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THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT EACH BOOK IS UNIQUE AND TRUE TO ITSELF - DEREK WHITE SPEAKS
WE PROUDLY PRESENT INTERVIEW WITH DEREK WHITE. DEREK WHITE IS WRITER AND EDITOR OF CALAMARI PRESS. TRANSLATION OF 'CAPTURING THE SHADOW PUPPETS' YOU CAN READ IN POLISH ON OUR BLOG (IT'S HIDDEN UNDER DEREK WHITE'S NAME... IT LOOKS AT YOU THROUGH THE WALL BUILT OF THE LETTERS... IT LOOKS AT YOU WITH THE CURIOUS LOOK OF A SHADOW... SMILE OR TREMBLE... OR RATHER SMILE AND TREMBLE SIMULTANEOUSLY...)
PIOTR SIWECKI: Why did you start Calamari Press and Sleeping Fish? Is there any resemblance between your press and the tradition of avant- garde and underground live and art in New York?
DEREK WHITE: Starting Sleepingfish and the press were not calculated ventures. As a writer and a reader, I guess I was frustrated and bored with most of the venues for publishing texts and art that fell outside of the usual, especially in regards to mixing texts and image, or forms that disguised themselves as something else, such as poetry disguised as prose. At the time, there were a few other magazines like 3rd Bed that I aspired to, but when they folded that really increased the impetus to have an outlet for experimental writing that otherwise was falling through the cracks.
DW: I don't know much about the Outsider art movement, but from the sounds of it it must be about art that falls outside of the norm. Being that I don't much about Outsider art, I guess you could say I fall outside of Outsider art! It's analogous to "Post-Modern". I don't know what post-modern means, and where you draw the line at being post-post-modern, or post-post-post-modern. I can't speak for other Calamari Press authors, but I try not to concern myself with movements, especially in regards to fitting in or being outside of something or post something which is really the same thing. I suppose
PS: Being publisher, for me, is a kind of artistic activity. When I look at Calamari Press productions I see you somehow think the same, and that’s why I dare to ask: what is the most important
DW: The most important thing is that each book is unique and true to itself, so it's hard to define a process that would determine that. That said, I've been told Calamari Press books have a certain aesthetic to the look of them, the covers. I like the idea of them being identifiable as such, but also hope that that aesthetic continues to evolve and that they reflect the book as a whole.
PS: Your own art productions, I hope I could name it like this are, in my opinion, a kind of mix of different narrative strategies (minimalist fiction, postmodern irony, music, etc.). Well, for me your stories and pictures use the same technique of being fluid and, in the same moment, solid constructions made of what could be named as found and felt. In other words: what I found interesting in your work is that they are eclectic. What led you to such thinking about art? What is the background of your
DW: Thanks for these questions and your insights. I'm not sure what led me to do what I do. My background does not have much to do with writing or making books or art. Maybe that's why you find it interesting! I have taken classes or thought about studying music or writing or art, but usually I find it takes the fun out of the creative process.
DW: Both science and art inspire me, and both have their weaknesses without each other. I was drawn to science for it's rigor in explaining the world we live in. But I also got frustrated at times with the lack of random spontaneity in science, being constrained to accepted methods and peer review. I
DW: Thanks for all these interesting recommendations of people to investigate! I feel stupid not knowing who these people are. I'm not sure what these theories say, but if art beauty is in the eye of the beholder than everybody is an artist that wants to be. As for the death of authors... I'm not sure
PS: One of the basic texts that helped me to find my way to new art was The State of Art; by John Barth (1996). Do you have such text, too?
DW: The books that stand out in my mind are books that were not so much well-executed books, but books that seemingly came from another place. Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You by Frank Stanford is one of those books. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Amos Tutuola is another. Reading Raymond Carver made me want to be a writer. A more contemporary writer that has had a profound affect on me is Gary Lutz. Artwise, a contemporary artist I deeply admire and who has had an influence on my design aesthetic is Eduardo Recife.
PS: THANK YOU
niedziela, 06 stycznia 2008, themerson