Tuesday, May 26, 2009


You can't start a magazine without really trying to define your content. Looking towards the third issue of LENSJOCKEY, I am struck by how different my view of the photography scene is. I mean really, where IS the punk rock photography magazine? I mean punk rock in the profound way, maybe not so much underground as just such a different viewpoint, and not even mad... just fucking punk rock.

I didn't see it at the NY Photo Festival. I was concerned alot with getting my own ideas out, but even while I was doing that I had to see what was out there around there... and nothing caught my eye... and my eyes are sortof trained to look for that now because of what I am doing myself.

To me, punk was raw, imperfect, noisy, human, shiny, dirty, cheap, colorful, and said fuck alot. I of course have not seen attempts at this sort of a magazine, one reason being that I have been spending so much time working on my own, which is isolating. But I did go to the NY Photo Festival this year and I didn't see anyone else's ideas about photography were like mine. I just didn't. At all. Great design is really important in the photography world, I guess to a certain point it has to be - like expensive clothes, but I don't see a jamming sensibility. Is it out there? I will look again, while content becomes an issue for my own magazine.
I want to find the stars. I have always loved finding a star to focus on before they become bigger. I'm sure alot of people are like that, gallery owners for one instance, but really, why is there not a magazine that focuses on photographers more like stars? Them in front, illustrated by their pictures, you know, like you don't hear songs in Rolling Stone. Something in relation to that idea. that you've seen the pictures, you know, maybe, but not seen who the person is, it's a fine balance maybe, hey for me this is an experiment about an idea.

When I would be handing out my magazine, and talking to others I noticed that there was always — with everyone — a genuine surprise at what I would say to them. And what I would say to them was "Rolling Stone for photographers" — that's how I would start talking with most people I met. Just as a response, the way that I would get genuine surprise mixed with an involuntary sort of a "noone has ever put those two things together but it sounds like something" means something to me. It was like I was testing a switch at the festival. That was a particular interest of mine there, to test that psychological recognition switch with alot of people. I needed some feedback that was exclusive of what others thought of me. Something independent of personal issues and biases, or as close to that as I could get. Knowing my own limits too, and being honest about my own biases, like who I felt comfortable addressing, all sorts of things. I even got some really super negative reactions - that is all I can call them. For instance, one person came up to a friend of mine, another photographer who was handing out some copies - and made a huge point of saying he thought he'd just throw it out, like, right in front of her, in her face. As an insult, really too aggressively. He wanted her to know exactly how stupid and worthless it was. It's a fucking magazine. Why so angry about a magazine called LENSJOCKEY that has been given out free? I guess you can't ask for your money back since it was free. So being insulting about throwing it away is the only alternative left for an enraged recipient of a free publication. 

The responses just made me think that truly, having a magazine that attempts to follow a model like Rolling Stone, having a personality focus for a photography magazine, is really a new idea. That's what I saw on the faces and the responses I got. The third issue? 

What is the content that I feel worth backing up in print? What WOULD a Rolling Stone for photographers look like? I am trying to accomplish this idea. I know that I made a first impression on many, good or bad. the name recognition has to be there — for more than a few people who attended the NY Photo Festival this year the name LENSJOCKEY is out there in it's own imperfect way — what will I do with Issue #3?

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