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Interview with Scott Blake
by FryCookOnVenus

Its the interview with Scott Blake of! This guy is an actual celebrity and he actually took the time to respond to my nutjob email interview! Its a critical, in-depth study of the human psyche.... not really ... but read it anyway because its slightly insightful ...
The official, deceivingly scattershot FryCookOnVenus interview with Scott Blake of starts ................. NOW:

1. Holy crap, dude! I just saw a photo of you getting a high-five from Jane Fonda! Have you seen the Barbarella clips we have on our site? Please tell me you laughed when you watched them... and the Inappropriate Laugh Track Theater. You laughed at that, too .. right?

A - I can't view any of the Barbarella clips, because they are in Windows Media format. Sorry Bill Gates, I got a Mac. Have you seen the Hanoi Jane Urinal Stickers? If you are ever in Savannah, Georgia, go to the American Legion, and you too can piss on Jane. Another interesting Fonda factoid, was right outside the Jane Fonda art opening where she gave me that high five, was a couple of protestors ranting about what happened in Vietnam. Inside the gallery was 20 pieces of Jane Fonda art and not one mention of what happened in Vietnam. A family relative of mine said that what Jane Fonda did in Vietnam would be like if Britney Spears played a concert for Osama bin Landen.

2. I noticed pop culture plays a big role in your work... which is cool, because I don't think landscapes and flowers would be nearly as interesting in barcode form. How do you decide what you're going to barcode?

A - Wait a second... I have done landscapes with bar code flowers called Datascapes. I cut bar codes from my brother's music CDs, ex-wife's cosmetics, and roommate's book collection. I bar code anything and everything. Faces, Time, Tattoos, Graffiti, Drugs, and even Mouse Clicks. Bar codes are labels on life. In a way, my Bar Code Art works backwards, by creating life from those labels. My portraits represent people I have never met, but I somehow still know them. Dale from the show King of the Hill once met a famous news anchor and said "Hi! You may not know me, but I watch you on TV everyday."

3. What movie is this from? If you can't figure it out, give me a line from your favorite movie and I'll try to figure it out.
-You like Huey Lewis & The News?
-They're Ok
-Their early work was a little too new-wave for my taste, but when Sports came out in 83, I think they really came into their own .. commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound and a new sheen of consumate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor.
-Hey, Halberstram.
-Yes Allen?
-Why are their copies of the style section all ove the place? Do you have a dog? A little chow or something?
-No, Allen.
-Is that a raincoat?
-Yes it is! In 87, Huey released this: Fore. Their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is 'Hip to be Square'. A song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should! Because its not just about the pleasures of conformity and the importance of friends. Its also a personal statement about the band itself. Hey Paul ..... AAAAaaiiiggghhh !!!!!

A - American Psycho is a great movie. Atleast that dude had the guts to do it all himself, with his own two hands. And he really bares his soul when he starts talking about music. Also you gotta lovethe big cell phones and ultra hip night club scenes. My favorite line is "Good times, all the time" from the movie Spinal Tap. And my favorite fortune cookie line is "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

4. I have to ask: How the heck do you do it? Is it all by hand? I can't imagine the kind of time that would take.... I know you list a few apps that you use, but I just can't figure out how you do it. Do tell...

A - I do it all one pixel at a time. I use my hands to type in thousands of lines of computer code and I also use my hands to move the mouse around. I abuse Adobe Photoshop. For the Bar Code Portraits I gather all of the barcode numbers from places like Barnes and and CD, which they all publish the bar codes in the HTML. And I search for the faces with Google. My art is about downloading data from the Internet and remixing to make something I can call my own.

5. Who makes you vomit?
A. Actor (male & female)
B. Vocalist (male & female)
C. Band
D. TV Show
E. Movie
F. Personal Accquaintance (Don't give full name)

A - I make myself sick. Nobody else really bothers me like me. I live for mistakes and ignore any accomplishments. I am depressed as hell and feel real ugly on the inside. I never stop beating myself up. I hate me?

6. Let's get serious for a second: It appears that you have a lot of passion for what you do .. so much so that you go to the length of having art showings in your home. Is it difficult to invite people to not only to view and critique your work, but to ask them to do it in your home? I would think that's a double whammy of vulnerability. Has it ever been too much to handle? I'm a nervous wreck when I show my work at a gallery. I can't imagine trying to do it at home.

A - The hardest part about having shows in my home, is when I invite all these people to view and critique my art, and nobody comes. Even with free wine and cheese, nobody cares. After several very successful failures, I stopped having art shows for other people and began doing it all just for myself. The best part about having art shows in my home, is no fucking compromises, and the DEADLINE. I always work overtime getting ready for the shows that no one will come to. If I didn't have art shows in my house, my art wouldn't get shown.

7. All seriousness aside: Beans and Rice. Is that a Tampa reference? Why did you decide to move away from the Tampa area and eventually end up in Nebraska? Speaking of Nebraska ... it kind of sounds like Brasky. Give us your best Bill Braskyism.

A - Beans and Rice is more of a vegetarian reference. The Homemade Pyrotechnics Entheogens is a I like to blown stuff up and do drugs reference. Who's Bill Brasky?

8. What is your favorite song by Def Leppard and why? And don't say you don't like Def Leppard!!

A - I always liked the cover art for Pyromania. My older and way cooler brother in the early 80's had a Def Leppard hat with the target printed on top. I guess if you had a gun to my head and forced me to confess my favorite Def Leppard song, I would have to say "Rock of Ages".

9. In closing I would like to say that I am not only stunned by the complexity and originality of your work (even though it reminds me of Chuck Close ... which is kickass in and of itself), but I am also stunned that you actually agreed to do this interview! What stuns you?

A - I'm stunned that we all made it this far.

Originally appeared on FryCookOnVenus website September 2004
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