kdonovan – four conversations with the artist(s)

1.

a- you're recording too much feedback.

b- there's no feedback there.

a- no, there's too much air, like, all the air movement, flowing, past. i can hear it.

b- oh yeah?

a- oh, when… when… when you played it. there's like the hum, and the fuzz, and the air, and the…

2.

a- that's one thing that your thing doesn't record! is it!

b- the mint.

a- the mint!

b- yeah.

a- you know?

b- yeah, i know, that's totally true.

a- you know, you're pushing the elements, you're pushing the sensory feeling of art, but… you don't record mint, do you? you can't hear mint.

b- neither do you in your fucking screen prints…

a- ah, you never know.

b- …whatever prints.

a- you don't know, you can't talk about that! yeah, i might be putting mint in my pictures.

b- “i… i put a bit of mint in my print!”

a- yes! i do! mint in the paper to make the print.

b- oh yeah… so you can smell the… smell the place where the image is taken from.

a- well, that's… that's…

b- oh yeah!

a- if i was actually to take an image of right now, i would put mint in the print. but i'm not. i'm not conceiving images at the moment. i'm not conceiving any art. unlike you, with your dictaphone. recording. you know?

b- yeah, but then you're bringing mint into the print, into… into the…

a- no, i'm not. not at the moment.

b- yeah you are, because you're talking… yeah, because you're talking about it.

a- i don't do mint-based art. i do… yeah, i do ink. i use ink in my print.

b- ok.

a- that's where it is. no i wouldn't do any print of right now.

b- yeah i know, cos we're… doing different things.

a- yeah, i do drinking. and then when i… erm… do art, i just go into that zone of art, you know? like you breathe, you live art…

b- fuck off!

a- …yeah it's just like… everyone's naked around me, i'm just in the zone.

3.

b- say it again!

a- i like to get the paintbrush between my cheeks, run around crazy like a goat, & i feel like i'm in touch with the culture of today. that's what it's about – culture! ever changing, always moving, always in motion, like the ocean. and the ink in the print. and the print…

b- …in the ink.

a- …in the ink. that's what it's about – process, medium, technology. that's wha… that's what i mostly work with, mostly process… and concept. i'm a concept-process based artist. yes.

b- yeah?

a- people mock it, they do. they think it's not… they think… it's watercolours where it's at. but i think its concepts. and i think that's the most important thing. and then you've got to follow it with… erm… process. and, like, i don't care if it takes two years to do a piece, that's… that's process. you gotta… it… that's where it goes time-based. and like, i like ephemeral work, that's where i go, mostly.

b- yeah?

a- yeah. ephemeral is like… it's like the… yeah it's like the… the peak of the mountain of, erm… process work. eph… ephemeral. cos, ephemeral really is just about process. it's about getting somewhere and then… and then saying no, there's no end to it. it… that's it. it's just process. yeah, that's what i like.

b- yeah?

a- that's what i work towards. as well as making people feel better about themselves in life. like, i feel that art should be entertainment, on a level.

b- but when you make a print, it has an end point, like it's a finished thing, at the end, so how is that a process?

a- that's… that's… that's… something magic. that's erm…that's a bit capitalist. but… but i think that's where culture is, so… capitalism is a very important thing in art today. if we didn't have it we wouldn't be doing it. because like, basically you only do culture because you're unhappy. you know cave paintings? they were only done by the guy that was stuck in the cave. everyone else was out having a good time, chasing the wilder beast, and then there was the poor, skinny bloke that couldn't… couldn't chase the wilder beast, and he thought he'd draw pictures about his friends chasing him…

b- is that how you…

a- …the wilder beast.

b- is that how you see yourself, as an artist?

a- as being the loser? no, i'm not a loser actually.

b- no, but being the skinny one running around making paintings. making prints.

a- no, he didn't make prints back then. he just drew on the wall. but he did make good work! like, he obviously was quite talented. he was the first man to draw a… a cow, in some ways. yeah.

b- yeah.

a- ask me more trivial questions!

b- erm… what are you doing tomorrow?

a- well, that's a fantastic question! funny you ask…

4.

a- i didn't really push it; actually, i was a bit lazy. i don't have what you have, to be able to push that into someone's face and go…

b- yeah, but i'm not trying.

a- yeah, yeah - “i'm not trying!” what are you doing? what? what!

b- i'm just doing it.

a- “i'm just holding it!”

b- yeah…

a- don't push it. what the… what the thing is, is that this machine doesn't record the person that's recording it going “oh, i give up.” it's always getting the other people, pushing the limits and pushing the boundaries, but it doesn't get the fact that the people that are recording it can't handle pushing it, and just give up, like they're just taking the easy path and they just record. record, record, record.

b- record, record, record.

a- and then they go, “oh well, well, got you, but i don't have myself.”

b- oh, is that what it's all about?

a- pretty much.

b- yeah?

a- that's what… you're not recording it for other people, you're recording it for yourself. you shouldn't record drunk people either.

b- no, because it's nice to share it.

a- what, with drunk people? it's like a prankster thing, that's the thing that shits me.

b- no, it's not. no it's not, man.

a- yes, it is. like, i don't see william turner, from your home-country, or…

b- bla, bla bla…

a- …recording drunk people. you know, like.

c- i bet you he probably did.

a- maybe. but if they had…

c- …you don't see it.

a- and you don't hear it because they didn't have recording devices.

b- yeah, but in the same way, they, they, err… speak the dialogue from this person, like they, they re-create the scene, and they write it down, and what's the difference between y… y… b… at least you have more say if you're actually in it and you're actually saying it.

a- yeah, but that's…

b- otherwise it's somebody just remembering what you say.

a- yeah, but that's… the beauty of… the beauty of, like, going through these different transitions, from, erm… writing to… you know, it goes through that process. like, this is really direct, like. if you're talking about drawing being direct, like recording is full on… raw… that's it – it's bloody.

b- yeah!

a- and it speaks no lies.

b- yeah!

a- yeah. no one can romanticise this – this is drunken conversation.

b- yeah but that's why it's so wonderful as well.

a- yeah, it is. it's great…

b- no, but it is! because it's immediate, like it…

a- but i want to live the good life. i want to be romantic.

b- yeah and that's… that's fine too, why can't you do that?

a- cos it get… it gets recorded. it's just a truthful sort of drunken, debaucherous night.

b- yeah but why does that stop it from being… i think that makes it more romantic.