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CalArts’ East of Borneo Books publishes anthology of Light Bulb (1977-81), rare early magazine by experimental art & music collective Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS)

August 27, Valencia, CA—East of Borneo is pleased to present a new anthology of Light Bulb magazine produced in cooperation with the Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS) and edited by LAFMS founding member Chip Chapman. Second Life: Light Bulb, 1977-81 is available now and can be purchased online at eastofborneo.org/lightbulb, and at the East of Borneo booth at the New York Art Book Fair, Sept-20-22 at MoMA PS1.

Light Bulb was the house organ of the LAFMS, made by and for the experimental collective of like-minded noise anarchists that formed in 1972 in Pasadena, California and soon became “a lightning rod for art-damaged, weird-music lovers everywhere." Nowhere is the DIY, visual complexity so clear as in this "occasional magazine" initiated by Chapman and comprised of art, writings, graphics, and poetry acquired by open call. 

In the foreword to this anthology, Chapman explains: "Your artwork and $2 per page got you a finished copy of the magazine. Artists utilized drawing, typewritten text, rubdown lettering, collage and photography, sometimes all on the same page. There were ads for other LAFMS records and cassette tapes. Smirking visual comedy to dark sexual ramblings, text based designs and poetry, realistic drawings and abstract collages; these all found a spot in Light Bulb."

Keeping with the format of the original publication, which utilized dime store materials ranging from Pee-Chee folders to shipping boxes, this reissue contains a selection of 60 loose-leaf pages in an 8.75 x 11.25 x 1 inch cardboard mailer. Each "cover" is unique, with custom stencil and stamp stickers applied by hand and sealed with duct tape. Published through East of Borneo’s “Second Life” series, it includes reproductions of works originally contributed by Chip Chapman, Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Pat Fish, Juan Gomez, Ju Suk Reet Meate, Fredrik Nilsen, Joe Potts, Rick Potts, Tom Potts, Tom Recchion, and many more.

“The LAFMS have had a huge influence on the development of noise and avant-garde music scenes around the world, though they remain under-recognized at home,” says Stacey Allan, executive editor of East of Borneo. “We’re happy to present this second look at their visual output via Light Bulb, which encapsulates so much of their spirit and connects them very clearly to a local history of artistic experimentation that continues to resonate.” 

“LAFMS represented a knowledgeable, impassioned, crazed, suicidal, amateurish, visionary leap of faith. And like all truly beautiful things, it came and went without gentrifying or really even facing its own death head on.”—Dennis Cooper

East of Borneo is an online magazine of contemporary art, and its history, as considered from Los Angeles. Since its launch in 2010, East of Borneo has been lauded in The Huffington Post as "a new model for online magazines," celebrated in art & design publications including Artforum.com, Art in America, Flavorpill, KCET's Artbound, and Design Observer, and nominated "Best Arts & Culture Site" finalist by the readers of the LA Weekly for their 2012 Web Awards. East of Borneo is published by California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). To download the media kit, click here: http://bit.ly/NpZKmv 

Last edited by ccrawford on Sep 05, 2013
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