interview: Alice Arnold

Alice Arnold

artist biography

arnold_selfportrait 
Her video “Becoming an image” is part of VideoChannel selection “selfportrait” and the media art exhibition “://selfportrait – a show for Bethlehem

Interview:10 questions

1.
Question
Tell me something about your life and the educational background
Answer
I was born in Santa Monica Hospital, which is near the beach in Los Angeles. When I was in grade school we often took the bus to the beach after school, to hang out with the cute surfer boys. I loved to read but I was never that into being in a classroom. It was nicer to be outside – at the beach or riding around on a skateboard. But I did continue my formal education by studying history at UCLA. I paid my way through school by working as a photo assistant, which is where I received my formal education as a photographer. Later in life, after I had moved to New York and had a career as a commercial photographer, I returned to school to study media arts, at the mfa ima program.

2.
Question
When, how and why started you filming?
Answer
I started to work in film, video and motion graphics because I wanted to work on longer and more complex projects, to create work that combined text and images, and to explore time and motion in a deeper way (as compared to still photography).

3.
Question
What kind of subjects have your films/videos?
Answer
The broad themes of my work revolve around visual perception and urban culture. I have made a film on street art (“To Be Seen”), a short video about image and identity (“Becoming an Image”) and am currently working on two film projects: “Perpetual Motion,” which is about bicylces, public space and the urban environment and “Teeth,” which investigates inequalities and consumer culture.

4.
Question
How do you develop your films/videos, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Answer
My work develops from ideas, mainly from things that I am reading and things that I see around me in my everyday interactions. I am looking and thinking about things from a social and historical perspective, so as to contextualize aspects of the urban experience as a form of social history.

5.
Question
Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
Answer
I mainly use video cameras because they are relativly cheap and fast to use. But I also enjoy shooting 16mm film. I edit in Final Cut Pro and also use After Effects a lot. I also always try to incorporate still images, so as to have different elements of time in my work.

6.
Question
What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general
and you personally?
Answer
The internet is a wonderful distribution tool for visual artists and it is also a fascinating conceptual space. The combination of images (still & motion), audio, text and hyperlinks creates new ways of experiencing and presenting visual work. Other aspects, such as sensors, mobility and realtime functions, are expanding ideas of visual and auditory perception, as well as our ideas as to where we experience ‘art.’

7.
Question
How do you finance your films/videos?
Answer
My projects have mainly been financed by myself, though I have received some grant money and have also made some sales (broadcast and video distribution). In the future I hope the balance shifts and I receive more funding through grants and broadcast licensing.

8.
Question
Do you work individually as a videoartist/film maker or do you work in a team?
If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Answer
I work mainly on my own, as the director, editor and producer. This is mainly due to budgetary constraints, as I haven’t had money to hire crew members. But I feel I collaborate with the people who are in my film – it is their eloquence and willingness to participate that makes my work come alive.

9.
Answer
Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Answer
All sorts of photographers, filmmakers, painters, writers and theorists.
Also, just light itself, which is continually inspiring and motivating to me.

10.
Question
What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
Answer
I have several projects I want to make and can’t wait to get started on them. But got to finish up the two that I am working on now before starting new projects.

out of competition:
a brief bio:
Alice Arnold is a professional photographer and a filmmaker. Her photographic projects examine city life and explore urban cultural forms and experiences. Her images have been widely published and in 2002 she was awarded a NYFA Fellowship in Photography. She recently finished her first film, “To Be Seen,” which is about street art, public space and the urban environment. She is currently working on other visual projects that also explore issues of public space and the urban environment.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Yes

List some links & resources
www.a2photo.com
www.studiocite.com
www.studiocite.com/tobeseen.html
www.studiocite.com/teeth.html
http://mediaballistics.org/alice.html
http://mediaballistics.org/mas/index.html
www.frif.com/new2006/to.html