Recently I started to think: “What makes us create culture-oriented guerrilla-like online initiatives, actions that apparently don’t bring any actual benefits?”. Nobody’s considering that, in this “puzzle of reasons”, the creators become some sort of walking personal diaries at everyone’s disposal. Once you’ve started this activity, you become the crackhead slave of a machine that gives yourself away more than a confession does. People find out your shitty hobbies, your twisted fetishes, your random thoughts. And the more you give yourself away, the more you’re sucked under this machine’s wheels. Confession is a drug, after all.
This kind of addiction gave birth to Touché, too. A primordial addiction, a mix of intimacy, eye obsessions and cosmogonic ecstasy. Its creators – Diana and Ștefan – form a couple who prefer to (successfully) preserve their enigmatic, mysterious appearance. A kind of Zen that makes sense only to them. That’s why they didn’t give me any more details about them, and I didn’t try to ask. The pieces they gave me for the puzzle of reasons I’ve been trying to put together were more than enough (for now!). We discussed about their own reason, hermetism, minds-shaping and Jodorowsky. Read the interview below:
Daniel (Cultartes): Who are you?
Touché: Diana – 21, Libra, movie-addict and Ștefan – Homo Sapiens 2.0.
How and where did all Touché idea start from? How did he or she react when you brought it up?
Ștefan: It all came natural. I’ve been collecting in my PC for awhile now loads of art-related stuff, of all kinds and shapes. It ruined my hard-drives. One day I thought, since I’m doing this anyway, I could do it for others too, not just for me. Because everything becomes more valuable if shared with others.
Touché it’s not only about art, but also about sacred geometry and astronomy. It’s all an experimental mix. When I told Diana we’re expecting a “child”, she got all excited, and agreed to raise it together.
Where do you get your inspiration from (favorite influences or subcultures, authors, artists)?
Ștefan: I use some related websites and mainly Tumblr. I’m attracted to avangarde art, especially surrealism and cubism. Recently I became interested in food art and recycle art.
Diana: I’m trying to find a source of inspiration in everything and everyone, but I’m mostly attracted to contemporary art – cubism, futurism, surrealism, art-nouveau, minimalist and abstract art. Klimt is my top artist by far.
You’re already popular on Facebook platform (2000+ likes) and in a relatively short time (how long, exactly?). What’re the reasons for your popularity?
Diana: We turned 1 year this May, but at first we didn’t have constant activity on our page. The recent boost happened thanks to a couple of shares from more popular pages. The fact that they found out about us makes us happy.
Did you expect to get this successful? Have you been thinking to somewhow exploit this situation?
We did not expect it, or not in such short time, anyway, especially not with an art-related project. However, we noticed that more and more people are passionate and open to taste art, no matter what kind of it. And the best part is that most of them are young, which is (obviously) good. Our generation sees a transformation process. And we already kind of exploit it. It’s a nice feeling when you know you helped someone to learn something new, someone who usually follows the same endless routine.
What’s the purpose, the main Touché manifesto, if you will? Do you want to expand new horizons? To self-remove from under daily monotony, to shock, to bring an ode to the unconventional beauty?
Diana: Jodorowsky already answered for me: “What I am trying to do when I use symbols is to awaken in your unconscious some reaction….. When we use normal language we can defend ourselves because our society is a linguistic society, a semantic society. But when you start to speak, not with words, but only with images, the people cannot defend themselves”.
Ștefan: At first we didn’t scrape a manifesto, it was only the idea. Thing is, at some point we’d like to look back and remember we’ve marked someone’s moral development, in a more important manner than we do it everyday. We’re mind designers!
Is there a real necessity for this sort of spontaneous online initiatives?
Yes, because a good way to learn is by trying to teach the others what even you don’t know, which is a win-win situation. All this thing is benefits-based only. The worst that could happen is to not get noticed, but that doesn’t mean you failed, because you’ve already accomplished something: you did it for you.
Why did you prefer (at least until now!) to keep everything hidden in some kind of informational hermetism (no details about the creators, no contacts, no extra profiles on other platforms)? Was it intentional or not? Do you think that easy access to something, turns something into mainstream?
Diana: It wasn’t intentional, but I think is more important what we post, and not who posts it. And yes, I believe that, in some situations, the more accessible something is, the more inconsistent and shallow it becomes.
Ștefan: At the halfway to voluntary and involuntary. I don’t think it matters if you know or if you don’t know who’s behind this kind of projects, but exposing personal information decreases the level of mystery. It all depends on what you wish for. It’s not about mainstream after all, because we highlight the content and what we deliver.
How does the process behind a published post look like?
Usually everything is based on analogy. When that doesn’t work, we adapt under way. Something like “Do you like this picture? Let’s post it!”
Besides the Facebook page, do you have some other online space where you express yourself?
Not yet, but we thought about making a Tumblr blog, for articles and posts that Facebook can’t handle. Mark doesn’t really agree with most of our posts, since he doesn’t get the difference between porn and art.
I wouldn’t be wrong if I said that in our days Romania there’s this kind of cultural wave, mainly displayed through a vivid online promotion of avangarde culture. I’m talking about online magazines and initiatives like The Chronicle, Subcapitol, Hyperliteratura and more. Are they useful? Do they have substance, or just form? Aren’t they a pseudointellectual trick that would gradually fade away?
Ștefan: People involve, they do things, they develop, and the action principle is the most important. I don’t see any negative sides in it, as long as the authors don’t turn into self-proclaimed gods. But that’s another story.
Do they have substance? Maybe yes, maybe no. I don’t really know, but anyway, in art the substance matters. We both can paint a sunset. Mine could be a piece of trash, yours could be a masterpiece. Time’s the best critic.
Photo: Eugenia Loli