Mike Polino

Interview by Matt C. Plaks

Matt Plaks: You said that your current class allows you to do what you want to do—so what’s the focus of this class?

Mike Poino: Well Professor Harper’s idea behind our class is that we would get to explore technology that opened up our photography in different ways.  In my case, it was just to completely break out of normal photography- the only thing I kept constant was that there was a lens in all of my pieces. But beyond that, there was no print, or no standard, normal ways of operating.

MCP: Do you think there ever will be prints to document what you’ve done, or is it just going to remain solely in video form?

MRP: Well for the loop project, that’s documented—it’s online. You can view it and kind of get a sense for it. I kind of find it problematic to document my last project because the whole point of it is that the piece doesn’t exist without the viewer and I think it’s a little problematic if I just videotape somebody moving through it and put it online for my friends to see. That’s cool in a way, but it also is a little inconsistent and a little bit against the whole point of the project.

MCP: So to me this sounds very conceptual. Is that normally how you work, or is more of an intuitive process?

MRP: I need to usually start out with a goal. So the goal for this past one was a project that doesn’t exist without an audience and a project that lets the viewer be represented and altered on the screen and seeing how they react.

MCP: Any artists that have influenced how you work?

MRP: Yea, definitely- Olafur Eliasson. Generally he doesn’t have any lens in his works, there’s no representation of image, just a lot of sculpture and light.  He’s been a huge inspiration for me this semester. Although I’ve consistently used a lens in project, I think that my goal has been to scale back the detail in the images of people and re-represent them as light and things like that.


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