Chris Carlsson

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Chris Carlsson, of Processed World Magazine and activist in the San Francisco area.

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"Chris Carlsson, co-director of the multimedia history project Shaping San Francisco (a wiki-based digital archive at, is a writer, publisher, editor, and community organizer. He has written two books (After the Deluge, Nowtopia) edited six books, (Reclaiming San Francisco, The Political Edge, Bad Attitude, Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration, Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco, 1968-78, and SHIFT HAPPENS! Critical Mass at 20). He redesigned and co-authored an expanded Vanished Waters: A History of San Francisco’s Mission Bay. He has produced Shaping San Francisco’s weekly public Talks and conducted its award-winning bicycle history tours since January 2006. He has given hundreds of public presentations based on Shaping San Francisco, Critical Mass, Nowtopia, Vanished Waters, and his “Reclaiming San Francisco” history anthologies since the late 1990s, and has appeared dozens of times in radio, television and on the Internet." (

"OF ALL SAN Francisco's visionaries, Chris Carlsson has the most comprehensive grasp of the city's peculiarities and potential. As an organizer, he's a hub around which the city's dissident communities rotate. As an editor and writer, he cogently illuminates San Francisco's past, present, and future.

Carlsson's biography reads like a bibliography. For more than 20 years, he coproduced Processed World, a journal that sought to direct white-collar anomie against capital itself. He coedited Reclaiming San Francisco, a powerful invocation of the ghosts of opulent oligarchs and the community campaigns that complicated their desires, and with collaborators he compiled Shaping San Francisco's complimentary CD-ROM that preserves a dazzling array of local history in an interactive digital format. An original member of Critical Mass, the bicycling conspiracy that has been clogging downtown traffic for more than a decade to protest car culture and seize public space, Carlsson assembled Critical Mass: Bicycling's Defiant Celebration as a tribute to this now global phenomenon. His most recent books are After the Deluge, a utopian novel set in 22nd-century San Francisco, and The Political Edge, a collection of diverse perspectives on the implications of the oddball coalitions of Matt Gonzalez's insurgent mayoral campaign.

The common thread throughout this prodigious output? The inquiry "Why is life so inadequate when we are so creative?" and a celebration of everyone who fulfills their potential by refusing to accommodate banality and despair." (

More Information

Interview at

Blog at

Personal website at