Booklyn Calling

Welcome to Booklyn’s podcast!


Booklyn Calling amplifies diverse voices within the artists’ book field and explores artmaking as a tool for community engagement, education, and social justice work. In our first season, we talk with artists and organizations. 


Hosted by Monica Johnson & Marshall Weber of Booklyn, Inc.


Sound recording and editing are provided by Earbong & Radio Free Brooklyn, a community organization providing a freeform radio platform for the diverse cultures that comprise the borough of Brooklyn. Thank you to Kaia Fischer and Stuart Gunter who created our theme music, and to Mylo Mendez who illustrated our logo.  


Booklyn Calling is made possible in part by funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the NY City Council.

Episode #1: Zoe Beloff

In Booklyn Calling’s first episode, NYC-based multimedia artist Zoe Beloff joins in to talk about her 5ft x 12ft history painting recording the horrors of the Trump regime. It was inspired by her post-inaugural rage as well as the materiality of the hand-painted protest sign. Beloff shares insights into her work, her influences, her process, and where she fits into the world as a working artist.

Zoe is a visual artist and filmmaker. She aims to make art that both entertains and provokes discussion. With a focus on social justice, she draws timelines between past and present to imagine a more egalitarian future. Zoe’s work has been featured in international exhibitions and screenings; including the Whitney Museum Biennale, Site Santa Fe, the M HKA museum in Antwerp, and the Pompidou Center in Paris. However, she particularly enjoys working in alternative venues that are free and open to the community for events and conversations. These have included in New York City; The Coney Island Museum, Participant, Momenta, and The James Gallery at the CUNY Graduate Center.


Episode #2: The Monument Quilt Project

Hannah Brancato (Baltimore, MD) and Lorena Kourousias (NYC) of The Monument Quilt Project join us to talk about creating public rituals of healing, undoing white supremacy culture, and how they transformed what started as an art project into a movement.

The Monument Quilt, a project of Baltimore and Mexico City-based FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, is a collection of more than 3,000 stories by survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and our allies, written, painted, and stitched onto red fabric. These stories literally blanket highly public, outdoor places to create and demand space to heal, and resist a singular narrative about sexual violence. The culminating display was May 31 – June 2, 2019, on the National Mall in Washington, DC. This was the only time that the quilt was displayed in its entirety.

The Monument Quilt was launched in 2013, and over six years FORCE collected nearly 3,000 squares of the quilt with messages of affirmation and stories from survivors. We partnered with over 100 organizations across the US and in Mexico, to organize 50 Quilt displays in 33 different cities. Cities include (in order from most recent): Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Madison, NJ; Houston, TX; Athens, OH; Fort Belvoir, VA; Towson, MD; Mexico City, Mexico; San Francisco, CA; El Paso, TX; Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; Santa Barbara, CA; Valley Center, CA; Tempe, AZ; Tulsa, OK; Fort Hood, TX; Annapolis, MD; Fort Meade, MD; Washington, DC; Nashville, TN; Jacksonville, FL; Oklahoma City, OK; Middleton, CT; Queens, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Durham, NC; Oshkosh, WI; Chicago, IL; White River, SD; Quapaw, OK; Des Moines, IA; Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Arden, NC.


Episode #3: Sauda Mitchell

Artist, archivist, and educator, Sauda Mitchell joins us to look at the intersections of marginalized students, archives, space engagement, and critical analysis of primary sources, and how she's merging art, education, and archival practice into one profession.

Sauda Mitchell is an American multidisciplinary artist, archivist, and educator from Winston-Salem, NC. Utilizing artists' books as a medium, her work investigates complex issues centered around the African American experience. Her work explores the intersections of printmaking, archival research, and QR code technology as a creative non-traditional access method linking viewers to archival repositories, curated exhibitions, and aggregated data. Each work serves as a visual response to archival collection materials representative of the many stories that can be found deep within the archival landscape.

Mitchell holds an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Art with a minor in Art History from the Savannah College of Art and Design, a Master’s in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archival Studies from Drexel University, and is certified by the Academy of Certified Archivists.

She is currently a doctoral student at Drexel University in the Educational Leadership and Management Program. Her research centers around marginalized student access to archives-based engagement in support of primary source critical analysis as a catalyst for elevated cognitive development.

Her artists' books and prints can be found in private and public library and museum collections around the country including Harvard University, Telfair Museums, SCAD Museum of Art, Smithsonian, and Northwestern University Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies.


Episode #4: The Queer Ecology Hanky Project

Mary Tremonte and V Adams join us to talk about the Queer Ecology Hanky Project - a program and exhibition with a new book that explores the intersection of sexuality, queer theory, biology, and the environment. Tremonte and Adams expand on the project's themes, their personal connections to hankies, and how foraging in the woods evolved into an evolving community art project.

Queer Ecology Hanky Project is a traveling exhibition and project with over 100 artist bandanas from across North America--from Vancouver to Mexico City--organized by Vanessa Adams and Mary Tremonte. Recent exhibitions of the project showcase a diverse array of artist responses to Queer Ecology—an area of inquiry that unites the study of biology, environment, and sexuality with a framework of queer theory–and a wide spectrum of print mediums and methods. The Queer Ecology Hanky Project has been exhibited at Zygote Press in Cleveland, Ohio, Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine, the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination in Pittsburgh, PA, and the White Page Gallery in Minneapolis, MN in collaboration with the risograph residency at The Future.


Episode #5: Art Build Workers

Jeanette Arellano and Joe Brusky from Art Build Workers (Milwaukee, WI) join in to talk about the fight for public education, how everyone in a community can show up to help, and how art can amplify the voice of unions and social justice organizing.

The Art Build Workers (ABW) are a group of six artists, designers, photographers, and educators who are based in Milwaukee, WI. We work locally and travel around the country organizing multi-day art builds that help unions, organizations, and movements amplify their messages through visual art, media, and archiving. Our motto is that before the march and before the strike there is the art build. We primarily collaborate with the National Education Association (NEA) which is the largest union in the country with an estimated membership of over 2.7 million members. ABW designs graphics for the movement and also coordinates designs from a vast network of activist artists and designers from around the country that we know. We screenprint picket signs, paint parachutes and banners, and produce offset posters that change the way demonstrations look visually, while amplifying a movement's social media presence, and helping create a space for movements to build community and become stronger.


Episode #6: sTo Len

Brooklyn-based artist and self-proclaimed "hydro-feminist", sTo Len, joins us to talk about his life so far as an artist, spanning his teenage years to today. From selling gas station zines and printmaking with dead fish to making collaborative artists' books with the Organik collective and his position as the first-ever NYC Department of Sanitation artist-in-residence. A super fun episode with a lot to be covered.

sTo Len is a printmaker, installation, sound, and performance artist with interests in improvisation and experimentation within a variety of media. His printmaking work updates traditional techniques such as Suminagashi (floating ink) and Gyotaku (fish impression) into an experimental collaboration with nature and a site of discourse on environmentalism and art activism. sTo Len was the first artist in residence at AlexRenew Wastewater Treatment facility in Alexandria, VA and took part in the Field R/D program at FreshKills Park, a transformed landfill in Staten Island, NY. He is a member of Works on Water, a group of artists and activists working with and about water in the face of climate change and environmental justice concerns. Len is currently the new artist in residence at the NYC Department of Sanitation as part of the PAIR program with the Department of Cultural Affairs.


Episode #7: Sofia Szamosi

Sofia Szamosi joins Marshall to talk about how creating zines can be a gateway to making painted books and graphic novels, and how the process is different for them all. They also do a retrospective on Szamosi’s work around social media, looking into the subjects of body image and ‘girlhood’ and discuss her desire to make personal books.


Episode #8: Mobile Print Power

Jose and Jess from Mobile Print Power join Booklyn Calling to give insight into their newly released box set and talk about the collective. They tell us what it's like being a bilingual multi-generational collective that explores social and cultural situations in a public setting, and how they take inspiration from their community and turn it into graphic designs. Find out about the collaborative work they do with their community in Corona, Queens, and how they're getting back to it since Covid derailment.


Episode #9: Fred Rinne

Monica and Marshall go on a wild ride with Fred Rinne, as they’re pulled into his universe for an episode. Join in as they reminisce about his artist book beginnings, discuss the overlapping of art, music, and humor, share thoughts on Booklyn Zine Club, and have story time with some of Rinne’s books.


Episode #10: Shana Agid

Teacher, artist, and activist Shana Agid joins Booklyn Calling for episode ten, answering questions from Monica and Booklyn curator Jan Descartes. They talk about the themes come up so often in her work, like privilege and absence, and Agid explains his way of trying to make sense of the world by coming back to the same core questions throughout his art.


Episode #11: Josh MacPhee

Josh MacPhee joins this episode of Booklyn Calling to discuss social movement culture as a third space outside of art and design with Booklyn curators Marshall Weber and Jan Descartes, and how art doesn't make change on its own. The three talk about collective expression and how imagery takes on meaning, and MacPhee teaches how to read protest and organizing symbols as a language.


Episode #12: Gloribel Delgado Esquilín

Puerto Rican textile artist Gloribel Delgado Esquilín talks with Monica & Marshall about her work as a journalist, the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and how a found bag of cloth ignited a journey of sewing dolls and creating soft books. The three talk about the political nature of her work, and Gloribel shares the importance of making work that is vulnerable and physically soft (to offset hard topics), while also needing to feel free in her creation, as a reaction to living in a colonized space.


Thanks for listening to Booklyn Calling.


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Check out works in our catalog by podcast guests.