LOS ANGELES ART QUARTERLY
VOLUME 02 // AUTUMN 2015
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Help us tell LAâ€™s story. contribute at asymmetricmag.com
o nn tt ee n n tt ss cc o Photographer EMILIE NYSTRÖM’s mix of dancing and the movement of the ocean. // page 42
VIVA BAJA by Orange and Park (as told by John McCauley)
GOING WEST by Samantha McClintock and Tim Long
WHAT THEY’RE LISTENING TO The music that inspired this issue’s artists
THE GIRL & THE SEA by Sean Armenta
AT THE SKATE PARK by Kieran Byrne
FEATURED INSTAGRAM FANS
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CALIFORNIA DREAMING by Paul Roustan
THE BAR FLY: PART 1 by Chris Tarello
MEET THE EDITORS
MUSIC SPOTLIGHT with Cal Zafiro
a letter from the founder Fall has always been my favorite season. When I was younger, it signified a new school year–a new beginning. Now, I like to think new beginnings still come with each changing season. But in LA, the weather stays the same. This, of course, means that the beautiful Southern California coast and Pacific Ocean can be our muses all year long...and they are. In this issue, you’ll find a new set of emerging local artists who took on Asymmetric as their own project and were very clearly influenced by the ocean in our own backyard. Whether it acted as a backdrop for a fashion shoot (page 52), its movement and beauty were the main focus (page 42), or it was the inspiration behind water textured body paint (page 20) and a really awesome screen print design (page 26), the Pacific Ocean was a common theme in our submissions this season. Seeing the many different angles the artists interpreted it and the mediums through which they channeled their inspiration, well, it’s pretty phenomenal. Thus, I bring you: The Ocean Issue.
CONT CONT RRIIBBUU
There’s something about being able to see into forever when you look toward the horizon, as well as the feeling of smallness in comparison to the vastness and power of the ocean. The ocean puts a lot into perspective for me–how minute we really are in the universe." S E A N A R M E N TA
The Girl & The Sea // page 52
Leah Perrino Founder & Designer
Andre Forrest Samantha Rebuyaco
Sean Armenta Kieran Byrne Emilie Nyström Orange & Park Tim Long
MUSIC EDITOR Chaz Treharne
PAINTER Paul Roustan
WRITERS Samantha McClintock Chris Tarello
To share your story, visit asymmetricmag.com/contribute.
Palos Verdes // Photo by Leah Perrno
meet the editors ROLE LA PLAYS IN MY WORK: It’s my main source of inspiration in my designs. It’s a muse and backdrop in my photography. It’s really the backbone of everything I do, including Asymmetric.
MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION: Live music–it’s so powerful to see an artist create an entire environment and provoke emotion from a crowd that gathered to see them–and honestly, every single thing about California. The people and their passions, the music, the places, and especially the combination of urban and nature. I try to emulate that unity of hard and soft in all of my work.
MY ARTIST ROLE MODEL: Andy Warhol, hands down. Though he was criticized for it, his style of mass-produced art paved the way for graphic design. I also think turning his daily routine and everyday objects into art is genius. Same goes for his use of repetition. There’s a quote of his I live by: “You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” I’m constantly fascinated and inspired by everything around me. Don’t overlook anything.
MY FAVORITE ART MOVEMENT/ERA:
Founder, Editor + Designer MY WORK: I’m a graphic designer, and my passion is editorial work and visual journalism. I also enjoy writing and photography on the side.
MY STYLE: Minimal + bold. I love strong typography and the use of simple lines and shapes. 08 // A S Y M M E T R I C M A G A Z I N E
Swiss style art & design and modern art after the 50s. I think both movements expressed minimalism and a great understanding of lines, shapes, textures, and colors. Artists emphasized the value of art and design by highlighting and perfecting the basic elements, which definitely influences my design style.
MY GO-TO MUSIC: Death Cab for Cutie–always by default. I’m also really into Tycho, Washed Out, and Jamie XX.
MY BEST ADVICE: If you want to do something, you have to just do it. You have the power to create your own projects, dream job, and role in society. You don’t need a typical job to do that; you just need to find your passion. And if you’re in a place that makes you unhappy, you need to have enough selfrespect to walk away and do what you love.
MY BEST ADVICE:
Fashion, lifestyle, & documentary photography, along with wardrobe styling and other design gigs here and there. I like to be involved in anything that requires creativity + critical thinking. So if ever presented with the opportunity, I’m game.
You are your work. No matter what the pay is, always do the best damn job you can possibly do. Your reputation will follow you everywhere.
MY STYLE: Eccentric, yet refined.
ROLE LA PLAYS IN WORK: LA has always been my home, and in the (nearly) 3 decades I’ve been living here, I’ve found that it’s very transient and ever-changing. It’s never tied down to one thing. From that, I’ve instilled early on that things aren’t permanent. Just like the city, my work also has a pace–I find connections in things that come and go. It’s what keeps me going, and I never get bored!
MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION: People doing cool shit. To me, there’s nothing more inspiring. When I see people doing cool shit, I want to do cool shit, too.
MY ARTIST ROLE MODEL: Paul Jung for his sense of minimalism and structure, and Ryan McGinley for his ability to take you to another world. Pretty opposite styles, but I feel like they’re an accurate visual representation of both sides of my creativity. Structured vs. unstructured. Left brain vs. right brain.
MY FAVORITE ART MOVEMENT/ERA: Definitely Art Deco. And then Rococo just for eye candy.
MY GO-TO MUSIC: Lately it’s been a lot of jazz and soul. Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, Wes Montgomery, Nina Simone... And most recently, I’ve been geeking out on a British artist I just found out about called Mo Kolours. If I could put a soundtrack to my mood right now, his music would be it.
Editor + Photographer
music spotlight: Q+A with local emerging musician
CAL ZAFIRO Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your current work as a musician. Cal Zafiro: I’ve been collaborating with local musicians and producers to develop my sound for an EP. I write music every day, so it’s just about planning my next move. AM: How would you best describe your sound? CZ: It’s electronic pop, but it’s cinematic and dark. There’s a lot of melancholy in my melodies, yet it’s still hopeful and catchy. AM: What inspires you most? CZ: Torture, I guess–things I want for the future and things I’ve lost in the past. Sometimes I think I have enough memories to write songs for the rest of my life. That sounds foolish at 24, but it’s true. When I lose my muse, I ride my bike to the ocean–I think it helps to remember how small we are. AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work? CZ: I moved here because I wanted to write songs for other artists, so LA was the place to be. It’s exciting because everything a person would need to have a successful career is within a 20 mile radius. It’s motivating, but it’s elusive. AM: What themes do you pursue through your music? CZ: My concept is essentially a neo-lone ranger: identity, devotion, and abandonment. It’s all about raw feelings from real experiences. ‘Emotional honesty’ sums it up.
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AM: What other music is currently inspiring you? CZ: Grimes, Blood Orange, Lana Del Rey, Eminem, and Bruce Springsteen. Also, to be honest, I can’t stop listening to Skrillex and Diplo’s new project. I love how they featured an unexpected vocalist [Justin Bieber]. I’m really inspired by collaborations that work that well. AM: Tell us a real life experience you had that impacted your work. CZ: Everything has an impact. Like with my song “Chlorine,” for example. When I was younger, my friends and I would sneak into pools on summer nights to swim. And as I got older, I found a metaphor between relationships and drowning. Everything carries over creatively...Eventually. AM: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? CZ: Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Listen to “Chlorine” by Cal Zafiro (produced by Midoca) on SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/calzafiro.
what they’re listening to This issue’s contributors share what tunes are inspiring their work. I listen to so much music on a daily basis, it’s almost impossible to narrow it down. My musical tastes are so broad, and I think emotionally driven type of songs are what really inspire my work. Right now I’m a little obsessed with ‘Bridges’ by Broods, ‘Un-thinkable’ by City and Colour, and ‘Work Song’ by Hozier.” S E A N A R M E N TA • Muse // Survival • Dr. Dre // Let Me Ride • The Animals // House of the Rising Sun
• Langhorne Slim // The Way We Move • The Donkeys // I Heart Alabama • Night Terrors of 1927 // Dust And Bones O R A N G E & PA R K
“For [my] story, I was inspired by PJ Harvey’s album Stories from the city, stories from the sea. And mostly by the songs ‘We float’ and ‘You said something.’” EMILIE NYSTRÖM
PA U L R O U S TA N asymmetricmag.com //
photo story by KIERAN BYRNE
WHAT INSPIRES ME MOST IS REALLY JUST HAVING THE POWER TO CAPTURE A MEMORY.” 14 // A S Y M M E T R I C M A G A Z I N E
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Kieran Byrne is an LA-based skater and photographer.
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body painting and photos by PAUL ROUSTAN model KYARA TYLER
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This series is about the desire to get back in the water. I’m a surfer, and [the model] Kyara is a diver. Anyone who has been bitten by the ocean knows the ache to drop everything and get wet. I don’t know why I body paint, really. I’m obsessed with it. I have no choice. I’ve always liked to draw, but I prefer the results over the process. Body painting is cool because I’m forced to work quick. My impatience with the process is resolved, and it’s nice to be able to converse with the canvas. I love people. Especially genuine people that radiate character. It helps if they are naked, too.
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Paul Roustan is an LA-based body painter and photographer. View the full photo series at asymmetricmag.com asymmetricmag.com //
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photo story by ORANGE & PARK as told by JOHN MCCAULEY
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avid and I first met walking to and from Coronado Middle School in 1995. A small beach community in southern San Diego, Coronado is one-fourth military and three-fourths tourists, best known for its expansive family friendly beach with a view that is both beautiful and contrasting. To the north, a long list of affluent Southern California cities nears its end on the peninsula of Point Loma, as it curls around the mouth of the San Diego Bay. To the South, less than 30 minutes away, a whole new world emerges in the developing Playas de Tijuana. Growing up, we spent a lot of time traveling north; we knew the exits and cities off Interstate 5 between San Diego and Los Angeles well. Mexico, on the other hand, was an enigma. Tijuana was just a neighborhood away, constantly staring at us yet completely closed off and untouchable, guarded by a huge wall and assault rifles. It shared the same climate and ocean views enjoyed mostly by the wealthy stateside, yet most people in Baja, especially those who lived closest to San Diego, lived in severe poverty. It was a constant source of intrigue. About 6 years ago, intrigue turned to infatuation when a group of friends invited me on an annual Baja surf trip. I was hooked from day one, blown away by the wide expanse of the desert roads and untouched beaches. Baja is a trip back in time to a simpler California with less people, development and money. Development in Baja has been cursed–which ironically is a blessing–by a corrupt government, a related but exaggerated crime problem, and a lack of fresh water. Major developers have come, and with the exception of Cabo San Lucas, failed miserably, leaving the natural desert and beach habitats of Baja to flourish. Orange and Park’s Viva Baja print is a homage to Baja. A reminder of good times and a slower, simpler place. [For us,] inspiration comes from so many places, but we’re mostly homebodies–focusing on what we know best–the places and icons of California (and Baja). We love the beauty of simplicity; the best designs look easy and effortless, but in reality are well thought-out and fairly complex. There is a long list of luminaries that inspire us: Charles Eames, Dieter Rams, Wes Andersen, Leroy Grannis, Bruce Brown, the list is diverse and goes on and on.
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Orange & Park’s Viva Baja Print: ¡Viva Baja! Inks screen printed on French’s Speckletone® Madero Beach 100#C paper (shop the print via orangeandpark.com).
Orange & Park is Southern California-based David Klinker and John McCauley. Orange & Park combines typography, a love for geography, and screen printing to create unique products inspired by the things they love.
Photos from Orange & Parkâ€™s trip to Baja that inspired their Viva Baja print:
VIVA BAJ BAJA VIV VIVA BAJ BAJA VIV VIVA BAJ
JA VIVA VA BAJA JA VIVA VA BAJA JA VIVA
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VIVA BAJ BAJA VIV VIVA BAJ BAJA VIV VIVA BAJ
JA VIVA VA BAJA JA VIVA VA BAJA JA VIVA
Help us tell LAâ€™s story.
contribute at asymmetricmag.com
ASYMMETRIC 34 // A S Y M M E T R I C M A G A Z I N E
“Do it while you’re young” and other do’s and don’ts of a cross-country road trip
As told by writer SAMANTHA MCCLINTOCK and photographer TIM LONG y boyfriend made a promise to himself that if gas prices ever dipped below two dollars a gallon, he would travel the length of the United States to Los Angeles, camping all along the way. In April, he texted me a photo of a $1.99 per gallon sign at his local gas station. The following text read, “I’m going!
Are you in!?” As self-professed adventurers with a 2003 Pontiac Vibe and a very limited budget, we began planning a 92-hour cross country trip from eastern Ohio to sunny Los Angeles. Do it while you’re young – that was the arched-eyebrow response we received from our friends, our parents and our bosses when we started talking about our road trip to California. Other comments included, “you’re going to kill each other,” “wait, where will you shower?” and “better you than me.” We kindly ignored the haters, crossed our fingers for good weather and packed the car–and it turned out to be the best experience of our lives to date. Here’s a brief collection of some of our fondest memories, worst ideas and best lessons. asymmetricmag.com //
DON’T: Believe that you have to do it while you’re young. Yes, it was easier for us to travel without children or pets or other huge commitments (just some time off work), but a cross-country trip could and should be appreciated at any age. You won’t regret it. DO: Plan ahead. We used the free RoadTrippers app to plan the entire journey, including stops along the way like the City Museum in St. Louis, a vapor cave in Colorado, a twohour Vegas stop and the best roadside milkshakes in Arizona. The app also calculates how much gas the trip will require and the estimated cost. While it’s important and rewarding to be flexible (like when you almost run out of gas in Utah and have to sleep at a blindingly well-lit gas station), it also pays to plan as much of the trip ahead of time as you can. DON’T: Discount the weather. We slept either in a tent or the aforementioned Vibe for almost the entire trip. We thought the weather would be mild, but we drove through a dangerous ice storm in Colorado. We thought we were safe in our car, but had second thoughts after tornado warnings 36 // A S Y M M E T R I C M A G A Z I N E
whipped through Kansas while we tried to sleep. Depending on when you make the journey (we set off the third week of May), pack clothes for almost every temperature, and check the weather often. DO: Be adventurous. I can’t think of a less cliché way to say this, but it’s a must. While we enjoy hiking and camping in our native southwestern Pennsylvania/eastern Ohio, we work nine to five desk jobs. So, we really wanted to take this opportunity to experience as much as possible. That means making frequent stops, like an impromptu ride on the fastest mountain roller coaster we’ve ever seen in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It also might mean baring it all in a California hot spring while sitting next to a stranger who definitely DOES NOT work a nine to five job and definitely DOES want to know everything about your astrological energy. It might mean losing your flip flops in the muddy waters of Cadillac Ranch in Texas, or scraping your pennies together for last-minute admission to the breathtaking Petrified National Forest in Arizona. I promise you that the only parts of the trip you will regret are the ones you didn’t make time to do.
DON’T: Forget to nourish your body. Clif Bars and week-old apples can only get you so far. Even if you’re on a budget, you can find ways to pack food that will stay fresh and take up little space. Make sure you have enough snacks for long hikes, and enough food for dinners in the middle of nowhere. Stop often for water, and if you buy it in plastic bottle-form, you’re doing it wrong. DO: Take care of your traveling companions. First of all, I don’t really buy into the idea that you should really, truly know someone before you take a road trip with him or her. No matter how well you think you know someone, you will learn a lot more when you’re stuck in a car together for 92 hours. It’s so important to care for your companion, whether it’s a boyfriend or a friend or your grandmother. When a Cholla cactus buried itself in my ankle, my boyfriend pried it out with his body weight (seriously, look up Cholla cactus on YouTube). He held my hand and bought me a donut, and we postponed a hike while my ankle healed. Remember that you aren’t the only person on the journey – helping and being patient with your fellow traveler(s) will make for a much better trip for everyone.
DON’T: Be too concerned with the destination. To be honest, some of our best moments were spent in that smelly, stupid Vibe, looking out the window. Cliché and cheesy? Probably. But it’s true. The trip is entirely what you make it. We were on a mission to get to Los Angeles from the second we started the car, but quickly found out that the time spent at gas stations, chili joints and coffee shops could add up to something just as memorable. DO: Pursue your passions. It’s tempting to leave everything behind when you go on a trip. We’re told to shuck off the everyday parts of ourselves that might be a burden on the journey. But there’s something really beautiful about bringing your passions with you and seeing them from a new perspective. For example, my boyfriend loves photography, so he spent a good bit of time each day documenting the trip through his GoPro or Nikon. I’m a big doodler and reader, so I brought my paints, markers and books out on the road. The new views, whether in the car, the desert or the top of a mountain we just climbed, allowed us to see our hobbies through a new lens.
The outsiders’ favorite LA spots: IN N’ OUT // Did you really think we’d travel 92 road hours without trying the famous In N’ Out? It was the longest (and the greatest) wait we’ve ever made for fast food. RANDY’S DONUTS // The donuts were good, but the real fun was had in trying to capture a passing airplane through the hole in Randy’s iconic, giant doughnut. We spent way too long eating donuts off the hood of our car while we waited for a plane. THE ORIGINAL FARMER’S MARKET // After a morning at LACMA, we divided and conquered for lunch at the Original Farmer’s Market. When our group met up 20 minutes later, we sampled and shared each other’s lunch choices, ranging from Italian to Thai and Vietnamese, burritos, and more. One thing we could all agree on? Bennett’s Ice Cream for dessert. THE GRIDDLE // Sure, we could have all split one order of pancakes, but where’s the fun in that? AMOEBA MUSIC // Like nothing we could have expected, the record and book store could have easily entertained us for hours, but we had more food to eat. THE LAST BOOK STORE // Again, like nothing we could have imagined. We found some amazing $1 books upstairs, hiked through room after room of novels, and stared lovingly at hundreds of books arranged by color. Don’t expect a quick trip. VENICE BEACH // This eclectic spot did not disappoint. We scored a free bike ride and quickly learned that we’re ill-equipped for tandem cycling, but somehow made it all the way to the Santa Monica Pier. On the way we were reminded that people are crazy and wild and beautiful. One gentleman taught us a chant for any time we felt sad. HIKE IN THE PACIFIC PALISADES // We pulled over on the side of the road and hiked a quarter mile to watch the sun set over the Palisades. THE GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY // We were blown away by the scale of Los Angeles–and still are. Looking out from the Observatory at night, we saw dozens of Pittsburgh-sized cities nestled inside the biggest, brightest city we’ve ever seen.
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Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Photos on page 38 from eft to right: Joshua Tree National Park, CA // Cholla Catcus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, CA // Royâ€™s Gas Station. Route 66, Amboy, CA // Rainbow Rock Shop, Hollbrook, AZ // Petrified Forest National Park, AZ // Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
a touch COVER STORY
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photo story by EMILIE NYSTRÃ–M
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ver since I moved to LA five years ago from Stockholm, Sweden, I’m constantly inspired by the people, the culture, the art, the music, and especially the ocean. Motion and emotion are two words that describe my vision. This story is how two worlds collide with their cultural differences but also their similarities. I’m inspired by light and intrigued by the dark. My environment is my greatest influence–the ones who choose to go their own way and the ones who dare to create their own universe. There are many things we are in control of in life, but [there’s] even more that’s uncontrollable. I’m always seeking to embrace the undiscovered and untouched. I find a lot of inspiration from music that naturally expands my imagination, and to capture and freeze moments with my camera is my way of expressing my passion and myself.
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Emilie Nystrรถm is an LA-based photographer from Sweden with a background in fashion.
The Girl the Sea
photos by SEAN ARMENTA
model ASHIKO WESTGUARD styling VANESSA MICHELLE hair GARY BAKER FOR UNITE makeup JESSICA WOODS swimwear designer HUSH LA jewelry designer NAN FUSCO 50 // A S Y M M E T R I C M A G A Z I N E
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shoot primarily beauty and fashion photography, which is the type of work I am most passionate about. I’m fortunate to shoot what I love for work. When I have breaks in between jobs, I self-produce fashion/beauty photo shoots for fun. The intersection of my personal and professional work allows for perpetually adding new content to my portfolio. I think what I love most about my industry is the collaborative aspect of it–several artists of different disciplines coming together to work towards a common goal; the creation of beautiful images. For this particular shoot, I wanted to add more swimwear oriented imagery to my portfolio. We’re spoiled living in California in that we’re able to shoot swimwear literally yearround. I took this opportunity to create content that I could art direct myself and produce images with my own artistic vision, as opposed to working under the art direction of a commercial client. As an avid cyclist, I’ve found a lot of my recent shoot locations while on rides. The location for this shoot is right off of one of my regular routes. I put together a crack team of talented individuals and off we went to Alamitos Bay, roughly 15 minutes from where I live in Long Beach. I draw inspiration from so many things. I don’t find it difficult to find inspiration at all, whether it be nature, the city, music, fashion, etc. I guess you could say I love shooting faces the most, and having lived along the coast in three different countries, I do have an affinity for the ocean. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces. There’s something about being able to see into forever when you look toward the horizon, as well as the feeling of smallness in comparison to the vastness and power of the ocean. The ocean puts a lot into perspective for me–how minute we really are in the universe. Although I am a Canadian citizen by birth, I have lived most of my life right here in Southern California and it is, for all intents and purposes, my home. It definitely plays a big role in the work that I do. In fact, two of my greatest photographic influences lived in Los Angeles. Herb Ritts was a native of Los Angeles, and he is still one of my most favorite photographers to this day. His timeless, classic, and iconic body of work is something that I strive to produce. Helmut Newton resided at the famed Chateau Marmont in Hollywood for several years before his death, and his provocative imagery of many celebrities from the 80’s through the early 2000’s still remain relevant today. The laid-back Southern California lifestyle is something that is deeply imprinted in me. There’s a simplicity and a minimalism about it that finds its way into my work. The culture of Southern California can be beautiful and glamorous, but it’s balanced with an effortlessness that doesn’t feel contrived.
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Sean Armenta is an LA-based fashion and beauty photographer.
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@ a n g e lf e b
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@ k e v v v _ ii n
@the _cyn _cyn
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gn @ kyoun
THE BAR FLY PART 1 by CHRIS TARELLO
I demand a word with you about the origin of your eyes – quite unearthly, they are – I can’t help but stare. A drink first, of course – let me order you something complementary to the snow under your nose; and a slice of red meat, rare, for red lips, and the drip. Yes, I know my way around silver and vino.
or full series + artist interviews, go to:
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