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Special Issue

Special Issue Winter 2015

Externo e Interno (External and Internal), 2012 by Zilamar Takeda Papel de fibra de lĂŁ especial, (Felt Paper) fios e estruturas de arames Special wool fiber paper (FeltPaper) wire structures - 250 cm x 120 cm


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Special Issue Margaret Noble

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Zilamar’s work makes use the of the rich heritage of ancient textile techniques and settles in the contemporary art since the flexibility of the media that is used allows the coexistence of conceptual and material, the sculptural and pictorial. Her proposal is also contemporary for presenting the palpable concreteness of her materials in contrast to the asepsis of fully virtual of the two-dimensional one.

"My work starts exclusively with an idea of interest; some seed of context that is neglected, in tensionor resonates as a problem. I then spend a good deal of time researching my selected topic of interest until I feel that I have something."

Scott D’Arcy "My main drive to make art is a pursuit of truth around how images function and exsist through a long line of experimentation. I am drawn to beauty and very interested in its construction and purpose from a cultural stand point. Collective notions of beauty and taste are shared and represented through a wide range of mediums over long periods of history."

Tristan Mackendrick

Zilamar Takeda

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Nathalie Borowski This art project seeks to connect ‘homelessness’ with the reality of international refugees and Internally Displaced People My conception has been influenced by the pholosopher Martin Heidegger’s thoughts on the nature of ‘dwelling’ and the “transcendental homelessness” of contemporary technological civilisation

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My artwork has never held a single trajectory, only the guarantee that my next project will diverge greatly from the last. Over time my images have gone from documentary to narrative to conceptual to emotive and back again. My photographs are an extension of myself, my experiences, and on occasion, the scars they left behind. They are a personal narrative.

Xavier Blondeau "Obscure presence is research in which I currently subscribe. There are places or situations in which , despite the absence of human entity , a presence exists beyond objects. This presence "dark " as the persistence of the recent past , gives things another dimension."

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Picaroon

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It is impossible to tell with any deal of certitude, yet this freedom results in a sensation that is as diverse as the people that attend. There are elements that the artist may have limited or no control over: adverse weather conditions, places that are too lonely, or too busy, or the people themselves, who may not have the time or patience to commit to what one wants to show them.

Olga Karyakina

Gema Herrero's work is linked to the photo, the video, the installations and the use of the technology. The temporary things, the state of change and the transformations, are a constant in all projects, which feed with the records gathered in the covered trajectories and which are the proper traces and the tracks left by others from the experience of the state of transit and provisional state.

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When you are a foreigner, you are always feeling like a highlight- ed person. I felt a high level of «what does it mean to be highlighted», being a tall blonde woman in Mexico. I was thinking about how to show this feeling. One of the possible spaces for my installation was abandoned meal factory, named «La Blanca» (“White”) I found this place 4000 sq feet dark and dirty.

Paul Santoleri

Gema Herrero

Tanya Stadnichenko The feeling of the dominant natural culture is the axis of most projects. She compare asocial environment areas, the urban places and human work directly with them, the author explores all known laws, exposing them. The natural background is becoming legislator and inspirer, and organic natural forms combined with the industrial world and the increasing globalization of nomadism tools for translating ideas.

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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.

Yotam Zohar "My work is mostly representational, which meansthat it contains depictions of real-world objects andorganisms as they appear on a human scale. I employ a philosophy of “by any means necessary” in order to arrive at a finished composition"

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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Margaret Noble (USA) An artist’s statement

I create objects, installations and performances that investigate the echoes of time in contemporary identity and environment. I focus on narratives and legacies left behind by families, media and technology. I use found objects, construct new objects and design sound to activate spaces, reference history and pose questions about perception. I draw on a wide variety of materials and symbols to juxtapose ideas. I play with time travel as I move between generational influences, historical myths and the future. Margaret Noble

Born in Texas and raised in San Diego, Margaret Noble’s artwork has been exhibited across the United States, Canada and abroad in Europe. Noble’s art has been featured on PBS and positively reviewed in Art Ltd Magazine, the San Diego Union Tribune, and San Francisco Weekly. She holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego and an MFA in Sound Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Noble has been awarded the International Governor’s Grant, the Hayward Prize, the Microsoft Global Educator Award for Arts and Mathematics and the Creative Catalyst Fellowship. Noble’s artistic residencies include the MAK Museum in Vienna and at the Salzburg Academy of Fine Art. Her solo exhibition, 44th and Landis was featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego from 2012-2013. In 2014, she won first place in the Musicworks Magazine electronic music composition competition. Margaret Noble’s work is influenced by the beat-driven dance culture of southern California during the 1980s. This inspiration led her to perform as an electronic music DJ in the underground club community of Chicago for several years during the late nineties. In 2004, Noble branched out from the dance floor into more experimental interests and created a monthly arts showcase called Spectacle in Chicago; during this period, she performed and produced experimental works with a variety of cutting edge new-media artists. Her interdisciplinary work resides at the intersection of sound, installation and performance. 4

#196 Winter


Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Margaret Noble

An interview with

Margaret Noble Hello Margaret, first I would give you welcome to Peripheral ARTeries: to start this interview, would you like to tell us something about your background? You hold a BA in Philosophy, from the University of California, San Diego and an MFA in Sound Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago: how have these experiences influenced you in the way you currently produce your artworks?

Both of these educational experiences have deeply influenced my research and artistic motivations. In the instance of philosophy, I was trained to question and analyze all manners of ideas with a critical eye. I find this practice resonate with what many contemporary artists do today.

an interview with They investigate ideas, put forth arguments and problem solve through form. Later, when I began my studies in sound art, I was at first pushing to learn the technical and formal aspects of creating exclusively. But, I learned immediately that a work’s ability to communicate may lack in depth if it relies on technical and formal skills alone. 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?

Margaret Noble

will express the concept in its most effective way. My forms are fluid and I often outsource pieces of the project to secure the best possible outcome. I fear having my art limited by my technical ability.

My work starts exclusively with an idea of interest; some seed of context that is neglected, in tension or resonates as a problem. I then spend a good deal of time researching my selected topic of interest until I feel that I have something that is more refined and meaningful to express. With this specific concept in mind, I draft out ideas for forms that

Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with your interesting project Righteous Exploits that you have created in collaboration with Justin Hudnall and that our readers are starting to get to know in the intro6


Margaret Noble

Peripheral ARTeries

Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis

and concept. I am often looking to the past to inform the present and in particular I hunt for primary documents such as letters or photos that may shed light on our experiences of today. For Righteous Exploits, I was inspired by the Ann Fabian’s book, The Unvarnished Truth which is a powerful cultural history of how ordinary Americans crafted and sold their stories of hardship in the nineteenth century. Justin and I decided to exploit our own stories (as often artists do) to see what themes of the past would resonate today based on letters and documents we could dig up from our family. The work then took shape on its own and morphed into ideas around eternal recurrence. Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis ductory pages of this article and I would suggest to visit your website directly at http://www.margaretnoble.net/righteous-exploits/ in order to get a wider idea of this interesting work: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of the project behind these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?

As you have remarked, Righteous Exploits is a chronicle of the life of your grandmother, Helen Hosmer, a 1940′s-era labor activist... 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?

My work is obsessively time-based in both form

Yes, I do feel that the most honest and interesting 7


Peripheral ARTeries

Margaret Noble

an interview with 44 th and Landis installation, photo by Nathaniel Elegino

44 th and Landis installation, photo by Nathaniel Elegino

work is that which is personal. However, my concern as of late is that my work is sometimes too personal and this directness has made me uncomfortable in familiar audiences. But, the conceptual problems that interest me are those that relate to my direct experiences. Working with experience gives me authority to explore freely and take risks because of insider knowledge.

Multidisciplinarity is a recurrent feature of your art practice: your production ranges from sound to installation to performance as the interesting 44th and Landis and I think it's important to remark that you were a dancer later, during the late nineties, you were a DJ in the underground club community of Chicago for several years during the late nineties... 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?

But, the aim is to explore the personal in such a way that it relates to the audiences that experience the work. The antithesis of this is making personal works without thinking of your audience. For me, if the work is only serving the self then it may not belong in the public sphere. I am not saying to pander or cater to audiences in a way that is compromising. What I am saying is that work is more interesting and carries more weight when it is relevant to others outside of the self.

Absolutely, and herein lies the tension. I cannot be an expert at all mediums but I do not want to limit my ideas to the mediums I am skilled at. #196 Winter 8


Margaret Noble

Peripheral ARTeries

A still from 44 th and Landis

daresay- on a physical one, as in as Tides ... Do you ever think to whom will enjoy your Art when you conceive your pieces? Do you ever happen to draw inspiration from who will enjoy your artworks?

I deeply care about my audience's experience and this informs my work. I resent projects that alienate audiences and although I am interested in the contemporary art dialectic, I am more interested in work that reaches beyond this specific camp. That is not to say that I think work should be dumb downed, on the contrary, the ideas should remain gripping, challenging and provoking. But, what I would advocate for is that artists use form to communicate ideas beyond the contemporary art community. I was once told that I am a “plain speak conceptualist,” I liked that comment.

an interview with

So, I can execute poorly at mediums I am new to. But, that doesn’t succeed because the work is unsuccessful. I could try to master multiple forms. But, by the time I get to any type of proficiency I may loose interest in my original concepts. So for me, the answer is often collaboration or (as I mentioned earlier) outsourcing parts of a project. Artistic vision is so exciting and clear in one’s mind but so challenging to manifest as a real thing. It does often require a synergy between different disciplines. Your works are strictly connected to the chance of establishing a deep involvement with your audience, both on an intellectual side and - I

#196 Winter A still from 44 th and Landis

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Peripheral ARTeries

Margaret Noble

Shelter

Spill

installation Photo by Stacey Keck

installation Photo by Stacey Keck

Another interesting pieces of your on which I would spend some words are Shelter and Spills, which part of an installation series that explores the fragility and futility of human interference with natural processes: one of the features of these interesting pieces that has mostly impacted on me is the way you have been capable of re-contextualizing the idea of environment, especially challenging the "function" of it... I'm sort of convinced that some information & ideas are hidden, or even "encryp-

ted" 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?

I think the subconscious runs wildly in creators and that the artistic works they make are often cryptic even to the artists themselves. I often think that I am so clear about my intentions behind a work and then once the work is finished Winter I figure out that #196 12


Margaret Noble

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with 44 th and Landis performance, photo by Nathaniel Elegino

there is much more to uncover. It is kind of exciting and unnerving because I want to be very articulate about what I am planning to make. But then I find out that the work is saying more or something different. Of course, I wonder was this intention always there and I ignored it? Or, did something really new emerge?

culture and history when trekking about Europe that makes an American feel like a child. Sometimes, I have this impulse to feverishly study European art and history textbooks before connecting with artists in Europe. But, that solution is ridiculous and makes one an imposter. So I embrace my American-ness and soak in what the old world offers, recognizing that these two worlds are different and that is interesting!

During these years you received many positive feedbacks, and you have recently won first place in the Musicworks Magazine electronic music composition competition... Moreover your artworks have been exhibited in several occasions, both in the USA and abroad, as in Europe, and you won a residency at the prestigious MAK Museum in Vienna and at the Salzburg Academy of Fine Art: what impressions have you received from the expe-riences in Europe? Did you find any great difference with the American scenario?

Thank you for this interview, Margaret. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you that you would like readers to be aware of?

I will be creating an installation for the Mediations Biennale this fall at the American satellite venue in San Diego, California. http://www.biennialfoundation.org/biennials/media tions-biennale/

It is a funny thing being an American artist in Europe. There are just some things about the wealth of

an interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

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Zilamar Takeda (Brazil) Over the last decade, the artist Zilamar Takeda from São Paulo has been discussing her work in the multidimensional properties of the essence of what is alive and organic. Incorporating references of textile art and craft art in her production, the choice of materials permeates fibers and animal skins, textiles, beeswax, mineral, flowers, and other organic compounds. Zilamar’s work makes use the of the rich heritage of ancient textile techniques and settles in the contemporary art since the flexibility of the media that is used allows the coexistence of conceptual and material, the sculptural and pictorial. Her proposal is also contemporary for presenting the palpable concreteness of her materials in contrast to the asepsis of fully virtual of the two-dimensional one. The artist’s three-dimensional works reveal a fusion between existing forms in nature and in the human figure and subjective manifestations, the order of the fantastic. The observer is challenged to weave his impressions in interlace of the rich symbolic layers that appear when before Zilamar’s work. And it is precisely in the overlapping layers of materials of her work, in the sowing of the fibers and other organic elements that show the flows of colour found in living organism. Zilamar relies on a a palette of colors resulting from traditional coloring and experimental techniques ranging from encáustica to combining multiple natural chemical reagents. Her work keeps the intensity and vividness which belong to the organic environment precisely in the colorful mosaic of lines, fibers and layers of her three-dimensional pieces. In "Stitched Emotion" for example, Zilamar represents the viscera and aorta tissues of what a human heart would be with mastery. When the cast texture of the fabric and its overlap in red tones and colors are forms, the work becomes the living, breathing essence of the living organ that inspires the artist. In this and all her works, it is from the minimum elements that Zilamar composes delicate and boldly impressions of such complex organisms that exude charm before our eyes. The procedural relationship betwen Zilamar and her work is established in the artist's career as surgical instrumentation technician - hence the appreciation and skill for detailed and delicate handiwork of treating the fibers - and also through recuing childhood memories of watching her father, prototype -designer, creating and transforming objects around the house. Memories and imagination, as well as patchwork of photographs printed on fabrics, make up the plot which gives a dreamlike texture to the works made by Zilamar. In 2012, the artist was awarded the International Exhibition Luso-Brasileira, winning 3rd place for her sculpture, the same year her solo exhibition "Naturaleza", the Forest Museum Octavio Vecchi (Horto). In the following year, her works were exhibited in the Travesia Textile Exhibition, in the center of La Maldonado Culture in Punta Del Este; in "Intersections Memórias--First Movement" at the Forestry Museum Octavio Vecchi; and "partydress-Triennial Tapestry" in Lodz, Poland, among others.

http://www.zilamartakeda.com


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Captions Externo e Interno (External and Internal), 2012 Papel de fibra de lĂŁ especial, (Felt Paper) fios e estruturas de arames Special wool fiber paper (FeltPaper) wire structures - 250 cm x 120 cm


PeripheralARTeries

An interview with

Zilamar Takeda One of the most impressive feature of Zilamar Takeda's work is the way her multidisciplinary approach is capable of taking advantage from the rich heritage of ancient textile techniques, mixing them with a contemporary feeling in order to create a coherent, consistent unity that challenges the viewers' perception, accomplishing the difficult task of leading us to rethink about way we relate ourselves to modern society, especially when it comes to stereothypical ideas of beauty. Through an incessant process of recontextualization, Takeda provides the viewers of an extension of the ordinary human perception, in order to manipulate it and releasing it from its most limbic parameters. I'm particularly pleased to introduce our readers to her multifaceted artistic production. Hello Zilamar, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. To start this interview would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that has particularly influenced you as an artist and have impacted on the way you conceive an produce your works?

Hello thank you very much. I lived many years among very criative and versatile family members, as my european grandparents and my parentes, who used many manual techniques in furniture repairs and house objects to production of own clothes. The experiences i had with my father, metallurgical, like drawings and pantographs to shape his ideas and I grew up with intusiasm to criate my own works. On this way, I worked as art craft teatcher, with weaving and manual artistic tapestry, in diferentes tips of looms about 15 years. In the last 10 years i was invited to start to use my criative hability participating in events and exihbitions, Always keeping my active interior memories. I did some courses related art and your criative sides, with artists who almost was presente in my wokrs, maybe not directly, but in influences. 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?


Zilamar Takeda

Peripheral ARTeries

Memรณrias ( Memories), 2013 Fotografias de cascas de รกrvores, impressas na seda Musseline, colagem, fibra de lรฃ de ovelha Photos of tree bark, printed on silk mousseline, collage, sheep wool fiber - 70 cm x 95 cm


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Lagartas (Caterpillars) - 2013, detail

Zilamar Takeda


Zilamar Takeda

Peripheral ARTeries

My creative process is very intuitive. I can plant an idea in my mind, I can protect it with intent for which it is naturally original, and wait a while. It so often comes suddenly. Usually I have with me a little notebook where I put all thoughts related to the idea and then in the studio almost always do the drawing with colors to view the possible ways and the material that I can build it. I am envolved with natural fibers of different kind of sheeps, and I use any other fiber, like vegetable and organic, and I used to mix wool and other materials as beeswax, vegetable dyeing, different inks. For all that processo, some time is to much time but some times not, it depends on the event and the need.. In 2014 I had a period of several months without creating, without idea, without design, making me sad and discouraged. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from MemĂłrias and Lagartas an interesting couple of experimental work that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to visit your website directly at http://www.zilamartakeda.com/ in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

I try to work following my instinct, the ideas of my works are often linked closely with my visions and my interactions with my daily enviroment. I walk a few times in Ibirapuera park in Sao Paulo, moving between old trees, small animals and winding paths with many green plants, I photographed some tree trunks of all kinds. Logs with natural holes, stumps with signs of old age, tree trunks that looked like animals, trunks that remembered our skin and as in most of my Works use the textile material Memories and caterpillars used felt as raw material for natural wool Brazilian animals and silk fabric with digital printing of photos I took in the park, bringing to my works the memory of the real. One of the features that has mostly impacted on me of your approach, is the way you have been capable of re-contextualizing the dichotomy between visual art and sculpture, as in the interesting Do outro lado do CĂŠu and especially Medusa, which is one of my favourite pieces of yours: I would go as far as to state that you Art in a certain sense forces the viewers' perception in order to challenge the common way to


Peripheral ARTeries

Zilamar Takeda

perceive our environment... 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?

I think very interesting to be something hidden or unclear and not obviously. I would say that might be masked, creating good prospects, discerning another way of looking and giving one's imagination of each one and, with a descriptive that goes with the work,I do not know if the illusion ends or begins. “Do outro lado Lado do Céu” was created for a large and tall tree of Paulo Setúbal Museum in Tatuí city for the exhibition "When spring Reach". The sculptures / hanging flowers worked for me as if they had being seen from above. The Medusas were created with a mix of special sheep wool fibers (the Wensleydale race) with natural fibers of silk, which together the silicone, gave transparently like a jellyfish, witch everyone could play without burning. Another interesting pieces of yours that have impressed on me and on which I would like to spend some words are entitled O Povo Sangra and Afluentes: in particular, I have been struck with the intensely thoughtful nuances of red that has suggested me a sense of dramatic -and I would daresay "oniric"- luminosity that seems to flow out of these canvas that communicates such a tactile sensation... to by the way,any comments on your choice of "palette" and how it has changed over time?

My research and experience on the felt and natural wool sheep take me for many ways of the use of natural colors that result the main characteristic pastel color. The light and dark brown and beige. But turning to application of this material in some specific panels and works I used strong colors like "O Povo Sangra" created for a itinerant event the State University of São Paulo UNESP "The Art Of Human Rights" used the strong red to represent our people. Inside and long threads painted with ink hair, manually applied with sewing needle. The use of beeswax and other elements give brighter colors together the fibers. In wokr “Afluentes” I think in Amazonas and your big and large rivers, that I used wax in different collors to represent its rocks, caves and a hostile environment

Lagartas (Caterpillars) - 2013 - Colagem, fibra da


Zilamar Takeda

Peripheral ARTeries

seda e lã natural, madeira de demolição - Collage, fiber silk and natural wool, demolition wood - 60 cm x 100 cm


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Zilamar Takeda

Ipanema, 2013 Sedas com pigmentos IndigoBlue e chás, fibra da lã natural branca, algodão bruto, arame Silks with IndigoBlue pigments and teas, white natural wool fiber, raw cotton, wire 280 cm x 300 cm


Zilamar Takeda

Peripheral ARTeries

but we know that is beautiful. In this piece I used about five types of different sheep fiber, various nuances to the traditional technique Nomad, who perform work very simply, without many devices on the wet cloth base and subsequently handled, massaging the fibers and often winding up with animal traction to have the compactness of the final fabric. They use this technique to build the inner lining and the cover of his yurt dwellings, still found in Mongolia and other countries. The silk fabrics were dyed naturally for eight days with old irons, rusty, coconut fibers, steel wool, strong onion skins, and wet every day to get my ideal color. In this work I start using encaustic, other natural and organic form, as well as in the work "Escrúpulos" 2015, that are woven bolls with red wax inside and long animals hair painted with ink hair, manually applied with sewing needle. The use of beeswax and other elements give brighter colors along the fibers. I'm in love with the encaustic technique. The use of beeswax and other elements give brighter colors together the fibers. I’m in love with this technique. I can recognize that -rather than drawing inspiration from a distopic imagery- your works communicate such a vivid imagination: I find it is clear especially in Aurora, and I daresay that this creates such a Syncretism, an harmonious mix between apparently opposite aspects of our Reality... do you agree with this analysis?

The installation "Aurora" was chosen by a curator in my studio even before the work is ready to participate in the exhibition "Ă€ Flor Skin". The work was a dream I had when I was a child and was traveling with my family to camp. In "Aurora" made like a cocoon with acrylic display sewn with copper wires as small and old eyeglasses used to view a photo taken little to recall the time usually for travel or to record the moment. Within them I put flowers, leaves, twigs, dried and dehydrated branches facing a fabric with digital printing plants. My experiences with Koguei (Fine Art) Art and Craft gave the perfect imagination to build a poetic thought and Aurora memory. Multidisciplinarity is a crucial aspect of your approach and I have highly appreciate the way you


Peripheral ARTeries

Zilamar Takeda


Zilamar Takeda

Peripheral ARTeries


Peripheral ARTeries

Zilamar Takeda

are capable of creating such an effective symbiosis between elements from different techniques, manipulatinglanguage as in Stitched Emotion and re-contextualizing images and concepts, as in the extremely stimulating work entitled Karma which has particularly impressed me: 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?

Yes I noticed and I can not do otherwise. My artistic expression and that I understand are naturally mixed. I try to mix it and often political verse cultural fields, as well as emotional and spiritual natural verses. When I think about producing something inevitably happens and certainly looks like body with soul. I can not explain very well the words often do not represent anything real. Your works are intrinsically connected to the chance of creating a lively interaction with your audience, and I have highly appreciated the way you use a tactile sensibility to provide such an Ariadne's thread that lead the viewers to evolve from a passive audience to an actively involved part of the piece of Art itself... so I would ask you if in your opinion personal experience an absolutely indespensable part of a creative process, I mean both for conceiving a piece and for enjoying it... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

No, do not think that can be disconnected because people look and see the real them, see what they want to see, what they feel anyway. The work itself is the ball that takes people where they want to go giving opportunity opening to the vision. You are currently exploring the techniques of Mixed Media Art, and an interesting aspect of your practice is the cmbination between materials belonging to the organic sphere. What draws to this choice? In particular, do you think that the "history" that is conveyed by a material with a previous life, as animal skin could provide the work with a particular meaning that inanimate materials could not?

I am currently very interested in using materials that dont harm the environment, with natural power,


Zilamar Takeda

Peripheral ARTeries

Aurora, 2013 Lã de cor natural, impressões de fotos de cascas de árvores em seda Musseline, folhas, flores desidratadas, visor de acrílico, arame, fio de aço White natural fiber cocoons, photo printed tree bark in silk muslin inside leaves, twigs and dried flowers, acrylic display, copper and steel wire.- Cada casulo 50cm x 30 cm


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Zilamar Takeda

Medusa, 2011 Pano de fibra da lã Wensleydale cor branca e fibra de seda natural colorida Special fiber fabric American Wensleydale, colorful silk, silicone wires. - 70 cm de diâmetro


Zilamar Takeda

Peripheral ARTeries

already created by nature and only recreated by me. I definitely like to think about providing a future for a material that has its own past history. Which is the case of the animal skins and fabrics used by me with the encaustic technique. How important is for you the three-dimensional nature of your works? In particular, do you pay a particular attention to the tactile nature of your installations?

When I create a three-dimensional work I like to provide the viewers with a sense of investigation on what they are seeing. I like to make them ask themselves if they are supposed to touch and see the three-dimensional in what they are made of and for. It is quite amusing for me to hear the public in my exhibition reacting with nervous giggles or even with some reluctance. It's important to remark that you have recently participated to a collective event of women artists on demonstration against the current Gender Violence. How do you consider the role that an artist could play in our unstable contemporary societies?

Indeed I have been invited to show my work together with other eighty Brazilian women artists in the city of SĂŁo Paulo. The exhibit took place in a rich area of the city surrounded by important art galleries and museums which brought great visibility to our statements against gender violence as a global concern. The different number of artistic languages in the exhibition was quite impressive and made it clear that art should be an instrument of social awareness and change. I believe that art exists so life and ideas can be recreated anytime. In particular, should an artist use Art as a veihicle to convey his point on the issues that affect our age or should use Art to hint the direction to the viewers, urging them to elaborate personal ideas and associations?

I believe that art constitutes a great vehicle between the art work and those who feel somehow connect to it. Stirring up new ideas, criticism and even repulsion. Whatever the case is, I can tell for


Peripheral ARTeries

Zilamar Takeda

sure that my intention is to promote some sort f emotional connection between my work and the viewers. Through this connection it is possible to recreate a better world: more conscious, friendly, human and soft.

During these years yur works have been exhibited in several occasions and I think it's important to mention that you have been awarded at the International Exhibition Luso-Brasileira: 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


Peripheral ARTeries

Zilamar Takeda

expectation of positive feedback- could even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

Winning prize is good and exciting because in a way they see us, we are recognized, appreciated or not, but I do not think that important. Or the prize (in my case) do not bring a financial return. The return can even occur over time with special invitations for appearances or other opportunities. I unfortunately do not live from the sale of my works (I realize a parallel work that supports me) as well as in Brazil know many artists who can not support themselves selling their works, but have public feedback is always

good, be either way I love it when sometimes people ask what is this thing? What is this? My pieces are so heart that then I would not know if I could live Order, would not know how to work as someone wants me to do the work, something that was tabled or something. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts: would you tell us something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Thank you for the opportunity to show my work in December will solo exhibition hope to show again here plus other stories from my life. I am very grateful for the opportunity and the magazine continues to success.


PartyDress, 2013 Participação especial Triennial Tapestry Lodz–Polônia Tecido rústico feito sobre a gaze de algodão no corpo do manequim, cânhamo, juta, seda, soja, algodão desfiado, cerâmica Iweth Kusano e sementes naturais - Rustic fabric made of cotton gaze in dummy body, hemp, jute, silk, soy, shredded cotton, Iweth Kusano ceramic and natural seeds. Special guest Tapestry Triennial Lodz - Poland - 150 cm x 55 cm x 35 cm


Peripheral ARTeries

Scott D'Arcy (United Kingdom) An artist’s statement

My main drive to make art is a pursuit of truth around how images function and exsist through a long line of experimentation. I am drawn to beauty and very interested in its construction and purpose from a cultural stand point. Collective notions of beauty and taste are shared and represented through a wide range of mediums over long periods of history. Even though beauty can sometimes be guilty of buying in to narcissism, what it has in common with the functionality of images is a high level of illusion, that depicts a world more seductive and appealing than our own. The tension between the sentiment the viewer experiences through their gaze and the reality of images is for the most part what my practise investigates. Images are very ephemeral things, put quite simply they are very sophisticated systems and signs that add to our culture. The intangibility of the digital images in a frame-less, free-flowing world has been a key aspect that I believe best represents their paradoxical state. Such ideas are well recognized and explored in Hans Belting's "An Anthropology of Images" and Vilem Flusser's "Into the Universe of Technical Images". I welcome intangibility and surrealism because they best mimics how we really think about images. When we loose contact with a physical copy or walk away from the screen, we hold what we have seen psychologically. Our body becomes a medium that stores what we are exposed to.

Baroque No.7 - photogra

I reference and borrow a lot of content; this could be anything from aesthetics of certain styles to elements from famous historical paintings. For me appropriation is vital when trying to understand an images collective reading, and being able to set a certain appeal against itself in a very different way but still in a very visually way. The viewer then has an opportunity to really think about the new image with a new context. The creative process is not so separate from these ideas. I have a tendency to view the world as an infinite universe of visual references, that merge over one another. A great deal of time is spent scouting locations and building up an achieve or collection through a range of sources; locations, online images from facebook, books, old master paintings. In order to decide which visual engines will work together.


Scott D'Arcy

Peripheral ARTeries

phy and digital media - 2011

Although digital media allows a platform for manipulation and surrealism, physical distortions can be equally as interesting due to their 'no tricks' approach. Reflections, photographs through water and the doubling up of images in glass are good physical examples of an images temporal existence. Since my art relies heavily on an audience recognising something familiar in order to be

sometimes problematic to assume a final drawninto a state of speculation. It isreading even when the work is finished, but this is what images must do to continue if they want to maintain out attention. So I embrace and play with their shifting and fluid nature, as oppose to making representations or illustrations of more solid events or concepts.


Peripheral ARTeries

Scott D'Arcy

an interview with

Scott D'Arcy Hello Scott and welcome to LandEscape. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

It's a deceptively complex question, ever since we came to the conclusion that art can no longer exist outside of itself. Therefore there are not many boundaries left to push. Anything can be art, although in saying that, not everything is. For me a work of art is defined by its ability to convey a set of ideas in a way that captivates a viewer through sensory experience. Sometimes an emotional connection is seen as a very important aspect, but personally i think this is a by product and down to qualities within the individual and not the work in question. I think pieces that are set out to be contemporary from the start tend to be guilty of being too 'slick' or polished. This doesn't go for the majority of contemporary art, but id say it's sometimes a good indicator of an artist appealing to a built up contemporary fashion in a way. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have studied at the Leeds Metropolitain University: how has this experience of formal training impacted on the way you currently produce your works? 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 did study at Leeds Met yes. Institutions are useful in terms of sharing ideas and co-operation. I found having people to hand very useful with my practise in particular because it relies heavily on collective and shared readings. However the downside of making work that is being formally assessed in that way means you are forced to focus on one area. There is freedom within the scope you choose. However wanting to pick something totally diffe-

Scott D'Arcy

rent up the following week is more often than not frowned upon, even though i have found that if you are serious about your art, no two things are completely unrelated. However at the time i was very much aware that this was what universities had to do in order to grade work. I made art for myself as well as my education and it did make me to value the variety, which is something best recognised early on in an artists progression between what they like to do and what they have to do. An art students creativity can be 'stifled' mostly by self consciousness, specifically when they compare themselves to their fellow pupils. The most Cassandra Hanks


Scott D'Arcy

Peripheral ARTeries

After Vermeer - digital collage - 2012

most common aspect of this i found is when two people arrived at similar areas. I learned the trick is not to compare yourself to your class mates, just relax and understand your practise better. The natural feeling you get is to take a different route, but this is more often than not a false sense of security.

during the process of creating a piece?

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

The preparation onto what engines to use in conjunction with each other requires a great deal of preparation and research, mainly around the formal elements of images but also the philosophical concerns around out perception. I also spend a lot of time scouting out locations and collecting images in order to have a more practical connection to my

It varies depending on the piece. There are a whole host of different techniques i use within the computer (mainly photoshop) and for the most part my practise has been a cycle of pushing images back and forth between the tangible world and digital manipulation until it is resolved.


Peripheral ARTeries

Scott D'Arcy

Birth - digital collage - 2013

creative process. Lighting techniques and compositional decisions like in “Birth� is very tough and requires patience. Its an endless game of trail and error, constant observation and experimentation. Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with Baroque No.7, a recent and interesting piece that our readers have already admired in the introductory pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of this work? What was your initial inspiration?

My initial inspiration was the investigation of the multiverse of layers and realities images exist on and the high drama achieved in baroque paintings. I found this aesthetic style to crop up everywhere, from films to fashion from a time where we couldn't have lived. It's as a kind of diachronic nostalgia, which i obviously found very interesting and decided to explore. Baroque No.7 was made at the beginning of my real use of the photography studio. Its intention was to made a new work out of powerful elements of much older ones in the hopes of creating a piece that intoxicated the viewer through visual familiarities. Leading them

After Rembrantd - photography and digital me

into a labyrinth of fake tattoos, doubled up figures and digital manipulation. Which i felt reflected our recycling of these tastes and has the possibility to build on its social conjunction. Another pieces of yours in which I would like to spend some words are After Rembrandt and After Vermeer... Although it's crystal clear that this series is pervaded by irony, I have to admit that I'm some puzzled about this aspect: in fact the irony springs from the super imposition of materials of different eras... all in all, if we admire the first version of Cara-vaggio's The Inspiration of Saint Matthew, we can recognize the angel's hand driving Sain Mattew's pen... so why an angel shouldn't help an old man to write with an iPad? I really hope that you will forgive me for this naif observation...

I think that if that where the case, we would just


Scott D'Arcy

Peripheral ARTeries

confusion is the same as the right amount of creative speculation. It goes without saying that modern technology -and in particular the recent development of infographics- has dramatically revolutionized the idea of painting itself: this forces us to rethink to the materiality of the artwork itself, since just few years ago an artwork was first of all -if you forgive me this unpleasent classification- a manufactured article: it was the concrete materialization of an idea... As a digital based artist with high levels of experience both in Painting and in Photography, you would like to know you opinion about this...

Id have to agree with you. Artwork did used to be a concrete manifestation of ideas, it still very much is. However I am reluctant to show any work as print or hard copies, as i believe the digital best represents my concept of the fluid existence of images. I think there are some interesting traits that appear when looking at a painting that non-tangible displays play with.

dia - 2013

be changing materials within the reality of the painting. Consequently the characters might then be drawn into areas of convincing fancy dress, which would be very final. In a way I am glad you're left at least a little bit at a loose end, but to clarify the irony is important in my re-contextualization of these images. By super imposing two different states in the same setting; using either surrealism of the same figure multiple times. Or alternatively by making a work that appears to be one very resolved image but is in fact two from different periods in time. It prompts the viewer to really participate in their own speculation around the work. So to finalise, the irony wouldn't have this effect if the work was a more linear one. Neither would it be as effective if everyone arrived at the exact same conclusion, it would make the images very bland and dead in my opinion. To me a small amount of

That core desire to touch a realistic paintings originates from some primal urge to test the illusion of the world the painting depicts. Touching the surface disrupts that false perception; one which the artist tried to achieve in its creation. (if we are talking about high realism painting) Otherwise we wouldn't constantly remind visitors of a gallery not to touch the paintings.

Upon reflection No.23 - photography - 2013


Peripheral ARTeries

Scott D'Arcy

After John Martin - digital collage and manipulation - 2012 It's that desire that is completely denied when using digital screens or projections, it makes the work not only appear more fake. But destroys the artists 'hand' and distancing a viewer from the creation process. Ironically i find this very useful when getting to the core focus of my work. Digital displays free the image from this distraction of touch and the tangible fixation of a material. If you want ideas to orbit around a particular subject as i do, a temporal medium is best. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you have a tendency to view the world as an infinite universe of visual references, that merge over one another... I would go as far as to state that your Art help us to notice a lot of details around us, allowing us to discover the poetry inside them... I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even "encrypted" in the environment we live in, so we need 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?

I suppose it depends what you mean by inner nature. If you mean it physiologically, i suppose you could see some overlap between that which we project onto the world from personal experience, and an images ability to deflect these experiences back to us in a more mysterious way. Thus peaking our attachment and making us want to explore it, which is exactly how it works for me. I have this huge collection of images, and when i discover something i always have this need or habit to try and attach it to some other picture. This discovery could be anything from a found image, to a location, or something i have been around for years and only just realised its potential. That's when the practical investigation really begins, even though i wouldn't go as far as to say my work is very personal. Hanks But there is defiantly Cassandra


Scott D'Arcy

Peripheral ARTeries

something very human about this activity of exploring, deciphering and understanding the world through the memory of images we can relate to. During these years, your artworks have been exhibited in many occasions and moreover you have been recently shortlisted for Vantage art prize... it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- 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?

Absolutely not. Awards gained, or short listed for don't do it for me (although they are quite nice for a young artists status) I think most artists

Upon reflection No.52 - photography - 2013 would just enjoy the self gratification in the initial moments that we all constantly crave. Beyond that awards and prizes are mostly tools for academics to try and differentiate between good and bad art I guess. They wouldn't influence many dedicated artists I don't think. I do often wonder about who my art is for, if that is the same thing. The references are the most problematic aspect to wrestle with in a pieces reading. But I don't believe the work should stride to be educational through what it appropriates. A small clue in the title is enough for anyone interested in how it originated. Id say my work is for anyone who isn't to fixed on convention and likes to apply their own ideas a lot. Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Scott. My last question deals with your future plans: anything coming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

Id like to mention that I am currently collaborating with a hand full of artist in Yorkshire and the Midlands. Some interesting projects are mushrooming out, including some surrounding gaming culture and reconstructing films stills. It's a bit of a left turn for me as my practise has up until this point been solitary, but there will some exciting exhibitions and events for 2014 but I wouldn't like to say any more than that on their behalf. Upon reflection No.17 - photography - 2013

An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com


Peripheral ARTeries

Nathalie Borowski (France) an artist’s statement

Emanating from the exploratory power of the imagination, my work is based on taking scientific realities that I “divert� from their original framework, thus annihilating any possibility that a hypothesis or theory is true or false. My work revolves around the human body, the abstract representation of its cells and its DNA. My research is oriented towards a dreamlike, playful reflection of an allegory of our cells, phenotypic in nature, of their own identity, trying to make a life of their own, to transform or escape reality. Detaching themselves from or clinging to the "body" and always represented geometrically, the forms emerge full of fight. By playing with the idea of the escape and autonomy of our cells, broken free from their original confines, I wanted to give them their own identity. Zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, abstract, ready to fight or amorphous, rarely inseparable from their point of origin. Representing the unity of the cells, the drawings or cut-outs often have an animal-like quality to them, conscious and determined, sometimes indicating the presence of the underlying human, conveyed by anthropomorphic traces. Moving from the surface (ink drawings, cut-out forms) into space (placed as independent units), the forms escape and leave behind a trace of their absence. Placed and moved within the space as objects, they develop their own identity, evoking the continuously active renewal of our cellular activity.

Nathalie Borowski

http://www.nathalieborowski.com/accueil.html nathalie.borowski@free.fr

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Peripheral ARTeries

Escaping the cell Polyethylene / glycero - photo Ph.B 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Nathalie Borowski

an interview with

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

Thank you for your invitation. In my opinion, a work of art is the result of a thought, the visual outcome of a research, of an inner questioning that asks questions of the person looking at it. It can provoke a sensation, an emotion. It does not matter whether it disturbs, enthrals or provokes repulsion, what seems important to me is that it triggers a reaction (irrational feelings or contradictions, peace or chaos). Without a utilitarian purpose, the work of art is embodied in dimensions other than those in which the artist sought to create it. It exists by itself and responds to something that resonates with the observer. However, it falls within a theoretical and historical framework or within a movement that defines it and, moreover, it may get its status from the institution that supports it.

Nathalie Borowski

Do you think that there's a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

By the way, what could be in your opinion the features that mark an artworks as a piece of Contemporary Art?

What makes an artistic work contemporary, in my eyes, it that it is connected to a particular point in time. It can likewise be defined by the use of new materials. It is the fruit, the artistic visual result of our ideas, our contradictions, our questions or thoughts established according to the world around us. It reflects its era. It can detach itself from reality but it still establishes a conscious or unconscious connection with our daily life, our feelings, our ideas, our stories or our thoughts.

Does being contemporary mean cutting oneself off from tradition? Even if some avant-garde artists refuse any affiliation with their predecessors, the artist always refers, one way or another through their knowledge or culture, to a past that is more or less recent. There is continuity rather than rupture, one era influencing another, a new approach that can be represented in a deconstruction or a parody. Means of representation evolve but traditions feed artistic inspiration. The use of new technologies allows us to go even further.

It makes us think about or experience different views, feel emotions and leads us to break the rules of an earlier era, to always explore new horizons.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks? By the way, I someti-

Cassandra Hanks

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Nathalie Borowski

Peripheral ARTeries

Escaping the cell Polyethylene / glycero - 2 m x 1 m (78" x 39") Photo: N. Borowski

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

quality, it pushes the students to set themselves free and explore new avenues. 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?

I attended various courses in several schools of fine arts in Paris which has allowed me to broaden and nurture my work on both a theoretical (Ecole du Louvre) and practical (Ecole des Beaux Arts, Ecole Estienne) level. The encouragement given by one of my professors, Hubert Rivey, who is also an artist, has also played a decisive role. Although I think a formal education can provide vital basic artistic skills, I also feel that it’s not right for everyone. It sometimes suggests certain means of expression that are different from what the artist may feel in their inner self, sometimes causing a sort of artistic “mould” in which personal creativity is erased. That being said, when the teaching is of a high

Although I do not have any scientific training, my work takes an artistic approach that blends art and science. I generally start with a scientific reality relating to our identity (our DNA, our genetic code, our chromosomes, etc.). My intention is not to illustrate it, but rather to try to develop our interiority, which differentiates us from one another, in a visual form. I have always been fascinated by what makes up our identity, 17


Peripheral ARTeries

Nathalie Borowski

what we’re made of inside and what creates our uniqueness. In the artwork “The Degenerates”, which is a transcription of the translation process of our genetic code into “random writing”, I wanted to highlight the contradiction that exists between the predetermination of our genes, and our free will which offers us the possibility of modifying our genetic attributes. Beyond a purely figurative form, I want to show our internal physical world, a world made of cells, bacteria, of genes full of fight, of animality, but which is not devoid of poetry. With regards to the cut-outs, it gives me the possibility to extract forms and to give them an autonomous “existence”. The act of cutting out changes the nature of the object. It is as if their detachment gives them greater freedom. It can take several weeks or months for my work to mature. No form or drawing is ever predetermined. It’s as if letting go of my imagination could be a metaphore for a time that we have no control over (of a future that we do not know). Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with Escaping the cell that our readers can admire in these pages and that I would suggest them to view directly at your http://www.nathalieborowski.com/plastazotes.html : would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

This started with the idea of giving our human cells a form of autonomy. How to enable a form to “exist” outside its original confines? I chose to create an installation where “human bodies” are represented by sheets of polyurethane foam, a semi-rigid material that can be adapted to the abstract idea that I have of the body. I wanted to give a dreamlike dimension to our cells by giving the illusion that they could be represented in an almost irrational form as autonomous beings. This concept is not immune to the idea of being able to control what we are made of. We are composed of multiple organisms, cells, chromosomes, bacteria, and I wanted to give them their independence through a chimerical embodiment, to bring out our physicality by giving them animal characteristics (claws, paws, horns, etc.) that are not devoid of humanity (heads arms, bodies, etc.). By playing with the idea of the escape and autonomy of our cells, broken free from their original confines, I wanted to

« The Degenerated » Ink on paper 2,30m x 1,70m (90” x 66’’)

give the cut-out forms their own identity. Zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, ready to fight, independent but inseparable from their point of origin. The sheets defy gravity, the cut-out forms gathering in a single space where they seem to drift freely. The geometric structures reinforce the feeling of floating. Playful and organic forms, dark and light, a childhood landscape turning from black into white. They appear to evolve all by themselves. They seem to be escaping, are discernable but without an outline. Another piece of yours on which I would like to send some words is Ping Pong of DNA, a work that I like very much: a feature of this 18


Nathalie Borowski

Peripheral ARTeries

Ping-pong of DNA, installation (detail) Ping-pong balls / feathers Photo: N. Borowski

is unique (with the exception truly identical twins). Our cells are organisms to which I wanted to give several identical or comparable “individualities”. I have embodied the human cell in a ping-pong ball whose symbolism of its bounce gives it a dimension of movement, which evokes the continuously active renewal (perpetual) of our cellular activity. On each ball, an imaginary and unique form is drawn. These hybrid creations recall “chimeras”. In genetics, a “chimera” is an animal organism resulting from double of multiple fertilization, harking back in some way to the Greek myths of a fantastical hybrid Photo: N. Borowski

this piece that has mostly impacted on me is the effective synergy that you have been capable of establishing between a theoretical, abstract concept as DNA and such a tactile feature that we can receive by a simple ping pong ball... there's a stimulating channel of communication between apparently distant concepts that converge to an unexpectedly simple concept: our inner physicality...

This synergy is the result of a reflection on our DNA. It is the material support of our genetic information and I wanted to create a physical embodiment (animality) of this concept. In the strictest sense, the genome of each human being

Ping-pong of DNA, installation (detail) - Ping-pong balls

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Peripheral ARTeries

Nathalie Borowski

Entomological box, 2013 Cuts of ping-pong balls with cellular language

creature and symbolizing a “multiple” of beings possessing the attributes of several animals. By placing the ball on a support or suspending it in the air, by stopping its movement, it allows me to freeze time and to play with the meaning or meanings of life. Removing the ping-pong ball from its original use as a play thing, dissecting it, I give it an autonomy reflected in the detachment from its “cocoon”. This celluloid material gives the cut-out object the allure of a small solid form, yet fragile in appearance. Just like insects that have been studied, dissected and displayed, I distort an imaginary reality to produce ball cut-outs that give an animal dimension to the cells.

"Cellular language" - Detail of a lithography - 75

Being strictly connected to the chance to create a deep interaction, your artworks are capable of communicating a wide variety of states of mind: have you ever happened to discover something that you didn't previously plan and that you didn't even think about before? I'm sort of convinced that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal hidden sides of life and nature... what's you point?

even an imaginary “visibility”. Making a concept accessible is to discover other spheres, other perspectives. Our relationship with the world is perpetually being redefined. Artists benefit from the freedom to create what they want, which means that they are likely to imagine, to reveal, to bring to light certain spheres that have never been discovered before because they are not obliged to produce a result.

My works attempt to recreate a world, to reveal an interiority, a concept, to open new horizons. Each day I discover things that I had not foreseen. When developing an idea, you’re also seeking an answer. The studio is a laboratory of freedom. I think that the artist can give another dimension to things that are hidden in an infinitely small world, reveal other aspects of them by giving them

One of the feature of your work that absolutely fascinated me is the symbiosis that you show between Art and Science... and I would go as far as to state that your work shows the artistic side of Science: by the way, maybe because I have a scientific background, but I’m sort of convinced that soon or later new media art will definitelyHanks fill the dichotomy betCassandra 20


Nathalie Borowski

Peripheral ARTeries

artists to use new media such as information technology or robotics to create new works of art (BioArt with the creation of artificial life, for example). On the other hand, art provides access to data or facts that would otherwise be inaccessible (naturalist biology, historical evidence). Each supports the other, there is a perpetual interaction. Scientific concepts are increasingly subject to artistic questions, while certain scientific experiments (genetic mutations, etc.) raise issues that artists latch onto. And I couldn't do without mentioning also ÂŤCELLULAR LANGUAGE Âť... even though this might sound more than a bit naif, I have to confess that the first time that I happened to run against this interesting piece I have magnified the settings of my iPad in order to read the text... I've found very stimulating this work especially because it has suggested me the idea of a visual grammelot: a synesthesia between languages, since all in all, the DNA is a language... by the way, 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? cm x 57cm (29" x 22") Photo: N. Borowski

Indeed, I started with the fact that our DNA is a language. In fact, the human cell has a system for

between Art and Science....I will dare to say that Art and Science are going to assimilate one to each other... what’s your point about this?

I am not looking to illustrate a concept, but rather to show an interiority. I truly believe that art and science are not that different from each other, to the extent that the creation of a work of art approaches the work of a researcher. Artists and scientists use intuition, thought and imagination to discover new things. They do not follow the same procedure but they can have similar concerns. Experimentation and creativity are common denominators for researchers and artists. I also think that there can be assimilation of one to the other. On the one hand, the arrival of technological advances enables

Series of Ping-pong of DNA - 20cm x 25cm, Photo : N.B

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communicating with its environment that enables it to permanently emit and receive “messages” that reflect its spatial position. Exploring the universe of these “cells”, I decided to create a visual alphabet, symbolizing a form of communication, an internal language. I therefore designed a playful and poetic "coded" typeface for which I designed each letter of the alphabet. Words, phrases or texts illustrate an internal “language” that is incomprehensible to those who do not know the code. Composed from drawings, it could refer to a synesthesia recalling a visual grammelot. This invented language cannot be spoken, but we can suppose that if the drawings were interpreted, they could embody a form of communi-cation. By transforming our language into a calligraphic typography, I invite the observer to enter this inner world using an interrogative approach — doesn’t our own internal “language” reflect the uniqueness of each one of us? Your works have been exhibited in several occasions: you recently had a solo at “The Galerie” Talant - Dijon, and moreover you received a couple of grants... it goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist: I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- 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 it?

Indeed, grants from the state or prizes are a very motivating means of support because the precarious state of artists forces them to reevaluate themselves periodically, but they never influence my artistic process. Encouragement is always very appreciated when artists have self-doubt. Being selected at the end of my studies for the Salon de Montrouge* (Montrouge Contemporary Art Show) gave my work greater visibility among professionals and thereby allowed me to access a wider audience. But I do not take this latter point into consideration when I’m creating a work of art. I conceive it according to what I wish to achieve. Of course, feedback from the public is always very interesting, but it never determines my creative process. * The most recognized institution in France for artists at the start of their career

Just wondering if you would like to answer to a cliche question that I often pose to the artists that I interview: what aspect of your work do you enjoy the

Untitled Untitled inkInk onon tracing paper 39 tracing paper1,70m 1,70mxx1m 1m (66" (66” xx 39”)

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Peripheral ARTeries

No title - Ink on tracing paper (detail)

most? What gives you the biggest satisfaction? Well, actually ain't that cliche...

What I perhaps like the most about the creative process is moving from thinking about to creating the work of art. It allows me to structure my ideas, to make a visual representation of my research and it often leads me to other questions. I like being on a perpetual quest, and even if I do not always find an answer to my own questions, it always sparks an exchange, a discussion with the public. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Nathalie. 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 ?

I'm continuing my investigations in order to answer questions regarding our identity, our inner universe by splicing the fields of art and science. I am experimenting with other materials and trying to establish some analogies. At the same time, I’m involved on a voluntary basis in an artistic program in part of Paris (“Kiosque des Batignolles”) where artists who are creating installations will soon have the chance to exhibit their work. In the coming months, I’ll be holding other exhibitions, including a private one, but I invite the reader to visit my site to keep up to date with my news. An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

Photo : N. Borowski

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Marta Kosieradzka

I see my dance research, learning new techniques and creative work as a personal path of development as well as a contribution to the society and a way of sharing my thoughts and comments on surrounding world with other people. Both artistic freedom and discipline are eqally important to me in creative process. Besides dancing I'm also a visual artist ( I've graduated from graphic department) and I'm searching for the influences and connections between different art forms to find my own language and way of communication with the audience. I create photographs and drawings, I’m inspired by people, their stories and characters and city as a moving, living organism.

Marta Kosieradzka


Birth Bird Baby Blue, photo by Eva Campos Suarez


PeripheralARTeries

An interview with

Marta Kosieradzka An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator

Marta Kosieradzka's practice is marked with an intense multidisciplinary feature: by an effective combination of dance, music and visual arts she she brings a new level of significance to each discipline, conveying the creative potential of movement and still images into a consistent and coherent unity: her works overtly play with the unheimlich nature of gestural movements, revealing that images tend to exist in continuum, residing somewhere in memory, whereas sound tends to evoke the present moment. It is with a real pleasure that I would like to introduce our readers to her stimulating works. Hello Marta, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. To start this interview would you like to tell us something about your background? You have a solid multidisciplinary training: you studied Graphic Techniques at the European Academy of Arts in Warsaw and you refined your education in Dance in several institutions: how much have these experiences impacted on the way you currently conceive and creates your artworks and on your evolution as an artist?

I definitelly see dance as a visual art form that’s why it makes perfect sense to me to combine fine arts and dance. I’ve started my professional art education from learning drawing, painting and traditional graphic printing techniques in my home town- Warsaw. After obtaining a M.A degree in Graphic Art and a dance teaching diploma I’ve decided that I want to deepen my knowledge of dance that has been my passion for many years already. I went to study dance in Austria and then in Belgium where I’ve decided to stay and where I live until now. I really appreciate the fact that I had a privilige to


Marta Kosieradzka

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Marta Kosieradzka photo by Juliette Bogers


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Marta Kosieradzka

Dance Photo (photo by William Apers)

study many different art forms and techniques. Dance is a very technically demending art that asks a lot of training and discipline and very often dancers are trained to be skilled craftmans and not necesarrilly independent artists. In graphic art education there is a lot of space for developing personal style and a free and open way of thinking. Dancers almost always work in a group and are tought to be a part that perfectly suits the bigger picture that is beeing drawn by a choreographer. Painters or drawing artists are creating their own, independent world and vision. For me that combination of two different

points of view worked perfectly and showed me what I want to do and gave me many different tools. Weather I draw a picture, make a photo or create a dance performance I have the same intention and process, just that I use a different language. I’ve decided to put most of my attention into my practice as a dance artist because I see this art form as a one that contains all others in it. Whilst performing or choreographing I’m creating a multidimentional experience, it is not only something that you can see with your


Marta Kosieradzka

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Dance Photo (photo by William Apers)

eyes like a painting hanging on a wall, but something that you can experience with all your senses. The difference between creating a dance and drawing a picture is also that dance is far more personal, it involves your full self: body, mind and spirit. When you go on stage you can have full contact with your audience and eperience that is happening here and now, that would not be a case if you’d hang a painting in a gallery. 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?

Inspiration for my pieces most of the time comes from the things, ideas or experinces I had that really interested or moved me in some way. I’m not an artist that starts from a lot of thinking and outlining a theoretical concept. I’m a person that likes phisical and sensual experiences and for me practical work is the


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Marta Kosieradzka

most important. Very often I just find something that triggerst me in some way and I start from that, but afterwards it develops to a compleatelly different thing as I work on it. In the beggining I deffinitelly take a lot of time to find out how the idea that I have for the piece relates to the body and how can it be shown/expressed by it. I’m searching for a state of the body that is resembling my idea. Sometimes but not always I’m also creating a stage character that I’m trying to embody and what does that character experience during the performance. I see a creation of a dance piece like sketching on sheets of papers, noting many different ideas and impressions that after a long process make sense together. I belive in a wisdom of the body and that it contains everything that we cosiciously or unconsiciouslly experience during our lifetime, so I try to stick to that in the process of creation. I also take a lot of time to study and get to know new movement techniques and deepen the ones that I already know, so I see my work as an ongoing everyday process.That is not only working on a specific task but also searching for elements, inspirational things in my daily life and practice of my craft. During the work on a particular performance I try to widen the view an a subject as much as I can, so I search for inspirational texts, paintings, musical compositions, books, anything that can broaden my experience. A lot of my works are inspired by other art works that I refer to as a starting point. Now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start from Windmills in the ocean, an extremely interesting work that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest to our readers to visit your website directly at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x260eat_bi rthbirdbabyblue_creation in order to get a wider idea of your artistic production. In the

photo by William Apers meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this interesting project? What was your initial inspiration?

‘’Windmills in the ocean’’ is a dance film that I made in a collaboration with two video artists Vincent Pieraerd and Marnik Boekaerts. It is based on my performance ‘’BirthBirdBabyBlue’


Marta Kosieradzka

that I’ve realized in the frame of a programme for young choreographers '' 20 Jeunes Choreographe pour Brussel 2013’’. The performance was merging two art disciplines: dance and music, exploring transformation from organic, basic life force that drives us into emotions, creativity and search for inspiration.€The creation of the piece

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initially started from an inspiration taken of a painting ''Little Girl with a dead bird'' from a collection of Royal Museum of Arts in Brussels. Later it evolved into a landscape created around images connected to longing, searching for freedom and breaking the limitations. Dialog between thoughts, internal world and physical reality. Transformation from an unconscious


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Marta Kosieradzka

''Future'' photo by Eva Campos Suarez, dancer Inez Verhille


Marta Kosieradzka

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state of mind towards a poetic language that allows to speak out and reveal freedom of expression. In different stages of work on the project musical landscape was developed simultaneously with the choreography crating a dialog between movement and sound. Through experimenting with different sounds, recorded music, instruments finally evolved to the stage when all the music is produced live during the performance. Dance is constantly interacting with voice, word, poetry and instrumental music creating an independent universe of movement and sound. I’ve used a text of Patti Smith as one of my main inspirations during the process : ‘’ let us geather on the summit of a cool volcano…plunge into the infinite pit in a jet spitting an ec-static dialogue of sound until the attar of our being permeates the red field…blood, tongue and new noise- a sonic dart-from deep in the heart of…’’ (Patti Smith) At a certain point in the process I wanted to broaden the context that I was working in and use video as a tool that allows to create more abstract forms than a live act allows. I also wanted to find a location that would fit the atmosphere of the piece when I came across a beautiful old magazine an old town in Antwerp. The place visually fitted the choreography in a perfect way and helped to show the choreography in a new way. I’ve also enjoyed a collaboration with Vincent and Marnik, they had their own view on my performance and they’ve entered the process with their own ideas.They've synthetihised the ideas and themes that I've been working on during my process and transformed them into cinematic images. Working with the video allows me to relate to my visual arts background and helps me to take the choreography out of it’s usual theatrical context. I have been particularly impressed with the way you have been capable of bringing a new level of significance to the act of dancing, especially in Future, in which you seem to re-contextualize the main idea behind gestures and movement: and I would go as far as to state that in a certain sense your works force the viewers' perception in


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Marta Kosieradzka

still from ''Handful of dust'' film order to challenge the common way to perceive not only the outside world, but our inner dimension... 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 wayto 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?

‘’Future’’ is a part of a trilogy ‘’ The three oddest words’’ , dance film based on the poem by polish nobel -prize wiining poet Wislawa Szymborska. Three words described in the

poem: future, silence and nothing were turned into three choreographic scenes each one set in a different space and location and performed by different dancer. The poetry of Wislawa Szymborska leaves the questions without giving precise answers and triggers the mind and imagination to look at everyday subjects in a new way. It is also very sober and simple in it’s form and because of that I see a possibility in it to connect it to dance and movement creating a bridge between those two art forms. The words that are very definied and have a lot of conotations are transformed into an abstract and poetic language of dance which brings the


Marta Kosieradzka

words and their meaning into a different context. The choreography is strongly connected to the locations where the scenes were shoot and the movement is defined by the space and the context it brings to the dance. ''Future'' is a film about passing of time, we impatiently wait for the future to come and although it imediatelly turns into past. The poem questions the meaning of words, their importance and precision of how they describe world. I think this is also one of the aims of creating an art piece- to question existing things and as you say decipher their hidden side, or reorganise their existing order.

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This can especially apply to dance, because in our culture today we have forgotten that spoken/written language is not the only language that we have. In many ways we've denied the body and it's expression and became compleately unaware of it. This is also why very often people see dance as something very abstract and far away from daily life. For me the body is never abstract, it is obviously the only tool we've been given to communicate and experience the world therefore movement is just a part of our human nature. I think it's important to remark the multidisciplinary nature of your artistic


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Marta Kosieradzka

''Handful of dust'' performance, photo by Yoanis Pallas


Marta Kosieradzka

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approach: for example in Handful of dust you have highlighted the relation between music, dance and environment: experimenting with dance as well as with visual arts, you seem to be in an incessant research of an intimate symbiosis between apparently different disciplines: while the performative aspect of your approach provides the viewers of what I would define an augmented perceptual experience and if I have been asked to sum up in a single word your artistic production, I would say that it's kaledoiscopic... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a symbiosis between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

''Handful of dust'' is inspired by the portugese music fado, which origins lay in melancholic feelings, life of the poor and longing for something unreachable. The music is usually linked to the portugese word ‘saudade’ which symbolizes a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent life lasting damage. In the project we want to research and take a closer look at fado, it’s many faces and characteristics. Not only the sad, melancholic one, but also a more playfull side of it . The dance is inspired by the feeling and rhythm of fado and also by characteristics and expression of the fado female singers, their body language. In the music cruelty and deep dark emotions are mixed with softness and playfulness of a child, we want to bring this feeling to the dance and live music, performance. During the work on this project I’ve researched the character of a traditional fado singer that is just by it’s name associated to a café somewhere by the shore in Lisboa or Porto. I wanted to see again what would happen if I put the fado singer in a busy, chaotic city of Brussels. How can I find a place that would remind me of the nostalgic, emotional images of the sea pictured in fado songs. This is how I found a roof situated above the busy city center of Brussels that for me


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Marta Kosieradzka

symbolized the border that cannot be crossed, the edge of the roof is like the border of an endless sea, city is like unknown waters. So I think that symbiosis and collaboration of many different art disciplines in my work comes simply from curiosity and constantly asking the question ‘’what if…?’’. I wouldn’t say it comes from wanting to express the same concept, but definitely from the search for synergy and relationship between everything I see, hear and experience in my life and that triggers my attention. Your practice is intrinsically connectde to the chance of establishing collaborative relationships with other artistsI do believe that interdisciplinary collaboration today is an ever growing force in Contemporary 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? By the way, I can clearly remember the well-known Peter Tabor's quote, when he remarked 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?

Indeed collaborating with other artists is very important to me, whenever I want to create a new universe that is united I need to work with other people that might have skills in the areas that I don't have. Through working with musicians, video artist, designers I constantly learn and I'm beeing challenged to step out of my comfort zone and see the subject from another perspective. Artists who are really devoted to their practice tend to focus very much on one particular aspect of the world, weather it's sound, or movement, or the image. The viewer sees the whole picture when he is looking at the art piece. In order to create a new reality, an independent world that appears


Marta Kosieradzka

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Concert of the saxophone and a spine photo by Eva Campos Suarez


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Marta Kosieradzka

Concert of the saxophone and a spine photo by Eva Campos Suarez

on stage or in a video we need to look at it as a whole, every detail is important to let the thought of the artist be visible for the audience. Collaborating with people from different art disciplines also helps to reach much broader audience, not only people who are interested in dance, but maybe also those who would normally never thought of watching it. In the creation of my solo ''BirthBirdBabyBlue'' I've worked on developing music and dance simultaniously, so that it would grow organically together. This kind of process takes a lot of time obviously, but I definitelly think it's worth it. It

has led us to many discoveries that we've both did not expected to find ourselves in. On other occasions I've just let another artist to take my existing work and transform it in their own way, like it was with ''Windmills in the ocean'' that I've mentioned before. In the initial phase of working on the film trilogy ''The three oddest words'' I was looking for people who would fulfill my vision that I've already had for that production. I wrote a scenario and from the beggining till the end with the help of a composer Adriano Fontana and film maker Eva Campos Suarez we


Marta Kosieradzka

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Concert of the saxophone and a spine photo by Eva Campos Suarez

consequently executed our plan. But this was the only time that making a plan before I start really worked for me... In my most recent collaboration I've entered a world of improvised jazz music that I didn't really know very well before. I'm working on a film project that will be a collaboration between me and a Polish jazz band ''Olbrzym i Kurdupel'' and a film maker Eva Campos Suarez. I've learned a totally new way of seeing the act of 'writing' dance or music. By listening to that music I had imediatelly a clear picture of what I want to do and which character I want to

portray in my film, it was like I was sucked into the world of jazz music just by listening to it... Your work is intrinsically connected with the chance of creating a deep interaction with your viewers, urging them to follow your process and pushing them to not play as a passive audience: as you have remarked once, you see your process and your work also as a contribution to the society and a way of sharing my thoughts and comments on surrounding world with other people: although I'm aware that this might sound a bit naĂŻf, I have to admit that I'm sort of convinced that Art -especially nowadays-


An object

An object

could play an effective role in sociopolitic questions: not only just by offering to people a generic platform for expression... I would go as far as to state that Art could even steer people's behaviour... what's your point about this? Does it sound a bit exaggerated?

to be talking about them. Often those works seem very artificial to me. When I watch an art piece I want to have a sort of conversation with the author. I want to know his thoughts and opinions, I do not want to hear slogans and things that I already hear on TV or radio and that are politically correct.

Yes, of course I belive that Art can stimulate people's behaviour and really change their view of the world, otherwise, why would we ever want to show our works to the audience? I see now a lot of performances or art pieces that deal with the subjects that are popular or known as 'controvertial' and it's sort of 'fashion'

So in other words I belive in Art that is an honest statement of an artist and I think only then it can really change or touch people and make them think out of the box. Nowadays I also see a contradition- one one hand we live in a world where we can share


this occasion 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 think the most important quality for a creator of any kind is sesitivity and ability to observe surrounding world as well as himself. I hate when people say that artist ''express themselves'' throught dance, painting or another form. I think this is absolutely not true. If we look at the greatest masterpieces of all times, we think it's something really beautiful, divine and great above all measure. I really don't think we could say the same words about their authors, could we? So if they would be only 'expressing themselves' could those masterpieces ever be produced? Of course anything we observe in our life and anything that we drive inspiration from gets 'filtred' through the prism of our own luggage of experiences and this we can never avoid. During my working process I try to relate both to the things and ideas I observe as well to the ones that are directly a part of my life experience. An object

freely any information and talk about whatever we want, but on the other hand it is very superficial. It is hard to find a person which talks openly about what is important to them. And this is why I belive artists have an important work to do. I have highly appreciated the way your approach reveals a desire to create a concrete aesthetic from experience and memories: and as you have once stated you draw inspiration from people, their stories and characters and city as a moving, living organism... so I would take

As one of the most famous pioneers of modern dance Martha Graham has said: ''I did not want to be a tree, a flower or a wave. In a dancer's body, we as audience must see ourselves, not the imitated behavior of everyday actions, not the phenomenon of nature, not exotic creatures from another planet, but something of the miracle that is a human being.'' It is not really possible to become somene else that you already are, but still I see the role of performer as someone who should be open to everything that surrounds him and should be able to channel it to the audience even though it might not refer to his direct experience.


''Silence'', photo by Eva Campos Suarez,

Some of my works that I've mentioned before were inspired by works of other artists or stories that I've heard but there was probably a reason in me why those particular things grabbed my attention. ''BirthBirdBabyBlue'' was inspired by a painting ''Little girl with a dead bird'' of an unknown painter from 16th century that I've seen in a Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. Old painting might seem as something very distant for a person who lives in 21th century but still it was an art work that has struck me imediatelly when I saw it and later became a great source of inspiration in which

I've found a lot of meaning and references to my own life. Other works were based on a very direct experience, like for instance my solo ''An object''. At that time I was studying in a foreign country where I lived alone in a very small student room where the only furniture were a table, bed,cubboard and a chair. At a certain point I felt really lonely and disconnected from people. Then I started to think about the objects, which meaning they have, which stories they bring. I had a chair but I was dreaming to have someone sitting on that chair keeping me


''Nothing'', photo by Eva Campos Suarez, dancer Anna Tytus

company. So that's how the piece was made, just by going through a very common daily life experience. Besides producing your stimulating artworks, you also teach: have you ever happened to draw inspiration from the works of your students? By the way, times ago I had the chance to interview Yotam Zohar, an interesting painter and experienced art teacher from the New York scene who once stated that our culture trains people to be visually illiterate...

I think art education is very important. I cannot express my gratitude to all the teachers that I've met on my path and how much their teaching affected my life and my choices. I would definitelly not be who I am today and not be doing what I'm doing. Therefore I know how important it is to inspire students and give them a solid technical base that they can build on. I work with many different kinds of people af all ages, mostly amateurs. I can definitelly refer to the opinion of the artist you quoted and it's not only that the


culture makes people visually illiterate but also trains them to be very unaware of their body and all of it's dimentions. This is something that is bother me a lot...Dance is one of the most organic and natural things to do and in our times it has been neglected. The body is beeing seen as a sexual object or as another item that you can have to get you more money, better job or higher social status. We've compleately disasocciated it from spiritual, emotional or even intelectual values. I really don't belive there is or ever be a computer or a machine that is so perfectly made and so worth of studying as a human body...yet we put more attention to technological news than we do to our own body, the only thing that we really own... Our culture values technical, analitical and scientific skills and pushes creativity, sensitivity and art aside. Very often children who have artistic talents feel very unworthy and neglected at schools and have no chances to develop. Later they become frustrated and unfulfilled adults. This is why I find extremally important to encourage and guide people in exploring art, I think this can really change societies and change the world. Definitelly teaching takes me out of my comfort zone and helps me from beeing an artist closed in a very hermetical world of art. Now, as usual, I would pose you some questions about your relation with your audience. During your over fifteen years career your works have been extensively exhibited in several occasions and you had many solos... 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 positive feedbackcould even influence the process of an artist... By the way, how much important is for you the feedback of your audience? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

I had a privilage to perform in many different places, also those non-theatrical like museums, galleries, historical monuments or even on the street. Those spaces create a possibility for very close contact and an interraction with the audience, you can see them, you can hear them, you can even touch them. It's different than performing in the theatre where the stage is a symbolical place that separate perfomer from the viewer. Nowaydays dance is definitelly reaching outside the thetres which I find a very positive thing. There are more and more site specific projects that explore the relationship with a particular space. I've made a site specific video project ''Tunnel'' where the choreography was performed in a tunell for pedestrians that runs under the river Schelde in Antwerp. During rehearsals and shootings we've got so many people, citizens of Antwerp telling us how much the appreciated what we do, some of them wanted to discuss, some wanted to join, some just watch or even sing us a song so that we have music to dance on! I find it incredible that just a simple act of dancing in a public space can relase so much openness, curiosity! For me every encounter with the audience is different and each one is intensive for me and very important. I think dance is a language and as we all know it doesn't make much sense to talk to youself, you always need someone who listens and answers in one or the other way. I enjoyed very much sharing my art works with my friends and getting their opinion on it. During creation process it's easy to get very closed in your own imagination and focus on working without thinking what do you accually want to communicate and which tools you're going to use. About business and art I really don't have an answer to that...I think every artist knows how extremally difficult is to find money or sell your work. This goes especially for performing arts where there is no ''product'', there is nothing that people can buy and take home, we're only


Peter Soetewey photography


selling short experiences. I see more and more projects beeing sponsored by crowdfunding campaigns, I did that myself too, maybe this is a link that in the future is going to connect dance to other sources of sponsoring than traditional state subsidies and institutions. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Marta. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects. How do you see your work evolving?

As I said already before I belive in collaborations of different artists, so I definitelly want to continue doing that. So far I've tried out working on smaller projects with the video art, music, fashion. My dream would be to create a perfomance in which all those things could come together to create a full evening thetre performance so this would be definitelly something I'm aiming for. After all the experiments with video work, site specific performances and working in non theatrical spaces I'd like to try to go back to stage again.

I'd like to continue developing as a performer as well and search for more interesting encounters with different types of audiences. At some point I like to find a way to combine my graphic art practice with dance, but I don't have an idea how can I do it yet, but there is hopefully a lot to discover there for me. I'd like to also find a way or a systhem that would help me to organise and support my work financially, that would help me a lot to have more structure and develop my works better.

''three Oddest Words'' rehearsal, photo by Eva Campos Suarez


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Trystan Mackendrick

Trystan Mackendrick (USA) an artist’s statement

My artwork has never held a single trajectory, only the guarantee that my next project will diverge greatly from the last. Over time my images have gone from documentary to narrative to conceptual to emotive and back again. My photographs are an extension of myself, my experiences, and on occasion, the scars they left behind. They are a personal narrative, a way of sharing my inner self with those around me. I like to push boundaries and challenge conceptions, turn the grotesque into the sublime, and highlight the simple beauty of this world when I can find it. But if there has ever been a mission or goal to my work, then it would be one of instillation. Be it a thought or an ideal or an emotional state, it is always my hope that when someone walks away from viewing one of my pieces, that they take something away with them. As one of my college professors once told me “the worst reaction you can have to someone’s work is no reaction at all”.

Trystan Mackendrick is a fine art and commercial photographer, digital printer, novelist and forensic psychologist. His work has been exhibited on both the east and west coast, as well as internationally, and has been published in periodicals such as Collage and The Chronicle. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, particularly for his documentary work. As an artist, he prefers to take a more conceptual approach to his craft, and is more concerned with inducing a reaction, emotion or thought than simple aesthetics. As a photographer, he specializes in black and white photography and studio lighting, and his studio offers a diverse range of services from individually-tailored portfolios and product photography to digital printing and retouching for other artists.

Trystan Mackendrick

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Trystan Mackendrick

an interview with

Trystan Mackendrick Hello Trystan, welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker question: what in your opinion defines a work of Art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?  

I think that Art is a very general and subjective concept for most people, often based on technique and aesthetic. But for me it’s a matter of contribution, in that the artwork must give something to the viewer that did not exist before. It needs to have a function. This does not mean that the piece needs to be beautiful, or that the artist needs to be proficient in their craft, only that the piece is capable of creating an experience for someone. If the artwork can inspire, can make a person think, question their ideas, give the viewer a new way of seeing the world or incite an emotion, then by my definition, it is indeed a work of Art.

I am by no means an art historian, but it seems to me that the last sixty years or so have created more pieces of art that fit my definition than any other period thus far. The religious and iconic portraits of the past have given way to abstract and socio-political pieces, ever-expanding mediums, challenges to what constitutes the nature of art and more profoundly, the norms of our society. I have a great appreciation for the profound skill and dedication that went into the work of the Old Masters, but I have always found viewing modern art to be a far more exhilarating experience.

Trystan Mackenrick with a nearly unusable vintage Minolta, taking nonsensical snapshots of anything that caught my fancy. And honestly, I never once thought I would do anything with it. Until one day, years later, while pursuing an associates degree in architecture, I signed up for a photography course.

It was there in the darkroom, that I met Sandra Johansen, who was in charge of the lab at the time. If I know anything about making photographs, I owe it to her, as she was the most amazing printer I have ever met. In fact, I continued to audit classes after I graduated, just so I could continue working with her.

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

But the philosophy of the professors, of the school in general, was beyond stifling. The focus was on traditional, conservative and my Cassandraphotography, Hanks

My pursuit of photography started many years ago 26


Trystan Mackendrick

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From the Eros and Thanatos Series

Infliction

ideas and images rarely found any support. I imagine that many artists would find such an environment discouraging, even demeaning. But in fact, it pushed me forward, and my work became even more controversial. That stifling environment gave me the courage to express myself without regard to what other people thought of my work.

singular answer. My pieces, and my process for making them, vary greatly. Some pieces are complete happenstance – nothing more than being in the right place, at the right time with a camera in hand. Others have been the result of flashes of inspiration that conveniently struck while I was in the middle of a shoot. But the majority of my Fine Art work is conceptual, and I will sit for hours at a desk with a notepad jotting down ideas, trying to find the right structure and symbolism. After that comes the prop list, and the sketchbook. Lighting is always an important consideration to me, and I like to draw out my images ahead of time so I have a better idea of how I want things to look.

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?

Past the lighting and the symbolism, there’s always post-processing. And when it comes to this, I can become highly neurotic. As I mentioned before, all

Those are all good questions, and none have a 27


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Trystan Mackendrick

Love Lusting Sanity

Love

the time I spent in the darkroom during my initial training was invaluable to me, and I’ve worked hard to carry those lessons over into the digital realm and maintain that standard of printing. It’s not unheard of for me to spend three or four hours finalizing a print for exhibition.

in personal symbolism, where I created my own version of the Major Arcana found in a Tarot deck, and the second was as much an exploration of Jungian psychology as it was myself. But as I was creating these series, my longstanding relationship with my fiance was beginning to falter, and a downward spiral ensued. It was the ultimate failure of our relationship that forced me to look at the nature of relationships, and the various roles that I had played in mine. The series was a cathartic release for me, a testament to our love and its destruction. Hence the name, Eros & Thanatos.

Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with your series Eros & Thanatos, that our readers have already admired in the starting pages of this article: would you tell us something about the genesis of these pieces? What was your initial inspiration?  

Eros & Thanatos evolved from two other bodies of work I had created the year prior, Tarot, and Aspects of Personality. The first was an experiment

How would you describe the message and the narrative behind this project — that is, the idea 28


Trystan Mackendrick

Authoritarian

Shade

you would most like to convey or the story you are trying to tell? Your art practice tends to be fairly diverse, from conceptual to narrative to emotive and anywhere in between  and I would like to suggest our readers to visit your website at http://www.trystanmackendrick.com/ in order to get a wider idea ... by the way, 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? 

tive component. Through these images I wanted to convey my own personal experience, but in a more universal context. There are many themes and psychological concepts highlighted in these images that are applicable to many different types of relationships, and while it is unlikely that two people will experience an event identically, I like to imagine that my images are capable of reminding the viewer of something they once experienced themselves.  

As to your other question, I work in so many different areas that I don’t think I really distinguish between disciplines, or notice when I’m crossing lines. What I can tell you, is that some of the images that I’m most proud of are the ones that

While many of my works do contain a narrative, Eros & Thanatos was primarily designed as a series of stand alone images – although there are several diptychs in the series with their own narra29


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Trystan Mackendrick

Traces of You, from One Final Kiss Goodbye

end up being so androgynous that they can fit into multiple categories. It doesn’t happen too often, but there have been times when a travel snapshot has become a fine art piece, and likewise, a fine art piece has been used for commercial purposes.

Piano Man

volving the creation of alternative realities and dream states, which I hope to be starting on soon.

Since many of the readers of our review are artists, would you like to tell us if digital technology as post-editing has impacted on your creative process? All in all, modern technologies allows us not only to make possible what was once hard to make, but are also and especially capable of helping us to conceive new kind of works...

The instrument that we see in Piano Man is a piece that seems to not need a player, while I can listen to  Vince's loneliness, asking for something, or someone... 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... what's 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?

Most definitely. The transition from the physical darkroom to the digital one was not the easiest for me, and even now I’m still very much the traditionalist. I’m cautious about the over-use of filters and my images having the appearance of being digitally manipulated. But the possibilities are growing on me. In fact, I’ve been doing quite a bit of experimentation recently, which has led to the conception of a new surrealist body of work in-

I agree with you entirely, and I would go so far as to say that this should be a goal to aspire to. As I mentioned before, it’s artwork like this that exemplifies my definition of Art. I think that it’s our resCassandra Hanks 30


Trystan Mackendrick

Peripheral ARTeries

Story

scars they left behind...  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?  

Yes and no. On one hand, there is no mandate that an artist must bring a piece of themselves or their life experiences into their work. You don’t need to expose yourself on a personal level to create something beautiful and inspire people, it’s simply not necessary. Sharing myself with those who view my artwork has been a conscious decision on my part, and many successful artists have avoided this route entirely.

ponsibility as artists to contribute and comment on society, and to raise awareness when we can.

All too often, artists are set on the fringes of society, misunderstood because we don’t fit the mold, or in some cases, break it entirely. Sometimes this is a badge worn stoically, and other times with great pride and prestige. But regardless, being recognized as an artist often allows us the latitude to speak up a little louder than most. Not everyone has a strong opinion, nor do I think you need to. But if there’s something out there that moves you, that you think people should be paying attention to, then as an artist, I think you should scream it from the mountaintop. As you have stated, your photographs are  a personal narrative and an extension of yourself, your experiences, and on occasion, the

Vince from the Portraiture of the City Series 31


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Trystan Mackendrick

The Twelve Apostles, Dumfries, Scotland

On the other hand, how can you not? Our personal makeup and life experiences, whether on a conscious level or not, influence our decisions. Our preferences for certain colors, textures and compositions are unique to each of us. When a photographer takes a picture, it is their unique perspective that we are seeing. He or she is showing us the world through their eyes. I once took a course on “The Psychology of Photography” and this was the basic premise that the entire class was built upon. I have been very impressed with your series of photo that you have shot in Scotland: I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the background of your pieces: most of the times it doesn't seem to be just a passive background...  and  I'm sort of convinced that some informations & ideas are hidden, or even encrypted in the environment we live in, so we need  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?  

I’m not a nature photographer, so much as I am a traveler. And when I’m on the road, I’m usually not too keen on stopping to take a photo. I’ve actually passed up more than my fair share of amazing landscapes, and on many occasions simply left my camera home. But when I’m traveling and I find those shots that contain or capture a feeling or idea, I’m compelled to pause and reach into my camera bag and click the shutter.

So yes, I believe that photographs can reveal unexpected sides of Nature. I think that the glow of the afternoon sun coupled with a slight breeze on a few delicate stalks of wheat can indeed evoke an emotion, and that a simple 32


Trystan Mackendrick gravel path curving away into nowhere can reflect the thoughts of the traveler who took the photo. That at least was my intention, and I thank you for noticing. "The worst reaction you can have to an artist’s work is no reaction at all"... 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 relish the feedback from my audience, but maybe not in the same way as most. I can’t think of a single artist I know who doesn’t love having their work admired and praised, and I am no exception. It validates all the hard work that we put into our craft, and our decision to become artists. But truthfully, it would make very little difference to me whether someone loved or hated my work, so long as it made them feel something. I think in some way, I would even prefer a violent display of distaste to a simple comment of appreciation. But above all, I create art for myself, because that is what I love to do. It may be a gross negligence on my part, but my audience is rarely taken into consideration.

Venice

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Trystan Mackendrick

Since you are both a fine art and a commercial photographer -involved into fashion photography as well- I question, but all in all, an important one...  what are in your opinion some of the challenges for a sustainable relationship between the business and arts?  

I would say that the art world is very much a business, disappointingly so. While I adore galleries and am very much a collector myself, they are nevertheless glorified retail stores, with rent and employees to pay. And so it only makes sense that they would select artists whose history of prior exhibitions suggests that they are on their way up, if not completely established, as this is an important selling point for any buyer. Unfortunately, it is not always the most talented artists who have the best exhibition histories, but rather the most talented promoters. If you wish to succeed in the art world, you have to learn to promote your work, or find someone who will. That, at least, has been my experience.

Commercial relationships, on the other hand, are far more easy to develop. There are so many avenues by which you can pursue your craft, and word of mouth can go a very long way. Networking, among other things, is key to success, and I’ve found one of the best ways to establish yourself is by working with other professionals, whether they be make-up artists, hair stylists, or clothing designers. But it’s only the initial establishment that presents the challenge. If you can overcome that, business relationships become increasingly sustainable, and often present the potential for advancement.

Cassandra Hanks 34


Trystan Mackendrick

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Michell Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Trystan. 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?  

I’m afraid my life has grown quite boring these days. As far as my fine art is concerned, there’s the new surrealist series that I’m developing and I do have a couple group shows coming up on the horizon. Commercially, there is a shoot for a new clothing line on the schedule and a possible album cover, but what I’m really excited about is my travel itinerary. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be opening up a new studio in Los Angeles soon, alongside my partner, Meagan Nesbitt, a very talented photographer. It’ll be a change, but I’m really looking forward to networking with all the talent that’s out there, and hopefully exploring some possibilities with a few of the local galleries.

Latoya 35


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(Spain)

From Presence Obscure series #196 Winter

photography 1


Xavier Blondeau (France)

Since my childhood , photography followed me It represents an important milestone for me: the polaroids of my childhood, as intimate family to the first Kodak winks on time, building coil after coil of life experiences. At 16, I discovered in the blue sky , the light box . A capacity to remove our shortcomings to create a fantasy . Since then, despite the remoteness of my life with photography, our paths cross and intersect ... Obscure presence is research in which I currently subscribe . There are places or situations in which , despite the absence of human entity , a presence exists beyond objects . This presence "dark " as the persistence of the recent past , gives things another dimension. As if they needed a human footprint to exist. Thus, the darkness of the night when the nascent early morning mist , are smugglers to another world . They help us to feel the presence evanescent...

Xavier Blondeau

Righteous Exploits

performance, photo by Matt Lewis 2


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Xavier Blondeau

An interview with

Xavier Blondeau Hello Xavier 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? Moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork? Do you think that there's still an inner dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Created by an artist following more or less elaborate methods, a work of Art is an aesthetic object whose deeper meaning seeks to move us. Free from the necessity to be even remotely useful, the work of Art is often associated with a larger artistic movement and can also be part of an artist’s body of work. More specifically, in photography, to my mind an an interview image can be called with a work of Art when it breaks free of the time frame to which it belongs. It must be able to transcend techniques typical of a certain time period, the conventional composition with perfect centering, or still, the intellectual concept which underlies its creation. It must reach a kind of universality and timelessness. It must be experienced as a true sensory adventure, stripped of any explanation or theori-zing. Therefore I reckon that a work of art should first and foremost be recognized as such by those who look at it. This recognition derives from this oh-sospecial moment that is the discovery of an artist’s world. My artistic journey as a self-taught photographer is certainly the reason why I am convinced that a work of Art should be accessible to all, regardless of their cultural baggage. However, I am aware that to be fully appreciated certain works of Art require some cultural training, and an openmindedness which does not necessarily come naturally to all. But I prefer to believe that, like for

Xavier Blondeau

intelligence, a ‘heart line’ should be enough to grasp a work of Art. From what I have just said, it therefore appears that I do not make a distinction between tradition and contemporariness to the extent that they are outside the scope of my definition. In my opinion, contemporariness and tradition are more relevant when discussing the form a work of Art takes. That said, I would more easily associate contemporariness with the ability to offer a different take on the world. Which is especially true for photography. The contemporariness of a work of Art therefore lies, in my opinion, in the fact that it offers a specific vision, an intensely personal take on the world.


Xavier Blondeau

Peripheral ARTeries

shadowy presence � untitled january 2011

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any experiences that have particularly influenced you and that impacted on the way you currently produce your Art? By the way, what's your point on formal training? I often ask to myself if a certain kind of training could even stifle a young artist's creativity...

My discovery of photography was sudden, and the result of pure chance. In my youth I was passionate about science and it is during an astronomy workshop that I gradually discovered what it was like to develop and print photos in a lab. That was a true revelation, which encouraged me to work throughout the following summer in order to earn the money I needed to buy my first film camera. I then proceeded to set up a photo lab and spent many sleepless nights tinkering in darkness, surrounded by the smell of chemicals, just to obtain a few silver prints.

Without any training or help I managed to produce very personal photographic work. Passion was definitely there, and so consuming that there had to be a deeper reason for it. It soon became clear that photography was providing me with an outlet, it was the perfect way to express the feelings that I had found so hard to get off my chest as a teenager. It also allowed me to build my own creative universe by protecting my oversensitivity from the outside world. Years later, during a photography workshop held in a studio, another experience caused a major shift in my photography. This was my first shooting session, and the expression in the model’s gaze as I was about to start shooting completely overwhelmed me with swells of emotion which brought me back to a painful time in my youth. But instead of trying to bury this experience even more deeply, I now tap into it to create the energy and emotion that I now look for in a shooting session.


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Xavier Blondeau

shadowy presence ‐ untitled

shadowy presence ‐ untitled ‐

may 2011

september 2011

Ever since then, shooting pictures has become for me a special time, one that allows me to capture my own emotion in the outside world. I feel connected to this world which lets out an intimate and irrepressible call. My photos aim to convey this intense emotion. No need to explain, to conceptualize, just raw emotion! Over time, I have come to realize that the painful yearnings of my past have given me the an interview with strength and the energy to produce photographic work that is sensitive and personal. My self-taught artistic background naturally leads me to believe that a formal artistic training is not always mandatory. This training could lead budding artists to unconsciously tailor their art or their technique to please a certain professor, all the more so that they do not always have enough perspective or strength of character to follow their own path. However I think that artistic training, as long as it doesn’t twist students’ perspective, can boost them and help them find their own style.

The fact that I don’t have that kind of formal training sometimes puts me at a disadvantage in the art world. Since I don’t have any art degree I often feel I have to constantly prove myself, for example by being regularly featured in art exhibitions.

shadowy presence ‐ untitled ‐ april 2012

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?

What is of utmost importance to me is being in a certain receptive state so that I can capture a fleeting emotion, what I would call ‘the emotional instant’. When I’m in that state, I shoot on instinct, I don’t think through my photos beforehand at all because I’m not trying to ‘premeditate’ them. I let intuition take over and guide me, following my instinct, without rationality or mental construct. I’m not looking for the decisive moment so dear to the heart of humanist photographers but I try to be in a receptive state to the elements around me. It is the elements that ‘grab’ me: a particular light, a barely-there silhouette or the way a body moves. In a way, it is the picture that comes to me. If the mind insinuates itself in this utterly fragile process, all the magic disappears. That is why it is crucial for me to preserve this emotional moment, by #196ofWinter stripping my thoughts any attempt at rationality.


Laelanie Larach

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shadowy presence ‐ untitled ‐ september 2011

Of course, a stage of quasi-unconscious maturation exists. A long time can elapse between bursts of activity, as if I had become incapable of seeing the elements around me, as if they had lost their power to ‘grab’ me because the time isn’t right. A week, a month, a trimester. This period of latency is often tricky, because it is awash in doubt and anxiety, leading me to question my photography work and my ability to perceive things beyond the obvious. I feel unable to undertake anything. But then comes the moment when a little something, for example a stolen glance, triggers the feeling that something is going to happen. Emotion overtakes me when looking at a particular scene and I feel that the emotional moment I mentioned above is almost upon me. Then I grab my camera and let the miracle strike when it will. Some series saw the light in less than an hour, but I know that some others will take my whole life. With the advent of digital photography, another important stage has found its way into the creative:

digital processing. I did digital work on some series long after they were shot; sometimes several years go by before a series is finalized. It’s as if it was necessary to let the negatives rest. Even if little digital treatment is applied to a photo or a series, another maturation period sometimes seems necessary. Therefore there are no precise rules to how I go about my pho- tography work; it even almost seems that each series requires its own specific process. But maybe that’s because it is the result of a unique set of events which cannot easily be controlled! Now let's focus on your artworks: I would like to start with Shadowy Presence that our readers have started to admire in the introductory pages of this article: and I would suggest them to visit your website directly at http://www.xbphotographe.com/ in order to get a wider idea of this stimulating project... media trid.piece, 2012in Vanishing Point, Mixed the meanwhile, would you tell us something


Peripheral ARTeries

Xavier Blondeau

shadowy presence ‐ untitled ‐ december 2009

about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

Shadowy Presence has two founding elements: night-related themes and the absence of human entity in the city. The painful flaw in my life which I mentioned earlier has led me to focus on the individual as a subject of interest. More specifically, I have been pondering this question: what defines our individuality, what relationship can we have with our surroundings? That is why I find the city, which by essence represents our capacity to create our own territory, to be a very interesting experimental field when trying to solve that issue. By representing the city without human presence in my photos, I lure the public into witnessing this absence, a void which they’ll naturally tend to fill, it’s a bit as if the viewer was looking at a mirror without reflection. Thus, by trying to introduce this missing human presence by way of a mental construct, the viewer will be better able to grasp that feeling

of existence and to, perhaps, try to find the answer to these questions. This mental exercise I propose to the person viewing these photographs is made easier by the fact that every scene takes place at night. Night is conducive to imagining, and I like my pictures to leave room for interpretation. This allows the viewer to make the photo his own, which increases the involvement of those discovering them. I used a nightly setting for this series, but for other series, the element that will draw the viewer into the picture and encourage him to project his own meaning onto it is fog, as in the series ‘Bad weather on the road’, or blurring as in the series ‘Lost bodies’ or ‘Imprint’. As you have remarked once, there are places or situations in which, despite the absence of human entity, a dark presence exists beyond objects... your works are capable of establishing a presence and such an atmosphere of memories, using just little reminders of human existence... I would like to ask you if


Xavier Blondeau

Peripheral ARTeries

shadowy presence � untitled � july 2013

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?

By now you will have understood that it is primarily my emotions which lead me to take photographs. These emotions are intimately linked to my past, to a number of personal experiences, to this part of us that transcends our own existence to seek some sort of link between us and something much bigger and more universal. It is the starting point of my artistic process nowadays. Of course, it is important then to build, or rather formalize, a creative approach. This allows artists to make sure that creation amounts to more than simply the inspiration of the moment. I sometimes feel that my approach to photography is a little schizophrenic, to the extent that my pictures seem to be primarily the fruit of my

emotions. These emotions can only express themselves if I manage to turn off all my rationalizing thoughts so that I can reach that necessary state of receptiveness. However, I am aware that some personal thought has already taken place upstream, often without my conscious knowledge, during the maturation phase I told you about. Similarly, after shooting photos I take time to observe and analyze the resulting pictures. It is then, looking at my work in retrospect, that the underlying concept or idea which led me to take these pictures really jumps at me. It is in this moment that a series begins to emerge. This makes me realize that my approach to photography can’t do without this back and forth between a quasi-unconscious emotional state and a later stage of introspection and analysis. This might be the consequence of my personal history to the extent that I trained as a scientist, which has led to my current position as Associate Professor, while at the same time managing to develop my artistic side through photography. Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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Xavier Blondeau

Captions details

an interview with

faux‐semblant€‐ untitled ‐ february 2012

faux‐semblant€‐ untitled ‐ february 2012

This is the perfect illustration of one of my most strongly held belief, which is that art is intimately linked to personal experience. If that wasn’t the case and one’s art wasn’t instinctual and laden with personal meaning, if it was purely the result of some sort of deliberate method, then the artworks produced would be ‘intellectualized’, they would lose in great part their ability to touch the public, and they would require some theoreCaptions details tical knowledge to be fully appreciated.

Another interesting project of yours that have particularly impressed me and on which I would like to spend some words is entitled fauxsemblant and one of the features of it that has mostly impacted on me is the way you have been effectively capable of re-contextualizing the idea of landscape and of environment... so I would like to stop for a moment to consider the "function" of the landscape suggested by your work: most of the times it doesn't seem to be #196 Winterand I'm sort of conjust a passive background...


Laelanie Larach

Peripheral ARTeries

Ever since photography escaped the narrow technical boundaries that confined it at the beginning, it has been commonly agreed that a photographer’s take on his surroundings isn’t objective. Reality is filtered through the photographer’s eyes. It is thus through his photography that the artist-photographer expresses an intention. This intention mustn’t be conventional, for fear the images produced should be of no interest, but on the contrary it should offer a different vision of things. As for the ‘Make Believe’ series, the signs that dot our roads have an obvious meaning. They give us information we need to drive properly. But their presence fades gradually from our memory.

Captions details

The speed with which we must process their presence and the information they contain leads us to erase them from consciousness as part of our surroundings. So I wanted to ‘rehabilitate’ them by assigning them not only a more symbolic function, but also a more personal one as well: that of holding a truth which escapes us, but of which we are dimly aware nonetheless. Through these images I tried to uncover and bring to the forefront this hidden truth, by creating an inner light from this road signs. This offbeat vision of things is, for me, an extremely important point when it comes to art-house photography. I think that people who sometimes find it hard to relate to our world, either because they have managed to preserve their inner child or because they have experienced certain things, are more likely to develop this offbeat

faux‐semblant€‐ untitled ‐ february 2012

vinced 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?

I think that the role of a photographer, and the source of his strength, is precisely how he perceives all the things around him.

vision of the world around them. As far as I’m concerned, I believe I have managed to always retain some measure of poetic wonderment and imagination, the same one that allows children to create imaginary worlds from the ordinariness of life. While your works are completely analogue, in these last years we have seen a great usage of digital technology, in order to achieve media trid.piece, 2012 Vanishing Mixed outcomes Point, that was hard to get with traditio-


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Xavier Blondeau

TransEnDance ‐ untitled ‐ february 2012

nal techniques: do your think that an excess of such techniques could lead to a betrayal of reality?

As I indicated previously, the art-house photographer’s role is to offer his particular vision, his own very personal take on the world around him. My photographic work thus has more in common with the work of a painter than with that of a reporter. In fact, the artist has little use for reality. He looks at the world around him and handpicks some elements, a personal interpretation of which might later be offered to the public. The point for him is to offer his own creative world, his own sensory perception. Figurative painters are no longer sneered at for failing to render the absolute likeness of a face in a portrait, or for their sketchy representation of sunflower fields, for example. So why point the finger at the photographer who uses today’s techniques to create his own creative world? Some photographers will look upon the raw image obtained from a shoot as the gouache painters use.

They will knead it like clay until they arrive at a work which is very far removed from reality. Using modern digital techniques in photography doesn’t make the resulting artwork any less a photograph. I don’t mind using digital techniques to the extent that I have never aimed to take realistic photos; rather I strive to offer my own sensitive vision of the world around me. A fair number of my photos have been digitally altered post-shoot. You probably would be very surprised to know which of my images have had the most digital work done! But one must be careful not to get ‘locked’ into a particular technique. A photographer, to my mind, amounts to far more than just digital printing or a spectacular technical feat while shooting. We photographers sometimes happen to manage a particularly difficult photo on the first take. Does that photo have more value than the one I created digitally? If your answer is yes, you are implying that the main interest in the photo is the technique used to get it.


Xavier Blondeau

Peripheral ARTeries

TransEnDance ‐ untitled ‐ february 2012

I am convinced that an art-house photograph is more than that. I often smile when people ask me whether my photos have been digitally altered. I tell them about these great humanist photographers which led everyone to believe that they had produced their photos without any enhancement, just by being in the right place at the right time, as Cartier Bresson liked to claim. To prove they never cropped their photos they went so far as to introduce a black border in their prints, which was supposed to show where their negative stopped. Others followed suit by systematically adding a black border in their print photographs, even when they had been cropped! If the photograph is to be used to report on events around the world, it is mandatory to respect the photo’s integrity and to stick to high ethical standards so as to not deceive the reader, but in the context of artistic creation, forgoing digital techniques doesn’t make any sense. By the way, I can recognize a subtle but deep social criticism some of your projects as Corps

and even though 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 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?

I think that, before anything, we need to distinguish between the photographer-reporter and the arthouse photographer. In the first case, the photojournalist seeks to portray an event or situation and tries to be as objective as possible. His photography must transcribe a political or social reality. However his vision isn’t neutral, because he is trying to take a stand versus this reality which is supposed to be objective: his photography will then be intentional. By leveraging this reality he tries very often to make us aware of the socio-political issues of the moment. For example, Nick Ut’s photo showing a naked VietnaLive performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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Xavier Blondeau

Corps€perdus€‐ untitled – march 2011

Corps€perdus€‐ untitled – march 2011

an interview with sents an exceptionally efficient means of persuasion. The artist can then take advantage of the fact that his work had struck an affective nerve to use Art for higher purposes. This way he will be able to denounce a particular situation and influence people’s behavior. Then is it advisable to use Art as a ‘propaganda weapon’ to serve a cause? I cannot answer this question. On the other hand, it seems important to me to let the artist choose the role he wants to have in society through his works

mese girl fleeing an area that had just been bombed with napalm became instantly famous around the world and the public outcry that ensued contributed to ending the conflict. Other photographs have also helped change the course of events. But in that case, is it right to talk about a work of Art? Through his work, an art-house photographer, unlike a photojournalist, offers a very personal vision of the world. He does not necessarily try to make people aware of certain issues, even if his work can lead to social criticism. Of course, his work is based on his personal experience and the intimate impression he has of the world he lives in. Let’s take the example of Picasso, who created in June 1937 the gigantic canvas ‘Guernica’ to denounce the bombardment of the city earlier in April as part of the Spanish civil war. I think that Art is a powerful means of expression and communication since a work of Art has the ability to reach us deeply. It goes beyond a certain rationality and is capable of touching us to the core.

It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, encouraging him: I was just wondering if an award -or even the expectation of positive feedbacks- 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...

The power that radiates from a work thus repre-

Winter I do not have any#196 kind of formal artistic training


Laelanie Larach

Corps€perdus€‐ untitled – march 2011

and I do not come from the world of Art. It’s the reason why I am probably more sensitive than others to feedback from the public or art institutions regarding my work. When I showed my work for the first time it felt like I was baring my soul and it made me very vulnerable to comments and remarks. I experienced it like a trauma, and I was a fully grown man of 43 at the time. And yet, it seems very important to me that the work of an artist be seen by others. Facing people’s perception of one’s work, explaining one’s approach, sharing emotions and gathering the public’s impression is what makes us, artists, grow and continue down our chosen path. In addition, it seems to me that a work created by an artist cannot really exist if it is not exposed to people’s appraisal. It’s as if a vital bond had to form between the artist and the public through the former’s works. However my photographic work is not influenced in the least by the existence of this vital link. In fact, when I create my photographs, I feel completely disconnected from the world. This emotional state I described earlier leads me not to

Peripheral ARTeries

Corps€perdus€‐ untitled – march 2011

be receptive to what others might think of the photo I am in the process of taking, but to find out there, in a precise instant, an emotion that matches mine. It is an intimate relationship which, at the beginning, excludes others. When I work on my photos post-shoot and that I experience anew the emotion that led to the shoot, I then know that I have reached my goal. I also know that my work on this photograph is done. All it needs to be complete is that others look at it. If by ‘business’ you mean gallery owners, I like to believe that there can exist a sincere relationship between the artist and the gallery owner. This sincere relationship can only develop if the gallery owner has a true interest in the artist rather than merely in the art the latter produces. The work of an artist is only a snapshot of his creative development. If the gallery owner only cares about the work, he is bound to hurt his relationship with the artist by trying to confine him to the type of work that will sell on the market. The gallery owner must accept toPoint, followMixed the media artist trid.piece, in his creative 2012 Vanishing development, without imposing a vision or a


Peripheral ARTeries

Xavier Blondeau

style that is easily marketable. This freedom to create without pressure from the marketplace is what makes a quality relationship between an artist and a gallery owner. The question that comes to mind is how many gallery owners actually take into account the artist rather than his artistic production? Thank you for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts, Xavier: anything co-ming up for you professionally that you would like readers to be aware of?

It has been a true pleasure answering your very interesting and relevant questions. I have tried to provide answers that were both sincere and objective. I hope your readers will find the various points discussed to be of interest. Right now I am working on an ambitious project, one that is fairly difficult to implement. Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to produce photographic work jointly with a painter artist. This has allowed me to go beyond the scope of photography and to offer a particular kind of work which blends painting and photography. The challenge was to recreate a photograph using pictorial elements. This entailed a specific four-handed digital work and the collaboration between a painter and a photographer. This work was shown in France, at the castle of la Roche-Guyon. In the near future I would like to use the Shadowy Presence series to create photos targeted at the visually impaired. The idea is to introduce a dimensional relationship between light and heat; the photos would thus be perceived using the sense of touch. The heat sensation, more or less intense depending on how much light is in a particular area of the picture, should make it possible for the visually impaired to mentally construct a picture. This is still work in progress, which should ultimately lead to an exhibition in Paris next October. Stay tuned for more! An interview by Dario Rutigliano, curator peripheralarteries@dr.com

Bad€Weather€on€the€Road ‐ untitled february 2011


Xavier Blondeau

Peripheral ARTeries


Peripheral ARTeries

Rebecca Gischel and Sebastian Walter an artist’s statement

Picaroon is the collaboration of the two artists Rebecca Gischel and Sebastian Walter. Picaroon’s art is intended to bring people together and make them wonder. We believe there is an intrinsic curiosity within all people and it can best be provoked in unusual places, like a busy pedestrian area or a small market square. By definition, interactive art cannot stand on its own, especially in public spaces. It needs people who are willing to stop whatever they were just doing, and to explore and interact with a particular piece of art. Solely driven by their own curiosity, these people create a novel experience altogether. This creation is far from inevitable. It is impossible to tell with any deal of certitude, how participants will react at any given moment, yet this freedom results in a sensation that is as diverse as the people that attend. There are elements that the artist may have limited or no control over: adverse weather conditions, places that are too lonely, or too busy, or the people themselves, who may not have the time or patience to commit to what one wants to show them. Rebecca does not want to force her interpretation upon the observer and from her point of view, uncertainty regarding the outcome often results in a rewarding experience. By taking casual bystanders and removing them from their isolated position of outside observers, they themselves become a part of that piece of art. Some will lose interest after seconds, some will stay a while and then sometimes, people who have never met before will strike up a conversation and talk about what they just experienced. And this loop may come back around to the artists themselves, so that they may end up learning about an aspect of their work when they thought they knew everything there was to know. Sebastian believes that people like to see things that they haven’t seen before. We all are very skilled at spotting things that are illogical or don’t make sense within our familiar setting. But the awkward can be fascinating, the unusual can be appealing. Interactive art often has unique and abstract concepts that people want to find out about. Much like in a game of chess, we accept the rules and how the pieces move, and only a few will ever ask why the rook can move so swiftly when it is essentially a stone tower that we would expect to move rather slowly, if it moves at all. Just like that we want to make people get together and leave the familiar realm to show them something new entirely.

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Nathalie Borowski

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Picaroon

an interview with

Rebecca Gischel and Sebastian Walter Hello Rebecca and Sebastian 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 are in your opinion the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Art is so diverse that we will have a hard time finding a universally accepted definition of the term Work of Art. Art movements of the past century alone have widened and extended the term to a point, where it becomes clear that any attempt to give a complete definition of the term work of art could only be made in retrospect. But for us as Interaction Artists, a Work of Art is characterised by the correlation between its form and content. Without the content, the form is meaningless whilst the form is imperative to bring the content into existence. Social and technological changes at the beginning of the 20th century layed the foundation to a form of art with participatory features, which introduced the idea of an open outcome, such as Futurism or later Fluxus or Happenings. Openness thereby is the objective to leave aspects of an artwork to the audience or to chance. Simultaneously, art movements with a technological component emerged and developed further, such as the early kinetic art or media art. We would mark the today’s synergy of these two elements, participation and technology, combined with the idea of openness as one possible feature of contemporariness of a work of art. Would you like to tell us something about your backgrounds? Both of you have received formal training at a very high level and both of you have moved from your native country to the United Kingdom: how have these experiences impacted on the way you produce your art nowadays?

Sebastian studied Game Design in the Netherlands, whilst Rebecca studied Media Design in Germany, followed by her Master’s in Interaction Design in Edinburgh, UK. Now we both live and work in Edinburgh, which strikes us as a culturally diverse city. For us, it is essential to meet and communicate with people from different cultures from all over the world. This exchange will 6

Rebecca Gischel and Sebastian

Cassandra Hanks


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Peripheral ARTeries

often disclose new perspectives and views, and as our art focuses on sociological issues, cultural exchange doesn’t only have an impact on our work, but is essentially our main source of inspiration. 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?

The starting point of our process of creation is mostly a question we don’t have an answer for, mostly a sociological issue as said above. This is followed by thorough theoretical research concentrating on published papers and articles dealing with the broader subject matter. At this point we may have identified a certain aspect that we believe should be given form. This is a crucial point during the development, because we need to be able to grasp most elements of our research and transpose those carefully into an appropriate shape. Now that first step takes about a month or two. From there it gets broader as we need to investigate the materials and technical limitations that we will encounter. After all, we make use of a whole bunch of different electrical parts and a wide range of materials and it is quite a challenge to make the theoretical concept technically feasible. Yet, we want to create interactive art that revolves around the people that interact with it, so going out there at an early stage is essential. You will want to have people test your construction much like a piece of software or an electrical device, because it needs to be intuitive and must not be an obstacle that people need to tackle with. If your prototype is difficult to approach, you draw attention away from the content and deeper meaning, which you were trying to make more accessible in the first place.

Walter 7


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Picaroon

And now let's focus on your artistic production: I would start with "Global Sounds" that our readers have already admired in the starting pages of this article and that I would suggest to visit directly http://www.picaroon.eu/work.html ... In the meanwhile could you tell us something about your process for conceiving and in particular for making this piece?

This project began with a personal question, the question about home. Since we both don’t live in our native country, we were discussing if one creates something like a second home by moving to another place, which then provokes another thought regarding the definition of the place that we like to call home. We started to research about this topic and moved forwards to globalisation and migration. Realising that cultural values are being taken from one’s origin and introduced into the new environment, a new blend of cultural exchange is being created that ideally has the potential to be beneficial to everyone. We created seven pyramids made from acrylic glass to represent different cultures. Every pyramid represents one culture. We collaborated with the composer Theresa Zaremba in London, who created a song comprised of seven instruments from different cultures, such as a Didgeridoo from Australia or a Djembe from Africa. We also worked with the medium light – inside of every pyramid is a light bulb which blinks like an equalizer according to its instrument. The installation is interactive in the sense that it needs people to activate the pyramids. The pyramids have a webcam with a fisheye lens on top which recognises movement. We used the software Processing and the electronic board Arduino to program the webcams and control the instruments and the light. As soon as one person stands next to a pyramid, movement is detected and one instrument starts to play. The more people come to the installation, the more instruments join in. It was of great importance to us that people realise how to interact with the installation by themselves without requiring an explanation. I personally find absolutely fascinating the collaborations that artists can established together as you did with between apparently different approaches to art... and I can't help without mention Peter Tabor who 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 two artists?

We can certainly agree. We often find ourselves with complete 8


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different approaches to a specific challenge. Rebecca is focusing mainly on the level of artistic interpretation and the balanced correlation between form and content. Sebastian on the other hand transfers principles of game theory on the rules of the interactivity and considers social behaviour of participants. One of the features of your works that absolutely fascinated me is the symbiosis that you are capable of establishing between different disciplines in order to create a deep interaction with your audience: 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?

An interesting thought! At the end of the day, the technology we use, electrical devices, sensors and LED’s are just tools. And there certainly is an artistic aspect to these elements, but what it really does – as you already implied in your question – is to enable us to blend disciplines into one. A good example for that is the music we used, which touched people on a very different level that images or written texts could hope to in this specific project. And since I have a scientific background, I couldn't do without asking you to tell us something about the technological aspect of your art practice: in fact your works are based on an effective synergy between Art and modern technologies as xBox Kinect and Arduino and I must confess that I'm always happy when I discover synergies between Art and Technology: do you think that nowadays still exists a dichotomy between art and technology? Moreover, I would go a far as to say that the more time it passes the less there are concrete differences between Art and Science... and I would go as far as to say that in a way Science is assimilating Art and viceversa... what's your point about this?

The very early roots of the symbiosis of art and technology goes back to chronophotography which was invented in 1886 as an answer to the second industrial revolution. It was a novel technique to capture linear trajectories of moving objects in a single image. After World War II, as a result of further technological development, interest in kinetic art grew, which led to collaborations between artists and engineers. Later, these synergies between art and technologies led to new art movements such as technological art in 1960 or the later media art until today’s interactive art.

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Picaroon

Leistungszeit, xBox Kinect, Skeleton Viewe

busy. We realised that we were constantly in a hurry and always under the impression of not having worked enough. Now time is a resource that we like to believe we have a lot of control over, yet a lot of people – including ourselves at that time – seem to regard their own time closely linked with a sensation of fear, the fear of not having enough.

We believe that new inventions in technology and science will lead to new art forms. The first steps have been taken already, Ars Electronica, one of the most important festivals for interac-tive art, presented at their 2013 festival a large number of artworks which were inspired by newest findings in biology and neuroscience. Another work of yours on which I would like to spend some words is entitled “Leistung-szeit”, a stimulating piece of public art: it has been represented in Munich, Zurich and Stuttgart and it's based on a deep involve-ment of your audience, that it's in a certain sense "forced" to think... while you lead us through the development of this project, I would like to ask you if in your opinion personal experience is an absolutely indes-pensable part of a creative process... Do you think that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

At its core, Leistungszeit is a provocation. While you walk by, a thought bubble pops up with a distinct sound and hoovers around your head, for everyone to see. In our world it is not uncommon to speculate about one’s actions or intentions, but the realm of thoughts seems to be quite a private afair. So we quickly realised that this is a powerful tool of getting our message across. Unlike a flyer or a booklet that you are sometimes given in a public space for various reasons, and that you can choose not to pay attention to, the thought bubble was hard to ignore as it followed you and around. Sebastian Rebecca Gischel Cassandra Hanks

We started this project at a time we were very 10


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Leistungszeit, xBox Kinect, Skeleton Viewe

The thoughts we made people think revolved around common tasks and goals, but were extended to bizarre proportions to have a playful, but strong impact. So a bubble could read “There is another 700 unanswered emails in my inbox” or “If I can secure that longed for promotion, I can finally get myself that Porsche”.

in their crafts under severe blows of fate or by experiencing great personal bliss. Either way, an artist is shaped by her past experiences, and she cannot help but to interpret her piece of art through her view on the world.

But the real beauty in our opinion was dealing with the subject matter on a superordinate level of meaning: If people would walk too fast, the sensors would not pick up on the people in time and the thougt bubble would only flash up for a second followed by a suppressed sound. Think about it: people short on time rushed by too fast for an installation that was dealing with shortage of time! As you can see, personal experience played a big part in the development in this project. So the answer is no, the creative process cannot be disconnected from an artists’ direct experience. Walter We have seen so many great artists who thrived

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Picaroon

Besides a stimulating irony, I can recognize in your recent work Black Box such a subtle social criticism... I'm sort of convinced that Art in these days could play an effective role not only making public opinion aware of current issues: I would go as far as to say that nowadays Art can steer people's behaviour... As an artist duo deeply involved into sociological issues, I would take this occasion to ask your point about this.

You are right about the irony regarding the black box, but when it comes to your second remark, we are forced to disagree. Our intention to this day, has never been to “steer people’s behaviour”. Certainly, we appreciate if people end up drawing the same conclusions as we do, when we confront them with a certain issue that we communicate through our art. But more often than not, they will have a slightly or even radically different opinion and that is just as fine from our viewpoint. We are not trying to convince anyone, but rather want people to make up their own mind. Consequently, we try to avoid radical implications or point’s of view, as they leave little room for a fresh and unbiased assessment of a situation. Also keep in mind that not all participants reach the same level of depth. People going to a museum will generally be more inclined to immerse themselves into the kind of art they chose to see. We aim at all people in a given space and reach them to varying degrees. Thanks for your time and for sharing with us your thoughts. 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?

Thank you for your time, and yes, we are working on something new that we are extremely excited about. We can’t tell the details as of now, but it will likely have a bigger scope and will make us get about quite a bit. We expect a presentable prototype to be completed early in 2014.

Rebecca Gischel and Sebastian

An inerview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

Cassandra Hanks 12


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Leistungszeit, xBox Kinect, Skeleton Viewe

Walter 8


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Gema Herrero (Spain)

"Luz, more light" An artist’s statement

Gema Herrero's work is linked to the photo, the video, the installations and the use of the technology. The sonorous portraits, the texts, the “emotional cartographies� and the photomontage (Intervened Images in with multiple layers of reading). The temporary things, the state of change and the transformations, are a constant in all projects, which feed with the records gathered in the covered trajectories and which are the proper traces and the tracks left by others from the experience of the state of transit and provisional state. Artistic education -school of fine arts- and Master's degree in Audio- visual Production Applied to Multimedia (Univ . Carlos III of Madrid). Professional activity: developed in parallel form to artistic activity during 18 years in the scope of the art direction and transmedia creativity of independent groups of multimedia communication. She is part of the founding team of Nooxfera (professional independent from different areas: audiovisual, design, theater, TV, media and global communication). Professor of monographic courses of design and creativity.

Gema Herrero #196 Winter 30


Project: Children's Game (HeterotopĂ­as)

Final compositions. Register of practices, which takes place in spaces modified by citizens as a result of the economic crisis. Its point of departure is a conflict around which a collective creative and transforming activity has taken place.

Righteous Exploits performance, photo by Matt Lewis 31


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Ulvi Haagensen

An interview with

Gema Herrero Hello Gema, 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?

«If one cannot understand the usefulness of the useless and uselessness of the useful, one cannot understand art». Eugène Ionesco.

an interview with

Hi Peripheral ARTeries, it is nice talking to you. Artistic sensitivity can be expressed in many ways. Any type of technique can be used with interesting results. Some nice pieces can be the result of an isolated fact. They are experimental pieces resulting from fortunate coincidences without a solid work behind them to back them up. Many of these artworks are our drafts and they show an artistic sensitivity, but constitute only the prelude of what could eventually turn into a masterpiece. These experiments are ‘possible’ things. Some of those possible things could become ‘necessary’ things when an artwork is complete. Many times, mixtures of these practices are exposed in exhibition spaces and very often, when the eyes of the observers are unfamiliar with art, they are shocked and don’t understand why that piece in front of them is considered to be art and can’t see the proposal behind it.

Gema Herrero 32


Ulvi Haagensen

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Register of the series “En Tránsito”. Location: Vietnam.

At times, some of those possibilities show a repertoire with a coherent shape…”a round shape”. I don’t think it is necessary to provide the observer with an overload of information to guide him. However, giving him some clues will help him identify the context.

Those artworks, which provoke a reflection, or an emotion, that remains inside of me long after I have experienced them. Then, I ‘examine them minutely’ from several perspectives. In those cases, I do a personal search as I want to know what those artworks have moved inside of me to give rise to such an interest, and I also do a documentary search about the artwork creation.

At best, and regardless when they were created, the artworks arising my interest are those which somehow make me take part in them, even if they don’t ask for any intervention; they challenge me and make me wish to go deep inside them, a feeling which goes far beyond passive contemplation.

I would like to share with you some inspiring paragraphs for those who want to read in Spanish; some unpublished, non translated texts written by Jordi Claramonte from his on online publication ‘Estética y Teoría del arte. Tríptico modal’

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Gema Herrero

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Are there any particular experiences that have impacted on the way you currently produce your artworks?

Each biography and each route are a whole world in itself. In my case, I haven’t followed predictable paths. My waybill has changed as my interests and need for knowledge have evolved. I think learning is a never-ending task and there is humbleness in accepting the fact that there is still a long way to go. In spite of my artistic background and my Master Degree focused on audiovisual production and multimedia, the most interesting things have come to me through other types of contacts; contacts through which I have met other people who have given me something, as they have shared with me visions different from mine. The search starts when one feels the need to materialize something and there are aspects one cannot complete on his/her own. If, on top of this, we are open to let things happen, then a sort of serendipity can take place. 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 think meeting other people within an open, non-official context is essential because it goes far beyond the practical interest of getting a certificate, thus focusing instead in the exchange and enhancement of knowledge. These searches are elective. They might not offer an immediate ‘practical’ profit, but could lead us towards people we would never have the chance to meet otherwise. So the task is to keep alert and to look for those who can help us grow. Even if not all of them will comply with this goal, some of them will indeed deserve the effort and time invested.

Project: IN|VISIBLES. Installation images

to get automatically what can only be obtained as the result of an individual effort and tireless passion». NUCCIO ORDINE, ‘The usefulness of the uselessness’, translated by Jordi Bayod, Barcelona 2013 Acantilado. 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

«Everything can be bought, that is true. From members of Parliament to trials, from power to success: everything has a price except knowledge: the price to pay for knowing is of a quite different nature. Not even a blank cheque would allow us

#196 Winter 34


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an interview with

Project: IN|VISIBLES. Installation images

In some other cases, the creation process is much slower and is the answer to something that worries me and inevitably draws my attention, giving rise to a long process, which takes time before it can be materialized (Children´s game).

you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

Some pieces emerge as a result of “exercises”, practices I set up within the context of experimentation. In those cases, I try to start something that, for some particular reason, is interesting for me. Sometimes these pieces evolve and go further than initially foreseen (IN|VISIBLES).

Each case requires a concrete process. The first results could be those I keep for myself, or maybe not.

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Gema Herrero

I destroy many of the things I create, even if I regret it later. That is part of the game. I need to make myself several proposals. I have recently found out that, surprisingly, one or two of my friends who are composers also share this trend towards creative destruction. As to technical aspects, each case is different. The moment for choosing the final resources comes when the project is finally defined and it has to do with how it will be exposed. One project could have several possibilities. I love installations because of their ephemeral and unique nature. They might need several types of technical resources that should be simplified. In other cases, I use materials. In general, sound and image are always present. The sound understood as the main character, not just as an accompaniment to the image. Technical aspects should not be the most important factor. I think it is interesting to work with a repertoire of known elements with which you can play. In this way, I can always consider changes according to what I want to say or what I want the observer to capture. Regardless the final format for exhibition, the projects can be tracked through the Internet. Some of them are available and linked to a domain, others are in unreachable sites and only temporary, changing summaries witness their existence (“I´m listening to you” hereinafter). Now let's focus on your art production: I would start from En Transito, that our readers have already started to admire in the introductory pages of this article, and at your website at http://www.entransito.com/ in order to get a more concrete idea of it. In the meanwhile,would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

En tránsito is a “quiet” project, which is little by little consolidating its presence in the Internet. It is always in a beta phase.

Project: “En Tránsito”. 12 different locations

There are many ways of approaching it and sailing through its content. It should not be seen as a traditional web page, which immediately reveals i

ts purpose. It is not a model of conventional ’usability’, but it is neither complex nor unpredictable as other proposals we find in net art. 36


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gies and different connections. The project is shown in the Internet as it is built up. All registers involved in it depend on my movements. At present, the project shows in the upper part a month selector, which allows a type of navigation; but there are also connectors in other elements distributed through the pages as little symbols. This will change in short because the project doesn’t intend to show a chronologically fixed evolution even if a chronology is suggested. The following quotation can be reached through a link from many parts of the repertoire or registers: «The project's work method: I have nothing to say but only something to show. I will not hide anything valuable nor will I steal any deep formulation, But the rags, the scraps, I won’t make an inventory of them. I will only let them conquer their right in the only way possible: by using them. ». (¹) The repertoire of registers before ‘En tránsito’ is EN|TRANSITO 01 , a dynamic cartography of the memory, where events are badly structured and are shown as a group of situations which have taken place according to an order which goes out of control. If we analyse the way the experience is generated, we can often say it is not linear, it simply builds up itself by connecting sometimes events that took place at very distant moments and places. When we want to tell a story in a formal way, we organize the events in order to make it understandable. This is possible when we look at the past, but when we simply observe and internalize the generating sources of the experiences we go through, that order is in fact chaotic.

(¹) Among many of his works, Walter Benjamin compiled quotations. Words said by others that he decided to organize, classify and bind, occasionally adding his own words as a prologue. His presence is reflected in texts written by others....texts that he compiled thus generating a new work.

It is a repertoire of registers. Its navigation and the relationship between pieces change through time, thus establishing new temporal chronolo37

Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


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Gema Herrero

As you have remarked in your artist's statement, 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 "kaleido-scopic": it ranges from sound performances to the projects as El cuerpo sutil... while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to realize that a synergy bet-ween different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

Synergy between different disciplines makes me grow. The reason why I pick up synergy among other disciplines is because it is a permanent and curious search. El cuerpo sutil is a project I created years ago. It is based upon a collaborative approach, that is to say, several artists participate and exchange something between each other, while each one of them remains the author of his/her part in the attempt.

Project: IN|VISIBLES. Contents

Several pieces of the project have already been completed and the project is still open, although only a few pieces are available in the Internet. In this game I make the proposal: there are no restrictions and I will accept anything that those collaborating with me want to give me (and whatever they give me, will always belong to them) even if he/she modifies the initial orientation proposed. I’m not looking for the expert opinion of somebody about a particular subject. My proposal is: let’s play a game. During the ‘three first times’ of this project, collaborations are based upon the word. I’m inte-rested in images that can be created through the word. In this particular case, words inspired in images pro#196 Winter posed.

Project: IN|VISIBLES. Contents

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others would implement it. Working in the creation of this type of projects is fascinating because they can be approached in their most creative and experimental stage, the most ‘naïve’ moment of their creation, which imposes an advanced vision of the project at the same time. Afterwards, when the final version is completed, creativity sets its bounds, it changes…. and other factors which restrict the proposal become important.

There will be more skins in this exchange, I might change the story line, music might also play a role, but that will come in the future. Even if they belong to different fields, the professional and artistic activities I carry out definitely have something in common. I have always worked in creativity and art direction. Several years of my professional experience have been devoted to the creation of prototypes. We used to have a sort of a multidisciplinary laboratory, which was somehow free to propose things (at present, this is not possible due to financial restrictions). For us, a prototype meant creating a model in its very initial stage, a model with all its possibilities, including the definition of processes, which would take place later, in order to make the prototype possible when

Just few times 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 indespensable part of a creative process... Do you think 39


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Gema Herrero

that a creative process could be disconnected from direct experience?

It might depend on the discipline, the purpose one has in mind when creation starts and on the effect one wants to produce in the observer. It all depends on the goals we have in mind. Sometimes there is a big distance between what is shown and the author (the author doesn’t want to be noticed in his work), however, the observer ends up capturing his way of looking at things. When I can’t find that perspective clearly then I wonder why the author observes what he observes. If I apply this to my particular case, the things I produce are linked to my existence, to a certain way of looking at things, to a personal way of living and to my natural tendency to observe the specific things that calls my attention. This way of looking at things can change eventually. Another interesting piece of yours on which I would like to spend some words is entitled I'm Listening to You... Technology or I should better say, the manipulation of the concept of technology, plays a crucial role in producing the creative synergy that marks your art practice. So I would ask you: do you think that nowadays there still exists a dichotomy between art and technology? By the way, I would

Project: “I´m listening to you”. Visual registers

go as far as to say that in a way Science is assimilating Art and viceversa...

I think the use of technologies offers a wide range of creative possibilities as it fades away the figu-

Project: “I´m listening to you”. Visual registers

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Peripheral ARTeries

communication protocols and data that could be found in the Internet and are used to feed the content of the artwork. If we analyse this case in detail, we will come to the conclusion that some elements in that artwork make it difficult to see it as a simple piece of art (painting, sculpture), and there might be elements in that piece that can only be owned partially as they use intangible resources which can be used if you pay for them. There is no need to own these resources; anybody can pay to use them. The digital world shakes and alters somehow traditional classifications. Complexity grows when efforts are made to display and keep these artworks through the years, as the ephemeral nature of technologies, software and devices will demand constant updating and resources adaptation, keeping at the same time the author’s and the artwork’s intention. I also think that the use of technology implies more collaborators. This again breaks with the idea of the author-artist secluded in his studio, mixing up colours in his palette to become an activity in connection with others, which implies learning on a permanent basis. As far as “I´m listening to you” is concerned, it is a project I started long time ago. It’s always alive and it demands collecting a huge amount of content for each sound piece. It builds up slowly in time because its result depends on the trace of my movements. The crucial thing here is not the trace of my movements in itself, but the connections to be established later between the resulting materials.

res of both the artist and the exclusive owner of the artwork. I’ll give you an example: Let’s imagine an artwork, which requires several resources for its execution: software, servers, 41

In this project I work in the acoustic environment by recording sound elements: voices, tonic sounds, sound signals, sound brands… Registers are made in several places; always public places. The original recordings (the non-edited material) are “landscapes” formed by events that can be listened to. I find these landscapes particularly interesting due to their temporary nature. They don’t remain unchanged; they could actually disappear little by little without being noticed. When thinking about work stages, we could identify, in the first place, as in the case of any audiovisual production, the stage devoted to capturing the non- edited material. All these recordings are edited later, in order to extract Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Peripheral ARTeries

Gema Herrero

from them the elements required for each sound piece, focusing on the individuals in the different spaces; individuals who tell short chapters of their lives protected by the anonymous crowd. Once again, the best final result is an installation. You work often reveal a socio-political criticism, and moreover - as in IN|VISIBLES, which I have to admit is one of my favourite work of yours- in my opinion it also seek to challenge art in its conventions of exclusivity 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?

Sometimes, the artist shows up things that others don’t show up any more, and he does so from a different perspective, which is way far from conventional criteria. But, to answer your question, in order to steer people’s behaviour Art should easily reach people and that seldom happens. Art gets to people through its own channels. Sometimes it does happen, especially when certain artworks come off those channels and seep in through cir- cuits outside of art. Register of the series “En Tránsito”. Location: Port

IN|VISIBLES, Children´s game, and other projects we don’t mention here, are the result of observation and of a particular concern. Children´s game (heteroto-pias) is a register of practices, which takes place in spaces modified by citizens as a result of the economic crisis. Its point of departure is a conflict around which a collective creative and transforming activity has taken place. The registers - which mix together with other elements and written texts – show something totally temporary because of its changing nature. These registers do not fit any fixed pattern and might disappear in a short time. As to IN|VISIBLES, this project was initially conceived as part of El Cuerpo Sutil and it grew up unex-pectedly. I chose the installation format be#196 Winter

Project: “Children´s Game”(Heterotopías). Installation

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Peripheral ARTeries

fects produced by the different screenings and contents with no start no finish. I’m particularly interested in those cases in which the role of the spectator as a passive consumer is under discussion. I think this is a delicate subject, difficult to deal with. A couple of cases come to my mind: interesting media art artworks, which go beyond traditional classifications and change the concepts of artistic authorship and the relationship between the public and the artwork. PAUL SHERMON, TELEMATIC VISION . INTER [IN] VENTION. Collection ZMK| Karlsrue An installation connects two spaces in different locations. Both spaces show exactly the same furniture layout. Through a broadcast system and by means of a ‘chroma key’, spectators in both locations mix up with the image thus sharing the same virtual space shown through monitors located in both spaces The spectator observes himself. He is the changing element in the artwork and makes part of it. This is precisely my photograph, the one I provided to illustrate the interview. The image is composed of fragments of this installation and fragments of another one I will mention later. The photograph proves my presence as an observer and as an integrating part of the artwork. Without posing, I show curiosity and relief after a group of students invading my field of vision as they performed a balancing act and acrobatics in the connected space, finally leaves my shared virtual space.

ugal.

PETER WEIBEL, OBSERVATION OF THE OBSERVATION: UNCERTAINLY. INTER [IN] VENTION. Collection ZMK| Karlsrue

cause it fitted better the contents I wanted to create. Installations allow the display of all the project material: photographs, written texts, video and sound. Screenings are done on translucent materials and the public walks through those materials thus reflecting the images over their bodies.

An artwork created in the 70’s, which deeply analyses participation levels and uses installations in a closed circuit. It is an installation based upon a closed circuit, which is only understood thanks to the presence of the spectator. Broadly speaking, the spectator moves within a physical, circular space with cameras and monitors displayed in such a way that they only register and project the image of his back.

The observer does not make the artwork possible, but he is present in the artwork, even if he doesn't want to, because in order to look at it, he has to “invade” it. I found the effects of that invasion very interesting, as many observers felt they had entered a very private space. That opinion surprised me because the installation suggests a sort of chaos to visitors and still, they didn’t run away; they stayed there, listening and observing the ef-

The spectator is then a co-creator and makes part of the artwork in real time. He doesn’t play the role of a passive spectator anymore and becomes an essential element, which makes the artwork possible. The control concepts are evident in the artwork. 43


Peripheral ARTeries

Gema Herrero

It goes without saying that positive feedbacks are capable of providing an artist of the indespensable 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? I sometimes wonder if it could ever exist a genuine relationship between business and Art...

The spectator completes the artwork; his involve-ment is crucial. The artist should often question himself as he works in an artwork, and should also put himself in the shoes of the observer. He must be coherent in terms of what he wants to transmit. The process of each artist is a very personal mat- ter and I think each artist should adopt an attitude, according to his objectives and priorities in relation to his work and to the “audience”. Feedback from the audience is important, but how this feedback gets to the artist is even more important. The most valuable answer is the one the artist gets personally, through a direct contact with the audience. As I try to answer your question, I wonder if there is another good formula, more or less automated, to know the effects produced by the observation of an artist work. I might stray off the subject you propose, but I honestly think we should always be critical when confronting systems and concrete platforms, which provide automate answers. Using technology is most interesting, but it is never neutral. When a programme is conceived, an interaction model is being designed in advance; this interaction model will allow the type of information to be gathered and the answers. It imposes a rational model, which might not be the adequate one. An automatism of the type ‘I like it—I don’t like it’ casts doubts on concepts such as ‘artistic autonomy’ and ‘aesthetic experience’ thus trivializing the answer. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Gema. 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?

Thanks for your interesting questions. As to my plans for the future, the only thing I can say is that I will go on with my activity and my projects. Many things concern me at the moment. We just have to take a brief look at reality to find an inexhaustible source of worries and conflicts. If they become creative facts, I guess I should not stop in a long time.

An interview by Dario Rutigliano peripheralarteries@dr.com 44


Gema Herrero

Peripheral ARTeries

audio video installation time of light, water memory

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Olga Karyakina Installation Light, founded local natural materials Space size: 4,000 sf Maravatio, Mexico When you are a foreigner, you are always feeling like a highlighted person. I felt a high level of «what does it mean to be highlighted», being a tall blonde woman in Mexico. I was thinking about how to show this feeling. One of the possible spaces for my installation was abandoned meal factory, named «La Blanca» (“White”) I found this place 4000 sq feet dark and dirty. I found out that it is possible to make the holes in the roof. Then I decided to make a light-based installation. I’ve worked with natural and founded materials and live objects. #196 Winter 1 14


La Blanca, 2012 Installation Light, founded local natural materials Space size: 4,000 sf Maravatio, Mexico 2


Peripheral ARTeries

Olga Karyakina

An interview with

Olga Karyakina Hello Olga, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker 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 still a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Hello, I'm not sure if it works when art is divided into «contemporary» and «traditional» arts. As an artist, I'm not interested in any separations. I would say, it is really great to be a part of a big tradition, as well as Renaissance Masters, Picasso and Van Gogh. Also, I agree with Josef Koshut's opinion that the value of an art object can be measured as a value of the new meanings it brings. From this position, you can probably an interview withjudge what is art and what is not art. Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have received a formal training, and besides your studies at the Moscow State University of Printing Arts, you have spent a year in New York, attending the School of Visual Arts. How have these experiences 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?

Olga Karyakina

was the possibility of collaboration with the teacher and having fun during the lessons. It was the kind of freedom, I've missed before. Mostly I loved Gunars Prande's silkscreen class. During the lessons we discussed exhibition catalogs and other books, artists, sweets, and politics.

I studied in Moscow State University of Printing Arts where mostly learned about aesthetics issues. I studied graphic arts, book illustration and design. It allowed me to develop my personal style in graphic design and set up the design studio. in 2010 I started to attend SVA Fine Art department in New York.

The turning point for me was the time I spent in Cittadellarte Residency in Italy: it was a turn from aesthetics to the deep meaning of the art. In my experience, it was more important to be in a con.

The most exciting thing, I've discovered at SVA,

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Olga Karyakina

La Blanca, 2012 Installation Light, founded local natural materials Space size: 4,000 sf Maravatio, Mexico

you put in before and during the process of creating a piece?

I don't really have a specific method :). The projects, which I really love, have nothing in common with their original purpose. A starting point for me is an impression from social or physical space. Second step is a thinking about how this perception of the space can be highlighted, forced and represented to other people. I just work on the idea for a long time. Somewhere in the middle there is a special moment, when a completely different solution comes.

La Blanca, 2012 Installation Light, founded local natural materials Space size: 4,000 sf Maravatio, Mexico

Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with La Blanca that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. Would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

nection with the community of artists, than to learn in the university as a graduate student. This doesn't mean, that the art community living is nice, but it is very stimulating.

I was inspired by my Mexican journey. Sunlight. Completely different life, nature and people. La Blanca visually expresses the feelings of an alien, who is markedly different in appearance from the locals. This was a reflection of my foreignness, visibility, sense of self, as a person exposed for observation by other people.

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

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Peripheral ARTeries

Olga Karyakina

an interview with La Blanca, 2012 Installation Light, founded local natural materials Space size: 4,000 sf Maravatio, Mexico

The moment of inspiration was when I found this abandoned meal factory, called ÂŤLa BlancaÂť. The building has a sophisticated suite of rooms, connected to each other and to the main corridor. I found this place (approx 4000 sq feet) dark and dirty - a perfect space for a light-based installation! In my work the light beams moved on the floor following the movement of the sun. Viewers could watch their slow movement. On the floor, beneath the light spots, were colored areas made from a handful of petals of different flowers and plants arranged in exactly the same shape as the rectangular patches of light. A small part of the figure was illuminated at first; then more and more. At this point, color became the main figure. For a short time, the whole room was covered in red, pink or yellow. The extended suite of rooms was used to create the effect of rhythmic repetition of

#196 Winter 18


Olga Karyakina

Peripheral ARTeries

sunspots on the floor. This rhythm moved the audience from one spot to another. In this installation the performance is not due to some sort of action, but due to the natural movement of the sun's rays. Another pieces of yours on which I would like to spend some words is Green River, an interesting piece that has particularly impressed me: in a certain sense, it breaths, moves, changes a direction, cooperates with the nature... A feature of this piece that has mostly impacted on me is the effective synergy that you have been capable of establishing an effective dialog between the concept of Nature and our inner nature... Could you lead us through the development of this project?

Thank you, I wouldn't say better! It is really a dialog between the concept of Nature and our inner, human nature! It begun as a small paper model. Then I scaled the model and made a construction from wooden bricks. In collaboration with Oropa Botanical Garden we covered this construction with alive plants.

an interview with

We built the installation just in the center in City of Biella, Italy. It was the best place for such object supposed to create a context for communication with the residents of Biella. Cervo River previously used to be a source of energy for many textile mills in Biella. Nowadays these mills are abandoned. So the installation was

Green River, 2011 Installation Wood, live plants, appr. size 315 in x 69 in x 39 in, Biella (IT)

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Olga Karyakina

the point to start the conversation about people life, economical crisis and the nature. During the show, I asked visitors to formulate a sentence about the river, which characterizes their attitude towards it. Some of visitors shared their personal metaphors and thoughts. Being strictly connected to the chance to create a deep interaction, your artworks as The Farm are capable of communicating a wide variety of states of mind: and, as you have once stated, your pieces aim at the creation of ÂŤthirdÂť space, which affects people's behavior, switching from "looking" to "feeling", or "being in the space": would you like to elaborate a bit this interesting concept for our readers?

Farm is a sign, or a mark, which can be installed in any space. It is a wooden screen, made in shape of farm barrow. Some parts of the screen are lost and some details of the video missed. This piece is more meditative and it affect people's feelings more than doing. By the way, I can recognize such a socio political criticism in your works, as in Marked as an important... 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... 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'm totally agree, that art impact on the political and social situa-

Inside-out House, 2011 Installation Wooden blocks, grass, found furniture Approximate size: 236 in x 236 in x 15 8 Biella, Italy

Inside-out House, 2011

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Inside-out House, 2011

tion. Art directly steers people's behavior in such situation as «Occupy Wall Street», for instance. My art works by implication, it doesn't provoke, it is more a point of discussion. «Marked as an important» represents the alternative “measuring” system, based on the imaginary relationships with different art institutions around the World. These imaginary relationships connected with the reality by a plenty of rejection letters, received by artist.

and household items 7.5 in

Inside-out House, 2011

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Live performance, photo by Mark Hamburg


Peripheral ARTeries

Olga Karyakina

Your art practice ranges from Installations as Inside-out House to graphic design: 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?

That's true, I work with a wild range of disciplines, and switching between them or mixing them to express the idea better. To be honest, I never think about how it works. During these years you have exhibited your artworks in several occasions in your homeland and abroad: both in Europe and in America. Just a couple of years ago you had the solo ÂŤLa BlancaÂť in Mexico. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- 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 enjoyinterview your Art whenwith you conceive your pieces? an

I love awards. I would like to have more, but I think it is not productive to dream about it in a process of making art. The most important for me is the moment when a viewer gets into the space of my object. This is the moment of co-creation and most important feedback for me. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Olga. 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?

All my thoughts now are about my upcoming solo exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow. So if you guys suppose to be in Moscow in November 2014, you are very welcome!

An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

#196 Winter 22


Olga Karyakina

an interview with

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Peripheral ARTeries


Peripheral ARTeries

Tanya Stadnichenko (Russia) an artist’s statement

The main direction Tatiana`s works is to transfer graphic and compositional laws in the space of streets, parks, abandoned factories. For her works are important historical, architectural and landscape contexts. In the installations she widely uses colors, graphic quality, the refraction of light, spatial content, the violation of the optical illusions. The feeling of the dominant natural culture is the axis of most projects. She compare asocial environment areas, the urban places and human work directly with them, the author explores all known laws, exposing them. The natural background is becoming legislator and inspirer, and organic natural forms combined with the industrial world and the increasing globalization of nomadism - tools for translating ideas.

Tanya Stadnichenko Strikes, 2012 Installation, Summer Đ?cademy in Salzburg


Tanya Stadnichenko

Peripheral ARTeries

STRIKES, installation Summer Academy in Salzburg-2012 The clearness of blow depends from the shooter, from experience, which has been saved up on years. Today artist is a densely connected to itself with all society. The young artist has no time for mistakes, relying on intuition and analyzing a situation, it strikes new blow. The blow should be the accurate, uncompromising, exact, with clear statement . vimeo.com/48279411


Peripheral ARTeries

Tanya Stadnichenko

an interview with

Tanya Stadnichenko Hello Tanya, and a warm welcome to Peripheral ARTeries. I would start this interview with my usual ice breaker 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 still a dichotomy between tradition and contemporariness?

Artist for me now it's not just a creator – it's a person, who can make a difference in the environmental situation, change the areal of his habitat through the dialogue with people. I like to measure the depth of human perception; I immerse myself and people in unusual environment, for to expose factors that are absolutely impossible to see in everyday life. For example, I had a series of public-art projects in which I examined the laws of attraction and gravitation. The plane has outlived its usefulness for me. For me now the drawing, painting and photography can't show all the energy and speed of the modern world. It's a problem, that in Russia we have a huge gap between classic art and contemporary. For example, in the common art- university (like my first one) the history of art ended on the Malevich. And our education system too old, that’s why people didn't get used to think when they see the art, they just say: «Is it really art? I can do the same». Would you like to tell us something about your background? You have received a formal training, during your studies of Fine Arts, at the prestigious Institute of the Contemporary Art of Moscow. How has this experience 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?

In Moscow we have some new private art- institutions where artist could have some fresh knowledge and information about what's going on in the art-world now. That’s why I have 2 art- educations. After ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art in Moscow) the borders of my art-perceptions opened and I start-

Tanya Stadnichenko

ed to work another way, try new materials, technology; strive for clarity of expression and multilayered work. About background I think that my motherland played an important role in my art. I was born in a little city in Siberia and I used to live in a huge vast, I walked a lot in endless fields, forests and abandoned buildings. That's the one of reason why I prefer to work with a big spaces or on the streets and public spaces with a nature, use the wind and air. Before starting to elaborate about your would you like to tell to our production, Cassandra Hanks


Tanya Stadnichenko

Peripheral ARTeries

output the laws of graphic and compositional to the streets, parks, abandoned factories. The historical, architectural and landscape contexts, colors, graphic quality, the refraction of light, space filling, in violation of optical laws are rather important for me. Now let's focus on your art production: I would like to start with Strikes that our readers can admire in these pages and that I would suggest them to view it directly at vimeo.com/48279411: in the meanwhile, would you tell us something about the genesis of this project? What was your initial inspiration?

I did this installation in the Summer Art Academy in Salzburg, Austria. I came to study there for one mounth. And there was an atmosfere like in artfactory, where is an everybody have to do powerfull «strike» with his project. The young artist has no time for mistakes, relying on intuition and analyzing a si-

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?

Basically all of my recent projects deal with temporality. It's going from the my life and social -situation when is nothing for a long time. I'm interested in the theme of the short duration of art. During last year I did nothing for «white cube» space, because I want to my projects works with people on streets and parks and the viewer can participate in the installation. I try to

Strikes, detail


Peripheral ARTeries

Tanya Stadnichenko

The Labyrinth, Land-art project Life of every person - a labyrinth. We always search for easy road, we wander in search of happiness, we lose faith, we find, we rejoice grass. It breaths, moves, changes a direction, cooperates with the nature.

tuation, it strikes new blow. The blow should be the accurate, uncompromising and exact, with clear statement. In the installation I tried to visualize some of these strikes of the young artist as they could be in a formal vision. And it was interesting to worked with salt-space (That factory was a salt factory before the O. Kokoschka did it place for art-study). Another piece of yours on which I would like to spend some words is Labyrinth, an interesting land art work that I like very much: as you have remarked, it breaths, moves, changes a direction, cooperates with the nature... A feature of

this piece that has mostly impacted on me is the effective synergy that you have been capable of establishing an effective dialog between Nature and our inner nature... Could you lead us through the development of this project?

It was project about the human being with idea that ÂŤWe alwayse looking for easy road, wander in search of happiness, we lose faith, we find, we rejoice or we long, we come back to old roads and we search for new waysÂť. I cut the grass for to do kind of labyrinth, where people can sit and think about his life. But also I felt this like a big


Tanya Stadnichenko

Peripheral ARTeries

reality and start to live it's s own life, especial when I work with public-art. For example, when I did work «Adrift», I didn't expect that reflections in the water will play a significant role in the composition, and I didn't think that 40 kg of apples from the project «Juice» will exude an incredible smell, supplementing installation. And we couldn't do without mentioning Temporary Waterfall that is one of my favourite pieces of yours: I would daresay that this work sums in an image the well-known Bauman's concept of «liquid modernity». I can recognize in it a subtle social criticism... And 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.

or we long, we come back to old roads and we search for new

animal which breathe, move and participate in all that process. Being strictly connected to the chance to create a deep interaction, your artworks are capable of communicating a wide variety of states of mind: have you ever happened to discover something that you didn't previously plan and that you didn't even think about before? I'm sort of convinced that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal hidden sides of life and nature... what's your opinion about this?

For sure, everey project from sketches come to

Temporary Waterfall, detail


Peripheral ARTeries

Tanya Stadnichenko

Temporary waterfall, Anapa, 2013 installation from series of temporary sculptures I`ve the only here and now. There is nothing permanent it`s a «liquid modernity» time. Here is only sky and sand. I don`t know what will happen tomorrow because of speed information. The first work from a series of break down objects.

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?

As I told in the beginning of the interview, I think that now the artist can't just sit in the studio and create an esthetic objects or pictures like 100 years ago. Now is everybody artist, everybody has a photo camera and internet. And the true artist has to be more than just artist. He must be a mirror of society, reflection of reality and «changer of time». What about «Temporary waterfall», I was inspired by book of Bauman because he indicated very clearly all social problems of our days. In my life (as in the histories of all my friends also) there is nothing stable, everything too much unreliable, and nobody knows what will be tomorrow. It's kind of the capitalism's consequence and unwillingness of people to change something in the situation. That’s why I want to do exhibition with temporary objects which will crushed during exposition. Your art practice ranges from Installations, public art as Gravitation to performance, as Limits: while crossing the borders of different artistic fields have you ever happened to

Limits, video, 2’42’’, 2013 Hanks Cassandra


Tanya Stadnichenko

Peripheral ARTeries

THE GRAVITATION Public-art- installation, Moscow-2012 I feel the power of gravitation, it surrounds me. It works anywhere, anytime. I want to dip you in the sense with destruction borders of things and distorted forms. I want to levitate and break any area of perception. I measure the gravity at different locations. vimeo.com/52576741

realize that a synergy between different disciplines is the only way to achieve some results, to express some concepts?

I don't have a single medium for work. I try to express idea by all possible means of expression, and sometimes all this mediums works only together.

The Marked Place, public installation


Peripheral ARTeries

Tanya Stadnichenko

During these years you have exhibited your artworks in several occasions: you recently had your solo "Tissue" and moreover you received a grant from the Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg. It goes without saying that feedbacks and especially awards are capable of supporting an artist, I was just wondering if an award -or better, the expectation of an award- 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'm inspired by dialogs and discussions with the audience. And every new exhibition like new competition – you never know reaction of people, but I can't work without society attantion. And every new project like explore of my own borders and opportunities and it's hard but also enjoy. Thanks a lot for your time and your thoughts, Tanya. 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?

I just received an invitation for spring from the residence «La Napoule Art Foundation» (France). I've some ideas for explore French style- garden there. And also may be I've to travel more for totally contemporary art!

An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com

TISSUES, 2011-Moscow 2012 There is a Own law for all elements of the Universe. We are the total model of the our planet, including all its parts: the earth, water, fire, air (wind), heavenly space (ether). The face of person in an old ages looks such as the mirror, is similar to an earth crust surface. It is possible to judge his life on mimic wrinkles of folds of the person. All stresses, pleasures, physiological and spiritual processes leave an accurate trace on us. The Earth have the similar processes, but in galactic scales - explosions of volcanoes, earth crust shifts, a tsunami, climatic fluctuations, changes of degree of an inclination of a terrestrial axis. I consider history of a universe on an example of my own family tree. Portraits of great-grandmothers, great-grandfathers, uncles, are compared with maps of those territories on which their life proceeded.


Serene Greene

Peripheral ARTeries

Global Warming

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Peripheral ARTeries

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."

Paul Santoleri 1

#196 Winter


Waters of Change,

Righteous Exploits

Mural Arts Program, city of Philadelphia

performance, photo by Matt Lewis

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. 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.

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. 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


Paul Santoleri

Peripheral ARTeries

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?

Well I think that the best result of schooling is the

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


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 dif-


Paul Santoleri

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?

an interview with

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

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


Peripheral ARTeries

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


Paul Santoleri 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

Peripheral ARTeries

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. 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)


Peripheral ARTeries

Paul Santoleri

detail, Waters of Change, mosaic, relief, 2014; photo Lu Szumskyj

the rest of my life developing a relationship to line and I would never exhaust its possibilities. So the feather became a distinct metaphor for my renewed infatuation with the simplicity and simultaneous complexity apparent in line. These particular lines that I was using were developed from my graphite drawings, they were transcribed and reproduced on vinyl as adhesives that I could attach to the window to create Depth. The fragments of cities were chosen to create a tile like pattern, a repetition that could be combined, overlapped in any given direction, that resulted in a kind of topsy-turvy movement that reflects the ever-present energy in the cities I have been experiencing. Lines were taken from drawings from cities all over the world that I did in my travels, I

used the lines in repetition to create a sort of telescopic depth, or the effect of seeing double, that might effectively alter the sense of gravity in the viewer. These lines and fragments were adapted from the latest favella, nature & city drawings I did over three months spent in Salvador, in Brazil: Last year I went there on a grant from the organization “Partners of the Americas� that promotes understanding and sharing knowledge across borders, distances, but focuses on the north south and central American exchange. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, you became interested in the social dynamic of Art early in your practice and it has sustained #196 Winter over the years into the works that you do in pu-


Paul Santoleri

Peripheral ARTeries

an interview with

Jellycrab; ink on paper~ changing billboard @ Oberkampf & St. Maur/Le M.U.R. Paris, 2010

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?

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

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, so I wanted to share that with the Vanishing Point, Mixed media world, so I made drawings that I trid.piece, mounted in2012 places all over the world, stickers that repeated the form,


Peripheral ARTeries

Paul Santoleri

"Waters of Change" Manayunk canal, Schuylkill river park, Philadelphia , acrylic, glass mosaic, concrete relie

for that was where the communication began. THEN I discovered that this particular species of barnacle, the gooseneck barnacle has a unique characteristic in that it functions to absorb residual heavy metals from the ocean biomass and can process and neutralize them through its filtering system. So the form had deeper significance that I only discovered after my repeated drawings, paintings, & street works on the subject. Yes I do use music, theatre, dance, words, to expand on the visual power of my work. I collaborate with other artists, musicians , dancers etc. to add another layer of impact So what you say may very well be right. Although you are primarily a painter, your art

practice ranges in a variety of genres: from Drawing to Street Art to Sculptural as the stimulating Waste Shrine... 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?

Yes I believe it is necessary to utilize a variety of tools to express myself. One reason is that it relieves the monotony of working in any one particular medium, but indeed, as ideas are intrinsically linked to specific media, I see a thread in all the media that I use, for I think I use the various media in a similar fashion, because the work is often dependent on repetition: in a mosaic , I might cut large batches of the same form, varied slightly


Paul Santoleri

Peripheral ARTeries

f (Detail) 2013, photos : Lu Szumskyj

in size and execution, to create rhythms in the work, movement, repetition that alludes to time, energy, memory, all of these things that I delve into as a source for inspiration and content for my work.

to a possible effect on the viewer. Paints, media have certain intrinsic qualities that effect the viewer one way , but a wall of glass or relief, carved wood, it all has different metaphoric content.

Being strictly connected to the chance to create a deep interaction, your artworks are capable of communicating a wide variety of states of mind: have you ever happened to discover something that you didn't previously plan and that you didn't even think about before? I'm sort of convinced that one of the roles of an artist could be to reveal hidden sides of life and nature, maybe finding such an Ariadne's Thread... what's you point?

Earlier installation pieces I used pools of oil as reflecting ponds, using the American desert as a showspace for works that I was doing when I lived there. Part of the practice is the search for a unique place, to have a dialogue, possibly a community , or maybe just a niche in an old wall or tree ; but I continually travel to find new communities and niches all over the world, that have varying dynamics, to help to lead me through my own psychological Labyrinth. A personal thread that takes me daily to the next day.

Yes I think the media that I choose to use are linked 12


Peripheral ARTeries

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. 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. 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 col-

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?

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


Paul Santoleri

Peripheral ARTeries

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


Peripheral ARTeries

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.

An interview by peripheral_arteries@dr.com


Paul Santoleri

Peripheral ARTeries

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

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acrylic on polyethylene and wall, Philly PA 2013

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