san-francisco

Ben Vautier, Total Art Match-Box, 1965, matchbox with offset-printed paper label, 1 3/8 x 2 x 1/2“. From “Debris from the Cultural Underground.”

“Debris from the Cultural Underground”

Ever Gold [Projects] | Minnesota Street Project

Ben Vautier, Total Art Match-Box, 1965, matchbox with offset-printed paper label, 1 3/8 x 2 x 1/2“. From “Debris from the Cultural Underground.”

This past summer Levi Strauss & Co. launched an experiential advertising campaign known as the Levi’s Workshop in a storefront on San Francisco’s Valencia Street. Declaring “We Are All Workers,” the pop-up offered free public printmaking equipment and workshops in a hypercurated “raw” space where publishing zines became as banal as buying jeans (which one could also do there). In light of this attempt to marry the DIY producer to the sovereign consumer, “Debris from the Cultural Underground” at Ever Gold was a timely reminder of the radical possibilities of self-publishing and alternative distribution as these forms emerged during the international mail art movement of the 1960s and ’70s. Drawn from the collection of mail-art enthusiast and participant John Held Jr. (who altered his name and added the suffix in homage to the late cartoonist), the show comprised nearly one hundred

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