Occuprint collects, prints and distributes posters from the worldwide Occupy movement. more about us...

Curatorial Statement

Like many parts of the #Occupy movement, Occuprint was developed in the spur of the moment, caught up in the rush and excitement and fresh air of an emerging social movement. As the novelty of new possibilities begins to give way to the very pleasant reality that we are currently building something that’s not going away, Occuprint would like to take a moment to offer some transparency regarding our process.

We feel that it is important to be clear about what we are, and what we are not. Occuprint has been, from its first beginnings, a curated space. This means that, unlike an OWS working group, Occuprint does not hold open meetings, nor is there any clearly defined way for people to get involved with the curatorial aspect of our project. We state this upfront and directly in recognition that this is at odds with the openness and horizontalism of this movement. There are, to be sure, a number of organizations and affinity groups operating in a similar fashion, unaccountable to any particular general assembly, and yet still furthering the movement as a whole. And so, all we can do is present our operating principles and hope that the broader movement feels an affinity with what we are doing.

Since the launch of our site, Occuprint has received hundreds of emails. Some are simply expressions of gratitude, or friendly suggestions. Some have offered specific assistance, and many of these offers we have actively pursued. Most of the emails offer submissions to the site. We have not posted all of these submissions, and this is where the “curation” involved in our process needs to be explained.

We do not have strict guidelines for submissions, but there are some specific things we take into consideration when deciding what to post:

  • We try to limit work from individual artists, especially if we feel that many of their pieces are all produced within a singular style.
  • We are trying to expand content with political messages that we feel are important to the movement, and underrepresented on the site.
  • We are avoiding content whose political message is not clear to us. This may mean that the text itself is not altogether clear, or that the relationship between text and imagery is not clear. As you can imagine, this is a matter of very subjective opinion, and we are trying to avoid images that seem to clearly express something that is itself unclear or at odds with our understanding of the movement (and here we refer, though not completely or without exception, to the NYCGA Declaration).
  • We are privileging geographic diversity, gender diversity, and to the extent possible, works from non-established artists and designers.
  • We are avoiding, to the extent possible, artwork created in a style that has already been closely aligned with electoral politics, or with any corporate branding campaigns.
  • We are avoiding, to the greatest extent possible, posters that appear to have been created prior to this movement and then re-appropriated with some new text for the current moment. To the extent possible, we are trying to privilege new work, inspired by #occupy.
  • We are privileging work where we feel that the work of the designer prevails over the historic creation of any constituent elements. In other words, we are not printing “mash-ups” where the bulk of the visual work is being done by the creator of the material being used as opposed to the creator of the new image. Again, this is not to say that such work is less meaningful or important, its just work that we have chosen not to present.
  • We are privileging work that is not already posted on other occupy related sites. Occuprint is not meant to be a comprehensive repository of #occupy art and design, and we want to be clear about how important other sites are as well. We are more interested in each of these websites having unique contributions to the movement, and less interested in using our site to reproduce work that other sites are doing well.

Finally, one general statement: Our aim is not to produce a unified aesthetic, but to magnify the diversity within this movement. While we know that some people are interested in “branding” this movement, we consider this sort of thing to be unnecessary and even counterproductive. We are not trying to create a new brand, we are trying to build a new life. If we let that new life live for a while, new and unexpected styles will emerge. That is our hope.

Occupy is part of a global movement. Our actions—like caring for one another in reclaimed public space—and our images—like these posters on Occuprint—can provide an important bridge between supporters who may not speak the same language, yet know they are part of the same struggle.

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Hosting and bandwidth for Occuprint is kindly provided by SDF Public Access UNIX System. Some rights reserved.