Tag Archives: San Francisco

Artist Feature: Sydwox

Sydwox

Like “Indra’s Net” or a spider’s web full of dew drops, each dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops, in a game of infinite reflection, we are all connected. Response is the act that we’ve chosen, (whether physical, mental, or verbal) to communicate with one another.

– Sydwox

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

S: I go by my undocumented moniker Sydwox, but most of my artist friends call me Wox. I was raised on the central coast of California in a small surfer beach town called Los Osos. I currently reside in San Francisco, and have been in love with the Bay Area ever since I moved here in 2004. After studying visual effects for film at Gnomon (a Hollywood based private school), I turned my back on the digital world to pursue my true passion of painting surrealism and graffiti. Although I am constantly influenced by my technical background, there’s nothing better than getting your hands dirty and the fresh smell of tiny aerosol paint molecules colliding with the wall without permission. 🙂

Sydwox - Over Creation

Sydwox – Over Creation

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

S: Reflection for me means looking within oneself to find that we are all just one reflection of each other, beneath the surface differences, one organism revolving through space on this craft called Earth. Like “Indra’s Net” or a spider’s web full of dew drops, each dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops, in a game of infinite reflection, we are all connected. Response for me is the act that we’ve chosen, (whether physical, mental, or verbal) to communicate with one another. Using all our senses we perceive what exists outside ourselves and depending on how a particular vibration resonates within us we choose a way to answer to our perceptions.

Sydwox - DaVine Apprehension

Sydwox – DaVine Apprehension

How does your piece “DaVine Apprehension” fit in with that definition?

S: In “Davine Apprehension” a vandal barely escapes injury or arrest when his artistic depiction of nature comes alive and constrains the institutional enforcer trying to stop him. This piece for me was a fun way to reflect on several experiences I had dealing with the authorities for the way I chose to respond to social issues through public self expression or “street art.” The creation of this painting helped me release a lot of anger while making light of the age old game of cat & mouse.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

S: I just started working on my first canvas after a two year break where I focused entirely on murals and wheat pasting. I didn’t plan on taking this long of a break from my paint brush but I’m very excited to see what results from two years of built-up inspiration and life experience. Looking ahead, I’m working on a series painted entirely on rusted found objects and I am in the process of lining up several live-painting sessions at various venues in SF as well as a few music festivals in 2015.

Sydwox - SF Hands

Sydwox – SF Hands

Who or what inspires you?

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Artist Feature: Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson is a visual artist and educator based in San Francisco. We first met when she was working with students at Alchemia, an arts program for adults with developmental disabilities. In our dialogue, she comments on the conscious and subconscious nature of Reflection, and the unique uses of these Reflections that each person chooses as their Response. Valerie chooses to reflect through art as a “healing interpretation,” of her world, as she describes with her print, The Royal Rooster, dealing with mixed emotions of a past relationship. Check out Valerie’s ideas in more detail below and snapshots from her printmaking process!

Valerie Wilson

Either consciously or subconsciously, people are processing their surroundings, their past, present, & future every single moment of the day. What one does with their reflection(s) is completely subjective, but unanimously response is a direct reaction to reflection (and visa versa).

– Valerie Wilson

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

VW: I’m originally from Sebastopol, a small town in Northern California infused with wine, liberals, and art.  In 2005 I moved to San Francisco, and have set up a semi-permanent fort there.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

VW: Either consciously or subconsciously, people are processing their surroundings, their past, present, & future every single moment of the day. What one does with their reflection(s) is completely subjective, but unanimously response is a direct reaction to reflection (and visa versa). Reflection and response are symbiotic with each other, for every action there is a reaction, creation is what happens when these two work together (which is all the time).

Valerie Wilson - The Royal Rooster

Valerie Wilson – The Royal Rooster

How does The Royal Rooster fit in with that definition?

VW: I’m incredibly detailed oriented and love symmetry, but besides that, my artistic process is very lackadaisical erring on the side of intuitiveness. My most complex pieces have surfaced during equally complex life events. Without a doubt I’d say that my work is a creative and healing interpretation of my world & existential well-being. My art is interchangeable between Reflection and Response, and is definitely fueled by both concepts. The Royal Rooster is the romanticization of a past partner. In the spring of 2011 I started carving and designing this bird after a breakup with someone I truly respected but equally despised. He (the rooster) is so tall and proud and beautiful while simultaneously reiterating his haughtiness and unattainability. Of course, I come to realize this only retrospectively, but see this piece as an obvious phoenix rising from the ashes of a failed (but cherished) relationship.

Valerie Wilson - The Royal Rooster (Process)

Valerie Wilson – The Royal Rooster (Process)

Valerie Wilson - The Royal Rooster (Process)

Valerie Wilson – The Royal Rooster (Process)

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Feature: Jessica Quick

Aright y’all it’s again that time! This week the Collective welcomes Jessica Quick to the Feature series dialogue! Jessica is coming from a place and space unable to be captured by one setting or time. She brings a perspective shaped through elbow-rubbing experiences traversing time zones across the globe, expressed through her creative writing. Anchored in mood and narrating through observation, Jessica takes the time to dive into her interpretation of Reflection and Response, providing a pint of insight into her path thus far. Take a look at her interview and her poem Daffodils below. Enjoy the ride; Bon Voyage.

Jessica Quick

A city’s mood, its mannerisms, its charisma (or lack thereof) reflect in its inhabitants and its architecture, and I like those things to feed into my reconstruction of a city through words.

-Jessica Quick

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

JQ: I’m from Simi Valley, California, a synclinal suburb squatting outside of Los Angeles. Its geography and demography made it perfect for routine brush fires and a large population of conservative right-ists when I was growing up. It’s an awkward little city, and I’ve come to appreciate its quirks. In doses.

 In the past few years, I’ve lived in Harlem, Seoul, San Francisco, Madrid, and I’ve just relocated to Brooklyn a week ago. I’m looking forward to sticking around and getting back in touch with some old literary haunts, as well as my writing projects. I’m juggling a few ideas, and I think New York is the perfect place to explore them.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

JQ: Reflection! A necessary trait of response that’s learned with time, I suppose. I’ve traveled a bit, and it always takes me a long time to arrive at a place where I feel I can appropriately reflect on a city. What I like to do is feel out (and up?) places through my writing. I love infusing their bodies into my poetry. A city’s mood, its mannerisms, its charisma (or lack thereof) reflect in its inhabitants and its architecture, and I like those things to feed into my reconstruction of a city through words. Like getting to know someone new, attaining depth of a place just takes a little time. I wrote about New York when I was in Seoul, about Seoul often when I was in Madrid. And I still haven’t touched my hometown.

How does your writing fit in with that definition?

JQ: Although I like using my travel experience in my writing, I try to avoid relying too heavily on personal perspective. For example, I like creating stories that are not necessarily my own, but in a setting with which I’m familiar. Or I’ll use a mood that I may have felt in a certain city, but explore new lyrical narratives in a poem. I strive towards creation and embellishment over accuracy in retelling my response to a place. Maybe that makes me a liar. But I like telling stories. I think it’s boring and a bit vain if they’re all mine.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

JQ: I’m working on my first poetry collection, The Liminal Parade. It’s about spaces between here and there. I like writing about travel limbos, like subways, elevators, long plane rides. I’m also paying attention to certain psychological in-betweenness that mirror in those subways, elevators, and long plane rides – traveling for long periods of time without destination, waiting for someone to arrive, and indecisiveness are things I’m teasing out in my poetry. I like writing about hybrid existences because it hits close to home, both with my travel and with my mixed ethnicity. I’ve dwelled in the in-between and it’s an awkward, beautiful place.

I have a few other projects in mind for the future and the now. I’ve been talking to a few artists about comic book ideas and collaborations on creating some illustrated poetry, which I’m very excited about. I’m a huge comic fan, and the prospect of writing one makes my nerd heart skip a beat.

Who or what inspires you?

JQ: On the topic of comics, Daniel Clowes and Jason Lutes are my favorites for their dark humor and stark aesthetics. The Hernandez Bros. and Chris Ware are also stunning, although Ware makes me want the world to be a better person.

For poets, my current obsession is Frank O’Hara because I spent so much time writing about him for my MA thesis, which compared O’Hara and Lorca’s poetry in New York. I appreciate his unabashed exhilaration with life in his poetry, and how much his personality shows. And if O’Hara were still alive, I’m pretty sure he would be the coolest person in the world.

Of course, big cities inspire me as well as the people I meet. I am indebted to the city dwellers – from the rush hour flautist in Tokyo to my life-long companions. They accompany my memories of the cities I have grazed in my wanderings.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

JQ: We are poised in an interesting moment in history. From the state of the world economy, to the persistent race for technological advancements and subsequent dependency, we are witnessing rapid change in the world around us. We are responsible for how we choose to respond to these changes. To artists, I encourage you to create something beautiful in reflection of the environment around you.

 Shout out to…

JQ: Big love to all the creators and rabble-rousers. You make the world go round. And a big shout to a very talented jazz musician, my inspiration, and my husband-to-be, Daniel Stark.

Daffodils by Jessica Quick:

Daffodils

The first poem I ever wrote

was written by Wordsworth,

a posture of lines followed by

a school teacher’s request:

“Please see me after class.”

 

I never showed and

swallowed my first D –

literary theft on record

as enraged or defensive.

 

Years later, I found myself

writing poem after poem about daffodils.

Bought them any chance I could get.

I filled large suitcases with piles

of laughing heads and moved

to distant corners of the world.

 

Every town I visited,

I left solitary specimens

behind nondescript buildings

and cheap hotel rooms.

I remember one figure

splayed out like a brown

carcass of envy squatting

on the menu of a fish restaurant

in old Beijing.

 

After the last, I moved to an island at the edge of a map,

where (they said) daffodils could never grow.

I spent my days planting gardens near tough rocks.

At night, I counted holes in obscure constellations

where great, big, burning stars used to be.

Keep up with more of Jessica’s work at her website: www.jessicaquick.wordpress.com

Also check out Penumbra Magazine, which Jessica co-founded in 2012. She is currently the Poetry Editor for the magazine: www.penumbramagazine.wordpress.com

Reflection and Response.

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Feature: Festiva

Festiva is quickly making a name for himself as a producer/DJ in the techno/tech house/progressive house scene in the Bay Area. A local resident, he has started putting out releases on international labels such as Mandarine Music, Deux Minds Records, Spundae Black, and Proton Music. Releasing his first EP “White Leather Couches,” on Mandarine Music in October, he looks to finish a full length album by the end of 2012. When he’s not in the studio, Festiva can be heard spinning his grooves at some of San Fransisco’s biggest nightclubs, such as Ruby Sky and many other dance floors throughout the city. Check the conversation below, links to Festiva’s sound cloud and Facebook and check out his track “Take This (Original Mix).”

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

F: Born and raised in the Bay Area, United States. I’m currently based and providing grooves and bass directly to dance floors in San Francisco.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

F: I think any form of art, whether it be music, a film, a written piece, etc., that you as a listener or viewer can get an emotional, hormonal or thought evoking response from is Reflection and Response. Especially artist to artist because than we can inspire each other and hopefully help influence each others next piece.

How does your creative work fit in with that definition?

F: I try to make my music innovative, taking influences from all different types of genres and experiences while also staying true to the roots of techno, tech house and house. Alongside trying to putting together an infectious groove that just makes you want to step and bob your head, I try to tap into different hormonal responses from the crowd. In one of my recent releases, She Makes Me Animalistic, I attempted to “tease” the listener on the dance floor making them feel a particular hormonal release, even if it is just slight enough. With my latest EP release, which came out on October 22, 2012 on Proton Music, I wanted to make the listener feel like they are in a VIP party with white leather couches and glass tables, surrounded by promiscuous and mischievous people.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

F: I continue to work on my first full length artist album, which I am hoping to finish by the end of 2012. The majority of producers in the techno / tech house / house scene prefer to stick to the single or EP releases, which is a great approach, but I wanted to take a new approach and put together an album that progresses the same way a DJ set would. I also have started putting together a label of my own with a good friend of mine. We are hoping to have it ready and launched by early 2013.

Who or what inspires you?

F: When it comes to performance inspiration, I get the majority from one of Ibiza’s titanic DJ’s Carl Cox. His ability to mix flawlessly night after night on any type of gear while being able to keep the crowds attention for hour after hour, day after day, is something I look up to. In this day and age, every DJ is beginning to just copy whatever the “bigger” DJs are playing in hopes to get the same attention those DJs get, it’s predictable and boring. Like Carl, you’ll never hear the same set from me. I will always be mixing in something new or different to keep the listeners on edge and playing off the vibe and energy of the crowd. My sets are always pieced together on the spot, nothing is ever premixed or predetermined. When it comes to my own productions, I get my inspiration from anything that catches my attention. I’ve found Latin and African percussion really influencing my drum loops recently. Some artists in particular that are inspiring me at the moment are Umek, Belocca, Pleasurekraft and Olivier Giacomotto.

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

F: I like what you guys are doing here. It’s good to see you featuring all types of music, organic and synthetic. I think musicians and producers, today, benefit from being exposed to all kinds of music.

Shout out to…

F: The homies P. Muller and Sneaky V.!

Take This (Original Mix)

Hit the following links to check out more music from Festiva:

http://www.facebook.com/festivamusic/

http://www.soundcloud.com/festivamusic/

http://www.beatport.com/artist/festiva/184505/

Reflection and Response.

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Snapshots From the Collective

Untitled by Olmo Rodríguez

Reflection and Response.

The Snapshots From the Collective series works to create a space for Reflection and Response through photography. ANYone who wants to contribute ANY photos to this project can email us submissions at the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com. One photo will be posted each week, and photos will only be used for the purposes of this series. Thank you and we look forward to building and expanding the Collective!!! -P & V

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