an interview with Nick Ferreira…
Nick Ferreira and his lady Kerry recently opened up Amigos Shop in Providence, RI (in addition to Amigos Publishing). Amigos shop will sell Zines, Art, Books etc. I threw some questions at them about it all, so check that out.
Nuno Olivera: How did Amigos Publishing & Shop come to be?
Nick Ferreira: Originally, Kerry and I started Amigos Publishing as a side project when we were living in LA. We just thought it’d be cool to publish stuff that our creative friends made. We never really had any big goals for it and since we both work or go to school or whatever, it was just a fun side project, and continues to be except as a legit business which is interesting and weird at the same time. And as for the shop, it’s something that I’ve wanted to do since I graduated high school probably. Well, some sort of art space that is. Then the first time I went to Printed Matter in New York at its old location pretty much solidified my ideas and real interest for art books and art objects offered in an affordable manner. Also, while living in LA my girlfriend and partner, Kerry, interned at Ooga Booga. Between attending events there and just experiencing the real positive vibe that Wendy, Max, and crew put off, I really saw how important and helpful a place like that can be to an area. A good way to look at it is your local bike shop. The vibe I got from Ooga Booga was always welcoming, similar to the two bike shops I’ve frequented most over the years, Dick Maul’s and Circuit BMX.
NO: What is the goal with the shop, and what will be available there?
NF: The goal for the shop is to offer a large selection of independent publications, books, media, and art objects. We’re not really going to pigeonhole what are goals are too much in the beginning because I like the idea of things sort of coming together naturally and learning from previous things. But we do hope to offer a good amount in the form of release parties, movie screenings, and small openings that use our tiny space wisely. I’m looking forward to working with local and non local artists and, like the zines we publish, our friends who make and are about interesting things. Right now our inventory is pretty small but we will have books and zines published by us, Amigos, Swill Children from Brooklyn, The Kingsboro Press, Hamburger Eyes, Elk, Mothersnews, Teenage Teardrops, etc. We also have a bunch of stuff from various artists.
NO: How did the name “Amigos” come about?
NF: It came about because it seemed like the simplest and best looking name we could think of. We’re about our friends but, friends doesn’t look as good as Amigos. I hate naming things.
NO: For those who are not familiar, give us a little insight into the Zine scene. Even though it’s pretty niche, it is definitely a popular creative outlet.
NF: Well, I’m no expert but there’s a lot of cool stuff going on with zines, and art zines in general. Way more than your sort of stereotypical peace punk, vegan recipe zine. If you have been to the N.Y. Art Book Fair that Printed Matter has been putting on for a few years now, this year especially, the whole third floor of MOMA’s P.S. 1 was taken over by some real awesome and interesting zines. It was so overwhelming. Publishers like Swill Children are doing real cool things in a sort of “zine” format. Their new Peter Sutherland book Worked, is great. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that there’s a whole bunch of things going on with art books and zines right now.
NO: You have been doing Holeshot for a minute, what is it about Zines that gets you stoked?
NF: Just knowing how getting zines in the mail used to make me feel sort of keeps me going and psyched. I also just really like creating this space that is exactly how I want it to look. My knowledge of web based things is limited so I can’t manipulate it as well as I can with print. My interest in zines and art books has also sort of led me to the only normal job I can see myself actually doing, which is a Librarian. It’s super niche and competitive but eventually, and hopefully, someday I’ll be able to work with artists’ books as a special collection. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll be happy to work a reference desk or be a Young Adult librarian.
NO: What are some of your favorite zines?
NF: Elk Zines and Books are consistently awesome. They are like the analog version of a site like Them Thangs but with contributors, images culled from archives, old skate zine covers, and just a whole bunch of ephemera. He also publishes books with artists and writers. It’s pretty awesome and I highly suggest checking it out when you get a chance. Some other cool zines I’ve grabbed recently were a No Age/Brian Roettinger collabo zine. The layout is dialed, its printed on a RISO machine and has letters that one of the band members wrote to Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth and in turn a letter Lee Ranaldo wrote back. Also, this series of Fanzines Oliver Payne makes Safe Crackers are sweet. The newest one was a fanzine devoted to arcade tokens and a 12 inch LP was released with it that featured field recordings of arcade games remixed. Prashant Gopal’s Locals Only, which is part of his series called Yo Sick, is one of my favorite newer BMX zines. My all time favorite BMX zine though is Skunk Zine. So raw and basically sums up what BMX means to me even to this day. It was made by some Skunk Bros affiliates in the late 90′s and blew my 13 year old mind.
NO: What can we expect from Amigos Publishing & the shop in the future?
NF: More titles published by Amigos and a constantly growing inventory. Right now we’re in the very early process of working with a few friends on a Black Sabbath inspired sound/print book. We also plan on having monthly events and rotating art installations, for this month we have an installation by Providence based artist Rachel Fae Coleman. April is set up for a surf themed month to sort of help usher summer in. We’ll be showing Point Break on April 20th and having some surf inspired art and books featured.
NO: Thanks, and good luck with the shop! Anything you would like to add before we wrap this up?
NF: Thanks for caring! If anyone reading this comes through Providence we’re located at 200 Allens Ave. Studio 7F (Second Floor), Providence RI 02903. There’s a bunch of sick spots by if that helps! You can also check us out on the web at www.amigospublishing.com.
AMIGOS SHOP will host a screening of
SATURDAY, JAN 28 @ 7pm
200 Allens Ave. Studio 7F, Providence 401.439.9532
appreciating the endurance of a public work…
in the time capsule that is LAX Terminal 3, the mosaic was created in 1965 for TWA to entertain as people made the 400-foot trek to the exit door… the hall was featured in John Boorman’s noir masterpiece “Point Blank” and 30 years later in Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown”…
“The key image in Point Blank is massive Lee Marvin striding down the old LAX corridors like a robot on overdrive…” (Glenn Erickson)
“Point Blank” 1967 directed by John Boorman
“Jackie Brown” 1997 directed by Quentin Tarantino
another dispatch from the end of the world as we know it…
We might as well call it: Cinema as we knew it is dead.
An article at the moviemaking technology website Creative Cow reports that the three major manufacturers of motion picture film cameras — Aaton, ARRI and Panavision — have all ceased production of new cameras within the last year, and will only make digital movie cameras from now on. As the article’s author, Debra Kaufman, poignantly puts it, “Someone, somewhere in the world is now holding the last film camera ever to roll off the line.”
What this means is that, even though purists may continue to shoot movies on film, film itself will may become increasingly hard to come by, use, develop and preserve. It also means that the film camera — invented in 1888 by Louis Augustin Le Prince — will become to cinema what typewriters are to literature. Anybody who still uses a Smith-Corona or IBM Selectric typewriter knows what that means: if your beloved machine breaks, you can’t just take it to the local repair shop, you have to track down some old hermit in another town who advertises on Craigslist and stockpiles spare parts in his basement.
As Aaton founder Jean-Pierre Beauviala told Kaufman: “Almost nobody is buying new film cameras. Why buy a new one when there are so many used cameras around the world? We wouldn’t survive in the film industry if we were not designing a digital camera.” Bill Russell, ARRI’s vice president of cameras, added that: “The demand for film cameras on a global basis has all but disappeared.”
Theaters, movies, moviegoing and other core components of what we once called “cinema” persist, and may endure. But they’re not quite what they were in the analog cinema era. They’re something new, or something else — the next generation of technologies and rituals that had changed shockingly little between 1895 and the early aughts. We knew this day would come. Calling oneself a “film director” or “film editor” or “film buff” or a “film critic” has over the last decade started to seem a faintly nostalgic affectation; decades hence it may start to seem fanciful. It’s a vestigial word that increasingly refers to something that does not actually exist — rather like referring to the mass media as “the press.”
In May 1999 — a year that saw several major releases, including “Toy Story 2,″ projected digitally for paying customers — editor and sound designer Walter Murch wrote a piece for the New York Times headlined, “A Digital Cinema of the Mind? Could Be.” In it, Murch pointed out that only two major aspects of the analog filmmaking process had survived into the late ’90s, the recording of images on sprocketed celluloid film and their projection onto big screens by casting a beam of light through the images. Murch predicted that once digital projection became widespread, it would “trigger the final capitulation of the two last holdouts of film’s 19th-century, analog-mechanical legacy. Projection, at the end of the line, is one; the other is the original photography that begins the whole process. The movie industry is currently a digital sandwich between slices of analog bread.”
Near the end of 1999, my former New York Press colleague Godfrey Cheshire published a two-part article titled “Death of Film/Decay of Cinema“, which in hindsight seems eerily prescient. He predicted just about everything that would happen within the next decade-plus, including the replacement of old-fashioned film print projection by digital systems, the replacement of film cameras by digital cameras, and the near-total takeover of traditional cinematic language by techniques that had once been the province of television.
“Camera, projector, celluloid,” Cheshire wrote, “the basic technology hasn’t changed in over a century. Sure, as a form of expression, film underwent a radical alteration with the addition of sound, but that and other developments – color, widescreen, stereo, etc.–were simply embellishments to a technical paradigm that has held true since photographic likenesses began to move, and that everyone in the world has thought of as “the movies” – until this summer. […] For the time being, most movies will still be shot on film, primarily because audiences are used to the look, but everything else about the process will be, in effect, television – from the transmission by satellite to the projection, which for all intents and purposes is simply a glorified version of a home video projection system.”
Although I’ve become more of a surly classicist with age, I was an early defender of movies shot on video, and I really don’t see the point of doing a Grandpa Cinema routine, waving a cane and hollering that the movies somehow “equal” film. That’s silly. Cinema is not just a medium. It is alanguage. Its essence — storytelling with shots and cuts, with or without sound — will survive the death of the physical material, celluloid, that many believed was inseparably linked to it. The physical essence of analog cinema won’t survive the death of film (except at museums and repertory houses that insist on showing 16mm and 35mm prints).
But digital cinema will become so adept at mimicking the look of film that within a couple of decades, even cinematographers may not be able to tell the difference. The painterly colors, supple gray scale, hard sharpness and enticing flicker of motion picture film were always important (if mostly unacknowledged) parts of cinema’s mass appeal. The makers of digital moviemaking equipment got hip to that in the late ’90s, and channeled their research and development money accordingly; it’s surely no coincidence that celluloid-chauvinist moviegoers and moviemakers stopped resisting the digital transition once they realized that the new, electronically-created movies could be made to look somewhat like the analog kind, with dense images, a flickery frame rate, and starkly defined planes of depth.
But let’s not kid ourselves: Now that analog filmmaking is dead, an ineffable beauty has died with it. Let’s raise two toasts, then — one to the glorious past, and one to the future, whatever it may hold.
interview with director Alex Roman…
Some philosophies of aesthetics enumerate seven primary art forms derived from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s “Lectures on the Aesthetics” and the writings of film theorist Ricciotto Canudo: architecture, sculpture, painting, dance, music, poetry, and cinema.
The order is disputed, and architecture is sometimes shuffled to the third position, as it was by aspiring filmmaker Alex Roman for the title of his breathtaking work in progress, The Third & The Seventh, an artful combination of photorealistic architectural renderings and stylish CG cinematography.
In Roman’s able hands, the combination is undeniably poetic. His reverence for light borders on transcendent, and his attention to detail is inspiring. We caught up with Alex for a little background information.
Justin Cone: Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? What do you currently do?
Alex Roman: I was born in 1979, in Alacant (Alicante), a city in Spain. I would first like to say that my real name is Jorge Seva, but I use “Alex Roman” as an artistic alias for publishing independent work. After being trained in traditional painting at a few academies, I discovered this other world called CG. After school, I made the move to Madrid and began working at a visual effects company. That stint did not last too long due to the lack of demand for visual effects in the Spanish market at the time. It was then that I switched into the VIZ (architectural visualization) business. I have been working for several companies since. After that, I took a sabbatical year for to work on an “already-built work” visualization series, which will be stitched together into a short animated piece.
JC: Were you formally trained in architecture?
AR: Nope, never. But I was very interested in architecture since I was a child. Maybe it’s not too late.
JC: Can you tell us a little about the TheThird & The Seventh film?
AR: Well, after working in VIZ for years, I realized that there was a huge aesthetic difference between most clients’ commercial demands and photography of already-built structures. The lack of respect for the architecture itself in some “pure” commercial illustration was very frustrating to me. (Well, this is just my opinion, of course.) Then, I decided to start a personal journey: to experiment with a more cinematographic and/or photographic oriented point of view of some of my favorites architects’ masterpieces. Hence, the “The Third & The Seventh” project…
JC: After thumbing through a book of Frank Lloyd Wright’s sketches once, I chatted with an architect friend of mine about the art of architectural rendering. He told me that sometimes architects intentionally leave sketches vague or messy. It not only creates wiggle room when it comes to client negotiations, it leaves room for the imagination to paint in details. How would you respond to that idea?
AR: Well, there are of course several purposes behind computer graphics benefits. That “messy” representation style is very useful at a birth-idea/growing-process stages. Also, there are of course many architects that use CG as a sketching oriented tool… why not?
JC: Your sensitivity to light is amazing. How would you describe the interplay between light and architecture?
AR: Thanks! I think architecture is sculpting with light most of the time. There’s neither volume nor colors and materials without light and shadow. Like Kahn said once: “In the old buildings, the columns were an expression of light. Light, no light, light, no light, light, you see…”
JC: The level of realism in the The Third & The Seventh is stunning. Your render times must be incredible. What software and hardware do you use? How long is an average render?
AR: I use 3DS Max and Vray for rendering, Photoshop for texture work, AfterEffects for compositing and color grading and Adobe Premiere for edit it all. My desktop PC (i7 920) it’s now the only hardware i have. Every frame rendertime may vary from 20 sec to 1:30 hr (720p) It all depends on how complex the scene is. However, i invested a lot of time in scene optimization for rendering. I think it’s the key for a flexible workflow.
JC: How can we see the full The Third & The Seventh film?
AR: I’m finishing the latest shots, fighting with the music—the hardest stage for me—and editing at the moment. We will see it complete around the end of the summer of 2009. I really hope so!
“THE THIRD AND THE SEVENTH” 2009 directed by Alex Roman
tracking a character name through television and film…
new work by David Kramer opens this wednesday..!
When asked the proverbial question, “Is the glass half full or half empty?” David Kramer’s response is something along the lines of: “Why? Don’t we have any more?”
David Kramer makes art work that tells jokes and stories or creates visual puns all asking similar types of proverbial questions and then questioning why the stock answers never quite seems to fit. Using advertisements and lifestyle magazine images, often from his youth in the 1970’s, Kramer is on an eternal mission looking for clues as to the whereabouts of the “Good Life” and the American Dream often depicted in these pages. His own proverbial questions often shape up to questions of why hasn’t his own life lived up to the promises doledout by both Hollywood and Madison Avenue.
A boozy humor is at the center of Kramer’s work. He laughs at his own eternal optimism. He steadfastly plows forward, cataloging the good life and sprinkling on top of it his singular brand of humorous copyright which often sells the viewer on the joke that he knows we are all by now “in” on. The joke that the American Dream seems to be maybe not much more than just a dream, and that all of the rumors about the mighty American will to succeed has maybe turned the page to a more lazy and tempered success story. The Hollywood ending is better off left to Hollywood and forgotten a soon as the lights go on and we leave the theater.
For this exhibition, The Hangover, Too, his first with Mulherin + Pollard, Kramer has built a wine bar into the gallery surrounded with his paintings drawings and sculptures from the past year. The wine bar is part joke about the lamenting and whining artist who spends his time drinking away his valuable time medicating his state, and also a reference to what Kramer sees as the only viable industry left in the American cannon: building theme park type places of recreation to distract ourselves from the business at hand, to sustain the greatness and promise that this country continues to boast of long after the flame has turned to a flicker.
Also on view is a sculpture, Mexico City Highway, a miniature stretch of roadway that passes through the Favela. Kramer has provided in the sculpture a roadside billboard, which depicts an image of an obviously white couple of models feeding each other chocolates. A scene which he has translated from his own trip to Mexico City this year, where he saw a society that has learned to accept the idea that the riches of a nation could be rationed into the hands of a few while the masses are left to only desire what they are allowed to see in advertisements, but my never own themselves.
David Kramer was born in New York City where he currently lives with his wife Susan Mitchell, and their son Martin. He has exhibited widely around North America and Europe, including recent one person shows at Armand Bartos Fine Art (Seems like We’ve Down This Road Before: A survey of works 1987-2010) 2010, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels (If you really Want Me To Go Away, Just Give Me What I Want…) 2010, and with Galerie Laurent Godin , Paris (…Because I Am Not Richard Prince) 2010. He is currently a Special Editions resident at the Lower Eastside Print Shop in NYC.
David Kramer “The Hangover…Too” 9.7-10.2.11 @ Mulherin + Pollard 187 Chrystie Street, NYC
opening 9.7 wednesday 6-9 pm…