After I had submitted my Tumblr as Art post, I came across another truly exceptional Tumblr-based artwork, Cloaque.org, by Carlos Sáez and Claudia Mate with contributing artists are Alan Schaffer, Lorena Prain, Isaac y Manu, Hugo Scibetta and Emilio Gomariz, whose work “The Internet Makes me Happy” I covered in an earlier post. After browsing this surreal visual stream of internet garbage (or gold?) I needed to talk to the creator, it was too stunning to not know more; here is our e-mail conversation:
Ben Valentine: Tell me about you and Claudia Mate.
Carlos Sáez: Claudia Maté is a great web developer. She is the perfect combination of a programmer, creative and designer. She is involved with a lot of interesting online projects where she experiments with different programming languages and 3D software. She loves to play with Tumblr and explore new possibilities with HTML5.
I’ve been working with many different mediums such as fashion, graphic design, photography and video. I still feel as though I’m looking for where I’m really meant to be focusing my energy, and that’s why I think I have a special affinity to video. It’s a way to practice everything — music, set design, costume design and photography. I don’t have amazing technique in all these mediums — ideas and concepts kind of fall on me so I try to develop them with as much of my own knowledge and as well by collaborating with other skilled people, Like I did with “Cloaque.org.”
BV: What does Cloaque mean and how did “Cloaque.org” come about?
CS: It is a part from the excretory system from birds and some reptiles. It is the place where excrements, urine and sperm meet. It means also cesspit, both in French. But before I knew that, it was a fetish word I had, without knowing if it was a real word or not. I just always liked this combination of letters. It does not only exist, but also fits with the idea of the project!
Claudia and me love the mix of aesthetic collages and chicken asses that you get when you type our project into Google images.
“Cloaque.org” started as “Digital Landfill.” Constantly trolling Google images and Tumblr gave me this concept or idea of digital trash: Thousands and thousands of nonsensical, stupid and beautiful images floating on the internet. I thought that, in the same way the garbage of a house can define the family that lives inside, a Digital Landfill could be a reflection of contemporary society or our visual culture. After reaching out to some other artists (through “Cloaque.org”) we decided to invite more people to continue the composition. We were so happy that Cloaque became a totally collaborative project.
BV: What was the process behind picking the artists?
CS: It’s like love: Sometimes you ask others sometimes they ask you. In both cases if the feeling is mutual we just start with the relationship trusting 100% in whatever they like to do. These days “cloaque.org” belongs to them.
We are constantly looking into different mediums. Claudia keeps me informed about great digital artists experimenting with gif, 3d and more. That’s what I like most from “Cloaque.org:” making contact with such interesting and talented people.
BV: Tell me about your interest in making internet-based work, and why you chose Tumblr.
CS: I think that the final result of internet platforms (those focused on art) is to make art free from economic and logistic restrictions. Now the ideas prevail over the market, or at least ideas now don’t need the market to become famous worldwide, I think Youtube sensations prove this … If art is free from economic factors, academies lose some of their relevance, and this leads on to new aesthetics, more creative freedom and fewer rules.
Customising the website where you show your online work is definitely an important motivation for artists to join Tumblr as a platform. Now they can show their new ideas in a new, exciting way. You create your own museum with your own rules. (Talking about all this makes me need to mention Printfiction) We also chose Tumblr because of the concept of “digital trash” I mentioned before. Your Tumblr dashboard can become a magnificently beautiful dump if you don’t over think it.
BV: How do you think about people viewing Cloaque in their dashboard? Do you think the aesthetic space of the piece would be hurt without the whole experience of each section flowing together?
CS: For us it isn’t so important to work with aesthetic. We like aesthetic as an artistic current according to the times and as a result of changes or something that is happening. We love to form part of it, but it’s still something circumstancial. We love all this growing digital world right now but our intention with “Cloaque.org” is to post any kind of art. We are actually looking for more plastic artists to joing the project. I wish one day we could work with great artists like AVAF, Jutta Kraus or Henrik Vibskov.
BV: What artists, artworks and anything else inspire you most?
CS: Claudia and me have lot of different references. So I thinks the best idea is to mention works we like in “Cloaque.org.” We love ideas like the ones from Thirozumi, or Andrey Yazev, www.appendixspace.com is the last project from Joe Hamilton (Creator of Hypergeography) and it’s great. We Love the work of Emilio Gomariz, who recently created “Maadonna.com” together with Kim Asendorf.
We love collaborative projects such as “Phone Arts” and “Brand New” from Jonas Lund. The Computers Club “Drawing Society” is a great drawing collaborative project. We are now quite interested, among others, in the work of Jasper Elings, Manuel Fernandez and Alexander Peverett.
BV: Thanks so much for talking with me, and I can’t wait to see what “Cloaque.org” grows into!
CS: Thank you so much for your interest!