Turkish artist Selay Karasu

This time Lumen was lucky to have a conversation with Selay Karasu – an independent multidisciplinary artist, designer and videographer based in Istanbul. 

Lumen: Let’s talk about your individual path in the field of audiovisual art and design. How did you find inspiration and get started? Was it your dream before entering Istanbul Bilgi University?

Selay Karasu:  I’ve been interested in visual arts since my childhood and wanted to pursue this as a career since then. Firstly I started with analogue photography back in high school and in my freshman year in university, by chance, but I must say out of sheer luck, I got to do a project and did my first mapping show. Having to use a big canvas instead of usual screen and seeing my work on major buildings was thrilling and the excitement transitioned into a big passion of mine.

Homeomorphism by Selay Karasu

Homeomorphism, one of Selay’s projects

Lumen: Your portfolio and team’s website are full of really interesting projects. All these mysterious geometric shapes, extraterrestrial silhouettes and deep philosophical concepts – how do you create ideas? And which of your works became the most important for you?

Selay: I believe site specific public art should find its foundation from within and the inspiration comes from the canvas itself. The creative process starts with a meticulous research on my canvas, I familiarize myself with the place, the building, its architecture and history. The more I delve into the culture of the place, I become more able to give a story to my installations. The conceptual inspiration comes from arts and philosophy, in design I find it in physics and geometry. I try to acknowledge these abstract and physical entities in my work by creating a hybrid connection between them. I think Bioinspire stands out among the others, it was a unique and exciting experience for me. It was a collaborative work with a scientist and a neuropsychologist and their assistance made this dome installation special.

Lumen: Congratulations, science art is such a progressive sphere to be involved in within the post-biological age and we can already feel the evolutionary potential of 21st century technology trends such as biomedicine, robotics, virtual reality and nanotechnology. In your opinion, where’s the role of video mapping experiments in this global art trend? And would you like to continue your personal science oriented vector of self-expression?

Selay: Thanks! I believe both science and art are human attempts to understand and describe the universe around us. The subjects and methods have different paths, and the intended audiences are different, but I think the motivations and goals are the same. Recent developments in technology aid us to find new ways of expressing our creativity on a new plane other than the usual screen. 3d video mapping is a young, powerful and impressive form of science-art ; a new visual language which uses any kind of surface as its dynamic video display.  By adding sound design, it becomes an immersive experience : a new language which appeals to almost all senses. Bringing science and art together allows me to translate my observations and insights about universe into visible, audible, and tangible expressions and I will continue creating on this path.

full dome video mapping by Selay Karasu

SOLENOID, May 2015

Lumen: Could you please describe contemporary Turkish new media art environment?

Selay: I think the diversity and richness of the environment feed the new media artists in a good way and I appreciate where we stand in the sense of creativity. It may be a small community, but I see that this community has a visionary approach towards the new media arts. But it is almost impossible to find the support outside of this community and pursue the ideas in the country. Therefore we usually seek opportunities internationally.

Lumen: By the way, who are your favorite media artists, from your country and all over the world?

Selay: We have numerous of talented new media artists in our country and I think I can give VOID as a good example. Not that I am a part of them, but I had the chance to collaborate with them before and the VOID team consists of many upcoming and talented new media artists in Turkey. Internationally I can give you two names who inspire me deeply and that I follow religiously: Carsten Nicolai and Ryoji Ikeda. Their minimalistic style along with how they syncronise the sound and the image, the subtexts they use, the harmony in their work is aweinspiring, somewhat mesmerising. And how they immerse these instruments so meticulously, give the audience an enchanting experience of audiovisual arts is something that I hold an example for myself as an artist. I would also like to say I place myself close to their mentality in design.

Selay Karasu Turkey

Turkish artist Selay Karasu

Lumen: What can you advise for young media artists? Maybe some books, magazines, educational programs, websites, etc. Is it important to have higher education, or practice is the best way to hone skills? Who will succeed – freaks or geeks?

Selay: I believe observant eyes are everything in visual arts. I would recommend to see and watch immensely, carefully and analyse thoroughly. I am always giving this example to make this relatable, but if an athlete is very careful with his calory intake and trainings, a visual artist must also be watchful of what he is letting in, be attentive to what he loves to create, be a true researcher and a follower of his field and train his eye. I think it is pretty easy now to learn and practise since we’ve got Internet. For me, education is only needed to have a vision. And I say freaky geeks:)

Lumen:  Why do you love what you do?

Selay: I think one of the most primitive innate needs of us is to understand the universe, and then share that knowledge, vision, however you call it, at my expense. For me, what I do is the most impressive yet minimalistic way to express my vision so far and I don’t see any better reason to love it.


Article supported free by Alexandr Kuiava/ LIME ART GROUP

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Direction & Design & Animation: Ouchhh (www.ouchhh.tv)

Director:Ferdi Alici

Concept Development: Eylul Duranagac, Ferdi Alici, Selay Karasu

Project Manager: Selay Karasu

A/V Artists: Bahadır Dagdelen, Eylul Duranagac, Ferdi Alici, Selay Karasu

Sound Design: Ali Can Okan, Hakan Ozkan, Mehmet Unal

Direction & Design & Animation: Ouchhh (www.ouchhh.tv)

Director:Ferdi Alici

Concept Development: Eylul Duranagac, Ferdi Alici, Selay Karasu

Project Manager: Selay Karasu

A/V Artists: Bahadır Dagdelen, Can Buyukberber, Eylul Duranagac, Ferdi Alici, Selay Karasu

Sound Design: Mehmet Unal

Mentalis Structuram

Direction & Design & Animation: Ouchhh (www.ouchhh.tv)

Director: Ferdi Alici
Concept Development: Dilan Regal, Ferdi Alici
Lead 3d Artists and Designers: Bahadir Dagdelen, Emre Önol
Animators and Designers: Bahadir Dagdelen, Çağlar Özen, Dilan Regal, Emre Önol, Eylul Duranagac, Ferdi Alici, H. Kerem Köse, Özgü Özbudak, Selay Karasu, Yusuf Emre Kucur
Sound Designers: Alican Okan, Hakan Özkan, Selçuk Can Güven

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