Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seven Questions with DJ Volvox

DJ Volvox (née Ariana Paoletti) has been hailed by Auxiliary Magazine as "Boston's Queen of Techno" - and I would totally agree with this in a heartbeat. Not only is she Boston's forefront female DJ, she also dabbles in jewelry design and fashion styling as well. DJ Volvox has several residencies in the city including my personal favorites Make It New (Thursdays, Middlesex Lounge) and Harum Scarum (Sundays,  Zuzu). She is also a part of the Boston DJ collective Basstown (and the only female in it too!), which features local jack-of-all-trades David Day (Weekly Dig) and DJ Etan/Shuttle (aka Nate of indie band Passion Pit).  Ladies Lotto gets the intimiate details of one of Boston's hard-working musical talents.

1) What is your name, age, occupation(s), location(s)?
"My name is Ariana Paoletti, I am a 25 year old Aries lady living in Boston since 2003. I guess it would be simplest to categorize myself as an artist, I express myself through many different types of media!"
2) Why do you do what you do? What inspires you in general and in your work? What makes you stand out from other artists?
 "I do what I do because the natural impulse to create is inside me all the time. I was raised in an environment that encouraged a lot of imaginative play, so I guess my brain is just wired that way now. Kind of overloaded actually! I am constantly having ideas, way more than I can deal with myself. Sticking to one project is really hard for me, so I've always got a few things going on that I can jump around between. 

Music has always been a big inspiration for me. I've preferred electronic music most of my life and I was heavily involved in the Industrial scene when I was in high school. The philosophy and imagery associated with that subculture clearly flavor my work, I think. Robot-girl 4 lyfe!

Other themes that strongly influence my work include futurism and geometry. I am extremely interested in how the futuristic vision of decades gone by tells us a lot about the societies that imagined them. Compare the atomic-age utopian bubble worlds of the 60's to the cold and anonymous Blade Runner megapolises of the 80's and you'll see what I'm talking about. I'm a huge fan of sci-fi movies from the 80's and early 90's! Sensual, sassy and strong, I draw a lot of personal inspiration from the badass female characters in those films. I'm not sure how I got started being 'into' geometry but it primarily grew out of my fashion and styling explorations. I've been working with combining geometric patterns to create a sort of visual static that I think is commenting on dressing in general these days. So many different messages are out there right now; it seems that everything about 'how to look' is up in the air, which I love!

I think what makes me stand out from many artists is my bold visual consistency and unique background. I was born in São Paulo to a Brazilian father and an American mother and in my life it seems I have always had a tendency to have two kinds of projects going on at once. Always trying to marry different disciplines or techniques! I think its important for every artist to spend a lot of time alone so they can discover what's really true and unique about themselves. Once you have those answers, the subject matter and style of your art will come into focus! In my case my longstanding involvement in electronic music culture (which also has had strong ties to fashion since its beginning) and my Brazilian heritage are the backbones of my entire personality, and I strive to represent those influences in the best way possible."

3)What are some current projects you are working on?
"My projects are various but generally divided into two categories. I have been a techno DJ and event promoter since 2006; that is what I am best known for in Boston and beyond. I primarily work through the Boston-based production group Basstown, and with that group we have helped foster nothing short of a total electronic revolution in our city. When I started working with them in 2006 Boston was solidly an indie-rock town and now you can go out any night of the week and hear purist house and techno played by skilled djs who truly care about the music they play and their local scene. Nate Donmoyer, (aka Shuttle) drummer of Passion Pit also got his start as a Basstown DJ!"

I currently hold down two residencies, one at our Thursday techno weekly called Make It New and our Saturday 2-floor monthly called Visions. I am also the graphic designer for Make It New; I design all the flyers and promotional material for the party that is widely considered to be the regions' premier spot for new electronic dance music. We've been named Best Thursday Night by 2 of Boston's weekly event papers now!  I also participate in an art-party collective called Harum Scarum. We throw extreme dressup parties with an Industrial and Hard Dubstep soundtrack.
Being a part of Basstown also led me to work with the Together Festival, New England's Electronic Music Festival, which took place for the first time last February.

In September I launched my own jewelry line that I am proud to say is now carried in two NYC shops, Convent in Manhattan (179 Stanton St.) and Love Brigade in Brooklyn (230 Grand St.)! The line is based around combining better quality vintage charms and beads and Swarovski crystals on a black metal base in unique and dynamic combinations. Right now the line is mostly focused on earrings, they are so much fun to design! I am starting to work on my fall collection now which will be strongly influenced by cosmic themes, ancient sciences and sacred geometry

 4) What are you hoping the future will bring for yourself and your career?
"In the immediate future I would like for my online shop and jewelry sales to reach a level where they bring in enough money to be self-supporting and also provide me with some money to live on. I launched both projects with the idea that being self-supported would make moving to a larger city easier to manage. I have an undying passion and appreciation for fine things and high design (naturally, expensive stuff) and I would like to be involved with that business in some way, whether it be through avenues such as antique furniture (I am a mid-century modern fanatic), interior/club design or accessories production.
On the music front, I would definitely like to dj outside of Boston more. I would love to be put in the cockpit of a biiiiiig system, that's a goal of mine for sure! I am at the point right now where I am starting to consider what my own musical productions might sound like but monetary and time constraints have stalled those explorations for now. Once I hit my 30's I would like to design and manage my own nightclub, though for many reasons I don't see that being in the US. I would like to take my creative life to the next level so moving to New York in the near future seems like the thing I must do, but my ultimate dream is to have my own space in Berlin to live and base my businesses out of!"

5)What are your favorite places in the general Boston area?
"Right now I would have to say that my favorite places in Boston are the many DIY House venues that my boyfriend has introduced me to. These are mainly basement spaces that are run by groups of people generally focused around metal/experimental/noise music etc. but anything goes, really. His House is well known in our neighborhood and we have been having a grand time merging his scene and mine throwing all-night basement techno parties! This is some true 'by the people for the people' type stuff, as our parties are thrown for free and artists are supported by crowd donation."
6)What's it like to be a creative in a city like Boston? Do you feel happy, sad, stressed, paranoid, etc.?
"Despite the incredible community of awesome people living here, it's pretty difficult to earn money as a creative in Boston. DJs here make a pittance compared to other major cities. It doesn't help that there aren't many real clubs to play in anyways so we are relegated mostly to bar/lounge type venues or lofts/basements. You have to fight to make 100 bucks for a gig! I have been living without a day job since September of 2009 and despite all the projects I've mentioned in this interview I struggle to pay my rent and bills each month. It's pretty sad how little support there is in a city full of so many driven and legitimately talented artists. You would think that a city gorging itself on the bank accounts of college kids would be more friendly and tailored to people our age but the city acts more like a wet blanket babysitter than anything else. The public transportation system sucks, nothing runs at night and it takes an hour just to get across town. Even on the job front, there aren't many 'cool' employers that are relevant to the interests and aspirations of our generation, which is what drove me to pursue self-employment in the first place. On the style front Boston is pretty conservative, but its learning. There are some great independent shops like Rescue (http://rescuebuyselltrade.com/) and Lola's Urban Vintage (http://lolasurbanvintage.com) ; I'd love to see more places like these! On the flip side, it's relatively easy to get involved in the community here and a talented artist who works hard can get noticed pretty quickly!"

 7)Do you have any advice, life tips, suggestions for the Ladies Lotto community?
"I guess my only advice to the LL community would be to encourage everyone to live as maximally and without hesitation as possible. I see an incredible potential future in our generation and we just have to stand up, be active and responsible and rip the reigns of the world out of the hands of our parents' generation, who have basically mishandled the planet and the direction of society right up to the brink of collapse. It's time to forge our own new world order!"

DJ Volvox will be DJing at the upcoming "Masculin Feminin" night with DJ Susie G + John Barera on Friday, August 20th at the Savant Project, Boston. To find out more upcoming projects, etc. from DJ Volvox please check out some of the links below:

Seven Questions is a Q+A segment I, Susie G, will be doing EXCLUSIVELY for Ladies Lotto. Seven Questions will be featuring female artists, creatives, and the like from various locations worldwide. The goal of this is to introduce creatives to the LL community and the interwebs, and hopefully create potential collaborations, networking opportunities, etc. All interviews are done via e-mail correspondence. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have suggestions for future interviewees @ d j s u s i e g [at] g m a i l [dot] c o m.  

1 comment:

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