Interview with Oliver Laric

Johannes Fricke Waldthausen
Apr 29, 2013 7:58PM

Oliver Laric (*1981, Middletown, Austria)

Johannes Fricke Waldthausen: When did you move to Berlin ?

Oliver Laric: I moved to Berlin six years ago from Tokyo. The rent was double and the space half the size. But the food was great.

JFW: Recent works of yours like “Versions” (2009/2012) or “Kopienkritik” (2011) at Kunsthalle Basel bring up such questions as: what is real, authentic? What is an original, what is a copy?...

OL: George Bush famously spoke of the Internets, instead of the singular Internet. This Bushism is quite useful to think of authenticity, or authenticities. The tendency to pluralize helps me with concepts such as the Multiverse or the originals. It’s more about “and” than “or”.

JFW: Are there recurring subjects in your works?  

OL: Recurring subjects are my recurring subjects. I’m also fascinated by recursion, repetition, and reinterpretations.

JFW: In your 2012 Frieze Art Fair project you created a stock image database, with public domain material which has been recorded throughout the fair. What project are you currently working on?

OL: I’m working on something similar; 3D scanning the collection of “The Collection” museum in Lincoln. The 3D models will be made available via a designated website for free without copyright restrictions. Detailed 3D models are expensive, due to the costs of quality 3D scanners. Making these models available for free will hopefully be useful to an audience outside of the typical museum audience. They could possibly be used by video game designers and architects, not just by art historians and academics. I’m also going to use the models to produce new sculptural work, sourcing them from the site just like anyone else with interest in the files.

JFW:  “Internet Arts” actually started in the early ’90s with a group of artists around Miltos Manetas and the network. You were born in 1984 and grew up with the Internet...

OL: Miltos was one of the early figures and influential to me, but there were quite a few before him such as Vuk Ćosić, Olia LialinaAlexei Shulgin and Jodi. The Internet has a significant impact on my life and work, but I would argue that this is the case for anyone with an email address. Some people have even been influenced by the Internet before it was invented, like Jorge Luis Borges and Mikhail Bakhtin.

JFW:  Do you have any heroes (can be art or others)? Which artists have influenced you particularly?

OL: Bach, Bakhtin, Bausch, Beckett & Borges.

Johannes Fricke Waldthausen