The night before the third and final Scarwars event- October of 2007- we booked a local South Philly restaurant to host a pre-party for the attending artists and special guest. The venue told me we’d be responsible for having a doorman, so I put the word out that we needed someone who would have no problem telling folks who weren’t on the guest list that they need to hit the road.
Victor was kind enough to take the assignment, gleefully telling an increasingly agitated stream of locals that they weren’t allowed in until after 10pm.
On the second day of the event he had Australia’s Wayde Dunn and Canada’s Jesse Villemaire collaborate on a flesh removal project on the backs of his legs.
Vic passed away in 2014 at far too young an age. Today when I was out running errands I saw a young man who’s resemblance to him was so strong that it took my breath away; I headed home, plugged in the SCARWARS hard drive and dug out some photos to share. Rest easy, Vic Vile.
This weekend marked the ninth anniversary of the third and final Scarwars event. I was going to wait for the tenth before putting a post up, but sentimentality got the best of me and I grabbed a backup drive and pulled over a few of the thousands of photos taken that weekend to share with you folks here on SD.
The core value of Sacred Debris is to resurrect old mementos and put a new shine on them. Photographs, videos and body modification culture ephemera from the last few decades all polished and presented in a new context..
Which is sort of what I’ve done with the site’s layout. I was never (even remotely) in love with the WordPress theme we’ve been using since launching the blog in 2014 and, frustrated, I made the move tonight to aesthetically merge Sacreddebris.com and it’s tattoo sister-site Occultvibrations.com to add some consistency to my two history sites. They’re remaining their own unique entities (with the occasional shared post) but will look like one cohesive site.
It may be confusing, but I assure you it’s for the greater good. Or at least my own satisfaction.
Collaboration was the heart of the Scarwars events; different artists working on the same client, sometimes in tandem, sometimes employing different techniques of disciplines of scarring- with each artist taking the role of student and teacher oftentimes during the same procedure. It was immensely satisfying watching different personalities working together to make their client happy.
According to my external hard drive “Wintermute” there are somewhere around 1,500 official photos from the ScarWars2 event that took place in February of 2006. That’s not counting the photos from artists/clients/attendees that I’ve never seen.
These images- #974 and #972 from event photographer Atom Moore- features Ron Garza working on a client’s back with the assistance of Thorsten Sekira.
Dealing with technology that’s older than some of the readers of this blog comes with a certain level of frustration. Courting donations, finding the tech we need and buying it, waiting for it to arrive to find that it’s defective or doesn’t suit the needs of the project, starting the returns/refund process and then sitting in a holding pattern before you start the whole thing over again has burned me out a little on regular updates.
I have a replacement 8mm VCR en route to Philly and am scouting some digital8/DVC platforms as well, but in the meantime…. I’m enjoying the slack. I should be scanning photos, there are VHS tapes I could be importing… but eh. I think I’m going to let Slack win until the 8mm project gets underway.
I hadn’t planned to update until I had some good news, but once I started thinking about Slack… Flashback to 2006, Los Angeles for Scarwars2- Dave Gillstrap did this fitting tribute to the prophet of Slack himself, J.R. “Bob” Dobbs.
“Moses parted the Red Sea, Oppenheimer split the atom, but “Bob” cut the crap.” – Steve Antczak
Why then was he so distressed to set eyes upon them? Was it the scars that covered every inch of their bodies, the flesh cosmetically punctured and sliced and infibulated, then dusted down with ash? – Clive Barker, The Hellbound Heart
Only nine more days until Halloween and it’s already a damned good fall here in Philadelphia It’s cold and rainy out, I’ve got a ‘mulled cider’ candle making my house smell like an orchard and a horror movie playing on tv as I scroll through photos trying to find spooky halloweeny things to blog.
This photo, by staff photographer Atom Moore, originally ran on Scarwars.net in 2006 and features a fresh cutting on David by New Hampshire’s Ryan Ouellette. Done at the Los Angeles Scarwars event the cutting was designed by horror icon Clive Barker specifically for the client. Barker related tattoos are fairly common, but to my knowledge this is the only time Clive drew a design specifically for scarification. Pretty rad coming from the man who gave us “Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we’re opened, we’re red.”
Clive was kind enough to give David a box of signed posters to bring as gifts to the Scarwars II attendees.
I first started seeing Efrain Gonzalez’s portraits of pierced fans/NYC fetish scene in the PFIQ magazines of the 1990s. We met for the first time at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City almost fifteen years ago. Through the years I’ve never seen him not enjoying himself, always ready with a smile and never without his camera. Photographer Atom Moore snapped this portrait of Efrain at the 2007 Philadelphia SCARWARS3 event.