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AS IS | Shuster Moseley

Artist duo

From the UK

Based in the UK

We interviewed one-of-a-kind artists duo Shuster Moseley: Claudia Moseley and Edward Shuster about their art journey, nature of the inspiration, tips for those who are just starting their creative journey, books to explore, and many more

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?

E: My background is in philosophy, and for me, the artistic practice took over because I was interested in the shape and experience, and feeling of things that escape the limits of thinking. I was originally drawn to a practice involving optics and geometry because of the rich philosophical tradition in which the language of light and geometry is used to probe the ineffable. But this happened simultaneously with my meeting Claudia, and our collaboration began with collaborative poetry, unveiling secret meanings through a dialogical play with words. This paved the way for the inevitable coming together of Claudia’s photographic and cinematic deconstructions with the philosophy of light I developed for my Ph.D. thesis.

C: I have practiced art since I was at school and the compulsion to continue practicing was overwhelming to me. I went to art school and became fascinated with light: on water, through shaded windows, in dark corridors. These encounters led me to the darkroom where I began experimenting with camera-less photography, eventually taking the lens out of the enlarger and using it to expose and refract light on the surface of the photographic paper. I was so mesmerized by this process that I started creating installations that recreated the experience of being in the darkroom, deconstructing analog photographic components to make immersive installations.

A: What inspires you the most?

SM: When work seems to grant you access to a new kind of secret, but there’s a nostalgia there because it’s like that secret was always intimately known to you already.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?

SM: The practice of meditation pervades all of our work. But this goes beyond the ‘ritual’ of practicing meditation—we want our work to act as a vessel for meditation by other means.

A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

SM: It should begin with a practice of seeing, or looking, which precedes the admiration of any particular work of art and leads to a more personal and profound connection with practice and work in general. People tend to want art to be on the surface, to be photogenic, comfortable, and consumable. But for art to affect our being experientially, really the eye must do the work. Or our senses more generally, which are psychophysical faculties, must be put to work by the art. Because it is our being that is photosensitive, so to speak, our senses must be tuned and focused so that the work makes a resonant impression.

A: Your top 3 adjectives related to art?

SM: Spectral. Ambient. Poetic.

A: The best angle to look at art is from..?

SM: Inside.

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ..?

SM: Silence.

A: Must-read books to help us talk about art (or do we even need them)?

SM: Art as far as the eye can see - Paul Virilio

Deep Time of the Media - Zielinski

What makes life worth living - Stiegler

The Perception of the Environment - Ingold

Species of Spaces - Perec

A: If you could change one thing in the art world, what would it be?

SM: We don’t really think about the art world all that much.

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art).

SM: "By whatever binds the world, by that, it must be freed."

Hevajra Tantra

Thank you!

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