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Half Letter Press

Half Letter Press Newsletter

June 2012

Let’s go straight to the point. How does art become subversive of the social order? How does it undermine normal, legitimate, accepted patterns of behavior, and how does it open up possibilities for the transformation of everyday life? What can subversive art accomplish in the political arena? And what are its limits, how can it exceed them in the future?.”

- Brian Holmes, in Escape The Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society



We’ve got some new stock to announce as well as some old favorites that you may have missed the first time around. Help a new graduate build their book collection, or grab something interesting to read for your next holiday!

The current Reading Room installment by Sarah Ross and Ryan Griffis is a real treat. They have found some readings for us to offer for free download (teachers! use those PDFs!) and suggested new stock for us to carry. Highlights are listed below in the Regional Relationships section. 

Among many other wonderful endeavors, Sarah and Ryan organize the Regional Relationships subscription series, which anyone who wants new discoveries in their mailbox should check out. Regional Relationships commissions artists, writers, activists, and scholars to create works that investigate the natural, industrial, and cultural landscapes of a region. Sarah and Ryan write, “It is a platform to reimagine the spaces and cultural histories around us. An invitation to join in seeing what we can learn, and learning what we can see, by juxtaposing spaces and narratives that are usually kept apart.” We offer the 2011 edition, with work from Claire Pentecost and Matthew Friday. 

You can see past Reading Rooms here

Don’t forget to check out our curated page on Kickstarter to find new and imaginative projects that we think you should support. 


Regional Relationships Related

Regional Relationships subscription 2011: Two projects, including Matthew Friday’s “A Map Without Boundaries” (map with tools for you to visualize your own region) and “Greetings From The Cornbelts,” a postcard project by Claire Pentecost. $50

Stories In Reserve: Book and CD set including three audio tours, $15

Touring Olympia: Exposition Park, Los Angeles: CD and booklet in special box highlighting a future/historical tour of the 2020 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, that collapsed when all the athletes went on strike. $18

Designated Drivers: 24-page booklet documenting artists and groups involved in this Temporary Services-organized project (and featuring Ryan Griffis & Sarah Ross). $4

Regional Relationships Picks

NEW AT HLP The Nevada Test Site: A Guide To America’s Nuclear Proving Ground: The Center for Land Use Interpretation put out this book (researched and written by Matthew Coolidge) that describes America’s weapons and research and development field site in depth. $15

NEW AT HLP Surface Tension: Problematics of SiteKen Ehrlich & Brandon LaBelle edited this critical collection of essays addressing art and public space. Includes a CD of audio works (selected by Stephen Vitiello). $25

Cultural Practices Within And Across: A collection of writings on local and trans-local cultural production across Europe, edited by Doina Petrescu, Constantin Petcou, and Nishat Awan. $35

Filter Detroit: Volume 1: Edited by Kerstin Niemann, this is a publication about a collaborative project with the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and the College for Creative Studies Detroit. An experimental transnational research project about the structural and creative developments in the Moran Street neighborhood in Detroit shaped by insider and outsider perspectives. $45

Not If But When: Culture Beyond Oil: a collaborative publication by British groups Liberate Tate, Platform, and Art Not Oil. $15

Power/Exchange: a booklet documenting a 2002 project by Deborah Stratman made in Wendover, Utah and dealing with the communications and energy corridors that surround and affect Wendover. $9

Regional Relationships Free Download

Click here to download the essay ”New Axioms For Reading The Landscape: Paying Attention to Political Economy and Social Justice,” by Don Mitchell (from 2008’s Political Economies of Landscape Change, Vol. 89, No. 1). Check out the Reading Room page for more free readings and suggestions. 



Why The Exhibit Was Canceled: A new (2012) offset print job for this publication! Actual “behind-the-scenes” correspondence between an artist and a curator as they attempt to negotiate the details of the artist’s upcoming exhibition. $2

Big Women, Big Girls: We’re happy to carry the second publication printed by the fantastic new press Stamped Books. Big Women, Big Girls is a small, thick, multi-colored book with flash fiction by Cate Stevens-Davis. The book itself has long “hairs” coming off the side and thick pages that range in size. From Stamped Books: “The text gives insight into the world of plus-sized women. It enters into their insecurities, but also their passions. The stories range from heartfelt, encounters to hilarious bar pick-ups.” $12

Reason’s MonstersOn a recent trip for an exhibition in Kansas City, we met artist and printer Nicholas Naughton who co-runs La Cucaracha Press, a compact printing facility run by a really fun group of guys. We were so impressed by Nicholas’ chapbook with poet Carmen Gimenez Smith that we decided to buy some copies on the spot to distribute through Half Letter Press. In Reason’s Monsters, Naughton reimagines Goya’s important “Disasters of War” through the pen of an artist reflecting on the disasters of America’s present wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. Goya’s vultures become American eagles, clawing and biting at the flesh of our victims. Each two-page spread combines a drawing by Naughton with a sharp poem by Gimenez Smith, including one - “Infidelity (11/13)” that invokes Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. $10

When Santa Claus Came To Town With Solvognen: This is a 2010 reprint, by Torpedo Press, of the tale of a small army of Santa Clauses that created a lot of looting opportunities in 1974 Copenhagen. Solvognen was an activist theater group associated with Christiania, the autonomous neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark. $13

The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest (No. 8): We’re excited to see a new issue out from our friends at The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest! This thick reader includes contributions by Ultra Red, Jaleh Mansoor, Ayreen Anastas, the Survival Kit Collective, and Libertad Guerra. $20



Temporary Services recently organized an experimental series of concerts called Music Mountain in a working-class area called Tingbjerg, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. This was in conjunction with the Visit Tingbjerg festival and exhibition, and was the first time that all of the bands we chose had ever performed in Tingbjerg. All of the concerts were free and open to the public, and situated in unlikely spaces for music to be heard. Check out images and audio of concerts by Papir, Yoke & Yohs, and more here.










Our website processes orders using Paypal, so you can use a credit/debit card, or your existing Paypal account. We will also accept alternative methods of payment including money orders, checks, and some trades. Some ideas are here.

To use an alternate method of payment, please contact us about it first and we can give you instructions on how to complete the transaction. Send an email to to talk to us. 


We offer volume discounts to schools and libraries and wholesale pricing to stores and distributors on some titles. We would especially like you to consider the books that we have published under the Half Letter Press imprint, including:

Revolution as an Eternal Dream: The Exemplary Failure of the Madame Binh Graphics Collective

Audible Dwelling 

Public Phenomena 

Please contact us at for pricing and distribution details. 


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About this newsletter:

Half Letter Press News is a message to fans, friends, and customers of Half Letter Press. To join or leave the email list for this newsletter, or to change the address where you receive it, please email

Half Letter Press is run by Brett Bloom, Marc Fischer, and Salem Collo-Julin. Our HQ is in Chicago, and we live there, in Philadelphia, and in Copenhagen. Under the concrete and away from the prying arms of the internet, we all live in indigenous lands. Half Letter Press, P.O. Box 12588, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA.