YA sci-fi. Kid knows her school’s corporate sponsors not-so-secretly monitor her friendships and activities for market research. It’s all a part of the Game; the alternative education system designed to use the addictive kick from video games to encourage academic learning. Everyday, a captive audience of students ages 13-17 enter the nationwide chain store-like Game locations to play.
Kid attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors when she begins investigating the series of pranks a group calling themselves The Unidentified have masterminded to protest the power structure of their school. As Kid finds out she doesn’t have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign.
Graffiti culture is well-documented but its story has never been told—at least, not like this. Akay called up, chased down, and interviewed each person at the scene of their crime to collect the raw facts and unreliable memories needed for this project. Rae has used every one of her storytelling tricks and twists of phrase to distort the details just enough to tell a true story. The result is a compilation that includes some of the most legendary moments in graffiti history from Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Berlin and chronicles the rarely revealed experiences of individuals who are out night after night, not looking for trouble but getting into it anyway.
This is a collection of stories about doing stupid things, getting chased, and almost getting away with it.
Stockholm artist Akay is notorious for being incredibly productive and maddeningly secretive about the work he creates for public spaces. At last, this comprehensive collection of projects—some iconic and others never-before-published—has been made available, including film stills and photo documentation of illicit installations and various creative vandalisms that he and a dizzying constellation of friends have produced over the past thirty years. Rae, his unofficial chronicler of impermanent things, puzzles together the scope of this output and gets to the core of his collaborations. From the early days of graffiti with Vandals in Motion crew, to the emergence of illegal exhibitions with TZW that inspired his Akayism International project in the nineties, he’s always preferred to work with friends. The benefits of his egalitarian work practices are evident in the projects featured from his various collaborations with Adams, Made, Klisterpeter, Brad Downey, F.E., and Olabo.
In 2012, German artist Moki and I worked out an idea for a series of books about endangered animals called STRANGER THAN IMAGINATION to highlight some species so fantastical it’s hard to believe we actually share a planet with them.
We began by researching mammals, sending each other photos and facts about the wildest “rare fur-covered beasts” we could find, and choosing 11 of them to feature. I wrote poem-like infotexts to introduce these introverts to readers young and old, and follow them on tiny narratives featuring their particular peculiarities. Moki painted intricate portraits of each animal in their natural environments.
These wild spaces are vanishing due to a reckless idea that humans are the only species that matter. We hope that as readers discover the wonderful creatures living right now, on this same planet, that we’ll be inspired to make sure they continue to have a place in this shared world.
German edition translated by Cindy Ruch. Paintings and hand-lettering by Moki.