Woman Crush Wednesday: Sam Cannon
Interview by Hallie Neely
What sparked your interest in creating moving images?
For a long time I was torn between whether I wanted to pursue film or photography. Even though I had made the decision to study photography as an undergrad, I was still drawn to moving images, and by sophomore year I was turning in videos whenever possible. Around that time I began experimenting with the GIF format, and immediately fell in love. It bridged the gap between still and motion and really became my go-to medium for the next couple years.
What I get from your work is that you take this new technology that is most often used for comical graphics, and you force it into the world of fine art by using the human form as your subject matter, and by thoughtfully composing each piece. You also totally abstract your subjects and make us question who, what, and why. What is it like for you to take advantage of modern technology and place it in dialogue with the extensive history of fine art photography?
I don’t think that combining modern technology with fine art photography practice is a new idea. After all, the history of photography is one of advancing technology. For a long time photography was denied credibility as a true art form because of this. I love experimenting and challenging myself conceptually as well as technically.
How do you determine how long you want to make each piece?
It’s honestly not something I usually consider, but often I will have a few variations of the loops that are longer/shorter. I like to create longer pieces if I am going to be showing them in a physical space vs. in a social feed.
Do you have a preference between still images, cinemagraphs, GIFs, and video? Or more importantly, which do you have the most fun making?
Motion is definitely important to me, so GIFs and videos are the formats I work with most often. I do think that some images are best still, but I really enjoy the process of working on motion pieces.
Did you imagine your work would be used in fashion advertisement? Do you see yourself focusing more on commissioned work than non-commissioned work?
I was really surprised when brands began reaching out about collaborations. I love making the work but didn’t think that anyone would have an interest in using it commercially. I’ve been so grateful for the commissioned I get and being able to support myself with something that I am so passionate about. It’s really an incredible feeling. Right now I am trying to balance commissioned with non-commissioned work. I think they both benefit from each other. Right now I am a resident at Mana Contemporary. That’s become a really invaluable space that’s allowed me to experiment and focus on personal work.
How would you describe your creative process in one word?
If you could teach a one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
100 ways to procrastinate when working from home
What is the last film you saw or book you read that inspired you?
Rubin and Ed
What is the most played song in your music library?
Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
How do you take your coffee?