Sunday, July 21, 2013

Q&A: with cylixe

Q&A with visual artist, cylixe. Interview & photos (@ Prospect Park) by K.K.W.

When it comes to interesting people, especially artists, NYC is a gateway for it all. I first saw cylixe's creativity @ []Nothing Space ("Letters from pocket embassy"), and out of quite a few, her work stood out as something great. 

SP: At what point did you start pursuing creativity seriously? 

C: I never had the guts to apply for art school. I thought I wasn't good enough. I studied political science as a major, philosophy and sociology as minors. It was interesting, but also frustrating. Somehow it wasn't enough. After the first year, I couldn't take it anymore, I dropped out and applied at the University of Fine Arts, Braunschweig. Of 400 people, 60 got accepted. I had a bet running that I wouldn't make it in, but I did. I had to shave my head. From then on, art was all there was and it's all there is to this day. 

SP: In videography what was your first project or creation you were proud of?

C:  The first video I am really proud of is "the world counts loud to ten". I finished it in 2007, though the voice over text is from my diary and dates back to 2004. It's a very personal piece and at first, I would have it run anonymously, I was afraid of people's judgement. My teacher at the time, Birgit Hein, helped me to get over that and to embrace the freedom that comes from exhibitionism. I learned a lot, making this film. About film making, about life, about myself. I still keep the film on my website, even though it has a very low quality compared to the pieces I produced since then.

SP:Unlike other mediums (painting, drawing, etc) photography & videography involves watching and capturing images, putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge, and therefore power. Do you think this is true?

C: I don't think that capturing an image gives one more knowledge than drawing or sculpting an idea. The videographer is subjective and so is the knowledge, she can achieve. As an artist, one has to be careful, not to misunderstand an experience for a universal fact. I am not recording reality, I make a conscious decision to record a piece of time in a certain space, out of infinite possible pieces. Editing narrows this process of select and neglect down even more. The only knowledge a videographer can acquire is "techne". 

SP:  In Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window"(1954) the camera is presented as promoting voyeurism. Would you say, as a photographer you've learned to take pleasure in watching and observing other people?

C: Speaking for myself, people interest me only moderately. It is interesting to see them interact with architecture, or systemic obstacles. The choreography of a swarm, or the ritual of a group is fascinating to me. I guess that comes from my background in sociology. I love "Rear window", it was one of my favourite films when I was a teenager. But I feel like the camera ( and binoculars) in this film is much more than a tool of voyeurism. The main character is very much driven by curiosity in human behaviour than interested in finding personal pleasure. He starts his observation out of boredom, not out of a fixation. Boredom, in any case is a good reason, to do something. To get back to your question; I do gain pleasure from observation, but I don't care if I am watching people or machines or the sky. Movement and choreography can be found in so many places. 

SP: Your video "Florilegiae", the summary on your site said: '...take your eyes off and you will miss it. A trail of is a miracle giving answers that blow your mind...Archiving and collecting in man-made categories brings a explanations. This is how I imagine the autistic mind: full of ideas and quickness." Is any of this personal, from you, or just from an idea for the short video?

C: Of course any video I make is personal, in that I am the decision maker, so it is not "just" an idea I come up with. It is my idea. Florilegie to me is a collage. The texts (especially the part about stamp collection) don't all reflect my personal agenda, but I wrote them, they serve a purpose in holding conversation with images and sound. The video is about the beauty of observation and interpretation. It doesn't ask to be taken as universal truth, but as a anecdote and maybe, hopefully a notch for the viewers to start a chain reaction in their mind. 

cylixe is a visual artist from Hanau am Main, Germany. She's a photographer, videographer, and specializes in video/related media. 
Her work is bold, insightful, and utterly interesting. She was here in NYC once again working, and it was wonderful to meet-up & converse with her. 

If you would like to know more, or see her creativity, go "Art is the reason, art is the way".    

Saturday, July 20, 2013

R.O.T.Y.O - Urban Change [Germany]

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares
Urban Change - Germany [Rise Of The Young Ones]
By K.K.W & Aleksandar Ares.

From the late 19th to the mid 20th century the major factors of urban change has been war, technology, social revolution & class struggle. All of which are influenced by politics and economic factors. One of the two main epicenters of these changes are France and Germany via Baron Haussmann & Walter Gropius.  Both would leave its  mark on history and influence many other cities throughout the world. 

However, Germany lagged behind France & the other industrial leaders, though not for long. The introduction of sugar beets, turnips, and potatoes would yield a higher level of food production, which allowed a surplus rural population to move to industrial areas. The textile industry would be the beginnings of their industrial revolution, facilitated by the elimination of tariff barriers through the Zollverein starting in 1834. As Napoleon III [who hired Baron Haussmann to renovate Paris] modeled Paris' green spaces  based on those in Britain, so would Germany import their engineering and hardware from Britain to improve and expand their railways. This would in turn would give RISE to the steel industry, a major aspect of Modern architecture. 
March Revolution - 1848 Berlin.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
As with France, social dissatisfaction rose with the factors of Urbanization & industrialization: the need for pan-Germanism, increased political freedom, liberal policies, democracy, freedom from censorship, etc. The new middle class elements were committed to liberal principals while the working class sought radical improvements to their working and living conditions. This would result in the "March Revolution" [1848] with in the German states, which was an offshoot of the revolutions that started in Paris that spread to other parts of Europe. Though unlike Paris, theirs in Germany did not last long and achieved few if any permanent  changes [especially in form of government & uniting the states]. However, by 1870 unification would happen via Otto Von Bismarck with the creation of the German Empire [second German Reich]. And though the empire was authoritarian, freedom of speech, association, and religion were guaranteed by the constitution. 

Berlin - 1912 by Paul Hoeniger Spittelmarkt.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia. 
 A major difference between France & Germany is that [in Germany] unification in 1870 stimulated consolidation, and nationalization into state-owned companies and further rapid growth. Coal, steel, chemicals, and  dyes were chief aspect of its industries. The nation became a world leader because of it's corporatist mentality and strong bureaucratic tradition. Germany's middle class grew exponentially in the cites, but despite being the new rich [displacing many of the nobles],  it would take much longer to gain political power as those in France, Britain, or the U.S.  By the early 20th century, German industries was at a high output. As with other areas of Europe, these seemingly radical changes within society would create the ideals of modernism, which would have an immense impact on art & architecture.
German Soldier, WWII.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia. 
As the First World War loomed there was  mounting tension and unease with the social order, already seen in the Russian Revolution of 1905. Radical parties also helped to push the general agitation and manifest itself in every medium which radically simplified or rejected previous practice.  Picasso & Matisse rejecting traditional perspective, Kokoschka was writing Morder, Hoffnung der Frauen (Murderer, Hope of  Women), the first expressionist play. The birth of the machine age changed the conditions of life, and war. By the end of WW1 Germany would be in economic / social ruin, which would give RISE to the "Silver Prince" - Walter Gropius and Bauhaus [house of construction / school of building]. The school would have an enormous influence on art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography. The architectural design elements of Bauhaus would be most useful after WWII - when most of the German cities were leveled by allied bombings.
Bauhaus, Dessau 1926.
The founding elements of Bauhaus were anti-bourgeois [though most of those involved & who taught at the school were from that class], democratic - socialism, and  modernism [make it new - strip away the unnecessary of the past]. As for its architectural design: radical simplicity, linear & geometric patterns, flat roofs, glass, steel and expressed structures. Oddly enough the school did not offer classes in architecture until 1927.
Walter Gropius 
Bauhaus school, Dessau [designed in 1926].
c.i_image#117 by Kerwin Williamson.
Rise Of The Young Ones [Skopje].
The geometric glass pattern [modern architecture]
merges with Skopje's overtly nationalistic
statues & older architecture.
c.i_image#110 by Kerwin Williamson.
Rise Of The Young Ones [NYC].
Modern architecture rising awkwardly
against older predecessor.   
Modern architecture in NYC.
Radical simplicity, glass, steel, & geometric
linear design. 

If you would like to know more, go to:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

R.O.T.Y.O - Inside the project, part 1

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares
Rise Of The Young Ones - inside the project, part 1. By K.K.W

"Any Major changes to a city's landscape / layout reflects either the concious or subconcious of the populace, or predates it. This is usually through the actions of one or more person (s) in conjuction with those in power (its educated and or dominant classes). And although its generally for the good of the city, its people and greater civic harmony, as an equation its never balanced."  (Aleksandar Ares)

March Revolution - Berlin, Germany 1848.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia. 
From the late 19th to the mid 20th century the major factors of urban change has been war, technology, social revolution & class struggle. All of which are influenced by politics and economic factors. One of the two main epicenters of these changes are France and Germany, via Baron Haussmann & Walter Gropius.  Both would leave its  mark on history and influence many other cities throughout the world.

Berlin, 1912. Paul Hoeniger Spittelmarkt.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Bauhaus, Dessau Germany. Built in 1926.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
German Soldier, WWII. Image courtesy of
With this 2nd part [Rise Of The Young Ones] to the original project (In The Shadow Of the Young Ones) I wanted to reach back and examine the reasons  that gave rise to modern urban change;  leading to the cities we're living in today. At the same time, visually exploring our changing urban landscape through, digital photography, splicing the images together with others [about religion, people, class & political struggle, etc] to show what our urban landscape projects about us. And given that human nature is the same throughout the world, what one city projects you would find aspects of this & similarities in others. 

Downtown NYC 2012, by Kerwin Williamson.
From the 1st part of the project -
In The Shadow Of The Young Ones.
4th Ave, near Union Square [Manhattan].
By Kerwin Williamson.
From the 1st part of the project -
In The Shadow Of The Young Ones.
c.i_#80 by Kerwin Williamson 2012
In a way, one could say the imbalanced equation that is New York City, physically speaking, is a representation of its people. The city projects our tastes, wants, inconsistencies, shallowness, depth of our cultural richness, greed, love, need for commercial consumption, simplicity, order & almost religious obsession with space. Visually expressing this, through digital abstract art, is the result of exploring the contrasting aspects of modern architecture, public space and its predecessors. What's found is in fact aspects of our society, and connects us to each other despite distance of miles or culture. 
c.i_#99, by Kerwin Williamson. 2013
The most difficult aspect of the project [from a visual art standpoint] was how to create art that encompasses what I came to realize about modern architecture visually, changes in society that gave rise to it, along with aspects of the people. During the 1st part I began to think about the death of older buildings, and how it would be great if musicians played a requiem for them (how to show this visually in an interesting way). I opened a file with photos I took of a violinist (Miranda Cuckson), and began trying to merge one of them (via photoshop) with a photo of a old hospital that was being gutted. From this first 'c.i' [composite image] came many more, and another way of creative expression for the project.  

Splicing multiple digital photographs in a layering process, an alternate landscape & world is created. Order and control is lost and becomes redefined through extreme visual drama, representing our subconscious fear, and who we are; creatures that need change though resist it because we have little control over it. 

c.i_#1 [Requiem for Brooklyn], with
violinist Miranda Cuckson.
c.i_#33 [Requiem for Skopje],
violinist Miranda Cuckson.
R.O.T.Y.O Bklyn Ad image #1.
By Kerwin Williamson. 
This is a solo project that has many aspects which make it very difficult, although extremely enjoyable and important. At current, urban change in New York City is leading towards many social changes that will have a lasting effect. I think its important to be aware of this and examine the key factors that cause it.   

If you would like to know more, go to the project page on FB: 'Art is the reason, art is the way' 

Friday, July 5, 2013

@ Nothing Space 6/27/13

This months cover by K.K.W,
layout by Aleksandar Ares.
Crichton Atkinson, curator of the event.

"De-Script" @ []Nothing Space - curated by Crichton Atkinson. Photos & text by K.K.W

@ "De-Script" 5 artists showcased not just creativity for its own sake, but the manner in which reality flows through their minds and becomes a critical voice.    

Rachel Schragis (left) speaking to a friend.
Simplistic as it is powerful, Dr.Richard M. Money's (the late propagandist) uses historical/cultural references along with Pop sources in his work,  to reduce reality to the outlook of a highly intelligent child. There's a provocative feeling to the work, its seeming crudeness the embodiment of the world its drawn from. Something in his work reminds me of Basquiat.  
A young girl admiring the work of
Dr. Richard M. Money (the late propagandist). 
Dr. Richard M. Money (the late propagandist). 
The lines, shapes and linear patterns of Devin Powers work is disturbing as it is strange to look at. Its geometry and dark feel a mathematical conception of humanity; an odd pattern replicating variations of itself. There's a sense of light, though the darkness at certain points seems to over power everything else.    
Devin Powers
Sam Bornstein has a classical edge to his style with a touch of the surrealist, making his visual commentary all the more powerful. In a society in which we are surrounded sign, seals, imagery, objects, puzzles (of many forms), we become trapped by them. No longer are they amazing, but taken for granted because we feel imprisoned, attached to them subconsciously.    

Sam Bornstein 

Sam Bornstein 
Literal-political, Rachel Schragis' work is  a vivid abundance of information thats a little visually complicated, yet possible to deconstruct. Its lack of physical forms or images gives its striking look - exuding the ideology that words are powerful visuals. One is forced to move through the words to a point of understanding the connectivity of it all.      
Rachel Schragis
Lambergini's work turns Pop-culture icons into disturbing, playful individuals in a world where they meet, and collide. His drawings are rich in its line work and detail giving a visual feast. There's a playfulness thats matched by a disturbing  quality - the vulgarity of the world that icons exist in. 
T.B. Lambergini

Crichton Atkinson, curator of the event.
If you would like to know more, go "Art is the reason, art is the way"Stage One Polka Dot 56cm Road Bike - Road & Touring Bikes (Google Affiliate Ad)Polaris Hardtail 26" Women's Mountain Bike - Mountain & Hybrid Bikes (Google Affiliate Ad)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Q & A: Whitney Hunter

This months cover by K.K.W,
with layout by Aleksandar Ares
Whitney V Hunter: What's going on? by K.K.W

Whitney V Hunter is a visual/performance artist, choreographer and curator. He recently came back to NYC from a trip to Tuscany, the details of which we had to know.

Whitney V Hunter. Image courtesy of the artist
SP: Given that you are an established creative individual here in NYC, what spurred  your trip abroad?  

WH: I am enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Philosophy, Art Theory and Aesthetics at the Institute for the Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (IDSVA) and the first seminar of the semester occurs abroad, in the Tuscan Region of Italy to be specific.

SP: What did your trip to Italy comprise and how did you make arrangements ?  

WH: The trip comprised of an intense two-week topological seminar in Tenuta di Spannochia (an agrarian farm village in Tuscany).  From there wevtook day trips to Siena, Florence, and finally a week-long visit to Venice for the Biennale.  From there, to recuperate from this intense academic venture, I took a vacation in Rome, as I had never been there before.  
Arrangements were made by the school and then I planned my own Roman holiday.

SP: How do you find contemporary dance in the sector of Italy you were in? Does it compare to NYC on the same level? 

WH: Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see any dance while I was there.  However, my friend and host Jacqueline Bulnes is doing some great work in Rome with her groups Panini 2 Life and I Twistinkers.  She is pushing the boundaries on dance and physical theatre and creating some great accompanying video works.  I think contemporary dance is about fusion.  It is about taking those pre-existing forms and re-using them, inverting them, and really turning them inside-out and upside- down to find new wholistic ways to communicate with the body.  My interest is just that.  In fact, it isn't new, it's simply returning it [the body] back to the point where the performer is allowed to involve their complete body.  So, in my performance workshops, of which I had a chance to teach in Rome, I push the participants to think of themselves in a non-exclusive way, not a dancer, not an actor, not a singer, but all.  It's a process of seamlessly moving in and out of these physical experiences.

SP: Clearly there must have been time for fun while you were there, and memorable moments of going wild & native ?

WH: Well, we had great meals in Tuscany, I went to the beach a couple of times in Venice, and I zoomed around Rome on a scooter with one of the participants from my workshop who had a scooter.  That for me was quite exhilarating.

SP: Now that your back in NYC, what's next?

WH: I am preparing to present a durational performance work with my friend and collaborator Andre M. Zachery for the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival; we will be included in the July 14th exhibition of works at Gowanus Ballroom.  Also, a show that I have curated will open on July 7th and is being produced by Topaz Arts in Queens.  It is the first solo show of a friend and artistic partner, UK-based portrait photographer, Sylvain Guenot.  The exhibition is a series of photography portraits of NYC-based dancers and choreographers.  The exhibition is entitled InAction:  The Virtuosity of Presence, and will be on view from July 7th - 27 with a opening reception on the 7th.
"The Colosseum", Rome Italy.
Photo by Whitney V Hunter.
AD photo for InAction: The virtuosity of presence.
Image courtesy of Whitney V Hunter.
Photos by Sylvain Guenot.
If you would like to know more, go, "Art is the reason, art is the way" If you would like to leave an opinion: click comment, then anonymous & add what you want with your name. Cheers! Pour La Victoire Easton Pump (Google Affiliate Ad)Dockers Castaway Boat Shoes - Men (Google Affiliate Ad)Rock And Republic Platform High Heels - Women (Google Affiliate Ad)