibited her work nationally in galleries and book fairs, including the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis, Interstitial Theatre and Short Run Small Press Fest in Seattle, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art in Wilmington, Small Press Expo (SPX) in Bethesda, MD, and the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia, PA. Hoffman currently lives and works in Seattle, WA.

HEIDI NEILSON is an artist addressing topics such as weather, fake snow, and the cultural landscape of outer space. Her work, often collaborative and publishing-based, has been supported by the Art Matters Foundation, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Center for Book Arts, the College Book Art Association, The Drawing Center, Flux Factory, I-Park, the International Print Center New York, the Islip Art Museum, Kala Art Institute, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Lower East Side Printshop, Provisions Library, the Queens Museum of Art, Visual Studies Workshop, and Women’s Studio Workshop. She is a member of the ABC Artists’ Books Cooperative, co-founded SP Weather Station, and her work is included in over 60 museum and university collections. Born in Oregon, Heidi received a BA in biology from Reed College and an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute, and lives and works in New York.

ROBIN PRICE is an artist, editor, and letterpress printer & publisher of artists’ books for 30 years. The work of the press has become a lifelong, interdisciplinary liberal arts education, and her press books are collected & exhibited internationally. “A chameleon among book artists,” she often seeks out contemporary artists, writers, and artisans with whom to collaborate, striving for synergistic books with extensive diversity in content and form. A major wellspring of inspiration is the purposeful use of chance in creative work, especially as defined by John Cage; she has been lecturing and teaching specifically on that subject since 2002, when she co-curated an exhibition at Yale University Sterling Library with Jae Rossman, “By Chance: Serendipity and Randomness in Contemporary Artists’ Books.”

Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
3718 Saint Claude Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 5:00pm.

For more information contact info@press-street.org or info@www.siftart.org.

Diversions

Diversions
on view at Press Street’s Reading Room 220
April 12–May 4, 2014

Exhibition Opening & Reception:
Saturday, April 12, 2014
6:00pm to 10:00pm

Juror Walk Through and SIFT Happy Hour
Thursday, April 24, 2014
6pm

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Natural Order: A Game of Pairs by Anne Covell

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DIVERSIONS is a juried selection of artist book and book-related works in Press Street’s new Reading Room 220. Selected by local artists Friedrich Kerkseick and Luba Zygarewicz, these works explore the use of rules and play as a way for making work and/or creating interaction with the viewer. The artist books in Diversions can be handled and read during the Reading Room 220’s open hours (Tuesday-Sunday, 12-5pm).

Diversions includes work by Sarah Bryant, Karen Carcia, Anne Covell, Sue Carrie Drummond, Jenna Fincher, Frank Hamrick, Moon Jung Jang, Jill Kambs, Ellen Knudson, Kimberly Maher, Laura Mongiovi, Pamela Olson, and Emily Tipps.

Gallery Hours:Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 5:00pm.
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Call for Entries – Diversions Prospectus

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Exhibition Dates:                       April 12 – May 4, 2014

Deadline for Submission:         March 6, 2014

Diversions
Games are played through interactions with one or more rules. This structure can be used in the process to create work, or as a way to create interaction for the viewer, or both. We are seeking artist books and book related works that explore the use of rules and play as a way for making work and/or creating interaction with the viewer.

Media
This exhibition is open to handmade books and book related works. Artist books, sculptural books, book objects, altered books, zines. One-of-a-kind, and editioned books are all encouraged.

Display of Work
The work chosen for this exhibition will be displayed on shelves as part of a temporary library in Reading Room 220, at the Press Street Building. Visitors to the Reading Room will be allowed to handle all work.

Fees
$15 submission fee for up to 3 works. You may include 3 images of each work.

How to submit
All US artists 18 and older are eligible. Send us jpg images of your work through Submittable.

www.pressstreet.submittable.com/submit

Along with your entry fee and images, please include dimensions of the work in both its closed and open states. Additional questions about this call can be emailed to info@www.siftart.org.

Sales
Press Street will retain a 30 percent commission with the remaining 70 percent going to the artist no later than one month after the sale.

Shipping
All shipping and shipping insurance to and from Antenna Gallery are the artists responsibility. Shipping instructions will be provided once the piece has been accepted.

Jurors
Friedrich Kerksieck is a letterpress printer, designer, and binder who publishes hand bound chapbooks and artist books. He received his MFA in Book Arts from the University of Alabama. Friedrich and his wife, Gabrielle recently relocated from Memphis, TN to New Orleans, LA, and are the team behind Small Fires Press.

Luba Zygarewicz is a visual artist who received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Words have become an important part of her sculptures and installations. A large part of her process is an accumulation of elements over time, as she works daily with mundane materials, such as hair, lint, twigs, cotton, paper, and tea.

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Zines in the Crescent City

by Alisha Rae

I made my first zine, a mini-comic, at the age of 30. I didn’t start drawing until a few months before that, mostly about the eccentricities of working at a 24-hour coffee shop for 6 years. I thought I was drawing for catharsis and that I would never publish my scribbles. But one day, when I was visiting my family in Miami, I just did it–I made my first mini-comic. I had the idea for a year, and had been waiting for the right moment to get it done. A lot of people who read it related to it. Having art that people relate to is fulfilling for me because it informs me that I am not alone. I often feel like I’m not alone when I read other people’s zines.

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Anyone can make a zine, so zines are made by real people. Because of this, they are honest and have integrity. My favorite zines are perzines (personal zines). They reveal people’s personal truths and vulnerabilities. They are honest in a way that only a true friend is. I like that because vulnerability created through art is something I value and hope to achieve with my work.

A couple of my favorite perzines are:

Doris by Cindy Crabb is a zine published since the early 90’s. I met Cindy in Chattanooga a month after making my first comic and traded my mini-comic for the new Doris zine. Doris was the first perzine I read and related to. She writes about gender, introspection, the need for challenge and change, mental health, family dynamics, and her own life stories. I feel less alone knowing other people feel the same way I do. And sometimes that’s all I need to know–that those feelings are out there, and that they are valid.

Telegram by Maranda Elizabeth. Maranda has been writing Telegram, a perzine, for almost a decade along with other published zines. In Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues, they answer the question of “Why I write zines: for Survival and Revenge,” which means to write as a means of self-care and support. This is a way of surviving that I can relate to, especially in hard times. Publishing zines is a way to show all the haters that you survived the harsh world. Also, Maranda chooses to use the gender neutral pronoun “they,” which I respect because it challenges social norms about gender. All in all, they value weirdness and I have identified with that ever since I was eight years old and haters called me weird too.

New Orleans has a strong history with zines. Here are some zines from people who live or have lived in New Orleans:

Shotgun Seamstress, by Osa Atoe, is a music fanzine by and for black punks, but is also relatable to allies, queers, feminists, DIY artists, and musicians. I’ve discovered a lot of music through this zine, and even more that is indicative of the culture of POC (People of Color), DIY, and New Orleans. Osa includes essays, interviews with muicians, reviews, and historical portraits of important artists and scenes. A collection of these zines was just completed and published through Mend My Dress Press.

Chainbreaker! by Shelley Jackson is a zine I always refer to when working on a bike. My copy of Chainbreaker (now made into an anthology) is covered in grease and dirt from all the times I have referred to it while working on my bike. She often writes about being a female mechanic and cyclist, which I relate to as a volunteer at Plan B New Orleans Community Bike Project.

Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf is a project to challenge hetero and gender normative practices in sexuality education through comics. Topics like safer sex and consent from an LGBTQ-friendly stance are examined through submissions, primarily from young people. Each issue has a different theme, like firsts, bodies, and health. If there was any zine worth relating to, it’s this one. Exploring and discovering one’s own body and sexuality can feel very isolating. These comics give a new perspective on these personal issues and make you feel supported, but they also are funny and entertaining. A book compiling all the issues and some new content will be published in August 2013.

Invert is a comic zine made by and for queers in New Orleans. It is a tribute to radical queers that came before us and is an outlet for us to tell our stories in the face of heteronormativity. As written in the introduction, “This object exists because queer narratives are important and underrepresented.” There is currently one issue released. A call for comic submissions will appear soon for the next issue.

New Orleans eccentricities have been chronicled in zines for years. Stories Care Forgot is an anthology of zines from and about New Orleans before 2005. A collection of zines saved from Katrina by Ethan Clark, this anthology is a testament to a time in New Orleans when punk zine culture flourished. Clarke writes, “These zines tell the story of a time, a place, and a group of people who were struggling to follow their ideals and figure out their place in a troubled and magical city.” Reading through these stories, I relate to many of them. I have written several weirdo comics about bicycle delivery, and I see in Stories that some things never change. John Gerken and Happy Burbank were writing zines about their bicycle delivery jobs in New Orleans almost a decade ago. Additionally, I find in this anthology that observations about gentrification still hold true, just in different neighborhoods. The neighborhood written about in older New Orleans zines is well through gentrification, but it’s encouraging to hear thoughts from a previous time that parallels with my present. Also present in Stories Care Forgot is a history of Treme (did you know Claiborne used to have a park before they built I-10 over it?) and personal experiences in the sex industry, which is an integral part of this city.

Since moving to New Orleans, I have been drawing more and more. All the inspiration from bizarre encounters to magical life changing events have provided ample material for zines. New Orleans is very different since the storm, but its diversity and charm hasn’t changed. People will still travel from around the world to visit the city care forgot, and our zines will continue to chronicle the personal struggles and important issues the city faces that we don’t want anyone to forget.

 

Alisha Rae lives in New Orleans and harnesses magic through drawing, singing, dancing, baking, and bicycling.

I Am Going to be Awesome Tumblr

 

Pop-up Zine Library

NEW DATES and LOCATIONS!
Hosted at Rosa Keller Library and Community Center
4300 S. Broad Street, New Orleans, LA
Saturday, June 1, 2013
noon-4pm

Hosted at Teen Night at the Contemporary Arts Center
900 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA
Saturday, June 15, 2013
6-9pm

Contemporary Arts Center TEEN NIGHT celebrates the launch of the Teen Magazine and to get a last look at the Teen exhibition.
The event is by teens for teens featuring a first look at the Teen Board Magazine: Third Eye. Teen Night will have artmaking, a photo booth, music, a live story making wall, free food, and SIFT’s pop-up zine library! The event will also be the last chance to see the teen exhibition.

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Pull up a comfy chair and read awhile at the Pop-Up Zine Library.

The Pop-Up Zine Library features local and national zines, including selections from The Iron Rail, personal collections from New Orleans, and a multitude of current zines from across the country. The Pop-Up Zine Library will be appearing at several locations across the city from March through May, so keep posted as we continue to announce upcoming dates as they are scheduled.

 

 

Pop-up Library Dates:
March 9, 6-9pm               Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
March 30, noon-5pm        Press Street’s Antenna Gallery
June 1, noon-4pm            Rosa Keller Library and Community Center
June 15, 6-9pm               Teen Night at the CAC

Interested in hosting the Pop-Up Zine Library? Send us an e-mail and let us know!

Special thanks to folks who donated/loaned to the library:

Ethan Clark
John Gerken

 

Paper Blog

by Clark Allen

I was a pretty stupid kid. I’m arguably a pretty stupid adult too but I can thankfully say that that’s a debatable matter. Good and ill, I have my moments both ways, and while I hope public opinion of me leans closer to the former it still remains to be seen what will be engraved on my tombstone (I’m vying for “stick a fork in me”). My childhood incompetence however, was generic, likely relatable to millions of other Americans similarly raised in the working class suburbs of the eighties and nineties. School sucked. Adults were boring. Radio hits were largely “alternative” misanthropic croons. The internet hadn’t taken center stage to vacuum our attention spans just yet, and television was more focused on what was in the president’s pants than The Gulf conflict. If your family wasn’t too poor or too rich, by the time the Clinton era was in full swing the chances of living that time in life adrift in some state of American ennui was mighty high. Out in the suburbs, man, it was a real snooze.

I was in the California Bay Area as a teenager, sleepily growing up in the city of Napa. By my early teens MTV had made me vaguely aware of some percolating counterculture out there, but I definitely hadn’t put any meaning to its purpose yet. Everything happening on the television from Sonic Youth live on The Late Show to the LA riots was equidistant, that is to say, out of reach and unreal. I’d cut school but kind of missing the point of it I’d take to the public library, although not in any smart way. I was engrossed by crappy sci­fi, monographs of Frazetta prints, and those crazy machines that let you wind through old newspaper articles. On some recommendation I tried Jack Kerouac but he seemed like a douche and I never quite managed to finish On the Road. So listlessly, I wandered the aisles of every 7­11 in town. What else was there?

Once the time came that I was old enough to get a little work and a little spending cash, just a little more of the town opened up to me. Of specific note, a floundering local bookstore that specialized in used mass market paperbacks. I think it was called Volume Two, but I’m not sure if I’m remembering that right. In any case the place is long gone now, its unimpressive selection likely scattered to thrift shops, and its only legacy that I know of being the accumulation of used periodicals kept in a small box in the back, a pile of withering old paper that ultimately made a huge impression on me although I was oblivious at the time. I spent a summer there just before the shop went under, sitting on a milk crate next to the box. Amidst back issues of LIFE and National Geographic I’d pull errant copies of Heavy Metal Magazine, gaping agog at illustrated buxom women and their lascivious fornications with bizarre sea creatures or what have you. There were old copies of Colors Magazine, Fangoria, Maximum Rock n Roll, The Onion, Zyzzyva, and off relics of UC Berkeley quarterlies that probably never made it past their first volume or so. Even an issue of Playboy had made it into the mix, and from the disinterested old lady behind the counter, consistently immersed in whatever Danielle Steele novel happened to be nearest, I was able to pick up anything from this selection for a buck apiece. All I had to do was tell her how many I had. Uncensored. She wouldn’t even look up.

Soon I was home rummaging through this mess, transferred from the bookshop to my bedroom, and it wasn’t long after tearing through it that I began tearing it apart. I wallpapered my room with the images from these magazines and with what remained I stapled together my favorite bits.

You could’ve called them zines I suppose, though I wasn’t sure what I was doing at the time. It was my own personal cornucopia of style. A sloppy stapled and pasted mass of fantasy comics, horror film stills, punk photos, and pornography. There was no attempt at direction. It wasn’t anything really, but in my stupid, adolescent naiveté, it was a visceral explosion of everything I was hoping to find. A homemade compass. I made photocopies at school and handed them out to people I liked, and before long I found a couple other kids similarly on the edge of their seats, equally curious what life might be like outside of a town that called for lights out at six p.m.

I was fourteen when I got to take my first real unsupervised trip away. A friend of mine had just turned sixteen, acquired a rattling, hand me down hatchback, and it had just enough life in it to occasion us down to Berkeley. There I was hooked quick. The anarchist bookstore, Revolution Books, the punk club, 924 Gilman, and seemingly just about every other community oriented local business had all manner of hand bound pamphlets, each one impacted with it’s own unique set of ethics and private philosophy, and each one giving me a little something new to digest. The punk fanzines were my favorite at first, and once the moral altitude of the bands I began listening to made an impression, I moved to the literature that had stronger sociological viewpoints. I learned about the Class War and Situationist International, why to go vegan and why to quit veganism forever, how to build bongs and how to build bombs, how to midwife in a psychedelic manner… endless guides to alternative living. I read terrible, terrible poems and short stories by kids exactly like me right alongside Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, a pamphlet was essentially and historically a zine itself.

I was in love. I’d found this medium with infinite flexibility. A place with its own already sustained subculture open for my perusal and contribution. The internet was around, sure, but still reserved for the kind of household that had two TVs. The zine world seemed so massive, was abrasively tactile, and in my personal teenage universe information was being rapidly traded in that form. It’s an interesting time in my life to reflect on now. These random personal writings of people I’d never know were welcome porch lights illuminating vast and shadowy suburbs. They provided some sense direction. A way out that that public school, television, and even the most well meaning of adults couldn’t pitch across the gap to my generation.

Now I’m nearing thirty and I hardly produce the things like I once did. Maybe one, sheepishly, every year or so in a small run. I still read them though, and my collection stacks high. I’ve even somehow managed to fall into a funny career as a used book buyer, and as such have found myself in a paid position oddly similar to where I was as a kid, digging through dusty old crates, hoping to find something that piques my interest; a window to out there. And while I’m worried a bit about the future of reading sometimes, awash in the din of a constant conversation about the death of the printed word, the rise of the blog, the demise of the bookstore or the library as a place, one thing seems certain­ no matter how many hilarious gifs or informative Chomsky quotes you can cram onto a Tumblr account, the curation of a real, physical manifestation of your own personal landscape will be drawn from the world around you. Its resonance begins in the hand and that won’t change anytime soon. Grab some paper, some ink, staples or thread. It’s still cheaper than a URL.

Clark Allen is an artist and book buyer from the CA Bay Area currently living in New Orleans, LA. He lackadaisically maintains a couple of blogs, infinitestockade and sinkstuart.
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