Santiago Carrasquilla Talks


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Visual artist Santiago Carrasquilla recently directed the video for Gabriel Garzon-Montano‘s track ”Everything Is Everything‘. We here at Ran$om Note Towers immediately fell in love with the video so we got in touch to ask the creator some questions about his background, processes, musical tastes and latest obsessions…
Please tell us who you are and how you got to where you are now.

My name is Santiago Carrasquilla and I was born in Bogota, Colombia. Mother and I left Colombia when I was 10 and moved to Los Angeles where I spent the next 9 years of my life. I moved to New York to study graphic at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.  

When and how did you first become interested in visual art?
Like almost everybody else, I was interested in visual art since I can remember. I actively made things until I was about 12 at which point I stopped and focused more on playing music.

Can you talk us through the video for Everything Is Everything and its composition?
1. Shot a bunch of live action footage.
2. Put video into an iPad, scanned the iPad while the films were playing. (example of an output image below)
3. After gathering thousands of these images, they were then re-organized to make what essentially is a stop motion film. 
What was the biggest inspiration behind the video?
The song itself. 

How did you end up working with Gabriel Garzon-Montano?
I met Gabriel in Los Angeles about 7 or 8 years ago. Our girlfriends at the time introduced us and we quickly got along. A couple of years later, when I moved to New York, I hit him up and we touched base again. I was just studying and so was he but in the back of my mind I always knew that one day we would work together. 

You’re a big user of the scanner process, what exactly does this involve and why did you start making art in this style?
My mother came to visit me in New York a few years back and she had recently bought herself and ipad. But she left it with me due to her usual generous self. One day, while I was working on something else, it occurred to me what if I put this ipad on the scanner while a film is playing. And so I tried it quickly and I was blown away. Then I could not stop for doing that for the next few months.

Of all the projects you have worked on, which are you most proud of? Are there any that you would approach differently if you started work on them now?
I am driven by the process and the making and once I finish something I usually become very detached from it. Almost as if someone else had made it. Pride is a strange feeling, I dont trust it very much. 
What sort of music are you into? Are there any musicians/producers that truly inspire you?
Today Ive mostly listened to Mount Kimbie. Last week I was switching between Little Dragon and Jorge Ben. 

Do you prefer working with still pictures or videos?
The more mediums the better. 
What was the music of your teenage rebellion?

I was obsessed with Radiohead.

Who is the man in the ‘Everything Is Everything’ video and why did you decide that he was the right person for the shoot?

His name is Vladimir and hes been playing guitar and singing on the corner of 23rd and 7th ave for about 10 years. Sagmeister & Walsh, the studio where I currently work, is basically there. I became friends with him just from seeing him everyday on my way to the studio. On my birthday, my friend Wade surprised me and brought Vladimir up to the studio to sing me happy birthday, which of course, I filmed with my phone. 
Right around the that time, Joe Hollier, Gabriel and I got together to discuss the music video. Completely unrelated to our discussion, I showed Gabe the video of Vlad signing for me and he said Why dont we just have him be the main character of the video?! We all became excited by this idea and so I asked Vlad and he agreed immediately. 
What is your all-time favourite music video?
One I love ; Johnny Cash Aint No Grave by Chris Milk 

What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Currently many things of great importance are in my mind. Which makes it difficult to be obsessed with a single thing. But I do have those moments in which my mind is fully focused on a single thing and its a very simple and great state of mind to have. Hopefully a time like that will come soon. 
First and last record bought?

First was likely Unplugged by an Argentinian band called Soda Stereo which I loved. Last Cold Spring Fault Less Youth by Mount Kimbie. 

Whats your favourite place on earth?
My familys house in the mountains in the outskirts of Bogota. 

What’s next in the world of Santiago Carrasquilla?
Be kind and make many more things.

Anything else we should’ve discussed but havent?
I want to thank Joe, Gabriel and Vladimir for being such wonderful collaborators. Together we lived things that I will never forget. 
?For more on Santiago Carrasquilla? check out his website.