GUS VAN SANT
GUS VAN SANT is wearing the Leo No. 004. He is a filmmaker living in Los Angeles.
What did you have for breakfast?
What is your favorite representation of simplicity?
I wanna hold your hand.
What is your favorite representation of complexity?
William Burroughs’ NAKED LUNCH, a book also pasted together, in the 1950’s.
What was the first piece of cultural work that mattered to you?
Possibly it was the Beatles song “I wanna hold your hand” - a kind of song that was pasted together from two or three separate songs - which at the time was new in our culture with advertising, art, literature - but now was in a song! We could sing to the culture. It was a chaotic song. It was released a week after JFK was shot so a lot of people needed to have someone hold their hand.
Who are your ideal guests?
Dog guests- or dog visits, with my dog Leo.
What should we be reading?
“The Medium is the Massage” ' by Marshall McCluhan a simple little picture book commenting on the way systems push the story in our lives, written in 1966 McCluhan includes the quote from A.N. Whitehead “The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur.” This seems to be happening right now.
What do you collect?
There are two things that I seem to collect. Guitars and cameras, I have electric guitars, classical ones, folk guitars - which I play and record music on. By default I have collected a lot of the songs on guitars, thousands of little songs. Same with cameras, lots of different formats, and similar to the guitars because of the cameras I have lots of pictures.
What stands the test of time?
I think time itself may stand the test of time. But I don’t think anything is left standing in the end, it gets changed by time.
What is your perfect meal?
I tend to like something new that I haven’t tried before - which is hard to arrange, so I usually stick with chicken parmesan from Little Doms here in LA.
Do you have a soundtrack to your life?
Hmm - there seems to be music playing everywhere that becomes the soundtrack for our lives, sometimes it really gets in sync and the music really works as a soundtrack - and there are songs that are stuck in my head but they are very random - the last song stuck in my head was Dylan’s “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”.
What is good design?
It can be something that manages to bring everything together in a particular moment, a place, people, social attitudes and political viewpoints coming together and connecting. And sometimes it is simple, like a color. Also it’s good if it is something that is helping. Helping push us into a new awareness, inspire us to be better people. A Japanese flower arrangement.
Where do you find good design?
It can be found in Japan.
What is a rule that should never be broken?
Rules don’t alway stand the test of time, they should be something we are aware of but questioned, and adjusted when necessary.
What is a rule that should always be broken?
A rule that is ignoring the harm that it causes.
What is your favorite word in any language?
What is most difficult to find in contemporary culture?
One thing that is hard to find is a common point of view because we have been split over and over again into areas of specialization.
What do you find most exciting in contemporary culture?
The things that are the most exciting are coming from the young people. The older people are frozen in place. But the young people naturally have the hope and the energy.
What thoughts currently occupy you?
What do you still wish to learn?
I just want to make something as chaotic as “I wanna hold your hand” and paste things together.
What is still a mystery?
The origins and the status of the universe.
Where is happiness found?
What do you see outside your window?