Voices: Richard DeDomenici

Feature in Issue 22-2 | Summer 2010

Gadfly, trimtab and quipnunc Richard DeDomenici in his own words.

What is in the pipeline? Lots of new things! A site-specific video-installation in Cambridge about earthquakes… giving a talk at the ICA in London about the future of Live Art… in June I am touring my show Plane Food Café to the Napoli Teatro Festival. In July I’m launching an experimental augmented reality work in Glasgow, and in August I am taking a new show to Edinburgh in an innovative new type of venue. In September I will sleep.

What is exciting me today? If I finish my video installation in time (which involves building an architectural model, subjecting it to violent oscillation, and documenting the result using high-speed video) then I can go to a social event tonight at the Live Art Development Agency. It’s important to set goals.

Here are my seven maxims to live by:
1 Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow
2 It’s easier to apologise afterwards than it is to ask permission
3 It reduces the confusion about how to interpret a work of art if there are no signifiers to suggest that it’s actually a work of art in the first place
4 Be a spanner in the works and a cog in the system
5 There’s no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation
6 Some people deserve to be offended
7 If you see a three-light Hino truck – get out of the way! (That last one is only applicable if you’re on a Japanese highway.)

I like to travel... I tried to give up flying to save the world, but had to start again after 18 months because being in the same place too long drives me crazy.

When I travel I likes to leave a trail of Richard DeDomenici products in my wake, so that if I gets lost, I can find my way home. In this fashion, I am well on the way to establishing Richard DeDomenici libraries around the world (including the infamous Richard DeDomenici Internal Library in New York, which I shall not discuss here further on grounds of taste). In this manner, my archive will become decentralised and transnational, therefore making it invulnerable to terrorist attack.

If I could change one thing today it would be people’s minds and/or my new haircut.

If I could keep one thing to carry through to tomorrow or the more long-term future, it would be my old haircut.

I write down all my ideas, as I have too many ideas and a bad memory. It’s a good thing to have too many ideas. Many artists only have one idea, which they then repeat throughout their career. This is only excusable if it a good idea. I try and carry out the time-critical ideas first, write the other ones down for later, and not be put off when other people manage to carry out the same ideas before me.

What keeps me motivated as an artist is public praise and plenty of it. That’s what it said in a psychometric test I took recently, and you can’t argue with those…

I’ll be taking part in The Public Space Programme in Reykjavík this August, and this is my message to Iceland: Hello Iceland! I am very much looking forward to eating your rotting shark meat and drinking your Brennivín, so if you could please refrain from setting off any more of your volcanoes until at least 3 August 2010 I will happily assist you in erupting Katla upon my arrival.

Gadfly: Person who upsets the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempts to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.
Trimtab: System specifically designed and placed in the environment at such time and place where its effects would be maximised, thereby effecting the most advantageous change with the least resources, time and energy.
Quipnunc: Person who responds to current events, especially tragic ones, with quickly devised, sometimes callous jokes.

The Public Space Programme is an offspring of the artFart annual Icelandic performance festival to be held in Reykjavík 5–22 August 2010. The programme will supervise all site-based public performances of artFart 2010 as well as offering workshops and talks. publicspaceprogramme@artfart.is Richard DeDomenici’s DeDomegamix will run at the Forest Fringe, Forest Café, Edinburgh 14 Aug–28 Aug 2010

Richard Dedomenici was interrogated by Alexander Roberts.


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Issue 22-2
p. 21