Brooklyn artist and activist Josh MacPhee to visit Iowa City next week

Josh Macphee
Josh MacPhee’s most recent project, Interference Archives, collects art and objects created by those participating in various social movements. — photo via Interference Archive

Visual artist Josh MacPhee — known for his emphasis on creating and curating socially engaged artwork — will be visiting Iowa City next week to participate in a number of speaking events and workshops. MacPhee plans to engage the community in “questioning how the arts and culture can address the most challenging and urgent questions facing our society today,” according to the University of Iowa School of Art.

Josh MacPhee is significant especially within a collection of politically engaged artists. For these folks, the end of art is not about abstract contemplation but provoking political action.

MacPhee has been using print media for years to produce affordable, politically charged work that brings these issues to light in a graphically compelling way. Two of his projects (Justseeds and the more recent Interference Archive) make connections between like-minded artists and aim to make visible those underrepresented voices in political debate.

I get the strong impression that MacPhee is not out to make a buck, here — his strategies are legitimately aimed at placing his work in the service of postive political change.

Josh MacPhee’s Sept. 23-28 Itinerary

Note: Some of these events have participation caveats. Be sure to check the details listed below.

Monday, September 23

Public Lecture: “Paper Politics: 500 Years of Political Printmaking”
7:30 pm, 240 Art Building West

Tuesday, September 24

Public Lecture: “Space, History, Toward a Visual Commons”
7:30 pm, 240 Art Building West

Wednesday, September 25

Lunchtime discussion with Studio Arts graduate students
12:30 PM, 1703 Studio Arts

Thursday, September 26

Stencil Workshop with the Iowa Youth Writing Project
4:30 PM, Zenzic Press, 120 N. Dubuque

Friday, September 27

Small group discussion: “Open Stacks and Accessibility For All: Use of Archives as Preservation”
12:00 PM, Main Library 3083

Friday, September 27

Closing Reception, “Migration Now
6:00 PM, Zenzic Press, 120 N. Dubuque

Saturday, September 28

Guest instructor, “Screenprinting Political Graphics”
1:00-5:00 PM, Zenzic Press, 120 N. Dubuque
Register here for this four-week workshop starting September 14