Mint&Serf prepares to release the September 2011 issue of SGU, Special Graffiti Unit, a leaflet documenting New Yorkers’ memories of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. While most newspapers or publications intend to honor those who have been lost and embrace that which remains, the SGU staff presumably aims to print reminiscences recalled by unlikely sources, those whom “legit” journalists may overlook. With great sincerity, Mint&Serf compile stories and images remembered and captured by city kids, who normally appear to disregard anything but the next party—yet they condole with the rest. The September issue of SGU manipulates the deceptive simplicity of storytelling, delineating tragic events with candid prose and original photography.
SGU’s polemical approach to guerilla printing and distribution has attracted attention in the past. In June 2011, Mint&Serf published the second issue of SGU, in which an anonymous NYC downtown crew, Peter Pan Posse (PPP), contributed essays and photographs exposing the underworld of the artworld.
An editorial note from Peter Pan sums up the motif of June’s issue:
Peter Pan Posse is more than a gang: it’s a mental attitude. We are born and bred New Yorkers who preserve the outlaw lifestyle – a lifestyle that chose us. We have mastered the art of surviving city streets. We are the artists you admire. We are the drug dealers with the least cut. We throw the parties where you make the worst mistakes. We make the music you do drugs to. We are the kids you talk shit about. We don’t sneak into parties — we sneak outta them. We don’t pay for bottles we throw them. We get paid to play. We can’t grow up: its a full-time job not giving a fuck.
One-thousand regular editions and one-hundred limited editions accompanied with seven-inch vinyl records produced by PPP hit the streets, hard. Revitalizing punkzine ideology and adhering to DIY (do it yourself) ethic, June’s SGU upended traditional marketing after being stuffed into reappropriated magazine boxes located in front of MoMA and the New Museum. “Someone” had repainted the boxes with an Ad Reinhard black and scribbled white text reading, “SGU Mag,” “Written by Peter Pan,” “Edited by Tinker Bell,” “SpecialGraffitiUnit.com,” and “PPP!”
Interestingly the coming issue may possibly utilize similar antics while approaching a sensitive subject, furthering the boundaries of artistic domain. Regardless of their seemingly-aleatory process, Mint&Serf have proved that one doesn’t have to grow up to compete with the grown ups.