We had the good fortune of connecting with Alive Machine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alive, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
There is no balance. The idea that I have been out of balance brought be more fear and anxiety than the actual fact of privileging one part of my life to another. When you are investing energy into a project or a relationship or anything, you are going to create a gravity point around it, you have to be willing to move your focus and time in very intentional specific ways. A “balanced” life style can only bring safety, comfort and boredom. Which might be good sometimes but if you have a drive you are probably looking for something else, something more. So the friction of moving your energy from one point or another is going to be felt but it’s ok because you are choosing to do this. Ultimately there is no difference between work and life, work is life, life is work. Your intention becomes as present in your practice as it is outside of it because they are necessary to one another and by consequence the division you create between both is yours, it is how far you are willing to go. There is no balance to be obtained. You want to stop, stop. You want to keep going, go. So don’t listen to other’s ideas of “work ethic” or “healthy life style”, there is no recipe for success, only the work pulls you up. The hardest part is to forget about all these preconceived bullshit ideas that you should do things this way or that way… that you could be doing this wrong. Balance is one of those, drop it completely and you will find your own balance.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am excited about the amount of things I have been able to unlearn and drop along my path. As an artist, and an individual (because everybody is an artist) this what you spend your time doing, unlearning the bullshit society and your training has put inside your head and conforms you into doing conventional work. It tames you down, numbs you and keeps you uninteresting and uninterested. Leave room for people. Let them do their shit without no expectation, no regrets, pay them before they do the work if you can. How much you give them freedom is how much you give yourself freedom. And freedom is the birthplace of Love so you want to cultivate that. People with good intention might want you to be safe or even protect you sometimes in subtle ways but you will progressively build up the confidence to hear them without judgement and keep going on your way. The more you do things from your own initiative and take responsability for things, the more you will have trust from yourself and from others, the more you will be free to operate in your unique way.
I have been very active in the generative art scene lately. being a generative artist is a life style. It is about walking blindly into the void and seeing where things happen and where the energy happens. It is letting the art emerge without interfering. Most of what you “purposfully” do in life interferes with your flow. You want to let life show you its way so you can channel it. But society likes to torture people by making themselves think that they are missing out on something, that they are incomplete and that they need to work hard in order to arrive in some magical stress free place. Purpose is the first thing you have to drop. We are all complete machines. If you believe in your free will you haven’t realized the extent of your conditioning. When you stop trying to be anything else than what you are, you may get places, I don’t know where.
So a lot of the work is for you to realize again and again that you aren’t nearly as free as you think and to get humbled. Most of your fears will do everyhting they can to hide. If you let them show up you will find what to work on next. But seeing the invisible is impossible. So you have to let it happen, let the world show you. You will never entirely get there, but it’s your ability to be ok with that truth that matters.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wake up early in venice beach, grill up some toasts, hit the water with the board, take a big breath, get coffee and a buritto at Bellissimo or Eggsluts or Collage, skate down venice and blaze, let things happen, spray on the walls, take the bikes toward malibu, sunset at the drum circle, drawing session with a girl at 7, have a beer, check out the art downtown at the lacma or the broad, get drinks at the Townhouse or on Washington, go the 6am rave and get lit with techno, end up on the beach, We go to the desert with the tent, the death valley, the grand canyon or mt Baldwin or the Redwoods and take breaths all over the place.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Russell Foltz-Smith my friend and mentor helped me overcome a lot of my own blocks and fears. He helped and is helping a lot of other young guys trying to live the Life and gave me more trust than just about anyone I’ve ever met.
Maslo AI is a company/group that also gave me an insane amount of trust in the past year or so and allowed me to experiment things and get to places I would never imagined I would so early in life.
Francois Gallais is one of my oldest friend in life and we grew up together. I am in LA now and he is in Paris, I think. But his self-acceptance, bluntness and his restless capacity to go further than anybody has always been incredibly inspiring to me.