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FROM THE EDITORS Our fourth issue takes as its theme the idea of Utopia, an idea that is at once indefinable and infinitely definable. A Utopia is a state of exception that, as is evident in innumerable flawed Utopian projects (as any Utopian project must be), makes more clearly visible the actual lived-in world. More a pursuit than a place, and more plural than singular, Utopias attempt to turn the personal into the universal, and in that attempt reveal much about both. This magazine includes depictions of Utopias as locations, objects, and emotional states, both current and imagined, and also depictions of the un-utopian, the dystopian. These are all integral to Utopia, and help to inform our idea of what Utopia is and can be. This issue features artists from our beloved Portland locale, the greater West Coast and larger international community. Each brings his or her own understanding and interpretation of what Utopia means during times of varied and voluminous social and political upheaval. We hope that you find the works just as interesting and inspiring as we have. Thank you for your continued support. Sincerely yours,



Sol Lewitt, Gordon Matta-Clark, Boris Groys, Partricia Reed, Vladimir Nobakov, Michael Hall, Lewis Hyde, Richard Serra, Robert Anton Wilson, Philip K. Dick, Debbie Snively, Cian Nugent, Cinematic Orchestra, Melissa McClure, Meaghen Porte, Rachael Allen, OLIVIA EVERETT, Michael Sandel, W.H. Auden, Robin Milliken, Serenity Ibsen, Sally Schoolmaster, Lenny Bruce, BARRY SANDERS, Ivan Illich, Sara Bystrom, Brennan Florey, Becca Biggs, THE GANN BROTHERS, Sean Daley, Aaron Pointer, Eddie Hayes, Jaime Meline, Stephen Slappe, Ian Matthias Bavitz, Micheal Larson, Jorge Louis Borges, Eduardo Halfon, Gaston Bachelard, Nick Falcon, Soren Kierkegaard, Henri Bergson, Michel De Certeau, Karen Berger, Tracey Cockrell, Kevin Sampsell, Chocolate, Wes Moore, TOM MANLEY, Gus Baum, Aram Saroyan, Coffee, John Gardner, Ruth Waddy, Johan Huizinga, James Baldwin, Kahlil Gibran, Allen Kaprow, Doug Kelly, W.J.T Mitchel, Rainer Maria Rilke, Bell Hooks, Vladimir Mayakovsky, ROB MAGNUSON SMITH, Patricia Arquette, Doug Silva, Caitlin Bergeon, David Bohm, Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Martin Luther

King Jr., Robert Smithson, Guy Debord, WILLIAM SHATNER, Captain Picard, Jason Robinson, Wei Hsueh, Greg Geraldo, Artie Lange, Bob Dylan, Frank Hubert, Charlie Hailey, Paulo Virno, Michael Troy, Amon Tobin, William Michael Griffen Jr., Richard Sennett, Annie Cooper, Ryan Dixon, Sarah Schafer, Doug Washington, Mitch Rosenthal, Pete McCracken, Paul Platosh, DANIYEL HICKS, Stephen Merritt, The Fasters, Sean Carney, Susan Morris, David Byrne, Frank Lloyd Wright, Brennan Broome, Sara Silva, Paulo Coelho, Lawrence Lessig, Robert Henry, Josh Snively, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Cooper, Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, Dave Chapel, Tracy Morgan, Dan McClure, Robert Irwin, Carolyn White, ARVIE SMITH, Victor Maldonado, Ianthe Brautigan, Simone de Beauvoir, Multiple Orgasms, Chas Bowie, ARNOLD J. KEMP, Jakob Vala, Jim Hill, Margaret Richardson, Carbs, Katamari, Tea, Charlie Sheen, Kanye West, W33D, Roisin Murphey, VISO, RuPaul, FRONT DESK DOUG, PNCA Night Security, Grudges, Andy Dick, Andy Kaufman, The Other Tyra, Dame Darcy, The Books, Nan Curtis, MK Guth, The Internet, Rowland S. Howard,






Natalie Lomeli


Jena Cummisky Nathan Henry-Silva Erica Larson Brittany Osland Jordan Mang Amanda McAuley Robyn Ritchie Abigael Tripp

Leah Kiczula



ART EDITOR Travis Beardsley

DESIGN AND LAYOUT William Hart Cassie Killen


Nathan Henry-Silva Natalie Lomeli Brittany Osland Will Schneider-White Laura Steves

Diana Pembor

COPY EDITORS Nathan Henry-Silva Paul Montone Will Schneider-White



FUNDED BY THE STUDENT COUNCIL OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COLLEGE OF ART PRINTED BY GANN PUBLISHING COMPANY Submit was founded by students at PNCA whose goal was to create a literary and art journal of a lasting nature that showcased the work of its immediate community, including students, faculty, alumni, visiting artists and writers, as well as notable members of the Portland community. Submit is proud to be entirely student-owned and operated.















































ELIE CHARPENTIER AURELIA I went into the mind of a jellyfish its pulsing sex-crazed world nothing to do but float around and be translucent propagate and occasionally launch a barb into a shin

there are many fascinating facts about jellyfish many discovered details about their existence which might ignite your afternoon but I can’t remember any of them despite my trip to the aquarium and the illustrated book I bought for seven dollars

all I can remember is the pink singe of their life-making mechanism and the post-orgasmic pace of their pulse





Sandy fluffed a wall of pillows and lazily sat up in bed. Under the covers (fully dressed in her bathrobe, curtains drawn, TV tray set off to the side sprinkled with single shot travelers liquor bottles and crinkled chip bags), she extended and crossed her legs. Bathed in a cool cerulean glow, Sandy logged on. JollyMom420. She dug into a silver bag and removed an orange, sticky handful of Cheetos. She shoved them into her mouth. She chewed. She smacked. She chewed, and smacked. She thrust her hand down the bag again, gathering more orange dust on her sleeve, but it was fabulously dim behind the curtain and she couldn’t see it. Sandy would have never noticed anyway: JollyMom420 was busy greeting her friends and her eyes never left the monitor. It was just after noon and as JollyMom420 typed to her chat room, Sandy opened another browser window and Googled for sunsets. She had grown oddly attached to watching foreign sunsets. Her favorite one was a frozen lake in Germany, a place she and her ex had visited years ago when her girls were young. It was late afternoon on the lake, with beautiful clear skies, some small clouds sitting just near the horizon. Sandy looked for a second, and went back

to talking to GolfGuy507, a middle-aged divorcé who had two girls in high school and a crazy ex wife. She checked the lake. It had about an hour to go.

She sat up, stretched, and scooted close to her side table. Her left hand groped the dark space underneath her bed as her right hand felt around the inside of the Cheetos bag. She tossed the empty bag on the floor and slowly sucked on each cheese coated finger on her right, as her left hand found a cold, smooth pot that lived beneath her bed. She carefully dragged out the pot. She cinched up her robe. She squatted and faintly sighed as she listened to the warm stream leave her body. Suddenly a door opened. Sandy bounced at the sound and crawled back underneath her mound of blankets. It was ForrestRanger64 -- she knew it. With a small grunt she clicked the X in the upper right hand corner. She hoped he hadn’t seen she was there. He had sent her an irritated email yesterday wondering why she had stood him up for their meeting. She hadn’t emailed him back and didn’t plan to. She went to her other window. She


looked on at Germany and zoned out for a couple minutes. Dark clouds drifted by and obscured the sun. Usually people were in the webcam’s shot but today it was barren. It was because it was cold and it was Christmas. There was one man far out on the lake with his tripod and his camera. She watched him and realized they were probably the only ones looking at this sunset in the whole world.

He seemed handsome. Quiet. Misunderstood. A lone wolf, like herself. She wondered what his name was. She wondered what his face looked like, if he was more like Robert Redford or Clive Owen, probably more like Clive. He had the same body type. Sandy watched the dark figure position his tripod and readjust. She watched him walk further and further out towards the middle of the frozen lake, a place so beautiful she could smell the air, when suddenly she realized the sun had disappeared already. It was dusk and Sandy had missed sunset. She looked back at her photographer but all she saw was his tripod and his camera bag tossed to the side.

She zoomed in and zoomed out, her eyes frantically searched every pixel on her screen, but he wasn’t there. Clive was gone.









It’s a brilliant summer afternoon in America, and fathers in parking lots squint their eyes beneath sunglasses, scanning the car-jammed horizon in search of vendors, of stands that sell soda pop. Fathers buying hot dogs for their children, firm hands pressed upon shoulders reassuringly while plastic straws jab silvery film, miss then jab again, thirsty sugars below. Children with fathers, in America. The fathers observe sports stadiums, they notice used car lots, they discover rollercoasters and ferris wheels. The fathers enter five and dime stores and purchase roomy pairs of swim trunks in all kinds of florid patterns, wild colors, real tropical. The fathers wear mirrored sunglasses, they flap upon flip-flops, they pop-crack open cans of Meisterbrau and take long satisfied drinks, wiping sleeves across wet whiskers. The fathers are stuck in traffic and they turn up the radio. The fathers buy their children action figures, comic books, and small pairs of swim trunks in all kinds of florid patterns, fun colors, representing islands. In their minds they make calls, penalty, traveling, foul ball. A world replaced by sneakersqueek on waxed wood, ref whistles, bright lights, screaming crowds. They make

three point shots of the imagination, bend the knees, dribble, shoot, it’s nothing but net, nothing but air, the crowd goes et cetera. The fathers in America are fading away and they are being replaced with new fathers, fathers without newspapers, fathers with computers, fathers on phones, fathers who silence children with the one minute finger and say “Yeah go on Jimmy I’m with ya.” These are the fathers of salads, of yoga, of tofu. These are the fathers of Facebook, of iTunes, of public transportation. Green fathers, eco-fathers, public radio totebag fathers, jazz loving fathers who take long hikes in the shade of trees. Fathers who do not mind bugs. Fathers who do not mind mud. Fathers who take children to exotic places, Jakarta, Bangkok. There are no sugary drinks for these children. There is no haunted house by the boardwalk. There are no action figures. There is no Aerosmith cassette. These are new fathers of America traveling the world. Please take note of this, these changes in the fathers, and as always in anticipating the reaction to unforeseen yet necessary changes, we thank you in advance.




I spent my formative years in rural Texas in the home of my grandparents and my great-grandmother. My greatgrandmother had been a slave, with no more rights than a horse, a mule, or a chair. The Jim Crow system of legalized discrimination was in place during this time in the South and the violence and humiliation that went along with that was part of everyday life for Blacks. I was lucky, my grandparents were educators. My grandmother was principal of the separate but equal elementary school, and my grandfather was a history professor at the allblack college. They taught me the importance of history and the value of language. Over time I have found that painting is my language. I use it to image a world that talks about the story that most people haven’t experienced, learned about in school, nor want to acknowledge. My painted narratives and images are based on the reality of my lifetime. Like my grandfather used words to teach history, I use my art to teach. In my current work with Measure 11 youth, I have a window into a new generation of kids who didn’t pick

the lucky straw. Rather, they have grown up surrounded by violence: violence from the police, the schools, the neighborhoods they had no choice but to live in. They are incarcerated as expected and many will see prison again, poverty, low-income jobs, and more violence. In our work together, we use art as a way for them to create a new internal world, one that defies stereotypes, categories, judgment, and is a different response than they have known. I managed to travel a different path than many of the men of my neighborhood in the ghettos of Los Angeles. I want to show these kids that there are alternatives.

Art is a tool and a medium of expression, a way to express feelings and aspirations. It doesn’t take much infrastructure: pens, pencils, paints, paper and canvas. But it does take a guide, someone who is invested, someone who cares and knows the language of art and can inspire thoughts of options and possibilities and another life. It also requires a system that believes these kids are not just worth saving, but, is the only thing that is just.





First They Came . . .

First they came for the communists, And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me And there was no one left to speak out for me. -- Pastor Martin Niemoller

Measure 11 is an Oregon law that tries juveniles from the age of 15 to 17 in adult court. Juveniles found guilty of Measure 11 crimes receive mandatory minimum sentences of at least five years without parole.








ERIN GRA CONVERS BEHIND C SATIONS SAY: Slaughter silhouettes on the desert horizon. Anemic elbows are swords jabbing at the sky. SAY: Death and water, death and water.

YOU SAY: I don’t even know myself I can’t comprehend space and linear time.

I SAY: Quantum particles are inaccessible and dull. Sleep inside tonight trinket heart, have a cup of tea. SAY: Stars burn out and oceans fall through a sieve, Particles separate into perfectly balanced loneliness.

SHE SAYS: Even bullets are inconsequential And nothing cares enough to listen to your rhapsody of love. Roll over in your garden and feel the maggots carve out their tunnels.


ADY SATIONS CONVERSHE SAYS: This is more beautiful than waltzing.

SAY NOW: There is sweat on your neck and you are sitting under the window The panes are steamed, the trim is chipped brown My breath is wavering silver. EYES SAY: Close. I look for the plain yellow. I love you. I love you, I love you I could say it a million times and my mouth would still be dry. I SAY: When you are gone, spaces between things Are cracks in the earth, but when you are near I am always falling in.

YOU SAY: Not much at all. Your confessions are corked in bottles, Brown and green, green and brown Or else nailed to the wall where your mother hangs her picture frames. SAY: Fake gold, rust, yellowing sing-a-longs Repeating arias falling off their highest, purest note. I SAY: Come back, come back On your back I drew my best map of this place.







DAME DARCY GASOLINE AND UTOPIA Heavily inspired by fairytale, Gothic romance, and the supernatural, Dame Darcy’s graphic novel Gasoline illustrates a radical societal shift in America. Carved into the ruins of a failed state are enclaves of utopian survivalist compounds, all pioneered by revolutionary groups of impassioned heroines and heroes. Here, it is the artist who prevails.

It’s those with the creativity and imagination, those who seek the virtues of the collective and not the individual, who survive. Gasoline imagines an America where community conquers consumerism, where the marginalized, unfettered by social constraints, are allowed equality not normally permitted within the confines of a capitalistic society. Resonating within this freewheeling, whimsical riff on free play and utopian ideals is the potency of an artist’s practice. All that informs Miss Darcy’s work – her unswerving loyalty to her craft, her outspoken feminism, her love and belief in witchcraft, her DIY ethos – reveals and professes the power of artistic invention.

And within the world of Gasoline, and to some larger extent, the oeuvre of Dame Darcy, this theme is a constant: Actualization is magic. Imagination is alchemy. And the prodigious power of the brain to allow for self-realization through art becomes a tangible, transformative force and a potent spell. Utopia, Dame Darcy’s contribution to this issue of Submit, resonates with this.





This time things were quite different. I found myself waking up under a rack of outerwear. It was all good quality stuff: green lodens, fine camel hairs, top-of-theline waterproofs in contemporary colors. From where I lay, I could see feet in silk or woolen socks, well-made shoes with leather soles, other feet in painful-looking pumps, feet in comfortable-but-expensive sandals, feet in fancy athletic shoes with mismatched tube socks. The view was interrupted by hanging tags on which, when I looked closely, I found that “recommended” prices had been crossed through, many of them several times over, and replaced by lower numbers, scribbled with felt markers. In some cases the gap between first and last price was remarkable: was $350, now not $259, not $129, not $79, but $39. Even before I was fully aware that being blown up in First World War had done no permanent damage to whatever was essential about me, I understood that I had landed in some kind of afterlife department store. Having gathered up some of the merchandise that had fallen off hangers, I crawled out into the throng. I smiled and muttered, hoping to imply that I was an acceptable being and the sort of person who

lurks underneath clothing racks. I hung the clothes up without reference to size or category, and moved quickly away. People seemed to be swatting at flies, casually and without anger, as cows and horses use their tails. They seemed to accept the insects’ inevitability. Since we were obviously indoors and in some version of an afterlife, I thought this odd. I assumed that there’d be no room in paradise for insects and similar annoyances, but here they were. Suddenly one buzzed in my ear and emitted a noise that sounded very much like the word, “bargain,” electronically reproduced. And then another of the beasts said, “quality.” And then two of them moved in, going round and round my head, “bargain, quality, bargain, quality, bargain, quality, quality, bargain,” before flying off to bother someone else. The strange thing was I found their antics engaging, interesting enough that I thought, “How clever,” even as I tried to wave them off. A woman tugged at my elbow. Charmaine was from Las Vegas, Nevada. She said she died of a heart attack and never regretted a minute of what led up to it. “Of course, I miss the shows, but the free food there is nothing to what they’ve got up here.” She

D HIE D.D.” started to describe the food. In great detail. To divert her, I asked what she did. “Public Information.”

She grabbed a sheepskin jacket, “Let’s buy this.” Not knowing what else to suggest, I followed along. A huge, long line at the checkout gave us plenty of time to talk, so we chatted about sheepskins and whether the weather here was ever suitable for wearing them, about what it had been like to live in Las Vegas, about sales and bargains, discounts and windfalls: the stuff of life. It was some time before we got around to Dante. “He wrote poetry,” I began, “three volumes about heaven, hell and purgatory. He described the afterlife as he imagined it to be. He has everyone in paradise sitting in a kind of Dodgers’ stadium, contemplating the most beautiful light imaginable.” “I ain’t management honey, but everything here is state of the art. They got departmental and regional low-gistics, geographical circulation systems, tonebalanced color schemes. They anticipate not just your needs, honey, but your wants. Intake and dispatch have had their difficulties, but since the reorganization, I hear they’re doing great too. It’s now over five thousand hours just for an entry-level position in one of those areas, and the bennies...real good bennies. “This place has changed even in the time I’ve been here. Has to change and grow as our needs change and grow. Every time has its own heaven, don’t it? I mean, how would you like it if they put you somewhere there was only poodle skirts and white girls in coup de villes? Maybe you’d like that.


Maybe you would!

“Every generation develops its own ideas about the afterlife. Our designers have to anticipate market trends and create all the innovative solutions we got right here... “Don’t worry about paying, this one’s on me. Hi, honey, these three today and charge it to Charmaine, will you? You getting your breaks like you should? Don’t go letting that ol’ Margaret run you into the ground.” We walked on, bags in hand. The corridors reminded me of an airport terminal, spacious and airless, with that recently-vacuumed carpet smell. I asked, “What about people who don’t come from consumer cultures or who don’t like consumer cultures?” Charmaine looked incredulous, “You mean to tell me that there’s people who don’t enjoy a great sale? No, honey, I’m kidding. There’s departments here for everybody. Too many to visit. Too far to go. Something for every kind of people. There’s rapid turnover ones and slow one, ones for meditating and ones for running around like chickens. You ever jog? They got jogging way over there. Cain’t see it, myself. Hell, I even heard tell there’s departments where you can be nasty to one another. Some people enjoy that. That’s the way they’re made. I’m surprised they have that, but my girlfriend says it’s so.” I asked what “fast” and “slow” turnover meant. “I’m not a good person to ask, but I think it’s to do with people living longer. There’s only so many slots available, so if you feel you’ve got to get stuff done in a hurry, you can go back some place you won’t likely live as long as some folks do. People like the fast lane;





they feel it gets them there quicker.” “Where’s there?” “Lord knows. No one I know knows. That’s why most regular folks want to take it slow and easy. Cain’t see no reason to hurry when you don’t know where you’re going.” “But there’s a constant number of slots on the earth?” “So I’m told.” “How do you account for the population of the earth increasing?” “You’re a sharp one. That is a puzzle isn’t it. I told you, I’m not a good person to ask.” “Do they often make mistakes?” “Used to be rare, I know that. And I heard they give you extra credit sometimes, when they get it wrong. Why you ask? You think you’re here in error?” “I’ve been killed by Germans three times in twenty four hours, twice after intake supervisors gave me an upgrade...” “Son, you need to see customer relations. Customer relations ought to hear about this. That’s their business, and they’re professional.” We turned into a corrugated passage, down a flight of stairs and out onto tarmac. The sun bore down; it must have been eighty five degrees in the shade. I pulled off my sweater and decided I had no use for a sheepskin coat. I dropped the bag beside a pillar but


then, having grown up in a country where bomb threats were the norm, I turned back to pick it up. Charmaine told me not to worry; she said there was a service that goes round collecting things, refreshes them and returns them to the racks. I asked if there was a recycling drop and she pointed to a bin.

(AN CER She handed me in at customer relations and waved “Goodbye” like we were old friends parting at a railway station. “Don’t be a stranger. We got a big sale in housewares coming up.”

The Customer Relations man was shiny from head to toe. I explained that I was supposed to be sent back, that I had signed a contract and I had been given an upgrade, and yet somehow I had ended up in the First World War and been killed by Germans for the third time in twenty four hours. All I wanted, I explained, firmly and politely, was to be sent back to La Jolla in the first available time slot, to be put down where I belonged with a plausible explanation to tell friends and relatives. “Sir,” he said, “I’m in liquidity. You want repacking and returns. That’s Mr. Geoffrey. He has stepped away from his desk, but if you go into the second room on the first corridor on the right and remove your clothes, I’m sure he’ll be right with you.” “Remove my clothes?”

“And put on this green gown.” It was a hospital gown. “Are you sure about this? I mean...who is Mr. Geoffrey?” “Mr. Geoffrey will send someone along as soon as possible.”


“Second corridor, first room?”

EXRPT) With a roll of his eyes and a big sigh, he repeated the directions at bozo speed.

I did what I was told, which meant that I sat and I waited in a small, stuffy room. There were no magazines. I busied myself at first, examining the art on the walls--oil paintings that seemed to have been done by people who had watched that happy, happy guy on television and taken his lessons very seriously indeed. After a while, happy, happy trees become oppressive. Hours passed. From time to time I popped my head outside the door and checked the empty corridor. Once, I padded in bare feet and revealing gown all the way back to the reception area, hoping to find out how long the wait would be. It was deserted, not a human in sight. I turned back and carefully talked myself out of turning into the first corridor. The second corridor looked exactly like the first, but the room I entered-though it had very similar art-- was missing my pile of clothes. I retraced steps, found the right room, settled in, nursed my hatred of the close walls, the color of the paint, the carpet, the slow passage of minutes. “What do they think,” I was saying, “that I have nothing better to do with my...” The door opened. “Hi,” said a man in a white coat, “I’m Dr. Tauber. You can call me Al.”

“I don’t need a doctor. I want to go home.” “Don’t we all? Don’t we all. I’ve been asked to run a few tests. Quite straightforward. All very straightforward. Just answer a

few simple questions on this questionnaire here...on the questionnaire. I’ll be outside. Call me when you’re finished.” I started on the form, repeating the details I had given Charmaine and the Customer Relations man, and going into detail about time, manner and place of deaths, contributing factors, issues of negligence and religious preference. At the bottom of the fourth page came, “Have you ever been diagnosed with PTDD?” I opened the door into the corridor. Dr. Tauber was reading a book about memes. “What’s PTDD?” “That would be Post Traumatic Death Disorder, a disorder that follows a particularly traumatic kind of death, being burned at the stake and so on. Were you, by any chance, burned at the stake, or in any kind of fire at all?” “I was blown to pieces.” “And how did that make you feel?”





BUFORD YOUTHWARD LORDS OF TOMORROW You aren’t always what you do.

You become undone upon entry.

Diving with manta rays isn’t always meaningful.

Trying to discover what’s better, falling in love with images or with imagination. I single out and focus time.

Long winded conversations, cries, crisis. These are our moments. The minutiae, the minute. We live our lives on a line. There’s a line on a legend and a legend on the line. The clock ticks. Decisions are insisted.

dogs and pizza may or may not be the diet of kings but every time I turn up the sweet ravioli rockers on the radio, that’s all I ever get. The music is never as good as the message. When music becomes too good it goes beyond messaging. Meaning in the medium is pure. It takes some age, some maturity to understand certain things, beyond experience or behavior sometimes it’s the rote rotation of logging in the hours. Observance and absurdity often figure in the trigger.

The lords of tomorrow require the flesh of today. So grab your stick and get with it. Ferocity is created when there’s an obstacle in front of your meal ticket.

There’s a spirit in the air allowing politics to trump strategy. No fear, no greed can delight as much as gun duels, fist fights and swing dances. We always imagine the reality of the reality.

Minimum wage begets minimum effort but maximizing my mental wherewithal puts my progress into perspective.

Before this sentence, before this life, after all moments, it’s the deep parts we dwell upon and allow the images to be our undoing.

Macaroni and cheese, fruity pebbles, corn

Questioning if you are what you do.








I have this friend Katie who is always talking about dyeing her hair. She always asks me what color it should be and I always tell her that it would look fine any color. Once, she said she was going to dye it purple. I don’t think she ever did.



My grandmother who lives in Florida has a friend named June who has been smoking since she was ten and once her husband found an alligator underneath their trailer. This happens all the time in Florida, I guess, but the only alligators I saw were when we went mini-golfing, which June calls “putt-putt.”

I used to know this kid named Steve who had gotten both of his nipples pierced. He said he wanted to get a chain to connect them. I asked him, “who would ever see that?” and he said “whoever I go to the beach with.”




At a party once I pretended to be French Canadian until I met a girl who was from Quebec and then I had to stop.


I used to know a guy named Josh who told me he was going to get all the pieces from the game Operation tattooed on his body. I told him, “I think I saw that in a magazine, once.”


Another time, I met this guy who said he had a word search tattooed above his pubic hair so that when guys went down on him, they would have something to do. I didn’t believe him, but I appreciated the joke.


In high school, a girl in my shop class showed up one day missing an eyebrow but she wouldn’t tell anyone how it happened. I worked with her brother and he didn’t know, either.

In third grade, my teacher was named Mrs. Hepburn. Her first name might ’ve been Katherine, but I may just be thinking that because she had broad shoulders and always wore pants.

I once asked a friend where the weirdest place he had ever masturbated was. He said it was under a blanket, in the way-back seat of his parents’ van as they drove through Delaware on a road trip. I thought that this probably was the weirdest place he had ever masturbated. When he asked “what about you?” I said, “behind a bush somewhere, I think.”


In kindergarten, a girl once slipped her hand inside of her sleeve and said that her hand was cut off. She showed it to me and told me not to look inside, cause it was filled with blood and broccoli. I told her that she was a liar.


I met a boy on a nude beach who was reading Nine Stories by JD Salinger. He asked for a cigarette but turned me down in the end because it was a Marlboro. He was eating a banana and offered me a bite. I remember thinking that the moments when life seems like a scene from a movie are a lot less glamorous than you’d think.




Because the Iraqi Nation began to call for mercy upon the ugliest, most brutal regime in history, God damn you America. And because the people sought nostalgia in memories of the People’s Army (1), the Army of Jerusalem (2), the Army of Chivalry, (Oh Eagles follow the path to war!), (3) (Oh esteemed leader!), (Father of the Two Lions Uday and Qusay) (4), so God damn you America. And because the executioners of the former government and all its icons have been turned into proud symbols of patriotism and resistance, so Damn you America. Because the rectors and ministers of the universities and the second-line State officials during the reign of Saddam are more efficient and more just than the counterparts you propped up, damn you America. Because after eight years of occupation the country still has no electricity, with people living amid floating pools of muddy water, beggars still filling the squares of the richest lands on earth, damn you America. Because the popularity of Saddam Hussein in Iraq rose from 2 percent when he was in power to more than 20 percent now, damn you America. Because the Christian can no longer stand to live in Iraq, because his country will lose a second minority to migration, as the Jews were the first, damn you America. Because sectarian and ethnic affiliations became the norm in today’s Iraq, damn you America.

Because the libraries in Iraqi cities have been wiped clean of the writings of Marx, Sartre, Jack London, Maxim Gorky, Shakespear, Nageeb Mahfouz and Hanna Minah, books on music and art have been replaced by books of trickery, ignorance, and books that laugh in the face of our misery, damn you America. Because a mob of regressive retards can bury the Festival of Babylon, prevent the circus from performing, and slash the stronghold of creativity in Iraq (Union of Writers), damn you America. And because the Americans lose thousands of people and billions of their money to transform Iraq into the new Taliban, damn you America.

May your tongue live on, (Man with the slippers), and damn you America. Anyone who does not know (Man with the slippers) he is an Iraqi national, living in the Town of Victory in the South of Iraq, where children haunt him daily and throw stones at him and while he flees their attacks he simply has no choice but to cry out “Damn you America.”


The internal army of the ba’ath party, which was Saddam Hussein’s party.


Another armed para-military group created by Saddam Hussein.


A war song/poem popular in the days of Saddam.


Saddam Hussein’s two sons, Uday and Qusay.








The bartender looks up and goes, “What’s your story?” The duck doesn’t answer and walks over to the jukebox. Two truckers at the bar start whispering to each other, eyeing the duck suspiciously. The bartender goes back to cleaning glasses, but keeps glancing over, checking out the duck. The duck uses the buttons on the jukebox to start flipping through the records. He notices that they have “Repeater” by Fugazi, but doesn’t care because he thinks that Ian MacKaye is too didactic. One of the truckers orders a Bud Light with a lime in it and the other trucker calls him a queer. The bartender makes change for the trucker, and says something like, “That probably tastes like Mexico.” The trucker doesn’t like this, because he’s been to Mexico and knows that countries don’t taste like anything because they are not a food or a beverage. The duck walks away from the jukebox and approaches the pay phone near the restrooms. The trucker who didn’t order the Bud Light with a lime gets up and walks to the bathroom, staring daggers at the duck while he’s looking through the phonebook that’s hanging from the pay phone. The other trucker finishes his Bud Light with a lime and wipes his mouth. The bartender leans over the bar and whispers something into his ear, and then they both start looking really serious. Frowning, the bartender turns around and looks at himself in the giant Bacardi mirror behind the bar and gleeks on his own reflection. The trucker who was in the bathroom returns to his stool at the bar and asks the bartender if he can put on the Detroit Lions game. Immediately, the duck looks up from the phonebook and saunters over to the bar. He hops up onto a stool right next to the trucker who was drinking a Bud Light with a lime. The bartender throws a rag down on the bar in an exaggerated motion and gets in the duck’s face. “What the hell do you think you’re doing, coming in here and loitering like this?” The duck doesn’t respond, but points one of his wings at the empty bottle of Bud Light with the squished lime at the bottom. “Oh,” says the bartender, “You think you’re going to get a Bud Light with a lime like this fella over here? Then I’m gonna need to see some ID, duck.” So the duck pulls out his wallet, which is a very stylish Armani model, and pulls out an Alaskan driver’s license. Perplexed, the bartender looks it over. The photo looks like the duck, and it claims he was born in 1981, making him legal drinking age. But the license has no expiration date and the bartender is pretty sure that all state-issued ID forms do indeed have some kind of expiration date. The trucker who did not order the Bud Light with a lime turns to the duck. “Ever been to a bar in Anchorage called the Waiting Room?” he asks. The duck smiles, not necessarily coyly, but like he knows something that the trucker doesn’t. The bartender hands the duck back his ID and says, “How come there’s no expiration date on this thing? Are you fucking with me?” The duck chuckles a little to himself, gets up off of the stool and walks back over to the jukebox. Now, the two truckers and the bartender are completely confused by this silent water fowl. The duck pumps a couple of quarters into the jukebox and then puts on “Man-Eater” by Hall and Oates. The bartender yells over to him, “Hey! You can’t just come in here and play my jukebox without buying anything!” The duck turns back to him and sticks out his tongue. Strangely, both of the truckers’ cell phones start ringing at the same time and they both step outside to answer the calls. The duck walks out after them with purpose.





















MONICA D ALONSO & PORTLAND COLLABOR ELABORAT I have seen the sun break over the scattered warehouses of Chinatown, spreading across the Burnside Bridge as I passed the stirring bundles of damp cloth and cardboard, homeless couples waking up together with their bad luck.

I have seen the wild-eyed woman with the hunched back riding the Blue Line MAX toward Beaverton, hair falling across her haunted face as she mumbled incoherently at the empty stroller, wholly unaware of the nearby passengers who tried not to stare and are left wondering how people get like that. I have walked in the crowded streets of Lower Manhattan as men and women threw themselves from heights that would surely end in sorrow, while the towers crumbled to the floor leaving only a cloud of smoke in their place. I have seen the Gitmo surround a man on the cold, hard floor as he prayed to his God, and seen the frightened miserable look on the Middle Eastern, beat up face as they called in the dogs for further punishment.

I have watched the streets flood with cops in seconds, cars and bikes skidding to a halt while they leapt giddily, guns drawn to surround and shelter one of their own from the man he had just murdered. I have seen simulcasts of tragedies disentangle on the television screen, felt a string of sympathy for the victims of shootings, riots, and lost causes.

I have seen them at midnight when the air is cool and the stars are out, their hands covering gaping mouths to muffle the horror at seeing his lifeless body hanging from an acacia tree suspended by what they could only assume was his own belt. I have seen the look on my father’s face as he walked down the cold fluorescent hallway towards my mother, my sister and I, dressed in blue cotton outfit, the same kind that his patients normally wore, and told us that he was sorry for the condition he was in and that he wanted to come home, but the doctor said he wasn’t ready. I have watched Little Tommy Bang Bang materialize in a flash of smoke and light, singing Guns ‘n Roses until a team of


DRAKE– & CLASS D 2011 OR RATION TION multicolored, sequined vaginas circled and ate him, leaving shreds of denim and studded leather in piles on the stage.

I stood in the mud with bare beet at 5pm in the back yard of a rented 1950s house while rain was pounding on the tin roof of the barn that was haunted by Joe since he died of chicken pox in 1982 that he got from his sister. I have seen a man get hop-quick from ballast to boxcar floor, moving in one motion from siding bushes to train, tipping his hat as he receded to the far corner of the car as the train turned east. I have padded downstairs for a bowl of cereal, walking on unborn legs, listening for the tiny ringing of lonely cat bells to mew for a rub and some breakfast.







When I began research on the art of train hopping, or freight hopping, I expected to find tales of trains going fifty miles per hour and train yard police raids. Instead I found a mode of travel with a diverse counter-culture full of people sneaking in the dark, sleeping in box cars, and ten thousand safety tips to keep your trip to somewhere fantastic from turning into a trip to the hospital. Through interviews with people who have first hand hopping experience and research into the underground world of riding, I have found that this mode of travel is exciting not because it has crazy things happening all the time but instead, it all has to do with the experience of an engine drowning out all sound. The first form of research I took on was the interview. I wanted to learn about the live and times of people I knew well, and those I didn’t, that had spent time practicing this hidden form of travel. What I didn’t expect was that their stories would take on a life of their own, overpowering my urge to learn how to hop trains and, instead, diverting all my attention to the experiences they have had. I had a set of eight questions that I asked each of my interviewees. As I received the answer to each question I became more and more enthralled with the stories they were

telling me. I could see the excitement of their memories cross their faces as they rambled out the stories I have come to cherish.

The Questions: 1. What got you interested in the traveling lifestyle initially? 2. How old were you when you started? 3. Did you try train hopping out on your own or did someone teach you how? 4. What is it that keeps you/kept you doing it? 5. Have you ever had trouble with the Bull? 6. Do you have any awesome/informative/ entertaining stories you might want to share with me? 7. How different do you think you might be if you had just stayed in one place or had traveled in the “legitimate” ways? 8. Any pictures that might be helpful or fun? ***** “I’ve rambled all over the country, I’ve traveled everywhere, Been on every branch line railroad,And never paid a nickel fare.” – Daniel Leen, The Freighthopper’s Manual for North America: Hoboing in the 1980’s. INTERVIEW ONE: MELANIE MCCLAIN A.K.A. MOUSE

Mouse is a tattooed and pierced road princess.


She dons leopard print on her shoulders, railroad tracks on her wrists, and skull and crossbones on her knees. She has over ten facial piercings and more in other places. Her hair is short to keep it from getting in her way and her cloths are tight and heavily patched to keep them easy to move in. She also wears a rag tied around her neck. She tells me she uses it to keep the dust out of her mouth while she is riding.

He is a friend of a friend who started riding steadily when he was eighteen years old. His home base is in Minnesota, but he has hopped out of the town he’s from and ridden back a couple times a year since his first time so many summers ago. He tells me he started riding trains because he had a “keen sense of adventure” and because he wants to be in control of his life and decisions, wanting nothing more than to rise, explore, and squat.

Her demeanor is laid back and un-stressed; Mouse hasn’t had to work since she started hopping when she was eighteen. Her first time out she went with a small group of kids from Baltimore. Mouse tells me she was “pristine and clean” when she hopped the first time, but soon found herself covered in the black dust the trains kick up and her tennis shoes full of small rocks. From then on she wore all black cloths with calf high black boots to keep her body protected while she was riding.

He learned to ride from a girl in Ashville, NC, but now most of his friends are riders as well, taking trips and learning from the best. He was just recently pulled off of a train about 200 miles south of Los Angeles in the Colorado Desert (California). He says he had to walk about 40 miles with a full gallon of water before arriving in Niland, CA. From there he went to Slab City and hung out for another “hot minute”. Brandon says that the moral of the story is this: “Don’t ever ride intermodal (double stack/pig trains/autoracks) trains. I never do but my friend wanted to...we’ve since parted ways.”


Mouse has been hopping trains for a little over four years now, a seasoned rider. She goes north for the summer and south for the winter, criss-crossing the US in freight cars or hopping trash trains when things look glum. When I ask her what keeps her going, she laughs loudly and answers, “To be able to say, ‘I don’t know where I’m going to end up next, but I’m sure it will be fun!’ ” Mouse leaves our interview with a smile on her face and a bag on her shoulder, walking to who knows where next. ***** “The man.... It pays to treat him with respect.” – Daniel Leen INTERVIEW TWO: BRANDON WACHHOLZ Brandon’s interview was done via e-mail.

The ticket he received from getting caught riding is a misdemeanor; he will have a warrant for 5086c, “Train riding” in Riverside County, CA. He says he will not be attending his court date. ***** “Now the hobos know me up and down the line, They don’t know boys the trouble on my mind.” – Daniel Leen INTERVIEW THREE: MIGUEL HERNANDEZ Miguel was a different kind of rider. No longer riding the rails, he tells me of the times gone past.




HOPPING : THE At nineteen Miguel was deeply interested in the political philosophy of Anarchism. He no longer wanted to be a direct participant in the system and that included paying taxes, working a low paying job, perpetuating conventional relationships that didn’t contribute to his idea of revolutionary action, or buying products that came from oppressive systems of work and exploitation. He wanted to dedicate all of his time to activism and squatting. At the same time Miguel was becoming disillusioned with the power dynamics within activist circles and their “us against them” approach to people outside their circle. Around the same time Miguel ran into a train hopper in Oklahoma who wanted to hop out to a bluegrass show in Tulsa. He tells me that meeting him shook up the stagnation in his life. Miguel had become what some call a “housie” or a “homebum” and it was meeting him that got Miguel on his feet and running for the rails. “Plus,” he says, “I always wanted to try train hopping.” The kid he had met was very good at riding and had a lot of experience hopping trains. “When we started hopping together, I got more in touch with the culture behind train hopping and found it very liberating but also a little violent. Drinking and Drugs were very much a part of a lot of train hoppers [lives] and bad tempers often developed out of this.” Miguel kept hopping with him for a short time period but after a while they stopped getting along as well. When they stopped traveling together, Miguel stopped hopping.

When I ask him if he has any stories he might like to share with me, his face brightens up. His excitement shows across his smile as he begins a tale of both luck and fate.


“Well, there was this one time when me and train hopper kid met with two hippies we wanted to go to a rainbow gathering with in Arizona. We met in Kansas and we thought of how fun it would be to hop all the way there. Train hopper kid had a crew change map and from his studies, suggested hitching to Topeka Kansas and taking a straight shot if possible to the southwest. After a long deliberate walk in Topeka, we finally took a chance on a hotshot and it was going kind of fast. The two hippies were not very experienced at hopping and didn’t want to try and catch a train on the fly going that fast, so we left them behind. Then the trains we were on stopped outside of town and me and the train hopper kid were like ‘man we got to go back for them.’ So, reluctantly, we made that trek back and I remember praying to be reunited with them the whole time. My body was so sore and I was so tired and hungry. The train hopper kid saw a train coming up and he was like, ‘Fuck it man, let’s just jump this one and we’ll meet them there at the gathering.’ I gave in reluctantly and started running. The train was going probably fifteen miles per hour, but we ran as fast as we could, latching our hands on something called a Gondola which is like a big dumpster car. As I jumped down into its black depths, I landed on what seemed to be a pile of clothes. When I looked again, I realized it was people under a blanket. When I looked closer, it was those two hippie kids! We all whooped and hollered, surprised and happy, joyful and thankful at the unlikelihood of the situation. Here we were, again together, when we thought we had lost each other. I was so very happy that my prayers were answered. Unfortunately, the train didn’t take us to Arizona for the gathering. Instead of going southwest at the fork in the tracks, it went northwest and we ended up in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska. Faced with this


situation, with our faces to the hash breeze, we set out again on foot to find our way to the great ‘Welcome Home’ [the Rainbow Gathering] but that is another story.”


thrilled. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was going to die from pure joy. I was smoking a cigar and drinking Scotch whiskey, watching the sunset from a rolling boxcar. Everything was perfect.”

EXPER He ends our interview by telling me that if he had stayed behind in Okalahoma he most likely would have ended up a lot less educated, bored, and frustrated. Miguel says that he had to do it, to see what it was all about. He needed to know that he could live that lifestyle if he wanted to. He had to know its virtues as well as its downfalls. “Without the teaching of nomad living, I would be a less hopeful of a person. ” ***** “Standing by the platform smoking a cheap cigar, Waiting for some old freight train carryin’ an empty car.” – Daniel Leen INTERVIEW FOUR: JOSH A.K.A. BLUE OR DIRTY JOSH

Dirty Josh is aptly named. He is wearing ripped up and grimy cloths with shoddily sewn on patches and a butt flap to cover the hole that has formed there. He is missing teeth and his hair is dreaded into a mohawk. I can smell the sweat and dirt but none of this phases him. For Josh, this is his life and he likes it that way. During our interview he skips around my questions and just keeps telling me random stories from his journeys. From rainy nights to dirty kids to fights, his tales are short and sweet and usually funny. The first one I hear about is his first time out. He tells me he hopped his first train over on the East Coast to pick up a stranded motorcycle waiting for him in another state. Josh smiles his gap toothed grin, “I was

Next I hear about how train-hopping develops strange appetites. Blue says that when he’s riding he eats dry granola, bagels, tuna, and peanut butter, washing it all down with MD 20/20. MD 20/20 is a fortified wine that is cheap, sweet, and has a high alcohol content. He tells me that once he got a hankering to eat a can of sardines that had been knocking around in his pack for the last few months that he had been ignoring. “For being such disgusting things, the little boogers sure are good. These are ‘food’ items I would never even consider eating while crashing in a city.” He laughs again and says, ”I heard about a yuppie hobo who brings a tiny espresso-maker and camp stove on the road with him. Craziness.” He tells me a few more short tidbits from his trips out and then looks out at the sun. He shields his eyes from the glare and while still starring into it he says, “I wake up and have no idea where I am or where I’m going. I go to sleep in a boxcar and wake up moving. As I sleep, I am barely aware of the movement, jostling, banging around, stuff like that. I don’t really care where I’m headed, I just know I am comfortable and sleepy. I wake up and I’ve made a round trip. Another journey and I’m back where I started. I’m exactly nowhere and glad of it. ” ***** “I’m bound to ride that northern railroad, Perhaps I’ll take the very next train.” – Daniel Leen MY WOULD-BE TRAIN ADVENTURE


The sun was just setting in Portland as Jazzy and I reached the yards marked with the “Private Property-No Trespassing-Violators will be prosecuted” signs attached to the fencing. Jazzy looks at them and laughs. “Don’t worry,” she says, “We’re just stopping by.”

doors open. If you don’t and they shut while the train is moving it’s very possible for you to die in there from suffocation.” She grabs her throat and makes choking noises, falling over onto the ground. I can barely see her in the black night but make out just enough to break out into laughs.

RIENCE We walked in one of the main gates and down a road to the yard. I look at Jazzy and jokingly ask what we’d say if we were stopped. We looked so obvious with our giant packs, boots, and ragged, bulky clothes. I was sure we’d get arrested or at least thrown out of the yard. “We’re, uh, looking to get across the yard. To, uh, Washington Street.” Jazzy said then smiled. We walked through the rows of trains quietly, listening and looking for both the Bull and crew workers. Someone turns a corner and Jazzy sighs – it’s just a worker. “Hey!” she yells out, “Do you know if any of these trains are headed to Eugene?” The worker looks at her for a moment then shakes his head no. He turns around after and walks back in the direction he came from. “Let’s get to another row,” Jazzy says as she watches him walk away. We crawl over a connection, then another and pass some more cars full of things. As we pass the train cars she tells me about the different ones. “That one is a grainer. It’s used for holding grain or gravel or powdered stuff and sometimes trash. That one over there is a gondola. It’s kind of like an open-top car for holding scrap metal or steel beams or coal.” We pass more cars as she tells me their different uses and what you can and can’t ride. “What we are looking for is a boxcar. It will look just like a giant box with an open door and hopefully be empty inside. Also, if you plan on riding without me sometime, you’ll need to get a railroad spike to keep the

After scanning the yard for another hour or so, we stop under a car packed with chopped down trees and drink some water. As night gets darker I realize there is a good chance we may not be going anywhere as none of the trains seem to be moving. Jazzy and I discuss our options and decide to make it safe and head back for home only a short walk away. “Next time I’ll scout out the trains to see when one going south will be leaving. Don’t worry, we’ll get you on a train yet.” We both smile at each other and walk toward the way we came.



LADY: OK. My favorite color is red. My idea of utopia is lots of white light, ambient sound and green hills that cover quasi… buildings. If that makes any sense. (Short burst of laughter.) MAN: favorite color is blue

MAN: Oh...what’s my utopia. That’s interesting. So…it would have to be being surrounded by really amazing people who are committed to working and thinking hard about how they want to pursue their pursuits—that’s kind of broad and general I know, but I think that it leaves the bar well-set for everyone’s creativity to come into play and that it would be able to feed and play with one another in a beautiful environment. So, that would be my utopia. I feel like I had a touch of that at a summer camp that was near and dear to me oh so long ago. Got to hang out with a bunch of crazy maniacs in the woods for a for a few years there in my late teenage years and had a ton of fun. So, I think my concept of utopia is modeled after that and I seem to, no matter what my life pursuit is, always be reaching back for that kind of experience.

LADY: Umm...yeah ok umm...yellow is my favorite color and a castle with cats and a fireplace sounds like a utopia to me. And everyone’s happy and you have like cognac or something. (Laughter) That sounds good, ok that’s it.

MAN: I think my favorite color is green and umm…huh...(laughter)...I don’t know maybe...probably, I guess being somewhere in the woods. I don’t know how else to expand it. (Laughter) BOY: My name is Kirk and my favorite color is purple and pink and red and the rainbow colors...and…

BOY: My idea of utopia is a skate park and you guys should donate money so we could get a skate park. Please? We need 350,000 dollars.

LADY: My favorite color is green, and my idea of utopia would be a group of people with...shared goals and shared ideas of… cultural value and a relatively consistent work ethic I suppose...umm…and… compassion for other human beings. In a nutshell…

K MCAND IA INLADY: Hey, purple is my favorite color… and utopia is just this—I think of dystopia. I think of all the people I know who have joined communes or the different things looking for utopia—the Mennonites, the so-and-so, the Summer Hill...It never works. It never works. I think we should embrace you know, difficulties and not look for a perfection in the future. Thanks. (Laughter.)

MAN: Okay—My favorite color of the moment is a kind of warm limey green. And I just talk about my utopia?...Let’s see…umm my utopia, uh, would definitely involve lots of parades...umm and lots of parade music and...glockenspiels, umm… gamelan, lots of snare drums, lots of, umm…contemporary hip-hop translated into, uh, marching band arrangements. Umm...and basically a lot of time with the, uh, you know, uh, set aside for…for parades. Umm…and these could happen on a variety of scales. You could have a neighborhood parade, you could have a city-wide parade, you could have a nation wide parade. Umm…I guess, uh, sort of similar to...umm…I haven’t been to Mardi Gras, but from what I hear that’s like, um yeah. So, um, you know not replacing the idea of work, but allowing time for, um, a lot of uh...I guess social creative activity. Umm…so these would not be parades that are you know dedicated to selling crafts or, umm…food. They would really be more about the music and closing down the streets. Umm...on that subject I think, uh, on a local level there would be a, umm… uh, car free perimeter around the…the downtown or around the city, anything within reasonable biking distance for the


average person—course there would still be public transportation, umm…but the streets would be thronged with bicycles of various kinds... (Laughter)

Thank you.

MAN: Orange. Umm...I have lots of ideas about utopia, I don’t know...umm. Yeah... ok, lets see—‘cause it always changes too—that, uh, that utopic feeling, at least, you know. And everything kinda comes together for that brief…but its very momentary. It’s that kind of like, uh, um... it never-never stays—it’s not in one place. It’s not—it’s never for a time—it always changes time, umm…yeah, umm...yeah, umm...yeah it’s just that, that—You know I had it on the plane for an instant you know lookin’ out the window and looking down at all the mountains with the snow on top and knowing that I can’t actually live in this state, umm…eternally and constantly but it was that moment of just appreciating that beauty and that, like, “ok this is right where I’m at and its ok,” ‘cause of course you can’t go anywhere on a plane. You have to sit tight and enjoy what you’ve got, little glass of water, little bag of pretzels, you know that was nice. That was it there. That’s when it happens. MAN: Favorite color is blue. My utopia is beer. MAN: Yellow. Ok, my utopic vision... Well I think the element of society that is…uh, preventing the realization of utopia here and now, for me, is the um... Industrialization created this, umm…


delegation of duties into umm…uh, so you’ll specialize in one certain task that you’re better in makes the whole system more efficient, and allowed us to produce a lot more but it means our individual tasks became less interesting. We don’t, uh, get to build things from scratch with our hands. We don’t get to umm…we don’t have a large variety in our work, we tend to focus on “this is your role.” Furthermore, then we have introduced computers to make things more efficient and it kind of turned you into “I interface with this computer” and that, umm…is my sole interaction with production and consumption is through this one unit and I, uh, I think it, it just turned us into individual profit centers. We’re trying to make money so that we can purchase the things that make us happy rather than just the going through the task of life being fulfilling.


MAN: My idea of utopia is balance and people getting what they need not necessarily what they want. LADY: My favorite col—my utopia is like my favorite color because my favorite color’s always changing and one color leads to the next favorite color leads to the next one and so utopia is like that. It’s where things are constantly changing but everything is perfect now, but you know it’s going to change in a minute.

TERVI FEBRU And…uh, in my vision of utopia, I guess it’s kind of this luddite ideal that we could go back to having diverse lives, where we did a lot of different things to support ourselves. Umm…that included active things and intellectual things, umm, but at least there was this variety, umm, rather than this specialization…Uh, I don’t know how that could be realized in the 21st century without really just checking out of society and kind of like becoming some mountain man in the woods or something, read lots of Tolstoy. (Laughter) So, I guess it’s not a very realistic utopia...(laughter) Unfortunately. MAN: And my favorite color would be Douglas fir green.

MAN: My favorite color is no favorite color. And, umm…my idea of utopia is a place where it’s warm all the time. There’s fruit on all the trees…and vegetables growin’ out of everywhere and, uh...yeah everybody’s happy...Fruit and vegetables...everybody’s got food everybody’s got…they’re all warm, you know they’ve got vitamin D so a lot more happy that way. Yeah, I think its just lots more fruits and vegetables and everybody’d be happy, and their own spot you know under the tree with some shade from the sunshine. All those things Leave all this in.

WOMAN: I don’t think I have a-an idea of utopia. That’s so lazy... WOMAN: No…mmm…bright, something bright. Red that’s my color like, ah… astrologically. Is that good?

WOMAN: Uh, utopia. I…I don’t know, I…I used to think, uh…it would be like uh... like a field like I used to think I…I could find like this friendship or something that would that whenever we would be together it would be this, this field like this sunset


there would be weed or something and we would be skipping and rolling around and laughing. So, I guess that’s the closest thing I thought about as utopia...Yeah. (Laughter) MAN: I think my favorite color is blue and, uh... MAN: Let’s see, my utopia is to live in a world where everyone has an open mind and, uh, where the truth prevails and people don’t get caught up in rhetoric and, uh—‘cause the thing I find is that people get caught up in rhetoric and get caught up in maybe something but I think the key is to just keep asking more and more questions, never stop asking questions. Because that’s what gets us closer to the truth. And I think that for the most part people are all moral, but they may be misguided so they make poor decisions. So, I think that, I don’t know, a big factor of utopia is just finding the truth so that we can act on the truth rather than something different. And I think that’s all I have to say about utopia right now.

MAN: Well, definitely my favorite color is blue. Uh, my idea of utopia is definitely going to start with lots of delicious crafted beer, umm…and would probably involve some hammocks swinging, uh, swimming actually and, uh, a fair amount of warm weather, umm…I would probably like there to be a good amount of, uh… harmony and a bit of a bit of art-making, probably everyday, umm…Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

IEW UARY MAN: favorite color is black. And, uh, my idea of a utopia is one in which everyone is happy, every single person on earth, and they have everything that they want and need. That’s it.

WOMAN: Ok, well, my favorite color is red and my utopic vision is, uh, pretty I…I don’t know cliché and probably generic, but it’s somewhere where people are allowed to be whoever they want to be and aren’t criticized for it, and communities help raise children, and, uh, people don’t take more than they need or…uh, pollute in unnecessary ways.

WOMAN: My favorite color is blue, umm… probably like a dark-like-dusky blue sky kinda get…getting towards the dark side. And...I don’t know, utopia’s a really difficult question, but I think that it would involve a lot more equity, financial equity, social equity, than there is now and, umm…you know probably a lot more equity in terms of access to education, and, umm…preservation of natural places and beauty, and perhaps a lot fewer cars and that sort of thing. (Laughter) Umm.... and probably more time to spend with our family and friends and less time working, but you know I…I like to work, so you know it’s not that I don’t like work, I just—it’s hard to find balance, and I think a utopia would be… umm… a society where there was a little more balance between work life, home life, family life, and maybe the other things you like to do in life, intellectual things or you know being out in nature. Its pretty vague but... so that’s, that’s it. MAN: I have no favorite color

MAN: Oh. What’s my utopia? Well I don’t…I don’t know (yet?), I—I’ve never thought of it, but I thought it was a very

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interesting question. The thing is and the fact is the world is not perfect. We all make a lot dirty things and we does stupid things, but it’s a good thing because it’s, the world is not perfect. I don’t believe in u—utopia. You can leave all this in. MAN: …Just like the green you have in Oregon as opposed to where it’s been bleached out. So, I don’t know how to describe it although when you take your sunglasses off you just wonder if it’s real or not compared to if you were from somewhere else and you see just a little bit of green here a little bit of green there. I don’t know... I don’t know if that is…qualifies for what you want. But, umm...yeah, this is the place where the walls come tumbling down and it feels good as opposed to big cities and stuff like that...but...that’s a strange question… be side-walked. Is that enough. I’m sorry... WOMAN: Color? My favorite color is blue and utopia’d be a place where, umm…my son is still alive, he died in June, so...

BOY: My name is Caleb...Kellogg and my favorite color is purple, black, red, and lime green and my vi…umm…utopia is the whole entire world being a skate park and like free food all day long and no people are mean or anything. Yeah.

MAN: My favorite color right now is yellow, second favorite is blue. Utopia is where I, and everyone, would understand that everything is animate and would treat it with the respect and love and gratitude that animate things should be treated by. Thank you. (Laughter)






KEVIN C POUX FL US AND JECTIVIS The year 1962, when George Maciunas organized the first Fluxus Festival,¹ is considered by many to be the starting point for the collective Fluxus, though it had its roots in various artists working in the 1950s. Central to the philosophy of the group, which at times was rather intangible, was the belief in a fusion of art and life to the point of the erasure between these boundaries. Maciunas described this fusion as concretism,² a preference against the illusionistic tendencies of Western art and towards concrete reality, whose extremes he deemed “anti-art” or “anti-nihilism.”³ These philosophies, while not adhered to as strictly by other participants in the Fluxus collective, formed the basis of the Fluxus ideology which advocated an anti-establishment, anti-insitution approach to art. And while democratic and utopian in its intentions, this approach provokes the question: how does one quantify art in a society without institution? Despite Maciunas’ (and the majority of Fluxus collaborators’) ties to Marxist philosophy and leftist sociopolitical beliefs,⁴ a truly concretist, anti-nihilist society lends itself as much to pure, fluid democracy as it does to libertarianism and to Ayn Rand’s brand of philosophy, Objectivism. While a Fluxus outlook on creating art is almost directly opposed to that of Objectivism, it is the envisioned environment that fosters artmaking and not the method where parallels

can be drawn. This serves not a critique of the goals of Fluxus but rather a foray into the circuitous nature of ideology and an examination of art without boundaries: art which seeks to dismantle the hierarchal systems⁵ in an attempt to fully erase all boundaries in art. Or, as Ken Friedman states in his essay “Fluxus and Company,” to suggest that “there is no boundary to be erased.”⁶

These boundaries, or dichotomies, that Fluxus sought to challenge include, but are not limited to: those between art and life, audience and performer, observer and participant, active and passive engagement. Blurring these distinctions was, in a way, an attempt to integrate art into the everyday. But more so than that, Fluxus claimed that art was the everyday, essentially dissolving the historical notion of art into the fabric of life to create a single, unified context. Similar to the Situationists and the Art Worker’s Coalition who were operating around roughly the same time, Fluxus philosophy arose from a growing disillusionment with the increasing commodification of art. The immense popularity and success of the Abstract Expressionist movement coupled with a robust, Post-War economy led to a burgeoning art market to which Maciunas

CHAMLUXOBSM: ON and Fluxus were radically opposed. In a letter to Tomas Schmit in 1963, he wrote, “…Thus Fluxus is definitely against [the] art-object as non-functional commodification--to be sold & to make livelihood for an artist.”⁷ Fluxus worked in many ways to combat this pervasive attitude, including working with everyday objects to devalue their artwork and in creating nonobjective work, such as concerts, performances, instructions, etc. This also included a broader, more encompassing definition of the artist’s role in society: the idea that “one could be an artist and--at the same time--an industrialist, an architect, or a designer.”⁸

Central to the Fluxus view of art was a direct affront to the notion of artist-as-genius, establishing itself as against the “European” ideas of the professional artist, l’art pour l’art, and any ego-centric expression of the artist through his art. This can be seen as a attempt at the elimination of the notion of “fine arts” as being a separate (and elevated) discipline in society. The collaborative nature of Fluxus sought to dispel this viewpoint, which had been the canonized status of artists since around the time of the Renaissance and one that was viewed by Fluxus as inherently Western. Maciunas would even request of the artists working in Fluxus that they leave their work unsigned and unattributed.⁹ These strategies sought to move the discourse on art away from both the idea of art as a solitary enterprise and of art as a single, tangible, and commodifiable object. It is important to establish that this tenet of Fluxus as distinctly opposite the views of Objectivism, to which this essay seeks to forge a connection. Indeed, Ayn Rand (the creator of Objectivist philosophy) saw the role of art and the artist in society as a deeply metaphysical one. Objectivist thought sees the artist as a purveyor of the direct experience of life, in a similar vein to the


existentialist thinker.¹⁰ An art object was not indistinguishable from the everyday. Indeed, it carried with it the entirety of metaphysics, of the creator’s view of life. In direct contrast with a Fluxus view of the role of art and art-objects, Leonard Peikoff, a direct disciple of Ayn Rand, writes: “A work of art is an end in itself, in the sense that it serves no purpose other than man’s contemplation of it.”¹¹ Serving a metaphysical purpose, art has the distinction of being the quantifiable abstraction of the nature of the universe so far as the art-creator sees it. Beyond the dayto-day consideration of more “concrete”¹² elements of life, Objectivists saw art as speaking a profound truth, a way for man to consider his role in life and, more broadly, if life can, indeed, be lived. And while some Fluxus artists were certainly interested in these sorts of broad-ranging questions, it would be antithetical to their philosophy to assume that the artist is responsible (or even fully capable) of answering these questions above anyone else. So where, then, do the similarities occur? Rand’s rugged individualism seemingly presents itself completely at odds with the fluid, collaborative spirit of the Fluxus artists. Indeed, the work created by adherents to these respective philosophies would be radically different, in both form and, more importantly, intent. Far from finding issue with the commodification of art, an Objectivist, free-market ideology would see a rampantly successful art market as a justification of art’s pivotal role in society. And while the power of the individual is not by any means a central role in a Fluxist society, it is the in which the individual is allowed to exist and create where an ideological overlap occurs. To describe it as utopian brings about a series of problematic associations but the main idea is consistent: a hierarchal, overbearing system of institutions inhibits the notion of a free society in which







the individual is allowed to pursue his or her own goals to their own accord. Or, in the terms of Friedman, there is a need for a “globalist” culture that is democratic in its approach. He lays out this utopian ideal, writing, “a world inhabited by individuals of equal worth and value suggests--or requires-a method for each individual to fulfill his or her potential. This, in turn, suggests a democratic context within which each person can decide how and where to live, what to become, how to do it.”¹³ In Fluxus terms, the system interfering with this approach is that of the art institution, namely galleries, museums and the overarching mindset with which artists, theorists, and especially art historians seek to codify art-making. For Objectivism (which can be viewed, to some degree, as a specific type of libertarianism), this system is often government. And while the government’s obtrusiveness in the realm of art was not the main focus of any of Fluxus’ activities, its role remains the same. This can be understood in the sense that any sort of dominant, elitist system of control will impose a set of rules, preferences or goals upon those it dominates. In effect, this control subverts the autonomy of the individual whose rights are sacrosanct, seen by Ayn Rand as “the means of subordinating a society to moral law.”¹⁴ Fluxus saw this control as a limitation on the ability to create a multiplicity of works and a hindrance to the globalist aims of the group. Friedman states that globalism was one of the core issues of Fluxus,¹⁵ a strategy to efface another boundary: that of the geopolitical and nationalistic boundaries between nations. A truly democratic society would be one in which the limitations inherent in any controlled society were eliminated, replaced with a society in which any person of any creed, gender, sexual identity or race could participate; one in which “the opportunity to advance is based on the ability to create value in the form of goods and services.”¹⁶

Objectivism echoes this sentiment in its assertion that the only morally just society is one in which all individuals are afforded their rights to the extent that they may pursue their own happiness. And the only system with which to organize this society is laissezfaire capitalism, which affords all individuals freedom. Most of Fluxus was an attempt to subvert capitalism¹⁷ in its commodification of all aspects of society; however, the purpose of this essay is not to equate the economic or political motivations of both groups but rather to establish a connection in ideologies and in their view of a free society.

THE IDEO GIES OF ART AND It is possible now, having established this marriage of ideals, to see where some inherent problems lie. While in no way negating the noble ideals of personal freedom and individuality, this idea taken to its extreme (which is, in essence, the nature of idealism) raises the question not merely of if such a society is feasible but if it would even promote the democratic, entrepreneurial art that Fluxus seeks to create. Such an ideology requires the assumption that a free and collaborative spirit is innate in all artists and people and that any controlled system simply suppresses this instinct. Like its economic counterpart, the capitalist notion of the “invisible hand” of the market, a collective humanistic goal of art-making relies on the abstract model of a society with no impositions. Fluxus itself existed within an established system, keeping its theories about globalism and anti-art squarely in the realm of conjecture. And while conjecture by no means disqualifies these ideas (referring to them as theories implies conjecture, anyway), it is important to consider the impact of the Fluxus message in relation to the system it transgresses against. This can be examined in two ways: the first being the pervasiveness of the control systems and Fluxus’ attempts to sustain and grow itself. While most Fluxus work was not sold in galleries or for much


money, Maciunas was forced to raise funds to keep the group and its events afloat. Art historian Bertrand Clavez discusses the irony of this situation: “. . . this involved using, or even playing off, the capitalistic system to produce objects or actions necessary to its subversion.”¹⁸ Thus is the inherent issue in dealing with such an encompassing system. It must be utilized in all instances because it has permeated all aspects of society.

or “Westernized” art. The importance of a structure or controlled system is to establish a condition against which one can transgress. This does not in any way diminish Fluxus to an act of mere transgression but rather states that the valuable and unique strategies and philosophy of Fluxus cannot be fully acknowledged or utilized without a controlled structure or system to give them context.

The second way to view these capitalistic and art systems in relation to Fluxus is as a frame with which to view their work. In other words, not only are the logistical needs of the collaborative contingent on these systems, so too is its central philosophy. Maciunas’ concretism, viewed in its extreme as anti-art, is meant to be indistinguishable from life. “Anti-art is life, is nature, is true reality--it is one and all. Rainfall is anti-art, a babble of a crowd is anti-art, a sneeze is anti-art...They are as beautiful and as worth to be aware of as art itself. If man could experience the world, the concrete world surrounding him in the same way he experiences art, there would be no need for art...”¹⁹

This tenuous relationship between Fluxus and the art systems has manifested itself in the attempts since its formation to place Fluxus in the context of art history and in the financial hardships of many of the Fluxus artists.²⁰ Ultimately, this relationship comes down to the basic divide between ideology and practice. True anti-art was neither the product nor immediate goal of the majority of Fluxus artists. But it was the driving force of their collaboration and the beliefs that first brought together the people working under the Fluxus name. The strategies and art forms created and perpetuated by Fluxus have influenced all artists working since, both under the Fluxus umbrella and far outside of it; art forms such as performance, mail-art, collective anthologies, intermedia and others, while not necessarily originating with Fluxus, were certainly matured and developed thanks to their work. And while many artists continue to question the role of institutions in art, it is less in an attempt to challenge or subvert and more just that: questioning. In many ways, this discourse has become part of the institution. This cannot be seen as an overall failure of Fluxus, however. If anything, it suggests that the ultimate realization of Fluxus ideology would not have been as invaluable to art practice as were its attempts. And despite Maciunas’ growing frustration with the lack of success in achieving his goals, this may have been the goal of Fluxus artists from the onset. A total erasure of the boundaries between

OLOANTID FREE The issue in this is that oftentimes even these anti-art experiences are presented in the context of art. Anything short of anti-art brought to its totality, which was certainly the case with Fluxus, must rely on the existing institutional structure as a way of recognizing it as anti-art. Put simply, an art ideology that focuses on the subversion of a controlled system requires the controlled system to subvert against. In addition, this controlled system provides the context and contingency with which to both appreciate and fully comprehend its opposite (the subverter). Just as Maciunas defines fine art as illusionistic and artificial against what he sees as true reality, anti- art too must be defined by its own inverse, that of illusionistic



art and life is near impossible, both because the elevation of art from life is an engrained mentality of society and because those who seek this effacement in the name and context of art must do so through an art-based trajectory. But a loosening of the institution’s stranglehold and the provocation of a new and radical discourse has done much to shape the direction of art in the subsequent years since Fluxus began. And this is where Fluxus ideology can differ sharply from that of Objectivism; a partial realization of the goals of Objectivist thought leads to capitalistic systems that emphasize the most dangerous aspects of ideology. This leaves society at the mercy of the unforgiving whims of the free market. Fluxus, however, does not need full ideological realization to bear fruition or to leave its mark on a society. While the co-opting of Fluxus style in contemporary art may seem to be at the cost of the most important aspects of their philosophy, it is perhaps the ultimate recognition of not simply the pervasiveness of the art institution but of its importance as a context. Fluxus practice has the ability, then, to transcend its pitfalls and in many ways, where Fluxus fails is where it leaves its most resounding impact.

7. Maciunas, 24. 8. Friedman, 242. 9. Thomas Kellein, “I Make Jokes! Fluxus Through the Eyes of ‘Chairman’ George Maciunas,’ in Fluxus (Thames and Hudson 1995), 14. 10. Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, (Meridian 1991), 417. 11. Ibid, 414. 12. “Concrete” in opposition to the metaphysical or abstract. This should not be equated with Maciunas’ view of Concretism, except in the sense that the areas of life that Objectivists consider concrete (i.e. food, work, friends), Fluxus would consider where art should be placed. 13. Friedman, 245. 14. Peikoff, 351. 15. Friedman, 244. 16. Ibid. 17. The capitalism of America and the Western world that Fluxus sought to subvert was markedly different than the “pure” capitalism advocated by Ayn Rand and Objectivism. 18. Bertrand Clavez, “Fluxus--Reference of Paradigm for Young Contemporary Artists?” Visible Language 39 (2005): 235-247. 19. Maciunas, 27. 20. For more on the difficulty of teaching and contextualizing Fluxus, see Smith, “Fluxus and Legacy,” 2005. For more on the financial and and commercial success and difficulties of Fluxus artists, see Kaplan, “Flux Generations,” 2000.


1. Ken Friedman, “Fluxus and Company,” in The Fluxus Reader, ed. Ken Friedman ( John Wiley & Sons, 1998), 243. 2. George Maciunas, “Neo-Dada in Music, Theater, Poetry and Art,” in Fluxus: Selections From The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection, (The Museum of Modern Art, 1988), 25. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid, 24. It should be noted, however, that some of the more extreme beliefs and tactics were espoused by Maciunas solely and largely rejected by the other members of Fluxus. This led to much in-fighting and Maciusnas’ repeated attempts to kick people out of the group. For the purposes of this essay, however, the general anti-establishment and antiinstitution beliefs, ones shared by most members of Fluxus and central to its philosophy, will be examined. The fluid and intangible nature of the artists working in and around Fluxus means some generalizations will have to be made. 5. Systems in art referring to galleries, museums, archives, art historians and any other interface that can be seen as commodifying or objectifying art. 6. Friedman, 247.


Clavez, Bertrand. “Fluxus--Reference of Paradigm For Young Contemporary Artists?” Visible Language 39 (2005): 235-247. Friedman, Ken. “Fluxus and Company.” In The Fluxus Reader, edited by Ken Friedman. John Wiley & Sons, 1998. Kaplan, Janet A., et al. “Flux Generations.” Art Journal 59.2 (2000): 7.Academic OneFile. Web. Dec. 2010. Kellein, Thomas. Fluxus. London: Thames and Hudson, 1995. Maciunas, George. “Neo-Dada in Music, Theater, Poetry and Art.” In Fluxus: Selections From The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection. 25-27. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1988 Peikoff, Leonard. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. New York: Meridian, 1991. Smith, Owen P. “Fluxus and Legacy.” Visible Language 39-3 (2005): 21-235. Rand, Ayn. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. New York: Signet, 1967.






The mood in Egypt is now the mood of the world, as the passion of unrest tugs on the ideals of a fully realized humanity and the daunting fury of those embroiled in the street battles. Some call this a revolution, some merely a revolt, or a Muslim Brotherhood takeover, and forces in the Egyptian government call it mob-rule, foreign instigation, and chaos. It isn’t easy to define the barrage of information and images being tweeted, filmed, commented, and posted on the tools of social and media networks becoming so valuable to the appendages of today’s revolutionary trends. It isn’t easy because this movement is composed of four important reasons why we need to pore over this material over and over again. It is a movement that is largely leaderless, it is affected by economic circumstances, it is unprecedented to the region and globally unique in its details, and it is a powerful indicator of the future. On the real tip: activists should be taking notes. “We will not be silenced, whether you’re a Christian, whether you’re a Muslim, whether you’re an atheist! You will demand your goddamn rights and we will have our rights, one way or another! We will never be silenced!”—protester

This is a quote from a man during the earlier days of the protest. There was no name given, no political party announced, and no denunciation of creed but that of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party line. So who are the protesters? On February 1st, 2011, it seemed to be everyone from all walks

of life but the question begs to be asked: Who’s organizing this?

We need to turn to the April 6 Youth Movement started by Ahmed Maher and Ahmed Saleh in the spring of 2008. The plan was to hatch support of industrial workers in Al-Mahalla Al-Kubra by standing in solidarity with their strike on April 6th: A national day of strikes with supporters donning ominous black garb and exiling themselves from work and classes, viva le proletariat style. The group networked on Facebook and had garnered many supporters eager to network on yet another forum for organizing and free speech. See, by this time, bloggers created a great deal of groundwork that connected an increasingly integrated Egyptian online community interested in following through on talk of social change. Lively debates became the keyboard tapping, grainy video sound of a future uprising held only before within Friday glimpses in mosques where the government ban on unauthorized public gatherings is lifted. Both founders of the April 6th Youth Movement, amongst many other supporting members, were targeted, arrested, condemned, tortured, and “taught a lesson.” After all, this is Egypt, a state where CIA “black sites” were known to exist in the War on Terror. The Egyptian government was a first-class candidate known for its own resume of practice on its own citizens. The April 6 Youth Movement were tech-savvy middle to upper-class activists who felt the need for a broad umbrella of changes to their country. Now, a patriotic fervor of a different


HERZ S BUsort, a globalized consciousness, has taken hold in a country known for popular movements closer to an Arab nationalism aggressive to Israel and Islamist ideologue Sayyid Qutb, the godfather and intellectual architect for the Islamic fundamentalism that spun off Osama Bin Laden. Stereotypes of the Middle East are usually based in these two ideologies but it is often lost to the public that they were bred in Egypt, the ideological exporter to the Arab world. They fermented within heated conditions as rebellions against corrupt authoritarian regimes even though they themselves were ideologies similar in structural solutions.

That is why today’s uprisings are so important. The people out there protesting the government now are without a single defining face, a single defining religion, or a single defining ideology, but rather a broad-based cultural organism dynamic in its sense of free thought, a powerful sense of necessary change, and a single target: the National Democratic Party autocracy of President Hosni Mubarak. If Egypt was known for exporting the negative image of Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Western nationalism (hell, there has even been a Marxist party), it could be known for exporting a symbol of Democratic freedom and dialogue. In short, the regimes of the Middle East shall be humbled to know, don’t fuck with the people. “It’s very bad for my government. I have no food, I haven’t anything. Me and my children. I will die today!”—protester

It is no secret to foreign policy hounds that the Middle East is important because of its oil, the backbone of the world economy, and historically has served as a bread basket of ancient Western civilization. The quest for empires starting with the Sargon Dynasty and a unified Pharonic Egypt had set the pace for a notoriously coveted region.

The reactionary fears of Washington are rooted in the disruption of this status-quo as the old dinosaurs of energy policy fight tooth and nail to maintain an inevitably doomed oil economy. That’s what’s going on in the American and European front but what’s going in Middle East and North Africa, as we’ve seen more and more uprisings, is that unemployment, rising prices, and lack of a competitive education are the cracks in the wall; as one protester has said: “Mubarak is our Berlin Wall.” Tunis, of course, gets the international recognition as being what sparked the regional unrest to action. There, a fruit vendor performs the act that began what many historians will look back as the moment the dictators trembled. Mohamed Bouazizi became the face of the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution when after a scuffle with a Municipality officer, he set himself on fire. The incident represented years of police violence and government cruelty. We have seen such desperate acts of self-immolation in Vietnam, Tibet, and some have replicated this in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria. Martyrdom is a disturbingly powerful way to touch people in a core way that says “something is not right here,” and this is coupled by the fact that martyrdom, to die for your people, no matter how modernist we appear, holds a very high place in people’s minds. But Bouazizi didn’t do it to become a political hero, he did it because he didn’t have the money to bribe the police who confiscated his produce cart so he could feed his family. The protests drew on this as their cause, throwing out Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali to the cheers of the world. The military had come to their side, and revolution occurred in about the span of one month. In fact, it became so damn politically correct to cheer on the revolution that even Obama gave it his support like it was going out of style in his State of the Union Speech. After the fact of course.



RNING Egypt nevertheless had gone through some neoliberal reforms which bolstered a middle class, cut subsidies to commodities, but not enough to create the employment opportunities necessary for a young educated base, more aware of the world than ever, and hungry for economic opportunity. The result was like a carrot dangling before their eyes amidst higher commodity costs but with no way to grab on and no political outlet to address their grievances. The Middle East as a whole has this problem and so if Mubarak goes, who’s to say change won’t happen in Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Algeria, and Libya… like it already has? “What is happening in Egypt and Tunisia might be a return to a more normal politics, fueled by the realities of the modern world, rooted in each country’s conditions. In this sense, these might be the Middle East’s first post-American revolutions.”—Fareed Zakaria

It cannot be overstressed that if Egypt and Tunis really pull this off, if they really transition into stable free societies, they change not only the Middle East as they already have, they change every world power’s foreign policy, they change the way oil markets are negotiated, and they bring a new page, a new day to a once proud civilization. Make no mistake at what is at stake here. The older paradigm for former colonies are stale dictatorships, ideological extremism, poverty, and bullying by world powers such as Russia, Britain, France, and the United States. Their only value to the world was gauged by the resources they had to enrich the investments of the global elite. Let’s face the facts. Foreign Policy in the short term is easier to handle when a world power is dealing with autocratic regimes but we can’t forget that it is the exhausting War on Terror that is dealing with the shadow of this policy. What is already going on now in Egypt is unprecedented and it dramatically changes the future but it is impossible to say how. Believing that these events

are going to make the Middle East a region of stable micro-Americas, an Arab EU, or egalitarian societies is still just a belief. The reality is that the democratic examples we have took many years to create and Egyptians should prepare to be in it for the long haul. Listen to the concerns that journalists have been reporting: The Muslim Brotherhood. The conservative Islamic organization is not poised for a total takeover despite what some media speculate with concern. At best, they represent as much of their country as Republicans did in 2008. Mohammed Al-Baradei is shaping up to be more of a dissident voice amongst others than any real leading figure of such a diverse movement. The movement has organizers but it doesn’t have a leader which is proving to be troublesome to the authorities but also a problem when the people desire new faces in the government. We have to remember that the Egyptians are not Anarchists, they believe in government but they want a different kind. What is different in the future case of their governance is that history seems to move a lot faster in a globalized society, and individuals just seem to have more damn power in the internet age. Old dogmas are easier to dismiss when someone posts a video of them on Youtube. Americans might be accustomed to thinking that Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter are daily distractions but in a country like Egypt, they are lifeblood. That’s why old comparisons don’t necessarily work in this case, because in this post-modern era, Tunis and Egypt stand for the first of their kind, not just in the Middle-East, but for the world.




ERIK BADER has written for The Philadelphia

JACOB GARCIA is a documentary photographer from Salem, Oregon. His work shows what Henri Cartier-Bresson calls “The Decisive Moment.” Jacob is currently working on finishing his B.F.A and plans on attending graduate school in the Fall of 2012.

MORGAN BUCK who was born and raised in

big name.

Independent, Philadelphia Weekly, Vice, and Willamette Week. He is currently working on two books of fiction, “The New American Novel”, and “The Dreamland of the Northwest.”  He lives in Portland, Oregon, in an apartment that he shares with a small, gray cat.

Portland, Oregon, graduated in 2010 with his BFA in painting from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. His current work deals with the American dream’s psychological effect, via cable television, on the so called Y-generation to which he belongs. He is now preparing for his first solo exhibition of his work which will be located at Clackamas Community College’s Alexander Gallery in October of 2011.

SAMALA COFFEY is an illustrator, animator and designer with a love of tongue-in-cheek humor and a penchant for watercolors. She found the artist’s path early with her identical twin sister, and plans to stay in Portland and make puppets for a living after school. DAME DARCY her graphic novel, Gasoline, is published by Merrell and her comic book series Meat Cake is published by Fantagraphics Books. She is an illustrator, author, musician, actress, doll crafter, teacher, perfumer, and cabaret performer. To find out more about her work and upcoming projects, visit LUKE FULLER

ERIN GRADY writes the poetry of Eugene’s next

ANNA GRAY AND RYAN WILSON are artists. Their idea-based practice fuses history, fiction, autobiography and artistic commentary into a wide variety of material works: from poster projects, sculpture and multi-media installations, to publications, indexes and performative lectures. Their work has been shown and published nationally and internationally. The pair live and work in Portland, Oregon where they are represented by PDX Contemporary Art. They each hold a BFA in Intermedia from Pacific Northwest College of Art, and an MFA in Contemporary Art Practice from Portland State University. MICHAEL HALL is inspired by all the creative energy around him at PNCA, and especially the extraordinary work in the Photography Department. He also finds enormous satisfaction in serving the campus community in his role as Dean of Students. MIGUEL Y. HERNANDEZ is a Middle-Eastern

Studies Major at the University of Oklahoma. He’s been an activist for eight years, a spoken word artist, and currently does work with the Turkish Raindrop House and Amnesty International.

LEAH KICZULA is a photographer, a writer, and a dreamer. She once drove a bus across the country, but that was a long time ago. SARAH LAPONTE currently lives in Portland, Oregon and thinks cameras should have film in them. For questions or commissions, call her up. AUGUST LIPP was born in Santa Monica, California in 1990.

MACK MCFARLAND is an artist and curator

exploring the intersection of the aesthetic and the cognitive through such subjects and tools as: humor, news cycles, mysticism, dissent aesthetics, chance, drawing, repetition and video. McFarland has been exhibited nationally and internationally; screening videos at Pixelodeon Festival at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, the La Enana Marron Film and Video Festival in Madrid, and at Cine Fantom in Moscow. He is also an avid mail artist, send to: PO BOX 2076, Portland, OR 97208, and expect a reply.

MATTHEW MILLER lives in Portland, Oregon

and is working on his senior thesis at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He currently divides his time between his photographic artwork, pursuing assignments, and submitting to contests and galleries throughout the United States. Matthew is scheduled to graduate with a BFA in Photography from PNCA in the fall of 2011.


is a transdisciplinary artist based in Skopje, Macedonia, with 45 exhibitions in Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and USA. MFA New Media (Donau Universitat Krems, Linz, Austria). Artist residencies: School of Visual Arts (New York), Wooloo (Berlin), Dia: Beacon (Beacon, New York), Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, Oregon), etc. Recipient of CEC Artslink Fellowship. Author of a book on artist interventions in public space.

DAVID RITCHIE is a professor at PNCA. He can be reached at

ARVIE SMITH received his BFA from Pacific

Northwest College of Art in 1984 and his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Hoffberger School of Painting under Grace Hartigan in 1992. Smith studied at Il Bisonte and SACI in Florence in 1983. From 1998 to the present he has traveled extensively through Ghana, Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso, West Africa. He is an Associate Professor in Drawing, Foundation, and Painting at PNCA.

JESSICA SUTTON is a freshman at PNCA, traveler of the world, technician of craft, bold, beautiful, and hesitating. ROY TOMLINSON earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and MFA from UC Berkeley. Tomlinson taught painting and drawing at the California College of the Arts before joining the faculty at PNCA. His work has been included in many exhibitions including: Photoo: The Subvention and Subversion of Photography at the Oakland Art Gallery, Surface Tension at the Mills College Art Museum, Being There at the Oakland Museum, as well as Solo exhibitions at the Stephen Wirtz Gallery and Gallery 16, among others. ARON WIESENFELD is an internationally shown

artist currently living in California. He has been published in New American Paintings and is represented by the Arcadia Gallery in New York and Galerie Utrecht in Amsterdam. Last year he had a retrospective at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. This year he became a very proud father.

BRIAN VISSER BUFORD YOUTHWARD is the pen name for Nick Falcon, guitarist for The Young Werewolves. As a teenager in early 1980’s Philadelphia, he inspired a handful of kids to get into graffiti culture. When the rest of the world caught the graff craze, he moved on. A monthly columnist for Art Crimes web site since 1999, his writing career began as a contributor to ON THE GO magazine published by Steve “Espo” Powers.


Total Printing Costs: Total Binding Costs: Total Costs for Reading Events: Food for Meetings: Total Incidental Printing Costs: (banner, handouts, readings, proofs)

7640.00 650.00 450.00 125.00 100.00



Club Money: Total:

(-) 225.00 8776.00



SUBMIT magazine is a student run magazine from PNCA.


SUBMIT magazine is a student run magazine from PNCA.