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WHITE LIGHT / WHITE HEAT “Gentle reader, the Fountain of Youth is radioactive, and those who imbibe its poisonous heavy waters will suffer the hideous fate of decaying metal. Yet almost without exception, the wretched idiot inhabitants of our benighted planet would gulp down this radioactive excrement if it were offered.” - William S. Burroughs



News 04 Print Run 54 Fashion Mens 58 Fashion Ladies 60 Plimsoll 56

THE LAKE MAGAZINE PTY LTD Editor / Art Direction Stefan Naude’ Existential ADVISOR


Brendan Body

Ralph Borland 14 Jaco van Schalkwyk 36


PHOTOGRAPHY: Stalker Boxing Day

12 30

MUSIC: Juliana Venter BCUC Nonku Phiri Wax Junkie

10 18 26 52

LIFESTYLE: Inner City Life Mith BMX Tour

23 48

Hayden Phipps Nonku Phiri Kristi Vlok Nonhlanhla Tigerlily Tremayne West Studio Lighting Retouching

Photography Cover Art Direction / Styling Fashion Assistant Floral Head Piece The Ground Floor Studio Big Time Studios Naomi E’ Camara



Hayden Phipps Oliver Kruger Jacqui Van Staden Eisa Bakos Jansen Van Staden Guto Bussab Danielle Klopper

Kristi Vlok


Brett Bellairs


Brendan Body

Jacqui Van Staden


BCUC - ‘Crowd’ / 2016

Illana Welman

Contributors Fred De Vries Luke Cromhout Sandiso Ngubane Ruan Scott Jonathan Freemantle Stan Engelbrecht Greg Illingworth Zara Julius Lani Spice Xavier Nagel

The views and opinions expressed within the editorial and advertisements of THE LAKE do not necessarily reflect those of its staff, nor any of its associates.THE LAKE and anything contained within is copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, copied or stored electronically without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

Advertising / MARKETING

COPY EDITING Christine Stewart ONLINE Submissions PRINTING PAARLMEDIA Paarl Media Group Tel: +27 21 550 2500 Email:




This version of the Union Gingham Lock up is the final version and has been set up to allow the logo and flag to be scaled up. THIS LOCK UP CAN BE INCrEASED IN SIZE. Always exported at maximum resolution

Sandton City | RoSebank Mall | Menlyn PaRk | V&a WateRfRont

be n SH eR M an .C oM

NEWS ASICS TIGER / REVAMP OF 90s CLASSIC DESIGN SS16 marks the return of a classic with ASICS Tiger™ set to unveil a reimagined version of their gamechanging 90’s icon. The GT-COOL XPRESS was launched back in 1992 and introduced a number of innovative technologies. The original was a performance shoe made famous for the cutaway on the midsole which displayed the previously unseen GEL™ technology. The GT-COOL XPRESS legacy can be seen in modern ASICS performance offerings, where visible GEL™ has become commonplace. The 2016 revamp of the GTCOOL XPRESS also stays true to the original and features the visible GEL™ design in the midsole as well as a mono sock fit system, allowing for better positioning and fit of the shoe. - exclusively at Shelf Life INFO: www.


For information on LIARS fashion, please call 083-979-1745


Animal Multi Tool

T-shirts bearing the word ‘Liars’ have been seen on the streets of Cape Town, usually alongside offensive imagery that no sane individual in their right mind would ever want to wear. Some say the cotton comes from a remote Ethiopian village that his majesty the great Haile Selassie once visited on his journey for spiritual enlightenment.

This multi-tool features a cute animal design on each arm, from Kikkerland.

Liars is possibly just a figment of your imagination, you decide on your level of involvement. Nobody knows for certain whether it actually exists. Forget about what you know, that’s your problem, all we know is that cryptic messages are uploaded to an instagram account.

This handy portable multi-tool features a file, wire stripper, knife blade, bottle opener, flat head screwdriver, punch and a Phillips head screwdriver. Each of the tools turns this piece into a different animal, including a llama, a hippo and a rhino. We are happy to announce that we have won the not on the high street award for best customer services for 2014. made from: wood and metal dimensions: width 6cm x height 2cm x depth 2cm

INFO: @liars8000


Cube HD Action Camera

Lomo Instant Montenegro Edition

Billabong / Soft Parade


This Autumn Billabong Women’s introduces its new campaign that celebrates the Billabong woman along with her adventurous spirit and infectious love of life. She lives in the moment and embraces the freedom of an outdoor active lifestyle. LIARS BOUTIQUES: TIMBUKTU, DAKAR, KHARTOUM, KAMPALA, MOGADISHU, ACCRA, ABUJA, LIBREVILLE, GOMA, DAR ES SALAAM, CAPE TOWN, LILONGWE, LUSAKA, GWERU, AL QUBAH, TRIPOLI, TUNIS, TANGIER, NOUAKCHOTT.

For information on LIARS fashion, please call 083-979-1745

With the launch of the ‘Let’s Just Go Somewhere’ campaign, Billabong presents their Soft Parade Collection. Portraying dark blends of moody blues, military greens and autumn florals, this collection is aimed at the fashionable yet effortlessly cool Billabong woman. New looks include cargos and fisherman sweaters contrasting with iconic seventies denim and shirting. Available at Billabong stores nationwide from April 2016 INFO:

The Polaroid Cube HD Action Camera is by far the smallest action camera yet. Though its size may fool you into thinking it is useless, it actually packs a lot of power. While it only shoots 6 megapixel images and has no LCD screen, it still shoots full 1080p video and its rubberized body makes it splashproof and virtually damage proof! This camera is very easily portable weighing next to nothing, and can be mounted with a range of accessories or simply by its built-in magnet. Whether you enjoy taking videos of your children, or love to travel and constantly snap photos and videos on the go – this camera is perfect for you. INFO: 06

Lomo has unveiled the latest design for its widely popular instant camera, the Lomo’instant Montenegro edition. Inspired by the Balkan country, the Lomo’instant Montenegro boasts a sophisticated black leather and silver finish, a built-in, 27mm wide-angle lens, and flash on/off settings to deliver the best images in various light settings. Additional features include different lens packages, a “B” setting for long exposure shooting, and ability to use Fujifilm Instax Mini film to produce credit card-sized snapshots. The Lomo’Instant Montenegro Edition is a crown jewel of the Lomo’Instant Family. There were only 1000 of these cameras produced. INFO:


NEWS VANS / Checkerboard With a nod to the past and with our eyes on the future, we celebrate Vans history with a range of Surf footwear featuring the iconic Checkerboard pattern this spring. From the women’s Dazie-Hi and men’s Black Ball Hi SF to the classic-inspired convertible styles like the Slip-On SF, Authentic SF, and a large assortment of sandals, ‘80s vibes are leading the charge alongside the “Modern Comfort” you’ve come to expect with Vans Surf Siders. Originally inspired by grass roots design contests, Checkerboard gained international attention and appeal when Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli dons a fresh pair of black and white Checkerboard Slip-Ons in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. INFO:

Billabong / SWINDLE Billabong South Africa is excited to announce Swindle is the authorized and official Online Shop for all Brands owned by Billabong in South Africa with the mission to bring good product, to their customers’ door, in a hassle free way. Swindle houses brands like Element Skateboards - VonZipper Sunglasses - Nixon Watches & Audio Sector 9 Skateboards – Stance - DaKine - Billabong Kustom Footwear - Plan B Skateboards - DotDash Sunglasses - Xcel Wetsuits - Kinetik Racing Fins – Palmers.


Vox AC10C1 1x10” 10-Watt Tube Combo

Danelectro ‘59 NOS DC Black / GoGo Blue

Get iconic Top Boost tone in a compact, all-tube package with the Vox AC10C1 combo guitar amplifier. This all-tube 10-watt combo gives you classic Vox tones through a custom Celestion 10” speaker. Volume, treble, bass, reverb, and gain controls let you dial in everything from clean to crunch with definite Vox style.

A Danelectro legend, the delicious doublecut ‘59 Dano now looks cooler than ever, with glossless finish paintwork, matt finish hardware and tinted scratchplate and edge tape lacquer all adding to the retro vibe. Plus twin alnico-powered Lipstick®

A volume and gain controls let you dial in everything from clean, chimey, classic Vox to serious overdrive - and everything in between. If you want a punchy and touch-responsive British tube combo, the Vox AC10C1 is it. INFO:

Palladium Boots Palladium was founded in 1920 to make aircraft tires for the aviation industry. In 1947, after the end of WWII saw demand for tires dry up, Palladium put their canvas and rubber expertise to use by making boots that were as hard wearing as their tires. Palladium soon became outfitters of the legendary French Foreign Legion with their classic canvas Pampa boot. Over 60 years later the timeless design of Palladium’s signature Pampa boot is as relevant as ever and available once again for explorers worldwide. This season Palladium celebrates its urban exploration ethos with its City Equipped collection available to modern day explorers. INFO: 08


case pickups with warmer spec windings offer sweeter tones and slightly hotter output. Features include a fully adjustable and intonatable chrome plated raised-tail bridge, with positive action enclosed gear machines for stable, accurate tuning. INFO:










“‘I feel suspended. I don’t belong anywhere. There’s bits of me that belong here, bits that belong there,’ she says halfway through the interview, in answer to a question about place and identity.”

Juliana grew up in Pretoria, moved to Jo’burg, then to London, then to Cologne, to Munich and to Berlin. In Germany she had to give up her South African citizenship when she applied for permanent residence. Presently she spends her time between Berlin and Oslo. Like a European soutpiel? ‘Yes, haha, a soutpiel,’ she laughs, and with a touch of nostalgia adds: ‘Gee, I haven’t heard that word for a long time.’ But wait, we are nostalgic too. We miss you Juliana Venter, your trademark screams, your avant-garde explorations and your brazen interviews full of fucks (although some of the old don’t-give-a-fuck attitude seems to have evaporated when she says she doesn’t want me to mention the names of the Afrikaans artists whose albums she would gladly destroy. ‘If you do that I’ll make myself really unpopular!’). Watch a video of her singing ‘Green Eyes’, and you’ll get my drift about missing… The song was co-written by Ramsay MacKay, leader of the underground legends Freedom’s Children, South Africa’s late sixties equivalent to Pink Floyd. But MacKay left the country and now lives in some dark Scottish forest. In that same video, which has Venter deeply bent over, sing-screaming from her innards, you can also spot lap steel guitarist Jim Neversink, who released a stunning self-titled album in 2005. We had high hopes. Here was our own Wilco. But alas, Neversink also packed his bags, and moved to Copenhagen. ‘Green Eyes’ makes MacKay, Neversink and Venter a band of outsiders, too talented, too impatient and too restless for this often suffocating southern tip of Africa. But now she’s here, doing the odd theatre, music gig and recording, until she deserts us again in May. ‘Being back, you always feel the push and the pull,’ she says. ‘South Africa is a depressing place and an inspirational place. When the sun shines on my skin and I smell the fynbos and jump into the Atlantic Ocean I know where I come from. But when I have to deal with this pain that’s among people here, there’s always that thing in me: fuck do I want to be here? There’s always that duality.’ From the age of three Venter (1970) knew that she wanted to sing. ‘I’d be hearing Abba and cry to my mother: I’m going to sing,’ she says on the deck of the False Bay Yacht Club in Simon’s Town (she’s staying with a friend in Fish Hoek). Her father was a lawyer who played the trumpet, her mother was a good singer. ‘But they both came from such a stoere boere Afrikaner background that there was no way anyone was going to pursue a musical career. They were very religious, gereformeerdes.’ As a thirteen-year-old Juliana sang with her school revue ‘vir die troepe’ in the Caprivi strip,

at the height of the Border War. Her vocal qualities subsequently impressed South Africa’s famous baritone opera singer Dawie Couzyn who took her under his wing and suggested she attend Die Kruin high school in Johannesburg. ‘It was the art/ballet/music school with a hint of Afrikanerdom from hell to it. It was the weirdest experience. You were not allowed to draw naked figures, and there were severe restrictions on the kind of music you could study.’ Fortunately, Die Kruin was not far from Hillbrow, the Sodom and Gomorrah of Jo’burg in the eighties. ‘I was this good Christian girl who arrived to study opera, and within a year I was totally wild. I was fifteen or so and the relationship with my parents broke down. I broke with God and the universe.’

her into his hermit-like world in the Scottish forest. They recorded sixteen songs, none of which have seen the light of day. It’s a matter of no hurry, no urgency and, most importantly, no money. The experience, however, was incredible. ‘Ramsay has such charisma. He’s an incredible poet and writer and painter. He taught me a lot about arranging and orchestration, and how you can get out of the restrictions of rhyme and use poetry in such a way that it conjures up mysterious images, making it visually very rich when you listen to it.’

Hillbrow was heaven, the edgy womb of a Jo’burg subculture, where people experimented with sexuality, where you were introduced to the subversive literary works of William Burroughs (Junkie, Naked Lunch) and where you experienced the cleansing of the doors of perception that Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison had promised. ‘Hillbrow to me was like being in New York. It was mad, with places like Café Vienna and the Chelsea Hotel, it had such a vibe. It was like someone gave you LSD for free and the whole thing just turns around. It was: Ok, the world has changed and I’m changing with it.’

Back in London she fell in love with a film editor who took her to Germany. There she got involved in dance and theatre and befriended electronic duo Mouse on Mars. She became part of the neo-Krautrock scene, influenced by bands such as Can, Faust and Neu, which in the 70s changed the trajectory of pop/rock with their improvisational skills and motorik rhythms. As a tribute to this legacy, she called her own music ‘neue Musik’. It resulted in the album Sunflower Sutra, which she recorded with guitarist Joseph Suchy under the moniker Spooky Attraction From a Distance. It’s music that defies categorisation, drawing on psychedelia, freak folk, opera, dada, pop and krautrock, carried by Venter’s idiosyncratic vocals. Adele or Beyoncé it certainly wasn’t.

In Hillbrow (she never finished art school, because she was kicked out after the staff found burnt pages of the Bible in her cupboard; however, Couzyn kept training her for a total of thirteen years) she met visual artists such as Neil Goedhals en Konrad Welz, and actor/musician Marcel van Heerden, with whom she had a relationship and started the theatrical music group Mud Ensemble, which was so way ahead of its time that no music was ever released. That is until five years ago. Because in 2011 Venter decided to bring out the compilation 1993-1999, for which she was criticized by some of her former band mates. ‘Ag, it was stupid not to have it documented. You spend ten years creating it and then everyone’s fighting about it. That’s just ridiculous,’ she says.

In the meantime Venter married and divorced the German film editor (they have a 12-year old daughter together) and continued to extend her geographical scope: next destination Oslo. There she works with saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrom, a big name in the world of contemporary classical music. They met in 2012 during the Edge of Wrong festival in Cape Town, where she gave him a copy of Sunflower Sutra, hoping he’d like it. She waited and waited and waited. ‘I didn’t hear from him. But then out of the blue he called me up and said there’s this project happening and I should speak to the director.’ That project was Congress of Dreams, a piece of experimental musical theatre to be performed in Oslo’s Black Box Teater. ‘It was very much based on finding out what the “European Dream” is

After Mud Ensemble split in 1999 and her relationship with van Heerden ended, she decided it was time for a tabula rasa. ‘Things were too straight for me,’ she says. ‘I wanted to be in a situation where I could learn new things.’ She bade a tearful farewell to her six-year old son and moved to London, where she didn’t know a soul. It took her a year and many odd jobs (including selling light bulbs to farmers) to find her feet and think about music again. Her endurance paid off. She met like-minded people and collaborated with post-punkers Philip Winter (Lone Taxidermist) and Steven Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire). They made ‘druggy music’. Via a drummer, she was introduced to Freedom’s Children’s Ramsay MacKay, who invited


today, and dealing with refugee crisis, the economic crisis, all the European problems. The text was written by a famous Norwegian punk poet Øyvind Berg,’ she says. And with a sense of wonder: ‘So I was suddenly playing with the cream of Norwegian jazz and contemporary classical.’ She now inhabits a world where the contemporary classical composers Giacinto Scelsi and Olivier Messiaen rub virtual shoulders with Jimi Hendrix and Einstürzende Neubauten, a creative world without borders. She shrugs and says, ‘I’ve always been fascinated with bringing what you would call pop sensibility together with this avant-garde or contemporary world.’ Oslo has been great for her. ‘The Norwegian scene at the moment is one of the best in the world. As a musician you have your ass kicked so well and so intensively that in very quick time you realize you better be good or you’re out,’ she says. ‘If you compare it to a drug experience then in Oslo I’m on a rush. But it also means you’re shitting your pants every single day.’ She smiles and sips some wine, while we watch the boats lolling in the gentle waves. ‘But to be kind to myself,’ she continues, ‘in terms of singing skills I don’t have to be shy. I can sing very well and in many different genres. In Congress of Dreams I come on as James Brown, going on my knees while doing “Please, Please, Please”. And then I go straight into opera. And then I come out as an actress. And then I do my famous screaming. And then Kabuki theatre and Japanese music. I love that.’ But at heart she’s still that Hillbrow punk. When I ask her if she prefers Oslo to Berlin she grins mischievously. ‘The Norwegian society is just a little bit too clean for me. I love Berlin; I need to know the heroin addicts are still at Kottbusser Tor; that there are still some beggars; and that there’s definitely going to be some pub brawl tonight. In Berlin you can see some real shit going down, in Oslo you wish there was shit going down.’

Iannis Xenakis

David Bowie


Olivier Messiaen

Billie Holiday

Alpha & Omega

Ziggy Stardust

Tristan und Isolde

Symphonie for the end of

Strange Fruit



.... Emi la voix de son maître






1987 EMI







“Travelling through the Boesmanland while working on my “Between here and there” series was a great experience. The calmness that place produces is one of a kind. ” We believe you are from a small town in the Northern Cape, could you tell us more about that and if you think it has influenced the subject matter or style of your photography at all? It was a tough and frustrating place to be as a creative kid, but I’m really grateful it’s where I grew up. It definitely shaped my outlook on life in a positive way. It made me aware that being open-minded takes you a lot further. It gave me an immense appreciation and respect for nature. It forced me to use what was available and to make a plan when it wasn’t. It created a fondness for wide open spaces where you can just be alone. This in turn has all played a fundamental part in shaping my thought process which dictates how I shoot.

Could you tell us about the cameras you use, what camera is your go-to or favourite?

ect calls for, adapting what I have learnt from previous experiences to work in the current situation.

The most often used are a Contax G1, Nikon F3 and Mamiya 645 Super, but my favourite of them all is a Pentax K1000. It’s simple and straightforward and has very little that can go wrong.

You used to make photographic zines, where the content showcased work from your website. Are these publications still available and what did you take away from your experience with self-publishing?

It is clear from your work that you’ve spent some time traveling. Has there been anywhere significant that has influenced

The zines were great fun to make. A few were available through a blog I ran and the rest I just

You’ve stated before that while photographing, you keep in mind the tangible image that is produced as a result, such as large prints. Are these prints for personal use or do you exhibit or sell them online? If so how could one acquire one? Currently the best way would be to drop me an email for print enquiries. The idea of an online store is great, but I derive great pleasure by talking to a buyer one-on-one. I feel that interaction is really important if someone is planning on purchasing some of ones work.

You photograph on both film and digital, would you say you have a preference? It depends on the subject. I started off shooting film for the simple reason I enjoyed taking a photo and moving on and not staring at the screen trying to correct minor details by taking another 5 images of the same thing as digital allows you to do. Digital I prefer to use for sport and technical subjects such as cars, where you are focused on getting that one shot as perfect as it possibly can be.

Pentax / K1000 Do you have any inspirations, local or abroad? There are a lot of artists whose work I admire, such as Daniel McCabe, Janne Savon and Garth Milan. One guy who deserves a lot of credit though, is Dylan Culhane; he has helped me out from early on in my career, answering all my dumb questions, giving the necessary criticism and allowing me to tag along on his projects.

Film and the development process is quite a pricey exercise these days, does it affect the way you may photograph, and do you have any frustrations around this? The price of film and processing doesn’t affect my way of shooting as much as it used to. It’s something you just need to accept. Sending film off to be processed however, has become a real issue, partly because I’m a real handson type of person who likes to be in control through every step and partly because the services being offered are becoming really poor. The only way to fix this is to become self-sufficient and do it yourself, which is the next step I’m taking. How do you go about choosing the subject matter that you document? What draws you towards a certain frame, composition or character? Sometimes I go out looking for images and other times it’s just the right time and right place where I happen to be. You are known for your video work too. Would you say you have an equal passion for video and photography, or is there one you more fully embrace? The passion for both are equally strong. I wouldn’t be doing the one if it wasn’t for the other. They are two very different mediums which require different approaches and that’s what I enjoy about them.

Any projects in the pipeline?

you, photographically or personally, that you would like to share with us? Travelling through the Boesmanland while working on my “Between here and there” series was a great experience. The calmness that place produces is one of a kind. You feel exceptionally small being able to see forever, but never alone - as insects run past the sound they make on the sand echoes amongst the silence. This is what draws me to shooting landscapes. In photography you work within many different disciplines. You are admired for your work spanning the documentation of South Africa’s music scene, fashion, and documentary, as well as your beautiful landscapes. Is there a particular discipline you prefer or would like to explore more?

left and hid away at random places for people to find. The zines eventually came to an end because the printing process was an incredible headache and I grew tired of struggling. It comes back to my point for the need to be self-sufficient. I do hope to print a few more again at some stage.

There are so many ideas and far too little time. I have an off-road motorcycle film, Homeground, which I filmed along with my brother, who’s an incredible rider, being released at the end of March. INFO: Instagram @michaelmichaelellis

HIGH FIVES Clarence Carter


Live In Johannesburg






Queens of Stone Age Songs for the Deaf

2002 Interscope


Radioactivity Radioactivity

2013 Dirtnap

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats Blood Lust

2011 Rise Above

If I had to choose one it would have to be doing more documentary work. It takes you to interesting places and introduces you to fascinating people. But, I enjoy shooting whatever the projTHE LAKE




Ex Machina Ralph Borland STORY - LUKE CROMFORT

photography / PORTRAIT - JANSEN VAN STADEN photography / ROBOTS - Guto Bussab

“The idea goes back to the artist’s childhood in newly independent Zimbabwe, and his first wire car. A rough network of old, dull metal strands woven together to vaguely resemble a Citroën 2CV.”

The bird swivels its head. Its eyes drag streaks of red light across my retina while something in its body squawks. Wings move up and down, slightly, threatening flight. The skeleton, exposed, houses a system that governs inputs and outputs, making the grander form shake and sound. The man across from me tells me it’s struggling to be alive. The bird is trying to make itself. The man in front of me is an artist, and we sit at opposite ends of a table blanketed in bits and bots. An intimidating stack of papers sits at my right shoulder and dominates an array: battery chargers, bubblewrap, numerous rolls of tape, wire, a wire chicken, batteries, and a three inch Optimus Prime. He, the man, studied Fine Art at the University of Cape Town’s art school, Michaelis, completed his Masters in Interactive Telecommunications at NYU, and holds a multi-disciplinary PhD from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Engineering. His name is Ralph Borland, and we’re about to discuss robots. But first, the bird. My past experiences with birds can really be captured by three separate incidents. The scene of the first is the V&A Ocean Basket. My R38 hake and chips was kidnapped by a seagull during a visit to the bathroom. Number two: A pigeon pecks at my sandwich; I throw it away. The third incident involves an exam and two new hankies. The end of my first year at UCT was drawing to a close, and a politics exam stood between me and much TV-induced numbness. I had prepared well, neglecting to bother with the much talked of Past Paper. After an hour, I start regretting my hubris and from above I hear a squawk. The bird itself is midnight blue, almost black, and as it leaves one of the beams overhead, flashes of burnt umber are visible beneath its wings. I return to my paper. The question in front of me is particularly difficult — something about Marx. I hear a squawk, and in quick succession, something wet ricochets off my chair and on to my back while another bullet of wet squares with the crown of my head. The room was still for what seemed like an age. Promptly, my new handkerchiefs were deployed to solve the crisis, but all they did was stain themselves, smudge me and leave a fertile brown streak across my answers. Later, sympathisers would tell me that being shat on by a bird was a sign of good luck, blessing on your head, a gift from the heavens — this only served to amplify my murderous thoughts towards this particular brand of bird. Now, after getting lost in the backstreets of Woodstock, I’m at the studio of a man who makes them. “It’s a Starling,” Ralph begins, “1.2. The prototype, 1.0, is on exhibition.” Unlike the bird I’d come to know, this one is not an agent of humiliation. Rather, this strange, almost eerie automaton instantly seizes my attention. It has no skin or feathers and through it, I can see the opposite end of Ralph’s studio. This bird is made of wire, a circuit board,

an old tape motor, and a battery. It is an African Robot, the first in a series of wire objects that have been fitted with cheap, easily obtainable electronics. But the Starling is more than just an aggregation of wires; it is an idea. The idea goes back to the artist’s childhood in newly independent Zimbabwe, and his first wire car. A rough network of old, dull metal strands woven together to vaguely resemble a Citroën 2CV. Zimbabwe was commodity poor — stuff was difficult to get hold of. As a result, mass-produced toys were few and far between, so kids grew up learning how to make their own out of wire: cars, with wheels that turned and elongated steering columns, were ‘driven’ down the road. Friends would compete to see who had the coolest looking, most sophisticated piece of wirework, and talent meant being able to sell your constructions for a handsome fee. Fascinated, a young Ralph Borland tried making his own, admittedly rudimentary, version; the work was not commissioned. Years later Ralph left Zimbabwe for South Africa, and took with him his fascination with handicraft and wirework. At Michaelis he moved from craft to art, specialising in sculpture, which would later take him to New York and Dublin, and eventually back to Cape Town and his Woodstock studio where he now sits across from me. Between us is a table full of wires. Wires at once separate and connect. Cities are complex, harsh manifestations of this dialectic where skylines are strapped with black lines while the streets are ringed with dividers, electric and barbed. Fences and gates keep people in and out, while Telkom and Eskom’s cables allow us to exercise almost supernatural powers on the world around us. However, people either without access to the black lines in the sky, or on the wrong side of the fence, are profoundly alienated. All too often, this means a lack of access to information and to a certain kind of agency. Cape Town is a near perfect mess of connectivity and separation. The city can be imagined as a series of concentric circles emanating from the central business district. Each ring is separated by something that also connects. The “leafy southern suburbs” (see: Pam Golding brochure) are separated from the Cape Flats by the Liesbeek River, train lines and freeways, and as you move across these boundaries, access to resources becomes increasingly difficult. Many must then venture into the city centre to make their living. Starlings (the real, sometimes incontinent ones) play out this relationship by moving from Table Mountain’s trees and cliffs, and into the city where they compete with pigeons and seagulls for food. They are elements of nature that invade the urban space — they cross boundaries.

with difficulty. The wire-workers of Cape Town are boundary crossers. Quite literally — many of these men and women are Zimbabwean immigrants, who had to cross their country’s border with ours in search of new prospects. Their work too crosses boundaries. For example, wire-work is an exercise in strategy, with the goal being to use one continuous piece of wire to create something new. They also have sophisticated micro-economies where some mostly make while others mostly sell, and pieces are traded and swopped in the hopes of increasing revenue. At markets, traffic lights and street corners, this community uses wire to fashion handicraft cattle, birds and sea creatures, which they sell to tourists and locals. These pieces are bought, and placed in homes, on bookshelves and mantelpieces and then relegated to ‘curio’ status. Interesting to look at, quaint, but not really of much use; probably little attention is given to the skill involved in their construction. At markets, traffic lights and street corners, cheap electronics are also easily available — car phone chargers and electronic toys. Seldom do we think about the chips and circuit boards inside. Most of us know next to nothing about how they work, even though they are ubiquitous. We are alienated from the things we consume — we don’t know, or care, how they work. The world of AC/ DC, circuits, currents and conductors is deemed a mystical realm accessible only to Bill Gates, repair guys and Telkom technicians. The pieces created by the wire-workers are thought by most to be of interest only to soft-touches and foreigners. African Robots offers us a thought: what kind of future can we imagine by unpacking two commonplace notions (wire-work and electronics) and combining them? In order to ask this question, Ralph Borland works with wire-workers, particularly in Cape Town, but also in Harare, to combine wirework with electronics hacked from cell phones to create animated artworks, artworks that appear to act of their own volition. The project is about sharing knowledge: wire-workers like Lewis and Farai teach Ralph about their creative and practical processes and in response, Ralph teaches them

about basic electronics. Meanwhile a group of people from very different socio-economic circumstances interact when normally their relationship might be limited to an exchange from either side of a slightly open car window. African Robots is teaching the wire-workers more about their own practice by suggesting new ways of creating, while teaching Ralph more about his. The project is about a lot more than just clever concepts and electrically powered birds. It is about agency and futurity. By working with a group of people to radically transform the way they work, the artist hopes that the knowledge will proliferate and evolve to help elevate the status of wire-work from craft to art, and offer a form of empowerment, arguing that African art forms are just as worthy of social capital as any Western form. African Robots suggests what a future can look like for people who are often disenfranchised — wire-workers from the streets of Cape Town and Zimbabwe now have their work on show at international galleries. The products of their thoughts and actions have reach and hold sway. Ralph and the wire-workers demystify technology in order to create their own visions of the future, their own automatons. If the future equals robots, by harnessing the basics of how those robots will work, the project is effectively giving people the ability to control their futures or make them. While other robots have been put together (a gumboot dancer, a tractor, a frog, among others), the Starlings (1.0, 1.1, 1.2) are the flagships, and it’s easy to see why. As peri-urban travellers, vagabonds, and hustlers, they are capable of moving with ease between the harsh, urban cityscape and the now tamed wilderness. They are intelligent and symbolise agency, the ability to exercise will. Automatons have always been imagined as something from, or out of, the future, things that we have created to demonstrate our own power over life. African Robots imagines a future where people are made powerful through knowledge and takes the first steps at making that future now. We are trying to make ourselves.


Rub A Dub Soldier

San Diego Vibes

Tighten Up Volume 2

King Yellow Man

King Tubby meets Roots Radics

Paul Blake & The Blood

Martin Campbell & Hi Tech Roots

Various Artists

Yellow Man

Fire Posse



1984 Review

2002 Channel One

1969 Trojan


1982 Copasetic

Part of this ability to cross boundaries has to do with agency and the will to move from one space to another, especially when this move is fraught THE LAKE








Refuse / Resist Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness STORY - RUAN SCOTT


BCUC’s front man, Jovi Nkosi, walks across the front of the stage inspecting fans bobbing up and down with a pulsating eagerness. There’s a hard, almost threatening expression on his face. He looks an unsuspecting show-goer, pushed up against the barrier, straight in the eyes and holds his gaze.

At the back of this dimly lit stage, a fourpiece percussion section pound out a slow and thundery rhythm. Smoke machines cloud the scene as multi-coloured light beams flit through the plumes like supernatural lightning. A moody bass line twangs along in the background. The hollow click of cowbell alongside the unwavering shake of a tambourine adds a tribal element to the sound. Through this mystical and distinctly African rhythm conjuring on stage like a shamanistic spell, the soothing female voice of backing vocalist Kgomotso Mokone emerges. Nkosi takes centre stage and talks into the microphone for the first time. “We don’t smile a lot,” he announces. “It’s not because we are unhappy, it is because we are serious.” The drums and bass guitar intensify. Mokone reaches a high notes but maintains her angelic tone. Nkosi raises his arms and blows a whistle dangling around his neck. The piercing sound kills the magical romance of the band momentarily. “This is not a joke. Tonight is not a joke,” Nkosi tells the crowd. He grabs the mic stand and closes his eyes. The band has slowly and softly started play-

ing again. Beat after beat, they build up a barricade of sound. “We are modern freedom fighters!” Nkosi says over the microphone. “We tell the story of our ancestors through our contemporary eyes. They are our ancestors, they are your ancestors.” The atmosphere has undeniably turned political and cult-like. This is, however, exactly what BCUC want to evoke: an unsettling and responsive politically charged consciousness. The wall of sound thickens as the bass guitar becomes audible again, grooving out a funky rhythm. The drums take cue and pick up the pace strike after strike. They are readying the crowd for the sheer force of sound which BCUC is about to unleash. Nkosi’s unashamed vocal style joins in on the march. After a few minutes the combinations of sounds amalgamate into a frenzy of rhythm and rhyme pushing the energy of the crowd to frantic levels. Fans are jumping around and dancing in an ecstatic trance. Eyes closed and heads shaking. This is afro-psychedelic as performed by Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness and they are blowing the crowd in Cape Town away with their message and performance.





BCUC’s sound is a symphonic agreement between traditional African chant like praising and the feverish energy and rhythms of psychedelic rock. Infused with discordant multi-lingual lyrics, BCUC could easily be the soundtrack to any protest. Tonight, they are performing in Cape Town at one of the popular Vans/Psych Night events which are known for hosting local and international psychedelic rock bands to the largely white and politically passive crowd at the Assembly. The music simmers down once more. Nkosi talks among the malaise of sounds on stage. “I’m going to translate the song for you now so everyone can understand. The song says: ‘The people are coming tomorrow. They come for the music, because music can heal all wounds. Not wounds inflicted by danger but emotional wounds. There is healing power in music.’” For BCUC, the performance is part of their music. Interaction with the crowd is a precedent set and perfected over the past 12 of performing. Nkosi feels out the crowd, he feeds off their energy and acts accordingly. The music quickly gathers momentum again and the crowd follows the band into another round of possessed dancing. This style of simmering down and boiling over carries on throughout their set. It’s hard to distinguish between songs as every track seamlessly flows into the next. Their set is presented as a narrative in which BCUC communicate their view of modern Africa to the world through their unique experiences as young Africans. BCUC don’t idolise current political leaders. They don’t agree with the government in power. Their punk rock attitude and opposing messages voices the plight of the layman. Nkosi’s talk about racial issues and apartheid is a refreshing recognition of the respective black and white communities in South Africa and their concurrent struggle against politcal apathy and governement oprresion in South Africa. As the music simmers down, Nkosi instructs the crowd: “Don’t anticipate. Participate. Don’t anticipate. Participate,” he repeats. “We are going to pick it up again and I want you to move with us. Just go on this ride with us.” As the music builds it quickly reaches a feverish and contagious tempo infecting the crowd

with energy. Nkosi screams, Mokone sings, the percussion section drums along with the fast-paced bass line. Pure political ecstasy enthrals the dance floor. Nkosi’s showmanship and oratory skills resemble that of a political leader, and BCUC is his political party. Their message: a cry for the people to become politically aware and socially active. As the music gears down for the last time, Nksoi continues to talk: “We are willing to bleed for this country, we share this country, it is our country.” Accompanied by Mokone’s angelic voice Nkosi repeats himself over the microphone. “It’s music for the people, by the people, with the people,” as a final salute to his supporters. INFO:

DISCOgraphy BCUC BCUC / EP 2009 Southern Pulse DOWNLOAD

iTUNES BCUC The Can’t Cool Can’t Quench / EP 2012 Africa Unsigned DOWNLOAD

iTUNES BCUC 112 Bloemstraat 2013 Southern Pulse DOWNLOAD

iTUNES BCUC Live at the Sugar Factory 2013 Southern Pulse DOWNLOAD






#genNMD Generation NMD is a celebration of urban nomads. The people creating and inspiring SA street culture. Nobody represents this lifestyle of an urban nomad better than Instagram photographers. From shooting the inner workings of the city, to capturing the individuals and characters that represent it – Instagram photographers are always on the move. For #genNMD, some of SA’s most respected Instagrammers were paired with the next generation of global cultural creators to share their interpretation of urban exploration. The result are these powerful images that have brought NMD to life. Anatii (@anatii) X David East (@daveast) Lindi (@lindi_xo) X Lebo Lukewarm (@lebolukewarm) Jazzuelle (@jazzuelle_official) X Diary of Alex (@diaryofalex) THE LAKE










I’ve double booked myself. I’ve committed to dinner with a friend, but also promised my editor I would be present for the Nonku Phiri cover shoot. I could possibly excuse myself from the shoot. I’m just a scribe. Of what use could I be at a magazine cover shoot, anyway?

Great way of getting out of that one, except I’ve promised Nonku herself that I’d be there. “No problem,” I say, and soon thereafter, I receive a message from a friend. “You’re coming to Thania’s dinner tonight, right?” Bummer! I hate flaking, but now how do I solve this? Ah ha! Suggest to Nonku that she and Nonhlanhla, a mutal friend who also happened to be styling the shoot, come with me to Thania’s place for dinner. There, Nonku and I could, somewhere in between, find a quiet room to chat quickly about her work, being an artist and remaining grounded in her artistry despite having already racked up several hits sans a full album. Is Thania okay with me actually bringing a whole party to her dinner? Phone calls. She’s chilled. We’re good! It’s a rare feat, what Nonku has done, both as a solo artist and collaborator with the likes of Crazy White Boy, PHfat and Card On Spokes, but it soon becomes apparent that this is one artist who is not about to let it all go to her head. Still performing as an independent artist, even after hits like last year’s “Things We Do on the Weekend”, I remind Nonku about the excitement she shared with me before moving to Johannesburg, having been offered a recording deal by a major. “Last year was crazy,” she says, having insisted on having the interview at the dinner table, allowing everyone to share in the conversation. “A lot of things that I wanted for myself were coming my way, but it became a case of, like, be careful what you wish for. That notion became very true because right now I could be another artist in the big machine wearing myself out, but not necessarily making the kind of music that I want to make because that’s just how these structures work.” Some five, six years ago, as a student at Vega, Nonku started experimenting with making music. She didn’t, however, at the time think it could be a viable career path. “The first assignment I did was a mock-up radio spot. They showed us Garage Band and recording stuff, so I started playing with it.” “There was also this guy I knew – James Alcock. He was really dope, actually. He put me on to, like, beat tapes, and your RJD2s and Flying Lotus and all that. So, I started experimenting with that, singing over that. This was back in the MySpace days.” On the interwebs, Nonku would make connections with other musicians, including the rap duo Ill Skillz, comprising Uno July and Jimmy Flexx.

She would eventually meet other people and was encouraged by friends and others to share her music online. “I was jamming a lot with different people and I was put on to these guys who were looking for a vocalist. They wanted me to audition, but I declined, told them I don’t do auditions. It was the guys from Crazy White Boy, so they invited me to just jam with them and one day they asked me to lay vocals on a track they were working on.” The result was “Zoma”, which became the title track of Crazy White Boy’s 2012 album. “I’d just started working in advertising but I was also touring with Crazy White Boy, and more collaborations came as a result of that.” I recall the first time I saw Nonku on stage at Design Indaba in 2014. I was aware of her, but not so much her music, and the neo-soul sound that defined her vibe at the time drew me in. It did not click that this was the same voice I’d been singing along to on that Crazy White Boy track. I have subsequently seen several of her performances, and, often, they’ve been without the gimmicks we’ve come to expect from performers, just her beseeching voice that pulls you straight off the couch, and onto your feet, on tracks like the aforementioned “Things We Do on the Weekend”. Produced by Narchbeats of PHfat fame, I asked Nonku how the track came about. “I got Narch to listen to old school kwaito, tracks like Igagu by MaWillies, and some TKZee. When I played him Mambotjie, he started messing around with beats and I guess that was the spark that inspired what you hear.”

call those carpet affairs at glitzy events these days. She responds with a straight up: “It’s about the music. I’m not about instant gratification.” I presume by “instant gratification” she means fame and all its trappings, and at this point the conversation takes an interesting turn. Across from Nonku, at the dinner table, is renowned artist Athi Patra Ruga, who, at that point joins in the conversation. “Once you enter the art world as a professional, there are always expectations to stick around in these environments where, if you play to those expectations, you are going to burn yourself out,” he says. “There’s always that negotiation that artists have to make: Who am I? What am I?” Nonku responds: “I’m human, I am not a demigod, and I can only do what I can. I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and sing like Beyonce or dance like Manthe (Ribane).” “I’m not going to set myself up for failure. The most encouraging thing has been the support I’ve had. I’m getting to a point where I can accept when people pay me a compliment. I hate taking photos, for instance, but I must accept that it comes with the territory.” She adds: “My music has often charted on radio. I don’t even listen to radio, so besides the audience I see where I play, I don’t know that radio audience, which makes it very weird to be exposed to them.” “Or when they seek intimacy,” Athi offers, adding that it all feels very “bipolar”, the negotiation between expressing oneself as an artist, and creating for an audience.

While the hits Nonku has made, both as a solo artist and a collaborator, lean more towards electronic music, it hasn’t always been what she wanted to do, but something she has grown into as an artist. Listening to tracks like Card on Spokes’s On the Low, on which she features alongside Ok Malumkoolkat, I find that her voice feels quite at home within the genre, but this, too, Nonku says, has been a result of growth that the space she has created for herself has allowed her.

I get the sense that Nonku has her feet firmly planted on the ground, and remains steadfast in her vision, one she has been honing, gradually, over the few years that she has been making music. “I’m not easily enticed by a lot of things that could perhaps entice most people. I’m not gull-

“I’ve been able to morph and grow, and become more comfortable with myself and even hearing myself sing,” she says of her journey so far. “I have various other skills and talents that I still want to explore, so labels that are given to me are not something I concern myself too much about. I don’t think of myself as a starlet or the leading lady of electro, or whatever. I simply do what feels right and I challenge myself.”

ible. I’ve been working,” she says. “My priorities are different. I don’t want to be a part of any clique, I don’t want to be seen at every party, I’m not looking for adoration. My sole purpose right now, is to create music, and hopefully give the listener some sort of healing, or maybe be able to inspire someone or to simply get them dancing. Anything beyond that is not my responsibility.” She notes that there have been instances where she’s felt that her work as an artist is being undermined, but she looks beyond that, and only wants to work with people in instances where there is mutual respect. “I know my worth. Don’t downplay my shit. Just because I don’t act in certain ways doesn’t mean I don’t know my worth,” she says. “There have been many instances where people will treat you a in certain way, and then after they learn about who you are and what you do, then suddenly it’s like ‘we should do something together’. For me, how you treat me regardless of what I look like or where you see me – that speaks volumes. You can put me on a stage with Bjork, but if I don’t feel there is respect there, then we can both forget about it.” Currently working to put out an EP, which she says will be coming in the next month or two, Nonku says the next five years of her career are dedicated to building her company Albino Black, through which she will be putting out her music. “I want to be more professional. I provide a service, my product is music. I invest in it and I only want to work with people who recognize and don’t try to downplay it. Beyond being an artist, I am a person. I shit, eat and breath, and I hurt like everyone else. I chose this for myself and I won’t let anyone put a sell-by date on something that is God-given.” INFO:



Arthur Russell

Róisín Murphy

The Internet

The Rubaiyat of

Nature Boy

Another Thought

Hairless Toys

Ego Death






Five Easy Pieces


Play It Again Sam

2015 Odd Future

I ask her why, for example, one hardly sees her on any red, black, yellow, or whatever colour they THE LAKE









Paarl Boxing Day

The year was 1897, the day Sunday 26 December. The international craze for velodrome racing had hit South Africa, and the scene was set for the inaugural race event at the newly built Faure Street Stadium in Paarl, about 60km north-east of Cape Town. The velodrome - with its oval banked track - is in an enclosed arena and makes for a fantastic spectator event. By the early 1900s, the 25 Mile race had become the crowd’s firm favourite, already commanding a tremendous purse for the victor. This 25 mile discipline, about 40km or almost 88 revolutions of the track, quickly became notorious for wild high-speed crashes and would firmly fortify the reputation of each year’s winner as a hard-man cyclist with whom to contend. With an initial maximum of up to 75 racers on the track for the 25 Mile, it was not uncommon to have as few as 10 finishers, with the rest of the field crashed out or having thrown in the towel. All this drama summoned the crowds, and since it was always held on the day after Christmas, it developed into an annual family event, developing fan rivalries and favourite racers. Bicycle racing in South Africa was historically more liberal and multicultural during the height of Apartheid, and in the politically heady year of 1976 the Paarl Boxing Day event reopened itself to cyclists of color. This event was always much-loved by the coloured families predominantly living in the winelands around Paarl, but the re-inclusion wasn’t a sudden welcome return for everyone. Since whites, blacks and coloured folk still lived in segregation as enforced by the Apartheid government, and there was still a lot of racial tension day-to-day, some people actively chose not to participate in or attend the event. The years drew on, and many champion cyclists of color never had the opportunity to compete in the famed 25 Mile. It was only in 1994, with the proud abolition of Apartheid, that the event became as it is now known - a bicycle race for the people.









The year is 2015, the day Saturday 26 December. At 119 consecutive events, Paarl Boxing Day is the oldest bicycle race in the world, unhindered by war or worse. As with any outdoor track it’s open to the elements, and at this time of the year Paarl is swelteringly hot. But there are nearly 4000 spectators packed into the shade the stadium offers, and there is a feverish tension and excitement in the air. The open areas between the track and the stadium allow fans and racers to rub shoulders, and the warm-up area is right there in front of the first row of seats. There is a mix of carbon and aluminium and steel bikes perched and leaned anywhere there’s a spot. Any bike is welcome on the rough old cement track with its subtle banking, bar a few regulations - a well-used old steel frame can sidle up to the latest in carbon track technology on the start line, without anybody raising an eyebrow. This is the great thing about Paarl Boxing Day. There’s a welcoming feel, with uncles giving gearing advice and warm-up tips, and moms popping Tupperware containers with leftover Christmas frikkadels for lunch under the trees. Everyone is here, and everyone is smiling. But the racing is real, just like it’s always been. The day offers up crashes, old rivalries, and surrendering greats. Young racers with their eyes on the prize hustle for all they’re worth, fighting for a chance to trump ageing champs they’ve watched every Boxing Day for years, while growing up. In the late afternoon, with the temperature still soaring, the start of the 25 Mile is announced. With numerous wins for other Boxing Day disciplines, on the day and over the years, local hero Nolan Hoffman has five 25 Mile victories to his name, and he is the crowd favourite. The start gun fires and just over 50 fiery minutes later, a young and strong coloured man conquers the field once more. With his underdog air, Nolan vaults the Minnaar Cup above his head - a true champion of the people.





UNTITLED Jaco van Schalkwyk INTERVIEW - Matthew Freemantle


Jaco van Schalkwyk arrives at our meeting place, a smart café across the road from his Bree street studio that has optimistically attempted to marry luxury cars with macchiatos, looking disheveled. He has had a long night, certainly not his first, and there is a faint smell of alcohol on his breath. Dressed in what can only be described as ‘Cape Town formal’, he matches a suit jacket with flipflops, a combination that might go some way to describing the man himself; a serious man, but a pragmatic one too. What it doesn’t tell you is how funny he is. It was the poet Rilke who said, “Almost everything serious is difficult; and everything is serious”, but Van Schalkwyk appears to share his view, gravely applying himself to his art with a painstaking, methodical and, yes, pragmatic approach that yields hard-won but immeasurably satisfying riches. He speaks quickly but deliberately throughout our meeting, measuring his words, selecting them. Art is a serious business, and we begin with a quote of his own, “you’re either making art or you’re making hot I had a plan for this interview, but maybe we should abandon the plan in the spirit of how I think you approach your art: opportunity for chance within a set form. Yes. In any case, I had a strange night last night. Freaked out. When you freak out, what do you physically do? Do you just sit there, or pace around, what? Well, losing control is losing control. I can’t put a word to it. It is what happens. [laughs] What is the difference between an artist with no work and just an unemployed person? Let me put it to you this way – what I do is also an elaborate form of begging. I try to create really, really enticing ways to ask you for money. We can all do that, which is wonderful, but you need some education in this matter. Constable said that ‘a self-taught artist is someone taught by an ignorant person’. You need some instruction but the potential is there – every person has the proclivity to make art. This is the great Marxist ideal: that we fish in the morning and write in the afternoon. That is the culmination of the revolution, not working in a mine or an office. So, what is the difference between an unemployed person, say, and an artist? Hopefully nothing. What guides you, then? I have a sort of a spirit animal, if you like, which came to me in a vision in Los Angeles, in a Holiday Inn. I saw this leopard in a neon tree, a tree of neon green and it was pawing at me saying ‘Look at these spots. Whenever you see me, remember that you need to take care of your first-order principles’. And that is a process of constant redefinition of what things are, because everything is in flux. The way we come to definition, the way we define things - those are first-order principles. And so one’s philosophy might be set and as such there are constraints but the process of redefining how we define is constant and never ending, which is why we can make art until the moment we die, hopefully. In an older interview you point readers to an essay by Bridget Riley titled At The End Of My Pencil. I read it with great interest and the central word seemed to be “inquiry”. She seemed to be saying that for an artwork to be worthwhile, its cre-

ator needs to approach it with the understanding that she knows nothing. It is a process of asking rather than telling. I have never liked being told what to do. I don’t want to be told what to do. When you say inquiry, my first thought is Michelangelo, especially with drawing. Drawing is a focused, singular inquiry into the unknown. Essentially drawing is thinking. And thinking is asking and figuring something out for yourself, as opposed to being okay with just being told about the way things are. Every drawing is a question, and you would not be questioning knowledge if you were okay with being told what to do by it, you know? Is there simply art and non-art, or is there such a thing as “bad” art? Oh, there is definitely such a thing as bad art. Does it matter, though? Doesn’t time eventually sort the wheat from the chaff? Time sorts it all out. The viewer is not the guy who owns everything. The viewer is time. Posterity. It is unimportant what people think. Time is the viewer. Still, a lot of artists whom time has eventually recognized, have long since died when it does. Often, said artists have had a torrid time when they were alive and ignored. Francis Bacon said it takes about 75 years for it to all sort itself out. What do you make of this? Cezanne is a great example of that. They said he couldn’t paint. [laughs] Another of Riley’s suggestions in her essay was that “relinquishing some cherished notion or something that you have relied on” was part of the destructive side to creative life which she called “essential to an artist’s survival.” Francis Bacon has also talked about destroying what you love most about something in order to be free enough to create. The writer William Faulkner said that in writing “you should kill all your darlings”. He might not be being literal but he, like the others, is honing in on an idea I wonder if you might share – that acting habitually or resting on familiar ideas and favoured methods might be an obstruction to making art. It comes down to actually killing things, and you experience all the trauma that goes with that. But essentially, we are dealing with pragmatism. Because everything is in flux, we must guestimate or ballpark-figure our way through what we’re doing - we are never exactly sure. The moment you’re exactly sure, you’re making hot dogs, not art. So yes, I’d say repeating familiar ideas precludes art from being made. Also, liking or not liking is a very simplistic way of looking at something incredibly complex. So by liking or not liking, you’re kind of missing the point.

that you might begin to mistrust comfort, familiarity and other such things and make mistakes by cutting out things that you as a human being actually need. How do you reconcile this? I don’t know. But I love my girlfriend and she helps me with this problem. What do you want to do, if anything, with your art? I feel that my purpose is to question first-order principles. I’m calling for a rethink of the rules that we make. Like, I don’t believe there is a distinction between form and colour. I question the distinction. Or the exact nature of the distinction. Perhaps the distinction needs to be updated. Riley went back to square one, literally, in order to rediscover her fascination with the creative process. You spent much of your 20s not engaging with art at all. What brought you back? I stopped drawing for six years after I finished studying. In fact, it happened while I was studying. I stopped making art entirely. I was concerned with forms I was using but didn’t understand. I didn’t have the ability to understand the forms I was interested in working with. When did this change?

What clicked was realising that if everything is in flux and everything is constantly changing, then my picture of a tiny constrained space is going to be similar to the whole picture. Stop trying to fuck around and say shit about things you don’t understand. If everything is infinitely complex, don’t do stuff that you don’t understand. Deal with what you have. That dream that you had and the relationship you have with this leopard character – you are clearly listening to prompts from an alternative source. Listening to voices in your head is conventionally considered to be a form of madness. What do you say to that? I grew up in apartheid. That is madness. So my not listening to instruction seemed like the sanest thing to do. So if it’s about leopards coming to me in hotels in Los Angeles, I’ll take that any day over some fuck telling me that I have to hate other people. To me, art is about affirming that man is one. Always has been. We are affirming our humanity and our shared existence. I still believe in that dream and will until I die, no matter what this incarnation of democracy does. It is another government doing whatever it is doing. I will not stop believing in that rainbow, that fairytale, that thing. That is not going to change. Because I know what the alternative is. I grew up in it. So I’d rather be mad, thank you. [laughs] What is the worst thing about being an artist?

It was when I came back to South Africa. I had no money. I was living in my mother’s house approaching thirty. I took an office job for the first time in my life and it was just terrifying. It blew my mind how mundane a life without making art was. Whenever I got drunk, I’d pull out the last drawings I made in NY and go “Look, I used to do that!” One night I showed them to a friend I’d just met – the painter MJ Lourens– and he convinced me to exhibit them at Stuart’s place (Cameo Framers) in Pretoria. They all sold. And I didn’t miss them when they were gone. I just felt relieved, like the drawings were finally finished because somebody else was getting to enjoy them. Finally letting go of those drawings made me understand things differently. There is great joy in communicating something. What’s the point of making stuff and keeping it under your bed for six years? Did this mean you were able to see your exact position at the coalface?

The shittest thing about being an artist? That people expect you to be fantastic forever. That’s insane. That you’re going to be brilliant for decades and decades and decades. I mean. Matisse is a special case. He had a great decade when he was young and then ended with a flourish. He had two decades of brilliance! Bacon was brilliant in the 60s and it’s debatable if he was brilliant by the end. He would debate the same thing. This is what killed Johannes Kerkorrel (Ralph Rabie) – that he had to fucking reinvent himself every time he went on stage. Too many people in this country think that if you’re in the newspapers you’re rich. We’re struggling, man. Art and culture are in trouble. We don’t make money easily. Count on one hand the number of people who are making a great living out of art. That is the toughest thing; that people assume that you’re fabulously wealthy if you’re on television. It’s not the case. INFO:



Gil Scott-Heron


Torleif Thedéen


Everything Scatter /



J.S. Bach 6 Suites for Solo


Noise For Vendor Mouth



Cello by Torleif Thedéen




2001 MCA


Practicing this rigorous inquiry and discipline of not allowing habit or comfort of familiarity to poison the “meta workspace” as you called it, must make living your actual life difficult in THE LAKE




























“Hey Greg, what are your plans while you’re out here? Where you guys gonna be riding? Would be stoked to meet the internationals and have a session.” A typical text I would receive from multiple local riders, right as the annual two week long BMX party in South Africa begins. A text I would usually swerve or reply something hazy, like “Hey man, I’m not really sure yet. We’ll see how it goes, but will be rad to hang out.” I cringe. I’m such a dick. I know what the plan is for every day we’re on the trip and it doesn’t include you. I’m such a dick, but I have to be. If we have too many people trying to ride with us, there’s no way we’ll be productive. We’ll be kicked out of spots, there’ll be more socializing than riding, there’ll be people in the way while we’re trying to film, our best clips will be a pixelated mess on someone’s Instagram before our memory cards have been dumped. We have to make a good video; we have to get shit done.

Joe chimed in with “I’ve seen you ride at the contest, you can air a quarter, why aren’t you riding with us?” I explained how the bowl scared the shit out of me, it was deep and the concrete wasn’t forgiving. I said I’d rather watch them. Then, in the most motivating way possible, he convinced me to ride, and with a few tips, I was going higher than I had ever been. I was bumping shoulders with some of my heroes… and they were being nice to me. They were human.

a gift for partying hard. Zack Yankush (Catfish) was the wild card. He was coming over to MC the contests, so I immediately invited him for the whole trip. He is no longer a pro rider necessarily but he is an absolute riot to be around. Every second is a laugh and he connects with the public no matter where we are. He’ll leave them smiling and laughing no matter what… like when he got naked inside the Cheetah enclosure at the Lion Park, or when he kissed a giraffe with tongue and all.

All of a sudden my perspective on a few things had changed drastically. My beliefs on what was possible and what I was capable of on a bike had just blown up. The saying ‘seeing is believing’ had never been more true, except I’d like to take that a step further and change it to ‘seeing in real life is believing’. Not only was the riding inspiring but the riders were too. They were friendly, open, helpful, funny, and full of shit… they were real! They were just like us but better on bikes, and spoke funny. So, if I got better on my bike I could be just like them, right? Right. That day is so significant in the life I live now as a pro rider in London. I will never forget that and I often wonder where I would have ended up if it weren’t for days like that. Moments that led me to fall in love with BMX. It’s these moments that were the driving force behind the MiTH SA tour.

Aside from the contests in Cape Town we had Durban and Johannesburg in our plan. It had been about 4 years since my last visit to Durban and I was a bit anxious. In a couple of days, we’ll be visiting the Enanda Adventure Park to spend time with a group of underprivileged kids from the Inanda village. We’ve been asked to try to motivate and inspire these kids, easier said than done I thought. I spent a few days thinking what I would say to try to motivate them. What was it about BMX that was

For three years, that is how it went down. Two annual BMX contests in Cape Town, Ultimate X & Monster Energy’s Night Harvest, have catalyzed multiple international BMX video projects in the Western Cape. We would hang out with the locals at the contests, and then selfishly slip into elusive mode. We’d take it so far as to even ask about spots, but barely let them know when or if we would ride them. When you’re in a foreign country on a BMX trip to film a video this becomes a necessity, and I’ve shamefully done it many times. BUT this is my country, and my friends, and my scene. Although I live in London now, South Africa is home and I’ve started to feel like a visitor in my own country. I had had enough. I couldn’t do it again. This time will be different. Come back to 2002 with me for a minute. I’m 16 years old, I’m at one of SA’s most famous riding spots, Germiston Bowl, and I’m freaking out! In a few minutes Joe Rich, Garret Byrnes, Nate Wessel and Ruben Alcantara will be here! They were on a world tour to film a full-length video for Terrible 1, a BMX company co-owned by Joe and that had sponsored the other three. I idolised these guys through drips and drabs of USA magazines, that somehow ended up on the shelves of CNA up to a year late, and bootlegged videos from a questionable local distributor. I was so excited to see them ride I could barely believe it was real. What I wasn’t sure about though, was why they decided to ride Germiston Bowl. It’s massive, too deep to air out more than a few feet. The rest of it offered no more than tight transitions to carve around. It’s really not that good I thought; I wished we had something better to offer. Oh how wrong I was. Ruben was first to drop in, and without his tyres leaving the ground he had blown me away with sheer style and grace. He had just made a simple carve look like the best trick in the world. It’s as though he was surfing J-bay on a perfect day. Within a few minutes Garret was airing 10 foot out the deep end and flying to the top of the snake run with the hugest smile, “This is incredible; it’s one of the most fun bowls I’ve ever ridden.” To which I piped up, “Yeah if you can ride it like that maybe!” At this point, I was just watching and mesmerized.

With that in mind this trip set out to connect with as much of the SA BMX scene as possible. I invited international riders that I thought would have a positive influence in any situation we might find ourselves in. Kevin Peraza was the most obvious choice for me. He is one of the most talented riders in the world and never stops smiling… even when he’s crashing. Alex Coleborn is the most progressive ramp rider in Europe at the moment; he’s also got

amazing that these kids need to hear? I didn’t want to give kids false hope by trying to convince them to become pro BMX riders. I know it’s not for everyone and not everyone can do it, but I know so many people earning a living through something BMX-related in some way or another… It came to me as we rolled in to the North Beach skate park for a session with the locals. I took a step back and thought about each guy on our trip and how BMX has affected their lives. Alex and Kevin have been able to earn a living and travel the world as pro riders. It was the other guys that were most intriguing to me in this brainwave. Kevin Schnider, from Cape Town, was on the trip to make the video. Kevin started filming his friends when they were out riding; he became the dude in their crew who always had a camera out. He loved riding and he loved filming riding. This led him to learn everything he could about filming. He now earns a good living as a freelance videographer, shooting anything from music videos to short films. Colin Loudon, from Durban, is on the trip as a co-ordinator and media relations guy for Monster. Colin is a BMX rider and in his teens became infatuated with the fashion side of BMX; he learned how to design. He now owns a clothing label called Skabanga; the skills he’s learned through this have landed him the job at Monster. Eisa Bakos is on the trip as a photographer. Eisa is a BMX rider from London. In his teens, he would go out riding with his mates and shoot photos. Eventually Eisa got a job at a Ride UK mag as a junior photographer. After a few years of learning the ropes, the magazine shut down and went online. Eisa decided to start his own mag. He’s 24 years old and has just released issue 2 of Endless, which is now the only BMX print mag in the UK! Catfish has been through almost every job BMX has to offer… pro rider, team manager, contest judge, X games announcer, and even TV show host. These guys are all from completely different backgrounds, worlds apart from each other. Yet their passion for BMX has led them to learn skills that would take them far beyond what they could have ever imagined. Skills that would set them up with careers for life regardless of whether they involved BMX or not. They have what they need to survive, get by, and be happy. As we set off for the next part of our journey, a drive in to the Drakensberg Mountain range, I wondered






Shut Up

Drunk driver



Eisa’s syrian scent







Hungry Hustler


Boy Better Know

Self recording



“We get out to move rocks and hold back thorn trees with our bike bags so the cars can keep going.” if we had managed what we had been asked to do. What would become of those kids? Would any of them be interested in BMX in a year or two if we went back? Did we succeed? I might never get those answers. At the very least, we have learned from the experience. I hear Peraza on the phone to a family member in the States, “It really made me realise how little some people have and how fortunate I have been. I think I will appreciate things a little differently now”, he says to what I assume is his girlfriend or his mom on the other end of the line. The trip charges on. In the Drakensberg, we push our rentals to their limits and beyond, as we meander up a wretched dirt road towards a water drainage ditch that we want to ride. We get out to move rocks and hold back thorn trees with our bike bags so the cars can keep going. As a few guys walk ahead they instantaneously block their noses and turn in disgust. A horse carcass lies rotting beside what could barely be called a road. The foreigners worry, “what killed it?” and “do you think it’s still around?” The saffas laugh, and I second-guess my dismissal of these concerns. We are in Africa after all. The more time I spend living abroad the more African stereotypes become real to me. In the blink of an eye we are in Jo’burg. In my hometown! My home. The familiarity feels good and I look forward to seeing old friends. One old friend, unfortunately, won’t be


there. Ray Malinga has passed away. An overwhelming sense of loss and injustice fills me as I remember why were are here. To Ride for Ray! Riders, skaters, friends and family all gather at Johannesburg’s Library Gardens on a quiet Sunday in the city, in honour and in memory of our friend. He was a breath of fresh air to BMX in SA, impartial to the politics and always positive, a dreadful loss. I feel proud as I observe his family sitting in the shade of a tree watching the BMX scene in front of them. I realise how important it is that we show them how many people cared about Ray, how many people he influenced, and what an awesome bunch of people Ray was a part of, a significant part. I’ve noticed a few more African kids, which makes me stoked. BMX is not the cheapest sport and up until now, most riders in SA were middle class white kids. The times are changing and whatever we are doing is working. A group of these riders that I’ve noticed hanging out together all day approaches me and they introduce themselves. One of them says, “We’re from Botswana man”… “Rad” I say… “Yeah we saw some of you guys there on a trip years ago, we liked what you were doing and decided there and then that that’s what we want to do. We want to ride BMX.” I am literally brought to tears right in front of them. Those words are burnt in my mind forever, better than any trophy, prize, or accolade I have ever achieved. What we are doing is working.







IN Association WITH



“Growing up, I always used to marvel at my parents’ record collections. I’d even volunteer to arrange the records alphabetically as a kind of “chore”. There was something magical about that experience – learning about my parents through my digging into and listening to their musical archives – which inspired me to start my own collection. That process has forced me to slow down my listening, and consider how different albums make me feel good. In the action of collecting and creating an archive of my own, the physical record, the sleeve, the artwork, are nice ways of making those feelings tangible.” 90 Degrees of Shade Vol. 1 Hot Jump-Up Island Sounds From The Caribbean 2014 / Soul Jazz Records

Diana & Marvin Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye 1973 / Motown

Based in South Africa, it seems difficult to find good Caribbean or Afro-Latino music on vinyl. It was only when I traveled to Cuba last year that I was really able to find some real gems from the region. But I’d like to give a brief shout-out to Soul Jazz Records. Their releases are almost always on point. In many ways, this album was my introduction to collecting Caribbean music styles – especially mambo, salsa, cumbia and merengue. Over the past year, Afro-Latino dance has become a really important part of my life, and it’s great to be able to integrate that scene into my collection, and also into my sets. For a Caribbean-themed compilation, the selections are especially diverse and unique.

There’s a generous handful of records that I really enjoy listening to today, that remind me of my childhood and this is really one of them – luckily my parents have good taste in music. I remember when I was a little girl, my mom used to blast this album throughout the house at a point when she was really falling in love. We’d wake up to “Stop, Look, Listen” on repeat in the mornings, and she’d play “Love Twins” when she got home from work. I mean, who can blame her? To hear Marvin and Diana’s voices on a single record is just bliss. It really is the ideal romance album; every ballad is just perfect – soppy, soulful and sexy.

Amadou Balake Señor eclectico 1975-1978 / Oriki Music

Eberhard Weber The colours of Chloë 1900 / ECM Records

Honestly, Amadou Balake is a household name in Burkinabe dance music – but I was slow on the uptake. I was trolling an African vinyl music blog a while back (something I rarely do), and came across a bootleg of his track, “Dounia mokolou”. It blew my mind. I played it on repeat for weeks in my car until I found this record online. I think Balake really pushed the afrobeat sounds that we’re used to hearing, with his hypnotic mix of salsa, funk, soukous and Manding rhythms. He recorded throughout West Africa – Bamako, Ougadougou, Abidjan, Kankan, Conakry – and you can really hear that in his music. Yoh! There’s really nothing in my collection that grooves harder than this record!

To be honest, I know very little about Eberhard Weber, or the rest of his music, besides the fact that he’s a German double bass player and composer. Initially, it was the title of the album that drew me in, and made me curious to give it a listen. In many ways, this album really encapsulates what I look for in a jazz record. “No motion picture”, the twenty-minute track on the B-side envelops you in a really hypnotic frenzy of undulating melodies and percussive bass phrasing, which is punctuated by vignettes of a sonic galaxy that makes your brain feel like melted candle wax, pooling over the edge of a table. It’s severe, and I’m a fan.

Batsumi Batsumi 1974 / Record and Tape Limited

Bill Withers Bill Withers Live at Carnegie Hall 1973 / Music On Vinyl

“…this name explains a group of people out hunting…but this time not for animals but – for Ideas, Music, Sounds, Art, Creativity…” These words form part of the album’s liner notes, written by Thabang Masemola who played flute on the album. Batsumi, in my opinion, is one of South Africa’s most underrated groups from the era. In line with Masemola’s words, the entire album feels like a sonic search for something – a sort of rapture. Their sound weaves through spiritual jazz, rock, and soul to create a something that I had never quite heard before. In many ways, it feels like a live album. Furthermore, the quality of this reissue is incredible – not to mention the beautiful cover art.

Whenever I’m feeling like I’ve lost hope in the world, I put this record on. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best live albums of all time. The depth of soul in Withers’ music needs no explanation, but I think what makes this album great is his commentary throughout the performance. You really get a sense of how perceptive and witty he was as an individual during a time where things were particularly uncool for Black folk. It’s also special that Bobbye Hall features on percussion here. In what still remains such a male dominated profession, Hall really carved herself out as a potent session musician. Between her and Bill, I’m just crushing over this album.





The Art of Neil Gaiman

WHO OWNS THE FUTURE Convincing users to give away information in exchange for free services, firms accrue large amounts of data at virtually no cost. Instead of paying each individual for their contribution wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few who control the data centers. In Who Owns the Future (R230), virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier imagines an alternative, where economic power is given back to creators through a system that would point to the source of any piece of information, creating an economy of micropayments to compensate creators for original material posted.

In The Art of Neil Gaiman (R666) Hayley Campbell tells (and shows) the full story of the amazing creative life of the creator of American Gods, Coraline, The Sandman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and my personal favourite Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett). Never-before-seen manuscripts, notes, cartoons, drawings and personal photographs from Neil’s own archive, are complemented by artworks and sketches from all his major works and his own intimate recollections. Each project is examined in turn, from short stories to songwriting, stage plays to radio plays, journalism to filmmaking, and positioned in the wider narrative of Gaiman’s creative life.

Postdigital Artisans Graphic Design Visionaries In Graphic Design Visionaries (R869) Caroline Roberts presents the story of graphic design through the fascinating personal stories and significant works that have shaped the field. The book profiles masters of typography, visionary magazine designers, designers who influenced the world of film, like Saul Bass and the creators of iconic poster work. This is a dynamic and richly illustrated guide to the individuals whose vision has defined the world of graphic design. Some of my favourite’s included in the book are M/M Paris, Tomato, Pentagram, Stefan Sagmeister, Vaughn Oliver, Peter Saville and Tibor Kalman.

Digital technology has irreversibly changed how we see, think and act. Right now, more people are gazing at a screen than looking out a window. But touch screens don’t eliminate the need to touch something more palpable… Postdigital Artisans (R975) by Jonathan Openshaw profiles 60 contemporary artists and designers that are inescapably influenced by the digital world but reject strictly screen-based design and total reliance on automated production, such as 3D printing. Advocating a return to craft, with objects made from clay, metal, glass and wood, they see materials as the heart of art, design, fashion and architecture.

Kurt Cobain: The Last Session It’s July 1993, New York City. Nirvana is busy promoting their new album In Utero when they are photographed by Jesse Frohman and interviewed by Jon Savage. Nine months later, Cobain killed himself. It was the last formal photo shoot Nirvana ever did, and one of the last major interviews Cobain ever gave. More than twenty years after his death, Kurt Cobain: The Last Session (R745) includes previously unpublished material, and is accompanied by new commentary from Frohman and Savage. Frohman’s 100-plus photographs, including contact sheets, get to the heart of one of the most beloved bands of all time, at the height of their success and the moment when everything was starting to unravel.

Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Cover Art of Disco Records

Against The Wall Known for her unique approach to canvas and her thought-provoking subject matter, Marlene Dumas is widely considered one of today’s most important painters. In Against The Wall (R825) the featured works have evolved primarily from media imagery and newspaper clippings documenting Israel and Palestine. While the paintings comprise a critique of what is sometimes referred to by opponents of the West Bank barrier as the “apartheid wall,” they ultimately lament the failure of co-existence and the tragic human condition of segregation. 54

Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Cover Art of Disco Records (R895) by Soul Jazz Books features the amazing artwork of thousands of disco record cover designs from the 1970s up to the mid-1980s. Together, the record cover designs gathered here create a unique visual history of disco culture. Featuring more than 2,000 album cover designs (including hundreds of full-size covers) as well as over 700 12-inch sleeves, this book is an encyclopedic document of disco music and the industry and culture attending it. Among the many musicians featured here are James Brown, Donna Summer, Chic, Giorgio Moroder, Gloria Gaynor, Grace Jones, Isaac Hayes and Kool and the Gang.

Mengelmoes Gang Town In Gang Town (R225) by Don Pinnock, the former editor of Getaway magazine and expert on gangsterism investigates why Cape Town is one of the most violent cities on earth. The top-selling investigative journalist and criminologist, wrote the seminal The Brotherhoods: Street Gangs and State Control, Gangs, Rituals and Rites of Passage. In gang-ridden areas, poverty destroys families and the police force cannot curb the violence. In Gang Town, Pinnock asks gangsters and their families why young people are drawn to gang culture. THE LAKE

Mengelmoes is a six-part comic written and drawn by Willem Samuel, who studied in Stellenbosch under Anton Kannemeyer and gained experience at Strika Entertainment. Recently launched in Cape Town at The Book Lounge and published in the UK by Soaring Penguin Press, the first issue (R150) deals with Samuel as a teenage boy, growing up in the 1990s. Like any teenager, the world is a confusing place, where you have to find your friends and discover who your enemies are. In Mengelmoes, you’ll experience South Africa as he saw it, including the many and varied flights of imagination. Oh, and Mengelmoes? It means mish-mash.

Gofu #1 “Hunted to extinction, the last gofu must flee 
with his only friend and find a new home...” Gofu #1 (R50) is the first of a limited edition, six-part mini-series fantasy comic, written, drawn and self-published by Cape Town based Deon de Lange. De Lange is one of the founders of Indie Comics SA, an online shop specializing in self-published South African comic books and related materials and merchandise. Gofu touches on the serious themes and consequences of greed and the effects of hunting a creature to the brink of extinction.


IMAGE - Dean-James Honey /



THE GROUNDFLOOR The ideal, hassle-free studio for small shoots, castings, fittings and show & tells.
















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PUMA / DUO DEE & RICKY Global Sports Brand PUMA collaborate with Staten Island’s design duo, Dee and Ricky Jackson for the first time. The brand new range takes a look inside their whimsical world where no colour is too bold and no detail is overlooked. Dee & Ricky’s brand is built on the brothers’ uncanny, innate artistic visions. Their business began with Lego brooches and quickly won over the fashion world thanks to its bright and quirky style. The self-professed style curators debut their new and first PUMA range taking basketball as their inspiration. PUMA x Dee & Ricky can be found at PUMA SELECT stores in Bree Street, Cape Town and Braamfontein, Johannesburg, as well as X–Trend, Madaiza and selected retailers nationwide. - @PUMASouthAfrica -


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