Editorial by Dayna McLeod
INTERVIEW, as in:
– A formal consultation usually to evaluate qualifications
– A meeting at which information is obtained (as by a reporter, television commentator, or pollster) from a person
– A report or reproduction of information so obtained
These Merriam Webster definitions are surely a starting point for most of us as to what constitutes an interview, but what happens when we experiment with this format and address the relationship between interviewer and interviewee? In this issue of NMP, I wanted to collect interviews with artists about their works and practices as well as writing about interviewing: the interview process, non-traditional forms of interviewing like the conversational method, dialogical exchanges, and other approaches to inquiry that are intuitive and self-reflective of the conversational process itself.
Taking advantage of NMP’s support of non-traditional formats, this collection of artists, filmmakers, writers, and academics use the structure and setting of the interview to play with, capitalize on, extend, expose, tease, and otherwise interrogate the form. Here, ‘the interview’ is a site for the co-creation of knowledge between participants.
Lily Cho expands on interview as form with cover artist Chun Hua Catherine Dong as they find common ground about shame, Asianness, and loss through Dong’s performance-based photography series Skin Deep (2018) and Mother (2017). Their thinking together here generates an inter/view that Cho describes as “a form of being mutually seen, of being together in seeing, and of finding ways of seeing that are between and among the lines of difference.”
Working with her field notes and centering what is often cut from published interviews (feelings, overhead lighting, vulnerabilities), Danica Evering discusses how artist/priestess Orev Katz, artist/scholar Cristóbal Martinez, and writer/curator cheyanne turionsnavigate, trouble, and work with institutional conditions of living, art making, and activism. Delving into their practices as feminist filmmakers and educators, Irene Lusztig and Julie Wyman interview each other about interviewing. They discuss their successes, failures, and evolving approaches to the documentary interview process in their film work and teaching.
A thoughtful analysis of a conversation about a conversation, Deanna Fong and Karis Shearer discuss a 1969 exchange between Canadian West Coast fiction writer [Gladys] Maria Hindmarch and UBC professor and poetry aficionado Warren Tallman, who talk about events that catalyzed the formation of the Vancouver poetry collective TISH. Fong and Shearer examine the public versus private archived materiality of this history, and the implications that personal and social relationships have had on excavating this scene while considering confidentiality, privacy, and disclosure.
Mikhel Proulx talks digital and social practice with artist Jess MacCormack about their Tumblr project where poo emojis glitter and pop culture bleeds. This piece features a showcase of stunning Jess Mac animated gifs that are irreverent, brutal, critical, and hilarious.
Poet, dancer, choreographer, and Griffin Poetry Prize nominee Aisha Sasha John shares with us an interview that was conducted with her by writer Raquel A. Russell about the relationship between her movement and writing practices. Sarah Manya writes about her interview-based video installation, Nomad Sessions, and Catherine Lavoie-Marcusinterviews non-disciplinary artist Johanna Householder about how she uses a chainsaw to cut through bad habits, bullshit, historical frameworks, and pride.
A very sincere thank you to all of the writers and artists who contributed their words, artwork, time, and thinking to this issue, and a big thank you to copy editor extraordinaire, Tamara Shepherd for her work.
Thank you Mél Hogan and M-C MacPhee for having me back to guest edit one of the final issues of No More Potlucks. Your work on NMP over the past decade has been so incredibly important to so many queers, writers, artists, and activists: thank you <3