“The Power and Promise of a Union: Labor, Printing, and Graphic Design”
Monday, December 5, 2022 at 7 p.m. EST via Zoom
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There is a long history of printers and typesetters organizing themselves around their labor — from the International Typographical Union, to the Printing and Publishing segment of the International Workers of the World, to the printers in the Newspaper Guild, to worker co-ops. Graphic designers have taken longer to engage with organized labor. This talk will look at case studies, such as the Detroit Printing Co-op, and contemporary union organizing efforts, and reflect on the relationship between graphic designers, printers and organized labor.
Danielle Aubert is a graphic designer whose work examines materials, methods of production, machines and labor. She is the author of The Detroit Printing Co-op: The Politics of the Joy of Printing (2019: Inventory Press), Marking the Dispossessed (2015: Passenger Books), and 16 Months Worth of Drawings in Microsoft Excel (2006: Various Projects). She is co-author, with Lana Cavar and Natasha Chandani, of Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies (2012: Metropolis Books).
She is a Professor of Graphic Design at Wayne State University, in Detroit. In 2021 she was elected President of AAUP-AFT Local 6075, a union representing over 1700 faculty and academic staff at WSU. From 2013–15 she was a Fellow in the Creative and Performing Art at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. She is a 2021 recipient of a $25,000 Kresge Award.