Interview with Jaene Castrillon

Installation view of an exhibition. On the left of the image is a tree-shaped collage of many, many black and white images (it's not very clear as the images are small, but some are portraits of people) - they are lit in a sunshine yellow light. The floor of what is assumed to be a gallery is chrome, and reflects the rest of the room. 12 TV monitors make a wall on the right of the image, on 2 screens are an animation of a man drinking from a bottle, on another is a hand touching the screen, other screens are whited out or unclear. On a On the wall and written over the photos in large handwriting is written: I don't want to alarm anyone but I think there's a lil alkyhol in the..." unreadable from there.
Jaene F. Castrillon, Perpetual, 2015 (installation) – image courtesy of the artist

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

Jaene Castrillon: I am a 2Spirit interdisciplinary artist, activist, author & award winning filmmaker who explores my relationship to the world through Indigenous teachings, ceremony and the wisdom of the land. I describe myself as a settler to Turtle Island of mixed heritages (indigenous Colombian & Hong Kong Chinese) who was raised on the teachings of Elder Isaac Day of Serpent River First Nations.

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Interview with Damien Robinson

Main image shows a collection of hexagonal and abstract patterns in shades of blue and aqua. To the right are two smaller images showing a wooden, dark lacquered box, with a red panel, in the middle of a panel is a triangle showing an image of blue hexagons.
Damien Robinson, Chimerascope, 2010 – courtesy of the artist

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ director): Really great to have you as part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency? 

Damien Robinson: Hi Jamie! Thank you for asking me to take part!

I’m Damien, I’m a visual artist working with mixes of digital and non-digital approaches. My practice was originally print-based and I used to make three-dimensional work; over time I began incorporating digital processes, particularly around using discarded technologies and open-source software. I was lucky enough to get the chance to work with Mediashed, which was really forward thinking in terms of artist collaboration and teaching us about free media concepts. As a deaf artist I’d had little access to formal learning; even during my degree I wasn’t allowed to learn about or use huge amounts of equipment because I apparently constituted a health and safety risk, so I went about a lot of things the “wrong way”. The Mediashed experience involved thinking differently about hardware and software, so I began enjoying mis-using processes and technologies, something I still do now.

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Interview with Clifford Sage

CGI image of a sci-fi style landscape designed by the artist. To the left of the image is an enormous wall of rock is in the distance with an archway, through which can be seen further gigantic rock arches. The landscape is orange, like the orange of sunset or an atmosphere that's on fire.  To the right side of the image, closer to the front of the image, is an abstract green object, which could be a vehicle, shaped like a boat. At the back of the vehicle is an orange engine with wires and pipes leading to what might be a fueling station. At the front of the vehicle is a spider-like looking extrusion, above which floats a smoky sphere.
Clifford Sage, Tuner, 2019 (image still) – courtesy of the artist

Jamie Wyld (Vital Capacities’ director): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

Clifford Sage: I’m Clifford, a CGI artist, currently working with moving image through animation and interactive worlds.  My work is often sound-based and audio generative.  I am interested in using game dynamics in my practice and the potential of virtual world building and non- linear narrative through story-telling. My hope is to use game mechanics to generate an immersive audio experience, utilizing and experimenting with alternate timelines. 

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Interview with artist, Angela Su

Four black and white images from Angela Su's film 'Mesures et Demesures'. Top left corner: four portraits of women in eight frames are having tests taken from skin and ears. Top right corner: a woman bends over backwards, wearing a long billowing skirt and bodice shirt (Victorian era). Bottom left: a blurry photo shows people sat in two rows posing for a photo. Bottom right: a group of people stand as though in the clouds, floating.
Angela Su, Mesures et Démesures, 2015, Single-channel video, 5’ 59”

Jamie Wyld: Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency? 

Angela Su: I am an artist who wears many hats. I make drawings, videos and I’ve also worked on a couple of publication projects. Science, the history of science, the impact of technology and the transformative body are the recurring themes in my work. As gaming and activism collide in recent years, I’ve become interested in the world of gaming and the idea of how coding can change not only the laws of the virtual world, but people’s behaviours in the physical world. On the other hand, as gamers provide entertainment and content for video games, the boundary of work and play has thus been blurred, these game labourers are often unpaid because the owners of the game often gain economic benefits from players’ contributions. I am fascinated by all these different aspects of gaming. It’s a huge topic.

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Intro to latest artists in residence

Artists work from top left, clockwise: Damien Robinson, Angela Su, Jaene F. Castrillon and Clifford Sage

Our second residency programme on Vital Capacities brings together artists from the UK, Canada and Hong Kong, taking place between 2 Nov and 10 Dec 2020. Artists will be exploring ideas across the period, sharing work with audiences. Find out more about the artists in this programme…

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Interview with resident artist, Seecum Cheung

Black and white photograph, with a man to the right of the image, looking out at the viewer from the photo. Several (what appear to be) abandoned bicycles are piled on the corners to the left and right of the image.
‘Eviction in Shenzhen’, Part 2, 2019, Seecum Cheung

Jamie Wyld (JW): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

Seecum Cheung (SC): Hi Jamie, thanks for having me! I’m Seecum and I primarily work with film. I’ve never really known how to describe my work but often, I work with journalists and experts to conduct interviews with citizens, politicians and experts in a bid to understand and reflect upon certain political moments in time. My focus for VC in these months will be working from this same approach, a long-term study of the gentrification of my father’s ancestral village which began in April 2018.

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PRESENTS exhibition – now open

The word “Presents” is written multiple times in white, with a big black bow wrapped around it. The background is a radiant, rainbow-like gradient.

PRESENTS exhibition is now open and showing on the Vital Capacities site – you can visit the exhibition, which contains eight films by 11 artists, curated by resident artist, Romily Alice Walden and COVEN collective member, Frances Breden.

PRESENTS is a screening of short video works that don’t require an abled or physically present body in order to be performative. Ten sick and disabled artists come together to expand the idea of ‘performance’, presenting work that is embodied, immediate, and present without forcing bodies to conform to ableist norms of art-making.

See the exhibition: https://vitalcapacities.com/presents/

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Interview with resident artist, Joey Holder

Jamie Wyld (JW): You’re one of the first four artists to take part in Vital Capacities, how do you feel about being one of the first to take part?

Joey Holder (JH): It’s great to be asked first, as I think that this means that you trust me! When things start out, you need to work on things together with regards to the set up and development, so I am grateful that I can be part of that initial structuring. I’m excited about seeing how the project takes shape.

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Interview with resident artist, Romily Alice Walden

Jamie Wyld (JW): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency? 

Romily Alice Walden (RAW): I’m an artist working mostly with text, video and publishing. I work both individually and collectively as part of Sickness Affinity Group Berlin, a group of artists and arts workers concerned with sickness, disability and labour conditions. My work looks to the fragility of the body, the connection between the land and the body, and the socio-political ramifications of living as a sick and disabled person under late stage capitalism.  

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Interview with Daniel Locke, resident artist

Jamie Wyld, director of videoclub & Vital Capacities talks to Daniel Locke about taking part in the residency programme.

Jamie Wyld (JW): Thanks for being part of the Vital Capacities residency programme! Can you say a little about yourself and your work, perhaps in relation to what you’re thinking about doing during the residency?

Daniel Locke (DL): Thanks for inviting me to be a part of the project Jamie! My name is Daniel Locke, I’m a graphic novelist and artist. I’m absolutely fascinated by scientists and scientific discovery, and since 2010 I’ve pursued projects that have brought me into contact with a wide range of researchers, in hugely diverse settings.

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Introducing artist Joey Holder

Joey Holder, Semelparous, 2020. Photo: Damian Griffiths (installation view)

Joey Holder’s work raises philosophical questions of our universe and things yet unknown, regarding the future of science, medicine, biology and human-machine interactions. Working with scientific and technical experts she makes immersive, multimedia installations that explore the limits of the human and how we experience non-human, natural and technological forms.

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Introducing artist Daniel Locke

Daniel Locke, The Isolation Station, 2020

Daniel Locke is an artist and graphic novelist based in Brighton, UK. He is currently working on his second full-length graphic novel, Two Heads, a collaboration with writer Alex Frith and Neuroscientists, Uta and Chris Frith. This book will look back at the careers and discoveries of Professors Uta and Chris Frith. The book is also a survey of our understanding of how our brains work and how we know how they work. It will be published later this year by Scribner in the USA and Bloomsbury in the UK.

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