What sort of audio-visual art gets you all hot and bothered?
That’s an interesting way of putting it. Gaspar Noé’s film Enter the Void is one of the most important works out there right now as far as I’m concerned. It hits very close to home in so many ways, delving into the psychedelic experience, life and death. Everyone should see this movie!
How do you marry the different elements of audio and visual so seamlessly?
In many ways that is the Holy Grail for a lot of us. There are more and more people incorporating visuals into their audio sets, and it is always an incredible challenge making everything synthesize in a natural way. I feel that the climate for this sort of thing is really great now for live-cinema. There are so many possibilities, and the technology is really catching up to what a lot of us have been dreaming about.
Why the name Strangeloop?
A “Strangeloop“ is like a Mobius strip. It’s a tangled hierarchy wherein one can travel from one point in the hierarchy to another and get back to where you started. I feel that life and nature is like this. It is cycles within cycles, which to me, is one of the most beautiful and frustrating things about life. We lose ourselves and find ourselves, over and over again. We are in a continual process, and to me the idea of a “strange loop“ embodies a lot of that. In other words, as Douglas Hofstadter put it, “I am a strange loop.”
Some visual artists struggle to make their audience “get” where they are coming from. Does that concern you?
Often I’m kind of searching in the dark, I don’t know what people will think of what I’m doing, but within it is some sort of multi-faceted question that I feel I have to ask. I’m searching for new ways of thinking, deeper currents in the world. The work, most of the time, is like therapy. I’m searching for a way out of these apocalyptic times, a way out of how my culture has programmed me, a way to inform myself. Then sometimes, it’s just there, I don’t need a way out, because there is nothing to get out of. I’m complete within a creative process and satisfied.
Where do you “go” to create your work?
I go to a lot of places, but wherever I am, it’s always about tuning into this current. A frequency. It’s that inward place where your imagination runs wild, and you’re just taking notes—in the form of music, visual art, etc. It’s tuning into those worlds that unfold in front of you, without any effort, without any expectations. It’s a place in my mind, where all things fit together in a kind of cosmic puzzle, and just as easily come undone in a din of broken images and sounds.
Do you feel that artists appreciate artists more than the neutrals do?
I think this is an interesting term “neutrals.” When I think of America, on many levels, I think of a neutralized nation. The zombie archetype comes to mind when trying to understand what has happened to us through our relationship with mass media. I used to have nightmares about zombies all the time, and then I finally realized that I was the zombie, that this was our national condition. A kind of over-stimulated catatonic stupor; we’re put under a spell by mass media, turned into amnesiacs with no history or future. The game in modern America is: How do you break out of that?
How do you?
I think people are innately creative. I think the notion of creative people and non-creative people is a myth. If there is any sensible purpose for us being here, in my mind, it is to create. We need to create systems that support that. More than just please people, artists or not. To me, art is an evolutionary pursuit, rooted in a desire to play and evolve through the act of playing.
What can we expect from your Syndicate gig at Home Club?
I’ve never been to Singapore but I am very excited. I have heard great things and am very curious. Something different … but I’m not sure what yet. We can find out together.
Immerse yourself in a rare audio-visual spectacular from Dr. Strangeloop at Syndicate’s F1rst Ann1versary on Feb 5, 10pm. Home Club, #B1-01/06 The Riverwalk, 20 Upper Circular Rd. 6538-2928. $15 includes one drink.