Back in Business for more Art

After one year of successful attendance and audience, the Lincoln Rd. and Miami Beach Gallery walk featured Artist Anthony Ardavin' on their monthly invitation.

Every first Saturday of each month 7-10pm, you can stroll on Lincoln Rd and visit some of the galleries that open their doors for the monthly Arts Walk. Share some wine and cheese, enjoy what some of the best Contemporary Artists in Miami have to offer.

The next gallery walk will be  on Saturday, October, 2nd 2010

Below some invitations for past art walks.

For more info visit us in our Facebook page



By Eli Bravo

Miami is a city marked by human passage. It’s no coincidence
that Julia Tuttle, a widow from Cleveland, Ohio,
is considered the mother of this town. The land that her
father bought next to Biscayne Bay fascinated this lady,
and in the winter of 1891 she decided to bring a train to
her home; with aims of developing a city in the skirts of a
river that during thousand of years served as the pool for
the Tequesta Indians.
The Spanish, in XVI, eliminated a great part of these Indians
while being battered during 200 years by the English
and French, until 1763 when Spain gave Florida to the
United Kingdom in exchange for Cuba. This change didn’t
last long because the Spanish returned to charge 20 years
later, and settled here until 1821 when General Andrew
Jackson, -the one featured in the $5 bill-, took control of
the territory on behalf of the United States.

In 1959, Cubans, motivated by Castro, began stretching
the link between their island and the peninsula. Since
then, people have not ceased to arrive to this paradise
-which in some instances, is hell with air conditioning. Miami
is a city of immigrants with the advantage, according
to the more cynic, of being close to the U.S.
Of the two and a half million inhabitants, only 26% can claim to be ‘born and raised’
here. It’s easier to find an immigrant than an ATM. This makes the city, deliciously
diverse and terribly scattered. If someone declares to know the city, it’s probably a
lie or a politician in campaign (he’s lying).
The identity of Miami has been materialized on the screen with Miami Vice, on
the radio with Gloria Estefan and in sports with the Heat and the Marlins. Nothing
defines Miami as a whole, except maybe FPL (Florida Power and Light), whose
uncovered cables are to be blamed for our constant darkness with the arrival of
each hurricane. Without electric power we are all similar, however, some have larger
generator than others.
Miami is a city where people find their place in the world for a few years. Since it’s
NOT New York, here, everyone has a project in order to make the big leap into taking
advantage of everything still needed to be done. It’s not a requirement to live for
ten years in the city to call yourself a Miamian, -the will to hit the streets as if you
owned them and jump into the adventure is enough.
That is one great thing about this city, it’s an exhilarating experience of adaptation,
or something we can’t quite describe, but that keeps us alive, with the need to connect
to the energy left by all who have stepped through this land.
That’s why it’s essential to charge the streets with good vibrations, so that future
tenants can find common grounds and a space where they can evolve and create.


L.T. JOE SCHILLACI: The social passion of changing worlds

By Alfonso Corona and Isa Traverso -Burger

Lieutenant Joseph Schillaci of A&E’s
The First 48 reality TV is a veteran
of the Miami Police Department. He
was a Sergeant, a homicide investigator,
undercover narcotics cop and
former Lt. Commander of the Crime
Suppression Unit. Now, he is a certified
Nonviolence Specialist Counselor
and a Motivational Speaker,
proudly spreading the Kingian Non
Violence Philosophy. His passion
for greater awareness, -accompanied
by his personal experience,
is a key source in his mission to
eradicate verbal and physical violence.
Read this exclusive interview
for Distrikt to learn how he strives
to make a difference with The Unit.
He is currently finishing his book,
and when it comes out, we highly
suggest you read about Little Jasmine;
if that doesn’t change your life, nothing will.

Lieutenant, can you please explain your transition to this mission?
I do it because I have a purpose that I want to deliver, a solution to many problems
that are violence, prostitution and drug addiction. I’ve come up with this
solution not reading books, TV or magazines but from experience.
I’ve lived a life fulfilled. I’ve seen a lot: beatings, kidnapping, shootings, and -an
awful lot. Through good and bad I have developed this philosophy of making a
difference, getting the word out to schools and churches.
The main reason I left narcotics, the vice, the street, to come to The Unit is because
it’s the heart of the city, not a funnel. So many people can be reached;
nothing is more exciting in my life. That’s what I want to give back to the community.
This Unit has the ability to wrap their arms around kids that can cross
the line or are in process. I speak from the heart; I know what happens to a child
from when he’s 6 to 25 years old.
When I speak as ‘We’ it means the whole society. People put a stamp on violence,
but it’s not only murder and robbery, it’s also verbal. People get shot for
what they say. Most murders that occur happen because of what comes out the
victim’s mouth. I teach to communicate with each other; there is a right way to
do it. If we bumped into each other, light up and talk, alternatives to violence
are the clue.

How does that equate to this Unit?
This Unit is the spaceship that drives that message into our society, community, schools, and churches. We all have the same
passion and beliefs, guys do presentations, explore and reach out to kids, on how we can make a difference, so they can avoid
the crossing to No Man’s Land. Violence is not a normal part of life. I’ve seen a child stepping on a body to cross to the other side
of the street, he didn’t even acknowledge the corpse, and that is not normal behavior. Physical and verbal violence are abnormal
For example, The Police Athletic League goes out to schools and recruits kids into their program, to work with them and provide
alternatives. It’s vital that they become involved, become writers, sport coaches, athletes. The mentality has to stop being: “I can’t
play football, I go to sell drugs”. People think it just happens in bad areas, and it’s not true, it’s nationwide.
20 years ago I realized there were many things I wanted to try: play the piano; write a book, etc. I achieved both, I’m not the greatest
one but I tried. Find a passion, get the experience, pay it forward, and give it. What a waste to have knowledge and not give it to
someone else! I just want to plant the seeds; I have to believe that it will grow into something positive.

What are the key factors to find that passion?
We all have a passion. I speak on behalf of me, what’s worked for me,
I’ve had experiences and people pointing out my passion, pointing out
what I’m about, you have this ability, just tap into it. I’ve learned that,
through the passing of my mother and homicide investigations. Everyday
we wake up, there’s a beautiful sunrise, you close your eyes, and
there’s the sunset. It scares me to waste time. The point being, you
don’t have to be special, just raise your level of awareness. A lot of
people are afraid of dying and death, but they’re really afraid of living.
What are the facts that changed your life vision from 15 years ago?
From the time I was 5 or 6 I had this unbelievable profound passion to
talk to people. My mom was like that. There was a case not long ago
where we had to bring justice to a murder; everyone gave up on the
suspect, until I got him to confess. That made me realize that it was
because of my respect towards people.
How did you decide to become a policeman?
I was 8. I was playing football on the street and the ball went under this
police car, and he said: “you have to be careful where the ball ends.”
When I looked at that man I knew what I wanted to be, he became my
Godfather, Joseph Chancey, and the reason why I became a policeman.
I always say, wear your uniform proudly, but more importantly
your heart. It’s not your badge, authority or gun that gives you power,
it’s your heart.

In some Latin American countries, Mexico and Venezuela for example, we are
fearful of some cops.
You wear a badge of honor, you have tools, you can take away the freedom, or the
life of someone, it’s a tremendous responsibility and power. I have had to do both,
what I’ve learned, especially in the shooting, is that I went home and I cried, and
cried, and cried. It felt good to tell people, but it hurt. It’s okay to be a person, just
because I use a uniform doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings, I’m not a robot. You’re
going to make mistakes and hurt. It’s okay to be mad, cry at what you saw, and
okay to talk about it.
How do you persuade a society that revolves around money to care about other
Educate society; raise the level of awareness. Violence, -both physical and verbalis
NOT normal. Youngsters who are likely to get into trouble live day-to-day, looking
for the ‘bling’, not thinking about tomorrow. The propaganda teaches us that
consumerism is the way. “I am not going to be able to have those shoes, jeans,
car… I want to be like my classmates, like the celebrities.” Statistically, from the
ages of 16 to 25, sooner or later, you land in prison or get killed if you get into drug
Priorities are alert on not-so-positive thinking, fancy cars and money, do you
I don’t want to stereotype but money, jewelry, fancy houses, you don’t have to
have that to be successful, some kids realize that. Being bitter about what you
don’t have is not a normal behavior, the nervous system shuts down from all stress
and you end up not enjoying life.
Parts of society don’t know this. How do you teach them?
Dr. Martin Luther King, my mentor, is a driving force behind much of what I talk.
You just have to believe in it.
If you could be in charge of the educational system what lessons would you
To do at least one kind thing a day, -how hard is it to smile at somebody?
Impose unconditional love and respect towards each other.
Crime prevention and awareness of surroundings, -Don’t be naïve.
Take the time to learn about each other instead of judging.
Believing that This Unit is the heart of city.


BOZENKA The Exquisite Seduction of a Middle East Cuban

By Isa Traverso-Burger
Photos: Alfonso Corona

Shakira has made the shaking of the ass extremely
popular but this traditional body movement that
uses every muscle group of the body is not a one
woman’s dance, -men do it too. Places like Egypt,
Turkey, Lebanon, and Arabic countries have practiced
Raqs Sharqi (belly dancing) for centuries.
According to some, the most admired dancers are
the ones able to express their emotions through
the simplicity of movements connected to rhythm
and performance. The practice is beneficial for the
body and the mind, it’s a cardiovascular workout
that builds strength, improves self-esteem and
creates a better image. Some evidence suggests
that belly dancing’s hip-circling movements can
aid a woman during childbirth discomforts; not to
mention that sixty minutes of dancing can burn
330 calories.

Bozenka, which means ‘touched by God’, is a voluptuous,
tall, fair-skin woman who comes from a Cuban-
Czech heritage. Through her passion for belly dancing
she inspires people around the world to experience this
magnificent performing art. She lives in Miami where she
trained at The Mid Eastern Dance Exchange under the
leadership of Tamalyn Dallal. Two years later she earned
the prestigious Miss America of Bellydance title thanks to
her elegant and earthy charisma.
As if that was an indication of her future, Bozenka took the
enthusiasm to heart and kept focusing on a gift she obviously
has. A couple of months ago CNN reported, “An
American Belly Dancer has taken the Egyptian crown!”
after Bozenka, with her unique grace, beat 150 dancers
from all over the world in the “Ahlan Wa Sahlan” dance
festival in Cairo, Egypt.
Now a Bellydance Superstar, Bozenka continues to flourish
and demonstrate her spirit through the unspoken communication
of body movement. She has choreographed
for the Latin pop star mentioned in the first paragraph famous
for shaking her booty, performed with Alabina, and
entertained celebrities like Sean Connery, Donald Trump,
Hugh Hefner, Madonna, and Enrique Iglesias. With motivation
that impregnates all who attend, and with her characteristic
fervent technique, she is an admired instructor
in this Oriental dance form.

Bozenka says:


JORGE LUIS VARONA: When Hyperrealism Commits

By Jorge Luis Varona & Isa Traverso - Burger
Images courtesy of: Jorge Luis Varona

Cuban born Jorge Luis Varona left his home island at the age of five.
Although he enjoyed doodling, he didn’t want to take art classes,
“because I didn’t want someone to tell me how to do it” -even at the
urge of his parents. Feeling puny about his role in the world he went
for a Business Major in Miami Dade Community College and received
an AA. After that, not able to alienate the inspiration pouring out of
his mind, he enrolled in UM where he transferred from ‘architecture’
to ‘fine arts’. It is at this age of 22 that Jorge Varona finally began to
focus on his calling.

Besides obtaining an M.F.A from Colorado State University, he has
earned, twice, the Oscar B. Cintas Fellowship, -allowing him to be
exhibited in galleries all over the USA with other renowned Latin masters
such as Frida Kahlo, Fernando Botero, Wilfredo Lam, Amelia Pelaez, Tomas Sanchez and Miguel Padura.
His detailed-oriented works, which can take from one to six months
to complete, identify him as a realist; or how the audience’s acceptance
has categorized him: New American Realist. What his art
expresses is the perfect picture. He draws-as well as paint- with
such an impeccable detail, that you don’t know if what lies before
you is a painting or a photo, but it’s certainly a work of art. His
nudes are subtle and tasteful, -his portraits angelic.

Recently he has been centering the attention of his art on his Cuban American heritage: cafetera cubana, guayabera, machete,
juxtaposing it with something American, like apple pie. The aroma
of the coffee in the house, family and friends sharing the experience
of “un cafecito” all bring fond memories. Whether it is classical
or modern, his pieces tell a story, they take you to a moment
you might have lived, or might want to. He remembers nostalgically
and transmits this feeling to us, while it gets harder and harder
to believe the talent he creates. His images also include a leather
bomber jacket, “anones” that may identify his warrior side.
In Varona’s own words, “My work celebrates my heritage. I want to
take these objects that have been a part of me and elevate them to
something more than a mere object. In my work you will also find
hidden objects, they are almost a language of my own. These hidden
images might be a skull, the island of Cuba, and others. They
invite you to look at my work and revisit it to find more. The scale
of the paintings range from 12x18 in. to 3x5 ft.”
According to Carol Damian, art critic, Varona’s work has received a wide acceptance
within the category of New American Realism. “It is especially unusual today to see
the work of an artist who displays a mastery of the oldest and most traditional form
of artistry. The viewer is at once seduced and mesmerized by the accuracy of their
representation.” Armando Alvarez Bravo, art critic, states, “Varona is a Cuban artist
with a clean execution that introduces in his pieces a narrative that is eminently

Jorge is also a dedicated family man; his wife Iliana is a ballerina turned schoolteacher;
his son Jorge, an aspiring bass guitarist; and Carolina, his angel-like daughter
is a special needs child.



By Jose Luis Pardo

Tunes, like life itself, is evolving. We have featured shoes, hands, quirky music tastes and now, we are proud to bring you ‘music critique’. This time, Jose L. Pardo aka DJ Afro aka Cheo the guitar player of Los Amigos Invisibles, shares with Distrikt what he considers to be sublime music choices for the avant-garde thinker, versa- tile personality or curious music lover.

Coachella is a place where expanding your brain to listen to new proposals shouldn’t be anything new. A good friend insisted that he was doing me a favor by obligating me to watch Jamie Lidell.
There he was, on stage, adjusting his console, fabricating noises, yelling, dancing like Moreno Michael (a popular, versatile Latin show man) and demonstrating to me that he is the most fun and talented one-man-show-orchestra I will ever see in my life.
We tried to understand what was happening before our eyes and arrived to a conclusion: this character is the king of weird nerd neo soul. Once the astonishment passed -and after purchasing the CD, I realized I found one of those gems that makes you feel ashamed to have believed that you had everything you need in your hands.
An exaggeration of talent; a producer who seems to be speaking to the Gods every time he sings, brings us a soul full record impregnated with delicate strokes of electronica which create an exquisite Pop, the kind we miss from a Prince or a Michael. It is pure funky flavor, rare grooves, jazz and everything we sing with our eyes closed, as if it was made by a good cousin but with grandma’s recipe.

I almost fainted the first time I heard Maria Daniela. While driving through Mexico’s capital city I heard her amusing voice as my face revealed a smile; but my ego was beaten me up -angry because I wasn’t the author of this amazing sound.
Some of my friends could not comprehend my sensibility towards this CD that sounded like Flans (cheesy Mexican Pop) produced by Depeche Mode, but on acid. I heard it many times trying to understand why I liked it so much and far from acknowledging the deep sociological impact of this project, I found myself completely obsessed.
In Latin America we were kindly brought up by endless charismatic projects produced by corporate demented people, anxious to capitalize on us: innocent children, full of acne and hormones, discovering our bodies, trying to find our place in this world.
Today, those children are adults, and far from denying what we find in our hard drives, some of us celebrate shouts and yelling, reminding us how boring adult life is and how fun it was to grow up in a world filled with teen stars; and how they played an important role in our lives and even our sexuality.
I want to dedicate this production to everyone who pretends that they began their musical journey with Pink Floyd, The Cure and New Order when instead, the real door openers into the music genre were bands like Flans, Timbiriche and Menudo, and all those groups that made us feel we were not alone during those difficult moments, transitioning from childhood to teenage years.


Russian Language


This issue of World 101 is dedicated to the Russian language, one of great political importance in the 20th century. Its history is di- vided into four periods: Kievan period and feudal breakup, Muscovite period (15th-17th centuries), Empire (18th-19th centuries) and Soviet period and be- yond (20th century).
Russian is spoken in: Russia, former Soviet Republics, former War- saw Pact-member states, Israel, Mongolia, and Svalbard. It belongs to the family of Indo-European languages. Total speakers: About 145 million
Writing system: Cyrillic alphabet Official language of: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Unit- ed Nations, Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, Gagauz- ia and some regions of Ukraine.
Here are some popular Russian proverbs and their meanings:
/v trid’ev’atom tsartsv’e/ “in the three-ninth kingdom”, it’s a typical beginning of a fairy tale and is used ironically to describe a place far away.
/ni k s’elu, ni k gorodu/ “neither for a village nor for a city”, meaning of no use or relevance.
/delat’ iz mukhi slona/ “to make an elephant from a fly”, meaning something impossible to achieve.
/kogda rak (na gore) svistnet/ “when the crayfish will whistle (on the mountain top)”, meaning never.

•Thank you very much
Spaseebo balshoye•

•Don’t mention it

•Do you speak Russian?
Vy gavareeteh pa ru-sky?•

•Do you speak English?
Vy gavareeteh pa anglisky?•

•I don’t speak English
Ya ne gavareeu na angliyskom•

•I don’t speak Russian
Ya ne gavareeu na ruskom•

•My Russian is bad
Ya ploha gavaru pa Ruski•

•I do not understand
Ya ne paneemau•

•Could you speak slowly?
Gavareeteh medlenie•

Russians in History:

• Peter the Great: Ruled Russia from 1682 until his death. He transformed Muscovite Russia into a major European power. • Alexander Suvorov: Last Generalissimo (not counting Stalin). He never lost a battle; he was famed for his manual The Science of Victory.
• Alexander Pushkin: Romantic author considered the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. • Ivan Pavlov: Won Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for research pertaining to the digestive system. Pavlov was known for first describing the phenomenon known as classical conditioning.
• Yuri Gagarin: was a Soviet astronaut who in 1961 became the first human in space and the first human to orbit the Earth. • Vladimir Lenin (born Ulyanov): Communist revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, initiator of Leninism -an adaptation of Marxism to “the age of imperialism.
• Mikhail Gorbachev: Leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991. He helped to end the Cold War and dissolve the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.



photos: Alfonso Corona

Just like in our 3rd issue, Architect Miguel Angel Aragones shows his perfect and daring lines in space and materials; we now bring you the second version of this white and minimalist balance. This time we head to the Capital of Mexico, also known as, D.F
Although not everyone likes this type of decoration and architecture, once you visit and inhabit this space, you’ll understand a new palpable dimension in this crowded and polluted city. With its simple, elegant and spatial distribution, you’ll find yourself immersed in a cloud of materials and light textures with perfect finishes -wherever you look.

A perfect rounded marble sphere receives color light from a spot projector more than 30ft above; the hard-light quality of the projector gives a strong personality to this living object in the middle of the white marble desert that surrounds it.
In the outside, we find a black bottom fountain that will host a huge tribe of orange Koi fishes making it seem like a living water-mirror that shows us no end, no profundity.
The space on top of the lower living room is a meditation quarter with ambient speakers and tatami mats all over the squared, Zen-filled area. Talk about relaxation!

The impeccable white surfaces everywhere give you a floating and silencing atmosphere. And imagine that! The breakfast dining area has furniture designed by world renowned Phillipe Stark.
The multiple terraces give the property a series of light filtrations that turn on the whole peaceful house into a haven. With its monumental open spaces, lighting dimensions and awesome finishes, this architectural space gives you the opportunity to enter a different spot –different from the one 5 minutes ago.

The furniture materials includes leather, steel, marble among other interesting and yet not common materials. Every Plasma screen can be covered by false wooden walls. The Onyx lamps light the rooms with the exact amount and quality of desired light.
Mr. Aragones is, with no doubt, one of the best young architects in Mexico daring to contribute to this city’s growth, as one of the most important and culturally enriched in Latin American.
These houses and this type of architecture are certainly not for everyone to like or live in, but, like one little -but powerful- fellow said once, stature is not measured from the head to the earth but from the head to the sky. In here, only tall people fit and can fill the rooms, according to this great architect.
Every decoration detail has a well defined artist seal like the coffee and Onyx center piece in the dining room table. The feminine shapes around the house connect you with terrain and creative energy, inviting you to become part of it.
The cost of building this type of architectural space is very large, once accomplished, these livable places are worth astonishing amounts of money; but it comes with a great advantage: style, quality and lots of peaceful moments.
I hope you enjoy this strange hole into a person’s creativity, dedication and imagination as much as we have.
If this white lifestyle is not your ideal architectural space, just flip the page be- cause something colorful is coming right after.




Back in the 80’s where girls dressed like boys with loose clothes, oversized blazers, short haircuts while the boys liked the eye paint, glossy lipstick and girlish dances, bands like Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, The Cure, INXS and every trans-hair-feminine music group was the ultimate success...
....Back when there was a whole audience for two boys named “Cory” and the coolest thing was to go to the movies to watch the “Brat Pack” wearing a jean jacket, comes the birth of the action figure and the way people see a whole new generation of conceptual characters that detonated one of the first stages in graphic design history.
This 80’s fever blew up basically when a movie director created plastic versions of his sci-fi movie characters, this was called the Star Wars fever, a never-before seen marketing extravaganza that sort of ended 25 years later....This is where the figurines and other interesting adult-toys and articles (not the ones Alberto would talk about in his S.E.X section) became a fundamental part of our childhood and culture evolving in some other ways; later, they divorced in physical and conceptual ways from their ‘ideal parents’ or roll models -Barbie and Ken- starting a new generation of human thoughts.

Can you imagine our generation growing up without figurines? These guys have been more transcendental than we think...
Anyway, several years later, this graphic movement started to flourish when a guy called Bill Gates was forced to re -invest some money in a company that Forrest Gump called ‘some fruit company’ (Apple) in order to avoid a monopoly trial about him controlling the computer world (like he doesn’t, right?).
Once Apple was revived in the early 90’s after being overwhelmed by one of their own creators, the whole graphic design industry became one of the most effective and fast-growing movements in the whole human communication history.... all this thanks to Congress!

These days with the marvelous Macintosh computers being more efficient in every bi-monthly expensive release, graphic arts and proposals have been evolving and becoming accessible to most people, even the non-technological ones.
Today we have different, almost infinite, design and production styles; the graphic design world has amazing dreams and proposals that have become real works of art and creativity, just like our favorite pet: Kuma Distrikt (no offense Ansel and Jelly).
For some people, these figurines are only toys, for some of us they are real forms of modern art. I’m pretty sure of one thing, every time I take a look at some of Maria Sarmiento’s designs they make me feel like the way I felt back then, when some of our most important activities had to do with doing homework and eating our vegetables. I feel that but with the intensity that comes with adulthood.
Although the graphic designer, industrial designer and architect have a very tough place in the communications industry by having to combine an artistic inspiration with a client’s taste, all of them manage to do a bit of everything by becoming inspired, developing the digital file, doing the changes or adjustments and, the most painful one after some long weeks or months, getting paid!
Have you tried to fabricate any art in your office or home lately? Have you tried it even if you think there’s not a single hair of art-talent in your body?
Well, we suggest trying this out! Even if you’re an accountant and have paper clips all over your desk or you’re sitting in this wonderful plane via Mexico or in your home office...go for it an do it only for your own pleasure, once you’re pleased, you can share it with other people.
Look all around for the first thing that catches your eyesight, grab it and like Don Armando Manzanero said in our 3rd issue’s INNERVIEW: Do something pretty with it!
Don’t be afraid of re-shaping it or giving this object a different view, a different life or function, you can re paint it, re use it, give him other object friends that want to share the same space with him, etc. Do something unique with it and feel free to do it! If this object was not yours and you accomplished something that pleases you, ask the person who owns it to donate it for the sake of art.... trust me, great art creations came from moments like this.
I think that ‘creativity’ is another muscle in our body and like the rest of unused muscles, they loose strength and ability, so use yours every day....
One last tip, if you’re a guy, don’t just use this growing creativity to have day sex with every girl that goes by and if you’re a girl don’t just use this creativity to feedback conclusive ideas. This wonderful energy and ability inside every human being is meant to make pretty things and make all of us understand each other in two universal languages: Love and Art.




I don’t know about you but I have an issue with unwanted noise: Harley’s, boom cars, drag racing, lawn mowers at 8:00 AM on a Saturday and anything that disturbs my rest or ears. Did you know that there is in fact something called noise pollution and a Federal Noise Control Act? Keep reading, this is not boring at all.

The word ‘noise’ comes from the Latin word nausea so you can imagine what being exposed to sources such as: factories, amplified ‘bad’ music, loud air conditioners and construction work can cause in humans and animals. Yes, I said animals! High noise levels can impede natural cycles such as feeding, breeding and migration. One of the famous cases of injury caused by noise pollution was the death of whales due to the sound of military SONAR. In people, well The Census Bureau reported that one of the major reasons for people moving from their neighborhoods is Noise!

Setting aside the earsplitting topic we move onto the real thing, music for your ears. You will feel a lot better after learning about the power of mantras. You might think it’s not your territory, oh but it is! A literal translation of the word mantra is: instrument of thought. As Descartes indicated, if you think, you exist so mantras could easily be a method for your life.

Mantras originated in India and are typically in Sanskrit language; they are either a syllable or poem used as a spiritual tool because this word or vibration allows you concentration and awareness. OM is the popular one, but the quantity of mantras is something cosmic, just like the feeling when you spend time practicing one of them. It is an acquired taste and the good thing is you can do it in the privacy of your own home or in a group. Repeat the word OM focusing on extending the M part as much as possible; do you feel the vibration within you? You’re getting there!

Besides being a great aid in meditation, some mantras are said to have the intention of being integrated in religious ceremonies to bring wealth, avoid danger, and even eliminate enemies. One of the most relevant and powerful aspects of mantras is their purpose, -to deliver the mind from illusion and material inclinations. Next time noisy invaders try to take over your sanity and ears, don’t get annoyed, try ‘chanting’ instead, which is the process of repeating a mantra.

In my opinion, Sai Baba’s chants are really beautiful, but you are free to choose your own, even make your own hymn. And, if you know someone who pollutes the environment with noise, convince them to stop doing it and make this world a cleaner place, where music and chants are heard instead of manufacturing and construction machinery. Check online for more about noise pollution and how YOU can do something to protest. In the meantime, hum your favorite syllable and turn it into a steady routine.


INFECTED MUSHROOM / Electro-classic and surreal

Their lyrics don’t paint them as a cheesy pair of Djs: “I wish to give, to take, to make, to check, I wanna see it happen. I want to see, to be, the one that plays the game without no fears and regrets...” In fact, they are rich in experience and poetics, which is not awfully usual in this genre of music. This Israeli duo formed by Erez Aizen and Amit Duvdevani (Duvdev) has been in the electronica scene since the late 90’s. In 2004, Infected Mushroom left their base camp in Haifa, Israel to settle in the Mecca of entertainment, Los Angeles. But, it doesn’t matter where they put down roots, their home is the world because they have toured non-stop since 1999. Their new album, Vicious Delicious promises to be consistent with the sonic evolution characteristic of these two music producers, pianists, creators of psytrance in their previous albums: The Gathering, BP Empire, Converting Vegetarians and IM the Supervisor. Infected Mushroom is one of the top International melodic trance producers in the world, and it all began with a rave party during their trash metal years and a stay in Goa, India. During the Ultra Festival in Miami, they met with Distrikt and proved to be talented guys with a dream that is still coming true each day.

How long have you been in L.A?
One year and a half. Before that we were at home in Haifa, Israel.

How is the creative process to create your tracks?
Most of the times with a beat, something basic, then we add melody, maybe piano because we both play it and then we build on that. I can’t really explain it; something happens when we are making music.

When did you become involved with electronic music?
Well, we both play classical piano since we were about 5. But then, it became boring and when I was a kid 13, 14 years old, in 1993 I heard electronic music for the first time. I liked it, I don’t know why, maybe because also my friends liked it and we connected that way. I made music before, but cheesy rock music and stuff like that. I tried making electronic stuff and Infected Mushroom was born.

Why Infected Mushroom?
When we started there was a band called Infected -when I was 16. We never thought or had idea that we would be able to travel the world making music, you hope, but it’s another thing when it becomes reality. So we split, went to the army, to England, you know, growing up. The band, Infected, parted ways and when we became serious with the music business we called ourselves Infected Mushroom.

How do you visualize music?
I see people dance.

What’s your favorite part of the musicmaking process?
I like writing the melody, to think about new melodies. To invent a sound is almost impossible, you are sure somebody made it before and that’s a challenge I really like.

When you see people dancing, do you see colors, smells or textures?
I like complex stuff, I don’t like simple music, I don’t see colors or anything like that, sorry.

Where do see yourself in 10 years?
Doing music with hopefully less shows, it’s too much right now. I think we will continue to do what we do but would like to also produce for other people. Right now we are very happy performing everywhere because you never know how long it will last.

How do you see electronic music now?
The way we see it is that audience who like the scene has grown from 1,000 who went to a show, to 30,000 going to party, it’s a commotion in a good way and I hope it continues to grow.

What music do you listen to?
Challenging music you probably haven’t heard of like Violet Vision. I like break beat bands that are complex, radio, Dream Theater and even Christina Aguilera. I listen to a lot of productions because of the sound I’m looking for.

I don’t mind it but we write something different, not commercial. I appreciate commercial stuff but we do what we believe in, what works for us, and we like to keep it that way.

If your music had a taste what would it be?
Steak (laughs).

What are you doing tomorrow?
Flying to L.A to see the wife and girlfriend of each of us, then we leave for Turkey and England and you have to check the website for the places because I can’t remember, we are touring non-stop.

What do you think is the main difference between electronic music and the rest?
We are not simply kick n’ bass music; we try to change every minute to a more complex and more musical style. Hopefully this will move people, it’s uplifting stuff that we build not to make it standard.

What’s you favorite instrument for making music?
These days, a new synthesizer that is very interesting. It’s a new way of making sounds that people never heard before.



He has seven gold and platinum records. He has worked with a myriad roster of talents includ- ing Herbie Hancock, Buddy Miles, Buckethead, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Pharaoh Sanders, James Blood Ulmer and Bill Laswell. In 1975 he joined George Clinton’s P-Funk, which includes the bands Parliament and Funkadelic as well as other fascinating projects, until 1979 when he formed his own band, Mutiny. Now, a proud member of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame since 1997, Mr. Bigfoot keeps the drums thump- ing but also wears the hat of Producer. His secret for his youth-look was not revealed during our interview but we think it has to do with his low consumption of alcohol or his unbelievable gift as a drummer. However he keeps it real, we just want to say, “thanks for the funk Mr. Brailey”. Read what he wants to ask everyone to do, you might agree.
Where are you from?
Richmond, Virginia. I’ve been in Miami for a month.
Anything feels uncomfortable?
Oh no, I feel great.
If you were hungry what would you eat?
Maybe waffles; I like Belgian Waffles, with turkey bacon, strawberries, OJ.
What would you like to be doing 10 years form now? Living in St. John; I’d like to just be there and come back on and off to do production work.
What was the first life changing anecdote that you recall? I was in high-school in Richmond and this group came to town, they were going to play in a club; so my friend and I, we went to the club and told the guy at the front door that we were the baddest cats in town and that we played with the band; I had my drum sticks, and he let us in. We jammed with the band and next thing you know we were in New York, doing a record. I was 17. That’s what got us started. This was around 68, 69.

It was pretty exciting. At 4 or 5 in the morning in New York, everything was alive; everything after midnight was closed in Virginia. Then, I was a kid living in Chicago, I can’t tell you the feeling when you’re young and you hear your stuff in the radio.
What were you doing a day like today when you were 12?
School, playing. We had our own clubhouse, probably playing baseball, or fishing, or at the junior high school marching band. At 15 I got my first kit, I played everything before I got my real kit. When I was 13, the Beatles came over, and JFK was assassinated. That’s when I knew I wanted to be in a band -when I saw the Beatles.
What amuses you the most?
When a group of guys gets together and crack up laughing. This guy Mario Medias, he is so funny; he worked for Bob Marley, The Stones, Emerson Lake and Palmer. We sit and talk, and everything we talk about he has a comical story, he is the funniest guy I’ve met in a long time. We call him The Big M.
What is the least amusing thing you have to do everyday?
Wait. (Laughs) wait for something. I don’t like waiting. They tease me every time, they say Miami is laid back, and I have to always wait.
What do you love?
My daughters, I have two. My grandson. My family; I’m tight with family.

What do you hate?
Cloudy days. I try not to hate a lot of things. Politics I don’t like.
What would you do if you were not a drummer?
Probably a comedian. In school everybody told me I had something funny to say. I was into fashion designing too.
If you could mix 3 people to make an ideal human being, who would you choose? Definitely, Harpo Marx, he seldom spoke but there was some- thing angelic about him; someone great like John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King a mix of both. And, one of my fa- vorite musicians, Stevie Wonder.
What was your most important professional moment?
The Hall of Fame was important. Also, seeing my grandson in Virginia when my daughter surprised me for my birthday; she called and told me she was at the mall and couldn’t talk, she was actually on the plane. Then, my wife at the time told me to go out to help her get the groceries out of the car and there she was, my daughter and grandson.
Do you fly or walk?
In between. You have to fly to dream and then walk to achieve it. That’s what keeps me going. It keeps me young too.
Alone or accompanied?
I’m a loner.
Complete the following words: Life is: being healthy with sound mind, body and spirit. Life is peace. Power is: being able to do what you want to do. Art: Miles Davis. Money: is Power. Sex: Females. Your body: A secret. Your Life: Crazy.
What tip would you give others who want to make it in the music business? Be focused, give 100%, and stay with it. Hang in there. I never did anything else.
Would you like to play drums the rest of your life? Out of everything I do: production, writing, tools, drums... yes, I know I can.
What are you the best at?

If you saw God what would you say to him? Thank you for blessing me with talent and keeping me healthy.
What is the secret for looking so young?
I don’t drink; rum and coke sometimes but not often. In the house I move around. I can’t sit for long. I started music at a young age, which is what keeps you in another frame of mind.
Music recommendations from a super funky guy: Led Zeppelin, Parliament, Funkadelic, anything by Miles Davis and Public Enemy.
If there was a perfect stereotype for you, what would you be?
Cool Guy.
If you could ask all the people in the world to do one thing at the same time, what would it be? Impeach Bush (laughter)...
From your perspective, how is the influence of funk in today’s music?
The whole hip-hop thing came from what we were doing. It opened a genera- tion. It started catching on. They all have Parliament, Funkadelic records. The whole music scene has a legacy thanks to us, P-Funk generation, Sly, James Brown, etc. The funk we did came from the vibe, from different cities.
How is this movement going to evolve in future generations, meaning the funky groove? I just know that hip hop will be around for a while, with more jazzy tracks probably. I don’t know if there is anything new to do, it all comes back in a cir- cle, people recycle tracks with a new twist. I can’t think of anything new. Most sounds will come back again.
What do you listen to now?
Kanye West, Wyclef, Led Zeppelin, some Ethiopian singers, Chris Isaacs, all kinds of stuff, I like to stay open.
Describe the funk:
Funk is about the feeling of who’s playing. Doing funk is really simple. It’s about the thrill of the time. Funk is from within. Like I said, it’s about what you feel. I’ve done shows with Parliament where I was so funky I could feel it inside my bones and that’s when the audience can feel it too.




He began his journey in the field of music making in 1989. Surely you’ve heard his compositions and not necessarily in a Miami nightclub, -perhaps in a com- mercial, or a film soundtrack; that’s if you are over 45, all those below are familiar with Paul Van Dyk. This East Germany native who grew up in a communist country is now considered one of the best International DJs and producer. In 1997, his CD Seven Ways bares him the distinction of being the pioneer of the Trance genre, which begins in the British scene and didn’t easily welcome foreigners at the time; it be- came album of the year!

Van Dyk proved himself then, and now too, by supporting great causes, being blessed with great ener- gy and creating some of the most fascinating music in the electronica era.
Artists like Inspiral Carpets, Sven Väth, Curve and New Order are some of the protagonists of his fa- mous remix tracks. Between visits to cities like Lon- don, Tel Aviv, Mexico, New York and Singapore, this Berlin based performer stopped in Miami for the Ultra Festival at Bayfront Park and this is what he shared with Distrikt before earning 4 awards at the IDMA: Best Producer, Best Global DJ, Best CD Mix Com- pilation for Politics of Dancing 2 and Best HI NRG / Euro Track for The Other Side.

Explain what you do with music.
I write my own songs, I engineer and produce my own music and I’m also a DJ in live performances. Electronic music has always been about break- ing boundaries on creativity and tech- nology. I moved on from playing vinyl records; now I have 2 computers with me, with DJ software called Serato scratch and Ableton, so I can interface them and do the craziest things putting the right element with the right tracks together.

You’re doing this almost all the time.
It’s very alive what I do. Every time is different.
Do you play live instruments?
When I was a kid I learned how to play a little guitar. Since I grew up in East- ern Germany I learned all these Eastern folk songs. I’m not good at it, piano and keyboards a little.
How do you visualize a creative idea?
Everything I see is an inspiration; some- thing simple and beautiful like a sunset, an instrumental track, or the poverty in India become a pitch. What I want to do is bring it across. People always ask me, “how do you do all these sounds?” I just do it and it comes out that way. Not much thinking involved because I don’t think I have to do this or that.
How do you see music inside your brain?
I see something. I see a picture, a romantic dinner for example, or what a moment felt like and then try to recreate it.
If your music had a taste how would it taste like?
(Thinking) Probably sweet and sour. (Laughing). It has elements that are rough, dry, banging techno elements and atmospheric deep musical moments.
What is your biggest personal and professional achievement?
My marriage! The biggest on the professional side is being able to live out of what I do. I can live from it. It’s great.
Why do you think electronic music, specifically your music, has such a connection with people? I think it’s the general character of electronica. I don’t need to mention that there is crap music and there is quality music. When I talk about electronica, I focus on substance -what is real, what has roots, not cheesy pop music with danceable elements. I’m talking about the real thing. I am writing a song about the other side, dying, and death. The outline catches something in order to impact every person and everyone needs to fill the package with his or her own ideas and feelings because you fill it with your own. It’s passion.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Everything. I listen to all types of music. Right now my favorite is Placebo.
If you had to take only one CD to the moon which one would you take? (After given it a long thought) Probably...David Bowie. (Laughs).
How do you see your music growing in the next five years? I don’t think about it. I go inside a studio and do what I feel. There are so many things we do... (stops to acknowledge a bark) Sorry I’m a dog lover, if I hear barking I have to look. I have two Beagles in Berlin: Stanley and Audrey. But back to the question, in the next five years I would like to travel a little less. What I do now is I have an online radio, a music station called vonyc; it is a great thing downloading talented electronic music legally. There is really no other way for people, most music is coming out in vinyl, we changed it; radio 24 hours non-stop, no reruns, if you like something you click and it’s a legal download, you get to support your favorite artist, for $1.29.
Is ‘illegal downloading’ coming to an end, and does it really damage? There will always be criminals. You can only make it as safe as possible. Talk to your audience and make them understand that they kill their own music even while they don’t have money to buy keyboards, or to live decently, if they become something else, their music dies. We developed a watermark from one of the leading technologies in the world, so when one of our files shows up in the Internet we can track it down. I don’t like to do it, but it’s a way to scare off music predators. I totally believe in my soul that digital is the way to distrib- ute music. I see iTunes coming to an end because I have an iPod and bought the music I wanted to hear again; but for new music I go to specialized shops that we have in the electronic and hip-hop world, it may take 10 years to fully develop, but it can happen.



IMAGES: Guerra de la Paz, Nancy Watson, Douglas Voisin

In a recent interview with artists Guerra de la Paz (Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz), they were asked, why do they work with such a volume of clothing and fabric, they responded, “it’s free!” At first it felt like an awkward answer but revisiting that interview it actually highlights a growing and sustained trend in contemporary art, that of the handmade genre.

With the onslaught of video, new technologies, perform- ance, and industrial design in art one can understand why the re-emerging of the artist’s hand is a welcomed factor. More so, the “it’s free” reply is really part of a far wider current where the act of finding -or fabricat- ing materials is at its core -a resistance to capitalism and an ode to the flawed, 1960’s attempt to change the world with the do-it-yourself attitude. Taking nothing and making something, something really grand.

Perhaps you’ve seen the wind blowing over The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Liberty City, Miami; their first and largest installation entitled Overflow (2002). On the building, a sixty-foot wide site specific environmen- tal installation, “An abstract landscape bursting with colors and textures, hills and valleys, as a two story cascade of garments that blew in the wind”. It took six months for them to collect enough material and three weeks to complete the installation.
Within the same vein stands Tribute (2002-05). Recently exhibiting during New York’s Armory Week, a monumental amassing of discarded clothing was collected over a span of three years. It rises from the floor, reaching the rafters, forming a glaring recreation of eternal youth sprung, a rainbow. It glimmers, shines and glows. The shifting softness of the hues bounces and roams -insisting on filling the room and enchanting the viewer. This work in particular is a science.

Each of the many bags contains a specific and subtle tone of color. Red, red-orange, orange-red and so on... it is not merely building on twelve feet high and wide but the art of placement. Each garment from the deep center to the outer ridges has a very precise home in which it lives.
Over all, their work feels raw, it burns intensely, its size makes it unruly, and its medium, being that of neglect, disdain, and rejection, makes it all the more a comrade than a dicta- tor in this -sometimes circumscribed trek- through the contemporary art world.

There is genuineness and a conceptual aching in the work of Guerra de la Paz. As in many of their installations and soft sculptural works, there is a line they tow where elements of experiment and surprise are married under an enigma. A completely unique experience is presented to each viewer.
With most of our judgment on the future being somewhat tragic it is important for us to see works like these, to see the hand of great artists at work. To walk into a room and just be floored by the sheer grandeur of it all, without overextending ourselves with the rimmed tirades of spoken art. These two artists will take you on a journey into a world of pure im- agination without having to step out of reality.



Ever wonder what a blog is? After reading this, you’ll be a pro! Best of all, you’ll understand clearly because I’m only using nontech words; at least I’ll try. The original word, coined by Jorn Barger in 1997, is ‘weblog’; then, about two years later, Peter Merholz shortened it to ‘blog’ by jokingly posting on his web, ‘we blog’. Now, ‘blog’ serves as a noun and a verb.
Blogs are similar to diaries or journals, only that you can choose the whole world to view it, make it private for friends only, post anything you want because you are the creator, editor, promoter of your own little world in the internet planet. If you have a desire to say something and don’t care who listens, then you wouldn’t mind writing it to have someone in South Africa read it, right? In a blog, you can do that and much more.

Most places I visit are related to green stuff but the variety is immense, surely there’s a blog out there for your unique perception or taste, and if not, make it happen! Food, politics, local news, pregnancy, religion, art, music, travel, you name it, it’s there; in the web, awaiting comments, inviting any kind of feedback.
The 90’s, era of BBS (bulletin board system) is gone. If writing is not your forte, and video or audio, or photography is, then move straight ahead to the more evolved part of the communications world: photoblogs, vlogs, linklogs and podcasts.
To start your own blog all you need is a host (the kind online), or a blog software (even free) like Blogger, LiveJournal, Flickr, or Blogdrive. The procedure is not that hard; you only need a bit of patience, a theme (unless you want to write about your life), and an accessible made-up name, i.e. isaburger.blogdrive.com.
The importance of blogs is gigantic! Did you know Doctors Without Borders com- municated via SMS text messaging from Sri Lanka and India during the Tsunami in 2004? Most news sources are now avid in the blog empire, for example The BBC and The Guardian in the UK. The system is used to spread culture, enhance com- munication, and even for marketing and PR.
In many cases, people who care about a great cause also use the blogging method to create awareness or teach lessons or create a community of individuals who believe in the power of change. So is the case of zaadz.com.
There is also a corny -but huge- place called MySpace, which is used as a self promotional tool or a semiporn dating site. Then, there’s youtube.com, which is a public site mainly for video seekers and uploaders, --a great place to find specific videos from anywhere in the world.
Now that you’re ready to begin your own blog, -or help someone start theirs, here’s a few terms to allure you into doing the research for more modern-tech words.

Political blog
Posting audio and video material and its RSS ( Really Simple Syndication) feed.
Written by members or veterans of any branch of service Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines.
A user that has adolescent tendencies and lacks good manners.
Personal stuff that is barely interesting -even to the writer, but still is fun because of the way it’s written.
www.distriktmag.com is always following the latest interesting trends in technology, we welcome you to blog with us; you write, we all read and that’s how ideas emerge. Log on to our website often and say what you feel !
Thanks for reading and see you online !




The objective of all revolutions is to reach power. in that sense, it can be said that latin-american rock triumphed, although not how it was expected. when MTv latino launched its signal in 1993, with the song we are south american Rockers performed by los Prisioneros, everything seemed ready for bands that rocked santiago, Mexico city, buenos aires, bogotá and caracas to achieve new heights in the world, making them part of the big leagues in entertainment.
in those times, Rock was a universal echo and singing it in spanish was an id card. all that was missing to conquer the world was a screen. like cosme, the singer of café Tacuba, said, “if you’re in MTv, you exist.” Thirteen years later the channel exists but Rock is no longer king. Those who reached the top did it by playing pop, latin rhythms and reggaeton.
like all revolutions, Rock En Español had its golden years and heroes. after the age of innocence with bands like Teen Tops in Mexico or Palito Ortega in argentina, the irreverence ending the 70’s plus the long hair days, brought us Tri and charly Garcia. during the middle of the 80’s each person in their country spoke about “national Rock” and when the 90’s arrived, there were two musi- cal worlds that collided: in one side we could find the commercial and romantic side that harmonized soap operas and variety shows, and on the other side, there was the contra cultural energy that shook up bars and night clubs. Those who went for the money adapted their sounds to the market; such is the case of Maná, while the ones interested in their underground status preferred to be like los Ratones Paranóicos.
when the 90’s set in, there seemed to be an alterlatina community that man- aged common codes, but likely to happen in this side of the planet, illusions were stronger than the street. The creed of Rock began to lose momentum while the musical panorama turned more mestizo; with the arrival of hiphop and electronica that chimera of a Rock nation was more a promotional tag than a real street spirit. at the end of the game, shakira, Juanes and la ley achieved to fly first class throughout the continent, and better yet, by singing in their native language in front of an audience that mainly spoke English. The crossover was meant for those that knew how to drive the market and the in- dustry. The rest were left for nostalgic moments and history books.
by no means is this an epitaph for Rock en Español. I don’t believe i have enough calibers in the ink of this pen to commit that crime. but it is a requiem with delay for that musical revolt that during years promised to unite latin america with an original sound, at least alternative. This is mostly a celebration of diversity, which is nurtured by the musical roots of the continent, able to make the deputies of the European Union dance in brussels, like Juanes did this past april as he pleaded for the end of impersonal mines around the world. That musical revolution left us a more diverse and open world where Rock doesn’t want -or can’t- center all the attention.



Images courtesy of: European ART GALLERY

Hans Klemm has worked with brands such as Rodier, Balen- ciaga, Descamps, Vuitton and Kenzo among other renowned names. That was during his 25 years living in France; after discovering a passion for fashion, interior design, art and architecture, he decided to open a different type of ‘art gallery’ here in Miami. Driven by the art business plus the harmony and warmth of our beloved city, he founded a “light meets color” themed place known as European Art Gallery. Here, in this singular location, he represents very few but very talented artists.
To enhance his precious space he utilized the concept of blending painting, sculptures, handcrafted light fixtures, outdoor furniture and the objects from well known German light designer, Manuel Wassmer. Besides Wassmer, Ruth Azcona Lizarraga and Elmar Hund complete the roster of power behind the gallery.

Elmar Hund is a German artist born in Oberkirch. After exhibiting in Germany, Hungary, Austria and other European places, he arrives to Miami to show evidence of his incredible procedure when it comes to art. He even uses wood from the German forests to structure his frames, which he does by himself, refusing to use industrial production! Every one of his paintings is unique, alternating between oil and acrylic colors on canvas, integrating 24 Karat gold leaves, using three dimensional surfaces to create a subtle optical outcome, and employing earth pig- ments, heat, aluminum powder, cotton, and a lot of layers and production time. Hund’s creativity is a perfect reflection of his romantic and complex mentality, boosting the dynamism of his artwork, his spontaneity and his remarkable perception of the world.

Manuel Wassmer is a popular interior light designer. He has a thing for ambiance, lighting and shadows. At 18 he designed his first series of lightings and ever since, he has created a reputation for himself after numerous exhibitions, TV shows and light parades that depict his own style; at the same time, through his art, he expresses moods, emotions and functional beauty. Wassmer has shifted his imaginative design from private properties, to hairstylist studios, to a 130,000 sq. ft. business center in Cologne, Germany. He is identified by his unique approach to design and lighting. Customers can choose from a collection or have objects custom made to their desire. Every object is handcrafted so that every stone (marble or granite for example) has its own manifestation. Wassmer is also passionate about light shows having his first break at the age of 20 in the town of Baden Baden in the Black Forest area. After that, he successfully illuminated events at Linx, Bühl, Kehl/Strasbourg and other German cities. If there’s something he’s an expert at, is setting the right mood.

Ruth Azcona Lizarraga is a Spanish artist who illustrates a feminine kindliness in her paintings. Barcelona, Cuenca and Pamplona have all been witnesses of her exhibitions; and her current displays at the Eu- ropean Art Gallery establish Azcona in her first US experience. At first she was attracted to colors, then she began digging deeper, finding the unexposed to be even more interesting, attacking her curiosity, making her explore the shapes and patterns of the interiors. “She makes the invisible visible to the human eye and is able to expose even the deepest mysteries of a flower”. Azcona reveals the most amazing details, painting with a dry technique, experimenting with wet colors and transparencies as well. The nature of her work reveals so much detail that it takes her an average of three weeks to complete a magnificent piece of art.

At European Art Gallery we find classy and comfy outdoor furniture, the kind you would see in a trendy and fashionable hotel; extraordinary tables and objects created with quality detailing plus unmistakable light- ing; and paintings and sculptures that will draw attention to any special space because of the feelings they convey just by watching them be what they are: art at another level.



Photos by Alfonso Corona

When I’m bored at a party, I pick a stranger in the crowd, I approach him/her with a broad smile, and extending my hand I say:
“You look terribly familiar. Have you ever done porn?”
You should try this line. It’s fun, and it’s a hell of an icebreaker.
Pornography –however- is nothing to laugh about.
Some report that it’s a 10 billion dollar a year industry – but I suspect that it’s way more than that. Many were surprised recently when a particularly conservative cable company decided to show uncensored hardcore porn on demand. Charging $10 a pop –so to speak- they knew that it might be questionable from a moral point of view, but not from a business point of view, and morality is something that most people keep out of business nowadays.
But let’s stop talking about money and let’s talk about the fun side of porn: the making of.
Recently, I had dinner with three porn legends: Vanessa Del Rio, Candida Royalle and Veronica Vera. Vanessa –now in her fifties manages her own adult website and is the motif of an upcoming volume by Taschen. Candida is an accomplished film director, and designs her own line of sex toys; meanwhile Ms. Vera educates cross-dressers in her “Finishing School for Boys who want to be Girls.”
These three ladies should have a monument –not just because their figures are certainly statuesque - but also because they have the balls and the bravery that you only find in history books. That night, sitting at a booth and drinking dirty martinis, I dropped the question that
was on everybody’s minds.

“Whatever happened to good old porn?”
“It’s over,” said Vanessa. “People just do it for money.
Back then we were rebellious. We were making a social statement.”
She’s right. They defied society’s rules and accepted a stigma that younger generations cannot even imagine.
When I saw Paris Hilton’s popularity skyrocketing after her adult-film debut, I knew that the world had irreversibly changed.

In these days everybody is a porn star -or everybody wants to be one- and no one has to suffer the shame that tormented Linda Lovelace until her final days. Now –in one hand- you have porn moguls like Jenna Jameson or Rocco Siffreddi, who have the mainstream appeal of any American idol contestant. In the other hand you have any Joe Blow -or Jane Blow- posting homemade kink on the web. Now all you need to be a porn star is a digital camera and an e-mail account.
I personally think that porn is no big deal. As a matter of fact porno movies and action films are
pretty much the same. The plots are always irrelevant, and the lame dialogue is just an excuse to separate scenes of people getting blown –or blown up. The appeal of both genres is watching people doing things that you wouldn’t want to do. It’s exciting to watch Bruce Willis fall off the roof of a skyscraper, but you wouldn’t try that unless you’re hopelessly insane. The same thing happens with porn: every time I try to mimic an adult movie stunt I end up on the chiropractor
“Porn sex” is hard on your back, bad for your knees and burns your eyes.
So it doesn’t matter if you enjoy watching people falling off high risers -or sitting on them: at the end of the day someone –with the proper training- did it, so you don’t have to. The ancient
Greeks called it a “catharsis”: it’s allowing your feelings to surface by identifying with the protagonists of the show.

The interesting thing is that in porn, we’re attracted to opposites: women like gay porn, men like lesbian porn, gays like straight porn, and lesbians… okay, I’m not sure what lesbians like, but the point is that we look for people doing things that we can’t do or we don’t dare doing because we are afraid of it’s moral consequences. Sex –most people think- is dirty and we rather see someone else doing it rather than putting ourselves in that position –which is often not the “missionary” one.
I believe that if sex was such a despicable activity God would have chosen another way for the human race to reproduce. And if God only wanted us to have sex for reproduction, he/she wouldn’t have made it pleasurable. Sex is –and should be seen- as something completely natural,
like walking or breathing. Porn should be boring. Watching videos of people having sex
should be like watching videos of people eating, or filing their taxes. But then, why do we get
turned on by the Playboy Channel and not by the Food Network?
The answer is easy: porn is hot because it’s dirty. And porn is dirty because people of conservative morals have told us so. Could they be the same people who make millions of dollars
selling it on “pay per view”?