Whoever You Voted for ...

A poster project inspired by the Library book Radical Technology edited by Peter Harper, Godfrey Boyle. We were particularly inpspired by the drawings of Harper's brother-Clifford Harper. Clifford Harper's black and white drawings depict what the new world that folks were imagining might look like, and how it might function. We used a letterpress to print the imagined poster from Clifford Harper's drawing,"Basement Workshop," depicting a thriving colletive artmaking workshop.

Click on the image to download the poster.

What we know of our past what we demand of our future!


What we know of our past • What we demand of our future was a three day gathering, from January 18-20, 2008 to talk about socially-engaged, political, and critical artwork, its international iterations, history, and future.We came together at Mess Hall in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood because we wanted to look at and talk about intersections between art and activism. We wanted to take this time to address a range of concerns, to look at past strategies of creative resistance and build on them, to address our frustrations and anxieties about what we do, to play and laugh together, share food, and discuss the possibilities for going forward. These three days were organized by the Library of Radiant Optimism (Brett Bloom + Bonnie Fortune), YNKB (Kirsten Dufour-Andersen + Finn Thybo Andersen) and Mess Hall. This is part of an ongoing series that asks how we can have optimism in our politics and work in the face of neoliberal globalization, war, economic, environmental, and other global crises. Our activities have included a poster show in Copenhagen and Chicago, and an upcoming discussion-based event similar to this one in Copenhagen.

We wrote an article about the experience. Read at the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.

Two-in-One Poster Show

The Posters of Radiant Optimism

There was an enormous groundswell of optimistic and visionary activities in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This poster show evolved out of discussions around The Library and its books with artists, Kirsten Dufour and Finn Thybo Andersen. We wanted to ask questions about the potential to add to the optimistic histories of past activisms with our own movements. We seek a discussion about the place of optimism in the face of war, environmental, devastation, and global capitalism. We asked people to make posters about their own work or to create optimistic plans for going along together.

YNKB and The Library of Radiant Optimism for Let’s Re-make the World

Finn Thybo Andersen, Brett Bloom and Bonnie Fortune, Center for Tactical Magic, Michel Chevalier, Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, Copenhagen Free University, Peter Conlin and Kirsten Forkert, Kirsten Dufour, Ryan Griffis and Sara Ross, Haugaard & Kilsmark, In the Field, Nicolas Lampert, Learning Site, Runo Lagomarsino, Sarah Lewison, Markaktiv, Dylan Mira, Network of Casual Art, New Social Art School, Mogens Otto Nielsen, Oda Projesi, Parfyme, Nis Rømer, Samaras Project, Section 8, YNKB.

In 2009, we printed a booklet with all of the posters and essays from various Library of Radiant Optimism events. To download a pdf of the book click here.


To recieve a hardcopy, email us!

The poster show was presented at YNKB in Copenhagen, December 2006. The posters can be seen at: http://www.ynkb.dk/eng/posters2-kopi.shtml

Fishing for Materials-Copenhagen

Containers are everywhere in the streets of Copenhagen. You find them where old buildings are being renovated, new construction is going up, or at houses purging their courtyards of things no longer being used by residents. They are filled with discarded items that reveal the excess of material wealth. Often their contents are not exhausted, but could be used several more times before incineration. The containers have been generous to us. They have given us two bikes, a sweater, and a lot of cardboard for our project. These giant free boxes, lack a system of reclamation and secondary use. Besides the odd passerby peeping in to see if there are items worth salvaging, there is no organized means of transferring the containers’ gifts. Cardboard was a readily available free material from containers. We were able to take a tiny amount out of circulation and put it to different uses. We made seating for a large group of people. We took the waste we produced and turned it into something we could use. Cardboard scraps were put together into oversized fonts spelling out ideas related to the library project.

We exhibited the result at Charlottenborg in Copenhagen in the Winter of 2006

Garbage Blooms-Chicago/Aberdeen

Collecting excess materials has been an ongoing consideration of the Library of Radiant Optimism. Not only, do we collect books and write about them, but we also make work based on the ideas and philosophies contained in the books. Many of the books deal with sustainable design projects, environmental issues, and material resuse.

The garbage blooms project was one of these types of material resuse projects. We collected our own materials and materials from the city, which we recombined into strange flower shapes. We then reinstalled them in and around the city. We made in them in Chicago and in Aberdeen for the Peacock Visual Arts Center.