SXSW Interactive did offer one place for the DIY crowd, right as you stepped inside the front doors of the convention center: an enormous pile of Legos
There was no sign, no attendant to prompt people that they were available for use. SXSW knew that if you just dump a bunch of these constructive toys on the floor, the geeks will know what to do.
As high-tech designers hustled in and out of the front doors, they passed by Oliver, who was selling woodcut prints on the sidewalk.
Oliver just learned how to do woodcuts five months ago. For him, it seemed a practical and cheap medium where supplies such as wood are easy to find.
He said Austin has a surprising amount of woodcut artists in town. Yet he claimed there was no low-cost resource in Austin like Portland’s Independent Publishing Resource Center.
And that’s why he said he’d like to move there. Times have been tough, he says, “with all the rich Californians moving in and taking the high-paying jobs along with the Mexicans taking all of the low-wage jobs, leaves little left for the locals.”
I asked him how he felt about the the woodcut community being killed off by high-tech industry, like was being represented at SXSW Interactive.
“I hope so. Then I’ll be the only one around still selling woodcuts!”
While glad he was able to sell some prints to attendees, he said that the conference has never brought an economy to the city of Austin as a whole.
- A Restaurant Worker’s Survival Guide
- R.I.P. Gocco
- Book Your Own Fuckin’ Life #1
- Check out a Zine at the Library
- Tapatio: High-tech Protest Communications