Sunday, June 25, 2006

June 25, 2006: Omer Fast

June 25, 2006: Omer Fast

The featured artist this week is Omer Fast. Stay tuned for this week's podcast (episode 83) to hear the soundtrack to his video collage composition, "CNN Concatenated," along with my interview with the artist.

[UPDATE: Check out his page at gb agency's website, to see the full video for "CNN Concatenated". Click HERE and then the "Online Preview" link to find the full 18+ minute video collage...]

I found myself experiencing CNN Concatenated one summer afternoon, with Mark Gunderson of all people, on one of his trips to Minneapolis (to perform as The Evolution Control Committee). We'd spent the afternoon bumming around the Twin Cities and wound up at a local art gallery called The Soap Factory. The Soap Factory is like a home away from home for me, and for dozens (if not hundreds) of other local artists, as I've performed there about a half dozen times and even helped to produce a play there one summer. I brought Mark by that afternoon, just to show him the space - completely unaware of what was on display...

We wandered around the space chatting about the work and eventually found ourselves in one of the back galleries, standing in front of a small video monitor which had rapidly flashing bursts of imagery from various (thousands of) CNN broadcasts. We fell silent as we began to absorb. About eighteen minutes later, as the piece began to repeat, we looked around silently for chairs and sat down to watch it again. I think I sat through the whole thing about three times. It was absolutely amazing...

I talked to the gallery attendant that afternoon and began the (often) difficult task of tracking down the artist. Its amazing how often people will tell you that the artist doesn't really do interviews prior to finally doing an interview with the artist. If you're persistent and sincere in your interest, however... well, I've rarely been disappointed anyway. And so, I was granted the very rare opportunity to interview Omer Fast, the creator of the video piece we'd seen that afternoon, who told me afterwards that this was the first and last radio interview he ever plans to do. Not only that, but I convinced him to send me the audio portion of his video, and got his permission to air the soundtrack on Some Assembly Required. I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to be able to present this here for you!

I've got quite a few favorites, but this is in the top 10 for sure. You do not want to miss this week's episode - an interview with Omer Fast, the artist behind "CNN Concatenated," AND the audio portion of that video collage composition. Here's a brief introduction to the phone interview contained in this week's podcast (episode 83), by way of this week's SAR Q&A, with Omer Fast...


*Name: Omer Fast

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I work with digital video in a pretty traditional way: I either shoot the footage myself or collect it from ready made sources, depending on what the project requires. I think that sampling, cutting and remixing are all pretty much standard fare for any artist or musician working today.

*Location: I live and work in Berlin (Germany).

*Original Location: Jerusalem (Israel)

*What is your creative/artistic background: I studied art in the States and have been working as an artist since finishing my studies in 2000.

*Born: I was born in Jerusalem in 1972.

*Philosophy: Video is still a relatively new medium to work in so it feels like there's some freedom still to move around and try out new things, at least within an institutional art context. It is also a medium that is immediately connectable to film, to television and to reality, so it seems both contemporary and natural, at least at the present.

*Web address: I've no website.

[UPDATE (2010): Check out his page at gb agency's website, to see the full video for "CNN Concatenated". Click HERE and then the "Online Preview" link to find the full 18+ minute video collage...]

Thanks to Omer Fast for being the featured artist this week. Be sure to tune in to episode 83 to hear more about CNN Concatenated, as well as to hear CNN Concatenated. Definitely one of my favorite episodes. Check out this week's podcast in just a few...

Don't forget: The End Times Film Festival is in motion as we speak - It runs throughout this weekend (June 23, 24 and 25). Get on down to The Turf Club, to check out a variety of experimental, unconventional, intelligent and entertaining music, at this International Underground Music Festival. For a full list of performers, and additional information, you can visit the END TIMES FESTIVAL website, at:

Stay tuned also, for more information about another DJ Night, coming up on July 6th - this time at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. I'll be spinning music along with performances by the bands Beatrix*JAR and Canadian (featuring our friend Catherine Campion). Looking forward to Thursday, July 6!

Until then - enjoy the interview with Omer Fast, and CNN Concatenated - along with tracks by 8 additional sound collage artists, in episode 83 - on its way...

Thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson

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