Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the art that you create?
I’m in my final year at OCAD in the Integrated Media program. I’ve always been interested in the technical arts like animation, video as well as using electronics and devices to create art. I’ve always took apart things when I was younger, I liked to see how they worked – that’s always kind of been a part of my art, just trying to understand the tools that I’m using.
What influenced your decision to major in Integrated Media?
I originally went in thinking that I would just want to make films, I wanted to write scripts and direct stories, I’ve done a few of those and I’m still interested in that idea. While being at OCAD, installation art took over my main practice. I found working in installation art to be really freeing because it has aspects of sculpture where the whole room becomes the space for the art and I also enjoy that video and animation can be combined with installation art.
How long have you been interested in art? How long have you known that this was something that you want to pursue as a career?
I’ve been interested in art from a very young age, I used to go to the ROM for Saturday morning art classes. When I was in high school I took part in a Sunday morning art program at the Toronto School of Art. It was a four hour session with no grading but at the end of each class we would have a critique so, that was the start of me wanting to study art professionally.
Do you believe in inspiration? If you do, what inspires you? If not, how do you make things happen?
I believe in inspiration, there are a lot things that I see in life that influences me greatly. There was a David Hoffos exhibition a few years ago at the MOCCA that was really inspirational. The way he was using old CRT televisions to make holograms in little dioramas, you knew that there was a relation between these different objects even though they were all revealed for you I could not quite piece it together, I found that to be a huge inspiration, beautiful to look at and yet a struggle to understand. That is what inspires me with my art – something that is beautiful and stands on it’s own.
Where are you the most productive? Tell us a bit about your creative space.
I just switched over from having a laptop to a desktop computer so, I’m much more locked on where I can be productive nowadays. But, in some ways that’s nice because my computer is much more powerful, it allows me to render out multiple versions of things and see things a lot quicker. My darkroom and desktop are two places that I’m most production and creative.
What are your favourite tools to work with?
Tools that feedback to me. I also think that tools that have limitations are always beneficial to the creative process.
What upcoming projects can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
Some of my work will be in the analogue video network, it’s a video compilation series that I have been working on with the Analog Preservation Network, which is all about analogue video and analog video technology. I’m interested in video synthesizers, video effects machines, for analogue televisions like CRT. There are a few other people in Toronto that are interested in that too, so I’m collaborating with them to put together a zine on VHS tape. Thirty minutes of experimental video and animation on a VHS tape, and we would want to do a few a year and have it like a video publication.
What excites you about the material you work with? Is there another medium you would like to work in?
I like analogue technology and things that are very much reacted by natural things like weather and aging. Photography, the way the chemicals expire and the way they have different affects as they start to expire and the photos start to look differently I find that aspect really interesting. I love to smell the chemicals to see if it’s expired like you would with fresh fruit, that kind of human aspect of it I think is really interesting.
What do you do to relax?
I like to watch a lot of documentaries and play video games. I would recommend Adam Curtis documentaries from the BBC. They are terrific documentaries about understanding modern societies, how we got to where we are now. It gives you some kind of hope that society and human behaviour can change.
Do you have a favourite place to eat around OCAD?
Karine’s and Magic Kitchen are two terrific places for a university to have. Dumpling House on Spadina, those are the best dumplings.
Tell me about your association between analogue processes and your creative approach to photography?
A lot of my creativity comes out of experiments with analogue photography and a lot those techniques, I would say that it is more creative because I am using analogue technology with digital technology the idea really does have to come first and then you can test it out and play with it whereas the analogue technology I feel that it’s easier to behave intuitively and just feel it in the moment even if the work that I create in the moment is not my favourite there will be little bits and things that I like and then know how to re-create with a little more thought later. Even if I don’t make wonderful work in the darkroom, I would find wonderful little tidbits that I will put into work later that I’m excited to do.
How do you manipulate the images?
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of brushing on the developer and fix onto photography paper, selectively revealing and preserving on part of the image. If you don’t put the fix on the page it would go through a series of really beautiful colours shifts, I try to leave parts of my image with those colours scan of it two weeks later to get a snapshot of it when it’s at it’s ideal moment. I like the idea of fresh art, art that has a best before date. I like to reveal a little part of the image at a time.
What is your favourite film stock?
I really enjoy Delta 3200, especially when it’s shot at 1600 or 1000. When you shoot it like that at 1600, all of the shadows are completely there and you can reveal them however much you want, I’m into shadow detail and the grain of photography, 3200 ISO is very grainy for film, now-a-days that is what we are looking for when shooting on film.
Do you have a favourite photographer?
Joseph Sudek, his photographs have a timeless quality and are relatable.