Steve Lambert

wrote a book!!!

Yearly Archives: 2010

Short Term Deviation at EFA

I will have work in this show…

Short Term Deviation: A Collaboration with Showpaper

September 23 — October 23, 2010
Opening event: Thursday, September 23, 6 — 10 pm

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts | 323 West 39th Street 3rd Floor NY NY 10018
(212) 563 5855 |

Installations by: Catharine Ahearn, David Berezin, Grayson Cox, Charles Harlan, Steve Lambert, Francisco Marcial, Nadja Verena Marcin, George Pfau, Poster Company, Chris Rice, Borna Sammak.

Special four-part print series of Showpaper featuring new work from
: Borden Capalino, Katja Mater,   Arthur Ou, and Grant Willing,

Curators: Jie Liang Lin, Exhibition; Jesse Hlebo, Print Series and Zine Library

For up-to-date information on this project, check out the tumblr page.

EFA Project Space announces Short-Term Deviation. Beginning mid-September, this collaboration with the print publication Showpaper, is a month-long exhibition, publication, video and music event. Bringing the spirit of Showpaper–which crossbreeds music, art and D.I.Y. culture–to full incarnation, the gallery space will be transformed into a combination artist-crafted performance space, zine library, and video screening room.

DIY PayPal Button Generator

When using PayPal for the Utopia Letterpress Print I want people to set their own price. PayPal offers a “Donate” button, but I wasn’t asking for donations. People are purchasing something, they’re just setting their own price for it. These PayPal buttons would not work for Karl Marx.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” -Karl Marx

So I made my own buttons. And you can too!

The Source Code

You can download the images above and use them, or create your own using CSS.

Originally I made the button using vector software, but with the code below you can change the text to say whatever you like. No, it’s not an exact replica of the PayPal button, but it’s close enough to get by. The compromise means it can be made all in CSS – change the text and the width of the button and you can make it say whatever you want, no vector editor needed!

Copy the below code into a text editor, make changes, save as a .html file, and open in a browser. Make changes, save, and reload as needed.

This code was adapted from a tutorial on net.tutsplus.

 .button {
 width: 170px; //change width of button here
  height: 32px;
 color: #2e3192;
 text-decoration: none;
 display: block;
 text-align: center;
 position: relative;

 background: #FEE1A5;
 background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #FFF, #FEE1A5 50%, #FFB829 51%,
#FEE1A5 95%, #FEE1A5);
 background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom,
color-stop(0, #FFF), color-stop(.5, #FEE1A5), color-stop(.51, #FFB829),
color-stop(.95, #FEE1A5), color-stop(.96, #FEE1A5), to(#FEE1A5));

 -moz-border-radius: 18px;
 -webkit-border-radius: 18px;
 border-radius: 18px;

 border-bottom: 1px solid #FFF;
 border-top: 1px solid #FFB829;
 border-left: 1px solid #FEE1A5;
 border-right: 1px solid #FEE1A5;


 text-shadow: 0px 1px 1px white;

 -moz-box-shadow: 0 1px 3px #777;
 -webkit-box-shadow: 0 1px 3px #777;
 box-shadow: 0 1px 3px #777;
 font: italic bold 18px/32px helvetica, arial;

 .button:hover {
 background: #FEE1A5;
 background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #FFF, #FEE1A5 50%,
#FFB829 51%, #FEE1A5 95%, #FEE1A5);
 background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom,
color-stop(0, #FFF), color-stop(.5, #FEE1A5), color-stop(.51, #FFB829),
color-stop(.95, #FEE1A5), color-stop(.96, #FEE1A5), to(#FEE1A5));
 -moz-box-shadow: 0 1px 2px black;
 -webkit-box-shadow: 0 1px 2px black;

 .button:active {
 -moz-box-shadow: 0 2px 6px black;
 -webkit-box-shadow: 0 2px 6px black;

Utopia Letterpress Prints

22in x 14in
Letterpress on card

Beautifully printed by James Lang at Horwinski Printing using lead and wood type on a letterpress built in 1885 that is as large as a mid-size car.

The text in this poster comes from a talk I gave at Berlin’s Transmediale Festival on Utopia in the Spring of 2010.

How to Order a Print

You, personally, determine the price of the print.

I made a large print run because I want you to have one. The idea of creating a traditional art object “limited edition” and manufactured scarcity is contradictory to the ideals I’m working towards. So I decided with this piece I can make an “unlimited edition.” That means, as long as I am able, these prints will be available to anyone who would like one.

For me to fix the cost of a print about Utopia is absurd. I ask you to pay what you think it’s worth to you, given the resources you have. I want you to have this, I want you to feel the price you paid is fair, and I trust you to determine that. This way the prints can fit in everyone’s budget.

Here’s some information to help you determine your price. The cost of producing the prints, shipping the edition to me, and packing and shipping a print to you in the United States is roughly $18.20 per print. My labor is difficult to quantify (how long did it take me to come up with this idea, to work with the printer, to write these words, to shoot the photographs? How can this support future work? How can this practice sustain itself? It goes on and on…) so I’m leaving that part up to you. $18.20 per print only covers the raw costs, and I make nothing.

Again, I want you to have this print and for you to pay what you think it’s worth, given the resources you have.

Additional Notes

Raw costs for shipping to Europe is about $49.20. For other countries, just send me an email.

You can pick these up in person and pay what you can at Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles.

More Photos

Other Letterpress Prints


Original Utopia Talk

(Audience isn’t mic’ed so their laughs are barely audible)

Out of Ideas

As part of my Lower East Side Printshop Special Editions Residency, I created this series of silkscreen (and hand altered) prints called, Out of Ideas. This video shows some of the process of how each were made.

If you’re unfamiliar with the world of fine art prints, it’s not a good idea to touch them with your bare hands, wrinkle or kink them in anyway… you get the idea.

Video shot at the Lower East Side Printshop. Doug Bennett was the Master Printer, James Miller did the silkscreening. Video edited while on a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Music except is “Can’t Get Satisfied” by Jack McDuff.

Screenprint and collage with coffee, whiskey, and beer hand additions on torn, crumpled, and burnt Coventry Rag Vellum 320 gsm and Seikosen Mitsumata 32 gsm papers
Dimensions variable; 23″ x 30″ original image and sheet
Edition of 12, with 4 Artist’s Proofs, 2 Printer’s Proofs, 1 Archive Proof, and 1 Display Proof
Master Printer: Doug Bennett and James Miller – Lower East Side Printshop

LES Printshop Catalog Essay

From the Lower East Side Printshop’s Special Edition Residency 2010 Catalog Essay by Sarah Hanley.

Steve Lambert
Many artists aspire to be revolutionary, but Steve Lambert is truly original and radical. To begin, it takes more than a few seconds of preemptory scanning of his webpage — the main hub for his action and web-based work — to fully understand what he is about.   Second, his intended audience is much larger than the art world.   Though he possesses traditional degrees in art from respected institutions, he has managed to escape the solipsistic trap that often results from such training to create work that anyone, anywhere, can connect with and understand.     Finally, though the final product is frequently something that cannot be owned or possessed as an investment in a traditional sense, this is not his sole intention or driving concept.   Instead, Steve Lambert has dedicated his career to creating pubic signs, freeware, websites, and publications that will truly cause anyone who is lucky to witness them to stop and think, or to just improve their lives in a simple but meaningful way.

Take for example his freeware Firefox application titled ADD-ART, which replaces all ads on the browser with artwork.   Or his special mock edition of the New York Times (, which unlike its sarcastic relation The Onion, envisions a truly guileless and utopian alternate reality in which all public universities are free and Condoleezza Rice holds a press conference to frankly confess that the Bush Administration knew all along that there were no WMDs.

This is Perfect, Steve LambertLambert brought this spirit of enjoyable subversion to his residency at the Printshop with a series of three prints that challenge basic ideas behind ownership of art.   He was guided by one of two (or a combination of both) of the following self-determined principles.   First, he wanted people who buy the work to have to come to terms with the fact that “you can’t get a perfect one.”   This concept sprang from Lambert’s interest in Buddhist ideas, specifically, that one must accept things as they are, because that is how they should be.   Out of Ideas, BurnOUT OF IDEAS is a screenprint in Lambert’s signature brushwork lettering style (downloadable on Lambert’s website) and each impression is either torn in two, splashed with coffee, or both, depending on the artist’s whim.     Likewise, each impression of the variable edition screenprint This is Perfect is uniquely off register.   No two are alike, but also — none are perfect.     Lambert’s choice of palette for this print was inspired by the color scheme for a palace he visited during a trip to Turkey with a friend, who noticed that one of its tiles had a mistake in the pattern.   They later learned that this was intentional and all Islamic art incorporates a flaw, as Muslims believe that nothing can be perfect but Allah.

In BLANK Days I'm Going to BLANK This Fucking BLANKLambert was also interested in overturning the expectation that a collector can buy his work and simply look at it.   This was the guiding principle for In BLANK days… , an interactive print that requires the owner to fill in the chalkboard-painted blanks.   Depending on the choice of words, the resulting statement can become a directive/goal, a means of stress release, or a source of humor.   “If you own the work, you have to do something.   It’s not just…I own it, and that’s the end. “

Peformance/Lecture at Headlands Open House

Just added:

Steve Lambert presents a live classroom-style video lecture exploring passages of historical inquiry through clips found on YouTube.   This presentation will be one of a series of thematic lectures comprising “The YouTube School of Social Politics,” a project conceived by Headlands Alumni Artist In Residence Sam Gould.   The lecture, entitled “Judo Practice”, explores creative activism, leveraging balance and the precise application of force to overcome a more powerful opponent.   Please Be Advised: This presentation contains mature and controversial content.

Headlands Center for the Arts
Open House Summer 2010

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