ORIGINAL THINKING – Interview with Bianca Kennedy & Felix Kraus
In our age of information inspiration is at our fingertips. But where does true originality come from? We selected some of the most forward-thinking, creative, and authentic innovators in art, design, fashion, and culture to tell us about their perspective on the defining qualities of originality. Innovative, essential, exciting, or eccentric, these are people who are relying on their roots and paving their own way in a world full of strong competition.
“I let feelings (rather than ideas) for new projects come to me and try to give them new life with the use of virtual / augmented reality, writing, and analog practices.”
Bianca Kennedy & Felix Kraus
Artists, Filmmakers in Berlin
What is your latest film The Lives Beneath about?
It’s the third film of our futuristic ‘LIFE 3.0 – cycle.’ The Lives Beneath depicts a world in the year 4000. Everything in nature gets merged into one single mind. Plants, animals and human beings form a worldwide super-network of consciousness. We examine the downfall of a society that refuses to live with nature in harmony. But on the other side is a self-conscious planet, which suffers from the burden of having to think for all eternity.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Bianca: While I love researching in books for my projects, I don’t think that inspiration will just slip into you. Most of the time being an artist is a real job and it’s important to keep working—even and especially if it gets hard or feels like a waste of time. Most of the time when proceeding, new ideas will come and enrich the piece.
Felix: I’m deeply interested in quantum mechanics and their implications on what we perceive as reality. As a convinced panpsychist (universal mind hypothesis), I believe that everything that exists is pure mentation. The realm of consciousness only encoding what we think to be matter, time, and space. I read a lot of books about those topics. Together with the practice of lucid dreaming, I let feelings (rather than ideas) for new projects come to me and try to give them new life with the use of virtual/augmented reality, writing, and analog practices.
Do you think of original being “essential” or “innovative”?
Bianca: I realized that my pieces always tend to stick out a little, if you compare them to others. A little more color, more playful, or more details. Maybe because I don’t restrict myself by having to fulfill a certain attitude or style, I can act more freely on my ideas, also accepting quirky or childish thoughts, while combining them with dark humor or disturbing images.
Felix: The pursuit of originality is something that drives me from early on. Of course it’s somewhat pretentious to label your own work original. But at least in my artistic practice, I’ve always tried to find something that nobody has done before. Virtual and augmented reality are therefore a perfect playground for me, since in a new medium it’s way easier to walk on un trodden paths.
What advice do you have for people to stand out from the crowd?
Bianca: Stop trying to be cool. Coolness is boring and a protective cover, that doesn’t add to a thoughtful conversation, event, or relationship. In the long run it’s so much more interesting to not try so hard and have some fun. Who cares what the crowd thinks?
Felix: I would like artists to become a little more humble. It’s a profession that is crucial to society, but some tend to expect too much love and acceptance from everybody else. Everybody’s struggling to find their own way through life and nobody’s better than someone else. In these days I think you stand out not by screaming the loudest, but by listening quietly.
Tell us about your favorite eyewear and why?
Felix: Although I’m the biggest believer in Virtual Reality and it’s future potential, the real game changer might become AR glasses like Hololens or Magic Leap. While still in its infancy, the visions are real. The augmentation of our environment will someday be so normal like TV or internet. I just try to stay ahead of the game and steer into a positive future together with all of the possibilities.
This editorial “Original Thinking” was for the ORIGINAL issue // published in April 2019.