It’s time for the last Virtual Memories Show podcast of the year! This time around, we interview Kyle Cassidy, an amazing photographer based in west Philadelphia.
As he puts it in his bio, “Kyle Cassidy has been documenting American culture since the 1990’s. He has photographed Goths, Punks, Cutters, Politicians, Metalheads, Dominatrices, Scholars, and Alternative Fashion, in addition to less prosaic subjects. In recent years his projects have extended abroad to Romania, where he captured the lives of homeless orphans living in sewers; and to Egypt, where he reported on contemporary archaeological excavations.”
Kyle’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair (DE), the Sunday Times of London, Marie Claire, Photographers Forum, Asleep by Dawn, Gothic Beauty and a ton of other publications. He recently published War Paint: Tattoo Culture & the Armed Forces. In 2007, he published Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes. We spoke one day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, so our conversation began with a discussion of gun culture(s) in America.
“Guns are a huge part of many people’s lives, and have been from the beginning. I think it’s going to be very difficult for someone to convince lots of Americans that this is something they need to stop.”
Trust me: the conversation moves on to lighter topics after that, including how he discovered his next big project, Where I Write: Fantasy & Science Fiction Authors in Their Creative Spaces. We also talk about roller derby, fan cultures, the breakdown of discourse, how he got started in photojournalism, his most hated digital photography tricks, and whether he owns a gun, among other topics.
There are a lot more bad pictures out there, but there are a lot more good pictures out there, and there are a lot more things being covered that weren’t covered before. It’s a very good thing.
(Also, you may notice a certain vibrating noise that rises and falls during the show. That would be the purring of Kyle’s cat, Roswell, who joined us for several stretches of the episode. She also horked up something like a hairball at one point. I found it difficult not to break out laughing when she crawled into Kyle’s wife’s microphone box to watch us.)
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As I wrote at the top, this is the last episode of 2012. I’ve got some good guests planned for next year, and I’m hoping to get the show up to a reliable twice-monthly schedule. Thanks for supporting the show, and drop me a line if you have any suggestions for guests or topics you’d like to see me cover.
Credits: This episode’s music is Gun by The Golden Palominos. I recorded the intro on a Blue Yeti mic into Audacity, and the conversation was recorded in Mr. Cassidy’s home in Philadelphia, on a pair of AT2020 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4N recorder. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo courtesy of Valya Dudycz Lupescu.