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Gordon Ball Barrier Kult Lindsey Kemp Andrew Peden Illustrators Photographers www.youthandrust.com
November 18, 2014 • ∞• Issue 3 • It is better to make a mistake than not do anything.
TUNED TO A DEAD CHANNEL
IF INTERNET DESTROYS MASS CULTURE, HOW DOES SUBCULTURE CONTINUE TO EXIST? When William Gibson began conceiving the concept of cyberspace he would popularize in his 1984 novel Neuromancer, he envisioned a data-composed space with limitless possibilities where, in his words, “we would conduct the world.” Cyberspace may not have exactly manifested itself to encourage the hallucinatory physical action perfect for science fiction, but the Internet’s ubiquitous social commons Gibson mused about has become an increasing reality. 20 years later, the Internet has been paramount in democratizing information; we’ve seen everything from albums to 3D printing plans for a prosthetic arm become accessible en masse. This shift in the dissemination of information seems at first glance like a natural benefit to punk culture, which practices values of anti-capitalism and anti-authoritarianism that the internet can facilitate. Punk has found new ways to spread its cultural capital through forums, blogs, and downloads, handing out access more effectively on its own terms. It’s true some (old) people whined about how once you really had to try to access your tribe — now you could just download your identity (somehow equating difficulty to one’s right to possess culture or one’s cognitive ability to digest it), the argument proven somewhat moot based on the fact that Internet or no, posers have always existed and tend to either age out fast or reveal their poserness by being aggressive pricks/homophobes/ass kissers/etc and get phased out the scene. Anyway, it’s true that the Internet has managed to push most underground cultures into a space where anyone with an interest can access them with ease. I sometimes wonder what the result has been for more remote punk communities. For example, would Squamish, B.C. have such an intense grindcore scene without the Internet? It’s also not just subculture that’s been formed anew — I’d argue that because of the Internet, mass culture has started to collapse in on itself. Here’s why: the Internet has led us into an era of individualized cultural consumption. We’re no longer reliant on television, record
Image by Chloe Ringe companies and other top-down structures to distribute culture. In the 21st century, we curate (and are starting to fund) what we consume based on our individual tastes and interests. “Mass culture”, implying essentially, the cultural products marketed and distributed to society as a whole, can now cease to exist. Evidence of this is everywhere. In the summer, Bell Media announced that Much Music — definitely one of the only golden nuggets to come out of the mass culture structure — would be cutting 91 jobs, reducing it to a skeleton staff and playing mostly syndicated content. Last time I walked past Queen and John, the wheels on the Chum City truck had literally stopped turning. Taylor Swift was the only artist to reach over 1,000,000 albums sold this year, and until her late October release, it looked like this would be the first year since its inception that no album would go Platinum. The closest contenders were 2013 albums by Beyonce and Lorde — who herself looks like she burst out of a tumblr page. By chance I ended up seeing the Replacements play Osheaga in Montreal this summer and they were great, though 90 per cent of the people there didn’t care. As I was turning to leave along with all the dads who had also come just to see the Mats, I was aggressively shoved away from the stage by teenagers clawing their way past me to
watch Lorde. As I walked towards the exit, I heard her breaking into a warbly rendition of “Swingin’ Party”. What’s left percolating in the death knell of mass culture seems ambiguous and fascinating to me, maybe because the market has become a less prevalent factor in trends, and the varying niche tastes of consumers are creating an interesting collage. Okay, Lorde covers “Swingin’ Party” and I can’t decide what I think about that. But I know I don’t inherently hate Lorde as a recording artist, the way I hated Evanescence or the fucking Pussycat Dolls in the early 2000s. I really like that Juicy J and Katy Perry single which to me seems like pure pop paradox. The gothy shoes they’re selling at Top Shop right now are pretty sick. However tolerable what’s left of the mainstream is becoming, the affect it could have on punk is something worth considering. What initially drew me to punk was its subversion of mass culture, while in a way revering it in the same moment. The cheeky infantilization of Ronald Reagan in “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg”, the violently skewed pop imagery of early British punk; “On T.V.”, “T.V. Party”, “T.V. Casualty”.
OH! MR. DISNEY WHERE HAVE YOU GONE? Continues on back page...
ANDREW PEDEN What is your history with visual work? I’ve worked visually since I was a little boy, be it colouring or just redrawing, my favourite cartoon characters. In 2011 I completed a Fine Art certificate course at my local community college. I’m now five sixths of the way through a Graphic Design Diploma at the same school. All the while sporadically doing work for friends of mine; t-shirts, flyers, album art, zines etc. What came first, art or punk? Art came first when I was a good boy, then I found punk and it turned me into a bad, bad boy. Do you do any other creative work aside from visual art? I also play in Demolition from Barrie, ON. What is the state of Demolition in mid-2014? Any other music projects on the go? Demolition is in a good place right now. We’ve all been overwhelmingly busy since our 7” came out last year. We just did a coast-to-coast USA tour over the summer with our friends Intent and Unified Right, memories I will never forget. We are in the midst of writing a 12” EP which will be released by some friends of ours. We’ve got a few other bands in their infant stages right out but nothing official to say on any of that. What projects do you have on the go? The only project I’ve got on the go is my summer job, working at the local lumber yard in the hot sun with my best friend and bandmate, Bob. I also go to school full-time. I just did a bunch of work for the Big Contest 12” which I am very proud of and can’t wait for people to see/hear. I’m also putting the final touches on a shirt for Title Fight from PA. What are your plans for the future? Just being a child until I can’t be a child anymore, continuing to illustrate as much as I can and see where it takes me. I’m constantly crossing goals off of my list and that’s a great feeling. “They want your mind – they want your soul – you must throw the final blow.”
Andrew is from Barrie, Ontario. He plays bass in DEMOLITION. @arbysdrink
Gordon Ball is a photographer and painter, living in New York with his wife and dog.
What is your history with visual art? What came first, art or punk? I never knew how special my childhood was until I got older. My father was a photojournalist and my mother was an illustrator, so I grew up running around the darkroom at the Montreal Gazette and sitting at the dinner table drawing. It was pretty incredible actually, following in their footsteps was pretty natural, and I’m sure they are not surprised.
Do you have a rigid process for creating each painting, or do they all start out differently? I’m attracted to color, and contrast. Before I started painting I would just jump in and see what happens, but as of lately, I’ve been making sketches and looking into different color combinations. Learning as I go along. I look at Picasso, De Kooning, Kline, Mitchell, Frankenthaler, a lot of the 40s and 50s New York Painters. The Stones, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and the National also inspire me. You listen to a track, and think about how it could translate visually.
Does punk still have an affect on how you view the world, or the work you do currently? The older you get, and the more truth you find in the word. You learn there are things in your life that are yours, things that make up for working the shitty jobs to live. For me that’s art. It’s mine, and the only reason why I do it is solely for that reason. I’ll always have the “fuck you attitude”, and it will forever tie into my art. A couple years back Dave Grohl explained that the music system is bullshit, and having a judging competition like American Idol and the Voice is harmful. He went onto say that you should just go buy shitty drums and suck, and invite your friends over to jam who also suck, and suck together, and make shitty loud music. That’s a perfect perspective of the arts. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. I can’t afford a studio, so I paint on my roof or fire escape. I can’t afford proper materials; I make the stretchers and framing all myself. I don’t show my paintings in art shows, nor does anyone represent me. Those things shouldn’t stop you or stop anyone from
making things. There isn’t a conventional way to make stuff. There shouldn’t be, and the whole “fuck you attitude” has really helped me stick with it. I’m not embarrassed with what I have, I’m going to take advantage of it. Confidence has always been something I have struggled to find. But growing up in the punk / hardcore community indirectly taught me its ok to be you, plain and simple.
How did the transition between abstract photography to abstract painting happen? After moving down to NYC I had a little identity crisis. I signed to work with Reuters to do photojournalism, but never did it. I saw the De Kooning retrospective at the MoMA, and it completely changed my view on art. I was always scarred to abandon photography completely. It definitely took some convincing but I tried and I enjoyed to the point where I haven’t touched a camera in a long time. How does photography relate to your current painting style? Everything is relative. Photography is literally reality; you take a photo of something or someone. I wanted to do the complete opposite with painting, make a mood, and create an experience. I wanted to make a mess and have someone lean into and instead of ask, “what is it”, they say, “this is great”.
Do you do any creative work outside of visual art? I recently worked on Gallows’ recent 7” called CHAINS. Wade asked if I wouldn’t mind taking some photographs for the cover. He’s a good friend, so I couldn’t say no. What projects do you have on the go right now? Painting, mostly. When reason sleeps the demons will dance! I have to keep busy making stuff, when I don’t I get caught up in living and then I just stress out. I’m on a path right now, couldn’t really explain where I am going but I’m evolving and changing. What are your plans for the future? Loving my wife and trying to the best of my ability to take care of her and make her feel loved and wanted. That’s all I ever want to do.
Stephen McGlone - @stephenxmcglone
John McDonald - @mucklebones11
Lia Lepre - cargocollective.com/lialepre
Tyler Trinh - email@example.com
Caroline Lavessuer - oculartraffic.tumblr.com
A.W. Pham - bruisencruise.tumblr.com
Willem Healey - willemhealey.tumblr.com
Kayleigh Kowalsky - kayleighxjane.tumblr.com
Bostin Gleva - nostingleebo.tumblr.com
Justin Friskie - justinfriskie.tumblr.com
Ashley van der Laan - ashleyvanderlaan.com
LINDSEY KEMP What is your history with visual work? I probably only seriously started considering myself a visual artist when I was in high school and my art teachers told me I should apply to OCAD U. After that, I think because I took myself more seriously, I started making large-scale oil paintings, experimental photographic projects, and some collage work. What is Eye Am Alive and how did it get started? Eye Am Alive is a blog I made to showcase contemporary photographic artists. It started as something I could use as a venue to promote more underground artists, as well as publish my own written work (show & book reviews, critical essays, analytical / semiotical papers, etc). I don’t post as much writing anymore, but I’m pleased that I still get submissions from some amazing local and international artists! You recently started an apothecary company, Soothsayer—is this a brand new venture or have you made similar products before? Do you see any connections between this new company and your visual work? As a kid I had always been interested in herbalism. My grandmother is an herbalist and she used to take me on walks to collect plants and identify them. I found it really exciting to learn what I could make them into; and that those preparations could be used to treat illness. Decades later, whilst trying to find myself, I’ve realized it’s still of great interest to me. I want to help people. And I want to make things. I think that would be the biggest connection between this work and my visual art - it’s all very tactile and sensory and “hands-on”, as is a lot of my mixed media or darkroom or sculptural work. In terms of theme/subject, I think my body of work entitled “untitled” ( http://lindseykemp. com/untitled/ ) is very “Soothsayer-y”. What projects do you have on the go? I’ve been working on a collaborative project that will be in book format that I’m really excited about. I’m going to be photographing strange areas in normal towns using infrared film in order to expose what exists but our eyes can’t see. (And by strange areas I mean things like a door under a waterfall and a fenced-off graveyard containing three graves in the middle of a field). There will be acetate overlays on each image and the other artist is going to be drawing strange little monsters on top.
Lindsey is a photographer, and apothecary from Toronto. She runs EYE AM ALIVE, an online and soon to be physical, photography periodical. www.lindseykemp.com
BARRIER KULT What is the history of Barrier Kult? OFFICIALLY WAS TITLED IN 2003. BEFORE THAT YEAR, THE BARRIER KULT’S ROOTS WERE IN THE INTERIOR OF BRTISH COLUMBIA. DEPTH LEVIATHAN DWELLER, DEER MAN OF DARK WOODS AND VLAD MOUNTAIN IMPALER. EARLY TIGHT TRANSITION WORSHIP ON K-RAIL JERSEY STYLE BARRIERS AND THE SHALLOW ENDS OF POOLS. ALL THREE OF US EVENTUALLY MOVED TO VANCOUVER. THE BRITISH COLUMBIA LOWER MAINLAND FEATURES THE ‘RITUAL’ BARRIER - A HIGHWAY BARRIER OF A MORE ANCIENT KNIFING SHAPE. THE BARRIER KULT TOOK FORM AND OVER THE LAST 11 YEARS WE HAVE ACCUMULATED 12 OFFICIAL TITLED MEMBERS. How has the aesthetic of BA. KU. evolved from the beginning to now? Is there one individual responsible for the aesthetic or is it a group decision? THE AESTHETIC HAS VIRTUALLY STAYED THE SAME. SOME ARTWORKS, ETC. A LITTLE MORE DETAILED OR STRONG / HIGH CONTRAST DEPENDING ON THE ARTIST BE IT MYSELF OR GUEST ARTISTS CHRIS MOYEN, ZUKK, CRAIG QUESTIONS. OVER THE YEARS - MORE EMPHASIS ON THE RITUAL TOOLS, THE KNIFING OF THE BARRIER, OCCULT REFERENCE TO KEEP THE BARRIER RITUAL AND MANIA INTACT. You’ve said previously that you’re against the “creative” or “artistic” skateboarder, what do you think will it take to stop them? WHEN PROFESSIONAL SKATEBOARDERS / EXPROFESSIONAL SKATEBOARDERS REALIZE THAT JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE GOOD AT THROWING A BOARD AROUND AT ONE TIME DOES NOT GIVE THEM CARTE BLANCHE TO FILL YOUNG PEOPLE’S HEADS WITH FUNDAMENTAL CHRISTIAN IDEALS OR FOOL THE MEDIA WITH THEIR WEAK AND REDUNDANT ARTS AND CRAFTS THAT LAY WASTE TO ANY INTEGRITY VIA SOME FOOLISH APPRECIATION OF THEIR PAST BOARD JUGGLING ENDEAVORS.
YOU CAN ONLY FOOL SOME OF THE PEOPLE. POWERFUL ARTISTS OF THE PAST LIKE RICHARD SERRA AND AD REINHARDT WERE NOT SKATEBOARDERS.
Barrier Kult seems to have been to quite a few places around the world, is there anything you haven’t done yet that you’d like to? RITUAL BARRIER ALTAR PARTICIPATION WITH THE FANATICAL PLAGUE FOLLOWERS OF HUNGARY, GERMANY, AUSTRALIA, THE UK. NONE OF THE GROUPS ARE OFFICIAL TITLED MEMBERS OF THE BARRIER KULT, BUT WE APPRECIATE THEIR WORK TOWARD SPREADING THE PLAGUE OF FANATICAL TIGHT TRANSITION WORSHIP AND NON-IDENTITY AND WORK WITH THEM TO ESTABLISH THE GUIDELINES OF THE BA. KU. AND IT’S MILITANT SHOWCASE. What projects are on the go? CLOTHING: THE SKULL SKATES BA. KU. FANTOMAS CLOAK. SHIRT FEATURING ARTWORK BY JAPANESE ARTIST ZUKK. MUSKELLUNGE OF DARK ISLAND SHIRT. GULLWING BA. KU. SUPER PRO 3 TRUCK. BARRIER KULT HORDE VIDEO 2. COLLABORATION SHIRT WITH THE DARK EUROPEAN BMX COMPANY HERESY. BARRIER KULT BOOK (PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANTHONY TAFURO). What are your plans for the future? Will the Barrier Kult’s work ever be finished? FURTHER DESCENT INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN, THE RIVERS AND FORESTS OF NORTHERN BC. KNIFE RITUAL ASCENSION. AS LONG AS THERE IS TIGHT TRANSITION WORSHIP AND THE HIGHWAY BARRIER THAT ACTS AS IT’S SIGNIFYING AND SKATEBOARD-ABLE ALTAR - THE BARRIER KULT WILL CONTINUE WITH IT’S MANIA.
BARRIER KULT is a skateboard team from the wilderness of coastal British Columbia. www.thebarrierkult.blogspot.com
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MICKEY’S BEING THREATENED BY A NEUTRON BOMB Punk provided a necessary commentary on the absurdity of the mainstream and it did it with anger, irony, sarcasm and creativity. The point, though, is that they seem to me intrinsically linked, mass culture and subculture. Actions illicit reactions, punk is born in flames. Gibson called punk the last pre-digital counterculture. How then, as the internet’s dismantling of mass cultural structures becomes more and more far-reaching, does punk continue to define itself in a digital world? How does subculture remain subculture without mass culture? Thematically, there’s still no shortage of things to be pissed off about, so punk (and if you haven’t noticed by now I use the term to imply a very broad genre) won’t run out of ideas. And with the digital age comes a whole new set of anxieties and injustices (#Gamergate, online spying, and fucking Bono shoving his shitty music into my iphone comes to mind). The last track on First Audio Document 2013 CS by industrial-influenced punks L.O.T.I.O.N. loops the word ‘surveillance’ with an eerie, muffled, computerized voice, finalizing an otherwise confrontational demo with a detached, monotonous feeling of dread. When I saw Lussuria last month, his set of ominous, expansive electronic sounds ended with a sample of Casey Anthony’s surreally detached video blog, in which she discusses her day-to-day life since her daughter’s murder trial. Maybe in the face of obsolescence there is a different kind of freedom. Perhaps that’s why more noise and electronic-based music seems to be steadily entering the punk musical lexicon. If the idea of a simplistic “shared taste” within subculture is a relic of the 20th century, if we no longer aspire to belong to a tribe in the same aesthetic or behavioral ways we may have before (I’m probably more abhorred by liberty spikes than my parents at this point), a counterculture (now a culture) can engage a huge scope of influences. Maybe things get a lot more interesting.
SURVIVING MEDIOCRITY The number of self-proclaimed artists who lack the dedication and vigour to develop their talent seems to have risen exponentially within the modern smartphone era. There’s no avoiding the overflowing digital stream of artistic submission that is uploaded every second of every day. It is my disheartened supposition that on average, your social media feed will produce more art than the number of times you’ll add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, under any conceivable time parameter. Whether it be a painter’s instagram portfolio, a prematurely exposed bandcamp or a (most unfortunate) poet’s twitter, technology has granted the average person the ability to rapidly fabricate and promote their craft without hesitation. The patience to meditate upon artwork is being dwindled by technology’s insistence of creative urgency. Proceeding with the aforementioned trend, it is a common ethos of DIY to just GIV’R when producing something, which inherently appears to excuse the product of being lacklustre by shifting the focus on having created something at all. The capability of creating a thing should not be the sole criteria justifying its need for attention. However much significance you place on that thing you produce, it should not warrant the attention of the equally mediocre for simply having been made at all. For all the creative avante-garde and self-empowerment that DIY ethics has encouraged, there is an ever growing cancer of shlock artistry that the fans must wade through to find something truly great. It appears to be the plight of the modern audience to learn to distinguish the difference between the two. Equally important for posterity is the avoidance of vapid misrepresentation on impressionable yet undiscerning newcomers of any given artistic demographic. The torch carriers require the influence of sages (not
sheep), if the lineage is to survive through the ages. For the lineage to sustain, it is the responsibility of the community at large to set a harsher precedent when judging the merit of new art. Why would you settle for a weaker version of an art form which already has an established and epitomized niche of its own? Natural selection isn’t doing its job when we let the scoundrels run free. It is a hushed acceptance that is implied when not applying critique to underdeveloped work. Not to say that everyone shouldn’t have an equal stake in their chance at successful artistry, but aptitude plays a role in tune with aspiration, and being able to decipher where skill lies in relative to others helps minimize the self-congratulatory weak, and encourage the exceedingly great. (Likewise, setting the bar as low as one can manage while still being able to consider the product “art” is a wasted effort to all parties involved.) These two fundamental rules are applicable to all artistic mediums: Don’t promote your art unless you completely believe in it yourself and wholeheartedly represent it. Furthermore, don’t expect that whatever it is you feel that you’ve accomplished automatically necessitates the attention of others. We need to scrap the “good dudes, bad band” expression that perpetuates mediocrity. Popularity is always going to play its’ role but we can limit its influence by staying sincere about what brings us inspiration and satisfaction. There is no need to support the art in order to support the individual, so don’t make it your personal responsibility to bolster the egos of the artistically inept. Bukowski put it most frankly, “If you lied to a man about his talent just because he was sitting across from you, that was the most unforgivable lie of them all, because that was telling him to go on, to continue which was the worst way for a man without real talent to waste his life, finally.”
MAKE NO MISTAKE - A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR So this is it, the final issue of the Youth & Rust Standard. Three issues over the course of 2014 and we’re out. The newspaper styled art-zine-slashhardcore-fanzine experiment I’ve been thinking about for years has come to an end, and it couldn’t have been better. This zine was started as a way to showcase and bring together as many creative people as I could, and an
excuse to talk to people I normally wouldn’t have. All told, 46 people have been involved with these zines. Personally, I want nothing more than everyone involved to keep on doing what they do. I think every person or organization featured here are worthwhile. Thank you to everyone who agreed to participate, everyone who got a zine and checked out something new. Dedicated to the thoughtful everywhere.
Published on Nov 17, 2014
Features on Gordon Ball, Lindsey Kemp, Andrew Peden and Barrier Kult. Articles by Grace Scott and Adam Kennedy. Further contributions by Chl...