Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Collin Zipp

Collin Zipp

Work from his video and collage series.

Below is a IM / email interview I conducted with Zipp.

The collages above are not originally diptychs, I have paired them for formatting reasons.

"Raw video footage is degraded using physical forces. The resultant images are then digitally captured and edited." - Collin Zipp

JT: One of the most apparent aspects of your work are the relationships between the limits of technology and process, and how the two function in concert to be a discussion of the medium rather than the subject. How specifically is process related to the conceptual development of your works?

CZ: Process in my work is very important, specifically within the landscape videos. I enjoy taking things apart to be able to see how they work. Unfortunately, computers confuse me. I don't use a MAC computer in my artistic process ... I find them too "machine" like. I prefer to use a PC because it WILL crash. It makes me feel like I am working with another human being, one that is not always reliable and has flaws. So for me, process in my art making is related to the process of the relationship I have with the technology and the realization that I am exploring the medium of video is something very important to me. The influx of reality tv, youtube etc. is overwhelming. There seems to be a desire to create and capture something "real". The medium of film and the structure it creates (beginning, middle, end) gives a notion of escapism. For me, exploring non-linear narrative and non-narrative works in a way free me from this forced escapism (regarding the content and reasoning behind the broken landscape videos and process).

JT: This leads me to my second question, you have a tendency to focus on the destruction and reconstruction of landscape, and in many ways, the virtual deconstruction of the concept of a landscape. Do you have particular interests that surround the structure and restructuring of information, and if so, how do you relate your analogue process to the degradation of your video works?

CZ: For me restructuring notions of storytelling and narrative is very important. In my work I try to find new ways to tell stories...

I know this is off topic but bare with me... I enjoy reading old fairy tales (i.e. The Brothers Grimm). The way they are written is fantastic. For example ... immediately you have to accept the fact a fox, a piece of string, a mouse, or a crow, can talk. I feel that notion alone forces you out of a particular comfort zone and forces you to accept any sort of possible outcome. A kind of "forget what you know" kind of feeling and processing of information...

As for the analogue process ... I feel that nothing is forever. Painting disappears over time, photos fade away, sculptures erode and break apart. Why should the medium of video be any different? besides, 2012 is just around the corner ... another sort of contemporary "fairy tale" have you...

JT: How has the process of degradation and your collaborative relationship with technology affected the development of your work? I ask because you have a organically technological / purposefully random aesthetic that seems to be integral to the video pieces (landscapes andnon-landscapes alike).

CZ: I find that the deconstruction of my previous work has enabled me to appreciate an idea, object or landscape (for instance) for its barest structures. Taking something apart or looking at the unknown about that thing seem to drive my current artistic practice...I am also more prone to making my work look clean or sharp, but yet still having the "human touch"... almost an "I was here” sticker.

JT: How would you relate the concerns in your current works to both the video work and the collage work?

CZ: Currently I am exploring contemporary storytelling and aspects of narrative: almost as an exploration of a contemporary fairy tale. Concerns of technology, non-linear narrative, and deconstruction are all tools I am using to take apart my current ideas and explore these concepts. Being in school for my masters (after 5 years off) has forced me to think and work differently, which is a good thing of course...

One contemporary fairy tale is the "end of the world". I am actually put off by that that movie with John Cusak called 2012 has hit the theatres; another boring Hollywood disaster movie with no doubt a happy ending. Such an interesting concept: the world ending on a specific date that correlates and shares so many coincidences with so many different cultures, religions, and current technological theories (singularity theory for instance). I'm not sure why the notion of our world being destroyed is so interesting to me, perhaps it is because we are currently destroying the planet? By no means am I not a hardcore environmental activist, but I am concerned not only about the planet’s well being, but the way the information about such topics is being relayed to us via the media, etc.

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