I have spoken with artist Brian Pollett before and I am still fascinated by the concept of his Binge series. Over a set course of days, Brian consumes various drugs and creates pieces that attempt to represent elements of each particular substance. It's a very underrated concept in my opinion and manages to showcase both Brian's virtuoso talent, as well as his incredible ability to translate these spaces into reality for us to admire without being pretentious.
He has since become one of my favorite artists and an inspiration. It's wonderful to see someone truly harness their passion for something taboo into something so beautiful.
For this years Binge, Brian has decided to take some of his favorite genres of electronic music and couple them with these substances to allow us to see some of the imagery one can expect these genres to produce. As with the previous year's series, I am blow away by the results.
Prox: How does this binge differ from the previous ones? What new aesthetic and artistic elements have you incorporated into this year’s series?
Brian: My past Binges have been focused on Drug use whereas this year I wanted to transition a bit further away from drugs. I felt compelled to show that I'm not a one trick pony and that I am capable of experimenting with different styles/concepts. But it just wouldn't be a binge without chemical assistance, so to solve this dilemma, I decided to add two underlying concepts I've been contemplating for years; Illustrating my favorite Genres of music while under the influence of my favorite psychoactive chemicals as a nostalgic love letter to a long time lover. In short, my lover and I have been partying for over 10 years, getting high, and exploring different party scenes together. I wanted this series to be a sort of trip down memory lane and to express how Electronic music has changed our being.
Prox: What has this particular binge taught you about the party scene in general? Was there any new revelations that you had while partying with a purpose?
Brian: During my tour through Burning Man, festivals, raves, renegades, undergrounds and after parties, I have learned an overwhelming amount about myself, society, culture, business, romance, and consciousness in general. I've had an overall positive experience with a multitude of party scenes and in the last year, I found myself feeling exhausted and depressed during celebrations. At first I thought I was just burnt out and I would be back on the scene in no time. A few months later I felt extremely introverted and socialization became incredibly difficult during parties. I eventually became convinced that I had hit my peak and nothing I created would mean anything from that point on. I even had to force myself to create a new Binge series as creating art became an annoyance to me. But when I straightened my spine and began the first few brush strokes of the 2017 Binge, listening to the Soundcloud mixes that defined so much of me, I realized that I wasn't really burnt out or depressed. I was just ready to move on. I still enjoy art. I still love my friends and family. I still love my community regardless of how many hours we spend bumping ketamine together, I still cherish it all. I started becoming a socialite to push the boundaries and to leave my mark. So this Binge was a revelation that it is time to apply the passion built from the party scenes into greater outlets.
Prox: How did the music effect the pieces in conjunction with the drugs? What dictated the genres you selected and what were some differences that you noticed versus the previous Binge when music wasn’t as important a factor? Which substances paired best with the music?
Brian: This time around I gave into synesthesia and let the music guide my pen rather than trying to contrive a representation of a drug trip. The drugs took more of a backseat and served as a sort of music enhancer. While tripping I could dissect each beat, tone, harmony and rhythm. By mentally dissecting music in this manner, I found in most cases that a song starts with an initial foundation that is met with a rhythm, blending and mixing together until the two become one. Like two people dancing and smashing their bodies together to create something beautiful.
Prox: Which of the genres that you explored provided you with the most inspiration and mental imagery?
Brian: The most beautiful day in which this melding occurred was without a doubt, Drum & Bass. I've only been into DnB for about a year and it has already become my favorite Genre.
Theres just so much to appreciate about the genre. It has so many influences and styles which all entrance me.
Prox: You recently found out that you are going to be a father. Could you tell us the story about how it happened? How does this effect the series going forward?
Brian: I had spent New Year's Eve with my long time lover in a refurbished Seattle brothel. For the sake of my child's future embarrassment, My lover and I had sex on a ferris wheel, the space needle, on a train, in a plane, and everywhere in between. There is no telling when we exactly conceived a child, but I can say that I'm not too surprised after a fuck fest like that.
I got the news from my lover during day 13 of the Binge. I was about to peak on LSD and once I heard the words “I’m Pregnant”, I felt a switch flip, an aura hue change, or perhaps just an adrenaline rush. Whatever the feeling was, I no longer felt the intensity of LSD. The closest feeling I can describe it to is sobering up right after an Ayahuasca ceremony. I only felt an intense focus and desire to move forward with love. All the problems and self sorrow I thought were so definitive of my life became so petty and miniscule. Presently, I’m truly stoked to start a family and I’ve never felt so hopeful moving forward.
Prox: Who are some new artists that you’ve found yourself enjoying since our last interview? What were some of your favorite albums or tracks that you listened to during this project?
Felguk - This is Electro mixes
Truth - Truth Chronicles (mix series)
Deep Jesus - Live at Desert Heart 2015
Tipper - Broken Soul Jamboree (Album)
Zenon Records - Sentient mix
Home -Resonance (song)
Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Nine Inch nails
Brian Eno - Airports (Album)
Spor - Caligo (album)
Darren Korb - Transistor OST (Album)
Spor's - Caligo (album)
Friction, AK-1200, Black Sun Empire, and Memtrix
Prox: Information on upcoming projects and releases?
Brian: Being that I have a baby on the way, I've shifted my focus from fine art and freelance graphic design to UI/UX design. (How the user interacts and experiences a product, app, website or even a work of art). I feel I've spent enough time making fun imagery and now its time to give my work a backbone. Other than a career shift, Dance Safe has approached me and requested I create an image inspired by "The Brotherhood of Eternal Love" (the brilliant lab which created the infamous Orange Sunshine LSD in the 1960s-70s)
Prox: Final Thoughts?
Brian: I wish I had a more in depth answer to this. I simply just hope my artwork brings at least a moment of joy and inspiration in these uncertain times. The knowledge that my work has inspired people to be more creative has been the best reward.
You can learn more about Brian and follow him, here.
Want to stay updated on new interviews and posts? Head over to the Inside the Rift Facebook page and leave a like or follow me on Twitter @insidetheriftx, Instagram @insidetherift, and Soundcloud @Insidetherift! You can also support me on Patreon and GoFundMe!