Steven Mark Klein is kind of hard to describe. You might call him a conceptual artist, some say he’s more of a cultural critic. For the the last several years, SMK has been practicing the art of remaining invisible. Taking cues from 1960’s conceptual artist Seth Siegelaub, he uses these techniques to examine how large societal structures control people’s lives.
Phil and Rhonda Vigeant have been at the heart of the Super 8 film community for over 45 years. They’re at the forefront of analog film and camera technology and are the go-to experts for heavy hitters in the film industry as well as mentors to the amateurs. Culture Crush Founder Debra Scherer sat down with Phil and Rhonda at their Hollywood headquarters to discuss all things film and the enduring legacy of the Super 8 format.
This week in the studio we got a visit from the formidable Stella Kramer. We ran into Stella when she was guest speaking to a class at the Parsons School of Design and we knew we'd have to get her to come in for a chat. Before she was a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo journalist, Stella was a staple of the Seattle punk scene. She created the now almost mythological 'zine, Stela Zine. In the late 1970’s, Stelazine put Seattle’s low-key, blossoming punk music world on display for fellow punks and music lovers. She interviewed everyone who was anyone – from local bands to the Ramones to even The Clash. Her 'zine was the quintessential example of all the beauty, blood, sweat and tears that go into true DIY culture.
On this episode, Ytasha Womack joins us to discuss the history and philosophy behind the movement that is on everyone’s mind: Afrofuturism. Womack is an award-winning artist, filmmaker, and the author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture, and she helps us explore the meanings behind the aesthetic blend of high technology and African cosmology. So pull the veil aside and step through the portal, because Space is the Place.
Award winning journalist, author, and brand consultant Constance White joined us in the Culture Crush Studio to discuss her new book How to Slay: Inspiration From the Queens and Kings of Black Style. A lavishly illustrated overview of 20th century African-American style, How to Slay served as the jumping off point for a deep conversation between Constance, Debra, and Brandon on the effect that African-American style has had on culture. From cultural appropriation and Dapper Dan to Black Fashion’s African roots and Nicki Minaj, this episode of the Culture Crush podcast leaves no topic untouched.
As New York Fashion Week began, publicist, author, and CEO of People’s Revolution, Kelly Cutrone joined Debra in the Culture Crush studio to discuss all things fashion and culture. Their conversation begins with Debra telling the origin story of The Culture Crush, and the role that her experiences at Italian Vogue played in its development. Then they discuss their history in the fashion industry and how the landscape has changed over the past few decades. Finally, Kelly explains her views on the role that shopping plays in women’s lives, propaganda, Voodoo, and how social media is changing, or ruining, the fashion industry.
A quick stop down in Jacksonville Florida to talk southern street photography with Malcolm Jackson, while he was preparing to work on a project for the tenth issue of the Culture Crush print edition. We discussed the peculiar cultural history and the beauty of documenting life in the largest city in the United States.
On this episode of The Culture Crush podcast, we sat down with comedian and actor Judah Friedlander (30 Rock, Wet Hot American Summer) to discuss his new stand-up Netflix special America is the Greatest Country in the United States.
Judah explains how he developed this special’s topic, his theory of political comedy, and his evolution as a comic. We also discuss a host of other topics including the 2016 election, freedom of speech, the co-opting of political causes by brands and businesses, sexual harassment, and why women are inherently better at camera work.
As The Culture Crush evolves so does the podcast. On this episode, we are excited to have our new regular co-host Brandon Sutton, who brings his unique voice over from his own podcast, The Discourse. Join us as we connect the cultural dots and discuss society at large through the voices of artists and thinkers moving through this new world.
As the influence of the aesthetics of ‘90’s Paris seems to grow and grow, it’s interesting to get a feel for some of the pieces of the puzzle that made up that particular ecosystem. Then, stylists, photographers, creative directors, press agents and designers were working in a freer, closed world, interacting with each other and allowing for chance work and experimentation that is now difficult to imagine.
But photographer Matthias Vriens-McGrath remembers it well. He discusses the creative mindset that led him to picking up a camera in the first place, as well as the aesthetic spontaneity that reflected a time that was both the end of an era and the very beginning of a now unstoppable regurgitation of imagery fueled by the high stakes multi-billion dollar machine that the fashion industry has become today.