Q&A: Erik Schubert


What part of the planet would you like to explore? Everywhere/ anywhere…but specially the jungle and woods. Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Trying not to be to stressed out and worried about shit so I’m not too much of a pain to live with. Who would you most like to see embarrass themselves? These gun guys in the US that are protesting gun control by parading their guns around and taking them into stores while shopping and eating at fast food chains. Name a design flaw in the human body? Consciousness and the human mind. It’s so present and elusive at the same time. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen? A complexly structured square photograph by Lee Friedlander, of what looks like the LA Freeway with fences and signs and then near the middle is a dog taking a shit.  I always enjoyed images and especially making them but at the time my photo knowledge was really limited to Rolling Stone magazines and people like Ansel Adams.  I enjoyed some of these images but most never stuck with me. Once I saw that Friedlander photograph I was blown away and thought I really could do something with photography.

What is it that interests you about photography? First off, the act of photographing is very pleasurable. And second, how closely the images represents the thing photographed but then doesn’t really, at least not all the time. If your photographs could talk, what would most of them say? This is very important and it happens to be a bit funny but also a little sad. What Was The Last Crime You Witnessed? Besides multi-national corporations raping people, the earth and slow internet, someone last month stole some money from my account.  But that’s a bit boring because it was just witnessed via the Internet. But the last really good crime that I witnessed was on the Chicago subway, a guy got punched in the dick and then another guy took his wallet at the moment he winced over in pain.  Then these guys just jumped off the train while the doors were closing and the train started leaving the station. It all happened so fast! I felt really bad for the guy because he just got double-teamed and then had to watch them run off with his wallet and was stuck inside the train. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? John Szarkowski, I meet him at a talk once, he wore a captains suit, you know, the blue jacket with gold buttons, white pants style. I could get behind that and much better then any politician.  But I am excited to see what comes from the new moma photo director. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? The fictional W.G Sebald from his many books, such as the “Rings of Saturn”. I think choosing to flâneur is heroic. On what occasion do you lie? When it’s appropriate too. Ultimate Camera? A hand-held digital slr camera with the image quality of 4×5, that looks great, feels great in the hands, indestructible, water proof and not to heavy and at a reasonable price! Most Used Camera? Nikon D800. And before that an Ebony 4×5…that might have been the ultimate camera. It felt great and smelled great too. Name one smell that triggers an abstract memory? The smell of wood burning in the wintertime, for me it triggers comfort.

Describe your generation? Concerned, sympathetic, wanting to be better individuals for a better world, and to be better to others but not ruthless enough to make changes for a better world stick. At least not yet. Describe A Cheap Thrill? Potato chips! Choose a song to play over a montage of everything you did today? Beirut’s “Scenic World” Which talent would you most like to have? I really wish I could have been a stand-up comedian. If I could write better and was funny I could have been one. It’s a perfect universal medium with which to explore and discus existential concerns. Name a quality about the opposite sex that you find unattractive? An occasional out of the blue nuttiness. I presume that’s attributed to societal pressures built up from a young age. Come up with a tattoo for one of your parents? My mom could use a tattoo badly.  I think it would improve her mood and wellbeing. Maybe make her more adventurous.  So, I’m thinking floral sleeves on both forearms and a tattoo of her grand daughter on the shoulder area. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? All the time we wasted doing tons of useless stuff when we could have just been relaxing and enjoying the day. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Coffee and breakfast with my family. Do some internet/email related stuff. Go for a bike ride. Take my daughter to the park.  Lunch. Nap time for my daughter. Then more internet related stuff. Snack/play time with my daughter. Then go to the racetrack to photograph and watch the races. Sleep. This is really just my Saturday schedule.

Erik Schubert – From the series “ How to Win Friends and Influence People”