RUDY LOEWE is a radical visual artist who concentrates on practices of inclusion, community building and emancipatory pedagogies. Techno&Philosophy collective interviewed Rudy ahead of the launch of “Techno and the City”, an artistic and political intervention which includes Rudy’s work, that will be part of Amsterdam Dance Event 2017 Playground Programme
Techno&Philosophy (TPH): Can you tell us about your links with dance music and how did you end up collaborating with Room4Resistance, a collective which is bringing politics back to the dancefloor?
Rudy Loewe (RL): The collaboration with Room4Resistance (R4R) ended up happening organically, because I was creating and selling t-shirts about gender and sexuality, through which I met Luz Diaz, founder of R4R. She was interested in my work and how it could fit with what they are doing at R4R.
TPH: What is the process behind the composition of the figures you draw? And what are the key political messages you want to communicate?
RL: When I started creating the posters for R4R I thought about wanting to show dancing and movement. That’s where it began from, having images of different kinds of queer bodies dancing and moving freely. In some ways what R4R is about is at odds with the techno scene in Berlin. Many spaces have this particular German aesthetic and I think they are working outside of that. In my images it was important to give the feeling of moving without restriction, without someone else’s imposition of how our bodies should move or look like. I am also very intentional about what kinds of bodies are represented in my work. As a black non binary person, I want to see representations of people of colour outside of the gender binary. So much of my work creates representations of non binary people of colour. I like to play with the idea of how might a person look if they felt completely free to express themselves.
TPH: The series you have done for Room4Resistance are specifically linked to an imagery of the dancefloor. Is there a translation of the sonic element into the visual? Or how does sound influence your art?
RL: All of the backgrounds for the posters I have done for R4R have included very colourful painted backgrounds. For me this represents the fusion of light and sound on the dancefloor. Even though clubs are often quite dark spaces, I think that there is sometimes a sensory overload and I wanted to portray that somehow. That the sound fills the space and surrounds you. My best dancing experiences in clubs have usually been when I was so consumed by the sound that I felt it all around me.
TPH: Can you share some of your favourite music artists, tracks and collectives?
RL: I have quite a big range of music tastes. But in terms of music that I can dance to, it was great to see Bambii. I would love to have seen Venus X or go to Ghe20goth1k. I listen to a lot of afrobeat, Solange and have just got back into Death Grips. I grew up spending a lot of time as a teenager in squat raves, so when I'm dancing I really like to listen to music that brings back that feeling of being in a dingy sweaty space where everyone is being eaten up by the music and spat back out.
TPH: Finally, do you have any future projects that link visual art with dance music?
RL: The work that I’ve been doing with R4R has actually been the first time that this happened! It’s been a great project so I would be happy to do more work that collaborates with dance music.