john henry tweets

john henry tweets

Twitter followers meet real-time moveable type in this Cumbersome Project. Tweets posted during public events, as well as from the Cumbersome Multiples studio. Using a portable press and wooden type, Cumbersome creates broadside. Images are snapped and uploaded. Tweets start conversations. Physical language is inserted into this virtual world. Does meaning change through typography?

We were awarded a Regional Arts & Culture Grant for 2014 to take John Henry to events in and around Portland, Oregon. We will be tweeting along as artists, writers and thinkers engage in public conversations. Join the conversation and follow @johnhenrytweets

 

the built environment (is killing us)

the built environment (is killing us)

JOHN HENRY TWEETS EXHIBITION (print set 1)
Museum of Contemporary Crafts, Portland, Oregon
Prints curated from talks given during 2014 into three thematic sets: 
The Built Environment (is killing us)
Private Lives in Public Spaces
Songs for Trail, Voice and Blankets

From the accompanying essay:
Each time we build (or rebuild) a society, we think:  This time we are going to get it right. We build out. We build up. We construct in concrete and metal, we plant acres of fields with a single crop, we dislocate entire populations of people and animals. Conventional wisdom maintains that nothing should disturb market forces. The building and the planting; the roads and the houses have more to do with capital than with human lives. Yet our artworks point to the importance of diversity. The human heart beats the machine every time. Epic poems warn against hubris and yet, we turn again and again to the shining silver toy that catches our eye. Each of the speakers we saw in their own way gave warnings and offered solutions.

private lives in public spaces

private lives in public spaces

JOHN HENRY TWEETS EXHIBITION (print set 2)
Museum of Contemporary Crafts, Portland, Oregon
Prints curated from talks given during 2014 into three thematic sets: 
The Built Environment (is killing us)
Private Lives in Public Spaces
Songs for Trail, Voice and Blankets

From the accompanying essay:
What is the affect of a single voice, one story told in the public square? Who listens and what action the listener takes with that knowledge is a hinge of democratic life. Oregon Humanities sponsored conversations that poked at these ideas through the eyes of a civil rights lawyer, a family studies historian, and a memoirist. The value we place on public trust (whether that public consists of traveling strangers, a massive corporation, or an occupying government) was woven these conversations. Who is following your footprints in the sand?

 

songs for trail, voice, and blankets

songs for trail, voice, and blankets

JOHN HENRY TWEETS EXHIBITION (print set 3)
Museum of Contemporary Crafts, Portland, Oregon
Prints curated from talks given during 2014 into three thematic sets: 
The Built Environment (is killing us)
Private Lives in Public Spaces
Songs for Trail, Voice and Blankets

From the accompanying essay:
Language is fluid. Ideas are most interesting when they rub into the nooks of other ideas; finding meaning or finding opposition. This is the very fiber of the John Henry impulse. When we choose an idea for a broadside, we begin with the speaker’s words. Between the space of the words and the concrete printing of the broadside is chance. The ideas manifest in that space. Unlike a keyboard, the type case of antique wooden letters often doesn’t contain all of the letters we need to make the word or the phrase. 

 

joy harjo

joy harjo

Celebrated author, activist, musician Joy Harjo spoke at Pacific Northwest College of Art during the Alfred Edelman Lecture series March 12, 2014. John Henry was set up for our first public event in Portland. Find the record @johnhenrytweets 

every printer needs

every printer needs

Cumbersome worked with a street poet from LA during the DO lectures in Hopland, California.  We joked with him that every poet needs a printer, but truly we need poetry. This broadside was printed on a previously unfinished drawing by Daniel Duford.

limits force change

limits force change

The language of protest or how it is characterized by the media.  A Broadslides from the John Henry Manifesto.

Do Lectures USA teaser

Cumbersome had great fun printing a Beta version of John Henry at the DO Lectures in Hopland, California. Conor Simpson, Creative Director at Easton Studio Labs created this terrific teaser that samples the spirit of the DO and employs the broadsides.

print performance

print performance

Poet Samiya Bashir performs “Coronagraphy” — a poem that was the 2012 finalist for the Pushcart Prize. Bashir is the author of Gospel and Where the Apple Falls. Tracy Schlapp listens and prints alongside the poet, adding broadsides as Bashir activates the space with her voice. January 2015 at Museum of Contemporary Crafts in Portland, Oregon.