A few days ago I was interviewed by 24/7 Creative, an online project for artists, designers and musicians. I was their featured “Voice” for the YouTube and Guggenheim collaboration Play. I wanted to share the article with you here in case you missed it. I rambled on for a while, but they edited me together well:
The following article was originally published by 24/7 Creative, a community for artists, designers and musicians.
Alan Lastufka: I love the idea of mass, independent, free distribution of art. YouTube is truly the first time that anyone from anywhere can reach an almost unlimited audience with video.
The first video I uploaded to YouTube was featured by the editorial staff and was viewed by more than 35,000 people. Since then, my videos have accumulated more than 6.5 million views total. I shot and edited all of those videos in my bedroom — and I live in a small town with a population of less than 10,000. To reach that kind of audience from here is mind-blowing and inspiring. That’s why I entered the YouTube Play contest, and I entered with the hope to inspire others to reach out with their art.
My inspiration used to come from popular musicians and artists. I’d read interviews of them in magazines or watch their latest music videos, and strive to create something as meaningful and powerful as they had. But over time my focus changed, and I find that lately I’ve been drawing more inspiration from my friends and the lives we all lead. Why romanticize the lives of artists I’ll never meet when I have a dozen artists influencing and impacting my life right now?
I chose to focus my YouTube Play entry around the poem “You Want A Social Life, with Friends” by Kenneth Koch because I think everyone can relate to the struggle of balancing love, work and play that Koch discusses. The audio is an Amy Krouse Rosenthal recording I found on her website. She had sat down with Koch just weeks before his death and recorded him reading his poem. The audio quality is less than ideal, but it’s real and I don’t think anyone else could have read this poem with the same impact.
Being aware of the struggle described in the poem has helped me find more balance in my life. By sharing Koch’s poem with others, I hope they, too, become aware of how they spend their time and which choices they may be unconsciously making.