Signal 04: A Journal of International Political Graphics & Culture
Editors: Josh MacPhee and Alec Dunn
Publisher: PM Press
Size: 5 x 7
Page count: 176
Signal is an ongoing book series dedicated to documenting and sharing compelling graphics, art projects, and cultural movements of international resistance and liberation struggles. Artists and cultural workers have been at the center of upheavals and revolts the world over, from the painters and poets in the Paris Commune to the poster makers and street theatre performers of the recent Occupy movement. Signal will bring these artists and their work to a new audience, digging deep through our common history to unearth their images and stories. We have no doubt that Signal will come to serve as a unique and irreplaceable resource for activist artists and academic researchers, as well as an active forum for critique of the role of art in revolution.
In the US there is a tendency to focus only on the artworks produced within our shores or from English speaking producers. Signal reaches beyond those bounds, bringing material produced the world over, translated from dozens of languages and collected from both the present and decades past. Though it is a full-color printed publication, Signal is not limited to the graphic arts. Within its pages you will find political posters and fine arts, comics and murals, street art, site-specific works, zines, art collectives, documentation of performance and articles on the often overlooked but essential role all of these have played in struggles around the world.
Highlights of the fourth volume of Signal include:
- Imaging Palestine: Rochelle Davis and Emma Murphy take a look at Palestinian Affairs, one of the PLO’s major publications
- Fighting Fire with Water: Lincoln Cushing discusses the Bay Area Peace Navy’s large-scale visual interventions
- The Walls Speak Even If the Media Is Silent: Tennessee Watson documents a project made in response to the violence in Juárez
- Revolutionary Continuum: Jared Davidson cracks open New Zealand’s Kotare Trust Poster Archive
- Kommune 1: Michael McCanne teases out the early years of West Germany’s militant counterculture
- Illustrating the 3rd World: Josh MacPhee interviews Max Karl Winkler, book cover designer for Three Continents Press
- Dynamic Collectivity: Ryan Hayes traces the history of Toronto’s Punchclock Printing Collective
“Offering these graphics to generations far beyond their original audiences, this title is recommended for designers, activists, archivists, and scholars studying protest movements.”
“Signal reads like a magazine in that it consists of a number of smaller, independent articles but the loose continuity of subject holds it together as a book. As a series, this is going to be a great resource. Dunn and MacPhee are filling a void in terms of political graphics; there’s a lot of material for them to cover and this is solid start.”
“Signal is dotted with stunning photography that will certainly reel in many people who are into unusual art. Clocking in at just under 140 glossy pages, Dunn and MacPhee do an impressive job of conveying not only what is new and relevant in political art, but also its history and its presence in the everyday.”
—Political Media Review
“If you are interested in the use of graphic art and communication in political struggles, don’t miss the latest issue of Signal.”
—Rick Poynor, Design Observer
“Signal couldn’t have arrived at a better time to reassure those of us using visual culture to enter a political discourse. ”
About the Editors
Josh MacPhee is a designer, artist, and archivist. He is a founding member of both the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and Interference Archive, a public collection of cultural materials produced by social movements based in Brooklyn, NY (InterferenceArchive.org). MacPhee is the author and editor of numerous publications, including Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now and Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics and Culture. He has organized the Celebrate People’s History poster series since 1998 and has been designing book covers for many publishers for the past decade (AntumbraDesign.org). His most recent book is An Encyclopedia of Political Record Labels (Common Notions, 2019), a compendium of information about political music and radical cultural production.
Alec Dunn is a printer and illustrator living in Portland, OR. He is a nurse who works in critical care and harm reduction. A member of the Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative, he also coedits Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics & Culture along with Josh MacPhee.
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