Terre Thaemlitz interview for 06:00am

06: Why do we constantly repeat the same mistakes?

tt: The comfort of familiarity, even if it is the familiarity of a particular discomfort. Or simply not being exposed to alternate behaviors.

06: How did you end up doing what you do and not something else?

tt: Chance.

06: What is your idea of happiness?

tt: Comfortable nudity among others. If you have that, the larger context must be pretty safe - even if only temporarily.

06: In your opinion can money bring happiness?

tt: Well, I assume it can bring a type of physical comfort that is impossible without money.

06: Do you believe that destruction includes the principle of creating?

tt: Change is inevitable. Endings (destruction) and beginnings (creation) are always up to debate, and often depend on whose side you identify with when histories are written.

06: What is the driving force of creativity?

tt: A generic desire for masturbatory release, which is unrelated to any actual desire for "creation."

06:  Do we learn from art? Can human be educated through art?

tt: Sure, but it would be a shit education like most others. On the meta-level, what Art has to teach me is generally unrelated to the themes of the works themselves. The lessons of Art which I find valuable have more to do with the connections between cultural systems of representation and domination - lessons which dismantle the value of Art as a cultural tool.

06:  Are there people you can say they have influenced you? Is there a specific person that has influenced more that anybody else the way you make music?

tt: Probably Gary Numan.

06:  What was your father's profession?

tt: He was a teacher of chemistry, and a professional chemist.

06: Have you understood what was the thing that defined your way of thinking?

tt: Yes, being subjected to constant fag-bashing in my youth.

06: What is beauty for you?

tt: Beauty is a well kept secret. (Sorry, I realize some of these answers really read like a caption to a Peanuts or "Love Is..." cartoon!)

06: Did you read comic books when you where young? Now?

I read off-brand discount comics bought in 10-packs. I also had a nice collection of illustrated versions of "serious" literature - Moby Dick, Frankenstein, etc. Those were my favorite because of the quality of the illustrations. But I have always loved animation more than comic books - Bugs Bunny, etc. As an adult, I still love "alternative" US animation. It's no secret that my favorite TV show of all time is "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist." I have always despised Disney, as well as Japanese manga and anime.

06: Do you consider yourself to be talented?

tt: No.

06: Where did you grow up?

tt: American Mid-West.

06: Do you think that places influence the way people think?

tt: That question could only be asked innocently through a suspension of belief in the poverty and violence most people in this world are born into.

06: Which book are you currently reading?

tt: Mackie CR-1604 Owner's Manual.

06:  Have you made mistakes that helped you learn?

tt: You ask this of someone who has produced multiple albums focussing on the sounds of glitches and crashing software...?

06: Do you believe that people come to life with certain skills?

tt: People do have different physical and mental abilities. But it seems most questions of "innate skill" are secondary by far to the social realities of privilege or lack. For example, a child who had access to a piano may either embrace or reject the instrument - for any number of reasons, social or otherwise. We then tend to build fictions of innate talent around those who excel in things they are socially exposed to ("Little Susie is a natural talent at the piano, unlike her sister Jennie who can't play anything... Susie must get it from her mother, who's father was a violinist..." etc.). However, for most children that initial lack of access makes the entire question of skill irrelevant. In the end, most skills are simply about access, repetition and time - and I feel it's more productive to speak of skills as such.

06:  Were you ever politicized?

tt: Are we ever not politicized? But yes, I had a period of traditional political activism during my late teens and early 20's, related to gender rights, sexual rights, reproductive rights, health-care/HIV/AIDS rights, and anti-racism.

06: Do you catch yourself thinking about death?

tt: There should be no shame or surprise in thinking about death.

06: Life gets more interesting with questions or with answers?

tt: Both are constructs, and "interest" is subjective, but "answers" seem to breed domination... so I'll go with "questions."

06: When do you get mad?

tt: When I see people deliberately abuse others.

06: What does one lose when she/he grows up?

tt: Baby teeth and faith.

06: Do you do what you wanted to do in life?

tt: Children do not have enough information or experience to assess what their lives should "become." I imagine most people who do what they wanted to do in life are too static, both socially and mentally... but, yeah, from a certain angle I kinda do. 

06: What is the most important thing in your life?

tt: Personal safety. Not in a fanatical way, but I never take it for granted.

06: Can you send us a picture (of you or of something/place) that best illustrates your current state of mind to post along with you answers?

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