Pamela Reed and Matthew Rader have been changing the face of online fashion editorials with their moving imagery for the likes of Dazed + Confused, Industrie, Wonderland and Bullet since 2008. Taking what was previously seen as something throwaway and turning it into a new way of communicating an aesthetic, the New York based duo, working under Reed + Rader, were far ahead of the curve, using the digital format long before it achieved the status it has today. Exclusively offering District MTV a sneak peak of the works debuting in their first physical exhibition at 18 Hewett Street Gallery in Old St, London, we caught up with the pair to find out what inspired them to work in this way and how constantly evolving technology affects their working process.
District MTV: What inspired you to first want to work with .GIFs and create something new using the format?
Reed + Radar: On a personal note, we're on the Internet 10 hours everyday, it's the inspiration for a large chunk of our work, so we started to question why we weren't making work for the environment we lived on. In 2008 we started to think more about the Internet as our platform. Shortly thereafter we were commissioned to do a .GIF story for a fashion magazine website and that in turn got us the most press we had ever received. It led us up to abandoning print publications almost completely and creating work for screens almost exclusively.
D: Where do you get your ideas?
R+R: Much of our inspiration is technology inspired, either the latest gadgets, games, or by hours of daily web browsing. You often see Internet memes and gaming characters pop up in our work.
D: What is the creative process between the two of you?
R+R: All decisions need to be agreed upon by both of us. All ideas are conceptualised together. On shoot, we're literally both behind the camera directing and giving our thoughts. Role wise, although we both do it all, Matthew is probably more technical based and Pamela is more style based. There is not much we disagree on; usually it's us saying the same thing at the same time.
D: How do you approach pulling together a physical exhibition when your work is often seen online?
R+R: Even though our work ends up as a digital piece, there are many physical elements involved in making it. From the props we make to the hand cut and glued collage worlds we create for our characters to live in, there's many pieces that are tactile. For this specific show you will see physical props not only in the video pieces themselves, but also decorating the actual gallery space. We wanted to create our own world for the video pieces to physically live in.
D: What was it that interested you in using the cretaceous period for the inspiration behind this show?
R+R: Honestly, we just love dinosaurs.
D: Where are you taking your ideas next?
R+R: For us the key word is interactivity. We want the viewers to no longer have a passive experience, but to participate in the work. We love the idea of having the viewer become the art director, letting them make the choices. We are playing with augmented reality and 3D depth cameras like the Microsoft Kinect.
Reed + Rader - Cretaceous Returns
8 November – 20 November 2012
18 Hewitt Street Gallery, EC2A 3NN
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