Daniel Everett is 30 and isn’t sure where to tell people he’s from anymore.
MOSSLESS: Let’s talk about your recent shows in Utah and Chicago. How did you get into The Museum of Contemporary Art’s 12x12 program?
DANIEL EVERETT: As a grad student at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago one of our visiting lecturers was a curator named Lynne Warren from The Museum of Contemporary Art. She did studio visits with a number of us and then following graduation she kind of kept tabs on me. I had a solo show at Brad Troemel’s (now defunct) gallery Scott Projects - following that she invited me to show as part of the 12x12 series. I ended up working with a great curator at the MCA named Diana Nawi - it was a really amazing experience.
As for the Utah show - I’m out in Utah for the year as a visiting artist. The exhibition I recently had at the Central Utah Art Center was a two-person show with a painter friend of mine named Allan Ludwig. The premise was for each of us to consciously try and get in the other person’s way - and kind of contextually disrupt what was happening in each other’s work. We saw it as both a challenge and a pathway to new insight.
ML: What effect has exhibiting work had on your practice? If there has been any change, do you think it’s for the better and how so?
DE: I think that having shows has made me much more conscious of the way my work functions as a grouping. Over the last few years my methodology has moved away from a systematic, linear approach and expanded into a kind of constellation of discrete, singular works. I’ve become really interested in the way seemingly divergent works placed in the same space can reciprocally affect and inform one another. In the same way a constellation can only be perceived as a whole in relation to the spaces between its stars, I feel like my shows now function as one single work made up of a number of shifting parts and the spaces in-between.
ML: You have quite an extensive history of art making. What inspires you to come up with these projects? Which methods of managing your thought processes have you found to work best?
DE: On and off I spend a lot of time looking at art and then consciously trying to not look at any art. I feel like the most productive choice I’ve made in terms of art-making has been to give myself permission to explore anything that occurs to me. So while my projects may seem pretty diverse, they are all really rooted in the same concerns and perhaps are all thematically linked by my own neuroses. As far as organization, I constantly make lists of ideas and once I can go through my desk and find the same idea written on at least separate 5 lists, I feel like it’s time to make the work.
ML: Currently, how are you feeling and what are you reading?
DE: I’m feeling medium-okay to good. I’m in the middle of a number of projects and I’m excited to see where things will go next. I’m working on getting a book together and I feel like teaching has been a nice way of keeping me focused and thinking. As far as what I’m reading, I finally just finished Utopia by Thomas More and I’m currently reading The Collected Fictions of Borges and some older comic books. I also spend a lot of time in Internet forums arguing about arcade games from the 90s.