Esmeralda Kosmatopulos Rachel Barton
Amanda Karlsson Lalya Gaye
Sang Jun Yoo
Esmeralda Kosmatopulos Rachel Barton
Amanda Karlsson Lalya Gaye
Sang Jun Yoo
Paul Hage Boutros Recep Akar Jolene Mok
Jyotsna Gyanani Yana Sakellion
Costantin Hartenstein Woo Guru
Paul Hage Boutros Recep Akar Jolene Mok
STIGMART/10 #DETERRITORIALIZATION! 2012 ISSUE
“In the literary machine that Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” constitutes, we are struck by the fact that all the parts are produced as asymmetrical sections, paths that suddenly come to an end, hermetically sealed boxes, noncommunicating vessels, watertight compartments, in which there are gaps even between things that are contiguous, gaps that are affirmations, pieces of a puzzle belonging not to any one puzzle but to many, pieces assembled by forcing them into a certain place where they may or may not belong, their unmatched edges violently forced out of shape, forcibly made to fit together, to interlock, with a number of pieces always left over.” Gilles Deleuze, AntiOedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
STIGMART/10 is pleased to announce the list of artists selected for our annual Issue: more than 330 works were submitted for this year's edition. We thank you all for your interest in our review. Our primary responsibility has always been not only to explore the most significants trends, but also to stress the rhizomatic nature of the flux of contemporary-ness . We strongly believe that the ever-expanding role of the curator should not be considered in terms of conflict with the role of the artist. Twentythree years have passed since Les Magiciens de la Terre, in Paris: today curators' duties include stimulating an endless dialog between different artistical practises, avoiding easy classification, in order to face a globalized scenario where approaches seemingly so antithetical share a radicality of aestethic intent. Selected artists:
Sang Jun Yoo............................2 Liat Berdugo..............................4 Esmeralda Kosmatopulos.......7 Lalya Gaye...............................9
Amanda Karlsson...................12 Matia Armendaris..................14 Jolene Mok.............................16 Paul Hage Boutros.................18 Jyotsna Gyanan....................20
Molly Bradbury.......................22 Yana Sakellion ......................23
Recep Akar.............................24 Woo Guru................................25
SANG JUN YOO
SANG JUN YOO
DISTANT LIGHT LIGHT DISTANT
STIGMART/10: "Under a light source, every subject is illuminated in human perception because light amplifies our vision". Your statement remind us of the great Italian artist Carmelo Bene, who decided to use a particular reflective material known as 3M Scotchlite in his art-film "Salom ".When people asked him the reason why he used this uncommon technique, he replied "All the objects in my film don't reflect light: simply, they are light". However, his provocative sentence
Sang Jun, Yoo is a new media artist based in New York City. Born in 1982 in Seoul, South Korea.
refers to the ancient debate over the nature of color and light since the Renassaince, while your worksexplore this dimension through a contemporary approach, stressing the interaction between the installation and the spectator. Could you illustrate this aspect of your work?
SANG JUN YOO: Sometimes, I question myself perceiving specific things in between variety of appearances in my life,but also my endless desire and movement toward my perspective. Because we state in an artificial world which is designed by human beings, I see there is a dilemma to find ourselves in a natural space over the artificial surroundings. Why are we longing the natural space? What drives us to process time and space beyond physical and psychological distance, to someone or something else? To find our own reflections in other side, rather than a numerous reflection in artificial world. I started to find the light - the only natural element we could see our progression in time and space, for designing certain
bridges that connect people to their familiar surroundings. It is the viewer's decision to connect their
experiences to communicate with the space I designed.
My project aims to invite an authentic experience from our individual perspective that focuses on the viewer's optical perception in a present moment, which possibly connects to a new perspective by amplifying or duplicating our understanding on the light. Also the installation elicits oneâ€™s emotional response to locate themselves from their personal memories in a different timeline. My friend told me he was reminded of a childhood memory of his mother doing laundry in the sun. Some people said that the light source from the projector reminded them of the sun or the moon, or even the view from a moving train at dusk. This warmness gives a positive impression to observe in a half-sleep scroll the wilderness sometimes in our lives. From this, I want to help the viewers measuring the distance to what they are looking beyond the surface of the reality. My project aims to bring an authentic experience from our universal perspective that focuses on the viewer's experience in a present moment, also translate human's intimate relationship in between artificial and natural into an individual experience. To share our
'Distant Light' is a space installation. Although light makes everything visible, light itself is not usually noticed because we see things reflected against it. When I look toward the sun, normally, everything in my vision turns into visible and invisible. This is nature's rule: an object is only visible when light reflects it. Under a light source, every subject is illuminated in human perception because light amplifies our vision. Ultimately, relationship between light and shadow becomes the threshold of human perception. Sheer curtain walls slowly rocking by wind current. The lights comes from somewhere behind curtain walls, and the light makes the curtains visible . An ambivalent feelings in a dark and hazed space drives the viewers self motivation to discover.
emotional response to a deep, lasting impact of incredibly simple pleasure: the light.
-From a technical point of view, we have found very impressive you use of curtain walls, subtracting the richness of colours typical of lightbased installation in art galleries today: it suggest a more minimalist and at the same time really emotive approach. How do you achieve it?
Slowly rocking window curtains against the sunlight is one of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. My personal impression drove this project as a study of the relationship between natural and artificial surroundings, and our changing perception of the two. The installation's translucent swathes mimic the movement of fabric in front of an open window, also the depth of natural encounters in our daily lives, and are backlit in a rotating spectrum of natural hues. A sheer sheet blow gently in a manmade breeze, accompanied by a soft computer-generated whirr. A mixed feeling in a big, dark and hazy space with constantly moving light wall wakes up and pushes the viewer's motivation to discover the unseen perspectives in reality. -Could you explain the peculiar relationship between light and shadow in your work? A constantly moving light in my installation generates an ambivalent feeling to the viewers in terms of
understanding time and the space. The light mimics the characteristic of sunlight, which represents a daylight: a white-yellow-red spectrum throughout the day. Also, the movement of the sunlight. The curtain wall symbolises our visual boundaries as well. In the spots beyond the curtains, the shadow delineates us better against the light in an ambiguous space. The viewers become immersed in an ambiguous space which drives a self motivations to discover their own reflections in between light and shadow. They can directly approach to the inside or the outside of curtain wall, to experience the spatial interactivity in the installation space. By touching the lights on a moving curtain wall, the viewers become able to change the colour spectrum, also their own visual perceptions to the light. By constantly changing phenomenological atmosphere in the space with the light and the shadow, the viewers recall their personal memory or experience to locate themselves in the ambivalence of time and space. -What in your opinion defines a work of art? Art is based on feeling rather than intellect, and its value is experiential for the viewer, ratherthan having a passive art experience in front of a traditional painting or sculpture. Art has been contemplated our perception on our space and surrounding by discovering human’s
capability to translate the relationships in between natural and artificial world, also tried to look beyond of reality with efforts of extending and limiting possibilities of ourselves. Since, we perceive things in a different timeline by recalling experiences from one’s past, also projecting perspectives from one’s reflection, it appears to be a shortage in the information contents in our connections: ambiguous conversation is only partly clear because half of the language is redundant. Furthermore, in a moment, a state of order and disorder may seem to be predicted. However, it is impossible to predict everything in reality since the practical use of physical function is based on constant change of relationship with other conditions. Therefore, the art has been progressed to connect one’s experience to a present moment, rather than looking to the artwork, to look inside -for this is where the real art lies, in opening ourselves to the present moment. This idea belongs to a contemporary notion: in the art's power to enrich us as we experience it. Because the space or the artifice doesn’t lose the aspect of own characteristics under art, it invites another perspectives by not adjusting or modifying the original itself. So, the space remains in our familiar relationship we already have, so the art opens the possibility to let us discover and experience the space.
LIAT BERDUGO SWITCH STIGMART/10:"The absurd human obsession with appending our bodies and our senses with hightech gadgetry" reminds us of Stelarc's performances indeed, however, in your videos any kind of interaction seems frozen, more unsettling and at the same time ironic. Why did you decide to make this work?
When I began this work, I was learning how to use Arduino for the first time. Arduino is a microcontroller -- made in Italy, actually -- that
Liat Berdugo is an American artist whose work focuses on the strange, delightful and increasingly ambiguous terrain that lies between the digital and the analog and between the online and the offline. Her work has been shown at conferences in the U.S. and in Canada, and in galleries and festivals internationally. Berdugo is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Digital + Media at the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives and works in Providence, RI.
most new media artists use to make works that are interactive and involve physical computing or robotics. You can see the Arduino board in most of the videos in Switch. When I was learning how to use Arduino, I was overcome with the feeling that so many of the ways to append electronic feedback onto things in the real world via physical computing are just slight variations on basic switches. A lot of work made with Arduino boards reminded me of the “Clap-on, Clapoff” lamps that were popular in the 80s and 90s. I was much more interested in what we’re willing to believe is an electrical switch, rather than what can actually be wired up properly to function as real electrical switches. So I started imagining lots of strange devices, and making videos of them as if they really worked. I wanted to imagine a landscape where these things were true. It was more interesting to me to make these imaginative, fake videos, and place them into the Internet culture of how-to videos. It was definitely ironic. In his essay "The end of the world" on psychopathological apocalypses Ernesto De Martino, Italian anthropologist, focused on the emotional substratum lying in common use household objects. He
observed that people suffering from psychological disease show a peculiar attachment to everyday objects, often insignificant things. After about 60 years, we ask you if the latest technological development has radically changed our emotional approach to common objects, apart from technological fetishism? I feel a particular attachment to everyday objects! But I think that’s what art can do -- it lets you be attached to things, or see things, that you normally overlook. It gives what Jacques Ranciere calls the moment of ‘dissensus’, or the moment of poetic estrangement, or whatever you want to call that moment that allows you to see what you commonly see as old, uninteresting and unremarkable as new again. Most everyday objects are normally overlooked. I don’t think that technology has radically changed our attitudes towards common objects. Maybe my common objects are less valuable to me because I know if I lose them I can just order them again on Amazon Prime and they’ll be on my doorstep in two days. But I still love them. I’ve always been drawn to the realm of the domestic, the mundane, and the everyday. In a way, what is mundane is what’s most
approachable, and what gives the strongest tentacles for access and understanding for readers and viewers. What’s mundane is also most intimate. Only my lover knows the way I squeeze my toothpaste out of its tube. I love technology, too, and I like making it just another mundane material of my everyday life. I don’t believe that technology should be fetishized or put on a pedestal, just like I don’t believe that it should be lamented or catastrophize. I do believe it should be approached, engaged with, and toyed with, as if it were just another potato chip in a big bowl of Utz.
What is your relationship with videorecording devices? I tend to use the cheapest and simplest means possible to make videos. Switch was shot entirely with a Kodak Zi8 Pocket camera, which is sort of like a Flip cam. Sometimes I even shoot footage with the built-in iSight camera on my Mac. I tend to care more about getting lots of ideas germinated, prototyped, shot, and distributed out into the world than I care about superior quality of footage. As I work more and more with video, this is beginning to change for me -- but mostly because my cheap cameras keep breaking.
Your work focuses on the border that between the "digital" and the "analog". Could you explain what these terms exactly represent for you? I use the word “digital” to refer to things that are technological, that are plugged-in, and that are in the realm of new media, and the word “analog” to refer to things that are
non-technological, unplugged, and more old-school. I know this isn’t the standard definition of the words, but it’s their gist. It used to be the case that these worlds were really separate: either a TV was on or off; either you were online or you weren’t; either you were out to dinner with your friend or you were talking to your mom on the telephone, but now both. Increasingly I see that the divisions between these world have begun to erode. Today our identities reside both in our physical selves as well as on our Facebook walls; QR codes frequently lead us from physical objects such as bus stops and museum exhibits to sites online; and children mistakenly use the multitouch gestures of iPhones in attempts to zoom pictures in physical photo albums. As these boundaries erode, they leave behind fascinating and cultural residues, or imprints, of their former divisions. This is what I like to explore with my work. I often find myself making video work and installations that aim to cast a spotlight on this cultural residue in an effort to form a critical understanding of contemporary culture as both saturated by and resisting new media technologies, and increasingly, as unable to tell the difference between this saturation and resistance. In his essay "Beyond the pleasure principle" Freud depicted for the first time the biological instinct directed toward the organism's return to the inorganic state. Do you think that today technology can offer us a reassuring instinct de mort?
I don’t really think so. I think more than anything technology tends to offer us a reassuring feeling that things can live forever, that everything can be remembered, and that we can be immortalized. Computer memory seems cheap and infinite. Our Facebook walls live on after we die -- even if no one checks them. We freeze moments with photographs, videos, animated gifs, and so on. I think technology wants to always be new: we want a new iPhone, we want newer updates on Twitter, we newer maps and we work hard to keep our devices looking new by covering them with cases, screen protectors, and other prophylactic sheaths as if they were fancy sofas in our grandmother’s houses. This is why I love broken devices, because they shatter these illusions.
What are your next projects? I’m working on a few different projects right now. I’m making a new video series called My iPhone is Everything, where iPhones and iPads are recast as objects that they could never really be. In one video, a woman rubs a block of cheddar cheese on the surface of her iPad as if it were a cheese grater, and in another a man in spandex lifts two iPhones as if they were heavy dumbbells. As these devices become our technological Swiss army knives, My iPhone is Everything questions whether technology can really do everything. I’m also working on a set of videos where I use the Apple multi-touch gestures to zoom my own image on video. And I’m working on another project where I shoot footage from the built-in cameras on the devices in Apple stores -- its laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones. I don’t know how I became so Mac-centric, it just happened one day. I think it happened because I like looking at how technology has become increasingly totemic -- and fetishized, as you say -- and the ultimate totem or fetish is the shiny chrome Apple product on a white background with a halo of lights around it, as if it were delivered to us from some sort of digital heaven.
Frames from "Switch"
and fuller than before. For me, these translations are personal. I am both a programmer and a designer, a mathematician and an artist. These translations allow me to sew together opposing sides of my identity – to bridge polarities like science and art, like the digital and the physical.
Stills from "Switch" When I was a kid, my parents say I played with food more than your average child. Parents like to say that their kids are above average at many things, like reading books, writing the alphabet, sharing toys, or even being tall, but not playing with food. I used to sculpt my mashed potatoes into rows of perfect rectangular prisms and twist my spaghetti into multiple concentric rings. I would stick olives on each of my fingertips and wiggle my hands around as if my nails were painted black. I liked to take the things on my plate and transform their edibility into playful plasticity, as if they were drawn from an imaginative landscape and plopped onto the dinner table. For a while I stopped playing with my food. I studied philosophy and abstract mathematics. I worked as a computer programmer for a while and then as a designer in Silicon
Valley. But last year I started playing with food again. I made an alphabet out of Jell-O, constructing the letters A through Z from green gelatin. I filmed each letter jiggling, and used this footage to program a video poem where words wobble, move, and narrate a story about the American dinner table experience. I liked how the prongs of an E wilted down with gravity and how a word with lots of I’s fell over on itself with the unwieldy instability of long and straight letters. I liked giving digital typography a delightful tangibility. I wrote a poem in Jell-O because I believe that we enrich work when we put it into a new context – when we translate it. When I lived in Italy, I used to go to bookstores to read literary translations of poems, taking in the Italian on one page and the English on the next to garner new meanings from each one context to another, making each richer and
Translations can happen through many different media, but I’ve found that the digital landscape enables them with a fluidity unavailable in other contexts: prototyping is fast and distribution networks are wide. I use this landscape to examine the medium of technology itself. I look at the mundane moments of our technological lives – our iPhone gestures, the ads we see alongside Google searches – and translate these into video art. I film myself squeezing bananas as if this could turn on blenders and I film my friends in slapping raw meat as if this can make a boxer punch in Wii. I am motivated by projects small and big – from turning messy objects like fruit into technological interfaces to exploring how perceptions of space are modified by digital tropes like video games. I like to see technology as just another thing, as just another material, as if it were a mashed potato.Perhaps it was inevitable that I’d play with technology as I played with food. When I was growing up, my father, an engineer, used to leave his computer chips strewn about like toys, and on the weekends we’d transform Tropicana cartons into makeshift lanterns. On my weekends these days I transform digital screens into mirrors that help us see the way technology alters our everyday lives. I’m not one to catastrophize; I like the changes technology brings. I like the objects of the digital world: its tropes, its memes, its mouses. But mostly I like making it into messes. I like to play with the boundary between the tactile and the virtual – between the digital and the analog, between the online and the offline – just like I played, as a kid, with the line between the edible and the artful. LIAT BERDUGO
Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos INSTALLATION
As a multi-media artist, I am driven by my desire to locate myself. I attempt to trace the boundaries of my persona in order to determine where I begin and where I end. In each of my projects, I have considered how identity is created and restricted by the limitations of the body and society. I inquire into the various incarnations of personhood: the voice, the body, the virtual self and the social identity. I believe we are in a universal predicament; we occur in simultaneous planes of existence, more various than at any other time in history. We co-exist on virtual planes, disassociated from our own bodies, fragmented. The location of our identity is in a crisis now.
Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos is a self足taught sculpture and installation artist. She was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and grew up in Paris. She now lives and works in NY. Her works connects Art with social causes. She uses whimsical imagery as a way to engage the audience and open the dialogue about important issues. Her latest public art installation, "the Palm Authority Project" was presented during Miami Art Basel 2011.It also won the Scotiabank Prize in Canada and will be part of the Figment Art Festival in NY in June and the Toronto Nuit Blanche on October 2012.
ARBRE À PALABRES
Arbre à Palabres was a temporary
3D street-art installation dedicated to local immigrant communities of the neighbourhood of Federal Hill, in Providence, RI, USA. The piece was a steel structure made of white and circular rings and cylinders, wrapped around a tree trunk, stacked on top of each other. The piece was augmented with an audio transducer connected to a music player. The transducer made the metal vibrate to sound and turned the structure into a large-scale street loudspeaker.
Born in 1978 in Geneva, Switzerland, Lalya Gaye is a Swedish and SenegaleseMalian digital media artist and interaction design researcher based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Steel, foam, acoustic actuator, music player (2009)
This installation referenced the old tradition of “whitewashking” trees (painting tree trunks with white lime to protect them from bugs and sun scald), which is practiced in many countries around the world (Mexico, China, Senegal, Morocco, Poland, etc); countries that are coincidently main sources of immigration in the city of Providence. This minimalist detail of everyday life and public space is instantly recognizable for people who have seen it before, yet not typical enough of a specific place to be read as “exotic”, thus making it universal.
Looking disjointed as if prone to radio interferences or glitches, the piece "teleported" this simple detail of foreign everyday life into the current reality of the immigrant communities, blending into the urban landscape as an uncanny yet mundane touch of elsewhere, and reminding the public of a place far away they might originate from. This disjointed aesthetics as well as the use of steel – a heavy material with a strong history in the state of Rhode Island – reflected the anchored yet stretched nature of migration. As a street-speaker, it also vibrated to the sound of foreign music, thus acting as an audio link to distant soundscapes.
This piece belongs to a series I am working on about the notions of ‘diaspora’ and ‘home’. It was realised as part of an artist residency at the Digital + Media department at Rhode Island School of Design (http://dm.risd.edu/), in collaboration with The Steel Yard (http://www.thesteelyard.org/) and with the support of the West Broadway Neighbourhood Association (http://www.wbna.org/). It was installed in public space and ran for a period of one week.
RACHEL BARTON BERNICE OH NO
Why did you decide to make this work?
There are a few reasons as to why I created this piece; firstly through out my life I have seen a lot of mental illness from one thing to another, observing people in public and personal experiences with family members. I have noticed that there is a strong connection with the abuse of drink and drugs with people who suffer
with a mental illness or people who are trying to escape or numb what is actually troubling them.
We’re all a little bit mad it’s just that some of us are better at controlling it than others. In a nut shell Im describing the human condition! It is very easy to become an outcast in society and it’s very easy to end up alone and when this happens people adapt they find solace in the animate or they enter a world that merely exists in the own heads. We all have the ability to adapt whether it’s to a new job, loneliness or even prison it’s all a means of survival. So with all these aspects in mind Bernice’s character was created. Your work shows a powerful and disturbing balance between a sort of artificial amateurism and at the same time extreme attention to details; objects, dresses are strictly selected by colour in a cinematographic manner. How do you achieve this balance?
This film was shot in my own house, all the objects selected we’re from around my home, its funny how these ordinary everyday objects combined represented the weirdness of Bernice’s character. It’s made to look like an amateur
documentary about this woman Bernice where in actually fact it’s not a documentary she’s just insane. I carefully selected the outfit and objects to show a disturbing yet comforting sense of being stuck in a time warp. A disturbing essence was created with the juxtaposition of Bernice’s alter ego.
The technical side of the film is simple for example it was filmed in one continuous shot and from one angle and was set in my own kitchen. The script was off the cuff I didn’t have any thing until I started filming. All of these aspects without a doubt help with the amateur feel of the film. What in your opinion defines a work of art?
A work of art can be a lot of things without stating the obvious. In my opinion a work of art pleases and repulses the senses, it deals with the world that we live in today, it’s our past, present or future, it can make you laugh, cry, angry or even bored. Art can be the intelligent placing of objects projecting subliminal messages. Art can tell a story of the meaningfulness of naked existence. It all depends what I get from it.
We have appreciated in your works an uncommon use of voice, often overlapped; like in “sound piece” could you better explain this aspect of your videos? This aspect of my video represents ones intrusive thoughts with the battle of the good and bad subconscious. It’s those rambling conversations we have with ourselves. It’s those personal whispers that you’ll never tell your friends. For example intrusive thoughts for someone that is mentally unstable, it is a nonstop thought which they can’t switch off. Where as a mentally stable person can. It’s like when you’re driving along in a car and you imagine the whole car crashing but you just shake your head and tell yourself to shut up but for someone with, O.C.D, they could have that one thought but they can’t stop it. That one thought goes on and on and gets darker and darker which causes the need for rituals such as counting or washing to counteract the horrible thoughts. The voice also describes Bernice’s delight in her boundless insanity.
Still from "Bernice Oh no" "Is this a synapsis in the subconscious?
We give ourselves the illusion of being normal that causes a battle within oneself, a battle between the good and bad subconscious, a battle between the innocently deluded positive and the sinister negative. We constantly deal with the intelligent cancer of ones emotions, these emotions are poked by ones intrusive thoughts.We find comforts in the inanimate to try and make ourselves content in life.People have a longing for love leaving a desperate hopeless air of the lonesome. Pushed to the edge we can find delight in boundless insanity. To grab a moment of clarity in a lifetime of sheer madness is what some wait for. What is normal?
The convoluted jibber jabbers and the judgement society throws at us.The abuse of drugs and alcohol is nearly always commonly used to distract or to numb the other problems that really reside in a person. This might just be a reflection on society today. A reflection on how easy it is to become isolated and invisible to others around you. As much as you hate to admit it, unless its family or your job, nobody want to take care of the “crazy” it’s too hard.On a lighter note toast is good at anytime of the day!" RACHEL BARTON
AMANDA KARLSSON I was born and raised in Sweden, surrounded by the wild, deep and almost fairytale forests. With people shaped by the fixed nature, they thus become fixed individuals, separated from whats not already known. I used to hate the separation from the outside world, always seeking a larger experience from life. Now, this separation is something I am constantly seeking for in
Amanda Karlsson, Swedish artist currently living in Berlin足Germany.
I often see my motives as actors in a room, or space that I created. These actors, or objects, are not the most important part of the basic feeling that I am trying to convey. Instead, it is the space surrounding them. For me these are emotionless areas, they still aren't empty, but they contain a lack of human emotion. For me, this is to keep, let go or use. Mostly I seem to preserve it, I have always been driven to the old folklore melancholia. The more romantic kind when you actually enjoy your own misery.
That is why I so often turn to graphite in my works. I enjoy the sensitive lead pencil and the ability to convey sharp details but still keep the light touch. A really useful material to work with when trying to do both realistic drawings and include abstract shapes, the graphite creates a dialogue between these two for me. The realistic becomes abstract because of the surroundings, and the abstract questions the realistic shapes.
When I turn to my oil paintings I use it slightly differently, still keeping the melancholia and separation from the outside world, but also to add a separation between the people or objects I portray and the canvas.
Often I want it to feel like these motives just accidentally stepped in to the picture. I believe in deconstructing and rebuilding; to use a moment, preserve its visual importance, and then remove the rest. This makes it possible to add the empty surroundings. Creating emotion with emotionless space.
My motives are often people, maybe its because human beings inspire me, or maybe its because I find it interesting to see how humans interact with each other. Portraits don't really get to me, neither to watch nor to create. My pieces often contains several people that don't seem to be aware that they are a part of an artwork. The eyes turning another way
Like children, they have such an ability to observe and observe only. When I am using children in my works I often get the feeling that me and the motive are involved in a gathering observation, not something in the artwork, but something close by. We are still separated in two different worlds but, the viewer, become interested in something that is not told in the canvas. This is really interesting because I, as the creator, feel completely powerless in this realisation that I myself is being drawn into this.
On the other hand, I also enjoy it. In the beginning of creating an artwork I often start with the title, then I can decide the basic mood and the first impression that the viewer should have. Often in a slightly humorous way because, when using humour the title is a suggestion, not a demand.
I don't want to decide what the viewer should receive, nor feel, I just want to use the title as a suggested direction to go in. Also, I really enjoy mixing humour and romantic melancholia, it creates a bit of dark humour.
This separation of dark humour and scenery in itself gives me inspiration. I don't live in the Swedish forest any more, I live in Berlin.This exclusion from the outside world has passed and still I find myself creating it. Or re-enacting it to lead the viewer through my eyes, but never to be too obvious. Thus, art isn't fixed, nor is it personal, its a creative perception that lies beyond the individual work. My goal is to make art that require the viewer to respond.
"In my art I always try to find empty spaces where you can rest, while being surrounded at the same time. I belive in deconstruct and rebuild. Use a moment, preserve the visually importance and then leave the rest. I usually work a lot with titles to my artworks, then I can decide the basic mood and the first impression that the viewer have. And as im doing with the motives, leave the rest. "
STIGMART: In your work we can see many family photos from the 60â€™s: this practice was very common among narrative artists, like Christian Boltanski. However, in SKIN the employment of found footage shows a contemporary approach, based on the failed recognition of the past (out of focus). Could you explain this aspect of your work? In Christian Boltanskiâ€™s work the use of found photographs is purposely close to his own personal experience as a child and recalls deep depressions on the collective memory of humanity bringing up a sensation of loss and death. This recognition process of the past becomes relevant in his work because of the emotions that are buried in the specific past he is revisiting. In SKIN the screen that divides the room in two spaces receives a fragmented and out of focus projection of found images form the sixties. This reference to the past is an experience focused in the present and our distance from the past. It presents a nostalgic separation that is not only emotional but also physical. The screen works as a skin that divides the body from the outside, and all this marks, holes and
weights alter the surface and allow us to see a little bit of the mechanics behind it while influencing the projection itself. This intends to mimic that physical map of memories that we carry and the way it allows us a glimpse into our mental or emotional memory archive remaining a bodily experience where memories come and go as feelings or sensations blurred and fragmented.
The barrier that divides the corporeal and the mental dictates the restrictions that influence our perception and conservation of our experiences. We often think of memories as narratives or cinematic fragments within a larger mental archive that relies on our ability to process, store and retrieve data with our brain. This piece explores the boundaries of this process and explores the capacity of physical memory and corporeal sensory reception. The skin works as a map that stores the weight of past experiences and retains physically what is no longer present. The images projected on the screen are found family photos from the 60â€™s. This projection fragmented and out of focus, brings up questions of limits and boundaries of our own bodily experience and our incapability of escaping our dual nature.
I believe that the dualistic structure that permeates through our everyday experience is a culturally and socially constructed beast, mainly product of a western imposed gaze.
- What in your opinion defines a work of art?
Nowadays something becomes art the moment it has been extrapolated as such. In my opinion, art is no longer a word attached with a sense of quality, it only places a frame from which people can interact with that something that has been called art. In order for this recognition to happen is most likely that this something had a discourse attached to it. - You often deal with dualistic aspects of everyday life: do you think that there are only negative consequences of this? And could Art play a revealing role, in order to get through this simplification?
Matias Armendaris This dualism can have negative effects especially within our social interaction, but if we allow ourselves to see the full spectrum once we identify this opposed binaries we might be able to turn that into a positive understanding of our nature. Art certainly has that ability to present these dichotomies that gives the viewer the chance to identify themselves with the intricate interweaved middle grounds.
Do you think that actual "personality" of an object could be as a matter of fact an epiphenomenon of what cultural impositions give to it, instead of its intrinsic peculiarity? I think that the “personality” of an object is completely a result of cultural impositions.
All our conceptions of romanticized objects come from a collective cultural construction, and out of an individual urge for identification we adopt concepts and ideas to construct ourselves through the things around us.
I do believe nonetheless that this malleability of value within objects gives us a wide range of possibilities when trying to create content or knowledge.
It’s an infinite playground of emotional and ideological imposed meanings. When you become conscious of such cultural construction it turns into a subjective freedom of appropriation or even subjective imposition.
SKIN, installation by Matias Armendaris
Do you think that social impositions are capable of influencing the behaviour of an artist? And how far the influence of the outside world can actually restrict the freedom of creativity?
I think that the word artist itself is already so charged with social and cultural connotations and the art market, the art institutions, and the social shenanigans of art interaction all come with particular ideas that influence anyone who is thinking of being a part of this structure.
I believe its naive to think that we can exist in a pure form without outside influence. In fact, I am a firm believer that we are only individuals as a result of our search for that outside influence; it is the construction of each person’s identity.
I think that outside influence can be both restricting and expansive for and artist and a creative mind would know how to use and mish mash different influences in order to expand possibilities in his own work.
What are your next projects?
I just moved to Mexico City from Vancouver and my next projects are all at an early stage. I’m writing and illustrating a graphic novel about fortune telling from the perspective of a young girl. I’m also working on a semi-magical object store project, and a series of intruder pages for books in public libraries. I just started training as a traditional wood carver and plan to start a series of sculptures in the near future.
SANG JUN YOO
THE NOT SO ONGOING SMOKE
the not so ongoing smoke is a spinoff from a 43-minute long wide shot that records some dense smoke arising from a fire happened in a dessert nearby downtown Las Vegas.
This video is a chance-operation piece based on three uncontrolled elements: 1) the unusual occurrence of a fire, which was an unfortunate accident; 2) the high-up shooting angle, which profiled the window view of an assigned room I stayed in Las Vegas during my work trip there; 3) a fairly sunny day with a clear cloudless sky, which was very favorable for natural light shooting. Without either of these elements, the not so ongoing smoke would not have existed. Of course I found myself extremely lucky to have witnessed these three happenings on my first-ever visit to Las Vegas. That was why I instinctively turned on one of my cameras, which was a pocket size
HD video recorder, and let it sit in front of the window capturing such an ongoing moment.
Frankly speaking, I didn't know what I was going to do with the footage when I decided to take such a shot. The act of shooting was entirely spontaneous and accidental. When I returned to my workstation reviewing all the visual materials I shot in Las Vegas, I found this 43 minutes long take quite boring and almost mundane somehow.
To me, a videographer, the process of documentation begins with the moment I press the record button, and ends when I press it again. In this particular case, I didn't even end the video recording myself but leave it to the depletion of two AA batteries. My notion of leave it all to fate was actually a good intention with experimental rationale embedded in it. However, the dangerous of being experimental was that I would easily allow myself
to rely solely on randomness and chance operation, and forgetting about being critical with the nature and characteristic of the footage I collected.
Whereas the shooting process has occurred, with the fact that I didn't pay much effort in carrying out a controlled experiment in recording, the only way for me to rectify all construction defects was to carry on with conscious editing. In the editing process, I endeavored to build a generative system by dissecting and juxtaposing various elements, i.e. the slow pace motion of dispersing smoke; the dynamic movement of motor vehicles; and the casting of light and shadow on a spread-out surface. Through manipulating the moving image with thoughtful calculations and alternative editing, I enlivened a tedious shot by showing the record of record, and presenting the presence of the completed present in a playful yet serious way.
Jolene Mok (b. 1984) was born and raised in Hong Kong. She is an experimentalist and researcher specializing in video, film, photography and new media, and is now an M.F.A. candidate in Experimental & Documentary Arts at Duke University. She has been exposed to an interdisciplinary learning and working environment since her undergraduate education in the School of Creative Media through her major in the Critical Inter-Media Laboratory. Mok takes both practical and theoretical components as interconnected aspects throughout her creation process. Since 2006, Mok's works have been shown in film & video festivals in Korea, Macau, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Serbia and Hong Kong. Her other digital creations have traveled to academic conferences in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Brazil.
Stills from "the not so ongoing smoke" by Jolene Mok
PAUL HAGE BOUTROS
Not Simply Automatons
STIGMART: In your video "Not Only Automatons" you make use of a static shot, and the only sensations of motion are carryed on by sounds, which so have great importance ans most of the times seems to be the revealing element of the context: it seems to hide a solution of something. Do you think that the juxtaposition of audio tracks succeed in getting unexpected meanings?
A static shot is important in order to reduce the effects and subjectivity produced by the man behind the camera. As the work is about a specific unconscious behavior, and in order to expose that behavior I reduce all the surrounding to a mere still life and a serenity space and than disturb it by giving it life through the audio coming out from the headphones, whistling and singing of the protagonist. In my work I use a reduction method and by doing so I believe the work will be intercepted better by viewers. I believe in a process of reduction in age of overproduction. The only signs of life on the scene are the slow motion of the trees and the whistle of the man on the chair.This gives back the idea of randomness: what is the role of
uncertainty in your works? Does it inspire you?
In my early works I tried to work against the idea of randomness by reducing the level of work to the very basic. I admit I wanted to control what I was doing but to find out itâ€™s an impossible task. I believe that some kind of randomness exists in most of my work. I don't try to generate randomness but it I think it has its own free will.
Your work seems to deal with everyday reality, but it's a reality which has more things to say than we often use to understand: some revealing elemts are hidden by daily routine. Do you think that art should linger over on these aspects which everyday life is tending to hide behind simple actions?
Well most of everyday reality is a social constructed reality. Peopleâ€™s conception of what reality is turn out to be embedded in the institutional framework of society. What my works actually deals with is are fragile moments, objects and phenomena that are there but are unnoticeable due to our apprehension of idea of time in the world we live in. Unfortunately Time is seen as an entity of measuring quantity today instead of quality. Through my work I
try to challenge what is conceived and accepted as a daily reality.
Paul Hage Boutros Do you think that if several and different kinds of behavior, which might seems without any consciousness, could even give rise to a collective consciousness? Does art have a particular role in exploring this?
Yet the unconscious still exerts control over the behaviors, desires, dreams and drives of humans and is never entirely dispatched from the consciousness, I reject the attempt to link psychoanalysis with social theory and the strive towards a collective consciousness As an artist I am not trying to carry psychoanalysis over to the cultural community, I am exposing what shouldn't be repressed.
NOT ONLY AUTOMATONS
In the process of my work I focus on subjects such as inertia, unnoticeable moments, junk objects, leftovers, nostalgia, and unconscious human behavior. All of these subjects have the property to exist in a state of rest or uniform motion, unless an external force disturbs that state. I am mostly interested in subtracting life to these moments and objects so the most mundane, and disregarded become endowed with a new grandeur. With the notion of life comes the notion of time; in my works time is stretched, transformed and slowed down. Nowadays we are losing the slow pace of the revelation of things, we have lost one sense of time in favor of another where high production is produced in a very short span of time. My artworks try to re-articulate and confront the notion of time and cultural production in the age of natural resource depletion and global consumerism. The works present questions and challenges about the way the world is, the way we perceive it, and the way in which we can act in it as artists.
PIn my latest works I started to get interest in the idea of being politically incorrect, so I started producing works which attract and arrest our principal attention based on images, experiences and objects rejected by what is labeled â€œpolitical correctnessâ€?. A mere atmosphere of political correctness is an enforced orthodoxy. I believe that freedom of the individual should take precedence over the power and identity of groups. PAUL HAGE BOUTROS
Stills from "Not only Automatons" (Details)
How does imagination succeed in directing different and seemingly conflicting experiences, in order to find an unforeseen unifier action?
I appreciate you for asking because for an artist it is a pleasure to talk about the unforeseen object as every time a beautiful immaginatery form creates a niche of directing, finalizing and presenting approach to come with an exhibit. My imagination goes very vast an purposefully except an extravagant dimension to go around and have my exhibit look undoubtedly natural, although doing this directing approach creates some conflicts getting the immagenatery form on canvas but also these all experiences make me more experiment oriented once find a niche approach in between my imagination and confrontation. I actually enjoy the glory of unifier experience and than I get an unforeseen object placed on my canvas coming more naturally. It's not unusual that contemporary artists deal with money in their works in an ironic way: I can see that in some of your works you are able to snatch another side of the matter which reminds me sacredness?
Phenomenally of course not every contemporary artist doesn’t deal with money in his or her artwork but my basic object just to talk about the potential aspect of money in my life because it also flows on to a feeling of perceptual negativity and positivity of money in my life. As being a contemporary artist if my imagination is flowing in such objects and my executional approaches are not creating any conflicts or similar thing, than I may create a awareness about money into everybody’s life as whatsoever I felt about money or feelings have flown in that way. As being a contemporary artist choosing money form had given me an inner satisfaction and an encouragement to come up for something different for the world because money has an unidentified aspirational negativism or positivism running besides in my life. My creation has something different to say, something absorbent to looking and something very natural to except. As being doing with contemporary form bringing an object like money differs me with an unforeseen imagination, extrovert feel of humanity and practical aspect of being in the world.
Do you think that one of the main tasks of artists is to discover and explain these "instructions"?
Yes I do agree on this and paying a gratitude to the Borges statement,”the task of art is to transform what is continuously happening to us, to transform all these things into symbols, into music, into something which can last in man’s memory”.
Do you think that this deals with the fact that charcoal and pencil can be rubbed out, but at the same time they are capable of leaving behind an invisible mark, who claims its flickering existence in the innermost sides of our conscience?
While my all creations with textured art I used majorly charcoal and pencil to give better emphasis on their executional part because as far as the properties of charcoal and pencil are concerned a feel of temporary glance comes first, but while affixing it, it can be alter to the permanent side. As per the pencil and charcoal are concerned it is all similar to whatever has happened to uin the past. I used charcoal and pencil as it can be connected with anybody’s life because things may have happened in past (positive or negative whatsoever it was) could be rubbed of for a while intension ally or unintentionally, but can not be erased permanently from our mind. As charcoal or pencil could be rubbed of but the feel of their flickering presence can be feel.
My work is focused on identity behavior, and how synthetic constructed conducts take form and are influencing us in daily practices. I am interested in the line between fiction and lived life, between nonsense and sense; the way life is portrayed in narratives and plots of mainstream forms, interrogating the behaviors and values that are absorbed and used in local contexts. Because many behaviors are normalized by media and arguably we are raised by culture industry, I take a look at, and confront popular visual culture: films, commercials and music videos, in search for the hidden meaning in the mediaâ€™s official discourse. My position is that we all need to be habitants of
Larisa David. Born in 1988, Romania. She lives and works in Bucharest, Romania. Working with with video, installation, photoÂcollages and photography.
global culture, to understand constructions artificially made that are invading our lives and influencing our perception. I appropriate, interpret and recycle existing material, remove elements to disrupt their form and reconfigure them with a new grammar that allows me to dig deeper to their core and highlight their hidden content. This process allows me to make strange and unnatural images, revealing a new visual grammar. Eliminating certain elements, like brands, products or narrative, allows understanding of the fetishistic nature of gestuality and absurd choreographies that are employed in creating images. I explore in my video work, time, performativity and repetition, reminding viewers of the mechanical aspect of video, but also to trivialize actions, to center on the sisyphean aspect of life. I tend to use repetition and loops because I find them powerful and obsessive, relating to specific psychological impulses and at another level, mimicking the continuous loop of images and gestures in our culture. I like to insert in my work juxtaposing elements to explore banality, creating images that are built on tension and confusion. I insert new possibilities, d tourned domestic objects and actions, to form an altered reality gravitating around chaos and order. The piece, Eggs, has a ritualistic form in which the
Still from "Eggs", video.
action of breaking is repeated over and over, reminding us of the habit of destroying objects on New Yearâ€™s Eve, in some cultures, to purify oneself. The eggs employed in the work, are filled with confetti, making the moment of them breaking sensational, but also commenting on the sensationalism of destruction with no point seen on screen.
Bear with Me Project Bear with Me, is a deconstruction of commercials and re-contextualizing them with new critical meaning, developing a narration that is concentrated, not on the brand or product, but on the character, his vandalism, aggression, and how they all come together within the world of commercials. This project appropriates and recycles commercials from mass media, exploring socio-cultural construction, invisible meanings and recurrent motives from the global culture. Using repetition and loops, the images used are formed in a fictive narration that shows us the possible effects of passive viewing of the screen. This project consists on using and overthrowing mass-media language.
Five Against Three is an examination of polyrhythmic time structures in video, by compositing two discreet video sequences one video cut in units of three, while the other video is cut in units of five. Each of these units are 15 frames long, so there is a brief, but recognizable motion in each of the cuts. Since the overall pattern in the video is persistent, there is a tendency by the viewer to stop counting time actively, and rather allow the video to wash over them. The audio maintains the viewer’s sense of motion by layering even timbral sine tone groups with tapping rhythms, and occasional tonal swells.
MOLLY BRADBURY Interview with Molly Bradbury
What locations did you use for the footage in Five Against Three?
The footage was shot in California, from the coast near Malibu, throughout San Francisco and a bit north in Muir Woods. I spent my childhood and pre-teen years in Northern California and spent a lot of time in the car with my parents on road trips. It feels natural to shoot from a moving car, capturing whatever is present at hand on the side of the road. The piece visually seems musical in the rhythmic structure of the edits. How did you arrive at the editing structure used in Five Against Three?
I’ve always been fascinated by how the perception of regular forms in the landscape, (guardrails, fence posts, orchards) seem to dance around against a moving viewpoint. This phenomenon creates a profound synaesthetic sensation of sound for me, so it seemed natural to use a structure familiar in music to create more control over the synaesthetic sound for myself, and to organize footage into digestible parts.The rhythms are strictly a polyrhythm of “playing” 5/4 against 3/4, or “five against three”. Each “beat” is 15 frames long, and the
phrases are made up of either five or three sets with alternating footage. In each channel of the video, the five and three videos are composited together, thereby causing the collision of the two different time signatures resulting in polyrhythms.
How did you conceptualize the soundtrack for the piece? I began by creating a layered sonic bed, comprised of a drone of low pitched sine tones, then adding an occasional “bong” sound to ride over the sine tones. In order to more fully engage the viewer in the visual rhythm presented, I recorded myself tapping out a phrase of eight beats, accented to break up the phrase into counts of “1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5”, each time accenting the “1” beats. This solution immediately satisfied some desire to have audio the referenced the movement within the shots, and the impending nature of the cuts. Visually, the piece functions as visual music, in a way describing polyrhythms. What was your intention while you were making the piece? I’ve always found polyrhythms fascinating, though not easy to play. When I started editing the footage for this piece,
I had been thinking about alternative ways of teaching nonmusicians polyrhythms. As an experiment, I arranged the footage into parts that would demonstrate
Molly Bradbury the rhythmic relationship of the parts visually. Five Against Three presents the viewer with a pseudosynaesthetic experience.
Does the success of the work rely onthe viewer’s ability to see sound?
Not necessarily. even without the experienced phenomenon of seeing sound, I think the viewer is able to latch on to the driving force of the meter of the piece. There is something about satisfying our desire to recognize patterns that ismesmerizing, and requires an attention we don’t actively think about engaging.
SANG JUN YOO
MULTIMEDIA VIVALDI FOUR with BACH SINFONIA Dan Abraham, conductor &Yan Da Multimedia Vivaldi Four Seasons is a real-time reactive audiovisual performance. This collaboration between designers Yana Sakellion (applicant) and Yan Da with Dan Abraham, a musical director of Bach Sinfonia, was performed on May 7 2011 at the Cultural Arts Center at Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. The concert featured responsive generative projections and
particle typography of the original accompanying sonnets, possibly authored by Vivaldi Himself. Our primary goal was to create a holistic experience between the visuals, typography and sound within the classical music context, and with consideration for the gestalt of contemporary electronic audio-visual performances. Our secondary goal was to engage the demographic which otherwise may not be exposed to New and Interactive Media. We didn’t want to create a “music video”; neither did we want our work to become a mere subtitle backdrop to the musicians on the stage. Rather, we aimed to become the Visual Performers ourselves, and asked Dan Abraham to serve as our conductor. What you see is a two-part system. The first (made with MaxMSP) captures the live sound
and allows us to set its pitch and amplitude to different visual properties (position, speed, scale, color). The other (made with Processing) lets us map those properties to any image or text we are showing in real-time. The sonnets appear at the exact times noted on the original score, and are controlled during the performance to match the proper queue points. Each of the three movements in the four seasons follows a theme. The small pictures used to compose text required special treatment in order to be legible, yet expressive. The imagery, which began as a traditional storyboard, evolved into a more flexible system of modular designs. They follow the narrative of the sonnets, but do not reflect the text literally. Instead they set the mood and provide a playground for the imagination.
SANG JUN YOO
with BACH SINFONIA Dan Abraham, conductor &Yan Da
MULTIMEDIA VIVALDI FOUR
Single Channel Video HD, 5'29", 2012 Video: Recep Akar Music & Sound Design: Alessandro Broggini Man, in his complicated and multi-dimensional life, can make himself independent in intellectual terms only when he internalizes his experiences and develops awareness. The struggle man has with himself becomes meaningful when the historical development of his desire to lead himself is considered. This painful struggle whose winner and loser are the same, brings change and transformation within. “In-between” is a single channel video that has been produced starting off from this struggle.
All motion and still pictures attracts his attention as a form of artistic expression. While recording what he thinks, reflecting on what he has recorded and rerealizing it within a form determines his approach to his works, he aims to produce works that do not ignore visuale concerns and "speaks" to the spectator.
Recep Akar was born in Istanbul in 1979. He graduated from Marmara University Faculty of Communications Department of CinemaTV in 2001. He has produced works in the fields of short film, documentary and video since 1998. As a form of artistic expression every type of still&moving images attracts his attention. He has recently produced works mainly in the field of field of video art. He is continuing his post graduate degree in cinematv giving cinema lessons at Lycée Saint Michel. 24
WOOGURU FREE DANCE
"This is a dance solely for dance's sake. I am an inexplicable and absolute individual, considering of innumerable components"
"I am an inexplicable and absolute individual, considering of innumerable components"...We daresay "the mass of my atoms" to quote Artaud about the strong connection between old
pure dance. it means that i want to seperate completely dance and theatre.and honestly, a sort of theatrical arts are not impressive at least for me.Thus,I always wondered why people want to combine dance with theatre in that way.I just want to dig deep into the dance itself. Your work reveals a polyphonic and synesthetic approach to gestures and movements,thanks to the use of microphones and effects. Do you plan a sort of "partiture" or you are inclined to rely more on improvisation?
WOOGURU free dance
Balinese theatre and dance).Today theatre and dance are intimately linked: what is your view about this strong connection? I've been pursuing only certain
I disavow the choreographical concept in dance. Dance is the most free form ever imagined, that's why I try to be true to the freedom of the primal dance and I try to train myself to dance all movement as an art, a performance and a complete single sequence dance. I wish to be free from being conscious of my dancing self. I could tell i have been relying on certain
improvisation and i will keep my own way. What are your next projects?
As always, I will try to add depth to my dance works and I plan to collaborate with Platoon kunsthalle Berlin in this way.So first, we will try to extend my style with some sound artists, then we will discuss about the flexible lighting that is to be controled by my movement. I've tried this with Flip-D(engineer) in my show once in 2011. However, we couldn't develop this anymore for various reason. Fortunately, Platoon is interested in this idea, so I can try it again with them and I will join the meeting for the combination of art and technology. It's a long-term plan.
SANG JUN YOO CONSTANTIN HARTENSTEIN Constantin Hartenstein (*1982 in Herzberg, Germany) is an installation and video artist living and working in Berlin and New York.
JUST SAYIN' Still
INTERVIEW Your works are deeply pervaded with meanings which deal with Modernity: do you think that all of these features are strictly fortuitous, or do you think that they will outlive these years?
My practice is embedded in the social and historical context that it helps co-shape, and thus it must be in constant relation with the conditions of its coming to be. These conditions are ones of flux: flows of meanings and beings, or the lack of thereafter, the constant and ever-present exchange, more as a condition than an occurrence, and often on a global scale, that our present is discursively described as epitomizing. This discourse turns out to be exaggerated hype, and not only acts as a witty expose of the tribulations of late-capitalist states and their laggard mode of relation, but actually how much a mode stand in complete opposition to the narrative of free and unrestricted passage of goods. I want to work on postmodern themes, or better yet, how sometimes postmodern discourse clashes with remnant modern institutions and the resulting void. In your work JUST SAYIN' we can see a masterly use of modern technique, while in LAUFBAHN it seems that the meaning of the whole work is intrinsically drawn together with quotations of an old technique. How big do you think is the real contribution of a
particular technique to the final meaning of the work?
It can be as real as making a definitive contribution to the message. Using found materials, I want to underline the coexistence of material from the past and examine in which ways this material still has a valid meaning for the shifts in artmaking today. The final work then overcomes the meaning of an old material to create something completely new that cannot be separated ,though, from its past. Do you think that the deep sense of estrangement that people experience during these years is a epiphenomenon of Modern Times?
If by modern times it meant as the present, then yes. Becoming a stranger happens when we put ourseolves on stages and draw borders between the individual sphere and ‘an other’. With the expectations of our times, when being individual becomes mainstream, it is harder and harder to draw those lines. To quote Zygmunt Bauman (1992): “The ethical paradox of the postmodern condition is that it restores to agents the fullness of moral choice and responsibility while simultaneously depriving them of the comfort of the universal guidance that modern self-confidence once promised. Ethical tasks of individuals grow while the socially produced resources to fulfill them shrink. Moral
responsibility comes together with the loneliness of moral choice.”
Migration is one of the cornerstones of your work. You appear to look with critical eye DISTANT at a process of mereLIGHT "geographical and human juxtaposition". But, on the other hand, it seems that one of the aims of your works is to "build a bridge" between different cultures, acting as a go-between different opposites. Do you think that a modern synchretism could be possible?
Syncretism is the moral imperative of our times. The ability to do so in harmony, and with respect, should also be the political goal of late-capitalist states, and of international organizations. Consider the French case and the calls of “multiculturalism failed” often heard, or the propagation of anti-immigrant parties in industrialized societies such as the case in the Netherlands, to notice the gravity of this imperative. My work however, does not concern itself with an evaluation of the possibilities of a coming-together, because that coming-together is happening on some areas (forced perhaps, like in the case of the Eurozone) and not on others. I ask “why is it like that”? Why are some borders crossed easier than others, why are some frontiers uncrossable and some have ready-made bridges? 26
Stigmart November 2012 Issue