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By Impractical Labor
Bridgeport, CT: Impractical Labor, 2009
Pages: 8
Dimensions: 4.25 in X 11 in folded; 17 in X 11 in unfolded
Cover: Paper, self-cover
Binding: Hand-folded brochure
Process: Letterpress
Color: Blue ink on white paper with red hand-stamping
Edition size: 500
ISBN: none

The third installment of Impractical Labor’s letterpress and hand-stamped pamphlet series is the most exciting yet. Following “What is Craft and Why Does It Matter?” and “The DIY Ethic & The Craft of Developing Self” comes “39 Kinds of Work.” Here Impractical Labor lists and discusses everyday living and work in relation to the 39 Melachot – the 39 categories of work employed thousands of years ago in constructing the Tabernacle that are also the activities forbidden to perform on Shabbat – “a family tree of human activity.”

In excerpts from the highly thoughtful, playful and provocative essay that runs through the pamphlet, Impractical Labor writes:

“We’re craving ‘real’ labor, the results of which we can eat and wear and live in. What is ‘practical’ labor these days in terms of remuneration is often wholly ‘impractical’ for our actual survival–in terms of subsistence, literally, but also sustenance: that is, our well being. The work we do might pay us but it doesn’t necessarily nourish us. So our hobbies–home improvement, gardening, fishing, knitting–are a return to subsistence-based activity.”

And:

“Who among us couldn’t benefit from a day completely free of commerce, technological dependence, & the sheer willingness of constantly interfering with the natural world? Maybe our problem is not the type of work we do, but the quantity of it. Especially us Impractical Laborers, many of whom work seven days a week: we only do, we have forgotten how to be.”

As with earlier Impractical Labor pamphlets this writing-packed, tall and skinny printed piece unfolds to 11” X 17”. Beautifully designed as usual and strongly recommended for both its form and ideas.

Note that we sell other titles by Impractical Labor as well. Click on the manufacturer's link to the right to see more.

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Weight: 0.63 LBS
Width: 12.00
Height: 6.00
Depth: 0.50
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