I can’t remember exactly when I started following DETHJUNKIE*, at first was the name that caught my attention and then its content. Simple images, nothing more than pictures, but so inspiring and dark that years later, I still wait the moment when the curator behind DETHJUNKIE* updates the timeline with new carefully chosen images.
Some weeks ago, I was searching the internet to know more about this inspiring blog and, finding almost nothing, I went straight to the source and asked some questions to the curator. I am, therefore, proud to present you the first (and very exhaustive) DETHJUNKIE* interview on the net!
1) Hi DETH*, thanks a lot for giving me the possibility to talk a little about your blog. Let’s start with an easy one. Do you remember when you started DETHJUNKIE*? Was it for fun, a way to express yourself or any other reason?
The blog began when I discovered Yimmyayo’s blog. At that time I had never seen something like it before. The description for his blog was “Visual crack for the ocular fiend”, which stuck a chord with me. It spoke to me because of the way that the images were like drugs, they got me high, and I got hooked on them.
The images on his blog were displayed without credits mostly, which allowed me to just see the image. The image was removed from context, and it felt like something unique, a scrap of paper that I found on the ground. No back story. Mysterious and blank, and i would fill in my own story in my head. Most of the images on his blog were or at least seemed to be just internet noise, random, scraps, refuse nothing that anyone would miss. Images that you could cherish for their obscurity.
This experience was the beginning of DETHJUNKIE*. At that time I was simply taking photos and saving them to a big folder on my computer. Just tons of photos, anything that piqued my interest. After I had a bunch of photos I would post them. There was no real reason to it at that time… It was far before Tumblr had become well known. For me it was simply a place to post photos that I dug… for myself. I’ve likened it to the feeling of the (American) wild west… anything was fair game, no rules, no fences or boundaries… and also no one around to care. It was freedom. Freedom to say anything, post anything and BE anything.
So that is how it started, but after many years of posting I have been able to reflect deeper on why it started. Let me start with the name. The name at the time kind of just popped into my head, but I think it had something to do with me making a cynical reference about DJing. I was a dj at the time and was doing to much drugs and partying and got kind of jaded from the whole experience. The name was my way of stabbing back at the culture of consumption and “deth”.
After the initial stab at DJ culture I realized I was stabbing at something a little larger. I was really just talking about Deth culture everywhere. Modernism, consumerism, America. How I have described it before is “deth” is similar to “death” but the difference is “death” is dying… forever, silent, dead, gone, at peace, passing on, no more… the end of the record. On the other hand, the “deth” that I am referring to is kind that everyone is addicted to… When you goto the movies and see guns being shot, people getting killed… your not thinking about those people being dead, but the sensation of their dying. An instantaneous and tantalizing moment. I released that it carries over into broader culture in various forms. Take for example cigarettes. Everyone knows they are killing you… but you smoke them, because you are getting high from the deth…. The sensational experience of dying. We drive fast cars to feel the Deth, we drink and do drugs to feel the deth. We obsess over deth.
This is why the blog exists. The freedom that I expressed earlier, the wild west of the internet, being able to say, and be anything you wanted was freedom. So I posted naively, innocently, images that spoke to me. It was not till later that I was able to look at the blog and be like “wow this shit is kind of dark and fucked up”. I didn’t think of myself that way… Certainly the person who I was seeing was not the same person that was on facebook, or whatnot. This new person was not being judged or critiqued, so they were able to post what they truly wanted to.. and what they posted was evocative and disturbing.
At that time I asked myself “is this really me??”… the truth was that it was. …I was a victim of Deth, and participant of Deth, a product of Deth, and a reflection of Deth. At that time the innocence of the blog was to some extent lost. I realized that what I was posting was meaningful to me, and for some reason therapeutic to me for releasing it. I have told people that if the blog had a voice.. it would be a scream.
It is the scream of anger, frustration, angst, distrust, and fear about the culture of Deth that we are part of.
2) First post / latest post: what has changed?
As you will begin to see many of these answers are tied together, so I will be referencing a lot of stuff I have said already.
The first posts were innocent. They we’re just me posting stuff that I was drawn to.
Now, the innocence is gone, but the passion and feeling still remain. The color palette has grown tighter and the images are much harder to find. Mostly due to the fact that Tumblr has grown so much. The chances of seeing something truly unique and evocative are less as it grows.
3) What does and image need to be posted on your blog? It isn’t just a matter of esthetics, right?
My college thesis was based on my tumblr. This forced me to ask myself these questions to a far greater extent than I would have ever wanted to before. I was pleased with the innocence of the expression, but after having to ask myself these deeper questions (and write a 30 page paper on it) I have boiled it down to two words.
SEX & DEATH.
“Wow, that is vapid” right? That’s what I said to myself too until I began to think more about it. What is sex? …Sex is creation. And what is death? …Death is destruction. The two most primal elements of the human experience. Creation and Destruction. We are uncontrollably drawn to these forces. We are these forces. …One can go into far greater depth about this topic, but I wont for this interview.
The images that spoke to me from the beginning were ones that had both SEX and DEATH in them. They spoke to my deeper self. My soul. My animal.
When people have asked me how I chose images I said… Animal Magnetism.. and I still do.
4) What are your favorite sources? Do you spend a lot of time searching for content? How much of it is created by you?
99% of all the content on the blog is reblogged from other people, mostly through Tumblr. I have posted a few of my own works but for the most part the content on DETHJUNKIE* is simply a curation of images. My voice comes through with the juxtaposioning of the images.
The words are not mine, but the story is.
5) You’re from US. How much your city and country influence your work?
I would say that my country has affected me more than my city. The Deth culture I was speaking of is not only an American syndrome but it is very prevalent here. I should have said earlier that around the same time I discovered Yimmy’s blog. I saw the movie American Psycho for the first time. I feel like it disturbed me so much that the blog was a reaction to it.
6) You often feature war/weapons/police realated images. I clearly see a political messege behind, am I wrong?
More recently I think there is a subtle agenda, not a political one necessarily but a soul agenda, an awakening of a wolf. I try to keep my agenda blank but it is hard. All of the images are speaking to my soul, and my soul is speaking through the blog. After the innocence of the blog was lost, I feel that the images have more responsibility now. While still being shocking and disturbing their aim is not to celebrate Deth, but to expose the dystopian nature of our world. They are meant to evoke, and awaken you… not meant to lull you to sleep. …Like I said before it is a scream.
7) Nowadays everyone use the internet to post selfies and speak about every little detail of his live. You have a totally different behaviour on your blog, you reveal almost nothing about yourself and I don’t think it’s because you’re shy. Can you explain why to our readers?
This started from the very beginning. The only reason (at first) was because I didn’t have to reveal who I was. I was stealing pictures and posting them. Disturbing pictures, erotic pictures, violent pictures. Things I didn’t wouldn’t want to talk about at the dinner table. So obviously I chose not to… and given the chance everyone should have an alter ego. It is very freeing, and can reveal things about yourself that your regular ego cannot see. I think after a while I realized that the stuff i was posting was coming from a deeper place and that if i tried to claim it for my ego it would destroy the purity of the expression. That is what I have acted on ever since.
8) I’ve always thought that DETHJUNKIE* is really dark and obscure, are these characteristics that reflect your personality?
I have to pass this questions for one reason… Dethjunkie* is not me, it is you. Who I really am doesn’t matter. People create me in their minds, people become Dethjunkie*. Dethjunkie* the spirit is beyond ego, the message and the art.
This is part of the reason for posting in the way that I do and for keeping my identity secret. I want people to really see the art. Actually see it before asking… who did this?
You look at a painting a whole different way when you know it is a Warhol, or a Van Gogh.
9) Blogs are mainly considered forms of comunication, a way to speak about yourself or your activities. DETHJUNKIE* , to me, looks more like an art form. Do you agree? Do you consider yourself an artist?
Tumblr is a blank slate, a tool. I choose to use this blank slate as a gallery, and there are many blogs that are amazing at doing this.
On the other hand there are blogs that are based around people. “This is me… This is what I like”. These blogs are fine too. I think it is really amazing how you can look at someone’s blog for 40 pages without thinking about that persons race or sexual orientation. …You bond with them, you like the same things, and then… you realize “Oh.. this person is _______” … and then your perception of whatever the ______ is to you changes. In that sense I love personal blogs because they are pseudo voyeuristic, but often very honest and real.
10) You recently started to sell apparel with DETHJUNKIE* logos and quotes, did your fans appreciate it? Are you planning to do more DETHJUNKIE* related stuff? Maybe something like DVST magazine?
I have always loved clothing design and teeshirts, so it was just something I thought would be fun to do with Dethjunkie*. I would love to build a brand around Dethjunkie* but it is very delicate because I don’t want to interfere with the artistic integrity of the blog. I want people to be able to identify with the art that the blog is, and be like “this is me” and feel proud about wearing a t-shirt.
I would love to be able to grow the art into a greater format like another DVST style magazine, but these things take money… capitalism etc. It goes against the foundations of the blog which is “The joy of not being sold anything”.
11) Last question: do you plan to keep feeding our head for long time?
Note that a positive answer is required here!
I wish I could say the blog will last forever but I can’t. I am amazed it has lasted this long. That is to say that… I will always be hungry for images, fiending for ocular crack, and feeding my head, but will the Tumblr platform stay the same wild west, and allow for freedom of expression? Who knows.
I will say that… people who have followed me since the beginning will know that my posts have grown more infrequent. This is for a number of reasons… Over the past 5 years I have gone to college, gotten a degree in Design and met the love of my life who I am now married to. Needless to say those things take time away from blogging.
With that being said it should be noted that I will only ever post the best images, that speak to my soul… that draw my in and evoke me. The Animal Magnetism that has always guided me will continue to guide me.
I feel confident that as long as there is internet… there will be DETHJUNKIE*
Thank you for allowing me to speak, and as always…
*FEED YOUR HEAD