On Saturday 8th October 2016, 6-9pm, Instigate Arts take over the main gallery space at HOME in Manchester to host our ‘Identity’ pop-up exhibition. In this series of Q&A’s we get a little more insight into what makes some some of the participating artists tick. Here we speak with artist Daniel Cockburn
Can you tell us about your practice?
I make moving images wrapped around a linguistic spine. I often perform in the work, in a mode that I started calling “somewhere between fictional character and autobiography” when people started saying, “that’s not actually the way you think, is it?”. If my videos and performances set themselves impossible tasks, they gamely document the traces of their failure. They aim to etch grooves in the viewer’s brain, and then to incur playback so as to make the deep etchedness apparent: skips, crackles, and all.
My feature film You Are Here is a concept-album-in-movie-form that riffs on themes of cognition, systems, and sentience. It is available on MUBI in most MUBI-accessing countries. In the UK you can see it on iTunes.
How does your work relate to the themes of Identity?
My work spirals inwards like the thought-paths of a paranoid narcissist, and it’s generally vulnerable to the same pitfalls and traps to which human psyches are susceptible.
Do you think the themes of Identity relate to the current political and social climate?
I imagine that they relate to any political and social climate, as every political and social climate results from a complex of identities and Identities (unless it’s just our current political and social climate that makes it impossible to see how this could not be the case).
How important is the role of artists’, and the art world, in shaping both people’s lives, and the social and political landscape?
As important as artists, the art world, and people let it be.