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THE THIRD ONE’S A CHARM It’s hard to give birth, even for the third time. You know why? Because your vagina can split up to your guts and your asshole might never be the same again. So why do we keep on doing it? Because we have ideas of a better world, that our baby will some day make this world a little bit better. And yes, maybe we also think that it feels good just having someone there, someone who will love you forever and who won’t run away. If you treat him or her right. I have met everything from moral dilemmas, assholes, angels, sweet people to morons trying to fuck us over. But in the end, there is a group of people that we have worked with that are all sickly talented and all very much aware of where they once started and why. We have the joy of working with people who are well-known for what they do, some on an international level. They have all jumped into our boat because they love the magazine, they love what they do and they want to create something special together with likeminded people, like ourselves. So this issue, the third one, is a LOVECHILD. We love all our new friends we got to mate with to get this out there. It’s amazing to see all the YESes we can get if we just start off with jumping in the water and then ask for help. Our friend, Peter Beste, drove all the way from NYC, where he lives, to Washington DC to photograph a very important man for us. That’s dedication. This issue is stuffed with good references for those who know their hardcore culture. If you check out our last issue, where we interviewed Glen E. Friedman, you’ll see his photograph of Minor Threat on the steps of The Dischord House. Peter Beste took a new version of this photo as a tribute, but this time with only Ian and his coffee mug. There are also a few detail pics for you fellow nerds out there that I hope will be appreciated. A lot of people don’t know what the title of this magazine refers to. We intended for it to be ambiguous from the first issue, but have waited to do this interview. But here it comes. Tommy Olsson interviewed Ian MacKaye, the singer of the legendary punk bands Minor Threat, Fugazi and Teen Idles. Minor Threat released a record in 1983, a year before I was born. He came up with the term straight-edge without knowing it would evolve into a whole movement and influence American hardcore and punk around the world. What a match. Two dudes, the same age, coming from different subcultures but with so much life experience and references in common. Coming from a subculture, I have had times where I’ve thought: “What am I doing? Outing all our ‘secrets’ to everyone who might not be in the know?” It sometimes feels like having multiple personalities. I’m that straight edge chick, that designer chick, that magazine chick, that nerdy hardcore chick, plus a bunch of other labels I haven’t even been informed about. This magazine feels very much like me, like all those roles people hand out to me, melted into one big mess. Out Of Step Magazine is all about those mixes. About taking your own references and putting them into your work. Whether it’s
-I think everything’s gonna be computerized in twenty years. - Soup won’t be computerized. - Why not? - It’s a liquid.
photography, music, design, activism, art, illustration, nursing, moving papers or whatever. It’s about being aware of where you come from, what you stand for and being able to use that in what you are doing. Keeping yourself real. You don’t need to leave one of your roles to be another – mix it up and burst those boxes we’re placed in, to hell. Then make new and bigger boxes, only with no walls. You might also have noticed our cover boy. That’s Belgian artist and DJ, Elzo Durt. He made it to the cover and further back in the magazine we present his amazing work. This man is someone who has a burning heart and who puts the fire into his prints. We are also exhibiting his work the first week after the release and we are really excited to show his work to the world! I went to London to visit former cover girl Mariell Amélie a few months back and we made a daydream that I had in my head come to life in a park of west London. It’s a true love story and I really hope you like it because the model in this shoot was lying still, and almost naked the whole day while we were wearing huge coats and breathing smoke from the frost. Mariell is our good friend with a passion like no one else. She gets better and better every time I check out her work. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before she’s all over the world, shooting for the big ones. And us, of course. Another photographer who did a hell of a job for us is Mathias Fossum. Mathias and I had this idea of a new Norwegian movie only that was photographed instead of filmed, one quarter of a second, in the same place with five cameras going off at the same time. Thirty people on set and hours of set-time later, hours of post-
production and headache – it turned out great. I am excited to show you what came out of this mayhem. There is a bunch of good stuff in this issue, and I truly do hope that you enjoy it as much as we did making it. As we have pointed out a couple of times before, these are our hearts and they are burning. There is no money in it, just pure joy of making something together with fellow creative people. If you have something to show me or want to say something, please speak up. If paper could be filled with interactive solutions like an iPad magazine, we would make this into a discussion and a conversation. So involve yourself, talk to us. Make a magazine or join us making this. This is also the reason why a lot of people think the magazine industry is slowly dying. That might be true, but we don’t care. I fucking love the feeling of high quality paper with the UV coating finish between my fingers. The smell, the feeling of holding it, keeping it in my shelf. Appreciating it, taking it out weeks later and looking at it again… It’s just not the same when its digital. It’s like this girl says in one of my fav movies, guess which one: “Soup won’t be computerized.” That’s how I feel about magazines. Sure you can get the same stories and images on a screen, but where’s the smell? Where’s the texture and where’s that paper? Love us, hate us, but make up your own mind. Do something cool, make sure you don’t forget why you started doing what you are doing. And if you end up hating us, make sure you give the issue you are holding right now to someone who might care, we busted our asses for every single magazine that we printed. Thank you. - Christin Malén Andreassen
Table of contents
14 The Name of the Game Reflective black aliases
20 Walk the edge Ian MacKaye straight up
32 Props past belief An eerie shopping spree
38 Breathtaking beauty Drop dead design
48 Smith smitten Gold’s best friend
52 Trail of inspiration Cut and paste with Elzo Durt
66 One moment in time Action captured on film
76 Painting out phantoms Johannes Høie’s inner poetry
90 into the darkroom Mystic motives
98 Force off course All natural warriors
102 Heads up Contemporary crowns
104 Polychromatic pursuit Paraphrasing the title
There is NO WAY this magazine would exist without all our new and old friends who have put their heart into making this with us! “We do it for the love of what we do good”
Christin Malén Andreassen
If there ever was a Master of Ceremony, Christin exceeds it. She can stretch the hours like magic and with a sixth sense for everything worth looking at or into, she’s connecting all dots and drawing the line where it’s suppose to be drawn. A no-nonsense spiritual leader for Out Of Step Magazine and the unrivaled muffin master of all times.
Pulling strings and fixing things. Benni is the dominatrix of the bunch, punching, pushing and cultivating a grand garden of details, which she loves to attend to, spreading the seeds. Another skill is putting words after one another. She likes that too. And she’s really good at running stairs.
What do we do when we’re Out Of Hands? Betten to the rescue! Defying daily hick-ups this born-and-bred Oslo girl went head first, no fear, into the centrifugal lifestyle we call magazine making. Fun and gutsy, she makes the mash-up even more melodious. Three is a crown.
Usually a risk taker, we gave Steffen a break from hazard and instead the opportunity to portray Johannes Høie for this issue. We dare say Steffen is a fan of ours, and the love is entirely mutual. He’s devotion served hot baked in talent, and we’re willing to toast to that. steffenaaland.com
Definitely a wild card – but we enjoy playing his game. A second timer in OOS, a great inspiration and even if this big cat goes his own way, he’s landing graciously paws down every time. Mostly recognized as a writer on contemporary art, he now leads us into Ian MacKaye’s world. A winner!
Rumor has it that her career started off with a shot of her friend’s ass. A worldwide freelancer of great snaps, and we were beyond stoked when she agreed to do the Unicum shoot with us. Indeed hope to get the chance to peek through the lens alongside her again. margrethe-myhrer.no
WH WH Editor In Chief & Creative Director // Christin Malén Andreassen email@example.com
Project Manager // Benedikte Kluge
Marketing // Christine Betten Writers // Benedikte Kluge Cathrine Elnan Christin Malén Andreassen Tommy Olsson Photographers // Laetitia Bica Hendrik Zeitler Margrethe Myhrer Mariell Amélie Mathias Fossum Peter Beste Sayaka Maruyama Sebastian Ludvigsen Steffen Aaland Handjobs // Helene Ryenbakken Johannes Rummelhoff Jon A. Gaasland Justin Bartlett Artwork // Elzo Durt Johannes Høie Marc PMA Morgan Norman Morten Iveland Oh Yeah Studio Regina Rourke Robin Snasen Tonje Bartnes Andersson Justin Bartlett Proofreaders // Ann Lee Arnt Ove Foss Jon A. Gaasland Will Rogers Coverphoto // Laetitia Bica Design // Christin Malén Andreassen Logo and Symbol // Fredrik Melby / Anti Font for OOS3 Diabloos3 // Christin Malén Andreassen Website // Are Sundnes Valuable guidance // Adam Billyeald Are Kleivan Mac Lewis Publisher // Out Of Step Magazine DIY outofstepmagazine.com
A player with reality, transforming her visions into displays of beauty, clichés and humor. Bica splits her working hours between Brussels and Paris, doing band covers, art and fashions magazines. Recruited through the Inter-network, she took the trouble to do Elzo’s portraits for us. Big up! laetitiabica.be
We adore the YES-men. But that’s not the only thing to like about Sebastian. His skill with the camera and his never-ending passion blows us away - he is a credit to the saying ‘A picture says more...’ Do we need say more? Sebastian shot What’s In A Name and the Handjobs for us this time. Lucky us! sebastianludvigsen.com
He’s just the Beste! This US photographer, with a taste for Norway, travelled across states to shoot Ian MacKaye for this issue. Peter has been with us since #1 and he’s truly a #1 himself. One more time: We love this dude. peterbeste.com
Imported German goods in Sweden are good news for OOS #3. Hendrik is all about presence, and he captivated us by capturing the habitation of the anarcho-primitivists on film. He’s more than a photographer; an artist, a gallerist, an author. And a person we digg! hendrikzeitler.com
An only child from a tiny Norwegian island left for London in 2009 where she dwells to this day. Working relentlessly to follow her burning heart she boasts a zillion swell photographs and projects. She’s got the look like no other – in every respect. And we are die-hard fans, speechless in awe. mariellamelie.com
Cathrine took the trip into the wild for us to face people living off the beaten path. No one is as dedicated, stripped of hesitation and thorough as her. We are lucky to get a shred of her skill and happy to share those skills with any other publications. We care for that quality.
A special thanks to //
Our moms, SMFB, Grafill, Både Og, Fham Sjøholm, Elisabeth Limi, Ragnhild Karlsen, Underskog, KK, Rebekka Bondesen, Merethe Holtet, Nicklas Hellborg, Fredrik Gunstad, Dan and Sarah from Revolver, Guz the Fuz, Le Capitain, Ann, Sigurd in RED, Dark Times, Honeytraps, Martin Biehl, NOAH, Nettverk For Dyrs Frihet, Tele2, Værsågod, Natu, Diesel, PETA, David McInnes, Ulrika and Edith Westergren.
A real hunk but Mathias is so much more that just a pretty face. His ambition is quite our cup of tea, and pulling off the Street Justice-shoot together was an exquisite joyride. Mathias is new to OOS but not new to the business. All his pretty pictures are worth admiring. mathiasfossum.com
HANDJOB BY // Helene ryenbakken 12
To think consciously, one must use language. The order of letters represents the identification of a person and forms the link between the human mind and the language. By name you recognize yourself, and to be fully conscious you should make sure to influence your name rather than the other way around.
- HVáLL Jarle Kvåle
Hváll is an ancient way of spelling my last name, Kvåle. I am very interested in history in general, and I chose to bear this name as a way to seek back to my roots in time. 14
To think consciously, one must use language. The order of letters represents the identification of a person and forms the link between the human mind and the language. By name you recognize yourself, and to be fully conscious you should make sure to influence your name rather than the other way around. Photographer // Sebastian Ludvigsen 15
- ARCHAON Idar Burheim
The Chosen one of Chaos is the meaning of the name Archaon, The Everchosen, the Lord of the End Times, and leader of the Swords of Chaos war band. I chose it mainly because I like the sound of it, and in addition it fits my personality like a glove. 16
- DOLK -
Per-Joar Spydevold Dolk (Dagger) is no stage name, but a name following me since I was 5-6 years old. I brought the dagger Dad gave me everywhere, so often that people started calling me Dolk. If I wanted to impress, I could easily use my birth name, Per-Joar, meaning Mountain Warrior. 17
- Antichristian Christian Håpnes Svendsen
My name is really self-explanatory. I added a Finnish name as a prefix to my own and there you have it. A gentleman’s magazine said: the name is either totally dumb or it’s ingenious beyond understanding. And it exceeds the names from The Lord of the Rings by far! 18
“It didn’t have to be punk, but for me it was” Writer // Tommy Olsson Photographer // Peter Beste 21
Ian MacKaye Talking to Ian MacKaye can be a multilayered experience. Even if the conversation between Oslo and Washington was via Skype, I’m left with the feeling of a real meeting, under real circumstances, as if we just had lunch together. A rather long lunch, admittedly, but still - the disembodied voice from Washington DC was at times very close, verging on the intimate. Ian MacKaye goes into the history book as the first philosopher and prophet of one of the different schools of thought within the world of punk rock, straight edge, even though I suspect he would kick my ass for using those p-words in the same sentence as his name. The song “Straight Edge” gave name to what would become one of punk’s more distinctive discourses: the sober, clean living crowd. It is clear that Ian did not propose a movement when writing the song for his band Minor Threat in 1981 - a song about not being interested in drugs, tobacco and casual sex. Straight edge has progressed throughout the years in various forms since. At times a regimen, at its best a good example. A discussion on this seemed irrelevant at best, as we would most likely end up on the same conclusion: the fact that no one can tell you what do to with your life. So, here it is, old punks talking about the important things in life; record distribution, family and what the lyrics to Wire’s 12XU really mean. Out of Step editor and blonde bombshell Christin Malén acts as sidekick. Enjoy the transcript: T: I thought we could start by talking about punk rock, as a shared experience. As I was in my late teens and twenties at the time, pretty much all of the American hardcore scene passed under my radar. Because I was too busy doing things myself, as was everyone else. So this is something I am actually catching up on now. I: What were you doing? You said you were 22
doing things yourself, were you involved in music stuff there? I am curious what you were doing. T: I was playing in bands. I: In Bergen? T: In Sweden. I: Minor Threat never made it to Europe. That’s the thing, we felt very much like we were just kids from America. It didn’t occur to us that anyone from outside of our weird sphere knew of us or had any interest in us. But we were very interested in what was going on in Europe, to the degree we could find out. Obviously we were able to track down a lot of British music that was pretty easily found. There was a little bit of French stuff, a few German bands; there were the Sods from Denmark who were enormously influential to us. We thought they were incredible. But, Minor Threat, you have to remember we were together for 3 years. From ’80 to ’83. When we broke up I was 21. I mean, we had finally made it around our country, but we were ignored for the most part. Nobody was going to bring us to Europe, no infrastructure for that. But I actually had some experience with this because in 1981 I went to England with Black Flag. I was a roadie for them and they had gone over on the premise that they were going to do a tour with The Exploited. You know who they were, The Exploited? T: Yes, I know. I like that combination. I: It was such an odd idea, but really, at the time Exploited were taken somewhat seriously because they kind of represented a new era of British punk after The Clash. The Clash had kind of given up. When I say give up I mean they kind of came out as a real populace unit. They were speaking to the people, but suddenly you could kind of see the creep of Rock n’ Roll business shamed them. Their
We had this whole concept that we were actually nice people - Ian MacKaye – Minor Threat
records became less convincing. When The Exploited showed up there was a new sense of these punks in England that were more of the people. But it didn’t take long to realize how cartoony they were. So, we had gone out to do a tour with them, and Wattie, the singer, apparently had hurt his ankle and cancelled the tour right when we got there, and at that moment nobody had a clue about Black Flag in England. We were playing these shows with like 12 people. I mean, they hated them. It was incredible; some of the shows were so vicious. This was December ‘81. It was really amazing, it wasn’t merely the band – it was the fact that they were American. From the British perspective, they had been raised on television, so Americans were people who are just driving around in their cars and that sort of thing. It was only about 10 days long, or 2 weeks. It really made me think: “Oh, well.” It was the first time I had been across the ocean, the first time I had been to England. It was an incredible experience, but I also thought: “Minor Threat is nothing.” By and large, nobody knew what was going on in Washington. Furthermore people actually didn’t care. So, it never occurred to me to go overseas and it wasn’t really until the mid ‘80s, after Minor Threat broke up, that we really started to get a sense from people that were fans of the band. T: What do you think of the retroactive influence you still have? I: First off, it’s hard to define, so it’s hard to respond to the question. But I grew up listening to Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Listening to Parliament, Funkadelic and Kool and the Gang
– music that sounded like I could believe them. It wasn’t until I got into punk rock that I started discovering all these other bands. Some of the guys in Black Flag were talking about the Stooges and I thought they were talking about the Three Stooges. I had heard about MC5 because some of the kids from my High School had listened to MC5 but never the Stooges. Also, I remember being in a record store in 1979 and I asked the guy behind the counter what this record sounded like. He said: Sort of Velvet Undergound-ish. I said okay, but I was way too shy to ask any more questions. I had no idea what he was talking about. I thought maybe there was some soft base, a velvet underground. These are bands I came to rather late. But, once I heard them they influenced me because I felt like they were people who found their voice and were being honest. That is something that is really compelling to me. I have said this many times, usually it kicked and kicks my ass, and I tend to return that favor. People hear Minor Threat and it does something for them and I think yeah! That’s music. That’s right. T: I’ve been watching some YouTube clips from the old days and it was pretty wild, wasn’t it? I mean the rioting, I don’t know if that’s still happening. I: These kids are still blowing it out for sure. I think it manifests in a different way now. I don’t think things were wilder back then; I try to stay away from this idea. It can’t be true anyway. People were engaging in a rite, they were engaging in what made them feel connected to each other. In my world at least, people who would identify with punk were largely marginalized people for various reasons. They had family issues, or felt ostracized
for being different, a woman, or because they are tall, they are gay, because they wear glasses. Whatever the fuck, you know? They felt like freaks. Punk gave people a sense of gathering, a place where they could be connected to other human beings. Especially with adolescents, they are going through their weaning process. They are leaving their family units; they are going on their own. I think that it makes sense when you go in a pack with other people because you don’t know what you’re doing by yourself. It makes sense because you have these other kids to rally around. I think that still happens but the problem now is that they think of it as a form. There is actually a style and a sound, like this is punk and this isn’t punk. But in my mind punk is the free space and it doesn’t really have a definition. Ultimately, it will change names and at one point, it was called jazz, it was called blues, it was called rock n’ roll, folk, it was called hip hop or beat, whatever. I think that that is all coming from the same place. It may not be called punk rock but I suspect it’s still happening today. I’ve used this analogy before in terms of punk rock: if you’re sitting next to a river and see that the river is flowing past you and you see a disturbance on the river, like white water. If you keep your eyes on the water, it’s smooth before, then there’s turbulence, then it’s smooth after. My sense is that people often see their lives as being wild at one point and now they’re not wild anymore so it must be gone. But they are looking at the water. The turbulence that was basically the rock
I didn’t want to do fucking assignments. I just wanted to live
Original drawings of sheep used for the cover of the album “Out Of Step”, 1983.
under the water, that’s where the action is. They have assumed that there’s something happening, because they are beyond the turbulence. My thought is the turbulence is where it’s at, that’s where all the turbulence is coming from and that is really what I am interested in in my life. The new ideas, I want to see people that are grappling with their instruments or grappling with their tools or grappling with whatever.
Ian’s office in the Dischord House , Washington DC. 24
T: I totally agree. I: In hopes of putting across a point of view that hasn’t been put across before. T: It’s funny that you would use the world ‘rite’ for these events, because lately I have been thinking of it as sort of a religious experience. Kind of primitive, but still. I: Religion by and large has adopted natural occurring human behaviors and called them their own. For instance, I am a pacifist, I give a fuck about things and I do care for people. I always think about how I want to be treated. Being blamed for Christian ethics and morals based on Christianity. But come on! Was nobody nice before Christ was around? I think what we call rites occurred long before the idea of creating a brand. I think that we get together because we get together. Even this conversation: Why are we having this crazy conversation over 4,000 miles of water talking about something that happened 30 years ago? Because it’s a way of connecting. T: But it’s also relevant. If I go into a bookshop today, I see shelves and shelves covered with books about punk rock. I: It was revolutionary. When you say that things got pretty wild, I will say that a birth occurred, many births, and most births are attended with friction. T: I have difficulties explaining to my kids that I was actually risking my life to look the way I did back then. I: That’s for sure. Well, maybe we risked our lives. But people that we upset by the way we appeared certainly were attacking us. Which
Demotapes found in Ian’s office in the Dischord House.
is insane. That was the thing about DC punks, for the most part we were honest, we didn’t steal we didn’t do violence, we didn’t do graffiti, we had this whole concept that we were actually nice people. We had an image that had been associated with nihilism, but we didn’t actually engage in that. This is the early days. We really had a pride in ourselves, in this idea; we knew that we were fucked up. But people would attack this, and this was a reality. Eventually we decided that we were going to defend ourselves. We started fighting back, and that just developed into a conversation of violence that really had no useful end. And it suggests that violence is actually an appropriate way to try deal with something. People asked me if I think violence is ever okay. If someone was attacking your mother or your child for example. I would say “No, but I would use it.” This is the way it is. It’s not okay, it’s just reality. If somebody is attacking my son, I am going to do whatever it takes. It doesn’t mean its okay. That’s what makes humans interesting. I also think it is hardcore in Norway, there was some really heavy stuff going on up there. That Blitz stuff was crazy. T: I have the impression that they’ve been running out of steam lately. I: Yes, but goddamn - that may be the case, but what a run! There was a question going on in the Parliament about closing down the Blitz. So the Blitz kids went into the balcony. They all threw ropes down and jumped into the desk and everyone ran out and they had their own court where they decided that Blitz would stay open. It’s incredible. If you did anything like that here, people would just be shocked. Could you imagine kids from America jumping into the Capitol or something? That would be insane. T: I kind of like the idea. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone though. I: It was a beautiful piece of theater. I think
it was curtains for the Blitz in 1990 or whatever, but they managed to pull it off. It’s great. T: Oh, but it’s still there, still standing. It’s more or less a laidback anti-Nazi activist hangout and a sleepy vegetarian restaurant these days. I: That sounds good to me. In some ways it may be very wise to be a laidback vegetarian restaurant. It might still be extreme, it might be radical. In today’s America, I am such a radical. I am on the same thing that I am always doing, my work. But I am doing it in today’s world. The fact that I prefer to do spoken interviews instead of email interviews. You cannot control the conversation when you’re talking. If I don’t get to hear a voice or exchange some sense of humanity then I am just doing assignments. One reason I didn’t go to college is because I didn’t want to do fucking assignments. I just wanted to live. And thinking about things, having a mission, in some ways is extremely radical, even now. Who knows what will come down the road? I suspect that the seeds of the revolution will come to places like the Blitz. It’s the pilot light, the furnace isn’t always burning, but there’s always something there to light it. T: On the topic of being extremely radical we have to talk about “Straight Edge”. What do you think about a movement growing out of a little song recorded almost 30 years ago? I: I think it’s fascinating. It’s a phenomenon. I come across it in the craziest places. There will be some television show, there will be an interview or something and someone will talk about straight edge. I will think: “Did that just happen? Did someone just use that term?” I am waiting for the day when some President of the United States uses it. It’s just so funny to me. I think of it as this catch, and then you have all this energy behind them. It’s cool seeing straight edge in the dictionary. It made me happy. It wasn’t a joke for me: I fucking meant it and I still mean it. I was writing about my life and who I was and the way I lived. And how I live now, really, it’s no different. At the
same time it’s been interesting to see what’s happening with it. I think in the late ‘80s and ’90s there were some deeply troubled people who were using the term straight edge to work out their psychological problems and aggression. Straight edge as an idea is a very simple template. And when you have ideas that can be broken down that simple, they can be employed by anybody. You could use a fork to pick up a piece of tofu or you could stab somebody in the fucking eye. It’s still a fork. If you think about any simple ideas, or ideas with those structures, they will be taken advantage of. People that beat their children for instance, they have an infection inside of them and they do anything they can to get it out. They look for ways to get it out of them. Something like nationalism or racism, these sorts of things. I think straight edge was an idea that people were
You could use a fork to pick up a piece of tofu or you could stab somebody in the fucking eye. It’s still a fork able to take advantage of for that. Having said that, I think they were a minority and I think that by and large people that who straight edge were just trying to live their lives and do good. But unfortunately, balance is always above the fold in the newspapers. That’s what our culture survives on, sex and violence. T: I was thinking of the danger of ideas in general. I mean the risk that it turns into a regime. I: But only to people that are looking for a regime, and I don’t think we should focus on those people. We have to be very careful about disemboweling ideas based on some peoples’ applications. I have to stay away 25
from all sorts of things, that’s why I didn’t say I “was” straight edge. I said I got the straight edge; I was really, really clear about that. I never refer to myself as straight edge because that’s a brand, and that I am not interested in. So I think ideas can become regimes, they can become dangerous. I agree with you about that. Even in Fugazi, I wrote a song about the idea of movements and how weary I am from movements. Because movements, almost by their definition are larger than humans. They are more important than humans and they become disposable, that’s a slippery slope. T: There’s a good song by Crass, the lyrics go something like, “Movements are systems and systems kill.” I: Crass was a band that I was aware of in the early ‘80s. They were a little anarchist commune, and I was a little bit put off because the people that represented them here claimed to be anarchists, and they were just kind of idiots. I know that anarchy was depicted violently at the time: you’re just supposed to burn everything down and that sort of nonsense. I didn’t really pay much attention to Crass. But then I started actually getting to know them. Our first meeting was incredible. I didn’t know what to expect. They had heard of me too, and they thought that I was going to be this fundamentalist, an agro kind of totalitarian freak. So I went out to their farm and we talked for 5 or 6 hours. We argued for like the first 2 hours, drinking tea. At some point, suddenly, we realized that we weren’t that different. Once I got to know them as people, I started to think that they are visionary and they are living it. The Crass people, they are not joking, they are living it. I appreciate that. T: I think Penny Rimbaud was about 32 at the time and that was considered extremely old. I: Yes it was. The first time I met Jello Biafra was in 1980, and I was in a band called the Teen Idles, playing bass. We had gone across the country on a Greyhound Bus to play one show in Los Angeles and one show in San Francisco. By any kind of rational thinking it was a disaster of a tour. In total we made $26 and spend $1000. But it was the most
Everything we need is within us amazing experience. We went to see the Dead Kennedys play a show in San Francisco. After the show we got backstage to meet Biafra, and we were talking to him and I remember thinking, “Fuck he’s really old, he’s much older than us.” And he was 22. I told him about that the last time I saw him. He’s four years older than me. I couldn’t imagine playing in a band at that age, and now you look at me still playing at 48 years old. T: Yeah, I know – that didn’t happen to our parents, did it? I: I think that’s part of the punk thing. In America there’s a lot about ”You can do that 26
as a teenager but at some point you have to get real. You have to get a job.” You can’t do your thing; it’s the phase idea of life. T: It does exist here, too. I: I’ve never ever subscribed to that idea. My opinion, when you’re 10 years old, your real, 12 years or 14, you’re real. You might make mistakes and it’s okay. If you know you’re real then you’re thinking about it. But if you don’t think you’re real, then you just make a fucking mess of everything. I think about those fuckers who are burning down churches. What are you thinking?! Fuck that kind of wildness. In my mind they have probably gotten real now and they think back and are like that. “I was just a crazy teenager back then.” I think that people should think of themselves as real all the way. That will give you some sense of the gravity of the situation and what you’re doing with your life, how you live. I think punk rock made me think that I am real. People always ask me what I am going to do in 5 years. I say I don’t know what I am doing in 5 years, I am thinking about right now, about today. T: I think possibly we are the last generation to experience a real generation gap. I didn’t understand my parents, it’s like they came from another world. But I fully understand my kids and they understand me. I: I think in my case – and I am unusual, most of my friends and their parents don’t really understand each other – I understand my parents all too well. When I was about 13 or 14, I remember thinking, ”Oh I get it. My parents are just fucked up people.” My parents were insane fucking people. They were super supportive. That’s the crazy thing about the MacKayes. My Mom and Dad never gave us any money - no one ever got any money from my parents whatsoever. I didn’t go to college; they asked me what I wanted to do. They got me to really think. Do that and follow your heart. My parents were unusual that way. I had many friends whose parents told their kids: “When you’re 18 you’re out of the house.” I remember one friend we helped move out. As we got the last bit of stuff out his dad took his house key away from him. He was 18 years old. It’s not like he’s going to come back and steal stuff! When I was about 29 years old, I was cleaning my room and listening to the first Led Zeppelin album. I kind of rediscovered it. I was really enjoying it, just listening to these songs and thinking about the lyrical matter. There was this one song where Robert Plant was singing about women, and some woman walked out on him, seeing some other guy, and he’s going to go to a bar and smoke a cigarette. These are adult themes. I never wrote a song about any women walking out on me, or me going to a bar. I never wrote an adult song. Then, it suddenly occurred to me that Robert Plant was 19 when he did that. I am 10 years older than him and I got vertigo. My brain turned inside out, I called my Dad and was like “Oh shit, I am 29 what happened?” I never became an adult. My
Sheep drawing on skateboard. In the background, the classic Glen E. Friedman photo of Minor Threat in front of the Dischord House.
father said: “I think of you as an adult, you’re a grown man. But, I should follow up by saying I don’t think of myself as an adult, I can’t believe I am 60! You’re doing good.” I said that I maybe should have gone to college. He responds: “Are you crazy?” So my parents were very supportive in that sense, they just loved us; they wanted us to do what we wanted to do. I have 3 sisters and a brother and we are all pretty crazy people, we’re all just doing our own things. I saw our parents as fellow travelers. I recognized early on that they were people just like me, and they were trying to figure it out. I think it was what made me feel real, why I put an emphasis on being real. I am here now, I am not going to bullshit anybody, I am going to give it to them straight. The whole idea of straight edge, the whole reason I never got into drinking and taking drugs was because I wanted to be present. When you’re born you’re not drinking, you’re just a human being. Everything we need is within us. Do you have kids? T: Yes, I have two. I: I have a son who’s 2. T: That’s great entertainment. I: Someone said to me, “Aren’t you a little old to be a dad?” I said, “I don’t really have a choice in the matter. I can’t be younger”. I am so happy about it. I am what I am, there’s no other option here. I only have one kid and he’s a champ. It’s good to get to know him, very interesting. T: They are usually very sympathetic people. I: Children? T: Yeah, especially your own. I: I’ve always loved children. I have always wanted to have kids; there was never any
The original cohabiting crowd living in the Dischord house with Ian back then. 28
question in my mind. I just spent many years with a woman whom I loved and continued to love but she was just not interested in having children. At some point I realized this was not a joke for me and I wanted to be a parent. I have a friend who was 18 when his father died and his Dad was 91. That must have been weird. Not a lot of catch being played – I would like to know my son more. In my Grandfather’s family, they were 9 children. But my Mother was the only child, my father as well. They both come from big families, but both my parents are only children so I had no aunts, uncles or cousins. I really wondered if all of us would have kids. My brother and his wife had kids in 2002. So, there was a 32-year gap in the MacKaye family between the birth of my sister Amanda and the birth of my niece Ava. That’s the first new MacKaye in 32 years. T: It’s kind of unpredictable. I think, like in the early 20th century or late 19th century, the families were generally larger. There were plenty of kids. My grandfather and his siblings, I think they were 14. I: In this country right now large families gives you status. This tends to go with a class thing. People that are particularly wealthy, they have a lot of children and they put all their children through these extremely expensive private schools. That’s a status symbol. If you have 5 children and they are all going to the school where Obama’s kids go, you’re dropping $150,000 - $175,000 a year on school and it’s like no big deal. Most middle class people have 2 kids, that’s it. We can’t afford anymore. Rich families, they are just popping them out. Which is funny
because it’s a reverse roll historically. T: There’s one particular thing I have been wondering a bit about: What made you do a cover of Wire’s 12XU? I: It’s an amazing song. We really loved Wire, Pink Flag was an incredible record, and so was the structure of that song, 12XU. Bad Brains from Washington DC was a hugely inspirational band. They were a little bit older than us and they really got us all to believe in ourselves. Their music and stage presence, you just couldn’t deny it. And they did a cover of 12XU. It’s a song that we all put on our tapes and we loved. The chord pattern of the song is actually like a Minor Threat song, we were just messing around and it sounded so cool so we decided to do it. Lyrically it was just so brilliant. It was a sentiment that I could relate to at that time because I was always getting hurt by people. You have to remember in 1980 we started playing in Minor Threat, in 1981 we were playing around town. We played to like 30 people. All these songs were being written and played for 30 people, our friends. We weren’t thinking about the larger audience because we were from Washington DC. At that time there was no music scene. Nobody gave a fuck about these records. Nobody cared; we were just a little band playing to our friends. I was from a social network of friends and if somebody that I liked did something to hurt my feelings, I was like: “Fuck you, here’s a song!” It’s that simple. But then, that song, it just seemed so right in our hands. It just felt right. It sounded good. T: I was actually asking because my band at the time also did a cover version of it, and we never ever quite figured out what the lyrics was about. I: “I saw you in a mag kissing a man.” In other
words he was looking through a fanzine or something and he saw a picture of somebody he knows kissing somebody else. T: He caught someone cheating. I: Yeah, that was my sense of it. But I have a funny story about that song. This guy I knew who was kind of a tough guy, he contacted me and he said that it was pretty incredible that we would just call out gay people that way. “I think it’s kind of cool, you know. Kill gay people”. He’s being serious; he’s such kind of a crazy guy. He had read the lyrics to 12XU and there’s a line saying “Saw you in a mag, smoking a fag.”
for such a long time, how do you keep inspired enough to keep on doing it and never stopping? I: Right now I am working so hard on dealing with distribution with the Dischord. I always hated the record business, which is precisely why I started this label, because I didn’t want to deal with that particular industry. But things keep changing and we’ve actually come to a point where I have to take the whole operation back in-house. It’s daunting. I don’t really want to deal with everything all the time. I want to make music. That’s the point for me, that’s why I did it
In America, obviously “fag” is a slur about gay people and smoking is slang for shooting. You smoke somebody, you kill them. In British slang, fag is a cigarette, and he really thought I was saying kill all the gay people. And then I had to deal with it. There was at one point a group of people convinced I was advocating homophobia and that was one of the clues. It just drives me nuts. In any event it’s a great song. If you play it, it’s a good song to play, its fun to play. Lean into that one. T: Don’t ask me how I know this, but smoking is actually Czech slang for giving a blowjob. I: Interesting. Actually, here there’s a term called smoking dick, but you have to include the dick. In French there’s something called Le Pipe, like a blowjob, in reference to smoking a pipe. Gotta love that slang.
You know once you heard the word out of your mouth, it’s not yours anymore. It’s someone else’s at that point
If you’re a singer or you write lyrics you have to throw in some weird word, a strange, weird turn or phrase of expression that gets people’s ears to perk up. There’s a book that came out about people writing about recording of albums, The 33 and the 3rd. There’s one about Pink Flag and I was interviewed. I talked about 12XU and about why the words are there, why I love them. Out of the blue I had an email from Colin Newman from Wire. Wow, fuck! Colin Newman! He wrote, “It is really incredible to me that we played a role in your life.” He said it really meant a lot to them reading my words. At the time he couldn’t care less about it but then years later he realized he did something. That happens to me occasionally, that we had some idea and people pick up on it later on. That’s the thing about music and all forms of expression. You know once you heard the word out of your mouth, it’s not yours anymore. It’s someone else’s at that point. The same with ideas or sounds, once they go out you can’t control them. If it can be shaped or used in a constructive manner that’s the joy of this whole damn enterprise. T: In the future we will probably see the death of copyright, I would think. I: Sure, but that’s all right. People say that you won’t be able to make records anymore and I think that’s okay. The record industry had a solid 100 years of monopoly on the proceeding so now music goes back to the musicians. Copyright is the same kind of thing. You may well be right, but who knows? T: We shall see. Christin Malén: You were doing all your things
in the first place; I wanted to be able to play music, when, where, how and why I wanted to. I didn’t want any other kind of concern. I didn’t want anyone’s ideas about the music business to play any role whatsoever in how I did my work. Now I’ve got to a point where I actually don’t have time to write a song. So, in many ways I wonder what the fuck I am doing. Even in this interview. I like talking a lot; but the idea that I spend so much of my life talking about things that are behind me is a little bit weird. Yesterday I was in the studio mixing a tape that was recorded thirty years ago. So much of my life is focused on that past, and it can be discouraging. I worry that if I am always looking backwards then I am not looking at Now. Having said that, I love making and
I am here now, I am not going to bullshit anybody, I am going to give it to them straight playing music, doing shows and these Q&A gigs, wh ere I come and answer questions and public interviews. I like the opportunity to meet people, being connected to human beings. Music has allowed me to connect with all these people and that’s living. That’s always inspirational. It’s inspiring to think that the songs I wrote so many years ago would have affected you to create something [Out Of Step Magazine ed. note] It’s like if you throw a ball and then it comes back to you and you’re like, fuck, we are playing catch! Dig it? When I am out playing music and talking, that’s the best thing for the label, because it just keep it in the conversation. So it’s a little bit ironic that at the moment I am too busy to actually do anything. CM: Do you have the same intentions or reasons
you had when you were younger? Are you doing it for the same reasons now? I: I think so. It’s really hard to answer that because my brain is shaped differently now. But, ultimately I suspect that it’s the same. I think that life is simple and it’s just one thing. I am always heading towards trying to get close to that thing. Just trying to break it down to the simplest aspect because that’s where the peace is. I keep going for that. You gotta work for peace. It’s a lot of work. CM: Are you worried at all for your kid, with American politics and the way things are going? I: I think that human beings have been brutal to each other forever. I don’t know why, but there has been a murderous component in civilization since day one. But there is also an incredible amount of beauty at all times. I think to succumb to the ugliness, to live in fear, is actually a way of supporting it. I acknowledge that this horrible stuff is going on in the world; but I also know that we don’t have to live that way. T: Would you come to Scandinavia? What is your impression of Scandinavia anyways? I: Hehe, the Swedes are an unusual people. I remember driving through Sweden the first time. My first experience was stopping at a gas station on the highway. Whenever we got to a gas station, we always got out to see what they had. In any country it’s a good way to know the people. Like in a lot of other gas station there are truckers, so there’s a lot of porno stuff there. But, there was one movie there called “Raped by a Dog Part Two.” And we just thought, my god, it’s a sequel! It became a Fugazi joke: R-B-A-D, raped by a dog. Norway... I definitely want to come down there one day. I actually did turn down an invitation. I was invited to speak at By:larm music festival. I think it’s sponsored by one of the biggest oil companies. That’s why I said no. That’s part of the deal: you have to say no. I thought about it long and hard because the idea of just being there it would have been so nice. But I will figure out some other way to get up there. The Evens have never even been to Norway. It makes me sad because I would love to come play there. That’s how it works: you come see people. The Evens decided that we are not going to play rock clubs. The irony of presenting my form of expression in venues where the economy is based on self-destruction became clear to me. Bars seemed to be the only place you could see music. It’s not a moral stance against alcohol, just the idea that music is bigger than the bar. Yet you can’t get those two things apart from each other. The alcohol industry has managed to staple itself to the arts in a way that is almost criminal. Yet people accept that when you’re getting into touring the rock club circuit, there are just bars. In our country a significant majority of the population can’t go see bands because they are too young. They are not too young for the bands; they are too young to drink. So that in itself is a pretty solid representation of the perversity of the arrangement. I can tell you music was pretty fucking important 29
The office is stuffed with nerdy goodies from the label and hardcore history in general.
to me when I was 18 years old. In fact, I would argue that for most people music couldn’t be more important to them than when they are 15, 16, 17, 18 years old. And yet they can’t go see these bands because these bands are playing in places that serve alcohol. T: Did you manage to see bands when you were 15? I: Yeah, hell yeah, because we snuck in. And we found a weird little loophole in the law here in Washington. At the time the drinking age was 18, and nobody under 18 was allowed in a bar. But, in the District of Columbia, Washington DC, if you served alcohol, you had to serve food. Formally, there was no such thing as bar in Washington, they were all restaurants, so technically we were allowed to go in there. Most of the clubs didn’t let us in because they didn’t want to get in trouble with their liquor license. What we had to do was to convince them that we weren’t going to jeopardize it, nor were we going to let anybody else underage jeopardize it. We would self-police. Today Washington DC has 2 or 3 all-age music venues, the premier venues of the city are all age, which is great. 30
I have never played a show that is not all ages, at least not to my knowledge. I have never agreed to one that’s for sure. We played a show in England at Canterbury, the Hearts College, we traveled around with our lights and our own PA, we go into this building and it’s an art school. With its beautiful big open white rooms it’s perfect for us, but they make us play in the Tavern. Because the Tavern is where music is supposed to happen. Think about that, imagine if you were a poet or a painter and you went to that school and they said, “No, you have to put your paintings in the Tavern.” Why is music anything less then a painting? Why is it less then a beer? I just don’t agree with that. I think that the alcohol industry has made this sort of effort to highjack music. The music world is completely dependent upon the economy of the alcohol business. Imagine with the Blitz, part of the reason they stayed open for so long was they had a bar. T: They don’t have a bar now. I: That’s good, I remember actually playing in squats in Germany and even those people,
some of them, all they cared about was their bar. They could give a fuck about the band, they liked us because we got a lot of people in their bar, that didn’t feel good. CM: I interviewed Glen Freedman for the last issue, are you still in touch with all those people? I: Glen’s one of my best friends to this day. I talked to him a couple days ago. There are some people who I met who I thought I would be best friends with, who I never heard from again. Someone like Biafra. I like Biafra but we’re not in touch with each other. Henry Rollins, on the other hand, we grew up together. I’ve known him since I was 11 years old. He’s one of my dearest friends. So, it just depends on the person. If I meet somebody from the Circle Jerks, or one of those kinds of bands, generally speaking there is a mutual kind of respect, but I don’t know them at all. Some people you just stay connected to. The DC scene people, they are my tribe. Even to this day, although we may not be talking, we are connected. That’s a tribal thing. My experience was, and I didn’t reach this until I got
I: I think that music is a sacred form of communication that predates language. Long before they could write or say a word they were making music together. Much of the music nowadays has been defined by the people that own the companies. But music itself is free. It’s so much bigger than the record industry, so much more profound. Main visual arts maybe pre-dates music, but I think music is right there from the get-go. It’s no fucking joke. That’s what I am looking for, that’s what I am trying to get to. Singing punk in a punk band, as a music form and as an idea in a contingency, is part of a timehonored tradition. Music got me on the right path. Once I figured out who the Stooges were, who the Velvet Underground were, I was going the right direction. Because what they represented was another way of thinking. Once you start to investigate other ways of thinking, your brain develops the ability to think in other ways. You start to look at what we assume is fact and you realize that it is not. It’s just a different presentation and you can decide that is not true.
in my 40s, that a lot of people started to retreat to their caves. I think that’s partially due to age and partially due to technology.
For instance, how we live. It’s up to us to decide the way we develop the brain muscle to make the distinction I think comes out of this sort of practice. It didn’t have to be punk, but for me it was. The last few months I have been working so hard on just reorganizing the label so it can stay alive. This is not a direct result of the much talked about death of music. Dischord has always been kept small, even though we are selling 3 or 4 million records. We’ve never bought a building. There are just 4 or 5 of us working. It takes up so much of my time, there are so many questions to sort out and it’s such a brutal, pathetic, ugly business sometimes. But, I decided that the way I live has been, to some degree, afforded by the fact that so many people have trusted me with their music. Over the years with Dischord I have never used a contract with anybody. I don’t even have a lawyer. These are people that I help in the studio, they gave me their music and we’ve been selling it ever since. I realize that I have an obligation to these people, I feel like I have a responsibility to make it available, as long as people are interested.
It is surreal when we are talking about things that are 3 decades old. Minor Threat played their first show December 18th, 1980. Thirty years before that was 1950. It is hard to imagine that Tommy Dorsey, or whoever was playing in 1950, would be of such interest to the youth culture in 1980. But, there is still a lot of interest in the bands on this label and I have an obligation on an archival, historical level to honor this stuff and keep it in print for as long as I can. This especially is referring to Minor Threat and Fugazi, because I feel that those two bands are part of a cultural fabric. You will have to forgive me because I am in both of those bands. It’s kind of a weird part of my life that I have this duality. Minor Threat sold over a billion records. So, that’s a lot. I think Minor Threat has really made Dischord stay afloat. When we broke up from Fugazi we had sold 8,000 records. We had no idea that people were going to get into it to the degree they did later. With Fugazi we were selling hundreds of thousands of records in the ‘90s. We were approached by record labels that offered us enormous record deals. The band decided – this is a band decision, not a me decision – that we belonged on Dischord. We have an especially serious commitment to Fugazi. I would like to think that the last dollar we spent would be spent making a Fugazi record.
It’s inspiring to think that the songs I wrote so many years ago would have affected you to create something I am not morbid about it but I have also always thought because this record label is deeply connected to the community of musicians of Washington DC and the community we came from. I didn’t really want to run a record label. I didn’t think it would go on for quite as long as it has and I don’t really know what’s going to happen in the future. But we had to do something, otherwise the records were going to go missing.
CM: That’s the reason I asked you about inspiration. Because people I know just stopped producing stuff when they get into their 20s. I: Yeah, when people think about their lives as sort of a narrative, they think the next part of the movie is the ending, I am 20 and I just end. I don’t think of life as narrative, I think we live eternally. You have no memory whatsoever of before you were born. So I suspect we will have no memory once we die. The period in between is eternity for us. People that think of it as a beginning and an end get caught up in the trajectory. My life is eternal. It’s just an idea. That’s what humans can do. These ideas are an art form. I think making music has been a way to sing a conversation that also hopefully provokes conversation. T: I think you’re right. People easily connect to music much more than, for example contemporary art or theater.
The first 7” by Minor Threat. Came in 4 different colors, 1981. Good luck finding it on eBay! 31
Little Shop of Horrors 11 Mare Street, Hackney, London www.viktorwyndofhackney.co.uk
No walls of dungeons and chambers could tell more intriguing stories than your eyes tell your brain when you loose yourself in this alluring, mind-bending world of the Little Shop of Horrors and Viktor Wynd’s incomparable collection.
Photographer // Mariell Amélie
Puppy in jar, £240 Model hand with hutching bird, Not for sale Flying kitten, found in the Peak District, UK, £750 Transsexual playing cards, Not for sale Mouse skeleton, £245 Giant hairball, removed from cow stomack, Not for sale 32
8 legged, two-tailed lamb, £1,750 3 blind mice, mummified, Not for sale amy winehouse poo in a jar vagina in a jar tribal human skull, not for sale Human fetus preparation from Dresden Anatomical Museum, not for sale
walrus penis bone crow skulls, 24£ and 20£ each
cased birdwing butterfly (rare, with c.i.t.e.s), £150 quartz from marocco, £78 freaky doll, £118 worlds largest isopod, £575 35
HANDJOB BY // Justin bartlett 36
Photographer // Mariell Amélie Art Director // Christin Malén Andreassen Makeup artist // Ole Elias Høve Stylist // Olivia Wright Models // Mitch Kemp from Select Models & Caitlin Lindenberg Set Designers // Luke Abby & Charli Dugdale 38
Affection effectuated True desire knows no end and the passion is an attachment to adoration. Like the delights of Louis De Gama, garments that embody endless emotion. louisdegama.com 39
It might be what’s inside that counts – because it shows what things are made of. Cold metal through burning fire makes temperature rise. Out of the flames of imagination comes some really hot and cool stuff.
Photographer // Margrethe Myhrer Art Director // Christin Malén Andreassen Photo Assistant // Nicko 48
- Sophie amalie nitteberg Jewelry designer
With her education from the Plus School in Fredrikstad, Sophie Amalie Nitteberg was ready for the real world of jewelry design in 2010. The same year she represented Norway in The Bella Nordic Jewelry Award in Copenhagen. Her creative residence is her workshop in Ă…s outside Oslo, where her own design is being formed in noble metals like gold and silver. In addition she can cure old, broken bits by repairing them and if you have something special in mind, she does commissions. Skull pendant, 925 oxidized silver with cubic zirconia // Flower ring, 925 silver with champagne cubic zirconia // Feather pendant, Gold plated 925 silver // Feather earrings, Gold plated 925 silver
- MIE MARIE STEIMLER THORSET Jewelry designer
Residing in Oslo, Mie Marie Steimler Thorset opened her own shop in the beginning of the year. Her vision is to sell her design online and in a small selection of shops, and to work intimately with commissioning clients to make the perfectly matching, unique jewelry. Educated in art at Colorado Academy of Art, interior design, mac design and graphic design at Norges Kreative Fagskole in addition to the Plus School in Fredrikstad, she has found her domain.â€œJewelry has a definite personal element. It is everlasting and carries within it its histories.â€? Rabbit in top hat ring, apprenticeship exam 585 gold // iPod, 925 silver and enamel // Guitar, 925 embossed silver, even strings and pegs
An art of his own Writer // Benedikte Kluge Photographer // Laetitia Bica Work // Elzo Durt
The rules and laws of art are like ripples in water, numerous but hard to catch. They make a dimension, sure, but I wanted to look into the core of an artist’s choices. And how that makes art move.
Art emerges where the need for expression exists. If being an artist is a mental state, you don’t have to be a prodigy at technique to feel the urge to produce. One of those wanting to create and doing it in his own fashion is Belgian sampler artist Elzo Durt. Dissatisfied with his skills, he developed a unique method of making art, and his recipe made me take a look at how some art is defined today. “I’ve never been satisfied with my drawing, so I had to find another way to put it graphically.” Elzo says. As a basis, he is a hunter-gatherer of continuously fresh images, and in an illustrated world there is no scarcity of new influence. Elzo uses a computer to store his haul, a cornucopia of inspiration to cut and paste from. The images are scanned into the computer for careful pasting, then he finds new combinations of shapes. This is where the art happens. “I read too many comics, I read blogs daily. I love the posters for concerts, movies. I am passionate about design, fanzines, graphzines. I begin by looking for a theme in which I determine the central element or the element that has the main role. Then I attack the composition.” After composing own images, the color is added little by little. The cherry on top is the silk screening – allowing the most vivid colors you can imagine. And in the background, there’s always music. No wonder, as his work frequently 54
7 Peches Capitaux
references music, is inspired by music or even commissioned for album covers. “I buy too many records, so I’m surrounded by lots of album covers, which is a medium that seems open to all kinds of graphics,” he explains. Art in the making It started out modestly with an image-editing program and became an unprecedented technique. An unlimited inclusion of new material and fabric transformed his collage technique into a brand new imagery. From assembled, recolored photos more associated with typography, Elzo gradually added items from comics, old engravings and documents of all sorts. “[I seek out] all kinds of basic elements that I can rework, process, repeat or give another meaning. First of all I look for beautiful shapes without a specific theme. At the moment I investigate a lot of old books, prints, books of medicine. But my research method is constant. Almost every day I stop by second-hand bookstores, and I look all over. I can get far with a photo book, a book or comics after choosing it.”
On that roll, he kept refining his technique and got more confident in which direction to pull it. Still he doesn’t want to put up too many signs deciding how you should get there. It is pointless to try to predict the emotional reactions of the crowd. Nevertheless Elzo wants to call attention to certain attitudes in society today. All filtered through him as a medium and a fellow man.
I do not want to say: “everything is fine” because it isn’t “I like the idea of leaving a certain freedom of interpretation to everyone, there are several reading levels. But I try by the compositions, or colors, to convey emotions. There is no specific message, but a certain look and interpretation of what I saw, what I see, the society in which we live. I do not want to convey messages of hate or necessarily to offend. But at the same time I do not want to say: “everything is fine” because it isn’t. Still I want to maintain a certain positivism and humor in this chaos.” Typically, Elzo pastes in a contradictory way. Let’s say his base is an aggressive tableau invoking a given range of emotions; color it in the opposite scale with bright, happy colors. The dynamic creates depth, and the old saying “greater < than the sum of its parts” makes itself applicable. And Elzo doesn’t mind the dissonance. “I love these confrontations”, he says. Art in the jam There definitely has to be a certain edge in things to prevent them from drowning in a cascade of yawns. Challenging the establishment is a given part in any artist’s manifest. In the world of 2011, though, it’s harder to shock through 56
art. But there is still one field flooded with friction: the legal field. Rights Reserved. It is true, in a way, that Elzo depends on existing fragments to make his art. Yet he has not faced accusation of stealing. But there is other famous controversy around this issue; a good example is Danger Mouse. The EMI cease-anddesist order was issued pretty quickly after the Grey Album hit the underground and merged to the surface. After all, EMI hold the master of The Beatles’ The White Album, which made up half the mash-up. The 2004 album sparked the discussion of conceptual art versus plagiarism. The Grey Album is said to be beyond sampling, an independent creation made up of two works. On the other side of the battlefield the Recording Industry Association of America rattles its sabers, claiming it being pure theft. Danger Mouse said that he only made the album for his friends and had no intention of spreading it. That it spread out regardless was a consequence of the media and our changing consuming habits along with it. The Internet has no law,
yet the birth of this conflict was a fact and it was far from stillborn. Danger Mouse refused to be named the ringleader, regardless of whether he was or not, the public happily broke the law to get their goodies. In any case, there were no charges filed because the industry probably realized that their copyrights are archaic after the rise of the Internet. But sampling art has never failed to create a tempest – even if it’s just in a teapot. Art in transformation Re-interpretation is obviously on the safe side. And there are many more ways to pay tribute: a medley, a pastiche, collaging, paraphrasing, imitation and parody to mention some. The different labels bring along different interpretation guidelines – that in turn reflect on the work. You can “get away with it” as long as you call it appropriation. In Danger Mouse’s example, he proclaims that this is an art form. But who draws the line? Is it paying homage or suggesting others’ incapacity in perfection? A good handful of court cases show that appropriation art is difficult to generalize or even agree upon.
The remaining question is whether anyone can be said to be right in this matter, ever. It is A1 creativity to combine two unexpected elements. In the innovation world this is no abnormality. In the fashion world it’s the same. You actually need to be able to marry the unforeseen in order to be on the scene at all. Perhaps it is the intention that should matter in this predicament. Is your art agenda merely financial or truly inspirational? For Elzo, this is a superfluous dilemma. The point is not to produce moneymaking look-a-likes. You’d rather make your own Frankenstein than just another clone. “Plagiarism is copying or purely draw to such an extent that the work does not belong to you. I think it’s perfectly normal to draw, but I do not see the point of plagiarism. If it was done already and you’re aware of it, why remake it? I think it’s more interesting to innovate, to reinterpret,” Elzo exclaims. Copyright law is supposedly indisputable. But in some counties, the laws state that you cannot prevent others from using your work to create new
and autonomous entities. And as the collective attitude is shifting, adaptions that suit the zeitgeist subsequently developed. Solutions like Creative Commons allow you to share in different degrees, Flickr is another example. And this metamorphosis has been going on through the ages. Historically, copying has been accepted. Actually it has been encouraged and viewed as the ideal, mostly ”to avoid unnecessary inventions”. It’s comical in the present perspective, but somehow it has logic to it. In “William Shakespeare Complete Works, Introduction to the Comedy of Errors” by the Royal Shakespeare Company a quote goes “while we applaud difference, Shakespeare’s first audiences favored likeness: a work was good not because it was original, but because it resembled an admired classical exemplar (…)” That is quite the jump from today’s hysteric fear of being accused of reproduction. There is no unanimity in the affair. In his book “Plagiarism is not a crime”, Robert Lands said: Plagiarism may be a taboo in academia, but in art is almost essential. So why is plagiarism in art being frowned upon today?
I do creative work and not a factory job One answer could be the impression that plagiarism is lacking every aspect of originality and thereby personality. We expect to have an emotional resonance. We don’t connect with a synthetic expression, industrialized and plastic. “I do creative work and not a factory job, every project I see as a personal project in which I invest myself fully. I decide what I want to do and when I want to do it” Elzo says. Art in conclusion You probably heard the quote “good artists imitate, great artists steal”, a quote that has served as an excuse for plagiarism more than once. But if you think you become greater the more you steal: get a white-collar job, the quote has a deeper significance. 57
Montana Recto Bornbad Night
In his book “Tradition and the individual talent”, T. S. Eliot argues that art must be understood not in a vacuum, but in the context of previous pieces of art. And in his essay ”Philip Massinger” Eliot originally encourages poets to take elements from artists diverse from themselves to improve and mature. Art needs reference to be accessible and personality to become interesting. This is the fine line to ballet dance on. It’s not about sticking to the rules and all about perceiving a multifaceted world and act according to experience. Artists need the stamina to utter their opinion, when they see it necessary and how they see fit.
Art in motion His artistic legacy, to put it poetically, is to add his soul’s fragrance to an ongoing cycle of creation. Anything and everything can be sucked into his hungry eyes and work its way into his brain, leaving it up to your surprise (and delight) what his artistic taste will put in tight tango with what else.
I decide what I want to do and when I want to do it
And why should he have to do differently, spend hours pondering whether it is legally, ethically or historically correct what he’s doing? In the end, you are what you yield, and Elzo’s recommendation is straight: “Take pleasure in living. Give yourself the opportunity to realize projects.” Fed by Art Brut and a range of inspiring impulses, Elzo puts a personal contribution of content and form back into the loops. That way he supports and supplies the world of sharing impressions. Boiling it down to the essence, the only thing that guarantees the development we all profit from is free trade of artistic expression.
That’s your reason for all the friction. The yearning for originality brings with it a need for protection of your invention. And all new art needs to be created in a bold environment, not a protected one. Art has to be rebellious and exploring beyond etiquette and legislation. If no one challenges the conventions of their present, the stagnation will eventually annihilate the art based on art. And thus art will become extinct. But as long as we have it, the debate will continue and the view on sample-based art may change. The nature of art is to be unpredictable and ever changing, and the impact on the social discourse is substantial even if the outcome never is distinct. They knew that back in the day even, as Hippocrates states in his famous aphorism: “Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience deceptive, judgment difficult.” Artist Elzo is interpreting the world and sharing his impressions. He’s doing it for himself, but wants to reach people nevertheless. Not due to the urge some artists claim – an inner drive that would kill if not heeded – but rather an interest in taking part in the conversation of creativity. Making one’s opinions heard and through them perhaps change views or add something to people’s conscious life. It is a symbiosis, really. Elzo is making it no secret that he is influenced by his surroundings. “I am first and foremost for me, so I guess it affects people living with the same values as mine, but I hope others can understand too. I do not want to just touch a certain kind of person. I do not sort under concepts.” That is a mission people can comprehend and respect. Far from smug he also does exhibit a generous slice of dare. The story goes that he once made a poster that “was judged too shocking for their clients” by a hard rock record shop. The image was a jerking off bin Laden, promoting a concert the same day Bush would arrive in Belgium. Apart from that, there is no defined political agenda in Elzo’s work. It’s more of an ever-lasting conversation with the like-minded. In a previous interview with FMCS he says that he’s aware of the fact that his art reaches a niche audience, but it is not only for them he puts together his creations. “I am interested to contact the largest number of people and culture, simply and directly.”
HANDJOB BY // johannes rummelhoff
THE OUT OF STEP MAGAZINE 2011
IN ASSOCIATION WITH MATHIAS FOSSUM PRESENT A OUT OF STEP PRODUCTION
Same moment from 5 different angles - everything has more than just one perspective DIRECtors
MATHIAS FOSSUM AND
CHRISTIN MALÈN ANDREASSEN DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
MATHIAS FOSSUM PRODUCER
CHRISTIN MALÈN ANDREASSEN Starring
Lady with fur coat Innocent victim with coffee Running activist Street musician Suprised woman Activist throwing paint Lady walking her dog Dog Kid 1 Kid 2 upside down
CAMILLA FREY BENJAMIN HELSTAD LARS BERGSTRØM KRISTIAN LARSON MINA MARTINE LYSTAD EIVIND JORDFALL RAGNHILD VOLD KARLSEN LEON HENSHAW FRØYA W. ØGRIM LINUS S. ØGRIM
Special 3D effects Costume Designer Hair & Make-up Designer Make-Up Designer Production Designer Production Assistant 1 Production Assistant 2 Production Assistant 3 Camera Assistant 1 Camera Assistant 2 Camera Assistant 3 2nd Assistant Director Green Room Director Behind The Scenes Doc.
LARS TVEIKRA ISABELLA MORK JEANETTE GJERDE OLSEN MAY-LINN SKAGE RAGNHILD VOLD KARLSEN INGVILD ABRAHAMSEN PAUL HENSHAW BJØRN OVE JUNGE OLSEN FREDRIK BRARUD EVELYN HANDELAND KARINA ULLENSVANG MERETHE HOLTET FHAM SJØHOLM OLA WAAGEN
An interview with Johannes HĂ¸ie 76
Writer // Benedikte Kluge Photographer // Steffen Aaland Works // Johannes Høie
Who gets to decide what art is? That is a tough question. Naturally, there are so many opinions. Some would say that already existing dogmas in the art world set the standard for that. That is the common thought, anyways. I remember them telling us exactly that in the Academy, in the beginning when everyone was a bit confused. Honestly, I think the choices and the intention of the artist is what finally makes it art. Once I heard of a child ask his father: “What is an artist?” and the father replied: “Everyone are artists, but some people really need to make art.” – and those are the artists. If it’s true or not true is not for me to decide. Still, he was of the opinion that everyone has the potential to make art, and I appreciate that point of view. In a way, I can relate to it because in my opinion it doesn’t matter what thesis you let decide what is art or not, there has to be a motive behind the action. Then it becomes serious and true. That is the difference between the art makers and the artists by profession. Even with good intentions, the outcome can be poor. How important is technique? Yes, true. But ’poor’? Quality is not the benchmark for art. Of course, you’ll find bad art but it still is art. For me technique goes hand in hand with other aspects of the creative process like the ideas and the reflection around it, they are all equally important factors in my work. It’s the right symbiosis of those things that makes the difference and how these factors integrate makes it interesting to me. Is time = quality? It depends on how you use your time. In general, I disagree. I understand the theory because in these days spending time on a project makes it very impressive all of a sudden. Most people try to be efficient and as a result the time spent on artwork makes it exotic. I don’t 78
get very impressed myself, though. There’s no point in spending a lot of time just to spend it; that alone doesn’t make a good piece of art. On the other hand you can spend 10 years thinking about a work and then spend only 5 minutes producing it. Thinking has to be counted in; it is a major part of the time an artist spends on his artistry. Still, taking your time hopefully leads to some kind of quality. In that sense the thesis is correct. You need to achieve certain self-confidence in your oeuvre and for that you need to put down some hours to become sure of what you’re doing. Research? Education? You need an immense drive to spend the time necessary. This time could be crucial for your creations to come. In the context of today’s hectic efficiency? I do think we lose some of the thoroughness that used to characterize a lot of systems. But I can still see some thoroughness through all the hurry. Perhaps we even expect less quality and the thoroughness becomes a quality in itself. I don’t feel too comfortable with the attitude I experience today, that ‘artists work so rapidly, they make things happen easily’. I find that ignorant and contradictory to the people I know, who all use a lot of time in their work. This isn’t about the general, wrong impression that an artist is inspired at all times, but rather in the context of exhibitions. To Høie the apparatus around the artist is usually to blame as the catalyst for the things to happen. Still there is a necessary symbiosis with the curators. In any case, the artist world is off course influenced by the society’s trend towards quick delivery, and the tendency is to have frequent exhibitions. It does depend on the artist and what you do.
There’s always someone saying: ‘the time of the great stories are over’ but there are always someone with a story to tell
The point is to make powerful and interesting art. There are all kinds of work and different people have different temper. In addition there are more artists that galleries, the different scenes flow into each other, and there are few galleries to base oneself on. Perhaps this is a reason for the frequency. I don’t exhibit too often these days, I’ve calmed down. What I want the most is to work and enjoy that activity. When I’ve finished producing something and feel satisfied with it, there’s definitely a point in exhibiting it. That’s when I want it out there. So how important is it that people understand what you’ve made? I don’t expect everyone to comprehend and that’s not important. But it’s great when people do. Does that mean your art has an objective? Yes, it’s kind of like a theatre, I tell stories and like most art it’s staged to somehow communicate the themes I express. Jello Biafra once said that he wanted Dead Kennedys to be like a horror theatre in the fashion of Alice Cooper, only that he wanted to bring the horror together with the everyday life and let it unfold in a more or less realistic setting. I’m also familiar with these thoughts in my work. To balance in the borderline, the unsafe zone of ambivalence, that excites me. I want to create something that will survive the test of time.
How do you develop? Are you becoming more odd or more assimilated? Hm, odd? If that implies going my own way, I do hope so. Do you look at what the others do and yourself compared to them? I look at other people’s work all the time but do not compare myself. Some people I feel related to. But I never consciously do things to separate myself from others. When I work, I have a distance to the world anyways. My impression is that Norwegian artists and artists from smaller, more isolated countries tend to differ from the ones on the Continent; they gaze that way but their work doesn’t always end up looking the same. It’s mostly a benefit to stand out. Sure, you’ll find rules and conventions but today’s artists are pretty much free from oppression. And that’s great. Is there a limit to how much you can stand out? When do you become a sellout? A sellout is someone producing art just to ‘make it’ in the art world. It’s not about selling, because everything can be sold if the right gallerist is involved. It is a paradox to be autonomous and authentic, staying true to yourself, at the same time there is a market for it and it can’t be denied that the art world is eminently commercial. Which really can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth sometimes. I guess the real sellouts are the ones constantly adjusting themselves to the trends or present thoughts of the art world without aiming for a solid practice that will last for a lifetime. Individuality and continuity are valued parameters. The vogue is changing and the market is quite self-defining. Cred sells, but how can a young, anonymous artist get a foot in the door? Is it really something worth fighting for? I find it difficult to relate to, I don’t think most young artists are preoccupied with sales. If they were, they would probably become something other than artists (laughs). But some art has a greater popularity than other. Most art is made out of interest and if you sell big, you’re a bit lucky.
How do you find your motives? I have thought a bit about it and found it to be like having a wine cellar. Sometimes when I get ideas, they seem strong and with a powerful and seductive naivety right there and then, but sometimes they need to be stores and saved. That is the long process: you go and think about it, visualize it. I work on gut feeling and know when the time is right to realize an idea. When the moment comes, nothing is more important to me, but I never know if it’s going to work out. The critical distance can come afterwards. Once I put an idea on paper, I want to finish it right away. But sometimes there is no time for it; you can’t do everything at once. And that is a good thing because it forces me to think things through. 80
I feel lucky myself, as I stay within a tradition that just recently made its way into the limelight again. I didn’t really expect that to happen as it was far from in vogue when I started my education. In the 90s, very overproduced and expensive art was the big hit and New Media Art owned the scene. But people tend to miss the traditional things. By the way, no matter what you do, there’s almost always a tradition behind it. The way the Fashion world and popular culture recycle traditions, is something I’ve noticed. And we just might be a little more nostalgic nowadays. It’s not uncommon that we buy ourselves some nostalgia in times of crisis, and perhaps some romance along with it. We in the Western world turn our eyes to this as a counterweight to the superficiality. Romanticism is something I always have been into one way or another ever since my first drawings as a child. But things move in and out of fashion all the time. Some things disappear into the shadows for some time, but it’s still there. The perspec-
tive from inside the art world is probably different from the outside. To me it is not important to be in fashion. There’s always someone saying: “The time of the great stories are over” but there are always someone with a story to tell. It is important to stay consistent with your artistic persona. To what extent did you “construct” the artist Johannes Høie? I’m still equipped with the foundation I got from my childhood. I’d say I’m one of those who had several moments that are hard to recall now, but from way back I had that drive. To be frank, everything went thick and fast. I’ve been drawing all along – through phases where the imagery was quite different; I’ve tried out a lot of things before I settled with whatever makes a significant platform on which I can move. I don’t want to stagnate totally but keep trying out new ways in what I do. By testing different techniques you end up with a repertoire and the sensation of your capacity, and who you are as an artist. But how important is it to have a clear image in the art world? It depends on how public a character you are, I don’t really feel too comfortable with the public role you get with the package as an artist. If I have a clear image I hope it is because of my work. In Norway, authenticity and honesty is applauded and artists and writers that uphold those ideals are often very much appreciated, while in other cultures it may be the total opposite. But somehow everyone wants to be taken seriously one way or another. Is there a point where Johannes ends and The Artists begins? Of course, I am a private person also but it is very intertwined. I like my work to be more in focus than myself as a person though. Where is the origin of your creativity? The usual stuff inspires me: music, some literature, art, history and politics. I also support a sort of child’s faith as an artist, not that I try to be like a child, but returning to my childhood experiences in drawing techniques and working techniques in general. I have tested really strict disciplines, now the need for some exuberance is more present. I adore when things assume shape as I draw. At times the work has been frustrating and hard, but resistance can be good - although not constantly. I have several temperaments as an artist and it depends on what kind of temper I’m in, but I’m always aiming for more freedom in my work. I spent a lot of my time in Art School and the Academy building my fundament as an artist. I didn’t exhibit much but tried out a lot of things and was on the search. I worked with many different drawing techniques and some of what I reeled of, I’m still content with today. Tell me more about the references in your work. My works have references from different segments of culture, from high and low. Literature, folklore, art history, history, things that interest me. If I use a reference it’s mostly because I
want it as an element in dialog with the themes in my work. I’m not interested in referring just for the sake of it.
course, but the references are rather baked into the images as a part of a narrative to give them some deeper meaning or poetic dimension.
People see them very differently, some people view it exclusively historical, and others see stories. Some may recognize details from their record collection. Not necessarily because I put those references there, but they recognize the expression of illustration, they view it more as a pop cultural reference rather than something artistic. And off course, you have the artists. They recognize it as an experiment and that the references really are ideas and ways of expressing things. I don’t think the references are the point, though. Their function is more like a gateway in to the rest of my work.
At the time being, it doesn’t seem to be such a taboo anymore. People have no shame in that matter, and that’s ok as long as you make something interesting. In my opinion, the history of art is a library where you can go and collect inspiration. The interesting part of art and culture is the long chain of inspiration and exchange across time.
Ok, so even if the references are ideas, they come from somewhere. How inspired can you get before you steal? All my images derive from my own imagination. They may be inspired by something else of
You are forced into being an artist.
Does it imply that you no longer can do anything original? No, there are always new ideas, but to create something inspired by or directly out of already existing material is a very common way of creating art after the novelty hysteria that characterized modernism. I guess many people think that everything is already done still there are several ways of being original. It can be the subjective and individual aspect that determines originality as well as new ways of doing things in different times. 81
Does geographical or cultural circumstance matter? Yes, a place with a certain culture, pulse or atmosphere can really affect what I do. I’ve been to Berlin and Finland, and working with ambience these places do influence me. In Berlin, I fell in love with the ruins. I’m very attracted to a different kind of nature, a nature created by men but in ruins, a bit post-apocalyptic. Just after that I left for the Finnish countryside with nothing but forest. All you could see was trees. It affected the things I created. In that particular series of work, I think that both places influenced me a lot.
I live with the art both as a lifestyle and a profession Do you need to be classically schooled to make good art? No, I don’t think so, and the opposite has been proved. Some times I think it’s an advantage to be autodidact. Perhaps that makes the difference. What is important is the focus. To have a mission and go through the fire. I believe that is important to many artists: to be in a situation where you’re autonomous. You are forced into being an artist. Not everyone chose to keep on as artists but they did battle with issues that became important for them. In society today being an artist has become more of a job than the classic modernistic bohemian type. It seems to be a more professional seriousness around it that comes from the more intellectual role artists have taken. To me, being an artist is not only my job, but also the most important necessity in life, and I don’t think these things have to be in conflict with each other. I live with the art both as a lifestyle and a profession. In the last 30 years there has been a paradigm shift and there is no unanimous view; there are several different scenes within the big scene – and many different ways of being an artist. Today context is very important to display, and presentations in written are normally expected by for example the press. But I don’t care much for that, I think it influences too much. People should always go and see for themselves. Naturally, I feel that my ideas and what I want to tell are best articulated in my drawings.
Floodland 2 86
HANDJOB BY // jon a. gaasland 88
Open the gates to the hidden chambers and blend in with the occultocracy Photographer // Mariell AmĂŠlie Stylist // Olivia Wright Hair and Makeup // Ole Elias HĂ¸ve using MAC Cosmetics Set Designer // Charli Dugdale Models // Jack Davey Shaw / Select Model Georgia Morris / D1 Models Lizzie Norton / FM Model Agency 90
Writer // Cathrine Elnan Photographer // Hendrik Zeitler
- She growled and showed me her teeth. Carl was naked in the middle of the woods. It was night; the entire forest was illuminated by the clear blue moonlight. He had just gotten out of his self-made shelter; Carl had to pee. - I was standing there, butt naked, when I saw something in the corner of my left eye. All of a sudden there was a wolf there, five meters away. I immediately stopped urinating. I was just standing there, in this neutral vacuum. All kinds of culture, education, civilization; everything just disappeared. Nothing mattered. I just existed, here and now. Without any clothes, any weapons; I didn’t even have a stick to defend myself with. Would you know how to survive in the wilderness? If you were standing there: Without your iPhone. Without Internet. Without any means of modern communication. Would you be able to find food? Water? What if it was really cold? Would you be able to find shelter? Would you be able to protect yourself? 25-year-old Carl Bjurström would know a thing or two about the subject. We find him 40 kilometers outside of Gothenburg, up a steep forest hill, in the middle of the fairytale-like, green, idyllic and blossoming Swedish woods. Carl is prepared for a life in wilderness. He has built his own waterproof shelter. Something looking like a light brown anthill of branches, shrubs of spruce and small logs. He knows the nearest source of fresh water and how to tap pure, but not so tasty water beneath the green moss. Carl is capable of making his own fire. He also knows what and what not to eat. Pine bark, for instance, is edible and good for you. Poisonous mushrooms are not. After living alone in the middle of the forest for a year, the wolf encounter is still something he describes as the ultimate experience. The perfect picture of what kind of life he is searching for. 98
- I was at the mercy of nature. After the wolf had showed me her teeth, she was content and left. I had just been in a genuine state of nature, and that’s what I’ve been fighting for since; being exposed and subjected to nature, for better or worse. In our culture survival is missing a lunch. But this is real survival. Carl advocates that we should “rewild” ourselves. He is an anarcho-primitivist; directing critique against the origins and progress of modern civilization, as we know it. Believing that the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture has been one of the biggest mistakes made by the human race, only leading to violence, wars, genocides, endless materialism, alienation and coercion. The anarcho-primitivists do not wish to run society or organize a new and different one. They want a completely different frame of reference. They want a world where each group is autonomous and decides on its own terms how to live, with all interactions being non-coercive, based on affinity, freedom and openness. Civilization, primitivists argue, is the root of all evil: government, private property, isolation, crime and social, economic and sexual inequality. Technological and medical progress is a myth. We are continuously losing more than we are gaining. But according to primitivists we’ll soon see an end to it all. - I don’t have to wait for the collapse of civilization. We’re already in it, says Carl. He is sitting on the ground, in front of what he calls his “hut”. His hair is short, so is his beard. The clothes on his back are surprisingly clean, a pair of light green pants and a printed t-shirt with a picture of a dark-skinned Cherokee Indian (wearing it with an ironic undertone, of course). His feet are bare, showing small scratches and red marks. Across his
chest, resting on top of the image of the scouting American Indian, he keeps a small pouch containing his cell phone. He also carries a small knife and a fire striker. It all started in 2007, when he saw the epic Kevin Costner movie Dances with Wolves. For Carl, it felt like a revelation. He was blown away and got his own Indian name: Handla utan tankar (Act Without Thoughts). Two years later, in 2009, he got laid off and had to quit his job as an enrolled nurse at a geriatric clinic in Umeå. Before he quit, he got to know a Lapp working as a nurse at the same clinic. She taught him how to build a lavvu. - Her skills were amazing; she built that thing so fast. My jaw dropped, I just stood there staring, totally impressed by her skills. Carl decided to live in the lavvu for the entire winter. After the freezing cold and dark winter in the woods of Umeå there was no turning back. - It dawned on me: you can’t just live in the present. Today people are so focused and even fixated on just living in the moment, the power of now. Living that way makes it so easy getting upset, getting mad, being a misanthrope. I’m not saying all our problems are going to disappear if we move out in the woods, absolutely not. But there is a potential for some kind of organic fellowship amongst all of us. “It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late.” In July 2010, microbiologist Frank Fenner predicted that the human race would be extinct within the next 100 years. This is notable because Fenner is, ironically enough, one of the scientists who helped eradicate smallpox. To most people, calling for the collapse of civilization is like waiting for gravity to repeal. But radical critique of civilization isn’t a new phenomenon. In 1845 the American author, philosopher and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau (18171872) left civilization to live in a forest around the shores of Walden Pond. He felt that the mediated society had completely taken over, especially now that the telegraph had been invented.
It dawned on me; you can’t just live in the present “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.” he wrote in his book Walden. Thoureau hasn’t been the only Western thinker longing back to a state of nature. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on Inequality), Lewis Mumford (The Myth of the Machine), Ivan Illich (Toward a History of Needs) and Theodore Roszak (Where the Wastelands Ends) - the list goes on. And still, in the 21st century, some men feel the need to go back to primal living. To leave modern society, move out of civilization and iso100
late themselves in the absolute wilderness. And the general public loves them. In March 2010 the movie Snøhulemannen (The Snow Cave Man) premiered in Norwegian movie theaters. We meet Sverre Nøkling, a long-bearded man who has been living in caves for over 30 years. His life is far from the bourgeois materialistic lifestyle, living among the blizzards and reindeer high up in the icy Norwegian mountains. The director behind Snøhulemannen, Fridtjof Kjæreng, is also the creator of some of the most successful productions featuring the adventurer and explorer Lars Monsen. Monsen has become something of a new national hero, telling great tales about his encounter with bears and that one time he had to shoot a polar bear. We are immensely impressed by his talents, his expeditions across snow-covered fields in Norway, Canada and Alaska. He has written 17 books, made several TV-series and he now has his own show, traveling around with his girlfriend Trine Rein. “One man. One forest. One year. No plan.” is the dramatic tagline on the book cover of Veien ut (The way out). The author is Bjørn Gabrielsen, a literature critic and commentator in the financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, who wrote the book in 2006. For one year, he turns his back on the materialistic consumer society. He moves out to a cabin in the woods, without water and electricity, where he spends his time maintaining his cottage, collecting water and reflecting upon the apocalypse. Are these modern wild men, and their blossoming popularity amongst TV-viewers and book readers, an indication that we want to remove ourselves from the capitalistic, urban, consuming city life? Could the interest, fascination, and sometimes idolization, of people like Lars Monsen, Sverre Nøkling and Bjørn Gabrielsen be explained by our longing for nature and a more simple way of life? Or are they just a stereotype of vain, egocentric, middle class macho men, with a passion for hunting, shooting and blowing things up in the middle of the woods? Anarcho-primitivists have been accused of just that. Critics claim that they are just middle class hippie-fascists with an ideology influenced by ethnocentric Americans. Abasso la vita commodo – down with the comfortable life, was a slogan for Mussolini’s Italy. Looming over such discussions, anarcho-primitivst Carl Bjurstrøm feels that the criticism can be justified on some levels. - It’s easy to see primitivism as a ten-step ideology. I am a strong critic of that myself. It’s not healthy; it can almost be Social Darwinism. You exclude sick, handicapped and old people, and have an ideal of some kind of Übermensch. That’s not my intentions, beliefs or ambitions at all, says Carl Bjurstrøm. - You have to work actively against some of those ideas. And for some people, it might be hard. But for me, it’s just about the practical challenges. I focus on four cornerstones: protection, water, food and warmth. For me it’s just about those basic elements of life, there’s no ideology or specific life view. You just have to survive.
When you think like that, the idealization and obsession of the noble savage, the native people and the American Indian disappears, Carl says. Anarcho-primitivists have also been forced to take some heat for their wish to sabotage modern infrastructure. They want to take down civilization as soon as possible, by physically targeting communication systems, railroad lines and power lines. Liberation, anarcho-primitivsts may call it. The FBI calls it domestic terrorism. Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, started a bombing campaign that lasted from 1978 to 1996. Kaczynski called for a worldwide revolution against the effects of modern society’s “industrial-technological system” and sent homemade bombs to targets including universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23. The Unabomber case was one of the FBI’s most costly investigations and he is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole as prisoner number 04475046 in ADX Florence. - This society is built upon a hierarchy where the violence always runs from top to bottom. But when the violence rises the other way, from bottom to top, that’s when people start to notice. 18 000 children die of hunger every day, but nobody cares. When 3000 Americans die on September 11th 2001, all hell is loose. Those reactions only reveal what kind of worldview our
society is built upon. It’s like “what we in the West say, counts”, Carl says. - The violence against the industrial complex, against the dominant culture, against the mega machinery, it’s being sensationalized and isolated and that’s why we notice it. But when it happens to the others, to the terrorists with long beards who hate women, well, then it’s just like: So what? It’s just business as usual. Personally, I wish we could avoid as much violence as possible. But Carl says he won’t be losing any sleep thinking about these things. After all, he believes that society is coming to an end. And in his opinion: the sooner the better. - Everything that makes this society possible is about to end. And people will continue to demonstrate, on every level. So it doesn’t really matter what I think about the subject. - The pure feeling of rage and wild hatred towards machines and the actions taken by construction companies on a small forest part where I ran around playing as a child - it was so strong, Jonatan explains. It’s been a year since he was released from prison. Jonatan was sentenced to 15 months behind bars after sabotaging a telecommunications mast and attacking a crane used for building. - I had been focusing a lot on the issue around
cellular technology and 3G, and was planning to experiment with different methods of blowing up a mast or dismantling it. With short notice I made up a plan, which to me meant the most possible destruction with the smallest possible effort. He poured eight liters of petrol on an electrical box and sprayed the words E.L.F. We Will Win! in white paint above it. The result was a big explosion. - I remember going with my bike on the car-free road, and turning my head to see the sky above the tower. It was shifting in red and I could see smoke rising. I felt like I was on top of the world, but also like the most stupid human being alive. As soon as I got on the bike I became aware of how risky and clumsy I had been while going through with this mission. Not long after this night in April 2008, the Security Police (SÄPO) was put on the case. In October the police arrested 20-year-old Jonatan. He pleaded himself guilty and the court sentenced him to prison for 15 months, since his actions were ‘so severe’. - I learned one thing from this experience and that is: Use diesel not petrol, hehe. They denounce modern technology completely, believing that it never can be seen as valueneutral. The values and goals of those who
produce and control technology are always to be embedded within it. And domination increases every time a modern “time-saving” technology is created, as anarcho-primitivists claim it necessitates the construction of more technology to support, fuel, maintain, and repair the original technology. But still, they are depending on it, just as everybody else. Carl carries his mobile phone with him, side by side with his knife and fire striker. Jonatan replies to questions over the Internet via email. Opposing technology and enjoying the benefits of it as well, they are both well aware that their lives are bulging with paradoxes. - It’s just like the movie Breakfast Club. Five different stereotypes meet in a classroom. They all hate the system. They all hate the principal. But they still find a way to fight the battle horizontally, against each other, instead of fighting upwards in the system. People criticizing us for using technology, it’s just a manifestation of the same issue, Carl says. - Sometimes it’s always easier to accuse the messenger, instead of listening to the message. Of course I understand the paradox, and the criticism of it, and I don’t want to portray myself as a martyr or a Messiah. But there are so many other things people should be concerned about, instead of pointing fingers at each other.
Tomihiro Kono Writer // Benedikte Kluge Photographer // Sayaka Maruyama Tomihiro Kono is one of a kind. That doesnâ€™t prevent him from producing multiple masks and headpieces that are just too striking to let pass unnoticed. Hence the fashion world scooped up this artist so he can unfold his synthesis of talents in various projects. His own favorite so
far is the co-lab with performance artists in the Theo Adams Company, playing the strings of theatre, queer theory and retro glamour. Evolving from sculpturing hair as a stylist into creating whole new facial features and expres-
sions with his masks and headpieces, Kono wants to express the different shades of human nature. Fearlessly examining dark corners, the relationship between his artistry in fashion and art industry manifests in the strong characteristics of the beauty in the grotesque.
Woman Of A Crow
Yellow Bird Lady
Through 7 pairs of eyes, the different looks on ‘Out Of Step’ are displayed in the following series. Signed fresh or established contributors, these interpretations are indeed prime tributes to the unrestrained.
Robin Snasen Inspiration: This magazine is focused on the rock genre, so TECHNO would be out of step in Out Of Step. website: snasen.no
Oh Yeah! Studio Inspiration: The name and the words ‘Out Of Step’ inspired us for this piece. website: ohyeahstudio.no
Marc PMA Inspiration: Running, drawing, drumming, loving. website: marcpma.com
Tonje Bartnes Andersson Inspiration: The nature and feeling guilty. website: Comming soon
Morgan Norman Inspiration: Death, nature and the organic. website: morgannorman.com
Morten Iveland Inspiration: Two glasses of red wine from Pie Monte and thinking about white truffles and Herb Lubalin of course. website: morteniveland.net
Regina Maria Rourke Inspiration: Mickey Rourke, Rolf Lassgård, Alec Baldwin. website: reginamariarourke.com
Robin Snasen 105
Oh Yeah! Studio
Tonje Bartnes Andersson
Regina Maria Rourke
Sjekk hjemmesidene for mer info. 112
Photo: Massimo Leardini Model: Helene SĂ¸rem, Team Models Stylist: Pauline NĂ¤rholm Hair: Elisabeth Angelsen
BANGLES NECKLACES & BAGS Handmade & Ecofriendly. Use of 100% natural materials. Made in the Philippines. Specially picked for the Norwegian market. www.natu.no
Shnel & Melnychuck & Forsman & Bodenfors