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Since the last newsletter a couple months ago, I've completed another publication, hosted more Courtroom Artist Residencies, appeared on the radio, and I'll be taking part in an event in Chicago this Sunday. I hope to see you all soon. Since this will probably be the last email of 2019, please have a safe and healthy new year. I have lots planned for 2020 and I'll be sure to keep you in the know. — Marc / Public Collectors

There are probably as many reasons to sell a grave plot on Craigslist as there are ways to die. People change their ideas about what should happen to their remains, they move to other parts of the country with no desire to return to their hometown cemetery, or they disregard their parents’ wishes to keep the family together in death. Children move away and the parents decide to move with them and don’t want to inconvenience their kids by asking them to travel for grave visitations. Or, perhaps the possibility of a grave trade for something that can be enjoyed while one is still alive is more enticing than planning for death? Why not swap a human-size plot of land for a tractor, a boat, a motorcycle, or an El Camino?

This booklet surveys Craiglist sales listings for cemetery plots from throughout the US. This publication is preceded by four similarly-designed Public Collectors booklets that draw on texts from internet sources, featuring desperately weird forms of capitalism, found poetry, and content that will soon disappear from view or has limited access. Those publications are SOLD AS BLANK / POSSIBLE LOST MEDIA (2019), STRETCH IS STILL SOFT (2018), 54 HITS FROM HELL by Blake Edwards (2018) and MATALICA TICKETS (2017).

Public Collectors on the Air

At the end of September, the appropriately self-described "librarian and malcontent" Jeremy Kitchen invited me to appear on his radio program Eye 94 alongside his co-hosts Jamie Trecker and Mike Sack. I sent Jeremy and crew some recent publications but wasn't entirely sure what they'd want to talk about. We wound up having a lively and far-ranging conversation about a lot more than I anticipated. You can hear the whole thing here.
The Courtroom Artist Residency Program

The Courtroom Artist Residency Program, where I bring artists to observe Criminal Court with me in Chicago followed by a meal and discussion at Taqueria El Milagro, continues. Every four residencies, I produce a new publication collecting transcriptions of my conversations with residents and sometimes additional writings and notes.

There have been three residencies in the last few months. Imani Elizabeth Jackson and I attended court and wound up observing a judge that her brother has been assigned to. Lucas Reif, whose notes are a presented in a detail above, got to experience a fire drill in the pouring rain where the entire court was evacuated. Upon our return to court, Lucas and I stumbled into the beginning of a trial for a man that attempted to hire a hitman (actually a cop) to murder the judge and prosecutor that were trying his case. Finally, Salome Chasnoff and I witnessed a hearing for police torture survivor Gerald Reed. Once that was over, we walked down the hall and observed the latest defendant of Jason Van Dyke's lawyer Daniel Herbert: another disgraced Chicago cop who is charged with sexually violating a man on suicide watch.

There will be one more residency in the next month and then the fourth booklet of reports will follow. For those wanting to read the first three publications from this project, as well as my booklet on meal-based artist residencies that launched this work, I've created a package deal that includes four booklets at a reduced price. You can get that here. This continues to be a deeply challenging project and I'm grateful to all who have supported it so far through the purchase of these booklets.
Experimental Holiday Market

It's hard to believe that it's already been 5 years since I collaborated on the project Malachi Ritscher with Creative Audio Archive at Experimental Sound Studio (ESS). I'm currently planning another project with that archive but in the meantime, ESS invited me to have a table at their Experimental Holiday Market. I'll be selling all of the Public Collectors publications that are currently in print as well as a variety of oddball and obscure records, publications, and other printed matter from my personal hoard. It would be great to see you and the event is filled with fantastic vendors. Get your holiday shopping done and support ESS and Public Collectors at the same time!
  • Sunday, December 8, 2019 / 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
  • Twisted Hippo, 2925 West Montrose Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60618
You can find the full event details, including a vendor list: here.
You made it to the bottom of the email! Thanks, friend!

Public Collectors organizes exhibitions and events, participates in exhibitions organized by others, creates exhibition opportunities for collectors, teaches, lectures, responds to research inquiries, and makes its own publications. The administrator of Public Collectors is Marc Fischer. He is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Our mailing address is:
Public Collectors c/o
Half Letter Press
P.O. Box 12588
Chicago, IL 60612

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