Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Interview: Ali Demirel (Turkey)

Although I've seen some of his earlier work before, It wasn't too long ago ( thanks to his Vimeo page), that I connected some of his pieces to the man behind the works, I find it fascinating that his approach to video art is minimal, (which makes sense considering some of his influences), yet has a big impact when connected with music. I've been wanting to do this interview with him for quite sometime now, since I can watch his work over and over and always find something interesting, I hope you find Ali and his work as inspiring as I did!

[ Tell me a little about yourself and your background ]
I was born in Turkey. I studied nuclear engineering and achitecture. then I decided to make videos because it was a very big potential medium for me to express myself and be independent at the same time. my background in architecture and nuclear physics have great impact on my work.

[ How did you got into Vjing? ]
I was making experimental music videos with Richie Hawtin and his Plastikman moniker. He offered me to design a live visual set for his performances and I decided to do it. I'm not actually a VJ, I don't perform with other people or at different type of events, I'm a visual designer who also designed a live visual performance with Hawtin and other Minus artists.

[ What's the best and worst thing of being a video performer? ]
Best thing is to have the chance to perform live and and do whatever you want to try in front of thousands of people, the energy of this live interaction.

The worst thing is to deal with technical problems in limited conditions.

[ How would you describe you ideal gig? ]
Having an amazing space and visual setup, and an audience which is open to unexpected things, my musical company performing amazing, and myself inspired by all those and getting into the mood and do things which even surprises me!

[ Where do you think video performance is heading? ]
There will be no separation of audio and video, everything will be integrated, and the material will be open source,
shared by everybody online.

[ Can you describe the concept behind CONTAKT? ]
The concept behind the CONTAKT shows is to advance the level of communication between music and visuals and also between audience and performers. it's very complicated to summarize here, you can find details on website but as an example, I receive midi signals from the main audio mixer and control some visual variables with that. Another example, if you are a member and not at the show, you can see what's going on at our website and even send messages which would be displayed on the visuals.

[ How long did it take to produce? ]
I was working on it off and on for about 2-3 months

[ Name five people or things that inspire you or your work ]
1- Richie Hawtin
2- Andrei Tarkovski
3- Norman Mclaren
4 -Hiroshi Sugimoto
5- Brian Eno

[ What advise would you give to those who want to get started doing live video? ]
Try to forget everything you saw as a live visual show and imagine what you would see...

[ Name 3 things that a video performer should never forget to bring to a gig. ]
1. Computer
2. Banana
3. Good Vibes


Thank you Ali!
Don't forget to take a look at Ali Demirel's website, as some of the above examples show, Ali is definitely pushing the envelope and personally I can't wait to see more of his work.

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