TSOTA meets Joe Cutts Video Artist and Film Programme Coordinator for Doc/Fest
[Inscribed, Members Exhibition, S1 Artspace, 2011]
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Cutts for a brief chat and interview for TOSTA. Joe is a Sheffield based Video Artist and Film Programme Coordinator for the international documentary festival Doc/Fest. Graduating with a Degree in Fine Art (2010) at Sheffield Hallam University Joe decided to reside in the City of steel. I asked Joe what it means to be an Artist in the North of England and especially Yorkshire, whilst gaining insight into his practice and working life style as an Artist and Programmer.
TOSTA: Joe, the ice breaker, could you explain to us your artistic practice in 100 words?
JC: As an artist my work is created using a rigorous lyricism in the approach to the medium of film. The rhythmical interpretations are constructed using experimental techniques and structured methodologies, where order is seen as a constant. Focusing less on conventional linear narratives and highlighting material on screen often utilising primary sources from a historical or mechanical tableau. In the process of stripping down to its most elemental aspects, the impact of filmic abstraction seeks instantly to address the viewer’s gaze and methodically produce a pleasure driven visual phenomena.
TOTSA: What research methods contribute to the making of your work?
JC: To have a further understanding of film or video, I consider the context in which moving image is programmed. Working as a freelance film programmer and in programming for Sheffield Doc/Fest since 2011 I am offered the platform to work on how film and video is exhibited, from a historical to a thematic standpoint. Other research methods involve how I reappropriate filmic equipment from a more historical tableau when considering the development of an artwork or the backdrop. Gaining a thorough understanding of the evolution of the projector is extremely subject to the making of my work.
[Image courtesy of fact.co.uk]
TOSTA: And are their any particular artists or experiences that have been an inspiration to you on your journey?
JC: Many artists have inspired me, from the compositions and studies of Hans Richter, Oskar Fischinger and Lis Rhodes to the sculptural, structural and fragile works of Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo and Raphael Hefti. When I consider producing a work of moving image, I must consider more than the subject matter, but the set design also, the backdrop, as though the scene is broken up of structural elements.
[Light Behaviour #2, Three Act Structure, S1 Artspace, 2014]
TOSTA: What is it that inspires you to make your artwork?
JC: The trial and testing of mechanics, both filmic and otherwise and the endless viewing of film, Dadaist, foreign and archive.
TOSTA: So do you think being an artist in Yorkshire makes it more or less challenging than being an artist in London? What are the advantages of being an artist in Yorkshire?
JC: Having never lived in London I’m sure several advantages would be through the resources and networks, however being based in Sheffield one may have to adapt to being even more resourceful. I try to never think territorially about one city being more opportunistic than another but from a filming standpoint, placement and location can dictate how an artwork is formed. Sheffield as a city has a wealth of history within the material it has supplied the rest of the world.
TOSTA: And what would you say is your biggest accomplishment as an artist to date?
JC: Exhibiting in New York alongside established artists, curating the film programme for Art Sheffield 2013 and co-programming the Tour de Cinema film programme to coincide with the last Tour de France.
TOSTA: What are your plans for 2015, do you have any projects you can tell us about?
JC: Sheffield Doc/Fest will take place this June with a brand new film programme and digital media platform.