Archive for the 'interview' Category

An Interview with Curators Ned & Tila

October 29, 2009

Tom Slingsby: It’s really good to be here with Ned McConnell and Tila Rodríguez-Past who are the curators of It’s All About Paradise 2. Ned, can you start by telling us a bit about your background in art?

Ned McConnell: Well I had a slightly strange route into art, I suppose. I didn’t really do any art till I was 19, I didn’t do it for GCSE or A Level, and then I went and did a foundation diploma at Northbrook College, which is just down the road from here. I then went to Edinburgh to study photography. And it was at the end of my time at Northbrook that I started to become interested in video installation and that kind of work. When I got to Napier in Edinburgh I tried to continue down that route. It was a bit difficult because of the structure of the course, they did a lot of commercial photography as well as art photography, but I suppose I just ended up kind of crowbarring it into my own curriculum and making the work that I wanted to make. And they were fine with that. I became interested in curating while I was there, I curated a show for everyone on my course in London which I really enjoyed and got funding from the University for that. And then since I’ve been in Brighton, I’ve been working at Fabrica and had a show in the Photo Fringe last year,  Tila was part of that show, and that was how we first met artistically.

TS: And Tila, tell us a bit about your background in art and what your influences are.

Tila Rodríguez-Past: Well my Dad is a photographer and my mum is a poet so I guess I was involved with art since the very beginning by default. I did my BFA in San Francisco and my MA in London. I really liked working with people as a group, and sharing ideas. This project began because Ned and I decided that we needed to do something with the people that we knew from Brighton.

TS: Can you tell me a bit about how the project came about? What were the shared ideas or influences that brought you together?

NM: Well we met through Fabrica, I’ve been volunteering there for about two years which is about the same amount of time that Tila’s been managing there. And I can remember that we went up [to London] to see the Zoo Art Fair as a Fabrica Artist Resource trip, and on the way back we were talking about how we wanted to have a show, but how it can be difficult in Brighton because there’s not a huge amount of spaces for contemporary art. So we just decided that we would try and do it ourselves. After that, we met and talked about the Arts Council and getting some funding through that.

TS: Great. Tila, do you want to take me through the initial ideas of the project and how they began to develop?

TRP: Well like Ned was saying, we went to the Zoo Art Fair in London and we went to a talk by the guy who started Workspace in Gateshead and we were quite inspired about what he had to say about basically starting something with your friends. He said that artists have to keep showing their work and get together and help each other and that things grow from there. And we decided that we didn’t want to wait for an opportunity to come to us, we were going to make one for ourselves and for our friends. Then we met and started talking about having a theme for the exhibition and we wanted it to be quite specific and yet quite open. And we were talking about current social problems, such as the credit crunch and the media: because we live in an age of global, instant media everything happens quicker and quicker. So that’s where the idea for “Resampling”, which was the working title of the exhibition, came from. How culture recycles itself over and over again.

TS: I just want to clarify the idea that you wanted to create a structure for the artists to work within, with rules…

NM: They’re more like guidelines (!).

TS: Okay tell us about the guidelines, and why you felt it was important to have  structure.

TRP: We thought it was a good idea because everyone we spoke to felt they were having problems creating focussed work, and we thought it was a good idea to have an exhibition of work specifically made for that exhibition. Just so that the pieces had a theme running through them. One of the first guidelines was that people weren’t allowed to use traditional art materials. And the idea behind that was that we really wanted people to think about what they wanted to say and their way of saying it, instead of thinking about the theme of the project and creating work about it using materials they were used to working with.

TS: Because I suppose then you would end up with more straightforwardly representational work.

TRP: Yes, instead of taking a photograph or making a painting about “Resampling”, we wanted to think about the ideas and what we wanted to say and then find a way of saying it that was, I guess, more efficient. Another part of the structure was the critiques. Everybody met up once a month for nine months and people basically brought their work and discussed it. Everyone had to produce at least once piece for the final show. Another rule was the use of found objects, to link the work back to the idea of “Resampling”. Also we asked people not to make a personal piece, and this was quite important for the exhibition because we wanted the artists to separate from their work and find a sense of humour with it.

TS: Has the idea of “Resampling” changed and developed over the last few months?

NM: In the beginning it was quite a loose idea of the cyclical nature of culture, but as the project moved on it started to become more about the postmodern condition and how that can feel quite claustrophobic. It’s very easy to feel penned-in by the idea of the postmodern condition and the fact that things are used over and over again. But I remember having a conversation with Tila and saying that we shouldn’t necessarily view that reuse as a bad thing. If you can let go of some of the concerns about inauthenticity within art then you can actually use that as a resource, a pool of things that you can pull into your own work and use it as a positive thing.

TRP: When you graduate from art school and you’ve learnt about art history, it can be quite difficult to be creative with your own ideas. We wanted to embrace that within the project and say “actually we are gonna be using ideas that already exist, and hopefully we’re gonna be able to transform them along the way, and make something new”. We wanted to take that problem into consideration and be quite honest about it, I suppose.

TS: One of the things that has struck me recently as the show’s come together is the element of humour that’s come in. Is this a way of dealing with the almost paralysing proliferation of cultures and media that we live with? Has treating these issues in a lighter way liberated the artists?

NM: Definitely. Right from the start of the project we were encouraging people to make something that was a bit more humorous. That’s a big thing within postmodernism, the ironic, slightly dry humour. Postmodernism makes it very easy to be self-deprecating in a humorous way. We’re really pleased that the humour has come through and Aneel Kalsi, the show’s designer, did a really great job with pulling that in as well, with the kind of colour scheme that he used and his use of cartoons.

TS: What were your first impressions of the space at Blank when you first went in and it was still empty? How did you find a way of making the pieces fit together well within the space?

TRP: About a week before we installed the show we had our final critique with the group and we asked everyone to show us their final project and to talk about how they would like it to be exhibited within the space. At that point we were a bit scared that we weren’t gonna have enough space to show everything. So we had to cut it down and we didn’t show all of the work in the end, because we wanted it all to look good together. We had to consider people’s ideas, but also make it work as a whole. It was about seeing the work in the space and playing around with things. It was actually at about three in the morning when Ned and I finally realised how it should look.

NM: I feel that the show has a real sense of self now. One of the things that started to come though when we had the work in the space was the kind of conceptual coherence that we had tried to put into all of the work throughout the project, by having the rules and the critiques, and that certainly made it easier to arrange the work within the space.

TS: You talk about the pieces sharing a sense of self. How has it been investing these found, somewhat anonymous objects with a sense of life? Or did you have to do that?

NM: I think that the context that you see objects in is often what gives them meaning. The way we’ve set out the exhibition, and everything that went before that is what helps give the works a base from which they can speak about their individual issues within the idea of “Resampling”. I think one thing we’ve done really well, given that neither of us had really curated a project of this size before, is given the artists a kind of foil or context for their work to say what they wanted it to say.

TS: And what do you think might happen next within your practise as curators?

TRP: We’d really like to exhibit the show again in London.

NM: Yeah. I’ve really enjoyed curating, and do want to do more, I’m thinking about going more into that side of things over making work. I don’t think I’ll ever stop making work, but I get a lot out of curating.

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Jessica Pujol in conversation.

October 11, 2009
I sat down for an interview with our resident Catalan poet, Jessica Puyol, in order to find out a bit more about the inspiration behind  her poem “Para Dice”.
Tom Slingsby: When we started the project thinking about the idea of ‘resampling’, now we have a related title of ‘It’s All About Paradise 2’, what do those notions mean to you?
Jessica Puyol: Yeah, I think they are quite similar. To me it’s something quotidian, in particular the idea of the fight between reality and an idealised world. We can never reach paradise, but we try to reproduce it. I had a friend who said ‘God doesn’t exist, so we always end up trying to make him ourselves’. Because it’s an ideal, it will never be what we expect it to be. That’s how I understand Paradise 2.
TS: Do you think it’s a sad thing that we can never attain those ideals?
JP:  No, I think it’s a good thing. It means that we have hope. The fact that we cannot reach our ideals doesn’t mean that we have to abandon them. If art is in some way reproducing elements of a discontented, sceptical society, it is important that it also brings some kind of hope to this.
TS: So could you say something about how you went about writing your poem?
JP:  I’m very happy that this has been a community project. As I writer – and I think lots of artists do this – I always work on my own. But this project has been amazing because it’s something that we have shared, and we have influenced each other. We are referring to one another’s projects in our own work. It’s not an exhibition of people coming from different places, or rather, even though we are coming from different places, we work towards our art together. So what I did was listening at first, thinking about what the other artists were saying [during group critiques] and by the end I had lots of notes, and there were particular sentences that we were all saying, sentences that I really like. I chose the ones that were meaningful and were meant to be there, to be written. And at the same time I combined this with the idea of Paradise 2, and formal notions of metre and rhythm, of course. For me it’s been a challenge, I’ve never written a poem in English before! I also re-read Milton’s Paradise Regained and Dante’s Paradise. And I tried to put everything together and tried to make sense of it! And this is the result!
TS: It’s a really exciting poem.
JP: Also it’s a sonnet, because the sonnet was considered the perfect form in Italy and throughout the history of poetry. And what I’ve done, instead of following the metre, I’ve used the number 7, each line is seven words long, and I’ve divided the 14 lines of the sonnet form into two sevens. I’ve had this obsession with the number seven because it’s behind the idea of Paradise. So there are three poems of fourteen lines, because three is the Holy Trinity, another notion of perfection.
TS: I also really like how you have a lot of Brightonian elements in the poem.
JP: I really like this city, I think it’s very arty, and people come here with lots of dreams. But then I think we all realise, that it’s a bit like the Pavillion. We put together lots of fake things that don’t match together, and people come and go.
TS: It’s a very transitory place. And were there any more recent influences on your text, because in a lot of ways it’s not a very traditional poem?
JP: I didn’t want to write a traditional poem, because traditional forms can make you think in a traditional way, and I wanted to tackle the idea of reproduction in a more contemporaneous sense. It’s a bit playful, it’s not a serious poem, and I don’t want it to be. There’s other stuff which I write which is maybe more serious. In some ways it is serious, because I’ve put together everyone else’s ideas, but at the same it’s not very dense and very…
TS: I think it has a lightness of touch, it’s very readable, and I think humour is underestimated in general as a critical trope. And it’s interesting that Tila’s work for example uses a lot of humour, I think nearly everyone’s does.
JP: And there are lots of references in the poem. The blue unicorn refers to Sylvio Rodriguez’ song –
TS: He’s the Cuban guy, right?
JP: – yeah, he talks about ideals, “the blue unicorn that I’ve lost”, and it talks about imagination and originality. We are always searching for originality, but maybe there’s nothing new under the sun, just different forms. And the recession had be in there as well [laughs]!
TS: I was gonna ask you about your use of prefixes, because you say for example, “In re cession times time goes backwards”. Why have you detached the prefixes in that way?
JP: Well, the original word means something and then there is this play with the ‘re’: we are redoing, reproducing, resampling, and I’ve played with that. Also, there’s Hopscotch, which is Cortazar’s book. You jump across the hopscotch squares towards Paradise. And life is like jumping across a series of hopscotch squares, sometimes jumping backwards!
TS: The visual artists have chosen to work in unfamiliar media –
JP: For me it’s the language! I was trying to find other Spanish poets who have written in English and I could only find two! It’s difficult thing to do, it’s been a challenge.
TS: But maybe there’s also something liberating about writing in, what is it, your third language?
JP: It’s liberating, because the English language is very flexible. In Spanish you can’t play with words so much. I find that English is a very flexible and dynamic language, and because it’s spoken all over the world and by lots of foreign people, it’s always changing.  It’s a very alive language.
TS: It is a patchwork language. And was it important to have phrases from different languages in there? You’ve got some Italian from Dante, some Spanish in there..
JP: I had to put some Spanish in there! Also playing with the title of the show, in my title “Para Dice”.
TS: Could you gloss that for us?
JP: You cannot say “Para Dice” in Spanish: “Para” means “for” and “dice” “she says” or “he says”. I so just tried to play, with a little bit of violence against my language, to alter the meaning and create another joke! And I put the Italian in from Dante because, I’m not gonna translate the Divine Comedy!
You can read Jessica’s poem here http://bit.ly/XApox and hear her reading it aloud alongside writers Thomas Farrington and Thomas Slingsby at Blank Gallery in Portslade on October 17th.

I sat down for an interview with the project’s Catalan poet, Jessica Pujol, in order to find out a bit more about the inspiration behind  her poem “Para Dice”.

Tom Slingsby: We started the project thinking about the idea of ‘resampling’, now we have a related title of ‘It’s All About Paradise 2’, what do those notions mean to you?

Jessica Pujol: Yeah, I think they are quite similar. To me it’s something quotidian, in particular the idea of the fight between reality and an idealised world. We can never reach paradise, but we try to reproduce it. I had a friend who said ‘God doesn’t exist, so we always end up trying to make him ourselves’. Because it’s an ideal, it will never be what we expect it to be. That’s how I understand Paradise 2.

TS: Do you think it’s a sad thing that we can never attain those ideals?

JP:  No, I think it’s a good thing. It means that we have hope. The fact that we cannot reach our ideals doesn’t mean that we have to abandon them. If art is in some way reproducing elements of a discontented, sceptical society, it is important that it also brings some kind of hope to this.

TS: So could you say something about how you went about writing your poem?

JP:  I’m very happy that this has been a community project. As I writer – and I think lots of artists do this – I always work on my own. But this project has been amazing because it’s something that we have shared, and we have influenced each other. We are referring to one another’s projects in our own work. It’s not an exhibition of people coming from different places, or rather, even though we are coming from different places, we work towards our art together. So what I did was listening at first, thinking about what the other artists were saying [during group critiques] and by the end I had lots of notes, and there were particular sentences that we were all saying, sentences that I really like. I chose the ones that were meaningful and were meant to be there, to be written. And at the same time I combined this with the idea of Paradise 2, and formal notions of metre and rhythm, of course. For me it’s been a challenge, I’ve never written a poem in English before! I also re-read Milton’s Paradise Regained and Dante’s Paradise. And I tried to put everything together and tried to make sense of it! And this is the result!

TS: It’s a really exciting poem.

JP: Also it’s a sonnet, because the sonnet was considered the perfect form in Italy and throughout the history of poetry. And what I’ve done, instead of following the metre, I’ve used the number 7, each line is seven words long, and I’ve divided the 14 lines of the sonnet form into two sevens. I’ve had this obsession with the number seven because it’s behind the idea of Paradise. So there are three poems of fourteen lines, because three is the Holy Trinity, another notion of perfection.

TS: I also really like how you have a lot of Brightonian elements in the poem.

JP: I really like this city, I think it’s very arty, and people come here with lots of dreams. But then I think we all realise, that it’s a bit like the Pavillion. We put together lots of fake things that don’t match together, and people come and go.

TS: It’s a very transitory place. And were there any more recent influences on your text, because in a lot of ways it’s not a very traditional poem?

JP: I didn’t want to write a traditional poem, because traditional forms can make you think in a traditional way, and I wanted to tackle the idea of reproduction in a more contemporaneous sense. It’s a bit playful, it’s not a serious poem, and I don’t want it to be. There’s other stuff which I write which is maybe more serious. In some ways it is serious, because I’ve put together everyone else’s ideas, but at the same it’s not very dense and very…

TS: I think it has a lightness of touch, it’s very readable, and I think humour is underestimated in general as a critical trope. And it’s interesting that Tila’s work for example uses a lot of humour, I think nearly everyone’s does.

JP: And there are lots of references in the poem. The blue unicorn refers to Sylvio Rodriguez’ song –

TS: He’s the Cuban guy, right?

JP: – yeah, he talks about ideals, “the blue unicorn that I’ve lost”, and it talks about imagination and originality. We are always searching for originality, but maybe there’s nothing new under the sun, just different forms. And the recession had be in there as well [laughs]!

TS: I was gonna ask you about your use of prefixes, because you say for example, “In re cession times time goes backwards”. Why have you detached the prefixes in that way?

JP: Well, the original word means something and then there is this play with the ‘re’: we are redoing, reproducing, resampling, and I’ve played with that. Also, there’s Hopscotch, which is Cortazar’s book. You jump across the hopscotch squares towards Paradise. And life is like jumping across a series of hopscotch squares, sometimes jumping backwards!

TS: The visual artists have chosen to work in unfamiliar media –

JP: For me it’s the language! I was trying to find other Spanish poets who have written in English and I could only find two! It’s difficult thing to do, it’s been a challenge.

TS: But maybe there’s also something liberating about writing in, what is it, your third language?

JP: It’s liberating, because the English language is very flexible. In Spanish you can’t play with words so much. I find that English is a very flexible and dynamic language, and because it’s spoken all over the world and by lots of foreign people, it’s always changing.  It’s a very alive language.

TS: It is a patchwork language. And was it important to have phrases from different languages in there? You’ve got some Italian from Dante, some Spanish in there..

JP: I had to put some Spanish in there! Also playing with the title of the show, in my title “Para Dice”.

TS: Could you gloss that for us?

JP: You cannot say “Para Dice” in Spanish: “Para” means “for” and “dice” “she says” or “he says”. I so just tried to play, with a little bit of violence against my language, to alter the meaning and create another joke! And I put the Italian in from Dante because, I’m not gonna translate the Divine Comedy!

You can read Jessica’s poem here and hear her reading it aloud alongside writers Thomas Farrington and Thomas Slingsby at Blank Gallery in Portslade on October 17th.

Interview with Lorenza Ippolito

August 8, 2009

Resampling artist Lorenza Ippolito in conversation with writer Tom Slingsby.

Tom Slingsby: What for you would be the perfect object and what would it do?

Lorenza Ippolito: I don’t know. I don’t think there is the perfect object. If there was a perfect object it would become quite boring.

TS: You’d have to stop hunting?

LI: Yeah, and it would be the end of the line I suppose. The good thing is that people change & so the meaning of objects changes.

TS: I suppose one of the interesting things about your project is that your objects are the prophets of their own demise. Even having the latest thing implies that that object is just waiting to be overtaken by something else. They all have a built-in death date don’t they? Do you think that the theme of resampling should celebrate capitalism or do think that the objects we’re producing in this project have in some way to resist commodification?

LI: I think it’s more an allegory of the situation.. obviously we’re in a capitalist system and its failing would mean the world as we know it would come to end and something else would come, and it’s not gonna be very soon..

TS: if ever!

LI: if ever! And so I’d like to think that my work provides anecdotes about the world we live in.

TS: As I’m imagining your project, it seems like there’s gonna be a very interesting tension between the personal and the impersonal because on the one hand they are things which are housed very close to the body, and on the other you’re detaching them from that context and focussing on how the endless procession of objects challenges their uniqueness.

LI: I think also my choice of mass-produced objects has the aspect of dialogue about it … and there’s also quite a lot of irony because it’s as if I’ve turned that object into a personal object by giving it an aura, even though they’re not really precious objects, are they? There was a series of quotes and one of them was from Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald, and it was really intense for me and I read it over and over again was about the world being full of objects that were indifferent. All these objects would never be able to hold the memory of the people who had been there and passed over them. Everything would be squashed into oblivion.

TS: So the objects express a lack of human presence?

LI: And also the dichotomy that so much is attributed to the object by human beings, memory is sort of stored by them; but at the same time, once the human that gave importance to the object is gone, nothing remains of the human being; everything that gave importance to the object dissolves into oblivion. And that really struck me and it gave me the idea of you know why not interview the object as an ironic gesture?

TS: It could sound like a very personal dynamic as well, because I imagine, for example my father collected a lot of objects for his paintings, and I feel a lot of attachment to them now that he’s gone. It’s a process of mourning where you imagine the person’s attachment to the object. Are you interested in that or are you connecting that relationship with the object more to the wider themes of the show?

LI: I’m really interested in that but I’m not sure I’ll be able to integrate it into the project, because I’ve chosen to work with obsolete objects.

TS: So you’re letting the choice of objects guide the meaning of that relationship?

LI: Yeah, and that’s one of the bits I’m not sure about. Obsolete objects are one thing, and they’re not usually personal objects to which I’ve got a connection. I haven’t got many objects in my life but the ones I do are quite sentimental. And even though they’re not important objects, – for example I’ve kept a two peso coin that one of my boyfriends gave to me years ago, no particular meaning, he didn’t give it to me as a souvenir, but that’s what it became. And I’ll always keep it. And then there’s an alarm clock that my dad gave to me when I was eight and it doesn’t work any more, it’s really tacky, sort of eighties, but that’s another object that I’ll always keep with me. But this is moving away a lot from my project, because I’m not treating the object so sentimentally, so emotionally. For example one of the objects is a milk bottle.

TS: The photo of the milk bottle in particular is quite static. Are you interested in conveying a sense of stasis which implies more abstract kinds of movement, like a movement between the past and the present or a capitalist movement of exchange?

LI: Yeah the object has got a lot of capitalist value to it because they’re all mass-produced objects and there’s always that sense that they’re just waiting to get replaced by better objects over time.

TS: And did the whole project came out of finding things by chance?

LI: Yes, finding things by chance, and the object sort of captures you, and it’s not a decision you make it’s just an encounter more than anything else isn’t it? And, is it fate that’s changing you or are you changing yourself? And it’s all about an object that kind of grabs you and takes you away, and it might not come through in my project, but, that’s the power of objects in a way, or that’s the power that humans project onto objects, this idea that by contemplating an object, you can change your life.

TS: It’s not just about contemplation though either because we buy stuff thinking that it expresses our identity, or that it augments it…

LI: I think this is the work that advertising does for you, it’s made us much more lazy, because we don’t have to do the research of finding, onto which to project ourselves, it does it for us. If you’ve got this object you’re gonna be so cool, and it’s gonna really make you feel different and better, and it’s gonna realise … to an extent, I’m sure it’s not the whole process. Would you agree or disagree?

TS: Yeah absolutely, I think maybe we invest more in objects because of advertising, but the content of what we invest in them is not determined by us any more…

LI: That has been taken away from us by capitalist society in a way.

TS: Yeah, in a way when you buy something, thinking that it’s augmenting your personality, it’s kind of psychically raping you by imposing all these values.

LI: Yeah, [laughs] that’s a really good definition actually. And, it’s not just raping you, it’s taking away fundamental freedoms of emotions I think also because originally an object was something that was passed through generations and it was something not just useful maybe but also symbolic. Like your father’s tools. To replace a tool was a really complicated process, so if you had the perfect tool, you would try and preserve it. Passing on the tool wasn’t just passing on the tool, but it was passing on the knowledge and the aura of the good shoemaker your father was.

TS: And to turn slightly to the technical side of the show, how are you gonna take the photos in order to evoke this aura?

LI: I think I’m over the photographs, even though they’re quite nice, I think it would work much better if I videoed the interview. Rather than take pictures. I came to the conclusion that it’s definitely gonna be video.

TS: Oh wow, that’s quite a big step.

LI: And I would be out of the frame, talking to the object.

TS: And will the camera be moving or will they be kind of, composed as though they were photographs?

LI: I think the camera wont be moving, but there will be sound, to give a sense of time.

Interview with Guiseppe Iozzi

August 6, 2009

Interview with Giuseppe Iozzi.

Tom Slingsby: So, I’m here in the Pavilion gardens interviewing Resampling artist Giuseppe Iozzi for the project blog. Guiseppe, what does the theme of Resampling mean to you, and how have you integrated it into your artistic practice?

Giuseppe Iozzi: I think it’s about sampling from the past and doing something different with it. Maybe doing something different with it, maybe misinterpreting it. Perhaps exploring something from the past and reinventing it. It’s to do with memory more than anything else.

TS: Can you give us a description of the sculptures you’ve been working on for the people who read the blog?

GI: Okay, so what I’ve done is gone to the general area where the exhibition is going to take place, which is an industrial area – I’d describe it as a non-place. A lot of things happen there, but you can’t quite see what’s going on. It’s all very much blocked-off. And what I’ve done is I’ve walked the streets trying to solve the mystery of the space. And I’ve looked at debris and unwanted objects, and waste I suppose, and some of these things have been quite substantial, the size of your hand, and other things have been much smaller, the size of your hand. And I’ve tried to make a relationship between the object and the space I’ve found it in. I’ve used a map from Google Earth and I’ve looked at the shapes of the buildings and then I’ve made an animation between the found of object and the shape of the built environment. I traced the shape of the object and the shape of the space and then I’ve used Flash to ‘tween’ the shapes in between them. It’s an old word from animation studios. My interest is in the in between. And then how a machine can find that for me. ‘Cause it’s very difficult maths. I’m interested in the transformation, it’s changing shape and size. It’s an incremental change. And what’s struck me as I’m doing these animations is what a lot of interesting shapes!

TS: Because from the viewer’s point of view, you can sort of see what they might represent, or you can have a guess…

GI: Yeah. So I just sort of thought if I made these in layers, and piled them all up on top of each other, something interesting would happen. Something would be revealed about the secrets of these waste objects and the site I found them in.

TS: Brilliant.

GI: So in that sense the in between represents a period of time or a transformation that’s taken place. And the in between is where I reveal the unseen. I feel I’m revealing something invisible.

TS: And you’re making a connection between these liminal shapes that you’ve got and the liminal spaces you find in Portslade, where you can’t see how things are made.

GI: And I suppose, obliquely, the layered nature of these sculptures look like strata. They refer to things like geology, excavation and archaeology. So to me, that kind of deals with this idea of resampling the past. And I’ve read that some geologists discuss whether our presence on earth is going to leave a layer. Like the dinosaurs did, like other periods of history did. They’re wondering ‘could there be an anthropocine?’ I imagine we will of concrete and stuff, but I wonder if they’re be a layer of crisp packets and stuff…

TS: If you think about landfill sites…

GI: I imagine there will be. So some future alien civilisation doing a survey of the planet will find some pretty odd things..

TS: ‘Who the hell were these people?’

GI: Well yeah. I suppose for me that’s how the resampling history thing.. And the layers I’ve cut, they’re found objects as well. There’s a flooring specialist in the North Road area that chucks loads of stuff out. The only stuff I’ve had to buy is 3 pots of copydex.

TS: So I was thinking about your project in relationship to the Portslade area, and then how there’s been a broad conceptual move in the visual arts, a move towards abstraction, dehumanisation, and then all these works that are ironic reflections on capitalism, so I was gonna ask you, if you think we lack a sense of place in contemporary art?

GI: Well I suppose the connections that I’d make with other practitioners and this idea of space are with for example, Robert Smithson who made a lot of land art, and he also did a lot of presentations in galleries, and he was very interested in this idea of the abstraction that is a map. Can thing that don’t look like the place very much still be representative of a place? And the North Road area, which is essentially a grouping of small businesses , that either produce things, small scale industrial productions or offices, and then some odd things like dance studios. So I think it does represent a new space, and the new kind of economy that we have, which is winding down the industrial side.

TS: I suppose what I was getting at was a sense of local experience.

GI: Maybe that is lacking a bit in our big museums, and as the art market has become very global, those trends are reflected. Maybe you get more of the local in art coming out of the third world. For the art world it’s sort of fetishised. In a way I think the work I’ve done is quite local.

TS: I suppose you’re negotiating the tension between quite local details, like the chip fork you’ve got, and then the idea of things moving in and out of these places in the middle of the night. No-one knows what’s happening behind these huge metal doors…

GI: You only get and inkling from the title of the workplace.

TS: Some of which are quite ambiguous. I was gonna ask you, in some ways the title ‘Resampling’ is stating the obvious, if you think you can ever do anything totally original in art, or is it inevitable that you take from the past?

GI: Well it’s very difficult for someone like me with my kind of background to do something original ’cause I’ve been to an art school system. But of course I imagine people who haven’t been – people are probably making original art all the time, but they don’t know it! Unfortunately I’m sort of lumbered with art history, but obviously it helps me as well. It makes you sort of hyper-aware of what isn’t original. Weirdly although this culture really enjoys novelty, I’m not sure if it wants something really original! It would be so cataclysmic.

TS: It reminds me of Adorno and his critique of the culture industry.

GI: And Marcuse’s idea of the libidinous capital that is repressed in the worker.

TS: We’ve got the illusion of novelty, a new sensation, but only within fixed parameters. So one of the other key themes of the project is the idea that our experience of memory and the process of artistic influence has been sped up by the information age. What kind of challenges do you think that presents to the traditional idea of the artist?

GI: The obvious one would be authorship. But from a positive perspective, it opens up new opportunities for collaborative work, which is something I’m really interested in. ‘Cause I’m a teacher I often think ‘how can I do this with a load of people?’ What excites me is – there’s an analogy between this sort of incremental building up of stuff and the constructive exercise. Each part has its place in the superstructure. You’ve got a macro and a micro scale going on in the work. And I can see that relationship to the group, to the totality. Although people don’t like to talk about totalised spaces in art any more. But there’s something very satisfying about totalities in art even though they always fail.