Interview by Chris Doyle
50,000 Beds catalogue, 2007
Q: I was fascinated to find out that you make your films with a point-and-shoot camera? Is that how you made Scott, your film for 50,000 Beds?
A: Yes, I use a Fuji F700. It's discontinued, but I keep finding them on eBay. I started my career as an illustrator and always had a sketchbook in my pocket, so anything bigger than a brush still feels excessive to me. I try to take full advantage of the casualness and intimacy allowed by a tiny camera. I wish they were even smaller!
Q: Do you feel like the minimal tool helps erase the distinction between living and working?
A: Absolutely. Art-making tools are an unavoidable burden, although some, like a pencil or a drum, come across as quite organic. The more discreet they are, the less mediating they feel: instead of something "special," they become more like fingers, or the voice... almost as immaterial as words, or memory itself.
Q: In commissioning these new videos, I am seeing a good deal of genre-blurring. Artists making films, filmmakers experimenting with a more visual artist approach. I get the sense from your work that these boundaries were never an issue?
A: Artists have blurred genres forever. History tends to record the areas each one of them excelled the most at. True, it's hard to be good in every field; but I find amateurishness a very underrated concept. The obsession with being meaningful, successful, can be crippling; we're better off approaching new adventures with the candor of children -- or of amateurs. And we all end up recycling our experiences into new configurations, anyway. I initially took to do films because I wanted to record the "before" and the "after" of the photos I was shooting. I initially took to films because I wanted to record the "before" and the "after" of the photos I was shooting; but my previous career as an illustrator, or the fact that the very first thing I ever published was a book of poems, also find their way into the product.