TOGETHER ISSU E
Dear Readers, Some time has passed since our last salute, and we’ve been witnessing (as always) the good and the bad that is brought by both nature and man. On the one hand earthquakes and tsunamis tear up a path of devastation, just as tyrannical forces sequester cultures and people; but it is the call to action by concerned humanitarian forces and those that propose democratic societies that have been in our minds. Our thoughts are with the displaced peoples of Japan, and those that have provided aid to them (and other causes). Our thoughts are with the peoples of the Middle East that have had enough of autocratic despotic governments. And as always, our thoughts are with those that have not given up on finding ways to make life better for all. This issue’s theme is Together. We celebrate the unity of many to overcome the obstacles encountered in every turn. From deeply committed environmentalists proposing green living and conscious fashion, to brave individuals defending the least fortunate. Enter Victoria Bartlett, fashion extraordinaire in her pursuit to end the use of fur; Sarah Sophie Flicker and her allure on The Citizen’s band; Father Solalinde, a starch defender of the rights of immigrants crossing Mexico ,creative couples from Brooklyn and profiles on very happening bands, and last but not least Charlotte Gainsbourg,; the enchanting multifaceted siren that we all love here at the WILD. We at the Wild, come together from every corner of the world. Hence our mixed colors and tastes, and our conjoined desire to see a better world evolve. Come Together! Giovanna Editor in Chief
editor in chief GIOVANNA BADILLA creative director SUSANNA WIDLUND deputy editor GARANCE WILKENS
senior designer TAKAHIRO INADA fashion director GUILLAUME BOULEZ senior editor JOSEPH ISHO LEVINSON editor at large NICK COPE senior copy editor REBECCA KANENGISER contributing writers TISH JOHNSON COOK, STELLA KATZ, MIKAEL OHLIN, AMAURY FERON, ANDREW STEINKUEHLER, AMANDA BRANSFORD, ERIC CORSON, CORINNA SPRINGER, MARINE DE LA MORANDIERE, NAJE LATAILLADE JAYME CYK, NICOLE CASANOVA, contributing photographers and illustrators ALESSIO BONI, ARMEN DJERRAHAN, MICHAEL BEAUPLET, FELIPE JACOME, ALASTAIR STRONG, JEREMY WILLIAMS, ROBERT NETHERY, JAMES RYANG, ANNA BAUER, SUSAN PITTARD, NICOLAS ALAN COPE, SABINE MIRLESSE, MARIO PUCCINI, IRWIN BARBE, DREW REYNOLDS, PIERE AUROUX, TIM VAN DAMMEN, TIM FLOWER, CECILIA CARLSTEDT, DANIEL EGNEUS. contributing fashion editors DEAN SIDAWAY, DELPHINE DAHNIER, MARINA MUNOZ, CHRISTINA LYNCH, JAMES ROSENTHAL, KETEVAN GVARAMADZE, special thanks to NATHALIE CANGUILHEM, MADELINE BOHM, BRITT KUBAT, JOSEPH KANENGISER, ALEXANDRE STIPANOVICH, SILJA MAGG, JANUSZ WELIN, GAETAN ROUSSEAU, LISA PRZYSTUP, JORDAN MATTOS, NICOLAS LINNERT, KIRK HARDING, CLAUDIA KIM, ZISSOU LIMPKIN, CHEQUAMEGON BOLLINGER, BEN BRUMMER. ROSS KASOVITZ @ WWW.EXOPOSURECAPTURE.COM,
by Joseph Isho Levinson
very once in a purple moon there comes an artist that at once encapsulates the aura of many: a delicate yet majestic siren; an exquisitely polymorphic body and soul; a royal muse. It is Charlotte Gainsbourg who keeps us perpetually flabbergasted and with an open jaw, staring in trance, whether she is at the moment a singer, an actress or a down to earth beauty. We are honored to post the following Q&A regarding her newest album IRM, her awarded performance for Lars Von Trierâ€™s Antichrist (as well as their follow-up collaboration), and her feelings about being a multifaceted artist.
Photo by Nick Knight
Photo by Nick Knight
You’ve mentioned before that you never felt like a proper actress or musician, and yet you’ve been acclaimed as a performer. Does the success in any way allow you to reconcile your self-perception with the public’s idea of you as an actress/singer? I don’t really have a problem with the fact that I don’t see myself as an actress or a singer. Maybe it’s for my own freedom of mind. I like considering projects like accidents. They happen. It doesn’t take away the desire, the effort or the pleasure. In interviews following the release of both your albums, mandatory questions regarding your musical connection to your father surfaced, even when both 5:55 and IRM stand on their own stylistically. Aside from singing in English, what is the creative process you undertake in finding your own voice? I’m still in that process. It’s not something that I feel established, it evolves. Some songs also impose a certain way of singing. For others I need to try different ways, until it becomes obvious. I understand that your collaborations with Beck have not ended with IRM, what can we expect from this new venture? We did four new songs that will be attached to the ‘live’ record. Entirely written by Beck! There’s a style I wanted to push a little. Trying to be stronger. A little more ‘rock’ for one song. Because it’s not obviously in my nature, that’s what I find appealing. I just love working with Beck. I feel we can still find new grounds together. Knowing each other better. Having gone through live shows. It gave me a new experience and a new perspective. You’ve collaborated with Beck, Cocker, Godrich, and Air, are there other musicians you would want to work with in the future? I’ve collaborated with other artists for those extra songs on the live album. The Villagers, Noah and the Whale, Connan Mocassin and Asa. How would you interpret the difference of being eyed by the film camera as opposed to being observed by an audience in awe during a live performance? There’s no comparison. A camera comes close but you pretend to hide behind a character. On a stage, I can only be myself, hopefully transported by the music. And I look into the people’s faces, whereas you avoid looking into the camera. A different game.
Photo by Paul Jasmin
Photo by Nick Knight
â€œThere's a style I wanted to push a little. Trying to be stronger. A little more 'rock' for one song. Because it's not obviously in my nature, that's what I find appealingâ€?
Lars Von Trier is notable for submitting his actors through a difficult and exhausting process when filming, and not many of them have come back for seconds, yet you mentioned that you enjoyed the experience of being pushed to the limits. What can we expect from your new collaboration in Melancholia? It was very different. First of all, my character had nothing to do with the one I played in Antichrist. The whole project differed. A bigger cast. What felt like a bigger crew, just because we were no longer five in a cabin lost in the middle of the forest! Yet, Larsâ€™s way of shooting was the same. And I got the same rewarding pleasure of exploring the scenes, the effort of trying non stop, thanks to his demand. Your awarded performance on Antichrist is just the sort of notoriety Hollywood craves for when finding new stars to drive their big budget films, have you been pursued much by those projects? Would you be interested in partaking on some of them? I donâ€™t think Antichrist has been looked upon with a favourable opinion in the US, even with that award! But yes, I do have interesting projects coming from there. Mostly independent projects rather than the big budget hollywood films. I find everything interesting. The fun is to be able to go from a french film to music project, to an english speaking film, etc.
Special thanks to Nathalie Canguilhem
Photo by Paul Jasmin
By Jayme Cyk
o need to be confused by the name, threeASFOUR is a trio, although you could count Luna the pit bull as a fourth member as he’s always present in their silver cage of a showroom.
A metal dungeon is the best way to describe the design space of Adi, Angela and Gabi of threeASFOUR. Adi and Angela met in Germany and moved to New York where they encountered Gabi. “Was it love at first sight?” I asked? “We like love at first sight, it’s very romantic. If you’re lucky to have this in your life, I think you’re a very lucky person. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s beautiful when it does,” replied Adi. The threesome strongly believes in des-
tiny. Therefore, it was fate when they all met in New York and it was serendipity that all showed up with a similar aesthetic. “It’s rare to find people who have the same vision. It’s destiny too. We believe in destiny. Things happen for a reason,” said Gabi. Suspended on a spiral rod, threeASFOUR’s Spring 2011 collection hung as wearable art. Their experimental fabrics and circular seaming are visually enticing and unique. Strategically, they are
developing a new way of cutting to make their silhouettes more refined. Their avant-garde approach to New York fashion is rare giving American sportswear a unique appeal. “Avant garde means ahead of its time, I guess we have to go with it because that’s how they want to label us,” said Gabi. The way they connect each piece and talk about their design process is what sticks out as breakthrough. Multiple elements including the vortex and the black hole inspired the Spring 2011 line. “We wanted to connect
Photo by Susan Pittard
“Avant garde means ahead of its time, I guess we have to go with it because that’s how they want to label us." the holes. The armholes, the neck hole, all of the holes, we wanted the garments to be connected. It is used as a seaming technique. A construction craft used to bring them together. For example, how planets are connected in rotation and how your body connects with different things,” said Gabi. Even when speaking about the collection, they finish each other’s sentences, allowing each to express their dedication to their work. “It’s the togetherness of three people who love each other and the passion; it’s kind of like our essence. Life is a circle,” stated Angela. “The best part, I think is when one of us is not exactly up, the others will bring you up. That’s the best part of being together
because we all know that not everyday is our most productive or happy day, we try but I think having each other helps to support,” added Adi. “What counts for us, is that it works so far. We don’t know how that is, it’s not something we can explain,” said Gabi. Nothing is perfect, but threeASFOUR gives us hope for a relationship as good as theirs. “Well sometimes we can really kill each other, but that’s why we need a break from each other,” Adi Explained. “That sounds worse than what it is, I think. Like in a marriage as well, sometimes you need some space; a little bit to always keep the flame going,” replied Angela. “It’s called balance,” said Gabi. At the end of our interview I asked, “If
you had a motto for your line what would it be?” “Well, we all have different opinions again, but we can say nature is the greatest creator—the greatest inspiration,” claimed Gabi. We can learn a lot from threeASFOUR, as they speak the truth and take nothing for granted. “Togetherness isn’t permanent,” said Gabi. “I think to be able to be in togetherness you have to be together with your own self,” replied Adi. “We fight a lot, but we end up respecting each other’s truths. If there’s a truthful opinion, it wins. We see it as a three-way filter,” Gabi added. “It comes out better, but sometimes it takes longer to get something done,” Adi replied. Angela chimed in enthusiastically, “Togetherness!” Gabi smiled and said, “Yes, that’s togetherness.”
ERE ING C
.U S MON Y
Fashion Illustrations by Cecilia Carlstedt
By Andrew Steinkuehler
t’s a stunning curriculum vitae: •Dancer in the groundbreaking Merce Cunningham Company from 2000 to 2007. •Collaborator with some of the leading lights of dance, theater, and design, including Cunningham, David Gordon, and Robert Wilson. •Choreographer of over 20 multimedia performance pieces, with work staged on four continents. •Co-founder of the non-profit Chez Bushwick, which has provided low-cost rehearsal space for around 1,100 artists per year since 2002, •Through Chez Bushwick, a founding partner of the Center for Performance Research, a joint venture with choreographer John Jasperse.
Photo by Michael Beauplet
That CV belongs to 29 year old Jonah Bokaer, and is a record of precocious accomplishment that could vie with Keats in terms of sheer output. I spoke with Jonah, an unfailingly polite and hyper-intelligent young man, about getting his start in dance, his work as a choreographer, and his efforts as an activist for the arts while he prepared for the premiere of his latest multimedia collaboration, Filter. You were serious about dance from a pretty young age. How did you get started? The arts were very present in my life growing up – particularly live theater, live performance and moving images. My father was a filmmaker and my mother was a theater director. Everyone on my mother’s side of the family was involved in the theater, either as a performer or as a director. Also, I’m from Ithaca, NY, which is of course home to Cornell and sort of a theater town. Early on, I had the opportunity to take dance classes there, at the university. It was a very focused, very professional environment and it certainly shaped the way I approach my work.
You joined Merce Cunningham’s company in 2000 and continued working with him until 2007. How did you come to his attention? When I was 15, I got into the dance program at North Carolina School of the Arts. I was studying in the contemporary dance program as a high school student, but getting college credits, etc. During that time, I learned about the Cunningham technique and after a few years, when I was 18, I auditioned for the company and was accepted. What was it like working with Merce? Unbelievable. While I was with the company, we created over 10 original works together and toured in over 30 countries. I was there to witness the company’s 50th anniversary. Toward the end of his life, Merce began using 3-D animation software [Danceforms] to choreograph new works, and I had the chance to learn how to use that software as well.
Photo by Michael Beauplet
The use of animation software has become a big part of your creative process. What other influences have contributed to your work as a choreographer? I was very inspired by the theater artist Robert Wilson [Einstein on the Beach; Death, Destruction & Detroit] who has become a collaborator of mine. Also, by some of the installation pieces coming out of the San Francisco. But honestly, working with animation was such a pivotal thing. Choreographing on screen has led me to sort of push the limits of human movement. More recently, I’ve been working with visual collaborators to create a kind of solar system for the work to inhabit and then going from there. For your latest work, Filter, you collaborated with the photographer Anthony Goicolea. Yeah. A lot of Anthony’s work explores the relationship between photographs and this idea of self-multiplication. His work is really the source material for the piece. For Filter, we use three very similar looking performers and developed the choreography around this idea, this idea of self-multiplication. As the title
implies, the piece also deals with a lot of visual concerns – the way that filters, etc. affect self-perception. Your work has a very cerebral bent. In particular, I’m thinking about Why Patterns? Why Patterns?, like a lot of my earlier, more modernist pieces, deals with concerns that are very much part of the American formalist or lyrical tradition in dance performance. In the piece, we actually stage a ping-pong ball game and use it as a scenario. Yes, as a part of the visual design - but of the choreography as well - and also as a means to take Cunningham’s chance operations to new and unusual places. So there’s a sort of literal component at work, instead of pure ‘chance’, which is this heady and abstract thing. Later in the piece, the design begins to collapse - it’s ultimately about even the minimal terms of the chance operation breaking down. Is Why Patterns? a kind of challenge to the whole Cunningham model then? In a way it is. More like a sly wink than a challenge probably.
Collaboration is such a huge part of what you do, especially in the broader performance arts community. Talk a little bit about the work you’ve done in that realm. In 2002, I co-founded Chez Bushwick in Brooklyn. It’s a nonprofit that offers rehearsal space to artists across a range of media at a flat rate of $5 an hour. I, along with the other cofounders, was intent on creating a space that removed the boundaries between disciplines like film, dance and music, and fostered a spirit of collaboration that we hoped would lead to the development of new and challenging works. The institutional structure of the academy tends to compartmentalize the various arts practices and we felt, we feel, that this severely diminishes the creative possibilities inherent in multimedia work. And recently you partnered with the choreographer John Jasperse and his non-profit Thin Man Dance to develop the Center for Performance Research. How did you know John and how did your partnership develop? John and I were colleagues in the dance community for quite a few years. He had been working out of a space in Bushwick since 1991, long before the neighborhood was anywhere on the cultural map. Then in 2005, John had to vacate his studio after his landlord sold the building. So he was looking for a new, permanent space at that point. Chez Bushwick as an organization started campaigning for a permanent space in 2006. John and I thought that securing a permanent facility would be more feasible financially if our companies partnered. The whole process took about four years – it was quite a task getting a mortgage when the recession hit. We just opened the Center for Performance Research, which also happens to be Brooklyn’s first L.E.E.D. Gold certified building, to the public in 2010. You mentioned the desire on both your parts to establish a permanent workspace. What was the motivation there? Well, during that time John and I were developing CPR, eleven artist spaces closed in Williamsburg, which really increased the urgency of the project. We felt that it was key that there be a custom-built space for performance and also that it be of a permanent nature because we didn’t want to be subject to the constant turnover of the New York real estate market. CPR is zoned as a community center, which means that a bar or a restaurant can’t just move in on the ground floor. Those kinds of possibilities can be a real source of anxiety for artists trying to create an active, collaborative community. The goal with something like CPR or Chez Bushwick, in the end, is to create a sense of agency and opportunity for artists. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
“Working with animation was such a pivotal thing: Choreographing on screen has led me to sort of push the limits of human movement”
by Marine de la Morandiere
raphy, film..). We also trade ideas with Luc Schumacher who has a great outlook on life. Music-wise we are close to Adam Kesher, Blackjoy, Fujiya & Miyagi, Fortune or Discodeine. It’s nothing like a collective but we do appreciate each other artistically. With whom would you like to co-star/direct/make a film ? Jim Jarmush and Michel Gondry.
Photo by Irwin Barbe
Thanks to the newly named band CONCORDE, we can finally catch a glimpse of the summer ahead of us. Refreshing in its simplicity and youthfulness, their latest track “Candy Boy” acts as one of the best remedy to winter blues I have found yet! This upbeat melody takes us back to our childhood and playgrounds with its catchy whistling and Pacman tunes in the backdrop. The band, formerly known as Candy Clash, is no stranger to the indie rock act, which they master perfectly with a blend of electronica and pop sounds. The video, a little gem resulting from a 100% French collaboration, is a quirky interpretation of the song as well as the band’s new identity by the visual artists Akroe and KRSN. Listen to “Candy Boy” for 3 minutes of utterly delightful regression, feeling like the little boy with one shoe in the video. The Parisian foursome comes about as very much “together”, and that in every aspect. We thought it would be interesting to pick Clement Froissart, Max Zippel, Roger Zippel and Louis Delorme’s brains on that matter. How did the band start? Clément and Max knew each other from taking Photography in college, Roger is Max’s brother. We met Louis at the Truskel (a bar in Paris), we were playing an acoustic set and Louis was doing a dj set that night. We spent five years as Candy Clash and we just changed our name to Concorde with the arrival of Louis in the band. . What do you think of collectives and with whom would you like to create one? Collectives is a way to mix talents. We think highly of them and work in that direction with Akroe for the design, KRSN for the illustrations, Misha Taylor, Irwin Barbé (who did our photo-shoot for the Wild), Shane Woodward, Guillaume le Grontec and Guillaume Bechard for the visual arts (photog-
With whom would you like most to go on a « tête à tête » ? Jean-François Bizot, Nathalie Portman, God and Serge Gainsbourg. With whom would you like to run a country ? A woman, but not Sarah Palin. With whom would you like to lead a political/musical/ cultural revolution ? With the Baron de Munchausen… A true leader. What kind of group movement would you like to create ? Even though it has already been done, it would be nice if the financial transaction tax worked out. Which song represents « togetherness » for you the most? Imagine, John Lennon. Which current music festival has the most « together » energy to you ? All tomorrow’s parties and the Transmusicales de Rennes (France). Who represents your « artistic » family ? New Order, Damon Albarn, Devo, Kraftwerk, Talking Heads, Television, Serge Gainsbourg, ESG, The Feelies, Moroder, and Sonic Youth. With whom do you want to grow old? We can’t grow old.
Introducing a tight-knit group of friends and artists, Nate, Ryne, Alissa, Baron and Jason, who grew up together in the outskirts of Chicago. If there’s a band who could be the image of “Togetherness” I would have to say Scattered Trees. Nate and Alissa are now married, Baron and Jason are brothers. Even though, with life taking it’s course, they would likely have grown apart, they were brought back together by a tragedy, leading to the recording of a touching and heartfelt album. They released their first music video for Love and Leave this month, directed by Jason and helped by “a few talented friends”. Indie rock band meets melancholic storm troopers, showing us a band which throws in together emotional depth and youthful energy. Don’t forget to follow the multi-part documentary revealing Scattered Tree’s tale in the coming months. How did the band start? The band didn’t actually start all at once. It was originally a solo project that Nate started in 2003. Over the course of the last 8 years it has formed into what it is now. What do you think of collectives and with whom would you like to create one? We all love to create, and when we get the chance to make something good with other artists we take it. Scattered Trees is a collective. We would love to work with Stefan Sagmeister on something. We would also love if someone could invent the technology to transport us and our gear to shows (minus all the problems that Jeff Goldblum had in the fly.) With whom would you like to co-star/direct/make a film ? It would be amazing to work with Michel Gondry.
Photo by Drew Reynolds
With whom would you like most to go on a « tête à tête » ? Barack Obama With whom would you like to run a country ? King Arthur With whom would you like to lead a political/musical/cultural revolution? John Lennon What kind of group movement would you like to create ? It would be great if more people celebrated All Saints Day the way it’s meant to be celebrated. Which song represents « togetherness » for you the most? Hey Jude. That song could go on forever. You can’t help but sing along and feel good. Which current music festival has the most « together » energy to you ? Probably Pitchfork. It’s smaller and contained. Since there are less people, it feels like more of a community event. Who represents your « artistic » family ? Neil Young is our father. Kim Deal is our mother. David Bowie was our nanny. With whom do you want to grow old? We don’t want to grow old.
What happens when three talented guys (Josh Fountain, Ashley Hughes and Mat “Neesh” Neshat) with different upbringings and musical background cross paths? They become “spacekateers” and head into the orbit in search of a new sound. Back to earth now, the trio known as Kidz in Space, share an unearthly bond which will result in the release of an intergalactic hip hop album with a twist of pop, rock and electronica. Based in New Zealand, “removed enough from the rest of earth’s population to avoid prying eyes”, they are in constant search of new missions, taking their music to the next level. On their latest single, they collaborated with Dan Black, a “wonky singer from London”, and working remixes with the likes of the True Tiger Dubstep crew and New Yorker Sammy Bananas. We asked Josh to answer our « Togetherness » Q&A, talking inspirations, collectives and more. How did the band start? Ash and Neesh have known each other since school and they grew up in the hip hop scene. I was working at the record label’s studio and we just got talking one day and decided that we would try something that we had personally never tried to do. We didn’t think it would be a serious thing - we just started off making a couple of songs and it just snowballed! It took a while to find our ‘sound’ and work out which direction to go in but I think we’ve got a good idea now of what we want.
What do you think of collectives and with whom would you like to create one? I think it’s a great idea to surround yourself with creative and inspiring people. I think as a band we’re a bit of a collective - we’re such different personalities and each possess such different skills. With whom would you like to co-star/direct/make a film ? I’d make a skate video with Spike Jonze. With whom would you like most to go on a « tête à tête » ? I would have loved to have had a heart to heart with Michael Jackson. I’ll settle for Charlie Sheen... With whom would you like to run a country ? Stephen Fry. With whom would you like to lead a political/musical/cultural revolution ? I’d like to start a musical revolution by bringing Justin Bieber and Tyler the creator and Radiohead together to make an album. Lock them in dungeon for 2 weeks with no record label people or outside influences and see what happens! What kind of group movement would you like to create ? I wanna create an “Anonymous Confession” day where you write a letter to someone confessing your most shameful secrets. Someone, somewhere can read your letter and you receive someone else’s confessions. It would be interesting. Which song represents « togetherness » for you the most? Sounds silly but I remember going to see Arcade Fire and when they played ‘Wake Up’ the whole crowd was just singing along and it was just such a good atmosphere. When I think of togetherness I think of that song. Which current music festival has the most « together » energy to you ? Haven’t been to many overseas festivals so I can only comment on the ones I’ve been to here in NZ. We have a festival called Splore which lasts for several days and has a great, anything-goes atmosphere. Us kiwi’s are generally pretty hospitable! We just played a festival called ‘Homegrown’ which is just Kiwi bands and that has a very proud patriotic atmosphere. Who represents your « artistic » family ? Our immediate artistic family is obviously the rest of our MTC record label family. My personal band inspiration would have to be N*E*R*D, specifically the... In Search Of album. The last couple of albums have been terrible but the first album, and to a lesser extent Fly Or Die, changed the way I felt about music.
Photo by Tim Van Dammen and Tim Flower for Blur and Sharpen
With whom do you want to grow old? I don’t wanna grow old!
Photo by Pierre Auroux
Fool’s Gold is a young collective from L.A which started with the encounter of two creative minds, vocalist/bassist Luke Top and lead guitarist Lewis Pesacov. Parallel to their other projects, these two musicians, sharing a love for African music, Krautrock, and 80s pop music, started writing songs and asking friends and strangers to join them on stage. This experiment resulted in an eclectic group of musicians mixing western aesthetics with afro pop beats, on top of lyrics going back and forth from Hebrew to English. This inspiring multi-cultural band, who started out « playing at barbecues and backyard parties », knows how to combine the sunny L.A. feel to African rhythms perfectly. Here’s how Luke, the lead singer with a wicked sense of humor, answered our “Togetherness” Q&A. How did the band start? Two dudes became 15 dudes and then down to 5. Always with one basic rule: take a short musical idea and repeat it until you lose yourself. What do you think of collectives and with whom would you like to create one? Collectives can be hugely powerful in getting a message across and elevating each single voice towards something greater. Especially when they are multi-disciplinary. I’d love to create something using a slew of different forms. I’d probably start with professional dancers and build the creative empire from there. With whom would you like to co-star/direct/make a film ? I’d want to make a mockumentary and form a directing powertrio with Werner Herzog and Adam McKay.
With whom would you like most to go on a « tête à tête » ? I’d want to angrily spray Tea Party members with orange soda. With whom would you like to run a country? Thomas Mapfumo. What kind of group movement would you like to create ? National “Buy the New Fool’s Gold Record Day”. I would start it this year sometime in July. Which song represents « togetherness » for you the most? Any song by Kasai Allstars. Which current music festival has the most « together » energy to you ? The Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire (UK) comes to mind. It’s where freakishly dressed music fans brave the mud and cold weather and somehow manage to drop all their inhibitions and go nuts for a wide variety of sounds. They also spend their late evenings falling through trees and landing on carefully placed hammocks. I lost my shoes there. Who represents your « artistic » family ? Kobe Bryant. Mahmoud Ahmed. Kuku Sebsebe. Tewelde Redda. Luis Buñuel. Leonard Cohen. Tinariwen. Baba Salah. S.E. Rogie. Johnny Marr. Elsa Kidane. Toumani Diabaté. Thomas Chauke. R. Kelly. Serge Gainsbourg. Kanda Bongo Man. Jorge Ben. Roman Polanski. John Stewart. Lindsey Buckingham. Wallace Stevens. Derek Fisher. James Worthy. Chick Hearn. With whom do you want to grow old? I’m in a band, so by law I’m not required to age.
By Garance Wilkens
etween 1990 and 2010, Indonesia lost 20.3% of its forest cover to deforestation. This carnage of foliage is occurring at an alarming rate all over the world and this is only one of the many scourges burdening our planet today. How can we educate the new generation to modify expectations, hamper desires, curb our needs and move towards total sustainability?
In Bali, a recent initiative gives us hope for change: Just 20 minutes north of Denpasar and 15 minutes south of Ubud, in the midst of the lush Balinese jungle and rice fields, a mirage of an aerial bamboo building emerges: the Green School. John and Cynthia Hardy conceived the school in 2006, after reading Alan Wagstaff’s “Three Springs” concept. In this work, he envisions a village containing all of the ecological, biological, and sociological elements needed to promote a sustainable, holistic and quality lifestyle. The Hardys surrounded themselves with energetic followers dedicated to giving life to this common dream, a tailored campus based upon Wagstaff’s vision. Within just two years, the school officially opened its doors in September 2008, teaching approximately one hundred pupils. John Hardy, a Canadian art student who was as intuitive as he was creative, found
his way to Bali in 1975. Intrigued by the Balinese craft traditions, he settled there and began producing jewelry with local artisans. Cynthia, an American who would years later become his wife and business partner, arrived in Bali in 1982. At first, she was merely stopping over during a round-the-world trip while she was considering attending law school at Berkeley. However, she stayed in Bali and started a small jewelry business of her own, which, owing to her talents in analysis and logistics, became successful in its own right. This right-brain, left-brain pair seemed destined for one another, and in 1989 their professional collaboration turned out to be magical. From the beginning, John and Cynthia’s approach to business has been about making jewelry while being respectful to Bali’s land, environment, people and culture. Ready for retirement after selling the renown John Hardy jewelry business, passion drove them to change plans and stay active: “We are building Green School to create a new paradigm
for learning. We want children to cultivate physical sensibilities that will enable them to adapt and be capable in the world. We want children to develop spiritual awareness and emotional intuition, and to encourage them to be in awe of life’s possibilities,” says Cynthia. Aided by Alan Wagstaff himself, and Jürgen Zimmer, a professor at The Free University of Berlin, a unique program was shaped. The approach to learning is influenced by Steiner, with a heavy emphasis on the creative arts and recognizing the importance of developing well-rounded children. The school starts with pre-reading, pre-mathematics, and pre-science in kindergarten and finishing with Green School’s Upper Secondary Curriculum (for Grades 9 and 10). The closing years’ courses are based on the Cambridge International General Certificate in Secondary Education – an internationally recognized framework developed by one of the most reputable and longest-established education institutions in the world.
“The focus of the Green School is to prepare Green Leaders of tomorrow. ‘Our students will be the confident generation that wants to, and can, make a difference”
-I RESPECTThis is the anthem of the Green School: Integrity, Responsibility, Empathy, Sustainability, Peace, Equality, Community, Trust Every aspect of the site and its buildings are living examples of sustainability; the School’s many structures are cooled and powered by energetically responsible solutions including micro-hydro power, solar power, bio-diesel and predominantly natural air-conditioning. Indonesian bamboo, local alang-alang grass, traditional mud walls, and mud brick are used to construct classrooms, athletic facilities and other school buildings to minimize the use of wasteful and unsustainable materials such as concretes and plastics. The Hardys say, “Our standard is to use 99 percent natural materials in our construction projects, to recycle as many materials as possible, and to manage our waste responsibly.” An organic permaculture system designed by international and local experts blankets the campus. On the Green Farm, Bio-intensive minifarming techniques and soil preparation are applied.
These groundbreaking techniques make it possible to grow food, using no fertilizer, up to 88% less water, and 99% less energy than commercial agriculture. It also reduces the land traditionally needed to feed the same amount of people by half. Isn’t it essential that these methods would not only be taught in the Green School, but also exported by their students to other countries throughout the entire world? Given the rapid acceleration of global population, the Green School is a model to which we should aspire. After all, by 2050 each person on the Earth will have only 25% of the water that was available in 1950. Additionally, current agricultural practices use 80% of the Earth’s available water, depleting the minimal resources we do have. At the Green School, students engage in farming, which not only connects them to the land, but also provides experiential learning applicable in the real world. The School’s agricultural plots yield rice, fruits and vegetables that help nourish the school community. Their land also produces fruits, vegetables, palm sugar and even chocolate– which are sold locally at the Green Wa-
rung that students help to manage. In the Green Lab, students are experimenting with ways to assess CO2 sequestration and to measure what they produce. The final intention being to share the outcome with companies, schools, and organizations interested in reducing and eliminating CO2 production. The focus of the Green School is to prepare Green Leaders of tomorrow. According to the founders, an education system that produces more of “the same” is not going to work. Something has to change, and Green School is at the cutting edge therefore of being able to do things differently. “Our students will be the confident generation that want to, and can, make a difference.” When asked what’s next, John and Cynthia answer: “This is Green School number one. We built it as a seed, a model, for Bali, and the world. We encourage you to copy it, to reinvent it and to reproduce it. Just make sure you keep these simple
rules in mind: be local, let your environment inform your decisions, and think about how your grandchildren might be influenced by your decisions. If you are interested in starting Green School number two, we would love to hear from you.” Let’s hope candidates for planting other Green School seedlings start picking up those phones soon! Anyone feeling inspired?
All photos courtesy of Greenschool
By Stella Katz
nimal fur was functional long before it became fashionable. In the notso-distant past, humans donned plush pelts for their protective properties rather than for their posh status. Each and every part of an animal was valued and utilized in areas where the next animal might not have shown up for a significant amount of time; therefore, fluff was not a luxury, but a necessity. As the modern world brought forth inventions such as polar fleece and micro wool, the need to wear fur diminished. Enter the twentieth century world of high fashion â€“ suddenly, wearing animal fur moved beyond necessity and actually became desirable.
“The suffering they endure, Bartlett says, is intense – ‘but until you see first hand how an animal is killed for it’s fur, it doesn’t quite sink in”
Victoria Bartlett, together with a host of other top designers, thinks it’s time for furry fashion to move even farther forward. Bartlett, founder and designer of the cool-girl-fave VPL clothing line, is optimistic that slowly but surely, designers will see through the false glamour of real fur and entertain the idea of using some of the incredible faux fur alternatives from innovative fabric mills in Italy, Japan and Korea. And guess what? Thanks to the latest in technology, these dead ringers are just as warm. “Fashion is the only industry left that uses fur,” says Bartlett from her chic new VPL shop on Mercer Street in downtown Manhattan. “It’s such an emotional thing for me. I grew up in London with a mom who fed me liver and cow’s tongue,” says the now vegetarian. “I love animals. I can’t imagine having pets and wearing fur knowing what these animals go through.” The suffering they endure, she adds, is intense – “but until you see first hand how an animal is killed for it’s fur, it doesn’t quite sink in. “Daryl Kerrigan [designer of other fashion favorite, Daryl K] said that
Stella McCartney sent her a video of a fox being killed for its fur and that’s all she needed to not use it.”
signer John Bartlett, was the latest recipient of The Humane Society’s 2010 Compassion in Fashion Award. “It was a great honor to be recognized by Designer McCartney, says Bartlett, The Humane Society,” says Bartlett. has done a tremendous amount for “I really admire the work they’re dothe cause. “She really stood up to Gu- ing because they are so educational cci [who owns the Stella McCartney in their approach, not aggressive.” label] and said she would not use fur. And now, she is an editorial darling. Pierre Grzybowski, manager of the Good for her.” fur-free campaign for The Humane Society says that Bartlett was the perBartlett, along with animal-loving de- fect match for this award. “She’s been
amazing in her support and promotion of fur-free fashion,” he says. “And not only is she a judge of our Cool vs. Cruel fur-free fashion design competition, but she also provided the winners with an internship during New York Fashion Week. “When an established and respected designer like Victoria Bartlett swears off fur,” he continues, “it sends a strong message to her peers in the industry, as well as to up-and-coming
From left to right : Hannelore Knuts, Cabiri Calisto, Victoria Bartlett, Chequamegon Bollinger & Anya Popova
designers. She can impact people in the industry that might never listen to someone outside the field.”
young designers give in.”
For her fall 2010 collection, Bartlett used a pressed faux fur from a wellknown Italian fabric mill for musthave coats and jackets. “The fabric is a polyester and polyurethane mix that looks like curly fur. Fabric mills are working hard to give alternatives that are just as chic, if not more so because they don’t include harming a living, breathing thing.”
A printed T-shirt from her fall 2010 collection, created in partnership with The Humane Society, helped to spread that message. It boasted a “Redefining Foxy” message with an illustration of a fox. A tongue-in-cheek approach, it seems, but Bartlett seems glad that the message is getting out there.
Fashion magazines are also major fur culprits because the look sells. “They So what’s a fur-loving fashion girl to just can’t turn down those advertising do? Get resourceful, Bartlett sug- dollars,” she adds. “And that makes it gests. “There are some very glam al- increasingly hard to spread the mesternatives out there,” she says. sage.”
Japan, she adds, is another country doing an exceptional job with faux fur. And she recently saw a cotton and viscose blended faux fur from one mill in Korea that “looked like the real thing,” she says. “Amazing for those young designers that want to be on trend.” It’s these young designers that are the most impressionable, says Bartlett. “The fur industry is a huge industry with lots of money and they wave it at young designers all the time. And because they need the money, these
Education, however, remains the main focus. “With everything going on in the world today, I believe people are more in touch with their human side.” The hope, says Bartlett, is that more people will learn to value the lives of these animals. “People are so desensitized and greedy,” she adds. “It’s human nature, but I see people getting back to the idea of quality and real values. I have faith that this realization will push those in fashion, especially designers, to stand together and think twice about the use of real fur.” Perhaps, consciousness will prevail. “It’s about the cruelty these animals go through,” says Bartlett. “It’s barbaric.”
All Photos by Anna Bauer
Brooklynâ€™s Newest Crop Interview & Styling by Marina MuĂąoz, Photography by James Ryang
The subjects of this article live and work in Brooklyn. They are artists, vintage experts, butchers, and musicians. They are couples, parents, best friends, and coworkers. They keep their shops, studios, and apartments based around Greenpoint and Williamsburg where the food, music, parks and eclectic mix of residents seem to promote a sense of Togetherness. Our subjects are pioneers in their chosen professions and they all call Brooklyn home. But most importantly, they have all done this together- which brings us to the theme of this issue for The Wild.
MALIN & NOVA
Where are you from originally and what brought you to Williamsburg? MALIN: I am originally from Southern Sweden, a small university town called Lund. With many different stops and detours along the way, I moved to Williamsburg in 1999 - I wanted an inexpensive place to live with my family, to develop community in a creative environment. What is it like to work together with your mother? NOVA: It’s completely natural. Having been homeschooled by my mother my entire childhood-life, she has always stood me closest and we’re a kick-ass team! Of course, we’re family and we have our tiffs, but there is such an unwavering faith in our unconditional love for one another, any disputes we have are just a stepping-stone in our creative journey together. We inspire each other & egg each other on - she has and always will be my biggest ally in reaching for my dreams and it’s such a wonderful thrill that I get to work with and learn from her everyday. What excites you about Williamsburg, or what brought you here? NOVA: Well, when moving here, I was only 9 years old, so I didn’t really have much say! And at times, I longed to live in Manhattan. But now as a young adult ( just turned 21), I can’t imagine any place I would rather live in. Besides my acting class twice a week and various social gatherings and events, I hardly go into Manhattan anymore. I have everything I could ever need nearby and some of the best restaurants in the whole city are around here! Sometimes I get a little too excited about it, but I really do love Williamsburg. You have studied ballet all your life and are now studying acting. You are so lucky to have your mother and her beautiful store at your disposal. It must be so inspiring for your work to be surrounded by so many clothes! NOVA: It’s a dream! And the best part is that my mom loves a challenge - come to think of it, she did all the costumes for the
(home)school musicals I was in, “Oliver!” and “1776”, when I was younger! We always have a blast given any opportunity to find the right outfit for a particular character or period. Tell us something WILD about yourself? MALIN: Well, I’ve always been rather “wild”. When I was 5 years old, I would sing so loud my older brother could hear me across town... When I moved to NYC in the 80’s, I would stick my feet out of cab windows on my way home from a long night of partying... and now that I’m not at all as wild (in the conventional sense) as I was in my 20’s, I do 36 Sun Salutations everyday - which means I do 72 push-ups a day! And I bake “special” brownies - vegan, gluten-free, with beans in them! But honestly, I think what people find “wild” about me is the way that I follow my own mind and trust my thinking. Choosing to do things in unconventional ways, such as deciding to homeschool Nova, or to organize my business to fit my life rather than the other way around, seems really “out there” to some - but I think we should all be “wild” and challenge the norm and do things using our freshest thinking, whatever that may be! Please tell us about your store. MALIN: My motto for the store & staff is for us to all have as much fun as possible, and this translates into making the store very comfortable and welcoming to everyone. This is our home, it’s as if you’re coming over to play dress-up in my closet! There is nothing I enjoy more than to see friends/ customers meeting, exchanging life stories & contact info and making new friends. What do you think the future has in store for you both? NOVA: I see Malin having more and more support as our team grows & expands, with the result of her having more freedom & flexibility to do the things that she enjoys most. Maybe she’ll even have some free time to simply relax and play her cello! I also look forward to the two of us going on more buying trips and excursions, exploring new places in search of amazing merchandise, food & experiences. We want to do more events, in-store as well as perhaps other gatherings, fashion shows/events, and other exciting things. Recently, we have started working on a very exciting, new concept together, but the details are top secret! So stay tuned...
Malin Landaeus runs her own vintage Store in the heart of Williamsburg with her daughter Nova. 157 N. 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211. www.malinlandaeus.com. Hair & makeup for Malin and Nova by Naomi naomi@ naomiporto.com
Eric Emm and Jesse Cohen makeup the band Tanlines.
JESSE & ERIC
You have been recording your new album. Can you tell us a little about this experience? JESSE: We’ve been writing, recording, and mixing our album since last summer and now we’re just about finished. When we got home from Europe last May, we decided to start on this new record from scratch. I think part of what makes an album interesting is that it represents a certain time in the life of an artist and that’s what I think we’ve done. The time that this album represents is one that had a lot of changes for us, we lost our studio and had to move out of the only physical home we ever had. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done and I’m looking forward to sharing it later this year. What inspires each of you when writing songs? JESSE: I’ll answer a different but similar question about what kinds of things are inspired by writing songs. Recently, I’ve experienced a new and really incredible sensation. While working on a new song, while writing music, specifically, I’ll suddenly be seized by a really really old and incredibly random memory. It will flash to me without warning and it will be something that I have literally NEVER thought about. Just some random memory from my distant past, like a random
dinner that my friend’s mom made for me, or what the carpet felt like in the basement of someone’s house. It’s been happening consistently throughout the writing of the record and I’d love to know why. ERIC: Indoor activities like movies, TV, conversations, snacks, dreaming. Would you tell us something Wild about one other. JESSE: Eric knows more about Led Zeppelin than anyone else I know. ERIC: Jesse knows so little about Led Zeppelin that it’s easy to impress him with the most basic information about them. Why are there so many bands that come out of Williamsburg? JESSE: I’m not sure, but it does seem like that, doesn’t it? What are your plans for the future, any tours? JESSE: After we finish the album, we’ll start rehearsing and playing out more and more for the rest of the year.
MAYA & ALEX
Where originally are you from and what brought you to NY? MAYA: I was born in Chicago to a French father and a Finnish mother, and so spent a lot of time throughout my childhood in both Finland & France. It’s an interesting mix! The French & Finnish cultures are quite different from each other, and yet more similar to each other than either is to the American culture. I’m grateful for my exposure to each of them. I did a year of university in Paris, and after graduation I moved back there until I landed a job at Condé Nast in NY, and I’ve been here ever since! ALEX: I’m from Milano Italy, the last of 4 kids with 3 older sisters. Dad (who is an engineer) travelled and lived around the world for work, often carrying us along, mostly in Africa. I studied Aeronautical Engineering but grew a love of photography around 15 and eventually a combination of coincidences led me to literally bump on the street into photographer Oliviero Toscani in Milano. Oliviero suggested I should go study photography in NY. So I spoke with my dad, left engineering and went to study in NY where shortly after I met celebrity photographer Mark Seliger and design director Fred Woodward. From there I began as an intern and black & white printer at Seliger’s studio. Soon I became a photo assistant for various photographers between NY and Los Angeles. I work today as a post-producer and photographer. How did you both meet? MAYA: We met working at Mark Seliger’s studio, Alexandro as a retoucher and me as a producer. What is it like to live and work in Greenpoint? MAYA:I first moved to Greenpoint 11 years ago, and it has changed dramatically in the years since then, particularly the last two or three years. The fact that I’ve stuck around here so long no doubt illustrates that I really love this neighbor-
hood! In so many ways it’s like a village within the city, which is fantastic, and now suddenly there’s a broader reach, with all of the boutiques, cafes, restaurants and art events that have popped up. Ferry service starts up and down the East River in June, which is excellent, and the whole waterfront is being developed into parks. And it is, of course, very wonderful to have such an enviable daily commute: I stroll 4 blocks along tree-lined streets from home to work. Tell us about Le Grenier and what brought you to Greenpoint? ALEX: Maya convinced me to move to Greenpoint. I used to live in Williamsburg since I moved back to NY in 2000. While I was wondering if I could afford to buy property in the area, me and Maya, while on a trip in the caribbean, started fantasizing about getting in business together and share a property where she could have had her dream antique store on the ground level and I could have had my living-work space upstairs. Possibly mix all things together into a pretty elaborate plan with antiques, art, travel, photography, furniture restoration and who knows what else we’ve come up with in the last few years. Took the bike for a spin in spring 2007. Passed on a street (Greenpoint Ave) right by the water where there was a really beautiful block of old townhouses. The townhouse nearest to the water happened to be for sale. We did our math, was a little longer of a shot than we could have afforded but no one can stop dreamers! Here we are. Now, Transmitter Park is being built next to us. Water ferry will land one block from us, we’ll have sailboat port, an historic ship, piers with little islands going into the river from the park, kayaks…Bloomberg just announced a gianormous plan to restore and connect all river shores and clean up the waters. We’re in the hot spot of the neighborhood. What are your plans for the future? ALEX: I think this is gonna be my main home for a while. Though I still live by my original dream (I’ve had it since I was a teenager) to make a nice group of people around the planet who share house keys of a few locations between NY, LA, Paris, Rome, somewhere in the country/sea on the Mediterranean and Africa (and it’s not just hot air, I have the land already in Tanzania with its own coral reef!!). Hopefully photography will be my primary source of income. I’d love to get to travel around the planet with Maya mixing her business with mine as well as leisure.
Maya Marzolf owns and runs the Le Grenier in Greenpoint. 19 Greenpoint Avenue, NY 11222, (718) 569-0111
Marlow & Daughters is managed by Mercedez Singleton and Faye Pichler (not pictured). The butchers pictured are Alex, Pepi, Andrew, Paul and Patti who is the newest addition and also proud vegetarian. Marlow & Daughters, 95 Broadway, NY 11211-6030 (718) 388-5700
MERCEDEZ & CO
What kind of schooling does one need to become a butcher at Marlow and Daughters? MERCEDEZ: The number one requirement is passion for food and where it comes from. Almost everyone who is/has butchered at Marlow worked in a kitchen prior to making their way to the shop, which is helpful because basic knife skills are a must. I think part of the appeal of butchering is that it offers an opportunity to learn a new skill set that is incredibly food based without some of the drawbacks that come with working in kitchens ie: long, late hours, high stress and little interaction with guests. Everyone is super passionate about food and has a desire to keep learning. It seems that more and more people these days are Vegan or Vegetarians. What is the importance of having a store like Marlows and Daughters in Williamsburg? MERCEDEZ: We have vegan and vegetarian customers and we cater to their needs. My hope is that shops like ours challenge vegan and vegetarian consumers to question their reasons for cutting meat and animal byproducts out of their diet. When meat and dairy is sourced from small producers that lovingly care for their animals the margin for moral objection is greatly reduced. Feedlot beef is disgusting, I don’t think anyone should eat it. For people that do want to eat meat, having access to responsibly sourced meat is a very good thing. Which are the clients that frequent Marlows, are they food enthusiasts? Are they somewhat picky about what they like?
MERCEDEZ: I would say about 80% of our clients live in the neighborhood and shop daily for dinner. Many are serious home chefs and up for trying new things which is great because we’re trying to sell the whole animal and that means there are some less desirable cuts we have to move. I wouldn’t say they’re picky because that sounds negative, but they are informed about food and food politics and they know what they want and don’t want. Most people that shop with us care deeply about knowing where their food comes from and then there are those that “saw us on the Martha Stewart show”... Do you get any strange requests as far as produce of meat? Working with whole animals skews one’s interpretation of “strange”. 3 years ago I would have thought requests for a lamb head or pig blood was odd, now it’s pretty commonplace. We did get a request for pigeon and we weren’t sure if it was a prank or not. You are leaving for a few months upstate, tell us about this adventure. MERCEDEZ: I have an opportunity to go work with Kinderhook farm. We get 100% grass fed beef from them weekly and pastured chicken eggs whenever they’re available. I will be doing a little bit of everything: helping rotate the cows from pasture to pasture, moving the chicken coop, processing meat chickens, maintaining the kitchen garden and helping to establish an apiary (bees!). I’ve been in Brooklyn for six years and the idea of escaping to country life is both thrilling and terrifying. I know I’m in for a big surprise and am totally prepared to get my ass kicked by the manual work load. Luckily, the city is just a 2.5 hour train ride away.
ANNIE & DOUG
Annie, please tell us how you and Doug met? ANNIE: Doug and I met at a benefit show at ABC NO RIO on Rivington in 2001. His band opened for mine to raise funds for our friend’s anarchist newspaper. We had a nice talk, but didn’t see each other until we bumped into each other outside of a Mates Of State show at Brownies. I was supposed to interview the band, but they never showed up, and I was too shy to look for them, so I interviewed Doug instead. Then I asked him to go see Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure with me at Cinema Classics. It was the first time I’d ever asked anyone out on a date before, and not coincidentally the first time I’d ever been on a real date. We nerded out over dinner about both being captains of our percussion sections in high school marching band and how much we loved the Mountain Goats. Surprisingly, he invited me out to a party in Williamsburg after the movie in spite of the fact that I reenacted the dialog to a scene of Pee-Wee when the sound went out in the theater. You and Doug are involved in Pursesnatchers, your current project. What is it like working with your husband? ANNIE: I have to be honest, Pursesnatchers is almost all Doug Marvin! I play a strong side role as editor and nay-sayer extraordinaire, but Doug writes almost 100% of the songs. Jared Barron, our drummer, and Harold Liu, our bassist, have also helped with writing some songs. I stay in the back seat because I feel like I have my plate extremely full with songwriting and work for Au Revoir Simone, my other band. It’s so nice to have a band where I can come in and play keyboards and sing a little and not have to worry about anything. I can just play keyboard and enjoy the sounds it’s making, and if I think something’s weird with a song I’ll pipe up. As far as recording, I think Doug can tell you all about it!
You just recently had a son, have you and Doug written any songs for Henry? ANNIE: Both Doug and I have written lots and lots of songs for Henry. A lot are about how much I love him, some are about that he’s gonna have to take a nap, and some are just silly. Babies adore repetition to a level that drives me insane from time to time. I always sing him the same song at night, about how I love him, but twice I tried changing it up by adding a bridge or switching to another song. That kid just pulled off from feeding, looked me right in the eye, and started howling! Only when I went back to his usual song did he calm down. I haven’t tried singing anything else at bedtime ever since! You have a tremendous knack for Knitting, can you tell us something Wild about Doug? ANNIE: Doug is a fantastic driver. He’s so smooth and observant, you always feel completely safe in the car with him. He’s also extremely good at cards. I know it’s because he played all summer long for years with his Grandma, and she never went easy on the kids, but it’s so annoying! He wins every single time. What plans do you and Doug have for the future? ANNIE: Doug and I are going to live long, happy, productive lives until we are 102, at which point we’ll die together in our sleep, peacefully. At our funeral will be Henry, his younger sister, all our grandkids and great-grandkids, and all of our lovely friends. But before that, we’ll be playing a record release show for our new album in June.
Doug Marvin of Dirty on Purpose and Annie Hart of Au Revoir Simone live in Greenpoint with their son Henry. Â They have collaborated on Pursesnatchers which was recorded in their Â home.
Nicholas Andersen and Julie Ho are the duo behind Confetti System. http://www.confettisystem.com/ Makeup: Emi Kaneko and Hair: Charles Olson
JULIE & NICK
What brought you both together? JULIE: We’ve known each other for a long time. We met through our mutual friend Karlo who Nick grew up with in Hawaii and I went to college with. We share a very similar aesthetic and wanted to start working together. Tell us something wild about Nick. JULIE: Nick was one of the top junior fencers in Hawaii back in middle school. Watch out, don’t get on his bad side! Nick, I heard you make your own clothes, Is this true? NICK: Yes, it runs in the family, my grandmother used to run a Jams factory in Hawaii. I learned a lot visiting her. I’ve been sewing things for myself and friends over the years. I really enjoy it. You and Nick both live in Williamsburg. What inspires you about this area? JULIE: Yes, it’s nice to be able to leave the city and return home to more of a neighborhood vibe. The area in Williamsburg I live in has a strong Italian community. The best butch-
ers and cheese shops. There are amazing old barber shops with old signage and awnings that look really aged and beautiful. Funny still-lifes of silk flowers and ceramic animals in the windowsills. I love it. When did you and Nick develop Confetti System? JULIE: We’ve known each other for long time and started decorating our friends’ parties and musical performances together. We remembered how fun piñata parties were, and we wanted to recreate that feeling. It started off as a project for ourselves, to take it further and create our own versions of “party” objects and installations based of classic celebratory objects. Exploring the idea of creating heightened experiences through interactive objects, settings and sounds. What do you and Nick have in store for the future? JULIE: We have a solo show coming up in May here in New York at W/ Gallery, so we’ve been working on an installation that will incorporate a new collection of objects. We also have a piece in a show Stephen Burks is curating at the Museum of Art and Design which will open in May. We’re excited to focus on creating new work!
By Amaury Feron
cheduling an interview with Ryan Leslie is not the easiest task. Between Grammy ceremonies, fashion shows, tours and of course, studio sessions, the rapper, singer and entrepreneur is a very busy man. If his capacity to produce hit song after hit song is ever seen as discouraging for other artists, it should be a relief to learn that everything was not always that easy for the prolific Washington, D.C. native.
Born in a multicultural home, Leslie is the oldest son of a family in which both parents were Salvation Army officers. Their job required several relocations for work and he often found himself living in different cities, states and countries. He traces back his passion for fashion to childhood, explaining, “my mother made clothes from scratch for me as a child because we couldn’t afford designer gear.” Now, it is no wonder why Ryan Leslie is considered an important trendsetter in the music industry; after all, he can be frequently spotted at fashion shows all over the globe. However, it is not Leslie’s love for fashion that made him famous. At an early age, Ryan, taught himself how to play piano and developed the ability to recite music, arrange chords and compose. It would not have been a stretch to call the kid a genius, and it comes as no surprise that he scored a perfect score of 1600 on his SATs. He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Government, concentrating in Political Science and Macroeconomics, at the age of 19. During his freshman year at Harvard, Leslie would spend countless hours in his studio basement on the campus, creating and developing music. While many people would have taken the status quo route of applying to jobs in their field of study, Leslie begged his parents to allow him to go in to the music industry, arguing that he would pursue his musical interests for two years and if he did not like it or make progress, he would stop. After remaining in Boston, he went back to live with his parents in Phoenix where he convinced them to take out a loan for a production studio. He vowed that one day, he would pay back the $15,000 to his family even if it meant going back to school and getting a job. When asked if
he could have gone further in the academic field by taking his genius elsewhere, he simply replies, “not following my passion would have been a disservice to myself and to history.” History, for Ryan Leslie, started in 2003 when he landed a production internship with producer, Younglord, who was signed at the age of 16 by Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs as a part of his Hitmen Production Team. Within the first week of his thirty day internship, Leslie produced “Keep Giving Your Love To Me,” performed by Beyonce on the “Bad Boys II” soundtrack. Sean “P Diddy” Combs, the supervisor of the project was impressed by the work of the young producer and offered him a management contract upon meeting him. Under his management, Leslie kept producing for accomplished many artists. In 2003, he was introduced to Tommy Mottola (co-owner of Casablanca Records in a joint venture with Universal Music Group) who became a mentor, offering Leslie a publishing contract with Aspen Songs and a recording contract with Casablanca. He says, “I wanted to be a mogul before I met those people and it’s precisely for that reason that I accepted mentorship from them” later adding, “I learned way too much to put into a magazine interview. Maybe one day I will write a book and people who are interested can pay for it.” It was under Mottola’s mentorship that Leslie signed Cassie Ventura, the then-aspiring model, under his imprint, Next Selection, in 2005. While reflecting about the artist he had the best chemistry with, he simply says: “Cassie and I were the ultimate dream team in the studio.” Under his guidance, Cassie went on to become one of the fastest R&B acts in 2005. After a first album that was shelved due
“Not following my passion would have been a disservice to myself and to history.”
All Photos by Armen Djerrahian
to creative differences with his label in 2003, Leslie went back to the studio in 2006 to record a new debut self-titled album. The album featured the hit singles “Diamond Girl,” “How It Was Supposed To Be” and “Addiction,” which features Cassie and Fabolous. The video that captured the making of this song became one of the most popular videos at the time with 3.2 millions views on Youtube. Often ahead of the game when it comes to online marketing, Leslie was one of the first people to have his own Youtube channel where he would upload studio sessions, beat-making or performance videos. Leslie recounts, “I saw a free video service and an opportunity to create my own direct-to-audience distribution channel and exploited it immediately. The move in this direction was inevitable.” Although reviews were favorable, the album did not break the charts when it was released in 2009. The very same year, just nine months
after its release, Ryan Leslie decided to drop his second album called “Transition.” Entirely written, arranged, produced and engineered by Leslie, it was nominated for Best Contemporary R&B album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. Then again, it would meet favorable reviews by the critics, but no commercial success. “I love them,” he says, when asked about his first two albums, “they are accurate representations of my life and artistic evolution at those given moments in time.” If everybody agrees that they are great pieces of work, how come they did not meet the success they deserve? Is it because Ryan Leslie prefers touring as a way of promotion instead of the usual TV and Radio runs? “Touring is the best promotion,” he insists “When TV and Radio want me to come and promote, I’ll be there. When they are hesitant about featuring my art because they can’t risk losing viewers/listeners, I’m not going to stop my train and wait around for them.”
These days, Leslie can be found at venues around the World, performing his catalog but also premiering new tracks from his up and coming album scheduled for July. Fittingly called “Les Is More,” the album has six songs recorded and he plans to record six more. If we do not have much information about this project at press time, the first single, “Beautiful Lie” can give a hint because we find Leslie returning to one of his first loves: rap. “So far, that’s been the direction on the songs I’ve put together for this album. On ‘Diamond Girl’ I open the song saying “they try to put me in a box.” I have always made rap or sung songs and this time around I’m leaning towards rap, but I’m really just doing whatever I feel on these records - because I can. I don’t fit into any box.” If the critics have always supported Leslie, it seems that this time they are on the fence with his rapping. Maybe by the time the album drops, Leslie will really show the World that Les really is more.
By Corinna Springer
here is much to be said about relationship dynamics. While we relate to one another everyday, we often revert to fear instead of mastering the many relationships that confuse, complicate and sometimes compliment our lives. Weâ€™re afraid of losing our loved ones, afraid of failing, afraid of rejection; the list goes on and onâ€Ś
“The ego is essentially a filtration system that manufactures emotions... What if we could start understanding ourselves and others beyond the physical (and temporal) limits?” The ultimate reason behind this fear is our identification with our ego. Our limited perception makes us believe that we live in a matter-based universe, separated and alone. The ego is essentially a filtration system that manufactures emotion. We experience the polarity of its fear-based, lower-mind reactions in juxtaposition with the HIGHER-minds perception of love. The Vedic scriptures, namely the Upanishads, explain how the ego is an illusion and how the “separate self” and the “essence of all beings” are intrinsically connected and ultimately identical. What if, based on those ancient Sanskrit texts, we changed our perspective for a moment to believe that we live in a giant hologram? What if we could start understanding ourselves and others beyond the physical (and temporal) limits? Through this lens, every thought tempers the whole; every inner feeling creates our outer reality; and ultimately we are all one, having different experiences in dif-
ferent densities and dimensions. Over the past few years, science has been getting extremely close to validating such spiritual truths. Forays into quantum physics have indeed opened the door to incredible insights that are completely aligned with these ancient beliefs. Science has proved that our immediate experience of reality stems from our brain decoding electromagnetic impulses, transforming them into holographic images that we experience as solid matter. In reality, nothing is solid. However, since everything, including our own bodies, seems solid, we believe that we live in a universe of matter, when in reality we live in a universe of consciousness. The quantum physicist Max Planck wrote: “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom
together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” An experiment in quantum physics by Luis de Broglie illustrates Plank’s concept of consciousness over matter: he found that the observer, by the very act of measuring an electron’s momentum, namely its direction and spin, was changing it. Further, Science has continued paving Luis de Broglie’s road to discover that an atom is “all over the place” until the observer examines it. The second primordial teaching expressed in the Vedas is our interconnectedness with all beings. This philosophy theoretically corresponds with another scientific experiment initiated by quantum physicist A.P. Aspect, who experimented with photons that have been ”entangled.” When he separated these conjoined photons, even up to a distance of 1,000 miles, he found that they were still connected changing their mo-
mentum simultaneously –explanation: they are still separated but anything that happens to one photon, happens to the other even if there is no direct impact. Bohm, a colleague of Aspect’s, takes this revolutionizing result one step further: he believes subatomic particles remain in contact with one another regardless of the distance separating them because their separateness is an illusion. He argues that at some deeper level of reality, particles are not individual entities, but extensions of the same fundamental “something.” Another possible implication of Aspect’s experiment is that the entire universe is intimately connected at the subatomic level. Some 14 billion years ago, all of the matter that is currently scattered across the vast reaches of space was contained inside a sphere smaller than an electron. Even now, with subatomic particles and matter scattered across billions of lightyears, this extraordinary web linking every particle in existence still remains. This conception of reality leads to the conclusion that on a subatomic level we all are connected. Whatever we do unto another, we do unto ourselves. This revolutionary way of thinking brings on a vital, planetary shift of perspective: the experience of separation and of our so-called reality is really just an “experience.” We’re indeed constantly creating experiences for ourselves, and it’s up to us to learn from them, to overcome fear, and progress to the next ” higher” experience. Why not enjoy the experience, strive towards union, focus on what we have in common, celebrate our togetherness, and master our daily relationships. It is empowering to redefine reality.
All photos by Nicholas Alan Cope
Photography by Alessio Boni, Styling by Guillaume Boulez
From left to right, On Asa : Shirt by Dolce & Gabbana, Pants by Burberry London, Jacket and tie by Shipley & Halmos, Shoes by Timo Weiland. On Jacob : Jacket by Levi’s, T-shirt by Shipley and Halmos, Pants by RAD by Rad Hourani, Boots by Billy Reid, Hat by Eugenia Kim. On Yana : Top by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Leggings by Etro, Vest by Alice + Olivia, Shoes by Sonia Rykiel, Sunglasses vintage, stylist’s own. On Joe : Sweater by Salvatore Ferragamo, Coat by Agnes B., Jeans by Levi’s, Shoes by Billy Reid
Shirt by Salvatore Ferragamo
From left to right, On Joe: Jeans by Levi’s, On Yana: Bathing suit by Maladrino, Shorts by Shipley & Halmos, On Jacob: Jeans by Levi’s, Belt by Salvatore Ferragamo, Necklace, model’s own
Tank top by Dolce & Gabbana,Jeans by Levi’s, Chain accessory by Emporio Armani, Jacket vintage Ann Demeulemeester, stylist’s own
From left to right, On Asa : Shirt by Etro, Jeans by Levi’s Rings, model’s own. On Joe : Jacket and shirt by D&G, Jeans by LEVI’S. On Jacob :Sweater by Risto, Jeans by Levi’s, Hat by Eugenia Kim, Earrings, model’s own. On Yana : Culottes by Sonia Rykiel, Blouse and trench coat by Agnes B., Sunglasses vintage, stylist’s own
On Joe: T-shirt by Burberry London, Jacket by Agnes B., Hat by Billy Reid On Yana: Dress by Jen Kao, Top by Charlotte Ronson, Bag by Salvatore Ferragamo, Flower vintage, stylistâ€™s own
Shirt by Dolce & Gabbana, Jacket and tie by Shipley & Halmos
On Jacob : Vest by Pringle of Scotland, Shirt by Timo Weiland, Pants by RAD by Rad Hourani, Shoes by Billy Reid. On Yana : Dress by Alice + Olivia, Shoes by Malandrino, Sash vintage, Stylistâ€™s own
Shirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Jeans by Leviâ€™s, Shoes by Emporio, Armani, Hat by Billy Reid
Photo assistant : Clay Gardner Stylist’s assistants : Eduardo Venguer & Hailey Desjardins Make Up : Ariel Yeh Hair : Bryce Scarlett Models: Yana, Jacob, Asa & Joe @ FORD models Producer : Regina Royzman
On Jacob : Tank top by Dolce & Gabbana Chain accessory by Emporio Armani Jacket vintage Ann Demeulemeester, stylist’s own. On Yana : Dress by Rebecca Taylor, Belt by Burberry London
Photography by Alastair Strong, Styling by Dean Sidaway
Mesh oversized jacket by Asger Juel Larsen
Nylon sweatshirt by Cristopher Shannon, shorts by Satyenkumar, Shoes by Mr Hare
Silk shirt by Tim Soar, Jeans by Wrangler
From left to right, On Austin: customised denim cap by Dean Sidaway, top by Asger Juel Larsen, Cropped trousers by Carolyn Massey. On Felix: ‘Icarus’ wing necklace by Comfort Station, Jacket and shorts both by SatyenKumar
Sweatshirt by Cristopher Shannon, Shorts by Satyenkumar
Denim jacket by Helen Mather, Vest by Asher Levine, Shorts Beyond Retro
Vest by Satyenkumar
Styling Assistant: Sharna Newton Grooming: Halley Brisker @ David Coffin Management Models: Felix Branch and Austin Myers @ Elite London Casting & Production: MillnDoll Creative
Jumper by American Apparel
Photography by Giovanna Badilla, Styling by Marina Mu単oz
Shirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Lingerie by Eres, Socks by American Apparel
Long sleeved shirt by Cheap Monday
Dress by Duskin
Top by Steven Alan, Shorts by Parkchoonmoo,Double cage ring by Pamela Love
Dress by Jen Kao, Bird skull ring by Pamela Love, Lingerie by Eres
Triangle bralette and hotpants by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Salopette by Parkchoonmoo
Makeup: Emi Kaneko Hair: Takashi Yusa Model: Annabelle Tsaboukas@ Women Special thanks to Claudia Kim & Alessio Boni.
Tunik by Siki Im
By Nicole Casanova
n April 28th, in Paris’s 4th district, photographic partners Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello will be featured at La Petite Agence, (rue 111 Saint Antoine) for a solo show called “Niña Santa”. The two photographers first met in Argentina during the early 90s. Immediately inspired by one another, they set off for Paris with their cameras, romance and a whole lot of inspiration—and almost instantly, they began receiving acclaim for the stories they told through the lens. Although they are no longer married, their work, spirits and vitality are linked together in a beautiful way. Throughout the many incarnations of their partnership, Sanchez & Mongiello were able to focus their vision and translate their work to iconic status. Niña Santa, which closes May 15th, will examine a saintly thread that has been integral to Sofia & Mauro’s photographic identity.
“You learn to co-create something ....it keeps ego trips away because it would be impossible otherwise, and its just so much fun...” Their photographs, replete with icons, which subversively refer to the cloister transport the viewer to a bewitching setting. This collection examines and negotiates the tension between what is saintly and what is sensual while exercising a childlike defiance of mythology. The images themselves depict the fleeting, often awkward, if naive, beauty of adolescence often coupled with a playful, hiked-up-to-there sexuality. However, while the subject has not yet come into her own, she seems nevertheless suspended in nostalgia over the forgotten flowers of her girlhood. This suggests a premature state of penance for the very contemplation of a sin that has not yet been committed. Sofia and Mauro crystallize the stress of delicate youth with its burgeoning anatomical virility juxtaposed with numinous, if subconscious, insinuations of the fall from grace. Often times they punctuate the extremes of their subjects’ struggle or assertion with a divisive flirtation between dark and light colors, hard or soft textures, severe shadows or gentle light, nudity and the bondage of modesty. Their photography is synonymous with the enchanted priestesses, the idolatry of baby dolls, and an exquisite contrast between innocence and depravity. The work they have accomplished together defines its very own ethos in photography, fashion and otherwise. Last week I was able to gain some insight into what makes their team click and keeps their inspiration fresh, I asked Sanchez & Mongiello a few questions about each other and here is what they had to say:
Before working together, what were the characteristics that attracted you to one another? Sofia: He has this old school gentleman thing about him, he is really creative, smart, funny, and protective, the perfect partner really.... Mauro: Everything about her! But the first thing that I remember was her beauty! How did you know you could work with each other? Sofia: It was a very natural thing, we were so young and we were spending the all of our time together anyways... Mauro: I never thought about it, it just happened. How do you navigate artistic differences? Sofia & Mauro: We talk about it, discuss it, and eventually make
compromises. But usually we’re very close in terms of artistic point of view. What is the biggest advantage of working together? Sofia: You learn to co-create something ....it keeps ego trips away because it would be impossible otherwise, and its just so much fun... Mauro: Always feeling supported, even in those very complicated shootings - like big advertising... What is the biggest disadvantage of working together? Sofia: The results could become a little less personal sometimes Mauro: Not many things, really... Maybe, when you are very eager to shoot and you have to wait until the other one finishes!!!
What’s your favorite work? When? Sofia: The only shoot I’m ever interested is the current..... Mauro: very hard to tell...but I’m very happy with the pictures we shoot of Dree Hemingway for our upcoming exhibition. What has been the biggest challenge about working collaboratively? Sofia: Explaining to our clients that we would not kill each other on the shoots while we were going trough the divorce thing. Mauro: For me it was to separate the personal life and the working part when we decided to split as a couple but keep working together... What inspires you most about one another? Sofia: His punk attitude and culture Mauro: Her freshness and creativity. Any advice for young photographer partners? Sofia & Mauro: Have fun and trust your original ideas. What is the greatest memory you have of working together? Sofia & Mauro: Making our first portfolio in Argentina (a long time ago!)… just shooting with vintage clothes and a little equipment... being very free.
All images courtesy of Sofia Sanches & Mauro Mongiello
By Tish Johnson Cook
ne couple combines art, commerce and cultural preservation to create a canvas for the feet. The path leading to the birth of the boldly patterned Osborn shoes was as serendipitous and random as the meeting of the minds behind it. Artists Aaron and Carla Venticinque-Osborn, ages thirty four and thirty one respectively, met at a music show in Philadelphia nearly a decade ago, married in 2006 and subsequently launched their eclectic shoe collection sometime in late 2009. Since its inception, the Brooklyn-designed and Guatemalan-made shoes have not only evolved globally and organically, but have attracted a dedicated following. Aaron modestly notes, “It’s been growing for a while and now it’s bearing a little bit of fruit.”
The back-story to this one-of-a kind shoe company began when the Rhode Island School of Design graduate in painting and printmaking joined his father’s nonprofit efforts with an orphanage in Guatemala. He describes his volunteering as “doing a lot of construction, amateur architecture and teaching art classes.” Those ad hoc responsibilities sparked Aaron’s desire to contribute to a culture that had suffered the aftershocks of a thirty six year civil war (1960 – 1996), leaving behind a fledgling economy that devastated the Native society. Recognizing the artisanal craftsmanship and goldmine of textiles, he set about creating a workshop with Carla, who also works in a range of media including sculpture, works on paper, video and photography. Aaron says of his small studio, “we are a complete workshop where I have eight fulltime cobblers on the floor and twenty two women doing the layout of pattern and construction of the upper part of the shoe.” Each person signs the shoes along the way, with the final signature done by the cobbler whose name appears on the sole. The initial source of fabric came from traditional Guatemalan weaves, including the colorful huipil (wee-peel) blouses worn by Mayan women identifying village, marital status, number of children, religious background, wealth, and personality. “It’s interesting to see what someone’s life signifies through color, pattern and stitching… now people get to carry that on through their own walks of life.” The fabric choices for the oxfords, slipons and booties have grown to include Native Guatemalan and African prints to Native prints from America (United States), ranging from cast-off denim and blankets, wax cotton from a New Jersey manufacturer and suede from Napa, California. When asked about the line’s most popular style, Carla casually adds, “There isn’t an obvious seller, people gravitate toward a design they like,” adding, “we offer wool in spring and summer.” Their collection transcends the typical fashion cycle of seasons.
“I am much more methodical, I sit and think. I could be compared to an engineer, slowly laying foundations” Carla jumps in, “a dreamy, spacey, idealistic engineer.” Their collaborative design efforts are like their collection—a colorful diversity of ideas. When I ask Aaron to describe how the couple works both creatively and as a couple, he muses, “I am much more methodical, I sit and think. I could be compared to an engineer, slowly laying foundations” Carla jumps in, “a dreamy, spacey, idealistic engineer.” But it’s with poetic simile that Aaron reveals how they epitomize the theory opposites attract: “Carla is like a fiery comet flying through space brilliantly, and then she hits a galaxy, gets super focused as creative gravity pushes and pulls the genius comet… then she’s off again!”
True to his engineering mindset, Aaron is also offsetting the high electricity costs for his workers by creating a light solution. “We designed a solar light tray by using cupcake aluminum.” The Solar Cupcake organization is another way he’s trying to bring the functionality of design to fulfill a social need because as he says, “darkness is a form of poverty.” By investing in the community, the result is a shoe company that is making a sustainable impact on the lives of the people who create them and the fashion world who buys them. “I don’t like to call it fair trade, it’s really direct trade,” says Aaron. The design duo has created more than
simply an accessories brand; they are changing the consciousness of what lies behind the things we buy.
All Photos by James Ryang, Styling by Marina Mu単oz
Jacket worn as top by Balenciaga, Skirt by Comme Des Garรงons, Tights by Wolford
Photography by Michael Beauplet, Styling by Delphine Dahnier
Jacket by Balenciaga, Dress by Michael Kors, Boots by Doc Marteens
Dress by Versus, Jacket by Hermes, Ring by Christophe Danhier
Sleeveless jacket by Balenciaga Skirt by Moschino, Shoes by Yves Saint Laurent,
Shirt by Dsquared2, Pants by Yves Saint Laurent
Skirt by Calvin Klein, Shirt by Narciso Rodriguez, Shoes by Yves Saint Laurent, Tights by Wolford, Necklace by Moschino, Ring by Christophe Danhier
Make up : Asami Matsuda Hair: Domingo Quintero Model: Aysche Tiefenbrunner @ DNA Studio : The Brick Space, 385 Broadway
Dress by Bernhard Willhelm
Photography by Robert Nethery, Styling by James Rosenthal
Blazer by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Top by VPL, Necklace by Dior, Hat by San Diego
Pants by Chris Benz, Jacket by Charles Henry, Necklace & Head Piece by Karen Walker
Bra by Jen kao, Red checkered shorts, Stylistâ€™s own scarf, Hat by San Diego
Photo assistant: Joe Falcone Stylist Assistants: Rachel Keesecker & Abbey Johnson Makeup: Tracy Alfajora Hair: Martin Christopher Model :Stephanie Renee
Jacket by Jen Kao, shorts by Staerk, Bra by Zero + Maria Cornejo
On Monica: Suit by Wackerhaus, Bra by Maria Cornejo, On Sam: Tank by Acne, Hoodie by R13, Watch by Xetum Bracelets, Rings & Necklace by Waxing Poetic
Photography by Jeremy Williams, Styling by Christina Lynch
Blouse by Jen Kao
Tank by Acne, Blazer by Kris Van Assche, Jeans by R13, Necklace by Waxing Poetic
On Monika: Dress by ODILON Sweater by A.F. Vandevorst, Necklace by Bing Bang. On Sam: Shirt by Cheap Monday, Sweater by JNBY, Jeans by R13, Vest by Nice Collective, Shoes by All Saints, Watch by Xetum, Bracelets, Rings & Necklace by Waxing Poetic
Blazer by Wackerhaus, Sunglasses by Illesteva
Suit by Sonia Rykiel, Embossed Leather Bolero by Camilla Staerk, Bracelets by Pamela Love, Hat by Oak
Stylist Assistant: Lindsey Hornyak & Hailey Desjardins Make Up: Jenny Kanavaros using MAC Cosmetics Hair: Marcos Diaz for ION Studio Models: Monika @ Marilyn & Sam Fredric @ RED
Suit by Adam, Shoes by Robert Clergerie Necklace by Zoe Chicco, Clutch & Spike Bracelet by Anndra Neen, Bangles by Waxing Poetic
By Amanda Bransford
here is a W.H. Auden quotation that Sarah Sophie Flicker loves: “It’s better to say ‘I’m suffering,’ than ‘this landscape is ugly’.” This is a fitting philosophy for the performer and founding member of the troupe Citizens Band, who strives to infuse all of her work with a spirit of openness and honesty.
Dress by Marchesa
Dress by Reem Acra, Shoes by Pierre Hardy, Earrings by Emporio Armani, Tights by Falke, Headpiece vintage, stylist’s own
Citizens Band performances meld progressive political messages with visual spectacle, featuring elaborate costuming, theater, dance, music, and trapeze work. The Citizens Band is often called a play on Weimar-era cabaret, though Flicker describes the aesthetic as broader, drawing on influences from the 1880s through the 1940s. With her big, heavily-lashed eyes and flapper physique, Flicker is particularly suited to the group’s vintage look. Flicker’s contributions to the performances include dance and aerial work, although according to her, fellow Citizens Band aerialist Chelsea Bacon “is the one who can really do stuff. I just kind of flail around and smile.” She is being modest. Her trapeze work, often performed in pointe shoes, reveals her years of ballet training. The viewer, caught up in the dance’s grace, almost overlooks the incredible strength and
“Flicker and Lucaks wrote a “Vulnerability Manifesto” that details their commitment to always saying something honest, never concealing their true feelings in their work. The manifesto says in part, “Soft is harder than the hardest hard. Sweetness is stronger always”
daring needed to perform while suspended in mid-air. The Citizens Band’s most recent show, “The Past is a Foreign Country,” dealt with issues of displacement, raising money for the United Nations’ refugee agency. The troupe avoided portraying any particular group of refugees literally, instead depicting the drama that ensues among an unnamed group of wanderers who have been cast from their homes. A year earlier, the group presented “The Debt Rattle,” set in a desperate, Depression-era dance contest. The tragically beautiful show resonated starkly with the nation’s current economic situation. Citizens Band performances regularly illustrate the parallels between past and present crises. Shows blend original music with older songs the group has found during an extensive research process. A favorite found song of Flicker’s is “Gasoline,” with lyrics that apply so well to modern-day realities it comes as a surprise to learn it was written in 1913: Gas-o-line! Gas-o-line! Everywhere you go you smell it Every motor seems to yell it Gas-o-line! Gas-o-line! The cry that echoes through your dreams. Gas-o-line! Gas-o-line! In this land of milk and honey, ‘tisn’t love, it isn’t money. Rules the world, now ain’t if funny? Gas-o-line! Gas-o-line! This simultaneously backward and forward looking view has characterized the troupe’s work from the beginning, though narratives have grown stronger and performances more elaborate over the years. The Citizens Band was born in 2004, when a group of friends and artists – including Flicker, model Karen Elson, make-up artist and performer Jorjee Douglass, and actress Rain Phoenix wanted to create a cabaret performance that would display their wild aesthetic ambitions along with their disappoint-
From left to right: On Sarah Sophie : Dress and shoes by Louis Vuitton, Tights by Falke, Earrings by Dolce & Gabbana. On Mary Helen : Jumpsuit by Marchesa, Necklace by Dolce & Gabbana
From left to right. On Mary Helen : Romper by D&G, Bra by Ksubi, Shoes by Louis Vuitton, Stockings by American Apparel. On Sarah Sophie: Dress by Moschino, Shoes by D&G, Tights by Falke, Bangles by CIRCA 63
“The Citizens Band was born in 2004, when a group of friends and artists – including Flicker, model Karen Elson, make-up artist and performer Jorjee Douglass, and actress Rain Phoenix - wanted to create a cabaret performance that would display their wild aesthetic ambitions along with their disappointment and sadness over the world’s political climate”
From left to right, On Sarah Sophie : Dress by Elise Øverland, Bra by Ksubi, Shoes by Dolce & Gabbana,Necklace by CIRCA 63, Tights by Falke. On Chelsea: Dress by Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Bangles and turban vintage, stylist’s own. On Mary Helen: Dress by Jenni Kayne, Necklace by Dolce & Gabbana, Bangles vintage, stylist’s own, Earrings, Mary Helen’s own.
ment and sadness over the world’s political climate. Flicker was attracted to the idea of fusing art and politics in order to deliver a message without forcing it upon the audience in a didactic way. The group was lucky to find the perfect venue at the former Deitch Projects space in Brooklyn. Flicker is also a filmmaker, running the production company The Belles of the Black Diamond Field with her friend Maximilla Lukacs, and the women were planning to screen a film at the gallery. Flicker asked if she could also put together a performance, and in November of 2004, the Citizens Band took advantage of the cavernous space for its first performance. The group was later added to Deitch’s roster of artists, and Flicker’s dream of regular engagements took off. The films Flicker makes and performs with The Belles of the Black Diamond Field share the Citizens Band’s vintage feel, as well as its commitment to imbuing performances with meaning and visual appeal simultaneously. Last year, Flicker appeared in Lena Dunham’s debut film – indie favorite Tiny Furniture - as the main character’s unpleasant boss, which Flicker says was an acting challenge. “People usually cast me as the flapper,” she says. “I can do that. You want Betty Boop, you got it.” She had to reach outside of herself and her real-life persona, however, to conjure a properly prickly authority figure. Flicker’s nature is simply not adversarial. For her, one of the chief joys of her artistic career is all of the collaboration it involves. Especially working in a big group of creative people from different disciplines like the Citizens Band, performers have to cast ego aside, to be supportive of one another and yet be unafraid to share their own ideas. They have to be willing to show vulnerability. As evidenced by her favorite Auden quotation, this is something important to Flicker. She and Lucaks wrote a “Vulnerability Manifesto” that details their
commitment to always saying something honest, never concealing their true feelings in their work. The manifesto says in part, “Soft is harder than the hardest hard. Sweetness is stronger always.” The bond between Flicker and Lucaks (who are so close, says Flicker, that they communicate via “psychic faxes”), as well as the bond among the members of the Citizens Band, is a testament to the success of Flicker’s collaborative projects. Most of the Citizens Band’s original members continue to perform with its ro-
tating cast. It comes as no surprise that Flicker says one of the things she’s most proud of is the group’s strong camaraderie. Flicker’s energetic focus on togetherness extends to her home life as well, where people are in and out all the time, she says, rehearsing for shows and discussing their newest artistic endeavors. One can’t help but envy the baby son and preschool daughter Flicker has with filmmaker husband Jesse Peretz, who get to grow up in the sparkling circus of Flicker’s life.
Her work, of course, is not just sparkle. It is art that hopes to say something meaningful, to inspire viewers to learn from the lessons of the past. “We repeat the same dramas over and over again,” says Flicker. “Until we really stop to look at them, we’ll keep making the same mistakes.”
Dress by Sonia Rykiel, Necklace by CIRCA 63, Headpiece vintage, Sarah Sophie’s own
Photography: Armen Djerrahian Stylist: Guillaume Boulez Talents : Sarah Sophie Flicker ( Performer, Director and Creative Director of The Citizens Band ), Mary Helen Bowers ( Professional ballerina and Founder of Ballet Beautiful ) and Chelsea Bacon (Performer of Citizens Band ) Makeup artist: James Boehmer for NARS Cosmetics Hair: Bryce Scarlett Set designer : Courtnay Cain Saunders @ www.courtnaycainsaunders.com Stylist’s assistants : Eduardo Venguer and Nakima Benjamin Makeup assistant: Livia Malazzo Retouching by Marte Haraldsen @ www.marteharaldsen.com
From left to right, On Sarah Sophie: Trenchcoat by Erin Fetherston, Bodysuit suit by Ohne Titel, Skirt by Etro, Tights by Falke, Shoes by Sonia Rykiel, Bag by Emporio Armani. On Chelsea: Dress by Jil Sander, Bodysuit by Ksubi, Shoes by Pierre Hardy, Bangle by CIRCA 63. On Mary Helen: Dress, bra and bloomers by Dolce & Gabbana, Tights by Falke, Earrings, Mary Helen’s own.
By Joseph Isho Levinson
n the midst of an epidemic of cynicism and uncommon sense, where thousands of Latin American workers are forced to flee north just to be able to provide for themselves and their families, and where many of these peopleâ€™s dreams meet undesirable and violent fates, lies the valiant character of Father Solalinde, the one man who has given a face to the plight of the migrant worker. The following observations paint a broad picture of the very real and grim scenario that migrant workers face when crossing through Mexico, and the glimmer of hope that Father Solalindeâ€™s humanist work represents in their journey.
â€œIt has been estimated that last year alone, organized crime groups have kidnapped approximately 20,000 people crossing Mexico. These groups often demand ransom from the victimâ€™s relatives already living in the U.S., or force them into the whirlwind of drug wars by coercing them to become hired assassins or drug mules.â€?
The scenario has become somewhat familiar: thousands of migrant workers cross the unforgiving roads of Mexico and attempt to reach the U.S. border with hopes of becoming success stories. Success in this context means, sneaking in undetected past the Rio Grande or under desert fences, taking on minimum wage jobs nobody else is willing to do, all the while risking deportation (as well as other less glamorous forms of formal discrimination). Considering the growing amount of people willing to go through so many unpleasantries in order to become second class citizens in a country that has an uncomfortable relation with the concept of immigration (some might say a double standard), the source of expulsions by idle governments should not be willfully ignored. Latin American countries have long had a policy of disregarding impoverished and uneducated masses, leaving them no option but to flee (or join a ripening criminal underworld), and then profiting from their American stamped remittances. The slightly cynical observer would go as far as to think that countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico (to name the most prominent), have a great deal to gain from letting their most unfortunate citizens take on the road, destination: El Norte. Yet it’s what happens while on that quest that has made headlines in the past couple of years. It has been estimated that last year alone, organized crime groups have kidnapped approximately 20,000 people crossing Mexico. These groups often demand ransom from the victim’s relatives already living in the U.S., or force them into the whirlwind of drug wars by coercing them to become hired assassins or drug mules. And it’s not all in good fun. Just last August, 72 Central American migrants were shot dead in a ranch in the state of Tamaulipas after their abductors grew tired of waiting for a ransom
to arrive. The massacre has been attributed to Los Zetas, a group of military defectors turned mercenaries, and now turned full functioning Cartel. Los Zetas are considered the bloodiest of them all. They can probably take the credit for introducing beheadings to the practice of Cartel-ing. The governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have been pressing the Mexican Foreign Ministry to guarantee some sort of protection for the passing migrant workers. Until recently, the Mexican government was reluctant to even admit to having such a problem. But after the Tamaulipas massacre, and
the disappearance in Oaxaca of yet another large batch of workers last December (32 people by some accounts, all still missing), the authorities conceded on the matter. However, there have been no concrete actions to date. Human Rights groups, some members of the Media, and a few lone brave individuals have been calling foul play when it comes to government accountability, given that passing migrants get the short end of the police stick, that which should be employed to fend for the public’s safety but is instead used in cohorts with criminal gangs to impend over it.
Eyewitness accounts of migrant assaults and kidnappings never fail to mention when members of the police are involved, and there are plenty of them to suggest that law enforcement departments all across the country have been infiltrated by organized crime. The Oaxaca kidnappings seemed to follow a familiar choreography: 250 migrants workers traveling on top of a northbound freight train, as migrants usually travel risking their lives, were met by a joint police and migration officials raid; 92 were arrested. The driver of the State-owned train coerced the roughly 150 remaining migrants to pay money to continue their journey. Later, the train was boarded by gunmen who assaulted and looted the migrants, and abducted the 32 still missing people. A concerto in three movements. “Migration is not a crime,” says Father Alejandro Solalinde, the most recognizable figure today standing up for the rights of the migrant worker. Migration is not punishable by law anymore, though it seems few migration officials have gotten the memo. Same goes for the police and other governmental authorities that have traditionally extorted migrants. Solalinde says, “Migrants are their little gold mine,” about these corrupted officials, as well as of Zetas and Maras patrolling their turfs. Father Solalinde runs a shelter for passing migrants in Ixtepec, Oaxaca called “Hermanos en el Camino.” This refuge is a safe haven for fatigued and starved pilgrims; there they are not only granted a roof and bread, but they also receive instructions on how best to avoid the many perils awaiting in their journey. For five years the shelter has been running with Solalinde himself venturing into the night shouting a welcoming message to every possible passersby. Every third day, the shelter receives between 100 and 150 migrants, a vindicating confirmation of the good job being done. Solalinde has worked vigorously to lessen the many hardships encountered on the northbound voyage. He has continuously put himself on the line many times
while trying to find valuable information as to where police raids and gang ambushes are most likely to occur. He has hidden in vantage points, overlooking common routes where trains and buses packed with migrants traveled, and marking the places with the most propensity for danger. Little by little he fashioned a map that has helped many individuals and groups avoid some of the common dangers. It also provided him with enough evidence that links criminal activities to police operations. This has branded Solalinde an uncomfortable nuisance for the powers that be. Consequently, he has been collecting death threats that he claims are not threatening his sleep. However, he will not deny that the day may come when they finally get to him, though he believes that regardless, some other parochial figure will carry on with the shelter. “Someday, the U.S., and hopefully Mexico too, will build you a monument. Because you are heroes of a new history,” told Solalinde to a group of migrants taking shelter at “Hermanos en el Camino.” That may be true, but for the time being, the face of that new history is Father Solalinde, and while he’s not the type to dream of his own monument, he would be greatly appreciative of any help to carry on with the good work.
All Photos by Felipe Jacome
By Mikael Ohlin
he opening bars of the intro with its blaring horns stabs are instantaneously recognizable to anyone who’s heard Nas and Damien Marley’s “As We Enter.” However, the melody then continues with a strutty, electric organ woven over an infectious jazzy beat. It’s hypnotic, funky and most likely different from any other music you’ve ever heard. This is the original sample behind the hit from 2010, “Yègellé Tezeta” by Ethiopian legend Mulatu Astatke. The selfproclaimed founding father of Ethio-Jazz, Astatke has developed Ethiopian music as Fela Kuti and Salif Keita have innovated and transformed how sounds is defined by their respective home countries.
Sent to Wales in order to study chemical engineering, Astatke studied music instead. Starting his exploration in the UK and delving deeper Berklee College of Music, Boston, he began mixing jazz with the music of his native country. He returned home in the late 1960s, wanting to play more Ethiopian music, but the country was still under Haile Selaisse’s autocratic rule. Consequently, the release of records was reserved for the state, only advocating songs that praised the emperor.
Photo by Mauro Puccini
“Ever sensitive in his musical choices, director Jim Jarmusch chose to include several Astatke songs on the soundtrack for his 2005 film ‘Broken Flowers’. Since then, Astatke has once again recorded and toured his Ethio-Jazz style music with much success”
While there was no modern music industry in Ethiopia at the time, things were about to change. An owner of a record shop, Amha Eshete, started Ethiopia’s first record label for modern music, Amha Records. By paying a part of the profit to the state, the production was allowed to continue. The third single produced was a collaboration with Mulatu Astatke and Ethio-Jazz was born. The symbolic victory was further celebrated when two more labels were allowed to start. For five years Amha recorded and released seminal records until it all ended with the massive uprising in 1974. A Marxist junta, the Derg, under General Mengistu took control and the relative liberty the burgeoning music scene had experienced was silenced. Within a year it was all over. Amha Eshete and several others from the pop and jazz scene had to leave the country. Along with a large community of Ethiopian refugees, several of these musicians ended up in Washington DC. Outside of Ethiopia, Astatke and the others from the Addis Ababa scene were soon forgotten, remaining mostly lost throughout the eighties. It wasn’t until Francis Falceto and the French label Buda Music started re-releasing the recordings in 1997 in their Ethiopiques series that the music started to reach a larger audience. The fourth volume of the series was devoted to Astatke alone, laying the groundwork for his later fame. Ever sensitive in his musical choices, director Jim Jarmusch chose
to include several Astatke songs on the soundtrack for his 2005 film ‘Broken Flowers’. Since then, Astatke has once again recorded and toured his Ethio-Jazz style music with much success. Almost impossible to get a hold of fifteen years ago, this fascinating music is now easily available. Mulatu had already released records before the Amha recordings, but it wasn’t until these seminal releases that he developed his trademarkmix of Ethiopian harmonies and jazz than would become known as EthioJazz. Shocking to some Ethio-Jazz devotees, his first recordings made in the
perhaps that is exactly what is so great about it.
mid-sixties are quite standard Latin jazz. The sound quality is not always great, but the musicianship is excellent and you can hear some traces of what was about come. Sometimes the African influences are obvious and sound corny now - like the elephant trumpeting in the was about come. Sometimes the African influences are obvious and sound corny now - like the elephant trumpeting in the beginning of the otherwise great “I faram I faram.” But
A true innovator, Astatke may not have shepherded as many disciples and young musicians following in his footsteps as Fela. It could be due to Ethiopia’s isolation during Selaisse’s rule making western trained musicians rare or to Mengistu’s harsh regime coming down on any activity not approved by the state. However, now there are signs that the recent success of the old stars of Addis Ababa may create a belated second golden age of Ethiopian modern music.
Photo by Mauro Puccini
Still it’s quite different from the fullfledged mix of the Ethiopian scale and the twelve-tone scale. The songs, both older and newer, share a specific moodiness. And yet, the EthioJazz songs unleach a whole new realm of musicality. The difference in the tonalities is notable even for the untrained ear and the long, repetitive jams never become boring. The music sounds surprisingly modern, but you can also hear similarities with Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes.
Photo by Mauro Puccini
By Naje Lataillade
first met Mark Heyman at a bar with my roommate at the time, film director Cary Fukunaga. He and Mark went to film school together and were discussing a project they were working on. What made the meeting memorable was that Mark and I were dressed in the same outfit â€“ blue jeans, a beige blazer, and a hat. It was really awkward. The last time I saw Mark, he had just finished production on The Wrestler, which he co-produced. He has since penned the critically acclaimed Black Swan, and I thought itâ€™d be a good time to catch up with him.
Photo by Michael Beauplet, Styling by Ketevan Gvaramadze
How did the collaborative relationship between you and Darren Aronofsky come about? How do you end up writing a screenplay that he directed? Well, I went to film school for directing, and in my last year at school, Darren Aronofsky came and taught as a guest lecturer. Somehow Darren and I ended up walking out of the room together, just sort of chatting, after his last class teaching there. By the end of that conversation he was saying, you know, stay in touch, you should come work for me. So I was his assistant on post-production for The Fountain. His production company had just gotten a new deal with Universal and he said, “why don’t you stick around to become director of development?” So The Wrestler became the first thing that I developed with him—and I became a producer on that.
While we were shooting The Wrestler I expressed to Darren that I’d really like to write something again and get back into the creative side. That’s when he brought up Black Swan and having me take a shot at that script. Now, writing is definitely the thing I’m pursuing most. When Darren eventually told you to give writing Black Swan a shot, were you nervous at all? Yeah... it was totally overwhelming. Obviously. I should say it sort of happened by degrees. It’s not like Darren said, “Go off and write this thing.” It was more like, “do you want to do some thinking about that project and see if you can come up with an idea of what needs to happen to it and what it should be?” In the beginning, it wasn’t clear to me that I was officially gonna write this movie, for sure. That didn’t happen until I had done a fair amount of
“We certainly didn’t even quite know what genre it was that we were really fitting into. That was more where the nervousness came from. If we’d been more confined to a single genre, we would have had a clearer sense of the road map. I do think the attractiveness to Darren was that it was stretching his comfort zone.”
outlining and a fleshed-out version of the film. Then at a certain point Darren said, “why don’t you take a shot at it?” That was the moment when I was like, “Oh. I guess I really am going to write this thing.” I was definitely overwhelmed, but, you know, of course I was going to try. (laughs) And at the time it was this dead project that nothing was ever going to happen with. So the stakes were really low; no one was paying attention to it. That’s wild to imagine right now, in light of all of the attention it’s getting. Yeah. Now it seems like we were on this trajectory to make this big huge Oscar movie. But it was just this movie that no one was thinking about. If I failed, the worst that could happen was that we’d be in the same place as before I began. I think it would have been a lot more intimidating if there were people at a studio or something waiting for me to deliver. How does the piece change from the story you’ve written to the final product?
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight
I’m lucky in the sense that I worked with Darren so closely. I was writing basically all the way right up until production. And
Yeah, I have this thing called Machine Man that I’m writing for Darren. It’s in its very early stages. Any plans to direct down the road? That’s certainly what I started trying to do with film school. And it’s always in the back of my head. I think it’s a very, very hard time for young directors. Not that it’s ever been easy. But I feel like we’re in a down cycle in the industry. Part of me is a little too practical to throw caution to the wind and fully commit myself to directing something if it means suffering and having a crappy job in the meantime and all of that. But it’s definitely something that’s in the back of my mind. Lastly, your favorite collaborative effort in any art genre where two or more artists worked together? Real or imagined. I’m thinking Herzog and Klaus Kinski. They had a great, crazy relationship. Hmm... You know, I think Pedro Almodóvar and Penelope Cruz – there’s something there. There’s something about when a director has his or her muse and it’s really clicking and you see that they have this shorthand together and something about that comes on screen. That can be very cool. Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Photo by Michael Beauplet
I was on set everyday during production. When things needed to be adjusted, I was there to contribute. So it’s not like I wrote the script and then walked away and a few months later saw the film. And it was obviously a close collaboration. It wasn’t like there were all these things he secretly wanted to change about the script that he wasn’t going to tell me. We had been in conversation throughout the process; he was always pushing me towards the film that he wanted to make. Black Swan seems like a bold choice for Darren considering the trajectory of his career. Was there any nervousness in jumping into this genre of filmmaking? Yeah, I think there was. We certainly didn’t even quite know what genre it was that we were really fitting into. That was more where the nervousness came from. If we’d been more confined to a single genre, we would have had a clearer sense of the road map. I do think the attractiveness to Darren was that it was stretching his comfort zone. I see you two are collaborating on another project that you’ve written.
By Nick Cope
co-systems expert Leslie Hoffman is tireless in her quest to make the world a greener place. After seventeen years as the CEO of Earth Pledge Foundation, she has decided to breathe life into a new project called Dark Green. One part sustainability consultancy, one part progressive contracting firm, Leslieâ€™s new firm is already making waves with a new project in a cast iron building in NYCâ€™s Soho district. At home, Leslie also practices green; her Gimme Shelter Project, the rebuilding of her Shelter Island beach-house, is a showcase for environmentally responsible building practices, sustainable products, brands and creative talents. proving that an unremarkable house can become a beautiful, sustainable SHELTER.
Photo provided by Leslie Hoffman
So Leslie, what was it that sent you down the path of sustainability? When I was in college in the late ‘70s, “Green” looked like a tidal wave to me. I had always been curious about how things work and are put together. As I studied architecture and design, environmental approaches made sense to me. I couldn’t imagine pursuing anything else. So Leslie, tell us a bit about Earth Pledge? Earth Pledge is a non-profit organization promoting sustainability that was founded by Ted Kheel in 1991. I met Ted in ’93 and he asked me to come run his foundation. I was the Executive Director from 1994 until recently, and became the President a couple of years ago. The organization had started in support of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio, but had not addressed any practical, technological solutions. I saw the need for a more technical approach and we started to identify, promote and implement solutions to specific environmental problems. These have included work with local and sustainable farming, green roofs on urban buildings, converting food waste into renewable natural gas, and helping Chinese textile factories improve their carbon footprint. Naturally, we are especially interested in your Future Fashion initiative… what can our readers learn from your research in eco-materials? We started to build a library of sustainable textiles in 2004. There were surprisingly few options at that time. Today this field is exploding, and there are thousands of wonderful sustainable textiles to select from, whether you are interested in upholstery, apparel, or industrial applications. There are both organic natural fibers and technical, man-made fibers that are environmentally preferable than conventional fabrics. Which designers do you admire for support of environmental and socially just practices? In the fashion arena, I was very impressed with Nau when they launched. They developed new fabrics using only sustainable approaches, and then gave access to the industry at large, which few designers would have done. I am also a huge fan of Natalie Chanin and Loomstate. And as a dedicated denim wearer, I also really appreciate what Levi’s has been doing. Of course, in the commercial interiors sphere I have to applaud those who have been at it for ages, such as Bill McDonough, Randy Croxton, and manufacturers such as Herman Miller, Steelcase and DesignTex.
Photo by Nicole Mackinlay Hahn
Photo provided by Leslie Hoffman
“I have felt that “community” is the next big idea in sustainability. Beyond good design, systems and products, we must find the way to work together to share what we know and what we have to create a holistic sustainable lifestyle” I understand that you are a bit of a pioneer in the modern implementation of green roofs in the US. Still a new concept to many folks, would you explain the benefits of green roofing, especially in the urban context.
I have felt that “community” is the next big idea in sustainability. Beyond good design, systems and products, we must find the way to work together to share what we know and what we have to create a holistic sustainable lifestyle. This takes a lot of work, and often goes against the normal business at hand. When Earth Pledge installed the first modern green roof in Gimme Shelter has been somewhat of an experiment for me, New York City, well over a decade ago, very few people had and also a fabulous opportunity to engage many different peoever heard of them. We created an initiative to address the ple in a joint effort. The project has also been a story-telling Urban Heat Island Effect, Combined Sewage Overflow, the opportunity to engage many more people than can touch the lack of recreational green space, and other issues that green project or visit. roofs address. Fortunately, we were able to gain fabulous traction, helped build dozens of green roofs on affordable housing, Tell us more about the eco-systems that you have implehelped New York City officials understand the value of passing mented out on Shelter Island… legislation to provide incentives for deploying the technique on privately owned buildings, and developed a computer model The house is very well sited – by chance a rare occurrence of for the NY Dept of Environmental Protection to quantify and view, sun and wind all in the same direction. This makes the evaluate the benefits of green roofs in specific locations in the orientation pretty obvious. We have 5 kilowatts of solar electric City on the sewage overflow problem. Earth Pledge also pub- panels, as well as a solar thermal array that preheats the water lished a book on Green Roofs, which helped the industry get for the under-floor radiant heat and domestic hot water. A small the traction it needed. I now see green roofs in many places, super-efficient LP gas boiler is the backup for this system. being used for everything from urban agriculture to recreation The roof is shaped ideally to catch water, which will be used primarily for watering the garden. The garden is a principal space for the elderly, and school kids’ science projects.. source of vegetables, flowers and fruit. It is totally integrated Your GimmeShelterProject is fascinating! I see it garner- into the lifestyle of the place, providing beauty and bounty for ing attention on Huffington Post and Inhabitat. This is our gatherings large and small. All appliances and plumbing fix‘Together’ issue, so your project is especially significant tures are selected for their efficient use of energy and water, to us. Do you feel that it is the community-oriented aspect and the kitchen is central to the living space and linked to the of this project that makes it so compelling to the public at outdoor spaces. large? I know that this is pre-launch, but would you share some details regarding your new venture, Dark Green… You make me smile, Nick. You and I have recently set up Dark Green as a partnership to do green consulting, design, contracting and owner’s representation in green building projects. Our relationship grew out of the Gimme Shelter community, and the complement of our skills and experience is proving to be very effective. Craft is central to all that we are engaged in, and for me it builds upon over thirty years of practice. I am passionate about material and technique and am very respectful of the worker who understands the design intent, the materials and has the tools and talent to make. Beyond the green systems, such as radiant thermal heating, solar electric, and natural materials, is a belief on my part that the people – the community – that comes together to produce beautifully executed work in construction, or in fashion, gardening, or other endeavors, is a key component of transitioning to sustainPhoto by Nicole Mackinlay Hahn
ability. At the core of this concept is a deep belief in the need to find and nurture the right people to make a great team. There is always a lot to learn, so good people are getting exposed to new approaches and products. We cannot get much done alone, so we need to work harmoniously to restore our environment. This is both a short term and immediate local need, as well as a global requirement. We are sourcing materials and products with attention to their vertical supply chain, what it is, who and where it comes from, and what it took to produce the things we then use to create our projects. So far we are principally doing custom residential work, but that is likely to expand. We are currently working in New York City and eastern Long Island, but will likely soon do some work on the Big Island, where I have maintained a small farm for over 20 years. Connecting my communities in my work adds value to the mix. It can be anything really, but what is your Wild Wish? I wish for long-term security and health, which is how I define sustainability. I think it is what we all want, but often get off on tangents that distract us from this most basic goal. In the shortterm, good friends and a good meal satisfy me.
Photo by Nicole Mackinlay Hahn
By Eric Corson
spiring artists always search for the best way to get widespread recognition. In the case of filmmakers, the easiest route to success seems to rely on the systematic choice of a lead actor. It is, after all, impossible to imagine Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s career without Hannah Schygulla, Tim Burton’s without Johnny Depp, or Francois Truffaut’s without Jean-Pierre Leaud. But what is the best way to associate oneself as a director with an actor? What type of relationship seems to be the most prone to lead to prosperity? In an effort to provide an easy answer to these questions, I have chosen the three most common relationship types found between maker and performer, aggregated them with a handful of examples and come to an inaccurate but nonetheless helpful conclusion that might be considered by aspiring filmmakers as a way to attain stardom.
At first glance, one of the more fertile types of relations has to be what I call the “father-son” relationship, as exemplified by Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, or John Ford and John Wayne. Kurosawa and Mifune made 16 films together, which would change cinema’s face forever. Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Ikiru are monuments of world cinema and although both men had prolific careers independently, their work would never be as awe-inspiring again as during their extraordinary collaboration. Kurosawa nurtured Mifune’s talent by writing diverse and challenging parts for him, molding him into the cinematic giant he would become. When the actor, a heavy drinker like Kurosawa, would race around drunk in his sports car after shooting for the day was done, it was Kurosawa who had to stop him and send him to bed. After the separation, the director, by now a sort of éminence grise, would comment on Mifune with a blend of admiring chagrin and disillusioned longing, while his once favorite actor would wait for nothing more than a final
“Bogart felt the most comfortable with Huston in the director’s chair because he pushed him to go beyond himself (and also because both men had a strong inclination towards booze), but he couldn’t bear the director’s time consuming work method that kept him from home, once calling Huston a “bastard,” who had been “dicking around” long enough” approval from Kurosawa. Like two magnets with positive charges, father figure and prodigal son gravitated towards each other but were always driven apart before they could reach the other. There are myriad parallels between John Ford and John Wayne. Fittingly, Ford was a direct influence on Kurosawa’s work. Therefore, it is not surprising that he had a son figure as well; he discovered Wayne at a young age, made him into a superstar, and would later be reliant on him as his protégé to produce his best work. The 21 films they made together included game changing classics like Stagecoach and The Searchers, and just like Mifune, Wayne would embody the
ideal male, infused with patriotic pathos and nationalistic virtues. Their private wars over politics and film financing were well publicized, but Ford and Wayne had an artistic affinity that brought them together time and time again. With a cinematic legacy that prevails to this day, the father-son relation is a strong contender for the most profitable director/actor model. The “repulsive attraction” model is best
illustrated by the tumultuous relationship between soft-spoken enfant terrible Werner Herzog and Teutonic madman Klaus Kinski. Herzog’s fabled life-threatening work methods and Kinski’s uncontrollable temper that would sometimes result in hour-long yelling orgies are legendary. Kinski would refuse to take direction from Herzog, calling him a “dwarf director” who’s instructions were “insulting.” His genius is instilled in the 5 films that he and Herzog made together, first and
foremost in Aguirre – Wrath of God. And the director credits his “best fiend” for teaching him about movement patterns, room perception and speech rhythms. The conflicts opposing John Huston and Humphrey Bogart, who made 6 films together, might be less spectacular. But Huston, the tormented genius, rootless and reckless, was notorious for going way over schedule on his shoots, and Bogart, the homely, incurious enfant
prodige, was mostly interested in spending as much time as possible on his yacht. They clashed constantly. Bogart felt the most comfortable with Huston in the director’s chair because he pushed him to go beyond himself (and also because both men had a strong inclination towards booze), but he couldn’t bear the director’s time consuming work method that kept him from home, once calling Huston a “bastard,” who had been “dicking around” long enough. With a battery of anecdotes that fill entire books and, in Herzog’s and Kinski’s case, documentaries, the repulsive attraction model has a smaller output but is more infamous. Attraction and rejection, fascination and dedication, adoration and self-abandonment are the ingredients for the muse model, a model that is also extraordinarily fruitful. Consider, for example, Lillian Gish and D.W. Griffith who, between 1912 and 1922, made 42 films together. And what would Woody Allen’s career look like without Mia Farrow, Diane Keaton, or, more recently, Scarlett Johansson? A number of these pairings could be described as father-daughter relations of sorts, when the directors discover their muse at a young age, and teach them everything they need to know in order to give the performances the director needs from them. This was the case with Gish and Griffith, but also with Joseph von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich, who made 8 pictures together. Dietrich wrote about von Sternberg in her autobiography that he was her “father, critic and instructor”, concluding: “He created me.” One could say that in the same way, Jean-Luc Godard created Anna Karina who would become the poster girl of the French New Wave. Having seen her in a soap commercial, he was impressed enough to offer her a small role in what would become the most influential film of the Nouvelle Vague, A bout de souffle. But Karina turned down the offer because the part demanded nudity. In 1960, Go-
“Without a doubt the most glamorous relationship type, the muse model is both productive and sexy, artistically legitimate and dignified” dard finally offered her a leading role in Le petit soldat. He would give her books to read, introduced her to world cinema and took her to his regulars’ table with fellow New Wave directors. Thus began a working relationship that lasted for 7 films and a love relationship that brings us to another facet of the muse model: the married director/actor couple. The relationship ended in a divorce in 1967 and their work together can be seen as the offspring of a burning but deceiving passion that would make for pulsating art, but a hapless private life. The opposite model can be found in Frederico Fellini and Giulietta Masina. The couple got married in 1943 and she rose to superstardom during the 1950’s, starring in 7 of her husband’s most successful films, and winning an Academy Award in 1957 for her work in Fellini’s Night of Cabiria. Marcello Mastroianni, with whom Fellini made 6 films, was arguably the more important long-time collaborator for the director (the 1963 film 8 ½, who finds both men at the peak of their virtuoso creativity has to be counted among the best movies of all times) but it was Masina who nourished and cherished the director artistically, being at times confidante, adviser, or protector of her husband’s sparks of creativity. Without a doubt the most glamorous relationship type, the muse model is both productive and sexy, artistically legitimate and dignified.
By Rebecca Kanengiser
was once told a great secret about meditation: it works if you are a human being. There are multitudinous meanings of the word “meditation” and just as many forms, from basic to hardcore. But—what is meditation?
Photo by Atul Sharma
I write these words peacefully perched upon a meditation pillow at the Hamsa Yoga Sangh Mother Center, Yogiraj Siddhanath’s Forest Ashram in the lush Sita Mai Valley of India. Here, a deep inhalation not only fuels me with oxygen, but with the primordial secrets of the universe; the breeze and I dance to this sacred breath of life and I exist in a perpetual state of meditation. As intoxicating smells waft from the kitchen, my Guru eats his breakfast and teaches; he is always teaching—and how lucky I am to learn. Here the other disciples and I practice an advanced form of meditation, Babaji’s true Kriya Yoga as given by Yogiraj Siddhanath. This is the quickest route to enlightenment, a practice that the Guru appropriately terms, “the Lightening Path.” However, when I first began meditating, I was lucky if I could sit still for five minutes without getting up due to the turbulence of my gotta-get-it-done Photo by Atul Sharma
mind. Thoughts and distractions would arise – discomforts, which often tempted me to leave the practice. To achieve success and find inner peace within, a meditation practitioner much exercise his or her will and make the practice a practice. Some tips: meditate as soon as you wake up in the morning for a set amount of time. Start with less time than you think you can sit comfortably, and soon you will feel compelled to add more time. Understand that distracting thoughts will enter your mind. Come to terms with the idea that you may need to give it time. Know that you don’t have to make anything “happen.” Yet, when you make an attempt to change your inner reality, your outer will often transformswith it. At its root, meditation is a practice that stills the mind through conscious breathing. There are myriad systems claiming conscious development and advancement. For example, a friend described her practice as counting to ten with her
“In today’s world of fear and uncertainty, every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence—bliss—the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is the way to save the coming generation.” breath over and over again. I took a class in college where a self-named “yogi” told us we were being spiritually reprogrammed while staring into a flame. In the West there is buzz about walking meditation, screaming meditation, group meditation, Zen meditation, sex meditation—you name it. There is a practice for every wannabe-enlightened-idiot and we are all wannabe-enlightened idiots, all climbing the same ladder, all stretching our foolish souls. True Gurus and true teachers help us evolve emotionally, mentally and spiritually—and some can affect us physically as well. Therefore, dedicating a portion of time to releasing one’s accumulated stresses, distractions, pains and any tangential or limiting thoughts should probably be mandatory for humanity’s sake. The practice of meditation can help you ease stress in your muscles and joints, it
can help pull you out of depression and it can make your brain synapses fire more quickly; certain forms are scientifically proven to temper and even cure numerous disorders, grievances and the most mundane annoyances. However, meditation also works on a higher plane: Yogiraj Siddhanath advocates “Earth Peace through Self Peace.” He explains that the word religion stems from the Latin root, religare, meaning “to bind.” So, what are we bound by? We are not bound by various warring religions; we are bound by the fact that we are all human. We can choose this or that spiritual practice, we may opt to pray or not, believe or not; however, if we do not breathe, we die. Where is the resistance to such a path? Well, it is not an easy path. Meditation involves taking personal initiative, going within and wringing out anything that is ready to be wrung. There is an assumption that meditation is a path of solitude
and renunciation; however, it can help to create the highest form of togetherness. Yaniv Cohen, a longtime disciple of Yogiraj Siddhanath explains: “As I’ve learned from years of guidance and meditation with Yogiraj—in terms of togetherness in meditation, I always have viewed that it is like we exist in cubicles where the walls represent limitations and the boundaries of our self identity. I am this—I am not that. In the beginning, with only a steady effort practicing meditation daily for as little as fifteen to thirty minutes, changes start happening. Soon after, we begin to experience the Google maps view. At this time, we see these cubicles from above; we can see our own cubicle from a bird eye’s view. Therefore, we start to identify less with the individual cubicle and more with the grand map. The long-term practice of meditation not only stabilizes this view, but works to dissolve the walls themselves so we no longer feel separate; we are that one being — that one life — flowing through all beings.” In our society there is a faulty assumption that prescriptions, over the counter medicines and drugs of the “hard” variety are the best ways to overcome the illnesses and stresses of our age; this quick-fix desperation has greatly hampered our consciousness and has created a disconnection between the body, mind and spirit. Meditation is the most organic medication available. As we meditate, we slough off unneeded toxins, and through this evolutionary shedding and enlightening process, we are raising collective consciousness. If meditation can potentially save you the cost of medical bills and other stress-inducing expenditures, it is most definitely a worthwhile investment. After all, there is actually a
study that shows how insurance rates are lessened for practitioners of meditation! A solid practice has even been proven to neutralize and repair at-risk populations. This brings to mind filmmaker David Lynch, an avid practitioner of meditation. You may know Lynch as the mastermind behind such movies and television shows as: Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, Blue Velvet and Inland Empire. In addition to being an award winning writer, director and producer, Lynch is the Founder and Chairman of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace a 501(c)(3) organization. The thematic scope of Lynch’s cinematic work may seem to be a far cry from meditative; Lynchian eeriness is notorious for raising heartbeats and halting the natural flow of breath. However, the landscape of Lynch’s brain with its surrealist Wonderland of dream imagery speaks loudly to the fruits of his meditation practice, which he claims is responsible for his creative, emotional and intellectual evolution. Lynch’s idea with his organization is to fund meditation education to help relieve stress and promote conscious growth throughout the nation and world. He says, “In today’s world of fear and uncertainty, every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence—bliss— the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is the way to save the coming generation.” Lynch practices Transcendental Meditation (TM), originally spread by
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which focuses on two daily sessions in which practitioners meditate on a specific mantra. Lynch credits much of his creativity and the vast majority of his personal growth to his TM practice—which he said had already greatly transformed him after just two weeks. Find your practice and stick to it; the key to meditation is consistency and authenticity. Trace the roots. Where does it come from? Be aware that meditation takes diligent work, effort and concentration. You will be changed. Another disciple here at the ashram, Andrew, a.k.a. Makund, laughs as he says, “meditation helps with every single part of life. Every single aspect of life that can possibly be thought of is affected.” If togetherness comes when we stop identifying with personal egos and transcend the limitations of the body then why wouldn’t we sit and spend some valuable time each day meditating? Imagine if 10% of the world meditated. Or 25%. Or get this…the whole world. We would all experience life as a meditation. I have seen miracles happen. Many. Here at the ashram, I have directly experienced the symbiotic relationship between humanity, breath and consciousness. While I can’t make any promises to you about your future growth, success and enlightenment, I urge you to embark upon a path now and make it a practice with haste. After all, as Yogiraj says, “At the level of Consciousness, humanity is one.” So ready, set, go—expand your consciousness!
All photos by Rebecca Kanengiser except marked otherwise.
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