Adam Void documented all existing written remains of hobos from the site of the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, USA. The convention is a world unto itself, with kings, queens, freaks, and misfits all connected to the American tradition of riding trains without permission. Unique road names are acquired along with miles and experience. Those names are transferred over onto objects to say that the owners exist and will remain after their bodies travel on. The convention has been held in the same beautiful quaint town of Britt, Iowa for more than 120 years and holds the deep tradition of the greatest hobo union, Tourists Union 63.
Lady Bug by Adam Void
These photos honor the hobo's wishes to be hidden, unseen, and un-bothered. Instead, Adam's lens focused on their handiwork. Their names are written as advertisements on the outside of a mid-century steel boxcar from the Milwaukee Road. They are written on the inside of this boxcar, where they sleep during the convention, and inside the wooden shelter where they congregate and serve their meals. What these spaces look like is of no specific interest. You can make up a decent facsimile in your mind. What really matters is their names and dates. When they arrived and when they left. Who was king and who was queen.
Ol Buck by Adam Void
Long live Deuce Seven, Slack Action Steve, Ol Buck, and Missouri Matt. Remember the Indiana Hobo, Hobo S.L.C., and Slim Tim. We were here, and then we left.
Birdman by Adam Void
Photos from the book, Monikers, Prints, and Sign-Ins from the National Hobo Convention @ Britt (IA) - Published 2022 by Cut In The Fence, USA
Click on an image for full-size
is a flawed practitioner of the outsider arts, DIY ethos, and the hobo lifestyle. He is an artist, worker, teacher, student, father, and a child. He is both legendary and widely unknown. Adam's foundations are based in the punk houses of the American South, where something was made from nothing, where you could get anywhere by hopping on a stopped train, and where you could be famous by just getting out there and writing your name on other people's stuff. He has been involved with independent publishing since the late 90's, as a maker and distributor of zines on the international Do-It-Yourself underground. Adam was a prolific tagger in the Brooklyn area during the hype of the late '00s, only to retreat to the tracksides of Baltimore, Maryland a few years later. There he further refined the genre of roller graffiti while getting his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). In 2015, he and his wife, Chelsea Ragan, founded an experimental school on the original grounds of the Black Mountain College. That school, now called the School of the Alternative, still challenges the constructs of art education while focusing on the concept of experimental community. In 2018, Adam and Chelsea founded the publishing house and distro, Cut In The Fence, where they continue to promote and distribute limited edition artist books and zines from the international graffiti underground.
Adam Void has ridden freight trains since the early 00's. He has traveled across the USA and back, from Mexico to Canada on the West Coast, and from Florida to NYC on the East Coast. He has rode the small mountain routes, the accidental service routes that dead-end at a factory in the middle of nowhere, and the cool countryside of New England. Adam has traveled to 21 countries across four continents, all while sleeping in parks, getting lost, and eating fruit & cheese.
Journalism and running an online magazine costs money. Our online magazine is free of advertisements. We do everything out of love and dedication. We are not profit oriented. Support Tagree that the magazine remains ad-free and the monthly costs can be paid. TAGREE, I love your cultural work, I donate to show you my appreciation, voluntary, one-time or regular monthly or per quarter: