Check out the blog: http://thehandshakedrugdocumentary.tumblr.com/
Created by Jennifer Josephson, James Baldwin, and Gabe Priestley.
The Handshake Drug, created by UNM student Jeffrey Hertz, is a handmade leaflet that features poetry, drawings, and short essays which is distributed person to person and left in the Daily Lobo newspaper boxes without permission. Hertz builds interest around what he calls the 'zine with a guerilla marketing style involving cryptically messaging 'The Handshake Drug' in chalk with no explanation of what it is or where to find it all around the University of New Mexico. By writing the title all over campus Hertz subliminally drills the 'zine into the students and administrators' minds and awareness as they glance down and read.
Hertz wants the distribution to be a personal experience, person to person, face to face, and hand to hand. Hertz is inspired by graffiti, but wants to legally expand his canvas space through the exchange and contact of the 'zine. The title of the 'zine is a reference to a drug deal and the handshake is a powerful symbol of exchange and communication. The 'zine leaves blank pages at the back of every issue and enthusiastically encourages readers to submit their own contributions. Hertz' goal is to get more people to express their ideas and art. Hertz wants to hear more independent voices take a stand rather than always being subjected to the Daily Lobo or other newspapers' views. The value of human contact, alienation in high tech society, substance abuse, fast food, indulgences, environmentalism, sustainability, consumerism, and the human condition are all major themes in Hertz' work.
This documentary will explore the creation of The Handshake Drug, its distribution and include interaction with the readers. In addition, the project will track the 'zine's journey and the person to person exchange of an alternative mass medium. we will join the followers and users of 'The Drug' in Zimmerman Plaza on Wednesdays to document their temporary expression with chalk, sharpies, and cardboard as a communication to the world. In our film project, we are opening up new paths of communication just as 'The Drug' does. Visually this project will reflect how mass communication can transform us from being distant, impersonal, and anonymous with cryptic messages to a personal expression of ideas and forming a community with a tangible, at your fingertips, mass medium.