via interviews via

By via

laptop on the fritz...text RECord, do-able!

1. Who are you and what do you do?

i'm via (real name, derived from "victoria") and i think of myself as a graphic artist, tho my main (steady) income comes from working in an art gallery. i'm also a mom (he's 22!), a burner (been to BRC 3 times, including one time on my own), a gardener, a steampunk enthusiast, and a small-time philosopher (who is philosophically opposed to being defined by mere descriptions.) "i think i am a verb," as bucky fuller said...

2. What's the origin of your artist name?

growing up, i was "vickie". when i moved to california in 1980, i changed it to "vic" b/c our best friends were gay, and this led the unsuspecting to assume i was part of a gay couple. also, i enjoyed being an artist whose gender was ambiguous. my earliest published artwork goes under the name "vic".

about 15 years ago, i decided i was done having a name that sounded so percussive/neutral, so i looked at my given name and saw "via", and knew that was it. "by way of" fits me; it sums me up without definition! so i printed up business-size cards explaining the change and passed them around town, and everyone took to it easily (except my family of origin, who clung to "vickie" until my youngest nephew started calling me "aunt viva" - and they adopted that!) of course, where i live we have 2 "rainbows" - one male, one female - and people named after flowers and trees, so it's not such a stretch! in fact, i know another "via" in this county - her given name is "virginia"!

3. What has been your biggest challenge with your art so far?

hmmm...i don't feel especially challenged because i don't take it terribly seriously. (i think i did at one time, but i let that one go!) i've found i like deadlines, and usually rise to a challenge when pushed. that said, i'm a visual learner, and picking up new software can take me forever. i played with photoshop for 5 or 6 years before i got good at it, literally pushing every button just to see what it did. i approach most things as play, otherwise, i'm not very disciplined.

4. Who or what is your biggest influence?

oh, gosh. there are so many! and so much intertwined...

at 8 years old, a movie called "the Seven Faces of Dr. Lao" - 1964, tony randall, which we saw at the drive-in - was my first intro to eastern thought, and deeply affected me on an emotional level. it was a verification that the mysticism i loved in catholicism went far beyond that rather limited template, so it had the effect of enlarging my world view, forevermore. also, visiting Serpent Mound in ohio, had a similar effect, of reinforcing a sense of continual mystery...

"lord of the rings" and even moreso "silmarilion" by tolkien. i even learned how to write elvish in high school...

as an artist, certainly Jess (Collins) who was a beat-era paste-up artist whose work i discovered thru my partner, a cataloguer for the largest poetry collection in the US. one day he brought this book of collages home (Jess's partner was poet Robert Duncan) and i was instantly hooked. love at first sight! so i wrote to Jess and he very kindly explained his technique, and i went at it with a passion. we corresponded a bit over the years, and i met him in 1994. an incredibly lovely, intelligent, soulful old man by then.

i've been heavily influenced by many many writers (robert anton wilson being a great, poetic distiller of info for me), musicians, artists and teachers, especially those who push the boundaries of so-called "normal" consciousness and society. i grew up in a very psychedelic-influenced age, and those very much informed my world view.

5. What is your wildest story?

oh, gosh, there are so many! ;-)

let's see...i got to california by hitchhiking, in 1979. just me and a girlfriend, hitting the road to start a new life. but...i taught her the sign language alphabet, so we could communicate in case there was any trouble. it came in handy! in fact, i'd learned it in 4th grade, where a few of us girls used it to talk in church (which we attended every day before class.) eventually, all the girls in our pew learned it, then all the boys, then the entire 4th grade. so entire sections of the church would suddenly burst out laughing simultaneously, and the nuns never could figure out what we were doing.

but that's kid stuff. i'll leave it to you to intuit a trajectory from there!

6. What is the last book you read?

fiction? "cloud atlas" by david mitchell. remarkable book, incredible writing. non-fiction: "writing down the bones" by natalie goldberg. a very lucid, zen approach. i'm also secretly re-reading "the seth material" books, which i was SO into in high school, just to see where my brain was at at the time. it's like a psychological snapshot of my teenage psyche! and what a long strange trip it's been.

7. If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

Irene Adler - the woman who outwits Sherlock Holmes.

8. What couldn’t you live without?

friendship. intimacy. communion.

9. What is your secret talent?

i have a knack for feeling people out, no matter what mask they wear. (hopefully, these insights are not mere delusion...but they don't seem to be.)

10. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?

our old family dog, duncan, who disappeared many years ago, showed up. i mean SHOWED UP. it was him in every way, and he was very intent on making sure i got that. he was a buddha dog.

11. What are you craving right now?

i'm hungry. guess i should go eat.

12. What was the last song you fell in love with?

"everything, baby 3.0" the version by metaphorest and will. it's SO sweet, so not cloying, so gentle and affecting.

there's also a downtempo dance track by umberloid (aka ott) called "neon tetra" that absolutely kicks my ass, every time.

13. Can you hula hoop?

i once hula-hopped for 30 minutes straight, walking up and down our street and just going about my day, for fun. i was 9 or 10 at the time!

14. What do you like?

i like life. i am so, so happy to be here.

15. What do you dislike?

arrogance. especially ignorant arrogance. (which seems to be rampant in modern america, alas.)

16. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

"things are not what they seem...nor are they otherwise."

17. How and why did you start RECording?

the first morgan movie. just a perfect, perfect collaboration, imo. everything i hoped collab art could be, like collage on a grand, grand scale.

via interviews via

Created: Oct 21, 2010

Tags: who, psychology, psychedelic, philosophy, interview, intro, via, mystery

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