A few weeks ago I discovered some artworks that I immediately loved. I wanted to present you some of them but what could be better than to meet the artist who made them? So, let’s go and see the interview with ffice:smarttags" />Scart, (Aka Shane Carter), Australian Digital artist.
01 - First of all, how did you come to the art?
When I was younger I used to have ideas for images/visions etc, but since i couldn’t draw by hand, I wasn’t able to express them. My brother Brett suggested I get an Apple computer for doing sound and graphic work and that’s what I’ve used since then. Some images are so complicated that it’s nearly impossible to express them but the simpler or more straight forward ones generally get finished. I’m hoping to get a faster computer with more space so that the more detailed ideas can eventually be created.
02 - What artists have influenced you, and how?
I get influnced by other Artists but they don’t neccesarily need to be visual ones. Diego Rivera was a fantastic muralist, his social comments through his art were brilliantly done. I appreciate H.R.Giger, Winston Smith and David Ho. I’m also influenced a lot by poets , musicians, comedians, activists etc. I’m lucky enough to have a brilliant poet, Sara Moss, as my partner and also am able to work with other great writers through the Synaptic Graffiti Collective, creating a mix of arts and activism. Comedians like Bill Hicks, a social satirist, bands like the Dead Kennedys, Conflict, Rage Against the Machine, SOAD, etc, it all influences me in different ways.
03 - Your art is, without any doubt, a committed message to the world. What, in your opinion, could help people to react against this world and change it?
People becoming empowered. People are told, more and more, to allow “higher” authorities to make their judgements for them, to get on with their everyday problems and leave the business of decision making to the “Authorities”. The trouble with this is that those “Authorities” are being funded and paid to make decisions that are for the benefit of companies, not people. People joining together, discussing, coming together as groups, contacting with other like minded groups, etc can be more empowering than anything else, especially now with the use of the internet as a way to also network with people and groups in other countries. Knowing that you have the support of others around the world on certain issues and beliefs can be the difference between people being Active in their own futures or Passively accepting what Governments and Businesses feel like giving them. Politics is usually protrayed as “boring and dull” and the problems of sewage and road maintenace, etc IS “boring and dull” but Politics ALSO means “What you’ll be paid for your labour”, “How your Children will be educated and treated by Governments and Businesses in the future” and “what Rights you and others have on a daily basis”. These things are only “political issues” to Governments, to the people that are concerned, they are very personal and people need to remember that.
04 - One of your artwork, in my opinion one of the better for its impact, could be considered as violent. Could you tell us more about Junkie Propaganda?
“Junkie Propaganda” is about how people wait for their opinions to be given to them, whether by Ray Martin, CNN, Fox News, etc. The Needle (media) injects the Drug (propaganda) and even when it’s worthless, such as reality TV, we become addicted. It’s the same with News, Current Affairs shows, etc and people all over do it, of all political persuasions and cultures. We think our opinions are our own but we only really have the information that we’ve already been given to work with. Most people don’t really question the NEWS since we assume that it’s unbiased, which is wrong, and that it is fact, which is also wrong. Stations and channels are owned by bosses and companies who obviously have their own agendas, who make sure that certain “slants” are put on information, make sure other stories AREN’T covered and sometimes just outright lie, either for ratings purposes, sensationalism or their own political reasons.
In many of your works you point Bush, Blair etc...
05 - Did you have a message for Georges W. Bush?
I understand what you’re saying but I don’t think there is much point giving a message to George Bush. He isn’t really in charge of the US Govt, he isn’t smart enough to be truly evil and probably, judging by the dull look in his eyes, doesn’t really understand all that is happening around him or as a result of the decisions he is being told to make. He’s nothing much more than his fathers puppet but I suppose if I had a message to give him it would be:
“Mr Bush, if you are truly a christian, remember that you WILL eventually be held accountable for all that you have done and allowed to be done, as will those that support you. Those who order slaughters are just as guilty of War Crimes as those who carry them out. Your money may protect you from the judgement of the world but it can’t protect you from the judgement of God”.
06 -What is your reaction to the re election of Tony Blair?
It’s mixed. On one hand I’m glad that the “Tories” didn’t get in to power because things would return to the horror show that they became under Thatcher with working men and womens rights destroyed in favour of company profits. On the other hand I feel for the Labour voters who had no real option other than to vote for a Prime Minister that has assisted in the death of 100, 000 Iraqi people. I suppose the best hope is that Blair, who is only in Labour because there were no positions going in the Conservative Party at the time, is replaced as the head of Labour and a true Labour representative is then in power.
07 - You are Australian and one of your work, Ko-ko-pel-li, concerns the subject of the natives. What do you think about their role on the societies (Australia, USA, South America) and about what government made of them?
I can’t really speak with regard to other countries but in Australia, the indigenous people (Aborigines) have been treated horrifically from the first time Europeans set foot in this country. They have been killed, raped, enslaved and had their cultures systematically decimated for over two hundred years. There has been no formal treaty signed due to the fact that Australia was declared “Terra Nullius” from the start, i.e. “an empty land”, which was obviously a lie. The Australian Aborigines are one of THE oldest cultures in existence and have been here over 40,000 years (possibly even 60,000) yet the current right-wing Australian government continues and compounds the disgusting treatment of them. This government is continually trying to repeal land rights agreements, offering no real possibility of Self Determination and still adopts a “poor stupid natives, white fellas know what’s best for them” attitude. Native people around the world know their countries, their land’s cycles and histories better than anyone and could be great contributors to society but the only times they’re ever brought to the attention of the public is when they’re selling their culture to tourists so they can eat and sustain their families or when they’ve done something illegal. Then much is made of their race, as if it is the reason for the crime. Native people need to be given the rights and means to determine their own futures, since the land and ways that once made that possible have been taken from them.
08 - Blinded has also an impact very strong. Could you tell us more about it?
“Blinded” is about how we are supposedly given complete freedom but we are so bombarded with “culture” that you can’t really SEE the truth, you can’t HEAR what someone is saying to the point of really understanding it and your “FREE SPEECH” is so lost in the techno-hyper-babble that no-one can hear you. You see people stop listening to each other in the middle of conversations just so they can answer their mobile phone, then put that person on hold while another call comes through, all the while changing their ringtone to the latest Eminem tune, that sounds like Elevator music and annoys the shit out of everyone around them, then wonder why the first person walks away from them. All the while, they were listening to “LifeStyle Soundtrack” songs on their iPod. And we wonder why kids have attention problems.
09 - A polemic in France points the fact that media are influencing votes of the citizens by giving free voice to a side and not to the other, for the next referendum about the European Constitution. What do you think about that and, more, about censorship?
The Media works on advertising revenue. They give voice to a “side” or groups only if it will
A. Improve Ratings
B. Support the existing view of the owners/shareholders of the particular media groups or
C. They get paid to.
I’m not fully aware of the European Constitution Referendum but in Australia the Media owners are supporters of the conservative party, ironically called the “Liberal Party”, which means that while the opposition to them is still given coverage, it is only the public owned Station (ABC) that allow real responses and debates to be broadcast. The mainstream media adopt a fairly right-wing stance, help keep racism high, compassion low and generally follow the lead of the Govt since the owners of these networks make the largest contributions to the conservative party. Most people don’t truly understand Media which makes it easy to hide racist motives, right-wing agendas and even advertising amongst supposed “news” items, current affair programs and “human interest” stories. The media has helped keep the conservative Howard Government in power for many years now.
With regard to Censorship, I think overall it is a very tricky area. It’s one thing to say that people should be free to express their opinion, regardless of their political, religous, sexual or social points of veiw but where do we draw the line? Is a painting of the White House on fire simply an idea, a premonition or a threat to national security. Is a depiction of a child being molested classed as ART? What if the artist is the person that was molested and they are just trying to express what happened to them? I think a general rule is “If you don’t like something, don’t buy it, look at it, listen to it or support it. Allow others to make that same choice for themselves and do not inflict your personal views on them.” Obviously there are exceptions to this, such as very young children, but it’s a hard issue to deal with I think.
10 - iPrison is about the prisons that each one of us built, our own mental prisons. Do you think that real freedom (spiritual, physical) is possible for a man?
I think that mental freedom is possible, even when physical freedom is being denied to someone. If you are imprisoned, held captive or restrained, whether by people or disabilities, but are able to keep your mind free, stay true to yourself, then I think you can be free. Some people have never been restrained in their entire lives but they allow society, government and others to dictate what they can and can’t think or feel and until they leave those restraints behind, they’ll never be free.
11 - Is there any signification to your symbol?
I dreamt it about 5-6 years ago. I was in water, there were large translucent whale like creatures filled with coloured lights and dolphins swimming around and this was the huge symbol that I could see at the bottom of the ocean/water. To me it stands for my art and music and is tattooed on my right arm.
12- You’re also a musician. Can you talk to us about your music?
I play guitar and write songs, music and lyrics. In a way it’s similar to my art, in that it has to work by itself for me, not just as a message or idea. It’s a mix I guess, of punk , which is my main influence since I was young, a small amount of rap, sort of in the RATM style, and mixing punk/hardcore, metal, blues, rap and techno together. I’ve had it called “hardcore industrial political” but some pieces are light and accoustic and some don’t really fit a particular category. To me it has to have a “groove”, no matter how heavy or light the music or beats. I’ve been in several bands such as Berzerk Surgeons, SUSS, the satirical Deaf Machine. I’m currently in the process of forming what is tentatively called “Molotov”. I’ll hopefully be performing live again soon and have been putting more of my energies into my music at the moment.
13 - For you, are painting and music complementary?
Yes, both feed each other. Something you can’t achieve musically, you may be able to do through art and vice-versa. They also spark ideas and help create each other. There are several works I have such as “Revolution” that are both songs and art works and sometimes working on music while in the middle of an art piece can help clarify something and the other way around.
14 - What are you working on at present?
Art wise, several pieces, one created as a large back tattoo idea that involves many elements and has a surreal feel to it but as always a social element as well. Others are more subversive T-Shirt designs. Musically I think I have about 20-30 songs in various stages of completion, which is sort of frustrating but exciting as well. I have many ideas but space (computer space), time and other limitations means that it may be a while before some of the more ambitous ones are realized. I am alos working with other artists, poets, msuciains etc on various small projects within the Synaptic Graffiti Collective.
15 - If you could send one message to the world, what would it be?
Understand that you have more in common with people in other countries than you think. People in other cultures who share a similar position in society as you probably understand what you go through each day, working, struggling, etc more than the rich in your own country do. They are not the ones that take your rights away and keep your pay low. They face the same things you do and on the day that we all understand that and begin to unite together, People will become the ONLY Superpower.
16 - Something more to say?
Thanks for this interview Corinne, the questions were interesting and although I ranted a bit/lot ;-), I enjoyed answering them. Anyone interested in my work can find it at:
SCART : from the subversive to the sublime...
DevianART : Scart
Synaptic Graffiti Collective
or email me here
Thanks & cheers
Thanks a lot for the interview Scart, I really enjoy to do it
Interview made by Clandestina