Worldwide Locals is a series of interviews with personalities whose works paved the way to define who we are, presented to our community through their words.
Flight Mode is one of the most renowned magazines in the graffiti scene, taking distance from many of the publications around at the time. A high-end printed product curated in the package and sharp in the focus and specials.
Q: What could you see was missing in the market when you launched your first publication? What have you taken from the past to be a starting point to define your identity?y?
A: First of all, thank you for the compliment! We just wanted to contribute something of our own to the scene when we started. We were not hyper-analytical initially; our approach refined with each new project. Doing the culture justice, and especially preserving the ephemeral parts of graff, was our main intention.
We never tried to incorporate influences from other publications consciously, but some milestones have significantly impacted us: Underground Productions, Xplicit Grafx, the Dirty Handz trilogy, 10 Minutes. In addition to staples within our culture, we always try to look further: towards art, fashion, and contemporary design to steer away from the established iconography within the scene to find our own way.
Q: Each of your issues has a title and a concept on which editorial contents are centered; you almost have the feeling every piece is viewed through a lens put by the magazine. How do you see your editorial vision drives your publications?
A: In a way, that question represents our chicken and egg dilemma. We are probably as gut driven as analytical when it comes to Flight Mode. Each Volume had a different story and emerged under other circumstances in our lives. Whenever we feel like doing another project, we start somewhere. With a rough vision, the concept grows along the process.
Each project has to make sense to us, and that's probably where the conceptual element comes into play. Just editing some nice pictures together did not feel enough to tell our side of the story.
Q: Among the biggest publishers, many identities have side jobs as creative consultants and agencies, which work in between different markets and audiences. Do you reckon it is crucial to relate to different market segments?
Can you see your background in graffiti influences how you operate in these segments?
A: You might be right. As far as inspiration goes, the door swings both ways. New experiences can always be helpful. Funny enough, you call other jobs "side jobs." Financially, our situation is the other way round. But emotionally, that is an adequate description because FM means 100% passion.
Q: In the last few years, the fashion industry gained much attention to the graffiti world from a wider public. Could you see any benefits to making a subculture more understandable to an audience who has never been exposed to it?