Colossal Interviews

In our ongoing interview series, Colossal goes deep with some of our favorite contemporary artists, designers,
and creative personalities from around the world. These conversations are supported directly by our members.

A Conversation with The Tempestry Project Delves Into the Importance of Knitting Tangible Records of Climate Data

June 23, 2022

It can be difficult to grasp the magnitude of the climate crisis, which is why Asy Connelly and Emily McNeil began The Tempestry Project. At the intersection of craft and activism, the initiative’s name is a portmanteau of tapestry and temperature and its goal is to make such large-scale shifts more accessible and relatable through tangible, data-rich works. In this conversation with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert, they discuss the slow, insightful process of crafting a Tempestry, why it’s important to standardize yarn colors, and the power a single knit has to change someone’s mind.

Heidi Gustafson Recounts How She Established an Archive of Hundreds of Samples of Humanity’s Oldest Art Material

June 7, 2022

As its name suggests, the Early Futures Ochre Sanctuary collects and preserves hundreds of samples of ochre that vary widely in hue, ranging from deep rust and gold to cool robin’s egg blue. The ever-growing archive is the project of forager, artist, and researcher Heidi Gustafson, who spoke with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert about the multi-sensory and sometimes uncanny nature of her process, the threat the climate crisis poses to the earth’s stores, and how ochre’s legacy reaches far beyond its alluring color.

Trevon Latin Questions His Impulse to Solve Problems, Navigating Solitude, and the Idea That Everything is Drag

May 19, 2022

For Trevon Latin, the best use of questions is to breed more questions. Each quilt remnant, each barrette, each string of beads he incorporates into the work asks, What does masculinity look like? What does it mean to present yourself as a Black person? In this conversation with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete, Latin explains why he’s only recently started referring to himself as an artist, his approach to fully feeling every emotion he encounters, and his whole-hearted belief that, to quote RuPaul, “we are all born naked, and the rest is drag.”

Artist Nick Cave Unpacks Silence and Compassion Ahead of His First Retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago

May 11, 2022

A portmanteau of forevermore and for others, “Forothermore” is a prescient title for the first retrospective of artist Nick Cave. His work spans sculpture, installation, and performance and consistently confronts racism, homophobia, and other bigotries through the alluring, affecting power of art. Amassing three and a half decades of work in one space has been an enlightening process, Cave says, sharing that he’s no longer allowing tragedy to function as a directive. In this conversation with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert, the artist discusses his devotion to silence, his role as an educator, and how committing 100 percent has produced awe-inspiring results.

The Artists Behind DRIFT Discuss the Unparalleled Potential of Technology in Cultivating Connections with Nature

March 21, 2022

Artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta founded DRIFT in 2007 and have spent the last decades exploring the intersection of technology and nature. Experiential and immersive, their broad body of work harnesses the power of robotics, manufactured mechanisms, and even algorithms to visualize some of the most stunning and captivating biological phenomena and ecological cycles. Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert spoke with the pair about the origins of their collaboration-driven studio, how recognizing and internalizing patterns can help us realign with the world around us, and why nature and the inevitability of change is the only guarantee.

A Conversation with Social Justice Sewing Academy Explores Community Activism and the Power of Remembering Through Quilts

March 11, 2022

In a time when witnessing inequity is like digging into an already numb wound, and participating in surface-level social justice is as easy as recycling digital shares, the Social Justice Sewing Academy offers the power of touch. In this conversation, Colossal contributor Gabrielle Lawrence speaks with program director Stephanie Valencia about the work of honoring the victims of violence and their families through community art, supporting young entrepreneurs with creative or social justice-oriented businesses, and most importantly, giving people something to hold on to.