From the Toy box

This blog is rated AAARRRGGGHHHH!!! for pirates, fuck you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Interview with JuxLii

My Dear Readers,
                              I love introducing you to the young and impressive talent all around the world, many of you will remember my interview with Amber Berlin, well I recently had the chance to as JuxLii of  The Dr. Susan Block Institute.

I met JuxLii during my first night at Dr. Blocks Speakeasy, and in him I found a kindred soul and a fantastic photographer I've wanted to have him on here for awhile but we both keep very busy, examples of his photography can be seen all over Cathedral, or on Juxlii's site linked above, but now here it is.

Lord Foul: Tell us about what your life was like when you were younger.

JuxLii: I was raised between NYC and London, with a parent from each and a distinctly different family on either side of the Atlantic. What with kids being the little bastards that they are, I spent a good deal of time as an outsider. Sporting a middling accent and a mishmash of cultural reference points, I came across as a foreigner in both of my hometowns.

LF: What sort of hobbies did you/do you enjoy?

J: I've always been a movie buff, loved writing, loved music--live and recorded alike--had all sorts of collections: comics, baseball cards, stamps.  I’ve been into the sea, snorkeling and diving since my early days.  And, of course, there’s photography, the most tenacious of my hobbies.

These days, the collections are gone but the rest remain, now more than just hobbies.  In addition to shooting here in LA, I’ve worked (and continue to work) on and off-air in large market broadcast radio and am a busy literary editor. When things are slow enough, I disappear and teach scuba diving instruction and underwater photography in Thailand and Honduras....

LF: When did you develop your passion for photography?

J: I don't remember a time during which I didn't love taking pictures, but photography took on a particular significance in my life when I was about 12 and I got my hands on my first SLR.  As a gadget hound, the modular nature of the camera sucked me in and helped me to understand the possibilities that exist beyond the point-at-pretty-thing-and-click method.  I began to shoot everything and was rarely without a camera.  As I shot more, I learned to take advantage of my outsider status. The people and the places became subjects. "Outsider" became "observer" and carrying a camera validated my role and allowed me to make peace with my situation. It made my relationship with my surroundings feel like a choice, which is what it ultimately became.

LF:What aspect of photography do you enjoy most?

J: Definitely documentary. I can frame an image, shoot with technical proficiency, color correct and edit but ultimately, photography is about choosing moments. Whether at an event, underwater, on the road or in a studio, pushing the shutter release captures a moment that is gone. It will never happen again in quite that way. Cliche; I know. I like to find things that most people don't often—or will never—encounter, capture and share. That's what took me around the world, underwater and, most recently, into adult and fetish.

LF:What would be your ideal career?

J: I'm in it.

That said, "career" is a funny concept. It implies that there's a single job that should be right for me (or anyone, for that matter).  I'd be bored senseless if I had only one job description over the course of a week, let alone a lifetime. I write, edit, shoot, consult, code, broadcast, teach... I keep myself busy, I keep things interesting and I intend to continue that way.

LF:What do you do to relax after the day to day?

J: Relax?

Most of my free time activities are far from relaxing. I work on personal projects, hit a dive bar, indulge the body, catch a gig...occasionally catch up on sleep.
My purest method of relaxation would involve a body of warm water and a scuba tank. There's not much more meditative than a peaceful, zero-gravity cruise around a beautifully alien undersea world.

LF:What advice do you have for the young photographers out there?

J: Write.

Digital imagery has  minimized the cost of processing and put a sensor in every pocket, whether in a phone, music player, or even a camera.  With so many cameras in so many places, accidental successes are inevitable, technical ability and a capable eye be damned. Everybody is a photographer and media outlets know it. Want a career in photojournalism? You'll be competing with eyewitnesses who snap shots and post/email them to "tip-lines" without asking for anything more than bragging rights. Travel photographers are up against holiday-makers who upload their  snaps to stock libraries, more than happy to give up all rights for a credit and occasional "found money."

You can't point and shoot with a pen and you can't fluke a good article. Shoot stories and write the words that those images will accompany. Offer something complete; the added value is apparent and you'll save your potential buyer some extra steps, which is always appreciated.

LF:Who is your Idol?

J: In the photo world, I'm a huge fan of Nan Goldin, Richard Kern, Nobuyoshi Araki, Bob Coulter, Larry Clark, Diane Arbus and so many others.

I’m not really the idolizing type but, if we were to take those photographers, throw them into a vat with John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, Luc Besson, Neitzsche, Dali, Gaudi and a healthy helping of Jacques Cousteau, we should be able to frankenstein a reasonably badass idol out the mess.  Maybe.

LF:If you had one day to live what would you do with it?

J: I often reference some words from Steve Jobs, delivered in his commencement address at Stanford a few years ago. I think he has the right idea (though were I in his shoes, I might be inclined to answer “No” to the question on days during which I push engineered incompatibilities and digital rights management).

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Today, I answered “Yes.”

LF: And now it's time for the  quick 5.
Favorite Movie?

J: Most "favorite" questions are tough enough to answer; my favorites change hourly with variations in mood, surroundings, weather and whatever.  Having studied film, I get particularly flummoxed and go full on movie-nerd with this one.

In the name of overly long lists and answering far more than the question at hand, I'm going back to the list of favorite movies that I compiled for my BME profile more than eight years ago.  Let's see what has stuck...

betty blue.:.heathers.:.super troopers.:.the doom and videotape.:.the fifth element.:.tapeheads.:.breakfast at tiffany's.:.the big blue.:.drugstore cowboy.:.the shawshank redemption.:.1900.:.jules and jim.:.the decline of western civilization.:.the 400 blows.:.big trouble in little china.:.traffic.:.casablanca.:.harlan county usa.:.looking for mister goodbar.:.crash.:.river's in upon a time in america.:.sunset boulevard.:.true romance.:.raising arizona.:.say own private confidential.:.american beauty.:.grosse pointe blank.:.tromeo and bites dog.:.wings of desire.:.the last picture show.:.big

I'd love to whittle the list down to one or two—a top ten, even—but I can't.  Each is amazing and has the potential to be my favorite at any given moment.  I'm leaving the list as-is and walking away before I'm tempted to add to it.

LF: Favorite Book?

This time, I'll whittle harder, based on my SG list...

Candide, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Great Gatsby, Babbitt, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

That's five.  We can live with a list of five, right?

LF: Favorite song?

Seriously? I can't even come up with a single favorite artist, let alone...

Fuck it.  I'm listening to NoFX right now.  The Idiots are Taking Over.  I love the tune, it makes a good point and that's enough to call it my favorite, if only until the next tune comes on.

LF: Favorite food?

J: Is Sriracha a food?  If so, we're done here.  Otherwise: Sushi, with regular drunken inspiration that leads to burgertimes.

LF: Favorite position?

Left of center.  That's a funny that I like to make about political positioning.

Also, I fuck rough, dirty and all over the place.  Hands belong on throats; walls & rafters are more useful than beds and positions are more likely to be fallen into than chosen.  Bring it.

You can Also follow Juxlii on

1 comment:

  1. wow, I think I am in love. Everything from photography to Candide? He is truely fascinating.
    p.s. I agree, hands do belong on throats. lol