Interview crossed the wires of my art making and art writing, sparking an ongoing series of works about knowledge and how we get it (or how it gets us.) My collaborator Jennifer Locke and I started began the action in the roles of “artist” and “interviewer.” Then we switched it up, broke out of our stage space, and improvised an audiovisual exchange that lurched to the edge of art and tumbled right over. [continues below]
Interview (2008), performance with Jennifer Locke
What do I mean when I say that Interview “crossed the wires” of my art making and art writing? From 1985 on, starting with the commentaries on art I wrote and presented on the live public radio show West Coast Weekend, I had a modest public persona as an “expert” on creativity and contemporary art.
Modest in the sense of “limited extent” — public radio is not a hotbed of celebrity — but still, people that I didn’t know knew me. Sometimes they would come to my public lectures. To benefit public radio or an art organization, I did onstage conversations with artists Ron Nagle, Manuel Neri, and Wayne Thiebaud.
Thus I practiced the form “onstage conversation” in the role of “interviewer,” drawing an artist subject into conversation about art and life. These conversations were highly organized, but at their best they were “artless.” Then Jordan Essoe invited me to do anything I wanted for the Crosscut performance festival, Jennifer Locke agreed to work with me, and the possibilities of the form began to open up.
Interview was enacted at the Slaughterhouse Space run by Pat Lenz in Healdsburg, California, as part of the Crosscut Humane Slaughter Acts Performance Festival organized by Jordan Essoe in 2008.