Paris K: so francis, should I call you francis
or DJ wise
DJ Wise: I have a lot of different pseudo-names,
musically I am Dj Wise, as a writer and painter, I am Francis
Powell, so take your pick.
Paris K: you’ve been publishing a
lot of your work through Multidimensions.net. I mean it’s
been pretty amazing observing the work that you come up woth
every week. New tracks, new articles, new videos and even
paintings. So you ‘rea writer, a poet, a spoken word
artist, a Dj, and even a painter and a film maker. Which art
medium is your favorite
DJ Wise: I went to art school, so painting
was the medium I studied. However I don't like the "art
gallery" system and the elitism that exists in the art
world. I think there is a gap between the activity of making
art and the process of showing art. I once did a "live
painting" in front of an audience, with Djs playing Indian
music, at a place called the Divan du Monde, in Paris. This
was a satisfying experience. I like the idea of creating music,
then performing in front of a crowd. The crowds in Paris,
are generally quite cold. Maybe if you do ten concerts, you
will get a great feeling from doing a concert, from only one
of these concerts. I am always learning new things when I
do a concert, about things I can improve upon my music. You
can get great feedback from doing a concert, it's great to
connect with an audience, even if you connect with only a
few people. I also love writing. This is another area, in
which I feel I have room to develop. I feel comfortable writing
short stories, but I think my poetry could develop and writing
a novel would be a big challenge. I think "short stories"
are a great format. I tend to flit between different mediums.
If I have not painted in a while I feel guilty, or if I have
not written some music, or written, I get the same feeling,
perhaps I am compulsive in this way. I could not chose between
the different mediums and I think my music sometimes has echoes
of my art work, I make ethnic music and my art often has a
strong ethnic, especially African theme running through it.
I think it is a pity that people have to box and categorize
different creative activities, at the end of the day, expressing
oneself is the most important thing, and how you do it, whether
it be through painting, word or music is not so important,
but people tend to be narrow minded as to this.
Paris K: I watched a couple of your videos,
especially the theme that pertains to people’s fear.
I mean, how did you come to do something like this? Why explore
fear and for whom
DJ Wise: In fact I was supposed to send off
some work to a show called "fear" however I missed
the submission date, however I had completed the work. Then
a friend of mine received a letter, which had dire consequences
for her. This made me think how fragile our lives are. I began
thinking about this, how unexpected letters can arrive and
effect you in a momentous way. Being a foreigner in a foreign
country, makes a person very vulnerable, sometimes I dread
looking at my mail, maybe there is a letter that will send
me totally off-balance. So there are all these personal fears.
Then while on holiday there was this great "security
alert" and talk of a new September the 11th, on an even
greater scale. I think politicians seize on people's fears.
So this project on fear sprung by accident, but developed
due to what was happening locally around me, but also from
the ambience of the times. Originally I took photographs,
then I wrote some "sounds capes" and a poem and
then I made some videos with a friend of mine Jim Sheppard.
I guess "fear" is a motivating and pertinent concept
to explore, especially these days. We all living on the edge
of oblivion, due to our politicians, extremists, fanatics,
a small percentage of the world seem intent on destroying
our existence. Fear manifests itself in many ways.
Paris K: Painting and movies are both visual
arts, what is the difference between those 2 medium to you
DJ Wise: Movies embody different elements,
acting, technical elements, the person who films has to capture
images on film, the film has to be well constructed and written,
the soundtrack can also be important. Movies can have different
effects on different people, it can be a powerful medium.
Painting is a far simpler medium, it does not have the same
scope. It is generally the vision of an individual, not a
big "team" as with movie, which is often a big collaboration.
It emanates from a very basic human instinct, from when cavemen
smeared pigment on walls, just to say "I exist".
Painters are seeking some kind of immortality, through their
works, their works live on long after their deaths. Paintings
like movies can effect people and the image of a painting,
can live long in our minds and have a profound effect on us.
Paris K: Where can people get your painting
is they like them?
DJ Wise: I do try to show my work in Paris.
I was part of a big group show, with the IVY gallery, this
year. However, my small apartment, is over-run with paintings,
which I would like to get out to the wider world. I have also
recently had some work in New York.
Paris K: Are you movies being shown and
DJ Wise: I work with Vjs.....we did a festival
in Seville Spain......I have written a screen play....and
one of my ultimate dreams would be to have a film made from
a screen play and to do the sound track......I have been writing
music for soundtracks...in particular for horror b movies....small
companies are putting out dvds...
I have an audio-visual project called 22 Code X. We have videos
people can see on our site www.kablevision.com
The images can be political, the music like a harder version
Paris K: what type of music do you DJ and
do you just DJ or do you also compose music
DJ Wise: I generally play the music I compose.
The kind of music I play depends on the place I am playing
in. I recently organized and played at an event we called
Ethnic X plosion, which I did with a friend called "karm"
and a didgeridoo player "Sebdidj". There was also
a Vj, who projected images, including my artwork and ethnic
images. In Paris I have played house, techno, electro punk,
experimental, Trip hop, ambient,drum and bass. I like many
styles of music.
Paris K: is the music that you compose different
than the music that you DJ
DJ Wise: As I said, no, however I have played
music as a Dj that maybe I don't like, but the crowd does.
I admire musicians far more than Djs. The crowd in Paris,
in clubs seem to prefer and feel far more comfortable with
Djs, rather than electronic musicians. Musicans are putting
their head on the block, far more than a dj who plays "crowd
Paris K: How does someone becomes a painter,
a poet, a writer and a film maker all in one package
DJ Wise: I don't think a person makes a conscious
decision to do this, things evolve, fate intervenes. I have
been very lucky in my life to have met, some extremely talented
people, I could write a long list. When I was at Art College,
there was a band called Pigbag, who were very successful.
I got to meet them through the art college and one of them
had studied at the art college. They really inspired me to
make music. I began writing electronic music by chance, a
friend lent me a small synth and I became hooked on using
this technology. When I was at my first Art College, I met
through a friend, a writer called Rupert Thomson, who has
written a number of books, published by Bloomsbury. I really
liked his style and colourful use of language and his dark
style. While at Art College, I formed bands, with other students,
there was and no doubt still is an Art College music scene,
I even did a concert one entitled "Pop goes the easal".
At Art College, there was also a printmaker called Andrew
Tyler, who I think has a great talent, another person I have
been lucky to encounter. In Paris I have lucky enough to meet
Vjs, (Vj Visionflo) other painters and poets and writers.
I have had four short stories published in a magazine called
Rat Mort, published by an Englishman Alan Clark, who again
I met by chance. This year I have been more than fortunate
to meet the multi-talented big-spirited Nina Zivancevic, a
poet who has had poetry and short stories published in Paris,
New York and Belgrade. When you meet special people, it helps
you make sense of why you do the creative activities you do
and you realize you are not alone. I have had some great support
from friends, even from far a field, such a New York resident
(Brook Fischer) who encouraged me in my activities.
Paris K: I ear a lot of talented are people
and genius in their own right but the are also more less crazy.
Are you crazy? And to what extent
DJ Wise: I think most people would say I
am crazy and many of my friends are equally crazy, but then
again it is hard to define "crazy". Like I said
earlier, making art is a compulsion. While many people are
sleeping, at two in the morning a painter might be covered
in paint, in some frantic state, compelled to paint. It is
hard to make the division between, all the things we have
to do in life, like go to work, earn a living and this urge
to create. If there was no "craziness" in my life,
I would not have the subjects for my short stories. I sometimes
have crazy thoughts, that pop into my head. Some people use
the word "crazy" or describe somebody as being "mad"
in a derogatory way, I like people who are crazy, as long
as it is not in a destructive way, that effects other people.
Anyway it is better to be a mad artist, than to be a mad destructive
military or political person.
Paris K: what’s the craziest thing
DJ Wise: That is a leading question. Maybe
every day I do some crazy things. I spent a pretty crazy night
down the Parisian catacombs, an unauthorized visit. I did
some crazy things when I lived in Austria, but that was because
I had some friends who were really crazy, who had no limits.
I once did a video, in Piccidilly Circus, in which I pretending
to do some hoovering, with a red hoover. The onlookers must
have thought I was crazy. I like the idea of scams.
Paris K: What are you the most proud of
so far in your young life and what are you the most regretful
or sorry about?
DJ Wise: I suppose I am proud of some of
the exhibitions I have been involved with. I proud to have
had records/Cds released and the memories of some of the concerts
I have done. I am proud I have not given up, doing creative
things, as the rewards do not always correspond with the endevour.
I am proud to have worked with other talented people. I am
pleased to have been on TV, on British TV and having a video
shown on MTV. I was proud when I won a competition for electronic
music, which was run by Sony. I am just happy if somebody
tells me they have enjoyed one of my stories or something
on the internet. I was also happy that my art could be used
for causes I believe in. I was part of the “caravan
for peace” an organization that was protesting against
the wall in Palestine, that divides the country. I did paintings
that reflected this situation, on a screen, that represented
this wall. I have done paintings, that are against the war
in Iraq, as well as music and poetry. I had some paintings
that were part of an auction on behalf of “Aids”which
were sold and this was most pleasing. I have taught art to
children and I think this is very pleasing. I did a pod cast
recently with “Paris link” which is a site for
the English speaking community in Paris, this proved very
pleasing to do. As for regrets, I wish I had done more Djing
in the nineties, when the rave scene was big. I wish I hadn’t
been mucked about by some of the dodgy managers I had the
time. However difficult at times the path has been in my life,
as you get older, it starts to make more sense and I value
some of the pain and frustrations, rejections, because all
of these contribute to who I am today.
Paris K: So dear, what are you working on
right now and when is it coming out
DJ Wise: I am always in a state of flux.
I hope to do another Ethnic X plosion concert either in October
or November. I have some experimental music on Mg3Nc, a label
that puts out experimental. I have track on a compilation
CD, called “catch of the day 2” a small label,
based in Manchester, UK. I hope to be part of another IVY
group show, which will take place in the foyer of the Louvre.
I should have more work published on the internet. I write
a monthly review of what is happening in Paris, for an e zine,
called the Bohemian Aesthetic. I have written a piece about
the Paris Catacombs, which I hope will get published. I want
to make a short film with Jim Sheppard. I have many plans,
it is just a question of finding homes for them. I am always
hunting down new openings. Sometimes I send off some work,
and I forget about it, I often get unexpected e mails, containing
good or bad news, as to something I have submitted.
Paris K: We will be breaking done 2 paintings
from you next week, can you tell us more about these paintings
DJ Wise: When I arrived in Paris, I had no
idea that things would pan out, in the way they have. These
days when I walk around Paris, I have half an eye on the look
out for things people have discarded in the streets. These
two pictures are a consequence of this. They collages created
from objects I have found out in the streets of Paris, which
I have re-cycled. I like the idea of using mirrors, because
when people look at the painting, they will also see their
own image. The faces in the paintings are rough and primitive,
but the mirror is so pure. Painting on the surface of broken
parts of mirrors is not easy. Maybe collecting broken parts
of mirrors is not normal behaviour, maybe I am crazy.
Right, I'm done reading this
stuff. Take me back to the home page as I'm too lazy to use
the back button.