Brainfeeder Audio/Visual artist David Wexler travels all over world performing LA beat music and doing live visuals for acts such as Amon Tobin, Mary Anne Hobbs, and Flying Lotus. Now we see a more intimate side of him with his Diana F+ – check out his interview and peep his Lomographs after the jump!
Name: David Wexler
City: Santa Monica, CA
Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do.
My name is Strangeloop (aka David Wexler). I’m a live-cinema artist based in Los Angeles, and am signed to Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label. I’m most known for my work as a live-visualist / designer for the shows of artists such as Flying Lotus, 12th Planet, Amon Tobin, and most recently Erykah Badu.
My visual art, short films, and musical sets have been internationally showcased, and I’ve collaborated with a host of labels and companies such as : AMC, TCM, WARP, HERMES, ILM. I am the son of Academy Award winning sound-mixer Jeff Wexler, and the grandson of Academy Award Winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler.
More fundamentally, I’m an artist interested in new forms of cinema and altered states of consciousness.
Are you a regular Lomographer/photographer? Or are you new to this whole thing?
This is a whole new thing! I have been so immersed in digital technology my whole life and film seemed kind of impenetrable to me. I was really excited when Lomography hit me up because I’d seen photos taken with the cameras, and I found myself always applying effects to my digital work to get it closer to that quality. The imperfections of analog work are so fascinating, and I’d always find myself trying to add that to the digital. It was a cool opportunity to finally go more to the source and see what I could do with some purely analog gear.
What do you like taking pictures of and why?
For this series I decided to take pictures of my friends, and plants ; my friends superimposed with plants. I am kind of a regular of a few coffee shops in venice, its my routine, and a lot of my friends gather at these places, I thought I should make a series to honor some of them, and their minds, which I brought into the photos through the overlay of plants. I wanted semi-psychedelic portraits, where sometimes the actually face of a friend became some more energetic structure, an abstraction.
Who are your musical influences?
My friends, first and foremost. I love hearing what my friends are up to, and seeing things develop over the years. I listen to all sorts of music, from minimalism like Steve Reich to death-breaks like Venetian Snares. I find lots of things musically inspiring, even if they are not necessarily seen in that light, like a lot of visual art … I find a lot of visual art inspiring musically, its all patterns of information and influences how I approach my world.
Tell us a bit about your creation process – how do you come up with concepts and write or create in all the mediums you use?
Dreams, dreams, dreams. Sometimes I have dreams where I’m watching a performance, and I’m thinking “damn, this is exactly what I want to do… the bastard beat me to it! He’s one step ahead of me…” Its kind of frustrating at first, then I give up and think, you know, ego aside, this is great. Its great that someone is doing this. Then I’ll wake up and realize it hasn’t been done yet, I dreamt it. Its a weird feeling, like being a loop in time, cause then I’ll go and make whatever I experienced in the dream. Its like I was just dreaming of something I was going to do, but if I hadn’t had the dream I wouldn’t have done it … Paradox!
What’s the connection for you between image making and music making? Or are they completely separate entities, different muscles?
I’m definitely more involved visually, something has to kind of take precedent, which is fine, but its all musical. At their best, the visuals have to be musical too, and the music has to be visual (for me). In ways visual art and music define one another, in mediated communication, these are the dominant senses we’re dealing with, sight and sound. The synesthetic play between these things is the future, thats what is happening right now, a merging. You can see it playing out with the success of something like the Amon Tobin show they put together, which is phenomenal. Its a whole new type of media-experience.
Who or what are your biggest inspirations visually?
I’ve always been interested in primarily what are often referred to as ‘visionary artists.’ People like Alex Grey, Robert Venosa, Leigh McCloskey, H.R. Giger. I don’t know why exactly, its just like taking acid, afterwards your changed, I like art that can do that to me. Art that is so fundamentally potent, symbolically, spiritually in a sense, that its hard to just push it to the side. Its not culturally derived, as much as it is distilled from some deep, almost hyper-human place. A lot of contemporary experimental film has inspired me in a similar way, especially a lot of the shorts coming out of the internet community, I just started a Vimeo channel called DMTV to start showcase a lot of it. Artists like Scott Pagano, Robert Seidel, Beeple, Semiconductor, these are my heroes in many respects. My live-visual aesthetic owes some of itself, both directly (in the form of sampling) and indirectly (in the form of inspiration) aesthetic has emerged from a lot of that media, and a a desire to invoke some of these new dimensions in a live context.
If you could take your camera and a sack of film anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
I’d go back to Brazil, Sao Paulo. I was just there with Lotus and Thundercat and it blew my mind. There is something a bout the vibe there that I want to explore more creatively. Would be great to take photos, and do some film and installation work there. Fingers crossed. Before I went there, I was having strange sci-fi dreams about the place. I was in cities down there, but there was all this hyper-futuristic stuff going on. It felt like some sort of sign.
If your photos had a soundtrack, what songs would they be and why? Give us three.
God, I don’t know what to say. I think they would all be songs for Teebs, whose music really inspires me, and makes me think of plants.
What’s your latest project you’re working on?
I’m working on a short film called ANAMNESIA with fellow brainfeeder Monopoly, cosmogramma artist Leigh McCloskey, and another incredible visual artist named Micah Nelson. It is an idea I’ve had in mind since I was 18, a science fiction myth, but is sort of my take on a lot of things that are going on right now in culture, evolution, etc. I’m also working with Erykah Badu on her live show, which is really exciting, and starting an audio-visual collective called Teaching Machine. Lots of fun stuff coming up for 2012!
The Diana F+ is a new twist on the ‘60s classic cult camera. Famous for its dreamy and soft-focused images, the Diana F+ is now packed with extra features such as panorama and pinhole capabilities. Available in our Online Shop.