+Commissioned by Rhizome+
Interview with Kathleen Daniel (aka Silicious), by Petra Cortright
Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist Kathleen Daniel (aka Silicious)
combines painting/ animation, music, costume design, and performance
in her video art, which is as-yet still emerging in the fine art
world, but has garnered her cult status online. Daniel was born in
Minneapolis, Minnesota, and describes herself as eclectic. She has a
humorous, imaginative vision that is evident in her voice, and she
sites a challenging upbringing and youth fantasies as inspirations in
her work. She says, "I sing for the poor souls closest to the street;
the ones who suffer the most." Here she was interviewed by artist
Petra Cortright, who incorporates questions posed by fellow fans Olia
Lialina & Tom Moody.
PC: You are American, but now live in Germany. What was your
motivation for moving abroad? How has it affected your work?
KD: Yes, I am an American, living in Germany. I came here because
nothing was happening for me in my country (USA), which is too
corporate, though not a problem if you're not relying on a 9 to 5.
Living in Germany has not affected my work, because my mind trips 24/7
and living here is nothing but a meatball - nothing major is happening
that would change my inner being. My goal is to hype my music and
animation to the next level, then return to the States - or at least
PC: What programs or technology do you use to create your work?
KD: Because some are given to me I don't want to mention them, but to
name a few, Frame Forge and Blender 3D and for music: Cubase. As an
artist, I do a lot of work in an image-editing program, where I can
express myself. Years ago I had an oil-painting exhibition in San
Mateo, California, that was written in the San Mateo Weekly.
PC: On average do you usually start with the visuals and then set them
to music, or vice-versa? Or do you find yourself working on both
simultaneously? (This question comes from Tom Moody).
KD: Most of the time I do music first, then the visuals, because I
draw on the music to do the visuals. Humor is my forte, and at
present I'm working on an animated sitcom and any time I do a lot of
dialog - the music is last because I draw on the mood of the
characters to create the music.
PC: The subject matter of your imagery is unique and provocative (for
example the tiled background of your YouTube page is a woman
strangling herself and vomiting) as well as surreal and heavily
fantasy-based. What are some main sources of inspiration that the
imagery is derived from, if any?
KD: Salvador Dali is my inspiration, but I have always been slightly
weird in expressing myself artistically. I was a hippy and took acid
and magic-mushroom trips and still have that mentality today - without
the acid and mushroom. A free-spirited, laid-back, freakadelic.
PC: What are other YouTube channels or artists you are interested /
influenced by right now - any recommendations? (This question comes
from Olia Lialina).
KD: I don't spend a lot of time looking at videos on YouTube. Some
producers send me videos to comment on, but my taste is so weird none
stand out, and so none come to mind. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure
there are some dynamite videos out there, I just haven't seen them. I
run in, answer my mail and get off, because it is distracting and I
need to keep focused.
Addendum: Regarding the question [above], it bothered me that I