On (slow) interviews

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Interviews in written form – in magazines, books, on blogs – have started to fascinate me since I read Obrist’s series of interviews with Ai Weiwei some years ago. What interested me apart from the content was the way the interview was designed / spread on a piece of paper. Obrist interviewed Ai Weiwei all over the world from Berlin to Beijing. The topics touch upon art, architecture, curation, poetry, places, ceramics, philosophy, Ai Weiwei’s childhood spent in exile, (artistic) freedom.

After some quick research on the Internet, I realised I am for sure not the only one inspired by Obrist’s interviews and by his project of recording conversations – only to be shared in written form, as interviews.

Manuel Schmalstieg who published The Interview Project mentioned Obrist’s Interview Project as inspiration.

In Lives of the Artists, Lives of the Architects Obrist includes personal details about his encounters with the artists, setting the tone for the interview. My favorite interview from this collection is the one with Marina Abramović. Apart from the very well asked questions, the quality of this interview lies in the rawness of the answers.

So far on my blog I posted only two interviews – one with Alex Bodea from the Fact-Finder, and the second one with Stephen Chow on Art Patronage and Bitcoin. My interview with Bodea resulted as a spontaneous decision to enter in a very small, underground, gallery in West Berlin in 2017. The one with Stephen was recored and transcribed some weeks ago, after I contacted him on Twitter.

One direction for this project would be to encapsulate more and more interviews – slow interviews. I am calling them slow because the process of transcribing, editing, selection is long and it takes time. Another reason for calling them slow would be my idea of starting a handwritten interview project – sent via mail – and displayed here on the blog in handwriting. If you are interested in a collaboration, write me on Twitter or schedule a call in my calendar here.

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