Q & A with: Olga Mink | lightrhythm visuals

Olga Mink’s first album and retrospective of major works to date is planned to release on LRV in summer this year entitled “The Nature of Being”. Olga Mink spends a few moments with us to talk over some recent projects and influences. (interview by shantell martin /// photo by tom bland)

Where are you based out off? Netherlands, Eindhoven
Tell us about your background and experiences in the Audio Visual scene?
I switched from fine arts to animation design during my art studies. I started experimenting with experimental video and performance. During my Masters, I started gaining interest in (immersive) installations. Gradually my work shifted towards combining disciplines and using multi-screen presentations. Next to my art practice, I work as a freelance curator for cultural organizations and festivals. Currently I’m working for Re:visie, the annual Dutch film festival in Utrecht. Recently I got myself a part-time job, as a consultant in media art education, this job allows me to shift my focus into a new perspective, which is a new challenge.

What are some of your Influences and Inspirations?
Could be individuals, an art movement, technology, nature etc
Hard to say. There are many artists that inspire me. I tend to get inspired by ‘things’ or ‘people’ that reveal a new way of looking at the world. Whether this is art, music, design, architecture, technology, poetry, science or something else doesn’t really matter.

Is there a Major project/s and Successes that you have worked on in the past?
A successful project is a project that still means something for me personally. Work that I am proud of is for example Atlantida, a collaboration with Scanner. Made by traveling 7 islands in 7 days, and therefore quite an intense experience.

Atlantida, Installation at 2nd Biennial of the Canaries 2009 from Olga Mink on Vimeo.

The Sjansmachine, a collaboration with Rolf van Gelder and Carmin Karasic, is my latest project and gained a lot of attention in the Dutch press recently. It’s an interactive installation reflecting current phenomena in networked culture and social media. It connects people in the real world instead of in the virtual, and enables the audience to experience emergent technologies, such as augmented reality and QR Codes.

sjansmachine (flirtmachine), an interactive installation from Olga Mink on Vimeo.

What are some of your favorite projects/shows to date?
I am developing a project for the city council of Eindhoven. This installation generates real-time music and animation, based on RFID technology. People experience a unique audiovisual repertoire based on their social security number, displayed on a huge public video wall with 36 HD screens.
Future predictions on where you see you and your work going?
Next weeks’ show is a live video-drawing project alongside Belgian musicians, as part of a piece that’s called Totem. This is collaboration with Matthew Wright from the UK and Eric Schleim from Brussels.
Sjansmachine has been invited to the Boston Cyberarts Festival, next year. Last but not least, two of my works have been shortlisted for the USA Celeste Network Art Prize 2010, in New York. So, mostly my work is being presented outside of the Netherlands.
Why should we go see your work?
I hope to bring something new into the world, by interacting and communicating with the world around me. Some works are more permanent and often tune in to a specific space. Other works require a special environment to be experienced at its best. I prefer bringing my work to the people instead of vice versa. I like the idea of intervening in public space instead of inviting people to visit my work and trying to live up to the spectators’ expectations.