Not Random Art Interview

Contemporary Hungarian artist Hevesi Dániel Marcel brings underground techno music to fine art world with a purpose to break cultural stereotypes

1.)Hello Daniel and welcome to NotRandomArt. The current issue is revolving around the problem of communication and identity. Is there any particular way you would describe your identity as an artist but also as a human being in dynamically changing, unstable times? In particular, does your cultural substratum/identity form your aesthetics?

First of all, let me thank you for having me in your magazine, I feel your current topic very close to me. I have been forming my artist identity since a long time now and it is a product of lot of experimenting, self-education and persistence. It derives from two separate IDs.
One being an electronic music artist since 1998 and the other one, being a visual artist.

As a teenager, I had access to all electronic music genres from A to Z, but for some reason I never really paid attention to popular artists and sub-genres. I was always looking for a certain “engineering touch” in the music.

I feel fortunate, that I could enjoy electronic music in the pre-EDM era for 4-5 years. EDM (Electronic Dance Music) is a sub-genre of electronic music and it is never to be confused with real, underground electronic music. Underground electronic music is created with respect, love and with deep sound engineering knowledge. EDM is made for festival goers, trend and celeb followers, who has no particular taste in music, in general. EDM turned way many true electronic music believers from the electronic music scene and I think this damage has to be fixed.

With all this on my mind, as a strong supporter of a new, music oriented underground electronic music culture, I decided to promote underground techno music in a non-standard way. This non-standard approach formed my current audiovisual electronic musician identity.   

Despite, I am a follower of abstract art since the early 2000’s, my visual artistic side just started to form in the recent couple of years. My visual ID is still under development and I still experiment a lot to find the path that will make myself 100% comfortable with representing myself as a visual artist. Finding this path will not be an easy journey, I can already tell. One of my biggest challenge for me right now is to choose from the endless combination of painting technics. There are so much painting technics out there and I want to see all of them and learn the ones that I feel comfortable with. I really hope this journey will not take for another 20 years!

 As a human being, my identity went through a lot of change, since I lived in fast changing environment. Some of these changes just happen to me, others were changes that I deliberately performed on my identity. I do believe in eternal change and I totally agree with what Alan Deutschman writes about in his book called “Change or Die”.

2.) Would you like to tell us something about your artistic as well as life background? What inspired you to be in this artistic point in your life when you are now?

I was more or less a mediocre college student till the 3rd year of my studies. In 2003, I gained an ERASMUS scholarship is Lille, France. This changed my life almost entirely, not just because my devotion towards abstract art started at this time, but also living and learning in a very different country than my own opened my mind and started to look at things differently. I remember that for my abroad studies I bought a second hand notebook. On this notebook, I set an interior design photo as a background desktop image. On the photo there was a sofa a window and an abstract painting. The reason, why I set this image as a desktop background on the notebook was that every time I looked at it, I felt like I am at home. Of course, it was an imaginary home for me, but it still helped me a lot. Now, as a creator of visual art, I want people to experience the very same feeling, but this time with my underground techno music inspired artworks on the walls of their homes.

3.) Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about your identity as a participant of the visual culture? 

I remember placing a dozen, A3 sized color prints on my bedroom wall before the renovation of my apartment. I put them on the wall not just because they inspired me, but because I wanted all colors, shapes and materials in my newly renovated apartment to complement these paintings. Basically, I renovated my apartment in way that it complements paintings of the walls.

I wanted to reconstruct these prints, so I could hang them on the walls. Therefore, I started to learn different abstract painting technics and later I realized that I really like creating my own art and no longer wanted to reconstruct those prints on the wall.

For sure, the urge of reconstructing those prints literately started my visual artist carrier. Some of those prints were from John Hoyland, Chrissy Angliker and Catherine Christie.

4.) Many of your works carry an autobiographical message. Since you transform your experiences into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

Mostly, translation happens on the spot, in sort of a state of trance, caused by music. Sometimes, simple things can also inspire me. For example, I took a picture of a woman shaped formation on a cave wall at Paleokastritsa, Corfu last summer. A few months later this image inspired me to paint “Observing Ego”.

5.) What is the role of technique in your practice? In particular are there any constraints or rules that you follow when creating?

I have a step by step habit that I follow, I call it “Circle of habits”.

This creative circle starts with browsing for inspirational techno music. This search period could sometimes even take for several weeks. Selected tracks are used for the creation of an hour long audio mix, which I call “Techno inspirations”. When I listen back to the audio mix at later stage, I start to paint.

It is a good sign, when I feel the vibration on the canvas, it means that the creation process can begin.

In the final stage of my creative ritual, I generate digitally altered versions of my freshly painted artworks, which I use for designing audiovisual underground techno performance.

6.) How do you see the relationship between emotional and intellectual perception of your work? In particular, how much do you consider the immersive nature of the viewing experience?

The art that I create can be one of the most effective medium to build bridges between fine art world and the techno music culture. Underground techno music is most expressive genre among contemporary electronic music styles. Built on strong tribal roots, this genre has the ability to entertain the audience on many different levels, once understood.

7.) Before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context?

I don’t let the audience to influence my artistic flow.  I think in our versatile world, there is always somebody out there, who embraces and totally understands any art as it is. The question is how and when you will find that person.

8.) Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Daniel. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I am constantly working on new projects, concepts, I don’t like the still water. One of my plan is to bring underground techno music to the art galleries where I exhibit. I could imagine this project as an audiovisual installation. 

The audiovisual performance that I create can be presented as a standalone live act in clubs equipped with large displays and projectors.

I am also working on a high level design for a global underground electronic music platform for true underground music fanatics. As a part of this work I am looking for ways to address more readers for my weekly, sometimes bi-weekly edited blog. In this blog I write about everything that I think is relevant about underground techno music and culture.

More to come soon!

Visual artist links:

Underground techno audiovisual performance links:

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