Cultural Traffic LA Arts Fair

If you are reading this I am in Los Angeles. I am in town for a few reasons but the important one is that on the 18th, that’s this Sunday, I am going to be at the Cultural Traffic Art Fair at That That Gallery. I will be selling my new zine Fuck LA (you should buy it!!) as well as Instaxxx, a bunch of other zines and prints and stuff. I am pretty psyched for it. 

That That Gallery is located at 4405 W Jefferson Blvd in Los Angeles and goes from 11am until 8pm. It’s completely free and there should be a ton of amazing stuff for sale there. I am splitting the table with my friends at Wood Rocket and they will have a bunch of weird things for sale like enamel pins, adult coloring books and new posters from vintage porn classics like Debbie Does Dallas and The Devil In Miss Jones. There are a bunch of great exhibitors as well including my friends at Paperwork NYC and rad publishers like Kill Your Idols and Richardson.

I don’t really have much more to mention in this post, but since I might not update again until after Thanksgiving (Gonna try and get some new pictures up this week but no promises) I figured I would give you guys something to hold you off. I took some photos of one of my friends dressed like a topless pigeon for some reason. I am not sure what I just said makes complete sense so let me explain. My friend asked me if I would take photos of her topless wearing a pigeon mask walking around NYC. We went to Times Square but it was raining so we went to Applebee’s like midwestern tourists and then finally took some photos of her topless hanging out with weird people who dress like the Statue of Liberty for money. The photos are real silly but she was happy with them and now you can look at them if you subscribe to Girls of Driven By Boredom. If you don’t then you are out of luck. It’s like $25 a year so I don’t know what you are doing not signing up.

I am gonna go hang out with my girlfriend now because we are celebrating our 1 year anniversary today. That’s pretty adorable right? Maybe you guys could look at the photos we ever took. I posted them right before we started dating officially so that’s extra cute. Sorry.

Okay, that’s enough. Here’s a flyer. See you guys sooner or later. 

Cultural Traffic LA

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Back To The Galápagos

So one year ago I went to the Galápagos Islands with my family to celebrate my parents’ retirement and their mutual 70th birthday. It was the first family vacation we had been on in 20 years. The islands were absolutely incredible. It was like something out of Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, had to leave early. After spending two days getting to the islands, my dad tripped on a rock cut his head open less than 24 hours after we boarded the boat that we were to be living on for the next week. It was a really magical and horrifying trip that I detailed in this 2000 Words post. Just a heads up, there is a lot of blood…

The good news is that my dad was okay. After spending a day in the only “hospital” in the Galápagos he was was allowed to fly and when he got back to the States his doctor told him they did a fantastic job stitching him up on the boat and he would barley have a scar if it weren’t for the fact that he ripped one of his stitches out and didn’t bother to get it fixed because of course he didn’t. The other good news was that my parents bought travel insurance and we got all our money back for the trip including the last minute tickets that we had to buy to get us home.

So one year later we are returning to the Galápagos and I am really excited about it. The place is so fucking insane and I can’t wait to show you guys the photos I take there. Assuming we all survive the trip in relative health it should be amazing. 

All that being said, I am going to have very little internet access so I won’t be updating the site again until after the 14th. I will be posting stuff to Instagram though, so make sure you are following me there and on Twitter if you want to hear about the trip in real time. 

Lastly here’s a link to some of my photos from last year that you can check out while you wait and see you guys in about 10 days!

The Galápagos Islands

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Driven By Boredom Turns 17

I had something planned for today but it didn’t work out. Such is life. But the site turns 17 today and I told you guys I was going to do a post so here it is. I figured I could tell you a story about the history of Driven By Boredom.

Before Driven By Boredom was a website it was a motto. I hated being bored and have always needed to be doing something with my spare time. When I was 14 I started a music magazine and when I was 15 I started a record label and then I started taking photos of punk bands for the label and the magazine and punk rock was my entire life. Around my senior year in high school my partner in the magazine and label quit and I didn’t have something to consume my life with anymore. But around that time I also started fucking around with web design.

It was the late 90’s and I had been on the internet since 1992 or something like that. I was a kiddie hacker and for that era I was fairly knowledgeable when it came to tech but it wasn’t until my sophomore or junior when I started my first Geocities site. By the time I was a senior I knew basic HTML and had made a couple little websites and would check the hit counters every day and was blown away when a handful of people would check out my site in a given week.

I went to Penn State University in 1999 and realized immediately I had made a huge mistake. I wanted to run a record label for a living so I was a business major but before I even took my first class I said fuck it and became a photography major. Punk rock was all about DIY and I figured if I was a photo major I could take it easy and figure out the music shit in my free time. The problem was Penn State had no punk scene.

I quickly became good friends with my Penn State roommate but outside of him and a couple other people I didn’t really have any friends. I was a punk kid and I didn’t drunk and I didn’t exactly fit in at a giant party school in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. I spent a lot of time talking to my friends online and meeting new people on the internet, but one day I decided to ride the Loop Bus around campus on a Friday night and it changed my life forever.

The Loop Bus was a free bus that drove around campus from about the time classes started until bars closed at night. During the day it was a way for people to get to class or to get downtown but on Friday and Saturday night it became a way for people to get to bars and parties without having to drive a car.  It was affectionately called “The Drunk Bus” and it was always a complete fucking shit show.

So one night I am with my roommate and a few people and we are trying to figure out what we should do. We didn’t know of any parties and it was way too fucking cold to do much anyway, so I had this idea that we should just ride the drunk bus around. For some inexplicable reason I grabbed this stuffed animal monkey that a girlfriend had given me and we rode around the bus. Before one loop around campus was over I had been approached by a half dozen girls wanting to talk about my monkey and suddenly I had an idea.

The next weekend I went back on the bus. I was by myself this time but I had the monkey and a camera. If anyone talked to me about the monkey I would take their photo with it. I spent a few hours Friday and Saturday taking photos and on Sunday I dropped the film off to get developed. On Monday I picked up the film and started working on a website. A few days later “The Loop Monkey” was born.

Almost instantly the site became a hit. Hundreds of people were visiting the site every day to look for their photos and the photos of their friends. The school newspaper even did a front page story on me. I was getting stopped five times a day by people wanting to talk to me. The problem was that I hated that. I quickly realized I was not cut out for being famous, even on that micro level. I would have someone try and talk to me at 8am and I would kinda blow them off and by the time I got home from class they would have written some post about how awful I was on my message board. The head of the bus company found out about me and had the bus drivers kick me off after one lap around campus. It became a whole thing. I decided to quit and a few months after it started the Loop Monkey was no more.

I wanted to drop out of school but my parents convinced me to give it one more year. The problem was that by the time they convinced me to go back all the dorms were filled up. I got stuck in temporary housing in a study hall with seven other roommates. I had just broken up with my first serious girlfriend (she cheated on me with my first girlfriend and a random dude the day before I left for college!) and I was depressed as hell. My old roommate and his friends moved off campus together so I spent a lot of time in my room.

I started all these dumb projects to keep myself entertained. I was doing photography still and I was making really terrible electronic music with early EDM programs like ACID and Fruity Loops. I didn’t even like electronic music but it was fun to do. I had some terrible site on Mp3.com. I started making these really absurd videos with my roomates where we would lip sync to 80’s pop songs and record these mini music videos using the super early webcam I owned. I started making prank listings on eBay just to entertain myself and my friends.

When I say friends I am of course talking about my friends back home, but I was also talking about my new online friends. There was a scene of people popping up making these websites about their lives. Blog wasn’t a word back then and LiveJournal wasn’t really popular yet. It was mostly just nerds in their parents basement making these sites that were a collection of everything they thought was cool on the internet and nonsense about their lives. The sites were called Everything/Nothing because they were about everything and nothing at all. E/N was also used to talk shit about the sites saying they meant everything to the author but nothing to everyone else.

At some point I got sick of having to email my photos and videos to people and decided I needed to start my own E/N site. YouTube didn’t exist back then and there weren’t many options for sharing photos with people. I wanted to put all my dumb projects in one place so that everyone could see them. I didn’t want to use Geocities or Tripod or any of the other hosting sites back then because I wanted to host all my own content. Fortunately I had friends in the E/N scene running their own servers and I got some space on a friend’s server and bought my first domain name. I bought drivenbyboredom.com because this was going to be central home for all the projects that I created when I was trying not to lose my mind from boredom.

Building the site took months. I did a lot of the HTML by hand but I also used a program called Microsoft Front page. Everyone at Penn State got a bunch of the Microsoft Office type products and Front Page was the web design program. I wasn’t great at it, but I built a separate page for all of my projects. I built a webcam portal into the main page that would refresh every 30 seconds with a new photo if I was online. I built a journal into the site so I could tell people when there would be new updates to the different sections. And most importantly I built a links page.

These days there’s way too much shit on the internet, but back then finding quality content was hard and the way you would do it was by going to a site like mine to find out about other cool sites. I went on mIRC and asked all the webmasters I knew if they would link me and I got a couple girls I knew to pose topless with popular websites written on their skin. I knew how to get people naked and topless fan signs were a prized internet currency back then. By the time Driven By Boredom was ready to launch I had a dozen sites ready to tell everyone about me.

On March 1st, 2001, Driven By Boredom launched…..

If you want to read the rest of the story check out The History Of Driven By Boredom over on Medium

Here’s now some random old DBB related shit to make this post look prettier.

Driven By Boredom

Driven By Boredom

Driven By Boredom

Driven By Boredom

Driven By Boredom

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Random Update #482

I haven’t updated the site in a minute and I got some stuff to sell you and some stuff to tell you and maybe a couple photos and figured we could do it all in some random update with all the things. Where should we start?

My band is playing at Lucky 13 tomorrow night at 9pm and right after it’s over I am somehow driving to DC for the Juggalo March on Washington. I don’t know if you saw but I had a Twitter Moment about it and it went crazy viral and that was a whole thing so now I am photographing it for Playboy and LA Weekly and a bunch of other alt-weeklies and a documentary filmmaker is gonna follow me around for part of it which is a whole thing. As soon as that’s over I gotta drive right back so I can throw a Miami Dolphins watch party and help raise money for people affected by Hurricane Irma. I probably won’t sleep at all but it should be interesting if nothing else.

Next up let me sell you guys some stuff really quickly. I finally shipped out all the Instaxxx books to the people who donated to my Kickstarter. I had to create a smaller international edition so that I could ship it for a reasonable price and it still cost me $8 more shipping than I charged so that was fun. The good news is I made about 75 extra copies so that if you live outside the US you can get the smaller version of the book.  Plus on top of that I also created a bundle with the companion zine NOT SAFE so you can buy them both together and save some money.

Speaking of Instaxxx and selling you things I had wonderful human and famous porn babe Stoya sign copies of Instaxxx so if you want one signed by her (and me!) you should buy one ASAP since I sold a few of them before I even made them available to the public. They will sell out quickly.

The last thing I have to try and sell you is a t-shirt of Giselle Palmer. I made Instaxxx shirts through TeeSpring of Charlotte Sartre and people seemed to really like that so I wanted to make another one. I had people vote on Twitter and they picked Giselle Palmer. She is such a babe and I have a feeling she’s gonna be one of the biggest names in the adult industry soon but I am pretty sure people voted for it because of her sweet X-Files poster.

Giselle Palmer T-Shirt

Continuing on with this insane post I recently updated my blog 2000 Words. I told the story about the time I was in Philly and some drunk guy was passed out in my car when I came back from watching a movie. It was inexplicably weird. I need to remind myself to update 2000 Words more often. If you don’t know about it, the idea is that I pick a photo (or photos) from my archives and write a story about it. If a picture is worth 1000 words, here’s 2000. You get it right? Check out out already. Oh, and here’s the photo I wrote about this time. What the hell man?

How Did You Get In My Car?

And lastly here’s some photos for you to look at. I shot a corporate happy hour thing for my friend Fatou who was working for an internet advertising company called SintecMedia. It was actually her last day amazingly. I didn’t want to do a whole update about it because no one comes here to look at corporate events but it was on the roof of the Arlo NoMad hotel at this new bar called The Heights. It was an amazing view and  they have this insane overlook that you can walk out on and look down at the city. I recently developed a fear of heights that I am trying to rid myself of so it was really something to just stand there. Plus I actually love shooting events like this so I figured I would at least put a few of them on the site. I seriously do love shooting corporate stuff like this, so hey hire me already.

Click here to see the photos from the SintecMedia happy hour and I am gonna go do something else now. See you guys when I get back from DC…

 

The Heights & Arlo NoMad

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Off To Texas

Headed back to my 14th straight South By Southwest in Austin, TX this week. I wasn’t even going to do an update about it because I ran out of time and I don’t have any actual content to share with you or anything but my flight got delayed and I missed my connecting flight and now I am bored in the Delta Sky Lounge and it seemed like a good time to update you guys on some random stuff.

Firstly if you want to follow my SXSW trip check out my Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Should be updating all that stuff. Snapchat too. My name is predictably “drivenbyboredom” on all of them.

Next up I figured I would update you guys on my Instaxxx book. After raising $20k on Kickstarter I have quickly found out that’s not really enough money to do a hardcover book. My first estimate came back at $22k. $20k after fees and taxes and shipping costs and film costs is suddenly like $10k. Not ideal. So I am going with softcover but it’s gonna be twice the size of my last two books so that should be pretty awesome.

I have pretty much finished shooting for the book and I have scanned all the instant film that I shot. Next up is laying out the book which I will be starting on pretty much as soon as I get back.

If you backed the book I will be doing a Kickstarter update when I get back with all sorts of info and if you haven’t backed the book you can still pre-order a copy here.

Lastly I should mention that I had some stuff fall through at SXSW so I have a bunch of free time if anyone needs a last minute photographer… or perhaps you live in Austin and are a super hot babe and wanna be in my book. Just saying… If either of those things are the case hit me up!

And since I have nothing else to post here is a photo of my friend Selina I took last time I was in Austin. I actually turned this photo into a postcard that you can buy here.

Red Lobster

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Merry Christmas

Just wanted to get on here late and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I posted it on Instagram already but I feel like you guys need to see my Christmas card. I sent out about 100 of these in the actual mail but you get the digital version. Actually, if you still want one in the mail I can still make that happen. I got like 100 cards left still and a couple dozen stamps.

Anyway, this Christmas card is actually a Polaroid that was shot at Exxxotica NJ back in early November. I had this idea that I was going to launch my naked Polaroid book Kickstarter December 1st and then people who backed would automatically get a Christmas card but the video wasn’t ready to go by then and I would rather hold off until it was ready. This book is gonna be a big one and I need to do it right. Look for it in early January.

The Christmas card features (from left to right) Dahlia Sky, Cassidy Klein, Cadence Lux, Samantha Rone and Stevie Foxx. The actual photo was taken by Cadence’s boyfriend Nick. I think seeing a bunch of naked girls evened out the fact that he pretty much had to see my balls. I hope you guys feel the same way.

So yeah, Merry Christmas everyone, happy various other winter holidays and New Years and whatever. I am in DC for a few days but I should be back to NYC on Wednesday and back to work getting ready to launch this book.

Another Driven By Boredom Christmas Card

 

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See You Down The Road…

Just months before Leonard Cohen died he wrote a letter to his muse Marianne Ihlen who was dying of cancer. He ended the letter “Goodbye old friend, endless love, see you down the road.” Two days later she was gone.

Reading this letter days after the election I can only feel this for my country. I spent a week driving down Route 66 with less of the nostalgia I felt the first time I drove the Mother Road. The first time I drove it I thought about this great America where people went on vacations where the trip was as much of the adventure as the destination. This was the America that existed in the decades after World War II where the men had come home to a heroes welcome and women left the factories and had kids and America made things!

This is the nostalgia for America that Trump supporters have when they want to make America great again. But they don’t think of the cost of that greatness. They don’t think about the destruction of Europe that led to the booming American economy, they don’t think about our current medicare crisis that has been caused by the baby boom, they don’t think about black and brown people being second class citizens… well maybe they do think about that last one.

Whatever the case I feel like we are saying goodbye to America, our endless love and handing her off to Trump and collection of white nationalists and just hoping we are going to see our country again down the road…

All of this is to say that the Road Trip Blog is now open while I am out of town for two more weeks. Click through to read hopefully regular updates from my trip. I am in LA for another week and then to DC and Miami. Will keep you as up to date as possible.

Click here to read the Driven By Boredom Road Trip Blog.

Down The Road

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Clearing Out Inventory Sale

Sometime in the next week or two I should be launching a Kickstarter for my next book. I am going to be doing a nude Polaroid book (technically Instax Wide) and I am pretty excited about it because the rough edit I made is really solid. After publishing my recent zine and getting for the next book I decided it was time to organize all my old books and zines and get a good inventory of everything. I found out I am nearly out of a few items and have way too many of a few more. So here’s your last chance to get a few things and a chance to get a few other things cheap. Let’s go through everything!

  • Get Your Kicks – GYK was my first book and it sold out in a month. It’s been long gone and has sold for $100. If you had donated to it’s crowd funding it would have been yours for $20.
  • Dinner With Igor – My second book is all but sold out. There are 18 copies left and I am pulling a few of those for the Kickstarter so get yours now while you have the chance.
  • Food Tattoos – Food Tattoos was a stretch goal for the Dinner With Igor Kickstarter. Everyone who funded that Kickstarter got a copy for free. I only have 6 copies left so get yours now!
  • Fuck LA – I only made 50 copies for the LA Art Book Fair and it’s long gone. Although I do have one slightly damaged copy that April O’Neil signed if anyone is interested…
  • Same Old City – I made this NYC themed zine for the NY Art Book Fair last year and there are only 5 copies left. This is probably my favorite zine and the best thing I have done since Get Your Kicks. I would get it while you still have a chance.
  • Arts – Arts is a collection of black and white portraits of artists with their art on the opposite page. It includes a ton of amazing artists like Molly Crabapple, Buff Monster, Lamour Supreme, Nick & Penelope Gazin and a ton of others. But (I assume because of the lack of nudity) it didn’t sell very well. I was really disappointed because I am very happy with the zine. You can now get it 25% off.
  • Public  – My public nudity zine has sold pretty well but it’s fairly new so I have plenty of copies left. So no rush getting one of the last copies and no sale either. It’s a pretty fun zine though.
  • Unrealized Projects – This is my newest effort. Three black and white zines, limited to 50 copies, with a signed/numbered insert packaged in a black envelope for just $12. I have about half of these left after the NY Art Book Fair.
  • Limited Editions On Sale! 

So yeah! Go buy some stuff and help me get ready for the launch of my new book. I want these zines out of my office!

Zine Babes

 

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10 Years In NYC

10 years ago today I moved to New York. I had planned on moving to NYC a year earlier but I was managing a band called the Gaskets at the time and decided to stick around until they graduated. Eventually I made plans with a friend to move with a friend but it didn’t work out so I signed another year lease in Richmond and figured maybe I could try again later.

Two weeks after I signed that lease I was in Brooklyn for a Gaskets show and I ran into a friend at an after party. He needed a roommate and could probably get me a job at the restaurant he worked at. I went in and met his boss the next day and they hired me as a bus boy. I broke the lease I had just signed and a couple of weeks later I had moved to Williamsburg Brooklyn into the same apartment I live in to this day.

For the entire first year I lived in NYC I worked as a bus boy in a hotel restaurant. I still had dreams of managing bands and working in the music industry but The Gaskets were on the verge of breaking up and there weren’t a lot of music jobs available believe it or not… I started going to parties in NYC to meet people and hit on girls and I would always bring a camera. I was a photo major in college but that was more just to have a useful trade while I did my own shit. I never thought I would be a photographer but I knew I would always take photos.

In late 2006 party photography had just blown up. Cobra Snake and Last Night’s Party were all the rage and when I would take photos at parties people would ask me what website it was for. I had started Driven By Boredom in 2001 but I rarely updated it but apparently I needed a place to post my photos so with the help of some friends I redid my website and became an accidental party photographer.

I would go out around midnight every night and shoot until 4am. I would come home, dump photos, and then shower and head to work. I had to be set up by 6am so I would get there around 5:30. I would work until 3, head home, upload photos, update my website and sleep for a few hours by doing the whole thing all over again. I hated being a bus boy and being broke constantly so every hour I had I free I spent working on photography.

Almost one year to the day after I started I quit my bus boy job. I really thought I could make it as a photographer and I did… for about 8 months. When I ran out of money I ended up getting a job digitizing books for Archive.org. It sounded like a cool job, working for a tech non-profit, and I got to work with cameras, but it was really closer to an assembly line factory job than anything else. I would turn the page and press a button and two cameras would fire and then I would do that again and again, thousands of pages a day.

When the economy crashed in 2008 a massive amount of Archive.org’s funding was cut and they had to lay off the night shift. They said I could re-interview for the day shift or take 6 weeks severance. So on December 23rd 2008 I worked my last day at a “real job” and tried once again to make it as a full time photographer.

Right around the time I got laid off I got a freak advertising gig. A Swiss ad agency saw one of my photos and asked me to re-shoot it for them. They paid me $2500 which was probably way less than I should have asked for but it was way more than I had ever made taking a photo before. In January I decided to go to LA as a little severance vacation and while I was there I randomly got hired to work Sundance for the main liquor sponsor. It turned out that because of the economy crash the company couldn’t afford to hire a real photographer so they paid me $3k to work five days. Again, it was not nearly enough but more money than I had ever made as a photographer before.

Within a month of being laid off I had nearly $7000 in my bank account and was on unemployment. I kinda looked for a job but mostly I was just trying to find as much photography work as possible. I was hoping I could make it longer than 8 months this time. When my unemployment finally ran out I didn’t have a job but I still hadn’t run out of money and many years later I still haven’t.

To this day I have no idea how I haven’t run out of money yet, but somehow I keep paying my bills. I still live in the same apartment and I have rent stabilization so my rent has only gone up about 10% in 10 years. The rents in the neighborhood have basically doubled so basically I can never leave.

And that’s my New York story. NYC isn’t nearly as inspiring as it was for the first few years, and I certainly have a lot less fun than I did in my 20’s but I still love it here and haven’t made that move to LA yet despite thinking about it all the time. So here’s to my 10 years in Brooklyn and to the next 10 years wherever I end up but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was still in this same god damn apartment.

To celebrate my 10 years in NYC my friend Betty Rose hooked me up with a New York City tattoo. Someone once told me when I first moved to NYC that if you make it 10 years you can finally call yourself a New Yorker. Not sure if that’s true or not but I guess I finally made it.

NYC Anniversary Tattoo By Betty Rose

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