Wednesday, 26 May 2010


It's all well and good to talk to an artist on top of their game, another thing entirely to talk to one who's on the verge of creating something truly amazing. An early contributor to Sweet and Sound's Best of Vimeo submissions group, Universalis is a one man project that spans media and genres all in that attempt to express creativity in it's purest form. Featuring videos, photography, dub tracks and droney future loops, the otherwise anonymous creator and sampler comes from the Forest of Dean.

What is the Universalis project, what does it mean to you? What was your basis for it?

Well I was making music for ages, under a different name it wasn't really a proper name, I never used to show it to anyone. But when I started the Universalis stuff it was supposed to be really kinda mysterious and space age, the name comes from Latin, Universalis Musica, the music of the spheres. I'm still not there with what I want it to sound like, I it want to just be like music that no one's ever heard.

Is that meant to be reflective in the other work that you do, your videos, or is it mainly music?

It's mainly an audio thing but yeah just the images is part of it, I just wanna start doing crazy things.

I know said you want to make music that doesn't sound like anyone else but are there any influences you could pinpoint?

Well round the time I came up with that name, the whole concept of what I wanted to do, I was into quite a lot of Techno, this guy Jeff Mills and he was in this group with his other guy, I can't remember their name, (X-102) The Rings of Saturn the album was called. Some of it's got no drums and it's just really pulsing and that's the kinda vibe I wanted to get. And the whole early Techno stuff of disregarding conventional music as in verse chorus verse style and having words, just making music, that's what inspired me.

What do you create music on?

All the stuff on Internet and all the stuff I've shown people so far is on an MPC 2000 and on a record player.

I've noticed you use a lot of found footage, are you trying to reinvent or reuse sounds, how do you approach using samples?

I've just always done that, from Hip Hop, that's where I started to want to make music that way. Because they just sample from older records and I was really interested in that because you could just get a piece like a drum break or something and keep looping it and looping it and looping it. And it's a similar thing to like if you say one word over and over again it completely loses its meaning and becomes something else, and that's what inspired me from that.

With your video work as well, you use found footage from other film projects, do you approach it in the same way?

Yeah I just get a piece of film I like, and cut it in a different way and try and make it become something else.

Like with that 10David guy?

Yeah, with his one, he just gave me a stack of Mp3's he'd made on his MPC, one of them was called Chin V, that's not the actual name for it but that was one of the records he sampled from maybe. And I just loved the track and it had that oriental vibe to it, it just made me think of this film that I've got on video called Ugetsu Monogatari, it's a Japanese film from the 50's. That was one of my favourite films and the way I did the video was just look it up on youtube and just download the bits that I could, but I was really limited with what I could use. But they had my favourite scenes in there, I had to cut around subtitles, I left a few in that I felt were pretty poignant.

I suppose that's quite interesting, that you only had that footage, it constricts you but you also work around that, do you try and work with the mistakes?

Yeah, it's the same way I make music, I like the limitations that are put on me. That's why I carried on using MPC, because a lot of times I'm listening to a track and think 'oh that would sound great with echo' or 'oh I could do something different with that' but because I can't it kinda makes me work harder.

One of your more striking tracks is Skylarks, what was the story behind that, where did you take that from?

That's actually taken from a 1952 recording of Under Milt Wood by Dylan Thomas, just the intro to it. I was making another track and just put records on and sampling them and I came across that and it's just the way the guy said Skylark is was just so raspy and it had this sort of click or something half way through it, and I just thought that sounded crazy and it just had a whole list of birds after it. I just started pressing buttons, the skylark, the skylark, the skylark and again I just thought with the saying the same word over and over again, it became something else. And when I came to sequence it, it became a sort of psycho acoustic thing where it's sort of hypnotic and you don't know what's going on after a while.

Are you a fan of Dylan Thomas?

I've never read any of Dylan Thomas' books or anything else he's done but I've had that record since I was like 17 and I really like the sleeve but listening to the record just doesn't make much sense to me.

With sample culture it's really interesting because even though sampling's been around for 30 years I feel with people like yourself and others you're still able to take something you love and try and make it your own rather than try and emulate it.

It's about putting your stamp on it, there's a thing William Burroughs said, like a concept, he used to take books and cut out page 100 and page 1 and cut them down the middle then slice them together, then retype it. It comes out like a loads of shit but he says something will crop up that'll refer to a future event or something like that. and that's another concept for Unversalis where you're creating all this stuff, pieces of time, that someone's recorded then put it in a new order. It becomes futuristic to me, music that hasn't been made yet.

Do you feel you ever might make something of your own?

I've done a lot of that, borrowing synthesizers and drum machines, but it's not what I'm feeling, it doesn't have the same grit to it, the same depth I suppose. I just really like sampling.

It's a very personal thing, it's something you do by yourself and it's really reflective of your tastes

When I started I only wanted to sample things I loved, if I like a track from start to finish. more recently I've been digging around for sounds that just flash out from a track and be like yeah I want that. And I'll manipulate more, I used to not time-stretch anything really, just have a loop from start to finish then find another loop to fit with it. I used to be a lot more purest.

That's one of the most interesting things you can do with it, even the phrase itself, time-stretch describes what you can do.

Stretching time, yeah I'm definitely into the time thing of it, like someone recording a Saxophone in the Sixties and that was just a section of that time recorded onto a tape. and now I'm sampling it, yeah definitely, making the future out the past is a big thing for me.

I've noticed that on SoundCloud your music has quite a different vibe to it, I'm not sure if you do that on purpose because it's more of a dance based website, and this might sound facile but it was a lot more dubby. Is that an influence?

Yeah definitely, well I'm always buying records, old records from anywhere I get. And I'm really into old music, but the new records that I get... I'm really into Future Garage sounds, and Bassline things. And with SoundCloud, I just put my new stuff up there and don't tend to put the wierd stuff on.

6 figure income by universalis

Even though it's still under the same name are you concerned about who's listening to what or does that not matter to you?

Not really, I've thought about doing stuff under different names but I couldn't see the point really. It's just the same person making music the same way, might as well call it the same thing.

You said the closest city to you is Bristol, do you go out there much?

No to be honest I don't really like Bristol, but that's generally from personal experience. I generally come to London to listen to music, or just buy the records. I think London's more of a central thing, but in my area in the early nineties there was a lot of ravin' going on. Especially in the Forest of Dean they still do it, now they do it with Gabba and stuff.

Oh man, Gabba's awful

Yeah? I like it, I like the speed and confusion.

Do you reckon you'll ever have a physical release to what you're doing?

I've been speaking to a guy on the Internet who's interested in getting unknown sort of producers with my sort of sound to get releases in future and there's a few friends of mine s in London who'll be starting a record label and they want to release my stuff. but i just want the tracks to be perfect and at the moment they're sketches.

I quite like that about it, even if you see them as sketches a lot of people like that whole rough around the edges if you try and perfect it too much it might take away from its original appeal.

Yeah well I've definitely done that with a lot of tracks, I've had an alright demo and then just gone too far with it and scrapped it. But I think some of my tunes are finished, maybe a bit of tweaking on EQs and things but I'm pretty raw and I haven't got a problem with it.

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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Ferry Gouw

Ferry Guow is an illustrator and visual artist from London famous for directing music videos and playing in good bands. I was fortunate enough to grab an interview with him in his adopted Kensington about tie ins with T-Shirt-Party, the state of the music industry and his recent (MTV video award nominated) work with Major Lazer that's now expanded into a television pilot for Cartoon Network.

You've just completed a tee for T-Shirt Party, how did you get involved in the project?

I have a feeling that Stan (Still creator of T-Shirt Party) is quite a stalker, laughs, I think if anyoneeven clicks like on the t-shirts, on Facebook, he's just immediately on them, like I said, I was already a fan from the get go, I thought it was a great idea, a great concept. You know surprisingly unpretentious and cheap I was really into that whole side of it. And I had been following it and following it, and finally cause I'd been watching all the t-shirts and all the designs. and finally they got they're website together and had that release party and jaguar shoes and I always thought that it was Daniel Freeman’s thing, a lot of people have been saying that so I turned up to the release party at Jaguar Shoes and Daniel was djing and I was like 'Oh man I’m a huge fan of your t-shirts' and I thought if I buy it hear straight from the guy then not only can I say hi personally but I'll save on postage and packaging. So I turned up and was like‘I love your t-shirts, can I get one?’ and he goes 'oh no this is not my thing' I'm like 'oh really, who's it?' he says 'actually I’ve never met him, I don't even know who this guy is'. In fact there was meant to be a projection today but the DVD broke and this morning I get a knock on my door and there's a DVD on the floor and some guy running down the street! So yeah from then I just said fuck it I’ll buy it online. And yeah I got it in the post and started wearing it, and a friend of mine took a photo of me wearing it on facebook and as soon as I did that...

He liked it?

Yeah! I think he got a sense that I was for real, and then out of the blue he just asked me if I wanted to do it, and you know I think I was telling my friend when I was taking the photo that it was my dream to design for this guy.

So it's a dream come true?

Yeah it's a dream come true, it's amazing. Literally the whole of last week, I gave up all these important deadlines and projects and actually did my t-shirt party design I stayed up till 5 in the morning, I was so excited.

Elgin Marbles Design for T-Shirt Party

So what was your inspiration behind the whole Elgin marbles thing?

I had an idea for a week, week and a half and was thinking about it. I dunno I was trying to get down with the whole urban wit and street whatever and I just had no authority over it, I just could carry it off as well as he could. I thought I shouldn't even try and compete with that world, I should try and see what London is to me. I was just looking up stuff online and I felt the Elgin marbles represented what 'London' is, especially for me coming abroad. it's part of the London history to go the British Museum and check it out, but this beautiful thing is also part of what you feel about London and Britain in general and there's this whole imperialism and this whole history of political rambling and all this darkness in its past.

It’s a little naughty

Yeah, and that is now embedded in what is actually beautiful and amazing about London, that fact that we can just go there and look at this thing but there's always that tinge of guilt and awkwardness and weirdness about it. But also that image in particular of this guy, almost kind of wrestling in a really sexual, gay kind of way with this half-horse, it’s also what is surreal about London as well. The whole thing just felt like a closer sentiment to what London is to me, rather than trying to compete with some kinda urban wit thing which I can't compete.

How did you get in art? How would you describe the art that you make?

I don't really have any agenda apart from what I’m interested in at that particular moment, like the Elgin marbles, that's just what I had in mind at that particular moment. I think that art is always an extension of who you are as a person, and where you are, your development as a person is reflective in what you do. So in that way I don't have an agenda or a concept outside of what I’m interested in at any particular moment of my life. I got into art also because that was a natural thing; I was going to go to business studies school or something, I didn’t want to stay in office and work every day.

I'd say one of the more striking influences with your work would be music, as you said before in that what you create is based on what's in front of you, are you quite inspired to create from the sounds around you?

Yeah, well I was always interested in music, but only started making music when I was at art school, started getting into bands and forming bands and making music that way. And then only recently I started recorded at home, so my grasp of that whole world has only slightly started becoming slightly more sophisticated in the past few years. But it's always an extension of some kind of bigger 'art', which is just another side of how I can express myself and express my interests, if I have interests that translate well to music I’ll do it that way or if it was a mixture of music and visuals I’d try to do it that way. It’s just a pocket of expression, you know what I mean? In the general spectrum of what I’m interested in. But it's in of itself, it's hard to explain but its part of the bigger thing. It also relates to other things, when I was doing this t-shirt, it was not just the t-shirt but also through the video. so in that way a lot of my projects relate to each other like with the Major Lazer stuff it has the print stuff, it has the cartoons, the whatever little toys. Some projects are more extended in that way, some are more just in of them self in that way.

Mazor Lazer - Hold The Line

It’s good how Mazor Lazer has kicked off, even though people do like Diplo, it's taken it to the next level, and part of the attraction of that is the visual aesthetic. Are you happy with what you did there, how did that come about?

Again it's almost as random as the TSP thing, I was hanging with my friends of mine at XL and Diplo was there recording the XX at that time and I was chatting to his manager and my friend was like 'oh yeah ferry is an illustrator' and I just did some drawings for them and they got it and they liked it. From the first few things I did for Major Lazer it seems like our relationship was working out really well, then they started trusting me with more Mad Decent projects, it kinda grew organically from there and now Cartoon Network has picked up Major Lazer as a TV show.

That’s amazing.

I’m working on the pilot now.

Cartoon Network in the USA or UK? That’s amazing.

Yeah USA! The Adult Swim side

Can you talk about the pilot?

Not in its details, I can talk about my role I’ll be creative director, I’m the main designer of all the characters and how it will look. thankfully I won't be sitting at home drawing it frame by frame the way I was doing before, I think they're going to give everything to an animation studio and then I’ll have minions of workers. It’s going to be so amazing, I cannot wait.

Is it going to be a full twenty minute show?

I think so, it's gonna be a series, it'll be a series, if it works out It'll be a series kinda like what I did with the video, a G.I. Joe type you know 80's. I can't wait for the toys, hopefully they'll be merch and all that side of things.

Mazor Lazer - Keep It Going Louder, collab between Gouw and Jason Miller

Are they gonna fly you out there?

No no, that would be more difficult it's actually easier they way it's work they set up this base camp thing, you can set up an online work flow thing, you can post designs and files and it get's e-mailed to everyone

Are you gonna do research for it?

I think it's gonna be mostly cartoons and comics based, just channel my inner 10 year old. Which is the most amazing thing about Major Lazer, I would draw this stuff when I was 12 on school notebooks and her I am getting paid for it.

Are you quite influenced by cartoons and comics then?

Yeah I was always a comic book fan ever since I was kid, never stopped reading comics. In fact, you know when people doodle and most people doodle nothing or penises, every time I doodle Spiderman or Wolverine or Venom.

That’s what comes out naturally?

Yeah, if I was to doodle and not think about anything it would just be dudes with muscles. and to do that and get paid and think of character designs and guns all that crap is so amazing. And Mad Decent and Diplo are the best people to do that stuff for because it's never crazy enough. If you started to draw, you know whatever a kid jumping off a cliff or something, it always end up with 'oh put that thing on a lion' or 'add a snake on it' shit like that. So the whole thing has been the most fun.

With your work for Major Lazer and with other bands, how are you influenced? Do you have an idea that you think would work well, you said Major Lazer give you ideas but how do you work that out?

That’s what's good about it, we seem to have an understanding on a very substantial level, where there can show me one thing and I’ll know exactly what they mean, and the missing element is just like a snake or something.

Is that the same for other bands and artist?

No, to varying degrees obviously; sometimes if things don't work out I’ll stop working with them. I don't want to do shit that I don't like or things that I’m not proud of. So things that don't work out, don't work out, things that do work out usually work out really well and I stay really close friends with them and I trust myself to do more with them, so In that way I've been really lucky.

Who else would you want to work with?, but you're working with Cartoon Network now, that would be enough for most people

It feels like working Roxy Music is pretty awesome, again that just feels totally out the of the blue, Bryan (Ferry)'s son just called me up when I was hanging out in the park, I didn’t know him he just found me and he was all 'do you want to come in and talk about the projections for Roxy Music' I was like 'err... okay!' and they trust me enough to slowly involved me in other things and hopefully it'll be a relationship that'll continue and I got a friend of mine involved and working on his album cover and layout. Everything just comes about organically, through relationships which always is the nicest way to go about it.

Might be a bit of dour note to end on but I feel for there's been a bit decline in the importance of music videos recently, have you been affected by that, do you feel that as well?

My relationship with music and the music industry is a weird one. I’m really happy that people trust me to do music videos and stuff, but with music especially the work I’m doing I have this weird idea that doing art and making money are two different and it's almost by miracle that people have been able to sell music. And in that way that with the advent of the internet is the true nature of music exposed which is, you know, if music is transference of ideas then ideas have no economic value. the economic value comes from withholding the ideas as opposed to the idea itself, but it's just that us as humans beings have to eat and that requires money and the withholding of ideas and become products and then the withholding of these products become currency. So I can see why the music industry is in trouble by trying to sell this product that has no inherent value, inherent economic value. It seems like with changes in anything you just adapt to it, if people don’t' have money to do big budget videos anymore there's always digital cameras. There’s all this technology to still do it on a much smaller scale and still achieve what previously needed tonnes of money to achieve. So in that way creatively I’m not that worried about that, because as long as there's creative people out there work will always be turned out. But whether or not people can eat or whether after the music videos made it'll make any money that's the real concern but that's not a concern for me. if you're actually interested in art or making anything that's artistic that should be just be a sideline thing, once your stomach starts grumbling, apart from that you just wanna be doing good shit. You can start worrying later.

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Sunday, 16 May 2010

Fernando Sanchez

The internet's an amazing place to explore, to hide in and to thrive on, due it's ease of use and lack of central authority it's become a place for hundreds of different subcultures, perverse or innocent, to spread in their own way devoid of the usual social boundries. Los Angeles artist Fernando Sanchez is an observer of these niche groups, drawing a lens towards hip hop culture, the Wapanese, sports fans and keggers of yore in inventive ways, presenting them using mixed media and interactive approachs including film montages, photography collages, fake profiles and vlogger-esque monologue videos.

Normally I'd ask people what their background is, but looking at your website your education's all up there (incl a M.F.A in Design and Media Arts from the University of California) what did your art degree teach you?

-Erm... I got very familiar with the internet, so you can see I came from Design Media Arts, which is an art specific field. While I took classes in the great art department, doing conceptual work with them, our department kinda pushed new media down our throats, and while I was there I didn’t really wanna do that kinda work, I rebelled a lot against that style of work. But once I graduated it stayed with me, I didn’t realise I was so involved in new media. Upon graduating I can see it more loosely, I see it more relevant to my life, not really attached to any kind of entities, not really attached to the agendas of the school. So it was just being present and being aware of what's happening in arts and colleagues and peers. That’s what I gained from art school, just being aware.

How would you describe your work?

-I always tend to tell people it's very interdisciplinary, my whole approach to art has always been I do what I want. And the actual execution of how I do things or what medium I go to has never really concerned me. I usually try to do work that's slightly immediate, meaning that I don't have to necessarily learn a specific skill, my own work I would just consider it a hybrid interdisciplinary between pop culture, low brow or high brow.

1 Minute of Ass, 2007-2008
Composed from user-generated dance video. 60 Glicee prints, one for each second broken down by 25 frames

Looking at your work a lot of it feeds off user-generated content, with youtube or flickr, would things work without the internet?

-It would be really difficult, obviously there's a history of found art, you would consider it, but it's such a different ball game now that it's so available and apparent, it's just so in your face. It's such a common thing that most people do is to carry the information that they encounter on the internet it's become a sensibility. So as an artist I’m just trying to follow that sensibility and just isolate certain things.

A lot of looking at people who lead double lives and you yourself creating fake personas (for example the Myspace dream girl in Looking For Michelle and even the name Fernando Sanchez seeming like a Pornstar Pseudonym) do you find it easy to delve into this other world, of a different version of you?

-Of course, it starts between where I am as a normal user and where I am as an artist. I’ve created a lot of fake identities for several reasons, it's actually through work that I began to really experiment with the idea, you guys can see a certain train of thought between certain marketing tactics and how I started experimenting with all my personas. I think most of us could say that it's really easy for us to put on a persona online, if it doesn’t involve actually visualizing yourself when it stays to the written word. I think that's why so people talk shit on the internet as well. That level of consequence isn’t there.

That ties in with another part of your work, looking at different subcultures and looking how they've managed to breed and exist totally on the internet, because there's that lack of consequence. Do you look at these different subcultures due to curiousity, are you trying to critique it, break it down, what are you trying to do when you observe these little niche groups?

-I think like most artists, we start off with a general curiosity towards something, an inclination perhaps, and it probably just stems from my personality. For example with Bob, I was looking at Yellow Fever, and I was trying to find that specific niche and how to visualize that, and I came across Bob and I thought he was an amazing character so I didn’t know exactly what I wanted from him. I even went to meet him, I still have a video that I've yet to publish and I have vidoes and tape recordings of our conversations and so with that specifically I tried to be careful, especially if it's a central subject and one person, I try not to criticise them. I try to present the subject with a little sense of sensitivity. I'm not gonna be completely objective of course.

Fernando and Bob

With the Niggas project, I guess you could see it as a subcultural thing but for me it was interest of language, and the comedy behind it when you see all the people that use the word and in the third person to describe themselves. So you know it tickled me, I started gathering them and then it made other people laughed and then you added something.

With 9 Fans, I was specifically looking for an event that happens at the same time, so with each project I might have an idea an interest in a certain culture to find how that idea is executed or how I can gather that idea and execute it in consequence of culture. You know whether it niche groups, cultures, a song... so that's kinda how I work.

9 Fans (Super Bowl XLI Kickoff)
Nine video tape recordings of the same American football game by different people in different context, collected via YouTube

Rap music and culture always seems to be there with your work, especially on your music and writing, has it always been an influence?

-Most definitely, I grew up with rap music when I was a younger teen, and then I navigated away into other music, we took a 10 year separation. I think when I was 23/4, I listened to a range of music, but rap kept my ambition going, that whole bravado that it carries, I just didn’t want to hear Bob Dylan, I didn’t wanna hear softness I wanted to hear just barks and rants. I burned a lot of bridges while at school, I had all this bulldog anger right after graduating. I think it kinda matched my personality that whole bravado, trying to see if that energy in itself could be useful in someways. I’m not into it so much anymore but I still have a place for it.

As one of his more meta projects that worked off Fernando's love of hip-hop, the LA ART SUCKS blog saw Fernando assuming the role of a Chinese artist Los Angeles called Song Kwai Li, who spent most of him time either 'attending' gallery openings or complaining about the art and people behind them online. Unsuprisingly the blog attracted considerable attention, notably due to Song's calling out of several contentious and inherent aspects of the Califronian art scene and his half texted half rhymed delivery described by one commentor as an 'Asian Bukowski'... though that was just Fernando talking about himself.

Fernando on Song Kwai Li

The blog, started in 2007 and ended in 2008, may have died a death since then (and is now available as a limited edition book) I asked him about the current state of the art scene in LA, had anything changed?

-It’s most likely not gonna be different, it's something you can tune into or tune out, like the news, you can be aware of it or not. I mean it was for complaining, it more just to make it aware, just to get it out there. I presented that project in front of a crowd in LA, and someone who had been reading the blog said 'you know you basically just say the things that we all think'.

And the writing style, it had to be effective in that kinda grunt-like broken English. It's funny because I almost write like that now. Because our thoughts and our attention spans are so short.

Is it strange for me to ask you about this work, considering it's sometimes 3/4 years old, do you still connect with what you did?

-To tell you the truth, the personas with the rap and Song Kwai Li, I was slightly... yeah I wasn't satisfied with my work. You know I started seeing a lot of people doing similar things, especially with the internet, collections and groupings and just kinda gathering moments. I kinda told myself ‘it's gonna be the same thing why don’t I do something different'. And every time I would see my work I didn’t have the balls, the heart that I have inside me. It was really prickly intellectual, I was still thinking too much. And so with the rap and the writing I started really developing organically and currently for the last year I’ve been pursuing video monologue work and acting.

Actual acting?

-Yeah I’m in an actors studio, and it's given me a lot of ideas for different performative works. I’m gonna be doing a commissioned piece for Bas Jan Ader, he's a Dutch conceptual performance artist, so I’m gonna be doing some works for an opening, as a retrospective of his work.

I wanna work more organically, and when I look at the past, I like the ideas and I'm proud of them but at the same time it's an intellectual me, I’m just not trying to be as much.

Me and My Girlfriend, 2007

A compilation of scenes when people turn and look at the camera during their homemade porn videos - narcissexuals

So with acting and with one of your new projects where you've been editing yourself in pirated movies, what other work are you doing in 2010?

-Yeah I have about three of those that I haven't uploaded or published, I've got a residency, and then I've been rapping or rap/singing. I have a few new songs that I’ve been coming out with and a couple of new music videos, so I’ve mainly been doing that. First it started out as a project, but now I just like it.

Do you make music as well?

-No I can't make music, I just like writing the lyrics, and doing my thing

And are the music videos just for yourself?

-Yeah, just for myself, it's actually a really cool process because I get to write, I get to perform and I get to come up with an idea for a video. And I do some intro acting scenes, I like the whole packaging. I’m writing a screenplay at the moment, eventually I wanna do a movie.

I guess in LA that's the best place to do it...

-You know I've been ignoring it for a long time, because I've been living in this space and I've always ignored the acting, you know oh 'acting’s just a bunch of douchebags'.

It is quite cliché in Los Angeles though

-Yeah it is quite cliche, I've been offered a couple of supporting roles, just in graduate MFA thesis films and really small indie, part of the whole mumble core movement, not sure If you’ve heard of that...

Yeah, I remember hearing quite a lot about it, isn't it quite old now mumblecore? Is it a turn of last decade kinda thing or am I making that up?

-It probably started last decade but it's still straggling, it's still alive I guess.

It's still mumblin’

-It’s still mumblin’.

Dumb Dick Danglas Directors Cut

Born in Ciduad Juarez, Mexico in 1980, Fernando doesn't shy away from his immigrant heritage, descrbring the 'illegal' in him as a motivation for most of his artistic methodology.

Am I right to say you're an illegal immigrant or is that wrong information?

-Illegal? No... I'm legal now, it's just something I like telling people. I'm not really sure, I have all the documents, but if they were to put me into a room, I wouldn't say I got smuggled into the states, there's no reason for them to know how I got into the United States the fact is now I have all the documents.

I thought it was interesting, because I heard in the news recently about Arizona and how they've had a curb on illegal immigrants, how does it feel having a person like yourself not being allowed into your country?

The thing with Arizona, I think it's just more blank out prejudice, which is just wrong. Just going after people that you suspect. It's good that I don't live in Arizona cause I dress like a cowboy sometimes, I look pretty authentic Mexican. It doesn't affect the way I feel, sometimes I worry for my Dad perhaps, I sympathise with people more I feel, but with myself I'm more stable. I feel like an American, so I don't really associate that much with it.

A lot of Mexican Americans have an interesting identity here in the states, like for myself the longest time I didn’t wanna speak Spanish when people spoke Spanish to me, I had this pride issue, like 'I'm American', but now I’m in charge of everything.

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