Psychic NYC at the Impossible Project Space NYC


When I moved to New York City, one of the first things I noticed was the sheer number of psychics in the city. Everywhere you turned there was an opportunity to get a $10 reading. How did they all stay in business in a city with horrifyingly high rent prices? Was this piece of the NYC landscape, like so many others, doomed to fade away? And, more importantly, where did they get those wonderful signs?

I’ve spent the past year photographing the exteriors of these businesses entirely on film. It started out as a coincidence, because my passion for film photography grew immensely in 2012, but it quickly became a core tenet of the project. An analogue process felt naturally more intuitive and more capable of capturing the borderlands of perception. There is nothing psychic about digital methods.

Although I used a variety of films for this project, most of it was captured using The Impossible Project’s instant film for Polaroid cameras. I love my SX-70 and the instant gratification it provides, but I truly love how this particular medium adds its own voice to a photograph. Whether it’s PX or PZ, black and white or color, old generation expired film or the latest Color Protection Film, these materials play their own role in the final image. This extra thing that becomes a part of the work that I don’t control is… extrasensory!

The kind people at the Impossible Project Space NYC asked me to kick off their new (212) Impossibles showcase with Psychic NYC. I’ll be showing 15 original photographs shot on their film starting tonight, January 17, 2013. The show runs for roughly one month.

Psychic NYC at The Impossible Project Space NYC
425 Broadway, 5th floor, NY 10013
January 17, 2013 – mid-February 2013
Monday – Friday 11:00am to 7:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 12:00pm to 6:00pm

If you want to see every shot in this project that I’ve scanned thus far, check out my Psychic NYC set on Flickr. It’s an ongoing project, but I’m hoping to wrap most of it up later this year so that I can start planning for a print publication. And, of course, if you see any great psychic exteriors in NYC that I missed, please get in touch. I’m always looking for more. Thanks!

Update: You can read a brief interview with me on The Impossible Project’s blog here:

Music Photography: October 2010

Tristan Perich

Tristan Perich

October turned out to be quite a busy live music month for me. Covering more than two gigs in any given week is a bit overwhelming, but this past month had almost the perfect amount of activity: enough to make me feel like a healthy, socially functional member of society, but not so much so that I fell behind on Boardwalk Empire.

From the classic indie sounds of The Vaselines to the plodding terror of Swans and from the dark new wave pop of Gary Numan to the 1-bit electronic minimalism of Tristan Perich, a diverse range of talent passed in front of my lens. Although I shot all these events for Gapers Block: Transmission and my photographs appear in the respective reviews there, here’s a quick look back at the highlights:

Gary Numan

Gary Numan

Christoph Hahn

Christoph Hahn of Swans

Eugene Kelly

Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines

Frances McKee

Frances McKee of The Vaselines

Michael Gira

Michael Gira of Swans

Dave Knapik Photography at Chicago Artists Month

October is Chicago Artists Month and I’m participating in two East Pilsen shows this weekend, October 1–3. The first is located at 2003 S. Halsted Street and is organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Chicago Arts District and Gapers Block. I have two 11″ x 14″ photographs in this show and share the space with loads of other talented local artists. The second will be held in The Ministry of Caps at 732 W. 19th Street, #3R and features several of my photographs along with a selection of jewelry from Bees on Toast. Both shows occur simultaneously, but are within a five minute walk of each other. Friday, October 1 is the opening night party from 6pm to 10pm, but the show continues on Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3 from 12pm to 7pm.

Please come and visit these shows, bring friends and take the opportunity to see my neighborhood. All the galleries in this art district will be open, so once you’ve seen my work, I encourage you to spend time experiencing the talents my neighbors have to offer.

Sonar Chicago Reviews on Gapers Block

It wasn’t long after returning to Chicago that I found myself wanting to shoot gigs again. Whilst living in London, I had the pleasure of reporting on a wide range of music events, including the Melvins, Fennesz, Dan Deacon, Gravetemple and Philip Jeck. Some of these I covered in words and all of them I covered in pictures. The main focus of my photography isn’t gigs by any means, but as a life-long music lover, it inevitably became a part of it.

I’ve always been a fan of the venerable Chicago blog Gapers Block, so when the opportunity arose to join the staff of their music section, Transmission, I jumped at it. Technically I’m part of their photography staff, as I joined to shoot gigs and let others write about them. When there are, however, events about which I’m so passionate that I also must say a few words, I wear both caps. Such was the case with the first annual Sónar Chicago this past weekend, where in the end I produced three reviews and a handful of snaps. They are all up on the site now, so please do have a read and a look. Cheers!

The reviews:

Sónar Chicago, Day One @ Pritzker Pavilion, 9 September 2010
Ben Frost @ Chicago Cultural Center, 11 September 2010
Rangda @ Empty Bottle / Appleblim, Cosmin TRG @ Smart Bar, 10 September 2010

The photos:

Sónar Chicago 2010 – a set on Flickr

Preview: Otomo Yoshihide and Sachiko M

London fans of minimal electronic music will find themselves spending much of this week in Dalston, as Cafe Oto hosts a three-day residency featuring two of Japan’s preeminent improvisers. Each night, Otomo Yoshihide and Sachiko M will play with a different experimental luminary and as well as collaborate with each other in what is easily one of 2009′s most exciting series so far.

Equally skilled on both turntables and guitar, Yoshihide draws as much on cut-up sound technique as free jazz, while Sachiko M’s work centres on the most basic building block of synthesized sound, the sine wave generator. I recently listened to her Sine Wave Solo CD from 2000 and was shocked by how alien it still sounds nine years later. Whereas most experimental electronic music from the turn of the century sounds dated with too much garish glitch, Sine Wave Solo sounds positively fresh and timeless. If you’re hoping to hear her undiluted sound, Monday night is her only solo set, so don’t miss it!

The special guest each night will undoubtedly influence the direction the performers take. While Otomo Yoshihide will probably explore the jazzier side of his guitar with Evan Parker in the spotlight on Wednesday, I can’t imagine he’d miss the opportunity to hop behind the decks and spin alongside Technics virtuoso Christian Marclay on Tuesday. I’ve seen Marclay and Yoshihide collaborate once before, each manning their own set of turntables, and it’s nothing short of amazing.

With the stunning set of sounds Marclay and Yoshihide can extract from the much abused vinyl in their crates, augmented by Sachiko’s sine waves, if I had to pick one event to see, it would be Tuesday’s trio. Since each gig only costs £10, and a three-day pass can be had for £22, choosing just one seems a bit silly, really. It’s not every day you get some of the finest noisemakers in the world together in one place for the better part of a week, so arguably you have a moral obligation to attend at least two of these stellar gigs.


If you’re not sold yet, here’s a small sample of the sort of sounds you can hope to hear this week. It’s the first track from Sachiko M’s Sine Wave Solo, “Don’t Move”. Not only is it one of my favourite pieces of hers, but it’s among my most loved works of experimental electronic music in general. It’s a proper mental palette cleanser, a bit like giving your brain an acid bath so it comes out all shiny and new again.

Right-click here to download or stream below:


Full schedule:

Monday, 9 March 2009 at 8pm
Otomo Yoshihide – Solo
Sachiko M – Solo
Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M and Eddie Prévost (AMM) – Trio

Tuesday, 10 March 2009 at 8pm
Filament: Otomo Yoshihide and Sachiko M
Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M and Christian Marclay – Trio

Wednesday, 11 March 2009 at 8pm
Otomo Yoshihide and John Butcher – Duo
Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Evan Parker, John Edwards and Tony Marsh – Quintet

Nintendo DS World Record Attempt

Me playing my old skool brick DS

Me playing my old skool brick DS

Anyone who knows me knows that in addition to music and photography, I love video games. Since becoming an international man of mystery (read: moving into a tiny flat in London without a telly or any home video game consoles), that love has been devoted primarily to the Nintendo DS. Within weeks of moving here two years ago, I stumbled upon a great group of social gamers that call themselves DS:London. Every few weeks they meet in a pub to drink and game using the portable console’s wifi capabilities. Through their meetups I found not only a fantastic way to build up my Bomberman skills, but also a lovely bunch of mates.

On Saturday 25 October 2008, DS:London will take on a challenge greater than the combined fury of Bowser, Ganon and a rather cross Princess Peach. To celebrate the London Games Festival 2008, these Nintendo maniacs will try for the Guinness World Record for the most people playing DS simultaneously in one room. They’re hoping to pack more than 500 people into London Metropolitan University’s Rocket Centre from 4–5 p.m., so come along and join in if you want to make gaming history. While the event is free, voluntary donations to Children In Need will be accepted and are encouraged.