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Subterranean’s Blues

For a bar owner, one citizen complaining about noise or street pollution can lead to a nightmare of tickets, conferences, and court dates. After a summer of dealing with the liquor control commission, Robert Gomez feels like he’s been through a trial more alienating than any Kafka could have dreamed up. Gomez is a partner […]

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Eight Easy Pieces?

This wasn’t supposed to be the year that a campaign-finance-reform bill passed in Illinois. But that didn’t stop the Illinois Campaign Finance Reform Caucus–ICFRC, or “ick-frick” to its less reverent members–from drawing up an eight-point agenda “to reduce the influence of big money in [state] politics.” The informal group’s members–which include Common Cause, Citizen Action, […]

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The bucks start here

Which zip codes yield the most federal campaign contributions? Of those that produced more than $300,000 during the 1995-’96 federal election cycle, 23 were in Illinois, all but one in the Chicago area. (You didn’t ask, but no place in Illinois can compare with 90210, which yielded $3.6 million.) In order below are the Illinois […]

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Feature sidebar

By Cate Plys Everyone wants to get rid of the aldermen. Many Chicagoans have less decorous or legal methods in mind, but reducing the council’s size has been studied and debated for decades. There are arguments against it. “May I say this to you?” asks Alderman Bernard Stone. “Anybody who’s ever served in this council […]

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Alison Ruttan

After graduating from the School of the Art Institute, Alison Ruttan spent much of the 1980s in New York exhibiting at alternative art spaces. She returned to Chicago in 1990, got a job teaching at SAIC, and soon began showing her work at Beret International. Her fall ’95 show featured “Play Balls,” a series of […]

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JNO Cook

When Schwartz claims that his gallery caters to the artist as “mad scientist,” he may be thinking of Jno Cook, who’s been associated with Beret since its first show. Trained as an industrial engineer, Cook constructs amusingly nonfunctional kinetic contraptions from scavenged household appliances. Like much of the art at Beret, Cook’s work has drawn […]

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Dennis Kowalski

In November 1993 Chicago Tribune art critic Alan Artner called Dennis Kowalski “one of the few real maverick artists in the city, one who occasionally has prefigured here kinds of work that eventually caught on in more open art centers.” Kowalski, a sculpture professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a 25-year veteran […]

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Where the Noise Is

A guide to something happening all around you. Fantastic Fanzine Intense, confessional, edited by Riot Girl D.C. organizer Erika Reinstein, with contributions from Riot Girl D.C. Issue number one declares: “The fact that I am alive is a Riot, a hah hah fucking Riot. You can abuse me but I’ll still be here, and I […]