With the advent of Frieze week the whole circus rolls into town, and SUNDAY art fair is one of the more impressive parallel spectaculars. Hosting 20 smaller, but widely respected young galleries in a subterranean warehouse space adjacent to Frieze, the event is organised by Croy Nielsen (Berlin), Limoncello (London) and Tulips & Roses (Brussels) and in contrast to its pricey Regent's Park neighbour, it's free! This year the programme includes Bubblebyte co-founder and Dazed/G-shock Award nominee Rhys Coren. As part of Chez Baz Chez Chaz at Sunday, curated by B.C. (Barnie Page and Charlie Hood) Rhys is presenting animations and soundworks from 12-6pm this weekend...
It's places like this [Frieze] that you sit there, staring at millionaires and their 'walking-adverts-for-LA-based-plastic-surgeon' wives, all drinking champagne, all part of the same thing
Dazed Digital: How do you feel about Frieze? Love or hate it?
Rhys Coren: It's fun. It's places like this that you sit there, staring at millionaires and their 'walking-adverts-for-LA-based-plastic-surgeon' wives, all drinking champagne, all part of the same thing. Art Fairs can be a strange leveller. Whether you snuck through the barriers at Great Eastern Street tube or got dropped off by your driver, you are bonded by a love of free booze and art.
DD: Why are you so interested in geometric shapes and animation?
Rhys Coren: It's a visual fetish. I realise now that Postmodernist design had well and truly filtered into popular culture during my formative years in the late 80s and early 90s. So much so that the opening titles, sets and even clothing worn by the presenters and characters in the TV I watched as a child looked like Memphis Group stuff. I am not sure if it is geometric or mathematical, but I certainly do like patterns. Social ones and visual ones, especially the visual languages associated with subcultures specific to those formative years of mine. All the shapes and patterns I use are appropriated from then, then eased through a combination of digital and analogue processes to slightly alter them.
DD: What are you influenced by at the moment?
Rhys Coren: The proposed hypothesis that rave culture and the fashions in and surrounding football during the 80s and early 90s are interrelated. And old Matthew Collings books, 60s Hockney and Bukowski (thanks, Dave).
DD: What possibilities does the internet afford your work?
Rhys Coren: The internet is exciting when work is meant to be online as there are hardly any restrictions to how many people, and when those people, can experience a work in its primary form. But even though I seldom actually make anything specifically to be shown online, everything I learn to do, from how to best paint something to how to use a computer program, I learn through the internet. A lot of the source material is researched online, and 9 times out of 10 can be directly lifted from the internet. When it can't, I find out where to get what I need online. Then there's the readily available, international support network of other like-minded artists and art practitioners online at all times helping you talk through ideas and do impromptu crits. And, finally, all the music, films and documentaries I watch when I'm locked into epic sessions animating or painting or cutting paper stream off the internet. Oh, and I also co-run an online art gallery called http://bubblebyte.org.
DD: What's your process from idea to making - a lot of fiddling around or a concise exploration of a preformed idea?
Rhys Coren: You could argue that I spent six years fiddling around with different techniques exploring various interests up until about a year ago, and that the last 12 months has been a very concise exploration of a pre-formed idea. For this particular body of work, the actual methods used to create finished visual works involve image manipulation across a variety of computer programs and physical processes, then either working with those in video editing and animation programs or having vector images cut from wood with lasers. The latter is then painted and presented as a 2D work, and the former presented as a looped animation, more often on a plinth with a Sony Trinitron. The audio works were created by having the sheet music for rave piano solos created then played and re-recorded.
DD: Anything you're looking forward to this year?
Rhys Coren: A few things. My own things just make me nervous. An Angelo Plessas show on bubblebyte.org and a bubblebyte.org curated website take-over for Art Licks Magazine are coming up. So is World Unknown. I am looking forward to those.