Interview with Artocratia artist: Oleg Semenovykh


We talked with Artocratia artist Oleg Semenovykh about combining different roles in the artistic process and about the path from a musician to an artist

Interview with Artocratia artist: Oleg Semenovykh

How do you manage to combine so many different roles? You are an artist, musician, curator, art manager at the same time.

It is hard to say. Jean Cocteau was once asked why poetry is needed, he replied: "If I could answer you, I would become a plant that read works on gardening." I have tried a lot of things in my life, so this is a natural change of stages. The 80s were the time for rock music. As Boris Grebenshchikov sang - "a generation of janitors and watchmen." Therefore, I managed to work as a watchman and, like Viktor Tsoi, a fireman. Then he did a lot of music - he was a performer, songwriter and vocalist.

In the 2000s, you were into generative methods, first in music and then in visual expression. Tell me more.

Yes, when I was doing electronics, there was already a generative component when creating tracks: randomizing techniques, generating new sounds, Max / msp software, Pure data (PD), Reactor and others. Then, at the same time, I started doing visual work, making digital art, but I didn’t really distribute it, I practically didn’t post it.

Specifically, you started painting in 2015. How did it start?

Yes indeed! An interesting story happened: the fact is that my younger brother is a painter. He called me to the project, which I subsequently led. The project was connected with a network of medical clinics in our city. They decided to make a children's department and announced a competition for the best project. In a team with managers, marketers, designers, artists, we developed a project that won this competition. The slogan was "Treatment as an adventure". The customers wanted to get away from the white walls, which in the psyche of children are necessarily associated with traumas and unpleasant memories. We wanted to change that so that everything is interesting and exciting. In each of the 15 classrooms, we created murals with cartoon characters. For example, astronauts are favorite children's heroes. Doctors now have the opportunity to say: “Look, astronauts are also being examined! Come on and you'll go." I managed this project, but one day my brother suggested that I also try to draw. I tried it and I really liked it, it sucked.

What mediums do you prefer to use the most?

Initially, I was engaged in sound and music. Less visual art. My work with visual arts started with generative, fractal-based digital programs that created images. Then I began to study painting, graphics and performance. I have a wide range of mediums, I am a versatile artist. All these means allow me to express my ideas and thoughts more accurately. Many of my projects gravitate toward multimedia. For example, the project "The Island of Dr. Schweik" - there is an island that is located in the center of Chelyabinsk and is made of garbage. This is a performative practice, I interact with this island on different levels - sound, bodily, smells. And I create video and photo documentation. The project consists of different mediums: from painting to the use of artificial …