Catalan, Cristobal

Cristobal Catalan
Spanish videomaker

biography

Interview:10 questions

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

Raised by passionate Spanish in a busy family household. I started out with an interest in being an actor, then somehow I got “behind the camera”, as they say, and developed from there.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

A neighbour in Valencia (Spain) had an ancient camcorder and was kind enough to let me experiment with it after college and weekends. I really wanted to try micro stories that reflected time manipulation. Later on I wasn’t necessarily interested in overtly abstract films, but I did want to write stories and produce images that provided an alternative way of telling stories.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

I’ve got a lot of projects on the way. I like to explore a variety of issues and subjects, especially advocacy based projects or those that explore diversity. Right now, I am looking at cultural imperialism and identity tourism. Particularly, I’m looking to produce work that is self-reflexive, attempting to reconsider how we look, what we look at and if there are ways to reverse that spectatorship.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I am keen to try out anything new. When developing projects I try to keep an open mind.


5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

If it records, I’ll use it.

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is is manifesting itself as an important position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field ( your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

Video art may be in danger of becoming trendy! They say that when something raw or underground becomes trendy, it loses itself or becomes, as Baudrillard might argue, commoditised. Alternatively, perhaps it will be a good thing and produce new forms of expression. Who knows? Exciting times ahead.


7. How do you finance your films?

Along the way I have been very fortunate to achieve occasional investor support, grants and sponsorship. When those have not worked out, I am totally self-funded, which as you can imagine can be difficult. Also the kindness of friends and strangers donating their valuable time.

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 enjoy working in both capacities. They often provide different outcomes and aesthetics.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

So many to mention. Hmmm…the writings of Laura Mulvey, the tragedies of Federico García Lorca, the visual designs of Tomoo Shimogawara and Salvador Dali, some of the ‘fly on the wall’ works of Chris Marker, Andrei Tarkovsky, Teshigahara Hiroshi and Nam June Paik….to name a few.

10. What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I try not to limit myself to any specific outcomes; I am open to exploring any avenue of production and distribution, particularly projects that involve mobile or interactive technologies. I hope to move into feature film and documentary while maintaining some forms that challenge common narrative or aesthetics.