Murphy, John

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John Murphy
Irish media artist

  • artist biography
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    Interview: 10 questions

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

    I was born in Limerick, Ireland. I studied painting at the Limerick College of Art and Design from 1999 to 2003. After college I was a founder member of ‘Bui Bolg’ a community art group in Wexford, Ireland. I have travelled to and lived in Europe, Australia and the North America and have been living in Spain since 1999.

    2. When, how and why started you filming?
    I spent many years working as a painter but was never truly satisfied with the static nature of the medium so I started the long process of acquiring the necessary equipment and more importantly the technical knowledge to start working with Video/Sound. In the late 90’s I started by making a series of storyboards for imaginary films. These later became the foundation for many net-art pieces created from 1999-2003. During this time I started making my first video/super-8 pieces.

    3. What kind of subjects have your films/videos?
    My work addresses the world we live in through history, memory, migration, identity and place.

    4. How do you develop your films/videos, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
    My videos always start the same way. The accumulation of an archive of both audio files and video files I want to work with, which are loosely connected conceptually. These sounds and images come from material recorded by me as well as appropriated images/sounds from the Internet, film, radio, sound libraries etc. Through the editing process I try to bring out ideas and/or qualities inherent in the source material, I see it a little like remixing. The pieces always start out as very complex creatures and are pared back through many edits to reach the finished piece.

    5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
    Camera: Canon Mini DV. Edit on an Acer Aspire 1690 with Adobe Premiere Pro for video, Ableton live and Recycle for sound.

    6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?
    Firstly Hardware and Software are freely available and are much cheaper than they have ever been, this allows artists/filmmakers to work individually as for example painters and writers have always done. This is very interesting. Also the Internet and sites like ‘The Internet Archive and Opsound’ is a huge resource for audio visual material, it provides me endless access to sound samples, podcasts and radio from all over the world.

    7. How do you finance your films/videos?
    I have used some money from the sale of paintings but mainly I finance them myself.

    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 individuality from shooting to editing and sound. Although in principal I’m not against working in collaboration with other people.

    9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
    My main influence is the places and cultures I visit and if we are talking about people (in no particular order) Chris Marker, Andrei Tarkovsky, Samuel Beckett, Joseph Beuys and Philip Glass.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
    In the immediate future I plan to continue working on my Layers series. A new series of Internet broadcasts using speech bots, writers and place. ( SB:SB. Speech Bot:Samuel Beckett. Paris. 2008). To get my work seen through exhibitions, on line and screenings.

    Can works of yours viewed online besides on Cinematheque ?
    www.johnmurphy.info