Broadsheets and public Confab on the beach

Marina suggested we move this recent email to the blog — making it easier for everyone to add more links and potential resources around the idea of collaborative broadsides.
We wanted to think out loud too about how broadsides might be something to consider activating for the day of public engagement on the beach … distributable newsprints, posters, performed/recited/spoken broadsheets, perhaps?
Email text and links:
A big thumbs up for the idea of collaboratively exploring the medium of “digital broadsides.”  Marina’s Dear Climate project is a great inspiration for this. We’ve worked a bit with broadsides too, both newsprint and downloadable, and found that they’re a great medium for addressing publics by mobilizing words, images, graphic design, DIY, site-specific installation and distribution, etc.  (
065Spreading Fires during the Great Kantō Earthquake [Ansei period] (Ansei Kantō Ruishō Ōjishin) 1855 (2nd year of Ansei) Tokyo Shiryō 0277-C56, image Tokyo Metropolitan Library.
We’ve been intrigued by highly visual Japanese broadsheets (“kawara-ban”, 12″x18″) produced in the 1800s, some in response to a series of natural disasters which led to the need/desire for “news” and information about things such as the location of rescue shelters for victims, as well as humor, games, verse, etc.:
The vendors read headlines and portions of the contents out loud on the streets and then tried to sell the broadsides to the public, so there was a public performance aspect to their distribution.
We love how these historical broadsides are:
– have an edge of urgency to them (breaking news etc.)
– aesthetic in how they address their audiences
– meant to be rapidly and easily reproduced
– include aspects of public performance/direct address in the ways that they are publicly distributed/announced
– are intentionally designed for broad publics etc.
– by activating this “analogue” form in 2016, we would be bringing materials, human voices/bodies into an embodied, physical process at a physical site (the beach?)
Perhaps this is something that we can take up on the local beaches as a way of inviting people into the process etc.?
Looking forward to seeing what the Confab makes of the broadside challenge!

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