Dan Witz – mosh pit series

agnostic-front-2013-_48x76__oil_on_canvas_2014byronesque-danwitz

DAN WITZ – MOSH PITS, RAVES AND ONE SMALL ORGY – MARCH 24, 2016 – at Jonathan LeVine Gallery – NY

I’m an academic realist painter, but I’m living in the 21st century, so I’m not going to be painting Roman soldiers invading, or some gothic baroque composition…The highest aspiration of an academic realist painter are these big group figure paintings, and I’m using the hardcore scene as my subject.

Taken from vna

Dan Witz

March of the Gods: Botswana Metalheads

The idea of March of the Gods: Botswana Metalheads  was conceived when one day in spring 2011, Raffaele, the director of the project, came across Frank Marshall’s photographs from his project Renegades on Vice Magazine.  Frank’s work presents a considered vision of Botswana’s heavy metal subculture and portrays the unique local metalhead aesthetic which combines elements of British heavy metal of the eighties, cowboy fashion and biker elements creating an interesting anthropological study of a subculture like no other.

Raffaele’s curiosity about the metal scene in Botswana led to an intensive research and a series of attempts to contact various local bands. Two years later, in April 2013, a team of three filmmakers decided it was time to spend their savings in a meaningful experience and landed in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. The crew chose to focus the documentary on one of the most predominant local bands, Wrust, and it was offered hospitality by its singer, Stux Daemon.

The following weeks were an experience of intense immersion into the local metal brotherhood. The team interviewed several local bands, fans, musicians and people who offered anthropological insights into the subculture and its history. The crew also filmed and experienced the madness of the local metal gigs and spent enough time with the local people to understand the country’s uniqueness through its contemporary culture but also its problems and contradictions.

Upon leaving Botswana, the film crew and the band shared a common vision: Wrust had just got an invitation to play at one of the most respected metal festivals in Italy, SoloMacello, headlined by Red Fang. Although Wrust had opened for famous bands such as Sepultura and Carcass in South Africa before, that was their first chance to take a step outside their continent. SoloMacello would be the opportunity to put Botswana on the world map of metal music for the first time in history – and it did. Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, Wrust managed to cover an important part of their travel expenses and be the first metal band from Botswana ever to play outside Africa.

Wrust are currently performing in a number of African countries as part of their tour March of the Gods  (the film has actually been named after the tour). The film started hitting the festivals in 2014 and has already won the award of Best International Documentary at People’s Film Festival in New York.

Taken from marchofthegods.com/

SILK ROAD by Eileen Ormsby

silk road

It was the ‘eBay of drugs’, a billion dollar empire. Behind it was the FBI’s Most Wanted Man, a mysterious crime czar dubbed ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’. SILK ROAD lay at the heart of the ‘Dark Web’ – a parallel internet of porn, guns, assassins and drugs. Lots of drugs. With the click of a button LSD, heroin, meth, coke, any illegal drug imaginable, would wing its way by regular post from any dealer to any user in the world. How was this online drug cartel even possible? And who was the mastermind all its low roads led to? This is the incredible true story of Silk Road’s rise and fall, told with unparalleled insight into the main players – including alleged founder and kingpin Dread Pirate Roberts himself – by lawyer and investigative journalist Eileen Ormsby. A stunning crime story with a truth that explodes off the page.

Buy the book

Check out her blog

The Mystery of the Creepiest Television Hack

by CHRIS KNITTEL

Right up until 9:14 PM on November 22nd, 1987, what appeared on Chicago’s television sets was somewhat normal: entertainment, news, game shows.

That night, as usual, Dan Roan, a popular local sportscaster on Channel 9’s Nine O’Clock News, was narrating highlights of the Bears’ victory over the Detroit Lions. And then, suddenly and without warning, the signal flickered up and out into darkness.

In the control room of WGN-TV, the technicians on duty stared blankly at their screens. It was from their studio, located at Bradley Place in the north of the city, that the network broadcasted its microwave transmission to an antenna at the top of the 100-story John Hancock tower, seven miles away, and then out to tens of thousands of viewers. Time seemed to slow to a trickle as they watched that signal get hijacked.

A squat, suited figure sputtered into being, and bounced around maniacally. Wearing a ghoulish rubbery mask with sunglasses and a frozen grin, the mysterious intruder looked like a cross between Richard Nixon and the Joker. Static hissed through the signal; behind him, a slab of corrugated metal spun hypnotically. This was not part of the regularly scheduled broadcast.

Finally someone switched the uplink frequencies, and the studio zapped back to the screen. There was Roan, at his desk in the studio, smiling at the camera, dumbfounded.

“Well, if you’re wondering what’s happened,” he said, chuckling nervously, “so am I.”

Within hours, federal officials would be called in to investigate one of the strangest crimes in TV history—a rare broadcast signal intrusion, with no clear motive, method, or culprits. It may as well have come from another dimension.

To many clued-in TV viewers that night, the face of Max Headroom would have been unmistakable. “The world’s first computer-generated TV host,” as he might have proudly boasted, was a sharp-tongued character inaugurated in 1985 as the veejay for a British music television show. His sarcastic wit and stuttering delivery—along with an ad campaign for New Coke, a late-night talk show on Cinemax, and a few TV specials—had made him a cult personality even before he finally earned his own hour-long TV show in the US.

Max Headroom, which featured the exploits of a TV journalist living in a dystopian future, with a digital alter ego in the form of the title character, debuted on March 31, 1987. In Chicago, it aired on the ABC affiliate Channel 7, and would last for 11 episodes and into a brief second season that fall, before it was canceled, beaten in the ratings by Miami Vice.

Read full story

Taken from motherboard.vice.com

All In – Buying Into the Drug Trade

by Graham Maclndoe

Graham-Maclndoe

The images in this series are of heroin baggies collected years ago during a period of addiction. I became intrigued by the typography and design of the glassine envelopes used to package dope, stamped with references to popular culture like Twilight, Crooklyn and New Jack City. Dealers branded and marketed their product like entepreneurs in any business, pairing names like Dead Medicine with a skull and crossbones to appeal to risk-takers, or an airplane labeled First Class to give the illusion of grandeur.

The addict becomes the ultimate consumer of the ultimate product – following a trail of quirky street names carefully chosen to be instantly recognizable to those in the know. But there is nothing hidden about the references to good times (So Amazing, Black Jack) and the reality of addiction (Flat Liner, Undertaker).

Lou Reed wrote the song “Perfect Day” to describe being on heroin, and that’s what every addict chases. But the marketing of that drug, like any product, doesn’t always lead us to what’s promised. These images are a reminder of both the power of desire and the things we as consumers want to believe will somehow change our lives.

Taken from www.grahammacindoe.com/

 

Ergo Sum – Valerio Polici

Text by Valerio Polici

“Graffiti was the missing piece in our puzzle to remain teen ager forever”
(Ruzd Drm crew. Berlin 1999)

Becoming an adult, it is a complex and sometimes very painful process. The responsibility, the renunciations, the loss of the wonder are not always easy to accept. Terrorized from this transition some kids decide to stop for a while in a halfway stage to take their “out of cell time”, before that the tranquillity and the carelessness will vanish forever. I decided to tell this suspension through the community of the graffiti writers, that in this activity they find the perfect tool for such evasion. In the obsessive research of a momentary freedom, they tend to substitute the real world with their micro-reality, to which they feel to belong much more. For this reason, their existences got catapulted in this limbo populated by myths legends and heroic deeds, where often they remained locked for the entire life.

The graffiti sub-culture, born in the New York ghettos during the years of the Warhol’s prophecy of the “15 minutes of fame for all”, was the expression of the sense of inadequacy and depersonalization, that groups of persons felt in a society that would have never perceived them. Therefore they tried to chase that fame, writing their invisible stories on all urban surfaces, to shout their existence out into the world. Almost half century later, this “movement” infected all the western world, taking roots on several social net. Not anymore a tool of expression just for the less fortunate social classes, but an occasion for everybody to rebuilt their own identity, although in a parallel world, free from the personal limitations.

The appeal of being outlaw, the obstacles, and the theatricality of the location where their “missions” take place, make their life appear as those of modern knight errant, in a constant request of new adventures.

In the last three years i followed several groups of graffiti writers between Europe and Argentina.

Among intrusions, climbing, infinite running and a lots of adrenaline, this is the story of their escape and to a certain extent also about mine.

Checking-the-police-arriving-before-exiting-from-the-depot

Before-painting-in-a-subway-depot

Jumping-a-fence-to-reach-the-depot.

Getting-off-the-depot

More photos here

Taken from valeriopolici.com/