Restricted Frequency #166

Love, Revolution, Contest, Getty, Mail

1. Love

I wanted to start the year off on a positive note, and I came up with this sigil comprised of the word حب, Arabic for Love. I wanted something I could spread with relative ease out into the world, and a stencil made the most sense. This way, my hand can be involved in every iteration, as opposed to y’know, just printing the damn thing (at which point it loses its magical properties obviously! 😏).

Language was on my mind making this, and I began to fully realize my disdain for the ubiquity of word “like” in the English language. If you think about it, surrounding ourselves with the things we like is kind of a cop out; an acceptance of mediocrity, of being okay with living a life we feel only meekly positive about. Imagine instead a life of love. Of being with the people we love, engaging in conversations we love, eating food we love, reading books we love, inhabiting spaces we love, and doing all the things we love.

And then I realized that Arabic actually has no word for “like”, only love.


2. Genealogy of Revolution

We put our words on poster board
And stood outside the iron door
On tired feet
Blocking the street

Soldiers with their loaded guns
Pulled up and shot us one by one
My brothers died
And so did I

I logged on to the internet
I wrote my words and they were met
With roaring sound
And shaking ground

Go to the square, go to the square
You’ll know the words when you are there
And know that millions come from thousands
Know that thousands come from hundreds
Know that hundreds come from two
Which comes from one person
Who had an idea

The Lazours have penned one of the greatest songs ever to tell the story of the Egyptian revolution (and revolution in general to be honest), and Hamed Sinno performs it with such beauty in this version available on both iTunes and Spotify. Honored to have contributed the above pictured cover-art to the single, and to be joining them for FLAP MY WINGS: 10 YEARS SINCE TAHRIR SQUARE, a virtual event on Jan 25, 2021.

3. #IdeasDontDie Creative Contest

On a somewhat related note, happy to serve as a judge for the Freedom Initiative’s #IdeasDontDie creative contest, which rewards art inspired by the spirit of the Egyptian revolution (up to $2500 in prizes). Deadline: January 20.

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4. Getty x Ganzeer x Logan

It was in March of 2020 when the Getty Museum in Los Angeles got in touch to record an interview on mythology, propaganda, and culture. This in conjunction with an exhibition they'd been planning on Assyrian art.

Armed with that recording and a few images of my work, Logan then went off and put together this short but very striking video.

watch video

5. Mail

I really enjoyed your virtual talk at OSU back in ... October I think? It's always very weird to hear someone speak when you've only ever read them, but apart from the weirdness the talk and the assorted Q&A were great. A positive side-effect of 2020: the pivot to online modalities for some events meant that I was able to attend them! So I guess there's that at least.

I seem to remember someone asked during the Q&A if you'd do the same choices you did back then if you had to do them all over again today, and most people say "Yes absolutely!" but if I'm correct you said you wouldn't? Is that something you have written about somewhere, or something you would care to write about someday?

The way I see it; a work of art (and that goes for any work of art: music, literature, comix, painting, etc.) is always going to be a kind of time capsule for the mindset of the person creating it at the time it was created. Even if the work is entirely fictional, the thought process leading to that particular fiction isn’t disconnected from the time, place, and psyche that helped lead to its creation. Even in terms of the lineart itself; the stroke of a brush at 10:30 am on March 21st of 2016 will simply never be 100% identical to the stroke of a brush at 3:30 pm on January 17th of 2021. So the differences are bound to cover everything from the macro to the micro, from concept and overall narrative to composition choices down to the lines themselves.

I can’t say that I know for sure what I’d do differently, but I know that huge differences are bound to be there, be it consciously or subconsciously. But if I had to guess one difference? Chapters would likely be shorter. 😁

Whether that would be for the better or worse though is entirely subjective.

Much love,
Houston, TX