w-h-a-t f-o-l-k s-a-y

Sophie has been a friend and collaborator to each of us, as individuals and together as Charismatic Megafauna. She invited us to play a gig in her and her partner's flat as part of the Conduire Art Licks programme in 2014, and commissioned us to produce an "album" as part of a series that elicited artist interventions into the Tate Archive as part of their Archives & Access programme. She has also DJ'd with incredible all-female playlists at our gigs.

Perhaps most meaningfully however, she has been a consistent, vocal supporter, fan and advocate of the band.

Charismatic Megafauna wanted to know: Sometimes there's an anchor that helps ground you in the thing you most care about or the state of mind you want to be in to be your best self. What do you turn to when you need to be reminded what makes you tick?

In all honesty I struggle to tick. I get rusty and clank to a halt - I de-prioritise and get obsessed with lists over anything else.

I shudder at journaling.

This website relaunch which commenced in January, 2018 was an elaborate attempt to likely (unbeknownst to us all) answer your question - as a way to re-look at the past, reflect and re-centre my next move. As a space to build trust in myself once again. 

Thank you for such an honest question.

Trailer made for Charismatic Megafauna performance at After/Hours/Drop/Box, Open School East, Saturday May 9th 2015

Charismatic Megafauna can be found here

This is a tough one. I admire and most importantly enjoy many things about your practice.

Most of all is the way in which you give us a privileged view of how your mind works - your preoccupations and your values. While this sounds like it could be interesting it is the way that you do this - that makes it a pleasure to spend time doing it. This is because there can be moments of surprising clarity, wit, and the way you make unexpected points by bringing together apparently unconnected thoughts and ideas.

For me the piece you made on bureaucracy - when you pulled together mundane responses to how people felt about their office chair etc into a chorus of voices was remarkable and turned this into a powerful piece that frankly deserved wider attention.

Similarly, the Michael Nante series was always worth a read - inventive, playing with the story - the way it was told - messing with different stylistic approaches with ease.

For me the thing that was successful with both of these was their accessibility - yet both were dealing with complexity and with the former making the mundane into something that was much more powerful through collectivising it and shifting the media - using a bureaucratic tool, a questionnaire and turning it into some form of collective chant - amazing.

Finally, there is something about lyricism and fluency - I am thinking both of the examples above but also about the speech you gave at my 60th - this recognition that the mundane is actually complex and meaningful and that we can be helped to see this through lyricism of voice and through using different media to tell the story

Mark questioned: Why aren’t you better known?

Any better?

Mark Gamsu can be found here