[Clark Richert]

An interview with artist Clark Richert about his creative process and the theoretical inquiries that drive his work.

00:06Copy video clip URL Artist Clark Richert leans over an optical printer and shares his thoughts on pattern recognition and the way that we process colors. His belief is that when we see a color our brains are subconsciously counting the vibrations. 

02:28Copy video clip URL Richert’s thoughts on arts and artists: “My feeling is that the word ‘art’ allows me the freedom to go into areas that I wouldn’t be able to go into if I were a scientist. A scientist has to behave very responsibly and he’s got to be able to justify one way or another what he’s doing. He’s got to prove it very carefully and very accurately and painfully document it. So what I think is that a lot of alchemy is being done today in the name of art, going into areas that aren’t valid scientific investigations, necessarily. So, like, to me the work I’m doing is *what I’m doing,* and it’s not very important to me whether an art historian recognizes what I’m doing as valid art.”

05:05Copy video clip URL Richert discusses a painting of his: “Sometimes it seems like paintings are at their best when they just have their ground on it, and it’s hard to improve on that. And I think that happened here. The work that I’ve done on it since then has made me like it a lot less.” He talks about thinking it’s corny while still thinking the idea behind it is valid. Regarding it as “a diagram” that he’ll use for other art works. 

08:53Copy video clip URL “Justifying” his recent paintings, film, drawings, and diagrams by thinking of them as one single work of art, as studies for work that “will hopefully be a very clear representation of my theory.” 

10:34Copy video clip URL On image technology getting more realistic: “Video is like reality, more like reality than a movie. So, actually, my paintings in a sense represent a video screen.” Interest in the “one-dimensional aspect of video”: information being stored in a linear sequence on magnetic tape. Video moving towards being so convincing as to indistinguishable from reality, stored in a linear one-dimensional sequence.

13:58Copy video clip URL The informational capacity of optical fibers, which transmit thousands of telephone conversations “in superimposition on one thin, little linear expanse.” Relating that to his theory of reincarnation, which is not literal rebirth but rather the experience of other lives through movies. 

15:45Copy video clip URL Wanting to not have a job but to make more money selling paintings. Noting that his level of happiness generally doesn’t depend on how well things are going in his life. Money helping achieve a certain, low level of happiness. Apologies for having such “low vibes” while being recorded.  

19:00Copy video clip URL Believing that he is “part Oriental” because people have always told him that he had features similar to those of some East Asian people. Thinking that by taking LSD he’d altered his own genes, and having visions of “Buddhas and Shivas.” 

22:32Copy video clip URL At the optical printer as it copies a film loop, explaining his theory of 1-dimensional, 2-dimensional, and 3-dimensional structures.  The film loop he’s making being “a fractal curve” in which each small until “reflects the structure of the whole.”

24:29Copy video clip URL Doesn’t consider himself to be a filmmaker or a painter, but rather someone who is “working on my theory, and I’ll illustrate my theory in whatever ways are most straightforward.” 

24:51Copy video clip URL Discussion of the film loops, which include an “isometric representation in pure,” an “isometric but color-coded representation of space,” a stroboscopic loop timed to a heartbeat that is “derived from nature rather than pure math”, the fractal curve, and one that is “called 1 over f fluctuation, which I would say, probably, is the one that most resembles art.” Combining different systems: random, intuitive, structured. 

29:33Copy video clip URL Working on a painting using a ruler. Using isometric or illusionistic perspective. Working with ideas of “superimposed matrices or superimposed structural systems.” 



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