Our friends at Lagunitas Brewery want to help us with our campaign to build our new FM radio station! Hell, we might even build a studio there! So they are throwing us a party at their TapRoom on June 16.



Liquid Dreams! The Lagunitas TapRoom Party

Join us from 5:30pm to 8:30pm on June 16, 2015 at Lagunitas Company TapRoom (2607 W 17th Street) for a fundraiser in support of Chicago’s newest FM radio Station: WLPN, Lumpen Radio.

For only $30 you get:

• Complementary culinary delights by Publican Quality Meats

• THREE drink tickets,

• A live set by some of the best jokers in Chicago’s comedy scene ( The Comedy Butchers featuring: Mitch Nathan, Abby Stassen, Ray Holleb & James Vickery)

• Audio action by DJ Major Taylor

• The new issue of Mash Tun Journal featuring an in depth interview with Tony Magee

• And a chance to win a slew of Raffle Prizes.

All additional drinks are $ ( including rare TapRoom only beers) and the net proceeds from the tap room go towards building a new studio for Lumpen Radio.

You can also purchase a $10 ticket which gets you admission to the party, but you get NO drink tickets.
You will have to spend $ for your own drinks.

Additional Info:
Lumpen Radio: http://www.lumpenradio.com/
Mash Tun Journal : http://www.mashtunjournal.org/

A Proximity Art, Food and Radical Hospitality Mini Fest
October 18-20, 2013
@ Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan Street, Chicago, IL

We are hosting three special events to celebrate the release of the Food and Art Issue of Proximity. Our three course event takes place at the Co-Prosperity Sphere which is being turned into a series of installations and environments each day.

Join us for the potluck edition of Proximity Magazine, wherein we investigate the intersections of art, food, politics and socially engaged practices. In this issue we followed our noses and inhaled the simmering pot of radical hospitality as a strategy for making art. Our investigation into how the boundaries of art and food have been blurred, smoothed out and ingested is revealed through the practices of many local artists, activists and chefs. Our menu offers a survey of projects that are presented as profiles and discussions about the role of food in our lives. A veritable feast was found within Chicago’s art ecology, now lets sit down and eat.

Friday, October 18, 2013, 8-11pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL

Admission: $10
Come to our magazine release party and get a hot-off-the-press copy of Proximity, meet some of the featured artists in the magazine and enjoy some bread, and alchemical craft beer creations of your own choosing.

Features installations by PREP, Hardcore Craft Beer presents Alechemy, Bread & Beer and the return of the Hornswagglers!

Complementary beverages by Stone Brewing Company. Other beverages provided by Founder’s Brewing Company & special guest brewers. The Hornswagglers bar will be coming out of retirement for the evening serving their signature cocktails.

Saturday, October 19, 2013, 7-10pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL

Admission: $45 by RSVP Only ( Limited Seating)
Join us at our pop up eatery in the Co-Prosperity Sphere for a special Prix fixe dinner with Chef Chris Reed from The Rice Table.

When the Dutch expanded their empire to Indonesia, they were enchanted by the native cuisine it discovered. Excited by this new world of creative cooking, their appetites increased, and so to the number of dishes at the elaborate table. Thus began the birth of the Rijsttafel, which highlights the various delicacies. The Rijsttafel was brought to The Netherlands, and now this fascinating  culinary event in all it’s glory, can be enjoyed by you — right here in Chicago.

The Rijsttafel consists of a treasure trove of Old World delicacies, brought to life and executed to perfection. For this special occasion we have compiled a 12 dish dinner comprised of classical offerings from the West Java province of Indonesia. This evening is a ticketed event at $45.00 a seat and includes 2 complimentary drinks provided by Maria’s Community Bar, additional drinks

RSVP and purchase tickets here: http://proximity-ricetable.eventbrite.com/

Photography  by Ben Syverson
Beverages curated by Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar
Audio selections from: Dj Joe Bryl

Presented by The Rice Table & Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar

Sunday October 20, 10:30am – 2pm
Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL

Admission: (Suggested admission $10 per family)

Our LET’S PLAY program is for kids and adults.

At this family-savvy happening, you will find the Kite Collective’s Shadow Forest installation, make visual poetry windchimes with the Kite Collective to take home, boogie to the beats of a Future Hits electric set, cross paths with SHoP’s portatable Froebelian learning center, learn more about Be the Change Charter School and play with Cultural ReProducers. Eric May, a featured artist from Proximity’s new issue, will be serving his signature E-Dogz to attendees. This event is part of Co-Prosperity Sphere’s “Urban Operating System.”

Brain Frame 14 is a week from Friday! Get in on this FB event page.Ancient gods, warrior women, criminal underbellies, chemical experiments, mythic battles, subtle truths, and even superheroes are a mere few of the many themes coloring the upcoming edition of the bimonthly performative comix reading series Brain Frame, the teeming, seething, multimedia storytelling event and Chicago treasure which has just entered its third and most magical year.Featuring readings by:Anya DavidsonRamah MalebrancheAnders NilsenKeiler RobertsScott RobertsEric RiveraAnd live accompaniment by AJ CesenaRefreshments of many stripes available for small fees.Posters and comics and radical art available for small fees.Friday, September 20th, doors at 8pm, show at 8:30.At the Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S Morgan St.$8

Brain Frame 14 is a week from Friday! Get in on this FB event page.

Ancient gods, warrior women, criminal underbellies, chemical experiments, mythic battles, subtle truths, and even superheroes are a mere few of the many themes coloring the upcoming edition of the bimonthly performative comix reading series Brain Frame, the teeming, seething, multimedia storytelling event and Chicago treasure which has just entered its third and most magical year.

Featuring readings by:
Anya Davidson
Ramah Malebranche
Anders Nilsen
Keiler Roberts
Scott Roberts
Eric Rivera

And live accompaniment by AJ Cesena
Refreshments of many stripes available for small fees.
Posters and comics and radical art available for small fees.

Friday, September 20th, doors at 8pm, show at 8:30.
At the Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219-21 S Morgan St.

Brenton Engel, along with Miriam Matasar, is a founder of Letherbee Distillers, a North Side distillery that churns out its own gin, absinthe and that perennial Chicago favorite, Malört. The spirits make appearances at some of the city’s flyest watering holes. Engel himself is also a bartender at Lula Café in Logan Square and former bassist of Pool of Frogs

Cholo: How’s Leatherbee doing so far?

Brenton: Pretty well. I can actually imagine making a living at this some day

What’s better about the home-brewing scene now than when you started?

It’s not enough to simply make your own stuff now. Now, you have to really add your own unique twist. The ante has been upped.

Are people wanting local spirits for the same reason they want local beer?

I think so. I think people are preferring a more personal experience in everything they spend money on.

Creating your own spirit is more difficult and more risky than creating your own beer, so what propelled you into making more of your own?

I think there are small niches in the market that can be filled. And experimenting and creating new things is the most exciting part of what I do….

Brewing your own liquor is one thing. Distributing it is something else. What advice do
you have to would-be brewers on selling their stuff?

If you can distribute the product yourself, you should. It’s a way to keep the entire process more personal. If you cannot self-distribute, find a dis tributor that fits your style and is excited to sell your product. And remember, their job is not easy.


Won Kim is a chef, disco dancer, organizer for the home brewing community and a sick painter. We met Won while collaborating on the Iron Brew competition and since then have been doing the Art of Beer exhibitions together. You can run into Won rocking walls, hosting dinners and doing demos through his straight job at Whole Foods. And you can drink with him in the flesh at his pop up kitchens, events and beer oriented endeavors.

CHOLO: Tell us about the first time you were busted for writing.
WON: I was in the suburbs and 15 years old. I was carelessly painting a closed down WalMart and acted like I had permission to paint this during the day. The cops saw right through me and arrested me and acted all crazy threatening to paint me in the holding cell. Don’t think the cops have ever seen graffiti in this area ever and acted all hard picking up a scrawny, smart-ass Asian kid.

What happened first, your love of food or your love of painting?
I always loved both, so I don’t think there was an exact moment when I thought I’d like to make a career of them. I just always loved stuffing my face with anything and everything I can eat and write on everything and sometimes doing both at the same time.

How do you combine your culinary and visual art interests?    
I think the discipline is very similar with the amount of dedication and passion needed to succeed. I think the plating and visual aspect of food lends itself well for my artistic side to come through. Always trying to utilize color, textures, and flavors can be seen as one in the same for both art and food.

What made you decide to get into the craft beer scene?  
My love of craft beer started as soon as I could purchase alcohol myself. I also had friends who already started collecting and cellaring beer as long as I could remember. I love the “scene” now because a lot more local beer is being produced and showcased all over the city. I don’t know if I hate anything about the craft beer boom, but I do get annoyed with the exclusivity and hype. It makes people get weird and pretentious about something that used to be accessible; it completely defeats the purpose of beer. 

Who should we want to be cholos with?
Definitely be cholos with your local gangbangers so they don’t fuck with you or your friends. I would also befriend Joey Potts because he makes awesome art and has been killing it with beer labels and tees for 18th street brewery. Jourdon Gullet for the same reason. Abe Conlon because he opened up my new favorite restaurant in the city, Fat Rice. Tony Trimm because he does such a variety of things from making beats, djing for Serengeti (anticon records), doing routines with his friend Hannibal Burress, and collecting fine Scotches.


A few years back, Annie Wonsey started renting out rooms in the Englewood house her grandmother had left her to travelers looking for cheap accommodations. Now, she is one of the most popular AirBNB spots in Chicago and has hosted people from all over the world—all in a so-called “dangerous” neighborhood. But the guests  are undeterred. 


CHOLO: What gave you the idea to turn your house into an AirBNB hotspot?

ANNIE: I saw AirBNB ads [on Craigslist]. It was an ad in New York that got my attention. The NY apartment was horrendous. BUT she had 15 recommendations!  I was like WOW, 15 folks stayed at this nasty place??? I knew I could get at least ONE person a month. But who would come to Englewood? Within 2 hours of posting, I had 8 confirmed bookings. Within 24 hours, I had bookings for 3 months! Within 2 weeks… I couldn’t get rid of folks. At many points, I was sleeping on the treadmill!

What sorts of things are in Englewood that people can visit?

Absolutely nothing! LOL.  It has been a HUGE improvement over the past years and there continue to be more. The only thing around these parts would be Harold’s Chicken and a lounge that stays packed on weekends.  That’s within walking distance.  But if you take a short ride, you can reach, as I call it, “Obamaland.”

What is the most common thing people say about Englewood when they come and stay with you?

You would think after over 600 guests, I wouldn’t get the same question: “Is it safe to walk around?” As long as you don’t do nothing stupid like pull out a $500 cell phone, sure. I’m not going to lie, Englewood has its problems. I’ve been here maybe 4 years and only heard shooting about 3 times. I repeatedly have the conversation about safety issues.  My guests have been robbed.  But [usually] not in Englewood.

What do the neighbors think?

I never met my neighbors until recently.  They would direct my guests [to the house] when they looked lost. One guest commented that an old lady on the next block said, “Hey baby, you goin the right way.  The white people go to the house on the next block.” When the white cops brought home three of my guests from the corner to my house, (with 20 other cops, see YouTube video: “White cops don’t want white guests in Englewood”), that was a game changer. One [man] from Louisiana came out with his glass of wine and [told the cops], “We’ve been here almost a month and the neighbors has been GREAT to us.  The only people we have a problem with is you cops.  I can’t walk down the street without being looked over by you all.” After that, I had my GUEST introduce me to my neighbors. He had been buying drinks and chillin out with many of the guests on the block.





Tom is a painter, photographer and film maker who taught art at Daley College for 36 years. He has worked in these media since 1965. His work has been shown extensively in the US and in Europe. Major shows include MOMA, The Whitney in NY and the New wing of the Art Institute and has been featured on channel 11′s IMAGE UNION.  The interview below was featured in Lumpen 120 / Cholo Magazine #1 Digital edition. The  Tom Palazzolo Retrospective: Film, Photographs, Paintings, Watercolors & Sculpture opens this Friday, July 12 – 7PM – 11PM, continuing through Sunday, July 21 at the Co-Prosperity Sphere,3219-21 South Morgan Street, Chicago Illinois, 60608 .

Joe Bryl:  Can you describe the climate of an independent filmmaker during the beginning of your pursuit toward documenting different aspects of social life and the individuals that you were drawn to. How different was it then to what is more common today?

Lots of excitement in the 60′s air, pop art set the stage for a big break from 50′s serious stuff like abstract expressionism. So called Underground films where just starting to make waves, led primarily by west coast filmmakers like Bruce Conner. After working in that vein from the mid 60′s to about 1970 I made the transition to documenting events. The inspiration came from pioneering films by DA Pennabaker and Ricky Leacock who developed the use of light weight handheld  cameras and used the new Nagra portable sound recorder. Their work was a big jump from previous documenters that where tied down to a tripod. Unlike the old didactic approach  they where a lot more open to wider narrative possibilities of the media. All of this was new and held the prospect of exciting new directions. Lots of good work being done nowadays but back then it was all new and we had the feeling we were pioneers.

Joe: What avenues where available to get your work viewed at a time when the information network of instant communication had not existed yet? How did you go about exposing people to your work and what organizations and people where there in the early years of film culture to offer support and guidance?

Back in the 60 we had plenty of opportunities for exposure thru college film festivals. Most of which, with the exception of Ann Arbor no longer exist. Locally the Aardvark group produced film screenings every Monday night at Second City. Roger Ebert would regularly review them, he was very helpful in promoting my early work, even wrote a feature article in the Sun-Times. He and I appeared with Studs Terkel on his WTTW talk show. Places like Center City Co-Op and Canyon in San Francisco acted as distributor outlets for our films. Major funding was available thru the newly formed Illinois Art Council and later The Center for New Television. My work was featured early in the 60′s and up to the 90′s on public TV’s program Image Union. That program no longer exists.

Joe:  How did you decide what subjects to film and describe how you would approach the technical aspects of documentary filmmaking? What were the limitations in place either due to the possible hesitancy of the subjects involved in a time before aggressive exposure of individuals lives and what where the technical considerations in filming your pieces?

I’m always on the lookout for film subjects, some times they come by way of suggestions from friends. Labor Day film was suggested by a student who lived in East Chicago and had witnessed the Labor day celebration at Calumet Park. His description of the beauty pageant, boxing competition and  various other events convinced me that it would be right up my alley. I grew up in a working class area of St. Louis much like that part of the city and this subject mater allowed me to revisit a youthful  experience.

For that same reason I did a film on the old  amusement park Riverview. Other films like “Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think” I just stumbled on to while passing Grant Park one summer day. Some events where just too notorious to miss. Maxwell St., the 68 convention, but generally I’m looking for things that are off the radar. With large complicated events like the Nazi marches in Marquette Park. I like to use myself and another camera man. In that particular case it was a blond blue eyed friend Mark, for obvious reasons he fit right in. When two sync cameras where not available we used a wild camera like a Bolex for cutaway shots. Dealing with public events makes it easy to approach people, they are so tuned into what they are doing that they scarcely notice the camera. I never probe into peoples private lives so that has not presented any problems.

Joe: Who was an influence on your work (other filmmakers, writers, musicians) and where do you draw your inspiration from?

Lots of influences, here’s a short list:

Beat poetry, short films I checked out of the library, non fiction books like George Orwell’s  ”Down and Out in London and Paris”, plays that I saw at Goodman theater’s smaller space that was just off their main stage. Students would perform classics and on occasion Pinter, my favorite! Street photography that I looked at in the print room or the Art Institute. The museum was a big inspiration as was the foreign  films I saw for 50 cents at the old Clark Theater. Lastly, the city of Chicago and all its mysterious places that were so new to me when I arrived here in 1960 from St. Louis.

Joe: Have you seen a change of interpretation of your work over time? Currently you are focusing your energies on painting and sculpture. Do you still have any interest in the form of documentary filmmaking or is this another aspect of a continuum of your development as an artist?

Hard to say if the interpretation of my films has changed, some have received good reviews others not. No one has done an in depth overview or analyzed my approach or what they perceive to be my Raison d’être. What ever that word means? Right now my plans are to continue amusing myself with painting. Film and still photography are for now on the back burner. My enlarger and film editing table sit rusting in the basement.

The Co-Prosperity School is an Artist-Run School that has met regularly at the Co-Prosperity Sphere since 2010.  We run 8 week sessions. Participants find a place where intelligent dialogue on art takes place. Some find new tools to help their career.  Others form friendships. The class also offers people a space to discuss what is currently happening art-wise in Chicago. Best of all we think  participants are pleased to meet the people that shape the contours of our art ecology.

Our School is geared towards artists who have graduated from art school and are now making work outside that support system. Our format is also a reaction against the continuing education institution, the post (or non) MFA education.

Email us with questions or to sign up-  coprosperityschool@gmail.com

The 8 week  Jam Session is 150 dollars

Start time is 6:30 at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, ends around 930

3219 s. Morgan St.

Upcoming Schedule for the School

July 8th- Orientation

July 15th– Jennifer Reeder-
Filmmaker and visual artist.  She constructs very personal narratives about landscapes, coincidence and trauma

July 22nd- Abigail Satinsky
Program Director of Threewalls

July 29th–  Cream and Co.
Cream Co. conducts research regarding perpetual time, perennial time and the duration of color. The group researches and records perceived and remembered moments of being in time, analyzes their collective findings and makes paintings that present ephemeral qualities of life, such as the memory of a year or the color of time in a specific location

Aug 5th- Annie Heckman
Installation artist and all around giver of good advice

Aug 12th- Industry of the Ordinary
is a two-person conceptual art collaborative, made up of Chicago-based artists and educators Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson.[1] Their work is usually performative or sculptural, often incorporating audience participation and interaction with the artists

Aug.- 19th- TBA

Aug. – 26th
Jessica Cochran- Curator, administrator, writer and instructor.  She is currently curator of Exhibitions and Programs Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College.

Past guests have included Daniel Tucker, Juan Angel Chavez, Hamza Walker, Paul Klein, Duncan MacKenzie, Stanley Tigerman, Abigail Satinsky, Shannon Stratton, Bill Ayers, Jason Lazarus, Mary Jane Jacobs, Eric Brown and Catie Olson, Mindy Rose Schwartz  Cody Hudson, Carolne Picard, Carrie Gundersdorf, Tom Torluemke, Tom Burtonwood, Aron Packer, James Duignan, Nandipha Mntambo, and Barbara Koenen.


We are posting interviews with featured Cholos from Cholo Magazine. ( Lumpen Magazine 120 )  You can download the issue by clicking this linkPlease enjoy our short Q and A with Abraham Levitan.

Abraham Levitan is the founder of Piano Power, a group of music teachers that teach kids music using songs they love. He’s a former member of the rock group Baby Teeth and a co-host/pianist on the live monthly musical comedy game show Shame That Tune. Levitan’s role? Turning local celebrities’ embarrassing stories into wacky Weird Al-esque pop covers.

Lumpen: How did you start improvising songs?
Abraham: I started off doing improvised response songs for The Dollar Store, a short-story reading series that ran at The Hideout in the mid-to-late ’00s.  The stories ranged from funny to tragic.  The tragic ones were harder to do the response songs for…. sometimes it would feel a little tasteless.  But, I had a job to do!
What story would you tell if you were a contestant on “Shame that Tune?”
Well, we’re really trying to cut back on bodily-fluid stories, so most of my knee-jerk choices would be out.  Probably something involving PE class.

When you’re listening to a person tell their story, what sorts of things make great material for the songs you make?
Abraham: A lot of times it’s just a case of the musical category fitting the story in an amazing way.  During one of our first shows, the category was Metallica, and the story involved someone repeatedly writing the motto “Taste death, live life”, in his junior-high diary.  That just made such perfect sense as a fake Metallica lyric…. it was uncanny.  So yeah, sometimes you just get lucky.
What is “Piano Power?”
Abraham: Piano Power is a group of music teachers that I head up.  We give music lessons in the homes of our students and are now working with over 250 kids.  It’s super fun — we emphasize doing original compositions, playing pop songs, and generally having as much fun with music as I did when I was a wee lad.

What is your favorite/least favorite style to play a song in?

Abraham:  My favorite style is definitely huge, slightly goofy, 70’s piano ballads — ELO, Todd Rundgren, Elton John, Wings, early Lou Reed solo albums, etc.  I could do that all day, especially if there are some weird chord changes for me to wrap my head around.  As for a least favorite style… I dunno.  One of the great things about Shame That Tune is that it’s required me to pretty much be down for whatever.  I think I just love/hate all bad music equally at this point.  All genres are my frenemies.

Lumpen Magazine

1. Of or relating to dispossessed, often displaced people who have been cut off from the socioeconomic class with which they would ordinarily be identified: lumpen intellectuals unable to find work in their fields. A member the underclass, especially the lowest social stratum.

2. Vulgar or common; plebeian