Monsters of Magical Thinking

Collaborative woodcut created for Really Big Prints – Manitowoc and also printed at Milwaukee Maker Faire steamroller printing event. The prints have been shown at Rahr-West Musuem of Art in Manitowoc, Revolution! CultureJam MKE #5 at RedLine Milwaukee, and Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Musuem in Two Rivers, WI.

Team RedLine 2016: Cynthia Brinich-Langlois, Jamie Bilgo Bruchman, Dara Larson, Tori Tasch


Throughout history artists have portrayed creatures from the dark side of the imagination. The Middle Ages was a prolific era for such depictions. Our woodblock contains bizarre creatures manipulating society, we know that awful things are happening. The gargoyles are present to ward off evil spirits. There is no salvation without judgment. (TT)

The hodag is Wisconsin’s very own creation, a monster birthed in deception and sold to the public as a frightening home-grown attraction. While the creature’s “discoverer” admitted to the hoax at the mere suggestion of scientific examination, the spirit of the beast remains ever present. It twines its spiky tail around the capitol and wends its fantastical furriness into each political decision grounded, not in evidence or fact, but rather in personal beliefs and magical thinking. (CBL)

The gerrymander manipulates the boundaries of electoral constituencies to favor one class or party. The word Gerry-Mander was first used in 1812 as a portmanteau of the Massachusetts Governor Eldrige Gerry and the word salamander, the creature that best described the shape of the districts after his adjustments. Gerrymandering of today continues to Crack voting blocks or to Pack voting blocks to create majority/minority districts. Hijacking redraws districts to force incumbents of the same party to run against each other and Kidnapping aims to move candidates with support into new electorate areas. These creeping monsters of the undulating drawing board point to the need to reexamine how finite geometric districts may provide a new stable vision for inclusive discussions. (DL)

Hops growing in Wisconsin has a curious history. The 19th century was a boom time for the brewing industry, and Wisconsin has an ideal climate for hops cultivation but farmers at that time did not understand sustainable agriculture. They grew 1 or 2 varieties and planted them close together. Blight killed the hops industry. Over time people forgot, and today we are seeing a resurgence in the local brewing industry. Hops are coming back. (TT)

Protect yourself from historical amnesia, and please exercise your right to vote.


photos courtesy of Dara Larson