Karl Stewart - Flowing to blue

9:00, 2013, Video Art
Abstract thoughts reflected on the river Sorgue, taken in France at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, in three parts. Flowing to Blue is part of my water period series. (Alice in Dusseldorf)
DirectorKarl F. StewartProducerKarl F. StewartCameraKarl F. StewartEditorKarl F. StewartComposerWorlds Within by Radio Free Clear Light . http://radiofreeclearlight.com/home.html


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Who is Karl F. Stewart?
In order to know who we are, I believe we need to understand our context. If anyone understands the world we live in, please let me know.

What is Flowing to blue about?
The video is about inspiration … the beauty of nature.

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
It would be more accurate to say how did I start with video. I believe there is a difference in the process between film and video. And my start in video is in large part a consequence of the technological developments made through the years. I also think video is a sign of the times. Culturally we have visually moved from the single image of a photograph to moving images – I originally started in photography. For the most part I am self-taught.

Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts you use and what is important to you?
The central theme to all my work is 'the poetic in the midst of chaos'. I explain the concept here .

How long do you usually work on one project?
About seven to ten days. I like working on new projects, so as a result I tend to intensively work on one idea so I can then move on to the next.

Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
Very little time is put into the previsualization of a project. My work is definitely intuitive. If anything, I have a vague notion of an idea and then tend to look for indicators which could maybe satisfy the initial thought. But it is really the environment which dictates what I finally end up working with. What I find is what I use.

How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
One of my videos is entitled – 'San Francisco. The unearthly beauty of simulated nature in contemporary architecture'. My titles for the most part say what the video is about. I definitely do not spend a lot of time thinking about titles. As with the rest of my work, what comes to mind I use.

Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
I really do not know. It just happens. I often wonder if I am picking up on something out there in what Rupert Sheldrake calls the morphic field. And though my inspiration tends to begin casually, it never comes together casually as a final work of art. There always to seems to be a reason why I take steps toward one direction rather than another.

How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
Culturally, I think it is difficult today to imagine a video without sound. I have done a couple of videos where sound was absent for short periods. Some people commented they thought I had a technical problem with the video. Because sound is obviously an art unto itself, I find the recording of high quality sound in the field to be extremely difficult. Instead, behind the computer I find ways of coming up with solutions to videos I either want to create or have already created – sometimes the sound comes before the video is created. Recently, I have been working extensively with Juan Carlos Mendizabal aka Kyron and Radio Clear Free Light, both out of the San Francisco area.

How does content relate to the form of your work?
Content is everything. All my work is conceptually conceived of very casually. But once I start working on the video nothing remains casual.

Did the web change your view on art, or your career?
The web is the quintessence of electronics for the poor. It is the supermarket of our consumeristic needs. Though in some ways the web appears to have created more art, I would suggest on many other levels it has murdered artistic expression. The flood of “anything-is-valid art” has meant that frequently as artists we end up saying nothing about everything.

Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
I would definitely say art. Cinema for me still remains the telling of a story from beginning to end. To date, that has not been my area of expertise.

How influential is the reaction to your film by the audience?
A positive reaction to my work obviously helps me feel encouraged, but what I do is my responsibility, not the audience's. I am not going to change just because someone else does not like what I do.

What is your next project about?
Off and on I am always working on projects related to simulated nature. Apart from that, I am waiting to be surprised by what inspiration will bring to me next.

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