Blood for the Blood God: A Few Words With Tarn Adams

Not even once.

Q: How would you convey Dwarf Fortress to someone who has never played or heard of it?

A: Dwarf Fortress is a fantasy world simulator in which you can take on the role of a dwarven community or an adventurer.  It records many of the things that happen in the form of legends that you can read once you are done with a given play in a world.  The world persists and changes as you play more games in it, though the game is a work in progress!

Q: Are you working on any other projects? Do you see yourself starting any other projects in the future, or is Dwarf Fortress the main topic for this lifetime?

A: We have several other projects that aren't very far along.  Some of them are reasonably cool in their own right.  However, Dwarf Fortress takes up most of our time.  We'd love to work on lots of things, but we haven't found a way to make it practical.

Q: I've heard the phrase, "Losing is fun", tossed around a lot of the fan communities. How do you feel this fits the essence of Dwarf
A: That phrase actually comes from the official documentation available in play.  The overall idea it was supposed to nurture was that you need to let your individual games pass into the world's history to get the most out of DF, since it'll use your dead fortresses and adventurer legends in future games -- although that hasn't been fully realized yet.  People are into the game for different reasons -- often just to make one megafortress -- but in general we don't want to encourage going back to old saves since you won't see all of the features that way.  This especially true once we get around to conquest actively changing political boundaries and so on.

Q: How do you feel about the amount of a following and the communities that have begun around Dwarf Fortress?

A: I think it's cool that people are playing the game, and it's awesome to see people get along and make amazing things happen together.  We weren't expecting it at all when we released the game, since we had a community of dozens after having the website up for several years before Dwarf Fortress.

Q: Have you ever played ZZT?

A: I played Kingdom of Kroz, but I don't remember playing ZZT.  I've heard of it, so it's possible I did play it briefly, but I don't remember anything about it if I did.  When it apparently first came out in 1991 was at the end of the time I was playing downloadable shareware (if that's how ZZT was distributed).  I was pretty much playing box games from then until the internet became widespread.  I downloaded a ton of stuff from BBSs in the 80s and the very beginning of the 90s when I was in elementary school, but not so much after that.

Q: In your feature in the New York Times, it was mentioned that you were into meth for a bit. How long? Have you gotten into any other substances, do you drink? How does one transition from a academic career in mathematics at Stanford into doing meth? Did you have trouble with stopping using?

A: The meth was a one time thing that happened during my first year at Stanford.  I had hit a particularly low point since at the time I thought my brother was dead and there was somebody around to take advantage of me.  When you are winding down you can tell immediately how addictive the stuff is, and fortunately I got myself out of that house before anything else happened.  I drink on occasion at restaurants, that sort of thing.  I've never been into anything else...  caffeine probably counts for something, he he he.

Q: The New York Times piece also described you living very minimally - very few dishes and so forth, drinking only sodas and soft drinks, sleeping during the day to program at night. Is this accurate? What effects has this had on your health, if any?

A: It's pretty much accurate.  I have other things to drink sometimes and I wish my sleep were that regular.  I'm overweight, but other than that I haven't hit any of the real bad crap yet like diabetes, etc.  I used to cook but not much at all since I moved back to Washington.  I think it helped to have a day job to pin that kind of schedule to.

Q: What was the last book you read?

A: Volume 2 of Shelby Foote's The Civil War.  I'm on Volume 3 now, and that'll take like two or three months, he he he.  The documentary was on TV again recently and somebody got me a Kindle for my birthday in April, so I decided to take the plunge...  it is a long plunge.  It's kind of like the other Dwarf Fortressish things I'd run into (Silmarillion, Romance of the Three Kingdoms/Water Margin), with large casts in a sweeping historical set up.  I guess I gravitate toward that sort of thing.

Q: What sort of music do you listen to?

A: I've mostly been listening to Pandora stations recently.  It's hard to come up with a list, but let's say Iggy Pop, The Cramps, Godflesh, most of the Motown stuff that comes up on my Bill Withers/Marvin Gaye station (it has the highest thumbs up vs. thumbs down rate), various metal/punk/pop stuff from the 70s and 80s, various Vietnam-era music, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Ali Akbar Khan, Sabicas, Nintendo music and some other 8-bitish stuff (works wonders for programming), classical stuff once in a while...

Hooking Up - Can't Lose EP

Hooking Up - Can't Lose EP
Genre - Punk

Interview Feature with Heiner Luepke

Where did you grow up? Where are you located now?
As a child I lived with my mother in a village between Hamburg and Kiel in Northern Germany. I think being with nature and often alone had quite an influence on my view of the world.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Actually, I don't remember that much of my childhood and I am not sure if I ever really tried to imagine or define myself through a specific job- but I had early artistic tendencies to draw and sketch.

When did you start taking photographs? How was your interest in photography developed?
Oh, there were occasional moments in my youth where I took photographs and enjoyed the idea of photography- but back then, I did not realize the full potential of the medium. I underestimated the freedom of artistic expression, which I found much later in life and started to seriously go into it maybe 3 or 4 years ago.

How often do you shoot?
Totally different all of the time. For my book I tried to shoot as often as I could and work with friends of mine. And it seems to go on this way, next project is a spread for a beautiful Berlin-based Magazine "JPeople."
I am glad when I am busy and can do what I love to do.

Do you make any other kinds of art?
I used to draw for many years and did music too but now into photography with all my heart.

Do you have any work that you have yet to show to anyone because of it's personal value to you? If so, is this something that happens often?
Yes. Not photographic though. And no, doesn't happen too often.

Who are some inspirational figures to you? Your favorite artists or photographers?
Music is very important for my inspiration and my mood. Sometimes movies can be too- I usually love very old ones but recently I highly value Lars von Trier's "Antichrist". As for photographers, there are many that in one way or another, inspire me. The work of Edward Steichen- (especially his nature photography), is one example. More recent;y, I also find Eliot Lee Hazel's work inspirational.

Have you shown your work before? Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?
I have two exhibitions coming up here in Hamburg in October/November. The same exhibition in 2 places (Haus73 & Lokal). These will be my first ones.

What are your most used cameras? and do you have a favorite film that you like to shoot with?
It depends on the mood and desired pictures I want to create. I use an old 60s Polaroid Land Camera with 669 film a lot. Otherwise theres the Zenit and Lomo Lc-A 35mm cameras wich are essential for me.

Tell us a little about your new book: "The Scent of Soil"...
Shortly put, it is a combination of my thoughts and subconscious dreams with the already very psychological and also sexual world behind fairy tales. The project taught me a lot about how I work and to keep that raw unfinished variable inside my workflow. Sort of going for the wild and also ugly unpredictable forest instead of a rather boring "castle garden"...

Where is your 'favorite place' to spend time?
I dont think i have one place like that but I love to be in the forest and in nature, I love the scent of soil there...

Is there anywhere you've always wanted to travel?
Still need to go to Scandinavia, but also New Zealand is an old dream.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully a happy guy, that's the most important.

You can view more of his work on his flickr

Summer Never Dies with Evita Weed

Find more work by Evita Weed on Flickr or Tumblr.

Interview Feature with Colette Saint Yves

Where did you grow up? Where are you located now?
I grew up in a very small village not very far from Paris. My house was isolated from the village. A peaceful place with a lot of trees. Now I live in Lille, a university town in the north of France. But I often return to my parent's house.

Have you attended any schooling for art?
No, but I took cinema courses in high school and I was often in visual arts courses as an auditor. It was a ruse to see exhibitions. Haha. I now study cinema at the university.

What came first: collages or photography?
If I remember correctly, I think it was photography. (A kodak disposable at 8 or 9 years old.)

What do you do in your spare time?
I love walking in nature with my cats, watching films or reading a book, going to flea markets, visiting museums, being with my friends and dreaming.

Do you have any interesting or abnormal personality traits?
Hummm, I don't know. I certainly have interesting or abnormal personality traits, but it was too difficult to answer by myself so I asked my very good friend Simon and he answered that I'm "a passionate-maniac compulsive, marginal and idealist". Pretty close to the truth, I think.

How long does it take for you to think of a concept and carry it out? Do your collage pieces take a while to construct?
In general, I have a very clear idea of the photos I take and it can take times. But sometimes I just have a place in my mind and a model and things happen naturally. It is the same for my collages.
Most of the time I have a story in my mind and I try to collect the right images to put together. Sometimes I have an image that I would like to use but can't find the others to go with. It's quite like a puzzle.

Where do you find the images that are being used in your collages? I notice that there are a lot of beautiful old photographs being used.
I find my images in old books, encyclopedia, vintage cinema magazines, 60's fashion magazine. The oldest book I have "murdered" (I feel guilty to cut in a such old and beautiful book) is a 1880's fashion book.

Who is an inspirational figure in your life?
Very hard to tell, very hard. I'll say I have a lots of inspirational figures. Oddly it could be very opposite kind of persons, like a real person, an old lady from my village or a director, silent actor/actress... or even a fictional character. It depends of my mood.

What about favorite artists/photographers? Can you name a few?
I have a lot of names: Willam H. Mortensen, Joseph Cornell, Alfred Cheney Johnston, Edward Steichen, Segundo de Chomón, Lee Friedlander, Busby berkeley, Julia Margaret Cameron, Constant Puyo, Larry Jordan, Guy Maddin, Grete Stern, Leonor Fini, Dora Maar, Paul Nougé, Max Ernst, Leopold-Emile Reutlinger, Clarence H. White, Nusch Eluard, Madame D'ora, František Drtikol, William Blake and many many more, it could be a never ending list.

Do you have a favorite photograph or collage that you've created? Which one is it & why?
My favorite photograph is certainly one from the Eden series because it's very close to how I had originally imagined it. (Seen above)

How often do you create pieces of work?
I can create two collages in one week and sometimes, it could take me one month for one collage.

Have you ever shown your work in any exhibitions?
No, I have never shown my work. Maybe one day....

You can view more of Colette's work on her flickr or website

Interview Feature with Dara Scully

Tell us a little about yourself. (where did you grow up, what you do, hobbies/interests)
If you want to know all of those things, you must meet with me! However, I can tell you one thing: I'm a elephant tamer- (at least in my imagination!)

When did you start taking photographs? Do you remember the first photograph you took?
I'm not sure, really. Maybe three years ago; but, I took very amateur pictures at the time. I started "seriously" shooting almost two years ago. The first shoot is actually one of my favourites.

Do you find that your shoots take a lot of pre-planning before a final image is created? Or do you create more based on impulse?
I think a lot about the pictures. I have a notebook for ideas and I draw out the scenes, take notes about the clothes, body language, colours... But sometimes the idea comes when I'm taking the pictures. It isn't usual, but it happens.

How long does it usually take you to put together a setting or scene?
Depends. Sometimes a couple days, sometimes a couple months. If i create something with my hands (the paper-plane, for example) I usually spend a lot of time constructing it- but when I use animals in the photographs, the process is simple.

Do you have a favorite photograph that you've shot? Which one is it, and why is it your most-liked?
I adore this one: (seen above)- I was sleeping and my little elephant woke me up with his trunk. He had found a flare on the forest and he wanted to show me. It was a really nice moment and i had to take a picture of it!

How often do you shoot?
I would like to shoot once a week, but sometimes it's impossible. I'm a forest-girl and I study in a city without a forest, so, I only can shoot when I go home, once a month. But during holidays I can shoot a lot: two or three days a week.

Who are your favorite artists/photographers?
From Flickr, i adore Aëla Labbé's work. There is on her pictures an oneiric atmosphere, like a dream or a wonderful movie. I see a story behind the bodies and colours.
And as for famous photographers- I like Francesca Woodman, David Hamilton, Ryan McGinley, Helmut Newton...

What do you find yourself doing in your spare time?
I'm in my own world most of the time. A comfortable and beautiful world, very different from reality. And in this world I usualy draw, write or read a lot of books, and when the sun is in the sky, I go out with Lola (my bicycle) to the fields around my home.

If you got to create your own planet, what would it look like?
It would be a very small planet. Just a house and a little forest on the garden. And it would float a few feet over the floor, so you could come down to earth with a rope ladder.

You can view more of Dara's work on her website, blog or flickr

Beside You

Marija Mandic

Heiner Luepke - Hamburg, Germany

Naama Sarid-Maletá - Madrid, Spain

Mariam Sitchinava - Tbilisi, Georgia

David Ryan - Florida, U.S.A

Abigail Lynch - Arizona, U.S.A.

Indiana Caba - Groningen, Netherlands