A few weeks ago I peddled the old Schwinn over to Joe Cunningham's quilting studio on Market Street in San Francisco to catch up with a fellow Flintoid. He handed over the ultimate Flint artifact, a "brick" of postcards created by Michigan artists for briX magazine. With its lowercase b and uppercase X, it was a publication that was pushing the boundaries of art, ideas and punctuation in eighties Flint. A self-described "collection of art & ideas," it was published thrice yearly by the Art Army Press for project ARTSOURCE/Greater Flint Arts Council.
"In this issue of briX we decided to invoke the adage: 'A picture is worth a thousand words,'" wrote Guest Editor Christopher R. Young. "To do so we changed the magazine format to that of a series of postcards to be packaged as a unit in the form of a brick. This not only provided a workable and convenient format, it also gave us a clever visual pun, a unifying theme to rally our imaginative energies around."
(Does everything, even art, have a tinge of militancy in Flint, where it takes an "art army" to "rally" our imagination?)
Here are a few samples from the collection that definitely capture the mood and feel of Flint in the midst of its free fall.
Thom Bohnert, Flushing, Self Portrait, 1988
Kenneth A. Hannon, Flint, From the series Greetings from Flint, 1988
Madeleine Barkey, Flushing, Untitled, 1988
|Kenneth A. Hannon, Flint, From the series Greetings from Flint, 1988|
Pat Keating, Grand Blanc, Fish: It's only art, 1988
UPDATE: A photo of the elusive briX Magazine, courtesy of Tim "East Side" Lane.