Figure 1: Derek at Untitled Art Society meeting at 607 7th Avenue SW


Figure 2 Untitled. 1994. Chinese ink on acid-free card stock, 28 x 40 inches

What were your dreams in founding the society?

My only initial dream in being a part of this society was that we have enough people involved, who wanted a studio-space to work in, to be able to share in an affordable and sizeable space. Early on I had imagined that we would be able to have all of the various disciplines represented; the more the merrier, I thought. This would allow us to continue a social, and critical milieu in which to continue each of our practices; while possibly keeping the rent low. Early on, in our search for studio space, some of the criteria included finding something fairly industrial so as to potentially include glass, or fabrication, as well as a Darkroom (which at the time was a paramount consideration amongst the founders), or even to be able to include performance! I felt that if we could afford it, we would continue...

Did you ever think it would last this long?

It would have been hard to imagine back then whether either the Society or the Studio would last as long as it has. Apparently, the needs and desires drive the original impetus; while the membership continues to evolve as an entity that is participation driven. I am very happy to see it still here today, especially as the physical Studio space we so longed for.

If you were blowing out the sixteen candles on the society's birthday cake, what would you be wishing for?

I would be wishing for more artists, more art, more arts funding and a good long and productive life for all!

Where were you at as an artist when you made this work?

When I made this work I was trying to break my habits of conception and intention, skill and aesthetic, in the creation for the outcome of a work; so, I had purposely created simple, yet stringent and demanding parameters for it's production (which I found to be ludicrous and existentially quite pointless, at the time). This challenged my resolve to create, as I found the process to be mentally disquieting, physically taxing, (and quite hilarious until I had produced a few of them). These works became about their own intrinsic intentions so long as I was willing to do the work...

What advice would you give artists just emerging from ACAD today?

My advice to emerging artists would be don't get a job, have a job; their job will be to create work and create their life to be something where one wants to get up and be - every day. Just remember this isn't a rehearsal for life, it's the real thing..


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