Artist, Nathan Cann speaks to Voight Kampff Magazine
Current City: Saint John, NB, Canada
What are your preferred methods of production and what materials do you like to use? I prefer to work daily, spending either the entire day in the studio pumping out ideas and artwork or at minimum, an hour of production a day. Even if I’m not creating something, I’m spending time in my studio space simply thinking. My new habit, is to work in series. Everything must be a series. Every idea I have has to be worked out in a series or mass produced until I’ve finished and created something I can respect or until I’ve made something so terrible I have to quit. Materials have no limit in my practice. I tend to find objects that are readily available more appealing, but even then, these found materials could be virtual aesthetics in video games (Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, etc) to old magazines or roaches/cigarette butts. Material choice is usually determined by the idea I am currently invested in.
What would you say are the main influences on your artwork. What inspires you as an artist? Moments, moments are my influence. Moments of thought, experiences, daily activities, art making, simple moments that I experience as an artist and as a person. I’ve worked with online first person shooters and how the event of death in these types of games is completely desensitized to the player who acts out these scenes on a daily basis. A similar moment of death experienced in popular games like Grand Theft Auto or All Points Bulletin became an acute focus in my practice; how innocent computerized bystanders become infused with the violent shenanigans the players creates. Moments of thought the artist has while working in the studio and progressing through life combined with a sense of spiritual zen practices, both ideas draw on the notions of daily activities. I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings, the events which take place within them, and the moments that go unnoticed.
Favourite music to design/work with? J Dilla, Slum Village
Favourite Book: House of Leaves
Favourite Movie: Pulp Fiction
Are you working on anything at the moment or do you have any future projects coming up that you would like people to know about? Enso 1-100 is my continual project about the study of the Japanese word for “circle”, a word that holds a strong association with Zen practice and minimalist painting. The focus of constantly making these circles is an expression of the moment. These circles depict the moment in which they are made and the thought that the creator was holding while constructing them. It is a look into the thought process of the artist. I figured that if I continually made them over and over again on a daily basis, I would eventually become a master Enso maker; however, I didn’t want to go about this project traditionally by using brush & ink. My Enso should be made as an expression of the artist with a focus on aesthetics and the idea’s of the artist being examined at the moment of the Enso’s creation. So while some of these works are terrible and abstracted, others have strong connections and interpretive meanings. I find that these are the perfect way for the viewer to examine the “maker” from the outside. My only problem is what I should do with them all.