Interview with Videos Collide artist Zeesy Powers

Zeesy Powers

Thank you so much everyone who came to the show this weekend. Videos and audience did indeed collide with each other. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the show and thank you for making it a success!

There’s still 2 more interviews left in the series! Please check out Zeesy Power’s interview after the jump. She’s honestly one of a few people who’s got the most um, balls, that I’ve ever known. Her experience trying out the I Will Tell You Exactly What I Think Of You For $5 series Beverly Hills right after landing in the US: “Few passersby, mostly homeless. No contact. Beverly Hills Coffee – Heavy discouragement from blonde barrista, ‘the boss would be mortified’. Also advised that agents from William Morris would be unimpressed. Suggested I try the parking garage instead.”

First off, let’s start with a survey. There’s a lot of terms floating around that describe the ballpark of your media (video / performance art). In 4 words or less, describe in your own words what it is you think you do. How much is “video” and how much is “performance”?

Physical Dream Extraction Theatre. Without the live element, the performance as a video is entirely flat.

How did you come to focus on your current medium/media? What’s motivating you?

An obsessive process, and fear of working with others. Video projection is such a simple, cheap way to create sets, costumes, characters and effects, an entire world. I have no idea what is motivating me, probably a desire for the fastest, simplest translation from mental picture to shared experience.

Your collective works all have different levels of audience interaction. What is the relationship between you and the viewer? What’s the difference between the LIVE viewer and the viewer behind the screen? What sort of role does the two you play in relation to the other? Do you think there is ever a chance that documentation will ever take over live performance? Btw, HOW important / successful do you think documentation is in bringing your performance to the audience that isn’t physically present? Okay, I realize this is definitely several questions crammed into one.

There is no way documentation can replace a live experience, but it can definitely become an experience in it’s own right. Having good documentation is important, but I feel like having a solid body of work is even more important…

Zeesy Powers

Performance art was touted as being more real than other forms of art because the presence of the artist and focus of the artist’s body is actually what gives the impression of “the real”. How scared on you when you get on stage? You’re essentially “naked” in front of your audience, in front of time, and LIVE snafu’s. How does the fear
aid in your performance?

I usually get real quiet and focused before a show, no bullshit, just mental prep. The audience doesn’t really exist for me in my projection performances, I can’t see them, just in my own world. In other work, like I Will Tell You Exactly What I Think Of You or One Month Relationship, the audience is as much of a performer as I am, and has an equal amount of control. Those are the truly terrifying performances.

Where do your characters come from?

Life, via the filter of my mind.

How closely do you think what you do is connected to technology?

It’s hard to tell, how do you define technology? I would probably find a way to make these things without the kind of technology you get at Best Buy, but so much of what influences me comes via these strange and distant conduits like television and the internet.

What do you think about the idea of “rehashing” art?

When work becomes too self-referential it loses its meaning for everyone but a very small group, so the question you have to ask yourself is how many layers of meaning exist in this “rehashed” work? If it can operate as an experience independent of its reference point, then you’re probably on a good path.

And of course, what do you think about the current & future internet? Do you think it holds the fate of mankind in it’s web?

The internet is a place where I spend a lot of my life right now, but can never physically enter. It is changing a lot of things, but ultimately we have control over how it changes us, if we want it.

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