Exploding Appendix Questionnaire: Daniel SpicerAugust 5, 2019
The Exploding Appendix Questionnaire is an ongoing data collecting exercise that, drawing upon divergent public figures from different intellectual disciplines and artistic practices, seeks to create an ongoing and ever-expanding map of ideas. Through this ever-expanding map of divergent views, we seek a kind of dialogue that, in both its overlaps and contradictions, creates a kind of hive-mind, which, in turn, helps contribute to the intellectual unfoldings of Exploding Appendix’s overall mission.
For the Exploding Appendix Questionnaire, we have asked some of our favourite intellectuals, activists, artists, creatives and commentators to contribute to a series of 11 generic questions. The same generic questions have been sent to everyone, and what you read below is one response to this.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Nikola Gocić, by profession an architect whose heart lies elsewhere which is in the domain of alternative cinema and lately, in collage art. I am the author of NGboo Art blog, where I have been posting film reviews since 2009, initially in my native language, Serbian, and for about two and a half years, in English. My interests also include poetry, short stories and experimental comics which are made available on the pages of my blog. In addition, I’m a frequent collaborator of Experimental Film Society company and Film Panic magazine, and I wrote a couple of dozen listicles for Taste of Cinema.
2. What are your biggest influences in art, literature, music and cinema?
When it comes to art, definitely the works of Surrealist painters, yet I’ve drawn inspiration from various sources, ranging from Egyptian, Hellenistic and even religious art to Suprematism, DADA and Pop Art, whereby I consider myself a naïve artist of sorts, due to the lack of formal education. Fellow collagists who share their works via social network have been pretty influential as well. In literature, I’ve often looked up to Milorad Pavić of the “Dictionary of the Khazars” fame, and I enjoy the writings of Vladimir Pelevin. Recently, I paid a humble homage to one of my favorite novels – Mikhail Bulgakov’s masterpiece The Master and Margarita. My musical taste has grown eclectic over time, but I’m inclined towards the bands with (unique) female vocalists, from The Cranberries to The Gathering to more avant-garde acts such as Chenille (stylized as öOoOoOoOoOo). On the other hand, I love to hear the ear-piercing noise of Norwegian blackjazzers Shining as much as the impressive falsetto of Matt Belamy (Muse) or the soul-stirring chant of Slobodan Trkulja who sings in traditional and Byzantium style. Oh, and I must heartily recommend a beautifully dark debut album, Otih zove, by an experimental band, MORA, from my hometown of Niš. Cinema is, however, where the most of my influences come from. I have a deep respect for the films by Maya Deren, Lotte Reiniger, Jean Cocteau, Luis Buñuel, Shūji Terayama, Sergei Parajanov, Andrei Tarkovsky, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Đorđe Kadijević, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, the Quay brothers, Ralph Bakshi, Mamoru Oshii, Satoshi Kon, but the list does not end here. Important roles in shaping my art have been played by the offerings from contemporary filmmakers who I’m in contact with, first and foremost Rouzbeh Rashidi and the directorial duo of Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais. Allow me to mention dreams, myths and (Japanese) fighting games as great starting points for some ideas.
3. What, for you, is the purpose of art and culture?
Transmutation and spiritual healing or rather, transcendence. Art has to rise above the banalities of the mundane, with artists trusting their intuition and exploring the most hidden recesses of their minds / universes, while striving for the inconceivable as the highest form of truth. Culture is our guiding light through the labyrinths of life.
4. What makes something subversive?
The sublime illusion so powerful that it turns the faulty system of reality upside down.
5. How would you approach the task of winning friends and influencing people?
Being an introvert of the modest kind, I find it hard to answer this question, but I’ll try to nevertheless. It may sound like a cliché, but I’d say through similar interests. I’ve met or at least come into contact with some wonderful people via my writings and artworks, though I can’t say whether I influenced them or not, that’s for them to tell.
6. What does individual freedom mean to you?
Being allowed to create with no constraints. But, that is the unachievable ideal.
7. Is there, for you, a relationship between the personal and the political?
Unfortunately, yes. One way or another, we are all the victims of politics, even those who think they’re in control.
8. What is the root of society’s problems?
Idiotic politicians and demagogues who always come accompanied by double standards.
9. Will technology liberate humankind?
Technology is a double-edged sword, but judging by my personal experience, I’d go for yes. If there hadn’t been for the internet, I would’ve remained blind to so many amazing films from all around the world, and I already said they’d been my primary sources of inspiration. Where I live is not a good place to be a cinephile, especially not the one fond of cinematic obscurities. Actually, it’s not a good place to be a weird artist as well, yet I hang in there, persevering somehow, partially thanks to the virtual space where my artworks can be seen and, hopefully, appreciated by people with different cultural backgrounds.
10. Do you have a vision for utopia?
The politics-free society of eternal, ever-changing dreams – in other words, a fanciful impossibility reflected in my creations.
11. Finally, where can people find more of your work?
The great majority of my early works are available on my blog, NGboo Art, where I also publish “naughtier” pieces that would hurt the social network community standards and get punished by censorship. You can follow me on Facebook and support me via Ko-fi.
Caption: Wolves With Ties Must Die, 2019, Nikola Gocić