Name: Clement Wink
Medium(s): M-PEG Audio Layer 3
Where is a place where you like to create?
Over the last few months I’ve been unable to root myself in any consistent location that feeds creativity - most of my work is recorded in the frustrating mess of laundry, tapes and cables that is my bedroom and edited from an iPod at whatever spot I happen to be loitering the next day. That said, soundproofed practice spaces (when available) are excellent places in which to create.
When do you feel most creative?
Typically I have the strongest urge to try out new ideas musically while I am working my day job - this is probably a combination of my mind having a great deal of time to wander and a tendency to fixate on what I can’t have in that moment, considering I usually arrive home only to feel drowsy and unproductive. Most of my actual creative work is accomplished post-sunset. Seasonally speaking, I usually feel more creative in the winter because physical discomfort increases my anxiety and leads me to think more often about death and the desire to “leave something behind.”
What is something people overlook in culture today?
Given the resources to be perpetually stimulated via social media and smartphones, a lot of us forget to slow down and focus our attention on one thing at a time. Not that I think hyperconnectivity is inherently bad or that people shouldn’t ever multitask, but it’s important to clear the mind and be fully present for at least some experiences - I’ve literally needed friends to repeat things they say because I was distracted by Instagram, which is silly. Then again, I’ve also failed to hear what people say because I’m too deep in my own head to focus on anything external - but even that tends to be a symptom of having too much shit going on for too long without time to rest or decompress.
What is something you would like to change?
I’d like to see more people working 25-30 hour weeks and feeling financially comfortable with that, but I don’t claim to have any clear idea of how to achieve this.
Where is home for you?
Physically speaking my home is a two-floor apartment in Chicago, but my sense of comfort there has more to do with being around my beloved roommates Brad, Hayley, Jack and Sarah than the space itself. Over the last several months, various circumstances have also led the area between Belmont, Waveland, Sheffield, and Halsted to be of profound significance to me - when it comes to feeling a sense of comfort and familiarity, that area tends to bring more peace than my actual “house”.
Is home creative or oppressive?
As mentioned above, my bedroom usually causes some level of distress when I attempt to create anything there. It would be nice to think of this as an artist suffering to accomplish work that she’s passionate about, but there is nothing romantic about knocking over a stack of tapes when I attempt to pick up a guitar - it’s distracting and it sucks. That said, I believe that familiar routines can be very beneficial to productivity; I have had and hope to have in the future a home that doubles as a creatively inspiring place.
What is the most important thing to you right “now”?
Human intimacy. For a few months I spent so much of my life working (not on art), often in situations that force a certain degree of solitude, that the world began to look like it was hurtling toward a point where no two people would ever have the time to truly connect with each other and everyone would forget how to experience love beyond polite affirmations and heart emojis. I’ve since gotten better at finding moments to connect with people in spite of the mental and financial stress that everyone I know seems to be experiencing, but I genuinely do still worry that it’s becoming harder to make enough money to survive and that people are becoming detached from each other as a result.
Or perhaps I’m getting old. Regardless, the harder it feels to attain intimacy, the more important it feels to me. Getting drunk and watching a movie with my roommates used to feel like a fun way to pass time, but *these days* it feels like a sacred experience.
What do you see coming in the future?
Hopefully, the world will NOT hurtle toward a point where no two people ever have the time to truly connect with each other, and nobody will forget how to experience love beyond polite affirmations and heart emojis.
What makes you feel love?
It varies depending on the individual, but lately I’ve been very into eye contact and physical displays of affection. It also means a lot when people are able to understand the patterns behind dumb decisions that I sometimes make.
What makes you nostalgic?
an incomplete list, in no particular order:
1231 W Fullerton Ave. 60614
1428 Wesley Ave. 60402
What projects are you working on for the future?
The most exciting thing I have in the works right now is a band with Emma Waldo and Quinn Wermeling which falls somewhere in the realm of “punk rock;” we’re currently in the very early stages of writing songs and securing a consistent practice space, but ideally we’ll be recording and playing shows before the end of spring.
Are politics an important artistic consideration for you?
Hmph. I tend to dislike art that explicitly focuses on politics in a way that becomes alienating to certain audiences; I certainly hope that I never feel compelled to write a song using the term “cisgender privilege” or anything like that. That said, I usually buy into the old slogan that “the personal is political,” and I’m very interested in work that contains unique personal expression which can be understood in the context of more wide-reaching issues.
Do you believe in genius?
Everybody is a genius and everybody is an idiot. I would argue that Bruce Springsteen is a genius for writing “Born to Run,” but maybe a genius could have conveyed the same promise of hope and escapism without a line as absurdly corny as “Someday girl, I don’t know when, we’re gonna get to that place where we really wanna go and we’ll walk in the sun.” Most people who create ingenious things can come across as total idiots if you look at them from the wrong perspective.
Are ideas internally or externally received, that is, do you feel in control of your own ideas?
I avoid trying to control most things in my life, probably to a fault. The Yiddish proverb “Man plans and God laughs,” which I have no direct cultural link to, has always struck me as very true; for example, I initially wrote out specific guidelines for three pieces that I intended to record for this gallery. Ultimately I had to abandon these plans because of both time constraints and faulty technology; the content presented here was improvised (with each piece revolving around a shared melody) with minimal editing to mask anything that felt glaringly out of place.
What inspires you?
This is a stressfully open-ended question! Among other things, I tend to find inspiration (or at least hope) in the way that people who suffer together can form strong emotional ties - this is something I especially think about in the workplace.
Last book read:
“To My Trans Sisters,” a collection that is not quite as corny as it sounds but still a bit feel-good for my taste. I started reading that one while I was in the middle of “Boystown: Sex and Community in Chicago” by Jason Orne, which turned out to be far more exciting despite focusing primarily on a group (specifically, gay men) that I’m not actually part of.
Last film seen: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Current soundtrack: “Penis Envy” by Crass