The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This document is a preliminary sketch of the frontispiece for the first issue of Excusado, an independent publication in Bogotá, rendered one year before it was published (2004). The text contains the unpublished version of the Excusado manifesto as well as four illustrations. This initial sketch was created while the members of the Excusado Printsystem collective were still graphic design students at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. The title of the text, as well as the name of the collective, is a response to the more traditional Ex-libris, a journal published by the School of Graphic Design at the same university. The members of the collective wished to keep their distance from the traditional journal. The manifesto includes eight rules, among which rule no. 3 is noteworthy: “a visit to the Excusado is over if anyone shouts ‘stop’, falls over, makes a sign or the paper runs out.” The sketch’s layout is typical of the graphic artwork of Excusado Printsystem: saturation of the space, an indiscriminate mix of typography including some that is barely legible; in other words, characteristics opposed to the layout and sober design of the journal Ex-libris.
The importance of the Excusado manifesto lies in the irreverent and sarcastic tone typical of the fanzines produced by the Excusado Printsystem Collective (DeadBird, SaintCat, StinkFish, and Ratsonrop, the pseudonyms of its members), which started its operations in Bogotá, Colombia, in 2003. The group’s artwork focused on using outdoor spaces in the city through graffiti, posters, adhesives, and stencils. The work contemplates the contemporary forms of printing, construction, communication, and circulation of images that may be taking place outside the established circuits. The collective is recognized for being the first in Bogotá to give visibility to urban practices of this kind. Its approach gained recognition ranging from multiple mentions in Colombian newspaper columns and magazines to invitations to participate in contemporary art exhibitions in the galleries of Bogotá and other Latin American cities. It has participated in various action events in cities such as Medellín, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Marseille, and Barcelona.
In addition, the collective’s work set off a chain of repercussions in the city of Bogotá. This gave rise to many street action events led by graffiti artists, illustrators, and graphic designers, including Mefisto, Zokos, Koch1no, Hera, and DJLU. These events fostered the development of other collectives: Populardelujo, Puntoexe, and Animal Power Culture, whose work revolved around the investigation of urban art. In 2009, Excusado Printsystem also published the informal magazine Excusado publicación inusual de distribución fortuita, whose content appeared on two different websites: www.excusa2.tk (no longer available) and www.excusa2.blogdiario.com .