Evan Roth’s talk at The Influencers (the name is unfortunate, yet hosts and guests were everything but pretentious) was inspiring. His message: Whatever moves you – for Roth it’s open source, graffiti, and hip hop – let it consume you. Do things. Be creative. Have fun with your ideas. Collaborate. Don’t over-complicate it. Look back but don’t stop. Give a damn. Show up.
The same goes for many visual artists. Getting up and getting down is at least 80% of the show. More often than not, creative juices are not flowing all that freely but need to be tickled, caressed, pinched and squeezed. But, a good idea can help grease the wheels. Maurice Carlin from Manchester, who is currently on an artist exchange program at La Escocesa, has had an excellent one that has been guiding his steps ever since. He walks from photocopier to photocopier and collects the “leftovers”. The fact is, the Mancunian finds the most mundane, curious things that are all the more exciting due to their private nature. Pamphlets, to-do lists, love-you letters, fuck-you letters, shopping lists, CVs, annual account reports, “Wanteds”, “Looking fors”, poetry, text books, family photographs, and, and, and. Often, it’s just part of a story. Page one out of two or page 32 out of 230. He calls it “a barometer of what’s going on” since it’s different for every barrio and every city and every country. It would be a sociologist’s task if the criteria, the “when”, “where” and “what” , weren’t 100% subjective. Maurice is showing up to select, to collect, to exhibit and to name the endeavor “The Self-Publishers“.