VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Venell, Andrew

Andrew Venell
US videomaker



Interview: 10 Questions

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

I am from the east coast of the USA. I received a BA in Art Semiotics from Brown University (2001) and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (2004). I live in San Francisco, California.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I began experimenting with video around 1999 because I was frustrated by the static quality of paintings and wanted to get inside or interact with them somehow. However, I seldom work with just video. Usually video is a small component of a larger work (typically something interactive for the web).

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

Most of my video projects deal with media saturation in some way: pervasive overexposure to images and information, particularly advertising and news.

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

No principles and no style, that’s me. Most videos serve a purpose within a larger context/work and those that don’t tend to come out of formal experimentation with a particular piece of footage.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.


6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is representing an important counter position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field ( your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

To the extent that video art (or let’s say “new media art”) (still) represents a “counter position” (I’m skeptical), I think we have the internet to thank–specifically the internet as an almost tragically democratized venue for amateur video, but also as a medium. Certainly the pernicious unsaleability of new media still sets it in contrast to most contemporary art, but I’m more interested in the way the internet can obscure the differences between those things that identify themselves as “art” and those that are just the byproduct of someone somewhere making something. I’m sure that the future will consist of various institutions / arms of the art market colonizing little spaces of the internet, with limited success, while people continue to make mostly-horrible-but-sometimes-interesting things and put them online.

7. How do you finance your films?

I have a career as a freelance designer and programmer which usually allows me not to starve to death.

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?

I work individually, generally because I become uncomfortable if I don’t know how to do something myself. However, if you are reading this and would like to work together on something, contact me because this interview is making me lonely.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

More than anything else, my undergraduate career in Brown’s Department of Modern Culture and Media has affected the issues I deal with in my work–and the ways I deal with them, I’m sure. The films of Johan Grimonprez and Craig Baldwin have certainly had a formal impact, as have the collage aesthetic of Robert Rauschenberg and, maybe, the color palette of Neo Rauch. This is a hard question to answer without feeling like an asshole for tainting these names through sheer proximity to my own.

10. What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I am currently developing a video performance series for public access cable (for no real reason) and the web (where people might actually see it). Tune in to for details.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on CologneOFF or VideoChannel? Where? <--- this is the good stuff