To transmit the work that we co-create with the community we make books, prints, and public sculptures. Each project that we do reflects our commitment to social justice and our belief in the value of shared artistic production.
MPP was commissioned by artist Josh MacPhee and The Amplifier Foundation to create a graphic design for a campaign to close the Rikers Island jail complex. The campaign was launched in 2016, and has played a key role in forcing Mayor De Blasio to come out in support of Riker’s closure. The campaign is led by Just Leadership USA and the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice, but has almost 200 community and civic groups that have signed on, as well as a membership base of people directly effected by the jail (formerly incarcerated, family members, social workers, etc.).
Inspired by groups like The Black Panthers and The Young Lords, we set out to create a set of principles to guide our work as a collective. During the winter of 2015-2016 we wrote the first draft of the MPP 8 Principles (or MPP's 8 Principles). Each principle reflects a particular belief that we aspire to live up to not only in our work as artists, cultural workers, and educators, but as students, family members, community members, and friends.
The Soñamos Sentirnos Libres catalog is a compilation of essays and images produced throughout the exhibition, which features contributions and reflections from the many collaborators involved. This is a bilingual publication in Spanish and English.
Mobile Print Power and the Steam Exchange mirror each other in many ways. Both are primarily comprised of minority groups in their respective locations, both are multigenerational, and both are dedicated to community based art. In 2014, members from Mobile Print Power and Steam Exchange interacted for the first time via skype. Since then, the correspondence has been almost exclusively via post. This project began as an epic exchange of elaborate, illustrated letters enclosed in custom-made envelopes. Each letter and envelope became a work of art. After youth exchanged introductions, the members of Steam Exchange proposed a question to explore together: What does it mean to be a minority? Our letter writing evolved into a process of designing images that try to answer our essential question. Steam Exchange and MPP youth have collaboratively created six prominent images that work together to provide a visual representation of our discussion.
Our latest collaboration with Talk is Cheap, Streetwise: Words of Wisdom from the streets of Corona, combines all of the materials that we didn’t use in our first collaboration (The Big Apple Doesn’t fall far from the Tree), where we asked people to share their favorite sayings. In collecting material for The Big Apple, we received a lot of amazing messages that we could only call wisdom – not really "sayings" but certainly of great value and worthy of a complete illustrated book.
The completed Streetwise will be completed during winter/spring 2016 and released as part of our exhibit, Soñamos Sentirmos Libres: Under Construction, at Interference Archive in May 2016.
Throughout summer 2015 we collected writing and drawings around the theme of solidarity, visiting public spaces and asking the question, "what does solidarity mean to you?"" The topic of solidarity emerged in conversations with community members, activists, and artists in Corona, Queens.
In September we displayed the complete Solidarity Series in Corona Plaza - the place where we gathered most of the imagery and text. This book includes all of the final images, as well as documentation of the process and new questions.
MPP was recently hired to print tote bags for our friends at Interference Archive. The bags feature a collection of icons from social movements. Interference Archive is a volunteer-run community space which explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements through an open stacks archival collection, exhibitions, publications, and public programs.
MPP published How Does Mobile Print Power Make Public Art (2015) to document our evolving methodology for participatory public art. Each page describes a different step in the process. Photographs and illustrations are used to describe the initial planning stage, public engagement, the final creation of printed work, and the presentation of printed work in public space. This book was released during Open Engagement, Place and Revolution.
The Big Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree, a collaboration between Talk is Cheap and MPP, explores the rich and affordable medium of dialogue, specifically colloquialisms. For this collaboration, food (arepas) and print instruction were exchanged for people's favorite sayings during several day-long visits to Corona Plaza. Sayings derive meaning from cultural context that highlights how language is about more than just literal meaning. After collecting sayings in both English and Spanish, in Corona Plaza, TIC and MPP translated these sayings and develop a series of silkscreens that were printed on 14th street during the Art in Odd Places festival. The groups also worked together to publish this book, which includes all of the images and text from the project. This book serves as both a form of documentation and an opportunity to share the experience with a larger audience.
MPP printed tote bags for Open Engagement Life/Work at the Queens Museum. This was our first large-scale print commission. Proceeds from this project were used to fund our on-going work in Corona, Plaza.
The Mobile Print Power Workbook chronicles our early history, with photographs and artwork. This small book also includes silkscreen printmaking instructions, photo-development instructions, space for taking notes, and additional paper for designing project proposals.We used this workbook in the early days to introduce new MPP members to our history and process.
Poetas de Queens is a collection of illustrated poems written by people from the local community in Corona, Queens. The poems were written during a workshop at Immigrant Movement International led by Los Cafeteras, a Los Angeles-based art collective. MPP worked with people from the Queens Museum's Queens Teens program to generate illustrations for 6 poems. This process involved listening to the poems being read aloud, thinking about visual imagery, choosing stanzas to focus on, and creating collaborative illustrations for those stanzas. We worked with our collaborators for 3 weeks to complete the project. The completed book was first presented during the ETERNiDAY poetry festival at the Queens Museum.
MPP printed bandanas for WE Bike NYC to help the group raise money for their 2014 Women's Ride to DC. We brought our mobile printmaking cart to a bike shop/cafe in Fort Greene Brooklyn to print bandanas with the WE Bike NYC logo. As with all of our print collaborations, we learned about WE Bike NYC and found their mission perfectly in-line with ours.
Working with artist and MPP member Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz, and the Biblioclub at Immigrant Movement International, we created our first bilingual cookbook. This book features a collection of traditional recipes from Equator and Mexico, written in English and Spanish by families from Corona Queens. On Saturday January 4, 2014, Mobile Print Power and El Biblioclub celebrated the launch of The Flavor of Bilingual Cuisine, El Sabor De La Cocina Bilingue, with a book launch lunch. For this event the group cooked items from the cookbook and talked about the process of making the book. The group also created t-shirts using the book cover design.
During the opening reception of Unapologetic, at The New School, we collaborated with the Dreamers to print t-shirts bearing the message, You Are Not Illegal, Neither Are 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants. The t-shirts were sold to raise money for the Dreamers.
Unapologetic was organized and curated with the goal of "creating a space for stories and voices that have been affected, or are still affected, by the lack of a legal immigration status."
MPP was invited to take part in an event with UnLocal in Brooklyn. UnLocal is a non-profit that "seeks to re-imagine the way legal services are delivered to immigrants in New York City ... committed to serving the unmet legal needs of New York City's immigrant communities by.""
For the event we printed t-shirts with a special UnLocal logo. This was our first project outside of Queens. The event was organized by Trade School and OurGoods co-founder Caroline Woolard and was held at Brooklyn Commons on Atlantic Avenue.
After a busy summer of public projects, we created a book with all of the images from our collaborative Mensaje de Corona Plaza project. The book contained small versions of each print, a short description of the project, and 2 pictures from the 1-year anniversary of Corona Plaza. We initially printed 8 copies of the book, which was released during a community celebration at Immigrant Movement International on September 8, 2013.
Plantas de Justicia, a collaboration with Plant Justice, was the first book published by MPP. This book was written and illustrated by the members of Plant Justice, a workshop initiated by Jason Gasper at Immigrant Movement International. Plantas de Justicia features detailed descriptions and beautiful drawings of 5 plants found in NYC. The descriptions include the herbal and medical uses of each plant. MPP used silkscreen printmaking to reproduce the writing and drawings, and printed an edition of 10 books on fine archival paper.