That said: do you care about people’s reaction to your work?
Yes (and no…) I think there’s something really remarkable and romantic in those people who make and show work without caring what anybody else thinks, and sometimes I wish I was one of them... But for better or worse, I’m not one of them. I want to make things that people care about the same way I care about them. I want people to connect, and be a bit transported. I’ve always been in environments where I feel that anything is possible, which I’ve realized is a very lucky experience to have had, so if I can share that some how and maybe help someone else think or feel the same. That’s so important, maybe the most important. I think at first, the basis for making any of the things I do, is really personal, it comes directly from me, as a way to better understand myself, and the world around me. I make most of what I make for me. But from there, sharing them with other people is what becomes important. Patti Smith always talks about how you have to make your work ‘for the people’, and I really trust and respect her, so for me, being interested in what other people think of what you do is invaluable, having a conversation. But you can’t let someone else decide for you – before anything else, you need to know your work for yourself, know if there’s something good in it, something strong, something powerful, if it’s weak – is that weakness intentional?, what it’s shape is, and how it fits to the world around it. What you want to say with it, what you have to say, that needs to be said through art. You can’t let someone else decide what’s true for you.
You said: “I wouldn’t mind being some sort of designer. Lately I’ve been looking at what Alexander Girard created, and it’s got me so excited to just make things.” So how are things going so far?
Things are going good at the moment. I’ve got a bit of a stomachache, but aside from that all good. I’m a bum designer, but I have a lot of appreciate for Alexander Girard, his folk art collection too. I think the position of the designer is to solve problems, but the position of the artist is to start a conversation, bring up the problems and the beauty in the world (I could of course be wrong about both those positions). I think I’m more interested now in questions than answers – which is dangerous territory I guess… But we’ll never run out of questions, so at least I know the infinite is my oyster.
I heard you playing guitar, and you kind of have this King Krule vibe on you… Who are some of your musical inspirations, and how would you like to sound?
Oh nice, nice. Yeah I’ve got one song that a lot of people compare to King Krule, which I think is fair since it’s more or less the same progression as his Out Getting Ribs song, or a poor version of it. The rest of the stuff I don’t really think bares that much resemblance to him though, but I guess that’s for everyone to decide on their own. The freedom of opinion is a luxury everyone deserves - It should be no luxury at all, really.
Lately I’ve been listing to Television a lot. Actually, right now I spend most of my time listening to “Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass.” And Bruce Brubaker’s “Glass Cage.” I want to try to write a piece of music that has that sort of transportation power.