Servo is a young artist who’s living in Paris. He’s been involved in so many project, including record sleeve layout (Von Magnet, Mimetic Field, Wild Shores), CD-Rom (Ltno, Laurent Ho, Museum Jean Tingely), website design, that we can easily qualify him a “multimedia lad”. His last activity is focused on experimental music and interactive images created and controlled live. I had the opportunity to see him on stage at la Maroquinerie, a club located in the 20 th district.
This short encounter probably gives you some clue to appreciate and discover his global work.
What is your artistic background? What about your studies and experiences? Have they been shaping your way of working today?
Basically I studied graphic art for 3 years. I’m very fond of repetitive, strange and dark music. I’ve designed record sleeves (for the French indie band Von Magnet), done graphic art for the independent music press and then computer live graphics… I’ve always composed lots of rhythmic sequences at the same time. Each of my experiences – even mean – shapes things to come.
How did you come to use interactive material?
When discovering and exploring softwares things are brought to light little by little new possibilities unveil and you become aware of the wide range of things you can do. Manipulations sometimes lead to more obvious and more interesting things. Theoretically shockwave enables you to generate cyclic eternal ambiences with very simple and basic elements.
Why is the relationship between your creations and the user so important to you?
The human gesture, which is both warm and numb, brings up the necessary ‘accident’ to the perfect workings of a too well-regulated mechanism.
The internet, music and print are sometimes antagonistic domains. What do you feel the most at ease in? Why?
Personally I feel freer in music because it’s the most organic domain even though it is generated by a computer. The internet is an experimental field which is rather vast and technical. The print is nowadays much less common. I see my approach to it in a softer way, I work on more classic principles.
In your work there is an obvious contrast between rather soft organic shapes and angular geometrical shapes. Is that your main purpose?
The purpose of it is “getting into the vibes”, it is a whirlpool for the senses that naturally leads things to different registers. The organic domain is indeed softer and connected to more changeable, natural and simple behaviours whereas the graphic elements that are straighter and more precisely ruled and regulated refer to artificial, mechanical and highly-rhymical worlds.
Is there in your music the same aesthetical concern than in your visual work?
My main concern is giving the most to the senses with fewer elements as possible.
Although your art and work look quite hard, even aggressive, they are often tinged with a kind of avant garde poetry. Would you be called a digital poet?
Poetry and typography are connected – a poems stirs emotions in an often minimal format. There lies the bond between the two. The original want that guides me in the making of my graphics is basically audio ocular and leaves enough space for the other senses to be stirred too. Expression is evolutive and differs according to your own perception. It can be aggressive, dynamic, but it is always in movement.