Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Collective Chaos

Absolutely Zippo Presents
Collective Chaos: Bay Area Flyer Art
Issue 49
Full sized / $2 + $2 shipping
PO Box 4985
Berkeley CA 94704

This zine chronicles a culture that throve (thrives?) 3,000 miles away from where I live & over the past few decades. Here’s what I gleaned from reading this zine:

The 924 Gilman St. Project (aka Gilman) is a performance space that was / is community / collective oriented. Eggplant was involved with a band named Blatz and is an artist that created DIY fliers for shows and events at Gilman and all over Berkeley. Absolutely Zippo was (is?) a punk-rock focused zine created by Eggplant. Things changed in the culture over the years. There is more history and philosophy discussed in the introductory pages of Collective Chaos but this is simply my cliff notes synopsis.

I grew up in New Hampshire and for the most part, “punk culture” by-passed me in the 80’s and still eludes me to this day. This collection of flyer art is a glimpse into what I have been missing. Creativity soars off of the pages. The graphics are both simple and intricate, ephemeral food for thought. These flyers capture the spirit of a time and place in ways as powerful as the memory of the music and culture being celebrated.

Flyers, stickers, and paper communications are essential to communicating what’s happening in any community. Life doesn’t happen online, you’re not going to hear about some of the best stuff going on unless you talk with people or look up from your smart phone on occasion. Back in the day, word of mouth and artistic flyers were the method of getting word to others.

Every page of this collection sings with joyful expression. 

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