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Patrick Gage: To keep making mistakes (interview)

Patrick Wolf, photo credit: Patrick Gage

Some time ago, I stumbled upon a stream of impressive photos of Patrick Wolf. Who took them, and what else is that person doing?
His name is Patrick Gage and he agreed to answer our questions.
I have discovered your work via concert photos shared on Flickr. However, you do many other things. Which genres of photography are most important for you?
For me, it isn't the genre of photograph that is important, but presenting (frequently in a small series) a statement. Photographs of concerts and travel and friends are great, but the work that makes a statement is what lasts.
Do you have any formal training, or are you self taught?

I don't have any formal photography training, my education is in English Literature and Computer Science. Right now I am working on my Ph.D. in Online Privacy, and how to design interfaces that help people understand what they share and what companies do with their information. While I do have a pretty core design (mostly visual and interaction) focus, I don't have any - not even a class - of photography.
Your flickr profile says you are a professional student… are you? What is your age actually, if you want to share it? 
I am 27. I should be finishing the PhD next summer, and hopefully working as a professor. I would love to teach artistic and creative students about computer programming. Make it accessible to them. Help them bridge the gap from their artistic practice to technology.
I don't think photography will be a full time job for me. For now it is another hobby. And as of yet I have integrated my photography with my more active new-media/interaction design projects.
How important is flickr and the Internet for you? How does it change the world?
The Internet is immensely important. From my research on online privacy and the technology that allows people to share more information about themselves than was ever before possible - to the ability for every person with an internet connection to become self-published, be it video, literature, photography, citizen journalism, or a diary.
I can't understate how important the Internet is, and how as a society we haven't yet determined how to cope with it in our lives.
Your favorite artists - photographers, painters, writers?
I can't say I have a large collection of favorite photographers, and nothing I will say here will be things your audience hasn't heard, so I will skip to other artists and writers.
I am a fan of modernism and much of the collapse of that aesthetic that followed. Rothko and Twombly have been influential, and Klee is one of my most beloved artists.
Writers, especially poets have had a strong influence on me, Adrienne Rich, W.S. Merwin, Ezra Pound (I continually return to my New Direction's Cantos), and Whitman.
Recently Anne Carson and Geoff Dyer have been obsessive tendencies, and Ken Babstock's new volume had me returning to all of his older work (a few times over).
What music do you love the most?
For music I am a bit all of the place, but Björk's new album (Biophilia), anything by Patrick Wolf, the rise of James Blake (and the entire culture shock that is dubstep) as well as Kanye West's continue production. 
Plans for 2011?
Plans for 2011. For 2012. Find a university to hire me, travel back and forth to Europe. See more. Do more. Keep making mistakes.

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