Exploring The Concept Of Life, Death And How We Exist In Between Through Art And Music

Process is motion, it’s forever in the moment until it isn’t– “when I wrote that I was thinking about death”, contemporary urban artist, Bisco Smith, explains when we catch up with him, “not in the morbid sense, but in the sense that it’s forever in the moment, in the now, until it isn’t – until we are gone from this life”. His latest video, a collaboration with his wife and American musician, dfalt, explores this concept of existence, of the unplanned, the continually unfolding, where all we ever have is the moment.

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Bisco’s work is described as, ‘a blend of graffiti deconstruction, abstract gesturalism, action painting, and style writing’, he’s a visual freestyler who refuses to conform to one bracket or another. Process, like it’s author, lays in between – in between meanings and art forms and varying states of consciousness.

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Beautifully haunting and mixing the seamless with the jarring, the black and white video is, in Bisco’s own words, “bold and raw” – almost voyeuristic in it’s intimacy. It captures an artist in flow but refuses to follow the linear, it flits back and forth from close-up shots, to abstract angles to a zoomed-out bigger picture. The artist is observing the moment and we, in turn, are observing the artist and all the while forgetting, perhaps ironically, to pay attention to our own Process.

We caught up with Los Angeles resident to talk collaboration, consciousness and capturing the essence of life.

The Plus: Process is the unplanned, what planning went into the video?
Bisco Smith:
I wouldn’t say it’s only the unplanned, but I find a lot of the beauty in the process comes during the unplanned. The video is a supporting piece to the show I have coming up at C.A.V.E gallery on July 30th. The idea to show the process verse just doing something like an interview video was all the director, she really set the tone and ran with it. I think with my work, the process is something I aim to get lost in and also allow to unfold, and I think that was sort of the idea, she knows me well, trust the process and be in it.

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TP: How did the collaboration come about?
BS:
The director, who I also have the honor of calling my wife, is incredible, and really knows me and my way of working and thinking. We talk over ideas and exchange creative energy daily so the collaboration was natural. She has the super film skills and with her set of talents and me being down for the camera we just put some work in together and then she took it into her studio and worked the magic.

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TP: Was the music devised specifically for the video, how much of a hand did you have in the creation of the piece?
BS:
Dfalt and I have been friends for a long time. I love his music and I was working in the same studio as him at the time so it was a natural move.

TP: Where did you shoot the video?
BS:
At my studio, WNDO, in Venice California.

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TP: What does ‘capturing something forever’ mean to you, and how does this change when related to art?
BS:
In the video I say “the moment is forever” I think when we are truly in the moment there is no future and no past and to me that’s the forever. I am yet to learn how to live in the forever all the time, but making work, and certain parts of the process bring me into that forever.

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TP: You are a big believer in energies, and leaving energy behind, what control do you think an artist has over his work once he is absent?
BS:
I think the work will always speak and it will always carry an energy, can we see it, can we feel it? I guess it depends on how open we are and how that piece is living once its out of my hands. I also think maybe its not meant to be controlled and it will live its life however it unfolds. I’m not one to make it to control it. In fact, I like the idea that its out of my control.

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TP: Sum up, Process, in three words.
BS:
Motion forever unfolding.

TP: What’s next?
BS:
Travel, exhibitions, murals and just an overall continued exploration of the work and the direction.

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