C.S.: Talking about role models, and the deconstruction of categories, how do you see your role as an artist?
L.R.: Well, I am trained as an artist, but nowadays when I am asked to provide a cv, I mention first that I am a cyberfeminist. But cyberfeminist is not - yet - recognised as a job, as artist is. And as people know that I am organizing and producing events, I enjoy telling them that I am an artist, because not being a curator or a producer it confuses them, as I am doing what I am doing as cyberfeminist and artist.
C.S.: Can you make a link between the organisational work you are doing, the building of structures, and your understanding of art?
L.R.: I follow a very simple path. When you learn to draw, you look at something. You learn to abstract from that something elements like light, shadow, lines. You do no longer see a lamp, a table, a woman. Seeing in 2d is a way of deconstruction. When I finished my education, I could draw everything, also from memory. But then I realized that everything I had been told about art and the art world was bullshit. What is the art world? What is the field of culture? Its real place, its real life, its economy? I decided to go and find out for myself, to deconstruct it. Maybe it is a bit arrogant to put it like this, but in a way it was like looking at something you want to draw, and I saw how it worked.
At this point I started to create a perception, a sensation. When you are an artist, you put something in place, it may be a product, it may be an action, so as people can feel, see or understand something. For me it was putting people, words, machines together in the same room, and the people being in this place could have a sensation or could understand something, and go away with this understanding.
C.S.: Are you talking about creating a situation?
L.R.: Yes, situation sounds right. I was a conceptual artist without knowing it. What is really important for me, is what happens in between the images, between the people and the image. I was fed up with showing my canvases and my stuff in an exhibition, for people to say "Oh, how nice!", "How bad!", or "I buy it" and then nothing happened. What I wanted was to create a relationship with the people I am showing my work to. Also with CONSTANT we no longer call what we do ífestival', but we call it situation.
C.S.: What do you expect from the situation or from the relationship with your íaudience' or the people you invite to your situation?
L.R.: That they go away with something, a word, an image, a bit of practical knowledge; that they stop in the street or when they see a movie, a website and notice something they wouldn't have noticed before. It is like, again I can't find another image, like you put a friendly chip in their mind, it will change slightly or completely their perception. That is what happened to me when I encountered feminism, Chris Marker, cyberfeminism, you, mangas, electronic music, Terre Thaemlitz, sci-fi, hip hop, fan culture, I don't want to make the whole list, there are so, so many people, friends I met, saw, read, that they changed my mind, they let trails on you, in your perception. To be an artist for me was to intervene the in-between people and the world, maybe it is what i call the perception.
C.S.: What role plays CONSTANT for in the way you are practising art?
L.R.: CONSTANT is/was our undercover identity. We used it as a way to publish what we were doing. It allows to act as artist, but not under your own name, to create situations, organising festivals, meeting days. Being non-profit organisation, a group, allows you to move that way. And now, it is really a group. That is why I say, maybe I can go further now and do my individual work under my name. I do no longer embody a group which did not exist. At the beginning, it was called group, but 'we were only one'. I mean I was one. Then we were two. Now, it is a real group, it has changed, and I can go back to my own things.
C.S.: What is your vision for the future, your personal dream?
L.R.: I would like to be quieter. Not wanting to change the world all the time, and take all possible action, but to be more relaxed. You know, when you are painting and drawing, you spend hours with an empty mind, just creating lines and colors. It's a pity that my mind is not empty any more. I miss the feeling of time passing by. The other thing is that I want to be rich and famous.[laughs].
When I look at the things I have done until now, besides the organisational stuff, I see myself as a performer. My body, my voice, are in the middle of everything. But I have to protect myself more. Maybe it would be better not to be in the center any more, not to take everything I do fleshly, and personally. But still, it's my job, my profession, and it's hard to step back.
C.S.: If you would now start and do work under your own name, what would that be?
L.R.: I would like to finish stuff I began years ago. Now, I have the technique to finish them. I took a movie, and we remade it ourselves, edited it, but we played it in my own perspective.
C.S.: What is the original movie?
L.R.: 'La collectionneuse', done by Eric Rohmer. I thought it was a chauvinist movie, and my favourite one, I know him by heart I wanted to be Patrick Bauchau's part, and when I got a camera I wanted to re-make it inverting the gender roles to prove how chauvinist the original was. But I realized that it was not that easy. So I asked all my friends what they had seen and I made a movie about what they had seen, so there was no movie, but only people looking at a movie. As we all live under the influence of the myth of the author, one thing I am doing is to deconstruct the author. And in this movie, there is no author, only spectators, only viewers. I want to finish that concept, and go further.
What I am interested most at the moment is sound; for me people who make music and sound are people who defined themselves as artists and think globally. They choose consciously the technology they use, how their products are distributed, aware of what is happening with copyright laws, how much they get paid for a concert, often they are also producers and produce other people work and when radio is used it is a way of speaking with your own voice, but also inviting other people to speak, for a conversation, or for a monologue... Also I met artists who I really like, I mentioned Terre Thaemlitz, he is writing theory with his audio cd, and at the same time performing on stage dressed as a woman, so wearing content on his own body, using, being all what's possible: to be a theoretician, to be a body, and to be someone producing an art product.
Another thing I would like to do is to make a cyber heroine in 3d, because now I would like to confront myself again with representation. Feminism for me came after my art studies. I had already stopped making images. Now, with all what I know, what would be the image of - maybe a woman?
Published on the website of les pénélopes and on the mailinglists 'nettime' and list, January 17, 2003