Ian MacKaye On Checks Glued to Board

Ian MacKaye printed on checks and glued to board.

It’s taken me seven years to realize that I can run off color copies in one of the classrooms. It’s a really “doh” type of moment. I’ve printed things in the classrooms before but never thought to use color paper. That’s why my creations have such a long gestation time, without any background or obvious common sense, it take me a while to put everything together. Basically what I’m doing is making a lot of old collages new again by printing them on strange paper, and adding them to a new context. Since I can print at such a high volume, I have started to go throughout my house to pick out random stacks of computer paper. There’s a lot, of course. Things just collect and slowly but surely I find a use for them.

One of these things I found in my many stacks, were checks that you could print on. I have no idea why I had these? I put them in my bag and they made their way to school. Right before class starts I put in my paper, and then print off a few things. Randomly I printed an old Ian MacKaye collage (that I never liked) onto one of these checks. Money and Fugazi’s politics…perfect. On the front I had written “This Art is Five Dollars.” It was funny to me. I thought it was really funny, actually. As a bigger joke I posted an image of the collage pasted on board to my Instagram account. I wrote on the post that the collage was “five dollars postpaid.” Once again, this was a reference to Fugazi and to a larger extent, Dischord Records’ politics.  All of this was an elaborate but respectful joke. (Never would I make fun of MacKaye!) Five dollars wouldn’t actually cover the cost of shipping.
In an hour or two I had four people that said they wanted one. I rushed to random pile of things in my closet to see that I had enough materials. Thankfully I had four boards in a strange size (you can’t find a frame for it…get it, perfect!) so I could complete the order. One of the dudes actually sent me five dollars to my PayPal account. I suggested that we traded work instead. I got the better of that deal. Another person I traded one inch buttons for his collage, once again, I got the better of the deal. The only person, who said they wanted to buy one outright, was a friend that I met at his work to hand it over to him. When he was taking out the money he said, “Well the last time I saw them I paid seven dollars” so I responded with, “It’s seven dollars then.” He happily gave me the two extra bones. The last person I’m just going to mail it to them and see what they think its worth. Hopefully they cover the postage. Hopefully they actually send me something.

What have I learned from all this? It seems that if I do something quickly and something that I enjoy and charge next to nothing, people will sometimes be interested in it. The vast majority of things I put out in the world no one has any interest in, and that’s fine, but the one thing dashed off and strangely personal is the thing that resonates. Of course it needs to be free or almost free.


Dave said…
well.... you "dashed it off" as a result of many years experience... someone else wouldn't be so equipped.

And, you shoulda sold the prints for $50! Just because it says something on the print doesn't make it so. Like if you put a "bio-hazard" sticker on there...
oh well
zzzzzzzz said…
Hello Dave. Thanks so much for the kind words.

As for the price, or at least for this one, I wanted the price to reflect the integrity of the person I was depicting. In a lot of ways, the price completed the piece. If I would have charge 50 dollars no one would have wanted them. It's a strange balance. Either way, I'd rather the people to get the item than not to.

Thanks for saying hello.
FinnBadger said…
Excellent find, and brilliantly put to use.