interview Ilan Katin

Can you introduce yourself?

Ilan Katin. Artist.

What is your background?

I studied drawing with pencil, pen, paper, watercolors. Later I started making images on computers.

Can you describe your work?

My work is about the world around me as I understand it. I use images, text and drawing to convey this.

How did you get involved with performing live visuals?

When I found tools that were comfortable enough for me to express myself in front of an audience. At the same time I was fortunate enough to have an audience.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Friends inspire me the most. Observing other people’s actions. Films. Books. In that order or reverse. The immediate and the past reconcile themselves into a whole.

Can you explain about the interaction between sound and image in your performance?

There are a variety of phrases that can be used. When drawing live and if the sound level is appropriate it is important to me that the sound of the pen scratching on the surface of the drawing tablet be audible to the audience. Otherwise the music should dictate what images are displayed or vice versa. Sometimes they can be completely disconnected. In all cases there ought to be a motivation even if the motivation is an accident.

Does technology influence your work and aesthetics?

I consider working with the computer a constraint. I work within it and it influences what I do.

How do you feel about the increased use of digital tools by artists? Is technology overrated?

The challenge is finding a balance so that all of the elements, idea, media, execution work together.

What is the best performance you have ever seen?

For contemporary media I saw a piece by Caden Manson and The Big Art Group in Berlin. There are many things that I could say about it but on a basic level they have found a clever method of demystifying the process of the composite image on stage while at the same time expressing the superficial attitudes of a society that is dictated by endless exposure images that dictate their lives and how they should live. Perhaps this is my own interpretation.

Can you recommend a must-see film or  book to read?

Persona by Ingmar Bergman. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman.

(interview by Olga Mink for

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