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Join J. Dakota Brown for a presentation on typographers, design and labor politics in the Midwest.

  • Date: 11/13/2022 03:00 PM - 11/13/2022 05:00 PM
  • Location 2579 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA (Map)
  • More Info: The Comfort Station


Sitting at the foot of the Great Lakes and at the center of a sprawling transcontinental rail network, Chicago quickly grew into an industrial metropolis in the nineteenth century. In particular, Chicago was a printing town, home to national publications as well as large commercial printers that served the broader midwest and west. This massive industry produced something else, too: militant printers' unions that agitated for higher wages, shorter hours, and safer working conditions. Drawing on local archives, this talk argues that the union printers of Chicago played indirect but surprisingly important roles in the history of design, technology, and mass communication. The presentation will be given by J. Dakota Brown. Brown initially trained as a graphic designer and later received an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he now teaches and serves as a PT Faculty Representative. His primary research interest is typography as contextualized by historical transformations in labor, technology, and aesthetic experience and he is currently pursuing a PhD in this field, at Northwestern University.

Red Line Service is led by people with a lived experience of being unhoused. Red Line Service wields art world resources to build community, generating the sense of belonging and mutual care essential to securing and retaining housing. We collaborate with artists and cultural institutions to expand access to the art world, avowing that art can break the bonds of ingrained social roles and structures and forge new realities in which all can flourish.

Red Line Service: Art Histories is a series of lectures and conversations presented as part of Art Design Chicago Now, an initiative funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art that amplifies the voices of Chicago's diverse creatives, past and present, and explores the essential role they play in shaping the now.

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A meal will be provided.