We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Klapper & Patrick Gallagher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris & Patrick, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is very much at the heart of creativity – financially, professionally and emotionally. Artists by nature are entrepreneurs. We are heavily invested in ventures requiring deep levels of commitment of time, effort and resources. All without a clearly defined path, zero guarantees and no safety nets. A benefit of direct collaboration is that it allows us to bring both of our expertises together and helps us push towards more ambitious projects. As interdisciplinary artists, we’re always looking for new mediums and technologies to incorporate into our immersive installations. We have never shied away from complicated concepts. Currently our work is focused on decoding subjects such as particle physics, higher dimensional math and raw data, which are all great inspirations for us. We also really like to push the boundaries of mediums, so the risks associated with experimentation always comes into play.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It’s a bit of a challenge to narrow down our work to one specific style or set of mediums. We describe ourselves as multimedia and multidimensional artists. Our subject matter is driven by very specific projects coming from different environments and experiences and can change drastically depending on the goal. Overall, a key feature of our work is exploring new technologies with the aim of expressing immense ideas: such as time, memory, scale and information. Our materials range from sound, sculpture, video, projection mapping, composites, digital new media, interactive programming and even performance. That said, there is a general thesis from our years of collaboration that has emerged and can be seen in our series, Dataatadata. Which concentrates the conceptual beauty of raw information and the poetry of numbers. This term and idea grew from an information age play on the early 20th century surrealist movement of Dadaism. In this body of work, spanning many different projects, we seek to make a philosophical and emotional connection using the language of raw data and information. One of the biggest challenges we faced in merging our work as a collaborative effort has been communication. Understanding each other’s approaches and thought processes can sometimes be challenging. An artist’s sensitivity to the concept and development of a work is a very personal set of events. Navigating this process can be a sticking point at times, but on the other side, a key element of our successes. One of the most important lessons and skills we’ve learned from this is the ability to step back, as with anything in life, if you commit to something that doesn’t feel right you can often feel obligated to continue. Recognizing these sticking points and giving them the proper space to rearrange themselves leads to stronger and successful projects.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d start off with walking on the Highline on the west side of Manhattan. It’s a magical place hovering about the city streets, especially on a warm day when you can walk from 34th all the way down to the meatpacking district off Gansevoort Street. After a quick pop into the Whitney Museum, since we’re right there anyway, we then head out to Brooklyn. One of our favorite places in NYC is The Invisible Dog Art Center. They are always showing wonderful art and performances. After socializing at the Dog for a bit, it’s back to our neighborhood of Bushwick. Over the past few years, Bushwick has blown up to become one of the best restaurant/bar and club hubs in the city. Situated between a labyrinth of warehouses, factories and packed neighborhood streets covered with amazing graffiti and murals, it’s got a wonderful atmosphere of exploration and discovery. The small local places are fantastic, there are secret spots hidden all over and even a few star chef restaurants scattered about. As with a lot of NYC, the energy of Brooklyn is contagious. No matter where you go you can always find great food, warm inviting atmospheres to unwind and meet incredibly inspiring people and a never ending menu of exciting events to discover.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We’re incredibly fortunate to have so much love around us, friends and family always encouraging us and helping us. If we had to list all the people who have helped us along the way, this article would be 50 pages long. We are definitely drawn towards artists and creators who strive to break new ground. We are also inspired by new technology and processes. We are currently the 2020-2021 artists-in-residence at Fermilab, The United States Department of Energy’s national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. This has been an incredible opportunity for us. We’ve been able to get an up close look at the bleeding edge of science and technology. This unique influence is a rare opportunity that most people never have access to. This experience has opened entire new realms of understanding and inspiration that will affect us in ways we have yet to fully decode and unravel.
Instagram: @chrisklapper / @patrickgallaghernyc
Twitter: @chrisklapper / @PGALLAGHERNYC
Other: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user6353082
Personal photo: CYC-EYE
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