Three examples from a series of six different offset stickers that I (Marc Fischer) made in around 1998. Each sticker paired a text and an image from a found source. These were put up in public around Chicago and I remember having a nice conversation with the offset printer about the design and my interest in printing on a durable stock that would hold up well to rain and snow. Public Collectors is currently doing a benefit and a set of all six stickers will be included with every custom package I am putting together for each donor. Thank you to the twenty people that have contributed so far! Donations will go a long way toward helping with a Chicago presentation of Public Collectors’ project about Malachi Ritscher and a new upcoming publication. Here is the link with more details about what you’ll get!

Three examples from a series of six different offset stickers that I (Marc Fischer) made in around 1998. Each sticker paired a text and an image from a found source. These were put up in public around Chicago and I remember having a nice conversation with the offset printer about the design and my interest in printing on a durable stock that would hold up well to rain and snow.

Public Collectors is currently doing a benefit and a set of all six stickers will be included with every custom package I am putting together for each donor. Thank you to the twenty people that have contributed so far! Donations will go a long way toward helping with a Chicago presentation of Public Collectors’ project about Malachi Ritscher and a new upcoming publication. Here is the link with more details about what you’ll get!

Announcing: the first ever Public Collectors benefit!
Public Collectors has been going strong without a single grant and with minimal outside support since 2007. In order to add some funding for future projects to the pot, including a presentation of the project about Malachi Ritscher that will happen at Experimental Sound Studio's gallery in the Fall, and upcoming publishing work, I’m doing a little benefit.  
For $25.00 postpaid in the U.S. I will send you at least three Public Collectors publications (Paper Blog 2, Fashion Illustrations by D. ‘Jame, and Malachi Ritscher), at least one artist publication I’ve made over the years, and a set of six different stickers I made way back in 1997. Every order will get these things.Additionally I’ll add in a whole bunch of other material that could include records, ‘zines, artist books, magazines and other publications, old sci-fi novels, art multiples, religious tracts, found photos, ephemera, and various other odds and ends - whatever else fits into a cardboard mailer designed to hold five records. Your package will be very much in the spirit of the things I share on this blog, and may even include things that I’ve posted. To help make each package more specific to you, and to make this more fun, please use the add instructions feature on Paypal to tell me more about your interests, include a link to your blog or website, and also please indicate if you have a record player. The more information you give me about what you like, the better your benefit package will be.
Because of the high cost of overseas postage, this offer is only available in the U.S. If you’d like to contribute more than $25.00 to help Public Collectors, just select one of the higher amounts offered, and I will just send you more stuff or better stuff.
Thank you all for your interest in this initiative over the years. It remains very meaningful to me that people value what Public Collectors does and I hope to meet more of you off the internet one of these days. I’m always super happy when someone comes up to me at an event and tells me that they follow this Tumblr. And even if you can’t support Public Collectors, please consider sharing this post.
Thank You! - Marc Fischer
PURCHASE

Announcing: the first ever Public Collectors benefit!

Public Collectors has been going strong without a single grant and with minimal outside support since 2007. In order to add some funding for future projects to the pot, including a presentation of the project about Malachi Ritscher that will happen at Experimental Sound Studio's gallery in the Fall, and upcoming publishing work, I’m doing a little benefit. 

For $25.00 postpaid in the U.S. I will send you at least three Public Collectors publications (Paper Blog 2, Fashion Illustrations by D. ‘Jame, and Malachi Ritscher), at least one artist publication I’ve made over the years, and a set of six different stickers I made way back in 1997. Every order will get these things.

Additionally I’ll add in a whole bunch of other material that could include records, ‘zines, artist books, magazines and other publications, old sci-fi novels, art multiples, religious tracts, found photos, ephemera, and various other odds and ends - whatever else fits into a cardboard mailer designed to hold five records. Your package will be very much in the spirit of the things I share on this blog, and may even include things that I’ve posted.

To help make each package more specific to you, and to make this more fun, please use the add instructions feature on Paypal to tell me more about your interests, include a link to your blog or website, and also please indicate if you have a record player. The more information you give me about what you like, the better your benefit package will be.

Because of the high cost of overseas postage, this offer is only available in the U.S. If you’d like to contribute more than $25.00 to help Public Collectors, just select one of the higher amounts offered, and I will just send you more stuff or better stuff.

Thank you all for your interest in this initiative over the years. It remains very meaningful to me that people value what Public Collectors does and I hope to meet more of you off the internet one of these days. I’m always super happy when someone comes up to me at an event and tells me that they follow this Tumblr. And even if you can’t support Public Collectors, please consider sharing this post.

Thank You! - Marc Fischer

PURCHASE

Philadelphia - my hometown! I’ll be at the Print Center on Saturday, April 5th at 2:00 PM for a free talk about Public Collectors, Malachi Ritscher, and some Philly underground music history and ephemera. Please come! More details here.

Philadelphia - my hometown! I’ll be at the Print Center on Saturday, April 5th at 2:00 PM for a free talk about Public Collectors, Malachi Ritscher, and some Philly underground music history and ephemera. Please come! More details here.

Raw Deal (before they were forced to change their name to Killing Time) at the Frankford Y in Philadelphia in 1988. Photo by Marc Fischer.

Raw Deal (before they were forced to change their name to Killing Time) at the Frankford Y in Philadelphia in 1988. Photo by Marc Fischer.

Chuck Treece in the band McRad, from a concert at a VFW hall in or near Philadelphia. The stamp on the back of the photo says June 1988 so while I’m not positive of when this show happened, it’s around that time. Dare to Defy also played that night. Photo by Marc Fischer.

Chuck Treece in the band McRad, from a concert at a VFW hall in or near Philadelphia. The stamp on the back of the photo says June 1988 so while I’m not positive of when this show happened, it’s around that time. Dare to Defy also played that night. Photo by Marc Fischer.

Jello Biafra, after a spoken word performance in Philadelphia. I believe this is from Drexel University in 1988. Photograph by Marc Fischer.

Jello Biafra, after a spoken word performance in Philadelphia. I believe this is from Drexel University in 1988. Photograph by Marc Fischer.

Jello Biafra, after a spoken word performance in Philadelphia. I believe this is from Drexel University in 1988. Photograph by Marc Fischer.

Jello Biafra, after a spoken word performance in Philadelphia. I believe this is from Drexel University in 1988. Photograph by Marc Fischer.

The free booklet with my essay about Malachi Ritscher, created for Public Collectors’ participation in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, is now available online. Click here to view the PDF.This has been one of the deepest and most emotional projects I’ve worked on. I’m grateful to the many people whose words and other contributions made it possible to tell Malachi Ritscher’s story.

The free booklet with my essay about Malachi Ritscher, created for Public Collectors’ participation in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, is now available online. Click here to view the PDF.

This has been one of the deepest and most emotional projects I’ve worked on. I’m grateful to the many people whose words and other contributions made it possible to tell Malachi Ritscher’s story.

"This is a confirmation that we have received your approval to print."
After generating possibly the biggest pile of hardcopy rough drafts of my life, the booklet version of my essay on Malachi Ritscher for Public Collectors’ participation in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art is going to print today. And of course I already noticed one tiny thing I could have adjusted in the spacing, so I’m going to try not to look at or think about this thing until I get to New York. There will be 10,000 copies of this 16-page booklet for visitors to take for free. Here is some more information about the project for those who missed earlier posts.

"This is a confirmation that we have received your approval to print."

After generating possibly the biggest pile of hardcopy rough drafts of my life, the booklet version of my essay on Malachi Ritscher for Public Collectors’ participation in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art is going to print today. And of course I already noticed one tiny thing I could have adjusted in the spacing, so I’m going to try not to look at or think about this thing until I get to New York. There will be 10,000 copies of this 16-page booklet for visitors to take for free. Here is some more information about the project for those who missed earlier posts.

Some of you may know that I’m also a member of the group Temporary Services and that we have a publishing imprint called Half Letter Press. Generally I allow things from the Half Letter Press tumblr to have their own separate life, but this was a big moment for our group, and for me personally, that I’d like to share with all of you.
halfletterpress:

This rather unexceptional photo depicts something that for us, is quite extraordinary.
One of Temporary Services’ best known projects is Prisoners’ Inventions. In 2003, WhiteWalls published the book Prisoners’ Inventions, written and illustrated by our collaborator Angelo—an incarcerated artist from California. Angelo illustrated many incredible inventions made by prisoners to fill needs that the restrictive environment of prison tries to suppress. The inventions cover everything from homemade sex dolls, condoms, and salt and pepper shakers to chess sets and electrical cooking devices. Working with Angelo entirely through the mail, as well as many other collaborators on the outside, we created an exhibition that traveled to multiple cities, worked with fabricators who used Angelo’s drawings to build a life-size copy of his prison cell, and received a great deal of critical and media attention for the ongoing project.
Angelo, however, had never seen a copy of his own book. Either a worker in the prison mail room stole it when we sent him one, or the book was prohibited because it depicts objects that are contraband to possess.
Marc Fischer from Temporary Services first met Angelo when Angelo wrote him a letter and included a drawing back in around 1991. Angelo had seen his cellmate’s copy of Fischer’s old music and political fanzine Primary Concern. When Temporary Services formed in 1998, Angelo became an early collaborator—first on an exhibition of his narrative fantasy drawings, and later on the project Prisoners’ Inventions. All this time, none of us had ever met Angelo in person or even spoken to him on the phone. There is no internet access in prison so all communications for this project and all else happened through the mail.
After nearly a quarter of a century behind bars, Angelo was released recently and after speaking to him on the phone for the first time a little over a week ago, Marc was able to visit him in Los Angeles. A bit from Marc about the visit:
"Some friends have asked if there was anything surprising about finally meeting Angelo. His personality was pretty much just as I expected it would be from our hundreds of letters: pleasant, calm, respectful, and not overly dramatic. He has an enjoyable sense of humor and a highly alert mind. Angelo is nearing 70 years old but looks very good physically for a guy that loves snack foods and hates vegetables. He attributes his good health to not smoking, drinking or doing drugs, and walking a lot. He applied for a library card and has been catching up on history books that he’s been wanting to read forever but couldn’t find while in prison. The only real surprise was his hair, which Angelo described as kind of a Wild Bill Hickok look, but I think it’s a bit beyond that. With big combed mutton chops and a long mustache that covers almost his entire mouth, he looks like he might have just stepped out of the Wild West, which, after so many years in the California Department of Corrections, he really has."
Angelo also brought gifts that he thought we might enjoy: an excellent-looking anthology of writings by prisoners that he hung onto until he was released, and two clothing items saved from a stretch in Administrative Segregation: a pair of slippers that are made from an awful cardboard-like material, and a pair of disposable underwear that feels like like it is made from paper.
The transition of returning to society after so many years behind bars is clearly a gradual one, but for now we are happy that Angelo is out and getting acclimated to the very different world he has been released into. We look forward to continued communication with him in a more direct way, and to getting the book Prisoners’ Inventions back in print as soon as we can.

Some of you may know that I’m also a member of the group Temporary Services and that we have a publishing imprint called Half Letter Press. Generally I allow things from the Half Letter Press tumblr to have their own separate life, but this was a big moment for our group, and for me personally, that I’d like to share with all of you.

halfletterpress:

This rather unexceptional photo depicts something that for us, is quite extraordinary.

One of Temporary Services’ best known projects is Prisoners’ Inventions. In 2003, WhiteWalls published the book Prisoners’ Inventions, written and illustrated by our collaborator Angelo—an incarcerated artist from California. Angelo illustrated many incredible inventions made by prisoners to fill needs that the restrictive environment of prison tries to suppress. The inventions cover everything from homemade sex dolls, condoms, and salt and pepper shakers to chess sets and electrical cooking devices. Working with Angelo entirely through the mail, as well as many other collaborators on the outside, we created an exhibition that traveled to multiple cities, worked with fabricators who used Angelo’s drawings to build a life-size copy of his prison cell, and received a great deal of critical and media attention for the ongoing project.

Angelo, however, had never seen a copy of his own book. Either a worker in the prison mail room stole it when we sent him one, or the book was prohibited because it depicts objects that are contraband to possess.

Marc Fischer from Temporary Services first met Angelo when Angelo wrote him a letter and included a drawing back in around 1991. Angelo had seen his cellmate’s copy of Fischer’s old music and political fanzine Primary Concern. When Temporary Services formed in 1998, Angelo became an early collaborator—first on an exhibition of his narrative fantasy drawings, and later on the project Prisoners’ Inventions. All this time, none of us had ever met Angelo in person or even spoken to him on the phone. There is no internet access in prison so all communications for this project and all else happened through the mail.

After nearly a quarter of a century behind bars, Angelo was released recently and after speaking to him on the phone for the first time a little over a week ago, Marc was able to visit him in Los Angeles. A bit from Marc about the visit:

"Some friends have asked if there was anything surprising about finally meeting Angelo. His personality was pretty much just as I expected it would be from our hundreds of letters: pleasant, calm, respectful, and not overly dramatic. He has an enjoyable sense of humor and a highly alert mind. Angelo is nearing 70 years old but looks very good physically for a guy that loves snack foods and hates vegetables. He attributes his good health to not smoking, drinking or doing drugs, and walking a lot. He applied for a library card and has been catching up on history books that he’s been wanting to read forever but couldn’t find while in prison. The only real surprise was his hair, which Angelo described as kind of a Wild Bill Hickok look, but I think it’s a bit beyond that. With big combed mutton chops and a long mustache that covers almost his entire mouth, he looks like he might have just stepped out of the Wild West, which, after so many years in the California Department of Corrections, he really has."

Angelo also brought gifts that he thought we might enjoy: an excellent-looking anthology of writings by prisoners that he hung onto until he was released, and two clothing items saved from a stretch in Administrative Segregation: a pair of slippers that are made from an awful cardboard-like material, and a pair of disposable underwear that feels like like it is made from paper.

The transition of returning to society after so many years behind bars is clearly a gradual one, but for now we are happy that Angelo is out and getting acclimated to the very different world he has been released into. We look forward to continued communication with him in a more direct way, and to getting the book Prisoners’ Inventions back in print as soon as we can.

The Seattle straight edge band Brotherhood, from a show at the Arch Street Empire in Philadelphia. I believe this is from 1989. Other bands that played were The Accüsed, Deadspot, and Dare to Defy. You can see a flyer for this show here. The flying guitarist on the right? That’s Greg Anderson, who went on to play in Goatsnake and Sunn O))) and started the record label Southern Lord. Photo by Marc Fischer.

The Seattle straight edge band Brotherhood, from a show at the Arch Street Empire in Philadelphia. I believe this is from 1989. Other bands that played were The Accüsed, Deadspot, and Dare to Defy. You can see a flyer for this show here. The flying guitarist on the right? That’s Greg Anderson, who went on to play in Goatsnake and Sunn O))) and started the record label Southern Lord. Photo by Marc Fischer.

The Seattle straight edge band Brotherhood, from a show at the Arch Street Empire in Philadelphia. I believe this is from 1989. Other bands that played were The Accüsed, Deadspot, and Dare to Defy. You can see a flyer for this show here. Photo by Marc Fischer.

The Seattle straight edge band Brotherhood, from a show at the Arch Street Empire in Philadelphia. I believe this is from 1989. Other bands that played were The Accüsed, Deadspot, and Dare to Defy. You can see a flyer for this show here. Photo by Marc Fischer.

Public Collectors at the 2014 Whitney Biennial and a few words about Malachi Ritscher
By Marc Fischer
Big announcements make me uncomfortable. I like to view all opportunities and invitations as meaningful and important, no matter how large or small the audience or venue.
Public Collectors has been invited to participate in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The show runs from March 7 until May 25, 2014
The Biennial is an unusual invitation for Public Collectors as I am normally uninterested in working with museums for this initiative. Public Collectors is concerned with pulling things from the margins and giving them a thoughtful context and public presentation. For me to participate in the Whitney Biennial, I want that participation to give focus to someone who would have never been asked, and who has never been collected or exhibited by the Whitney Museum of American Art. I want to share something that the public may not know exists and to see the museum lend authority and importance to a life and a creative practice that probably would not receive museum consideration under normal circumstances. I want my participation to draw on a network of individuals or smaller institutions to show the kind of extraordinary things that museums often don’t care about. I want to consider what happens to the creative work of people who are not collected by museums when they are gone—people whose life’s work has not been accorded the same desirability as collectible art or all of the resources that are often expended for valuable art objects.
Public Collectors’ participation in the Whitney Biennial will focus on the life and work of Malachi Ritscher.
If you attended a free jazz, experimental, or improvised music concert in Chicago from the early-1990s until October of 2006, at some point you were probably in the room with Malachi Ritscher and he was making an audio recording of the event. Ritscher recorded several thousand concerts in Chicago from the 1980s until 2006.
Malachi Ritscher was a Chicago-based documentarian, activist, artist, musician, photographer, hot-pepper-sauce maker, and supporter of experimental and improvised music. In a self-authored obituary on his website titled “Out of Time”, Ritscher described himself as “the modern day version of a ‘renaissance man,’ except instead of attaining success in several fields, he consistently failed, and didn’t really worry too much about it.” His creativity was not easy to categorize neatly and could be found as much in the placement of a microphone used to record a concert as in the combination of ingredients in a recipe or the design of a skateboard deck. From 2003 to 2006, Ritscher maintained the website Chicago Rash Audio Potential (www.savagesound.com), which shared extensive show listings interspersed with his concert and street photography, written insights about the music scene, and political agit-prop.
Ritscher came to international attention when, during morning rush-hour traffic on November 3, 2006, he poured gasoline over his body and immolated himself in front of Leonardo Nierman’s “Flame of the Millennium” sculpture at the Ohio feeder ramp along Chicago’s John F. Kennedy Expressway. A sign reading “Thou Shalt Not Kill. As Ye Sow So Shall Ye Reap. Your Taxes Buy Bombs and Bullets” was displayed during the action. Ritscher’s suicide was an explicit protest against the war in Iraq but was not reported as such until the alternative press, independent media journalists, and others forced the issue.
On the front page of his website, Ritscher wrote: “art and music can express outrage, inspire action, or soothe and distract; please think about priorities and be involved in things that matter.”
I hope that some of you will be able to see this exhibition. There will be a different version of this presentation at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago in July and August, 2014. A PDF of the lengthy essay I am writing about Malachi Ritscher will be available for free download once it has been completed.
This project has been one of the most challenging and emotionally demanding things I have ever worked on. I’m happy to say that it is not something I am doing alone. The following people are lending objects or sharing their words and directly contributing to this presentation:
Dick and Betty Ann Ritscher, Ellen Sackett, Carol Wahl, Allison Schein and Lou Mallozzi of Creative Audio Archive at Experimental Sound Studio, Angeline and Mark Evans, John Corbett, Joeff Davis, Michael Zerang, Ken Vandermark, David Lester and Jean Smith of Mecca Normal, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Brent Gutzeit, Jason Guthartz, Metal Rouge (Helga Fassonaki and Andrew Scott), Agnieszka Czeblakow, Mark Solotroff, Lampo (Alisa Wolfson and Andrew Fenchel), Bill Meyer, David Grant, Thymme Jones, and Reuben Moore.
Above photo by Angeline Evans: Malachi at the Empty Bottle (Pool Table Series), 2003.

Public Collectors at the 2014 Whitney Biennial and a few words about Malachi Ritscher

By Marc Fischer

Big announcements make me uncomfortable. I like to view all opportunities and invitations as meaningful and important, no matter how large or small the audience or venue.

Public Collectors has been invited to participate in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The show runs from March 7 until May 25, 2014

The Biennial is an unusual invitation for Public Collectors as I am normally uninterested in working with museums for this initiative. Public Collectors is concerned with pulling things from the margins and giving them a thoughtful context and public presentation. For me to participate in the Whitney Biennial, I want that participation to give focus to someone who would have never been asked, and who has never been collected or exhibited by the Whitney Museum of American Art. I want to share something that the public may not know exists and to see the museum lend authority and importance to a life and a creative practice that probably would not receive museum consideration under normal circumstances. I want my participation to draw on a network of individuals or smaller institutions to show the kind of extraordinary things that museums often don’t care about. I want to consider what happens to the creative work of people who are not collected by museums when they are gone—people whose life’s work has not been accorded the same desirability as collectible art or all of the resources that are often expended for valuable art objects.

Public Collectors’ participation in the Whitney Biennial will focus on the life and work of Malachi Ritscher.

If you attended a free jazz, experimental, or improvised music concert in Chicago from the early-1990s until October of 2006, at some point you were probably in the room with Malachi Ritscher and he was making an audio recording of the event. Ritscher recorded several thousand concerts in Chicago from the 1980s until 2006.

Malachi Ritscher was a Chicago-based documentarian, activist, artist, musician, photographer, hot-pepper-sauce maker, and supporter of experimental and improvised music. In a self-authored obituary on his website titled “Out of Time”, Ritscher described himself as “the modern day version of a ‘renaissance man,’ except instead of attaining success in several fields, he consistently failed, and didn’t really worry too much about it.” His creativity was not easy to categorize neatly and could be found as much in the placement of a microphone used to record a concert as in the combination of ingredients in a recipe or the design of a skateboard deck. From 2003 to 2006, Ritscher maintained the website Chicago Rash Audio Potential (www.savagesound.com), which shared extensive show listings interspersed with his concert and street photography, written insights about the music scene, and political agit-prop.

Ritscher came to international attention when, during morning rush-hour traffic on November 3, 2006, he poured gasoline over his body and immolated himself in front of Leonardo Nierman’s “Flame of the Millennium” sculpture at the Ohio feeder ramp along Chicago’s John F. Kennedy Expressway. A sign reading “Thou Shalt Not Kill. As Ye Sow So Shall Ye Reap. Your Taxes Buy Bombs and Bullets” was displayed during the action. Ritscher’s suicide was an explicit protest against the war in Iraq but was not reported as such until the alternative press, independent media journalists, and others forced the issue.

On the front page of his website, Ritscher wrote: “art and music can express outrage, inspire action, or soothe and distract; please think about priorities and be involved in things that matter.”

I hope that some of you will be able to see this exhibition. There will be a different version of this presentation at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago in July and August, 2014. A PDF of the lengthy essay I am writing about Malachi Ritscher will be available for free download once it has been completed.

This project has been one of the most challenging and emotionally demanding things I have ever worked on. I’m happy to say that it is not something I am doing alone. The following people are lending objects or sharing their words and directly contributing to this presentation:

Dick and Betty Ann Ritscher, Ellen Sackett, Carol Wahl, Allison Schein and Lou Mallozzi of Creative Audio Archive at Experimental Sound Studio, Angeline and Mark Evans, John Corbett, Joeff Davis, Michael Zerang, Ken Vandermark, David Lester and Jean Smith of Mecca Normal, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Brent Gutzeit, Jason Guthartz, Metal Rouge (Helga Fassonaki and Andrew Scott), Agnieszka Czeblakow, Mark Solotroff, Lampo (Alisa Wolfson and Andrew Fenchel), Bill Meyer, David Grant, Thymme Jones, and Reuben Moore.

Above photo by Angeline Evans: Malachi at the Empty Bottle (Pool Table Series), 2003.

Danish friends, followers, and collectors! I’ll be in Aarhus on December 11th and I’d love to meet you. Please come out and spread the word!

Danish friends, followers, and collectors! I’ll be in Aarhus on December 11th and I’d love to meet you. Please come out and spread the word!

My interview with Jeff Hanneman from September 30, 1988

When I was a teenager and published a metal and hardcore ‘zine called Primary Concern, I interviewed Jeff Hanneman from Slayer over the phone.  Originally I had hoped to interview the band in person at their August 29, 1988 show at Pulsations in the suburbs of Philly but that fell through. Somehow I was able to schedule a phone interview through either Def Jam Records or Slayer’s publicist and they had Jeff call me at the arranged time. I still lived at home with my parents so I implored my mom not to answer the phone, lest I die of embarrassment when Jeff called. At the appointed time, Mr. Slayer gave me a ring and we had a pretty enjoyable conversation about death, abortion, the Holocaust, art, the P.M.R.C., censorship, and other matters of importance. 

Keep in mind that this was done for the second issue of a photocopied ‘zine with a circulation of maybe 250 copies at most. In retrospect it’s pretty amazing that either the record label or Hanneman would give me the time of day, but Jeff was exceptionally nice and if I had more questions, I imagine this could have been a much longer conversation.

This is not a great interview, and my interviewing skills have improved considerably in years since, but here it is:

Primary Concern interview with Jeff Hanneman from September 30, 1988