CONTACT: efarseth (at) gmail (dot) com
Erik Farseth is a printmaker, zine publisher, and collage artist based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Farseth is a 2013 and 2016 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and a 2000 recipient of an MCBA-Jerome Book Arts Fellowship from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
Farseth is a former Chairman of the Stevens Square Center of the Arts, and co-founder of the annual Twin Cities Zine Fest (together with Gerald Prokop). He has curated group exhibitions at Big Table Studio, Gamut Gallery, SSCA Gallery, and other alternative art spaces.
Farseth is the author of the book American Rock: Guitar Heroes, Punks, and Metalheads (Twenty-First Century Books). His writings have also appeared in Punk Planet, City Pages, The Daily Iowan, Downtown Journal, and Maximum Rock’n’Roll.
I am a mixed-media artist specializing in relief prints, zine-making, and cut paper collage.
My latest series, Opposition-Defiant-Disorder, is an artistic response to a tumultuous era marked by political extremism and the resurgence of atavistic nationalisms as a force throughout the world.
This new body of work is part of a larger project dedicated to the democratic production and distribution of art. Traditional gallery spaces are a jumping-off point for a variety of grassroots media shown and distributed in public spaces. Images taken from my original collages and woodcuts are repurposed and recirculated in the form of posters, t-shirts (wearable, reproducible art), and zines.
Even when my artwork isn’t overtly political in its content, it is political in its process.
Inspired by Cold War-era ad campaigns, my collage art uses cultural detritus of the fading “American Century” to critique contemporary consumer culture, the ongoing wars in the Middle East, and the rise of the U.S. surveillance state.
Wielding scissors in lieu of a paintbrush, new hybridized images are built up from cut paper fragments, freely sampling and remixing old advertisements.
My interest in “analog” collage grew from my experience making zines. Originally produced as photocopy art, the cut-and-paste aesthetic of zines was a direct result of artists laying out the pages by hand: a combination of line art, found art, glue sticks.
My relief prints (woodcuts and linocuts) mirror my collage work: cutting away excess material to reveal new shapes.
Printmaking has always been a democratic medium. Letterpress printing was one of the first forms of mass communication, and poster design continues to be an important means of conveying political and social messages.
I’m less interested in the concept of “limited editions” than the idea of printmaking as an affordable form of art.
This is also the reason why I do not number – or edition – my prints.