Monday, June 11, 2007


Mike Swaney.

There was no better choice for the first zine to kickstart dilly print proper. Ridiculously talented and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I was very very proud to put this zine out, and if you get a copy, you dont have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out why...
One new idea i wanna bring to this blog is little interviews...10 x questions... and as i'm kicking off today and therefore officially selling Mikes zine 'Artifacts from Finland', who else could i throw 10 questions at?

Here we go!


1.Hello Mike. How would you describe your art to a blind person?

Hmmmm..that's a tough first question. I might start by saying, domestic scenes with people interacting, a lot of texture...and then I would pass the microphone to Tim.

2.Your part of the Humanfive collective. How did you guys get together, and how do you keep doing stuff even though your in another continent?

We got together during and after college. We all went to the same college design/illustration program for 3 years and after graduation decided it was better to link and form a group. We've been doing lots of collabos via email. We did a big series of digital collages between 3 of us, mailing them back and forth and simon and I recently made 2 long distance zines. We also try to mail packages once in a while.

3. Barcelona. Your originally from Canada, but you live in Barcelona...why there? whats the art scene like out there?

The only reason I came in the first place was because I always had the word 'Spain' in my head for many years, and more specifically, Barcelona. I never knew why, I never had seen anything or knew much about this place, and never had learned spanish...but, I knew I had to come.
When I came it was just as perfect as i'd imagined.
I left Vancouver because I wasn't happy at the time and needed a big change to reassess my situation from a distance or at least get out of it for a while. I was tired of the cold social behavior in vancouver, not being able to say hi or even look at people on the street. The depressing weather in the winters and the bad espressos. Spain was the perfect contrast to all that was missing in daily life, enjoying the simple things like eating and drinking outside with friends in the sun. smiling at people on the street..ordering cafe con leche and they know exactly how to make it.
The art scene...I have mixed opinions about that. I've been here long enough now to see both sides of the city. On one side I see it's reputation for being a 'modern' forwarding thinking place filled with creative people, and on the other side I see a place that is hesitant to accept new ideas and doesn't think outside of itself. There are a ton of people doing things and a lot of competition. it can be visually saturating at times but I try to filter out that stuff and keep to myself when it comes to art.

4.You collect /scavenge/recycle the world for finds whats your best find to date?

I found this incredible paper mache sculpture after chrismas of one of the 3 kings. there was a whole parade-type float built on top of a wheel chair with the whole nativity scene in it, all made out of bottles draped in fabric and heads of painted paper
mache. I would have taken it all but it was huge so i only took one king

5.Your work features pooing. Why?

That's the funniest question i've ever had to answer. I guess it's still funny to me after all these years.
Well, I must give credit to something that has impacted me a lot these past couple years and resparked my interest in poo jokes...Since living in Barcelona, I was introduced to 2 Catalan folkloric characters that come out around christmas. They're called 'Caganer' and 'Caga Tio' and they are absolutely hilarious. Caganer appears in the nativity scenes hiding in the forest, usually behind a tree and always crouching and pooing. I've asked many people and the general consensus is that he symbolizes hope for a fertile new year for the crops and the land. Caga Tio literally means 'shitting guy' and it's a log with face painted on one side, with 2 sticks propping it up like a little animal.
At christmas, families have them in their houses and they cover the bum area with a blanket and 'feed it nuts' under the blanket during the following days until christmas. Then on christmas, the kids hit the caga tio with a stick while singing a song, and the parent's check under the blanket to see what gifts he has pooed out.
Pure genius.

6.Whats your favourite flavour ice-cream?

I've always been big on the caramelly, chocolatey,fudgey, coffeey, peanut buttery flavors.

7.If you were king of the world for the day, what would you decree?

Pancake breakfast!!!!!!!!

8.Whats the worst thing youve ever done?

Pissed in a kid's water bottle when I was really young. I guess that's not that bad is it?

9.What makes you angry?

Mostly humans. But better off not going into details...

10.What are you most proud of?

Learning another language.

...and thats his 10 questions! Thank you Mike! If you want a copy of his zine, be quick, they really are selling out fast (no bullshit)...thanks for reading! if you have any suggestions for future interviewees - email me!

Mike Swaney webpage


No comments: