News 2018-03-15T17:07:50+00:00
Unlock News

Unlock Book Fair 2018, Amsterdam – recap

The third instalment of the annual Unlock Book Fair took place last December in Amsterdam, with close to fifty exhibitors coming together for the latest meeting of the international graffiti and street art publishing scene. Publishers came from seventeen different countries representing the whole European continent, but also from Australia and Japan. The fair took place at the spacious and beautiful Broedplaats LELY in Amsterdam West. See the full program and list of exhibitors here.

This time the topic of the events program was “punk and graffiti”. We were honoured to host lectures by local punk graffiti legends Hugo Kaagman and Diana Ozon – who also treated us with a reading of her poetry. A third star lecturer was Carlo McCormick, who flew from New York to speak about the early years of graffiti, punk and hip hop in NYC. For the screenings session Unlock unearthed extremely obscure films about Amsterdam’s 1970’s punk graffiti scene featuring the only known images of some of the scene’s key writers – including interviews and images of the writers in action.

Other highlights of the events program were a book-signing session by graffiti pioneer Boris Tellegen AKA Delta, who brought his recent book OH documenting his groundbreaking work on freight trains, and the launch party for the highly anticipated 30th anniversary issue of the venerable Dutch publication Bomber Megazine. The program of publication launches featured a long list of projects ranging from DIY zines, and hardcover books, to scientific journals.

Two companion books were published by the Unlock team on the occasion of the fair documenting two legendary European punk-related graffiti scenes. The first book, entitled Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands, covers the country’s thriving punk graffiti scene from 1977-1983. The second book, entitled Punk Graffiti Archives: Madrid, studies the barely known “flechero” graffiti scene from 1985-1989. The production of the books involved months of research into several private archives, including the two largest existing archives of punk graffiti related documentation – the Diana Ozon Archive and the archive of the Dutch Graffiti Library. Both books have become milestones in the study of these very underexplored topics and collector’s items for graffiti aficionados.

On the two days immediately preceding the fair the Unlock team organised for the second consecutive year the Tag Conference, a unique academic event focused on name writing, or tagging. The conference gathered twenty-one speakers from ten different countries in four continents delivering fascinating insights into the topics of contemporary and historical tagging, all in front of a full auditorium.

Our most sincere thank-you to the publishers, speakers, volunteers and visitors who made this new Unlock Book Fair possible. Expect an exciting 2019 for the Unlock project with the main event in the winter, an offshoot fair in the summer, and several other appearances throughout the year. Stay tuned!

2019 / 02 / 18|

Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands

Punk Grafiti Files The Netherlands

“Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands”, covers the country’s thriving punk-originated graffiti scene from 1977-1983. The book was published as a companion to the 2018 Unlock Book Fair, which took place in Amsterdam in December 8-9 under the topic “punk and graffiti”.

The production of “Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands” involved months of research into several private archives, including the two largest existing archives of punk graffiti related documentation – the Diana Ozon Archive and the archive of the Dutch Graffiti Library. The book includes several newspaper and fanzine clippings from the era translated into English.

Punk Graffiti Archives: The Netherlands
170×240 cm
164 pages
194 illustrations
Full colour
Paperback
Published by Urbanario, Madrid, 2018

From the book’s introduction:

Throughout the decades of 1980 and 1990 the New York tradition of graffiti conquered the whole European continent. But by the early eighties graffiti was nothing new for many urban youth in Europe. Graffiti done by punks was commonplace — slogans, bands’ names and personal nicknames. And punk-originated tagging scenes had developed in some cities with little knowledge of what had been happening in New York.

Two scenes in particular grew to become full-fledged competitions for all-city visibility and reached a notable degree of maturity regarding graphics, methodology and values. One was the Amsterdam scene, started in the late seventies and faded around 1984. The other was the “flechero” graffiti from Madrid, practiced mostly during the second half of the eighties.

Both scenes disappeared when the New York tradition of graffiti became better known through the arrival of books and documentaries. The imported culture was far more complex than the local ones, and in many senses more interesting, so many writers abandoned the local codes and started to explore the game of tags, throw-ups, pieces and trains.

[…]

In the late 1970s an intense but casual tagging scene was developed in Amsterdam by punk and squatter kids. By the turn of the decade a second generation of writers not necessarily connected to punk took over and really pushed the idea of getting up and going all-city. The scene thrived until the New York tradition of graffiti was imported and widely adopted by local writers in the mid eighties.

2019 / 02 / 17|

Punk Graffiti Archives: Madrid

Punk Grafiti Files Madrid

“Punk Graffiti Archives: Madrid” documents the extremely obscure flechero graffiti scene that took over the streets of Madrid in the second half of the eighties, before the New York graffiti tradition became known among the local youth. The book was published as a companion to the 2018 Unlock Book Fair, which took place in Amsterdam in December 8-9 under the topic “punk and graffiti”.

“Punk Graffiti Archives: Madrid” features many unpublished images of flechero tags unearthed from private archives, as well as newspaper clippings from the time translated to English. A unique publication that offers graffiti aficionados a rare look into this underexplored culture.

Punk Graffiti Archives: Madrid
170×240 cm
116 pages
172 illustrations
Full colour
Paperback
Published by Urbanario, Madrid, 2018

From the book’s introduction:

Throughout the decades of 1980 and 1990 the New York tradition of graffiti conquered the whole European continent. But by the early eighties graffiti was nothing new for many urban youth in Europe. Graffiti done by punks was commonplace — slogans, bands’ names and personal nicknames. And punk-originated tagging scenes had developed in some cities with little knowledge of what had been happening in New York.

Two scenes in particular grew to become full-fledged competitions for all-city visibility and reached a notable degree of maturity regarding graphics, methodology and values. One was the Amsterdam scene, started in the late seventies and faded around 1984. The other was the “flechero” graffiti from Madrid, practiced mostly during the second half of the eighties.

Both scenes disappeared when the New York tradition of graffiti became better known through the arrival of books and documentaries. The imported culture was far more complex than the local ones, and in many senses more interesting, so many writers abandoned the local codes and started to explore the game of tags, throw-ups, pieces and trains.

2019 / 02 / 17|

List of confirmed exhibitors for the Unlock Book Fair 2018

Unlock Book Fair 2018

One week to the Unlock Book Fair 2018! Here is the list of confirmed exhibitors:

288kk Press, publishing house, PL
A Paper Book, publishing house, NL
Adam Void, self-publishing author, US
Artkitchen gallery / Decultclub, publishing house, NL
BAMN magazine, magazine, NL
Chemistry Publishing, publishing house, NL
Dokument Press, publishing house, SE
Dutch Graffiti Library, publishing house, NL
Éditions Carton-pâte, publishing house, FR
Éditions Peinture, publishing house, FR
Editions Terrain Vague, publishing house, FR
Éditions Vers le Futur, publishing house, FR
Espora, magazine, ES
Frank Fickeisen, self-publishing author, DE
Futura publications publishing house, GR
Graffneck, bookstore, CZ
Hitzerot, publishing house and bookstore, DE
International Neighbourhood, publishing house, DE
Invalid Books, publishing house, RU
Jens Besser, self-publishing author DE
Klick Klack Publishing, publishing house, DE
Lawjamba Zines, fanzine, NL
Livor Mortis Zine, fanzine, UK
Microcosm, publishing house, US
Nicolas Dolto, self-publishing author, FR
Nokkio institute of zines, publishing house, BE/HU
Nuart Journal, magazine, NO
Page Five, publishing house, CZ
Podpolie Books, publishing house, DE/BY
Possible Books, publishing house, DE
Puresu de Tokyo, publishing house, JP
sorrysomethingwentwrong.com, publishing house,
Stickit, publishing house, NL
Street Spirit Mag, magazine, ES
Trafo Gallery, publishing house, CZ
Urban Creativity, publishing house, PT
Urbanario, publishing house, ES
Zelle Asphaltkultur, self-publishing collective, DE
Zugriff, magazine, DE

2018 / 11 / 28|

The Tag Conference 2018 call for papers results

Le-scritte-dei-pastori

Centuries of shepherds’ tags high in the Dolomite mountains. From the research of Marta Bazzanella and Giovanni Kezich.

The call for papers for the Tag Conference 2018 has received applications from twelve different countries in North and South America, Europe and Australia. A total of seventeen papers have been selected.

The lineup of confirmed guest speakers includes Carlo McCormick (US), Daniel Berio and Frederic Fol Leymarie (IT/UK), Kat Dogtok (DE), Tobias Barenthin (SE) and Graffitiarchiv (DE).

Research approaches include calligraphy, art history, archaeology, sociology, anthropology, aesthetics, philosophy, law, gender studies, semiotics, popular culture studies, computer science, archival studies and graffiti studies.

The complete lineup of speakers will be announced soon.

thetagconference.com

2018 / 11 / 07|