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Rules, Tools, and Fools–Opening Reception & Artist Talk

Artists respond to the Whole Earth Catalog with various media and teach-ins.

Spudnik Press Cooperative presents “Rules, Tools, and Fools,” featuring Chicago-based artists ACT Collective, Alberto Aguilar, Jesse Malmed, Jaclyn JacunskiJason Pallas, Ryan Thompson, Hui-min Tsen, and national artists Sarah Hotchkiss (San Francisco), Jen Smoose (Seattle), and Leah Wolff (New York). This exhibition will feature the artists’ various responses to a key piece of printmedia – the Whole Earth Catalog.

Whole Earth Catalog is a counter-cultural touchstone that presaged many of today’s artistic and social modes of engagement. Rules, Tools, and Fools serves as a vehicle for artists to be provoked by and respond to the Whole Earth Catalog using a range of materials and conceptual strategies. The exhibiting artists all have a relationship with at least one of the themes explicitly embedded within the Catalog–alternative education, off-the-grid living, self-sufficiency, do-it-yourself culture, ecology, utopian ideals, communal action, holism, and access to tools.  All of the artists are crafting new responses and activities to the Catalog for the exhibition.

The show is presented in The Annex, an educational and exhibition space within the non-profit printmaking studio, Spudnik Press Cooperative. The show is not only a response to all that the Whole Earth Catalog embodies, but is a visual manifestation of the role that Spudnik Press plays in the Chicago ecosystem.

The organization of Rules, Tools, and Fools mimics the strategies that drive Spudnik Press as a collectively managed and cooperatively run printshop.  The progressive ethics used to bring the artists together and create programming mirror the spirit of the Whole Earth Catalog.  This equitable effort puts trust in artists’ voices to shape how the show manifests.  Rather than a nostalgic revisiting of a bygone era, the show offers poetic and practical solutions from our contemporary relationship to the Whole Earth’s problems.

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

The Rules, Tools, and Fools Reading Library

The artists and exhibition organizers have collaborated to compile a selection of books and related ephemera to augment the exhibition with a reading library. This reading area, currently on view at Spudnik and continuing  throughout the exhibition, serves as a public resource for deeper investigations of the source material and other scholarly works.  As part of the opening reception, a short artist talk will feature many of the participating artists discussing their practice and contributions to the exhibition and their reflections of the Whole Earth Catalog. There will also be additional programming associated with the exhibition, including a film program hosted at The Nightingale, and a series of teach-ins with community partners at Spudnik.  All events are free and open to the public.

Rules, Tools, and Fools is organized by participating artists Jaclyn Jacunski and Jason Pallas in collaboration with Angee Lennard, Founder and Director of Spudnik Press.


Rules, Tools, and Fools will kick-off with an Artist Talk featuring a panel of exhibiting artists at 6:15 p.m. on August 12, followed by the Opening Reception.

The exhibition runs through September 24th, 2016. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5pm, or by appointment.