Posts Tagged ‘resampling’

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.


May 3, 2009

Hi folks, and a very warm welcome to the resampling blog. Resampling is a six month long project involving seven artists and three writers, culminating in a group exhibition at Blank gallery, Portslade in October 2009. The project reflects upon the ways in which contemporary culture absorbs and remakes the past, shaping the way we perceive ourselves. Modern media and communication have accelerated this condition. Resampling looks at the changing attitudes to the past and presents ideas on how it may be viewed in the future. The artists are structuring their work around a series of  group critiques, engaging with art historical texts and adapting their practices to work with unfamiliar media. As the objects of our collective obsession take on strange lives of their own, we’ll be posting regular photographic and textual updates.