From the archive
Hey, Harsh. Where are you from, originally?
I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya up til age 9 or a bit later. My secondary years were spent in Texas.
You were living in New York and you just recently moved to Los Angeles. How has that been? Any LA moments so far?
No particular moments. It’s sort of a never ending impression process. Overwhelmingly positive, per my tastes. I’ll wait to see where it goes, going on five years here now. I love to drive my car through Los Angeles.
Has the move affected your work or your projects in any way?
Yeah. I think I’ve changed entirely since I’ve lived here. Far more aware and comfortable with the pace at which I take in and process everything.
Have you found anything recently (ephemera, artifacts, etc) that you’ve been really into?
Himaa (http://www.himaa.cc) very kindly gave me a black and gold pencil from Japan which I like to write with. Apparently, these are standard fare there.
Any recent trades to speak of?
Yes, with two of my favorite publishers, Juan Moralejo and Benjamin Sommerhalder. I forgot what I traded Juan for a complete seven issue set of his magazine Sede (http://www.revistasede.com), and I traded Ben the entire 10-project catalog of my label Zulu for all five issues of his [pre-Nieves] magazine Zoo (http://www.nieves.ch/catalogue/zooinside.html). I wouldn’t trade either of those for the world.
Can you include a mix or a song? (Our blog needs some music up in here.)
This particularly good performance of “Like A Daydream” by Ride.
And while we’re at it, any youtube clips you’ve been into recently?
A lot of interviews, I guess. That’s probably the one format I consume more than any other. I like watching Norm Macdonald’s talk show appearances, particularly on Letterman. Bernie Mac talking to Charlie Rose.
Are you more of a collector or a documentarian? Do you distinguish between the two?
I’ve never seen myself as either of those, or thought about them much. I do collect a few things, but, I consider that collecting a hobby on its own and haven’t considered too much it in regards to my work, yet.
Do you think context is important in presenting your work?
Coming from a very middle-class angle, I have a very pointed opinion about “pop”. Surface is important to me. I do think getting to know someone better as a person is always a way to penetrate past that surface, but that’s a personal decision, I suppose. I don’t think I lessen something’s validity, myself, by choosing to skim over it. There’s still a way to get something constructive out of it. And, who has the time, anyway? I’m recommended one movie or book or whatever else a day, it’s too much. Naturally I’m glad to meet people who are really interested in who I am and why I do this or that, but, more often than not I am invisible. And I’m alright with that.
Any thoughts on design right now in 2011?
Read “Andy de Fiets: Letter to Robin Kinross” published by True True True (http://www.truetruetrue.org)!
And anything coming up you’d like to let us know about?
I’ve just published a few new books: “Guido Poems” with my friend Miles Jopling is available at Stand Up Comedy in Portland, and “God God Technology God Berlin” by Maxwell Simmer and “Standard Remote” by Dena Yago are available at X Marks The Bokship in London.
Harsh Patel is a graphic designer based in Los Angeles.