Paris artist Sebastien Preschoux talks about work, philosophies, day-to-day life and process… “And the most important: keep on using your hands, all your fingers -“
bunnyhawk >> If you wrote about yourself in a book, what would the title be?
SP >> “Happy hands”, because my hands are the most precious part of my body – they give me so much… they feed me, and I learn so much thanks to them. They are a wonderful tool we all have.
bunnyhawk >> What would constitute a good day and a bad day, for you?
SP >> A good one is a working day, full of intermediate steps feeding new drawings or installations. A bad one, being inspired without any possibility to create.
bunnyhawk >> And what about art? ‘Good’ versus ‘bad’ art?
SP >> Essential, necessary and vital. For me there is no good or bad art, everybody has to be allowed to express oneself. There is some art i prefer like OpArt, all kind of art playing with eyes and emotions, I like to feel like a kid in front of a masterpiece.
bunnyhawk >> How and where do you find inspiration?
SP >> Inspiration is everywhere – it can be a color, a line, a shape, a word, a sound… I keep it in mind, it grows and evolves and then I use it – I take some pictures of details, of nothing and everything. I record my thoughts too, and when I need inspiration, I listen to them.
bunnyhawk >> Your dreamlike works – can you talk about your process?
SP >> When I decide to make an installation, I let the location tell me what I have to do – I don’t want to force the environment – I have to adjust the installation for the location, not the opposite. That’s why nothing is really premeditated, there is an intention, but not definitive idea. I like the idea that everything can change at any given moment…
The process is really intense and requires a lot of concentration – you have to be focused on the goal of having a nice installation you are happy with. During the process ALL senses are in action – you feel, you smell, you hear, you look… all of your body is aware.
bunnyhawk >> Can you talk about your thread art in nature and “found” spaces? How did you find your natural sites and what has your process been like there? (How long do you spend in an area before deciding on a site, etc?)
SP >> I’m rarely scouting for installation – when i decide to build an installation i go with all the material I need and then, lets see what happens!
bunnyhawk >> Your integrity of precision within the context of an environment is something perhaps a machine could create but to be actually inside that process is the whole point of your work – a beautiful lesson really for the next generation or even these times, of the quick fix mentality. That said – Your mantra: man vs. machine – can you discuss?
SP >> This concept of man versus machine is in reaction of the fast fooling of images, some people don’t look at what they like on social media, or on the web. Now you can do all that you want without actually going outside. The idea to use fake to do things real frightens me. We have all the same tools when we are born: eyes, hands, legs… the human body is the most perfect tool we can find – I want to be able to produce everywhere, even if I’m traveling hands in the pocket… no computer, no electricity, no machine – just finding a way to make art real.
The other thing I want to prove is that everybody can do it – the only thing they need is inside of them: patience is the mother of all the abilities. When you look at my art it’s just lines, for drawings, paintings and installations… anybody can do that.
bunnyhawk >> How does light influence the placement of your geometric webs? Does sunlight or moonlight influence context?
SP >> When i first start an installation it’s always early in the morning because i want to have the complete sun chase, the day after we (Ludovic LE COUSTER, photographer and i) shoot the installation at the best moment, if not it’s at night.
bunnyhawk >> Have you needed to secure any permissions for any of the sites and works, or is it all “open source”? Have there been any surprises along the way? What are your thoughts on open source communities?
SP >> All the installations, made in natural environment, are made for the curious. Installations are not on the path but a little bit on the side, you have to look around you to find it – if you are looking at your feet you can walk around without seeing it. I want people to be alone and quiet with the installation and do all what they want to do with – not like in museum where you can’t touch, you can’t walk, you can’t having children on your shoulders… so boring. Art is made with hands, other hands have to be allowed to be used to discover the art – how can you feel the tension in the threads if you can’t touch it?!
We can trust human beings, because when i come back to remove the installations, after weeks, the only traces of destruction are made by weather element, rain and wind… Open source communities are the only way to keep humans good and generous, if you ask for 1 cent for something you can share, it’s the beginning of the end.
bunnyhawk >> What does your average day look like? And your typical work’s lifeline? Does it actually have a concrete beginning and an end?
SP >> Wake up early, breakfast with family, go to school with my daughter, then studio time until the end of the day – sometimes it’s early sometimes not. Work’s lifeline is working everyday, even if it’s just a little bit. But my head is always working – yes I have a concrete beginning and an end for the physical work, not for the mental work.
bunnyhawk >> What was your process in becoming a designer and artist? Where did this all begin?
SP >> I started as a graphic designer for 2 years, and it was so boring: “put the logo bigger”, “your creation is good but we prefer the blue / pink background with a huge font on it”, “can you make this red more green ?” I finally decided to stop this job, stop using computers, having only one for the web and mails, and doing my own creations by myself and with all my fingers – not only the index one to click with. That was the starting point.
bunnyhawk >> What is your opinion of the human species and humanity’s progress…?
SP >> There are so many good humans – let stay focused on them and not care about the others – I don’t want to give them importance.
bunnyhawk >> Machines can duplicate whereas man can create work derived from thought process and spacial perceptions, memories and feelings… which is as much about process and experience as it is the end result…. that seems to envelope your POV … how does it influence your process?
SP >> I finally found a way to be not duplicated by machine, because when we’ve tried to print my drawings or paintings, the result is always worse than the real piece. I prefer the idea to have a better render in real life, when people come to the exhibition they are not disappointed.
bunnyhawk >> Any thoughts on meditation?
SP >> All my process is a meditation, when i’m drawing or weaving, so yes i do some.
bunnyhawk >> Phillippe Starck said ‘money is not a source of revenue’ – thoughts?
SP >> Yes it’s a nice sentence, philosophically! But it’s easier to say when you have money – you can’t tell that to a hungry person – it’s insane. I prefer “money is not the only source of revenue!”
bunnyhawk >> Anything to add? Are you curious about bunnyhawk?
SP >> Thanks for your interest in my work. And the most important: keep on using your hands, all your fingers, it’s the most precious tool you always have with you… Their potential is huge! Sure i’m curious