Interview with

Dr Strangeloop

David Wexler aka Dr. Strangeloop is an artist and graphics designer. Best known for his work designing and performing live-visual shows for musicians like Flying Lotus, Skrillex, and Erykah Badu, Wexler is the grand son of Academy Award winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler, and the son of Academy Award winning sound-mixer Jeff Wexler. David’s short films have been selections at the Telluride Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Amsterdam Film Experience and received the American Movie Classics Young Filmmaker award when he was 15. He is a member of Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label and founder of the audio-visual think-tank Teaching Machine.

Facts

1 x 3: [We are] catalysts to say what has never been said, to see what has never been seen. To draw, paint, sing, sculpt, dance and act what has never before been done. To push the envelope of creativity and language. And what’s really important is, I call it, the felt presence of direct experience. Which is a fancy term which just simply means to have to stop consuming our culture. We have to create culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time, where you are now, is the most immediate sector of your universe. And if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson of Bill Clinton or somebody else, you are disempowered. You are giving it all away to icons. Icons which are maintained by electronic media, so that you dress like X and have lips like Y.This is shit-brained kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion. And what is real is you and your friends, your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, and your fears. And we are told no. We are unimportant, we’re peripheral, get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that, and then you’re a player. You don’t even want to play in the game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hand s of cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.

~ Terence McKenna

Questions

What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I’ve been tapping out little intricate rhythms on anything that’s around as long as I can remember, its kind of an OCD quality I have. I always feel rhythms in me, and over the years they have come to inform everything I do. I took classical piano lessons for 8 years before aband oning them in favour of electronic experimentation.

How and when did you get into making music?
When I was 14 I began working on Protools and helped my high school found its electronic music department. There was never a question in me of whether I wanted to make music or media, it all came naturally and intuitively … it was in a way the most obvious thing to do with my time.

What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
uh-ohhh ___ Thiiiisss question :0 hahaha. I think I can’t answer that, I am in flux, always, but I can tell you what is in my mind / heart right now … what is really inspiring me.
FLYING LOTUS – COSMOGRAMMA
FOUR TET – ROUNDS
SIGUS ROS – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaus
STEVE REICH – MUSIC for 18 MUSICIANS
RACHEL’S – Systems / Layers

What do you associate with Berlin?
Whenever I’m in Europe everyone tells me I NEED to go to Berlin. I hear great things about the music, art, the people. It sounds like a mecca for some pretty forward-thinking work …
hopefully sometime soon I’ll be able to experience it for myself.

What’s your favourite place in your town?
This is wonderfully broad, haha … Though I can conjure up my answer almost immediately,
It is the Downtown Independent Theatre. The owner Jim Kirst, Gus, Vivian, all those people have really created an entirely new kind of 21st century venue. I feel honored to be able to play there so often. It is not just a theatre, music venue, or performance space, it is a hybridization of all these things.
To me, as a venue, it is a profound evolution from the purely traditional cinematic-space and represents a whole spectrum of new possibilities in media / sound / performance, erupting in Los Angeles.

If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I think about the world as basically musical in nature, so it is very hard to divorce music from it. I think if there were no music in the world, there would be no world :D

What was the last record you bought?
SIGUR ROS – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaus. Check out the video for Gobbldeygook! my buddy, artist Ben Olsen showed it to me all enthusiastic … we were ready to run out into the wildernessand take a bunch of psychedelics, it was so inspiring we didn’t know what to do with ourselves :D I wanted to just bang on a drum, naked, for the rest of eternity.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Hmm… There is definitely a lot of people I would love to collaborate with, but off the top of my head I would love to collaborate with CLARK ; I’m just finishing up this LORN promo video for Brainfeeder, and it is a trip to see his credit on there. He mastered the album, and it sounds incredible. He really inspired me in a way that few musicians have … his sound is a future-aesthetic I can roll around with, an empowering companion, strangely emotional, and psychically catalytic.

What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Oh I couldn’t say, but this last Flying Lotus gig [ Cosmogramma release party] was pretty phenomenal. It was the first time where Steve and I were really collaborating on the visuals live. We had visuals feeds from both our computers running through a video-mixer and I was utilizing both to weave it all together. I have performed with Steve so much, and he has less of a need.

How important is technology to your creative process?
I think of technology in a Marshall McCluhan kind of way; all our technologies are extensions of the Self. „The book is an extension of the eye, the clothing is an extension of the skin, electric circuitry is an extension of the central nervous system.“ I am my technology, and it has as much a voice in the creative process as I do. However, I think it is important to remember that the most advanced technology we know of is our own nervous systems … that’s a really good starting point.

Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I have a sister named Ness, and I think we are both very proud of one another. We used to have a lot of rivalry; I would try to flush her barbies down the toilet and what-not, and she would terrorise me a little bit, but now we seem to be on good terms. Also, I’m an Uncle now, which is really nice :D I’m very proud of her, working, helping Abby grow up. This music stuff can be tough sometimes, but she’s on a whole other level! :D

Our Favourites: Invisible forest  | Tendrils | Anamnesia: a loss of forgetfulness

Links: Soundcloud |  Facebook

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