Blog | Forever SCHWA!

.fly schwa.

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As there is probably no „right“ place to say this – and never will be in all likelihood – I’ll say it here:

I am a huge fan of the SCHWA CORPORATION!

And since no one but me and some other fossils out there know (or remember) what this is, I’ll shed some light on this mystery:

SCHWA is – or rather: was – an extremely minimalistic „Alien“ design combined with unnerving, funnny and sometimes even insightful messages „brought to you by the SCHWA Corporation“. As far as I remember, I first discovered SCHWA t-shirts and stuff in the mid-eighties, but the Schwa (art) entry on wikipedia tells me I’m wrong or that the SCHWA corporation has altered my mind.

In the Nineties there was a huge and very kewl SCHWA website and even a SCHWA game for AOL users, and I personally used a SCHWA screensaver for quite some time.

For me, all of the SCHWA designs were little masterpieces of art that made me stop and rethink whatever I was just doing. Maybe not on a religious or spiritual level, but nevertheless: We all lead our lives in part „on automatic“, doing all those mundane things that just need to be done (or that we think or are made to think that need to be done) – SCHWA made you stumble and stop for just a second with messages like:

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or

QUESTION YOUR OWN AUTHORITY

Even today, I still have bumper sticker on the glove compartment of my run-down car that says „THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE IS BETWEEN YOUR EYES“. And if you look hard enough, you just might find one or the other copy of the SCHWA World Operations Manual floating around some online shop every now and then (there even was a German translation available then).

In fall 2001, SCHWA artist Bill Barker disappeared. And has not resurfaced since then. His web project seems to have died, but nevertheless I visit the Schwa Website in the (vain) hope to find news from my favorite t-shirt „brand“ of all time.

Anyway. Next time you see any design of an „alien head“, take acloser look: If eyes and the top of thehead form a real, full circle, if there is no mouth and the colors are just plain black and white you just MAY have found a piece of real, original SCHWA art.

And if you should see a SCHWA t-shirt anywhere out there or know what happened to Bill – please leave a comment!!!

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Please visit the following SCHWA links:
The SCHWA Desktop Theme Pack
The SCHWA Corporation Tribe at Tribe.net
Whatever happened to Schwa and Bill Barker?
Bill Barker on Schwa in Wired magazine
Bill Barker interview on ZoomInfo
SCHWA Pyramid: Alien’s Land on AOL
SCHWA on the Orthodox Anarchist
SCHWA meets DARPA by s.o. who claims to have spoken to Bill since 2001
Long-gone versions of the SCHWA website
Alone cannot you it resist – SCHWA artwork website

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