2. In Self you focus not on interiors, but on skin, creating an impressive tracking shot over a landscape of magnified body parts. What sparked the idea to connect this sort of abstract concept of “the self” with the image of the human skin, and particularly this magnified view?
For me the perception of one’s own skin is always somehow a magnified one. Usually you become aware of your own skin only when there is something wrong with it. Then you use a looking glass or a magnifier to find for example a scratch or a mole, or you discover a wrinkle that wasn’t there before. We try to cover up and make up our skin to present an ideal version of ourselves, or to approach the manipulated look that we know from the media and advertisements. So I also use techniques of manipulation in my work. I create videos and photographs that seem to show reality, because they use real images, but by using the technique of collage I create something surreal and new. With the video self I wanted to show that we all live in these elastic skin bags that we use to communicate with and we build identity with. And that we are also these nude animals that transpire, gurgle and vibrate.
3. Could you speak a bit about the role of sound in your video art? You closely collaborate with Constantin Popp (e.g. on Empty Rooms and Self). What does this collaboration look like? How do you record, edit, and manipulate the sound in order for it to become a part of the final piece?
I got to know Constantin during a project called “TanzMedienAkademie” that took place during the Kunstfest Weimar, Germany in 2008. We both worked on the same project and got to know each others working practices and preferences quite well. We realized that we have similar views on performance and contemporary arts and got along very well. So I asked him for soundtracks for my video works from time to time. Or in the case of Empty Rooms, he provided his composition as a basis for my video work that I created as a response to the audio material. Usually we communicate only by Email and Skype, as he is based in Manchester and I’m in Vienna. It is funny, because he uses sounds very similarly as I use images. We both work with montages and collages. I usually use site- specific material, like pictures and videos that I record on site as well as on-site audio recordings. Similar to that Constantin does field recordings for his audio compositions or creates his sounds live on stage, using analog materials like, shells, stones and metals. I like the idea that sound is an art form in and of itself and in combination with visual moving images creates a dialogue or a contrast rather than illustrating the image.