Four Minutes to Midnight: Issue Thirteen
“The word is the canary, and its feathers are falling out.”
After an extended hiatus, Four Minutes to Midnight returns with our thirteenth issue, a lovingly produced edition of typography and poetics, photography and collage, design polemics and radical politics, paper and ink. Thematically, the issue emerges out of our experience of the Québec Student Strike, but is not specifically “about” it, acting more as a reflection on 10 years of community organising, designing and publishing, making music, and strolling through gentrifying neighbourhoods in opposition to neoliberal capitalism.
The issue features visual art, writing and design from a diverse host of local and international contributors, including the Dutch design studio Experimental Jetset, performance artist and author Jacob Wren, Montreal photographer Vo Thien Viet, Toronto writer and editor Hillary Rexe, and the Montreal artist and collagist Madame Gilles.
Howl! Arts Festival
I’m very excited to announce the upcoming Howl! Arts Festival—les voix survolent la ville, a celebration of art and revolution. This first edition, taking place over 6 days at the end of April, brings together a host of local artists and events committed to the deepening of community engagement and grassroots activism, with a focus on the struggles of First Nations, Inuit and Metis.
The festival opens with a benefit concert for Missing Justice featuring Odaya, Sarah Pagé and AurorA, followed the next evening by Regards sur le 7eme feu. This 11 musician ensemble performance presents a conceptual work envisioned and composed by Xarah Dion and Stefan Christoff, exploring issues around the future of the North. Other events include a fundraising concert for those arrested under the unjust Montreal bylaw P6 during (and after) the Quebec student strike of 2012, a screening of Alanis’ Obomsawin’s documentary film Hi-Ho Mistahey!, and a panel discussion on the relationship between art and gentrification.
The festival closes with the launch of the 13th issue of Four Minutes to Midnight, which has been almost two years in the making. Much more on that very soon!
The visuals and poster for the festival were created by LOKi design, and printed by Chris at la Presse du chat perdu. The graphic approach was equally inspired by the explosive force of Vorticism, the imagery of a dense city seen from above, and a personal attempt to work with abstraction in a politically coherent way.
More details for the festival on the Howl! website, and on facebook here.
Contre la Charte des valeurs
Working with the FARD (Féministes anti-racistes détonant.e.s) collective, I designed a series of typographic posters in opposition to the proposed Quebec Charter of Values and its inherent racist agenda. Produced as part of the latest issue of the .dpi journal, the goal of the series is to render public opposition more visible within the city’s cultural venues and in the streets.
Come Worry With Us!
I was honoured to work on the poster and title designs for Helene Klodawsky’s film Come Worry With Us! The documentary tells the story of one of my favourite bands, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, focusing on the struggles of balancing parenthood with the life of touring musicians. It raises very timely questions around the pervasiveness of traditional gender roles, and the challenges of artists living within a precarious economy. It’s a beautiful, intimate portrait, blending the political and the personal, and I’m really pleased to have been a part of it.
Visit the film’s website here.
WU-TANG Letterpress Prints
For Expozine this year, I’ve reissued a run of my WU-TANG C.R.E.A.M. diptych, letterpress printed in gold ink on thick black cardstock by Kiva Stimac at Popolo Press. This edition is printed on her new letterpress, and the imprint is slightly deeper, giving it more relief and emphasizing the epitaph metaphor of the design.
Neptune’s Moons Poster
Show poster designed for the upcoming Neptune’s Moons concert presented by the Howl Arts Collective. Though the central graphic acts as a literal interpretation of the title, the poster also makes subtle reference to Afro-futurist aesthetics and sci-fi 70s funk in the digitally-lettered title treatment. It’s too bad we won’t be printing this with glow-in-the-dark ink!
In conceiving of the show, Kaie highlighted this quote by Marc Dery:
“Hack this: Why do so few African-Americans write science fiction, a genre whose close encounters with the Other — the stranger in a strange land — would seem uniquely suited to the concerns of African-American novelists? Yet, to this writer’s knowledge, only Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler,Steve Barnes, and Charles Saunders have chosen to write within the genre conventions of SF. This is especially perplexing in light of the fact that African-Americans are, in a very real sense, the descendants of alien abductees. They inhabit a sci-fi nightmare in which unseen but no less impassable force fields of intolerance frustrate their movements; official histories undo what has been done to them; and technology, be it branding, forced sterilization, the Tuskegee experiment, or tasers, is too often brought to bear on black bodies.”
– Mark Dery, Black to the Future
Neptune’s Moons event page here.
Sketch for Sunday: Perpetual Krisis
A little collage I made today combining an old photo of mine from my trip to Portugal and a painting from Alex Schaefer‘s burning banks series. I think it works quite well, and if I can find a way to reproduce it nicely, it should make it into the next issue of Four Minutes to Midnight.
Brahja Waldman’s Quintet Street Poster
Street poster designed for Brahja Wladman’s Quartet (Quintet for the show) double album launch this Friday at Café Resonance. Howl co-produced the album, and I also designed the CD packaging, images coming soon.
Facebook event here. Photo by the city’s best poster paster-upper, Stefan Christoff.
SSENSE: Beyond Control Editorial
I’ve sadly neglected this blog for a while now, due to some big changes and challenges in my professional and personal life. To my “loyal readership”, my sincerest apologies. The big news is that after a very introspective January, I decided to take on a full-time position as the Art & Design Director at SSENSE, a leading Montreal-based fashion company. The images above are from my first ever fashion editorial!
This is my first in-house job, and I’m quickly learning that the challenges are quite different than those of agency or freelance work, but I’m really excited to be able to dig so deep into, and feel ownership over, a single, unique brand. I’ve also been impressed by how different the fashion industry is from the advertising industry. Obviously, there are a lot of overlaps, but the attention to purposeful craft is very refreshing. The creative team at SSENSE is very talented and there are big plans for the company on the horizon, so please stay tuned. Here’s hoping my immersion into the world of fashion might also improve my wardrobe as well!