interviews

Interview – Phillip Barcio

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Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a writer with an artist’s brain. I make work about feelings and connections, looking for epiphanies and moments of emotion. I laugh a lot. Sometimes the smallest things make me cry because they remind me of the past. I photograph discarded things, write fiction, make music without words, and shoot films that strive to capture what’s earnest about people.

When you create, what inspires you?

Usually something unexpected, like an off-hand comment I hear, or an expression on somebody’s face, or a snippet of language that bubbles up in my mind, or something that I see discarded on the sidewalk.

Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.

I encountered this lost balloon at Sprout’s grocery store in Las Vegas. The way it had found refuge among the nut milks and fluorescent lights evoked memories of the various artificial families I’ve huddled up with over the years. There’s a “sadballoon” hashtag on Instagram, but I sensed that the vulnerability of this balloon deserved more. I’m humbled to see it being given consideration in fēlan.

What is your medium of choice? Why?

Fiction. I love the process of editing my work; returning to words over time, finding simpler, more artful ways of expressing what’s being said.

How did you first discover your love for creating?

Probably Make-n-Bake-its, when I was about four, at the table with my sister and my mom. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware that self-expression was essential.

fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel melancholy?

The evening. Where I live, palm trees are dominant. But there are these three broad-leafed trees that somehow thrive in a sandy patch on the sidewalk in front of a combination bail bond/wedding chapel. Each night at sunset birds from all over the valley converge on these three trees. I watch the glow of the dying light behind the mountains, listen to the bird songs, breath in the radiated desert breeze. It reminds me of lost chances, and some unknown place I’m supposed to be.

Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant.

I’m missing something; I don’t know what. I’m so used to not having it, part of me thinks if I get it, I’ll die. The other part of thinks if I don’t get it soon I’ll die. I suspect everyone with a heart feels this same way. If computers ever become self-aware, that’s the advantage they’ll have over us. They won’t suspect that they were made for something more.

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One thought on “Interview – Phillip Barcio

  1. Pingback: issue 4 artists – fēlan

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