ILSSA Exhibition – July 2013

ILSSA1ILSSA (Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts) is an art project and membership organization for those who make experimental or conceptual work with obsolete technology. ILSSA functions as a Union, fostering community, solidarity, and peer review, and as a Research Institute, supporting new ideas, communications, and resources. ILSSA members are a diverse group, working in calligraphy, fibers, historic photographic processes, comic books, typewriters, analogue video, vacuum tubes, bookbinding, pirate radio, ceramics, heirloom farming, to name just a few. To date, we’ve had 200 members from 28 states and 5 countries, 100 of which are currently active.


Asheville BookWorks is proud to host programming and events for the upcoming Impractical Labor in the Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA) Convergence. This inaugural three-day event will bring Impractical Laborers from over 28 states and 5 countries to Asheville, NC in a celebration of resistance to contemporary industrial practices and values. All appreciators of independent workshop production are encouraged to participate in the Convergence, which will explore slow labor and the process of making. Events will also take place at Harvest Records and the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. A full schedule of events can be found at

JULY 5, 2013 5:00-7:00 pm

State of the ILSSA Union

Exhibition Opening and Book Release with Artists’ Talk at 6 pm

In our fourth year as Impractical Laborers, we felt it was time to survey the State of the ILSSA Union, as a means for self-assessment and with the intention of better serving each other. To that end, the ILSSA Co-Operators mailed a survey to all members, asking each to assess her or his labor conditions as an art worker. This exhibition features the 42 returned surveys, letterpress printed and answered with loving care, as well as an edited compilation of the results: a collective and contradictory voice recounting the State of the ILSSA Union. Exhibition will be on display from July 5-August 31, 2013.

Free and open to the public.

JULY 7, 2013 10:00 am-2:00 pm

Festival to Plead for Skills

ILSSA Holiday of Practicing

Location: Asheville BookWorks

Each year on the seventh day of the seventh month, ILSSA celebrates its own version of The Festival to Plead for Skills. The festival is derived from the Chinese holiday of Qi Xi and the Japanese festival of Tanabata, in which celebrants wish for the betterment of their own craftsmanship. Instead of wishing, the ILSSA festival is a holiday of PRACTICING. Join us as we observe this holiday by practicing a skill: using a tool, trying a method, honing a technique. This practice should be something that you can complete entirely on July 7th. We imagine Impractical Laborers spanning the continents, practicing together in observance of the holiday. Please pre-register and bring all materials and supplies needed for your practice to Asheville BookWorks, or join us from afar and practice wherever you may find yourself on July 7th, 2013!

Small donation suggested. Pre-registration required, 828-255-8444.