12 MAY 2016 #DREAMJOURNAL, JON RAFMAN
What inspired you to start SPAMM, and how has it evolved since its beginning?
SPAMM started with a revelation: the simple fact that galleries, museums and institutions in 2011 did not exhibit digital artists from the web. The reason was often because they did not know how to present them, or did not have a vision on this emerging art. So I said to myself, “If the institutions do not expose us, we will expose ourselves online – and physically if we can – and soon institutions and galleries have come to SPAMM to organize physical exhibitions.” SPAMM complements the existing exhibits. We are not at war against a system – we prefer to enrich it.
DURA, ALEX MENDOZA
You’ve worked as a figurative painter and went to art school. With SPAMM, ‘the rule is that there are no rules’. Is there one lesson – or one rule – that you have learnt from your formal training that you still use today?
No. I think most art schools do not really prepare students for the reality of the artist’s life. On the other hand, it’s a very good playground to test different things, and have your head in the clouds for five years. The return to reality is sometimes difficult. Art schools should be closer to reality.
GOETHITE IN MOTION, UGUR ENGIN DENIZ. 666 IMAGE ON FACEBOOK, HAZINE KAREEMAH
Is there a certain theme running through SPAMM? In what way are the works connected?
It is more a vision of our time than a theme precisely, but there are different themes that emerge: of course the human-machine relationship, the glitch, 3D deformation, online experiments and, just as regularly: love, death, life.
HELL-EDEN-EARTH, CARLA GANNIS
You started ‘French Trash Touch’ in 1995. What is the story behind this, and how does it inform your work today?
Ah, the story behind all this! Initially, I wanted to create an artistic movement, and I wanted it to be difficult to pronounce. At that time we talked a lot about the ‘French Touch’ for music and graphics – a very smooth movement. I decided to contribute with the ‘French Trash Touch’, a less smooth, trashier movement which is simultaneously punk, techno, dadaist, situationist and digital. This movement has the particularity that everyone can self-proclaim to be ‘French Trash Touch’. This informs my work in the sense that my work is obviously part of this movement.
With ‘Attract Money’ it’s both a video about excessive positive thinking and the relation to money in the art market. It is also a criticism of consumer society and of this over-connected society that often forgets to be connected with itself.
What is the meaning of ‘Systaime’?
It’s a word-game between ‘System’ and ‘love’ (‘aime’), so it’s like ‘SystLove’. The idea is that in order to transform a system, one must first understand it. In order to understand it, one needs empathy, and one must love it. We change things from the inside with love, more than with hatred and violence. ‘Be the change you want to see in others or in this world’, Gandhi said.
SELFIE OBSESSION, ANTHONY ANTONELLIS
What is the biggest misconception about digital art, and in what way does SPAMM challenge it? Furthermore, does SPAMM have a responsibility to challenge it?
The biggest misconception is that technology makes art. Often it is only a technical demonstration without a real artistic concept behind it. That’s why I often prefer the concept – the subject of the technique.
HOT RIDE, JOSEFIN JONSSON PASTELAE
Do you consider SPAMM to be about net.artists or post-internet artists? If the latter, in what way does SPAMM address the internet as a force that changes social structure, both digitally and physically?
SPAMM exposes contemporary and emerging artists who often use the internet medium. I think we are all contemporary artists.
BROWSING, LA TURBO AVEDON. SELFIE #1, EI JANE JANET LIN
VR and augmented reality is becoming more and more accessible. What do you envision for the future of art with VR?
I think Virtual Reality has a future without glasses. For the moment, having to put glasses on requires a lot of support and effort from the public. I believe more in Augmented Reality and the mapping of Virtual Reality.
What is next for you, and for SPAMM?
The Here and Now! Go with the Flux. 😉