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Even though we live so far away, there is just some kind of mutual telekinetic connection; he can call me from Brazil on a car phone and say: I am doing a video about Amsterdam and water and it will be very fast and nervous! And I think, okay, I know what it’s going to look like exactly from his point of view and he’s already got sounds of mine in his head. None of our projects are the same, but it’s like a blind date. You meet somebody and you start to think: Do we have some common language? For example, you work with someone who’s saying: can’t you make that guitar sound like a cymbal? What does that mean? Or: Can you make it more blue? And »blue«—just somebody might mean the blues, somebody also might mean depressing, somebody might mean Derek Jarman’s film «Blue»… And then you build on that language or it’s a bad date and you give up. But sometimes the bad part of it creates attention and that critique presents something interesting too. Everybody’s vocabulary is different and the vocabulary you create is always unique to the collaborative process.
The question of collaboration and hierarchy really is kind of a core question. I really think that everything I know as an artist came through collaboration—but where you have to be very careful is: just set terms of collaboration as early on as possible. The reason ultimately I think I stopped collaborating so much with visual artists is there was always this hierarchy. I had a big argument with an artist who I was close to just before a performance of music and video projection. He said: You have to change the music, these are my images! I said, well, no, this is our thing! But, even on these collaborations someone says, let’s work on this project!—and I make music, fully of my own conception, they make edits to my sound and create the structure and in the end it’s still a video tape by them, music by me. And this is hierarchy and it’s a hierarchy of the same people who came back to me and said: Oh, my video tape won first prize at this festival and I’m thinking: wasn’t that our project? The problem of hierarchy is basically that most experimental video art is treated in the framework of visual arts.
I don’t think that in video art the structures of the