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15 Years of Stereo: The Set Up

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 02 May 2007


photos and wordage by Isaac McKay-Randozzi

Introductions: Yong-Ki Chang on the left, owner and operator of Equal Distribution and the 3131 Gallery and co-curator of the show. Travis Jensen on the right, Minister of Information for the Stereo Sound Agency and co-curator of the show.

The purpose of my four-day visit to San Francisco was to drop off my work, help hang the show and shoot photos of the Stereo team on their travels throughout SF. Due to the weather, I ended up spending a bunch of time at the gallery helping out in whatever way I could. These are the photos I took over the three days I spent there.

Travis' fresh from Prague tattoo. The weekend before the show Travis and his new wife Eva returned from getting married in the city of Kafka. To mark the occasion Travis got this tattoo, his first.

Not quite final layout of the Stereo archive wall.

Almost there layout of the archive wall. More was needed and a special display was unveiled just before the doors opened. Deluxe Distribution ( let the curators use the original video log book and video tapes of Stereo's landmark film, A Visual Sound. Stereo's mixture of jazz, still photography and film in a skate video was something very different for skating at the time and helped to put the focus back on style.

Tobin Yelland photo and Todd Francis original line art for a board graphic.

Christian Coopers' carefully packed El Blanco/*/Sin Grafica.

3131 is next door to The Tee Off bar and grill, most likely the best kept secret in SF. Yong-Ki ordered us all diner, pork chops with apricot and greens. To someone who has been unpacking and arranging art for 3 hours it was a gift from the gods of pork.


Travis gives the look over on the hanging job. Fresh eyes are a hard commodity when hanging a show with the number of pieces that we had.

Todd Francis 'Setting Sun" line art with Christian Cooper's art and board.

Todd Francis with Bryce Knights photos(top row) and Ian Johnson's work being hung.

On the second day of hanging, Chris Pastras (co-owner of Stereo) and Yoon Sul (Stereo's staff photographer) came by check how their work was being hung and see how things were progressing. With a little coaxing Chris got into the idea of doing a mural as background for his and Jason's art.

Chris has an idea, paint is on hand but the only thing that can be found is a medium sized paint brush. That's a lot of wall, a lot of blue and a small brush.

Chris works with what he has and goes at it. At least it's exercise.

While Chris went at moving a mountain with a toy shovel, I hung my photos.

Did you know that Chris was once stolen as a young boy by a traveling circus? He was training to be a tightrope walker when the police tracked the kidnappers down. That's not true but at least it was another way to say that Chris has good balance.

It took Chris most of Friday night to paint that wall.

Saturday morning, Chris was back and painting.

Chris and Kevin Lewis, Stereo's team manager and man of many hats.

A vintage complete is added to the archive wall.

Chris takes a broad look at his progress.

Clint Peterson, Sound Agent and yachtsman adds some candle wax to his pieces.

Happy with the result he dances a fine jig.

Some commotion was going on outside and I went to check it out. These little bastards caught themselves a huge fish and were parading the fresh corpse up and down the street in bloody victory. From the markings of their uniforms they appeared to be part of a semi-militaristic club or cult. What was worse was the parents encouraging them, telling them where to go and how to cross the street. Some had video cameras and filmed the march of death.

I hope they ate it.

Tara threatens me with a knife for taking her picture.

Adjustment of the lights

With such a full history, we couldn't put up all of the decks that were available. These are some that didn't make the cut. A couple are my favorite graphics that Stereo put out.

Ferris Plock, he came and helped out even though he didn't have anything to do with the show. He helped make the day better. Mainly because he's a smart ass, but in a productive way.

Names going up

Yeah Travis, it's straight.

Chris adding the detail to his shapes

Cell phones, gotta love 'em right? Especially when you're in the middle of hanging a large framed piece and you're waiting for an important call. Yong-Ki was smart, he didn't answer. I almost dropped one of Todd Francis' pieces... well I did drop it but I caught it with my foot then grabbed it before it could touch the ground. So technically it never fell, because in the art hanging rule book it states, "if it doesn't touch the ground or make a noise that might suggest breakage, then you're cool. Otherwise, you break it you buy it.."

Ferris, he eats...


Mr. Pastras

The last touches.


Curtains up.

Our photos of all the art and opening night party on here on See also and





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