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Special Issue

October 2014

Fenia Kotsopoulou


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October 2014 Fenia Kotsopoulou & Daz Disley

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The images are loosely in the tradition of landsca-pe, and oftenmountainous and dense.

"We seek to capture psychic reaction to space through site specific instant composition for camera, backed-up with sensitive processing and post production to reveal a hidden depth : realities past, present, unknown and unseen."

Morgan Chivers

I wish the works to feel and be organic, to have nobeginning and no end, to reflect a repetitive action, like the act of artmaking itself.

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Dy Ming My work is a mix between pop art style and History, most of the time I am working on personalities that I found interesting, I am not putting any judgement on my piece, I use their images as something that we can change to become something else.

Humans have been fascinated by contemplations of time, space, mortality, and notions of the immortal from time immemorial, but we are tethered to our planet’s locality in the system, and we have barely begun to be able to see our neighbors.

Dustin Luke Nelson

Paul Santoleri

Anything that is intended as art can be art. It's in the presentation and the goals of the work.

Henry Pouillon Art is ever changing and in constant motion so we can only narrow down specific movements in hind-sight, in any case I can only think of something as art when it is relevant to the specific cultural and ethnic group we inherently are part of.

That's why a readymade works. If someone hands me the New York Times from February 8, 1985 and says it's art, it changes.

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Céline Trouillet

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"I have a particular idea about how I want the composition and lighting to be and these factors are consistent throughout the series with some minor variations and exceptions."

Renata Gandra

My work is about the human element and our intra, inter, and trans personal relationships. The human condition and our existential crisis is one of the only aspects of life that remains relevant and endures through time.

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"I define a work of art as one which can convey feelings to the viewer : for example "The Kiss" by Klimt, which conveys passion, tenderness and beauty and " The Scream" by Munch that conveys anguish and existential despair . I believe that the work of art has to be able to touch somehow the viewer"

David Wilde

Adam Viens

Jodie Woodcock would say my art is mostly abstract. I like different, always have. The way I create my work haschanged since I started painting, I have changed. I started painting in 2010 and for awhile I could hardly stop. My ideas and Visions just flowed out of me. I been into drawing since I was young.

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The process of creating and the presentation of art is a fundamental blessing and encouragement for human society that arises from the artists' ability to open to the primal elements of life's appearances. Feeling the heart of events and finding the freedom to express that in media and terms beyond the distortions of ego is a liberating thing that wakes people up to the natural benevolent vividness of circumstances.

Erin O’Malley “With digital macro photography I have been exploring the interaction of light with transparent and reflective surfaces. I consider my photography a series of experiments, a process of trial and error that builds upon past succes-ses through the manipulation of variables”

Feel free to submit your artworks to our art review: just write to peripheral_arteries@dr.com http://peripheralarteries.yolasite.com/submit-your-artworks.php

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A still from HERE BUT NOT HERE AT ALL AT THE SAME TIME #196 Winter 1


Fenia Kotsopoulou & Daz Disley (USA) (Greece)

Our work deals with time, the latent resonance between body and space, and the question of self-image in the context of temporal, liminal : realities . We seek to capture psychic reaction to space through site specific instant composition for camera, backed-up with sensitive processing and post production to reveal a hidden depth : realities past, present, unknown and unseen. We draw our inspiration from direct and reflexive relation to place using photo and video as a medium to capture movement through time in public and often abandoned spaces as metaphors for the public / private dualities present in every day life, hidden life-past and the overlooked human interaction with the built environment highlighting both the fragmented nature of the psyche and the temporal gloss through which we filter our everyday experience of people, story and place. Our process uses a combination of fluid intuition and hard algorithmic logic often creating custom workflows from scratch on a piece by piece basis.

Righteous Exploits

performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


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An interview with

Fenia Kotsopoulou & Daz Disley Hello Fenia and Daz, and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?

Fenia In my opinion, the important thing is the way you experience something and what kind of impact it has on you ... So a work of art can stimulate your senses but not always, it can make you think differently but not always, it can make you laugh/cry/feel angry or disgusted but not necessarily, it can wake you up from the lethargy of the daily life but not necessarily, it can change your life but not necessarily, it can convey a message that an interview with will make you see and perceive differently yourself and the world around you, but not necessarily maybe it can just please your aesthetics but not always ... a work of art is the message itself (but not always).

Fenia Kotsopoulou & Daz Disley

However what I perceive and "understand" as art today within specific social/political/cultural contexts can change tomorrow or be different if I jump to another context- another reason for which I am not able or interested to give a definition.

Daz For me it comes down to patterns and sets of patterns. One of our natures is that of patternmatching machine always looking to form links and join the dots - we see pictures in clouds, build houses that resemble faces (notice 'Jesus' in cheese toasties), appreciate the harmonic content of birdsong, hear voices in noise, get turned-on by the form and flow of shapes and objects ... I guess Art is about presenting new patterns and showing existing patterns as members of sets of patterns we've maybe not thought of them belonging to be-

Morris Weitz states art has no absolute definitions rather that it is the undefinable nature of art that inspires people still debating about what is art. So, I think I leave this attempt to rationally understand, describe, categorize and evaluate human creativity to philosophers, art critics and theoreticians...from my part I keep discovering the pathways to express myself with as much creativity as I can.

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technologies and their use to make art; challenging aesthetics, authorship, ownership, ethics, physical and mental boundaries, the relationship between spectator-artwork-artist and much more. Nonetheless, all these elements have been elaborated and manifested differently through time. Do you think that there is still a dichotomy between Tradition and Contemporariness?

Fenia Taking in consideration that Contemporary art is an ever-shifting field of activity with reference to the present moment, so at any point in history, the making of new art is always contemporary, I think there is a blurred line between tradition and contemporary-especially regarding their content. The main distinction between them is based on the concept of time. However, I don't think there's a linear time with ends marked by either. I rather see things in the context of cyclical time where old and new form a mutual web of influence. Moreover dichotomy implies a binary opposition, a division or contrast between two things - entirely different. I don't consider Traditional and Contemporary being on opposite sides battling for praise of originality. I prefer to look at relations through the spectrum of interconnectivity. In 2008 I started my personal exploration and experimentation on Rebetiko, a genre of Greek urban tradition- with influences from the Middle East- developed in Greece around the turn of the twentieth century. Initially it started with a focus on movement research and on how tradition can influence a contemporary dance setting but, the more in-depth this research becomes, the more I realise that actually : Tradition is a rich source of information, links and hints which reflect not only the past but also the present. So currently my aim is to use material of a specific tradition as tool during the creative process of making art which resonates with the present moment. I certainlyb elieve the artist is able to build bridges that connect past and present, now and then, old and new.

fore, so works of Art are just some of the tools we use to help us understand the world around us and our place in it. And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Fenia Some of the features of contemporariness of an artwork could be the idea of artistic innovation; the intention to transgress; the will to break taboos or preconceived ways to understand the self and the world around; the fascination for new 7


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Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I would like to ask your point about formal training... Sometimes I ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle an artist's creativity...

Fenia My artistic background is mainly in Dance and performance. After my BA Hons in Italian Language and Literature at the Aristotle University (Thesaloniki, Greece), I moved to Rome to completed a second BA Hons at the National Dance Academy. Between 2009 and 2013, I lived in Berlin where I continued my training, started to experiment and integrate new techniques in my practice - like video and photography - and more importantly began collaborating with artists from different disciplines. Last year I moved from Berlin, a vibrant art capital to Lincoln, a small semi-rural city in the UK which has certainly influenced my methods for creating work, and has opened me up to new ideas as I work towards completing an intensive MFA in Choreographing Live Art. More specifically this challenging and intensive course was a great opportunity to explore new perspectives, theories and tools for understanding and critically thinking about the Body and performance; to experiment on an interdisciplinary basis within a rigorous conceptual framework; to develop skills in different fields like technology, curatorial practice, advanced somatic practices, research and documentation : which all contribute to the formation of the more holistic artistic practice I desire to develop. In addition to this, my encounter with Daz gives me the possibility to use the tools I have gathered until now through collaborative practice.

cAPTIONS

ration and knowledge: from the mundane to the extraordinary. Consciously or unconsciously there are many aspects to daily experience, (often small or overlooked) which find their way into my creative work, either as seed or influence. I try not to observe a boundary between Art and Life, preferring instead to see them as one and the same thing, enabling me to draw influence from a wide and varied range of sources. Living in several different places - Greece, Italy, Germany and the UK - has benefited my outlook and practice as I've gained multi layered experiences and insights from the different cultures I've been a part of. Travelling and living abroad, formal training and studies, daily life and

At the same time as drawing my inspiration from everyday life experiences, encounters and events, I consider everything as a possible source of inspi-

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Daz I started as a musician playing in bands in the mid 90s, fell through the studio glass into sound engineering and after a while got into more complicated productions in surround sound and sound-art for gallery and museum settings. This work is quite bespoke tackling non-standard audio formats (such as using 20 or more speakers for a mix), and so I got into making tools to make the work easier and this lead to me starting to publish studio software for musicians and producers, which eventually lead to me getting involved with 'SoundSpiral' ( www.soundspiral.net ) for the London 2012 'Cultural Olympiad' - a project to create an inflatable venue with a 52 channel embedded sound system for which I wrote some software and designed the playback stack - and I've been running the venue since 2013 as part of the 'Olympic Legacy'. I got into video by a bit of an odd route - with my sound engineering hat on I was asked along to a local venue to make sure the sound for a party was okay, and I got involved with the fun and games on stage - a 5 hour improvised live DJ/VJ set where I had great fun painting with pixels. I've always been involved with visuals one way another having worked for an educational publisher and a record label in the late '90s, so I'm familiar with production and layout for promotional materials, print, cd artwork and so on, so when I started throwing pixels around the place in a live performance setting it rekindled my interest in visuals ... and because I didn't have enough money to afford even the most basic video mixing hardware, I started looking into ways to roll my own using a cheap laptop and free software - and from here, my editing chops got thrown into the mix as I started creating bits of video for whichever party was coming next.

an interview with

encounters all contribute to the toolbox I use in my life and my artistic practice. By taking all of this into consideration: Training is not constrained or limited to an institution or a specific way of learning things, so, formal training in the way it's usually intended has been just another occasion to enrich my toolbox and open my horizons. After all the way you use your tools and context to express your creativity is far more important than their number, powers or source. The risk and fear of restrained creativity is a matter of different factors not necessarily related to formal training. I have felt many times creatively stagnated and stifled but this is an unavoidable challenge to confront, a personal obstacle to overcome and maybe a sign for a significant change to happen.

Formally speaking I don't have any trained per se : I was taught to play clarinet and saxophone upto a reasonable level, and started a degree in popular music and recording, but never finished due to too much time spent in bands : playing popular music, and recording ... everything else I do, I've either picked-up along the way, or needed to learn or develop for a specific project. Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 9


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HERE BUT NOT HERE AT ALL AT THE SAME TIME

As for the question of formal training stiffling creativity, I think it's probably a mixed bag, depending on the person involved. I've known people be a bit damped-down by learning new techniques or getting their head around theories, but I come from the point of view the more (and finer) technique you can adopt, the better the position you'll be in when it comes to expressing your creativity : and the same for theory, with the difference that tooling-up with lots of theoretical knowledge also puts you in a better place when it comes to bullshitting ... which may or may not be a good thing ;)

A still from HERE BUT NOT HERE AT ALL AT THE SA

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

composing shots and capturing action - we like to keep it fun and not get too bogged-down in any particular scenario. Fenia Broadly speaking we adopt one of the following flows : Case 1: IDEA>DISCUSSION>EXPLORATION/EXPERIMENTATION>FIR ST-OUTCOME>RECAPITULATION>MODULATION>FINALOUTPUT

Daz We both love to improvise and keep things fresh and spontaneous - Fenia's movement is predominantly instant-composition in response to space so when we work together shooting is fluid and straight-forward - we use a few modest cameras - a Canon 500d, a GoPro Hero3+ and a Sony camcorder, take a tripod and then do whatever feels right in terms of camera angles,

Case 2: IDEA>SOFTWARE(DAZ)>ACTION-IN-THEFIELD>PERFORMANCE-FOR-CAMERA(FENIA)> COLLECTION>SELECTION>EDITING/POSTCOMPOSITION>COMPLETION Case 3: KEYWORD>PLAY>COLLECT-MATERIAL>STOREFOR-LONG-TIME>GO-BACK>FINISH-WORK

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devising delivery mechanisms, but there's always a playful side to it and we try and leave the productions as open as possible so there's space to try things out. There's an intuitive element to the edits and a really rigid element to the rendering, but so far we don't have a set order to do things in - sometimes the sound-design informs the video's flow, sometimes the sound takes more of a back-seat ... bottom line is it usually looks pretty messy with bits of the production splattered about several machines as we try different approaches and edge towards the outputs. Fenia RESULTS: FAILURE OR SUCCESS DEPENDS ON THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER - EITHER WAY WE MOST LIKELY ENJOYED IT.

Time of Preparation: Between one instant and one life time - it's really variable - shooting can take only a matter of minutes, or stretch over several days ; effects design can take a few days, or many months ; and editing may take several weeks, or it might all fall-together in an afternoon. Main focus:

ME TIME

-BODY and its relation to time, space, emotions. Case 4: START>PAUSE>BACKWARDS>STOP>DELETE>RESTART> STOP

-Regarding video: we attempt to use the camera creatively to extract different meanings and realities, to create and stimulate emotions in the viewer -including ourselves.

Case 5: UNEXPECTED INCIDENT>IMPULSIVE/SPONTANEOUS REACTION>OUTCOME

Daz When it comes to post & editing, it gets a bit more rigid as everything has to fit within a partially planned framework. I'm generally process-driven and explore formal questions what would it look like if we did a,b,c ? How would I represent x,y,z ? What systems do I need to put in-place to realize this or that idea ? For effects I prefer to create my own tools where possible rather than rely on presets or other people's software, so from a production perspective I spend a fair amount of time writing code and

HERE BUT NOT HERE AT ALL AT THE SAME TIME

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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Daz For video editing and processing, we use a couple of cheap laptops and a donated gaming pc, and for sound mixing a moderately powerful audio workstation. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with the interesting "Here but not here at all at the same time", an extremely stimulating video that our readers have started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article, and I would suggest to jump directly to https://vimeo.com/95317466 in order to get a wider idea of it... in the meanwhile, could you take us through your creative process when starting this work?

Fenia This work follows mainly the structure of Case 2 (as above), This is a continuation of our common interest to explore the synthesis of somatic, spatial, programmatic and visual to create a new coherent expression. Our most recent investigation centres on manipulating time so we started with a simple score within an urban context. Shooting in the centre of the city with stillness becoming the main score for a live performance, or intervention.

HERE BUT NOT HERE AT ALL AT THE SAME TIME

Daz This is our 2nd slit-scan (time displacement) experiment, and for this I wanted to turn the usual approach upside down and see if it would be applicable to expressing ideas around separation and difference. Normally what you'll see with slit-scan video is a static scene with a moving subject whereby the subject gets distorted against the backdrop, so instead of repeating this, the choreographic score of the piece was simply "stand still whilst the world moves around you". With this in-mind we went into town, had lunch whilst discussing the overall stance and framing, and then ...

reaction to the unexpected : the presence of a still body in the middle of a busy spot). The next phase took place in the studio with collection, selection and elaboration of the material, reflecting on the impact and finding the sound landscape to complete the creative process. Daz The raw video was converted to about 15,000 individual still frames before being processed using a small application I've written (in visual basic). This loads a bunch of frames from a sequence and then outputs 1 frame using a single line of pixels from each input frame. Since the input was shot at 120 frames per second and the slit-scan (in this video) operates over 720 horizontal lines, each output frame respresents a 6 second slice of time with the top of the image being 6 seconds ahead

Fenia ... we used the rest of the day to find spots in the city where we could achieve a significant contrast between individual stillness (which is planned) and collective improvised movement (as a

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with colour - this part was a pretty boring day of manually creating about 50 masks to take account of Fenia's clothing blowing in the breeze. From here, we've got the two scenes and the idea that it needs to be slow, almost ambient, and with a pseudo-musical A,A,B,A structure, but we have no music. We spent a while trying various options from sound artists we know before discovering the track 'First' by Colorado-based musician Jason Pottorff (recording name JazzySpoon - jazzyspoon.com - a customer of my audio software). Once the music was in-place, the production prettymuch snapped itself together, and I'm really pleased with the result - the creative idea came together in a matter of seconds, and all-in it took about 2 weeks to deliver from shooting to output. Another interesting work of yours on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Inner Space Revisited which I have to admit have really impressed me: elements of the environment are very recurrent in your artistic production, and besides a merely physical dimensions, space has a more symbolic meaning, it can be a metaphor for emotions and associations... in particular, it has reminded me the concept of non-place elaborated by French anthropologist Marc AugĂŠ. And even though I'm aware that this would sound a bit naif, I'm wondering if one of the hidden aims of your Art could be to search the missing significance to a non-place that would lead us to develop something more personal...

an interview with

of the bottom. Once the frame is saved, the application dumps the first frame and loads the next last frame repeating the process but starting and ending one frame later (a circular buffer of images in processing terms). In this work there's versions where the scan process runs top-tobottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right and right-toleft, and additional processing running the left-toright output files back through a top-to-bottom process. To cut a long story short, about 14 hours later, the raw files were processed into the scanned files and ready to go back into the video edit.

Fenia I think an artwork should leave space to be experienced independently of an artist's intention, and that most of the time it doesn't really matter what kind of message the artist desires to transmit. What matters (to me at least) is the potential of the work itself to open doors for new interpretations. "Inner Space revisited" was not driven by the intention to modulate the viewers relationship with space in a particular way. Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012

The rest of the production is pretty 'vanilla' to anyone familiar with video editing - we increased contrast to get a more defined look then maskedout Fenia's body so she's the only part of the image

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From Inner Space Revisited

From Inner Space Revisited

Specifically this project started almost two years ago, when I found myself fascinated by this place and convinced that I should film myself there. For which reason? No clue at that time how that material would be "revisited" one year later. So, I found myself in this abandoned hospital, wondering about the untold stories of people who'd stayed there. At the same time I was feeling an intense familiarity being in that space with the unstable roofs, the colourful peeling walls, the broken windows, invasive wild nature and the smell of life and death.

In that sense, yes, this kind of space resonates with memories of inner states and becomes a metaphor for emotions and associations. To capture and document that experience through movement, I stayed only half an hour - it was the maximum time I could handle there alone as it was not so safe. Daz As an abandoned military hospital this place has seen many painful encounters, it's fabric subject to many disturbing experiences - experiences that resonated with Fenia when she went there and informed her movement in and reactions to the space. Having talked at length about her experience there, the fear it engendered in her and the disquiet of her relationship to the space, my role was to elaborate on those emotional reactions, bring them into the visual realm and help reveal a hidden temporal reality. Fenia Daz's intervention and elaboration of the original material revealed hidden elements of my relationship with the place. The concept of "non -place" by Marc AugĂŠ, at least in the way I understand it, refers to places that can be not defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity. But what might be a "non-place" to

From Inner Space Revisited

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From Inner Space Revisited

someone can be a place to someone else. Personally, abandoned places give me the sensation of accumulated histories, familiar territories, forgotten places on the verge of regeneration where a "liminal" experience can take place once you inhabit them.

For me, the work on Inner Space was more about putting the algorithms we've developed into active duty and to use them 'in anger' in creative expression than any particular desire to cast a place into anything personal for the viewer. It's an attempt to communicate some of Fenia's experience of the space both in terms of the immediate up-front movement and dance aspects, but also to illucidate the psychometric aspects embedded within or coming from the space.

Daz Whilst in general I find something very attractive about decaying abandoned buildings with broken windows and peeling paint, I think I more take the opinion that all place is non-place, and all non-place is place because it's just a matter of perspective. The location for Inner Space may be a non-place for most people these days, but in its time it was very much a place, and I'd imagine to a vast majority of people who've been there in its current state it remains very much a place.

Fenia's original footage was captured in a very short time and I'm really impressed at the quality of the shots, composition and colour she achieved. Really, all I've done is to help emphasise the non-physical aspects of her performance by drawing together disparate shots into a narrative (of 15

Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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sorts). By keeping the edits moving rhythmically, as a viewer you never really get a chance to settle and I've tried to make the location breathe along with the music so that the cruft and decay doesn't sit at one end of a process, but instead becomes a moving, living, disturbed animal. Your works are capable of establishing a deep involvement with the audience, both on intellectual side and on a physical aspect, as in Timeolive : Dancing Solo, an extremely stimulating video performance that challenges our perception and in a certain sense forces us to fill the "drop-out" what we see...... So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process, both for conceiving an artwork and in order to enjoy it... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Daz We all hallucinate all of the time. We all have blindspots where nerves pass through our retinas, and to cope with this we all live in an at least partially synthetic version of reality as moderated by our previous direct and indirect experience of the world around us. In addition to this, we all have a fluid relationship with time - our perception of its passage slows down and speeds up in response to bodily function - heart rate, metabolism, concentration and so on. If this is what constitutes our experience, then anything beyond that is mediated by it to at least some extent - including imagination, and therefore creative process.

and determined by personal experience while in the meantime a new experience happens as we are always involved in the process of living and interacting with our environment. This doesn't mean that the artwork or the creative process of making reflects or is connected to a direct experience.

If I ask you to imagine what it would be like if you could fly, your response will be informed in part by your direct experience of not being able to fly - so I think personal experience isn't so much indispensible, but rather probably inescapable, both as creator and as consumer of all forms of art.

For example, I haven't directly experienced deadly diseases, starvation, war or abuse so how can I deal about such topics through my artistic practice? What enables me or stimulates me to do so, is not the illusion of empathic feelings- but a feeling of interconnectedness -within the macrocosmos - as well as the fact that I have also experienced pain, sufferance and despair - in my micro-cosmos. #196 Winter

Fenia To me everything appeals as relative, subjective and personal. Therefore in my opinion creating, conceiving and enjoying (or not) an artwork is defined 16


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The band Time Olive (timeolive.bandcamp.com) comissioned us to create a video for them (having seen InnerSpace Revisited), giving us free-reign with both subject and style. We are very lucky that a friend runs a lovely little vintage cafĂŠ a few streets away, and let us use the space for 2 days whilst the cafĂŠ was shut. We improvised our way around the score of Fenia

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Daz In the case of our collaborative work, I don't have direct experience of what it feels like to be Fenia moving through space, but I can relate to her reported feelings of fragmentation and the atypical temporal perception she experiences when dancing, and use that to inform my process. But it boils down to the same old conundrum of qualia : how do I know what you experience as 'red' is even remotely similar to what I experience as 'red' ? This simple answer is that I don't, but it's far more convenient if we just agree that the red thing we're both looking at is red. Bearing all of that in-mind, what we're attempting to do with all of the fragmentation videos is to portray spatial and temporal information as more complex and overlapping than the nice clean linearly ordered world shown us by 'normal' video, 'normal' perception and 'normal' linear time. 17


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playing a solitary role inhabiting the space whilst repurposing it from its normal role of cafĂŠ and vintage shop into dance space, but still using some of the shop's props. For this shoot we also played around with moving the camera - up until now, all of the camera movement we've used in our work has been created in post-production. Here we were able to chase each other around a table as part of an improvised sequence, and it really enhances the end-result : a moving circular dance interrupted only by edits which speaks to us both of the 'daily grind' one may find oneself in when in the context of the song's lyric. I do believe that interdisciplinary collaboration today is an ever growing force in Art and that that most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about this effective synergy?

Captions

Daz Absolutely - whilst I do sometimes dance, I'm nowhere near as fluid competant expressive or downright lovely as Fenia when she dances, so don't expect any videos of me responding to space with instant composition any time soon (I have other ideas about that, actually). Having been a musician in theatre show bands I've always been mesmerised by dancers on stage and felt something special around the combined creative relationship : Playing an instrument, I use my body to modulate the air within a space, and I guess a dancer when responding to the vibrations in air to create movement through the body is somehow the natural counterpart to that expression.

Fenia More and more artists choose collaboration as a way to operate in contrast to the "heroic" and solitary figure of artist-genious that stands outside of society engaged in an internal dialogue. I like working with my own stuff- I don't deny my narcissistic nature- but certainly I prefer cocreating with other people, especially when there is an "effective synergy", as you called it. Through my experience in collaboration, I realised that collaborating is not only an interesting, meaningful, productive, rich experience on personal and artistic levels; it can also be difficult, boring, challenging, frustrating, stressful, and make you swear in your sleep..

Working with Fenia in video takes collaboration into a whole other realm for me. We share pretty similar visual aesthetics but have totally different processes in terms of production. Whilst I have to be organised to deal with rendering, Fenia is fluid and intuitive with performance, and whilst I'm pretty disorganised and intuitive with sound Fenia is quite methodical and clear in terms of look-and-feel and visual style, so we play to each others' strengths really well.

Fortunately I don't have many examples of the second nature of collaboration or at least I consider them equally important for growing. Anyway, definitely not the case with Daz and I am very grateful for that. Our collaboration is based on constructive dialogue, inspiring exchange of thoughts, ideas and experiences, communication, common intentions and goals ... until now. 18


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By the way, the artist Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this?

Since the beginning we agreed that we would like to try working together without stressful expectations and with the intention of both having an enjoyable and creative experience. To encompass this, we work with trust, fun, non-consuming expectations, dialogue, embracing failure.

Fenia I see collaboration as a relationship in which each person of the team feels equally responsible for the success of the joint project and the achievement of shared aims. Collaborating has always been a rich experience of self-growth and improvement for me, and each time I've learnt more about how to overcome difficulties, take initiative, enjoy the process, solve problems creatively, accept failure, think more critically, support and ask for support, deal with frustrations and disagreements.

Furthermore, we come from very different personal, cultural and artistic backgrounds, a fact that makes our collaboration complementary and synergistic. As a result our common toolbox - which comprises instant-composition, dance, photo/videography, coding, patching, improvisation, and algorithmic animation- facilitates the creation of something that synthesises our personal experiences and skills. 19

Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Peripheral ARTeries

Fenia Kotsopoulou & Daz Disley

Daz Our fragmentation process originated in Fenia's imagery, which came-about by happy accident. Her distorted photos visually resonated with me, and being of an inquiring nature I got to wondering if it was possible to create a similar style of full-motion video. Once we got chatting on the subject and Fenia explained to me her relationship with the images she'd created, the resonance for me increased massively - a fractured psyche, a shattered relationship with time and an expressive quality I'd not experienced before in the visual realm. Whilst her images came-about almost magically for her, I could visualise some of the underlying technical rational for the 'mistakes' which made them happen, and within a couple of weeks, I'd devised the first draft of the eventual algorithm that we use to generate fragmented video. For me this is process gold - an effect that integrates with the emotional experience of the performer and works to highlight and enhance the performance without detracting from it or overpowering it certainly something I wouldn't have come-up with on my own, and something beyond Fenia's technical know-how. Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between two artists?

Daz We can both edit video and create expressive images and we both have our intuitive and more considered aspects. The result of our combined work goes well beyond anything we'd originate without each others' input.

once, your work straddles the grey area between different disciplines... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts

Fenia I think, when the work is perceived as an holistic piece in which you can't distinguish the number of creators behind it (and not as a conglomeration of fragmented pieces which don't gel) then that's the marker of collaborative success.

Fenia I wouldn't state that is the only way. Certainly if it was not that kind of synergy "Mad Apple Glitch" wouldn't be in this form, wouldn't be the same work independently of the expressed concepts. It would have been something different. In the same way it would have been different if the disciplines involved were the same but with different personnel. What makes each piece exist #196 Winter is the specific constellation of people and circum-

And I couldn't do without mentioning "Mad Apple Glitch", that our readers can view directly at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OgQ-sSVHqo If I have been asked to choose an adjective that could sum up in a single word your art, I would say that it's "kaleidoscopic": as you have stated 20


Fenia Kotsopoulou & Daz Disley

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Fenia "Mad Apple Glitch" was initially an improvised performance for camera which was later used to experiment with our fragmentation process, and specifically how to transliterate a performer's emotional state to the viewer and create a unified expressive output. The output from this process is what lead to both InnerSpace and Dancing Solo. When I watch this video I don't see always the same image...mmm..I think I like the idea of "kaleidoscopic"thank you very much. What I love in kaleidoscopes is that it's not magic creating these forms but rather an assembly of mirrors, angles and objects working in technical unity. During these years your artworks have been exhibited in several occasions, around Europe... it goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of a special support... I was just wondering if the expectation of a positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

an interview with

Daz In the case of our joint work, I don't have the first clue as to who will see it beyond our immediate friends and families or how they will react to it generally, I'd say we're making it because we find it engaging and stimulating, and that we have a lot of respect for and resonance with each other's work.

stances of time and space that bring them together. Daz There's probably at least as many ways to express a concept as there are people to express it ... but for me it comes-down to the efficiency or elegance of the expression.

Fenia When you expose yourself through your artistic work you have to be ready for very different reactions. People will like it, others will despise it, others will be indifferent and so on. As I said the way someone experiences an artwork is personal, subjective and relative. Therefore, during the process I don't give space to worries or thoughts how the audience will react and feel. This kind of "worry" will probably come when and if I expose to others what I have created. In that phase effective feedback Vanishing mediafor trid.piece, 2012improbecomes a Point, critical Mixed component self growth, vement and development of my practice.

When I visit galleries and find (for example) a visual artwork that only makes sense once you've read a thousand-word essay on the artist's intentions techniques outlooks and responsibilities it makes the whole commu-nication less efficient, less immediate, less impactful, and draws into question where the artistry is (beyond pure technique) - is it therefore a piece of conceptual art if a visual work needs so much backup in order to make its point ? 21


Peripheral ARTeries

Fenia Kotsopoulou & Daz Disley

Audience feedback is important to me especially when it offers me new/different points of view whether I like it or not. Of course it's a nice feeling to receive good feedback, however, because of my recent MFA experience within a context where feedback is essential and for sure not sugar-coated, I am of the opinion that constructive feedback is invaluable for reflecting on what you are doing. But in any case feedback and approval is not the final goal. Daz That we've received positive feedback is great, but I'm not sitting here making editing or rendering choices thinking person x,y or z will like it, or toning it down because someone I know might not agree with one of the production decisions.

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my art, it took me time to accept also that the relatioship between art and business is unavoidable. Actually art is also business and requires specific skills in public relationships, organisation, marketing, applying for funds, selling your work in the market.

My view is that all feedback is good - if someone has a negative response to our work, I'd much rather that than no response or a simple 'meh'. If there's negative feedback it shows the person is thinking and has at least to some extent engaged with the work. If I don't like the feedback, I'm free to ignore it, and let's face-it : why should anyone engage with the work when there's already so much call for the average person to confront images and respond to messages all the time in everyday life ? That someone engages with our work is great, even if they don't like it or take much from it they have taken time from their life to look at our stuff - and we both appreciate it.

Of course you can find alternative ways to gain your income and keep on making art with a distance from any business and market. Even so, I believe that being an artist is equally valid to any other profession that has to be paid, rewarded and supported - whether by institutions governments or individuals. I don't believe in a genuine relationship but I am optimistic that art and business can coexist effectively. At the end of the day again it's about how humans communicate, interact and relate with each other. Personally, whether or not any particular project is paid, there's no impact on the level of input I bring to my work.

I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Fenia I have been quite naive in the past believing that there is not even the need of a relationship between business and art. I have to say that I am coming from a family with history in the field of business. My parents (despite the difficulties) run an agricultural products export enterprise. I never really liked financial negotiations and I always tried to avoid the business field and relationships based on power, control and interest. For my father it was difficult to accept the decision of both his children (my brother is a musician) to follow a completely different pathway that for him was exactly on the opposite side. But when I started confronting the necessity to make my living from

Daz You want to pay me to help you realise something that you haven't the toolkit to deliver for yourself ? No problem : let's role. You want to pay me to deliver something entirely from my own imagination ? Great, let's do it, but it's not my problem if you don't like the result. I guess as long as the relationship has solid boundaries and everyone's an adult about it; it's entirely possible for it to be genuine. Thank for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts. My last question deals with your 22


Fenia Kotsopoulou & Daz Disley

future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

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and video, which takes place in the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre this coming October. Daz I'm also involved in the production of a new local festival (www.sonophilia.co.uk), dealing with all things sound, centred around a professional seminar for sound / music industry types - the aim is to highlight the wealth of talent in our locality in the meantime I'll be out and about doing education workshops with the SoundSpiral and working with artists to deliver new works.

Fenia It's a period of time where a lot of things are happening and seeds start to blossom. We have already new material to edit from another derelict place we have recently inhabited and we're keep on discovering abandoned locations to inspire us further. In the meantime we are preparing a new experimental music-dance video. Daz I've always got a list of techniques to explore - whether new or old - so there's plenty to keep us busy across the entire production spectrum from shooting through post.

Fenia This and more - without even taking into consideration the unexpected ...

Fenia I am involved in the organization and curation of GNARL Fest (www.gnarlfest.com) - a new festival of live art, performance, installation

Fenia Thank you very much for giving space to our thoughts and work.

Anyway we will be around...

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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Paul Santoleri (USA) An artist’s statement

"The work is a way to keep time, to maintain an awareness of my own relationship to my inner and outer world. I incorporate objects that I collect, images from dreams, flowers blooming and decaying in my backyard, stories and postindustrial waste, and anything else that slips out of my brush and through my line. The images are loosely in the tradition of landscape, and often mountainous and dense. I wish the works to feel and be organic, to have no beginning and no end, to reflect a repetitive action, like the act of art-making itself. I often reflect on the beauty in decay in my drawings, and the landscape gives way to a deeper storyline that both disturbs and intrigues me. The work inevitably reflects my own views of the planet’s demise, and sometimes I use the flower as a metaphor for the life and death cycle of the natural world. But because I don’t see a distinction between people and nature, I find that the cycle itself is awesome, but sometimes repulsive or magical, like the potential nature of artwork itself. I travel often to challenge my senses to open up and breathe freely. I often draw in response to the surface, and my surroundings, borrowing lines and images from my environs in an effort to enable the work to create itself, with me as the hand and mind through which it passes. Work is made in layers, and I will frequently use a found object as my surface for a painting, drawing, fresco, or assemblage. The density that I favor reflects an overloaded experience. Drawing for me is about rhythms, repetitions that build a narrative, the forms lately have spun into abstractions based on emotions, patterns, movement and direct response based on instinct. These have been presented as room drawings, where the viewer experiences the work by walking through it. Consequently the pieces become part of the architecture in which they exist, like room sculptures they grow out of the walls using line and objects to carry their weight."

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Waste Shrine", (mixed media installationRighteous in an old smokehouse) Exploits Tabor, Czech Republic, 2009 CESTA Arts Lewis festival performance, photo by Matt 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Paul Santoleri

An interview with

Paul Santoleri Hello Paul, and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with myusual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what are in your opinion the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Hmm contemporarinesss... that’s an interesting concept. I think there’s a lot of effort in the direction of being new and the latest and better etc etc. not sure if it is worth the effort I imagine that one either relates to current trends or one avoids them. In my mind Art by definition takes place in the transformation of a medium resulting in a dialogue between the viewer of the work and the piece itself. Once the artwork exists the artist is no longer part of the dialogue--once it enters into the world. So intention and awareness are a part of the equation, an interview with I don’t think all that is art is actually art for everybody. I have a pretty substantial under-standing of Art through history, and I notice things, so a gesture in the street that I might find left by a thoughtful individual might move me. But then so does a great effort in Bronze or Oil or Styrofoam; so I have pretty wide spectrum of what I see as art. And that’s part of the reason why I am an artist. I seek it, and it’s my life. Little things I arrange in my home might be seen by another to be art but I’m just paying attention to things. The artist is the conduit that channels a dialogue.

Paul Santoleri (photo by Phillippe Bonan)

But of this I can say We know when we feel or experience it; It is something that is uncanny or unmistakable, and crosses cultural boundaries. That is what I know about art, there are levels to an Art experience: some things are greater than others this we can measure this in the capacity an artwork carries: how much it stays with us, recreates itself in our memories, after the experience.

On “Contemporariness" , I think it has a lot to do with the culture from which the object comes and exists…. But because we have the internet and cross-cultural dialogues like never before, almost anything can be considered Art, from a sandwich to a skyscraper. Art has seeped its way into every function of life, I do believe it is a slippery slope to define and nail down a definition in these times. Art moves something inside of us. So it might be better to identify what is an exceptional work of Art.

Maybe that is the definition for good art, or love, or friendship, but like I say Art is in every part of our lives, inextricable from life. It’s only natural that humanity should progress in this direction. Art is Energy. Good art is great energy. CanNico you Amortegui tell our readers a little about your background? You hold a MFA of Painting that 26


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Flight Pattern PHL International Airport, Exhibitions Program 2014 ink on polyethylene, vinyl

you have received University of Arizona, Tucson more than twenty years ago: moreover, you have studied in Philadelphia as well as in Rome... how have these experiences of formal training impacted on you? And how has your art developed since you left school? By the way, I sometimes wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle young artists' creativity... what's your point about this?

development of a practice, and the community of artists that I worked with in Art school that would be difficult to find on my own, I feel like I learned just as much from my peers as I did from the excellent professors that I worked with and the understanding of those different kinds of knowledge probably blossomed after I left the doors of the school. I think the best education that I got was all the years that I spent working for artists, both in and

Well I think that the best result of schooling is the 27


Flight Pattern PHL International Airport, Exhibitions Program 2014 ink on polyethylene, vinyl


Peripheral ARTeries

Paul Santoleri

Detail- Lamp, Waste Shrine, CESTA, Tabor, Czech Republic, 2009

out of school, where I assisted in the creation of some amazing works of art. I worked at a bronze foundry in Berkeley California for a number of years before I went to graduate school and there I did the patina( or final coloration )of sculptor’s works in Bronze, using chemicals in a spray bottle in one hand and a propane torch in the other, this technique (and the metal finishing I was dong on the sculptures ), helped to inform my practice, especially because it was a full time job(without benefits) …At the foundry I worked on the sculptures of some very excellent artists, including Stephen deStaebler, Markus Lupertz, Peter Voulkos, etc. , all of whose work had a strong influence on the development of own vision as an artist . But I cannot say enough about my experiences in studying Art in Rome. It formed my relationship to the actual experience of Art, I reflected on the impact that comes from standing in front of a masterpiece from another age, as opposed to seeing Art in books, in reproduction. It supported

my notion of the artist as a person that lives outside of the society in general , but is a key player in everything around him or her…The understanding of Art as a European is very different from other peoples I soon was to find. And because my family is originally from Italy, it helped me to understand these influences and the culture that I was born into where Art does play a substantial role. I could have done this outside of school, but in a consumer driven economy, as a student I had good excuse just to be in Itay and absorb the culture Art and life that ended up fueling my art for decades to come. There I was introduced to the art of fresco painting and the value of art in public places, as a civil contribution to life… there, the population has a much greater respect for art in general and artists in general and I felt both at home and acknowledged as doing something necessary, art school was also a lot cheaper then, so I wasn’t breaking the bank to do it as the kids #196 today at least in the USAWinter are doing, so it was a dif30


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Peripheral ARTeries

servation, etc. I employ silkscreen, relief printing and other printmaking practices to build a work of art. I find that this method helps me to build a story out of a collection of stories that start with the drawings themselves and develop into a cohesive whole through my practice. And now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start with "flite pattern everpresent" and "Terminal E" that our readers have already admired in the starting pages of this article, and I would suggest them to visit your website directly at http://www.paulsantoleri.com/?cat=7 in order to get a wider idea of these interesting works... could you tell us something about your process for conceiving and in particular for making this piece?

The piece was conceived when I got the opportunity to create a forty foot long installation for the Philadelphia airport exhibitions program. I had been working with the subject of Feathers for some time: that grew out of the waterfowl that

an interview with

ferent time. Would I do it again, yes, but not at the prices they are asking for it. And I do think that Art should be a part of a Universal education, and I was thrilled to have the myriad of facilities at my fingertips at the universities I was attending. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your works? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Process, time involved is often years for some of the more complex projects. Designs are developed through context. I often borrow from my own earlier productions to build a piece of artwork. Works are brought into being through a layering process, using spontaneous drawing in conjunction Piedad with photographic processes and references, ob-

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012

Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, I nstalling exhibit, 2009, photo- Peter Gourfain

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Paul Santoleri

Waters of Change, Manayunk Canal @ Schuylkill River Park, Philadelphia PA, 2013, photo- Lu Szumskyj

lived by a studio that I occupied last summer in Long Island, at the Islip Art Museum Carriage House in Long Island , NY. There I started a series of monumental feathers that I would develop into the larger piece. Through these drawings I was able to practice a more open relationship to line, A line that created movement in a confined space, it was like I was regressing a bit, returning to the endless lines and crosshatching that I practiced in the margins of my notebooks in high-school, for I always believed deeply in doodle, the spirit of subconscious that comes through in these spontaneous 32


Paul Santoleri

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patterns coming in and out of that airport for inspiration, to drive the lines (hence the title). And I also felt that it reflected the never ending turbulence of the times, embracing a simultaneously calming and wild energy, and it is precisely that kind of duality or paradox that I look for in a work of art, that might also reflect what I see as the human condition. But then I created anotherlayer, to make it less like a flat drawing and to bring it into the space for which it was designed because I wanted it to be more of an installation, to come out of the wall to enter the space and become more of a sculptural drawing in the case behind the glass, so I produced a variety of thicker line drawings made of adhesive vinyl that were based on drawings I had created in Brazil, while working on a show for ACBEU Galeria in Vittoria, Salvador, Brazil.

creations. But I long ago abandoned the technique of crosshatching to a more direct approach of acquiring volume. The lines that built the feathers were form itself, creating movement on one level, and solidity on another, yet they reflected the turbulence that I was after, which might be a response or an amalgamation of the “Tempest” drawings of Leonardo DaVinci, from his sketchbooks. So it was this that led me to the creation of “Flight Pattern”, And It was only after I had decided that it would look pretty cool in the glass case in Terminal E that I realized the natural relationship to flying, although it is so obvious, but It happened quite unconsciously. Once the sketch was complete I only needed to go forward and make the piece, so that which you see is the result. The inherent relationship to the air carried the narrative in part, the drawings are on one level, meditations in line both in their creation and through the experience of viewing, because the piece is so large we can’t escape the knowledge of the hand that drew the lines (and the video documentation is a real time video of my hand drawing each line, captured with a go pro camera on my head) I felt like this was analogous in many ways to drawing breaths: each line long enough to be an inhale AND an exhale. Also I looked at flight

I’ve been drawing in graphite a lot lately, using mechanical pencils, and I am enjoying the use of a certain width of line, as I practice in my feather drawings, using different sized brushes. I feel like the different weight of line produces a certain emotion, a depth. It relates to softness or hardness of character, and I love that dimension that can come through in the simple use of line. This Line thing is endless and it’s only a line, I could spend

Flight Pattern, 2014 ink/acrylic on polyethylene(detail)

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Paul Santoleri

One of the features of Wallflowirz that has particularly impacted on me is the red tones which is very recurrent in the pieces of this series: far from being the usual deep red , it's a thoughtful red... and what has mostly impressed me is that it is capable of esta-blishing such a dialogue, a synergy with all the other tones black and grey that dominate the painting instead of a contrast... By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

It’s funny that you asked about my education earlier on. An artist/teacher with whom I studied responded negatively to a painting I did that was made entirely in reds. I was thinking about this occasion about a year ago, for I ended up changing it from its dominant redness and effectively killing the piece, although it was a perfectly good red painting‌ I might have been too sensitive at the time . But years later that created an impulse to make more (and better) red paintings . I wanted to make a reason for the red within the paintings: to make some things that were both fleshy, warm, fiery and energetic at the same time‌Red seemed to be the right color to explore.. my palette has been, since my discovery of fresco painting, deliberately informed by the palette of fresco.

Omega Warm Garden Sunrise, detail, (glass, concrete, ink, polyethylene) RED Gallery @ Hull College of Art, Kingston-Upon-Hull, U.K. 2008

collections worldwide an moreover you have been awarded several times... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award or just the expectation of a positive feedback could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

The use of the ground as light, the use of color as an object, earth colors and metals, the quick absorption of light in the form into the surface, has been my mode of painting since I discovered fresco painting first in Pompeii, then in practice later at Skowhegan in Maine. Red became meat , fire, flesh, blood, earth, and Twizzlers all at once. Color is forever amazing. Palette often reflects the light I am experiencing at the time that I make the work. There is a gray monotone, like the concrete the buildings and streets, with explosions of color like one would experience in a big city like New York, where I am living now.

We are never capable of working in a vacuum: because Art is a form of communication for me, there is consideration for an audience when it is conceived. Work is borne sometimes out of an opportunity to present it in a specific situation, (hence the idea of site-specific installations). Because I get energy from working in the public, on works both ephemeral and longlasting- I am drawn to those kinds of situations, so I actively seek moments where I can connect on these terms. I am often presented with a location, a context, or set of circumstances in which to create a piece, so each project carries with it a unique challenge. But of course I also make a lot of work that is in no way an answer, but more of an inner journey. These are often smaller, more intimate, non-public pieces, but there is always a thread between the personal work and that which I share with the world at large. #196 Winter

Drawings, paintings are built out of the experience: when I am in France, or Mexico the colors bend to a different band in the spectrum. Light gives us a reason to reflect on it. Your artworks are in various museums and col38


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an interview with

Captions 8, details

blic spaces... I'm sort of convinced that Art in these days could play an effective role not only making aware public opinion about socio political issues: I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can even steer people's behavior... I would take this chance to ask your point about this. Do you think that it's an exaggeration? And what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in our society?

outside of themselves, this is what I am after for myself when I engage in Art-in both practice and experience. To share thoughts in a nonverbal manner -to make a story out of marks gestures lines, an inexhaustible vocabulary of form based on the world around me: a space, sound, light, movement, that creates light, creates energy on its own terms‌. In general, I use line to draw attention to certain things that I see that I feel are important to look at. For instance I became absorbed with barnacles because of their form. I found one on the beaches in California as artist in residence at the Headlands art center. It basically spoke to me,Glacier so I wanted share that Interference"; with the corner,tofrom "Linear Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, world, so I made drawings that I mounted in2012 places Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia PA, 2009, all over the@world, stickers that repeated the form,

Using art as a way to share the experience of making, or expanding time, this is something in which I am very much interested. To slow down the experience of life, to stir associations, reflections, electrical responses, something that Piedad connects the viewer to an experience of life 10

polyethylene,INK and red racetrack from childhood


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My work’s progress seems to flow out of my desire and ability to transform materials, in relation to the problem at hand, into something that can potentially communicate an idea. My tools of choice have changed over time but I endlessly return to the simplicity of Line, color volume movement to speak to other human beings in this strange plastic language of Art. When I work in the street on a prolonged piece , I realize that it will be seen in different stages , and in order to deflect any commentary on its unfinished state , I try to make it appear complete at each stage that I abandon it at the end of the day, so that in effect it can live for a little while as it is, like we as human beings are forever forming, but actually complete at every stage of our growth and development Thanks for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Paul. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? And what direction are you moving in creatively?

I am working on a book of images that will be a documentation of my work in black and white, but also a story, a parable of sorts‌ . I see my work becoming more sculptural relief forms and leaving the ties to the walls and ground and existing in space. This summer I hope to complete work on a brick building in Philadelphia where my designs in relief, mosaic and fresco are transforming the otherwise boxlike structure of this early 19th century edifice. I love how glass acts to reflect and bend light, to propel a six sided box into a continually moving static form: Magic of sorts. This year I will transform a garden in Philadelphia and Next year I hope to return to Paris to collaborate on elements for a public park in the suburbs there, so public spaces will continue to be part of my artistic domain.

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Oxum, from "Waters of Change",nManayunk canal,

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acrylic on polyethylene and wall, Philly PA 2013


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Morgan Chivers (USA)

Morgan Chivers graduated from San Jose State University (2011) after spending a full decade earning four simultaneously conferred degrees and five minors: BA History, BA Global Studies, BFA Photography, and BFA Spatial Arts, with minors in Anthropology, Music, Religious Studies, German, and Environmental Studies. He is a current graduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington, pursuing an MFA in Glass & Intermedia. Morgan has rapidly built an extensive exhibition record, with shows throughout the United States and internationally. His work has been selected for 32 juried exhibitions in the last 18 months, receiving 1st place honors from the Carnegie Arts Center’s “Imagining the Real” exhibition, the ArtBUZZ publication, and the Glass Arts Society’s International Student Exhibition Catalogue.

Untitled Cycle of an Unending Cosmos; Wasp 2012 6 x 10 X 6 cm

In contemplation of the big bang and the potential of a big crunch, I introduced found insect remains into a mass of hot, crystal clear glass. The fantastic amount of heat boiled the oils, waters, enzymes, and proteins that constitute any living organism, effectively nullifying any recognizability by returning the corpus to its elemental constituents. Though the individuality was destroyed by heat, everything that made the organism what it was is still entirely present within the egg. The insect cannot be reconstructed or even discerned from either observation or deconstruction of the egg; this egg is inanimate, and will not incubate or hatch any living organism. By encapsulating the physical remains, I have enacted a temporary remove from the incessant cycles of the natural world. Despite having altered the biological ecology that would have digested the corpse and used the constituent materials to build new, living bodies, I hope to have germinated or fertilized a contemplation in my sentient viewers of what it means to be made of material that used to be other beings.

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Morgan Chivers

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Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


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Morgan Chivers

An interview with

Morgan Chivers Hello Morgan, and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

That question never gets easier… I feel uncomfortable with the idea of deciding for others whether a creative endeavor gets to be called “Art” IF someone earnestly believes it is. So much of contemporary art is focused on a concept rather than an object or practice; when utterly mundane items only altered by the artist’s nod of attention and even completely non-material thoughts/sounds/events are accepted as Art (and those were the respective revolutions of a century an interview with and half-century ago!!), it seems a minefield awaits on whatever border one might wish to establish. In this post-post-post-modern landscape, any potential perspective holds a certain legitimacy so long as it doesn’t contradict itself (unless the irony of the contradiction is part of the point). All we can really do is discuss why we are more drawn to certain types of work over others…

I sometimes wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point?

I can see your point, though my personal academic history proves that I don’t feel stifled in the University environment. Some of those art students who feel muzzled may be attending programs with different educational goals than what the student is actually interested in learning, but I have a feeling the majority of those frustrated with the university art experience simply never get over the imposed structure and relative tedium of most foundations courses. Especially since painters, sculptors, photographers, film-makers, graphic designers, etc. are typically in mixed classes at the outset of a program, and the assignments have specific requirements that have to be met, the creativity in such courses is always boxed in by the need to fulfill the generalized rubric. Part of my experience pursuing the MFA in Glass & Intermedia at UT Arlington has been teachNico Amortegui

The hallmarks of contemporariness are easier to identify; to be considered contemporary the work should grapple with issues currently relevant to society, using appropriate methods and materials that both enrich the ideas the artist is working with and demonstrate an understanding of the ongoing and poly-factional concerns of the art-making/discussing community. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that were particularly impactful on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way,

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Particulate Pulse (inertness is relative), 2014, 13 x 33 x 13 cm clear glass, xenon, argon, krypton, copper, electricity

We come to know the universe primarily through our eyes; our visual explorations of worlds both vast and minuscule define the current era of scientific achievement. Yet the optically observable represent a mere sliver of the spectrum of interwoven phenomena creating our reality - we did not perceive ourselves in the midst of an expanding mist until we learned to see through radio waves. Paper-thin glass discs are supported by a glass tube suspended from loops of live wiring. The radio waves generated within each loop elude glass' non-conductivity, introducing electrical stimulation within the sealed space, overcoming the inert tendencies of the gasses trapped in the tube, emitting photons through ionization. Surrounded by complete darkness, this echoes our condition: a delicate balance seen through radio waves.

ing foundations-level classes, so I’m quite tuned-in to this concern. When I’ve taught 2D design, I tried to lessen whatever frustrations might arise by nipping them in the bud at the very beginning of the semester by telling the students that they would not make Art in that class; there were too many constraints placed on their creativity by the project parameters to honestly consider their work

anything more than exercises in design (which were supposed to help them build skillsets that would come in handy in subsequent classes/endeavors when they had the liberty to follow their creative impulses more freely). But I’ve known lots of students who get so jaded by their experiences in the first years of university art programs that they just want to get the degree 45


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Morgan Chivers

An Iconic Image, 2013, 33 x 33 x 42 cm, sintered clear glass An homage to the tradition of the first few hundred years; depicting the perceived without being.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on with your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

and get out. I think we have a real problem in this society of seeing the degree as a trophy to be attained, believing that the doors of opportunity will open based on the possession of the degreeprize. Sure, the titles on one’s CV hold a certain weight, but the experiences behind each title are what count. We need a pedagogical perspectiveshift; if you are legitimately interested in something, what could be better than agreeing to meet regularly with a group of other people who are also interested in that same subject? At their core, universities are institutions set up to facilitate this type of interaction…

For me, many variables are in flux from project to project. I follow my ideas where they lead rather than attempting to corral them into a skill-set I’ve already developed. Sometimes it feels a bit schizophrenic, as I find myself oscillating from inordinately repetitive tasks like tapping the same spot on a piece of paper with an ink pen for hours on end to outstandingly dynamic endeavors like placing the flammable remains of plants and animals into a two-thousand degree mass of clear glass... Other times I’m creating three-dimensional gestural lines with flowing strands of rapidlycooling hot glass, or sitting in front of a computer in a dim room trying to get a handle on 3D modeling software… making molds… skinning a found road-kill cat… charging neon/plasma glass pieces… My process is all over the place; I enjoy learning and practicing skill-sets and it keeps #196new Winter

I was lucky enough to do my undergraduate studies at a (then affordable) state university with a wide array of strong programs. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with life, so I wasn’t in a hurry to get out, and I took whatever classes intrigued me. One semester I took both Ancient Art History and Ancient Military History, and it made the art so much more interesting (and easier to remember!) because I knew more about the sociological/political/technological forces driving that society. Since then, I’ve consciously tried to approach whatever I’m interested in learning about from a more holistic perspective. 46


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me on interview my toes! What’swith truly important to me is that an I build my ideas the most appropriate vehicles for their journey into the viewers’ minds.

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the techniques to create, handle, and transport the airy glass discs; outside of the university context, it wouldn’t be reasonable for an artist to buy and fire a kiln that many times in experimental pursuit of such a fragile result.

I put a lot of effort into the research component of each piece. I’ve developed strategies to intentionally load my brain with information on topics I’m interested in making work about while experimenting with materials and meditating; I curate conditions of subconscious cross-pollination, encouraging my analytical brain to collaborate with my creative brain along avenues I cannot consciously navigate.

An Iconic Image was inspired by a class I took on Buddhist Art History, where I learned that for the first 500 years or so after the life of the historical man who is supposed to have become so famously enlightened, none of the art celebrating his apparent achievement actually depicted him. As the religion spread, a lot of art was made about the man, his many past lives, and the events leading up to parinirvana, but his physical form was not shown because what made him special was that he was believed to have broken the cycle of reincarnation; he was unique in that he no longer existed. The Buddhist Art made during this “aniconic” period would show the natural, human, and supernatural worlds reacting to the presence of a body (all eyes focused on an empty spot in the composition, footprints, etc.), but the body itself was never sculpted or painted. This beautiful resonance between cosmology and artistic representation gives rise to questions about the overVanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 whelming predominance of the iconography of the

Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with your interesting works entitled Particulate Pulse (inertness is relative) and An Iconic Image that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of these stimulating pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

These pieces are actually perfect examples of how the university is a uniquely hospitable environment for thoughtful art making! Both works also feature planes of sintered glass, which are extremely delicate. It took a lot of experimentation to develop Piedad 47


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would like to spend some words is Perceptible Particulates: as you said, "The universal human urge to explore the unknown in the universe has led us to this moment."... So I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

Buddha in the contemporary religion... my answer is An Iconic Image. The icon you see has only been suggested by the fragile planes of glass; the image of man is actually made of emptiness. The process of creating Particulate Pulse (inertness is relative) was even more indicative of the support structures a good university offers artists; the piece is the culmination of work for more than two years, which morphed, developed, and evolved as a result of numerous conversations and critiques with several professors and other grad students. One of the great things about attending a large university like UT Arlington are the interdepartmental opportunities; by being an engaged member of the university community, I was able to have several conversations with astrophysics professors who helped me understand how observations of deep space are actually made. The formal inspiration for the Particulate series came when looking at dozens of archived individual images made with radio telescopes for a method used to create 3D maps of nebulae by remarkably fine focus-control of the radio signal reception.

I suppose it depends on how exacting you want to be with your words - the Particulate series has its creative origins in two scenarios which most people would probably consider to be quite removed from “direct experience”: sifting a layer of crushed glass onto a shelf, pushing a few buttons on the kiln controller, and coming back the next day to see what happened; sitting in a crowded but quiet computer lab, clicking through hyperlinks in a spread-sheet on a government website… Nonetheless, a complex of personal experiences are at the heart of every piece I make, though my work is often not actually about those firsthand events. For instance, travel has been an important part of my life, but I haven’t been inspired to work about the act of travelling or the specific cultures interacted with while away from home. Instead, I embrace the remove from familiar surroundings as an initiating catalyst for new thoughts/insights, and as an exciting chapter in the unending quest for a more whole understanding of what it means to be alive on this planet at this moment.

But the piece really came together after a conversation with Don Beck, artist-in-residence in the Art + Art History Department’s neon/plasma studio rooted in Intermedia experimentation - he casually mentioned that it was possible to stimulate the plasma reaction in a piece without an electrode by generating a high-frequency radio field. I immediately asked him to show me how that worked; I knew I’d found a remarkable resonance between concept, materials, and form.

I think it’s important in this context to establish an inclusive definition of “direct experience” to allow for the moments of euphoric clarity as triggered by meditation, research, and the fantastic phenomenon by which our literate society allows the silent voices of other humans into my mind.

All matter is composed of smaller entities held together by an energy invisible to human eyes. All biotic systems are driven by an energy still mysterious to human minds. The universal human urge to explore the unknown in the universe has led us to this moment.

Another interesting work of yours that has been particularly impactful on me and on which I 48


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Perceptible Particulates, 2013 25 x 25 x 13 cm sintered clear glass, charred oak

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Peripheral ARTeries

Morgan Chivers

Reading is a central part of my process; the thoughts of other thinkers can interact with each other through the trough of my own thoughts, and the turn of a phrase can throw thoroughly new light on things. I’m also interested in how our understanding of words is in constant contextual flux. At the right moment, certain words can evoke personal experiences of sincere profundity. While we can exchange words with each other, they are not always able to communicate the actual feelings that inspired them. The way words work in our minds is altered by the frequency of their repetition and the variable sincerity in each reiteration of what might otherwise be regarded as sacred concepts. The statement itself is not necessarily less true - nor the idea less powerful due to the repetition of the words, though our minds tend to glaze over from over-stimulation and cease to absorb the significance of the sentiment. The obsessive repetition of text in works like Misanthropic Modernism Mantra holds references to contemporary culture’s complete overload of constant language intake, the din and blur of often

conflated understandings of inherently manipulated media, the difficulty of maintaining attention on anything in the presence of so much everything, the human connection with phrases and quotes of perceived significance studied in an attempt to internalize the significance of the words and/or repeated to one’s internal self as mantra, and the conundrum of soothing bliss when the sensory hemorrhage is so intense that the subjective perspective mellows to a droning buzz... By the way, I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need in a way to decipher them. Maybe that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal unexpected sides of Nature, especially of our inner Nature... what's your point about this?

Definitely... there are so many interwoven layers to this existence, it’d be remarkably foolhardy to believe that only the most obvious interpretations are valid modes of understanding! In our increasingly data-driven, analytical society, using a tool to bring a previously invisible (or unnoticed) metric to#196 bear Winter is a numbingly common 50


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macroscopic structure of the universe) through precise control of glass; we force glass to become a lens so that we may see what we are. In Central Gravity, I engage with glass in a symbiotic exchange, allowing the fluidity and grace of the material to reveal itself.

experience. Without denigrating or devaluing (in the slightest) the novel new ways of looking at the world as provided by science and technology, we can assert that art provides a vehicle for potentially life-changing insights into the nature of the world around (and within) us. Under certain conditions, the impact of an interaction with a work of thoughtful art can be immeasurably profound, and the reverberations of the thoughts triggered by the work of art can far outlast the wow-factor of some app that lets you track whatever in a new and seemingly exciting way. Great art blazes a path into the mind with such intensity that the memory of the thoughts thus generated are not easily forgotten; even if the specific memory of the vehicle (the work of art) fades, the sensation’s echo endures.

Again, this work required a lot of experimentation to arrive at finished results, and the object produced is inordinately fragile. One of my primary motivations for sustained investigation of these forms is their allusion to the Bolshoi Cosmological Simulation, which is the “best [visualization] yet made of the [...] large-scale structure of the universe, from shortly after the big bang to the present.” I find resonance in making reference to the Bolshoi Cosmological Simulation in glass sculptures because the simulation is a supercomputer generated set of data-derived images depicting the known universe as it would be from a theoretical position outside itself. By contrast, the most distant human-made observational equipment is Voyager 1, which has only recently penetrated the Heliopause in order to make direct photographic observations of interstellar space!

Everything is interconnected. From the neural networks that compose our thoughts to the webbed-strands of galactic density we exist within, electricity flows in a majestic cycle of continuous feedback. We are only able to see the microscopic structures within our brains (and gather the data that allows us to “see” the 51


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inertness is relative 2014 (variable)

inertness is relative 2014 (variable)

single-channel video

single-channel video

We have only barely begun to observe even our own small solar system from an outside position, and it seems unlikely under current understandings that it would even be possible to observe the universe from an outside position; these images I capture of my glass sculptures are simultaneously an homage to the wonders we have been able to witness through the lens and a testament to the limitations of such observations.

But yes, new media arts have been consistently fuzzing the line between the formerly siloed discipli nes; some of the most interesting things humans are doing right now are rooted in the simultaneous devotion to both Art and Technology. Every so often, a silo-enthusiast will pipe up and lament what they see as the muddying of art’s waters with the gimmicks of tech-happy creatives, longing for idealized days of raw emotion and intuitive art making. But they forget that there has always been art made for its own sake, for the simple enjoyment of the maker and the viewer, not intending to stir the philosophical pot any more than to say “check this out, this exists!” There must always be room for this type of activity, regardless of the chosen medium, though personally, I’m definitively drawn to projects that investigate the world with thoughtful curiosity and pose interesting questions to ponder and discuss with friends and colleagues. I think some artists just get tripped up on the new/old media divide because they are thoroughly invested in the old-school paradigm and feel they don’t have the time left to master the new, so they resist. The same complaints were raised about photography when it was new-fangled and magical… the same was probably said about writing when this marvelous medium was first experimented with!

I would like to mention “Inertness is Relative”, an experimental short made through progressive focusing on your aforesaid plasma & glass sculpture "Particulate Pulse (inertness is relative)" as installed at the Bullseye Glass Gallery in Portland during Emerge 2014. Your artistic production is strictly connected with the chance to create a deep synergy between Art and Technology... and I'm sort of convinced that new media art will definitely fill the dichotomy between art and technology and I will dare to say that Art and Technology are going to assimilate one to each other... what's your point about this?

I think this is a really important issue in contemporary culture - thanks for contextualizing my work as part of the conversation. There will always be some art that resists or denies the influences of technology, just as there will continue to be technological pursuits that do not intend to fulfill any of the requirements of even the broadest definitions of Art.

As a member of the last generation of humans to experience a more-or-less analog childhood and to harbor memories of a world sans Internet, I have 52


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inertness is relative 2014 (variable) single-channel video

The form is inspired by my conversations with an astrophysics professor at UTArlington. I asked him how astronomers are able to create the three-dimensional maps of star clusters and nebulae when our observations (even at the furthest cardinal points in our telescopes’ orbits) are made from positions that are far too close together for traditional stereoscopic techniques. He explained that radio telescopes are capable of being tuned (focused) to such an extraordinary degree of accuracy (and a kind of equivalent to an extremely narrow depth of field) that they are able to make observations of whatever phenomena they are studying slice by slice... like an MRI of deep space.

some inkling of the incomparable change brought about by the digital shift. Unless society collapses, Art will continue to become more thoroughly intertwined with Technology; soon it will no longer be an interesting question‌ it will just be what is. As far as Inertness is Relative is concerned, the video explores the sculpture by slowly pulling the focus from the infinite to the macro, allowing each

plane of glass to come into recognizable existence and fade into the haze before the next plane emerges into view. The photographic field of view is far narrower than with our biological eyes, so the viewer of the actual sculpture could never see the piece as filmed; the video becomes a technologically mediated way to see a sculpture inspired by the requisite technological mediation of science in space. 53


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Infinity Gaze 2013 106 x 50 cm performance conducted in solitude; giclee print

This work was inspired by becoming aware of the Dogon people, who express their cosmology through elaborate masks and associated rituals. Of the prescientific cultures who achieved some insights in alignment with modern cosmology, the Dogon have perhaps the most commonality. What was immediately of interest to me was the mask with dramatically elongated eyes, which I understand was designated to the character that looks into the infinite and attempts to bring back insights to the rest of the population. When I learned this, I had already been experimenting with a series of scanned works which were initially conceived to question the truth-value of our most objective tools of observation by moving the subject in a way that is inconsistent with the capacities of the method of investigation used. For Infinite Gaze, the scanner has been manipulated to capture a non-real depiction of the subject, this time by actually calibrating my eyes to the traveling CCD and struggling to maintain alignment with what is normally a passing phenomenon in order to see the phenomenon and myself differently. This method of manipulating the scanner adds an additional conceptual layer to the image as the evidence of a performance conducted in solitude, for in my motions I simulated the social space an effective philosopher must occupy. If one considers the scanning session as a metaphorical lifetime, I began in position for a straightforward scan, as most eventual philosophers begin their lives as a part of the general population. I then began my quest to see the infinite, to bear witness to the force that gives form and power to everything in our lives and structure to our self-awareness, but I did not hold onto my locked gaze with the lens and the bright, white light. I gradually released the rigors of maintained meditation and readjusted myself to bring my mouth closer to the bed for a straightforward scan so that I could attempt to transmit my insights to those who had not endeavored similar journeys. Bringing in aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism, it took dozens of such metaphorical lifetimes before I achieved the balanced harmony necessary to complete the journey. Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 Captions 4, details

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Infinity Gaze was inspired by the Dogon people, who elaborate their cosmology through masks and associated rituals: I have highly appreciated that way you manipulate the scanner adding an additional conceptual layer to an image, re- contextualizing it... Do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Depending on your frame of reference, you could see a binary divide between the two notions, or you could see a relationship in which the contemporary is a (near?) inescapable reference/derivative/refutation of its predecessors. The lineage can be convoluted and the connections counter-intuitive, but nothing is made in a vacuum; everything has an inspiration.

an interview with

Many pre-scientific cultures and some schools of contemporary cosmology and mathematics have cyclical or omnipresent notions of time, but by and large the world we function in is a three-way interplay between ideas of the past, the experience of the present, and the premonitions of the future. Alan Watts once made a very salient point that history and future are actually non-existent; they are mere notions we’ve invented to help make some sense of “the eternal Now”... Infinity Gaze grew out of a series of images produced using a scanner to document my body in various non-stationary states (Scanning the Horizons of Truth). The distorted images were sometimes unrecognizable, sometimes grotesque, sometimes abstractly beautiful. These works were an investigation into the notion that ill-fated endeavors to illuminate hidden truths with inadequate, ill-designed, or incomplete tool sets invalidate neither the truth nor the tool necessarily, only highlighting their inherent incompatibility. During these years your works have been exhibited in several important occasions and I think it's important to remark that you have received lots of awards... It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award or even the expectation of a positive feedback could influence the process of an artist... By the way, how important for you is the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

Piedad

The conception of a work is an intimate, personal experience for me; the vision often forms in my mind with my imagined self as the viewer of a work I’ve never seen before. Part of what motivates me to make a work is wanting to actually see it in real life, so the next thing I do is figure out how to translate the vision into materials that physics will allow to exist in some semblance of what I saw with 55


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my mind’s eye. Once I have a sense of whether it might be a feasible endeavor, I allow the imagined others into the still-mental installation; when I respect a person’s opinion, I try to internalize their perspective and use the collective of these imagined voices to help hone a nascent work into something that could communicate the idea at the core of my vision. One change in my process I’ve noticed since I began exhibiting my work in galleries is that I think about the finished cleanliness of the piece a lot more while I’m actually in the process of working on it in my studio - I don’t want to break the spell for some anonymous viewer with an unaligned corner or residual scratches on a polished surface. Something about the atmosphere of a shared studio facility with classmates and friends allows slight craft issues to be less of a concern in critiques than they are to someone who does not know the artist and has not seen them putting in the hours of effort to make the piece. There is a magically nuanced feeling of satisfaction when a curator I’ve never had any personal interaction with responds strongly to my work and selects it for an exhibition. The recognition that comes with an award is ultimately a humbling experience for me as I feel a responsibility to live up to that honor with my future works... Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Morgan. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

It’s been my pleasure… I’ve appreciated your thoughtful questions. I've just started my final year of grad school; the thesis is looming large on my horizon. In addition to the exhibition, I’ll be publishing a book of my art and writing in May, so I’ve got to keep my nose to the grindstone! Central Gravity, 2013

Here, we’ll see where the trail of opportunities leads me...

60 x 90 x 40 cm flowing strands of cooling hot glass

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an interview with

Everything is interconnected. From the neural networks that compose our thoughts to the webbed-strands of galactic density we exist within, electricity flows in a majestic cycle of continuous feedback. We are only able to see the microscopic structures within our brains (and gather the data that allows

Piedad

us to “see� the macroscopic structure of the universe) through precise control of glass; we force glass to become a lens so that we may see what we are. I engage with glass in a symbiotic exchange, allowing the fluidity and grace of the material to reveal itself.

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012

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Dy Ming An artist’s statement

"I am using a software, my artwork is inspired by my childhood, I was and I still a huge consumer of cartoons and comics, I always have a particular relationship with graphic arts, I am also somebody who like History. My work is a mix between pop art style and History, most of the time I am working on personalities that I found interesting, I am not putting any judgement on my piece, I use their images as something that we can change to become something else. My favorite artists are Basquiat, Lichtenstein and Kandinsky so in every piece I am trying to include things that reminds us my influences. "

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Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


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An interview with

Dy Ming Hello Dy Ming, and welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art?

Hello, it’s difficult to explain it clearly, but I’ll try, I think that Art is defines by expressions, and feelings, something that reflect a passion, something which is made to pleased and spread messages. By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

Contemporary art to me represents modernity, our life time. We can use it to talk about our society and our world.

an interview with Would you like to tell us something about your background? You are currently a student of Art: are there any experiences that have particularly impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point?

I was born in 1990 in a island named Saint-Martin in the Carribean, I’ve start drawing with a cousin of mine when I was around three or four years old.During my childhood I was watching a lot of cartoons and comics,I think that is the other reason why I am drawing, I’ve also lived in Saiint-Barthelemy for five years with my father during my 5th grades and middle school, at the end I was back to my home island until University.

Dy Ming

degree in visual communication, I’ve quit because it was annoying, and it was to me too much theoric. My personal experiences is made of travels and impact me a lot.I really think that a formal training can «€kill€» an artist development in the way that he can be closed into a bubble with things to do to respect without leaving him create something different. Personnaly I’ve learned more by myself, making my artistic education, but I have to say that Nico Amortegui school gives me basics.

After my A level, I’ve decide to move to France in Montpellier to join an Art school, after a year I got my exams, because of a personal problem I had to move to Bordeaux, I’ve started a 2 year technical

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Red Pinup

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

artists as Basquiat, Lichtenstein and Kandinsky. In my opinion Art is composed of three key elements: the artist, the artwork and members of the audience. The masterpiece without these two caracteristics doesn’t exist. My work is based on two things, researches and my imagination which lead me to something which gather personalities and characters in a world where they weren’t suppose to be. The goal of my work is to break what we knew

To me we can’t create something starting from nothing, as you can see, my work is influenced by

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Dy Ming

Kroi

Personally, I am preparing myself for a hour, to be sure of what I want and how to do it. Generally, the production takes me a day or two, sometimes I can leave a work for days and comeback on it to finish and add some details. The Legendary Player

Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from Kroi and The Legendary Player, an extremely interesting couple of pieces that our readers have already admired in the starting pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit https://www.behance.net/Dyming in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production.

about characters, give them a humoristic side to bring them into our privacy Illustrator is my main support and representes around 80% of my work, the rest is for my drawing and researches.

In the meanwhile, would you tell us something #196 Winter 62


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an interview with

Titans

about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

greatest soccer player, and I was thinking that it would look funny to do, Kroi is my version of my life with ups and downs.

For years, I’ve searched my artistic way where you can see something different, It takes me a while to define my style, I was staying hours without any ideas. I was frustrated because when I was reading Arts magazines, or Art books I was feeling like: how did he gets this idea? How come I can’t do something? and some day, in class, I started doing lines on a paper course and that’s how I have start.

I chosen to use softwares because I wasn’t happy of my results, but some day I will try again. Another stimulating works of yours that have particularly impressed me and which I would like to spend some words are MLK Man of Steel and Van Gogh Portrait... I also noticed that most of your pieces although often marked with a deep abstract feeling, are focused on "human" element, that - as in often Vanishing Point, Mixedstruggle media trid.piece, 2012 reveals such an inner and intense involCaptions 4, details

From that day I can say that I have discovered my style. The legendary player is a tribute to one of the

Piedad

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MLK man of steal

Van Gogh Portrait

vement... How much emotional involvement is important for your Art?

deep intellectual interaction, communicating a wide variety of states of mind : even though I'm aware that this might sound a bit naif, I have to admit that in a certain sense it unsettles me a bit... as another interesting piece of yours, entitled Entre it's an effective mix between anguish and thoughtless, maybe hidden happiness...

MLK man of steel is link to comics, a universe that really like, it’s a manner to make him as somebody who’s invincible. Van Gogh Portrait is more humoristic, it’s my version of an artist who was mentally ill and. I put a lot of emotion in my work, I question myself on how these personalities could be in our present, I try to imagine and I think that’s helps me a lot. To me human being is fascinating.

I would go as far as to state that this piece, rather than simply describing, pose us a question: forces us to meditation...

A feature of The Saxman Vodoo that has mostly impacted on me is your capability of creating a

The taxman voodoo was made unconsciously, I knew that I wanted to do something which deal 64


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The Saxman Voodoo

with a musician, but I didn’t know how it would look like at the end. Naivety is something that I take from Basquiat, in this piece we can see that the character is about to die, like what he loves con-sume him. It’s a bit of me here, when I am working everything around me is on pause, I can work for hours, and after in my mind I feel like I have to pass more time with my lover.

The Homeless Guitarist

The guitarist is a story about a homeless guys in a subway tunnel, He’s playing music but nobody really care about him, lines and spots shows here the music rhymes and thinks, it represent the whole day of this man, a man who is trying to exist.

What has mostly impressed me of your palette is that it is capable of establishing such a dialogue, a synergy between different tones, instead of a contrast: in particular I love the thoughtful nuances of red that I can recognize 65


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Louis

in The homeless Guitarist... By the way, any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

An I couldn't do without mentioning Roots and especially Mr Twin and Twin which have particularly impacted on me and I have to admit that it's one of my favourite pieces of yours and that our readers have already admired in the starting pages of this article... By the way, just few times ago an artist that I happened to interview told me that "to build a artwork we need physical involvement, great immediacy. Forms mature upon their long being created in imagination" I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative #196 Winter

My palette is made of dotes and lines, I like the fact that they are opposites, one give a feeling of a static image and the other energy and dynamism.Colors in my work is very important, for example, the homeless guitarist, I’ve put colors which can give an idea of what happens in his day, Happyness, disappointment, hope. It was one of my first ever work, and this one served as my style laboratory, I’ve tried a lot of things on it. 68


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an interview with

Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 Captions 4, details

Piedad

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Dr.Julius

Robincky

process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

In my opinion, personals experiences are linked to what we are, you can’t create without it. it’s a road that you cannot ignore, unconsciously you doing your art with it, when you’re working you put a bit of you into it. Te me it’s difficult to create something without any direct experience.

supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an awardcould even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Now let's talk about exhibitions and audience's feedback... it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of

I think that when you’re an artist we have keys to influate, we are like sponges, when something happens in our family or personal life, you can see

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Strong lady

The couple

it in the artist work. The audience is the jury, he is capable of make your reputaion, In my case, I am trying to do different themes to include most people.I wish that everybody could enjoy my work. I don’t know who is going to like my work,to me, my work is special, it’s not really beautiful, it’s not perfect, my audience will probably be persons that like different stuffs, crazy things that force you to ask yourself if it’s art or not.

you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

You’re welcome, thank you for showing interest to my work,I’ll continue my studies, and practicing as much as possible to enlarge my art art vision and skills, I’ll try to see If my work can be shown and if it can happens into the world of Arts, I hope that I could sale some work in a close future. It will probably not be easy but I will give myself a chance to show what I am doing.

Thanks a lot for your time and fro sharing your thoughts with us, Dy Ming. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for

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(USA)

Dustin Luke Nelson is the author of the chapbook "Abraham Lincoln" (Mondo Bummer, 2013). He is a founding editor of the literary magazine InDigest and the host of the InDigest Reading Series in New York City. He is a 2012 National Poetry Series finalist and has recently published work in the Greying Ghost Pamphlet Series, Fence Magazine (forthcoming), Paper Darts, Opium, METRO Twin Cities, 3:AM, Shampoo, and elsewhere. He has had work anthologized in 21 Love Poems (Hell Yes Press) and the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology. His videopoetry has been screened at the Loft 594 gallery (Brooklyn), Spring Break Gallery (Miami), Shoebox Gallery (Minneapolis), the O, Miami Poetry Festival, Moving Poems, Cordite, SCUD, and elsewhere. He was also a writer and producer on Radio Happy Hour, which ran briefly on Minnesota Public Radio, and on Geocachers, a web series. His writing has also appeared on The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Bookslut, Powells, Guernica, News Makeup, Prefix Magazine, Thought Catalog, and elsewhere. He lives in Astoria and works at the Greenwich Village music venue and art gallery Le Poisson Rouge. He blogs at blogsareaboutego.blogspot.com.

#196 Winter 1


Dustin Luke Nelson

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Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


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Dustin Luke Nelson

An interview with

Dustin Luke Nelson Hello Dustin Luke, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artwork as a piece of Contemporary Art? Do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Anything that is intended as art can be art. It's in the presentation and the goals of the work. That's why a readymade works. If someone hands me the New York Times from February 8, 1985 and says it's art, it changes. It's something new now. It's a reference to itself. To the viewer. It's the date on the paper that makes it contemporary or not, which isn't necessarily a part of any dichotomy. Everything is a sliding scale. an interview with The collective thinks differently today than it did yesterday and that evolves. Could Kenneth Goldsmith's Printing the Internet exist even twenty years ago? No. But it's not in opposition to tradition. It's a point along the same spectrum that something more "traditional" exists on. I tend to think about this loosely. It keeps doors open for yourself. It keeps art inclusive. It resists commodified definitions. Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that particularly impacted on the way you currently produce your Art? By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity... what's your point?

In art I don't have a lot of formal training. I've had some, but I often dabble. I like to learn a little about a process and try and bring that back to the forms I'm comfortable in. I agree — and this is personal and certainly not true of everyone, but is for me — that formal training can feel stifling. It's contextual, but I often found that the sort of formalized university kind of setting wasNico a creativity killer for me. I'm better off learning Amortegui history in that setting and learning with my hands, collaborating, assisting.

My background was primarily in writing. Fiction and poetry. I went a little ways down the path of traditional filmmaking and didn't find it to my liking, but I think I learned a lot there that impacted how I approach work and what I think is possible for me. 74


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Dustin Luke Nelson

For the most part my education has been in assisting others with their work, learning from them, from people I respect and want to learn from. Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell to our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

week or it's not going to work. The momentum will be lost. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes a work needs to hit the point of lost momentum for me to let it go. I need to do lots of things and let them go before completion. Letting go is important. Other times I let ideas germinate for a year, two, three before starting on it. I take lots of notes. It's my way of sketching I think. I build piles of notes on my desk about things and at some point something triggers the idea that I need to collect them and then I start working on it more physically.

I think everything for me, as far as process goes, is about momentum. I need to feel the momentum of a project/piece/work before finding a place for it in my life. Sometimes that means I have an idea and I know it has to be done by the end of next

In general, I try to make play a part of that process. I'm envious of the artist who has a shack in the woods and works and works and works and works and everything is that work. For me I'm living that in some #196 ways, Winter but I'm a person. 76


Banaz Jacob

I have to work. I have to give my daughter a bath. I want to watch a movie with my wife. I want to watch hockey. I probably watch too much hockey. Play is how I keep moving. Preparation involves play for me. Sketching. Putting contact paper on torn cardboard and pasting words to it. Writing notes over and over. Taking pictures of the same thing over and over.

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Movies like Congo or The Queen.) Most of the process isn't play, but I think it's something a lot of people forget when they start taking themselves very seriously. I think a sense of play in your process keeps you honest, makes you retain a sense of humor about art. Art is funny. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from STRIKE TWO, that our readers can view directly http://vimeo.com/91679558... In the meanwhile,would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

I've been taking pictures of garbage in New York for months lately. I've also been taking portraits of objects I'm throwing away. It's just a way of engaging with ideas I'm thinking about on a day to day basis. I've been collaging words. I make zines about movies people don't make zines about. (Changing the motivation of the fan zine. It's not films I love, it's films that don't have that kind of love. Piedad

I love history. It's always viewed as a great touchstone to learn about the present, right? Common enough view. But I like how it's all Vanishing askew. It'sPoint, messy.Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 77


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Dustin Luke Nelson

Full of lies, but is supposed to be so rock solid, pure, correct. All histories are biased. They're a particular story omitting thou-sands of others. So maybe it's empirically true that you can learn from history, but what history, what interpretation? I wanted to interpret a story broadly. I wanted to tell a story slant. I wanted it to embody the divide between eras. To be comically aware of the divide, the use of cell phones, the vlog style. I wanted it to be an inverse view. Strike is silent, at least arguably so, and STRIKE TWO is arguably aural. Eisenstein was an innovator in editing, so there are no edits. While that divide is a little comically and abundantly clear, it doesn't indicate any answer. These are questions without answers. Does the narrator learn something from watching Strike? Does the telling of that watching impact the process of learning from history?

I watch STRIKE TWO and I think there are pathos, there's an understanding of pain despite his distractions. We don't give things our full attention always, but does that necessarily mean we don't learn, we don't feel, we don't change? The ready answer is that technology, cell phone culture, is dulling us to relationships and pathos in real life. I think I believe that, but I don't know that it's true. As an artist, your trajectory is double, professional and artistic. The professional activity has brought you a lot of experience in technical and some methodologies applicable to other fields... If I have been asked to choose an adjective that could sum up in a single word your art, I would say that your it's "kaleidoscopic"... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy bet78


Dustin Luke Nelson

ween different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

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in June called APPLAUSE. It was a performance of applause. I clapped for two hours without stopping in a field. But it was open to the public in the sense that people could watch, but that could also join. They were encouraged to join if they felt the urge. The door was open to this kind of turning into anything, it was open to me losing control of it. I envisioned it, in part, as opening up a bit of a meditative space.

I probably have an unhealthy fear of doing the same thing twice, though I'm working through that on a new project that's related to STRIKE TWO. I'm moving glacially slow on that. I think that's all born out of fear. So, some of that variety is about fear. But I also feel inspired when I pull things between mediums. The unexpected juxtapositions and eureka moments can be a great catalyst. I'm not someone who thinks that this is what this piece of art is and it's nothing else. That's fine, but it doesn't do much for my mental space. I love being surprised. That's part of the process for me is leaving the door to unexpectedness open.

Applause means all these things to us. We clap for so many reasons and we all clap and we all have the same voice when we clap. I think that meditative space opened up some, but it was really much more of a community when it was going. People encouraged each other to get to the end of the two hours. They wanted to do it. They wanted to get to the end together.

I did a piece at the Walker Art Center's Open Field 79


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When people would leave the "clapping space" everyone would applaud them — turning to them and cheering for them for what they gave to the group. It was incredible to have that piece turn and open up to the unexpected generosity of the people involved.

to shoot it, it changes and grows. I'm tired of some work before it even exists. Is it necessary or indispensable? I don't know. I don't go in for the sweeping generalization of art. It's so amorphous that as soon as you say something is absolutely this way, someone will make something with the aim of disproving that. I never thought of any of my work as personal, but I put myself into a lot of the work so it is, at least on the surface, personal. THREE is certainly personal. It actually came from a sense of play and needing to play within the confines of my life. My wife felt the same and so we worked together to create this. It was a bit of a whim. In the sense that it emerged from play it also looks back at what I said about momentum.

Another interesting work of yours that has particularly impressed me is the THREE series: by the way, just few months ago an artist that I happened to interview told me that "to create an we need physical involvement, great immediacy. Forms mature upon their long being created in imagination" I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indispensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

This happened quickly. We talked and then we did it. I had some extra film and we just did it. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

I like that quote, especially the last sentence. I think that's kind of what my taking notes for months is about. If I shoot STRIKE TWO in my mind over and over and over and before using a camera

Your work often reveals a socio-political criticism, and in my opinion #196 Winterit also seek to 80


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doing a great job of fighting that, but I want some work to be inclusive. I'm white and male. If I'm not thinking about privilege to some extent I'm lying to myself. I think it's a problem, at least here in America where my eyes are, that lots or artists, lots of people, ignore. I don't want to grandstand or something. That's crazy. I'm not doing enough. I need to do more. During these years, your works have been exhibited in several occasions: it goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of the indispensable moral support to go ahead with his art production an artist... I was just wondering if it could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces?

an interview with

Consciously or not, feedback influences people. I feel it. I like feedback from people I know and respect. It's good to get it from elsewhere, but I have a fear of it. That comes from a lot of places probably.

and question the audience’s role as passive consumer: and I'm sort of convinced that Art these days could play an effective role not only making aware public opinion, but I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can steer people's behavior... what's your point about this?

I like contacting artists when I see something I like online. I like to just email them and say I

I guess I'll start at the socio-poitical angle: At the risk of being prescriptive, I think it's important that an element of that exists even if that's not what a particular work is about. It's not necessary of course, but I think that there's a certain privilege to being an artist at any level, even as a hobby, and that is a part of the process: You're able to do this. That's not true of all artists, but a majority of American artists, I'd venture. If you're working from a place of privilege I think you forgo the privilege of doing and saying nothing. Nothing is something. A lot of recent work (APPLAUSE and I Was Distracted, But I'm Better Now in particular) are concerned with exclusivity. I don't Caption 4 know that I'm 81


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Dustin Luke Nelson

genuine relationship between business and Art...

enjoyed your work. the internet makes it easy to do so, but for most work not that many people will do that. Not that many take the time to be positive online. We support the people we know, but we don't always just stop and tell a stranger that you appreciated what they did. Immediacy doesn't necessarily breed intimacy. I like to try and talk to people. We all say that this is a great part about the internet, but surprisingly few people use it. We don't just support strangers. Say hi. I understand why people don't. It's time consuming. It's scary.

I've only worked in America, so I should maybe only speak about America, but that's how capitalism works, I think they're inextricable. If I have to work 60 hours a week because I have rent and a family and want the internet and want a phone, etc. then business is inextricable from art. Many great artists will have limited outputs —€by choice or necessity — because they need a job or need to take freelance gigs to pay for things. If by genuine you mean that there's a synthesis and beautiful flowering from within that relationship, I think that has happened for many people and that economics functions as material in those relationships. For many projects/pieces capitalism or economics is a part of the project by necessity and doesn't do great things for the

Moreover, I couldn't do without mentioning that you are a founding editor of the literary magazine InDigest and the host of the InDigest Reading Series in New York City... I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a 82


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I'm working on a lot of stuff. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about the death penalty in America — which is a pretty barbaric practice without a very good defense. I'm working on a larger piece of writing about the death penalty in America. I've also just completed a performance of Applause, as I mentioned, and a postcard project where I interrupt people in their daily lives and ask them to send a postcard to a stranger. I've got a few new short films that are screening in the late summer and fall and I've just finished a series of short plays. A new project that's a bit of a turn on STRIKE TWO. I also am putting finishing touches on a book called "in the office hours of the polar vortex" that's coming out in mid-2015. It's a poetry collection, but also includes lots of visual work. So, the fall/winter will be busy. But in good ways.

work. Other times it does. It can be used as a material, but it's unfortunate that it's often a material by necessity rather than choice. It certainly does more harm than good in art (and elsewhere), capitalism, but some people use it as raw material and that can be powerful. For the projects you mention, there is little business involved. InDigest is a labor of love. My money goes in because I care about it. So it's a material, but I don't know that it adds much or hinders it much. It's a part of what is necessary, but marginally so. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Dustin Luke. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you Caption 7 would like readers to be aware of? 83

Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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#196 Winter 1


Céline Trouillet (France / Germany)

A native of Colmar, born in 1975, and a graduate of the Ecole supérieure des arts décoratifs in Strasbourg, video artist Céline Trouillet regularly presents her films in international video exhibitions and festivals. She has received a number of grants from the French arts council and is a former lauriat of the Centre Européen d'Actions Artistiques Contemporaines in Strasbourg. Her work is included in private and public art collections in France and Switzerland and a DVD of her work to date will be published in 2014.

Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


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Céline Trouillet

An interview with

Céline Trouillet Hello Céline, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual introductory question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art? Do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

That's a complex question made even more so by Duchamp's readymades, minimalism, conceptual art and the invention of video art. Do audio-visual pieces share the same basic characteristics as other more traditional art forms for example, or does their temporal nature place them outside the realm of aesthetic contemplation in the traditional sense, as an with ? someinterview critics have contended If there is a dichotomy between previous art forms and contemporary art, I guess video art would be a prime example in that it's one of the most recent new technological forms to have emerged and it appeared at a time identified by some observers as the beginning of postmodernism and late capitalism. Personally, I tend to see art as a continuous flow from the practitioner's point of view, regardless of historical categorization, and my films are informed by art history and cinema history to some extent. For example, SONG N°14 references Renaissance annunciation paintings among other things. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You graduated at Ecole supérieure des arts décoratifs in Strasbourg: how has this experience impacted on the way you currenly produce your artworks? By the way, I sometimes I wonder if a certain kind of formal training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

I'm a French video artist born in Colmar in Alsace

Céline Trouillet

and currently based in Strasbourg. I began studying photography in Mulhouse art school where I decided I wanted to get into video but there wasn't much in the way of video teaching or equipment there so I applied to Strasbourg where there was a bit more happening in terms of video. But even there, as a deaf student, I was kind of in a bubble and mostly did my own thing (I even started filming bubbles, in relation to the question of communication). So I can't really say much about the stifling of creativity or not as I was very much on the margins of the institution. However, the work I did in Strasbourg directly established the basis for what I'm doing now. Initially I filmed myself under water trying to speak. I subsequently started filming deaf people using sign language or singing out loud. This was the beginning of the SONG series of singing portraits that has been going on ever since. There is a parallel series of films called DANCE Nico which I'mAmortegui aiming to work more on in the near future.


Céline Trouillet

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A still from SONG N°22 - 4'40" - 2013 (HD 16/9)

Voice: Amélie and Marion Aubry Music: "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Bonnie Tyler Twin teenage sisters from a village in Burgundy perform "Total Eclipse of The Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. The idea of outer space represented by the term "eclipse" in the song title is echoed by the starry backdrop and the fact that twins are to be found in the constellation of Gemini, all of which is in contrast to the inner emotional space of the heart and the intimate complicity the twins represent.

Before starting to elaborate about your production, would you like to tell our readers something about your process and set up for making your artworks? In particular, what technical aspects do you mainly focus on your work? And how much preparation and time do you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I try to keep the films as simple and as minimal as possible, both aesthetically and technically speaking. I have a particular idea about how I want the composition and lighting to be and these factors are consistent throughout the series with some

minor variations and exceptions. The preparation and production time varies, it could be quite rapid or take months. The biggest difficulty is finding the right people who have the courage to be represented in this way. Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from SONG N°22, that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that I would suggest to view this interesting work directly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF2bpcg_JZk in order to get a wide idea of it... in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the


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CĂŠline Trouillet

an interview with A still from SONG N°23 - 5'15'' - 2013 (HD 16/9) Signer: Marianne Queval Music: "Il me dit que je suis belle" by Patricia Kaas Marianne Queval, who was voted Deaf Miss France and runner up for Deaf Miss World in 2013, performs "Il me dit que je suis belle" (He Tells Me I'm Beautiful) by Patricia Kaas, a song about women's desire to believe in men's flattery. The deaf beauty pageant parallels the regular competition but does not benefit from the same media profile.

genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

I saw the two sisters singing together and was interested in the fact they were identical twins and the way they played off each other's voices in the song. I was also interested in the fact that they were young and on the threshold of becoming young women as I also have two daughters of my own (though not twins) who are now approaching adolescence. When I was their age I was an only child in a single-parent family and therefore spent a lot of time alone, so being that close to someone and never feeling alone is an attractive idea to me. I also wanted to play on the idea of the connection

between the twins and the wider cosmos, given that the song uses an eclipse as a metaphor and twins form the astrological sign Gemini. Up until this point, all my films in the SONG series had been individual portraits and the fact they are kind of one being split in two justified breaking the usual pattern and trying something new in relation to the composition within the 16/9 aspect ratio and so on. A feature of Song n°23 that has mostly impacted on me is your capability of creating a deep intellectual interaction, communicating a wide variety of states of mind: even though I'm aware #196 Winter that this might sound a bit naif, I have to admit


Céline Trouillet

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an interview with

A still from SONG N°23 - 5'15'' - 2013 (HD 16/9)

that in a certain sense it unsettles me a bit... it's an effective mix between anguish and thoughtless, maybe hidden happiness... I would go as far as to state that this piece, rather than simply describing, pose us a question: forces us to meditation...

I think some of the films are slightly unnerving in a way, though not always for the same reasons necessarily. Handicapped people are often not very visible and their marginalisation and consequent rarity may cause reactions of unease in the general population. Indeed, part of what I'm trying to do is render various marginalised people more visible, at least within the cultural sphere I operate in. In Song N°23 the situation is additionally tense perhaps because the performer is a real beauty queen but in a marginalised forum and the song explores the self-delusion of women wanting to believe in the flattery of men and thus defining

themselves through the male gaze. In any case, art does not exist just to reinforce our preconceptions, sometimes it should be disturbing. Another interesting piece of yours on which I would like to spend some words is entitled Song n°18, that I have to admit is one of my favourite projects of yours... I can recognize such a subtle but effective socio political criticism in this interesting work... as our reader will notice at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcrdoQ3mopo&fea ture=youtu.be, the song "El Emigrante", deals with the difficulties faced by migrants forced to leave their homeland for economic or political reasons... By the way, although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naïf, I'm sort of convinced that Art in these days could play an effective role not only making aware public opinion about socio political Vanishing Point, Mixed media trid.piece, 2012 issues: I would go as far as to say that nowadays


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Céline Trouillet

A still from SONG N°23 - 5'15'' - 2013 (HD 16/9) Voice: Céleste Garcia Music: "El Emigrante" by Juanito Valderrama (instrumental) Céleste, a retired lady living in France, was raised by Spanish parents in Morocco. Here she performs "El Emigrante", which deals with the difficulties faced by migrants forced to leave their homeland for economic or political reasons, a song that was a big hit when she visited Spain for the first time in the early 1950s.

Art can even steer people's behavior... I would take this chance to ask your point about this. Do you think that it's an exaggeration? And what could be in your opinion the role that an artist could play in our society?

I really enjoyed shooting this video because the performer really threw herself into it and obviously enjoyed the whole experience and I feel her personality comes across very strongly in the film as a result. There is a certain level of social commentary in many of the films, although this one didn't actually start out that way. I met the performer in a post office queue by accident and we got chatting and I was struck by her charisma and she imme-

diately agreed to sing for me. She chose that particular song because it was a big hit when she first visited Spain as a young woman in the early 1950s. Her own grandparents had emigrated to a Spanish colony in the late 19th or early 20th century so she was something of a foreigner in Spain herself having never lived there. So the film is primarily about her and her nostalgia for her youth, but the song reminds us of the political context in Spain which was then under dictatorship (one of the main reasons for migration presumably). This also strikes a chord today, given that migration is still a major issue around the world and some of the extreme political philosophies from


CĂŠline Trouillet

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A still from SONG N°23 - 5'15'' - 2013 (HD 16/9)

the Spanish Civil War period seem to be coming out of the woodwork again. I'm not a political activist, but I think art can sometimes make people re-evaluate their preconceptions about things. At the same time, propagandist art often tends to fail in an artistic sense (maybe because it is too illustrative) and I don't want to shove political messages down viewers' throats, preferring to present them with the viewpoint of someone else and let them make up their own mind. Collaboration is a crucial aspect of your art practice: as for me, I strongly believe that most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project... could you tell us something about the synergy that you establish with the performer with whom you create your pieces? By the way, the artist Peter Tabor once said that "collaboration is working together

with another to create something as a synthesis of two practices, that alone one could not": what's your point about this? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between several artists?

Well I work with different performers on every film so a new working relationship has to be established each time and sometimes it works better than others. Some of the performers are pros or semipros which helps in the sense that they are used to being filmed and producing polished and repeatedly consistent results, thus speeding up the process. In many cases they contribute a great deal to the finished piece and i've enjoyed some really fruitful collaborations with these artists (as was the case with SONG N°8 for instance). However, a professional stage persona can also serve as a kind of barrier to hide behind. Often non-professionals are easier to bring to the point where I'm getting what I want from them and are less likely to impose their


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Céline Trouillet

an interview with A still from SONG N°21 - 4'30'' - 2012 (HD 16/9) Voice: Eloise Perez Music: "Voyage, Voyage" by Desireless (instrumental) Elise is a singer of Gypsy origins who is nostalgic for the era of caravan journeys she enjoyed as a child and which almost no longer exists. Today she works for the French railway system. Here she presents a rendition of the Gypsy hymn to the music of the song « Voyage, Voyage » by Desireless.

own vision of things on the piece or be worried about their professional image. Even though the amateur performances may be less accomplished in musical terms, very often they are more engaging as portraits, for example SONG N°9 in which an elderly woman sings a popular song from her youth about a blissful future marriage. And I couldn't do without mentioning SONG N°21 that our reader can admire directly at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sirYsPkxc&feature=youtu.be which clearly reveals the importance of personal experience in all the accepted meanings... Just few times ago an artist that I happened to interview told me that

"to create a work of art we need physical involvement, great immediacy. Forms mature upon their long being created in imagination" I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

I can't speak for other artists but in my particular case personal experience is indeed necessary and unavoidable, whether it relates to my own personal history or that of the performer or our experience of working together. In the case of SONG N°21 for #196 Winter example, the artistic object is a video conceived


Céline Trouillet

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an interview with

A still from SONG N°23 - 5'15'' - 2013 (HD 16/9) Voice: Eloise Perez Music: "Voyage, Voyage" by Desireless (instrumental) Elise is a singer of Gypsy origins who is nostalgic for the era of caravan journeys she enjoyed as a child and which almost no longer exists. Today she works for the French railway system. Here she presents a rendition of the Gypsy hymn to the music of the song « Voyage, Voyage » by Desireless.

and directed by me but the singer's life story contributes to the content of the film in a major way in that she's a member of the Roma community who travelled in caravans as a child but today works for the French national railway company). During these years you have received grants from the French arts council and I think it's important to mention that you are a former lauriat of the Centre Européen d'Actions Artistiques Contemporaines in Strasbourg... It goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of providing an artist with the indespensable moral support to go ahead with

her art production an artist... I was just wondering if it could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

I'm very lucky to have received support from various French state (or state-sponsored) art and cinema institutions. Their contributions have helped fund the cost of equipment and film production and also serve Vanishing Point, Its Mixed 2012 to raise morale. suremedia that trid.piece, without any positive feedback the life of an artist would be pretty mise-


Peripheral ARTeries

Céline Trouillet

A still from SONG N°23 - 5'15'' - 2013 (HD 16/9) Voice: Eloise Perez Music: "Voyage, Voyage" by Desireless (instrumental) Elise is a singer of Gypsy origins who is nostalgic for the era of caravan journeys she enjoyed as a child and which almost no longer exists. Today she works for the French railway system. Here she presents a rendition of the Gypsy hymn to the music of the song « Voyage, Voyage » by Desireless.

rable, nevertheless the history of art does include a number of artists who perservered in spite of everything. However, in the case of film and video, the work has no real existence if it is not being screened anywhere so the films have to appeal to somebody on a selection panel to get screened in festivals or exhibitions. I don't know if filmmakers could concoct something to deliberately conform to the indie festival circuit as its a bit of a lottery as far as I can see.

if Velasquez and Goya are anything to go by. Business and art would seem to have rather different agendas and, as the old adage puts it, "who pays the piper calls the tune", but then again artists have to eat and pay their rent. Personally, I don't rely on corporate patronage so it isn't an issue, but my own feeling is that artists should remain true to them-selves, otherwise why bother? I'm sure there must be easier paths to fame and fortune if that's all you're after.

One hears stories about artists who find themselves trapped in circumstances where former success dictates what they do next but then again even court painters can produce interesting work of their own,

As for the audience, like many video artists I rarely get feedback from viewers as the films are shown around the world in distant places which I don't get to go to as a rule.


Céline Trouillet

Peripheral ARTeries

A still from SONG N°23 - 5'15'' - 2013 (HD 16/9) Voice: Céleste Garcia Music: "El Emigrante" by Juanito Valderrama (instrumental) Céleste, a retired lady living in France, was raised by Spanish parents in Morocco. Here she performs "El Emigrante", which deals with the difficulties faced by migrants forced to leave their homeland for economic or political reasons, a song that was a big hit when she visited Spain for the first time in the early 1950s.

Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Céline. My last question deals with your future plans: what's next for you? Anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

There are a number of film projects in the pipeline plus a limited-edition commercial DVD compilation of the entire SONG series produced by Ecart productions in Strasbourg which should be released at the end of the year. Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg

Peripheral ARTeries Art Review - September 2014  

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