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Once Hood By Air and now under a new moniker for a fresh era, Anonymous Club offers community and an institution for artists to bring their fantasies to life

Creative DirectorAnonymous ClubTextLucas MascatelloPhotographyNick Sethi

Taken from the autumn 2020 issue of Dazed. You can buy a copy of our latest issue here.

Since its beginning, Hood By Air was inspired by people who used space to create fantasies. Anonymous Club is a space inspired by that process, a space for those people. It is a machine for inspiration, uniting these fantasies to shape culture. Anonymous helps artists occupy their ideal world. It imagines a place where more is possible, sustaining itself by working for others. Anonymous is a platform with no single audience. It was created in order to fill a void. It is a rock to cling to. Anonymous operates instinctually. It goes where it’s needed, thriving in the unknown. It grows between ideas, pushing them apart to create new sounds, objects, and artefacts.

Anonymous Club works with artists to bring their personas to life. It is for people who want to make a career out of entity, a career out of performance, a career out of an illusion. Residents arrive at a persona through experience, not cultivation. They use their own personality as a foundation and find ways to create a foil – a fantastic and exaggerated version of yourself. Their personalities become an inexhaustible reference and resource. They become their own rival.

People once understood that pop culture was fake. It was a dream and that’s what made it so important. Now, because the way that people are viewing their lives is the same way that they’re taking in pop culture, people no longer know how to have that conversation.

Fame no longer means what it used to, but still artists struggle to have careers without it.

The important question is, what if you were already a star? What would you really be interested in?

What do you actually want to make right now?

Our culture is fixated on authenticity, but no matter who you are on stage, it’s always a performance – it can’t be real. This is about embracing a fantasy of performance.

Anonymous helps artists arrive there by approaching things holistically, asking what are you good at? How do we position you? Whatever we do, we want it to be really fake.

People think that being fake makes you a bad person. Everyone’s calling each other out, but that doesn’t mean that you’re a good person. A lot of honest people are horrible, wicked people.

Anonymous allows artists to question their decisions and entertain falsehoods. It gives creative licence by any means necessary. The whole point is to influence people. To create ideas and symbols that can circulate and embed themselves in people’s minds. The purpose of this is to take the residents and help them find their own version of success – to throw a fuel on the fire.

It’s like juicing them – let’s get to the nutrients.

Artists need to know how to do that for themselves, so that they can understand what it tastes like to think for themselves, as opposed to constantly being influenced and searching for references.

We want to avoid artists doing what’s easy and what they know works.

Anonymous residents develop by putting their worlds in conversation with one another. The friction will force results and push the conversation forward. Things move fast.

Nobody really knows what they’re doing, so you might as well do it yourself, and you might as well be a professional level. There is no real amateur level for anything. The amateur level is a ghetto that people get put in, but there’s really no reason to be there.

It’s not always about being constantly challenged, but that’s the part that’s more fun. When you’re trying to be a part of your contemporary group you lose that. It’s easy to forget that there are so many other conversations to be had.

People wait for perfection but mistakes need to be seen. The perception is that there are so many perfect people and so much money to be made by assuming a perfect position, but in reality it’s always a mess.

Everyone cool is insane. If you catch them in the middle of doing what they do best, they’re likely to be at their craziest. Anything can be popular.

In this way, Anonymous is a community and an institution. The school built out of Hood by Air, Anonymous makes use of the resources it produced and finds new futures for its audience.

We are told to keep their artistry pure and non commercial. Marketing is a dirty word, but being sustainable and conceiving of a career and how to make money are all important parts of the creative process. That’s where the institutional part of Anonymous is important. It forms a network that can sustain itself, a culture of production that can return profit to the people who inspire it.

People are trying to figure out how to live in a really crazy world. We’re interested in how people adapt and relate to these new identities. By creating characters and exploring why people act the way that they do – why some people come out at night or feel safer in the dark – we create new heroes. A hero like you. Kids are looking for a place where they are considered normal, a community where they can belong – it’s not about style but survival.

Meet Anonymous – Ize, Ocean, Tama Gucci, Dead Dogs & Sabrina

Direction Anonymous Club, Photo Assistant James Sakalian, Chris Lloyd, Producers Haley Menchel, Nick Vernet, Layout & Design Collin Fletcher, Art Direction Christian Velasquez, Collin Fletcher, Actual Objects Production Actual Objects, Associate Pproducer Dannah Gottlieb, Clothing HBA Museum, Atelier Director Paul Cupo, Talent Tama Gucci, Ize, Santiago, Sabrina Fuentes, Izzy, Bro, ACE & Morgan at Strong Worldwide, Danny Orlowski, Casting Millen Dang at Strong Worldwide, JSMLV.RG Scout, Make-up Susie Sobol at Julian Watson Agency, MAke-up Assistant Brian Dean, Mical Klip Hair Jawara at Art Partner using Dyson, Hair Assistant Aziza Rasulova, Hannah Milojevich, Allie Jackson, Nails Sonya Belakhlef, Sample Maker NIRIA - Aaron Cooper