david byrne interview david byrne interview
nov 25, 2000

david byrne interview

david byrne

 

 

we met david byrne in trieste on november 25th, 2000.

 

 

what is the best moment of the day?my favorite time of day is to get up and eat leftovers from dinner, especially spicy food. its a great feeling.

 

 

what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?german electronic music, latin rock, country music, soundtracks

 

 

left: super-ego: pride, 1998cibatransparency on lightboxcenter: love, 1998right: ecstasy, 1997© david byrne/courtesy lipanjepuntin

 

 

do you listen to the radio?no I never listen to the radio unless I rent a car

 

 

what books do you have on your bedside table?right now a book of faulkner short stories and ‘courtesans and fishcakes’, a book about ancient greek culture

 

 

do you read design magazines?yes, id, print, adbusters, plasm

 

 

where do you get news from?I read the ny times but I don’t trust all of it

 

 

david byrne© phyllis galembo, 1997

 

 

do you notice how women are dressing? do you have any preferences?yes of course I do and I am attracted to something that looks conservative on the surface, but there’s something that betrays it, there’s a twist

 

 

what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?I try never to wear my own clothes, I pretend I’m someone else

 

 

do you have any pets?my daughter has a cat and I feed it

 

 

david byrne© phyllis galembo, 1997 

 

 

from making music to your latest artwork, can you describe your evolution?I don’t think there’s any progress, its horizontal, doing things in parallel, not necessarily moving forward, just tracing a line

 

 

where do you work on your designs and projects?small studio or sometimes on planes

 

 

when you are working, do you discuss or exchange ideas with your colleagues?anyone who is there, who walks into the room

 

 

left: better living through chemistry:big ben/coke snorter 1995cibatransparency on lightbox

right: sacred object: weight , 1993framed laminated cibachrome

© david byrne/courtesy lipanjepuntin

 

 

describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.they might say I’m guarded because I don’t talk much, but also silly, goofy

 

 

when you were a child, what did you want to be?I wanted to be a secret agent and an astronaut, preferably at the same time

 

 

democracy, 1996cibatransparency on lightbox© david byrne/courtesy lipanjepuntin

 

 

which of your projects have given you the most satisfaction?directing a couple of films

 

 

is there any architect or designer from past you appreciate a lot?quite a few, but I forget their names, frank lloyd wright, his things were beautiful but not very functional

 

 

silver cup for illy caffe, 1998 

 

 

and those still active, are there any particular ones you appreciate?architecture theory is very interesting, I read a good book by christopher alexander about architecture emerging out of daily life. There is a south indian architect, milhari baker, who does interesting work recuperating older building techniques to make modern pieces, encouraging people not to make everything out of concrete blocks.

 

 

on the news broadcast they said that italians are afraid ofunemployment,criminality and pollution. what are you afraid of regarding the future ?I’m afraid that everything will get homogenized and be the same. I’m also afraid that reason will triumph and that the world will become a place where anyone who doesn’t fit that will become unnecessary.

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