Sean Rogg is a British artist working in the field of video, photography and performance. His work has been exhibited at The Wapping Project, Bloomberg SPACE and ICA in London, as well as part of TinaB Biennale in Prague, at Modern Art Oxford, Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, The CCA in Tel Aviv, Galerie Mathias Güntner in Hamburg and Galleri Kleerup in Stockholm.
However, for the past 5 years, Sean Rogg has also been the Creative Director of The Waldorf Project, a genre-defying immersive art experience uniting theatre, choreography, design, architecture, sound art and gastronomy, which launches its third chapter, “FUTURO”, on the 10th November.
We spoke to Sean about his london lifestyle, passions and The Waldorf Project, chapter 3…..
SEAN ROGG INTERVIEW
Where are you and what did you do today?
I am with Alessio (The Waldorf Project’s Sound Designer – he has been part of the Creative Team since the very first Chapter back in 2012), putting the final touches to the soundscapes for Chapter Three, which launches to the public in a few weeks’ time. We are attempting a very ambitious experiment with this Chapter, and the soundscapes play a huge part.
What inspired you to start The Waldorf Project?
I have been exploring different ways of storytelling from the very start of my career – from narrative film-making to visual art film-making and now live immersive art. It’s become more and more apparent, though, that there has always been (and perhaps always will be) one unifying goal: to explore the boundaries of moving people emotionally.
FUTURO is, as you say, staged under the concept of the Japanese emotion ‘AMAE’. What does this mean and what is the importance of this to you in the production? Is Japanese culture something that interests you in general?
Translated literally, ‘AMAE’, means ‘a temporary surrender in perfect safety’. Although we are interweaving all these diverse creative fields (theatre, art, sound, design, gastronomy…) the result is an emotional one. It is almost intangible, carefully crafted and choreographed to test your responses and manipulate your emotions…
The reason for using the emotion as an explanation of what we are present is that we are attempting a very ambitious experiment in emotional storytelling, one that will require you to “take my hand and jump” into a world you haven’t been to before, a world no one has been to before, one in which for a time you may feel frightened, but although we want you use fear that way (and other darker emotions before the light comes) you should always feel safe.
What’s in store for the next year?
Next year (after a short rest following Chapter Three) we will begin the creative process for Chapter Four, which is going to be even more ambitious then chapter three (if that’s even possible!). With Chapter Three we are exploring a possible future interwoven with technology. Chapter Four will explore a post-technological, spiritual world.
What is your earliest memory of music?
“Oxygen” by Jean-Michel Jarre, at around 6 or 7 years old…my mother listening to the record and me looking at that mental image on the front of the vinyl cover, of the earth pealing back to reveal a skull. That is a really strong, deep-rooted, clear memory. In hindsight, it explains a LOT.
What does Theatre mean to you?
Escaping my current state and connecting with another (if I’m lucky).
Who is your favourite artist at the moment?
The one and only James fucking Turrell!
What’s your favorite hangout in London/Worldwide?
London: the canals of “new London” around Walthamstow and Hackney Wick. It’s like transporting yourself to another city.
World: a toss-up between Joe’s Pizza on the corner of Bleeker and 6th in New York, the best pizza EVER. God those crusty cheese bubbles! But sadly it’s been smashed down so I’ll go with Abu Hassan, this little shit shack in Jaffa which makes the finest damn hummus, I mean next level stuff, served hot with chilli water and onions to dip instead of pitta.
Can you give us one word you can use to describe art?
Weep (when it works)
Shite (when it doesn’t)
What can’t you leave home without?
Music in my ears
What do you do to get away from everything?
I go away.
What was the last thing that really made you stop and stare?
The venue for the Chapter Three / FUTURO (Here East in the Olympic Park – it’s being developed into a major technology hub, but in the meantime, we are so lucky to be able to use it creatively).
I actually had to get off my bike on the way here today to stare at it – It’s BIG!
The Waldorf Project: Chapter Three / FUTURO runs for nine nights, Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th November and Tuesday 15th – Sunday 20th November 2016.
Tickets (£79) are strictly limited.