Paradise's Videa Art Curator, Melissa Edwards talked to Video Artist, Carla Zimbler ahead of her screening at Paradise Music festival. She will scrren on a screen amongs the festival hub at night, as well as perform live at Stage Paradise both nights.
Tell us a little about your work / identity.
I'm pretty much a nocturnal video artist, manipulating content at obscure hours in bedrooms alternating between Sydney and Seyðisfjörður, an isolated fishing village in Iceland with an experimental art school I've called home for a couple of years. ASTERISM was an idea that was born in the winter there and travelled back with me to defrost and spread wings. It has rapidly shape-shifted and moved beyond my laptop screen into a live, performative environment. I've started projection mapping and collaborating with sound artists as a 'VJ' also creating visuals for festivals, performances and theatre both here and abroad. Through ASTERISM I create glitchy, dreamy, saturated, evocative environments and deconstruct bodies into particles or shapes that reflect fragments of my memories, twisted, exaggerated and bent beautifully out of shape.
Where do you find inspiration?
Swimming pools, anime, infinity rooms, alleyways, mossy fields and clear night skies found in my travels. Anywhere with reflections, reverberations, chaos and control. The inspiration for ASTERISM came from the 'Big Dipper' which I found mapped on my leg in freckles.
How heavily does modern digital technology influence and your work?
My work relies solely on computers, webcams, projectors, phones and controllers. I jump from program to program, scour the internet for visual information, record footage on mobile devices and then fuse everything together. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist pasting parts together. I'm influenced by the blurring of online/offline boundaries, and the spontaneous, sporadic nature of live broadcast apps which I use to share material across networks.
What do you do with good ideas?
Ideas brew and bubble when I least expect. I try to write them down when I can - on my hand, on the shower door, on torn paper, on my phone.
The ones that luckily survive in my memory I'll experiment with and expand upon.
Describe your creative routine / creative environment.
I've got a hate/love relationship with heat and daylight. Never being much of a morning person, I switch on, focus and stir visuals up predominantly at night, which is why Iceland and Denmark were inspiring places to have lived and created in. This is my first Sydney summer in a couple years (already burnt twice) and I've just moved into a creative share-house so it will be interesting to see how that shakes up my routine and effects what I next create whether collaboratively or solo. Maybe it's time to finally embrace the sun!
How do you recharge your creative batteries?
I recharge in silence and darkness. Float tanks have been super energising for me. There's a calmness in buoyancy, focusing on breathing and hovering star-fish style on the surface helps me to unplug from sensory overload and make sense of my thoughts.
Do you take inspiration from other fields of work?
During the day I work as an editor/camera operator so it's a lot of cutting and manipulation, piecing together scenes and trying to form stories. At night I find freedom in attempting to do the opposite - creating non-linear, experimental, unrestrained visuals, writing poetry and taking part in active, live performances away from the confines of a desk. I'm inspired by the everyday but constantly seek to distort and process it in my art.
How does being an Australian artist influence your work?
The landscape is pivotal to me, the trees and birds, the sounds of movement across city and coastline - I incorporate it all into my visuals. My time abroad was a stark contrast - it was disturbingly quiet, wet, flat, a little dreary and I found myself drawing a lot of dripping puddles. I kept trying to be bolder and brighter in my material/conceptual choices, even my personal style as a way of surviving - the scandi-minimalist palette definitely didn't rub off on me. I'll always be a vibrant Maroubra girl and inject colour and passion into everything I do, wherever I am.