Sonic wizard Brian Eno once opined, “Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit—all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided.” Today’s WASTOIDS Featured Artist Bobby Markos expresses a similar point when describing his creations under the Documavision banner: “On every project I take on, I try to make sure to use analog and digital elements, marrying imperfections of video’s past formats with the miracle of digital editing and effects.” The 33-year-old Chesterton, Indiana-based artist has a knack for making the imperfect feel whole, as evidenced by his videos for artists like Spirit of the Beehive, Turnover, Knuckle Puck, Dummy, Horse Jumper of Love, and many others.
As a fan of a diverse set of filmmakers, including Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson, as well as visual artists like Robert Beatty, Neil Krug, Lil’ Fuchs, Colorshift, Bobby Pastel (Zone Catalog), Pear Juice Productions, and Joshua Shoemaker, Markos says inspiration plays a big role in his creative process. When he gets stuck on a project, he turns to the work of others to catch a spark. “There are so many amazing artists in the world, who are creating constantly, so I’m always looking for new art that speaks to me and gets me excited to create,” Markos says.
As a musician himself (Markos plays bass in the excellent “stoner emo” band Cloakroom, a favorite here at WASTOIDS HQ), he also listens to a lot of music while making art. “My go to is usually Boards of Canada or The Beatles, but lately I’ve been listening to Board’s Societas X Tape that they made for Warp Records 30th anniversary takeover on NTS Radio,” he says. Other favorites include the immortal sounds of Broadcast, Yo La Tengo, My Bloody Valentine, Jose Gonzalez, Nick Drake, and Stephen Malkmus.
When not making videos or playing music, Markos is an avid fan of racing and a racing documentarian. He contributed everything from filming and writing to researching and editing the second season of the Peacock show Lost Speedways. “It’s definitely the biggest thing I’ve been a part of,” Markos says. His work in the racing field dominates his reading list too: “The only thing I’ve really been reading over the last decade are books on auto racing, so very obscure titles. I did really enjoy Driving With the Devil by Neal Thompson and On Top of the World by Dave Argabright. A book that I honestly open every single day is The History of America’s Speedways: Past & Present by Allan E. Brown. I have it next to my desk and am constantly referencing it.”
To close out this installment, Markos selected a few of his favorite projects and reflected on them. Give him a follow on Instagram and keep your eyes out for new projects from Documavision on the horizon.
Spirit of the Beehive: “Nail I Couldn’t Bite”
Was the first video I made using Adobe After Effects, and I spent weeks not sleeping and learning the project as I went. It was such a rush, so much unknown, so much experimentation. I’m really happy with how it came out.
Peel Dream Magazine: “Geodesic Dome”
This was a longform music video, like a short film. Did a lot of visual loops and three-dimensional modeling. It was heavily influenced by Mort Garson.
Jack Senff: “Real Life Cowboy
Jack was good enough to send me some iPhone footage of him playing the song and I transported him into a western film. This was influenced by an old western I loved growing up called “They Call Me Trinity”, in fact a lot of the animations were inspired by scenes from the film.
Memory Wound: “Corridor of Collapse I”
Maybe the most abstract video I’ve done. The song is such a hauntingly beautiful drone/ambient piece, so I really created the imagery on the fly, as the song went on.
Dummy: “Atonal Poem”
Another longform video, some of my favorite imagery I’ve made to date. My version of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Design by JEMS. Writing and interview by Jason Woodbury.