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Weekly Conversations... with Rafael Lippuner

Born 1985 in Switzerland, Rafael Lippuner recently graduated as M.F.A. in art & science at Angewandte while also being employed as student assistant for 6 semesters ibid.
Inspired by habits, phrases, gestures and attitudes as codes and the crafting of norm, his practice interferes with present conventions which relate to our own mechanisms and ideals. Environments are reflected in the inner worlds of beings, as their behaviour shape an environment and in contrary, the environment shapes all of its inhabitants. Such entanglements or temporary kinships between creatures, objects and places are the foundation behind Rafael’s approach to manufacture a moment.
The mediality of his work lies somewhere between performative sculpture, kinetic installation and objet trouvé. Various materials are used as the installations often make use of site-specific conditions to resonate with their surroundings. Video and drawing reoccur as handy tools of communication.

Congratulations! You´ve just graduated from the art & science master program at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, how does it feel?
Pretty great — even if I can not fully grasp it yet. Certainly it is a good idea to take the time to let the manifold topics, experiments, inputs and relations I encountered during my studies sink in a little more.

You work with many different media: installation, silkscreen printing, writing, bookbinding, 3D modelling, woodwork, carbonizing, intervention, drawing, electronics & new media, video, photography, graphic design… Can you tell us more about your artistic practice?
My practice is still developing, but the inspiration usually stems from site-specific properties as well as from interacting with people, how they handle their lives and deal with objects.
How come I use so many media? I think this is partly given by the times we live in, as the combination of democratised knowledge (e.g. free tutorials, open source, workshops) and an overall material saturation allow for such practice. In contrast to this, one aspect of capitalism is to break up processes of work into pieces and professionalise each step; becoming very efficient at one specific part while not being charged with the entirety. I think this is something that makes me unhappy. If I build a spaceship I want to fully understand why it flies, rather than just work in the departement which designs the screws. And thus I always wanted to learn as many things as possible.

You´ve just moved into one of our studios recently, how do you like having your own working space so far?
I must say it feels amazing! The people I met so far are very nice and I am looking forward to start installing and working, sharing skills and opinions within the programme.

Do you already have some new upcoming projects that you’re working on? Or can you tell us more about your upcoming residences?
Very soon the summer art school featuring a series of workshops in Kotor (Montenegro) awaits fellow artist in spe Sarah Glück and me. After this trip I want to calm down a bit and focus on my work and have fun with it, before there might be some shows in September. Admittedly, my plans for the future do not go very far, I need a bit of time to figure it all out.