Speaker by Various Artists


Ian Jorgensen: Images from A Movement

by Ian "Blink" Jorgensen

A Movement is a series of 10 themed art books collecting the remarkable music photography of Ian "Blink" Jorgensen from 2000 to 2015. Jorgensen has been an artist manager, tour manager, festival promoter, record label owner, author, publisher, musician and music provocateur. But before all that, and through all that, he was a photographer.

Ian has kindly given us 11 key images from A Movement that tell his story in music. You can see, touch and purchase the full set (and hear some great music too) at the launch tour through until April 4.

There are also a few screenings of an accompanying film, Movement.

THE DATSUNS, Outside Valve bar Wellington, NZ 27.10.2001: Everybody was excited after seeing The Datsuns live and none more so than me. The first time I saw them was to a dozen odd people at Valve, a Wellington dive bar, in 2001. They were as exciting a band to photograph as you could wish for and I did something I didn’t often do in those days, and took a fanboy photo of the band outside the bar following the show. I sent the image through to the band and they ended up using it on the back of their debut 7” single. This was the first time I’d had my photo used on album artwork and I was speechless. They ended up using my work on their subsequent 7”’s and then blew me away when my work ended up on the artwork of their debut album, I almost fainted when I opened the gatefold up and it was MY photo. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

JON TOOGOOD, SHIHAD, Town Hall, Wellington, NZ 02.03.2000: Prior to photographing Shihad I had only really taken photos at the Smokefree Rockquest, a handful of local bands and my own. I decided to just go straight to the top, not only were Shihad the biggest band in the land at this time, but I was a huge fan. I casually sent an email to Karl that I found on their newly launched website and asked if I could take photos at their upcoming show at the town hall. Unbelievably, he actually got back to me, and I don’t if took pity on me or what, but he sorted me a press pass for the show – Karl even came out, met me and introduced me to the band. WTF?! I don’t think he had any idea how much of my life I had spent listening to Killjoy until that point, otherwise, it would have been stalker alert. Out of that show I ended up with a handful of decent photos, most notably this one. There is nothing really outstanding about this particular shot, it’s simple, clean and classic and timeless but nothing jaw dropping – but this was a time when there weren’t many people taking photographs at shows and this stood out. This shot became the key photo on my website and I used to it to show bands I wanted to photograph in the future. Everybody assumed that having a sweet photograph of big time players like Shihad, I must be the real deal, so it was easy from then on to get passes to shoot gigs. This photo really got my career underway. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

LIAM FINN, BETCHADUPA, Harbour City Motor Inn Wellington, NZ 2002: I remember meeting Liam for the first time backstage at the James Cabaret in Wellington. Betchadupa’s management wasn’t allowing them to leave the backstage area as they were only young and there were a few stalkery fans out in the audience. You could tell they were kinda restless and bored and being the only person there with a backstage pass who wasn’t on the tour, we started chatting. I couldn’t believe how at home Liam looked on stage, everything seemed effortless. I emailed Liam some photos shortly after that show and we’ve been in touch ever since. On one of their subsequent tours I went back to their hotel room and took some photos of them hanging out and managed to get this sneaky shot of Liam chilling out. This was the first time I got invited into that “secret world” of a reasonably popular band and to photograph them without posing and performance. My relationship with Liam has been so important to me over the years – when I was starting to get frustrated with NZ music magazines and and their lack of interest in black and white photos, it was Liams reassuring words about the importance of black and white images to him that kept me on that path and made me push ahead with the first issue of the A Low Hum zine. Liam was also a contributor to A Low Hum right from the early days. He subscribed from the first issue and I felt super flash sending each issue to the Finns house in the big smoke. Liam would send me tour photos of his whenever he was on tour and I’d publish them in the zine. Betcadupa’s overseas commitments happened at the same time as I was building my magazine up and touring bands, so we didn’t really see each other for a few years until the Betchadupa ended and he came back to NZ and was looking at doing some shows as “Lester Osbourne”. I was just putting on my first ever Camp A Low Hum and I was keen to hang out with Liam again, so invited him to perform one of his first ever solo sets at that first Camp which blew everyone away. Liam and me have never stopped doing stuff together and I’ve a huge respect for him. Liam and his band have played at Camp several times and its fitting that Liam is an important part of the release tour for these books. A great musician, inspiration to me and a good friend. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

NIK BRINKMAN, EJECTOR, Indigo, Wellington, NZ 2001: Though I was getting little bits of work here and there as a photographer – as any creative knows, trying to make a career in a field as niche as music photography in NZ is close to impossible. I wasn’t really thinking much of it at the time, but when I met Nik Brinkman and the dudes from Ejector while photographing their Year 12 school ball, it changed everything. My first ever role within the music industry was managing Ejector, this led to me putting on my first club shows, my first tour, the first release from my label. I learnt everything about the music industry through my time with Ejector and though I never thought I’d be able to make a career of it, strangely my photography started to take a back seat and all the skills I’d learnt while working with these kids I started to utilise and carve out a incredibly bizarre but fulfilling career. Nik has been profoundly influential on my career. Not only were Ejector the reason I started working in the industry, but we became very close and was helping Nik with his Year 13 design project on magazines that we started researching zines and looking through magazine design books. It was the kick I needed to get my first zine going of which Nik helped design the first cover. To say this was a huge step in my career is as big an understatement as you could make. I would likely still be some dodgy oldish dude taking photos at high school dances if it weren’t for meeting and photographing this band. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

SHAYNE CARTER, Flying Nuns 21st Anniversary, York Street Studios, Auckland, NZ. 22.3.2002: I was really prolific when I started out shooting bands and managed to build a name for myself rather quickly in a largely uncompetitive industry. The entire music community in NZ at that time hung out on Nzmusic.com and as such it made a small scene even smaller and when Flying Nun (whose staff at the time hung out on the site) came to throw their 21st birthday party and was looking for photographers, thankfully there weren’t a whole ton of options. This day was the greatest day of my life to that point. I was one of only a couple of people who were allowed unfettered entry to the bands/studio during the recording of the 21st anniversary album. I was up close and personal with some of the most important musicians to me and was in heaven. Trying to look nonchalant being the only person in the room other than The Clean while they were recording and photographing and feeling so lucky to be right there in the middle of the HDU w/Shayne Carter recording, bliss. So many moments that day that were so overwhelming for me, at one point it was too much and during Stephen Malkmus’s session, I just lay on the ground, in disbelief that I was here – a combination of my two passions in life, photography and music – and they had come together in the most intense way and I decided that whatever happened from here in my life was a bonus. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

KIRIN J CALLINAN, Sound Summit Festival, The Cambridge Hotel, Back Room , Newcastle, 2011: Camp A Low Hum is probably the best known of all the projects I have done, it is also the one I agonised over most and went to the greatest lengths to have my vision realised. I took Camp incredibly seriously and as it became more and more popular with people from Australia (Over 30% of the ticket sales were to Australians) I started to feel pressure to not only uncover and find the best talent in New Zealand, but also in Australia. From 2010 I would start making regular scouting trips to Australia to go to numerous shows looking for bands where nobody was looking. I would go to multiple band practises during the day then usually 3-4 gigs a night and I’d try to time in those trips with great multiple band events like Sound Summit. I would usually visit at least a few cities and try and see several hundred bands in the matter of 1-2 weeks. In 2011 I was on one of my trips and at the Sound Summit event in Newcastle. I’d seen many great performances over the years but nothing had left me with my jaw gaping. There were only half a dozen of us there. Me and the dudes from Bare Grillz (whose house I was staying at), the other acts that played and perhaps one or two others. I was transfixed. I’d never seen anyone like Kirin before. The songs, the musicianship, the performance, the schtick, the sound. My senses were laid to waste and my jaw just kept falling open. I immediately got in touch with Kirin and brought him over to the very next Camp where he had the same affect on the entire audience. It is the first time I ever saw people openly cry with how overwhelmed they were at a performance and literally sprint to the merchandise room following it. Of everything to do with Camp, nothing reminds me more of how hard work pays off then these photos of Kirin. I know how I felt when I saw Kirin (solo) for the first time, so I knew just how everybody felt at that first Camp and to be able to share other peoples art in such an intimate and important way was why I kept doing it for so many years Photo: Ian Jorgensen

IAN AND CARMINE MACKAYE, Fort Reno, Washington, DC, USA 25.06.2012: A life changing moment for me was touring with Ian Mackaye of The Evens (Fugazi, Minor Threat, Dischord Records). Spending four days with him driving around New Zealand chatting about DIY and listening to his anecdotes and lessons learnt - inspirational. Ian has a tireless work ethic and is completely hands on and though this created for some awkward moments as he struggled to let me do my job as a tour manager, I learnt so much from him about being totally focused on goals, there being real reasons behind any step you make and always making sure decisions reflect your core philosophy. We kept loosely in touch following and when I was in the US a few years after the tour I met up with Ian who took me to a show at Fort Reno. Fort Reno is a summer outdoor concert series that has been running for decades and Ian was telling me he never missed them. It was clear watching him at that event how much he still supported and inspired his local community. Looking around at those hanging out at the event was like looking through a who’s who of the 80s DC hardcore scene. To see how many were still so involved with the youth in their community was a moment, and one this photos reminds me of. I stayed the night in Dischord House after he’d given me a little tour and I was gobsmacked at his personal archive. His archive is a treasure. He has everything, and I mean everything from all his years of touring. He asked me to name a show, and obviously I wanted to find out about the Fugazi New Zealand tour, he went to a folder opened it up and had photos from the shows on that tour, he showed me where he had kept any posters and fliers from that tour, he had draws organised of bootleg cassettes from all their shows and VHS videos, fan art, he had even kept every single tour book of every tour. He could tell me any given show he’d ever played how much money they’d taken on the tour, what merch he’d sold, he could show me how much money tours had made etc. An entire room organised with everything meticulously filed, labelled, museum quality archiving. It is mind boggling, his attention to detail and love of his craft is truly unique. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

BEVAN SMITH, SIGNER, publicity shot Brooklyn, Wellington, NZ, 09.06.2004: I didn’t realise at the time how monumental meeting Bevan would be on my life, I just thought his record label was awesome. I discovered Bevan through his Involve label and a compilation he’d put out called “compilation”. It was the best sounding record I’d heard and I was really struggling with my compilations at the time. Getting them mastered each month was compounding to an already money losing situation and I was stressing out. When I found out Bevan was from Wellington, I reached out on a whim. Could he make my compilations sound as good as his? He agreed to master them for a ridiculously low fee as I think he could see how much I was struggling financially, though anybody who puts records out in NZ knows this. I owed him so much for all his help, my paltry effort of taking some publicity photos and making a music video for him barely put a dent in the favours I owe that man. Ejector the band who got me into everything had ended but Nik was still making demos and I was loving his material. I really liked a particular song of his and really felt that Bevan might like it too. I pushed Nik to finish it so I could include it on a compilation, we came up with a name by flicking through some pages in a NASA space book and Over the Atlantic were on the next compilation. Bevan did like the track, and he got in touch with Nik to start working with him. They made a great record together which got a US release and tour supporting Beach House. They made another great record – though without a US release for that one, it had to be done DIY including the tour, this is where I stepped in and put together my first international tour which changed my life - I’d never been farther afield than Australia prior to that. Me and Bevan have worked together on so many projects since including A Low Hum being the NZ label for his last Signer album. He is an incredible producer, engineer and songwriter and working with him has been inspiring. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

LUKE ROWELL, DISASTERADIO, Thistle Hall, Wellington, NZ 26.04.2003: Disasteradio was this guy on NZmusic.com who had a pretty “wacky” online persona and he was all about giving away his music for free. I’d been a fan of his mp3s, but when I went along to his second ever live performance at Thistle Hall in Wellington in April of 2003 I didn’t think I’d be seeing a dude who I would spend a significant part of the next decade of my life with. There was nobody else like Luke Rowell (Disasteradio) and as such you loved or hated him and I was definitely the former. He changed everything in Wellington. Shows suddenly became more fun. People started smiling more and because there was nobody else like him he found himself playing a whole bunch of shows with a huge variety of bands. Luke is the most lovable person in the local music scene. Working with him as prolifically as I did wasn’t just because I think he is an incredible songwriter but he just the easiest and nicest dude to work with and trusts people. During the years of the A Low Hum tours I was overworked (to put it lightly), organising a national tour, magazine and CD each month and doing this three months ahead while also trying to earn money as a freelance photographer – well, I didn’t have time to go over details with people and Luke was just up for anything. Tour? I’d say. Sure. He’d reply. That was it, I’d email him some dates at some point and that was it. He’d put up with anything and smile every time. On the first tour I took him on, I couldn’t afford a van, so just piled all our stuff into a station wagon. We didn’t have enough room for all his gear so he just travelled around the country with a full size computer monitor on his lap – and never said a thing about it. He’s had to sleep on floors and in cars many a time and on tour spent more time in a tent than even the hardiest scout yet has never asked me for anything. In all the hundreds of shows we’ve done together, I’ve never seen a rider request or asked for anything from me except for 2 DI boxes and a microphone. We’ve toured NZ together half a dozen times, toured the world together a couple of times. I’ve put out his last three records, he has played numerous events for me in Wellington, he is a trusted confidant and I have such a profound respect for everything he has done. His attitude towards music and the industry has been a constant inspiration. The dude in this photo who I didn’t know from a bar of soap at the time has ended up being one of the most important people in my life. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

JOHNNY MARKS, BENJAMIN KNIGHT, DAVID MORRISON, THE ALL SEEING HAND, Puppies, Wellington, NZ 25.04.2014: My life is a collection of projects. Some one-off concepts, other take months, other span multiple years. For many a year I’ve felt that venues in NZ could step-it-up, without much effort. It was always in the back of my mind to run a short term venue to try out some of my ideas and from mid 2012 I did just that. One of the key features of the bar that not many people noticed was its complete dedication to live performance and The All Seeing Hand illustrated this more than anyone. They played many times at Puppies while I was open and every time I would give them access to the space for at least 3-4 days before the show to set-up, practise and theme the bar with whatever ridiculous concept they were thinking of. The show in this photo was mind-blowing. Perhaps the most sensory overloading show I’ve ever witnessed. They had spent a week in the bar turning it into a cocoon wrapping the entire venue in a shit ton of gladwrap, setting up multiple projectors and cameras around the space and , I really am not doing this justice, but they also performed, as a blob…all three members within a fabric blob which would give birth to each member during the performance - all while a bunch of punters dressed up as wolves with flashing eyes would run around yelping. This performance wasn’t half assed or rushed and was an amazing art performance by an incredible band. This photo, taken near the end of the set just reminds me how important unique a space Puppies was. Giving artists a space that isn’t focused on alcohol and where they can create their own environment was one of the most important aspects of Puppies and I think why many acts enjoyed performing there. Photo: Ian Jorgensen

Paul Roper, Kody Nielson THE MINT CHICKS, Soundproof, Hamilton, NZ 23.01.2004 In early 2004 I was at a bit of a loose end. I had grown sick of publishing my zine but couldn’t work out how to publish a magazine without losing a ton of money. I’d finished going on a national tour with Degrees K and Ejector just a few months earlier and it had really whet my appetite for touring, so when I saw that The Mint Chicks and Die! Die! Die! were touring together, undoubtedly two of the most exciting live bands in NZ at the time (or any time for that matter), well, I jumped in my little car and tagged along, following them to all their North Island dates like the worst possible stalker. This tour rammed home to me just how important being-on-the-road was to me, I was addicted to the energy from live performance and loved traveling with NZ and as a photographer there was simply no better subject to me than band members, touring meant everything to me and following this tour I would spend the better part of the next decade of my life on the road. Photo: Ian Jorgensen