The electric guitar, the digital camera, 3D printing, the list of technologies that have generated new ways to unleash our creativity goes on and on. Tech has always given artists, musicians and film makers new ways to express themselves. Today, though, technology and art are more intertwined than ever. It’s no surprise then that Nokia has been helping to promote a cool new artistic endeavour in New York called IDLE. To find out more, we hooked up with organizers Katya Guseva and Luke McCann.
Thanks for joining us guys. So what exactly is IDLE and what makes it so special?
The mission of IDLE is to blend and merge the two worlds of audio and visuals together. We love going to music shows, we love art exhibitions, but both worlds are so tightly intertwined, that it makes perfect sense to experience them together at the same place, same time. Lots of musicians these days are turning to visuals, created specifically for their music, and visual artists have always been inspired by music. We want to bring our favorite musicians and artists together.
What makes it special though (besides our excellent curation of course), is the personal approach and intimate settings, where only a couple hundred people can enjoy acts that usually gather big night clubs.
New York is one of the world’s most international cities, how is this reflected in its art, music and film?
You’d think so, but even though the creative scenes are blooming, there are only so many outlets and venues, that don’t require bottle service or close at 2 am. It’s hard to see a show where there’s equal attention given to the environment and the content. If the venue is all decked out, it’s probably going to lack quality of sound, or talent. If the sound and dj are great, it’s usually in a dark basement. To each their own, but with IDLE we hope to create an experience that’s going to stimulate both audio and visual senses.
What sparked the idea to mix a club night with film and art? What theme unites them?
When you put two minds together, beautiful things might happen. Big Up Magazine and Reconstrvct always shared similar aesthetic, however the ways we share them were different. Reconstrvct being an underground dubstep night wanted to branch out into different outlets and styles of music. Big Up, having an online and print presence wanted to do something more involved in the local scene. It all blended perfectly into IDLE.
Dance music’s been around since the late 80s. Why do you think it’s stayed so popular?
Dancing is the most natural thing people do. Anyone can dance, move to the rhythm. Rhythm is present in everything beginning with our heart beat, breathing, walking… If you’re talking about electronic dance music, it’s become popular with the rise of computers, and it’s not going away, now that any 15 year-old can start producing music on their smart phone. Dance is the release of all sorts of energies, be it negative emotions or joy. And people love going out to release everything they’ve been holding inside for a while. We can only hope that we manage to create an environment where people can feel free and comfortable to have a good time and dance.
How has mobile tech changed the way people create music, art and film in your experience?
It’s fascinating how many young and talented people are around us these days. Still in high school, they have releases on major labels, create covers for magazines and make their own music videos. We can easily attribute this to the Internet and the spread of devices like laptops, tablets, phones and their variations. What it’s done is made creating content easier, learning more accessible, and spreading lightning-fast. It brought about flood of art, music and film expressions, both good and bad. And there’s no stopping from now on. Expect your toddler being the next Warhol.
What is it about Nokia that made you want to work with them?
We’ve seen Nokia getting behind very cool initiatives lately, which create authentic experiences with music, art and film. And it was only logical for us to reach out with our unique idea. We’re over the moon, humbled that Nokia loved what IDLE is about, and we hope for a long and fruitful partnership.
We think this is a super cool new collaboration, and hope you do, too. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll get up close and personal with some of the artists, musicians and film-makers who used Lumia 920’s to record their IDLE nights.
In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts on whether tech is powering art for better or for worse.