VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Caveney, Larry

Larry Caveney
US videomaker


Interview:10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

For a long time I spent my time in the studio making paintings, sculpting wood with a chain saw and print making. I used those practices to find a way of expressing my frustrations with the world and its contradictions. I was also trying to create a style that was uniquely mine. I wanted a style that could distinguish me from other artists, and make me famous, rich and free to leave that factory where I worked for ten years. After achieving that style, I started to pursue gallery representation.

Several galleries were interested and I eventually was selling my work around Atlanta and Charlotte. I was receiving favorable reviews and actually one museum bought one of my pieces for its collection. This process of marketing was exciting, but after awhile it lacked any lasting quality. Galleries would come and go and before I knew it I was back to looking for representation.

Finally, I realized that I wasn’t commutating social issues through painting or sculpting. I wasn’t making any change for my community because of the limitation of my audience. I wondered why so many fellow workers at the factory didn’t know what the heck I was doing in my art. All gallery openings for the most part catered to a certain group, certain class. I could see the evolution of my work but, where was the evolution of audience?

I started to question why some people (fellow factory worker) were not aware of the art world and its glamour. I shifted the direction of my thinking about the role of audience and started collaborating with school children, fellow factory workers and the public in general. I worked in a factory for ten years and for the most part never really shared my studio practice until close to the end of working there. I eventually started showing my work to those at the factory who operated fork trucks and worked on assembly lines. I started inviting my fellow workers to openings. Collaborating with my friends at the factory allowed fresh ideas, new possibilities to come into the work. It allowed a new audience to witness my work, through their involvement.

“Every human being is an artist, a freedom being, called to participate in transforming and reshaping
the conditions, thinking and structures that shape and condition our lives”
Joseph Beuys

2. When, how and why started you filming?

In 2005, I started filming as a means of documenting my performances3. What kind of subjects has your films?
3. What kind of subjects have your films?
Some films have historical subjects, some films have the audience as subject (interventions) and some films have myself as the subject (dancers).

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

My ideas are situational, based on the space and time of subject matter. . The idea of social interaction moves the artist out of the studio and into an interactive form of expression. The aesthetic of this interactive art form is the redirection of a symbol or ideology used in society by the ability to showcase a certain situation in a different context and to define areas of social isolation. This aesthetic is defined as a means of making something better, or the action or interaction of creating a better living space.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
Basic equipment for documentary.

6. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.. What about digital technology?

I use a basic home video camera with wireless mikes and widows movie maker.

7. How do you finance your films?

Out of my own pocket.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

Both; my production company is “The GMN Projects” which incorporates the efforts of others on occasions and I prefer the option of both, it’s situational.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
I would say, Paul McCarthy and Sharon Hayes.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel/SFC? Where?
List some links & resources

I want to balance efforts and documentation of performance art and video; to maintain that paradox.

I have been in two productions of VideoChannel: