:: Photography by Dayv Mattt ::
:: Curated by Dotmo for Flags Violet™ ::
© Dayv Mattt, All Rights Reserved

Friday Dec 21 02:01pm
Flags Violet presents Dayv Mattt [Pt.1]

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I was born in Toronto, went to university in Ottawa, and I have lived in Seoul since just after graduating in 2002. Later this year I will probably be following my wife to somewhere in Africa, but I’m not sure where yet.

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What makes a good photograph? A good photograph is one that you stop to look at. It doesn’t matter what it’s of. If you stop for even the briefest amount of time to think about it, it’s good.

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Apparently you left your home (for Korean) within a few weeks of your graduation because of friend of yours lived in Seoul. Would you say this is how you generally make decisions (and if this is possibly what allows you not to hesitate when capturing moments as a photographer)? I don’t generally make decisions spontaneously, though I am definitely not a meticulous planner, either. But back then, when my friend called me up, I was slowly moving toward a lifestyle I didn’t particularly want to be a part of, so I chose to extract myself from those bad influences. His phone call gave me a perfect opportunity to do so. I do feel it was the correct choice, and I’m happy I made it.

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How do you personally best describe your work? I don’t really describe my work. It’s street photography. Each picture could technically have its on description, but I don’t like rolling like that. I capture what’s happening around me. The end result is what you see.

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What is the coolest thing you own that wouldn’t be worth anything if you tried to sell it? That’s a tough question, but I guess the coolest things I own that wouldn’t be worth anything on the open market would be mix tapes that people gave to me before the whole mp3 revolution.

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Is there someone you’d really like to work with? I really have no interest in studio photography or fashion or lighting. When it comes to staged photography, and from what I have seen, you’re either the photographer or the assistant. I shoot street photography because I like capturing the life and energy (or lack thereof) of the place I’m in. Additionally, I like street photography because deep down inside I like being alone for a few moments a day, and being alone surrounded by people is so much better than being alone surrounded by nothing. Morgan Tepsic and another friend, Karl, were good photo mission companions because they’d discuss anything except photography. If there is one thing I hate, its “talking shop”.

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Before photography, what did you try that you were particularly bad at? I am not particularly good at writing or acting.

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What smell do you hate the most in the world? And which one you like the most? I hate the smell of rotting meat. Really, it’s awful. I love the smell of gasoline, skunks, and my fingers after rolling coins.

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What is the most important thing you own that you would probably never sell regardless of the offer? I don’t think there is anything I wouldn’t sell. I’m not all that sentimental. I’d even sell those above mentioned mix tapes if the price was right! I don’t really own all that many things. Everything that is most important to me is human and I don’t own them.

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If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Rice. I don’t particularly like rice, but it’s functional. It’s nutritious; it can be distilled, puffed, baked, boiled, crushed, etc.

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If you could only take one more photograph for the rest of your life, what would it be? I’d take a picture of my family at a gun farm posing with various armaments. I figure that’d have lasting visual value to all of us.

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What sort of topics and/or news items are you paying attention to lately? What do you see as pressing topics people should be abreast of? I half-listen to the BBC every morning and try to get through The Economist each week. I’ve been paying attention to Syria, China, and was attentive to the US election, but I’m not sure I think those topics are all that pressing. Syrians should solve their own problems, China is China, and US elections have become so farcical they’re sad.

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:: Dayv Mattt’s photography book is available through Flags Violet™ ::
:: Please consider coming by the shop ::

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:: Questionnaire :: M. Cutlip & Dotmo ::
:: Editing & Revisions :: L. Olivera, A. Torres & Dotmo ::
:: Photography :: © Dayv Mattt, All Rights Reserved.
:: Commissioned by Flags Violet™ ::

Friday Dec 21 02:00pm
Flags Violet presents Dayv Mattt [Pt.2]

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I really think any situation is right to document. That said, I don’t particularly like capturing cleavage, people making out, or nudity. I drew my own lines, and I try to abide by them. I once captured two bar workers hauling a drunk and belligerent woman out of a bar. The pictures were fantastic and really told a story. However, in almost all of the photos, her shirt was ripped and while they were dragging her out of the bar, her panties were quite visible. Regardless of how awesome that would have been to post or share with the world, I simply deleted them. Oh if only she’d been wearing pants!

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You documented the Jungle and Drum’n’Bass scene in Toronto through the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Who were your favorite DJ’s and/or producer’s and/or label’s? Of the visiting dj’s at the time, Andy C was by far my favourite. Local dj’s I liked included Medicine Muffin, Marcus, Dj Otis, Mystical Influence, and a few others I’m not going to mention because they were assholes.

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I took notice that in some interview, you recommended people look into TEPSIC magazine. I did and turns out it is indeed an awesome concept (conceptual publication?) and something I hadn’t necessarily seen done in that way. Any other projects and/or publication you’d care to share with the readers of Flags Violet? I don’t really follow a lot of indie publications. I like TEPSIC because it’s both a great idea and he’s my friend. I do recommend that people read the economist once a week, and if they can get their hands on it, Monocle Magazine. I like that magazine a lot, but it’s expensive and hard to find.

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When did you switch from using film to shooting digital, why did you chose to do so, and in what way would you say that transition was a good and not so good? I moved to digital in around 2005. I chose to do so because I found a Nikon D1 on ebay for like $300. The image quality was horrible, but that was when shooting street became something I liked to do. I don’t miss film at all. Even today, I look at my negatives and just shudder at how much extra time and energy is required to get a photo “finished”. Film certainly is not a format I think should live on forever, and I am a bit annoyed that it’s so trendy to “like film” these days. I respect people who shoot film, develop the rolls themselves in a dark room, and then spend the time to dodge and burn their shots to perfection under the enlarger. That’s special. Getting rolls developed in an hour and scanned to CD at a Wal-Mart is special how?

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You seem rather invasive in the sense that you’re able to capture rather private, honest, and earnest moments. More than not, how do people react to your snapping away? Do people come and talk to you, chase you down, ignore you, confront you, etc? No one knows I’m taking their picture.

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Whether on your blog or in some interviews, you often state that you “don’t really have a motive” as a photographer and that you “shoot street photography because [you] want to capture the city”. You also seem very active in sharing and open to discuss anything and everything about your work. Doesn’t exposure and sharing with others also constitute a form of drive for you? If so, what are you trying to share with others (given that you feel like you don’t “say anything”)? When I say I don’t have a motive, what I mean is that I don’t have anything to say about the photography. I don’t think I need to offer up some quasi-intellectual “meaning” or “purpose” to the work. Listening to photographers blather on about what they think they’re own work means is off-putting and I usually ignore it. I like taking pictures, I like sharing those pictures online, and I like receiving feedback about the pictures. The drive to do something doesn’t mean that it requires some bullshit explanation about life and the meaning of this or that. Why does something need some kind of philosophical or intellectual message to be respected?

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:: Dayv Mattt’s photography book is available through Flags Violet™ ::
:: Please consider coming by the shop ::

+++


:: Questionnaire :: Dotmo ::
:: Editing & Revisions :: L. Olivera, A. Torres & Dotmo ::
:: Photography :: © Dayv Mattt, All Rights Reserved.
:: Commissioned by Flags Violet™ ::

Friday Dec 21 02:00pm
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