founder ¦ editor-in-chief giuseppe russo
Well, here it is: our 18th issue of one small seed. I am thrilled to point this out, not because the number has significance, but because each edition of survival is an accomplishment for all publications today. My thoughts go out to those magazines that did not see it through last year, as, particularly internationally, some superb ones left us.
designer katrien scott features editor ¦ copy editor sarah jayne fell assistant editor ¦ assistant copy editor jessica manim music editor jon monsoon fashion editor giuseppe russo architecture/design editor annelie rode guest contributing editor sarah claire picton advertising & sales michael littlefield interns ice carstens, meika hulsenboom distribution ezweni distribution distribution assistant rachel basckin cover
photographer sean metelerkamp | hair and makeup ally starrodubtseva & carien schoeman |model logical (ETC Crew)
editorial contributors sarah jayne fell, jessica manim, jon monsoon, annelie rode, yusuf laher, rudi cronje & paul white as HEADLINE payoff, kelly berold, wordy rock guy, genna gardini, gustav swart, cathy lund, thomas okes, dylan lloyd, sarah claire picton, bathandwa alperstein, nathan zeno, larry scivous, henda scott photographers sean metelerkamp, stanislav solntsev, justin mcgee, dylan lloyd, zeno petersen, max mogale, graeme swanepoel (new vision pictures), brandon shigeta, rouleaux van der merwe, andries van jaarsveld, jamal nxedlana, jene rene ‘JR’ onayngunga, vanessa & naroa, james white, paul adams, jessica jones, daniel van flymen, john hogg, marianne greber (VBK wien), john de lima special thanks one small seed productions (remmert malan, ezra nathan, shaun blomkamp), pietro russo, jimmy strats, howard simms (hammer live), bruce wright (mnemonic), michael hazell, the book lounge, a store, michael stevenson gallery, galerie jérôme de noirmont (paris), brian walker, fashion architecture taste (FAT) ltd, zero models, pieter and lauren badenhorst (photo hire and sourcing), maria paymans (zero models), BIS publishers, the president editorial address: 5 constitution street, east city precinct, cape town, 8001 tel: +27 (0) 21 461 6973 ¦ fax: +27 (0) 21 461 9558 email: email@example.com advertising sales firstname.lastname@example.org
Last issue of one small seed we introduced our all-new inside section, the ‘magazine inside the magazine’ printed on matt paper and designed to accentuate our magazine’s theme. This was a great success, and as promised we have continued in this vein. This edition’s theme is ‘Original Fake’, and so our content revolves around things that are original or fake, originally fake, original and fake… (You get the point!) There’s more of the fake (in one way or another) in our inside section — our ‘fake one small seed magazine’ — which we’ve specially treated to original design to fit each article’s content. And we’ve adhered more to the original when it comes to our artist showcases. Nowadays people believe that everything has been done and all that’s left are copies, fakes or derivatives, and so we’ve taken extra-special care in filling this issue with people whose creative work lies in entirely original concepts — and where possible has a twist of fake to tie it all together. A special feature this issue is our winners’ showcase for the one small seed Network Awards 2009. These inaugural awards were a great success. Over 16 000 pictures were uploaded to www.onesmallseed.net over the last year, and yes, it took us 2 938 402 hours to select the very best as our winners. The one small seed network has been incredibly rewarding for us in discovering contributors, collaborators, content and more. So, stay active on this online platform. Continue using it to expose your work to us, other like-minded individuals, creative agencies and indeed the world, as more and more international media platforms are recognising the one small seed brand as a resource of South African creatives worthy of exhibiting globally. An example is WIN Initiative’s 10 Best 10 in which one small seed has been selected as the representative for Africa in this international photography competition (for more, see back inside cover). As for our other online platforms: be entertained by one small seed tv, screening the very best of South African popular culture live in action, and right at your fingertips at www.onesmallseed.tv. Go to ‘Now Showing’ on page 108 and you’ll see a selection of what we have on offer. For the rest of the magazine, we sincerely hope you enjoy it. Our small team is growing, but it still takes a tremendous amount of work to give you an issue more beautiful than the last, which is always our number one goal. Yours proudly supporting truly original creative content,
subscription I back issue enquiries email@example.com www.onesmallseed/subscriptions2.htm publisher designed04 ©2010 The small print: No responsibility can be taken for the quality and accuracy of the reproductions, as this is dependent on the quality of the material supplied. No responsibility can be taken for typographical errors. The publishers reserve the right to refuse and edit material. All prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. No responsibility will be taken for any decision made by the reader as a result of such opinions. Copyright one small seed South Africa. All rights reserved. Both the name ‘one small seed’ and are copyright protected. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written consent from the publisher. one small seed does not accept responsibility for unsolicited material. This is a quarterly publication. ISSN 977 181 6896 033.
Giuseppe Russo founder | editor-in-chief
34 FEATURE: BRIAN WALKER
41 FEATURE: PIERRE ET GILLES
12 PROFILE: THE PRESIDENT
60 FEATURE: MATATUS OF NAIROBI
16 PROFILE: STEVEN COHEN
88 FEATURE: NETWORK AWARDS 2009
21 PROFILE: SEAN METELERKAMP
56 PROFILE: MINCE
62 FASHION: A BATHING APE
26 MUSIC: AFRICAN DOPE RECORDS
81 FASHION: FAUX FABRIC(N)ATION
58 MUSIC: JACK PAROW
75 MUSIC: HALF PRICE
78 MUSIC: SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK
FAT: FASHION ARCHITECTURE TASTE 28
The wayward London architects say good taste and good design are two independent entities. Defying norms and redefining conceptions, they’re turning heads around the globe.
Winning the role of Guest Contributing Editor through the 2009 one small seed Network Awards, Sarah Claire Picton voices the word on the street through four local fashion fiends and everyday concrete heroes.
BRIAN WALKER: THE PLASTICITY OF PRETTY
JOZI REALITY TV SHOW
The Sydney-based artist lets us in on what’s behind the façade of his bizarre realm of plastic fantastic.
ONE SMALL SEED NETWORK AWARDS 2009
one small seed proudly presents the winners of the first annual one small seed Network Awards. Each of these talented contenders has been honoured with a showcase of their work in these glossy pages.
PIERRE ET GILLES
PHOTOGRAPHER | FILMMAKER
Envisioning their dream world in hand-painted photographic masterpieces, the Parisian artist duo is an icon of global contemporary culture.
LOCAL MULTIMEDIA ARTIST
PUBLIC INTERVENTIONIST: STEVEN COHEN
DRAG PERFORMANCE ARTISTS
MINCE: A DISH BEST SERVED HOT 56
INDEPENDENT SA RECORD LABEL
WELCOME TO THE ORIGINAL FAKE 50
AFRICAN DOPE RECORDS
JOHNNIE WALKER® CELEBRATING STRIDES
Introducing The Original Fake Issue.
ROMANTICALLY DANGEROUS AFRIKAANS GANGSTA RAP
JACK PAROW: SO PHRESH, SO ZEF! 58
DID YOU KNOW?
Our giant Chappies-wrapper excavates the epistemological world of original fakes, unoriginal fakes, fake fakes, fake originals, originals and fakes.
PIMP FACTOR: MATATUS OF NAIROBI
SA PUNK ROCK
HALF PRICE FRONTMAN TAKES ON FAKE
PUTTING PAID TO MUSIC PIRACY
INTERNATIONAL CLOTHING BRAND
A BATHING APE
Heaving like beasts through the streets of Nairobi, Matatus embody the purity of pop culture. And the X-Factor is their pimp factor.
ELECTRO GLAM ROCK
SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK
LOCAL AUDIO-VISUAL COMPANY
From design that could change the world to totally unique local creations, these are brainchildren of minds that have expanded a long way beyond original.
DEPARTMENTS: IN STORE BOOK REVIEWS SUBSCRIPTIONS CD REVIEWS
PAGE 6 PAGE 10 PAGE 98 PAGE 102
DVD REVIEWS NOW SHOWING DIRECTORY THE LAST WORD
PAGE PAGE PAGE PAGE
106 108 109 112
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY jessica manim (JM) & sarah jayne fell (SF)
‘FAKE FOR REAL’ MEMORY GAME Remember memory games of yore? You could spend hours memorising the positions of each card to prove to your siblings that you were indeed the smarter progeny. BIS Publishers & All Media upped the ante and now, once you’ve matched your cards, you have to tell the real from the fake — from breasts and burgers to cloned sheep and Photoshopped pics. Completed by an information booklet, this game is hours of fun for the memory-obsessed, with a fun fact to reward each victory. (JM) www.bispublishers.nl
MUJI CARDBOARD SPEAKERS www.designisagoodidea.com
BEER BOTTLE PHONE Yes! It’s a real phone, built inside a plastic Budweiser bottle! Late Valentines for that special trailer-trash man in your life? Find it at Journey Lifestyle Shop, 186 Long St, Cape Town. 021 424 5209 (SF)
COARSETOYS’ FALSE FRIENDS Coarse is a Hong Kong/Hamburg-based company formed by German artists Mark Landwehr and Sven Waschk. Creating figurines and statues ranging from pocket- to life-sized, their ‘fiction brand’ conveys an alternate reality. False Friends is their latest series of original vinyl figurines, made up of two characters: ‘Paw!’, a monkey-crossrabbit, and ‘Noop’, a humanoid who must hide his true identity in a furry Paw!-suit to survive. With the launch of every series, another instalment in the tale of the two undercover companions is released, adding yet another dimension to the world of Coarse. Each set of False Friends comes in slickly designed packaging to match each edition. Beautifully crafted collectors’ items, they’re available in galleries and toy stores worldwide and online. (SF) www.coarsetoys.com
CLASSIC FELT FEDORA by Ben Sherman www.bensherman.com
ADIDAS ORIGINALS STAR WARS COLLECTION The Spring/Summer 2010 range from adidas Originals and Star Wars will keep The Force with you at all times. From pumpkin-orange Skywalker sneakers to black-andwhite Stormtrooper hoodies, the collection features all your favourite characters from the original trilogy. Available at adidas Originals concept stores (V&A Waterfront and Melrose Arch), Sport Scene, Cross Trainer, Shelflife and SOHO. (JM) www.adidas.com
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY jessica manim (JM) & sarah jayne fell (SF)
IN STORE *A BATHING APE®
Not much original Bathing Ape merchandise is available yet in stores on SA’s shores; such is the nature of BAPE’s exclusivity. We managed to hunt down this retrospective volume put together by Nigo — the creator of A Bathing Ape — and published by Rizzoli. It’s an archive of all things BAPE (including an interview with Nigo) and a must-have for all fashion followers and trend trackers. (To anyone else: give this giant shopping catalogue a miss.) Limited stock available at A store. For more about BAPE, see our feature on page 62. (SF) www.astoreisgood.com
FRED PARTY RANGE The Fred & Friends design team’s motto is to create stuff that works, puts a smile on your face, and doesn’t cost a fortune. Fred creates original and handy accessories, from chopsticks to wallets. These novelty ice-trays from Fred Party will add a dollop of kitsch delight to any celebration. Whether you opt to float ice dentures at the bottom of your guests’ glasses or pop shots into shooter glasses made of ice, these are the sort of party favours your friends won’t soon forget. Available at A store. (JM) www.worldwidefred.com
REEBOK FREESTYLE HIGH ‘WONDER WOMAN’ SHOES These limited-edition ladies’ high-tops are inspired by Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ iconic lady superhero and original teenage fantasy of most grown men today. Footwear has never been this flashily femme-fatalistic. (SF) www.shelflife.co.za
INKYWOOD TABLE Designed by Lars Amhoff/Kinkyform, customised by Zenvironments and limited to 50 pieces. www.designisagoodidea.com
FRED ‘SALTSIDE OUT’ SALT SHAKER Available at A store www.worldwidefred.com www.astoreisgood.com
SPAN OF SUNSET, INC. X DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE RUNAWAY BRAIN Runaway Brain was a seven-minute animated short produced by Walt Disney in 1995 and attached to the feature film A Kid in King Arthur’s Court. Now, over a decade later, Vinyl Pulse brings Frankenstein’s Monster-styled comic terror back to life. Packed in some of the smartest toy packaging we’ve seen in a long time (retro cereal box-style), this vinyl plaything comes in four colourways: Original, Chrome, Neon and Candy Flake, and includes a pack of trading cards. Available from A store. (JM) www.astoreisgood.com
MILLISECOND VASE Designed by Bruce Cowie (Design is a good idea) for Hilton Qiu Products (Hong Kong), each vase is limited to five pieces worldwide. Available at Design is a good idea. www.designisagoodidea.com
REEBOK MONOPOLY ’REVERSE JAM BOARD’ Deck out your feet in the board game of all board games as a tribute to the timeless childhood icon. This style features an all-over Monopoly board print on a Reverse Jam Mid, with dice-patterned laces and a Monopolymascot-man charm to foot. The range also has shoes decorated in Monopoly money, Chance or Community Chest Cards, green houses, red hotels, or those classic counters — the dog, car, ship, hat, iron and friends — to walk you down memory lane. Available at Shelflife. (SF) www.shelflife.co.za
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY jessica manim (JM) & sarah jayne fell (SF)
HAIR‘EM SCARE‘EM edited by R. Klanten, M. Huebner, S. Ehmann Gestalten
Mohawks, bobs, shags and buzz cuts. Goatees, moustaches, mutton chops and handlebars. Ever since mankind cottoned on to the fact that they could style their keratinous outpourings, they’ve been symbolic of class, subculture and religion. Hair‘em Scare‘em explores our fascination with hair in a collection of images ranging from astounding fashion hairstyles and finely inked illustrations to bizarrely shaggy lampshades and fuzzy memorial keepsakes. An indulgent visual foray, these glossy pages offer a varied look at that which can make or break even the most robust ego — your locks. Expect to see tress-obsessed works by bigwigs such as Brian Walker, Nick Cave and Paco Peregrín, alongside many others. (JM)
PHOTO-IDENTITIES by Miguel Trillo
Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo
Spanish photographer Miguel Trillo’s stage is the street; his models the world’s untamed youth; his stylist the rampant hybrid culture that runs amuck through the globe’s dwindling boundaries. This retrospective is his most recent monograph of portrait photography, featuring work from 1980 through 2008. Singularly and in their entirety, the photographs tell the most intriguing tale of how ordinary people are such anomalies. It is a very human tale of personal and social identity, and one that should be shot into space in a time capsule to show other life forms what curious creatures we are. Complemented with essays by José Lebrero Stals (director of Museo Picasso Málaga) and other experts in photography, each one as rich as the images themselves. (SF)
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: NEW YORK ART edited by Johan Kugelberg Rizzoli
This weighty, glossy-paged volume is the first truly comprehensive survey of the life and work of the band named the most influential New York City musicians of all time. The book takes a microscope to the very essence of The Velvet Underground, including a foreword by former frontman Lou Reed, previously unseen photographs of The Velvets’ first performance, band artwork by Andy Warhol, handwritten sheet music and lyrics, and transcribed telephone conversations between group members, among other rarities. It provides an insight unmissable to fans and pertinent to anyone interested in the closing gap between the popular and fine art movements of the twentieth century, culminating with the avant-garde of the sixties. (SF)
*Available at The Book Lounge & all good book stores
HANDSPRING PUPPET COMPANY edited by Jane Taylor David Krut Publishing
The Handspring Puppet Company is undoubtedly comprised by some of the world’s finest puppeteers. Their acclaimed productions include War Horse (winning a Laurence Olivier Award in 2008), Faustus in Africa!, and Woyzeck on the Highveld. From delicate shadow puppets to monolithic giraffes, their creations are closer to cast members than props. Company founders Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler craft every puppet by hand, infusing each one with a palpable sense of life. A rich reference to their history, this book brims with photographs, original sketches and in-depth interviews and essays featuring the voices of many key contributors to this prolific group’s history, such as William Kentridge and Gerhad Marx. (JM)
THE REST IS UP TO YOU by Cohen Morano & Aye Jay Morano Chronicle Books
This book is the result of a seven-year collaboration between a boy named Cohen Morano and 118 worldrenowned artists. Cohen’s father, Aye Jay, approached some of the indie art world’s elite with his son’s watercolour paintings and asked them to add their own personal twist to them. The results are quirky critters, juicy colours and strangely in-tune joint artworks. Adding an extra sprinkle of delight to these candy-coloured pages are short explanations accompanying most pieces, some from the artists but the best stemming from young Cohen. Indulge in names like Alex Pardee, Kill Pixie, James Jean and Tim Biskup as they return to an idyllic sense of youth in this unusual project. (JM)
BED IN A TREE AND OTHER AMAZING HOTELS FROM AROUND THE WORLD by Bettina Kowalewski
Dorling Kindersley: Eyewitness Travel Guides
Writer and photographer Bettina Kowalewski has combined her passions for exploration and the bizarre to compile this incredible journey through the world’s most unique places to stay. Her quest began with an underground ‘cave house’ inside a troll, leading her to lodgings in mountainsides, suitcases, prison cells and circus wagons, hotels underwater, made from ice… the list is as mad as it is long. Each visit includes practical advice, exciting things to do nearby (fancy a stroll through the moonscapes of Cappadocia?) and locations range from zero- to six-star, from Mexico to New Zealand via Lapland and beyond. Anyone with an eye for the unusual or a taste for adventure will be enthralled. (SF)
PROFILE: DESIGN AGENCY
THE PRESIDENT 12
A Presidential Coup Sweet-wrapper stories, leaflet tales and Matryoshka boxes â€” The President creates more than mere magazines; they craft lucky packets of musical treats. WORDS:
The President’s reinterpretation of magazines began with the poptastic MK Bruce Lee, which led the way for the Afrochique Channel O Coco Joe. The company is the brain seed of Peet Pienaar (acclaimed design mastermind and former creative director of Daddy Buy Me a Pony) and Hannerie Visser (magazine industry expert and artful visionary). The team launched the very first issue of Bruce Lee in August 2008 and now, a year-and-a-bit later, they’ve just born the vivacious new Channel O Coco Joe. Both publications are packed with musical tales, slick stickers, crafty posters and gifts — a 21stcentury bag of delights for design and music aficionados. Both Coco Joe and Bruce Lee defy expectations of what makes a magazine, well, a magazine. With each issue, the publications’ formats evolve. Beginning as a packet of musical mastery, Bruce Lee has since been an ice-cream box of candies wrapped in the magazine’s pages and, on another occasion, a Russian Doll-styled box, with each successive box styled after a different local band. And Coco Joe is right on track to follow in its older sibling’s firm footsteps. Setting these vivacious publications even further apart from their peers is the decision to segment both Bruce Lee and Coco Joe by gender — Bruce for boys and Lee for girls (in Coco Joe, Coco is for girls while Joe is for lads). But how radically does the content vary between these two gendered editions? “It really differs from issue to issue,” says business director Hannerie, “but content is about 80 percent the same. The gender segmentation makes it possible to deliver more targeted content to readers, with the added bonus of providing a unique opportunity to advertisers.” Never short on ideas to reinvent the page, the tight-knit team draws their inspiration from the breakfast table to oldfashioned signs that adorn many of Cape Town’s inner city alleyways. Keeping each issue fresh is Peet’s job, a man whose
imagination is a veritable wellspring of offbeat creativity and clear-cut concepts. Although transforming each issue’s presentation is key in keeping them freshly flavoured, guest editors are the other trick up The President’s sleeve. Recently, Francois van Coke (of Van Coke Kartel and Fokofpolisiekar fame) has worked with The President on MK Bruce Lee while Nonkululeko Mlangeni, founder of Mind Your Head and curator of Do You Know Where Brenda Fassie Is? at the Cape ’09 Biennale, was guest editor on the first issue of Channel O Coco Joe. As for the future? Expect something… presidential. Six months ago The President opened offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in 2010 the team will host the first-ever Toffie Popular Culture Festival in Cape Town. “The idea is to create a platform for a skill exchange between two very similar countries,” explains Peet. “Both are in the Southern Hemisphere, ex-colonial and with developing economies.” The weekend-long event will serve as a platform for the creatively inclined from both SA and Argentina to collaborate, and the fest has been invited to be part of the Buenos Aires Bicentennial Celebrations later this year. Long will live this President. www.thepresident.co.za
FRIENDS & FAUX THE HAUGHTY CULTURE OF CREAM CARTEL: JOZI’S FABULOUS NEW REALITY TV SHOW
Late last October, Vuzu TV’s Cream Cartel strutted onscreen in a blaze of sequins and leopard print. Resembling the bastard child of FTV and The Office, the show is loosely scripted but adopts the format of Reality Television to present the lives of four Johannesburg-based ‘Smarteez’ and aspirant designers. WORDS:
gustav swart |
graeme swanepoel (new vision pictures)
Guy, Mome, Choc and Abiah are young, black and fabulous. Maybe that strut was more of a sashay, but these fashionistas and their show are more sartorial than satirical, more glam farce than social comment, more pomp than circumstance. You don’t have to be gay to be a Smartee, just a fop. And a dandy. And proud of it. That doesn’t mean that traditional South African obsessions like culture, identity and race are completely ballasted in pursuit of the next great time and greater look. In many ways the most interesting aspect of Cream Cartel is its portrayal of a new generation of black twenty-somethings. Lacking the earnest politicism of their forebears or the obdurate obliviousness of the Born-Frees, the Smarteez possess suburban priorities, brash ambition and global vision. They are the children of the Black Diamonds. They went to Model C or private schools, watch Friends and know how to mix a Cosmopolitan. (Which they probably learnt by reading Cosmopolitan, in which they hope to feature one day.) Now at this point some churlish types might suggest we put the cream in the coconut and drink it all up, but the Smarteez claim to be ‘black on the inside and all colours on the outside’. Their influences range from Andy Warhol and David Bowie to James Brown and Snoop Dogg. They pillage every fashion in between, donning anything from indie skinny jeans to designer splendour to disco spandex — often at the same time. And it works… something no-one on this show ever seems to do.
Guy, the eloquent nerd of the group, posits: “You can take the Boy out of the Ghetto, but you can’t take the Ghetto out of the Boy.” The smirk belies his words as much as the plummy Etonian accent. These artists are happy in township or townhouse, as long as they look fabulous. Which they do. As importantly, Cream Cartel’s (sometimes vapid) quest for fame and fortune makes for intriguing viewing — whether you’re in it for the spectacle, the cringes or the manic skylarking. Or simply Choc’s muttered “Lazyassed niggahs!” whenever his whims are ignored (there are quite a lot of cringes). The show has accrued notoriety and some local affection (bordering on respect), but — in this the Year of the Boot — it now has a unique opportunity to make a splash on a level its protagonists might appreciate: international. The attention that our country is about to attract is likely to dispel foreign perceptions of a wilderness studded with goalposts, Coke bottle-bearing Bushmen and (strangely) aliens. The stars of Cream Cartel present a new kind of South African, unburdened by the dreary polemics of History or the relentless cheeriness of Mandela shirts. These four Smarteez know who they are, who they want to be… and that The Past is Another Country. And they live here.
Cream Cartel is produced by New Vision Pictures. Try it on Vuzu (channel 123 on DSTV) every Wednesday at 19:30, or visit www.vuzu.tv or www.nvpictures.co.za to find out more.
PROFILE: LOCAL TV SHOW
CREAM CARTEL 14
PROFILE: LOCAL MULTIMEDIA ARTIST
STEVEN COHEN 16
Selfish Portrait Crowned (2000) hand-coloured silkscreen on canvas 52 x 53 cm
Golgotha - Portrait #2 (2009) C-print. Edition of 5 + 2 AP Photo: Marianne Greber / VBK Wien
WALKING IN GOLGOTHA
Beloved South African artist Steven Cohen has spent the last seven years solidifying his status in the international art world. Now heâ€™s back with his first solo exhibition on local soil in over a decade. WORDS:
genna gardini |
courtesy of michael stevenson gallery, cape town
first time I saw Steven Cohen perform, he was T hecrawling through a room, his face caked in white makeup and a sex toy lodged up an orifice, with Jewel’s Pieces of You playing in the background. To call Cohen’s work ‘controversial’ is thus obviously an understatement.
Cohen’s performance pieces (or ’public interventions’, as he more accurately describes them) typically involve him negotiating his way through public spaces dressed in outlandish garb and dealing with occasionally hostile spectators. Some of these interventions have led him to be forcibly removed, detained by the police, accosted by NeoNazis (true story) and generally manhandled. But Cohen embraces the potential for the unexpected in these pieces. As he explains: “I call this Living Art. People don’t come to an appointed place like a gallery or a theatre… People of the outside step right into the work. They can change the choreography (deny access or [utter] ”come this way”) and they can change the plot (yell and shout, hit, call the police). It’s amazing in that the work is constructed at the moment by whoever chooses to become part of it, in addition to me. It is a gift to the people outside of the work and they usually acknowledge it lovingly… These are the risks of unfrozen visual art. It is real art feeding off, and eaten by, time.”
Cohen was born in South Africa in 1962, received his BA from Wits, and interrupted a mandatory conscription in the SA defence force with a year at the Ruth Prowse School of Art. Following this, his early work began popping up at various exhibitions around the country. These pieces were usually hand-coloured silkscreened canvases and handmade furniture collaged with conflicting images of Apartheid officials, body parts, beggars, movie stars and his own alter-ego, Princess Menorah. Through them he began to investigate what it meant to be marginalised in society, exploring in particular his own experience as a Jewish, homosexual man. When Cohen ventured into performance art in ’97, he translated his regard for material into the theatrical sculptural costumes he wears during his live work. Donning Kabuki makeup, intricate outfits and fuck-off heels, Cohen traipses through the most unlikely of locations. In ‘Chandelier’ (2001) he took a stroll through a squatter camp as it was being destroyed, wearing a pair of fetish heels and an electrically lit chandelier-tutu. This was not the first time Cohen slipped into platforms for art: In 1999’s ‘Crawling… Flying’ he negotiated the streets in stilettos with enormous gemsbok horns attached to them. His latest performance piece, ‘Golgotha’, continues the trend.
In 2009, Cohen took up residencies at the Baryshnikov Art Centre and the Centre for Performance Research in New York. While shopping in Soho, he stumbled across a pair of human skulls for sale. Naturally, he turned them into shoes. In ‘Golgotha’ Cohen is filmed as he peruses New York in his ‘skulletos’, visiting Wall Street, Times Square and Ground Zero. Footage of the piece (which has only been shown internationally at the Festival d’Automne and partially at Michael Stevenson’s Disguise) will be screened in full as part of Cohen’s Life is Shot, Art is Long exhibition. The show also includes a selection of previously unseen collaged artist’s books. In them, Cohen juxtaposes images from WWII and photos of his family, Eastern European Jews who were forced to move because of the Holocaust, with other found images. No matter the medium, Cohen is always able to wrench a reaction from his audience. As he puts it: “Performance art is internal and intrusive — it is like surgery without anaesthetic. Static visual art is like an anaesthetic without surgery, but it is the power of the visual (given life in performance) that lets me kick you in the stomach and grab your heart without saying a word or touching you.” A selection of Steven Cohen’s work, ranging from older pieces to ‘Golgotha’, is being shown as part of Cohen’s solo exhibition Life is Shot, Art is Long. It will run at Cape Town’s Michael Stevenson Gallery from 21 January to 6 March 2010.
Golgotha - Dead Man Dancing #1 (2007) C-print. Edition of 5 + 2 AP Photo: Marianne Greber / VBK Wien
Chandelier (2001) C-print. Edition of 5 + 2 AP 71 x 90 cm. Photo: John Hogg NEXT PAGE Golgotha - Portrait #1 (2007) C-print. Edition of 5 + 2 AP Photo: Marianne Greber / VBK Wien
For more information about Steven Cohen, see his website www.at.artslink.co.za/~elu/stevencohen For more information regarding the Life is Shot, Art is Long exhibition at Michael Stevenson, see www.michaelstevenson.com
PROFILE: PHOTOGRAPHER | FILMMAKER
sean metelerkamp 21
MY DREAM IS MY ONLY SCHEME talks to Cape Town-based photo and video kid Sean Metelerkamp about shapeshifting his daydreams into the real.
Francois Van Coke | Fokofpolisiekar
MODEL: Maria Paymans (Zero Models) WARDROBE STYLIST: Lyal Seba MAKEUP: Bianca Hartkopf LIGHTING: Photo Hire and Sourcing Logical | Etc Crew
Zebra and Giraffe
Sean Metelerkamp creates photographs in the way most teenagers have sex. It’s an inspired, reckless and somewhat alarming procedure in which uncomplicated innocence produces a bloody, screaming fiend. His images appear less captured than born: they are sacred, magical, terrifying, and they dare the eye to un-see them in a wanton display of precocious obscenity. They arrive before us at a stage of brazen affectation, having grown from wonderful to weird, and the energy of their approach hints at an unexpected mind. Appropriately, the discovery of his own aptitude reads like an accidental adventure, the kind of story where creative instinct latches onto a desired medium all by itself. “I was getting frustrated with how long it took to make music videos, so I sold my car and bought a camera, thinking I should give photography a go. I went to the MK Avontoer and took a couple of pictures, including one of Wynand Myburgh lying shirtless on his back on the wooden stage floor. Within a few weeks Francois van Coke contacted me, asking me to do a press shoot for Van Coke Kartel. I had no idea what that even was, really, but I got excited and painted my garage in a black and white design and then we took some pictures. That photo got me going.” This ‘going’ has proceeded in the manner of its beginning, as Metelerkamp’s practice of impulsive invention slakes an unconscious thirst. This is a person who travels through the rabbit hole of his intellect and puts his ear to private ground. “I spend as much time as possible alone,” he says. “I will slip into daydreams every day and take uncontrollable midday catnaps. I fall asleep anywhere, in any position, waking up with a sore neck and weird designs printed on my face; occasionally there’s drool. During these naps and dreams I try to use creative and synthetic imagination in order to create unique imagery in my head, considering the project I’m busy with. I take that idea, think about it for a few days (because I’m not the fastest thinker), and then construct it piece-by-piece, so the final image is imprinted in my head before I touch my camera. I try to listen to my idea and come as close to it as possible.”
This is creation that revolves around faith — the anxious trust that what is imaginable is also sensible and inevitable — and it might yet make him an artist. The selfish urge to give an original impression freedom to breathe is a gift, and a brave one: “I want to create imagery, whether moving or still, that satisfies my imagination. There is a definite purpose, backed by my burning desire for the fulfillment of the final image once it’s a floating idea. I strongly believe that the dominating thoughts in my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in physical action and transform themselves into physical reality. I think daily of what I want to create or become, and believe in it so strongly that there is no other choice in my life but to follow those thoughts. My dream is my only scheme, my only option, my only plan.” The frightening unfamiliarity of his images is what makes them so attractively sinister, even to Metelerkamp himself. As they arise from an inner unknown they bring with them a lush ambiguity; they can act as snapshots of the soul. His video for Fokofpolisiekar’s ‘Antibiotika’, for instance, is a Rorschachinspired study in careful sacrilege — its ‘evil faces’ crafted from “unplanned textures shot on-set after burning everything on the last day”. Sean relates his inspiration: “It occurred to me in post [-production] to mirror them, and when I saw the faces I had nightmares. This led me to leave them in the film.” And then, in case you don’t believe him, he challenges: “Pause it on those faces, view it on a big screen and you’ll also have nightmares.” Sean Metelerkamp is powered by Harry & Co. He shoots stills and directs music videos, commercials and short films. www.seanmetelerkamp.com | www.harryandco.tv
Index | Priest
Anyone into properly original mus ic will know the name African Dop e Records. They will also know that Cape Townâ€™s pioneering indepen dent record label has been hom e to some of this country â€™s mos t original, progressive tunes for the past decade and a bit. BATANDWA ALPERSTEI N homes into the mindset. IMAGES:
max mogale photography
MUSIC: INDEPENDENT SA RECORD LABEL
aunched by founding DJs Fletcher and Roach in April 2000, African Dope Records is truly a 21st-century phenomenon. Shunning conventional record label practices in favour of developing talent and fostering creativity, what started off as vision has become a cultural institution representing the left-most field of South African music. Fletcher was an “alternative rock kiddie” at school who found himself partying in Bristol during the electronic music heyday of 1994 — witnessing the rise to power of acts like Roni Size, Massive Attack, Skunk Anansie and Portishead. He met a “Jamaican beauty” who introduced him to Bristol’s jungle scene: “a glimpse into the future”. Roach hit the road after completing school in Joburg, not content to “fight anyone else’s silly wars” (he had to dodge Apartheid army conscription). After a few years abroad, he came to Cape Town “to study”, but opened a record bar (Solid Records) instead, importing electronic music. The store “died fairly gruesomely”, says Roach, but by then he’d met Fletcher, discovering that between them they had a massive vinyl collection, which led to them DJing at underground raves as the enigmatic duo Krushed & Sorted. Reading The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson instilled in the pair the concept of reality-engineering, which became their manifesto, inciting them to start a record label “to drop mind-bombs on people”. In April 2000, Krushed & Sorted dropped the critically acclaimed album Acid™ Made Me Do It, kick-starting something bigger than they could’ve imagined. They admit that while psychedelics may have played a role in the way the album sounds, the title is a tribute to ACID, the production software package that took them deep into the realms of audio misadventure. Seeking like-minded artists to work with, they happened upon the likes of Felix Laband and Kalahari Surfers and released albums showcasing these and other local artists.
AFRICAN DOPE RECORDS 26
“The local music industry is still colonised,” explains Roach, “with 90 percent of the music that we are ever exposed to coming from four big international record companies.” In an effort to ‘decolonise’ the industry, African Dope Records have worked hard to build a culture in which the label becomes a conduit for artists to become known through. Artists choose African Dope Records because they are drawn to the label’s philosophy, culture and seamless technical skills. As Kevin Ribbans of Mix n Blend explains, his band chose African Dope Records “because of the people, the music, the fun and the headspace”. The future is African Dope Records V2.0, which Roach describes as a “360-degree approach” to music, whereby artists will have both a stronger digital presence and boosted live performances through uniquely curated African Dope Live events, both locally and internationally. The internet has liberated listeners, and African Dope Records is gearing up for regular digital releases coming straight out of Fletcher’s mixed-and-mastered melting pot. “African Dope Records is now a music and entertainment collective,” describes Roach; it is a constantly evolving entity that remains firmly grounded in the fundamental brand of the label, acting as a filter for original local electronic music — made with love. www.africandope.co.za
FAT ARCHITECTS 28
F ashion A rchitecture Taste Fashion architects FAT are fake on the outside, but oh-so-original where it really counts. The eco-conscious postmodernists are turning heads around the globe, on a relentless mission to speak to peopleâ€™s hearts. ANNELIE RODE listens in to what they have to say. PHOTOS:
fashion architecture taste (FAT) ltd, james white & paul adams
Islington Square, an eco-housing development by FAT, screams fake! The architecture proudly boasts faux Dutch façades with phoney windows on non-existent levels. Juliet balconies and other imitative motifs like little hearts and crosses adorn the frontage. And it is not even in the Netherlands, it is in east Manchester in the UK. But although these flighty façades raise the middle finger at convention, they actually embody a surprisingly profound benevolence that is not so apparent at first sight. The area now known as New Islington (previously Cardroom Estate) was once a dire and depressing council estate where monotonous townhouses replaced bleak tower blocks built over slums. The area had lost its will to live. Now, after the intervention of a couple of wayward architects, the area and its happy residents are ready to take on the world. One might wonder why rightminded architects would copy elements, symbols and styles, and deliberately parade them on what should be a sombre and ‘tasteful’ façade. Well, according to them, it has everything to do with taste. Founded in 1995 by Sean Griffiths and Sam Jacob (and later joined by Charles Holland), the architecture firm FAT started off by taking a jab at a profession they felt had been up its own arse for far too long. While the team may enjoy a touch of tomfoolery, they do not suffer fools easily. And so through art, research and anthropological interest, FAT has built up its image as a firm that holds social, cultural and urban development in high regard.
Their name itself even challenges the conventional orthodoxy of design, particularly in the matter of taste. FAT is an acronym for Fashion Architecture Taste. They dispute the common belief that good taste and good design is one and the same thing, and that ‘good taste’ is generally prescribed by the educated middleclass. Their populist approach proposes that good taste is not in the eye of the educated beholder, magazine editor, or architect for that matter, but in the eye of the end user. Hence taste is subjective to the bottom line; it is descriptive of the individual subject and it will evoke varying emotions. This leaves good design as simply equating to design that functions foremost, and taste as the added separate element that makes design personal. FAT’s approach at Islington Square and in other projects always puts the occupants’ desires first. The initial plan for Islington Square proposed a chic modern development, but the people wanted something more traditional: a house with a garden — not necessarily outdated, just something they could relate too. And it is this essential relationship that architects often forget about; people have to relate to the spaces that were designed for them. FAT are compelling architects to readdress these issues of how occupants use and relate to their environment. And if they have a bit of fun while they are doing this, why not? The profession really does need to lighten up.
So FAT created wordclass living spaces that addressed all the residents’ safety and comfort needs, with expressive façades that communicate and evoke a sense of pride and belonging to the area. They specifically looked at the way the residents adorned their grim and grey façades with decoration in the previous estate to personalise and liven up the area, thus adapting their environments to their tastes. FAT believe that façades and other visual methods of decoration should be used to communicate the intent of a building, and to evoke a feeling of nostalgia and belonging. And this is achieved by making references to familiar (or pop) iconography or elements from the past that the residents can understand. Another of FAT’s delightful projects is The Sint Lucas Art Academy — this one actually in the Netherlands in the Dutch town of Boxtel. The Academy was once a technical design school in an unremarkable 1960s building — until FAT came along and pimped it out. The pseudo-gothic icing on the façade is meant to engage with the community, speaking not only of a distant past but also employing motifs that are decidedly pop. Tongue in cheek, Griffith explains: “All the students were goths! So we thought we’d give them an appropriate backdrop.” Jokes aside, not only did this facelift uplift the schools standing, but through intelligent architectural planning they brought a previously disjointed building together — creating a functioning community, proud of their creative culture. The project was awarded a RIBA European Award in 2007. A final development we can’t go without mentioning is Hoogvliet Heerlijkheid, also in the Netherlands, in Rotterdam. We know the beautiful word heerlijkheid quite well in Afrikaans, but it’s not so easily translated into English; for our purpose let’s just call it enjoyment. And that is exactly what FAT hoped to instil in the community of a new neighbourhood in the Dutch town, Hoogvliet. Built in the middle of a community park, the eccentric stylised façade of Hoogvliet Heerlijkheid not only represents a new civic identity but also relates to the past. A timber rain-screen is reminiscent of the town’s industrial past, the stylised trees pay their due to the natural environment and the ‘cut-outs’ refer to the rural past of the area. And the pink? Well, that’s a piece of FAT: the architects who create the electric shock that puts the heartbeat back into the community.
FAT’s ideologies are strongly rooted in Postmodernist architectural thought. A mini modern architecture history guide for those unfamiliar with the styles: Modernism: Modernism rebuked the overt decorations of previous eras, calling them superfluous, and focussed instead on pure functionality, stripping elements to their bare minimum and using materials in their natural state. Buildings were stark, geometric, devoid of any metaphor and had no roots in history or context. In other words: somewhat anal-retentive. Modernist icon Ludwig Mies van der Rohe famously said: “Less is more.”
“Less is a bore.” — robert venturi
Postmodernism: Postmodernism rebuked the overt minimalism of Modernism, calling it pseudo-intellectual, austere and alienating, and focussed instead on using metaphor to relate buildings to the people inhabiting them. Buildings are rooted in semiotics. They are expressive, flippant and personal and draw heavily on heritage and context. In other words: considerate and courageous, and a little outrageous. Postmodernist icon Robert Venturi answers back: “Less is a bore.” The smallest unit within any given culture is the language of its symbols and icons; these are comprehensible elements that stir up basal emotion and often nostalgia. The postmodernist architect believes this can be used to translate meaning and intent into a particular space. The most obvious aspect of architecture in which to incorporate this semiotic language is upon façades, which have for centuries been used to create more expressive, often decorative buildings. At the same time, this approach restores craftsmanship to the profession. Venturi calls it the “decorated shed”. Postmodernists argue that this is a much more honest form of building as it acknowledges the mess and chaos of the modern world, which the Modernists attempted to edit out. So, by way of semiotics, architecture comes to speak of a past, a context and of a people — those who actually inhabit the place. It also intends to provoke a reaction, which, says FAT, is exactly what architecture should do. www.fashionarchitecturetaste.com
Islington Square PHOTOS: paul adams (top) & james white (bottom)
“Taste was a way into some of the quite political issues that have driven us over the years, which is to do with why a certain kind of — dare I say — Guardian-reading middleclass person has an almost exclusive role in determining what is good design. We’ve always actively worked outside of that.” — sean griffiths, FAT architect
FEATURE: INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL ARTIST
34 BRIAN WALKER
Greasy Spoon (2007) | lambda print | 50 x 75 cm, edition of 7; 85 x 130 cm, edition of 4 + artist’s proof (AP)
The surreal characters that inhabit Brian Walker’s creations would be right at home in a dark fantasycomedy film, like Death Becomes Her meets The Addams Family, but with a better makeover. Looking to peel away the façade, SARAH JAYNE FELL hunts down the Australian digital artist to uncover whether there are any meaty hidden layers below the surface of this bizarre realm of plastic fantastic, or if its extent is purely skin-deep.
The fantastical landscape of Brian Walker’s surreal digital world is made up of picture-perfect female forms and dominant motifs from popular culture, drawing particularly on fashion, film and advertising. Every element is highly staged and preplanned; not a detail is accidental, not a hair is misplaced. The creator of this realm, Brian Walker, is a Sydney-based digital artist and photographer, art and photography teacher, and father of twin girls. He has worked in advertising and web design. Endowed with an explosive imagination and a lifelong passion for illustration, Brian delved into photography to fine-tune the rendition of his bizarre ideas into seamless existence. Discovering Photoshop while studying and then moving into digital art was his breakthrough: “It was the perfect answer to what I wanted to achieve through my drawing,” Brian says. “I wanted implied reality in my ideas instead of lead pencil.” The outcome is his current work, which shapeshifts from concept to immaculate final product via a meticulous process of sketching, making and acquiring props, consulting with hair and makeup artists, arranging the model and set for the shoot, and finally, post-production. “I am a stickler for details and am not satisfied until I feel that the work is as ‘clean’ and ‘refined’ as possible and that the elements are working well together,” Brian elaborates. “The end result generally bears an uncanny resemblance to the original sketch.” The recurring combination of striking young female models and signifiers of mass media comprising Brian’s mise-en-scène is no mistake. Mastering the art of the digital, he is able to perfectly manufacture his current preoccupation: an interrogation of reality within this technological age, particularly the way in which technology is used to mask or exaggerate reality with reference to the feminine form, most commonly in the media. Brian tells of the genesis of this preoccupation: “Much of my current work stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend a while ago. He works in the print industry and was telling me how he was asked to retouch a model heavily to get her ready for print — right down to removing the creases from her elbows! I was entertained and astonished by the notion and as a result have been examining similar ideas of beauty and falsehood in my own work.”
Brian’s exploration into concepts of illusion versus reality in relation to beauty means his protagonists are not just pretty girls. In fact, the viewer is not really sure what they are — human, android, cyborg, or the latest model of Barbie. Though not all exactly pin-up girls, each woman clearly exudes a conventional sense of female beauty and sexuality. More central to each scene than this, however, is the surreal, often sinister quality that leaves the viewer thinking they may be dealing with a psychotic fembot that they’d rather not be left alone with! Each doll-like character (some batteryoperated) appears caught in the act — in freeze-frame quality — in the midst of some bizarre scenario, whether she’s fourlegged, in a leotard and practising her ‘Learn to Dance’ steps; eating noodles out of an eviscerated, topless human headcum-ceramic measuring bowl; or grating away thick sections of her own plasticky flesh to reveal a hard, candy-coloured centre. The notion of plasticity so strongly evoked in Brian’s images is a prominent underlying theme in his work. On the surface, his protagonists themselves have a plastic quality — whether it’s a Barbie-doll, blowup doll or mannequin that they resemble. In this aspect, Brian has benefited from the digital medium in so successfully being able to reproduce this effect while maintaining a sense of hyperreality at the same time. The plasticity, however, extends beyond the surface, as Brian’s artistic objective reveals: “My work is all about the ‘fakeness’ of society and more specifically popular culture. It observes, contradicts and satirically evaluates the bizarre nature of people, fashion and melding cultures. Technology has given humans the opportunity to be more controlling over our appearance, and as a result I test the extremes and borderlines of what this means and could become.”
Evidence of this metaphorical plasticity lies in the tiny and fastidious details found in Brian’s creations. In ‘Lipstuck’ a pearladorned, princess-crowned young woman smears red lipstick on a metal plate fused into her bottom lip. The purpose of the plate is not clear. Is it an odd form of denture? The result of deformity? A postmodern accessory? On close scrutiny, the shiny plate is patterned with the trademark Louis Vuitton print. Something about the lip is positively purse-like. Instinctively, it seems this is a crucial part of Brian’s oblique commentary about the ridiculous extent to which modern society will go in order to be fashionable and ‘attractive’ according to the current status quo — even more so since we’ve been able to use technology to attain this desire. “The aim of my work is to use humour, wit and satire to look at everyday issues and ideas that arise,” Brian explains. “Their aim is not to change the world, but to poke fun at the extremes of popular culture and how fascinating and entertaining everyday life can be. Take ‘50 Lashes’ for example: The number of ads you see with mascaras promising you up to 500% more lashes! It’s simply its own little parody.” While much of Brian’s art relies on the digital medium, he warns that it’s not a quick or easy solution (or replacement) for good art: “I do admit that I went through ‘the filters’ stage in the early years, something which many people fall into, over-using Photoshop filters just because they are there. The bottom line is that digital manipulation is a tool, and gimmicky techniques are no match for clever design and concept.” It’s good to hear (in the age of everyman believing he is a mouse-click away from being an artist) that it’s not as easy as all that. And that, in the era of the technological, art still retains an important place. For Brian Walker, art serves as commentary and as entertainment. It has the potential to make people think, to question their beliefs and behaviour, and while he isn’t trying to change the world with his art, he certainly believes it serves a valuable role, now as much as ever: “Art now is a protagonist and an entertainer. Society has certainly changed over the years as has art, though its role is still the same even if its techniques are not. As a protagonist, it gets people thinking through any means it has. Being controversial today, for instance, is quite
different to achieving this a century or two ago. As an entertainer, art is there to make us think, laugh, cry and, in many cases, to pretty up a wall. So its significance and role is the same as it ever was, though technique and approach have changed over time.” It’s undeniable that drawing the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art has become more than a little jaded; so much has been absorbed into mass consciousness and consumption that what prevails now over the high and the low is the pop. Brian Walker’s art is a case in point: drawing on imagery and signs from mass, popular culture; using technological aids to finetune his craft; and indeed creating art that is appreciable to more than just the highbrow but which actually has wide, popular appeal. But just because it’s pop, doesn’t mean it’s plastic. Brian Walker’s art fits quite comfortably into the pages of pop culture (the magazine in your hand is proof), and his is not the first — and certainly won’t be the last — to show that pop is not just a pretty face. www.lickthesun.com
Noodle Philosophy (2007) | lambda print | 50 x 75 cm, edition of 7; 85 x 130 cm, edition of 4 + AP
Lipstuck (2007) | lambda print | 52 x 80 cm, edition of 7; 85 x 130 cm, edition of 5 + AP
Send and Receive (2008) | lambda print | 53 x 80 cm, edition of 7; 86 x 130 cm, edition of 5 + AP
Free Range Milk (2007) | lambda print | 57 x 80 cm, edition of 7; 92 x 130 cm, edition of 4 + AP
FEATURE: INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS
PIERRE ET GILLES 41
WORDS: sarah jayne fell ©pierre et gilles. courtesy of galerie jérôme de noirmont, paris
Pierre a photographer: Gilles a painter. Two French artists who have worked as one since they met at a party in Paris in 1976. Legend has it that the pair met, fell in love, and became so inseparable they could no longer work apart, from then on going simply as the entity Pierre et Gilles.
Les Cosmonauts – Pierre et Gilles (1991) unique hand-painted photograph 156 x 130 cm
Combining their skills, Pierre and Gilles’s work steadily overlapped and merged so that essentially (as they describe): “Our life and work have become one.” The romantic origins of their union are almost fairytale-like in the way they played out and, like a true Hollywood happy ending, the artist duo have remained in this blissful state ever since — a condition that permeates every element of their work. Gilles first painted a photograph by Pierre in 1977, and this method of hand-painting photographic prints has been one with which Pierre et Gilles have become synonymous. As an early precursor to digital art and photo retouching, and noted as a hugely defining influence on contemporary photography, it is fascinating to see that even their most recent series of work continues this traditional technique. Uniting their artistic expertise, Pierre et Gilles create beautifully idyllic Romantic portraits of popular icons, each against a threedimensional backdrop of its own imaginary world. Seen as a whole, their work resembles a family album for contemporary popular culture over the last thirty-odd years, both in its comprehensiveness and in the images’ posed, adulatory aura, as if each photo is of a loved one. In the late seventies Pierre et Gilles photographed pop culture royalty like Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Yves Saint Laurent and Iggy Pop. Since then their lavish, ornate frames (always an intrinsic component of each portrait) have encompassed the likes of Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Marilyn Manson, Nina Hagen, and the artists themselves. Their portraiture
extends to include fictional icons (from Alice in Wonderland and Médusa to Adam and Eve — often played by celebrities such as, famously, Boy George as Krishna). In addition to iconic figures, they also include friends and unknowns in their scope, presenting these no differently from their celebrity icons and elevating even anonymous characters to the status of idols. For this momentous body of work, Pierre et Gilles have themselves become iconified. Not only do they feature in every comprehensive book on modern art (not to mention those on popular culture, kitsch, fashion and more) but images of their work and of the artists can be found everywhere from watch faces to incarnations as mermen figurines. Their venture into the realm of kitsch is hardly surprising given the bordering-on-cheesy quality of their work. Though the artists personally set themselves apart from this (“It’s not that we don’t like the word ‘kitsch’, we just don’t think it can define our work. Style is of no importance to us…”), there is a marked air of the fake, in the utmost serenity and grace portrayed in each portrait, exalting each to a status that is god-like. But there is far more to the work of Pierre et Gilles than this. The way each subject is elevated to the same venerated status speaks to the way in which they seek to destroy boundaries — not only between pop and traditional art or between mediums, but particularly as a means of breaking down stereotype, prejudice, and intercultural, racial, and sexual differences. At the heart of their work is a message of acceptance and open-mindedness.
This, the crux of the art of Pierre et Gilles, is what has made their work so influential and so timeless. Despite its potential to be reduced to kitsch it cannot justifiably be diminished in this way — there is something in each piece that is too disconcerting, too moving, too complex. It is perhaps that while they utilise stereotypes they do not adhere to any. They depict an imaginary world superior to our own one bound to human conceptions. They work with elements that could potentially shock or cause taboo, but don’t treat them as if they would — in a manner that is almost naive. Their idealism is not mere idolism of celebrity or cult of the personality, but something closer to an obstinate conviction of what is possible for humankind: a world of tranquillity and beauty, free from taboo or prejudice. And it is this romantic dream fuelling them and their work that jars so profoundly with the viewer — because it is a dream that so few truly possess. Pierre et Gilles are represented by Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont in Paris. Their most recent body of work, Wonderful Town, was shown there over 27 November 2009 – 23 January 2010. www.denoirmont.com
LEFT: Nina Hagen (1993) unique hand-painted photograph 93.4 x 93.5 cm THIS PAGE: Jean-Paul Gaultier (1990) unique hand-painted photograph 92 x 112 cm
Full Moon (2007) unique hand-painted photograph 102 x 135 cm
Extase (2003) unique hand-painted photograph 94 x 115 cm cm
La Vierge aux Serpents â€“ Kylie Minogue (2008) unique hand-painted photograph 137 x 181 cm
Le Grand Amour â€“ Marilyn Manson and Dita von Teese (2004) unique hand-painted photograph 126 x 154,5 cm
COVER (previous page)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Justin McGee STYLIST: Illana Welman
MODEL: Matt Pastel
Original fakes, fake originals. The world abounds with varying forms of each end of the spectrum and of every point along it. Come to think of it, it’s not so much a linear continuum but more of a full circle. What really is original or fake anyway? And how distinct are the two? Originality generally means something fresh and innovative — the novel and the new, something not thought of before. Fake on the other hand refers to that which is inauthentic or imitative. It’s synonymous with counterfeit, forgery, decoy — that whose sole intent is to deceive, often for illicit purposes. So the original is usually the first of something, and the fake is every instance that follows. But could you be the first to do something, and yet be completely unoriginal? Could you be the last to do it, but the most original? Could ‘originality’ merely be a façade to hide a complete lack thereof? And when is the façade itself the point of originality? To be honest, we’re not entirely sure! (And we’re becoming more and more confused by all this. So we’re sorry if you came here looking for ‘the truth’… we’re not even sure we believe in one!) Point is, being ‘original’ or being ‘fake’ are each concepts that crop up rather frequently in the realm of the arts and popular culture. Whether it’s Pamela Anderson’s latest boob job, the originality of that new song on the radio, or keeping up with our favourite local Joneses’ new alter-ego/s… both the original and the fake are two things that people have quite strong intent in establishing. But — as we tried to point out above — they are far from mutually exclusive. And often the most interesting examples seem to embody extremes of both. Maybe that’s what pop culture is all about. After all, pop is notoriously ‘plastic’; it can be superficial, totally disposable, completely and utterly uninteresting. But in amongst all that there are instances of such originality and pure creative genius that they inspire us. Well, they certainly inspire us anyway. That’s kind of why we’re here. So, in the pages that follow, you can expect to find examples of supreme originality. You’ll also see things that exemplify degrees of fake. And many will take both by the horns to create the most mind-boggling form of we-don’t-know-what. Hopefully by the time you’re done you’ll have figured it out. Tell us about it; we’d love to know what your take is on the whole hullabaloo. But for now, be off with you and enjoy our totally originally fake microcosm of one small seed magazine: the magazine inside a magazine that’s not really a magazine at all, but kind of is at the same time.
Yours originally, the one small seed team
DID YOU KNOW? 283 FAKE TREES WERE INVENTED BY A COMPANY THAT MADE TOILET BOWL BRUSHES, THE ADDIS BRUSH COMPANY. SO THE FIRST FAKE CHRISTMAS TREES WERE REALLY JUST BIG GREEN TOILET BRUSHES. DID YOU KNOW? 284 ONE OF THE MOST ORIGINAL AD CAMPAIGNS OF 2008 INVOLVED THREE CROP CIRCLES APPEARING OUT OF NOWHERE ALONG THE HIGHWAY IN HOLLAND. THEN, YOUTUBE CLIPS BEGAN TURNING UP SHOWING UFOS IN THESE AREAS, FOLLOWED BY MYSTERIOUS LASER PROJECTIONS AND GRAFFITI ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. ONCE THE NATION WAS HYPED UP ABOUT THE INCIDENT, A WEBSITE TAKEOVER OF MSN.NL AND OTHERS REDIRECTING USERS TO FEELDIFFERENT.COM REVEALED THAT THE WHOLE THING WAS JUST AN AD CAMPAIGN FOR THE NEW PHILIPS NIVEA FOR MEN SHAVER. DID YOU KNOW? 285 WHEN PAMELA ANDERSON BECAME PLAYBOY CENTREFOLD AND WAS CHOSEN AS PLAYMATE OF THE MONTH IN FEBRUARY 1990, SHE DECIDED TO GET HER FIRST BOOB JOB. SINCE THEN, IT SEEMS SHE’S NAMED THEM. IN 2005 COMEDY CENTRAL CREATED THE ROAST OF PAMELA ANDERSON TO HONOUR THE PAST DECADE’S BIGGEST SEX SYMBOL FOR THE PAST DECADE. DURING HER FINAL SPEECH AT THE ROAST, PAMELA REFERRED TO HER BREASTS AS “PANCHO AND LEFTY”. DID YOU KNOW? 286 ORIGINAL EVOLUTION: IN 2007, 2.5 KM UNDERWATER, A REMOTE CONTROL SUBMERSIBLE’S CAMERA CAPTURED AN EERIE SURPRISE: A PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN SPECIES OF MAGNAPINNA — AN ALIEN-LIKE, INCREDIBLY LONG-ARMED SQUID THAT, STRANGEST OF ALL, HAS ‘ELBOWS’.
DID YOU KNOW? 287 A MUMMY’S TOE WAS THE FIRST PROSTHESIS. IN 2007 AN EGYPTIAN MUMMY WITH A FAKE TOE, MADE FROM WOOD AND LEATHER, WAS DISCOVERED. WHILE PREVIOUSLY THE FIRST PROSTHESIS WAS AN ARTIFICIAL LEG FOUND IN ITALY DATING BACK TO 300 BC, THIS WOODEN TOE IS NOW THE EARLIEST KNOWN FUNCTIONAL PROSTHESIS, DATING BACK TO AROUND 1000 BC.
DID YOU KNOW? 290 A LUCKLESS INDIAN ROMEO HAS ATTEMPTED TO SUE AXE FOR FALSE ADVERTISING IN THEIR WELLKNOWN SLOGAN ‘THE AXE EFFECT’. VAIBHAV BEDI, 26, IS SEEKING £26 000 FROM PARENT COMPANY UNILEVER FOR THE “DEPRESSION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE” CAUSED BY THE LACK OF ANY AXE EFFECT. UNILEVER HAVE NOT BEEN AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT.
DID YOU KNOW? 288 IN 2008 PETA LAUNCHED A MILLION-DOLLARPRIZE CONTEST FOR SCIENTISTS TO CREATE THE FIRST IN VITRO CHICKEN MEAT (TESTTUBE CHICKEN FLESH THAT LOOKS AND TASTES LIKE THE REAL DEAL) BY 2012. IT MUST BE INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM REAL MEAT, AND MANUFACTURED IN LARGE ENOUGH QUANTITIES TO BE SOLD COMMERCIALLY AT A COMPETITIVE PRICE. PETA’S ‘REAL’ FAKE MEAT DEAL IS A DRASTIC TACTIC TO REDUCE THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS THE MEAT INDUSTRY HAS ON THE ENVIRONMENT. SO FAR DUTCH SCIENTISTS ARE IN THE LEAD.
DID YOU KNOW? 290 FAKE BREAST IMPLANTS HAVE BEEN USED SINCE AT LEAST 1895 AD TO ENLARGE OR RESHAPE WOMEN’S BREASTS. THE FIRST RECORDED INSTANCE, BY AUSTRIAN-GERMAN VINCENZ CZERNY, USED A WOMAN’S OWN BENIGN BACK GROWTH FOR THE IMPLANT. SUBSEQUENTLY A NUMBER OF OTHER SUBSTANCES WERE TRIED — INCLUDING IVORY, GLASS BALLS, GROUND RUBBER, OX CARTILAGE, WOOL, POLYESTER, AND PARAFFIN INJECTIONS — OFTEN WITH DISASTROUS RESULTS. INTERESTINGLY, PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS REVEAL THAT WOMEN WHO SEEK BOOB JOBS ARE USUALLY YOUNGER AND LESS-EDUCATED THAN THOSE WHO HAVE OTHER PLASTIC SURGERIES, AND HAVE A HIGHER SUICIDE RATE AND INCLINATION TOWARDS PSYCHOPATHOLOGY THAN THE REST OF THE POPULATION.
DID YOU KNOW? 289 FAKE CURRENCY IS ALMOST AS OLD AS MONEY ITSELF. MOULDS FOR CREATING FAKE ROMAN COINS DATE BACK TO AT LEAST 100 BC. DURING WORLD WAR II, THE NAZIS ATTEMPTED TO FORGE BRITISH POUNDS AND AMERICAN DOLLARS. COUNTERFEITING HAS ALSO FREQUENTLY BEEN USED AS A MEANS OF WARFARE — BY FLOODING THE ENEMY’S ECONOMY WITH FAKE BANK NOTES TO DESTROY THE VALUE OF THEIR REAL CURRENCY. TODAY THE FINEST COUNTERFEIT US DOLLAR BILLS, KNOWN AS ‘SUPERDOLLARS’, ARE PRODUCED IN NORTH KOREA — POSSIBLY FOR THIS VERY REASON.
DID YOU KNOW? 291 ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S MANY CLAIMS TO FAME (APART FROM INVENTING THE KREEPY KRAULY, BILTONG AND THE SPEED GUN) IS THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL HEART TRANSPLANT, PERFORMED BY CHRIS BARNARD IN DECEMBER 1967. BARNARD EXPERIMENTED FOR YEARS PRIOR TO THIS, PERFORMING AT LEAST 50 TRANSPLANTS ON DOGS.
DID YOU KNOW? 292 THE KING OF DENMARK (1259–1286 AD) ERIC V ‘KLIPPING’, WAS SUCH AN INFAMOUS COUNTERFEITER HE WAS NAMED AFTER HIS TRADE! ’CLIPPING’ OF THE COIN REFERS TO THE SHAVING OF THE EDGES OF PRECIOUS-METAL COINS TO MELT INTO NEW ONES. DID YOU KNOW? 293 FICTION WRITERS HAVE LONG BEEN REVERED FOR THEIR WORK. THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE HAS BEEN AWARDED 102 TIMES, TWO OF WHICH WERE TO SOUTH AFRICAN WRITERS — JM COETZEE (2003) AND NADINE GORDIMER (1991). DID YOU KNOW? 294 FAKE FUR, AKA FUN FUR OR FAUX FUR, WAS FIRST INTRODUCED IN 1929 USING HAIR FROM THE ALPACA, BUT WERE TYPICALLY LOW QUALITY, MONOCHROME, AND INCOMPARABLE TO THE REAL THING. TRUE MODERN FAKE FURS WERE NOT DEVELOPED UNTIL THE 1950S WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF ACRYLIC POLYMERS. DESPITE ANTI-FUR CAMPAIGNS REACHING A PEAK IN THE ‘80S AND ’90S, REAL ANIMAL FUR CLOTHING IS STILL LEGAL ALMOST WORLDWIDE. DID YOU KNOW? 295 PENIS CAPTIVUS DESCRIBES A RARE EVENT THAT OCCURS DURING HETEROSEXUAL SEX, WHEN THE VAGINAL MUSCLES CLAMP DOWN ON THE PENIS MORE FIRMLY THAN USUAL, MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE PENIS TO WITHDRAW REGARDLESS OF ERECTION STATUS. THE FIRST REPORT OF PENIS CAPTIVUS IS IN AN 1884 ARTICLE IN THE PHILADELPHIA MEDICAL NEWS. IT WAS LATER DISCOVERED TO BE A HOAX, BUT, ACCORDING TO A 1947 REPORTED INCIDENT IN THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE POSSIBLE!
DID YOU KNOW? 296 THE COTTINGLEY FAIRIES ARE FIVE PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY ELSIE WRIGHT AND FRANCES GRIFFITHS, TWO YOUNG COUSINS LIVING IN COTTINGLEY, ENGLAND, DEPICTING THEM IN VARIOUS ACTIVITIES WITH FAIRIES. FOR FIFTY YEARS THE GIRLS AVOIDED PUBLICITY AND THE HOAX WAS BELIEVED. WHILE IN THE 1980S FRANCES AND ELSIE ADMITTED THE FIRST FOUR PICTURES WERE FAKES, BOTH GIRLS CLAIMED RIGHT TILL THEIR DEATHS THAT THE FIFTH WAS, IN FACT, AUTHENTIC. DID YOU KNOW? 297 THE QUEEN MOTHER’S DEATH WAS ERRONEOUSLY ANNOUNCED IN THE AUSTRALIAN MEDIA IN 1993 AFTER A LONDON SKY NEWS EMPLOYEE SAW AN INTERNAL REHEARSAL FOR HER FUTURE DEATH (ONE OF MANY CONDUCTED BY THE UK MEDIA OVER THE YEARS). THINKING IT WAS FOR REAL, HE PHONED HIS MOTHER IN AUSTRALIA WHO PASSED IT ON TO THE MEDIA. DID YOU KNOW? 298 PLASTIC SURGERY DATES BACK FURTHER THAN YOU’D THINK. THE FIRST KNOWN RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY TECHNIQUES WERE BEING CARRIED OUT IN INDIA BY 2000 BC. AFTER REPORTS ON INDIAN RHINOPLASTY (AKA NOSE JOBS) WERE PUBLISHED IN THE LONDON GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE IN 1794 AD, BRITISH PHYSICIANS TRAVELLED TO INDIA TO OBSERVE THE PRACTICE, AND ONLY IN 1815 WAS THE FIRST PLASTIC SURGERY PERFORMED IN THE WESTERN WORLD — THE RESTORATION OF ‘A LOST NOSE’ BY JOSEPH CONSTANTINE CARPUE.
DID YOU KNOW? 299 THE MOST FAMOUS FAKE ORGASM ON FILM IS UNDOUBTEDLY MEG RYAN’S IN 1989’S WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. THE LEGENDARY SCENE ENDS WITH SALLY RETURNING TO HER MEAL AND A NEARBY PATRON COMMENTING, “I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING!” THE KATZ’S DELICATESSEN, WHERE THE SCENE WAS SHOT, STILL HANGS A SIGN ABOVE THE TABLE THAT READS “WHERE HARRY MET SALLY… HOPE YOU HAVE WHAT SHE HAD!” DID YOU KNOW? 300 IN THE 18TH CENTURY, WILLIAM HENRY IRELAND ATTEMPTED TO PASS OFF HIS OWN WRITING AS LOST SHAKESPEAREAN DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING A WHOLE NEW PLAY, VORTIGERN AND ROWENA. THE POTENTIAL PRODUCER QUICKLY SUSPECTED THE HACKNEYED SCRIPT WAS A FRAUD, HOWEVER, AND INSTEAD STAGED THE PLAY AS AN APRIL FOOL’S JOKE — AS A MUSICAL FARCE ABOUT THE GULLIBILITY OF AN ART COLLECTOR. DID YOU KNOW? 301 RUMOURS OF RAINBOW PARTIES IN THE EARLY 2000S CLAIMED THAT ADOLESCENT GIRLS WOULD WEAR VARIOUS SHADES OF LIPSTICK AT THESE EVENTS AND TAKE TURNS FELLATING MALES, LEAVING A ‘RAINBOW’ OF COLOURS ON THEIR PENISES. THE IDEA WAS PUBLICISED ON THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW IN 2003, AND BECAME THE SUBJECT OF A JUVENILE NOVEL CALLED RAINBOW PARTY. HOWEVER, SEX RESEARCHERS AND ADOLESCENT HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS HAVE FOUND NO EVIDENCE FOR THEIR EXISTENCE, AND ATTRIBUTE THE STORIES TO ESCALATING MORAL PANIC.
DID YOU KNOW? 302 THE URBAN LEGEND THAT THERE ARE JAPANESE VENDING MACHINES SELLING USED UNDERWEAR HAS BEEN AROUND FOR AGES. WE CAN’T CONFIRM THIS FOR SURE, BUT IT SEEMS THAT IN 1993 USED-PANTY VENDING MACHINES WERE DECLARED ILLEGAL IN TOKYO… SUGGESTING BY LOGICAL HYPOTHESIS THAT AT SOME STAGE THEY EXISTED. ANOTHER SOURCE CLAIMS IT WAS AN ISOLATED CASE THAT HAD THE LAW ENACTED, BUT EITHER WAY, THE JAPANESE ARE NOT ALONE IN THEIR SCHOOLGIRL PANTY FETISH. JUST GOOGLE ‘USED PANTIES’ AND YOU’LL SEE!
DID YOU KNOW? 305 THE CNN.COM INCIDENT REFERS TO THE ACCIDENTAL RELEASE OF FALSE OBITUARIES BY THE NEWS POWERHOUSE IN 2003 WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT PRE-WRITTEN DRAFT MEMORIALS TO SEVERAL WORLD FIGURES WERE AVAILABLE ON THE DEVELOPMENT AREA OF THE CNN WEBSITE WITHOUT REQUIRING A PASSWORD. THESE INCLUDE A DRAFT OBITUARY FOR FIDEL CASTRO, WHICH USED RONALD REAGAN’S AS A TEMPLATE, AND DESCRIBED CASTRO AS ”LIFEGUARD, ATHLETE, MOVIE STAR”. OTHERS INCLUDE NELSON MANDELA AND POPE JOHN PAUL II.
DID YOU KNOW? 303 WHILE MANY ACTORS AND ACTRESSES FAKE THEIR SEX SCENES HERE ARE SOME (REPORTEDLY) REAL ONSCREEN SHENANIGANS: HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN AND SIENNA MILLER IN FACTORY GIRL (2006); A 30-SECOND SCENE OF FELLATIO IN INSIDE DEEP THROAT (2005); AND MUCH OF THE SEXUAL ACTIVITY IN SHORTBUS (2006).
DID YOU KNOW? 306 MICHAEL JACKSON’S PLASTIC SURGERY REMODELLED HIS FACE ON THE FAMOUS DIVA DIANNA ROSS. AFTER ALMOST EVERY NEW ALBUM, MJ HAD MORE SURGERY DONE, “ALWAYS WANTING A THINNER NOSE” ACCORDING TO HIS SURGEON. MICHAEL, HOWEVER, ALWAYS CLAIMED HE ONLY HAD TWO PROCEDURES DONE ON HIS NOSE AND NOTHING ELSE. NOT ONE THING. HIS FACE JUST SORT OF ‘SQUARED OUT’ AND, MERCIFULLY, HE GOT A MUCH BETTER WIG.
DID YOU KNOW? 304 BONSAI KITTEN IS AN INTERNET HOAX THAT GIVES FAKE INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO GROW KITTENS IN BOTTLES AS DECORATION, SIMILAR TO A BONSAI TREE. SOON AFTER BIRTH THE KITTEN IS SUPPOSEDLY PLACED IN A GLASS CONTAINER, STUNTING THE KITTEN’S GROWTH TO FIT THE VESSEL THAT CONTAINS IT. THE KITTEN ALLEGEDLY BREATHES AND EXPELS WASTE THROUGH SPECIALLY DRILLED HOLES. WHILE THE WEBSITE IS NO LONGER ONLINE, MIRROR WEBSITE WITH COPIES OF THE CONTENT STILL EXIST.
DID YOU KNOW? 307 IN THE EARLY 1970S, MELODY MAKER MAGAZINE CONFUSED READERS BY PUBLISHING A SATIRICAL CONCERT REVIEW OF THE ROCK MUSICIAN ALICE COOPER IN THE FORM OF A MOCK OBITUARY. SO MANY FANS TOOK IT LITERALLY THAT COOPER HAD TO ISSUE A STATEMENT, REASSURING THEM: “I’M ALIVE, AND DRUNK AS USUAL.”
DID YOU KNOW? 308 IN OCTOBER 2004, A DRAFT OBITUARY OF ROCKSTAR OZZY OSBOURNE’S WIFE, SHARON, WAS ACCIDENTALLY PUBLISHED ON THE ABC NEWS WEBSITE OWING TO A TECHNICAL ERROR. DID YOU KNOW? 309 IN 1996 ELVIS HERSELVIS, A LESBIAN ELVIS IMPERSONATOR WHO HAD BEEN INVITED TO TAKE PART IN THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL ELVIS PRESLEY CONFERENCE HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI “TO TEST THE LIMITS OF RACE, CLASS, SEXUALITY AND PROPERTY” WAS BANNED FROM THE EVENT BY THE CONSERVATIVE SPONSORS. THE BAN, FOUNDED ON ‘UNORTHODOX ELVIS IMPERSONATION’, SHOWS JUST HOW SERIOUSLY SOME PEOPLE TAKE PRETENDING TO BE SOMEONE ELSE. DID YOU KNOW? 310 THE BALLOON BOY HOAX OCCURRED IN 2009 IN COLORADO, WHEN THE PARENTS OF SIX-YEAR-OLD FALCON HEENE CLAIMED HE HAD FLOATED AWAY IN A HOMEMADE BALLOON. THE EVENT ATTRACTED WORLDWIDE ATTENTION. AFTER A TWO-HOUR LONG FLIGHT THAT COVERED MORE THAN 80 KM ACROSS THREE COUNTIES, THE BALLOON LANDED, TO BE FOUND EMPTY. LATER THAT AFTERNOON THE BOY WAS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN HIDING IN HIS HOME THE ENTIRE TIME. DID YOU KNOW? 311 CHINA HAS CONFIRMED ITSELF AS THE ‘KING OF COUNTERFEITERS’ WITH THE BUILDING OF A NEW SHOPPING CENTRE DEDICATED TO FAKE BRANDS. SOME OF THE BRAND IMPOSTORS AT THE MALL IN NANJING, EAST OF SHANGHAI, INCLUDE A MCDNOALD’S, BUCKSSTAR COFFEE, PIZZA HUH AND KLC.
DID YOU KNOW? 312 REPORTS THAT THE BLONDE GENE IS DISAPPEARING IS A HOAX THAT HIT THE WORLD MEDIA IN 2002. ALLEGEDLY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION PUBLISHED A REPORT CLAIMING THAT PEOPLE WITH BLONDE HAIR “WILL BECOME EXTINCT BY 2202” BASED ON AN INTERPRETATION OF RECESSIVENESS IN GENETICS. HOWEVER, NEITHER THE WHO, NOR ANY REPUTABLE EXPERT, HAS ISSUED SUCH A REPORT, AND THE BLONDE GENE CANNOT DISAPPEAR BY SIMPLE BREEDING. DID YOU KNOW? 313 THE WORLD MOST SUCCESSFUL IMPERSONATOR IS PAUL BINT. DUBBED ‘KING CON’, PAUL HAS PRETENDED TO BE A VARIETY OF HIGH-FLYING PROFESSIONALS FOR OVER 25 YEARS. WITH OVER 24 ALIASES BENEATH HIS BELT, HE’S BEEN EVERYONE FROM AN ARISTOCRAT TO A WORLDCLASS BALLERINA! THE REASON BEHIND THIS DEDICATED LIFE OF FORGERY? TO ATTRACT WOMEN. THAT’S RIGHT, THIS CHARACTER-CHAMELEON DIDN’T DO IT FOR THE MONEY BUT FOR LOVE. DID YOU KNOW? 314 EVER WONDERED HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN GORY FAKE BLOOD FOR HALLOWEEN? JUST COMBINE TWO TABLESPOONS OF WHITE CORN SYRUP, ONE TABLESPOON OF WATER, TWO DROPS OF RED FOOD COLOURING, A PINCH OF CORNSTARCH, AND SEVERAL DROPS OF SOY SAUCE. DID YOU KNOW? 315 THE FIRST KNOWN SEX REASSIGNMENT SURGERY WAS A MALETO-FEMALE SEX CHANGE IN GERMANY IN 1930. THE RECIPIENT, LILI ELBE, DIED THREE MONTHS AFTER THE FINAL OPERATION.
DID YOU KNOW? 316 ONE OF THE GREATEST TV MOMENTS IN HOLLAND WAS THE BIG DONOR SHOW, A HOAX REALITY SHOW BROADCAST BY BNN IN 2007. THREE PEOPLE REQUIRING KIDNEY TRANSPLANTS WERE SUPPOSEDLY COMPETING TO RECEIVE THE ORGAN DONATION OF A TERMINALLY ILL 37-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, WHO HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THEM. VIEWERS COULD VOTE ON WHO THEY THOUGHT SHOULD RECEIVE THE KIDNEY VIA SMS. AFTER PUBLIC OUTRAGE, HORRIFIED PRESS COVERAGE, AND ATTEMPTS TO CENSOR THE PROGRAMME, IT WAS AIRED — BUT, RATHER THAN DECLARING A WINNER, IT ENDED WITH THE PEOPLE INVOLVED BEING REVEALED AS ACTORS. THE IDEA WAS CONCEIVED OF TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THE SCARCITY OF ORGAN DONORS IN THE NETHERLANDS, AND TO HONOUR THE NETWORK’S RECENTLY DECEASED FOUNDER, BART DE GRAAFF, WHO HAD BEEN A KIDNEY PATIENT. DID YOU KNOW? 317 THE 2008 VIEWERS’ CHOICE PRIZE IN THE PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST WAS WON BY A FAKE PHOTO ENTERED BY AN INDIAN PHOTOGRAPHER. EXPERTS SAY THE PHOTO BEARS OBVIOUS HALLMARKS OF DIGITAL MANIPULATION. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC REMOVED THE PHOTO FROM ITS WEBSITE BUT HAS NOT OFFICIALLY ACKNOWLEDGED IT AS FAKE. DID YOU KNOW? 318 THE ORIGINAL SA BUBBLEGUM BRAND CHAPPIES HAD ITS FIRST MAKEOVER IN 50 YEARS IN 2008. HEADED BY OGILVY, THEIR CAMPAIGN INVOLVED POSTING GIANT ‘DID YOU KNOW?’ WRAPPERS AROUND CAPE TOWN, DISPATCHING INTERESTING FACTS RELEVANT TO WHERE THEY WERE PLACED.
DID YOU KNOW? 321 THE MOST FAMOUS CELEBRITY DEATH HOAXES IS THE ‘PAUL IS DEAD’ RUMOUR OF 1969, WHEN THE CLAIM THAT PAUL MCCARTNEY OF THE BEATLES HAD DIED SWEPT THROUGH AMERICA AND GREAT BRITAIN. DID YOU KNOW? 319 IN THE NOVEMBER 2003 IDAHO OBSERVER THE EDITOR PUT FORWARD A WELL-ARGUED CLAIM THAT AMERICA IS THE ULTIMATE FAKE. THIS IS JUST SOME OF WHAT HE SAID: “OUR ECONOMY IS FAKE AND THE CHIEF ECONOMIC INDICATORS ARE FAKE… AMERICANS DON’T USE CURRENCY, THEY USE DEBT NOTES; THE RISE AND FALL OF THE STOCK MARKET IS A FAKE INDICATOR OF A FAKE ECONOMY; CONSUMER SPENDING AND UNEMPLOYMENT STATISTICS, INFLATION, DEFLATION AND INTEREST RATES ARE FIGURES REPORTED REGULARLY AND DIFFERENTLY DEPENDING UPON WHO IS DOING THE REPORTING — ALL TO CONFUSE THE TRUTH WHICH IS THAT OUR ENTIRE ECONOMIC CONSTRUCT IS A LIE. IT IS FAKE. GOVERNMENT EXPLANATIONS FOR 9/11 ARE FAKE; THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS IS FAKE; GOVERNMENT JUSTIFICATION OF THE WAR IN IRAQ IS FAKE; AND THE WAR ON TERRORISM IS FAKE BECAUSE THE REAL WAR IS ON AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES. THERE IS COMPELLING EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THE MOON LANDING WAS FAKE. PUBLIC HEALTH MUST BE FAKE BECAUSE THE PUBLIC IS INCREASINGLY UNHEALTHY. A HIGH PERCENTAGE OF MARRIAGE VOWS ARE FAKE, OTHERWISE OVER HALF THE PEOPLE WHO TAKE THEM WOULD NOT BE DEPARTING FROM ONE ANOTHER LONG BEFORE DEATH. THE FACT THAT GEORGE BUSH, JR. BECAME PRESIDENT PROVES BEYOND DOUBT THAT ELECTIONS ARE FAKE. AND THE LIST GOES ON INTO NEARLY EVERY FACET AND AVENUE OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.” IS IT POSSIBLE WE’VE FOUND THE ORIGINAL FAKE?
min ce : a dish best served
WORDS: cathy lund*
CLIVE ALLARDYCE AND MARTIN VAN STADEN ARE THE BRAINS, BEAUTY AND BRAWN BEHIND MINCE, ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S LONGEST-RUNNING DRAG SHOWS. AND BOY, CAN THEY FAKE IT.
wears her hair full, her heels high and her sexuality without fear. She struts towards a male audience member while performing her song. He squirms. Before him is one of the most tangible juxtapositions he’s ever seen. She is a beautiful woman. And yet she is not. A ‘woman’, that is. Keiron (Martin van Staden) is one-half of drag duo Mince — one of South Africa’s original drag-performance acts — with (Clive Allardyce) completing the colourful chameleon team. Over the years Martin and Clive have perfected their art form, which, simply put, entails dressing up as women and lip-syncing to famous songs (from ‘How High The Moon’ by Ella Fitzgerald to ‘Miss Independent’ by Kelly Clarkson). Except there’s nothing simple about either of those acts. Months go into their cleverly choreographed routines, tongue-twisting songs and gorgeous costumes. The show is as tight as the pantyhose they wear and drips with spunk. And once dressed as women they are scarily realistic. So much so that a number of years back, Martin (dressed as Keiron) and a friend won the J&B Met Best Dressed Couple competition, with judges thinking Martin was a woman.
While by night they’re diva divines, by day they’re hardworking men, with Clive choreographing fashion shows and Martin designing jewellery. Which is not to say that their alteregos lie dormant when they’re not in costume. Both performers believe their ‘real’ and ‘fake’ characters are very much the same. “I don’t differ that much from Keiron,” says Martin as he dresses backstage before one of their shows. “My female side is actually my strength. As a boy I am softer and weaker. In times
of trouble and woe and all that kak, it’s the chick side that comes in and actually saves the day or will handle the situation. I have been in frocks since I was a kid so I have always had a balance between male and female. I find strength in drag.” Clive agrees: “I do most of the comedy in the show. As Clive I use a lot of humour in my life and the same applies to Lilly.” The pair debuted their show in the ’90s at David Kramer’s Dock Road Theatre and they have gone on to perform all over South Africa, in the Seychelles, Egypt and Budapest — to a mostly straight audience. And they’re not intending to stop anytime soon. Though, maybe slowing down ever-so-slightly. “Good Gawd, girl! There’s no way I can do some of the songs I could do years ago,” says Clive. “An audience member recently asked me to do a Tina Turner number from forever ago. I couldn’t even do that song sitting down now. Halfway through I’d need my bloody asthma pump!” His laugh is deep and infectious. Anything that the girls have that the boys wish they did? “I wish I could scratch through chicks’ bags like I do during the show. As an oke you’ll get a fat klap on the chops for doing that,” says Clive. “My female character has bigger balls than me,” says Martin. “I would love to have more balls!” Funny that. www.mince.co.za *Cathy Lund is assistant editor of COSMOPOLITAN
Catch and exclusive live interview with Mince on www.onesmallseed.tv
r and drips with spunk. The show is as tight as the pantyhose they wea
“I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE
MORE ” BALLS!
- martin van staden
MUSIEK: AFRIKAANS GANGSTA RAP
JACK PAROW 58 The very fact that you’re reading this magazine means it’s quite likely that Jack Parow hates you, or certainly finds you very un-zef. After all, he did single us out by name in his hit rap ditty where everything cool is un-cool. LARRY SCIVOUS and NATHAN ZENO cornered him in a dark alley late one night outside the Kraaifontein Spur, to find out exactly what his problem is with cool people... Photography by Sean Metelerkamp
In 2010, Afrikaans rap has a phresh new look, clad in leopard-print Goofy cap and a PEP Stores broek. Fok jou — if it isn’t zef, it isn’t anything… least of all original. The alter-ego of mild-mannered Bellville oke Zander Tyler, Jack Parow, busts forth clad in wife-beater vest, boxer shorts and Magnum P.I.’s ‘tache, sprouting what he tells us is “romantically dangerous Afrikaans gangsta rap”. If this strikes you as original, you clearly haven’t travelled south of Cape Town city. His latest hipster-bating song claims “Ek’s original — jy’s ge copy” That’s ironic right? Surely part of the Parow appeal package is that he’s reflecting certain truisms, not just in this one song, but in his whole persona? “I actually at this very moment have a PEP Stores’ broek, uh, pants on that I bought at PEP Stores. I’m rolling in my fucking boxers and my vest, and I actually wear that most of the time, so my style is original, that’s what I mean with that shit,” he elucidates. His is a look you won’t find anywhere else, even in a PEP Stores brochure (we looked); so in that sense, yes, his style is original. But is it so kwaai as to be considered truly zef? Ninja from other styled Afrikaans act Die Antwoord nailed that literally weeks ago with his homemade tattoos, matching partner and haircut. Maybe it’s our colonialist perception of zef that is, uh, wack? “Zef people are some of the finest people I know,” testifies Parow. “It’s like, if you have a perm and a Maltese poodle, a Mazda with blue lights underneath and go to fokken Danskraal, you probably qualify as zef.” Then ponders, “People think all Afrikaners are zef, for some reason…”
The humour inherent in everything Jack Parow is undeniable, but just how effective is it in making a point? “Ag man, a lot of rap music is all this conscious, fucking political shit, and I never want to do that. If I’m going out to a party then I don’t wanna stand there and get depressed about how fucked up our country is or whatever. We get so much of that in the news; everyone’s dying and shit and I obviously just wanna party! I want people to have the funnest time they can have while I’m out there, so I talk a lot of shit and I try keep my lyrics as light-hearted as possible without depressing the shit out of people.” Then on a more sombre note, he adds: “But the music is the most important thing. My music has to be good. I can’t just be a clown and dance around for everyone and be funny. The music is definitely the most important thing… I just get beats from everyone, and then like, I write the raps. There by Justin’s house, in his bedroom.” About the song, the song, that song which everyone is giggling about, Googling and rushing to YouTube to ogle, the song that dares to poke fun at local icons of cool. Is it all entirely fair, or just easy targeting? “Ideologically I’m contrasting my reality with all the cool kids,” says Jack. “Things like one small seed magazine: all the cool kids read it; they all think they’re cooler than anyone else because they’ve got the new issue lying on the coffee table when I go to their spot. I don’t really have anything against one small seed magazine — I just relate it to the cool kids.” www.myspace.com/therealjackparow
Check out www.onesmallseed.tv for Jack Parow’s music video ‘Cooler as Ekke’ and an exclusive live interview, brought to you by Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Heaving like beasts through the congested streets of Nairobi, pimped out 30-seater minibuses — or ‘Matatus’ — embody the purity of pop culture. WORDS: dylan lloyd IMAGES: dylan lloyd & zeno petersen
The Matatu phenomenon evolved in Kenya’s 1963 post-independence with the migration of Africans seeking work in Nairobi’s inner city. By 1973, President Jomo Kenyatta issued privately owned, middle-income ‘pirate’ taxis with a decree to operate without any form of licensing due to a lack of public transport. The outlawed Matatus stepped in to fill a crucial gap in a failed and soonto-be defeated government transport system. The pirate taxis have since expanded from a mere 400 in number cruising within the metropolitan areas back then to an estimated 15 000 pimpedout vehicles by late 2009. The name Matatu derives from the Swahili tatu, meaning ‘three’, as a trip in the seventies cost passengers three shillings. Today, in Sheng (Nairobi’s youth slang), they’re known as mathree or simply ‘mat’. As the pinnacle of Kenyan urban pop culture, a ‘mat’ shamelessly combines elements of graffiti, fashion, loud music, Sheng, sex, commerce, and political and social renegade behaviour.
Starting with imported Isuzu truck chassis, the frame and bodywork are custom-made in approximately three days by auto manufacturers. After a base coat of paint, it’s off to the designers. Matatu owners put their utmost trust in local graffiti artists when it comes to pimping out the exterior of their taxis. The visual assault of loud images and proud colours reflects day-to-day realities. They quote world politics (‘Obama Drama’) and feature names and portraits of hip-hop artists (Jay-Z, 2Pac and Lil Wayne are favourites), revolutionary leaders (like Ghandi, Mandela and Mother Theresa), and anything in between. Other themes combine nudity, soccer, television, rebellion, and big brands like Nike and Sean John. The designers’ flare seduces the public who are always eager to be seen boarding the ‘freshest’ ride. Slogans on the backs of Matatus are a call to revolution, expressing power and rebellion: ‘Man Eat Man Society’ or ‘Bonafide Hustlers’ are the likes of what these catchphrases entail. Anything that is popular and current will cover the body, in conjunction with stick-on images applied to the windows, creating an original and personalised tinted-window effect. Pimping a Matatu isn’t complete without customised mounted seats, carpeted walls and accenting neon lights, which by night electrify the bus like a mobile disco. A 40-inch plasma in the front, accompanied by 14-inch screens throughout the rest of the bus, plays the latest Veejay-mixes all day — particularly videos of gospel, raga and hip-hop, both local and international. After
hours passengers catch the latest pirated movies. The sound is amplified through powerful subwoofers, and hearts skip a beat with every bass, kick and snare — not to mention the high-pitched scream pumping like a jet engine from the ‘frenoh’ (a choke device that intermittently stops airflow to the engine). Matatu drivers are prone to chewing ‘miraa’ or ‘khat’, a natural plant-stem drug that keeps them focussed throughout their 19-hour day. Matatus also boast a Tout, the taxi-fare collector, who reflects the swagger of a pimp. Draped in fine threads, they are found hanging out the door of the speeding vehicle, calling out to attract passengers and stating the fare (which changes depending on his hustle). His silver-tongued gift of the gab is a hit with the ladies (he often has his ‘baby mamas’); if they’re dressed right, he’ll even grant them a free trip. If you’re a loyal passenger, the Tout will unfailingly have your back.
The Matatu industry is also the cause of mayhem. Reckless driving at insane speeds creates frequent accidents. The social structure of the business is comparable to the Mafia: the Matatu owners are the ‘Godfathers’ accumulating profits; the Mungiki (a banned politico-religious organisation: Kenya’s own ‘Cosa Nostra’), often armed, regulate the routes; and the police, continuously bribed, have the power of arrest. Whether it’s escaping traffic jams, confronting government oppression, or vocally broadcasting pop culture, the fact remains: Matatus are Nairobi’s economic bloodline, and their public acceptance is undoubtedly determined almost solely by their ‘pimp factor’. Join Matatu’s official group on Facebook.
The BAPE Kids store in Harajuku has a banana play pit in place of a ball pit and has coloured lights in each façade that correspond with the ranges inside.
monkey business? How the fashion label A Bathing Ape, or BAPE (pronounced ‘bay-pee’ for you troglodytes who aren’t familiar with these simian motifs and camo-print surfaces), went from underground street gear to global empire has a lot to do with the tricky combination of street cred, mass appeal and the height of exclusivity. ANNELIE RODE finds out more. photography by brandon shigeta
A Bathing Ape was created in 1993 by the reclusive thenfashion student and DJ Tomoaki ‘Nigo’ Nagao, who sought to elicit the desire of every youngster: the desire to attain the unattainable and become part of the in-crowd. Nigo started out selling t-shirts featuring allusions to his favourite sci-fi classic, Planet of the Apes. Soon obscure references to apes and slogans like ‘Ape Shall Never Kill Ape’ became the badge of the ultra-cool on the streets of Tokyo. BAPE has since become a pop culture powerhouse that includes 27 (and counting) stores worldwide, cafés, a music label, hair salons, and even talk of a BAPE hotel. One of Nigo’s smartest tactics has been producing apparel in extremely limited stock. All ranges, graphics and logos are limited edition. Patrons are only allowed to purchase one item, which must be in his or her personal size. This is supposedly to evade the looming counterfeit trade, yet it actually inflames it. The fraudulent frenzy has invigorated the brand name’s prevalence, in both its original form and as fake reproductions — also known as ‘Fapes’. BAPE stores are hard to find; trading under the name ‘Nowhere Co., Ltd.’, they are never signposted. Occasionally a sublime ape head is visible, or some trademark only BAPE aficionado will know. The Hong Kong store is so exclusive customers have to make an appointment. Not surprisingly, steady supporters of BAPE are among the rich and famous, including the likes of Pharrell, Jay-Z and The Beastie Boys. Nigo threads his design and marketing concepts through every facet of his brand from the shoelaces to the architecture — with the signature ape head and camouflage print on everything from caps to stationery to store façades.
Beyond this, and blowing the urban hype sky-high, is the creative faith Nigo put in architect Masamichi Katayama and his Tokyo firm, Wonderwall, who have designed all BAPE stores since 1998. Nigo gave the architect carte blanche, and, with Masamichi’s track record of creating the hottest retail design for stores from Fred Perry to Uniqlo, the pair was set for the iconic. Together they have pushed all boundaries to create environments that all-but teleport you into the world of an MTV music video; one in which you are the star. Katayama’s original design approach draws on the counterculture of Japanese youth. “The act of making a purchase alone is not satisfying enough,” he explains. “It has to be an experience.” According to Katayama, shopping is to the Japanese what a holiday is to Westerners: “It’s like taking a little trip somewhere and has the power to change lives. Japanese are very happy when they shop.” Design elements that accentuate the BAPE world range from multicoloured LED staircases to the distinctive camo print that filters through the décor — in neon lights, on wallpaper and on carpets. Merchandise is slotted between acrylic panels so it appears to hover. Other gimmicks include canning t-shirts and displaying them in fridges. The lighting design is extraordinary, with fittings in all shapes, sizes, colours and materials. Subliminal branding is everywhere. Make it into this inner sanctum, and you have unquestionably reached the uppermost echelon in the planet of hip. The irony is that ‘A Bathing Ape’ loosely translates into Japanese as the denunciation of the youth’s complacency in blindly following the hip and trendy. Exactly what Nigo and Katayama so cunningly exploit to turn this brand into a global pop culture phenomenon. www.bape.com
If you’ve bought BAPE in South Africa, be warned that it is probably a Fape! SA hasn’t quite reached the inner sanctum yet. Unfortunately, targeting by counterfeiters goes with the territory of making it as a designer label these days. BAPE hasn’t been really prominent worldwide until recently, so only a select few can tell a BAPE from a fake. Check out BAPE’s website for a whole section dedicated to spotting a Fape. Here are just some of the ways to differentiate:
HOW TO SPOT A FAPE 1. The sleeve tag of a BAPE should be centred — any tag on the back or front indicates a fake. 2. BAPE only uses the most vibrant colours and the fabric should be pulled tight; if it is loose or dull it is not authentic. 3. The inside lining should feel like cotton, not fleece. They feel very similar so if you aren’t sure, don’t buy it. 4. The stitching is practically flawless on originals; it may have a loose thread or two, but if the inside needlework is poorly done you’ve found a fake. 5. Most BAPEs (except the Baby Milo line) have silver zips. The zip should say YKK on the back. If not, you’ve just found yourself an original Fape.
In Bapexclusive in Aoyama the stairway linking the two floors changes colour and has a conveyor belt of sneakers surrounding it.
saving the world through hope:
THE AID PACKAGE FOOTBALL Children in war-torn or poverty-ravaged areas of the world do not have access to much, not to mention toys; and as such, hope is easily lost. South Korean designers Unplug Design created this concept soccer ball, which is printed on the containers of aid packages. Children can build their own soccer balls out of the leftover cardboard cylinders. The packages thus bring more than just essential nutrition; they bring a glimmer of hope and a chance to escape from dire circumstances.
The word ‘original’ has so many manifestations. Some may argue that nothing is original anymore — how could it be, as almost everything today has its origins in something else. So we have taken the view that in contemporary design, originality signifies something that sparks with your personal opinions or tastes. It is more than just objects that make you go ‘Wow!’ or ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’; original objects are those that imprint somewhere on the back of your mind and cause you to see things in a different light. Thoughts, designs and creations might all be rooted in the same origins, but their impact changes the trajectories of our existence into something quite unique. WORDS: annelie rode
original design, now original green:
In 2008 Philippe Starck, the visionary behind some of the most iconic designs of our era, proclaimed: “Design is dead… everything I designed was unnecessary…and I am ashamed of the fact.” Well, maybe he has a point as those alien orange juice squeezers didn’t really work, although they were very pretty. And the ghost chairs have since littered quasi-chic restaurants the world over. He is now turning his creative genius towards energy consumption and has produced the first (attractive) wind turbine for domestic use. Design is obviously not dead; it just grew a conscience.
designed to save a shitty world:
THE PEEPOO BAG
This design takes on an issue many in the first-world only have to flush away and never think about again: shit. There are approximately 2.6 billion people worldwide lacking proper sanitation. One child dies every 15 seconds due to contaminated water. This bag is placed in a disused container that can then be used as a toilet. It not only sanitises the faeces, but breaks it down, turning it into compost. Design from the bottom up will save the planet.
MANGA ORMOLU Manga has never taken itself that seriously on the surface, but we know that it has a darker past (it has roots in Japan’s British Occupation period). Brendan Lee Tang uses manga to address sociocultural issues through ceramics, which have been labelled ‘smashups’. His work as a whole looks at the tension between beauty and how it cannot always mask the tragic and uncomfortable elements in our life. He uses satire to create a point of access that mirrors our everyday life, to see that no amount of decoration can hide the truth. The Manga Ormolu series combines elements of traditional Chinese Ming Dynasty vessels with Japanese techno-pop art in an exploration of globalisation.
Architect Julian Hakes studied the structure of high-heeled shoes and realised the foot naturally spans and supports the distance between the ball of the foot and the heel, therefore the rest of the shoe is superfluous. So he aimed to reduce the common ‘garden-variety’ high-heel to its bare structural and material necessities. The result is this inspired swirl. The design consists of a single piece of carbon fibre that wraps around the foot, supporting it in all the essential spots. It is sandwiched between an inner leather layer and an outer rubber sole. Named after its resemblance to the lemon swirls in mojitos, it’s sure to make you the centre of attention at any cocktail party.
originally deceptive I:
FADEOUT CHAIR Japanese company Nendo are known for their ingenious designs. This chair is from their Ghost Story range. The acrylic piece, called the Fade Out Chair, is painted with a wood grain that fades into transparent legs, making it look like it ghoulishly hovers above your floor.
Yoav Avinoam handcrafted this table from sawdust shavings mixed with resin. The resin-sawdust mixture is laid into a mould and then the legs are pressed in, creating a seamless product. Most of the sawdust used in creating the tabletop is the result of cutting the legs. Great economy of means, as not even the by-product is wasted.
originally deceptive II:
X-RAY VISION TABLE DESIGN If you position yourself at a specific angle from this table, its inner-workings become apparent through an x-ray-like paint technique. It is the first product in a range by Jesse Hernick that aims to elucidate the reality of the object to the viewer in terms of materials, manufacturing and use. Not only does it make you aware of the effort and thought that goes into production, but it is also novel in its approach to tickling your curiosity.
MOSS CARPET The moss carpet from Nguyen La Chanh brings the outdoors indoors with this unconventional bathmat. Maintenance is minimal as the moss thrives on humidity, making your bathroom the perfect micro-climate. A little mat that makes you aware of water usage and that every last drop can be recycled.
GAGE/CLEMENCEAU Gage/Clemenceau have taken the principles of Postmodernism and used all the modern technology available to them to “reinvigorate the way that architecture resonates with people”. Through digital programming and with laser-cut precision they are changing the face of architecture for good. Working in symbiosis with technology, they are bringing craft back to the profession in a way that we have not yet experienced. The company broke into the scene in 2009 with their first large-scale project: a gigantic 10-metre-tall heart in New York City entitled Valentine to Times Square. Aesthetic 3D sensations that will make your heart skip a beat.
Designed for the One Chair is Enough exhibition, Shigeru Ban’s ‘10-Unit System’ proved that one chair can indeed be enough. A modular system of L-shaped units, the parts can be used in a multitude of permutations to create chairs, benches and tables in a variety of lengths. It is easy to assemble and requires minimal storage space as you can take it apart completely. It is made from a combination of 100 percent recycled paper and plastic composite. Simply original.
peculiar party animal:
LES ESPRITS DES BOIS (SPIRITS OF THE WOODS) Marcel Wander is known for creating wonder and intrigue with anything his wand touches. He has created these candlestick holders and vases in honour of the humble forest deer. The polished stainless steel deer, with engraved crystal vases and votive holders, were designed for an exclusive Baccarat crystal range. Although simple, they feel like they are suspended in motion and that they will come alive at any second. Elegant party animals, just like their owners.
jamal nxedlana, jene rene ‘JR’ onayngunga, john de lima, justin mcgee, vanessa & naroa
The winner of Best Editorial Contributor in the one small seed Network Awards 2009, SARAH CLAIRE PICTON has been given free rein to make these pages her own. The literary delight that follows is her creative exploration into what Sarah has dubbed ‘Concrete Couture’.
With hip-hop MCs People Under The Stairs rhyming in my ears and change for a loose kept safe, the street is the place I catch myself smiling off-guard. There’s a feeling of wonder. Dialogues I hope one day to understand hustle past in rising tones, and I find rhythm to gooey electro beats that resonate around me. Visual indulgence and sensory delight. I fucking hate the word trend. I never have enough cash to buy them or the magazines that tell me what they are. In a society that finds solace in forecasts and structure, there’ll always be definitions and commodities of contemporary ‘cool’. But out on the streets, aside from high-end mass production, there’s something magical happening. People are starting to think for themselves again. The street is celebrating the carnivalesque, liberation and pleasure. The youth, brazen and unpredictable, strut the new catwalk — the street. A reservoir of stimulation, the street is a show we’re all part of, you and I all part of the revolution of Concrete Couture. Before you cool kids start freaking out, this isn’t a piece about what we’re seeing on the streets. It’s about what the street represents. And who’s representing it. I found four individuals, four friends, all collaborators who epitomise the liberation of raw aesthetic self-expression. Meet Jamal, Jade, Illana and JR. Spreading their vision throughout the arts, they collaborate with various mediums, with each other, and with you. They’re a quartet that orchestrates controversy. Fun controversy that’s full of texture and form. Forgotten items are given second chances, and the Salvation Army skank to the wub wub wub of the underground.
stylist: jamal nxedlana
Jamal, Jade, Illana and JR are designing and styling, capturing and documenting fashion in ways that represent what, to me at least, the street is all about. Energy, colour, motion, surprise, shock and raw beauty. All these elements find form and integrity in their creative rendezvous. Association, intertextuality and colour-coding, Jamal Nxedlana’s designs are lyrics of the city — construction sites, cultural strife, the illusion of the high life. His concepts are bold, vibrant and visually enthralling. Think the beautiful flamboyant frenzy of Durban’s Warwick Junction turned wearable. Sarah Claire Picton: Is there much androgyny in local fashion these days? Jamal: There’s a fair share of it. Like the androgynous vagrants in Cape Town. SCP: You’ve collaborated extensively with the other three, such as on the fashion/art website The Beard and on various London shoots. What’s your plan for 2010? Jamal: I’m preparing for a trip to the Congo with Justin McGee and JR… we’ll be undertaking a few creative projects that side. Early Kwaito and bad taste pulled off, condom beanies and 2010 forecasts of sleaze: time with Jamal is all pins and needles. And for his lady, Jade, it’s all needles through noses and brightly coloured hair. Bring back PVC, Buddha print tees and “those plastic chokers that look like tattoos”, and they’ll both be smiling diamantés. photographer: jamal nxedlana
stylists: jade paton & jamal nxedlana | www.jadegracepaton.blogspot.com | www.cut-my-i.blogspot.com
A Swiss at birth but Cape Town girl at heart, Jade’s been spending time abroad, assisting SA artist Mustafa Maluka in Berlin and collaborating with Jamal in London. SCP: Where do you stand on the ideology of ‘trend’? Jade: The pendulum always swings and the current liberal attitudes in our cultures look to daring individuals who break the rules. SCP: Complete this sentence: ‘Out on the streets, we call it…’ Jade: Out on the streets, we call it shante! Or sashay away!
Another prolific girl shouting a big fuck you to fabrication and buying individualism from an over-priced boutique is Illana Welman. Forty pairs of sunnies, a 14 full-piece cossie collection, one pink fur coat and a girl named Illana. Coming from the Zulu Kingdom’s poison city, Illana moves gallantly through the realm of fashion, all teethy smiles in her cherry-smelling black-and-white Melissa brogues. A fallen angel, charmed and armed, she’s a femme fatale of fashion and has lots to say. SCP: So, aside from your professional time spent with Jamal on shoots in London, talk to me about your time with our dear friend JR. Illana: JR… well, we lived together along with Justin McGee, ‘the photographer’ (ha ha), and we all created creations (ha ha) every day. All the time. We had so many clothes it was easy just to have fun and create like that. I can’t even remember if we did anything professional together. It was great, it was fun. It kept us inspired. Like me, she’s inspired by the street’s everyday heroes: “Like the local African shisa nyama shop. African brothers bust some crazy styles, and old grannies never fail me.” And an African brother that really needs no introduction, and comes with no warnings, is Jene Rene Onayngunga. Born in Kinshasa DRC, JR aka Pacha aka DR Pachanga is possibly the only other person I know who is louder than me. I can’t keep track of him, and hope he can’t keep track of me. Except in summer, and on weekends. SCP: What you doing now, Kid? JR: At the moment I’m pushing street photography and journalism. It’s basically a little memo of DR Pachanga on the streets of SA. He’ll come to my house, eat my cheese and trade a pair of sunnies for two Black Label quarts or a bottle of Tassies. And then we’ll both end up so wasted we’ll hustle off his other 12 pairs to a German on Long Street and spend the profit on tequila. Jozi’s red skies, Cape Town’s blue waters and Durban’s green poison — he’s all over the country, having fun testing people’s patience and pissing off all the original fake fucks. SCP: The word ‘fashion’ — what does it mean to you? JR: Fashion means the power to manipulate, dictate many floors by disguising and dominating the norm.
stylist: illana welman wwwonesmallseed.net/profile/illanawelman
Street ‘style’ doesn’t exist for JR. Or for me. Trends and seasonal cools are fading as we begin to see the street as a space for free creative dynamism. “There is no such thing as High Street, Street Street or even Hippie Street. Street Fashion is what we see every day on the street, the outfit someone puts on the minute they walk out.” Functionality and accessibility have taken over; it’s now about finding ways to implement expression in these two variables. And that’s what these kids are helping us with. Thank god. A little bit of JR’s faultiness revealed… SCP: What do you miss that isn’t seen much in today’s designs? JR: Zoot suits! SCP: Your favourite street to walk down? JR: Grey Street SCP: Do you sleep naked? JR: Only when Justin and creepy Steve are not around.
High-spirited and high-dressed, Jamal, Jade, Illana and JR are fresh, rough deviants of fashion. They’re part of the Concrete Couture subculture, crucifying the fake and resurrecting the new. B-boys & bergies, emos & pigs, a blur of kinetic energy… out on the street somebody is always somebody else’s muse. “We’re taking it back to the concrete streets, [us original freaks, all fashion MCs]” Or maybe we’re not? What do I really know? I’m just another undignified street renegade you’ll pass on your way to buy a loose tomorrow. Just another everyday hero trying to find what she’s looking for. “Out on the streets… I call it life”.
Look out for more of Sarah Claire Picton’s work on www.onesmallseed.net — and in future editions of one small seed magazine. Join one small seed network and you too could see your work featured in these pages. www.onesmallseed.net/profile/sarahclairepicton photographer: JR onayngunga | www.elementsofsuprize.blogspot.com
HALF PRICE frontman takes on fake Controversial Cape Town punk rockers Half Price are proud devotees to all things sex, beer and rock ‘n roll-related. More than three years in the making, their fabled third album, The Monotony of Monogamy, has finally been let loose on the world. Much to the distaste of the Residents’ Association of Hout Bay, the Hout Bay Equestrian Society and your mum. YUSUF LAHER caught up with Half Price frontman Homo Pete for his take on all things fake. IMAGES:
rouleaux van der merwe & andries van jaarsveld
What’s the most outrageous lie you’ve told someone to impress them?
HP: I once told my ex-girlfriend that I’d only slept with eight women.
Fake boobs versus real boobs, what’s your preference Pete?
HP: If you can’t feel the difference, what difference does it make? Fake boobs are better than no boobs. (You can quote me on that.)
Have you ever faked an orgasm or suspected someone of faking one on you?
HP: Definitely. Sometimes you just want to go to sleep. And I’m sure hundreds of women have faked orgasms on me. They were all fantastic.
And are there a lot of fake boobs bouncing around Cape Town?
HP: Cape Town is Fake Boobs Capital! Camps Bay sluts use their pocket money to buy fake boobs.
What’s your take on faux meat: Let the vegans have their fun or stop trying to simulate meat eating?
Do you consider non-alcoholic beer fake drinking?
HP: I think it’s quite funny that people who don’t want to eat meat will still eat fake meat. It doesn’t make sense. That’s like faking a vegetable, as a carnivore.
How about electronic cigarettes, is that fake smoking?
HP: I can’t condone it or I’d be a hypocrite. But I’m neutral. As a musician I want people to buy my music, but I don’t expect them not to copy it. If you want to copy it, copy it.
HP: That’s a tough one. I’m a supporter of any type of drinking, really. The underlying principle is: as long as you can’t taste the difference. Fake beer is better than no beer. HP: Electronic cigarettes don’t make my throat burn. When I smoke cigarettes I want my throat to burn. So no, I don’t support them. Only losers smoke fake cigarettes. The one cool thing is that you can smoke them on planes.
What about fake music: is music piracy ultimately a bad thing?
Is a fake smile better than no smile?
HP: I’d rather have no smile. I like to know where I stand with people. People must be genuine.
When was the last time you faked being sick to get out of work?
HP: I’m a hard worker. You need to be reasonably hungover or genuinely sick to get off work. It’s fucking irritating when your colleagues are off and they’re not really sick. I don’t support that at all.
For more information and audio samples check out www.myspace.com/halfpricepunk & www.drunkpunk.co.za.
Music piracy — while many a ‘starving’ major label exec will decry it as a scourge upon humanity more severe than HIV, there is another side to ‘stealing music’ that might yet prove to be the saviour of music as we know it! JON MONSOON takes to the high seas of major label bureaucracy… The music industry is in deep shit. This is no secret. The established major record label structure has crumbled, and those most hurt are pointing to piracy as a reason. While music piracy has certainly been a culpable proverbial nail, it isn’t the only one; yet, it might still prove to be the biggest. Fact is, since the advent of fast internet, people have been able to download what they want, when they want it, for very little. Piracy thrives because it caters to a demand. The current thinking is that the best way to beat piracy is to offer us more value for our purchase. (And it has taken the labels more than ten years to figure this out.) There’s one theory which states that music piracy was in fact created by the very major labels crying the loudest about it! Was it not they who spent all that money creating such demand for their Top 40 products through multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns and music videos that those without the means to buy it were forced to steal it? By boosting prices for music way beyond the reach of the common music fan (without so much as adding a smidgen of value), did they not build and then open wide the door for sites like Napster, Kazaa and peer-to-peer download sites to operate through? In adopting outmoded business practices, record labels have channelled a divide between what is termed ’the industry’ and ’us’ — the music fans. And music piracy is a symptom. As music lovers, we’ve been ripped off for too long. So we started doing something about it. Ask anyone who routinely downloads music “Why?” and they will unanimously reply: “Because we’re sick of overpaying for music!” Besides, music no longer has any value less anyway. Most of us don’t mind paying the artists we love for their music, but we feel artists both of treatment whose n corporatio nal inclined to pay some vampiric multinatio and fans is Mugabean. Music was once about community; as a creative outlet for the common man, it demanded your participation. The music industry has destroyed this, and music is now an insular experience between you and your iPod. Major labels will try to point out that consumers are only hurting themselves by pirating music because the quality is likely to be worse than the original product: that a pirated We album lacks the artwork and insert information of the original, and pricey, product. is, Fact on. later it buy and out go still will we good any don’t care so much. Besides, if it’s word the spreading people the are These ers. download heavy needs industry the record about new bands, helping them develop a following, saving the record labels the money and effort of having to do that job — and saving us from a future of endless ‘Greatest their Hits’ CDs of established acts that have already been over-marketed so as to ensure longevity in our CD players.
Strictly speaking, piracy is something that happens at sea. It involve s unshaven men (and I guess women too, should they feel inclined), drinking rum, stealing ships and holding the crew and passengers to ransom. A better term for music piracy is ’copyright infringement’. Every single song on a CD, record or cassette tape is copyrighted. This means that someone (typically a record company), has paid lots of money to own the music contained in each track, they have copyright and only they can legally sell or reproduce the track. Copyright is sometimes not applicable to recordings released more than 50 years ago (terms and conditions apply). We now live in an era in which art and information flows fast and freely thanks to the www. For most music lovers born after 1980, copyrig ht laws are meaningless, toothless and something best ignored.
Counterfeit Goods Act. A few years ago it In South Africa, music is protected by the Copyright Act and the of around R900 million a year, although r turnove gross a does was estimated that the SA music industry Federation of the Phonographic Industry industry experts will say it’s closer to R2 billion. The International the world is pirated (that’s about 1.1 around sold (IFPI) reckons that as much as one in every three CDs music medium in South Africa), viable a (still tapes cassette r conside you billion units) each year. When in a year is likely to be illegally sold that figure jumps to reflect that two out of every five recordings and has been identified as the , industry the of value total made. Piracy totals around 33 percent of the industry. It is estimated that artists greatest threat to the continued growth of the South African music piracy. Famous kwaito house DJ / music to in South Africa lose in the region of R500 million each year a holistic view, urging fellow takes scale, grand a on piracy of music producer Oskido, himself the victim to grow your brands and ways find musicians to “Change with the times!” and to “stop moaning and Dozi is less pragmatic. poodle pop ns Afrikaa diversify, taking advantage of new technologies”. Indeed! all his money. If stealing and safe guy’s a into going like It’s me. from “Really, it’s like somebody stealing he crooned. late, Too apart.” fall to we don’t stop it, the (Afrikaans) music industry is going
If the major labels have their way, piracy will be stopped altogether. Shutting down P2P sites and suing anyone with an MP3 on their hard drive is one tried (and failed) method. By cutting off access to ’free’ music entirely, there is the risk that many people will simply lose interest in music altogether. Value needs to be reinstated. Buy a track, receive free tickets to the next show. That kind of thing. Another method being tried, in what is being touted as the ‘freemium’ model, is subscription-based services; you pay a lump sum for an ’all you can eat’-type service, and ads placed in the service will make it free for everyone (think Google Adwords). Streaming is another option, whereupon it suddenly no longer makes sense to collect, or steal, hundreds of MP3s because you can grab those tracks anytime you like off the service, saving on items like hard drives and blank CDs. Downloading and then still cataloguing all your new, ill-gotten music takes time — time that could be better spent updating your Facebook page or watching a new band at a venue down the road, where you are likely to still hand over money for the entrance fee, the t-shirt and the sticker.
Back in the ’80s, one band pushed the envelope so far out as to almost completely sail over the sharp side of the cutting edge. Dressed like the wayward cast of a cyber psychotic Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sigue Sigue Sputnik defied the norm of musicality, using quirky samples, schizophrenic beats and future sex imagery. They set flame to a rocket fuse that would light the sky for an entire generation of electro bands to follow. Jon Monsoon snared vocalist Martin Degville on the eve of his South African tour in 2010.
The eighties’ cult teen flick Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was memorable for many reasons, probably least of all for the song ‘Love Missile F1-11’, penned by an obscure Brit new wave band called Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Featuring frenetic synth stabs and samples culled from a range of illicit sources, the song referenced a range of neofuturistic film icons from Terminator to Star Wars, Star Trek, A Clockwork Orange, Blade Runner and Scarface. Stocking-faced singer Martin Degville’s vocals echoed refrains of love as a nuclear weapon / 21st-century sex toy.
Taking their name from a Moscow street gang called Sigue Sigue Sputnik (literally: ‘Burn, burn satellite’), the band’s debut album, Flaunt It (1986), triumphed as a parent-bating mish-mash of dynamically produced, if not overtly camp, electro-pop, dripping in distorted dystopian and post-apocalyptic themes, fetishised violence and B-grade movie imagery, musically influenced by such disparate elements as Kraftwerk and Elvis Presley. “I created a unique sound on a very old analogue Pro One synth. I then decided that the future had to come from the past, so that is why these great songs of mine go back to Elvis Presley and before, they are generations of music, cool songs, great beats, great style, and, I guess, great sex!” explains Degville, ever the die-hard hedonist.
Decked out in giant multicoloured mohawks, startling makeup, stiletto heels, latex, leather and rubber fetish gear, they were a neon bright, head-on collision of goth-meets-techno glam that was too beautiful to ignore. SSS were picked up by major label EMI (for a rumoured advance of 4 million pounds) and marketed to the action masses, all the while retaining a distinct air of anarchic fun, frolicking in the music genre unimaginatively tagged as ’cyberpunk’. Despite being the property of a major label, the band flaunted their cynicism towards the commercial music industry by auctioning off advertising space between the tracks on their first album (i-D Magazine and Studio Line from L’Or al bought in). These were complemented with ironic spoof ads for themselves, going as The Sputnik Corporation (‘Pleasure is our Business’). “It was a very mind-blowing time of success for everyone in the band,” recalls Martin. “It was always party, party, champagne, and, well, you can well imagine!”
The fun, however, could not last and the band split soon after the release of their second album, Dress for Excess, in 1988. ‘Space’ bassist (playing a Roland G707) Tony James blamed the group’s demise on the media, which took to slagging them off at every turn as manufactured pop product, lacking in any real style or substance. Tony reformed Sigue Sigue Sputnik twice, albeit without all the original members, before leaving to become a member of gothic navel-gazers The Sisters of Mercy. In 2004 Martin Degville returned with Sputnik2 The Future, a largely solo stage show.
He continues to releases CD-Rs and DVD-Rs via his website. “My image remains intact and totally unique; so it’s superb,” does my music he warns. “Sigue Sigue Sputnik is a band that reflects all of what rock ‘n roll was and what it will sound like in the 21st century, from Elvis to Lady Gaga no one escapes me!” www.sputnik2.com www.sputnikworld.com
FAUX FABRIC(N)ATION PHOTOGRAPHY: STANISLAV SOLNTSEV (www.stanislavsolntsev.com) CREATIVE DIRECTOR & STYLIST: VERONICA BLAINE MAKEUP ARTIST: MARIANNA MUKUCHYAN (www.marianna-mukuchyan.de) MODELS: DAVID | DARIA & JHONNES @ 3D MODELS | JHARAE @ ELITE MODELS ON LOCATION FURNITURE: VAMP (www.vampfurniture.blogspot.com)
David wears hat | Annie’s Wardrobe braces | Daniele Alessandrini @ Spaghetti Mafia shirt | Daniele Alessandrini @ Spaghetti Mafia skinny jeans | Daniele Alessandrini @ Spaghetti Mafia shoes | Annie’s Wardrobe
OPPOSITE PAGE ABOVE & BELOW LEFT:
Jharae wears earrings | Journey Lifestyle Shop jacket | Daniele Alessandrini @ Spaghetti Mafia tights | stylist’s own bag | Stefania Morland shoes | Journey Lifestyle Shop
THIS PAGE & OPPOSITE BELOW RIGHT:
Daria wears hat | Annie’s Wardrobe earring | Journey Lifestyle Shop shirt | 199 Loop Street skinny jeans | stylist’s own belt | Journey Lifestyle Shop boots | stylist’s own
Jharae wears head band | Second Time Around waistcoat | Second Time Around jewellery | stylist’s own pants | Second Time Around belts | stylist’s own
Jhonnes wears jewellery | Second Time Around necktie | Second Time Around scarf | Journey Lifestyle Shop shirt | Second Time Around bolero | Daniele Alessandrini @ Spaghetti Mafia gloves | Annieâ€™s Wardrobe
Daria wears jewellery, scarf | Second Time Around birds, leggings | Journey Lifestyle Shop shirt | Daniele Alessandrini @ Spaghetti Mafia belt | Stefania Morland shoes | Romanelli @ Spaghetti Mafia OPPOSITE PAGE ABOVE LEFT:
David wears tie | stylist’s own shirt | David West @ Spaghetti Mafia pants | Master Coat @ Spaghetti Mafia shoes | stylist’s own ABOVE RIGHT:
Jhonnes wears jewellery, necktie, shirt | Second Time Around scarf | Journey Lifestyle Shop shorts | Stefania Morland socks | stylist’s own boots | Annie’s Wardrobe BOTTOM RIGHT:
Jharae wears head band, waistcoat, pants | Second Time Around jewellery, belts, shoes | stylist’s own
NETWORK AWARDS 2009 Since one small seed was founded in 2005 we’ve wanted to involve you, our readers, in our exploration of South African pop culture. In October 2008 we established our very own online community platform — one small seed network — the perfect space for like-minded creatives to share work, discuss ideas and build network relations.
Last year saw the community grow exponentially as increasing numbers answered our call to share in our giant creative vision and join the pop culture revolution. From budding journalists to hawk-eyed photographers and slick illustrators, www.onesmallseed.net is abuzz with daily uploads from our members and in-house team. The astounding quality of work incited us to institute our all-new annual awards to honour our members and their creative achievements. Prize categories for the 2009 one small seed Network Awards are: Best Photographer, Best Photograph, Best Illustrator/Artist, Best Editorial Contributor and an Open Category (later made Best Young Photographer). The winners in each category win various prizes. Best Photographer and the Best Photograph winners each receive a SIGMA DP1 camera. Best Illustrator, Editorial Contributor and Young Photographer each wins an Adobe course of their choice, courtesy of Friends of Design. All five winners are awarded two-year subscriptions to one small seed, certificates to commemorate their achievement, and the prize that finds form in this magazine — several pages’ exposure in one small seed magazine. Judging the 2009 Awards were some of the finest creative minds around: Alistair King (Group Creative Director of King James), Bruno Zolezzi (founder of Infidels), Gavin Furlonger (head of Hurricanes), and Giuseppe Russo (editor-in-chief of one small seed). The judges spent ages poring over more than one thousand submissions to select winners, and their hard work has clearly paid off. one small seed would once again like to thank our jury for their hours spent deliberating over this year’s winners. Now, for the winners! Best Editorial Contributor is Sarah Claire Picton. Her opportunity to be Guest Contributing Editor for this issue led to the creation of an extended street fashion feature, ‘Our Everyday Concrete Heroes’. See it on page 70. The rest of the winners’ work is in the pages that follow. We hope you enjoy the visual extravaganza. Keep your eyes locked to www.onesmallseed.net as over the next few months we’ll be unveiling similar short-term competitions. In the meantime, keep uploading your work to the site and you too could win in the 2010 one small seed Network Awards. www.onesmallseed.net
DANIEL VAN FLYMEN
The Best Photographer Award for 2009 goes to Daniel van Flymen. Danielâ€™s work has continually impressed us with its raw sensuality since the networkâ€™s early days. At just 24, Daniel has already completed a Masters in Photography at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and interned with prolific American Photographer Ryan McGinley. www.onesmallseed.net/profile/DanielvanFlymen
This beautifully composed black-andwhite portrait by Jessica Jones wins Best Photograph of 2009. To read more about her, flip to page 96. www.onesmallseed.net/profile/JessicaJones
images in collaboration with photographer Dirk Steenkamp
BEST ILLUSTRATOR I ARTIST
Our Best Illustrator/Artist for 2009 is musician-cum-illustrator and graphic designer extraordinaire, Chris Slabber. Chris is a graduate from Cape Tech. Born in the dusty town of Oudtshoorn, it was here he began to dream, sketch and paint, manifesting his love of surrealism. www.onesmallseed.net/profile/ChrisSlabber
BEST YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER
The truly overwhelming quantity of topnotch photography submitted to our network in 2009 instigated this Best Young Photographer Award. Jessica Jones, winner of the Best Photograph, walks away with this second honour. At just 16 years old, Jessicaâ€™s portfolio is brimming with astounding visual feats, testament to her inborn creative talent. Keep an eye out for this young photographer in the future. www.onesmallseed.net/profile/JessicaJones
IS YOUR COLLECTION COMPLETE? an annual subscription is available at R190 and includes postage nationwide. for one small seed subscription forms and details visit www.onesmallseed.com alternatively contact us on +27 (0)21 461 6973 or firstname.lastname@example.org student special offer subscriptions are available for just R100 (on presentation of a valid student card) back issues: collectorâ€™s item back issues are available to purchase. see website for details: www.onesmallseed.com or contact us on +27 (0)21 461 6973 or email@example.com *issue 01 is no longer available
The Johnnie Walker® Celebrating Inspirational Strides This year Johnnie Walker® will once again celebrate remarkable South Africans. The Johnnie Walker® Celebrating Strides Awards recognises and honours local heroes in a variety of fields by creating bursaries in their names to empower others. The annual awards, which were held for the first time last year, are adjudicated by an independent panel of some of South Africa’s most renowned businessmen and women, alongside the public. The categories in the Johnnie Walker® Celebrating Strides Awards 2010 are: Design, Business, Environment and the Arts. The four winners are selected from a shortlist of twelve finalists and winners will be announced in May 2010. Each winner will receive a R125 000 cash prize to be put towards a bursary in their name at a registered institution or initiative in their field. This year’s finalists are as follows. In the Environmental category are Joe Matimba, senior Permaculture project manager at Food and Trees for Africa; Joanne Lee Rolt, facilitator of massive community development through Trees for Homes; and Simon Nicks, urban designer and planner working towards minimal environmental impact. The Business category finalists are George Sombonos, CEO and founder of Chicken Licken, one of South Africa’s best-loved fast food franchises; Ernest Kekana, the 32-year-old founder and MD of K5 Aviation; and Max Maisela, pioneer behind the NBC, who protect workers’ retirement rights. The three pioneers in the Arts category are Welcome Msomi, renowned Zulu playwright, choreographer and entrepreneur; Philip Boyd, founder of Dance for All and InSPIRAtions Dance Academies; and musician, anthropologist and musical activist Johnny Clegg. The finalists in the Design category for Johnnie Walker® Celebrating Strides Awards 2010 are:
Given Gugulethu Nkuna
Mokena Makeka “I believe in making buildings that’ll outlive their owners. For me, a building’s legacy is at the heart of sustainable architecture because we can’t afford to keep demolishing buildings,” says Mokena Makeka. “We live in a disposable world, where it’s ‘acceptable’ to dispose of pens, shoes, clothes and whatever when we grow tired of them. Architects don’t have that luxury. That’s why we need to ask ourselves: Will this space be relevant, significant and inspiring for its users in one hundred years’ time?”
From the dusty streets of Katlehong to the bright lights of London and Belfast, Given Nkuna’s talent has taken him far, but he has dreams of travelling further yet. He began with creating crafts from old shopping bags and homemade felt, which he would hawk on trains and taxis. He has since established a craft market where he and other designers can sell their products. In addition to being hailed for his creative initiative and inspirational flair, he has been applauded for his entrepreneurial strides that keep the community in mind. He founded both Le2 Designs and Green Footprint Education, which keep both environmental and community development in mind. “South African craft is influenced a lot by our tradition and culture, and there is huge potential for growth in the crafting arena,” he says. “If only communities could put their skills together in this area, we could make some inroads in the unemployment stakes.” In 2005 Given was named The Business Place’s Best Entrepreneur and in 2009 he won the South African leg of the British Council’s International Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year Award (IYD). “Showcasing my products to sell has also been a major challenge,” explains Given. “I started off by participating in as many exhibitions and markets as I could, including Decorex and the Design Indaba. My winning edge has been the fact that my products are unusual, and as a result I have had orders from a number of shops countrywide.” And part of this winning edge is his handmade felt, which is made from a combination of water, wool and soap, and used in a number of his craft items.
Mokena is a young architect who, after having graduated from UCT with honours, went on to found his own business — Makeka Design Laboratory (MDL) — only months later. So far he declares his participation in Ordos 100 has been the highlight of his career. The project selected one hundred architects from around the world (only two were from Africa — and both from South Africa) to design a villa on a 1000 m2 patch of land in the inner Mongolian province of Ordos. Other career highpoints include placing second in a global competition to design the Robben Island Memorial Museum and being commissioned to design a series of police stations for key railway stations across Cape Town. Mokena’s designs for the Cape Town railway stations have seen him receive high praise along with a merit award acknowledging the project as a leading example in architectural design. His designs speak to cultural richness and diversity, allowing for dialogue between communities in built-up areas and their environment.
Andile Dyalvane, a young man whose love for ceramics was born from the mud figurines he created in the image of the Nguni cattle he herded for his father, is the third finalist in the Johnnie Walker® Celebrating Strides Awards 2010. Despite initial financial struggles to make his dreams reality, Andile is now taking strides in his field, surpassing many of his contemporaries. Andile creates his pieces out of what he calls the elements of life: water, air and fire. He currently owns and works with three other artists from different design disciplines at Imiso Creations. He received an FNB Vita Award in 1999 and was nominated in the British Council’s IYD awards in 2009. In 2001 he was one of only nine ceramists to be chosen to represent South Africa in a fiveweek-long ceramic workshop in Denmark. “Another great milestone was to have my work exhibited in Milan and to have been commissioned by a company to make my special pieces,” declares Andile. “I am extremely proud and grateful for the incredible recognition I have received. Right now there are so many dreams I want to fulfil, including opening my second Imiso gallery space at the Cape Quarter next month.” As for his key to continued success through trying circumstances? “Always do what you are passionate about and teach others the little that you know. You will be surprised to know that you will learn a thing or two from teaching.”
For more information on all the finalists, and to register as a voter in the Johnnie Walker® Celebrating Strides Awards 2010, log on to www.celebratingstrides.co.za
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY JON MONSOON (JM), WORDY ROCK GUY (WRG) & YUSUF LAHER (YL)
The Fame Monster www.ladygaga.com
The Big Pink
A Brief History of Love www.musicfromthebigpink.com
From the 4AD-esque cover art alone, you kinda think you know what to expect when loading the debut album from 4AD-signed, London-based multi-instrumentalists The Big Pink. But by the time track three assails your eardrums — the big, big almost anti-hit ‘Dominos’ — you’ll have learnt not to make that silly mistake again! What we have here is rather a delicate melding of distorted sounds, big guitars and catchy hooks, imbued with darkly introspective lyrics about, well, let’s just say that music like this is best left open to personal interpretation. This is music for all times of the day. Britney Spears, it ain’t. (JM)
Predictions that Lady Gaga is the new Madonna (and here I thought Madonna was the new Madonna!) may yet play out; but listening to this, somewhat of a ‘concept’ double album, the seeds of doubt are astir. While Madonnacomparisons might be moot at this point (Lady Gaga albums: one. Madonna albums: eleven.), Lady GG knows how to give the people what they want and, judging by album sales alone, the people want what Lady GG got! So much so that 2008’s The Fame album is reissued here, along with an eight-track EP The Fame Monster. I didn’t find locks from her actual wigs inside my CD (apparently packaged in the Deluxe Edition) but doubtless it would’ve made little difference to the music. (JM)
The xx xx
South African Indie Volume One
Ask anyone who cares where the most original music is to be found these days, and they will all tell you “It’s in the indie scene, the indie scene!” It’s doubtful these same people could offer even a fair to reasonable explanation of what the term ’indie’ even represents anymore. Do you know? Do I know? Do I care? Not so much as to listen to an entire compilation of South African rock bands dubbed ‘indie’ and to thereafter believe that I have just ingested the finest most original, independent music in the whole land, if not the world. Seventeen songs by the usual ‘indie’ suspects (those being Van Coke Kartel, Ashtray Electric, Fokofpolisiekar, The Dirty Skirts, aKING, Die Heuwels Fantasties and the likes). Original moments from Desmond & The Tutus, Jack Parow, Zinkplaat, Wrestlerish and others. (JM)
It’s difficult to assess how new bands that are this good will fare beyond one album. Especially when the art of their craft is so rare as to be considered something entirely original. And that is a thought this brain does not have often, especially when referring to new bands whose members are some years shy of their mid-twenties. Influenced by modern R&B (not in the radio hit singleseeking sense, but rather in the seldom-explored, sexy side of the genre), when singer-guitarist Romy Madley Croft sings, you almost want to blush, exposed as you are to her openness with subject matters of teenage sex and longing. And while her vocals don’t necessarily rage, they convey an unironic sense of intimacy and honesty that is endearing. (JM)
Atlas Sound Logos
Love 2 en.aircheology.com
Air’s fifth studio album, Love 2, kicks things off with an air-raid siren, a whirling glitch of electronics and Stephan Hawking on vocals. The bass that follows has that gentle, old-fashioned tone that’s reminiscent of fellow Frenchies Phoenix. By track five, ‘Missing the Light of the Day’, Air yanks you from the heavens with some really interesting music-box synth lines and dirtier-sounding beats. Then, with ‘Tropical Disease’ it lifts off again, on a sun-kissed, loungey Eurobeat cloud of piano, flute and saxophone — a French version of a Rocky Balboa montage. Finally, with live drums, guitars, that distinct bass tone and fingerprints of a distant sax, ‘African Velvet’ ends the album with a smooth, live band-sounding melody jam. The album is not their most memorable, but overall, it’s a typically fluffed-up batch of electronic, retro-flavoured Air pop. (YL)
Things start off pretty confusingly. One minute I’m in my head, the next I’m gurgling along to ‘The Light that Failed’. Suddenly, I need to pee. Bradford Cox, better known for being the frontman for Georgia-based ‘ambient punk’ band Deerhunter, is one weird guy. Not weird in a dangerous way, more in a sensitively creative, genuine art fag sense. There’s a gentle soulfulness to Logos, Cox’s second solo album as Atlas Sound. It sounds more complete and outgoing than his debut, Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel (see what I mean: Weird!), which had a very introverted, I-made-thisalbum-alone-in-my-bedroom kind of sound. Logos is still introverted (he’s naked on the cover), but the songs are stronger and more engaging. (YL)
Julian Casablancas Phrazes for the Young
It’s just a bunch of dirty, melodic guitar riffs and cymbalheavy garage drums pelted with repetitive catchphrases. But goddamn, it has feeling! Bands like Canadian noise pop duo Japandroids wouldn’t exist without musical piracy. Well, they would, but they wouldn’t be out touring the world. Included on many critics’ Best of 2009 lists, PostNothing is an eight-track trip of nostalgic proportions. Although the lyrics are few and repetitive, they use clever little lines like, “We used to dream; now we worry about dying.” Slogans, really. And, backed up by a sea of layered guitars and splashy percussion, Post-Nothing captures that feeling of reckless-teen-spirit-meets-the-inevitable-deathof-adolescence. It’ll strike a chord with almost anyone. (YL)
It’s been four years since First Impressions of Earth. Strokes fans were crying out for a new album. Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.’s solo work couldn’t fill the gap. Neither could bassist Nikolai Fraiture’s band Nickel Eye or drummer Fabrizio Moretti’s Little Joy. And so nobody saw Phrazes for the Young coming, with all its hauntingly decadent, new wave orchestral manoeuvres. There’s the underlying sound of The Strokes, but things are different. Track two, ‘Left & Right in the Dark’, starts off like a Club Med theme song: therapeutic yet strangely off-centre at the same time. Casablancas’ grasp on melody is impeccable, his tongue sharp, his lyrics bitter yet ambiently nonchalant: “Yes I know I’m going to hell in a leather jacket,” he concedes; “at least I’ll be in another world while you’re pissing on my casket.” (YL)
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY JON MONSOON (JM), WORDY ROCK GUY (WRG) & YUSUF LAHER (YL)
The Ecstatic www.mosdef.com
Absolute Greatest www.queenonline.com
Beyond a certain level of musical notoriety, it seems there is no end to hit-hungry record labels rehashing and repackaging original greatest hits for new ’Greatest Hits’ releases. Now, I wasn’t much one for schooling m’self, but even I must pause to postulate that surely ’Greatest’ means just that? How much more ’great’ can something be, once it has already been nominated ‘the greatest’? Why not try ‘Those Great Hits that You Already Know and Own — Again!’? That would be more honest. Still, here we have ’Absolute Greatest’ Hits of Queen, and, as such, I don’t even need to tell you what it’s all about. Queen was original and great and all the songs you already own and love are now here, again. (JM)
There’s an unmistakable air of playfulness about Mos Def’s fourth album, The Ecstatic. Shrugging off the embarrassment of 2006’s True Magic, the actor-MC’s latest offering courses with sinewed creativity: confident, self-assured and hungry. The beats are challenging and often pretty abstract-sounding, peppered with Eastern samples, cinematic brass lines and Mos Def’s silky, cleverly cut conscious slurs. It’s thoughtful, arty hip-hop: low on hooks and instantly gratifying grooves, but crammed with hypnotic, passively brainwashing sounds that linger. Tighter editing or some kind of cataclysmic event (just to shake things up) could have made The Ecstatic’s stay an even sharper one. Instead, it kind of just does the same thing for 45 minutes. That said, what it does do is good. (YL)
Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures
The Monotony of Monogamy www.drunkpunk.co.za
Half Price has come far. Anyone without a keen ear to the (under)ground of SA rock might write off the Cape Town punk-rocking upstarts as no more than more of the same, but they’d be oh-so-seriously wrong. Packaged as an A5 glossy magazine in the style of those lame ‘80s smut mags, the band’s latest two-fingered salute to all things mainstream and establishment is a loud, proud affair (recorded here and in Germany), able to stand up against any international recording in their ilk. Veering from strictly punk, the madmen force some ball-busting rock ‘n roll into songs like ‘Welcome To The Freak Show’ and ‘Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll’, and it is so good. Their wry humour is most evident in ‘Camps Bay Sluts’ and ‘Pussy Whipped’, which hark to their rowdier days. Get this album and play it — loud. (WRG)
Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal) on guitar and vocals, Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) on drums and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) on bass. It’s like some grand rock ‘n roll experiment. As if the God of Rock decided to put three lesser Gods together for a jam, just to see what happens. And the result? Them Crooked Vultures — a spiky guitar, robotic croon, desert rat, Queens of the Stone Age kind of sound. But Grohl and Jones definitely come through in the songs. Especially on tracks like ‘New Fang’, ‘Scumbag Blues’, ‘Reptiles’ and the Zeppelin-esque ‘Elephants’. Pushed by Jones and Grohl, Homme sounds more motivated than ever. With Jones adding keytar, keyboards, mandolin, slide guitar and backing vocals, the album’s a 66-minute slab of eerie and quite mad-sounding grooves well worth investigating. (YL)
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS by KELLY BEROLD
DVD REVIEWS Coco avant Chanel (2009)
Directed by: Anne Fontaine Starring: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola Category: French Arthouse Biography
The warning is in the title (‘Coco before Chanel’). The film opens with the very humble and unfashionable young Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel (Tautou) and chronicles the transitional period from her days as a jazz singer and her relationship with Etienne Balsan (Poelvoorde) to the first signs of her talent as a designer. Shot beautifully, it has an engaging, almost dreamlike essence. It also, however, exemplifies an instance of a director staying true to subject matter but failing her audience, most of whom would assumingly be drawn to the film by the allure of Chanel’s illustrious career and not by the weak-footed beginnings of a lost little girl swallowed up by sleazy suitors and Victorian chauvinism. It’s an insightful, pretty look into a story that might never have been told, but if you’re going to make a biopic of one of the most prominent figures in modern culture, make it right.
The September Issue (2009)
Directed by: R.J. Cutler Starring: Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington Category: Documentary
Public Enemies (2009)
Directed by: Michael Mann Starring: Johnny Depp, Marion Cotillard, Christian Bale, Billy Crudup Category: American Gangster Film
Public Enemies is a prime example of how Johnny Depp’s indomitable talent can overshadow almost any flaws in a film. Michael Mann’s depressionera gangster endeavour chronicles the escapades of John Dillinger (Depp), a cheeky but reverential bank robber who consistently moves from banks to jail and back again, pausing only to woo his conflicted doe-eyed lover (Cotillard). Billy Crudup and Christian Bale, two of the strongest dark horses of the acting world, grow increasingly unlovable (Crudup holding true to his already unpleasant character and Bale failing to inhabit his). Mann will earn points for creating an authentic and beautifully constructed environment for his characters to roam free, but amidst moments of swift pace and vigorous suspense, the film is left hollow. Public Enemies falls prey to high aspirations and adopts the template of too many outlaw films before it, relegating a potentially great film to a notch above average.
Riding on the tail of public interest since The Devil Wears Prada whipped everyone into a verbal frenzy in 2007, The September Issue is a straightforward, unassuming look into an otherwise pretentious industry, ruled almost entirely by the iron fist of Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. The documentary centres on the 2007 September issue of Vogue Magazine; weighing two kilograms and selling over 13 million copies, it is the veritable fashion bible. To those exposed to, or enamoured by, the industry, the inner workings of Vogue will forever remain an enigma dying to be explored, which director R.J. Cutler takes into account as he carves out a romantic piece of voyeurism within the walls of an empire that forms one of the most elitist, gerontocratic institutions in fashion. It’s informative, highpaced and eye-opening, but perhaps its greatest allure lies in the privilege of sharing. See it.
The Hangover (2009)
Directed by: Todd Phillips Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham Category: Screwball Comedy
Modern comedy has taken a devastating turn into mind-numbing, frat-boy humour thanks to the tiring attempts of Will Ferrell and associates. However, The Hangover — picking up Best Comedy at the Golden Globes this year (to everyone’s delight) — is entertaining and fresh. The film reads like a compendium edition of textsfromlastnight.com: three friends wake up after a wild night in Vegas without any recollection of what happened — or their best friend. What follows is a detective-type story that weaves through the bounds of the outrageous while seeming refreshingly effortless and unforced. The film is anomalous in that its focus is the likeability of its characters (played by relative unknowns) and in that it doesn’t fall for the all-too-common formula of readymade one-liners. It’s all shades of inappropriate but extremely accessible, like a home video of your morally bankrupt friends.
Funny games (US) (2008)
Directed by: Michael Haneke Starring: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt Category: Psychological Horror
State of Play (2009)
Directed by: Kevin Macdonald Starring: Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Viola Davis, Robin Wright Penn, with Jeff Daniels and Helen Mirren Category: Journo Drama
As an adaptation of the BBC miniseries, this three-hour American version feels tremendously compressed and yet achingly longwinded. Jaded reporter Cal McAffrey (Crowe) finds himself deep in both moral dilemma and meaty journalistic opportunity as he investigates a political scandal involving the apparent suicide of a young staff member and the mistress of congressman Stephen Collins (Affleck). Using elements of gritty documentary-style storytelling, director Kevin McDonald tackles moments of tension with a fervour that manages (mostly) to gauge attention, but remains messy and obscure in others. You can appreciate the film’s execution, but the plot is overindulgent and the acting uninspiring given its pedigree (Helen Mirren is singularly awesome but underused). State of Play is too focussed on the glorification of investigative journalism and political conspiracy and lacking in narrative dexterity. Watch Frost/Nixon or Carte Blanche instead.
The shot-by-shot English remake of Michael Haneke’s 1997 Austrian film is rife with sadism. The title belies the film’s dark agenda, or perhaps alludes to it — it is a manipulative piece of trickery that toys with the notion of personal terror and middle-class suburban paranoia in a way that is designed to upset its audience rather than seek out a truth in its storytelling. Michael Pitt, the best thing in the film and one of the best actors in film today, is the embodiment of a psychopath, yet he holds a childlike etiquette in his performance that makes Funny Games more of a kitten-and-mouse story than anything else. It is a chilling but baseless horror that seems more exploitative than enlightening, and although a more in-depth review would give it more justice, the paranoid middle-class suburban girl in me couldn’t quite finish it.
DEPARTMENTS: WORDS BY jessica manim
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now showing Thieve Behind Scenes Late last year the one small seed tv crew went on location with Thieve, the latest pop rockers to arrive on Cape Town’s indie scene, as they filmed the video for their single ‘Unless I am Leaving’. Conceptually homegrown, the video travels back to 1980s South Africa and explores the emotional ride of a young man leaving for army conscription. Listen in as we chat to band members Philip Erasmus (drums), Andrew Davenport (vocals & bass) and Fred den Hartog (lead guitar) about this totally original concept, and catch sneakpeaks of the video itself.
ETC Crew‘s McMission Hip-hop heavyweights ETC Crew’s single ‘McMission’ is a slick, farcical tale of dubious security guards, hijackings and McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese. The band boasts notoriety from Long Street to Centurion for combining heady bass beats and frenetic rhymes with jazzy tones and head-bopping raps. Check out this video for ‘McMission’ from What’s in a Name?, their 2008 debut offering. Then indulge in other album single ‘Jozi Okes’. Both music videos are available on one small seed tv for your viewing pleasure.
Tattoo Convention After-Parties In issue 17 of one small seed we brought you the run-up to the second annual Cape Town International Tattoo Convention, aka Southern Ink Xposure (SIX). Now, post-event, we present you with all the non-stop hard-partying action from that buzzing weekend. Rock out to Jack Parow and The Great Apes at Mercury Live’s Lady Luck Party on Friday 22 January before thrashing and skanking about to the following night’s lineup of Damn Right and The Rudimentals at The Assembly’s Man’s Ruin Party.
One Night in Parow: Jack Parow Interview In January 2010, the one small seed tv team caught up with man of the moment Jack Parow at the SIX after-party at Mercury Live in Cape Town. Known for his easy beats and tumbling rhymes — particularly on his best-known track, ‘Cooler as Ekke’ — Jack Parow has caught the nation’s curiosity with his zef tunes, original PEP Stores look and mighty lekker snor. Read the interview by some of our finest journalists on page 58 and then listen to the live backstage conversation in this one small seed exclusive. Brought to you by Jameson Irish Whiskey.
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Burnout Burnt toast, sunburn, burn out, burnt sienna… With the debatable exception of the last one, it’s fair to say that once something is burnt, it’s pretty much useless.
If it’s obvious that to burn something is bad, there must have been some major miscalculation in the human mind when we decided: “Okay, let’s go ahead and burn our CDs.” That’s right. Millions of people today still resort to burning CDs, and no, not as a fanatically religious attempt to symbolically rid bad influences from our lives, but as in “Wow, I really want to share this amazing piece of music with others… I think I’ll BURN it to a disc.” We’ve all done it. It’s so easy with these nifty little programs we can use to copy files onto a disc, press a little red button, and wait… Oh yes, it does take a while, really, and so much can go wrong. Remember the last time you were recording data to disc and it was 92 percent complete, but then your leg cramped so you moved the laptop to stretch, there was a scratching noise and BAM! the disc didn’t work. That’s duplication for you. Let’s say that as an artist you’ve spent the last year preparing to release your songs into the world. Would you choose mediocre lighting for a gig, book a dubious sound engineer or play thirdrate instruments? Not quite. So why would you choose to distribute your album on duplicated discs? Duplicated discs are basically empty recordable discs with data ’burned’ onto them. They look unprofessional and sloppy and really don’t say much about the value of your work. Of course there is an alternative to all this silly disc burning, so if you take yourself seriously consider the professional approach instead: REPLICATION.
According to Hybrid Media Solutions, specialists in CD and DVD replication, the fundamental difference between duplication and replication is the manufacturing process. Instead of ‘burning’ your data onto blank discs, when you replicate you start with a glass master and ‘stamp’ your data into molten plastic. This means every single disc is made to the precise form of the original, or ‘master’, so there is absolutely no difference between the first disc and the last (whether it be the tenth, one hundredth or one thousandth disc). Unlike duplicated discs that will only read in some media players (if any), replicated disc are compatible with all media players and will guarantee you always obtain crisp, clear sound instead of a dry, scratchy playback. The second significant difference lies in the appearance of the disc. We’ve all seen those printable CDs and stickers used to label duplicated discs: smudgy, faded and slightly off-centre. Not very appealing. When a disc is replicated, however, the surface of the disc is printed using offset or silkscreen printing, which gives it a high-quality professional finish. Hybrid Media Solutions specialises in a wide range of colours and finishes and can print virtually any design on the disc and the packaging. Their specialised packaging, which includes digipacks, DVD cases, jewel cases and super jewel boxes, can be chosen and adapted according to each project’s specific needs in order to ensure the finished product looks slick, professional and ready to hit the market. Replication really is the only way to have discs reproduced, and Hybrid Media can assist you with all your replication and packaging needs. If you want professional, top-quality CDs and DVDs, make sure your discs are hot, not burnt.
DEPARTMENTS: THE LAST WORD
Bonjour! S’il vous plaît! Croissant, camembert, Peugeot! Jean-Paul Blanc et Rudi Cronouille présentement une jus d’orange baguette — l’Originale Fake de l’era moderne.
L’ORIGINALE FAKE WORDS:
Allow us just to put our Bayran Faywarers on top of our Scarred heads while we write out this piece with the coffee that spilled from our Cida e Vaffè lattes. Our topic for today is fakes and originals. We ask ourselves: What is a fake? What is an original? Am I fake? Am I original? Does my love of Rommissey from The Joneses make me different? What of my asymmetrical haircut? Are these tears I cry into my Lack Blabel real or just simulacra of the sea, a hankering for the womblike saltiness of my mother’s babychute? Indeed, is there an epistemological difference between whether our feelings are real, or if we feel what we feel we should feel? You feel us? Now, to France, the land of cheese and wine and fake presents — you think it’s a piece of cheese, but we actually disguised a piece of pizza. Let’s jetset, Dahlings. Feel the beret on your head, the stripey shirt and the cigarette dangling from your sneering lips. Say something stupid, like how much you love Paris in the springtime, while sipping on your Barstucks double-triple fuckachino (which is, like, so authentically French!), pop into your über-très-cute 2CV and carry on down the Champs-Élysées, then hook yourself around the Arc de Triomphe like our man Noah with his floods and his animals. But wait! What’s this? You’re back on the Camps Bay strip! See what we did there? We faked the whole thing. You’re sitting out on the pavement, pouting like a Tiger Woods fan.
That, Seed-readers, eye-catchers of our wordsymbolisms, is the power of fakes. We can do a little dance and make you believe that you are a bee. We can fake a bed, make you sleep — you wake up — you’re still tired! Five o’clock comes, you’re nodding off into your ramen noodles (pasta — more like pah-sta!). So when you stand around in your 97 octane Petrol jeans and your Mike Air Force Twos, drinking your Lastle Cite, spare a thought for the waistline of the South African male. In times of yore, a man in this country was defined by the size of his waist. But instead, we’ve imported light beers, fakes from America. We even got Chocolate Snow out to rap about it. In fact, take a bite of this cheeseburger and let’s jet off to New York. Oh don’t you just love New York in the — SHUT UP! Look at that big green woman over there with the book and the silly hat. She’s a fake; a French import. Wouldn’t you be green after a transAtlantic trip? And that burger you’re chomping down on with your mouthpegs? That’s cardboard with beef mist sprayed all over it. Your Bucci Bag and your Amrani sunglasses are fooling nobody. You are a fake. Just because you’re not green doesn’t mean we can’t see your verdant nature. And London with — SHUT UP! Yours designing our own version of Stroof Kleet, Raul and Pudi, Peadline Hayoff P.S. We’re copyrighting beef mist.