From Music to Video Installations: The Diverse Artistic Practice of Ran Slavin

From Music to Video Installations: The Diverse Artistic Practice of Ran Slavin

Q: Could you provide us with an introduction about yourself and elaborate on the nature of your artistic practice?

A: My name is Ran Slavin; I've been an active artist since the mid-80s, exploring various art forms ranging from music and video installations to paintings and cinema. I am inherently curious, constantly seeking new experiences and technologies that assist me in articulating my ideas and visions. I mainly work independently, performing roles like directing, shooting, scripting, editing, post-production, and creating art and music for my video and audio productions. Recently, my limited-edition monograph artist book Shapeshifter was released and is now available internationally through Mousse Publishing in Italy.

Q: Can you discuss the motivations behind your artwork and what specifically attracted you to delve into this particular theme?

A: The Novery1 works I'm showcasing at Sedition are fueled by the interplay of technology and spirituality. It wasn't until I visited a beautiful church in Kosovo that I realized my works echo the formal visual structures found in Christian iconography.

In these pieces, I’ve created my image as an avatar of a Bedouin that also resembles the Virgin Mary, set against landscapes of generative video (originating from real coffee waste, which I elaborate on in the works' description).

Themes of man versus nature and the image of a lone individual grappling with surrounding forces are prevalent in my works. They reflect duality, survival, zen, and heroism – an embodiment of my inner Buddha. My films often depict solitary characters adrift in artificial, man-made metropolises, lost in time and yearning for genuine human connection. Yet, their ability to communicate directly is impaired, and they resort to technological aids such as recorded messages, texts, dreams, and money. These themes are prominent in my latest feature, Call for Dreams, a surreal poetic thriller set between Tokyo and Tel Aviv.

My interest extends to the intersections of organic and artificial, real and virtual, and these themes are currently the focus of my work.

Q: In what ways has the advancement of technology, particularly in the domain of digital art, played a role in shaping your artistic journey and contributing to your most recent pieces?

A: Technology has fundamentally democratized the art world by enabling artists to do more with less.

I’m always eager to explore new innovations in technology and adapt them to my needs. I dream of having a larger studio for more extensive experimentation. The advent of new tech media tools has allowed me to expand and refine my ideas beyond what I once deemed possible.

Since their inception, I have worked with digital post-production and digital audio editing, and my art practice has evolved alongside these technologies. They have become integral to my creative process and influence how I approach new projects.

Q: Have specific artists or movements influenced your style or thematic choices?

A: What I appreciate about music, in contrast to art, is the rapid pace of change and fewer gatekeepers. Movements and styles can quickly emerge, get remixed, disseminated, and locally applied.

Ever since I started using Pro Tools, I've been visualizing music in layers and exploring non-linear ways of creation, delving into cut-and-paste techniques, plunderphonics, non-sounds, drone, glitch techno, and experimental dance music. I love playing with micro editing, beats, and genre fusion.

Artists like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, and films like Blade Runner, Mulholland Drive, and Lost Highway have been seminal influences because they delve into an alternate reality that is magical, mysterious, dangerous, and infinite.

Q: How have your unique cultural and personal experiences influenced your work?

A: My shifting geographical locations, cultural context, mythology, and media consistently influence my work, but they do not confine it. These elements serve as wellsprings of inspiration.

Q: Given the rapid changes in the landscape of digital art, what perspectives do you hold regarding the intersection of art and technology in the future?

A: I believe digital art should become more commonplace. As technologically advanced as society is, many still prefer a traditional painting on their wall over a screen. These perceptions change slowly, but I hope to see more digital art displayed in public spaces like airports, train stations, hotel lobbies, elevators, homes, and offices. I think media companies renting these digital spaces would contribute positively to society by providing space for art without prioritizing profit.

Q: Lastly, what future developments can we anticipate from Ran Slavin? Are there any upcoming artistic endeavors or partnerships that you're at liberty to divulge?

A: I'm currently working on a significant project, the details of which I can't disclose at the moment. Additionally, I've launched a new record label called "Nocturnal Rainbow Recordings," enabling me to release my music without restrictions. My work can be found on Spotify and Apple Music under my name. Furthermore, I'll be hosting a solo show in Tel Aviv this August at a venue called "The Lab." I'm always open to exploring new collaborations, so feel free to reach out!

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Ran Slavin
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