Shifting Locales

September 24, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

So may have noticed that we aren’t posting quite as often as we used to. That’s because we’ve moved to a new site for a day-to-day blog updates. To that end, you should check out the lantern daily! While we might still post here from time to time, the bulk of our thoughts will be contained on our new blog. Which is very exciting indeed.

posted by Caroline Picard

Here is article I wrote about shamanism. It’s actually about shamanism as it was depicted in an exhibit in an apartment gallery over the summer. In some way that show became a vehicle for me to think about whether or not it is possible for a Contemporary (Urban? Though I’m not sure that makes a difference…) American can appropriate/incorporate shamanic practice (though shamanic could stand in for any kind of ritualistic practice embedded in another culture) without sacrificing a degree of potency or, in this case, collapsing under ironic influences….I don’t know. I feel like it’s dangerous to draw a conclusion wherein one’s access to foreign cultural understanding is limited, but it seems just as dangerous to assume that one is capable of fully understanding a community (particularly it’s spiritual habit) by virtue of possessing/recreating its signifiers. The latter feels a little imperial. The former could lead to the celebration of biggots. Neither is ideal.

Regardless, you can read the essay by going here.

The Corpse! Week One

September 23, 2010


Busy and exciting first weekend for the Corpse Performance Space @ The Green Lantern. First up, on Friday, The Open Secret series. Curated by Brian Wallace and Joni Murphy, the Open Secret is a series of performances and talks and readings involved in investigating ideas of artistic ecology. Recent SAIC MFA’er and Chances maven Ethan A. White gave the first presentation and, as you can see above, had a bit of hard time–he lost his notes and ended up having to dig through his computer all to leave us with the above moment: the embarrassment of the desktop picture. White’s performance began with this simple “mistake” and ended up devolving into a discussion and fight with a cardboard cut-out of himself: how does the artist move from the institution of the MFA to the institution of the gallery and, in tandem, the institution of work? White’s talk/performance suggested the importance of receding from the research-based practice of the classroom to re-think the always and already stereotypically bare, flippant, performative gesture of removing one’s clothes. White’s performance became less about the artistic ecology suggested by the curatorial notes of The Open Secret and instead concentrated on the importance of inward movement.


Readings of Author’s Not Present followed from yours truly, Malcolm Sutton (who you can see below, laughing through Breton, and Brian, Joni, and an audience member. The first film screening of the Open Secret is this Saturday (Apartment by Marina Roy).


Saturday night, Marc Riordan showed up with a band of rowdy improvisors for the Now It’s Dark series. Here’s a photo of him introducing everybody:


I’ve been really excited about this series–improvised scores to experimental movies–and Marc delivered an amazing set of both. He blogged about the experience here and asks pretty much every question I had about the night:

“Is everybody playing in service to the movies? To each other? Or are the movies being screened in service to the music? To the performers? This ambiguity was in part the intent of this first performance, and reflects a central issue in improvised music, and one that comes up less in traditional filmmaking: how do we judge the success of a collaborative piece? The answer, of course, will vary depending on which collaborator you ask.”

I’ve uploaded an excerpt from the night here. It’s the soundtrack for Michelle Harris’ Boat, an amazing still shot of a warehouse on a dock. The light from the warehouse–split into windows–is reflected onto the dark water, reminding me of level meters on a mixing board. As disruptions passed through the scene–a boat, birds, a man driving machinery–these levels distorted and flickered and eventually returned to static nobility. A fascinating piece that the musicians did well with. The next Now It’s Dark happens on October 29th.

Hey, we’re really excited about the next show we have opening at Green Lantern Gallery, hope you can join us.

Future Shock
Curated by Abigail Satinsky
Opening Reception, October 1, 7 – 10 pm
October 1 – November 13, 2010
2542 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6 pm

Artists: Brandon Alvendia, Conrad Bakker, Edie Fake, Library of Radiant Optimism, People Powered, Red 76, Randall Szott

Borrowing its title from sociologist Alvin Toffler’s 1970 bestseller, Future Shock is a group exhibition of artists examining yesterday’s dreams of tomorrow. Toffler warned that society was experiencing too much change in too short a time, hurtling towards an overwhelmingly technocratic future. Some of his loopy apprehensive futurism has proven correct. Today, thanks to telecommunications and the Internet, we have even more anxieties about the large amounts of historical information to dig through and a lack of a method for comparing and processing different kinds of information. Toffler’s utopian dream for technology as a tool to build a more decent democratic and humane society is still an active question. This exhibition will bring together a group of artists and thinkers who are surveying the information overload of the present and assembling creative libraries to understand how radical countercultural histories and utopian futures exist uncomfortably in the present.

Brandon Alvendia continues his Silver Galleon Press project with a new publication “Little Brother” by renowned novelist, journalist and copy-left activist Cory Doctorow. Conrad Bakker’s Untitled Project: SELF HELP is a small-scale lending library comprised of carved and painted self-help paperbacks from the 1970’s. Edie Fake’s City of Night is a series of drawings combating the erasure of local queer history by paying homage to buildings that historically served as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered social spaces in Chicago. The Library of Radiant Optimism brings together a selection of how-to books documenting cultural practices from the founding and maintenance of communal living spaces and growing your own organic garden, to early sustainable design initiatives and home birthing. Recalling some of the political struggles and utopist visions contemporary to Future Shock, People Powered presents a selection of artist and activist manifestos from 1965-1975, examining the original design and graphic styles of the printed matter as an integral part of their message. Red76’s Follow the Light. Let the Light be Your Guide is equal parts lighthouse and library, featuring a collective archive and reading group of radiant political texts and a spotlight in the gallery that becomes brighter as texts accumulate. Randall Szott’s collection of copies of Future Shock books gathered at thrift stores displays what he calls “one of North America’s most discarded books.”

Founder of the Silver Galleon Press, an experimental publishing project, Brandon Alvendia is an artist, educator, publisher, and independent curator living and working out of Chicago. He attended the School of the Art Institute (BFA ’03) and University of Illinois in Chicago (MFA ’07). Encompassing a variety of media, his work often features and supports the efforts of other artists. His website can be found at

Conrad Bakker lives and works out of Urbana, Illinois. Bakker’s ongoing Untitled Projects engage a variety of social, institutional, and consumer contexts, utilizing humor, contextual awareness, formal play, interventionist strategies, and imperfect carving and painting techniques. Bakker has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at Tate Modern (London) Galerie Analix Forever (Geneva), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (Chicago), Fargfabriken Center for Contemporary Art and Architecture (Stockholm), The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery (Saratoga Springs), The Blanton Musuem of Art (Austin), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Art in General (New York City), Revolution (Detroit), Bona Fide (Chicago), Suitable (Chicago), Lora Reynolds Gallery (Austin), Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies, The Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Program, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, in mailboxes and on his front lawn.

Edie Fake was born in Chicagoland in 1980 and has lived and exhibited all over the place. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 2002 and has since clocked time in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Baltimore. He returned to Chicago, where he currently lives and works, after the converted school bus he lived on broke down. His visual art work, dealing heavily with the confluence of love and fury in queer utopian visions, has been shown at LACE in Los Angeles, Dumbo Arts Center in Brooklyn, and the Nikolaj Museum in Copenhagen. He was one of the first recipients of Printed Matter’s Awards for Artists and his drawings have been included in Hot and Cold and LTTR. His first book, Gaylord Phoenix, will be published this December by Secret Acres and his next large project, drawings for a gay history map, recently won a Critical Fierceness Grant for queer art in Chicago.

The Library of Radiant Optimism is Bonnie Fortune and Brett Bloom. Bonnie Fortune is an artist, writer, and educator. When not collaborating as Let’s Re-make, her work is invested in collecting personal narratives to explore issues of environmentalism, feminism, and social support networks. Brett Bloom is addicted to collaborative work. In addition to Let’s Re-Make, he works with the group Temporary Services that runs a publishing imprint and online store Half Letter Press. Let’s Re-Make allows Brett to investigate the exciting intersections of art, ecology, social justice and transformative creativity

People Powered designs experimental pilot programs that integrate art, environmentalism, and communities. By presenting these projects in exhibitions and public locations in the city, People Powered creates a platform for discussing how these practices may intersect. Most recently, People Powered presented their Manifesto project at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, IN.

Beginning in Portland, Oregon, in 2000, Red76 is now a nationwide network of artists, musicians, and activists who create projects that focus on ways that knowledge is produced and the myriad forms it takes. The collective’s endeavors, ranging from the operation of a month-long free clothing store and potluck restaurant on a loading dock in Portland (Ghosttown, 2006) to the episodic publishing a journal on radical histories (Journal of Radical Shimming), are designed to foster—and provoke—discussion and actions in public space.

Randall Szott is not “based” anywhere. When not working on his bio or vitae, he alternates between life in Oak Park, Illinois and various locations along the coastline of the southeastern United States on the largest US owned hopper dredge. His life is a series of three-week cycles on land and three at sea. He believes himself to be the only cook in the merchant marine with an MA in Interdisciplinary Art and an MFA in Art Critical Practices. He has presented his work at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California College of the Arts, and The Skydive (Houston), The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh) and The Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus). Szott frequently creates his own venues – Concept Trucking, placekraft, LeisureArts, and perhaps the only legitimate one – He Said, She Said. He has collaborated with InCUBATE, Public Collectors, Nancy Zastudil (Studiolo54), and The Public School. He is co-founding editor of 127 Prince, a journal of social practice

The Green Lantern Gallery & Press is a 501(c)3 non-profit gallery and paperback press dedicated to the study, presentation, and archive of contemporary art practice. The Green Lantern Gallery develops thematic exhibitions, artist projects, and public programs around the idea of artists’ research, highlighting creative inquiry, experimental processes, and explorations into social and political engagement. Committed to forming independent and sustainable models for the distribution and presentation of noncommercial contemporary art, the nonprofit Gallery and Press is partnered with the for-profit Paper Cave Bookstore and Corpse Performance Space under the umbrella of Lantern Projects in order to explore different possibilities to support artists and our local creative community. More at

A Lesson in Stealing

September 14, 2010

posted by caroline picard

what follows in an excerpt from erica adam’s book: on the mutation of fortune (due out via green lantern press this spring!!)

a lesson in stealing

Listen: the doll I stole was thumb size, and had the face of a fox. We had been playing in a basement crowded with boxes, and I held the doll in my fist as I went upstairs to the bathroom. I shoved the doll in my cotton underwear and my mother called for us to go home. I stood under an oak tree, felt the rub of the small doll.

I took the doll, the little fox decked in a christening gown and bonnet, and gave it to my godmother. She lived across the street. She put the doll in a wooden cradle large enough to rock a real child. It lay on the cushion, its face a small mark in the sea of white.
But it was not enough. When the moon was a fat lamp in the sky, I went to my mother in a nightgown struck with tears. I sobbed my story. She made me telephone my godmother, and I spooled the cord around my finger, winding it with every unanswered ring. When I hung up, my finger had darkened into the blue of a dead infant.

In the morning, I knocked on the door of my godmother’s house. Again, there was no answer.
My mother said, You must give one of your dolls. Put it there, on her doorstep.
I had only one. It was the size of my palm, a little brown bear in a yellow dress. A surrogate mother to the child I had stolen. I gave that one.

Then I had none.

David Moré opens TONIGHT!

September 11, 2010

and you should come!

You should also check out this article

This Green Lantern Has Super-Artistic Powers

September 9, 2010 3:38 PM



I’m thinking of a cultural object: Bigger than a breadbox and founded by Caroline Picard, The Green Lantern harkens to Chicago’s grassroots literary history and DIY philosophy.

Despite coincidental Trekkie and comic book connotations, The Green Lantern has nothing to do with GenCon and everything to do with art. Simultaneously a non-profit paperback press and gallery, GL publishes and distributes emerging and/or little-known works.

Additionally, as a venue, it showcases emerging and mid-career artists of all media. Begun out of Executive Director Picard’s Wicker Park apartment, GL was recently shut down for lack of a business license due to improper zoning. Now, however, the ambitious and newly relocated GL is back with a parade of upcoming projects and Gallery Director Abby Satinsky on board. Picard took a seat in the captain’s chair (ba-dum-bum) to discuss her multifaceted brainchild.

Bookstores We Love: Episode 1

September 10, 2010

Hey, Welcome to Bookstores We Love. We’ll be doing this on a ‘whenever the mood strikes’ basis, but we have a lot of love for indie bookstores, so expect to see a lot of posts like this in the future. We wanted to call attention to the bookstores that inspired us as we gear up for the launch of our own little shop, The Paper Cave.

During last year’s Dollar Store Summer Tour I had the enviable job of booking 7 readers in 11 cities across the country. Some towns we knew we wanted to hit. Home towns, fun towns. Austin, Texas where featherproof author Amelia Gray lives, and I used to. Atlanta, where Blake Butler is from. New Orleans, because New Orleans is awesome. But then there were the towns in-between. One of the big question marks was Houston. Nothing against Houston, I know a lot of nice folks from there, but we weren’t sure what kind of literary scene might be happening there. I started the usual round of calls to indie bookstores, looking for a spot, and eventually someone said “You sound like Domy people.”

I called up Russell at Domy, and he was good people indeed. The store’s site looked great, and they made a nice little write up for our event. When we got there, things were even better. I was honestly blown away at the awesomeness of Domy. They have a really great, eclectic collection of books on art, design, graffiti, counter-culture, crazy culture, and everything in-between. There are artist books and robot toys. The entire store is white, which gives it a gallery feel, and I have to say: the collection is very well curated. As well as the art! They have regular art shows with all sorts of awesome art-makers, and reading events.

Our reading was a lot of fun. We had a good crowd, and read to them out on the patio which was a great place for a reading. We caught a few people hanging out, reading and enjoying snacks from the cafe next door, and added our own group, there to see the reading. We had a big wooden porch, which we turned into a stage for a night. Domy offered us a reading discount, and we emptied our pockets. They bought a lot of our books to sell in the shop after we had gone as well. All around, a great place to have a reading, and a great discovery in Houston!

This past summer, during my annual pilgrimage to Austin, I had the chance to visit Domy Houston’s new sister store, Domy Austin, which has been open for just a year or two. Already it looks and feels amazing, with another creative mix of local and international printed matter. Austin definitely has its own vibe, with less toys and more DVDs, but the same Domy awesomeness is definitely to be found. Russell, who moved to Austin to open the Domy store, was kind enough to show Ally and I around, and we browsed and took photos and talked shopped until we had to run to the airport.

Two great bookstores deep in the heart of Texas! Recommended for all who live there, and any who visit.