photographs from Urth Caffé by HEATHER ANDERSON
photographs from Uganda by DAVID SAND
SERVES THE WORLD’S MOST VALUABLE CUP OF COFFEE
BEBE: farmer’s kids in Mbale, who help with the coffee farms. Endangered mountain gorilla, lives in the same habitat as coffee trees.
Shallom Berkman with the Ugandan coffee farmers in the village of Mbale.
How does a cup of coffee in Los Angeles
help save the economy and endangered wildlife of Africa?
WORDS GO UP
W. S. Merwin
A. Van Jordan
the deep-structure of cultural innovation
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INTERNATIONAL ARTS & CULTURE
C O N V E R S AT I O N S W I T H :
ADBUSTERS PUBLISHER KALLE LASN
FILMMAKER GODFREY REGGIO
V I S U A L A RT I S T R O B E RT S T I V E R S
G U I TA R D E S I G N E R U L R I C H T E U F F E L
SUPERMODEL MARIACARLA BOSCONO
WORLD POKER TOUR CEO STEVE LIPSCOMB
U RT H C A F E ’ S S H A L O M B E R K M A N
FORMER US ARMY GENERAL JANIS KARPINSKI
BLISS LIT POETS CARL PHILLIPS
A . VA N J O R D A N A N D A RT H U R S Z E
The new BLISS
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heavyweight gloss stock
publishing 3 issues a year
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SAMPLE PAGE LAYOUTS FROM UPCOMING BLISS 6
Interview with Kalle Lasn, publisher of ADBUSTERS Magazine in Vancouver
for more culture jamming, check out
ads for jewelry or something. Who wants to have a
magazine with jewelry ads in it? I don’t.
I used my local advertisers to pay for printing.
How did you ﬁnance your printing?
After I got the ﬁrst few issues done I was so excited
about the prospects of launching a magazine like
this and have this independent political force that
you control. I just couldn’t stop. So I ended up
mortgaging my house and putting the squeeze on
some of my wealthy friends. So the ﬁrst few years of
ADBUSTERS was done like that. But then again, we
took huge risks. I was half a million dollars in the red
before the magazine started to take off. And then it
took us another 3 or 4 years after that to pay the
half-million back. But then we were in the 7th year
of our existence and all ﬂush and all paid off and all
the hard times had forged a pretty powerful vehicle.
Many of the people working on the magazine had
become pretty seasoned magazine types.
You haven’t given yourself over to the celebrity
cult either. These people who worship celebrities
have no thought in their brain at all.
Right from the beginning we saw ourselves as a
movement, as a culture jamming movement. We
were born out of political battles we had right here
in the paciﬁc northwest. We put all our energy into
those political battles, talking about them and
critiquing consumer culture and trying to launch
this culture jamming movement. So in a sense,
we didn’t have time to run around and get money
from advertisers. I don’t think ADBUSTERS would
have succeeded with that kind of formula based on
In some senses we have a similar agenda in
BLISS magazine, which is to improve culture.
But my idea of change is not through politics
or culture-jamming activism, but rather through
a kind of aesthetic or spiritual transformation
within the individual.
Yes, perhaps. A few years ago we engaged the
designers and artists with the “ﬁrst things ﬁrst”
manifesto that we came up with. It basically said
that we artist and designers are the people who
create the tone of our culture. We are the people
who create the aesthetics of magazines and web
sites and we have a lot of power. We have a kind
of “under the radar” aesthetic power. So instead of
just selling our skills to corporations, to help them
sell their products, we should be thinking about how
our special skills can change the culture in which
we live. So when I say political, I don’t mean going
out there protesting and doing what the political
left usually means by changing the world. But right
across the board, it’s about changing the aesthetics
of a culture or changing the aesthetics of a people
who run a TV station. The idea of cleaning up the
toxic areas of our mental environment—this can be
done in a myriad of ways. And I think that what you
just said is what needs to happen. We need to stop
thinking about political action in a narrow way and
widen it to mean the changing of all of life.
S O IN ST E AD OF J U S T S E L L I N G OU R
S K IL L S T O C OR P OR AT I O N S , T O H E L P
T H E M S EL L T H E I R P R OD U C T S , W E
S H OU L D B E T H I N K I N G A B OU T H OW
O UR S PE C IA L S K I L L S C A N C H A N GE
T H E C ULT U R E I N W H I C H W E L I V E .
Yeah, well I might be reaching here but the
suicide bombings of the World Trade Center are
probably the most effective and powerful show
of protest I’ve seen lately. It was a grand form of
theater, like the photos from Abu Gharib—those
political spectacles have effected tremendous
change in the world.
Yeah somebody actually said that September 11th
was the greatest artwork of the century. I think
you’re right. The future could well be created by the
people who are spiritually ablaze enough and have the
guts to sacriﬁce themselves. I think that art and politics
are mixing in all kinds of really fascinating and fresh
ways that we’ve never quite ﬁgured out in the past. I
think September 11 and Abu Ghraib and alot of the stuff
that is happening in the political world of the US, it’s of
a kind of caliber that we’ve never seen before. I’ve been
around for over 60 years and I’ve never seen anything
quite as fascinating as what’s going on now.
So why did you say “existential divide” in your recent
opening essay in ADBUSTERS? It seems like the
divide is much deeper than merely “existential”.
What’s deeper than an existential divide?
Well, maybe a spiritual divide. I think what motivates
people to do the things they do, whether it’s blowing
themselves up or ﬁghting for a cause is ...
Well for me that word is a little different. To me when
you say ‘spiritual divide’ I immediately start thinking
about religion like “okay you guys are Muslims and
I’m Christian so that’s a spiritual divide between our
religions”. But when I say “existential”, for me that is
philosophically as deep as you can go. Existential is
about ways of being—the most fundamental ways of
being in this world. To me there is nothing deeper. The
way I would use the word, there is nothing deeper than
an existential divide between people.
Then what do you think is ultimately at stake here?
Well I think it has something to do with rich and poor.
I know that there are now 200 thousand slums in the
world. And 1 or 2 billion people on the planet live in
slums. And they live a very basic kind of existence
where kids are forced to work and women are forced
to become prostitutes and gangs of para-military rule
the neighborhoods where they all live. So for them, they
live in a very brutal regime. Then they look at the larger
picture and they see a global economy controlled by the
rich people of the world and by our WTO’s and IRF’s and
all the rest of it. And I think that just living a really downto-earth, survival existence in a slum and looking up
at the decadence that is going on in the rich countries
of the world, there is a clue in that about what’s going
on. When I travel around and visit a really poor place, I
feel a real spiritual authenticity there, a down-to-earth
empathy. Families are still close knit and love is intense
within the family and when you do a business deal it
really matters and people put their whole heart and
soul into that. There is a down-to-earth real living that
goes on there that I ﬁnd so exciting and so wonderful
and then I suddenly wander back to LA and all of a
sudden people are running around. They don’t even
have time or want to talk to me. And the whole culture
is like a bubble. Like a decadent bubble. So I think it
is ultimately about two different ways of being. And I
think we are headed for, ... well if the war on terror is
World War III, then I think we are ﬁnally headed for a
World War IV, which is going to be sort of a righteous
battle of the barbarians (if you want to call them that).
The barbarians will come to our gates and it’s going
to be a war of the rich versus the poor and they are
gong to make us pay for this 200 years of injustice and
brutality and colonialism and everything that we have
perpetrated on them. And after that, maybe we’ll teach
them something, but they will also teach us something.
And then after that maybe the planet will settle down to
some sort of a peace, some sort of a future that means
something. But I think that at the moment the poles are
far apart. We have a huge portion of humanity living in
slums and the other equal number of billions living in
total decadence. And that’s the divide. The existential
divide and also the monetary divide, the ﬁnancial divide,
the economic divide, the cultural divide. That is the big
divide that has to be smashed.
I N T E R V I E W > L O U I S L E R AY
G U I TA R D E S I G N E R
that come to mind when I think about
“German-Engineering” and when I see your guitars, are
words like efﬁciency, precision, organization—a very
rational state of mind—so what I want to know is, when
do you let go of all that kind of logical thinking and ﬁnd
yourself in creative underworld or dreamworld or some
other kind of imaginative state of mind?
Well, ﬁrst of all, you depicted correctly my approach to the
work. After years I realized it’s very close to this “GermanEngineering” and probably it’s just a fact that I’m living in
the middle of the place where Audi, BMW, Mercedes and
Porsche manufacture the cars. They are all only 50 miles
from me away. And i’m living right in the middle of them.
That means I’m used to cooperating with people who are
in the car industry. There is a region here where everyone
is concerned or integrated in this large chain of engineering
and manufacturing. So this is one of my inﬂuences. But my
ﬁrst education was learning to build cars. And after that I
went ahead with electric guitar making, (I had started to build
acoustic guitars as a teenager). But then I was doing more
original copies of a stratocaster. And I studied industrial
design. My professor was the designer of the Apple Classic
computer. During this study, I learned that when you try
to research things, you often tend to stop at a particular
point when you imagine it could become ridicculous to go
ahead with it. But after that point, when it starts to become
ridicculous, from that moment on, the most interesting
discovery parts are waiting for you. In this way, you have to
cut away your consciousness to work only with your subconsciousness. After you research the technical content of
a thing, you begin to design it. For my guitars, the shapes
are exciting, but they are only partners of a concept. For
the “birdﬁsh”, the concept is detaching or fractaling a guitar
into it’s functional units and putting them together in a
different way so they are open to modiﬁcations by the user.
The “tesla” has a concept dealing with the archaic sounds
of a broken guitar of the old-times, of electric guitar playing
in the 50’s. The “coco” dealt with the technology of carbon
ﬁbre. Each guitar has it’s concept and the shape is only
about 30% of the design work, in my overall process.
So how do you switch gears in your mind to go back and
forth between those two worlds?
Well one very important thing for me is that, after 20 years of
guitar making, I have the security of a background that allows
me to produce anything that I can imagine I need for my
guitar. When I ﬁrst started, I used parts from different sources.
But now, the pickups, bridge, tuners, etc., I manufacture by
myself, because then I can start to design guitars entirely. I
am not constrained by the guitar parts you can buy on the
market. Part of my education as a car builder taught me to
work with all sorts of metal. And to work with woods, resins,
plastics. After 10 years of guitar building, when I was really
eloquent in making traditional guitars, I realized that I have
the ability to do more. And I felt the security of having this
background to challenge myself to a new project.
What is it about German culture that reinforces this
extremely efﬁcient engineering state of mind? Does
America have that?
I think one of the big differences is that German
manufacturing culture started in the 1830’s. In the beginning
of industrialisation, we had overpopulation in Europe and
starvation. Many people in the countryside, who worked on
farms, became worthless, became unemployed because of too
little harvest. As a result of the “Heritage Policy” in Germany,
the farms were separated into smaller parts, so that a single
farm couldn’t feed the family any more. So the people had to
start to look for another kind of work. And during this time,
many people started to work as manufacturers of matches in
the Black Forest region, clock and watch building, machinery
manufacturing etc. This was a process that went for about
100 years in Germany and people became educated on how
to use the small equipment they had to build beautiful things,
and reliable working things. And it took time to develop that.
This is the difference to America, where every impact of a
new technique began to develop very fast. It goes back to the
history of settlement. America had a big conquering from the
east to the west and there was no time to look for solutions
that are very sophisticted. Solutions had to be helpful in that
moment or situation to conquer the continent.
tonebars and pickups
Interview with experimental guitar designer Ulrich Teuffel from Germany
SAMPLE PAGE LAYOUTS FROM UPCOMING BLISS 6
Interview with supermodel Mariacarla Boscono from Italy
One of my favorite photographer’s of
this time is Paolo Roversi.
Oh he’s great. I work a lot with him.
But the ﬁrst time I worked with him I
was really young and he pissed me off
so much. I was supposed to work for
3 days and I told my agent “no way,
I hate him, I want to pull out now and
never work with him no more in my life.”
I was like naked all the time and he was
shooting my ass and I didn’t like it. But
next day he shot my face more than my
ass and he kind of like fall in love with
me as a model, and we started to do
a lot of work together. He did a book
and I was in that and it’s very sweet
now. We work great now. We take a
long day and shoot for a few hours and
then take our time to have a long Italian
lunch all together, everybody. We went
to Rome together and worked all night
shooting til 6 in the morning and he
never does that because he’s older
now, but everywhere he goes he has
this old medium-format camera that is
super difﬁcult to move around and it’s
really amazing the way he shoots. It’s
a little like Sarah Moon. Do you know
Yeah. She’s great too.
She’s like the person who discovered
me, kind of and made me big. I learned
so much from her. She’s one of the
most difﬁcult photographers to work
with, ever. Because she uses a 2 minute
exposure, which is impossible to hold
the poses for that. And she does really
odd poses where you lose the feeling
in your legs. And she moves around
the background during the picture.
And you’ve recently been working
with Juergen Teller for W Magazine.
Oh yes, but don’t bother to look at that
one, it’s very naked.
Does that bother you?
No, it doesn’t bother me, but for my
friends sometimes and their parents, it
makes me a little shy sometimes.
That’s part of the business, don’t you
think? Are your parents offended by that?
No my parents never worry about that. And
photographers have always been attracted
to me to be naked. Not sexual...but that’s
what makes the photos more interesting. I
never felt beautiful with makeup and dresed
up. I always had to pretend I was someone
else, which was not me. And I can do that.
But for a long time it took a big effort. Now it
is more like work. So sometimes it happens
that I feel too much overdressed, and hair
and makeup is not right. On top of that,
there is a concept that makes no sense. The
photographer will say “raise your hand and
look out over there” and I can’t just do it.
Everyone is watching and there is no reason
for the pose, so I say “you have to arrive
there. There is a story that I can act out,
but you have to give me a reason. I’m not
a zombie. If it doesn’t make sense, I can’t
just do it.
So what are you doing these days?
I’m going back to school at Strausberg
in NY, acting school. And I am in classes
at School of Visual Arts, etching and
digital photography and printing. I got
the new Canon Rebel for christmas so
I am excited to learn that.
this page and others
I see new photos of you here and there
for ads and fashion shoots and I’m
wondering if you’re working again or still
on a break?
No, I am ﬁghting to be on my break and go to
school. And I don’t want to do anything at all.
But it’s a challenge. They call me everyday
for work and it’s difﬁcult for me to say no,
because everytime it’s a good opportunity in
light sparkly 50’s vintage dress from
mariacarla’s private collection.
miu miu sparkle sandles.
through window black
evening gown by 6267.
givenchy “pluto bag”
via riccardo tisci.
prada black bikini.
I can’t imagine how you wouldn’t miss it
because it seems like so much fun.
No. No. No. I don’t miss it at all—where I was,
what I was. I don’t miss what I was doing. The
only thing is to make it very challenging, to
ask “Where am I going to go next? How can
I work it more? Can I do something more?
Can I be something else? Or do I have to
just be what I was? That is the big problem
now, more than everything. Trying to ﬁgure
that out. But I should just go for it. That’s
what I’m ﬁghting for now. Sometimes the art
of fashion is not there anymore. So I would
like to create my own pieces of art.
vintage egyptian oasis gown swimming
who is the scarriest person you ever met?
I’ve never been afraid of anyone, but scarry...?
Well I’d have to say, hands down, it was Geoffrey
Miller. The General in charge of political prisoners
at Guantanamo Bay. He’s a different kind of scarry
because he’s evil. And the ﬁrst time I listened to him
and met him, he was talking about how you have to
treat the prisoners like dogs. If you treated them any
differently you lost control of the interrogation. And he
was directing these comments to the interrogators,
not to me. And I can tell you this: he was consistent. I
was so taken aback by his dimeanor. He didn’t care if
people looked at him as the embodiement of evil. He
wanted to project that. But he also came with this air
of power. And his power was derived from Rumsfeld
and Steven Gambon, an undersecretary of Rumsfeld.
And everybody recognized it. Sanchez kind of rolled
over for him. So it wasn’t just that he was evil, but he
had been given the authority to use it.
SHE WAS THE
IN THE ABU GHRAIB
You mentioned that Sadaam Hussein was not
scary, but he tried to use his charm on you. Please
tell me about that charm. What kind of charm did
he have and what did he do with it?
Well this is what he did. I think it’s more manipulative,
than anything. The way he communicated. It was
not like he was spitting on me or turnng his back
or walking away or refusing to answer. NO, he was
gracious. First I told him who I was. I told him that I
Her subsequent book “O NE W OMAN ’ S A RMY ” set the
record straight and portrayed her story of a rise
to prominence in a military controlled by men.
was the commander of the military police that were taking
care of him. I was a General in the army. And he said “No...
No you’re not.” He didn’t believe it. He didn’t say “this is
rubbish” like a crude person would. He said it very politely.
Like in disbelief. He said, “No, you’re with the intelligence.”
And I said, “No, I’m not. These are my soldiers and I just
wanted to come by and talk to you so you could see me
and know that I’m the one who is in charge of taking care
of you now. And if you need anything, or if there is any
question or any problem, I want you to talk to the military
police and they will communicate that to me.” And then
we talked. We talked about the Koran and we talked
about the Hadiza??? . We talked professionally. I don’t
mean we were chatting. I wanted to establish for him that
I knew some background on the Arab culture. I knew the
Koran. I wanted him to feel that...well you know he was
the president of that country for 30 years and they picked
him up in a spider hole and there can’t be anything more
humiliating than that. But I didn’t want him to think that
that was going to affect the way we took care of him. He
was isolated so there was no exchange of conversation
with anyone. All of those are necessities, understand. So
we were talking about the Koran and he looked up at me
and said, in Arabic, “Walahe??” like an exclamation. “We
will have a female general in my country one day.” So it
was still kind of on his mind, despite the other parts of
the conversation, he was still kind of thinking about that.
He went back to that. When he realized that yes I was a
General in the US Military. He could see on my uniform it
said US ARMY, it said KARPINSKI. And I guess the way
I was talking to him he realized that I wasn’t with the
Intelligence Departmen, I was obviously a soldier. And
whatever caused that to happen, he said “We will have
this in my country one day.”
That’s really amazing. It’s almost as if he had a
vision for a more idealistic future for women in his
Yes. Yes. And he also told me that he had not accepted
the fact that he was defeated. He was not about to
accept that fact. He made the reference to “my country”.
Like maybe this isn’t so bad, this woman general. Maybe
this is progress. This is what we should have. He asked
me where I learned my Arabic since it wasn’t exact...
And I told him no it’s not. But I had worked with the
military training program for women in the United Arab
Emirate. I asked him if there was anything he needed
and he asked me for some fruit. And I looked down on
the small table next to his cot and there some apples
and oranges. But he told me no, he didn’t want apples
and oranges, he wanted apricots and bananas. And he
told me this in Arabic. So I tried not to laugh. I just said
that I would ask. And he also wanted to go outside and
walk, get some ﬁtness everyday. And he also said about
his glasses that they were not right. They gave him a
headache. So I told his handlers, the CIA guys, what he
said about his glasses. And they told me they changed
the prescription in them after they caught him. It’s one
by louis leray
“We will have a female general in my country one day.”
Interview with former Abu Ghraib commander Janis Karpinski
BLISS is a visually alluring arts and culture magazine featuring
intelligent interviews with artists, writers, entrepreneurs,
designers, philosophers, fundamentalists, environmentalists and
anyone else who is passionate about their work and life. BLISS
has no political agenda other than seeking a higher aesthetic
in all things. We believe in uncensored, open conversation
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INTERNATIONAL ARTS & CULTURE
B LI S S 6
C ONVER SATI ONS WI TH :
A DB U S TER S P U B L IS H ER K A LL E L A S N
UNDER WOR LD
FI LM MA K ER G O D FR EY R EG G I O
V I SU A L A RT I ST R O B ERT ST I V ER S
G U I TA R D ES I G N E R U LR I C H T E U FF E L
S U P E R M O DE L M A R I A C A R L A B O S C O N O
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U RT H C A F E ’ S S H A LO M B E R K M A N
FO R ME R U S A R M Y G ENER A L JA N I S K A R PI N SK I
B LI SS LI T P O ET S C A R L P H I L LI P S
A . VAN JOR DAN AND ARTH UR SZE
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