Category Archives: interview

Talking Jazz

Talking JazzBy Ben Sidran (expanded edition, 1995)
Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks, Max Roach, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean, Don Cherry, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Archie Shepp, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Keith Jarrett, Wynton Marsalis, and Jack DeJohnetteā€”these are just a few of the jazz musicians whose conversations with Ben Sidran are recorded in this volume. In stimulating, personal, and informative discussions, they not only reveal their personalities, but also detail aspects of the performance, technique, business, history, and emotions of jazz.

Posted in biography, interview, jazz, music

Broken Screen

Broken Screen is comprised of informal conversations between artist Doug Aitken and a roster of 26 carefully chosen artists, filmmakers, designers, and architects. Part guidebook and part manifesto, the book takes a fresh look at what it’s like to create work in a world that has become increasingly fragmentary. Through casual and direct discussions Broken Screen offers a detailed navigation through the ideas behind the important yet under-documented visual language of nonlinear narratives, split screens, and fragmentary visual planes that define the most progressive moving images today.

Posted in art, culture, interview, media, technology, theory

Critical Vehicles: Writings, Projects, Interviews

Critical Vehicles: Writings, Projects, InterviewsBy Krzysztof Wodiczko (1999)
Krzysztof Wodiczko, one of the most original avant-garde artists of our time, is perhaps best known for the politically charged images he has projected onto buildings and monuments from New York to Warsaw–images of rockets projected onto triumphal arches, the image of handcuffed wrists projected onto a courthouse facade, images of homeless people in bandages and wheelchairs projected onto statues in a park from which they had been evicted. Critical Vehicles is the first book in English to collect Wodiczko’s own writings on his projects. Wodiczko has stated that his principal artistic concern is the displacement of traditional notions of community and identity in the face of rapidly expanding technologies and cultural miscommunication. In these writings he addresses such issues as urbanism, homelessness, immigration, alienation, and the plight of refugees. Fusing wit and sophisticated political insight, he offers the artistic means to help heal the damages of uprootedness and other contemporary troubles.

Posted in architecture, art, culture, design, interview, media, philosophy, politics, technology

Dangerous Drawings: Interviews With Comix & Graphix Artists

Dangerous Drawings: Interviews With Comix & Graphix ArtistsEdited by Andrea Juno (1997)
Editor Juno has compiled interviews with and samples from 14 leading comics artists, including Art Spiegelman (Maus), Diane Noomin (Twisted Sisters), and Anne Kominsky-Crumb (Weirdo), whose aesthetics and politics often diverge but who are linked together in their “subversive” use of a populist narrative form. A glance at the index reveals an intermingling of high and low, art and culture, sex and politics; citations range from Madame Bovary to Madame X, from Picasso to Pinocchio the Big Fag. The artists’ investigations into their own work provide analysis in a field lacking in ample research and theory and reveal clues to material that is sometimes startlingly autobiographical. Each interview contains biographical data, numerous illustrations, and portraits.

Posted in art, counterculture, history, interview

Joseph Beuys in America: Energy Plan for the Western Man

Joseph Beuys in America: Energy Plan for the Western ManBy Joseph Beuys (1993)
Joseph Beuys, artist and scholar, was the most influential thinker among artists of the postwar generation. He inspired the avant-garde with his impassioned appeals for democratic anarchy, and actually founded a string of ‘free universities’ across Europe. His credo was “Every man is an artist.” In 1974, he accepted an invitation to visit the U.S. His travels too him to New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis, and he called the trip – fact an extended performance piece – “Energy Plan for the Western Man.” Beuys’ writings have never before been collected in any language, and most of the interviews and speeches in Joseph Beuys in America have never before appeared in book form.

Posted in art, counterculture, education, history, interview, myth, philosophy, politics, science

Yes Yes Y’All: An Oral History of Hip-Hop’s First Decade

Yes Yes Y\'All: The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop\'s First DecadeEdited by Jim Fricke and Charlie Ahearn (2002)
Based on the “Hip-Hop Nation” exhibit at Seattle’s Experience Music Project and the project’s ongoing Oral History Program, this history of the beginnings of hip-hop in 1970s New York City is a lavishly illustrated and lovingly compiled homage to the many artists who contributed to the birth of what soon became and remains today, more than 25 years later a worldwide cultural institution. Editors Fricke and Ahearn (director of the hip-hop film Wild Style) weave the insights and attitudes of nearly 100 of the key players into a multihued and multiracial tapestry that illustrates what the excitement of that era and its music was all about. Since the hip-hop style was first developed in the Bronx borough of New York City as a dance-floor alternative to the then-prominent “disco” sound, the oral narrative is dominated by the voices of well-known DJs: Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash. But much of the success of the book is derived from its exploration of the roots of other related hip-hop trends: how the massive new styles of graffiti were both a response to urban violence as well as a way to provoke the interest of downtown New York avant-garde artists; how the competitive world of break dancing was rooted in the rapidly changing and fading gang culture of the Bronx; and how many women were far more active and influential in all types of hip-hop styles than was obvious or recognized at the time. This is an excellent documentation of how early hip-hop expressed “a balance between pain and the celebration of music and movements.”

Posted in art, counterculture, culture, exhibition, history, interview, language, music

Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein

Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. FunkensteinBy John Corbett (1994)
Using obscure and familiar figures from around the world as touchstones for portraits, interviews, and essays, Corbett roams an incredible breadth of musical territory: blues and jazz, contemporary classical, funk and rap, free improvisation, rock, and reggae. His true talent becomes clear as he exits surface terrain to guide the reader through a labyrinth of philosophical and intellectual thought amid the musical landscape. His interview techniques (particularly with Cage), breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, and use of words in a way that imparts wisdom and provokes deep thought all shine. This work shows Corbett to be an important writer of our time; recommended for serious musicians and all others who enjoy the “outside.”

Posted in counterculture, culture, history, interview, music, theory

The Power of Myth

The Power of MythBy Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers (1988)
Among his many gifts, Joseph Campbell’s most impressive was the unique ability to take a contemporary situation, such as the murder and funeral of President John F. Kennedy, and help us understand its impact in the context of ancient mythology. Herein lies the power of The Power of Myth, showing how humans are apt to create and live out the themes of mythology. Based on a six-part PBS television series hosted by Bill Moyers, this classic is especially compelling because of its engaging question-and-answer format, creating an easy, conversational approach to complicated and esoteric topics. For example, when discussing the mythology of heroes, Campbell and Moyers smoothly segue from the Sumerian sky goddess Inanna to Star Wars’ mercenary-turned-hero, Han Solo. Most impressive is Campbell’s encyclopedic knowledge of myths, demonstrated in his ability to recall the details and archetypes of almost any story, from any point and history, and translate it into a lesson for spiritual living in the here and now.

Posted in culture, history, interview, myth