"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

5 Questions with photographer & artist Glen E. Friedman

1. This book covers an extensive period which saw a major transformation in underground culture during the 70's up through the 90's. While reviewing your archive for this new collection, "My Rules", what prevailing feeling did the arc of your photography evoke for you?

it’s always exciting and inspiring!

2. Given the sometimes violent imagery of your photos, did you ever feel at risk while documenting your subjects?

I actually don’t see anything violent in any of my imagery, except for a very very few images that do have guns in them (which i have not used in images since 1993). While making these images, only at a few moments did i feel at risk. In fact i felt more at risk in trespassing skate spots in the 70’s, or getting hit by stage divers at some punk gigs. But indeed during one shoot in particular in South Central Los Angels just after the riots, it was uncomfortable at moments.

3. What contemporary youth cultures or outsider movements fascinate you?

At the moment there is nothing in particular, but The Occupy movement was of some inspiration and interest while it was in full gear.

4. As a veteran of counterculture, what qualities of an artist do you consider inherent to  become a catalyst to an evolution in the medium?

Being involved with the subjects, and the subject matter, personally, having a personal stake in the work, being responsible to your peers in the culture.
If it’s vital to you, then you may have a chance to do something important. If it’s just a hobby or it’s not something vital to your life, one can hardly expect the work to be worthy of others interest.

5. Do you feel the technology which has made photography available to everyone is reductive or invigorating to the form?

I think it’s both!! with a lot more bad comes a little more good (which is good). The quality of images on the whole is not very great, but it’s certainly entertaining and interesting at times, and lots of fun for people. I just think it’s kinda like when cell phones first got popular, and people’s etiquette took some time to get straight… hopefully people will stop getting in between subjects and other spectators holding up there cameras and phones for no good reason, as they do now so much. Over-documentation seems to be a word some have been using in the last few years. Every single moment of experience does not need to be photographed in my opinion.

Our questions were submitted by our staff member Zane Morris. 

Glen E. Friedman presents and signs Glen E. Friedman: My Rules on Monday, September 29th at 7pm. 


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