Steven Mark Klein : Freelance Outlaw
Steven Mark Klein est notre directeur de création depuis la naissance d’APAR.TV. Il voulait absolument rester anonyme. Jusqu’à aujourd’hui.
Il est notre « Godfather ». Nous lui devons énormément. A tel point qu’aujourd’hui c’est lui qui conseille exclusivement nos clients.
Pendant les trois dernières décennies, Steven Mark Klein a étudié la relation entre la culture contemporaine et les constructions identitaires de marque. Steven a collaboré avec des artistes tel que Keith Haring, Philip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Goldie, Timothy Leary, Kenny Scharf, Aerosmith, Anthony Davis, Francesco Clemente, Nan Goldin, Terry Richardson, Ryan McGinley, Futura 2000, Willem Dafoe et Aldo Rossi.
Il a travaillé avec Ammirati Puris-Lintas, Lowe Lintas Partners, Hill, Holiday/Altschiller, Kirschenbaum + Bond, Grey Entertainment, GCI Group, Balet + Albert, DDB Digital, SiegelGale, TBWA\CHIAT\DAY et d’autres agences internationales. Il a en parallèle travaillé avec de grandes marques internationales, comme Iridium, Motorola, British Airways, Starwood W Hotels, InStyle Magazine, BMW North America, R.J. Reynolds, Levi’s, Mont Blanc, Swatch, Rockport, Maybelline, Trussardi et Motown Entertainment.
Il se dit être un « Freelance hors la loi ». D’autres le nomme comme un espion du futur.
Les plus grandes fortunes de ce monde s’offre ses conseils depuis des décennies. Tout en ne sachant pas ce qu’était sa vie underground. Qu’il était une légende à New-York. Une légende qui ne devrait plus être en vie en 2016. Et pourtant. Steven Mark Klein est encore bien là. Plus puissant que jamais.
Nous n’avons jamais créé autant qu’avec lui, quand il devine le futur, nous en faisons des cahiers de tendance. Il sait qui il faut collectionner dans l’art contemporain, nous transmettons ses informations aux acheteurs français. Il réalise les logos et les signatures de marque les plus artistiques, jamais vues auparavant, nous les vendons en Europe.
Steven Mark Klein est lié pour toujours à la destinée d’APAR. Nous tenions absolument à vous le présenter ici afin de décrypter ses processus de créations…
Beaucoup te décrivent comme un « Architecte d’Influence » alors que le terme plus approprié serait plutôt « Freelance Hors-la-loi », est-ce que tu peux nous expliquer pourquoi ?
Many describe you as an « Architect of Influence» whereas the more appropriate term would be « Freelance Outlaw», could you explain why ?
Architect of Influence vs. Freelance Outlaw
In the late 1990’s I was a consulting creative director on the launch IRIDIUM campaign. The agency of record was Ammirati Puris Lintas I authored a presentation titled: « The Architecture of Influence » as a strategic tool for the team working on the account. The core insight was that a small celebrity community were going to become the dominant consumer culture arbiters using their cellphones. My original document which there were only two or three copies was reproduced multiple times and spread quickly through the advertising world. My concept became my label at that time. I was now referred to as an architect of influence. One of the key images in the thesis was Russell Simmons the founder of Def Jam Records on his mobile phone sitting in the front row of a fashion show.
My document was authored in 1997/98. The first Apple iPhone was launched in June 2007. Twitter was launched in March 2006. Instagram went live in October 2010. In 2015 the single image that could represent the most powerful way pop culture is recorded, judged and distributed is the selfie and a celebrity’s number of followers on various social media platforms.
My current thinking is that Instagram has replaced Conde Nast as the world’s social and style arbiter.
The phrase « Freelance Outlaw » I became aware of and then began to use referring to my own varied project history, after I read it in a 2008 Lunch with the FT interview. The subject of the piece was Manabu Miyazaki the son of a Kyoto syndicate boss. Mr. Miyazaki thought of himself as a « freelance outlaw », not part of a surrogate member of a gang family. The term appealed to me immediately and on occasion when asked how I would describe my profession I would say I was a freelance outlaw I was 57 years old when I read the FT article. A key element in the formation of my self-hood was my experience of watching an American
TV Western show called « Have Gun-Will Travel » starring actor Richard Boone. The show ran from 1957 to 1963.
The lead character’s name was « Palladin » a reference to the knight warriors in Charlemange’s court. Palladin was a gentleman [mercenary] gunfighter. Palladin’s presence and code of ethics left a deep impression on me in those formative years of my life, 6 to 12 years of age. Forty five years later reading about Mr. Miyazaki the phrase, Mr. Miyazaki’s physical elegance and the manner in which he described his ethical code made me connect the two warriors in my consciousness.
So yes to both phrases. I was the author of the strategic weapon « Architecture of Influence » and I see myself as a gentleman whose destiny is to craft in the role of a mercenary, lawless creative solutions
August 27, 2015
Canyon Point, Utah
Tu devrais avoir une biographie Wikipédia plus longue que Gandhi et pourtant tu as choisi l’anonymat, tu as effacé tout ce qui concernait ton œuvre des 50 dernières années. Tu ne peux pas nous répondre que l’anonymat est le nouveau cool du XXIe siècle, ça ne sera pas suffisant ici. Donc pourquoi avoir choisi de rester caché pendant plus d’un demi-siècle de création ?
You should have a Wikipedia biography longer than that of Gandhi and yet you chose anonymity, in that you have effaced everything in respect of your work for the last 50 years. You cannot tell us that anonymity is the new twenty-first century cool, that wouldn’t be sufficient here. So why have you chosen to remain hidden for over half a century?
Regarding my decision to live and work anonymously I would say that it was an unconscious decision in the 1970’s. As my community of creative friends moved into the 1980’s a significant cultural shift occurred. A number of factors all happened
simultaneously. The first was the launch of MTV in 1981. Andy Warhol emerged again on the social and art world scene with his public and professional association with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. A new era of downtown nightclubs began
in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s including Area, The Saint, Danceteria, Paradise Garage and the Mudd Club. The Odeon restaurant opened in Tribeca. A very combustible social scenario composed of a new generation of artists that were ready for fame and fortune, an older generation who were the social and artistic elite of the 1960’s and 1970’s were anxious to be associated with the new scene. Wall Street, the art world, easy availability of high-quality cocaine all converged creating the newest generation of party driven cultural protagonists. I have witnessed the evolution from someone being immortalized
by society photographers Patrick McMullan and Roxanne Lowit to Kim Kardashian’s 42 million Instagram followers. At both ends of this social recording I was never interested in being involved.
I was there. At the gallery and museum openings, at the bars, clubs and restaurants. From the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s I transitioned from being an art book dealer to an art dealer then to assisting the composer Philip Glass while he was composing
his opera Satyagraha based on the life of Mohandas K. Gandi. During the period I was working for Philip I met my wife the choreographer/dancer Molissa Fenley. We meet at the Mudd Club. I spent the last part of the 1970’s and early part of the 1980’s
working with Molissa on producing and promoting her works. The apex of this moment was working with Molissa on producing her work titled Hemispheres. A historically significant aspect of the production was that the costumes were designed by Rei Kawakubo.
The piece premiered as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Fall 1983 NEXT WAVE Festival. This was the first time that Rei collaborated with the New York art scene. Molissa and I divorced in 1984 and I began to work as a promoter at The Saint. Title this era Drugs & Chaos.
While all this was occurring by nature I worked behind the scenes. I was very social and very actively involved with the emergence of the late 1970’s to early 1980’s downtown creative scene but I always preferred to live and work in the shadows of everyone else’s newly acquired notoriety and fame.
Most of what is referenced by both the art world and the fashion world happened at this time. While we are in a world that needs cultural and societal verification by looking back, I always moved forward.
I have no use for nostalgia. FUCK NOSTALGIA. My life was never constructed as a mood board. I have never seen myself as a performer. I have never undertaken any project and viewed my contribution as performative. My early theoretical training was
focused on researching and authoring theoretical statements and strategic platforms. Our society since the 1960’s has followed a path that is focused on the performer. This includes everyone from presidents to porn stars. The very act of being visible is the performance. I am not a performer. My life is one of observation and for the most part solitary contemplation. Not
in an Eastern sense of meditation but in a very Western form of aggressive conceptual analysis and formulating conclusions I never thought that being visible could bring any added benefit to my life. You can say that Andy Warhol’s societal algorithm that everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes has been realized. The Kardashian cultural virus supported by Instagram keeps infecting and spreading into every aspect of our lives.
I would add after a person’s fifteen minutes for the most part another person will replace them. It appears that with no conscious strategy on my own part people refer to me as infamous. There is a criminal aspect to the definition of infamous which I accept. Uomo senza nome.
The Man with No Name.
August 28, 2015
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tu es une légende absolue à New-York, est-ce parce que tu sais anticiper l’avenir depuis plus d’un demi-siècle ?
You are an absolute legend in New York, is that because you’ve been able to anticipate the future for over half a century?
I cannot comment on how the community defines my life and work. Regarding my ability to sense what lies ahead I think that there are untold definitions of being gifted. For some reason I can see situations clearly. I live in a state of continuous hypothesis. I have from my childhood experienced life with emotional detachment. This disengagement has been a deep operating
aspect of my life. I never had an attachment to being defined by systems. I have existed within an oceanic state composed of data. I have lived with very little supervision. I have always been left to my own ability to take care of myself. There are some facts that are pertinent. I was born in 1950. I was raised in Brooklyn. At 6 or 7 years old I was already settling into the state of mind that I still have today. Once I learned to read and write school had no interest for me any longer I have no memories of being in class after the 6th grade. I smoked marijuana for the first time in 1964. I took my first tab of LSD in 1966. I entered The School of Visual Arts in September 1968 as a film student. I spent one year in the Film department and the remainder of my studies were in the Fine Arts department. After a year of intensive film history studies directed by famed film
historian William K. Everson I entered into a two year research period focusing on the strategic basis for vanguard art. Duchamp to Kosuth who was one of my teachers. The creative thinker I can most emphasize with is the chess prodigy and grandmaster Bobby Fisher. He was born seven years before me but grew up blocks from where I grew up. He was left alone as a child.
I was left alone as a child. Not abandoned. Not mistreated just left alone. He took care of his basic needs as child as I did. He quickly found chess as his way of existing. I quickly found data analysis. He wanted to find himself through the study of chess maneuvers, I wanted to find myself through gathering data and them constructing patterns of thought. I realized it
was about the moves. I think what I experience as moves others describe as predictions.
The other aspect of my being in the world was institutional weightlessness. From the 9th grade  to the present I have had no interest in any need to be defined. Interpreted by my background [race,gender,religion,social class]. I was present but never categorized.
The Situationist psychogeographical concept of derive [drift], an unplanned journey through a landscape, usually urban is the closest to a definition of my life and work strategy as I can truly relate to. Decades of freely exploring the physical world and the world of experimental ideas resulted in my way of operating within the creative community. I am just myself. By having
the calm and focus of a simplified selfhood I am moving slower and thinking faster than others.
August 29, 2015
Las Vegas, Nevada
Aujourd’hui tous les culturo-mondains des industries créatives vivent dans une nostalgie passéiste se pensant héritiers d’Andy Warhol, de Jean-Michel Basquiat et de Keith Haring. Comme tu as travaillé avec eux dans les années 70 et 80, est-ce que tu peux nous expliquer pourquoi tous vivent encore dans ce passé ?
Today all the socio-cultures of the creative industries exist in a backward-looking nostalgia believing themselves heirs to Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. As you worked with all three in the 70s and 80s, could you explain to us why everyone still lives in the past?
Nostalgia is a complex social mechanism. We are not the first society to base so much of our creative output referencing the past. Nostalgia is a form that is removed from its original content. If you want to keep the majority of your society ignorant of what is in truth happening you fill their lives with the past. In 2015 there is also the fact that many of the baby boomers refuse to go away. They own the intellectual property including the music, the films, the TV shows, the literature, the iconography, and the mythology. There is just too much at stake especially the profits involved. Anna Wintour will be 66 years old in November. Mick Jagger turned 72 in July.
Karl Lagerfeld will turn 82 in a few days. Bernard Arnault is 66 years old. They all have a vested intellectual, psychological and financial interest in promoting the past. That strange combination of heritage and back in the day. The Factory, Studio 54, Le Palace, CBGB, TV Party, Area nightclub, Keith Haring’s POP SHOP, the Mudd Club, this grand narrative has to disappear. The current FASHIONWORLD obsession with the 1970’s and 1980’s is metaphorically like the American TV program SEINFELD. A narrative about nothing that is now endlessly repeated globally through re-runs I would say that is the basis for Hedi Slimane’s programming of SAINT LAURENT. Nothing repeated endlessly with each collection cycle. Hedi did not even invent that strategy. The master of designing nothing and being able to present the void each season since 1968 is Ralph Lauren. From my experience, this cycle of recycling began in the 1960’s with a single shop. The store was called The Different Drummer, an Antique and New Clothing Store. The motto was « Tired of The Same Old Shit » My guess is that Ralph Lauren visited the store and by envisioning a strategy of old and new shit mixed with a faux patrician history built the globally enforced nostalgia blueprint.
Who Hedi Slimane needs to build a shrine to is Paul Sigenlaub one of the store’s owners. There were two stores one on Lexington Avenue between 61st and 62nd Streets and the one I frequented in the East Village. The other important stores that originated the current nostalgia virus were Marty Freedman’s Limbo shop also located in the East Village and Paul Sargent’s clothing store on West 4th Street. I believe that nostalgia is a control virus especially focused on a society’s youth as a mechanism of brainwashing. The current intellectual property elite gains financially from the glorification [control of history] and repetition [royalties] of their old content. The visual rhythms of the recent past through the creation of the mood board, then the PowerPoint, and now Instagram have made the recent past the default present. A great percentage of the world’s content elite bought their way into the 21st century. I was present when many of the visual icons appeared and performed. It was fun at the moment. The circumstances were completely different. Rent was in the $100 range for an apartment in downtown New York. Luxury was heat in the winter.
Dining was a Polish owned coffee shop. Drugs were plentiful, cleaner and were a shared community experience. Many of us were students of sensory derangement. FUN Gallery was fun. GAGOSIAN Gallery is institutional banking. SAVE THE ROBOTS was dangerous. Le Baron is a marketing space. Having absolutely no life guidance was exhilarating. CR Fashion Book is a platform for editorial and corporate narcissism.
Even the children and grandchildren of the FASHIONWORLD elite have been recruited to deepen the imaginary narrative of the recent past and to suppress authentic new content and thought experimentation What is now important is strategies of cultural and societal survival, not keeping alive and financially supporting dead ideas and irrelevant people. Nostalgia is control. FUCK NOSTALGIA.
September 3, 2015
Los Angeles, California
Tu as imaginé que Angelina Jolie serait Présidente des États-Unis en 2024, comment est née cette idée ?
How did the idea Angelina Jolie will be President of the United States in 2024 come into being?
JOLIE 2024: Angelina Jolie for President of The United States was an idea that I had beginning in 2012. Ms. Jolie I believe offers both the citizens of America and the citizens of the the world. She has consistently shown that her humanitarian efforts are genuine and deeply felt. Her public and personal commitment to the world’s increasingly expanding refugee crisis has been way ahead of the traditional worldwide government response.
She is a commanding presence both within the entertainment industry and the community of concerned citizens. The 2016 candidates are without any merit. It is a disaster whoever wins. I feel the same for the 2020 race and eventual winner. Another four years of irrelevance on the national and international stage. If Ms. Jolie decides to run for the 2024 White House race my mind and heart tells me she would win and their would be an era of dignity and humanity brought to the esteemed office, to the people of America and set a tone of respect for the concept of freedom and human rights for the world to admire and respect. A JOLIE presidency would be in my opinion another American Camelot.
October 2, 2015
New York, NY
De façon plus futile, tu es considéré aussi comme « le magicien des marques » le plus performant au monde, est-ce que tu peux ici nous délivrer ton secret ? Ou est-ce que comme chaque magicien tu gardes privé les dessous de tes tours ?
In a more frivolous way, you are also regarded as «the brand magician» – the most effective in the world – could you let us into your secret? Or like every magician do you not give your tricks away?
I have earned my living since 1995 working as a brand author and identity designer. The great percentage of my assignments have been for the hospitality industry both hotels and restaurants. A number of my logos have become internationally utilized and recognized. I was not trained to work on branding. I use my knowledge of art world strategies to resolve my solutions. The process I use is close to methodology of an artist but my solutions are not art and when working I do not think of myself as an artist. I see myself as a tradesman. A highly informed and skilled plumber or electrician. If there is a magical quality to my work I think it comes from bringing a clarity to the process. There is no romance or poetry. It is similar to solving a mathematical problem not creating an artwork. On a personal level it is rewarding that the work is both functional and enjoyed.
October 2, 2015
New York, NY
Tu as rencontré Keith Haring en 1977 dont tu es devenu un ami très proche, tu as donc tout naturellement conceptualisé avec lui l’ouverture du premier concept store à Tokyo [POP SHOP] qui a ensuite influencé le monde entier, pour en arriver à COLETTE. Tu dois avoir envie de pleurer non ?
You met Keith Haring in 1977 with whom you became a very close friend and who you worked with on the first concept store in Tokyo [POP SHOP] which went on to influence the world over; then came COLETTE. You must have wanted to cry, no?
I first met Keith Haring through my former wife the choreographer/dancer Molissa Fenley. Molissa was one of Keith’s art instructors in the late 1970’s.
They collaborated on a video and performance work in 1979 titled Video Clones’. I attended Keith’s first solo exhibition with Molissa at PS 122 in the East Village. I visited Keith’s various studios and attended many of his gallery exhibition openings. The Shafrazi gallery exhibitions, the Fun Gallery exhibitions and many of Keith’s nightclub events. Molissa and I had begun working and performing in Tokyo beginning in 1983. Whem Keith was approached by investors in Tokyo to open his POP SHOP concept store in Tokyo I advised him on the process. I wrote the agreement paper. I miss his talent and humanity.
October 2, 2015
New York, NY
Il y a plus de trente ans, tu as mis en scène l’arrivée de la prochaine vague d’artistes féminines américaines à Tokyo, avec entre autres Cindy Sherman, Laurie Anderson, Lisa Lyons et Molissa Fenley. Trente ans plus tard, quelle sont selon toi les artistes féminines qui vont marquer la cinquième génération de féministes qui arrive à grand pas sur les cinq continents ?
It’s been more than thirty years since you staged the arrival of the next wave of female American artists in Tokyo, including amongst others Cindy Sherman, Laurie Anderson, Lisa Lyons and Molissa Fenley. Thirty years on, who do you think are the female artists to mark the fifth generation of feminists, fast approaching on five continents?
The definition of who and what is a feminist artist has been altered by the introduction of social media especially Instagram.The current idea as promoted by FASHIONWORLD is based on a generation of young women who grew up with internet porn as a cultural force.
FASHIONWORLD would like us to believe that the definition of feminist artist allows for forms that are best described as soft-core porn. The number one self-directed sexual provocateur is Petra Collins. Many members of her ARDOROUS squad are also defining themselves as public images using various forms of visual samples and appropriations from traditional « BARELY LEGAL » models and Japanese Anime characterizations of young women offered to their legions of young male fans as prepubescent collectible trophies and fantasies. Petra Collins recent book BABE is a manual on how a young girl/woman can use her body on the internet and call oneself an feminist artist. Two visual aspects connect many of these women. The color pink and a focus on images of their panties also usually pink. In many instances text is applied to the crotch or ass as the « deep » message of these Instagram posts. The text is also charged with copy and directives taken form the industrial-porn complex.
All of the women and all of the settings they picture themselves in are low rent in nature. Taken a step further they are trailer park in nature. A description of the aesthetic would be SUBURBAN MY LITTLE PONY RAINBOW GLITTER UNICORNISM. Ms. Collins recent collective « art » book is titled FEELINGS. Feelings are words one jots down in one’s lock and key teenage diary It is not the basis of an intellectual position. I think you can draw a perfect line from photographer Richard Kern’s soft-core
images to the work of Terry Richardson leading to the photographs of Olivier Zahm. It is Zahm’s blog platform PURPLE DIARY in the 21st century that has become a nexus point for Petra Collins visibility and the work of her various collaborators and clones. Jefferson Hack’s media property DAZED has also become the launching point for a whole generation of not feminist but soft-core UNICORNISTS. In a recent issue of W Magazine is a story about another of the my starting point is my time spent watching online porn « feminist artists » Eileen Kelly whose Instagram account is @killerandasweetthang. I guess when the
cultural icon of Instagram is Kim Kardashian who began her public ascent with a porn video, this is the result. The thing that makes no sense is that Tavi Gevinson who actually has a true ability to communicate has aligned herself with these low level faux porn stars. Off hand I cannot think of a list of new feminists but my intuition is that Tavi is grounded and will be a positive model for young women for decades. It is all irrelevant and has the intellectual nutrition of Froot Loops floating in a bowl of chocolate milk.
Steven Mark Klein
January 15, 2016
Derrière tes idées publicitaires se cachent des milliards de dollars, forcement tu es consulté par toutes les puissances financières de la planète, n’est-ce pas paradoxal avec ton travail artistique absolument pur et donc incorruptible ?
Behind your advertising ideas are hidden billions of dollars, as a result you are consulted by all the world’s financial powers; isn’t this paradoxical in relation to your artistic work being absolutely pure and therefore incorruptible?
I have completely separated my work that I do to survive in the capitalist West and my true work which deeply personal and exclusively private in terms of my identity. Hidden within all my commercial projects which has included public relations, advertising and branding is some aspect of the subversive. If the client was informed enough and I felt some ethical kinship I would reveal what the hidden message was. If I was just a work for hire I would not tell the client what message I had placed within their commercial information.
My goal has always been to see if I can do something that has intellectual awareness and will inspire as many people as possible. Is their a inherent paradox that I can be commercially impactful and subversive at the same time. The answer is yes. Is it emotionally challenging. The answer is yes.
It was the price I paid for recognizing in the 1970’s that to play the artist was far worse than living the daily incongruence I do live with. A note of explanation in 1970 I was an art student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I dated a student who was a part-time assistant to the art collector and then gallerist Holly Solomon. Holly’s apartment was on East 57th Street near Sutton Place. It was once the residence of Marilyn Monroe. I was in the living room and on a side table was a faux gold minature easel. On the easel was a small dictionary definition piece by conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth who was at that time one of my instructors. The living room decor was au courant of that time and place. Over-the-top and dramatic.
Based on my personal conversations with Kosuth and his highly radical and intellectualized foundations for his work. Experiencing his art in this context was incongruent and deeply ironic. That moment shaped my own relationship to my life and work.
Steven Mark Klein
January 15, 2016
Comme tu travailles avec APAR.TV depuis des années, est-ce qu’on peut se permettre de présenter tes associés Steve Oklyn et Mark Even ainsi que tes accointances avec le collectif 99% YOUTH ?
As you have worked with APAR.TV for years, shouldn’t we introduce your associates Steve Oklyn and Mark Even as well as your dealings with the collective 99% YOUTH?
Steve Oklyn, Mark Even and. the collective [SIGNED] 99% YOUTH are all elements of a process that allows for a group discussion of ideas that I first encountered as a student beginning in 1968. They each contribute to the development of a philosophical position which is a way of surviving. It is not a lifestyle. It is not a style in any form. In fact their very existences is counter to any discussion of style. Style especially the expansionist system of the corporately owned industrial propaganda bureacacy of style for myself, Steve Oklyn, Mark Even and [SIGNED] 99% YOUTH has the same connotations as discussing the large drug cartels that exist all over the world. Simply put anyone involved in the sale, marketing and promotion of these « lifestyle » products for us is identical to the manufacturing and distribution systems that the drug cartels operate. We believe that the effect on the human soul is no different from what EL CHAPO promotes and what LVMH
promotes. It is interesting how obsessive the current FASHIONWORLD operatives are about the 1970’s when if you experienced that moment first hand brands like GUCCI and LOUIS VUITTON were only worn by the worst nouveau riche Eurotrash with gold coke
spoons hanging from their necks. If you were young and involved in any way with the New York downtown creative community and encountered someone in GUCCI loafers or wearing a LOUIS VUITTON belt you first ran and as you were running were laughing.
Can you imagine in 1975 Donald Judd or Richard Serra wearing a pair of GUCCI loafers.
Steven Mark Klein
January 15, 2016
Tu penses que l’avant-garde c’est terminé. Tu dis même : « Le monde de la mode c’est terminé. Au suivant. Le monde de l’art c’est terminé. Au suivant. Le monde du design c’est terminé. Au suivant. Le monde de la célébrité c’est terminé. Au suivant. »
Tout le savoir des hiérarchies culturelles et sociétales c’est terminé. Kris Kardashian a créé l’algorithme [virus] qui a rendu hors de propos les 150 dernières années de l’expérimentation moderniste et post-moderniste. Une nouvelle ère unique s’annonce. Le monde est devenu une réalité criminelle interdépendante et en réseau. Le plus naturel comme riposte significative est de répondre avec des solutions « Lawless ». Ce que nous avons commencé à expliquer avec la déclaration de 99% YOUTH et ses différents communiqués. Un univers créatif défini comme LAWLESS par son naturel très structurel, va créer une génération et, espérons-le, des générations successives de Freelance hors la loi. Pourquoi ?
You believe that the avant-garde is over. You have said: «The world of fashion is over. Next. The world of art is over. Next. The world of design is over. Next. The world of celebrity is over. Next. »
All the knowledge of cultural and societal hierarchies is redundant. Kris Kardashian has created the algorithm [virus] which has rendered irrelevant the last 150 years of modernist and postmodernist experimentation. Announcing a unique new era. The world has become an interdependent criminal reality and network. The most natural and meaningful repost is to respond with «Lawless» solutions. That which we have started to outline with the declaration of 99% YOUTH and its various communiqués. A creative universe defined as LAWLESS by its very structural nature, will create a generation and, hopefully, successive generations of Freelance Outlaws. Why?
FASHIONWORLD HAPPENED. NEXT. Because of Instagram. Replaced by Instagram ARTWORLD HAPPENED. NEXT.
Because of international market manipulation and money laundering. DESIGNWORLD HAPPENED. NEXT. Because of Pinterest. Followers replaced leaders. Visibility replaced literacy. Celebrity replaced creativity. Porno has replaced journo.
Gender has replaced genius. Narcissism has replaced activism. The Kardashians, the Jenners, the Hadids, Bieber and Baldwin, the Wests Kanye, North and Saint, the Smiths Lucky Blue, Starlie Cheyenne, Daisy Clementine and Pyper America, Lily-Rose Depp, Lottie Moss haven’t replaced anything. They are advertisements for the final stages of an impending cultural apocalypse. CULTURAL WARMING. There is only positive news from this event. FAME as a life goal died with Andy Warhol in 1987. Every event and person just listed are the attendees at a cultural wake. That took over 20 years after the death of cultural irrelevance to get everyone into the same prison constructed of black mirrors. Like all cataclysms the weak have already been lost. They are easily recognizable on every street in every city in the world. They are visible from their own shackles. There is endless dialog concerning the merits or negatives of artificial intelligence. What seems to escape the gaze of millions is that AI is here. Place a smartphone in the right hand leading from that processor are two white wires plugged into the left and right sides of the AI’s brain by visible white buds. Stooped posture. Glazed expression. Mute. They are lost. They were born to serve the new pharaonic leaders: Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon. Slaves build stock market valuation pyramids. In their universe the past is always the future and the present has become gossip. Rupert Murdoch’s engagement and impending marriage to Jerry Hall is the perfect way to say goodbye to THE NEW ILLITERATI. The merging of Murdoch and Mick Jagger with Jerry as the connector speaks volumes for the absolute irrelevance of all that they cherish including their culture of self glorification. The recent worldwide release and success of the new STAR WARS: the Force Awakens is the apogee of CULTUREWORLD HAPPENED. NEXT. What is next? The answer is quite simple. Completely sustainable. The answer is silence. An awakening to the brilliant fragility of human existence. There is no scene. Live and love beneath the seen.
Steven Mark Klein
January 17, 2016
Ton point de départ intellectuel est ta collaboration personnelle avec Brion Gysin et William S. Burroughs pour déconstruire le langage. Sauf que toi tu es encore vivant. Tu as donc pu aller plus loin. Beaucoup plus loin. Ce qu’a écrit Burroughs était des algorithmes pour détruire les contraintes de la langue normative. Toi tu pousses la logique à fabriquer des canons littéraires « anti-establishment ».
Tu utilises ces techniques comme une stratégie pour sortir des manœuvres de contrôle qu’impose la réalité de la programmation. Pourquoi aller si loin dans le processus ?
Your intellectual starting point is your personal collaboration with Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs to deconstruct language. Only you are still alive. So you could go further. Much further. Burroughs writings are the algorithms for destroying the constraints of normative language. You provide the logic to manufacture « anti-establishment» literary canons.
You use these techniques as a strategy to escape control tactics imposed by programming reality. Why go so far in this process?
I have to correct a part of your final question. Certain structural aspects of my various platforms of work are intellectually attuned to aspects of Brion Gysin’s and William S. Burroughs work but I never directly worked with either of them. I would see Burroughs on occasion walking downtown or I might see him at an event in the 1970’s. I did attend THE NOVA CONVENTION in 1978. I turned 28 years old two weeks later and I lived 4 blocks from the ENTERMEDIA Theatre. To be honest I believe that the culture of alternative thinking ended on August 1,1981. That’s the day MTV launched. The culture of disposable kitsch had a global base of operations. Alternative cultural interests once an outlaw society now had a worldwide platform to reduce every sound and every image into an irony. A style. Difficult ideas and difficult works were replaced by suburban supermarket aisles of brightly colored sugar enriched industrially processed culture as commercials. Like the trademarked cereal boxes all lined up ad infinitum, the cultural brands that began THE NEW ILLITERACY including Madonna, Jeff Koons and Calvin Klein will not go away. Even though every few years the need for a corporately engineered nowness manufactured in their labs introduces new clones of the first generation models.
The past 35 years has produced a new version of culture. It is based on porn. Not the hard-core version but the soft-core version. The world of the Mineshaft has become the world of shafted minds. Patti Smith’s Instagram account has 3,947 followers. Lucky Blue Smith’s Instagram account has 1.9 million followers.
The underground is now represented by underwear Larry Gagosian has been replaced by Vito Schnabel.
Steven Mark Klein
January 17, 2016
NOTE : This is the last work I created for FASHIONWORLD. I was a freelance creative director for Marc Balet’s agency based in NoHo, New York City. Marc Balet was the creative director for Andy Warhol’s INTERVIEW Magazine from 1975 to 1986. I conceived and produced this launch into the American market campaign and identity refresh for Ben Sherman in the Fall of
1998 and it ran in Spring 1999. The photography was by Terry Richardson.
The stylist was Andrew Richardson. The makeup was by Terry’s former wife Nikki Uberti. I was the creative director, copywriter and co-art director.
To be honest I did most of the styling. Terry and Andrew spent a lot of time during the shoot riding around on a banana bike. My theory was that using sex to sell had ended with the Steven Meisel shot Calvin Klein Jeans Fall-Winter 1995 print advertising referred to as the « kiddie porn » campaign.
My position was that violence is the true message of the late 1990’s going into the 21st century. In 2016 photographs of teenagers in their underwear is now art and violence is our world.
Steven Mark Klein
January 17, 2016