Suddenly Something

@4 years ago with 11 notes

Landscape: Ana Cabaleiro

The two photos were taken this summer, the first one was taken in Galicia (the north of Spain) in a little waterfall named Río Toxa, in Silleda, a magic place.  My friend was naked walking around and she looked like a siren to me.  I love people naked against nature so much that I couldn’t resist.

The second photo was taken in a water reservoir in Vilarinho das Furnas… another beautiful and hidden place in Portugal.  It was a sunny and clear day, so lonely and wide, very special and evocative.  We were both alone, and when we yelled we could hear our echoes.  It might sound like a stupid thing to say but I liked feeling as if we were the last two people on earth, with no one else around (later a big family with children arrived.  I love dry, wide, lonely places, deserts, more than anything.

@4 years ago with 8 notes

Landscape: Carl W. Heindl

Carl Heindl: For my 21st birthday, my father took me on a trip with him to Las Vegas seven years ago. I was more interested in driving out to the Nevada desert, we drove and drove and I snapped this photo at a tourist rest stop on the trail. I think it captures the the mammoth scale of the area, and the time it takes to take it all in. It was raining that day which was rare for the desert and it made for some spectacular shots. It is one of my all time favorite memories.

@4 years ago with 7 notes

Mari Kojima

First of all, could you tell us a little about yourself, who you are, what you do, that kind of thing.

I grew up in a little town in Shimane, Japan. I went to art school in Chicago after high school and studied fashion design there, I then moved to NYC for my job. I moved back to Japan about a year ago and settled here, now I work in the game industry which is kind of funny… I also have a local FM radio show on art/music/culture at this popular beach town near Tokyo.

What are you excited about at the moment?
I have to have an operation next week and be hospitalized for a few days after that, but I don’t have to work or anything, so I’m just going to watch tons of shitty action movies (god I love shitty action movies) and make a new zine. I’m pretty much excited about that!

What’s inspiring you at the moment and what are you looking forward to?
People who are really honest always inspire me. Things that are real and also things that won’t change inspire me too.  Even though I live in one of the biggest cities in the world, I’m not a city person at all.  I have a plan to move back to my hometown, which is in the real countryside of Japan. I want to be somewhere quiet with less pop-culture. It won’t be soon but in a few years hopefully.  Imagining what I can do in the country is kind of exciting for me right now.

What made you start taking photos on your return to Japan?
I had such a shitty time in NYC, I got sucked into many stupid things and superficial culture, I was engaged but the relationship ended up a total disaster (thank god that I’m not married to that guy right now). Also I lost something really important, and at the same time both of my parents in Japan got cancer.

When I moved back to Japan, I felt really weak, dumb and mentally dead.  I had no money and no plan.  I used to make clothes but had no more motivation at all. Then I met this first generation Internet-fame kind of photographer who just moved to Tokyo as well. I was never into photography, but I knew about this amazing photo project that he did with his ex-girlfriend. We somehow clicked and started dating. I thought he would be a little hipster prick or something, but he wasn’t. He is pretty down-to-earth, really funny, and really talented. He helped me a lot to open my eyes and see things clearly when I was recovering from annoying depression (I was pretty much being a spoiled piece of shit.)

At that time I didn’t even think about taking photos since I didn’t want people to think that I was just copying him. But one day, he gave me his Mju-II to just play with.  Once I started talking photos, I started to realise that looking through a lens really helps you to understand what your focus is, what kind of humour you have, and also what kind of things/situations that you think are beautiful, mad, and awkward. Then I realized that taking photos is about knowing myself better, and that I should not be ashamed about what I see.  This is pretty much the reason why I started taking photos.

You’ve mentioned liking Shoji Ueda, do you feel yourself being influenced by Japanese artists and culture in particular?
I like Shoji Ueda, his composition is really strong and surrealistic. I like his set-up photos but I like photos that he took of his family in his normal life more. It is kind of weird but I really love to imagine stories in my head more than looking at photography or artwork sometimes. I don’t even own any photo books either.

Japanese writers have always inspired me a lot, especially writers from Meiji and Taisho period. When I was in high school, I read this brutally honest autobiography by Japanese anarchist, Sakae Osugi and it really struck me. Also, when I read essays/stories by Ryotaro Shiba and Shusaku Endo, I just imagine sharp beautiful scenery and also many mixed feelings from those stories in my head. I also love Osamu Dazai.

There are so many traditional unspoken rules that you have to follow in Japan to fit in to the society, but I like when artists or writers become so real and bare and create art by just ignoring those rules. I think I can say that Japanese madness is really mad in such an awesome way.

I love your photos by the sea. What’s your relationship with the ocean?
Why thank you! I love the ocean and taking photos there since there’s no fashion. I don’t get destracted by artificial things. I like when things are just bare and real.

@5 years ago with 13 notes

Jess Gough

First of all, could you tell us a little about yourself, who you are, what you do, what you’re excited about at the moment.
I’m Jess Gough, 19, from London. Starting in September I’m going to study History of Art, so for now I’m bumming around with friends, never sleeping enough, hunting for fun.

What is inspiring you at the moment?
Life, really. But the specifics: the idea of dreams vs. reality. Documentation. The idea of influence. London and New York and the people in them. The woods and campfires and tents and friends. LSD. Snapshots. Huxley and Kerouac. Magic. Joanna Newsom and Phil Elverum. From flickr I think Margaret Durow, Dana Goldstein and Sophie Curtis all have genius qualities.

You take part in quite a few internet group shows and online magazines. What do you think the significance of these online projects are and what do you get out of participating in them?
Yeah I’m completely obsessed with all the internet exhibitions and online projects that people are doing, and also the zines that people create through the internet. I just think that photography is going in such an interesting direction because of them- maybe that’s just a very narrow minded viewpoint from my tiny little microcosm, but I definitely get the feeling that an aesthetic, or various aesthetics, are building up and spiralling all sorts of influence. More than anything I think their significance is that people from all around the world are being influenced to see things in a similar stylistic way but each photo they take is unique to the next ; the subjects are usually our own friends and family so it is intimate, but the images are brought together by similar aesthetic preferences. I also think it shows how democratic a vehicle the internet is for displaying your photography. Anyone can show their work. It’s pretty funny though how some people try and become internet celebrities because it’s all meaningless in the end, isn’t it? Cyberspaz is a weird, weird place.

What part do your friends play in your photography?
A huge part. They are the only ones I photograph. They bring the energy, the expressions and the scenarios about so I have alot to owe to them. Most of them probably have no idea that what I’m doing with my photos (and the bastards better not sue). I have this one friend, Josh, who I just spent the last two weeks running around after with my camera at festivals- just because he is a probably the most hedonist person I know and he gets himself into the weirdest situations but will always, always have a massive grin on his face.

Do you have a photograph, or several, that you love because of the person in it and not for its own sake?
This is of a guy, Jasper, who I met when I was living in New York earlier this year. He was living on the streets from time to time and seemed to know everyone around East Village. Every time you saw him he would say, “Hey, you wanna trip today?”… he always lived each day with no plan, just sort of went with life, which is a pretty rare and refreshing thing to find. This photo was taken after we finally managed to catch his gerbil (I wish I could remember it’s name…) that had escaped out of his pocket and was running around our apartment. Point is, I will probably never see him again in my life unless by sheer chance and I think the reason I like this photo the most is because I would have otherwise never remembered his face. What better a use for a photograph? I love that you can capture that moment and that relationship, however brief and fleeting.

I asked Hannah Davis, who curates Imaginary Zine, about the idea of adventure. This idea seems, to me at least, to play a role in your photography as well. Do you think this is true and if you do, what do you think about the relationship of adventure and fun to your own work?
I’m completely inspired by the idea of adventure. In fact, if I could scrap everything I answered before about my inspiration I would answer solely with that word. I think being young is about looking for fun and new experiences and that always leads to thousands of little chapters of adventures. I want to document all of those chapters. I think it’s a difficult job to capture all the atmosphere and beauty and fun of a single moment in one photograph, but the pursuit for it is probably the best adventure of all.

Are you working on anything in particular at the moment?
Right now I’m starting a blog with Hannah Davies called The Land Between Here and Mountains about the concept of journeys - the in-between, middle, in transit parts that are often the most telling and interesting bit of the journey, whatever the destination. I’m also doing a zine with a few friends at home called Oh It Was a Funny Little Thing all about the bizarre weird things in life that we love. It’s just a big load of fun, really. I’m also attempting to put specific photos that of mine in a book that I can print and give out to people - I have a set of images from travelling that I think work much better bound together on paper with a few words, than they do on the internet. It’s the best place for photographs to be.

@5 years ago with 9 notes

Missy Prince

Firstly, could you tell us a little bit about yourself: what you do, where you’re from, what you’re excited about.

I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast but I currently live in Portland, Oregon. I worked in a record store here for about ten years, acquired degrees in Philosophy and English, and somewhere along the way became preoccupied with photography. It is what I am most excited about these days, and travelling. I got a lot of that in this summer.

What kind of America are you trying to document? Or maybe what do you think about the America you photograph?

I’m not consciously trying to document America. I want to document what is around me, and I don’t primarily think of things I see in terms of their place in national culture, though I often find myself drawn to typically American scenes. It’s always good to run across evidence that America is not as homogenized as popular culture would have us think. I like to imagine the states as countries in themselves, with their own marks of distinction.

How do you interpret your experiences into a photograph?

I feel less like I interpret my experiences and more like I am just casting a wide net hoping to catch something good. You can try to control your body of work, but it tends to take on a life of its own if you’re just looking openly. Sense of place, both literal and psychological, is strong in the photos I enjoy by others, so I think that’s what I’m trying to get across in my own. You never know what detail is going to convey that. It’s always a surprise. And that’s the best part.

Do you have any good road trip stories?

Somehow the most exciting ones in hindsight are the bad ones, like almost driving my van into a not so dry lake in Utah.

What’s your relationship to the environment around you?

Well, I know the habits of everyone on my street. I don’t sit and peer out of my window all day or anything…well sometimes I do. I can’t help but notice a lot of what’s going on around me. I love looking.

Do you see yourself as a part of the landscape or as a visitor?

I definitely feel a part of it. I think the reason I travel is to have an exchange with the places I visit. I suppose I am a tourist, but I feel entitled to my experiences as I pass through. I want to interact and come away feeling alive.

What is beautiful to you and what inspires you?

I find beauty in lots of things. Imperfection, neglect, and wild nature are a few. I like to see things I haven’t seen before, to explore. When I was a child I lived near an interstate and I used to wander around the woods nearby. It was really exciting to come across evidence of the people who passed through overnight: campfires, mattresses, clothing, sleeping bags, trash, food, magazines. I loved wondering about these mysterious people, imagining what they had done there, where they were going. I think I am always looking for suggestions of something unknowable, even if it’s just a feeling.

@4 years ago with 16 notes

Landscape: Ben Seeley

Ben Seeley: It had snowed so heavily for a day or two and it was amazing. While walking through the sludge and frost a couple of days later I came across this igloo thing. It felt like it was this fantasy structure, struggling to cope with just being in a park in the city. I thought it looked odd, quite proud and sad at the same time.

@4 years ago with 4 notes

Ana Kraš

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? What influences you, what you’re excited about at the moment, any projects you’re working on?
I was born and grew up in belgrade, the capital of serbia. i remember my early childhood as a very sunny time, then the chain of bad politics and wars started and was more or less like that from then on, untill now.

I studied interior and furniture design at university of applied arts in Belgrade. product design (mostly furniture) is what I do, but I also draw and take pictures.  I hope I will find some time to paint soon, because that’s what I really love to do.
Earlier I was trying to focus on one thing, but then I realized the only way for me is to do all those things at the same time, which makes me messy and confused, but happy at the same time.

I think the biggest influence on me had Michelangelo Antonioni.  I have never seen pictures as beautiful as stills from his movies.  But all the things I like and dislike have a certain effect on what I do.

At the moment I am working on some furniture projects, making some prototypes, and getting my chair produced by a factory from singapore, which is an amazing experience.

I am also preparing a booklet, and some more things.  But honestly what makes me the most excited at the moment is moving to a new flat where I hope to get some space and calm to do oil on canvas.

What makes a good photograph?
For me it’s very personal.  When I see a photograph and feel some goosebumbs, that’s a good photograph for me.  I think there are no rules, what I like, you might dislike and the way around.

Do you see your photographs as a record of reality or as a reinterpretation of it?
The pictures I take are always stills from my life, they are documents of reality.  But the way I see it and what I choose from the world around, and how I put it in a context - that is my reinterpretation of it, and it has to do with my sensibility and my taste and the way i am.

If five of us go to a picnic together, have fun and sandwiches and shoot around, we will all record the same moments, but all the images will be different.

What do you think is beautiful?
Oh, so many things.  I also like ugly things quite a lot.  I feel more emotional for them.  landscapes are beautiful.

Are there any moments you’ve experienced but been unable to photograph?
Many, I don’t have my camera always in my pocket because I don’t like to shoot all the time.  Sometimes it feels better only to look.  There are things I feel emotional for but have never been able to shoot.

A lot of your photos are quite intimate, what kind of relationship do you like to have between you and your subject?
Very intimate, or at least very emotional.

@5 years ago with 9 notes

Andrea Simonato

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m 38 and I live in Este, a little town in the north of Italy. I have studied as architect but I’m working as web-designer.  What excites me at moment? These days I’m in love with the music of Jóhann Jóhannsson, I find it really inspiring.

There are never any people in your photographs, why is this?
That’s true, indeed I don’t know if there is a good reason for that, no kind of premeditation I mean. Maybe this is due to the fact that at the moment I’m more interested in the traces of human passage rather than the human being itself. Anyway, even if there are no people in my photos, somehow every subject talks about them.

The objects you photograph are often very ephemeral: peeling posters, dead animals, and abandoned buildings.  Do you see you work, in part, as a kind of document, or evidence for things that will not exist for very long?
Yes, they may be read as a kind of evidence. In general I’m fascinated by the frailty of the kind of stuff which stands on the edge of disappearing, this can be the peeled posters or the garbage on the side of the street.   Things that have lost their original function and therefore seems to have lost all meaning too. If we could take a step beyond, we may consider any ordinary thing as something on the edge of disappearing just because of its familiarity to our eyes. In that sense I would like to think that photography could work as a kind of redemption for all those things, a way to put a new significance into them.

How important is the idea of landscape to your work?
It’s really important to me, but my idea of landscape is not based on the large views as it commonly used to be, instead I like to think of landscape as a construction of a series of images. Like a puzzle, where each piece contributes in the definition of a bigger image.

You have a very strong compositional style. Can you talk a
little about the significance of it to your work?

I don’t know if this could be about compositional style but I always loved the kind of image that seem to express a sensation of calm, they’re often so static almost suspended out of time. So when shooting a photo, what I’m always trying to achieve is that kind of feeling. I would like to get an image that speaks through calm and silence.

Could you talk a little about your artistic practice? How do you go about creating your images? What role does chance and circumstance play and how important are technical decisions, like camera choice, to your work?
There isn’t any straight workflow indeed. You know, sometimes I work on ideas, other times it may happen that I started from a clue suggested by a previous photo, or something else I’ve seen, but quite often I prefer to follow the feeling of the moment, I guess that it’s a common practise. Of course, technical decisions matter a lot, it’s about the mood you’re meant to get from the shot. Using a Holga rather than a digital camera makes a difference, it’s the same with the kind of film you use.

I really love your approach to landscape as the creation of images that fit together to form something more. How do you see the relationship between your photographs and do you consciously create that dialogue?
Except for the ‘Stop’ series there isn’t any planning idea behind those relationships. Each photo is firstly thought by itself, it’s only in a following step that I can go find some relation between each one. Somehow, I think it’s a further kind of composition, something like film editing I guess.

And finally, are you working on anything in particular at
the moment? What is inspiring you right now?

Of course I’m still working on the same old stuff, but I’ve also got something new, it isn’t really well focused yet, so I prefer not to talk about it now.
What is inspiring me at this moment? I can’t really exactly say, there are a lot of things… but for sure I would like to be inspired by every little everyday thing, I think it would be a great goal.

@5 years ago with 5 notes

Nate Sexton

First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do, what your excited about at the moment?My name is Nathaniel Charles Sexton. I go by Nate. I’m twenty-one years old. I live about an hour out of Chicago, in Northwest Indiana, a town called Valparaiso. I really hate having a job. So, I try my hardest to avoid having to get one, although, now, because of my classes next semester, I’m going to have to get a job to maintain a car. This whole car and money thing should be preoccupying me, but I’m really irresponsible so I’m just ignoring it. I go to school for philosophy and English literature, but I want to pursue a doctorate in film studies. I spend most of my free time watching movies, doing that internet thing, or having fun with my friends. What am I excited about? I really want to make a road trip out to Yellowstone National Park before the end of this summer, that’s something I’m very excited for. Oh, and at the end of this month Music Box Theatre is playing John Carpenter’s The Thing as a midnight movie - a bunch of friends and I are going up, it should be good. I like to be naked. I’m a hard determinist. I’m probably the happiest person I know.

How did you begin in photography and what does it mean to you now?
I would like to say I began a long time ago as a small child, watching horror movies from the 1980’s and becoming absolutely obsessed and horrified by the images within them. But, that’s sort of abstract. Really, a friend of mine has a rather profound love for disposable cameras; after I had spent way too much money on instant film, it served as a great inspiration for trying something new. That was about a year ago. Ever since, I’ve been shooting. Now, it’s all about making life more interesting. Taking pictures really makes you look at things and imagine a frame floating over it all. It makes images more beautiful, no matter how common they are. For that reason alone, photography is very important to me.

A lot of your work is of your friends. What part do they play for you in your photography? My friends are inspiration, models, and rides. Seriously. they’re the people I surround myself with. I like them, and I wouldn’t want to see anyone more in my own photographs. Plus, it’s a lot easier and a lot more fun to give them direction, if a photograph is staged. I mean, I like putting my models in uncomfortable physical positions.

Do you have a favourite photograph? What’s its story?
One of my favorites is definitely of that chandelier in the reverb chamber, up in Chicago. Some friends of mine live in a great apartment building off of Clark or something. The whole building looks and feels like an old hotel. Anyways, the door has a little hexagonal room, with a super high ceiling. Because of the shape of the room, any sound verbs like crazy. We call it the reverb chamber, and drum on the radiator down there. In the center, hanging there, is this fantastic chandelier. I snapped a photo in the middle of a little drum session. I guess even if my friends aren’t in the photographs, they’re still there.

Who is the girl with the red hair? That would be Alyssa Johnson. She has really pretty hair. She’s very sensitive and has a very serious anxiety problem.

I spy with my internet stalking eye that you’ve recently been included in Blood of the Young’s first zine. What do you think about online shows and collectives like this? Oh, these are amazing and very important. The information age had done a lot for a lot of people, but it almost seemed like visual artists had fallen behind musicians, storytellers, and other folk who were taking greater advantage of the internet to share, inspire, and communicate. Now, I’m not sure. I think we’re all doing a phenomenal job. White spaces are awesome, and I would love to find myself somewhere like that someday, but the virtual space is perhaps a more formidable force: it is bound to have more freedom, more diversity, more ideas, more… just about everything other than price tags and crooked frames. You have a greater reach, in terms of immediate exposure, and just an easier and more accessible means of distribution. It’s pretty awesome. The physicality of print has its power, that’s no doubt. Nonetheless, these digital collectives and virtual galleries are really coming into their own, and a strong sense of minimalist and or modern design is really proving it all.

Why ‘no sex, bone dragon’?
“NoSex,” is an affirmation of my practiced Epicureanism. Epicureanism is the enlightened hedonistic school formed by the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus. Epicurus was a bad ass who argued that having sex is sweet, but reading a book or tending to a garden could be sweeter; he was the first philosopher to give qualitative values to pleasures, other than say “bad” or “good.” Uhm, bone dragons just create a great visual image. Dragons are enormous monsters that swallow men whole, and here is this resurrected dragon, stripped of his scales and think flesh… just bones. I have this whole goblin thing, I don’t really know.

@5 years ago with 11 notes