Interview with OK Parking on Drift November 29, 2010

After completing university Joost van der Steen and William van Giessen formed OK Parking in 2005, a graphic design company based in Arnhem, Holland. Now a design studio taking on large commercial projects the duo have maged to chanel much of their unbrideled creative energy into creative side projects including the OK Blog, OK Periodicals and the OK Festival. Recently releasing their fifth issue, the OK Periodical is a biannual magazine comprised of content submitted by designers from around the world in response to a theme. Having no editorial agenda means the magazine is a playful showcase of work. Involvement in magazine production has lead to the creation of the OK Festival, a three day independent magazine love-in in Arnhem. First held in may 2010, the next is scheduled for some time in 2012. We interviewed the duo about drift and the nature of creating design.

Does accident play any part in your creative process? Do you ever arrive somewhere without meaning to, and how do you use it when this happens? Is it more original?

When we (William and Joost) studied at the art academy we started experimenting with making mistakes on purpose. We started making glitch images, movies and installations. We deconstructed digital cameras, webcams, computer screens etc. It’s fascinating to see what happens when things don’t work the way they should. And you should open your eyes for this. Mistakes/accidents aren’t always bad because they can help you in your process and they can help you in making things you had never expected. The best thing is when you are able to take control of the accidents…not completely of course but a little is good. So you can steer the accident. After graduating we went on experimenting with these glitch projects. This way we ended up in the Glitch Book “Glitch: Designing Imperfection” by Imon Moradi and Ant Scott. These days we are less active in searching for the mistakes but we are sure happy when we find one and will always try to use them. I don’t know if it’s more original but it sure is more surprising and fun!

Was there ever an element of drifting into the career that you now have? Or did you set out expressly to be here, and everything is how you planned it to be?

No, we drifted in to this. When starting our company it was an impulse without any idea of what we wanted and where we were going. We wanted to work together and to make nice things, earn a little money and have fun. And this is what we started with an then once in a while a projects or ideas pop up in our minds and 9 of 10 times we will start with this project blind folded not thinking about money, time or if it is going to fail. These sometimes crazy projects form us as a company make us the way we are right now but will also change us in the upcoming years.

After you have made a piece, does it ever take on another life beyond its original purpose? Have you ever had work adopted or used for something else, and if so, by whom?

We are graphic designers so not really. Well not that I know of. Of course all the paper designs we produce will sometimes be used as wrapping paper, or shopping list.

How does time play a role in the way you work, particularly when focusing the way that you have to achieve something by a deadline, or letting work drift towards a conclusion?

Time always plays a role, even with our self initiated projects we have deadlines when it should go to the printer or when it has to be finished. But it’s nice if the deadline isn’t too short. This way you have the time to think about and take a second look at what you made and most of the time this makes the design better. Just put it away for a few days and take a look at it afterwards.

In terms of finding things that you use for inspiration, as a basis for work, how deliberate are you in research, or is there a tendency to drift through sources - the endless depths of the internet allow this?

I love to drift over the internet with Twitter and Facebook on my side. Just clicking links and seeing where it takes me. This often happens when working on the O.K. Periodicals magazine. Searching the internet within one theme brings you beautiful and curious things. But next to the internet inspiration is everywhere when I’m out of inspiration or energy I always go and have a walk to see things and people and clear up my mind. And then of course there are magazines, books and cycling (that’s what we Dutchies do) through the city. All these can bring inspiration and most of the time it’s easier to find it when you’re not looking for it.

With O.K. Periodicals you set a topic and then let people send in work they think fits. How does the theme move when the work begins to come in?

It’s funny that we always have ideas of what we want people to send in but they almost never do. The last theme is about the Body we hoped that people would have a free mind in this and that not everybody would send us pictures of human bodies……but they did. Now we have a big collection of human bodies in the magazine and it looks great. So after all we are very happy with it. It’s always a surprise what people will send us and that’s good and keeps it fun to do.


The Hundred in the Hands on Drift November 24, 2010

Formed in late 2007, the Hundred in the Hands are a Brooklyn based duo. Jason Friedma and Eleanore Everdell make a luscious noise combining intimate narrative vocals, tugable guitar riffs, knee-jerk disco beats and analogue synths. Their debut single released on Pure Groove records lead to them being snapped up and signed by Warp Records. Their self-titled album was released this September. We interviewed Jason drifting, music and the creative process.

Does accident play any part in your creative process? Do you ever arrive somewhere without meaning to, and how do you use it when this happens? Is it more original?

Yeah, it’s very important. Trying to merge accident and intention is probably the best way to think about what song writing/recording is. A lot of what we do live is controlling and building up sonic textures, letting them spill out and sopping it up again. The nice thing about digital recording is the ability to revisit accidents and respond to them. In a way, it’s a lot more like painting where you slowly build up layers, step back and then react. Read more ⇒


Gold Panda Interviewed September 27, 2010

Having subsisted for years on German minimal techno and cups of tea, producer Gold Panda emerged from his bedroom in Essex two years ago. His glitchy cut-ups have generated enough interest to allow him to cut loose from a string of unfulfilling jobs (hospital car park attendant, sex shop assistant, envelope sealer…) We spoke to him in the run up to the release of his debut LP about how it’s all been going so far, and where Gold Panda plans to tread next.

Much of your music has oriental tones, what’s the connection there?

I’ve always been obsessed with Japan. I did shows there recently with Simian Mobile Disco. It was my seventh time, but the first time doing something I actually wanted to do. I taught English for a year but hated it because I’m not very good at English. Here I’ve been called chillwave, but I don’t really know what that sounds like, and over there they call me post-dubstep. They seem to like me, though sales don’t reflect that. Foreign music is pretty dead in Japan now; though the western influence is huge, they have Japanese versions of everything and nobody wants to pay for bands to come over. Read more ⇒