Archive for the 'SLU/CIIS 2010' Category


Just because I haven’t been writing about stickers lately doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about them e-v-e-r-y  s-i-n-g-l-e  d-a-y.  In the past month, however, one of my ace SLU students, Joe Pomainville, has scanned all of the Berlin stickers from Mauerfall 2009 and the CIIS trip in 2010 — about 600-700 or so from both trips, I think.  The posse grows.  I still need to put all of my 2009 NYC stickers into archival notebooks, so he can scan those next.  Maybe I can do that this weekend, tho it’s hard to be inside on such lovely summer days.  Anyway, there is much to write about, and I’m falling behind.

On the other hand, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

SLU students at Hatch – Kat’s post

During the CIIS 2010 trip to Berlin this spring, I asked (“asked”) the students to each write a blog post to add to Stickerkitty.  This one from Kat Dwyer tells about our trip to Hatch Kingdom.

“Traveling to Berlin gave us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with Hatch Kingdom – the first and only sticker museum in the world.  Over the past couple of years, Cathy befriended Oli and Nada, two artists with a mutual passion for sticker art.  The three of us students—me, Charlie, and Bridget—were honored to meet such creative and generous people.

We ventured to Friedrichshain, a neighborhood in east Berlin, to see Oli and Nada’s unique sticker gallery for ourselves.  Considering there are probably millions of stickers in the world, I was surprised (and impressed) with the layout of their gallery.  It was fresh and unique, loaded with creative, chic, sophisticated, mind-boggling and bold stickers.  However, it wasn’t overwhelming as I assumed it would be.  There was just enough material to look at, but it was very well organized and easy on the eyes.  The stickers reflect culture and creativity, and, surprisingly, political messages are completely absent at Hatch Kingdom.  Considering Germany’s history, political and militant messages are everywhere and are especially displayed in street art, so it was nice to see that Oli and Nada were less concerned with politics than with the simple beauty that sticker art demonstrates.

Oli’s sticker zeal goes back to when he, as he explained, was a “skater kiddie.”  So, from an early age, stickers struck a certain fondness with him.  Twenty-five years later, he expresses his passion in collecting these stickers from all around the world and presenting them in Berlin.

In the fall, Oli and Nada will be joining us on OUR turf at St. Lawrence University to share their creative outlook on something people may feel are very simple … stickers.  But we will learn that, in fact, stickers are much more complex.”

Here is a great pic of Oli during the World Cup.

At the time, he writes:

Highly respected friends of the round leather ball and a big portion stickers in addition, now they are over, four weeks of wuwuzela symphony with a little bit of football beside!  It was already a very nice time, saw good friends a little bit more again and not so well known people got closer.

Also in my secondary job as a football specialist I could properly shine and have at the two on-line tip communities at which I participated, great, front placements reached!

Enough self-praised and directly to which live makes worth living….


The SLU students are going to love having Oli and Nada on campus this fall, October 17-23.


On the street and on FB.

“a healthy opposition to ideologies” (I miss my Dad today)

A link from Infoshop leads to a Web site called Little Black Cart, which is a combination blog and shopping cart for books, mags, ‘zines, etc.  Reading topics include: anarchism, communism, culture, green anarchy, situationist, insurrection, anarchy, autonomism, and surrealism.  Here is what they write about Situationists.

The Situationists (or Sits) were artists from various countries who formed a group in the 1950s called The Situationist Internationale. They critiqued modern society in its various economic, social, and political aspects. They wanted to bring Marxism up to date, to construct a theory of what was going on in society that was preventing people from being able to live fully and act freely. The result was a critique that centered around everyday life, rather than on abstract economic forces. The idea of the “Spectacle” (the empty roles and values and passive rituals that modern life both perpetuates and relies upon) was at the heart of this.

The Situationists were characterized by a healthy opposition to ideologies (if you think of ideologies as sets of ideas that people pledge allegiance to, stop thinking critically about, and only defend). As part of that opposition the Sits denied that there was such a thing as Situationism, doing their best to fight off the stultifying, paralyzing effects of dogma and the party line.

I think I got “a healthy opposition to ideologies” from my Dad, a Congregational minister who left the church to become a professor at a community college and a maximum security prison.  I remember him talking about why he left the church, in that he felt the church as an institution in general was heading in the wrong direction.  This was in the early 1970s during the height of the Vietnam War and civil rights movements.  He said that he felt he would be a better minister working with those from a disadvantaged working class and others who deserve equal opportunities in life.

Shepard Fairey, a RISD grad, quotes the Situationists as an influence in his own work as a street and sticker artist.  His Obey Giant campaign “manufactures quality dissent since 1989.”

I have come across a number of German stickers in the past five years that reflect Situationist perspectives, which will be the subject of one of my text panels for the upcoming exhibition at SLU, “Contemporary Street Art in Berlin as Cultural Expression and Political Protest.”  Quiet mornings are helping me formulate the exhibition in my mind, and I realized today that the subject headings in my sticker database will form a perfect framework for these text panels.

In the context of German street art, I’d say that anarchy is not about lawless chaos.  Rather, according the Oxford English Dictionary (via Wikipedia), it refers to “A social state in which there is no governing person or group of people, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder.)  But is bound by a social code.”

Wooster Collective in Berlin

Too bad my SLU study group and I will miss the Wooster Collective meet-up in Berlin and a chance to meet Marc and Sara Schiller, the NYC-based couple who has done so much to advance street art around the world.  Plus the students would have loved going to the hip Club der Visionaere; they talked about it all the time.

No complaints, though.  Our recent trip was fantastic in all respects!!

Hatch Kingdom

Lots to write about our trip to Hatch Kingdom, the only sticker museum in the world, but for now:

Photography exhibition at C|O Berlin

The SLU study group — Kat Dwyer, Bridget Montesanti, and Charlie Reetz — and Spencer and I went to C|O Berlin for a photography exhibition entitled Die Stadt, the City.  C|O Berlin is situated in Mitte near the well known Kunst Tacheles alternative arts center.  The exhibition included the work of 18 artists from the agency Ostkreuz who for well over a year traveled to 22 cities around the globe to explore and examine present-day urban realities.

From the C|O catalog, “The city: cradle of civilization, melting pot of cultures, mentalities, religions, and ideas, and the locus of human desires for security, freedom, and prosperity. In cities, all those that would never cross paths in the country suddenly converge and collide. The city liberates its inhabitants from the fetters of kinship and family; it requires and fosters enormous cultural and social achievements. It creates concentrations of severe poverty, but frequently offers the only chance of escaping from it. In the city, every person is part of some larger whole, and at the same time, just a tiny, unimportant part. The city offers closeness but creates anonymity. It is everything and its opposite—all at the same time and in the same place. It harbors within it the future of the world.”



Flickr Photos

May 2018
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