Pure cotton twill beach hat embroidered with the Hand of the Spirit, the sigil of Image Bank, a postal artist exchange and experimental collaboration founded in 1970 by Michael Morris, Vincent Trasov, and Gerry Lee-Nova.
100% of the profits from the sale of these hats will go to Ukrainian refugees' direct relief. Berlin-based Zuzanna Czebatul and (past collaborator) Marco Bruzzone are working directly to transport and support Ukrainian refugees--we can think of no one we trust more to use these funds.
The Hand of the Spirit was first discovered by Trasov in a garbage can in 1971. It was re-appropriated by Image Bank and came to serve as its visual signature. As a found image existing somewhere between commercial logo and ritual fetish object, the Hand exemplifies the subversive (and generative) approach of Image Bank itself. Image Bank knit together a network of artists: requests for images were disseminated by post, facilitating crowdsourced compilations of advertising, pornography, drawing and more that gave rise to new forms of creative expression. The project rode roughshod over profit-driven intellectual property lines because, as stated in the 1972 Image Bank Annual Report, "There can be no copyright on that which defines the imagination." The project's queer anarcho-utopianism was suffused with playfulness and beauty; its understanding of image-making as a viral social practice adumbrates much of the world we now live in. We are honored to be allowed to share the Hand of the Spirit with you.