A month-long curatorial residency consisting of film screenings, performances, and workshops focused on building an engaged community.
In the spring of 2013, we left the confines of our studio to call Logan Square’s Comfort Station home. Rather than mount a physical exhibition, we curated a month of interactive programming. Looking to the legacy of a comfort station as a public place of gathering, the series of workshops, collaborations, performances, discussions, and screenings were designed to engage the diverse Logan Square community. We united residents old and new, from families to professionals, artists, patrons, business owners, and beyond. The results were documented on the Comfort blog—built to act as a hub for the month’s activities.
We partnered with our family friends— Third Coast Audio Festival, Chicago Film Archives, Kartemquin Films, Plenty Grocery & Deli, Lampo, Plural, Bike a Bee, Longman & Eagle, and others—to diversify the programming and enrich the level of dialogue throughout the month.
Massive art installation for the office of Chicago-based tech company, Basecamp.
A true, collaborative project that includes seven, fully-invested individuals requires a lot of time, energy, and patience. Make those seven people as passionate and stubborn as The Post Family members and you’ve got yourself quite the task. This project, close to a year in the making, is a piece that was commissioned by the office of local web-sweethearts, Basecamp.
Comprised of over 500 individually cut, painted, treated, and finished pieces of wood; this twenty-eight foot mammoth was inspired by the various interior office textures and the exploratory nature of the company’s previous name, 37signals. Referencing the progression of a typical work day—cool and calm on both ends with a warm intensity in the middle.
Pratt Institute invited The Post Family to their Manhattan campus in New York to facilitate a two-day workshop with the school’s art and design graduate students. The workshop taught students brainstorming exercises, problem-solving skills, and research methods that could be integrated into their own practices. A final document created during our visit—Permanence, a bound edition featuring every student’s work—was published and sold by Pratt, which helped with their studio fire recovery fund.
In the summer of 2011, we designed an exhibition called Collections, which was about, well, collecting. 213 jars were filled with individual or family collections. The contents ranged from the infinitely significant, like love letters and family heirlooms, to border-line garbage. All were for sale.
The exhibition created a dialog around intrinsic versus extrinsic value and the act of collecting in both a physical and digital context. In addition to the jars, each member of the Family created a personal piece based on our individual interpretations of the theme.
A week-long printmaking residency focusing on community engagement and the sharing economy with Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark, and Creative Commons.
Levi’s invited the us to set up shop in a pop-up printmaking space located in the heart of the Mission District. During that week, we shared billing with the likes of Stephen Sagmiester and Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark. Based on a creative brief by Newmark himself, the group created letterpress and screenprinted propaganda designed to communicate the advantages of a sharing economy. Over the weekend, the doors opened to the public inviting passers-by to come in to learn about the craft of printmaking and take a turn on the presses themselves.
When we were asked to show our work at Trinity Christian College’s Seerveld Gallery, we wanted to create something that went beyond static artwork hung on the wall—something to be passively digested by the student body. So, we created an exhibition that engaged gallery visitors and encouraged active participation.
Limits provoked attendees to question the things in their lives that keep them confined, asking them to explore the lines between those that provide guidance and those that impose limitations.
Representing shifts in interpersonal dynamics, L E V E L invited viewers to engage and interact with 40 wooden pedestals of varying heights installed throughout the Merwin & Wakeley Galleries at Illinois Wesleyan University. A hat tip to minimalist art, this installation was inspired by how we, as a Family, leave titles, hierarchy, and corporate structure at the door to create a level atmosphere of equality and trust.
Considering the standard gallery atmosphere as a quiet space free of discussion and critique, we chose to activate the space by asking the gallery visitors to physically interact with the installation, creating a rich new space for dialog and discussion. During the opening and throughout the run of the show, the gallery space saw more visitors than ever before, utilizing the once quiet white box as a meeting place, discussion space, lunch spot, and even a practice space for the school choir.
This exhibition represented a shift in our collective work as a group. Conceived as a singular, concise statement, L E V E L was a break from previous exhibitions that focused on individual works or seven unique interpretations of a singular theme.
A place to gather for deep philosophical discussion, nights full of laughter, and awkward interactions with graceful intent.
The Family Room
Fueled by a desire to turn our blog-based curatorial practice into a physical experience, we’ve been opening the doors of our space—lovingly called The Family Room—to the community since 2009.
Our regular events invite people to discuss, collaborate, celebrate, and contemplate. Featuring fresh, unheard or underappreciated voices from an international community of creatives, the space facilitates a range of experiences from formal painting and photography exhibitions to doodles parties and potlucks. Semi-often and often-impromptu performances welcome musicians to an informal, intimate setting where they are given freedom to explore aspects of their craft that are more difficult to showcase within larger venues. The range of programming continues to expand, but our intent has never changed—to create an active experience, inviting folks to build relationships with passionate people outside of their typical social circles.
So many of us share a deep interest in visual communication, but we often lose sight of the analog roots that have defined our industry for generations. There’s a physical reason we use terms like “leading,” “points,” and “mind your P’s and Q’s.”
Setting up a letterpress shop was a goal we had from the very beginning, but keeping that analog experience to ourselves seemed like a selfish way to proceed. So, we began to regularly bring people together—from graphic design students to corporate accounting departments—at The Family Room for team building exercises, exploring the analog craft of typesetting and letterpress printing, among other things. A break away from our busy digital lives, these workshops foster experimentation, demand attention to detail, and satisfy the innate human desire to make something tangible.
Cards Against Humanity
As part of their wildly popular annual holiday mailer series, Cards Against Humanity asked The Post Family to develop a concept for the sixth day of their Holiday Bullshit giveaway. Within strict budgetary and mailing parameters, we conceived a silly poster series focused on the concept of a Kill Card—one card, specific to the card czar, that beats all other cards when played. Being visual people, we decided to each draw our favorite kill card as crudely as possible to compliment the silly and crass language that is inherent to the game.
We did our job so well that the printer deemed one of our drawings too crude to print. We can’t tell you which one, but if you know the game it has something to do with Pac Man and his intense appetite.
An art installation, supported by Rebuild Exchange and Johalla Projects, for an event introducing Soho House to Chicago’s creative community.
Soho House Satellite Nights
Commissioned by Soho House, a members only social club catering to creative professionals around the world, we created an installation for their inaugural Satellite Nights event in Chicago—an event that introduced the new West Loop-based Chicago house, Soho’s largest to date, to the local creative community.
This was an opportunity to draw connections between the city’s history in manufacturing, the local DIY ethos of the creative community, and the intentions of the international club at large.
Our installation—flanking both sides of a stage that hosted a range of musical performances throughout the evening—was built from locally sourced architectural remnants, artifacts from our city’s industrial heritage that nod to the creative community’s blue collar roots and working class ethics.
Acutely aware of the conscious nature of the Chicago community, we recognized how critical it was to consider the entire lifecycle of our installation. Enlisting the support of Rebuild Exchange, a local non-profit, we ensured that the materials were not only compassionately sourced, but also had a place to go after the event rather than a landfill.