Tag Archives: friend friday

Friend Friday: Diana Salier

1. Who are you? What do you do? Biographical background….

I’m george mcfly – I’m your density.  I’m an LA-raised SF transplant.  I write poems that don’t really sound like poems, and I play/write music.  I guess most people would call that being a writer and a musician, but sometimes I’m not really sure what those terms mean you know?  I’ve been living in San Francisco since August of last year.  I studied writing and psychology at NYU and no I don’t want to be a therapist.
2. Where do you live? Where do you work?

I live in the mission across the street from a mexican restaurant and a liquor store.  By day, I’m an in-house writer for a mobile tech startup.  I also music blog a few times a week and write theater reviews for the SF Station.

3. When and how did you start doing what you do?

As a person who plays music — I’ve been playing music my entire life, starting with learning the jurassic park theme song on the piano in 2nd grade.  There was a classic Asian person arc from piano to clarinet to guitar (I skipped the violin lessons), and I’ve stuck with guitar since I was 13.  I found a kids’ guitar in my neighbor’s closet and taught myself how to play the Rocky theme song using only the high E string.  I guess I have a thing with theme songs.

As a person who writes — I thought I wanted to be an English major going into college.  One semester of Literary Interpretation class taught me otherwise.  NYU didn’t have a creative writing major so I took the minor, and it pushed me into writing a lot of poems and (trying) to write short fiction.  After I graduated I kind of stopped writing and put more time into playing music, until I read my friend Dan’s book The Ancient Book of Hip and decided I wanted to do it too.  I guess I’ve been doing it ever since, whatever ”it” is.

4. What are you working on now?
I just finished a full-length manuscript called Letters From Robots and I’m trying to get it published.  I am also writing songs under the name Polar Bear Party and hoping to make a short film out of them.  You know this, because we’re working on it together. And I just started playing in a band-ish thing for the first time in a few months, so i’m excited to see where that goes.
5. Who/what are your influences?
Frank O’Hara and J.D. Salinger are the big ones.  I’ve also started combing a lot of contemporary online journals and have seen a ton of great stuff — a few names that come to mind are Mike Young, D.W. Lichtenberg, Gregory Sherl.  I feel like i’ve been kind of writing in a vacuum and it’s really awesome to see all these people out there getting published and writing interesting shit that’s not about nature or something.On the music side, I’ve been into The Walkmen for their I’m-sad-but-I’m-also-angry-and-drunk aesthetic, and their amazing reverb.  Also, Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys just wrote a soundtrack to the movie Submarine and everyone should listen to it.And in general I’m influenced by random things that happen to me, or not so random things.  People I’ve cared about.  Bad nostalgia.  Good nostalgia.  Things people say in cafes or at parties.
6. Any new projects on the horizon?

I’ve got a couple poems up in YesPoetry’s August issue, and some more coming up in the September issue of NAP LIt Mag.


My new book, Wikipedia says it will pass, is being published as an ebook by the Red Ceillings Press — should be available (for free download/viewing!) end of this month or early September.

Check em out if you want.


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Friend Friday: Nathan Hall

This week I am profiling the prolific composer and visual artist Nathan Hall. For those who have followed this blog for a while, you may recognize his name from last summer when I posted about photographing one of his performances – a wonderful musical, walking tour of Pittsburgh’s Northside. Nathan is recently back from his Fulbright to Iceland and took the time to share what he’s been up to.

Where are you from, where do you live now?

I’m originally from a little town called Gowanda, NY, outside of Buffalo. I am moving to Boulder, Colorado in just a couple days, but I’ve just spent the last year living in Iceland!

How would you classify your work? Would you?

I like to say that I’m a composer and a visual artist, but that sometimes doesn’t encompass everything I like to do. I primarily make music works: recordings, chamber music, pop songs, and performance pieces, but I also would include my sculptural jewelry, design work, collaborations on art projects and other random art pieces in my work as well.

What projects do you have coming up? What does the future hold?

I hope to release my album in just a couple weeks! Possibly a release date around August 21st. I don’t have a lot of projects coming up as I’m sort of in a limbo time- in between researching and gathering all these materials from Iceland, and then going to Boulder to begin my doctorate in composition, and deciding just what to do with all of these recordings, interviews, photos, and memories that I’ve created. I’d like to do more outdoor and site-specific performances, and possibly incorporate electronic music into these pieces as well. We’ll see what happens in the fall–I’m never without ideas brewing!

Nathan recently completed a Fulbright in Iceland. While there  he wrote two choral pieces that were performed. He also recorded new work that will be released as an album late this summer. And he maintained his wonderful blog, Midnight Shoveler, with funny, insightful observations on life in Iceland.

Below is a link for his piece, The Pink Rose, a collaborative performance piece set in the Holavallagarour cemetery. Collaborating with the artist, Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir, a work was composed on her original texts. With stereos placed throughout the cemetery electronic and electro-acoustic music wafted through the space as singers rang handbells and sang parts of melodies, traditional songs, and spoke the names of the deceased. Below is a link to listen to the work (click on the first project, The Pink Rose) as well as an image of Nathan during the performance.


As mentioned earlier, Nathan’s album, The Origin of the Sun and the Moon, comes out soon. In the meantime you can listen to earlier works here: http://nathanhall.bandcamp.com/

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Lori Schkufza

                                                                                                                                                                              Lori Schkufza
1. Bio – Where do you live/work? Where are you from? 
I was born and raised in New York City- in Queens specifically. And after spending what felt like five very long years in San Francisco where I went to University, I just recently relocated to Montreal where my tiny amount of New York accented French leaves very little to the imagination. I spent the last year working as a Flash Artist for Zynga Game Network (a lot of people don’t readily recognize the name until you say, the company that makes FarmVille) on a new IP. I just finished up my contract with them after having had an incredible run there and working with a lot of amazing people, and now I’m taking a bit of a break while I figure out where I will move on to next.So these days it’s full time animation on my short, Milan & Zlatorog. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to continue to wake up with the sun every day, make my coffee, and start animating on something that’s exclusively mine for the whole day. I know it’s only temporary, but it’s proving to be as romantic as I had imagined it being when I was still a student. Even my frustrating days where Flash can’t seem to do anything but crash after I set one key.
2. How did you start in on this particular project/field of work?
Gaming was never something that I strove for, that is to say I majored in Animation focusing on 2D Character based work. I never took a gaming related course, and I never went past the SNES when it came to playing them. I always had my sights set on cinema and short films. I got the job with Zynga and interestingly enough, I think it worked in my favor that I was new to it and new to their games in particular, immediately out of school and it became really clear to me that I was simply happy to animate- it didn’t really matter what the platform was. The principles don’t change- you still have story, clearly defined characters, and intent.
3. Who/what are your influences?
Ward Kimball is my I-D-O-L (that’s a joke from a game show appearance he once made). When I first started at Uni, I really wanted to be a classical Disney style animator, but I found that I didn’t really enjoy it, and as a result wasn’t that good at it. My stuff was stiff and the design was nothing to write home about. It wasn’t until my second year that one of my instructors, who later because my informal Advisor, allowed me to foster my tastes for limited animation and flatter characters. Kimball just appealed to me in a way that no one else really did. His bold design and simple, effective movement that characterized his work from the mid century onward quickly became my go to reference and work to aspire to. He could do everything: feature animation, theatrical shorts, educational films, advertising and straight up design.I’m a huge cinema geek, and I study live action probably more than animation. Or I dissect it more. Hitchcock is my first love, and Scorsese holds an awful lot of my affections. I never tire of movies like Taxi Driver, The Birds and Vertigo. They’re usually playing in the background while I work, and I find that when I’m having trouble with a difficult scene, I can usually find a solution in one of those films.

4. What are you working on now?

Right now my non-work animating time goes entirely into the first part of a short film trilogy- my labor of love- Milan & Zlatorog: A Slovenijen Tale. It’s an old Jugoslavian folktale about a hunter who loves the most sought after peasant girl of an alpine village, and on their wedding day a wealthy foreign merchant comes into town and takes her away from him. That makes up the first film in the series. Later on, in order to win the girl back the hunter goes in search of a mythical treasure that’s guarded at the summit of Mt. Triglav by a bock with golden horns. I’m working on it exclusively on my own and so it inches along ever so slowly. Six months was spent on pre production, mostly defining the story through all three parts, the characters, designing them, the environments, and the props used. A little less than a month went into building the puppets in Flash- the three main characters and the background villagers. When I first started working professionally, it unfortunately got relegated to the back burner until I was able to better balance my time and schedules. Only in the last three months have I really been able to devote myself to it again. If I’m lucky each part will take a year to animate. I have my good days with it and I have my terrible days where I can’t for the life of me focus and I bounce from scene to scene doing little things here and there, but nothing in particular.

My second major project is a print based series: A (Brief) History of Film with Migrant Workers. It’s an ongoing series of culturally significant films (both domestic and international) illustrated using my minimalist character: the Migrant Worker. Each film consists of a single panel drawing that sums up the theme or story of the film. The drawings themselves don’t take very long to do, but sometimes I’ll watch a film over and over again just struggling to find an appropriate scene to use. Rear Window took forever. I can’t say how many times I watched it before settling on the scene where Grace Kelly finds the wedding ring in Raymond Burr’s apartment and signals to Jimmy Stewart. The goal is to make a series of prints from them and eventually compile them into a book.

5. Any new projects on the horizon?

Good god, I’m trying to just focus on my two huge projects right now. Although little things always come up and sneak in. Sometimes I just need a break from it all. I keep telling myself that I need to take advantage of the amazing period of time that is Summer in Montreal and break my cameras out of mothballs. But I think I’m better off just keeping that as a hobby and not getting myself in too deep in a new project.

You can see more of Lori’s work here: www.gutterrabbit.com

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Sally Bozzuto

This week I’m featuring an amazing photographer, Sally Bozzuto. Sally and I met through Silver Eye Center for Photography – she taught me the ins and outs of installation. Sally has shown at Wood Street, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the Arlington Arts Center (at the Art Scouts show with me!), Luke & Eloy gallery, and many more spaces. She is a founding member of Ag Works, a Pittsburgh arts collective. She starts graduate studies at the School of Visual Arts this fall.

                                  Dustograph, Sally Bozzuto

1. Where do you live/work? Where are you from? 

I am currently living and working in Pittsburgh but moving to NYC at the end of July where I will be attending the School of Visual Arts for my master’s degree in photography, video and related media. I am  originally from Connecticut. Been in Pittsburgh for 13 years (!) and will (hopefully) graduate in 2013 so 13 is my new lucky number!

2. How did you start in on this particular project/field of work?
The idea for this work started as a joke! Since photographers are always struggling to get dust OFF their negatives I jokingly suggested that one day I would make a whole series of work which was all about dust! But then the more I thought about this idea the more intrigued I became. So I ended up experimenting with dust and the enlarger. The dust-o-graph images were created by placing a surprisingly small amount of dust between two pieces of glass and then putting the glass into the enlarger where negatives typically go. I then focused the dust projections with the lens and exposed them to photographic paper and the dust-o-graphs were the end result! I was really interested in how many different permutations I could get with just a single clump of dust. At first I experimented with dust and dirt I got out of the bottom of a vacuum cleaner. Next I started collecting dust samples from around my house – picking up these “dust bunnies” and recoding the place and time of their collection. It was also interesting to see the differences in the dust from one area of the house to another. More fuzzballs gathered in the bedroom while more hair accumulated in dust from behind my bathroom door. I was instantly mesmerized by the resulting images’ resemblance to the universe. I really like the idea that within these tiny microcosmos of the world of dust you can see something that looks like the macrosom of space. And what is the universe anyway if not a bunch of large balls of dust floating around in space? To quote Joni Mitchell: “We are stardust, billion year old carbon”After I made the darkroom work I started photographing the dust in its environment. I became interested in how interconnected we are with it and its creation. While embracing the beautiful chaos of the naturally and regularly shifting patterns created in the dust I also wanted to show it in such a way that made it feel vast or larger than life. The title of this set “dustscapes” refers to the feeling of the space I was trying to show in the images.
3. Who/what are your influences?
Hiroshi Sugimoto is probably one of my favorite photographers of all time. Man Ray’s “Dust Breeding” was certainly on my mind while I was working on the dust photos as was Duchamp. Other influences include Kandinsky, Julie Taymor, Bjork and John Adams.
4. What are you working on now?
Moving to NYC.
5. Any new projects on the horizon?

Grad school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can see more of Sally’s work on her website: www.sallybozzuto.com

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Quelcy Kogel

It’s Friend Friday again and I’m more than pleased to introduce the lovely and amazing Quelcy Kogel! We did a bit of an interview which is below but first check out her video. Quelcy is launching her baking blog, With the Grains, this Sunday the 26th at Waffle Shop in Pittsburgh, PA.

Tell me a little bit about yourself: Where are you from?  Where do you live?
I was born in Nebraska, and though we moved when I was young to the ‘burbs of Philadelphia, I still like to claim some Midwestern roots, mostly because the majority of people think Nebraska is comprised only of cows and corn (both of which I am very fond).  I still have family there, visit(ed) frequently and venture that my parents’ deep Midwestern roots influenced my upbringing in many ways.

At that transitional age of eighteen, Carnegie Mellon University roped me into Pittsburgh.  I made significant escapes to Argentina and France, but somehow, I found myself in Pittsburgh again (the mistake was leaving my personal belongings here when I left for Paris).

What do you do? What is the project you are working on?
By day, I am the Organizational Development Leader for a clean-tech, start up company based on a CMU professor’s research in energy storage.  His solution is a battery so environmentally benign, all the components are edible (by “edible,” I mean they will taste like charcoal, but they won’t hurt you in any way)!  My long-winded title means that I promote company culture, design interiors, help bring what we call “rock stars” into the company and bring baked goods for employees’ birthdays (that last part wasn’t in the job description, but I saw a void and filled it).

By night and weekend, I am an avid baker, amateur photographer, professional picnicker, aspiring concept artist and “a wanderer by trade,” as Bob Dylan would sing.

I also like to dance a lot, but I do not sing.

Where do you plan on taking this project, what are some hoped for outcomes?
First and foremost, I am launching this blog because I truly enjoy everything that goes into it:  baking, food styling, wandering, writing, etc, so I plan on taking it wherever the fun and  ideas take me. Not only is the blog a consistent creative outlet that also satisfies my sweet tooth, but I am learning more and more about both food and photography as I go.
Beyond that basic premise, there are lots of things I hope to gain from this project.  Here is a mini baking blog bucket list of potential outcomes I hope to achieve:

1.  Freelance food styling/photography opportunities
2.  Bake a wedding cake and even more ideally, style a wedding
3.  Connect with other bakers/bloggers and see where that takes me
4.  Contribute on a regular basis to another blog or online magazine

Where do you find your influences? Who or what are they?
With regard to my baking blog, my mom was my first and most inspirational influence.  She is known far and wide for both her cooking and baking.  When I was in college, she would send me care packages with homemade graham crackers!  I hope that sentence garners appropriate envy because they were the best graham crackers I have ever eaten!

Around that same time, I became very interested in the sustainability of food systems, overall nutrition and the politics of food at large.  I read the heavy hitters in the food politics world:  Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon.

What really started me baking on my own was a combination of an incredible sweet tooth (very certain this was a product of nurture and not nature as my family seems to place equal importance on ice cream as vegetables) and wanting to satisfy that tooth with the purest of ingredients- locally sourced and/or organic ingredients as much as possible.

I love both being in front of and behind a camera, so the documentation of my food creations came quite naturally.  I had a growing collection of food photos and recipes and a head full of anecdotes, but it took me a while to embrace the blog format.  It wasn’t until I started seeing more food and design blogs that I really liked (I imagine at some point, I will include links to some of my favorite sites) when I finally considered starting my own blog about my baking adventures.

The focus of my blog is baking from whole ingredients and celebrating food, both in preparation, presentation and in the sharing of the final product.  It’s about celebratory moments.  I kept the blog private until now as I wanted its entrance into the world to be celebratory as well.  Hence, it took me a while to work my way through my baking/photo archives and arrive at the point where I am now:  ready for the world to meet my baking side!

What is on the horizon? Any new projects percolating?
Hopefully, there is grad school on my horizon in the MFA realm, which means portfolio creation is definitely in my near future (Dear Magali & World, hold me accountable for that!!!!).  Other than that, I have some projects up my sleeve unrelated to baking.  Stay tuned!

If you haven’t had enough – never fear! The blog will be up on Sunday and I’ll be doing a post-launch follow-up to see what Quelcy’s got cooking.

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David Tuzman

Welcome to the first Friend Friday post, a series of Friday write ups on very talented people. Friend Friday seeks to introduce the work of young creatives to new audiences and help build an artistic community … and give you something cool to listen to/look at/think about for the weekend and beyond.

David Tuzman is a musician and engineer hailing from Montclair, NJ and currently based in Brooklyn, NY. From 9-5, he is an engineer at Electro-Harmonix developing guitar effect pedals.

In his free time, he does…a lot!

David’s been playing since he was six years old. Currently he plays guitar and drums. He has composed the music for works by the filmmaker and artist Adam Abada, most recently for the short film Easter Sunday.

David is a member of the Brooklyn based band, NO FUN. I saw them this past January when I was still living in NY – you should too! Their album is coming out late July/early August (I’ll announce the date when it becomes known) and if you’re in Brooklyn this weekend check them out at the Northside Music Festival. They are playing at the Charleston on June 19th. NO FUN just recorded an Xray Spex cover for a tribute compilation being put together by Amy Klein for Permanent Wave. Keep your ears open for it! Click them links.

His solo works can be found on soundcloud. Think lush, atmospheric, beautiful build ups or better yet – take a listen. (One of my favorites is Surfaced Euphoric.)

And of course if you’re hungry head over to Make It Your Damn Self! (I personally made the sausage n’ stuff and recommend it). In the meantime, David is up for new things, new directions. If you like what you hear, want to hear more, want to let him know just leave a comment. If you want to be put in touch just make it known and thanks for reading!

Check back each Friday for a new profile and stay tuned for updates on all Friend Friday projects.

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