Plague and Locusts 2020: Nicholas Goergen

In conversation with Nicholas Goergen, we asked the artist to share with us his thoughts on how the Pandemic of 2020 is influencing his life and work.

Honey I’m Home. Nicholas Goergen, 2020
E: Please tell us about yourself, your art practice and life in normal times.
NG: My name is Nicholas Goergen and I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I graduated from Arizona State University with a BFA in Intermedia Art. During my undergraduate degree I developed a keen interest in digital media, particularly video, and the rest is history. I have been operating in Arizona as a Video Artist for the past 6 years. My videos deal with information and how we share it and pass it along. In particular I am fascinated with the mutability of information and its reception. Concepts of degradation, shifting standards, and challenging traditions are all commonplace in my work.
E: Is everything has changed for you in the current pandemic conditions, what work you make now, how is it different from the previous themes?
NG: In the past, my work has focused on gathering information from other people. Now, however, I find that my recent works gather their information from myself, rather than other people, making my recent work MUCH more auto-biographical. I have less access to physical “muses”, so to speak, and a seemingly infinite access to myself.
E: Are you finding current environment very hard? Or is it a good break?
NG: I made the decision very early on that I was going to use these circumstances to challenge myself and the way I used to work. For example: with all of the time I have to spend on work, I created a 6 hour video piece as a reflection of this new found time. Working in this super durational way was a catalyzing moment for my art this year, and perhaps the foreseeable future.
E: Have you noticed a change in your life pace since the Lockdown? Has your concentration intensified or fallen away?
NG: My tempo during the lockdown has been a turbulent thing. At first, I found it very hard to rest because my work was always sitting no more than 20 feet from me. My apartment became a home/studio hybrid. I found it hard to establish a work life balance but at this point, I think I have it down! Making work is MUCH more therapeutic for me in these times, especially since my works have taken an autobiographical tone since the lockdown. I feel it takes a versatile personality to be an artist, and this quality is absolutely a good thing to possess right now. Our flexibility, as opposed to a corporate counterpart for example, gives us great tools to adapt to the changing times.
E: How do you think the role of the arts may change post-pandemic?
NG: I feel that the role of artists will be heightened after the lockdown. Art and Culture is a commodity that simply isn’t in the cards right now. After the end of lockdown I imagine people will be all too happy to attend a gallery opening post-COVID. I feel what we are experiencing is the defining moment of this generation. The way we interact with each other has vastly changed and I feel it will have long lasting effects on everyone. Right now the prevalence of online communities is monolithic, I do not feel that will go away post- lockdown.

Ephepereye was born in 2017. Ephemereye [ephemerˈaɪ] is a constantly updating video art gallery where artists can showcase their work in the natural frame of computer screen, and connect with others via Ephemereye Social. Where professional and aspiring, critics, venues, and collectors alike can engage in the contemporary discourse, and enjoy video-art-related news from around the globe. 

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