Bobby Scheidemann lives in San Marcos, Texas and works in Austin. He received his BFA from Texas State University in 2011.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I am a recent BFA graduate who is on the job hunt and does freelance photography on the side. I primarily work in photography but I’m looking to experiment with mixed media soon.
If you had to explain your work to a stranger, what would you say? My work deals with themes of isolation and displacement.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? I’ve been watching a lot of Michelangelo Antonioni lately and breaking into Andrei Tarkovskey’s movies. I tend to spend a week on a film now watching it over and over. The Shining was on all last week in the background. That soundtrack is insane. Also the book The Dimension of the Present Moment by Miroslav Holub has been a big influence, particularly the essay Tissue Culture, or About the Last Cell.
How has your work developed within the past year? My work has moved from straight documentation to more of a hybrid of documenting/constructing. So as an example, I would go out to an old hang out spot from previous summers and document that but also take objects from it, like a simple stone that catches my eye, and then bring all of that back to my studio. From there I review the pictures and then either let the objects sit around my house for a while or I’ll create something out of the objects.
How has living in San Marcos affected your art practice? There’s a tight-knit community of artists here that are very enthusiastic. People are either working on work or working on showing so there’s a sort of energy in the air that rubs off on to my practice. Also, San Marcos has moments of extreme quiet since it’s a small town. Those are good times to sit on some thoughts.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I am currently working with Hayden Smith on re-designing and developing a website for a publication my colleagues and I put out last summer called Taste Test. It started as a way to publish and introduce ourselves to the Austin art scene, but we’re looking to expand on it. I’m also going to curate a show for the photography department at Texas State University. It will showcase members of Taste Test, alumni, and international artists, like the Wandering Bears Collective, so I am pretty excited about that. After all that is done I will get back to work on some of my own art.
What do you do when you’re not working on art? Movies, reading, cooking, snacks, internet, and running around outside.
What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? (Re) Collection by Lakes Were Rivers was a pretty interesting photography show. The show had the collective re-interpreting images from the Harry Ransom Center archives. Ben Ruggiero’s Windows as Viewed #71: Migrant Mother Dorthea Lange, 1936 stuck out the most. Aside from how technically proficient he is with cyanotypes, the thought of him running after sunlight with these fairly large sheets of coated paper is pretty amusing. The process has this sort of beautiful chaos to it, but knowing Ben, he was totally in control at the same time. Also I recently took my parents to The Menil Collection in Houston, TX for the first time. That was a really pleasant day and a nice end to my trip home.
If you hadn’t become an artist, what do you think you’d be doing? I would probably still be teaching archery and building fires at this camp I used to work at in Marble Falls, TX, or I’d probably be a stock broker, who, on the side, is training to climb something tall, but not too tall, like Mount Kilimanjaro, or giving snorkeling tours off the coast of Greece.
Favorite music? Chances With Wolves radio. That wolf howl. So good.