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“The skate competitions drew you down to Los Angeles, and that was really interesting because you’d go to these different skate parks where all the Dogtown guys were, and that’s where I remember hearing punk rock for the first time. I remember hearing it and thinking this is the most caustic, nasty, scary music I’d ever heard, but by the time I was done, driving home, I was like, ‘I’m in love with it. Somehow it’s the future, somehow it’s the answer, somehow it’s freedom.’”

“I’m hanging out at Ludlow Street; I live around the corner from Max Fish, a bar where a lot of those bands went to—Pavement, Railroad Jerk, Blues Explosion, Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys, and one summer I started working for all those people, and one thing led to another, and a year later I’m doing the Sonic Youth cover, I’m doing stuff for the Beastie Boys, Blues Explosion, Boss Hog.... It was sort of a great moment, and it kinda landed me.”

“I had friends who were filmmakers, through the Alleged Gallery, where I would show, because I was simultaneously doing art that wasn’t exactly art. I met Spike Jonze and people like that, and the ’90s music culture is sort of exploding. I just wanted to go in that direction.”

“I was teaching classes on Charles and Ray Eames at the night school at the Cooper Union. The Eameses had done all these slideshows and taught themselves how to do films. So it was this weird combination of the Eameses’ self-empowerment, do-it-yourself aesthetic, and the sort of entrepreneurialism of skateboarding and skate culture, that joined with seeing people like Spike doing it that made me start begging every band I was working with to let me do a video for them.”

“I got back in ’99, and became, like, a huge gardener. I was going into the woods all the time. So my experience of California—even Los Angeles—was this kind of wild interest in nature and wilderness and…wildness. And if you read Gary Snyder talking about wildness and wilderness, to me it’s very much in sync with the Situationists talking about creating your own space in an urban context, or what we as teenage kids were trying to do drinking lots of beer in the parking lot before a punk show.”

“Now I’m a dad, and there’s nothing better than toodling around with my 2-year-old in the woods, and him learning what pine trees are, what oak trees are, what rocks are, different kinds of rocks, and seeing wild turkeys and stuff like that. My son loves listening to Satie, as do I. He requests classical music when he’s in the car, so I listen to more Brahms than I ever thought I was going to hear in my life.”

“We don’t have TV; we have our computers. So we can watch things, and the one that really moves me is the last season of Louie. As a filmmaker, I think he’s doing such amazing things with structure. And as sort of a cultural producer, the way he handles his business and his entrepreneurial quality, again, it goes all the way back to that skater punk, do-it-yourself, find your own way of making culture that doesn’t have to interface in the mainstream machine in the way the machine wants you to.”

“I read a lot. I have the new Lydia Davis book. I’ve been reading Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle. My wife [artist/filmmaker Miranda July] is a much more religious, obsessive reader. She’s increased my reading time because I’m drafting a lot off of her.”