DAVID STONE [INTERVIEWED WHILE DRIVING]


I view Dissociationism as a lens

AS- It seems like the foundation of dissociationism hangs on identity loss, whether you're talking about the temporary loss of identity in the process of making art, or...some of the artists have indicated that they want to avoid having a fixed identity as an artist. But is that really possible? Isn't it a contradiction in terms to be an artist and then aspire to not having an identity?

DAVID STONE- Contradiction particularly for artists or for anyone?

AS- Particularly for artists. I mean, isn't that what artists do... they make objects, but to a certain extent they're also in the process of recreating themselves. That's part of the whole process of being an artist, isn't it?

DS- The idea that you can recreate yourself already means that you don't have a fixed identity.

AS- Well, so an artist creates an alter ego and they have a private self that's full of contradiction. And most artists try to resolve that contradiction in their artwork, so what they present to the public is something unified. And it seems as though dissociationist artists want something different--but do they really want something different?

DS- I view dissociationism as a lens through which we can look at all art. I don't think that an artist who calls himself or herself a dissociationist is doing anything different, I just think it's a different lens through which you can view art in general.

AS- Well, one artist that I talked to who isn't a dissociationist said, "Ah, it's so much more interesting to lose your identity than to spend all this time trying to find it." And she said it with a kind of release, you could tell that she was somewhat burdened by this requirement put on artists to find your voice. When you're in art school, it's very competitive in terms of who has managed to find their voice, who's on their way there and who's never going to.

DS- It's a little bit of a cliché but it still has some truth to say that it's not so much that you find your voice as much as that your voice finds you. People who make an effort to refine their style usually miss the boat. It's when, in a crisis, some style or voice finds the artist that something interesting happens. In order for you to be in a position to be found by your style, your voice, you have to lose the constructed ego, you have to lose the sense of self or identity, you have to be in a dissociative state.

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