You know when you decide to surf the net first thing in the morning while listening to old Italian music from the 1960’s and sipping espresso when you suddenly get taken down a visual rabbit hole that hopscotches from one URL to another until finally you strike creative inspiration? No? It must just be me then. That’s what happened today when I started out at my favorite fashion website which then took me to an article on Aaron Rose which then took me to his website where that door opened up to a short documentary on Hamburger Eyes™ that he directed. I’ve know of Aaron Rose for years. In fact, he was one of the first names I remember discovering when I was heavily influenced by the likes of Supreme™ and Terry Richardson when I first started doing photography. AR owned the Alleged Gallery in New York when the city was dirty and the candid snapshots of that era were equally as gritty. For someone like me who lived in the suburbs of Thousand Oaks CA, it seemed like the perfect dreamworld. I would fantasize about the day that I could be wild and free and document my debauchery in a way that resonated with me and where I was at in that stage of my life. Graffiti, skateboarding, drugs, music, sex and art in all types of shapes and mediums, what more could an isolated kid ask for?
It was interesting to stumble upon this documentary today because I’ve heard of Hamburger Eyes™ in the past but never really paid much attention to it other than knowing it was photography based. Personally I thought it was a one photographer and left it at that. After watching this short I realized that its so much more special than one person, it’s a collective of people who love photography and documenting life and make it a point to produce something tangible, zines. I used to Xerox my own zines on a old photocopier when I was an office manager. I would wait until everyone was gone and work all night trying to layout my images and then stapled the bundled stacks of warm black and white paper together and gave them away to anyone that would take one. Zines used to be huge and I think for any individual that is prone to capturing life through a lens and has any sort of DIY attribute sewn into their DNA, a zine is just something that you do. You want to do it, you need to do it, and its something that’s compelled from passion. It’s the best way to publish your own work in a manner that isn’t in a cloud but can be held in a hand, flipped through, browsed, ripped and taped onto a wall. A zine is the archetype for what will later be your Magna Carta. I don’t know about you but sometimes I forget about my roots and how much more fun things where when I did it by hand. In todays age we all just upload tons of images but these virtual indexes have no life, no soul. They’re merely renderings transmitted for a split second and then lost forever in the never-ending scroll. If Instagram was to crash today, or even worse, if the world was to crash tomorrow, what significance of your creative pursuits would be left behind for the next civilization to discover? Heavy, I know, but sometimes we are so busy chasing the instant gratification that we forget why we even started creating in the first place.
Watch the documentary, warm up your Xerox machine or printer, put a new blade in your Xacto knife, load a fresh cartridge of staples and get to work.