And here is some of the cool shit we got around to publishing in six lil issues of 8-pages each!
This was the best part of the entire Estrella Cercana operation, I think. We turned into a platform for fresh and interesting work, intersecting on the printed page across text and image, and often in interaction with pieces in the "Distant Star" show at the gallery.
We had no editorial guidelines from our publisher, the Kuris. The sky was the limit.
And as things came in, we went with the most Newsy stuff possible. Inevitably, this led to some criticisms about whether there was too much death, exploitation, violence, abuse, loathing, shock-value, guns, fascism, skin, dirty sex, and politics in our pages.
Our response, inevitably, was, 'Duh.' This is a NEWSpaper. (But with pseudonyms at work, yes.) We published, and please stay with me, the following ...
∆ As an opening centerfold, an amazing piece by Kurimanzutto artist Jonathan Hernandez, on the many, many "covered."
∆ A poem by Tijuana writer Rafa Saavedra, reconfiguring Roberto Bolaño's original infrarrealist manifesto.
∆ A photo-essay on water by artist PJ Rountree.
∆ That two-part crónica on punks in La Habana by Javier Velasquez, paired with one of two great photographs from the "Distant Star" show, by Catherine Opie.
∆ A full-page "pin-up" shoot with trans singer Zemmoa, repping gender-queer D.F. all the way, alongside a Bolaño-inspired piece by Regen Projects artist Glenn Ligon (see above) and a Nahuatl poem from the Aztec Empire, on living good.
∆ A photo-essay by artist Armando Miguelez on a gun show in Tucson (with a really good infrarreal side-bar).
∆ An unsettling crónica sent in by a writer in Sonora, Eduardo Ortiz Leon, who later told us this was the first time had ever published a piece of writing and gotten paid for it.
∆ Another sad crónica from Guadalajara, by Luis Sanchez.
∆ A piece by prize-winning novelist Daniel Alarcon, from a prison in Lima.
∆ Patti Smith's photos of Bolaño's writing chair.
∆ Pieces from a prize-winning photography project by Eunice Adorno on Mexican Mennonite women.
∆ Those creepy hanging sculpture pieces by artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, named after apprehended drug lords.
∆ Drawings by D.F.-based French illustrator Florent Ruppert.
∆ Those awesome Narcovenus pieces by Carolyn Castaño.
∆ A piece by artist Carla Rippey (who designed the cover to Bolaño's first-ever book), using an archival photograph that is eerily dated the same date as the issue it appeared in (Oct. 2).
∆ Another strong crónica by Diego Enrique Osorno, on the Zeta generation.
∆ Another contribution from Ortiz Torres, a prescient meditation on Frank Lloyd Wright.
∆ A single-sentence essay on the mystery of the Arthur Cravan disappearance off the coast of Oaxaca in 1918, by curator Adrian Notz.
∆ Six great comics by Manuel Bueno with totally topical inside-jokes for urbane chilangos.
∆ Sent-in screen-shots of a Mexican Marines operation at high-sea.
∆ A centerfold by San Antonio-based artist Vincent Valdez, on an epic boxing match.
∆ Three tales from the Occupy movement, from Los Angeles (by Ben Ehrenreich), New York (by Nina Mehta), and one from Boston. These were paired with works from the "Distant Star" show by Amalia Pica and Cildo Meireles.
∆ A crazy set of gathered ephemera from filmmaker Bernardo Loyola -- a Pablo Escobar-themed bar in Kyrgystan?
∆ In two parts, the fascinating (and challenging) contrahistoria on the bones of Cuauhtemoc, by artist and theorist Mariana Botey, along with the eminent art-cult of the Red Specter. This was paired with a still from Alex Rivera's film "Sleep Dealer" and a collage by artist and writer Carlos Prieto.
∆ A report from Colima by Onda Fuzoo.
∆ A photo-essay by Gabriella Gomez-Mont and Luis Blackallar showing Mexican military forces happily interaction with families and children.
∆ A poem by television writer Alan Page, inspired by PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto. Page's poem has garnered more than 350 tweets on the site. Now that's popularity!
∆ A report from Iran by filmmaker Bani Khoshnoudi.
∆ And a bunch of audio downloads, ranging from Los Macuanos, to E.lebleu, Ñaka Ñaka, Ghetto Gothik and Mock The Zuma (single post), Lu E.G., Los Eclipes, and Tropicaza. All were carefully curated and are highly, highly recommended.
∆ Plus a whole lot more, best discovered bit by bit ...
... And that's it! Now, do you have an Estrella Cercana? If so, hold on to it.
We printed roughly between 300 and 500 per issue (another sore-point with Señor Felipe over there), and they went incredibly fast. In fact, I don't have a single copy myself of one of the issues. Not a one.
This calls for a Serious Investigation.
* Photo: Glenn Ligon's Bolaño-inspired "Only Poetry Isn't Shit." By yours.