Interview with Agata Alcaniz: Art, Energy and Environmentalism.
Written by Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney.
Photograph from Artist, Agata Alcaniz.
Agata Alcaniz, an artist from Barcelona (Spain) based in Manchester (UK). She studied Graphic Design Degree at the International Massana College (Spain) and has exhibited throughout Manchester, Liverpool and many other galleries and festivals in England, Spain and Portugal.
Her main practice is explored through various modes of digital media in contemporary arts and cultures. These are fused with research interventions in different urban spaces, which are inspired by her passion on the subject of environmental issues. Her work platforms a visual dialogue her main subject of interest, which is conceptualised through live art and digital video to inform and enlightenment. The contextualisation of her art has been platformed in large scale installations, where the senses become absorbed in the art to instill the concept embodied by the artist.
She is a dynamic artist with zeal and vigour, not only on the subjects that influence and shape her art on the subject of environmentalism, but the diversification of how these topical subjects are communicated through the different technological processes she employs in her work.
Alcaniz expands on her professional role as an artist and the subjects that inspire her creativity in an interview with Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney.
Sweeney: When did you first become interested in art and recognise yourself as an artist?
Alcaniz: I recognised myself as an artist after I finished my Graphic Design Degree in Barcelona. I loved what I studied but, when I finished college, I refused to use the skills I gained to express other people’s interests, as these were mainly commercial, and I decided to use those skills to express my own.
Sweeney: Can you explain your art work?
Alcaniz: My artwork is based in aspects of reality that I am interested exploring.
Sweeney: Though I have many areas of interest, at this moment, I am pursuing one, which I consider of edge urgency. This is the human impact on the environment. Within this area I do performances in public or private spaces where big amounts of waste are visible, produced or disposed, which video is the evidence I show in exhibitions or public screens. If I gather waste from these performances, I like to produce installations that show the consequences of this waste and its production. In that respect, I like to do installations that refer to Climate Change.
Sweeney: Your work has a strong interest in conceptual art, installation and video. Can you explain how you develop an idea from onset to end?
Alcaniz: Yes, my work is around concepts arising from the exploration of the human impact on the environment. This is an issue that has always concerned to me and, in that sense; I always have kept informed about what happens in this matter. That is the key of the creation of my artwork. In one hand the full involvement around this matter, in terms of research mixed with life, and in the other, the goal to visualise the ideas I have around this subject using the most appropriated media. My main goal is arising people�s consciousness on this issue and collect evidence of it in a manner that the result can make people relate our human�s actions with its consequences.
Sweeney: You art work at times has a performance element and the environmental. Can you explain more about your performance work, how the interventions in different context of environment relate and what other concepts you have explored in your performance work?
Alcaniz: At the moment, I am doing performances in sites that are good examples to visualise the amount of waste that our societies are producing. Above all ‘the first world’ one societies (20% of global population), but now followed by the ‘developing world’ (80% from which 40% is developing to a medium/exponential speed). Waste can be found in many locations and in incredible ways. These are my site specific performances, which common thread is the visualisation of waste there where it is. I also like doing performances in exhibition’s spaces, for instance, where I like recreating ideas around waste and another environmental issues.
Sweeney: What artists have inspired you and why?
Alcaniz: With this kind of work I have been inspired by artists who have a food in activism and the other in art and who deal, not only with the environment, but also, with other aspects of our society as consumerism and human liberties.
Sweeney: What subjects shape and influence your work and how?
Alcaniz: I research on Green theory politics, which is the subject that informs my work.
Sweeney: What motivates you to create in this mode of expression and media in your various practices?
Alcaniz: What motivates me are my concerns in this issue. In terms of media, I use the ones, what ever it needs to be, to best visualise my ideas.
Sweeney: Do you use any other media as research source or in production of your art?
Alcaniz: In my case, normally the idea and research is first, then the media. I have used from ice to video, to performance.
Sweeney: What do you plan for the future as an artist in your professional practice?
Alcaniz: I plan to develop and mature my ideas, if the circumstances allow me to do so.
Sweeney: What are the positive and negative experiences of being an artist?
Alcaniz: The positive thing of being an artist is that allows you to research and work on important contemporary issues that are of your own interest. The negative aspect is that by trying to do so, artists can relegate its live to economic poverty.
Sweeney: What do you want to be remembered for?
Alcaniz: I would like to be remembered as one of the artists who have explored a critical issue of our times, waste, the ultimate expression of our society.
Further information on Alcaniz’s work can be viewed at: