Introduction. Hello and welcome to the first interview. The interviewee is me. The questions come from my friend Katy, who happens to be as enthusiastic about the idea as I am. As I’m still experimenting with layout and methods of display, this may not be the final form of how all upcoming interviews will look like.
One of my pictures
In this introduction section I’ll usually talk about the interviewee and the topic of the interview. In this case, Katy decided to talk about creative practice and general things like places, seasons and cultural differences. Next interviews will revolve around goats and Marinara sauce, among other things, and might turn out completely different from this one.
Talking to: Yournamehere
Who: Description of whatever role is relevant to the interview. Can be occupation, something hobby-related or anything else. I’m open to suggestions here.
What: Topic (here: predominantly creative practice). Can be virtually anything.
Having talked to some of my future interviewees, I’m coming to the conclusion that an interactive interview might be more interesting or profound. The reasons are pretty obvious: Sending a list of questions means not taking the opportunity to immediately build on what the interviewee is saying. At the moment I’m still settling for just sending them five questions, because it’s the easier thing to do. About this specific paragraph: Switching to italics might put more structure into the layout. This is the extended part of the introduction.
You have a number of online names or personas. How far do these divides permeate? For example, is your creative process different for each name?
This is a complex question. I do at times have different names for different projects, yet I feel like I, as the person behind them, am the common denominator. I’m not trying to be anonymous at all costs when using a certain pseudonym, but I do enjoy taking a little step away from myself as a person by using a different name. The creative process feels like the same thing for everything I do, as it originates in my head (and ends up outside of it), so I always feel some kind of integrity towards what I want to represent.
You articulate in a number of mediums – painting, photography, writing, animation, to name a few. I wanted to know if you start your work with a disembodied idea and then you seek to find the right medium in which to express this idea (like perhaps a multi-lingual person searching for the right language through which to articulate in the least compromising way*) or if you begin with the medium and the idea comes from that point? Or if neither apply, please elaborate.
Unrelated: Ludwig Wittgenstein playing the banjo
It starts with an idea. Disembodied idea is a good term for that. I tend to create very spontaneously (in all of the cases), and then work excessively for a couple of minutes or hours. In my case I think the ideas are born very quickly, it seems like they would appear out of nothing. So I pick the medium after the idea came up. The only (partial) exception is perhaps photography, because it relies on what’s happening in the outside world (you have to have the camera ready to take a picture when someone catches a beer glass with their forehead, for example).
As for languages: Similar usage dependence issue as with photography, for me at least. Even more: I almost always use English for everything I do. I’m never really aware of the ‘least compromising’ way, as I’m rather focused on possibilities instead of limitations. Language limitations can also be seen as an advantage, or as something that can potentially enrich the idea, by challenging the ‘creator’ to think more.
Knowing that translation and language use always has to do with limitations though, I can also relate to people seeking to reduce compromise when it comes to expressing their ideas. Language kind of falls out of the above mentioned group of mediums by the way, because it’s so omnipresent and much more basic.
*I only speak one language, so I am not sure if this is something people commonly feel, but I’ve experienced multi-lingual friends reference feeling something like this.
I’m sometimes impatient when it comes to executing an idea.
You’ve become increasingly interested in coding and web design. Do you consider this work as a creative practice and in what way? And if not, how would you position this work in relationship to your more traditionally ‘creative’ work.
I think coding is the cleanest version of creation. You create something that makes sense or has meaning in whatever way, and it’s relatively free of certain references — the ones that are typical of traditional art. Artists often work with references, or they’re unintended but identified by the audience. References are not always manageable, so the outcome or impact of ‘traditional creative practice’ is not manageable either. With coding you can have a more streamlined and pure realization of your idea. Yet coding requires a lot of knowledge of crucial details, so the learning process, or the process of developing skills in this area, is slow (at least for me).
I’m sometimes impatient when it comes to executing an idea. That’s why I’ve always appreciated ‘traditionally creative’ work for being more effortless. I won’t give up on the coding though. For now I’m working on a new, more lightweight, way of deploying dropdown menus so the user can determine what phrase fits best into sentence, as in here. I believe this can turn into a new way of deploying technology for ‘creative practice’.
A more personal question: You’ve mentioned wanting to find a work that demands you leave the house during winter. How do you see that the city of Berlin changes from season to season?
Seasons are very crucial around here. The climate will decide whether you stay indoors or go outside. The reason for this is very simple: It’s just the temperature. In the summer you always have more options, like a BBQ or a nice hike. In the winter the hikes always seem more difficult and laborious, and not only them, but every step you’re taking outside of the house. You then stay indoors more, but as you’re surrounded by the same setting, you need to constantly get something new into the setting. For example, many people would watch TV shows. I don’t really watch a lot of things and would like to leave house more in the winter to have more of a change or dynamic in my day.
I am interested in the period you spent in America and would like to know if, and to what extent, on returning from america you saw Germany and Russia in a new light? If so please expand.
I guess you can feel the ‘old world order’ in everything on our continent, as opposed to the U.S. It’s applicable to Germany as well as Russia. I’m thinking architecture here, but also interior design, the look and feel of everything. Other than that, I’ve come to understand political or ideologic differences a little better. Also I might tend to (want to) see more similarities between people of different origins, their beliefs and values. For example I think every culture would appreciate similar values, such as honesty or empathy. The appreciation of values and following these values might just be expressed in a different way or with different intensity with people from different cultures.
Takeaway. This section will aim to summarize the topic of the interview. What do we learn from this demo interview? Because I’m the interviewed person, my insights here are mainly related to layout. If we wanted to nevertheless talk about the point of this interview: Katy seems to be interested in how people come up with ideas and how these ideas work with certain mediums. I’ve been talking about this just yesterday, and I’m noticing that the way we see the medium is different for everybody. When you use a medium to express an idea, the medium can control you (by limiting) or you can control the medium (by not feeling limited). Thank you for these thoughtful questions, Katy!