Photographer Zak Arcander on Butterflies, Raves, and Being Alive
What defines an American perspective today? What does an American look like and more importantly how does an American look? Our society privileges the self, it is a culture that valorizes consumption and idealizes “self actualization”. In short, we live in a society that dictates humans as agents of desire. It is from within this infrastructure that we struggle to create and foster communities. In a self-centered social order, where do we come together and what do we gather around? Although there may not be one succinct answer, all of us are looking for it. If there is a common subject within Zak Arctander’s images, it is that of the pursuant gaze, a subject in a relentless search for the often intangible object of its desire. I sat down with Zak to talk about butterflies and being alive.
 

 
VICE: Tell me a little about your background.
Zak Arctander: I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, a place called Arlington Heights. I made skateboard videos throughout high school. My parents and my sister are all artists. 
 

 
How did skateboarding videos lead you to the work you make now? 
When I was filming/photographing skateboarding it was pretty similar to how I work now. The street was the stage for the drama; I was freezing and framing action. What is different now is I’m not so closely collaborating with the people I am photographing. They are mostly strangers that I encounter briefly.
 

 
It is clear from the images that your subjects are being captured in moments of telling inbetween-ness: not a decisive moment, but the fugue state between. There is a darkness that pervades the images, a darkness that seems to be located in relation to human desires. Are you ever disturbed by the images you create?
Disturbed isn’t a word that ever really crosses my mind. I have felt shaken. I definitely think about desire and how everyone is reaching for something outside of themselves. It sounds sort of ridiculous but when I consider what I’m after I still turn to Delillo’s phrase “magic and dread.” 
 

Continue

Photographer Zak Arcander on Butterflies, Raves, and Being Alive

What defines an American perspective today? What does an American look like and more importantly how does an American look? Our society privileges the self, it is a culture that valorizes consumption and idealizes “self actualization”. In short, we live in a society that dictates humans as agents of desire. It is from within this infrastructure that we struggle to create and foster communities. In a self-centered social order, where do we come together and what do we gather around? Although there may not be one succinct answer, all of us are looking for it. If there is a common subject within Zak Arctander’s images, it is that of the pursuant gaze, a subject in a relentless search for the often intangible object of its desire. I sat down with Zak to talk about butterflies and being alive.
 
 
VICE: Tell me a little about your background.
Zak Arctander: I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, a place called Arlington Heights. I made skateboard videos throughout high school. My parents and my sister are all artists. 
 
 
How did skateboarding videos lead you to the work you make now? 
When I was filming/photographing skateboarding it was pretty similar to how I work now. The street was the stage for the drama; I was freezing and framing action. What is different now is I’m not so closely collaborating with the people I am photographing. They are mostly strangers that I encounter briefly.
 
 
It is clear from the images that your subjects are being captured in moments of telling inbetween-ness: not a decisive moment, but the fugue state between. There is a darkness that pervades the images, a darkness that seems to be located in relation to human desires. Are you ever disturbed by the images you create?
Disturbed isn’t a word that ever really crosses my mind. I have felt shaken. I definitely think about desire and how everyone is reaching for something outside of themselves. It sounds sort of ridiculous but when I consider what I’m after I still turn to Delillo’s phrase “magic and dread.” 
 

Continue

Pissing Into Your Mouth Is ‘Huge’ in Australia
A couple of weeks ago, our friends at Noisey wrote about a guy who was photographed pissing into his own mouth at a Trash Talk show in Melbourne. It might have seemed pretty gross and weird to you at the time, but it turns out it wasn’t an isolated incident. In fact, it’s just one example of a worldwide phenomenon among skaters—a phenomenon that even has its own name: “bubbling.”
At least that’s what this friendly skater called Troy West—a.k.a. Skategypsy—told us recently. According to Skategypsy, “bubbling” originated in his native Australia but was popularized in Europe through his own skating tours.
Here’s the rest of that conversation about gargling piss.
VICE: How did bubbling first start? Just how big is it in Australia?
Troy West: It’s huge in Australia. It’s part of our everyday life. My dad actually taught me how to do it when I was a kid.
And so you brought it to Europe?
I was on tour in Austria, and this other skater, Frido, asked me if I would drink my own piss for $136. So I explained that it’s common practice in Oz, and I did it right there and then, and then again later by some lake in Italy. It took Frido a few days to master the art, though—he had a weak flow.
Is there a deeper meaning behind it?
It’s a pretty big statement. Try it and find the meaning yourself.
Continue

Pissing Into Your Mouth Is ‘Huge’ in Australia

A couple of weeks ago, our friends at Noisey wrote about a guy who was photographed pissing into his own mouth at a Trash Talk show in Melbourne. It might have seemed pretty gross and weird to you at the time, but it turns out it wasn’t an isolated incident. In fact, it’s just one example of a worldwide phenomenon among skaters—a phenomenon that even has its own name: “bubbling.”

At least that’s what this friendly skater called Troy West—a.k.a. Skategypsy—told us recently. According to Skategypsy, “bubbling” originated in his native Australia but was popularized in Europe through his own skating tours.

Here’s the rest of that conversation about gargling piss.

VICE: How did bubbling first start? Just how big is it in Australia?

Troy West: 
It’s huge in Australia. It’s part of our everyday life. My dad actually taught me how to do it when I was a kid.

And so you brought it to Europe?

I was on tour in Austria, and this other skater, Frido, asked me if I would drink my own piss for $136. So I explained that it’s common practice in Oz, and I did it right there and then, and then again later by some lake in Italy. It took Frido a few days to master the art, though—he had a weak flow.

Is there a deeper meaning behind it?

It’s a pretty big statement. Try it and find the meaning yourself.

Continue

Epicly Later’d – Keith Hufnagel, Part 3

In the finale of Keith Hufnagel’s Epicly Later’d episode, Keith juggles the responsibilities of pro skating and starting HUF—the brand that began as a backup plan, but took on a life of its own. He also looks back on some of the people who helped him most over the course of his career, and begins to do the same for the next generation of skaters.

Epicly Later’d – Keith Hufnagel, Part 3

In the finale of Keith Hufnagel’s Epicly Later’d episode, Keith juggles the responsibilities of pro skating and starting HUF—the brand that began as a backup plan, but took on a life of its own. He also looks back on some of the people who helped him most over the course of his career, and begins to do the same for the next generation of skaters.

Meet Sean Pablo
Of the colorful cast of new faces in Supreme’s first full-length video, 16-year-old Sean Pablo Murphy was the most polarizing. I decided to call the young Sean Pablo and ask him what’s up with his new Converse commercial, what it’s like having Jason Dill as a boss, and how he lost his virginity.
Continue

Meet Sean Pablo

Of the colorful cast of new faces in Supreme’s first full-length video, 16-year-old Sean Pablo Murphy was the most polarizing. I decided to call the young Sean Pablo and ask him what’s up with his new Converse commercial, what it’s like having Jason Dill as a boss, and how he lost his virginity.

Continue

Epicly Later’d – Keith Hufnagel, Part 1
Part one of the series is a look back at Keith’s formative days in early 90s New York City. Before HUF, and before everyone and their grandma had a pair of weed socks, he was just a kid, busting his ass to get sponsored.

To make this episode we sifted through a treasure trove of Hi8 and VHS tapes, including raw Keenan Milton and Gino Iannucci footage and an (almost) never-before-seen Fun Skateboards video. We hope you like it.
Watch!

Epicly Later’d – Keith Hufnagel, Part 1

Part one of the series is a look back at Keith’s formative days in early 90s New York City. Before HUF, and before everyone and their grandma had a pair of weed socks, he was just a kid, busting his ass to get sponsored.

To make this episode we sifted through a treasure trove of Hi8 and VHS tapes, including raw Keenan Milton and Gino Iannucci footage and an (almost) never-before-seen Fun Skateboards video. We hope you like it.

Watch!

Catching Up with One of Our Favorite Photographers, Teen Witch
Andrea Sonnenberg, a.k.a. Teen Witch, has been a VICE staple for quite some time now. But if you’re just joining, us here’s an apt description from that one time she was employee of the month:

Andrea Sonnenberg, a.k.a. Teen Witch, is a 21-year-old self-taught photographer from California. Ryan McGinley first hepped us to her, and fellow VICE photographer Sandy Kim is her best friend. She’s obsessed with super-esoteric things like skateboarding and partying and tattoos. Sometimes she gets topless for no reason, and she recently got the letters “SVU” tattooed on her because she loves Law & Order so much. Her photos make San Francisco look like a big, pretty party full of wild-haired weird girls, and everything looks like the funnest time. And when she’s not running around with her crazy friends, she spends her time working at an ice cream shop. We foresee great things coming from this one.

Great things indeed. Sure, things have changed a little for Teen Witch since, mainly her age and primary occupation (she’s 24 now and no longer works at an ice cream shop), but luckily the rest remains unchanged. She’s still putting out countless zines and has had a couple solo shows, as well as buttloads of commerical work, resulting in her photos being plastered onto everything from T-shirts to skateboards. 
In the past, we’ve let her photos speak for themselves, but considering that it’s been a couple years since we last heard from her, we thought it was time to catch up and find out what she’s been up to.
VICE: So you quit your job at the ice cream place. How does it feel?Andrea Sonnenberg: Yeah, I just quit my job of seven years. I started scooping ice cream at Bi-rite Creamery here in San Francisco and eventually became a baker and worked in the kitchen for my last three years there. Quitting and moving on feels incredibly exciting and liberating, but I also have a tough time dealing with change, so to finally take the plunge has also been something hard for me to do and accept.
Does this mean photography will be your main focus?Yes. I hope I can use this time to focus my energy solely on photography. It was challenging to balance working two jobs and also being involved in so many photography projects with super stressful deadlines and not as many hours of free time to work with.
Continue

Catching Up with One of Our Favorite Photographers, Teen Witch

Andrea Sonnenberg, a.k.a. Teen Witch, has been a VICE staple for quite some time now. But if you’re just joining, us here’s an apt description from that one time she was employee of the month:

Andrea Sonnenberg, a.k.a. Teen Witch, is a 21-year-old self-taught photographer from California. Ryan McGinley first hepped us to her, and fellow VICE photographer Sandy Kim is her best friend. She’s obsessed with super-esoteric things like skateboarding and partying and tattoos. Sometimes she gets topless for no reason, and she recently got the letters “SVU” tattooed on her because she loves Law & Order so much. Her photos make San Francisco look like a big, pretty party full of wild-haired weird girls, and everything looks like the funnest time. And when she’s not running around with her crazy friends, she spends her time working at an ice cream shop. We foresee great things coming from this one.

Great things indeed. Sure, things have changed a little for Teen Witch since, mainly her age and primary occupation (she’s 24 now and no longer works at an ice cream shop), but luckily the rest remains unchanged. She’s still putting out countless zines and has had a couple solo shows, as well as buttloads of commerical work, resulting in her photos being plastered onto everything from T-shirts to skateboards

In the past, we’ve let her photos speak for themselves, but considering that it’s been a couple years since we last heard from her, we thought it was time to catch up and find out what she’s been up to.

VICE: So you quit your job at the ice cream place. How does it feel?
Andrea Sonnenberg:
 Yeah, I just quit my job of seven years. I started scooping ice cream at Bi-rite Creamery here in San Francisco and eventually became a baker and worked in the kitchen for my last three years there. Quitting and moving on feels incredibly exciting and liberating, but I also have a tough time dealing with change, so to finally take the plunge has also been something hard for me to do and accept.



Does this mean photography will be your main focus?
Yes. I hope I can use this time to focus my energy solely on photography. It was challenging to balance working two jobs and also being involved in so many photography projects with super stressful deadlines and not as many hours of free time to work with.

Continue

munchies:

How-To: Make Prison Style Sweet and Sour Pork With Andy Roy
You learn something new everyday, and if you weren’t locked up in Pelican Bay State Prison in the early 2000s, then today you are going to learn how to make a prison-style sweet and sour pork. And we’ve got just the man to give you a tutorial: Andy Roy, a professional skateboarder for Anti-Hero Skateboards, who’s known for a variety of things—not the least of which are the spider web tattoo on the top of his head and his dog pissers to rock. 
Watch

munchies:

How-To: Make Prison Style Sweet and Sour Pork With Andy Roy

You learn something new everyday, and if you weren’t locked up in Pelican Bay State Prison in the early 2000s, then today you are going to learn how to make a prison-style sweet and sour pork. And we’ve got just the man to give you a tutorial: Andy Roy, a professional skateboarder for Anti-Hero Skateboards, who’s known for a variety of things—not the least of which are the spider web tattoo on the top of his head and his dog pissers to rock. 

Watch

Jamie O’Brien Talks Skate World, Skate Africa, and Levi’s Skateboarding
As Levi’s continues to get more involved in skateboarding, the brand has largely taken a cue from its audience in what it puts together, whom it works with, and how it spends its money. The ads are relatable, focusing on friends tearing it up together and having a hyphy time doing it, like in the recent “Oakland Nights” spot.
And now there are the recent projects fostering skateboarding in developing parts of the world. The first of these combined the efforts of skateboarding collective HolyStoked, well-known American pros, and talented German builders from 2er to create the first free public skate park in India within a few dirty, dusty weeks. Round two was partnering with South African builders from Dope Industries and Woodies Ramps to do a similar DIY project with local skaters in the Johannesburg area. Together, they breathed new life into Edendale’s Skate World park using new components that are difficult to be pulled out for scrap.
We talked to seasoned builder Jamie O’Brien about the project and his impressions of skateboarding in South Africa.
VICE:  Hi, Jamie. Could you please tell us the basics about reviving Skate World?
Jamie O’Brien: Skate World has been around for a long time, and many people have tried to manage the space, privatize it and charge an entrance fee, etc. I understand that—it takes money to maintain and look after a park that is made of wood or steel. But most skaters don’t want to pay, or can’t afford to pay, every time they go skating. So I think for this reason it didn’t work out.

The sports complex where Skate World is located has not rented out the space again, which has added to its falling apart. And local skaters have built their own wooden or steel obstacles, which have either been burned or stolen by vagrants that have taken occupancy of the surrounding buildings. Levi’s was looking for a place to upgrade in the Johannesburg area, and it just made sense to rehabilitate Skate World. Seeing wood and steel were not going to work, we decided to build something solid that couldn’t be stolen, so we went the concrete route.
Continue Reading

Jamie O’Brien Talks Skate World, Skate Africa, and Levi’s Skateboarding

As Levi’s continues to get more involved in skateboarding, the brand has largely taken a cue from its audience in what it puts together, whom it works with, and how it spends its money. The ads are relatable, focusing on friends tearing it up together and having a hyphy time doing it, like in the recent “Oakland Nights” spot.

And now there are the recent projects fostering skateboarding in developing parts of the world. The first of these combined the efforts of skateboarding collective HolyStoked, well-known American pros, and talented German builders from 2er to create the first free public skate park in India within a few dirty, dusty weeks. Round two was partnering with South African builders from Dope Industries and Woodies Ramps to do a similar DIY project with local skaters in the Johannesburg area. Together, they breathed new life into Edendale’s Skate World park using new components that are difficult to be pulled out for scrap.

We talked to seasoned builder Jamie O’Brien about the project and his impressions of skateboarding in South Africa.

VICE:  Hi, Jamie. Could you please tell us the basics about reviving Skate World?

Jamie O’Brien: Skate World has been around for a long time, and many people have tried to manage the space, privatize it and charge an entrance fee, etc. I understand that—it takes money to maintain and look after a park that is made of wood or steel. But most skaters don’t want to pay, or can’t afford to pay, every time they go skating. So I think for this reason it didn’t work out.

The sports complex where Skate World is located has not rented out the space again, which has added to its falling apart. And local skaters have built their own wooden or steel obstacles, which have either been burned or stolen by vagrants that have taken occupancy of the surrounding buildings. Levi’s was looking for a place to upgrade in the Johannesburg area, and it just made sense to rehabilitate Skate World. Seeing wood and steel were not going to work, we decided to build something solid that couldn’t be stolen, so we went the concrete route.

Continue Reading

Epicly Later’d – Ed Templeton, Part Five
In part five, we take a look at Ed’s life as an artist. From being coaxed out of hoarding his early paintings in Huntington Beach to confronting the homophobia of the 90s New York skate scene and finally finding success with his Teenage Smokers series, Ed’s art career has been defined in much the same way as his skate career—Ed just does Ed until people get it.
W a t c h

Epicly Later’d – Ed Templeton, Part Five

In part five, we take a look at Ed’s life as an artist. From being coaxed out of hoarding his early paintings in Huntington Beach to confronting the homophobia of the 90s New York skate scene and finally finding success with his Teenage Smokers series, Ed’s art career has been defined in much the same way as his skate career—Ed just does Ed until people get it.

W a t c h

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