Tag contemporary art

Art quote:: Japanese art connoisseur at the age of six

One day a six year old convinced his mother that they must enter the contemporary art gallery Hiromart Gallery in Tokyo, located amongst Japanese gardens and frequently visited by an International crowd thanks to the neighboring hotels. After having spent a good two and a half hour indulging critically in the art works, the young man decided which painting he loved the most. The mother tried to convince her son that the smallest (and therefore the cheapest) painting was his favorite, but he was not impressed by the colors in the small painting. Gallery owner Hiromi was watching with great surprise when the six year old signed the contract and declared the painting sold.

From feature Robin Fry’s glittering ‘Golden Altitudes’ at Hiromart Gallery in Tokyo

Photo: Tokugawa Ieyasu


From feature Robin Fry’s glittering ‘Golden Altitudes’ at Hiromart Gallery in Tokyo


Art project SEEDS OF BLISS / بذر / גרעינים is defying political, religious and geographical borders in the Middle East

Photo: Shula Covo, all rights reserved

The intention of SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים is to bring people in the Middle East together to chew a total of ten tons of sunflower seeds in neighbouring cities. This intercultural cooperation project by interdisciplinary artist Noam Edry, in collaboration with the Haifa Museum and Artis Contemporary, is not about nationality, politics, religion or any other differentiating factor; all participants are individuals living in a Middle Eastern city and they come together with their neighbours to share the pleasure of a tradition deeply rooted in their part of the world. Jordanians from Aqaba and Israelis from Eilat live within 6 km from each other with an equal distance of less than 1 km to the Red Sea. Now we have entered August, which is when the sunflower seeds are ready for harvest and the sunflower seed donations for SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים have reached a total of 3 tons. The artist, who is travelling around Israel for meetings with the country’s seeding companies, is met with great enthusiasm and it should not be long until the ten tons have been raised.

In September, ten people from Eilat will cross the border and get together with their neighbors in Aqaba to chew, spit, drink coffee and socialize for five days at Al-Fardos Café.  Later on, the people from Aqaba will cross the border over to Eilat and continue the seed-shelling with their new friends. To get the Israeli State to approve the Jordanian’s VISA applications is a complicated procedure, but Noam Edry is working on the bureaucracy together with trusted volunteers. Additional neighboring cities to take part in SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים are Nablus-Haifa and Jenin-Afula. All stages of the project are being documented and the 5-day performances will be filmed and publicized in the press in real-time. Though in its early stages, SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים has already received huge TV and press coverage in Israel and is stirring quite an interest worldwide. After the completion of the project, the artist hopes to exhibit the remnants of ten tons of sunflower seeds and the documentation in London, as a humorous Middle-Eastern response to Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds. “The Chinese are expert craftsmen. Our expertise is to chew and spit” she explains.

Photo: Shula Covo, all rights reserved

Noam Edry describes her recent visit to Aqaba in her own words:

“I came with my photographer and the people in Aqaba adopted us immediately. Hasan, the owner of Al-Fardos café, hosted us and treated me like a real friend. Hasan introduced me to his friend Nabih, the manager of the mosque, and single-handedly they put together a team of ten very trustworthy and responsible Jordanians, who understand the nature of this project.”

Every evening the artist got together with Hasan and people from all around Aqaba to enjoy the friendly atmosphere at Hasan’s café, where the conversations flowed naturally accompanied by sunflower seeds, shish and coffee. Although the city has plenty of entertainment to offer a visitor, it was nothing that could beat the contentment of simply chilling out, talking about life and discussing the beautiful possibilities of SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים. Throughout the evenings people discreetly joined the group with a passport in their hand and expressed their wish to participate in the project, which put the artist in a very humbling position.

Noam Edry has been studying Arabic in order to better communicate with her volunteers. Thanks to the abounding conversations that have taken place during the initial stages of the project, all happening in a sunflower seed chewing spirit, the nature of SEEDS OF BLISS   / بذر  /   גרעינים is becoming increasingly organic and collaborative. The starting event will take place on 23 August 2012 in the artist’s birthplace of Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan, a small communal settlement in the North of Israel, with the participation of the neighboring Arab-Bedouin villages of Ras Ali and Khawaled. Together they will chew the first few kilos of sunflower seeds.


[More on Noam Edry]


Interview Series 2011

Part 1 – A constant battle for the freedom of speech in a web of taboos and envy

Part 2 – From sharp-edged politics to an S&M club and back again

Part 3 – “I Am the Terrorist”

Feature on Childhood

Born a War Painter


Museum of Art, Ein Harod, Israel, 2012

Goldsmiths MFA 2011


Noam Edry was born in 1982 in Israel in a communal settlement and raised in London. Her work explores questions of identity, mechanisms of power and domination and their physical relationship to the human body. She works internationally on ambitious projects that often involve a large number of participants, merging the physical with the political; the body and the private space of the individual function as allegories to the social and political sphere. Edry completed her Master of Fine Art with Distinction at Goldsmiths, University of London (2011) and a BA of Fine Art at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design Jerusalem (2005), she studied painting at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts de Paris (2003-4) and acting at the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio, Tel Aviv. Her recent solo show at the Ein Harod Museum, Israel titled “The Silver Salver” (2012) explored the relevance of national Israeli emblems and involved living sculptures; actors and actresses who dressed up as exported fruits and vegetables in a reconstruction of a bloody battle field. Artis Grant recipient 2012, shortlisted for the Red Mansion Art Prize (2011), Israeli Arts Council Grant recipient (2008), winner of the Bremen Art Grant (2008), winner of the International Jewish Artist of the Year Award (2004).

Robin Fry’s glittering ‘Golden Altitudes’ at Hiromart Gallery in Tokyo

One day a six year old convinced his mother that they must enter the contemporary art gallery Hiromart Gallery in Tokyo, located amongst Japanese gardens and frequently visited by an International crowd thanks to the neighboring hotels. After having spent a good two and a half hour indulging critically in the art works, the young man decided which painting he loved the most. The mother tried to convince her son that the smallest (and therefore the cheapest) painting was his favorite, but he was not impressed by the colors in the small painting. Gallery owner Hiromi was watching with great surprise when the six year old signed the contract and declared the painting sold.

The art world in Tokyo is small but full of surprises and steadily growing thanks to commercial gallery owners like Hiromi, who has a great passion for private and affordable art. The Japanese are learning to appreciate the free admission, the possibility to invest in a work of art and to experience International art in real life. The current exhibition ‘Golden Altitudes’ by Canadian artist Robin Fry based in Berlin, is accompanied by a sound installation created by the artist specifically for the show. The music brings the audience to a sonic environment described as ‘a fictional vacation planet with a Jamaican theme’. Since the Tokyo crowd is still not used to the free admission and find it embarrassing to enter a gallery without purchasing a work, the sound installation might assist in tickling the curiosity of the visitors to the point where they forget to be embarrassed. This is the first time Hiromi is exhibiting painting and sound installation by the same artist. “The visitors find the sound installation very interesting and it gives them a deeper experience of Robin’s work, which is unique and very beautiful. There are plants and flowers, but of a kind you have never seen before. I play the sound installation throughout the exhibition and I am not shy with the volume.”

The Canadian painter Robin Fry created a series of small-scaled paintings and drawings for ‘Golden Altitudes’, a title which came to subconsciously inspire the artist to use a lot of golden glitter. “I was thinking about the Golden Triangle when I chose the title of the exhibition, it just felt right. Altitude is related to height and triangles and even though I can’t explain why, it felt like a good and positive title to work against. I paint very intuitively and I suddenly realized half way through that I was using a lot of golden glitter, without literarily referencing to the title. I might have been inspired subconsciously.”

To exhibit in Tokyo is a great opportunity for the interdisciplinary artist to reach a wider audience, but although Robin would have loved to be at the show, other commitments forced him to stay put in front of the eisel in Berlin. Golden Altitudes is on until the 16th of September and has received a positive response from both visitors and Japanese media.

Robin Fry – Merlin’s Den, Now exhibited at Hiromart Gallery

Robin Fry – Cardboard Hideaway, Now exhibited at Hiromart Gallery

Robin Fry – Green Glass, Now exhibited at Hiromart Gallery

Promotional links::





IDM + minimal techno mix – We Love Mondays







We Love Mondays Track list

tshirt (Claes Ericson) – the horse
Doc Deem – New Oryed
tshirt (Claes Ericson) – faddlack
Doc Deem – 222
decontractex (Claes Ericson) – aconcagua
Doc Deem – Lowe Road
Doc Deem – Hug Girl

Also thanks to rutgermuller, zippi1 acclivity and corsica-s on www.freesound.org




Click to read interview with Doc Deem


The True Story About Sarah The Murderess


Sarah was her name and that was the only thing I really knew about her. She drifted in and out of my life after a violent encounter with a dangerous man. She shot him for what he tried to do and I had no problem with that. He did not have a name but she wanted me to act as if I were him, to speak like him, to move like him. I had to do this if I wanted to know what really happened. I learned to feel rage at all times, to suffer a mixture of aggression and powerlessness. I came to grips with a constant dull hatred and used my fists to get what I wanted. In my sleep I ground my teeth in frustration. I took advantage of weakness in others. What little light there ever was is here now.

I found her standing by the side of a road in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where I lived. I first saw her as I was driving by and pulled over to see if she needed help. At first she ignored me, and acted as if I wasn’t there. I repeatedly asked if she needed help but she just stared into the forest. Eventually she looked in my direction, made eye contact and without saying a word got into my truck. I got into the drivers seat and asked where she needed to go. Again she said nothing. I asked if she lived around here, knowing that there were no houses for several miles in either direction. She did not respond. I asked if she wanted a ride home but she still said nothing. I asked if she needed to go to the hospital and with this question she again made eye contact. But still she said nothing. Finally out of desperation I asked if she wanted to go to a bar and she said yes.

She said that if I let her stay with me and supported her that I could photograph her any way I wanted. I told her to be careful about that kind of offer and she said that there wasn’t anything that I could think of that she would not do.

She never left my house. I would leave for work around 7:00 in the morning. She would stay in bed. I don’t know when she got up. By the time I got home from work she was usually occupying herself, playing with my dog or reading one of my books. She never left the house or even made a phone call. As far as I know she had no contact with the outside world for the whole three and a half weeks.

One night after dinner she told me that she had to leave. I knew that this was coming and that there was nothing I could do to stop her. But she said she had a few more days. She had been with me for three weeks. Three days later I drove her to the spot on route 25C, where I found her. We didn’t talk much on the drive. I asked her where she would go and what she would do. She said she didn’t know but she would manage. I helped her with her bag and kissed her goodbye. She said she loved me. As I drove away I looked back. She was walking into the woods. The next day I went back, I had to know what happened to her. But there was nothing to suggest that she had ever been there, not even a footprint. I walked back into the woods for about a mile but it became too swampy to continue. I never saw her again.

She smelled like the forest after rain, with a faint hint of something floral. She told me what it was but I can’t remember any more. She had a lipstick called Trailer Trash. I made her put it on for the pictures. She also had a loose dress that looked more like a slip. She wore it most of the time.

One night we were out in the woods when the truck died. The carburetor had flooded and backfired, burning the air cleaner. I got the fire out with a blanket but we were stranded for the night. I thought our best chance was to sleep in the truck and hike out in the morning. It was cold that night, much colder than usual. She shivered all night and was cold to the touch. She had nightmares and woke up several times. I couldn’t sleep at all. At daybreak I got out of the truck to take another look at the carburetor. In front of the truck was a dead rattlesnake, it apparently froze to death in the night. I got a knife from the glove box and skinned the snake. I made a new carburetor float from its tail and used the skin for an air cleaner so we could get home. Sarah looked blue from the cold but she said she was fine. I tried to get her to go see a doctor but she refused. When we got back to my place she seemed to recover her color.

I made the mistake of telling her that some of my plates used to belong to my ex girlfriend Pearl. When I got home from work that night she broke half of them. She said that only half were actually mine.

I woke up in the middle of the night about two weeks after she left. I thought I heard her voice saying something. I got up and looked around in the house but she wasn’t there. But it smelled like she had just left, I could smell her in every room.

When I photographed her I became obsessed or even possessed. I didn’t care about her or even myself, I just wanted the pictures. I would have done anything I had to. I was cruel at times and I don’t know why she stayed with me. She never complained, even when I made her do things I know she didn’t want to do. Other times she would try to do things I could not photograph, thing which could not be represented. She said we were like crows, living off dead things and if we stayed together we would both rot.

Her eyes were grey. When she was cold they were an icy blue. Her lips had no color and so she always wore lipstick. Her hair was dirty blond and messy. Her hands were always cold. Her fingernails also had no color but were very clean.

Video:: Bengalfuel – Spence’s

Based in New York and New Jersey, the artistic duo Bengalfuel delivers ambient anti-Newtonian art videos directed by one of the collaborators, Joe LiTrenta (aka Doc Deem). The other half is Dentist, and together they defy gravity sonically and visually.

Click to read interview with Doc Deem

CTColumn:: Contemplating The Artist Zone in Golden Sunset

CC: Notsogoodphotography


Contemplating The Artist Zone in Golden Sunset  

When I walked to the gym the day after the Olympic relay passed through Leyton, the excitement had settled. I didn’t see the relay, but the Turkish owner of the corner shop proudly announced that it had been ‘Very many people! Very many!‘ at the event and I thought about that quite a lot. What does the number of people involved say about the quality of an event? Sure, we generally value quantity rather than quality, authenticity and depth. To be a part of a group or a crowd instills a sense of normality, comfort and sanity, which is why it is necessary for every artist to venture outside of that comfort zone in order to express individuality and depth. The paradox is that this shared action binds artists together and creates new a comfort zone, which allows individual and irrational explorations. The American photographer Jeffrey Silverthorne talked about this when I interviewed him at Daniel Blau Gallery last year:

“…I think that we are very socially constructed animals and we do these things and they seem genuine, because millions and millions of other people are doing the same thing. I do however believe that there is an authenticity to doing something that you really have to do. You really need to do this and you are putting at risk something. […] I think that when you are doing that, and you are a little more savvy to ways things have been constructed, it might construct a design to ultimately come to a composition. When I do this I am speaking through many tongues, it is not just a fourth tongue. There are hundreds of tongues and I think that as a maker you try to engage a lot of these tongues so that the image isn’t stuck in one moment, but both in the time and out of the time.”

I am not a sociologist, but our society is still my concern. It is finally a summer day in London and as I stroll through Leyton I use the side streets where I can dance a little. When nobody can see me, I can spread my wings and feel free (whilst effectively moving from A to B).

With the gym-scented wind in my hair I run and run and run and exhausted yet energized from the exercise, I walk back as the setting sun is throwing golden layers on all things lined in the direction of the thick rays. The houses, the cars, the trees and the skipping young girl are painted with patches of gold. There is no cheering crowd, but my whole being is buzzing with a love of life. Although it would be great to do a little dance, there are people around so I settle with a knowing smile. If we could store the sun rays in bottles and sell them for a lot of money it could be worth celebrating. Yes, if that was the case, people would be dancing together like crazy at sunset and feel incredibly rich.

Elinrós Henriksdotter, Founder and Chief Editor 

Interview with mystical IDM artist Doc Deem

Joe LiTrenta, a musician, director and actor based in New Jersey, caught CT’s attention with the music video Escape, which is a track on the Bengalfuel-album Roeblin on Twice Removed Records. After a bit of research, it was clear that Joe’s solo project Doc Deem had even more to offer in terms of sonic exploration. Once the correspondence with Joe had begun, a mystical reality took shape behind the creative explosions. In this interview you can read about Doc Deem’s creative processes, his painful childhood, the haunted house, why he had to drugs and why others shouldn’t, how to get rid of demons and how an angelic presence can clean your spirit.


Had a good day?

Yeah, yeah. I had a weird dream. There was a bug in my house and I squashed it with a water-proof book. There was orange-green-yellowish guts all over it and I cleaned it off with a tissue. You know when you have dreams with bugs? They just disturb me for a while; it has been bothering me all day can’t get it out of my head.

According to Wikipedia, the “cloud rats are a group of arboreal and folivorous nocturnal rodents native to the forests of the Philippines”. Does this have anything to do with the title of the album?

A few years before I finalized the track list, I was having a bad summer, starving. I sent a link in email to everyone I knew asking them to buy it for a few dollars, via PayPal. I called it Scrounge Rat, like a rat scrounging around for food, because I needed some cash. I meant it kind of as a joke. But then I added some new tracks and wanted to change the energy and make it positive. So I thought instead of a rat on the ground, scrounging for food, I’ll call it Cloud Rat, like the rat is high on a cloud now, he’s happy. Later I realized there is actually a cloud rat that is a type of rat in the Philippines. I don’t mind people having whatever interpretation they want to have. None of them are wrong. Once I share my music with the world, it’s their music, it’s ours. If you listen to my song, it’s your song too.

Doc Deem is not yet signed to a label, have you been in contact with any labels at all?

I used to try to get it out there via labels and got taken for a ride by many of the so-called IDM and electronic labels. They would tell me it was brilliant and want to release it but then once they got a few mails from me, they changed their minds. It was like ‘Huh, he’s an actor? He’s only 20? He lives in New Jersey? Fuck this guy, it must not be as good as we thought.’ I put a lot more focus on making movies and took a break giving myself an ulcer trying to figure out how it would keep happening, with every label. Then I decided to say fuck it and make my own videos and give it away free. Bengalfuel is just another project because I have too many ideas. There will be other projects in the future. Things do change as time goes by and at least Bengalfuel is popular.

What other feedback have you received from listeners?

Some people I play Deem for are blown away and tell me it’s the best electronic music they’ve ever heard. Some people just fucking hate me for it. For years I would play it and people didn’t even believe me that I made it. I just try not to let it bother me whether it’s negative or positive, sometimes the negative response is more fun than positive because you know it’s honest and haters make great fans. Same thing with my first movie, Daymaker, I got death threats for that movie because I had a feature in New Jersey’s biggest newspaper and there was buzz about it online. I lost some of my best friends because they hated me for going and doing what I said I would do. I’m not saying it’s a good movie, but it pissed people off.

Now Doc Deem is online and there are positive comments on the Youtube videos and someone can see 10,000 downloads. Some people hate me even more. Doesn’ matter, I have as much passion in my bones as anybody you’re ever gonna meet.


How do you go about your Bengalfuel releases?

No DVD company wanted to do anything with me so I made my own DVDs and with all the people online saying they hoped I would die, I was able to get pre-orders and sell DVDs to people all over the world. I made my money
back. Things work out, if I want to make a Bengalfuel video I’ll have hundreds of actors and models send me their headshot in the first day the casting notice goes up.

I try to meditate and attract the energy. Two hours before you emailed me I was meditating and saying I really need to do an interview with someone who understands what I’m about. I asked my spirit guides for help in attracting that energy. Then I went online and saw you on vimeo, and I was going to mail you but I decided to just wait and eat breakfast first. Then I saw you had mailed me. So maybe my energy is wrong, maybe I don’t allow myself to receive positive energy for Doc Deem. Maybe I hold on to the hate?

I was thinking about your frequent referencing to acid and marijuana in your films. Do you want to encourage your audience to experiment with drugs?

No, I wouldn’t want to encourage anybody. I think that everyone are just doing their own thing. When I was growing up I was around so much violence. There was a lot of violence in my family in general. On either side, my great grandfather was some kind of gangster and my great grandmother would tell me stories of his bullet-proof car and shit like that. A couple of relatives were killers and some had gone to jail for manslaughter. They were Bronx gangsters, men with guns. My father used a lot of drugs when I was a child and was always trying to kill my mother. Seeing the violence really screwed me up and when I was seven years old and saw someone making fun of a girl at school, I would beat the shit out of them. If a kid called a girl ‘bitch’ I would go over and knock them down. When I was twelve my parents finally got divorced and I started to smoke pot, which was probably the only thing that stopped me from killing someone or going out to find my father and kill him. In that sense I think that it was sort of ok for me to do drugs, since it mellowed me out enough not to go to violent extremes. There was such rage towards my father and I didn’t know what to do with it.


One of my first memories on this planet is watching him slam her head against a toolbox in the basement of the house we built when I was 3, and I didn’t understand. He was laughing and trying to get me to laugh with him. So I laughed, I had no idea what I was looking at, I was a fuckin baby. So anything after surviving his bullshit, when we finally escaped, it’s all pretty fuckin breezy. Sometimes I think my shit is all fucked up and I’m having a bad day, but I just need a little perspective. I not only was able to survive and not end up in a dead or in jail after what I learned from him, I actually emerged stronger and able to get my shit together and make art, and share it with the world. So I’m doin pretty fuckin okay when you think of it like that. I had a nervous breakdown when I was 13 and spent my 14th birthday in the psych unit with other kids like me. And I saw these beautiful, intelligent, wise people who knew more about the world’s bullshit than any adult I’ve ever met since.

Unfortunately a lot of them were probably fucked, never had a chance after what they’d been through. Some of them bounced and ended up dead, some of them probably are in prison or still in the hospital. And some of them hopefully got the fuck outta there and turned out okay, like me. I was able to go from that place of paralyzed, totally fucked up kid to doing union plays in front of a full theater and taking questions with the audience, even signing autographs for little kids who came to see us, inspiring them.

Doing LSD when I was around 15 helped me to re-visit some of the trauma and talk about it with others and deal with it better. It was a release. But as far the average person who doesn’t have that sort of background, I would never tell them ‘Oh yeah you need to try this. It is going to expand your mind.’ I think that’s just a lot of bullshit. Marijuana robs people of their drive. People start to doubt themselves and wonder whether they can or should follow their dreams.

Have you seen that in other people?

Yeah, there are people I know that smoke daily that definitely could have been very artistic, but they are very doubtful of themselves and kind of hate themselves. I don’t see how it can give you any drive or focus. But if you are homicidal, then maybe it can keep you chilled-out.

But it didn’t kill your drive, or maybe you don’t smoke? I got the impression that you were really into it from looking at your work.

I don’t smoke and I don’t drink. I haven’t drunk in seven years. It was a really huge problem for me at one point, because I have loads of alcoholics in the family and when I came in contact with alcohol I ended up drinking so much that I almost killed myself.  I woke up in a hospital in a complete white room and when the white dressed doctors came into the room I was convinced that I had died and come to heaven. They asked me if I wanted some water and I thought to myself ‘Oh, this is what happens when you die. They come to you and offer you a glass of water.’ I was out of my mind and that did it for me. I wouldn’t even drink Listerine today. I was doing a play at the time and the director gave me an ultimatum.

You also lived in a seriously haunted house?

Sheesh, yeah, the house I moved from was like a portal to hell. I started wearing rosaries and putting up crucifixes, and I’m not religious in any traditional way, I’m just very spiritual and open. But in this place you could feel the evil and feel hell, there’s no other way to describe it. I heard snarling sounds and shit, and horrible feelings that would get on top of me, like something telling me to kill myself and it would just be on me all night. I thought possibly some of the energy followed me to my new house and was fucking with me just before you initially emailed me, I think that is why the angels are around me all the time. They’re trying to help me through it. About a week ago I had this psychic medium mail me a blessed St. Michael’s medal and I’ve had it around my neck. I’m not Catholic or Christian or anything, but it seems like the only thing that protects me sometimes. So I just go with the flow. Now I feel like I can meditate and I’ll announce beforehand that I’m putting a white ball of light around myself to protect me. But there is still a lot of pain there that I have to let go of, and I can feel my angels helping me.

Joe’s mum and aunt were bunnies at the original Playboy Club in the 70’s

Can you tell me more about the tracks on ‘Cloud Rat’ and the creative process of the album?

The feeling I had with that music was trying to get something like magic into what could otherwise be soulless electronic music. Some spells are from scrolls, some are from crystals, some are incantations from the heart speaking to a machine. For ‘Hug Girl’ I visualized these choruses where every cymbal crash was like a big hug. Translating that into sound was just going in there and being honest, electrically, I felt charged with love. But on ‘New Oyred’ I had just got into an argument with my girlfriend at the time, and I was pissed off because she was right (obviously). They say hit a pillow, I say program a hard beat. The title is meaningless nonsense. Sometimes I am going in with a certain kind of chaos I want to overcome with the track. ‘191’ was during a time where I didn’t listen to anything for months, nothing sounded right. I had the idea of just breaking the fucking program with metallic beats.

I had a dream and this guy actually said, “This is where the beats say they’re sorry” and there was this beat playing that kinda sounded like it was talking, like it would start and stop. I tried to get that into the track when making it. All of the tracks on that release were recorded quickly, most Deem is about just waiting and waiting until a good day and then I sit and knock it out. I’m like a surfer. The tide has to be right, I wait for the waves. Then when it’s good, I get on my board and get as much surfing in and then go home. 191, Hug Girl, etc. were recorded in one sitting, about two hours each. I like it to be spontaneous and explode my guts all over the track, and then just walk away from the wreckage like nothing happened. Feelin real cool about it, like this is it, time to surf. Then when the surfing’s over, it’s over. I rarely go back and work on the track later, I think there’s only one on Cloud Rat like that, I went back and added a little extra. Music is easy or I wouldn’t do it. What’s hard is living a fuckin life. Not a normal life, or an insane one. Just living in general. I wake up and the show starts, I’ve got all this energy and I better put it in the right place, be positive or it’s gonna suck. There’s a lot of peace during the time of those tracks, though. When I recorded ‘Sleepyhead’ I had finished something else and my cat came over and fell asleep on my feet. I didn’t want to disturb him by getting up, so I made a mellow piece of music and let him stay in his kitty slumber.


It sounds like your creativity is pretty much ruling your life?

I live in extremes most of the time., but I can get a lot done very quickly when creating. If you’re talking other Doc Deem releases, I did The Pepper Room and Steenykill in the same night. Christmas Eve. It’s how I remember dates. Thankfully I can justify doing absolutely nothing with a day sometimes because the day before I wrote 40 pages. Or we shot that half hour short film in one day, no rehearsals; we just went in and killed it. So it’s like, ‘Take that, motherfucker’ to my creative demons that don’t let me sleep. But if I have a few too many days without producing something, I fall into chaos. It makes relationships with people difficult because sometimes I can drive them insane, but we can also have some of the most beautiful, happy times. I feel like if I can maintain a healthy balance of plenty of surfing, I would be able to sustain perfect happiness all the time. If only life worked that way, ya got shit that comes up and there’s no waves for a while and then I lose my fucking mind on the people I love. And when there’s no one else around to help soak up some of the damage, that’s when I’m really gone.

Can you tell me more about your relationship to angels?

It started just recently I was really sick, a few too many days without food and I couldn’t get anybody to help out. So I felt utterly no sense of control, I just had to completely surrender. And I started to see triple numbers constantly, like 555 everywhere. I would wake up and grab my phone in the morning and it’d be 5:55, and it was just everywhere. I started reading more, and then I started seeing 111. Or 333. I’ve always been open to spirit guides and have been meditating this year and trying to be more open. So I read about the number stuff and basically a lot of what I was seeing is that angels try to get your attention and you see the numbers when you’ve drawn them to you. I felt like maybe they were around me trying to help me through a tough time. And the 111 is supposed to be like the universe is kinda taking a snapshot of your thoughts, and can manifest things really fast. So I’m thinking well maybe I do have control of something: my thoughts. And I try now when I see 111, and I’ve already seen it a bunch of times today, or 1111. The time on my phone, looking at a video and it’s 1:11 in length, seeing how many views something has, seeing how many likes something has, wherever my eyes go I see 111. I sort of made that wish, in a sense, when I saw it the day I asked for the interview, I had seen 111. And since it only took 2 hours, that would seem to confirm that it manifested quickly. I’m trying to think about what I want, and not be afraid to ask for it.

I’ve had some really positive times and probably was attracting a lot of good things to me. But I wasn’t really aware of the power there, I didn’t know what I was doing with it. I turned 30 in June and I’m here, just living with some cats, I really would have days where I didn’t know what the hell I was going to do with myself. So then along comes this triple number insanity, and it’s helping. It’s like I ask for the thing and then I say thank you to the angels and try to be at peace, and know it’s coming so just relax and receive it. It’s made me think a lot about the space between things. Distance; is it real? I’m only just here in my house, how the hell am I attracting energy with people all over the world? I gotta go deeper, meditate and really try to manifest the things I want. Sometimes it’s so difficult for me, because I hate money and I have guilt about feeling selfish in needing things. But I think the angels are helping me.

So that is the angels. What about the dark forces?

I’m used to hard times, which is probably why I have that fucked up perception about darkness. My childhood was all fucked up, my father beat my mother and we were all terrified for years, she was afraid to leave because he would have killed her.

Finally, we hid in this shelter for victims of domestic abuse. It was in the woods where no one could find us, there were other families there. We were there for months, completely cut off. No TV, and you couldn’t go anywhere. So my brother and sister and I just had to find shit to do, and it really opened up our creativity a lot. We filled notebooks with stories and drawings, basically had our own comic book series. And when we finally left there, I just kept writing and eventually got a video camera. Music came just as a need to have music in the movies. I would take a tape and record one layer of sound, and then play that tape and add another layer next to the speaker, totally primitive but I didn’t give a shit.

I recently started considering the light side, the positive side of it. I think that if you open yourself up too much and talk about demon this and demon that, you can open yourself up to it even if you’re not 100% believing in it. I needed to have angels around me now and that’s something that I am experiencing even today. When I am too open to thinking about ghosts or demons, that kind of dark energy can get in there and I will feel a dark presence around me. Sometimes it is overbearing and very intense and I suddenly feel something intense which is not natural, like a depression or homicidal. I have now called upon my guardian angels to get involved in my life and help me. I thought that if the darker side is real, I have to be open to the lighter side being real as well. Until recently there was a part of my brain that was believing in ghosts and demons, but for some reason I hadn’t even considered the light side,  perhaps because I hadn’t been in contact with it. Now I feel it around me.

Joe’s painting ‘Mom

Did you ever go to a medium?

I talked to a psychic one time who was so accurate about so many things, and she told me I would be very successful to the point where I wouldn’t even be able to walk down the street. She knew details about the movie I was working on, she was for real. So I try to just take it easy and remember what she said. I just do my thing.

Are you making music at the moment?

I’m playing around with some Bengalfuel stuff.

I look forward to the new Doc Deem.

I am feeling a new kind of excitement Doc Deem at the moment and I will express my gratitude for our conversations in a song. I want to make a new album, something really cool for this year.

Do you have any advice to those people who suspect that they live in a haunted place or find that they are followed by demons?

I would think that it would be good to find out about the history of the issue. There are also things you can do, such as the Native American tradition called ‘smudging’, which is to burn sage to get rid of any negative energy. If you feel a hellish energy you can get blessed medals, St Michael’s for example. You can use holy water and do other things to keep the stuff away. It is important to be mindful of what is going on. If you live in a house where there is a lot of fighting going on, I think that can draw negative energy. Arguing, drinking and abuse invite them in. The best thing is to make your house happy! Be happy, be joyful, laugh and express love towards people; that will clean the energy of the house more than anything. You don’t need to have a priest coming in, but if telling them to get the fuck out doesn’t help, feed them with positive energy. The most important thing is to not accept what is going on.

If you are in the library and pick out a couple of books on demons, you are involved in it already, whether you are conscious or not. By pure fascination you are telling them ‘come on in’. You have to feed twice as much energy back if you’re going read that stuff.

Did you ever study cinematography or anything related?

I dropped out of school as soon as possible, I never went to high school for more than a few weeks, I was always out of school because shit was just impossible. I just educated myself, and watched as many movies as I could, listened to music, anything that got my imagination going. I did some theater and met actors and was in a few professional plays, that taught me a lot about writing and seeing directors work with actors, so my scripts got better. I had a pretty good camera eye from doing photography with my grandmother, and watching hundreds of movies. So by 23 I was making my first movie with SAG actors and shit, just doing the shit by myself, every detail. And still just going with it. I feel like it’s just getting started. If there’s a point here it’s don’t give up. Never give up.

Post-interview feedback from Joe

I have good news. I feel awesome. I was laughing all day. Whatever the hell was on me is finally gone. I feel fuckin normal, holy shit, what a relief! I can get back to being funny again and not all caught up in crazy fuckin medals and demons flyin out my ass. I let it go. I feel like it just left me, finally. Feel like I can get back to some of the ridiculous comedy that’s in me, like the silly ice cream video. I’m so glad I shared so much shit with you, and I really want that all in the interview. All the crazy shit about my father beating my mother, to that shelter, to having a nervous breakdown. I want that out there, it took your energy to get me to share that in a public kinda thing, and if anyone reading it can identify with that shit then we’re doing a great thing by sharing it. Somebody might really be inspired who was all fucked up and didn’t think they do creative shit because they had too much trauma. Just make sure to put the ice cream video in there too, so there’s humor with it. Anyway, I just had to mail you and let you know I feel like myself again. It’s really nice. You helped me a lot. Especially you telling your opinion that you didn’t think there needed to be darkness to complete a spectra, that shit has been on my mind and helped me release some of this feeling of hanging on to dark shit or something. Thanks. Truly.



CTColumn:: The Failure of a Creative Sunday

Yesterday was a good Sunday at the art studio; I painted and my boyfriend made music and during our breaks we chatted with some of the artists whom we share the warehouse with. After the first cup of coffee, he went to the shop and came back and prepared a beautiful breakfast. Well-fed and caffeined we set off into the Sunday.

Doesn’t this sound like an ideal situation? It was, so how come it was lined with creative frustration, bad moods and a constant search for cables, which lead to a complete collapse of what could have been a magnificent creative Sunday?

Well, sometimes you just want too much at the same time and the creative force has the ability to squash everything which threatens to delay, alternate or (God forbid) kill its spirit. It is a train shooting into the future and although you aren’t behind the wheel you are on it and the driver isn’t listening to your shouts. That god damn train is flying through the air and when ordinary life is attempting to interrupt, you desperately cling on to a string of rope tied to the back of the last train car… Ugh. An overwhelming scent of creativity (can’t smell it?) is flooding the senses of the deprived expressor.  


Image source: www.completemartialarts.com


“Be like water, my friend” – Bruce Lee 

That plan to go to the park, to get on a train towards Dover, to clean the studio, to take care of piles of paper work, take a swim and then relax in the sauna, to cook a beautiful dinner, to work on the webpage, to write that project description for the funding application, to publish, edit and prepare features and interviews (in plural), to explore tantra… Maybe another day.

If you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend who is an artist and appears to be either obsessed with or even possessed by the urge to create then let them get on with it then. Whatever is begging to come out, must come out; it entered and must now materialize on the other side; pretty or ugly, challenging or soothing; humorous or frightening.

We fell asleep slightly disappointed and the following morning we agreed that London knows how to push us to the limit. The rainy clouds had gathered for another Monday morning in East London. On my way to the tube I walked through rows of houses and when glancing through a window I saw a man sitting on a chair in the middle of an empty living room watching the TV. There was only one chair and a TV in his living room.


This poster was created by the UK Government  during the beginning of WW2


I made a silent agreement with the TV junky, “If you spend the rest of your life watching movies and TV, I will continue with what I do and I am sure that there are people out there that take care of the forest walks and the tantric explorations. This way we can all focus on what matters the most.” He mumbled something about time-management, I have no idea what he was talking about.

Elinrós Henriksdotter, Founder and Chief Editor


CTColumn:: Concerning organic dialogue and barbarians

“Let me witness their faces light up when we come to a mutual understanding… We are always surprised by how the organic dialogue leads us to unexpected territory.”

A couple of weeks ago, seated around the fire in a Swedish forest on a lukewarm summer evening, I was trying to articulate a frustration of mine to my family members. They were sweet enough to pay attention, but ended up looking like question marks, as often happens when career-related issues are being discussed with wine infused relatives.  Maybe you can follow my trail of thought as I am writing this sober.

Stephanie enters the exhibition and all she sees is the singular products at the end of the production line of the painter. There is also a price, specified dimensions and materials used. Stephanie is left alone with her experience of the works and being an art lover; she engages fully-heartedly with the patches of colour and responds to it with her abilities.

Personally I can’t do this anymore, because at some point I got tired of having that internal dialogue concerning other people’s work. I require a meeting with the artist. Let me smell them. Let me hear them describe their work in their own words, let me see the colour of their eyes changing as they reach a certain subject. Let me register what they don’t mention and notice the nervous body language which signals that they have left the ordinary pitch. Let me witness their faces light up when we come to a mutual understanding… We are always surprised by how the organic dialogue leads us to unexpected territory.

“Where does she get it from?” becomes an increasingly interesting question. We live in exciting times when anything goes, but in the back of my head I hear J.P. Getty’s words “The Twentieth-century barbarians cannot be transformed into cultured, civilized human beings until they acquire an appreciation and love for art.” To love art is to love your own ability to create and express that which cannot be articulated in any other way. Barbarians of the 21st century – how about us? We steal, we lie, we cheat, back-talk, gossip, deafen ourselves with TV and random entertainment and wage war on a global and on a personal level… It has to be said that we are lost.

“…it was clear that could she have freed her mind from hate and fear and not heaped it with bitterness and resentment, the fire was hot within her.” Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)

Forgive me Woolf, I’m not bothering about politics in this world-wide kakistocracy (kak·is·toc·ra·cy, [kak-uh-stok-ruh-see], government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power) and spirituality should stay where it belongs, in the metaphysical realm (otherwise we can throw cleaver quotations amongst each other in eternity). So what can we do?


Stephanie eventually bought a painting which reminded her of the ocean. The gallerist is happy and so is the artist and the artist’s agent. Each of them can proceed on their path; it’s all good. It is just that I am convinced that we can do better than that.

Elinrós Henriksdotter, Founder and Chief Editor