Now in its fourth year, the Version festival features 200-plus projects from the art and activist underground during more than two weeks of exhibits, screenings, group discussions, live music, cable-access TV, how-to workshops, guerrilla art and theater, city tours, and group meals. It starts on Friday, April 16, and runs through Sunday, May 2. Most of this week’s events take place at Buddy, 1542 N. Milwaukee, second floor; High School, 1542 N. Milwaukee, third floor; or Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee. Events are free unless otherwise noted. Registration packs including maps, zines, posters, stickers, and “Version currency” good for drinks and dinners are available for $20; a $35 pack gets you into every event except the shows at the Fireside Bowl and Smart Bar. Call 773-342-7332 or 773-837-0145 or see

Following is the schedule through April 22; a complete schedule is available online at

Friday, April 16


Opening of a black-and-white, photocopy-only poster exhibition featuring works by Cody Hudson, Ray Noland, Paul Nudd, Ryan Giese, and Scott Kinsey; attendees are invited to tack up their own art, which will be considered for publication in an upcoming issue of the zines Select or Faesthetic. The bands Rubber-O-Cement, Panicsville, Pod Blotz, 10Brain, and the ARB Quartet also perform. Buddy, 7 PM. $5 (includes entry to High School and Heaven).

From the Ground Up

Opening of an exhibit investigating food production. Artists include David Bangar, Richard Curtis, Daniel Johnson, Eric Lebofsky, and Jeff Sweeton. Heaven, 7 PM. $5 (includes entry to Buddy and High School).

The Human Television Network

Media guerrillas roam the area toting battery-powered TVs airing prerecorded alternative news clips, starting at 7 PM.

The Map Room

Opening of a wall- and Web-based installation including detailed bird’s-eye maps of government facilities collected by free-agent surveillance group Cryptome, a diagram of U.S. countercultures by Journal of Aesthetics & Protest founder Robby Herbst, a sculptural floor projection by Cayetano Ferrer portraying suburban sprawl in the U.S., and an interactive game about gentrification and “economic segregation” by Kimberly Bibiano. Also on exhibit: American Dream Sparkle Clean, an installation by Catherine Nehara and Mike Slattery. High School, 7 PM. $5 (includes entry to Buddy and Heaven).

Version>04 Orientation Presentation by festival organizers and participants. Heaven, 8 PM.

Regime Change for US

A handful of video shorts involving copyrighted material “detourned” for surrealist and/or political purposes, including animation by Waking Life contributor Jason Archer, a sound-bite pastiche by Guerrilla News Network, and G.I. Joe public service announcements by local prankster Eric Fensler. Shown on “Big TV,” a room-size inflatable television. Rooftop of 1542 N. Milwaukee, 8 PM.

We Are Everywhere

Video on global resistance movements by members of “information-awareness” activist group Notes From Nowhere, plus a photo exhibit and illustrated quotes from the group’s book We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism. There’ll also be an open discussion. Heaven, 9 PM.

Screening of Selected Version_Net Works

Festival organizers show images from Version>04’s Web-based projects. Rodan, 1530 N. Milwaukee; 773-276-7036. 11 PM.

Saturday, April 17

Rogers Park NeighborFood Fest

Version>04 projects at this neighborhood festival, sponsored by anti-biotechnology and pro-sustainable agriculture grassroots organizations, include the Bikecart Infoshop, a two-wheeled cart that unfolds to provide an open-air reading room, and the bike-powered Quimby’s Zinemobile. Warren Park. 11 AM-3 PM.

J3, Dartanjal, Reliable Sound Products, Stasisfield

Live and digital music. Klein Art Works, 400 N. Morgan; 312-243-0400. 4 PM.

Paper Politics

Opening of an exhibition of screen prints and stencils from more than three dozen artists addressing issues of social justice and global inequity; curated by local stencil artist and printmaker Josh MacPhee. In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, second floor; 773-772-0100. 7 PM.

Broklyn Beats, Ssion, Far Rad, Small Bathroom Fire, Sharkula

See the Meter in Section Three. 18 and over show. Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton; 773-975-0505. 8 PM.

Sunday, April 18

Re-Call Cup Fault

A guerrilla performance artist known only as the Vacuum Cleaner leads a group field trip to local Starbucks shops where, armed with a green pen, he’ll demonstrate how to surreptitiously alter the ubiquitous logo to spell out Fuck you. Meet at Buddy, noon.

Temporary Public Sculptures

Dutch performance artist Peter Fengler continues his “ongoing line of actions in public space.” For some of these, he writes, “people will be necessary to spread the image. For other I will deal with the hammer myself.” Meet at Buddy, 1 PM.


Three-hour workshop for all levels. Heaven, 1 PM.

Code&Cook Session

Eat an American version of a French breakfast (French toast, french fries) while chatting live via digital video with a group of French artists who’ll simultaneously be eating dinner in Paris. High School and Buddy, 1 PM. $3.

Altering Consumer Media Products

Members of the Situationist-influenced group Electrodist lead a workshop on modifying books, VHS tapes, and DVDs. Buddy, 2 PM. $5.

Terror and Panic

Short videos by various filmmakers examining the American presence in Iraq, the nebulous nature of reported terrorist threats, and war lust; also home movies of Saddam and Uday Hussein, the latter shown firing an automatic weapon at a ritzy party. Buddy, 7 PM. $5.

Monday, April 19

Re-Call Cup Fault

See listing for Sunday, April 18. Meet at Buddy, noon.

Life: A User’s Manual #1

Video artist Michelle Teran comments on the notion of private space while leading a series of tours around the city pointing out surveillance cameras in public places. Meet at Buddy, 11 AM (runs through 3 PM). $5 (free with either registration pack).

I Wonder

Dutch artist Koen Dijkman takes a group on a walk, shows snapshots of alienating situations, and proclaims himself lonely. Meet at Buddy, 1 PM.


Artists from Rotterdam join students in an SAIC microcinema class for a screening of film, video, and new-media shorts. Afterward there’ll be an improvised remix of the works by VJ Delite Tchoi with music by DJs Visudo and Liquid Squeeze and featuring sound bites from Dutch “avant-tard” performance spaces De Player and WORM. Rodan, 1530 N. Milwaukee; 773-276-7036. 7 PM.

Tuesday, April 20

Life: A User’s Manual #2

See listing for Monday, April 19. Meet at Buddy, 11 AM. $5 (free with either registration pack).

$election: Take Us to Your Leader

Local collaborative public art group Anti Gravity Surprise–known for their fill-in-the-blank agitprop–roams the streets asking Joe Schmoe what qualities he thinks the president of the United States should possess. Meet at Buddy, 1 PM.

De Player: The German Tapes

A selection of purposely offensive videos from Dutch artists Joep van Liefland, Undine Goldberg, and Erwin Kneihsl; a Q and A with curator van Liefland follows. Buddy, 8 PM. $5.

Van Kurt, Danielle Lemaire, Xianggang Delight, Lucky Dragons, Yacht

Buddy, 9 PM. $5.

Wednesday, April 21

Life: A User’s Manual #3

See listing for Monday, April 19. Meet at Buddy, 11 AM. $5 (free with either registration pack).

Post Our Bills

Three-hour open studio and sculpture garden at the Co-Op Image Drop-in Center, a Humboldt Park group that collaborates with kids in the community to create public art on materials to be used for board-ups. 337 N. Maplewood; 773-216-5580. 3 PM.

Newtron, TV Pow, Magic Is Kuntmaster, Aram Shelton, Architeuthis Walks on Land, Fukui-Keyosue Duo

Live music and dinner. Buddy, 8 PM. $5.

Friendly Fire

Experimental narrative video from members of the Rotterdam-based St. Joost group. Rooftop, 1542 N. Milwaukee, 9 PM. $5.

Thursday, April 22

Life: A User’s Manual #4

See listing for Monday, April 19. Meet at Buddy, 11 AM. $5 (free with either registration pack).

Mahjongg, Need New Body, Pit Er Pat

All-ages show. See Spot Check in Section Three. Live music. Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700. 9 PM. $8.