Pitchfork   The Dissolve   Festivals: Chicago | Paris

Colectivo Futuro is tough to define. Edited by the London-based trio of Miguel Colmenares, Arash Fattahi, and Oliver Brunetti, the group currently functions as an editorial body that books events, but in the near future the group plans to operate a physical location, start a print magazine, and host a radio show. During the first week of October, they'll get a crack at running a physical location with a pop-up print and drawing exhibition in New York. The show features all New York-based artists including work from Paul Windle, Kike Besada, Elliott Burford, and Akiha Yamakami.

Collective Futures will be open for one night, on October 4, at 178 Delancey Street, New York.

Photo by: Kendra Heisler | Fountain New York 2013

There's a large contemporary and modern art fair hitting Chicago this weekend (the monstrous EXPO Chicago at Navy Pier)—but we're more curious about the small energetic one happening nearby. Fountain Art Fair Chicago, spun-off of the exhibitions of avant garde artwork in New York during Armory week and Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach, features exhibitions from Arch Enemy Arts, Cinqunquatre of Montreal, Maxwell Colette Gallery of Chicago, S&J Projects of NY and many more (read Fountain's full list of exhibitors), a weekend-long performance art series TUYAU, the sonic sculpture installation Dave Ford’s Swing Set Drum Kit, and nighttime sets from DJ Reuben Wu of Ladytron and Detroit synth rockers ADULT.

Fountain Art Fair runs Friday through Sunday at Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop St, Chicago, IL. Friday’s VIP Preview from noon until 7pm benefits the Detroit Institute of Arts is followed by an opening night reception open to the public. Tickets are available online and at the door, including $15 weekend passes. Complimentary shuttle service is available from EXPO Chicago at Navy Pier all weekend. 

Photo by: Ryan Heshka | Frog Mens Prize

Canadian magazine illustrator Ryan Heshka actually trained in interior design, but it seems the self-taught illustrator found his true inspiration in pulp mags, classic comic styles, and graphic design. His show "Strange Powers III" just opened, featuring 16 paintings from a forthcoming BLAB! trading card set of money-grubbing zombies, a multi-tentacled death, and slime-drooling creatures. 

The show runs to November 5 at Copro Gallery.



Photo by: Jeremy Farmer

Photos by Jeremy Farmer

There are similarities between artist Doug Aitken's brainchild, the Station to Station art/music tour crossing the States right now, and the art happenings of the '60s. 

The filmic interludes, the choreographed surprises, the repurposing of space, the combination/juxtaposition of musical acts from wildly different genres, the artist-centered programming—all made for the right ingredients to shake us up in our audiovisual realms.

But there are just as many details that make it unique and uniquely 2013—the traveling-by-train show, the use of a magnificent public space rather than a squatted building or old theater, a corporate sponsor in Levi's, and the relative sobriety of the multigenerational crowd. Also, there's a bit about the train Aitken has designed and its on-board studios.

Happenings were once deliberately bizarre in-crowd events for hardcore bohemians. Aitken's are open to the public and not particularly hard to understand for the everyman. Still, one couldn't help but recall the sonic backdrops laid by improvising Pink Floyd Sound at the London happenings when one walked in to an ambient noise set from L.A.'s No Age. Welcome to a contemporary freak-out, it seemed to say.

In our day and age, despite the availability of 24/7 everything music, we still have a hard time placing live music in the background. It's hard not notice a band performing in front of you. So No Age, Caught on Tape (Thurston Moore's duo), the jazzy Theaster Gates/Black Monks of Mississippi, and others took center stage at the event and commanded attention as in a concert format. But Moore, in particular, took the art angle to heart—delivering a spoken "song" for Kurt Cobain that shook up the concert formula. A headliner of sorts, Mavis Staples, was surely a revelation to those unfamiliar, but most Chicagoans who would hit this kind of event were probably well versed. 

Yurts for artist installations, crafts (bagmakers, rug weavers), and a Levi's capsule collection provided interesting and interactive diversion, but didn't have the requisite weird factor to be come across as transformative art. Printed matter, posters from Aitken and others, were rather nonchalantly on display in a central area of the party—a hard place to get attention for a poster.

The big winner in the competition for the art crowd gaze was video. The video sets projected on three screens between live acts were sometimes jarring, sometimes hypnotic, arousing curiosity—almost improbably in our YouTube/Instagram overloaded world—from historic bits from Raymond Pettibon or re-edited "Wonder Woman" episodes to a short film shot on Vieques. The video element dazzled and wowed—and that's the bit that felt like art.

Station to Station visits St. Paul, MN tonight.

Nearly every year since 1998, the nonprofit group known as the Society of Typographic Aficionados has presented the traveling TypeCon conference. This year's edition in Portland opens on Wednesday with a full lineup of workshops and lectures. TypeCon includes both a full-day course exploring letterpress printing of the Bodoni typeface (now sold out), and sessions to help independent type foundries market their work.

Ahead of the 14th TypeCon, nicknamed "Portl&," we traded emails with organizer Grant Hutchinson about the Emoji workshop, geographic typography, and what makes their type quiz so "infamous."

orangeyThere's a workshop on the type of Taiwan, another on type in South Africa. Is there a focus on geographic typography this year?
The focus isn't specific to this year's conference. We always try to include linguistic and cross-cultural topics in the program. For example, at TypeCon2012 in Milwaukee we covered topics such as Cherokee syllabary, South American beer labels, and Mayan writing reform. In 2011, there were presentations on Japanese typography, Turkish type design, and the connections between typography, text, and black identity in America.

Is the lecture on Friday the first time TypeCon will feature the Emoji?
We've had presentations cover the topic of symbol fonts and Emoji before, but this is the first time that the new color Emoji technology has been discussed.

Big -> SmallYou're a member of the Society of Typographic Aficionados, which presents TypeCon every year. Can you tell me a little about what kind of work the Society does?
The primary work that we focus on is producing our annual TypeCon conference. We're a small and very grassroots organization, and the conference reflects that. It's important to us that we keep the conference program jam-packed with relevant and wide-reaching variation of topics. We also focus on typographic education through the Type & Design Education Forum held during the conference, as well as our annual Catalyst award targeted at young designers.

Another ongoing project is our Font Aid fundraising efforts. We have organized six Font Aid projects so far, each bringing together hundreds of designers and typographers to create a typeface which is sold to raise needed funds for disaster relief.

Auto RacesWhat's one workshop no one should miss?
That's a difficult call. If it was me (and I had the time), I wouldn't miss the two-day, hands-on Brush Roman Majuscules workshop with John Downer & Paul Herrera. Otherwise, this year's special presentation with Alejandro Paul and the keynote by Adrian Shaughnessy should be killer. Of course, I'm biased. This year's entire program is pretty amazing.

What is the "infamous type quiz" all about?
Each year, Allan Haley of Monotype hosts a quick-fire trivia contest featuring some of the toughest typographic questions out there. It's amazing to witness how much geeky type knowledge (and minutia) some of the participants possess. Points are tallied; drinks are poured; prizes are awarded.

TypeCon kicks off Wednesday, August 21 in Portland, OR. All photos are embedded via the TypeCon Flickr Pool.

When is something vintage new? When it is the new vintage basement of Wicker Park boutique Una Mae's here in Chicago, that's when. The Nothing Major family invites you to join us and Una Mae's Saturday, August 17 for a celebration in Una Mae's newly launched vintage basement. Koval and Revolution Brewing will be providing the libations for those of age. And there will be live music from special guests, too. Oh, and the big draw for you stylish reader are the super deals and sales. 

Celebrate Nothing Major
Saturday, August 17, 11am-9pm

Una Mae's, 1528 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago IL


In the early '80s, the South Bronx DJ Afrika Bambaataa created "Planet Rock" for Soul Sonic Force, a staple track for breakdancers everywhere and a foundation for all hip-hop thereafter. Bambaataa was a seasoned sound system DJ, community activist, and founder of the Universal Zulu Nation. While he's known for harnessing the rhythmic power of electronic beats and drum machines, his record crates were deeper than the Kraftwerk he referenced on those early electro funk jams. Now, we have a chance to dig those crates, too, which are by any measure American cultural artifacts.

This month and until August 10, Johan Kugelberg and Gavin Brown's Enterprise are hosting an open archiving project in which the public gets to visit and hear gems from this important collection before it moves to Cornell University's Hip Hop Collection in the fall. In 2012 Afrika Bambaataa was appointed visiting scholar at Cornell, home to the largest collection on hip hop culture in the world. During the day at the gallery, archivisits will be sorting, organizing, and spinning selections from the hundreds of crates for the public. Visiting DJs will be announced via Facebook and mailing list. Visit Gavin Brown online for more info.

Photos by Yewon Kim

The people-watching at the annual Pitchfork Music Festival is almost as good as the music-listening these days. And this year's crowd of festgoers didn't disappoint, turning Chicago's Union Park into its own runway of hybrid summer style. Preppy and punk standards and the best thrift store finds were edged out by bold, sometimes globally-inspired patterns which went nicely with the tropical temperatures and late evening rain showers.

See more photos at Pitchfork.com and more street fashion at Elle.com.

Photo by: Ian Dury | Dany Bubbles

Ian Dury studied at the RCA in the early sixties, taught art at Canterbury College before forming his oddball Kilburn and the High Roads, and then Blockheads. Dury who downplayed his art, as it happens, was no slouch in the visual department. Ian’s daughter Jemima Dury, former associate Kosmo Vinyl and former Stiff Records art director, Jules Balme have joined forces to present an exhibition of Ian Dury’s artwork from 1961 to 1972. We're certainly curious ourselves.

Ian Dury: More Than Fair – Paintings, drawings and artworks, 1961–1972 runs July 23–Sept 1 2013 at RCA Kensington, London.

Perhaps you're a big fan of Dennis the Fox? No. Maybe more of a Frederick Michael St. Jude enthusiast, hmm?

You might not know these music acts from days gone by but that doesn't mean their records don't exist. They were the ambitious dreamers and wannabes who, record label be damned, pressed up their own albums in the '60s and '70s. Their records are what collectors call private press, they were released by the musicians themselves in very limited quantites rather than by a functioning long-term record label. Recently, we told you about Enjoy the Experience, Homemade Records 1958-1992, a new coffee table book about private press records covering the amazing homespun and often hilarious artwork for such oddball albums.

This month, if you're swinging through NYC, you can see them for yourself. Co-editor of the book and collector Johan Kugelberg is showing years selections from his collection, many of them featured in the book Enjoy the Experience, at Milk Gallery through July 24. You'd be a fool not to stop in to see an original Kaplan Brothers, wouldn't you? 

Curious to hear the tunes from this rare vinyl collection? You can listen to some samples online.


Pitchfork has a longer form interview with Kugelberg in Paper Trail.