Art

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Mary Kate Teske

by Phillip Griffin

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Hi there! Who are you and what have you done with my shower curtain?

Ayyyy, this is Mary Kate Teske some of you know me as Murray Kurt Tersker or MK. And Phil! Dude, I was walking down on the Southside and actually saw some naked lady bust into your house and ALL she took was the shower curtain. She sort of fashioned it into a dress when I saw her take off.

I hear you've had a busy summer. What have you been up to?

Busy as helllllll. It's been a rad summer though full of traveling, camping, climbing, photo taking, shindigs with friends and a whole lot of other stuff!

I also hear you've been coordinating the visual art aspects for Dreyfest this year. What can people expect to see during their DF experience?

Yeah, I have been! Alright, you guys can expect your faces to melt, your eyes to get trippy, details to stun you and for artists to knock your muthafuckin' socks off.

Much of your work features an old car you call Frank. What's the story there?

The story behind Frank is kind of a long one, but I'll make it short and leave a link to the article I wrote for Last Best News explaining more of it*. My grandpa used to own a gas station in Seattle that my whole family worked at. They were always redoing cars and one day was willed the Lancer from an old customer of his. Eventually another customer came in and ended with the Lancer through a trade between her and my grandpa. My family at some point down the line sold the gas station and moved to Terry, MT to start a farm. My grandpa ended getting the Lancer after it was willed back to him where it sat on the farm for years. When I was fifteen I got to rebuild it with my family and have been driving it ever since! 

*Read the whole story about MK's Dodge Lancer, Ol' Frank, here.

You've also been doing some work on a project called Backseat Sessions, in which artists perform songs in Frank's back seat. This seems like an awesome way for small artists to get content they can share online. How long have you been doing that? How did it start? Any future plans for the project?

So the Backseat Sessions have been going on for about five months now. They spawned from an old roommate and I hanging on the rims one night. We were chilling inside of my car and, being a musician herself, my roomie brought her guitar and started playing in the back while hanging out. I got the idea from that, and it turned into something a bit bigger because a lot of my friends are musicians. As for future plans, I hope to one day get Kendrick or something in the backseat so we'll see how well progressing toward that goes.

What's your favorite Lord of the Rings character?

Oooooh, LOTR is one of my favs. I've always been kinda in love with Aragorn.

To me, a lot of your stuff has an '80s feel to it - something like a hay-day sensibility. Bold colors and some sleek darkness, burgers and a highway. Maybe a gesture back to a time when cars were seen as more of a boon than a burden as they are now, with climate issues upon us. Is there anything in particular you try to capture in your photography, or do you just snap stuff you think looks cool?

I definitely try to focus on colors. I hate the goddamn beige epidemic happening in modern homes today. But really, I try mostly to document my life, and fit my car into iconic, classic scenes. I'd like to do more throwback type of stuff in the future though.

Top three things you're most excited for in the next six months? Ten years?

Damn, it seems like I'm always excited about something, but if I have to choose: I'm jazzed to climb Devil's Tower soon. I'm actually really stoked for Dreyfest. I'm always reeling for the day I get to become an organic farmer.

Dreyfest is less than two weeks away! What are you most excited to see?

Well, Phil, ya told me about that damn Richard Dreyfest piñata head and now I can't stop thinking about that thing.

Top three places you've visited with Frank?

My favorite places I've traveled to in Frank are probably Glacier National Park, The Redwoods, and Big Sur!

 

MK's Links:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Ernav K

by Phillip Griffin

Ernav K, what is your position on scrambled eggs? Do you like them more or less forked such that there is more or less distinction between the yolk and the white?

Scrambled eggs are safe. It's hard to screw up and they get the job done. If I'm making them, my white-to-yolk forking ratio depends on how long I can fork before losing interest.

I’m super stoked about having you at Dreyfest, having seen your work at a show I played at the Haufbrau in Bozeman. You describe yourself as the following: "Ernav K is Ethan Hoerr’s psychedelic audio-visualization project combining multiple formats such as analog video synthesis, video feedback, cathode ray oscilloscope graphics and liquid light projection. With an emphasis on analog techniques, correlation between sound and light is made on the fly by human interpretation.” This sounds more like an engineering project in outer space than a psychedelic light show… On the other hand, maybe the two have a lot in common. How did you get into this stuff anyway? How long have you been doing it?

My first exposure to analog video synthesis was watching Nick Ciontea, aka brownshoesonly, performing at Knobcon 2013 in Chicago, a fantastic synth convention. He was kind enough to explain the principles to me, but I waited until November 2015 to buy my first video module. By this time I was in Peoria Illinois playing keys in a psych rock band, The Golden Fleece, when we decided to incorporate a live visual element into our shows, and we also made a VHS-only visual album for our first release. The tapes sold out, but you can find a ripped copy on YouTube.

Had you done much visual art before you got into projection work, or is Ernav K your first venture into the visual realm? 

Apart from making home videos as a pre-pubescent, this is the most involved I've ever been in visual art. The transient nature of using an analog modular synth is really meditative and almost humbling in the sense that you're never going to create the same patch again. I've grown to appreciate that, as I don't actively think like that in my daily life.

You obviously spend a lot of time at shows. Do you play any instruments? Do you currently or have you ever played in a band or music project?

I started out on bass guitar before picking up guitar, drums and keys. Apart from writing occasional solo psych rock/pop stuff. The Golden Fleece was my last stint before I moved here in August last year. They're doing well for themselves in Illinois and I'm really proud of them. Other than that, I've picked up my bass again with a few other musicians in Bozeman, and I have a good feeling about what the future holds.

Last fast food joint you ate at? Did they have sour cream there?

Taco Bell in Belgrade. They definitely have sour cream but it actually surprises me that they don't offer packets of the stuff, whereas when you get a baked potato at Wendy's they pack the bag fat.

What is your favorite piece of equipment in your setup? What does it do?

I like all my fancy video modules and random gear but creating video feedback is probably the most fun and economical video trick I play with. I either point a video camera at the display it's connected to, or you can send the output of a video mixer back into itself. You can get really great fractals or smeared tracer type effects that way. Watch any Earth, Wind, and Fire music video from the early 80's, like September or my personal favorite, Let's Groove.

It seems like you’ve got a whole “retro” thang going on there, with the mumbo jumbo about analog and fluid human interpretation. As far as I know, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters were among the first to come up with the concept of the light show as its own form of art. Do you know/like those folks? How do you see yourself fitting into that sort of lineage?

I have mad respect for those magic bus riding freaks. I'd like to think I would have hopped along for a ride back then. I owe a lot to the liquid light and video art pioneers from around that era; I see myself as one member of perhaps another "wave" of video synthesists. Many artists from back then are still active today; Joshua White of the Joshua Light Show maintains a Facebook group and is very open about his oil techniques; Dave Jones makes video synthesizer modules and drops wisdom bombs every now and then. I dabble a little in oils, but video synthesis is my bread and butter. Up until the amazing folks at LZX Industries made modular video synths accessible to individuals, the only way you ever would have got to play with one without building it yourself was in the 70's and 80's in a university setting. 

What does Ernav Koepp mean?

The meaning is open to interpretation, but it's a nonsense name I made up in 2007 when I thought someone was stalking me on the internet. There are many ways to pronounce Koepp, I usually read it as "cope" but "co-ep" is pretty common. I guess a lot of people actually have that last name, I got a lot of Koepp friend requests shortly after making my Facebook profile.

You’ll be playing at a couple different spots for Dreyfest, on Friday at Smiling Dog Records and Saturday at Nova Theater. Have you ever been to Dreyfest? What can the attendees expect from your performance?

This will be my first Dreyfest, and I am beyond excited to be performing! Expect a lot of colorful abstract patterns that pulse and wiggle along to the music. I don't want to reveal too much, but I recently got an overhead document camera, like the ones used in classrooms, and have been searching for a Ouija board...

 

Links for Ernav K:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Abby Rausch

by Mary Kate Teske

Your name is what and you hail from where?

My name is Abby Rausch. I was born and raised in Helena, and recently graduated from Rocky with degrees in Studio Art, History, and Political Science.

Did your parents celebrate in any certain way when you exited the womb?

My mom’s line was "get this shittin kid outta me" and my dad missed the birth because he was stranded on a broken down boat on Fort Peck when his pager went off. However he did show up at the hospital with celebratory cigars.

Tell me about the stuff you create and get your hands on.

I make prints, like to paint with acrylic, and use various found items in my pieces. Everywhere I go I try to collect things - I've been in DC the last two months and so far have found many feathers as well a squirrel tail I picked up in George Washington’s botanical garden at Mount Vernon. Almost all my art has animals in it, but it's not western at all, rather it has a very illustrative or graphic quality. Also, I just got into making crystals, ha ha.

A squirrel tail? What other strange types of items have you found for your work?

I have boxes of bones sitting in my parents’ house waiting to be turned into a project. I smuggled a flattened out snake with me from the Italian Alps, was gifted a chunk of elk vertebrae, found a fish skeleton by a dried up lake in Arizona. I collected snail shells from the Burren in Ireland and smuggled those across the border, and I've got many deer and elk bones, as well as a good-sized collection of feathers and rocks. For my graduation my cousin gave me a juvenile robin skull, so it seems to be fairly well known that a good bone is something I love. I try to pick things up everywhere I travel.

I see you have a love of politics as well as art. Do you see yourself pursuing anything in the realm of democracy the future?

Yes, I am very interested in politics, specifically international relations. I have been in Washington DC the last two months working on a nonprofit journalism project for Palestinian youth, and participating in an institute for economics and international affairs. I'd like to work for the State Department or the UN someday.

Okay, one last question, if one of the animals you collected for your art came back to life and turned you into a piece, what would you want to be?

I'd like my skull to end up as a prop for a Hamlet performance. I've got a gold tooth that would look great.

 

Abby's Links:

Lauren Frolic

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Lauren Frolic will most often be found with tea in hand and accompanied by her pup, Vetiver. She has a passion for plants and body modification, and from time to time will paint images involving crystals and the female form. If you catch her at home she will probably ask you to sniff a jar of her favorite herb - spearmint.

Wendy Kay

By day, Wendy Kay is stacking cash and taking out trash in Missoula, MT. But come night, she's trading her apron for either boxing gloves or her sketchbook. Her career as an artist began when she was just a yung nug. When she isn't working on a masterpiece or kicking ass, she's usually reading, writing, or listening to some tunes.

Watercolor & ink on paper. "RIP AMERICA" is a portrait of present day American politics. The red stripes behinds the POTUS are actually the Bill of Rights and the man with the minute hands is taking a massive rip off of the USA. 

Watercolor & ink on paper. "RIP AMERICA" is a portrait of present day American politics. The red stripes behinds the POTUS are actually the Bill of Rights and the man with the minute hands is taking a massive rip off of the USA. 

Watercolor on cold press paper. This colorful piece depicts two individuals in outer space eating a terrestrial treat that is quickly melting before their closed eyes.

Watercolor on cold press paper. This colorful piece depicts two individuals in outer space eating a terrestrial treat that is quickly melting before their closed eyes.