On the Couch with Willoh S.Weiland

Willoh-by-Lee-SandwithWho is Willoh S.Weiland?
I’m an artist and the Artistic Director of Aphids. My work and personality have fused so I make epic contemporary arts projects combing performance, music, site-specificity and new technologies. According to a friends DIY personality test I am also an Intense Versace Elf.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Live quietly in an exotic and sparsely populated location writing torrid novels about icy female heroines who solve heinous crimes!

Who inspires you and why?
Shy people – they encourage a more gentle approach to the bombastic world.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I like to believe what I do makes a difference or Id have to indulge in the pointless idea that its all pointless. Art is hard to measure but I think it makes a quantum difference every day. It makes you think, live, feel differently. It encourages a culture of experimentation. On another note, if I had more political power, I would make feminism a core subject from primary school, sex education more realistic, insist on renewable power and question time in parliament to be done through improvised dance. Then we’d get to see who really believe in.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Belize, because I was born there and I’m powerfully homesick all the time and because it helps me to remember how deeply disturbing the cultural and environmental impacts of tourism can be. And because I love beach parties and coconut rum.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I wanted to say something glamorous but I think the truth is I take them for coffee, lots of delicious, expensive, made by the manicured beards of Melbourne, coffee.

What are you currently reading?
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace, Justin Bond / Jackie Curtis by Hilton Als – which is incredibly brilliant, and re-reading Six Memos for the New Millennium by Italo Calvino.

What are you currently listening to?
Drumrolls by Swiss percussionist master Fritz Hauser and dark ambient mixes on youtube preferably with dolphin montages for the Second Before Show at Arts House.

Happiness is?
Irrelevant to the actual experience of living.

What does the future hold for you?
Extreme gut-wrenching happiness.

Willoh S.Weiland is an artist, writer, curator and the Artistic Director of Aphids. She is currently directing the Aphids project Forever Now – the third in her trilogy of works investigating the relationship between art and space. Forever Now is an international project, a response to the Voyager records of 1977, which will see the curation of a new 21st Century golden record. It is preceded by Void Love and Yelling at Stars.

Other Aphids work in-laboratory are Game Show and The Drive-In Project, both large-scale interdisciplinary works created with community arts groups. Past projects include a national tour of Thrashing Without Looking – a live-cinema and performance work experienced through virtual reality goggles; Computer Boy – a contemporary performance work commissioned for Performance Space, Sydney; Fever Beach and Exile – interactive digital artworks for the iPhone and iPad; and Atelier Edens – a research project investigating the creation of cross-artform works in remote areas.

Willoh has made work for the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Next Wave Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow. Residencies include an Asialink residency in Beijing, 2009 and Splendid Arts Lab and Visible City, Melbourne 2010. Willoh co-directs the laboratory space Head Quarters and is a member of the Field Theory. She has presented guest lectures on her arts practice and Aphids at RMIT, Swinburne and Deakin University.

Image: Willoh S.Weiland – photo by Lee Sandwith