Living Proof Print Collective
Bylaws Version 1.3
June 18th, 2012

I. Prints – We make prints–any imaging medium that is reproducible, from screenprints to potato stamps.  We value things we can make with our hands. Process (proofs, practice, collaboration) is as important as the product. Our prints can serve many functions but above all they tell stories. Stories of truth, of identity, of political action, of personal struggle or triumph. Our prints tell stories that can inspire and teach. We hope in making prints, and helping others to make prints, we can uncover meaning from our many stories. A print can have any number of reproductions. It can be given away, bartered, or posted on a street corner or in a community center. Prints are meant for sharing.

II. Teaching – We are nothing if we are not building community together. We want more people willing and able to share their truths with printmaking, to take a step away from corporate messaging back towards self-representation. We are committed to working with youth, especially those young people who otherwise would not have access to “special art programs.”  We hope that printmaking can be a tool for youth and adults alike to realize their power and their voice. In addition to direct engagement we also hope to build capacity by building curriculum that others can use. We teach and share because that is what we must all do to make a stronger society. We focus on working with marginalized communities, who’ve historically lacked access to this medium and others.

III. Operations – We commit to being sustainable as an organization. We must be able to afford supplies like ink, emulsion, screens, and space. We value our labor and aim to be compensated appropriately for our work. We do not, however, exist to make a profit. In practice this means:

  • Money or resources given in exchange for a member’s labor (teaching, printing, etc.) is theirs to keep. We want Living Proof to provide a space for people to do more meaningful work, and that means members being able to support themselves. That said, members understand that much of their labor in this enterprise will be compensated in ways that do not involve currency (like shop access).

  • Surplus money or resources will return to Living Proof to continue building our collective work. Living Proof hopes to build as much through work trade as financial exchange. We believe that bartering and exchange can move beyond the limiting scope of currency.

  • While we will consider forms of compensation when pursuing or engaging in our work, it is not the primary consideration. We will look first to the project’s relation to our mission of access and empowerment, and then to our capacity as a group to effectively engage.

  • We share responsibilities for shop and organizational maintenance. Monthly tasks to be divided should include but aren’t limited to:

    • Financials/Accounting
    • Shop Cleaning
    • Website and Social Media
    • Open Shop Duty
    • Materials/Purchasing
    • Shop Improvements
    • Community Outreach

IV. Connection and Expression – Printing is for people. Our work is part embracing creative expression and part facilitating human connection. The two go hand in hand. Many corners of our society have lost the capacity for storytelling and listening.  We use printmaking (an inherently collaborative process) as a way to facilitate this process of exchange. We embrace the do-it-yourself ethic and strive to make screenprinting accessible. These connections can happen through open shop space, public workshops, print exchanges, and more.

V. Against Oppression – We see our individual oppressions as interconnected and we recognize the horrible histories of oppression on this very land–histories that are still very relevant today. The roots of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, classism, and more lie deep. We hope to both recognize these oppressions and their effect on our work, and in turn create spaces where they can be questioned, problematized, and dismantled. We strive to do this both in our own projects, and in supporting the projects of others. We hope to aid this process by providing space, materials, knowledge, and resources.

VI. Collectivity – Living Proof operates as a collective. Major decisions, trajectories, and goals are decided upon by all active members–membership is a commitment and needs to be approved by all of the current group. While at this point the collective lacks space or infrastructure to support a group much larger than ten, we are committed to finding other ways outside of collective membership to provide access and opportunity to other printers.

VII. Flexibility – Living Proof is committed to physical and organizational mobility. We hope to stay strong and responsive to perceived needs in our various communities and in the world at large.

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