Interviews



Interview with Joe

Published in Domination #9
Performed by Jazzcat


j

D)
Welcome to the Domination, firstly, as normal, please introduce yourself to the readers (name, age, height etc..)

J)
My name is James Svard, I am 20 years old. I dress in black, have always a clean shaven head, clean glasses and polished shoes. I have a very skinny, tiny body, pale. I study Aesthetics, art and design for the third year and I work as a politically active communist - or if you like culture revolutionary. In my electric home I listen to different forms of electronic music: Electro - Acoustic music (Stockhausen, Darmstadt) Robot Pop - Kraftwerk), Body music Minimalistic techno Industrial noise. But there is really too much sound pollution these days. I have owned a computer for 10-11 years. There is no difference between my "real" life and my computer activities, the people around me are mostly the same.



D)
You have been quite active over the past few years, with graphics in the form of party entries, 'Courtesy Of Soviet', 'Mobile Art', 'Stupidity III' and other smaller productions. What satisfaction do you gain from doing your graphics? Personal achievement? pleasing the scene? What drives you to keep painting and maintain the great quality we have witnessed?

J)
Wrath Design is not interested in personal fame, we want to create an industrial cult: using political statements, functional design, giving products a social meaning and as well as entertaining the viewer. The only satisfaction for us, is when the design of a product is completed, where all parts fit together. I think 'Stupidity 3' is such a product although I am not sure people understand it yet. 'I love you' was more a continuity of some design ideas we had. Its always like that... Wrath workers meet, discuss ideas: which direction we should go, what solution is the best. Then we turn on our machines, we play the computers, the computers play us. Processing gives skill. It is all part of our lives.



D)
Your scene career must be quite extensive, could you please give the readers some background on your scene life from the start to present day?

J)
I think I joined Antic in 1991, but all that is a part of the past. I don't remember so much, and I don't want to talk about it. Most important has been my role as a unit in the Wrath factories these last years. 'Courtesy Of Soviet' was a breakthrough I think, but that is also with the past. I do more than just painting, I would not like to call myself an artist, but maybe a graphic designer or visual architect. For example: I did the ball-colour-object in 'Stupidity 3'. Many people forget that even non-art is just art.


D)
I am not sure if you are aware, but the C64 magazine industry has boomed in quality. What is your opinions of the magazines of today compared with several years ago? Is there room for improvement?

J)
I don't read much magazines. I guess they are just like they always have been. The only thing lacking is the political self-consciousness.



D)
If you had the choice to create the all time C64 scene group and had the chance to grab any scener from any time as member, who would you take and why?

J)
Every system works with smaller units, disconnecting and reassembling them into new systems doesn't necessarily work. There must be a basic factor, in our case it was people interested in politics, the industrial cult (electronic music and the with-coming lifestyle!) and the progressive art of man.


D)
What are your favourite sceners of all time under the groups of cracking group, cracker, programmer, graphician, musician, game, demo..

J)
It is hard to recognise what has been good but I guess I like Chorus and Daw's style (Triad). Most of the ideas from Kjer, Boogaloo, Pernod (Horizon, but also the former group SSS and Mastermind in Thundercats), others are Rob Hubbard. The sample mixing and minimalistic demo design of Cycleburner. The work of Danko and Swallow (Censor) and Bob of Censor as the best minimal artist on this computer. I remember a small demo from Ash + Dave, Electric Cafe which included a digi-mix of Kraftwerk's "Boing boom tschak" (They even had two miniature Kraftwerk heads rotating and jumping around on the screen). Microtop/Starion, Einstein/Upfront (for his performance in "Mixer"). I do not remember any special graphic artist during these years; sometimes non-art or design is more rememberable than pictures converted from some big commercial artist. (A trend which I believe started in 1991) However "Krestology" by Crest was nice...



D)
Your handle, JOE, where did you get it from? what is the reason for you to choose this name, and is it your only one?

J)
A three letter name... (get it?) The pseudonyms has already lost it's charm, I could rather use my own name. One funny thing about handles is in the group Profik, where each members uses a number. -A true collective thought!


D)
The illegal scene has gone through changes for the worse over the last couple of years. English game companies have sold out to go Console & PC crazy and only the faithful have stayed on C64. What do you think is the best way for the scene to thrive once again... Games? Internet? Marketing in other countries?

J)
Well designed creations which play on man's intellectual and emotional senses: leading to a dialog between the artist and viewer. Today there is only monolog, everyone is being dictated either by designs set by one group or slavishly following trends from other computer systems. The only dialog which can be traced is a small "hello" - the greeting list..



D)
For new sceners entering the scene, what words of advice could you give them so that they could more easily achieve what they wish in the scene. Should a scener go legal or illegal? and what is your definition of lame and elite?

J)
Anybody can use the machine and so can you! Try to find which discipline you master the best. Never do art if you haven't got any message or if you are not able to create something on your own. Copying "real life" artists kills! learn from trial and error. I do not use such terms as "lame" or "elite" and I don't encourage others to use them. However I have recollection of other sceners’ views of their meaning: A lame person - could be a person who is considered boring, childish, untalented. Often new comers are unfairly called lame. A elite person - is an idiot. (This becomes evident if this (person uses this term of himself). Some people called skilled person elite or if they are members of old and respected groups.


D)
In the board scene, do you think ragging and wars push the activity level of things into the red zone, or do you wish there to be more friendship and less arguments and controversy?

J)
All critics must be well agitated and logically debated. A person with any critic must also be judged. Some people get hurt from this, which is true.



D)
Do you have any scene/commercial related activities on any other computer/console formats? and what is your opinion on the internet, is it really the future?

J)
I was a member of Nemol (Amiga) later known as Rebecca, but I never did anything that was used. Internet is nothing new. Bulletin board systems have been around since the sixties. Communication has always been essential for mankind. I can't understand the technology masturbation over internet and the information technological revolution. We still live in the industrial age.. This talk about the "post-industrial era" is a lie! The technology itself cannot lead any revolution, only a true progressive political ideology can perform a true revolution. Most about internet is crap anyway! It is too uncritically swallowed by the masses.


D)
With your painting, which tools do you prefer to use, of the graphic editors currently available, which do you advise for artists to use and why? Is user-friendliness the main thing or is it the greater amount of options that make the better editor?

J)
I often use "FLI editor/Saga of Dolphins" because of the grid in the zoom menu and the easy colour choosing. User friendliness is a must, a computer program shall make things easier, not harder! (Like the colour changer with the function keys in a old version of "Funpaint". The best is if a program is both user friendly and holds many options. "Advanced art studio" is classic! (Lines, circles and copy scale functions). "Cenimate" from Bob/Censor Design is very useful (Uses 4 pictures which can be animated). I remember Ogami/Fairlight preferred using only the keyboard and not a joystick when painting, but it's all a matter of taste.



D)
What do you prefer to do, logos or pictures? and which do you think is your personal best of each?

J)
I do what is needed, nothing more. I think I have used some nice ideas for logos, but it's the photographic "digitized look-a-likes" I handle best. Just look at the intro picture in "Stupidity 3" and the pictures of me and my girlfriend in "I love you".


D)
What is your opinion of the following artist's styles:
Electric/Extend, Mirage/Focus, Deekay/Crest/[O], Cruise/Taboo, RRR/Oxyron, Hein Design/Focus, JTM/Visual Reality, Scope/F4cg?

J)
ELECTRIC/EXTEND - Much fantasy, some say he did collages of "real" artists work to produce own pictures. Nice old style technique.

MIRAGE/FOCUS - The "Shock" logo was fun. Many plots and colours in the later works. Very trained shadings.

DEEKAY/CREST/[O] - Haven't seen so much, no comment.

CRUISE/TABOO - Again fantasy.. to be honest, it would be nice to see other things, than just slavishly copied pictures. I like the logos better, they're personal!

RRR/OXYRON - Have only seen logos in old demos - too ordinary.

HEIN DESIGN/FOCUS - Even stars fade, nice shades, good colour balance in some. Funny to hear music from him as well.

JTM/VISUAL REALITY - Rather ordinary.

SCOPE/F4CG - Only saw an intro picture for Domination #4 (IFLI) with a hand holding a brain. The background looked like Mirage's.



D)
What do you think of the new way demos have developed into the trackmo style we see today, should we continue with this? stay traditional "part for part" style or maybe a mixture of both?

J)
We in Wrath Designs realised the potential of the trackmo concept rather early, (even though "C.O.S." was the first one) and we have tried to use it to fulfil our needs of a fast moving feeling to our products. "Stupidity 3" runs for 3 minutes. "I love you" lasts only 1 minute. A demo which takes little time to watch doesn't necessarily contain less quality, it only contains rationalized and compact quality. Many have copied this feeling, others only claiming it, even the 4x4 techno - psychedelic design of today's demos is absurd. Its only a plagiat of trends set on other computer systems which is plagiated all over by everybody (a copy of a copy of a copy..). Nothing is original, and the only content shows fascistic tendencies and mythical drug related influences. Not many demos today have something else to show.. Wrath Designs used 4x4 routines the first time in "Courtesy of soviet" long before the hysteria! Oxyron somewhat earlier "officially" released their version. Even the techno music from so called musicians is usually lower standard compared with old C64 music. Bad structures and sounds not even close to the 303 hysteria. Even here Wrath Designs can show a strong position in creating true electronic homecomputer, entertaining techno-pop (no fake progressive). The use of 4x4 routines was invented to create effects which wasn't possible to do with ordinary resolution. But now everybody uses it only for the sake of it. The idea "to do it smooth or don't do it at all" has been replaced with ugly looking, slow routines in demos of today’s "new, fresh and respected" groups. Most demos from The Party 6 should state an example of how not to do entertainment (some effects were even slower than if they would have been made in ordinary hi-res). A demonstration is made due to different reasons, mostly to show a nice amalgamation of arts to entertain. We also try to hold a message of greater importance. Upon such a task is always considered and I cannot say which is more suitable for demos. However more original solutions must be presented.



D)
What artwork in real life gives you inspiration or ideas to make the pictures you make. Fantasy art, sci-fi, gothic? Could you give us some examples of some artists you follow from or respect in someway?

J)
I liked fantasy art before, but only to a point where it gave no more. There is no content in fantasy art! Most graphic artists used to convert other pictures to present THEMSELVES lacking the knowledge to draw anything on their own. I have also done this at times when I found it suitable as solutions, and it is of course easy to criticise some of those solutions today. The picture "Passage" from H.R.Giger and the gynoid robot girl from Hajime Sorayama in "Stupidity 3" suited our image perfect as revolutionary, and proclaiming the futuristic industrial cult. This is how, if truly necessary, such art should be used. Today in so called real art (or even fine arts) I only like the works from people who wished to use their art for political/social needs (the modernists). Especially those of the Russia constructivists, (El Lissitzky, A.Rodchencko) the German "Bauhaus" - school (the steel framed chairs of Marcel Breuer, the typography of Herbert Baver) and of course the Dutch "De Stijl" - group (with Piet Mondrian I the lead with his white world of horizontal and vertical asymmetrical compositions, the hot blue jazz music lover.) The noisy screamy Italian futurists. Here is content. But in fantasy art; whatever category, you've only got dead, non-saying art.


D)
Do you hand draw in pen or pencil, do you think a knowledge or talent in this helps with pixelling on the computer?

J)
I paint in real life. It could be helpful to be good at it because you "see" things in another way. But it's not necessary to be able to draw in real life to become a good computer artist, however the intellectual work is the most important.



D)
What tips can you give for learning graphicians, how should they do things to produce better quality work?

J)
Most techniques based on mathematical formulas. The best way to learn is to watch how other people handle their techniques and learn that way. Not imitating. Style comes with work!


D)
What are your goals in real life and in the scene, tell the audience what you hope to achieve..

J)
Wrath Designs will continue to work the way we have done all the time, mainly "underground", all it depends on is a push on a button, and the factory will produce yet another fast slick product. We continue our ordinary lives in our electronic homes even in ten years time.


D)
Okay, I am quite sure you have a few hellos to give, so here’s your chance, give some greetings..

J)
Everybody who I have met in any way or have been corresponding to. To get in contact with the Wrath Designs factories, you can use the following addresses: (edited).


D)
Well that is all, I hope you enjoyed this edition, any last words to leave a final impression on the audience?

J)
"Let's make demos better" is a funny slogan, try to follow it instead of just proclaiming it.


D)
Thanks once again and best wishes in the future.

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