Volt Café: If you could spend a day with David Cronenberg, where would you go?
Gary Card: If I was with Cronenberg for the day I’d probably let him lead the way. Who would waste their time trying to impress this guy by showing him something a bit cool when he could show you something totally mindbending! I’m sure he could take me some weird 80’s cyber bar down some seedy secret back alley. Robots would serve us drinks, tentacles would slither around our feet. People always seem to beautify the world. David Cronenberg’s films are mostly famous because of the combination he uses of physical and psychological decline.

VC: Your work shows something similar as well, why do you feel the need to add a certain obscurity in your sets?
GC: I try to add a narrative to anything I work on, whether it is successful or not is for the viewer to decide. The obscurity comes from the desire to give an audience something unexpected, something new. I’m not sure if this actually shows the model in some kind of psychological decline. If it does then I’ve actually got away with sneaking in something really perverse and weird. I’m absolutely delighted if this is the case.

VC: Your work shows a high form of craftsmanship. Do you resist to the fast changing technology or do you embrace it?
GC: I definitely resist, with every fibre of my being I resist. My approach is about craft, making things by hand, it’s very important to me and my work that I remain totally physical with it. A lot of people ask why I don’t produce anything with rapid prototyping technology, for me there is a real detachment from that process. I like to learn about the object through constructing it. That doesn’t mean I dislike the technology, in fact I am amazed by it but right now it is not what I’m about.

VC: Cronenberg said in an interview about technology:
‘I mean, technology wants to be in our bodies, because it sort of came out of our bodies. In a crude way, that’s what I’m thinking. It wants to come home and that is its home. First of all, in the obvious ways — the eyes with binoculars, the ears with the telephone — technology had to be an advancement of powers we knew we had. Then it gets more elaborate and more distant from us. More abstract. But it still all emanates from us. It’s us.’
Do you share Cronenberg’s statement that technology ‘is us’?
GC: I love this idea, it’s mental! The idea that it’s trying to find its way back home inside us is perfectly Cronenbergian. It’s exactly what his early films are about, from Crash to the talking typewriter bug in Naked Lunch. Do I agree with his statement? Sure, it makes total sense.

Words by Anne van den Boogert


Anne van den Boogert, David Cronenberg, Gary Card,