New Interview
Ryan Gander

Ryan Gander: “It wants your attention”

August 21, 2019

Ryan, as an artist, how often do you find yourself daydreaming?

The places where I am most creative, I think, are in the car, in the shower, when I wake up in the middle of the night, or doing the washing up. Those are places where I don’t have my telephone, and that’s when I daydream. That’s the great thing about life, isn’t it? Our ability to imagine. It’s what separates us from animals. The other day I gave a talk in the art class of my eldest child, she’s nine years old, and the first thing I asked was, “Who here is a daydreamer?” And one of the kids said, “Oh, it’s really bad to daydream, the teachers and my parents always tell me to stop it.” That is mad! (Laughs)

There seems to be an unwritten rule that once you become an adult, daydreaming is considered a waste of time.

And ironically, when we think of the values of things in our lives, we think about money and space as being two of our greatest assets. But in fact, our greatest assets are time and attention! Not everybody is born with the same amount of resources, money, privilege, but everybody is born with the same amount of time. It’s what we do with our time, it’s what we give our attention to that’s important. If you look at social media and all the big subjects of today, when you take them back to their bare bones, all they are doing is trying to manipulate us, or to distract us to take our attention and to take our time.

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Last week’s Interview
Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola: “It’s a devastating decision”

August 14, 2019
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Mr. Ford Coppola, do you see your influence in the work of other filmmakers?

You know, that’s a funny subject you bring up. When I was young, I wanted to be Tennessee Williams or Elia Kazan, so I would steal anything I could from them because that was my idea of greatness. And the truth of the matter is that if a young person is influenced by something I do, he’s welcome to it because there’s no way you can steal from another person.

Because ultimately it’s your version of that idea.

Right, you do it in your own way. Even as hard as I tried to steal from Tennessee Williams, it came out some other way. And that’s the purpose of art. It means you live on in somebody else’s work, which is something very pleasant as a thought. So if something I did influenced another film or if I had some small part in encouraging them, then I am pleased.