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Daniel Arsham Presents FUTURE RELIC 01

This past weekend, New York-based artist Daniel Arsham debuted his short film FUTURE RELIC 01 at Design Miami/ 2013. The piece sees Arsham teaming up with with Swizz Beatz and designer Richard Chai for the occasion, while the seven-minute film itself highlights an archeologist exploring an unknown shoreline for in order to unearth a deeper meaning. In honor of the premiere, Arsham sat down with NOWNESS to touch on both the film and some of his recent works. Said the artist of his work: “Much of what I create presents an undefined scenario. In FUTURE RELIC you see these objects that seem as though they have been uncovered on some future excavation, but it’s left to the imagination of the viewer.” Check out the cryptic short film above and enjoy Arsham’s brief interview with NOWNESS below.

What did you draw on in order to create the world within “Future Relic 01”?
The visual language draws from Lawrence of Arabia. The film was shot entirely at dawn, which is the same technique that was used in the 1962 film, this day-for-night quality. So we shot everything in the day and then the color was adjusted so it appears like moonlight.

Why was film the right medium for this project?
A lot of the work I do is static. I work in many different mediums, and about six years ago I started to work with the choreographer Merce Cunningham, doing stage design. This notion of time-based art, something that creates a kind of arc, is a very different process from creating a static object in the form of a sculpture or a painting. Film is something that I love, but is definitely the sort of medium that requires collaboration. There are 20 or 30 people who worked on this film—it’s not like a painting that I can make myself. So it was really about waiting for the perfect moment, and finding the right collaborators.

How important is collaboration to your work?
I think it’s extremely important. First of all, I can be a master of certain things that I do within the studio. But I can never master all of these other qualities in film. For me, collaboration has always been a way to recognize and learn from other people who have these amazing skills. For example, Swizz Beats did the score. This was something that was very outside of his normal way of working but I think he really made a beautifully subtle piece that was very much in key with what I was looking for.


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