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A Magazine Rooted In The East Village

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Over the years, contributors to the political publication World War 3 Illustrated have created art and written about 1980’s guerilla war in Central America, the demonstrations that disrupted 1999 meetings of the World Trade Organization in Seattle and the ravages visited upon New Orleans in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.

But the geographic entity that features most prominently in the history of the publication is the East Village. That is where the artists Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper came up in 1980 with the title World War 3, which was based upon the idea that the United States has been involved since the Cold War in a nearly constant string of military conflicts.  (Armed warfare and civil unrest are not the publication’s sole subjects: “WW3 also illuminates the war we wage on each other and sometimes the one taking place in our own brains,” its website notes.)

Mr. Tobocman, who has participated in exhibitions at ABC No Rio and the Museum of Modern Art, lives to this day in the East Village.  So do several other World War 3 contributors like Mac McGill, Fly, and James Romberger.  It comes as little surprise, then, that stories and images related to the neighborhood play a significant part in a World War 3 retrospective at Exit Art called Graphic Radicals that runs until Feb. 5.
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