Darwin Pamphlets at Philadelphia's Philagrafika 2010: Out of Print

Philagrafika 2010 is happening now, all over Philadelphia.

Involving more than 300 artists at more than 80 venues throughout the city, Philagrafika 2010 will be one of the largest art events in the United States and the world's most important print-related exposition. Prominent museums and cultural institutions across Philadelphia are participating in Philagrafika 2010, offering regional, national and international audiences the opportunity to see contemporary art that references printmaking in dynamic, unexpected ways and to experience the rich cultural life of the city in the process.

If the damn snow ever lets up and/or melts a little, I intend to see as much of it as I can. But even if the snow never lets up, and even if you can't make it to Philly, you can partake of a bit of Philagrafika online. That would be The Tract House: A Darwin Edition. You can read a bit about it in this Philadelphia Inquirer editorial by artist Lisa Anne Auerbach.

Of course, religious tracts have long been crafted to communicate with sinners, which is doubtless why I found them so appealing. Their basic message has nearly always concerned salvation...

...The French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire said, "Twenty-volume folios will never make a revolution. It is the little pocket pamphlets that are to be feared." I agree with Voltaire about the potential of pamphlets - that these collectible sound bites can sway public opinion more than prolix treatises. There's something refreshing, sentimental, and perhaps even slightly mystical about holding a short text that aims to be life-changing.

Once I decided to start my own tract revolution, I invited friends, acquaintances, and strangers to submit ideas, manifestos, illustrations, and rants. I employed a graphic designer, Roman Jaster, to create pages that were beautiful and readable. The 62 tracts that resulted offer a collection of concerns, solutions, stories, tactics, rules, and questions inspired by the life and work of Charles Darwin.

I'd be willing to stand on a street corner and hand out copies of, say, tract #122. At least until some angry reader came back and beat me to death for my troubles. It might still be worth it.

Take a look and tell me if any catch your eye. Which one would you stand on a street corner to hand out?

More like this

Last week, I left a comment at the ADF's blog in response to a post by Jordan Lorence about judicial activism that was apparently written in response to me (go here, scroll down to my first comment). My comment said: Simple yes or no question: was Loving v Virginia correctly decided or was it "…
A teacher at a cosmetology school finds out one of her students is gay (not a big shock). She decides to place two religious pamphlets in his smock during instructional time and tell him to read them and discuss it with her later. The student complains to the school about this behavior. The school…
Michelle Goldberg, the terrific writer for Salon.com, has a really interesting article examining the historical roots of the "War on Christmas" idea that is getting so much play in the conservative media these days. As it turns out, this one goes back a lot longer than most of us realize: In 1959,…
You've probably been wondering. Who in their right mind would declare war on a family holiday? Who would be crazy enough to think such a thing was actually happening? You might have the impression that it's all a delusion erupting from the fevered brain of blowhard Bill O'Reilly, but it goes deeper…

Personally, I really like the one addressed to "Dear Brain."

By Luna_the_cat (not verified) on 17 Feb 2010 #permalink

Many are terrific and I would stand on a corner handing them out. I take all handbills as a rule except of course religious rants and porn ads as per "Down and Out In London and Paris." Thanks for the groovy link.

The one I certainly would not touch is titled "Narcissism" with a woman, naturally, inevitably depicted on the front gazing at her reflection in the mirror. Everyone knows that Narcissus was a woman after all. The nerve, the never ending all encompassing fucking endless and I do mean endless nerve.

By veganrampage (not verified) on 25 Feb 2010 #permalink