Interview with Rafaël Rozendaal
Viewing the art of Rafaël Rozendaal evokes a warm and curious feeling: he produces incredible work, featuring bold and beautiful graphic, thoughtful use of color and eloquent animation, lifting the digital canvas to higher plane.
Rozendaal is an artist from Amsterdaam, Netherlands, and he makes websites as art pieces, those pieces are sold with domain name, the work remains public, and the name of the collector is displayed in the title bar.
Rozendaal has lived in Amsterdam, Rio, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Portland and Berlin. He lives and works in hotels. Rozendaal works with paper, too, sometimes translating his animated work to the off-set color print, and he also takes the black ink to the white paper, producing ink drawings.
Mr. Rozendaal is the founder of B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Beamer): “BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) is a series of one-night-exhibitions hosting artists and their projectors.”
Continue reading for seven questions with Mr. Rozendaal.
(1) Please abridge your career as an artist from age 20 – present.
As far as I can remember I have been traveling. I feel very calm in a moving vehicle, usually I fall asleep. I love sitting by the window and watching the world pass by. I get my best ideas in trains and planes. The last 10 years I have been exploring different cities like Paris LA Tokyo Berlin, hoping to find a permanent home. I still haven’t decided what the best place is. For now I like moving around.
(2) When and how did you learn flash and how do you pursue work with flash? What about the technical incompatibilities of flash?
I always liked vector images, for practical and conceptual reasons. Vectors are theoretical shapes, in theory they are absolutely perfect, but in reality the pixels of the screen or lines on paper can never really display a perfect circle. And even if that perfect circle existed somewhere, our imperfect eyes would not be able to register the perfection.
Every laptop and desktop in the world supports Flash. Apple’s mobile devices dont play Flash (yet), so I am releasing some pieces as apps. Luckily Android phones & tablets, Blackberry tablets, Nokia, Windows phones, Google TV, Nintendo Wii, all support Flash, so that’s a lot.
(3) Please explain how and why you design websites as pieces of art for sale.
I don’t design websites, I make websites as an artist. This means I can do what I want without worrying about practical usage.
I make websites because I really enjoy it. For some reason my brain always has moving ideas, non-narrative, eternally moving images, and often interactive. The internet is a great place for those ideas. The web gives me a lot of freedom and audience, I enjoy both.
I sell the websites so I can make money to buy nice food.
(4) Tell us about B.Y.O.B..
BYOB is also about freedom! Projection is a very flexible medium. I created BYOB as a tool to enable people to make huge exhibitions with no budget. It is very simple:
Find a space, invite lots of artists, ask them to bring their projectors.
On www.byobworldwide.com/faq you can read how to make your ow. It is so much fun to do a BYOB! I was really surprised how easy it was to organize, and how much you get back, the energy is very rewarding.
(5) Some say energy is 70% of the work, and if you don’t have it, be nice. You have a specific Twitter account designated to tweeting what you eat. Do you see any correlation between food and producing good work? Your thoughts, please.
I love food so much. All day I think about food and I am always hungry. But I have to take it easy and eat healthy otherwise I become fat. I want to become 120 years old and they say being a bit hungry all the time is what keeps you healthy for a long time. For me, good ideas come when I am bored. Boredom is facing yourself, and this is a painful process, but I get a lot out of it.
(6) What are you pursuing now, and how do you see the future?
I am thinking a lot about the future. I want to continue making non narrative moving images, but also it would be interesting to make a movie.
Mostly I want to make things that have an emotional impact, that is the key, I will keep trying different ways and that is the goal. I’m so happy when I work, especially if I feel like I made something beautiful.
(7) Please compare the world of art to cinema.
Art is sold as unique objects, therefore high price, therefore old people as audience.
Film is for everyone. From young to old. Thats why I love the WWW, it is for everyone.
Cinema is very powerful, it becomes part of many people’s lives. The narrative can stir up many emotions and suck people in. Film can do a lot of things art rarely does. But sometimes, art can do things film can not. Those weird moments when void and boredom clash with beauty and melancholy.