Jodi Trotta is a seamstress, props designer and stage manager. She provided the Interview Magazine concept for This Is A World To Live In.
Evie: And your full name is?
Jodi: Jodi Trotta.
E: How did you get involved in this project?
J: My friend Matthew’s the artistic lead for the project. It’s been an idea he’s had for quite a few years and so I’ve helped – I’m a big fan of Andy Warhol and that era of art and of him especially. When I was younger, I was very much into the whole thing, so I’ve probably pushed the information. Whenever he brought it up, I could tell him things. I don’t know. I guess I’m just helping him.
E: Ok. Would you consider yourself an artist?
J: I’d like to, I’d like to. I do a lot of art things. I wouldn’t say I’m successful by any chance, but I like to do it.
E: You said you’d “like to”. What do you think is holding you back from fully embracing an identity as an artist?
J: Well, I’m not very good. (laughs) That’s probably why.
E: What kind of art do you like to do?
J: Different things. I paint, I sew, I draw. I love working with clay, I love working with wood. And taking pictures. Pretty much anything.
E: You said you were interested in Andy Warhol. What did you like about his work or what did you like about him as a person?
J: You know, when I was in high school, I was very enamored with the idea of moving to New York and living in that era. It was the 80s and that just seemed really romantically awesome to me – the art world in New York at that time. And his – not even necessarily his work, but his community and the way he built the Factory and everything that went with it. Artists that he nurtured and things that came out from it, like the magazine – that was all really, really fascinating to me. When he died, I was… 16? Or just shy of 16. And I was devastated.
E: How would you say your parents’ personalities affect how you are today?
J: Huh. I’m not sure. I have a little bit of both of them in me. I – I don’t know how to answer that.
E: What would you say is something in your life right now that you need to escape?
J: (pauses) I think I’m kind of always looking for a way to escape, but I don’t have a way or the means to do it.
E: What exactly are you escaping?
J: No, I guess not “escape” so much as “find new places to explore”.
E: So you say that you’d like to be identified as an artist. Is that your overall dream for your life? Or what would that be? Like, what is your dream – what ignites you?
J: I don’t know if I have one. My son is basically my main drive for anything. I enjoy working in art or working around art or experiencing it. It’s not always realistic. I went to school for theatre, but I took a lot of art growing up and in college and beyond. So I guess that it’s the only thing that’s kind of mine. It’s not really – I don’t know. As far as a life-long dream, I don’t really have one, at this point. Just try to get through the day.
E: You said that it’s not always “realistic” in reference to art. What did you mean by that?
J: I’m a parent. I’m a single parent. I have obligations for my job, I have obligations to make sure that my child has a safe environment. And doing something for myself, like art, is not really a priority.
E: How old is your son?
E: What would you say is happening in the world around you right now that fascinates and terrifies you?
J: I’m always fascinated by new ideas. Just, I think – I really like design blogs or new innovations that people are doing or things that people are doing in the world that try to make their own world a better place. The thing that terrifies me, I would say, is just the ignorance. I think people that don’t make the effort to learn more about the world kind of scare me more than what goes on in the world itself. Because there’s such a – um – I’m trying to figure out how to put it. The people that rush to judgement without actually investigating are people that concern me. And I think that when bad things happen or when different things happen, those who are immediate to condemn without thinking – saying it’s bad without saying why it’s bad or seeing how it can be fixed. And I am just rambling, so I don’t know.
E: Ok, on a completely different note, if you were to pick an animal that embodies the opposite of you, what would it be and why?
J: I have no idea how to answer that. (pauses) A horse, maybe? Because they’re kind of elegant and I am not. (laughs) I don’t – I don’t know. I’m terrible at being interviewed. I’m sorry.
E: That’s ok. What do you want to see happen with this project that Sandbox is doing? What excites you about it or what concerns you about it? Or what do you want to see happen?
J: I don’t know. It’s their concept, their idea, their execution, so you can’t really put an expectation on their work. I – you know, anytime something is based on history, you kinda want them to be respectful of the history. But ultimately, it’s a creative process and it’s their own decisions how they execute the final result. It’s a fictional world that will show up, so there’s always going to be creative liberties. There’s always going to be independent decisions that may enhance the world better than what was there. So, I mean, I’m excited to see what they do. I think the fact that they’re in a different type of environment from their usual shows is kind of exciting. And I guess I hope it goes well – well, I mean, of course I hope it goes well. I hope the challenge of the space brings out the best in them.
E: I think my final question would be – so all of them are inspired by various Factory members to create their own characters that are partially themselves and partially these inspirations. If you were in the Factory, in this piece, who would be your inspirations and where do you think you would fit in this world?
J: I don’t think I really have a “spirit Factory member”. (laughs) As a rule – well, maybe not as a rule, but as a habit – I tend to be an observer more than a participant. I’m not comfortable in situations where I am in front, so I would probably be somebody that goes to a party and kind of watches what’s going on. I don’t think I would have a representational person that I could identify. I just know for me, I enjoy the world and it’s something – the Pop Art movement and other art that was happening that started in the 50s and 60s and branched out to what it is now – I think it’s just a really exciting time. And it would’ve been great to experience it when it was happening, but I can’t easily find a place where I personally would’ve fit in. It would just have been fun to be a fly on the wall.
E: Thank you.
J: You’re welcome. Hopefully that recorded!
Tim Donahue • Kristina Fjellman • Matthew Glover • Peter Heeringa • Sam Landman • Theo Langason • Megan Campbell Lagas • Derek Lee Miller • Heather Stone • Ryan Hill • Andrew Dolan • Lisa Day •Evie Digirolamo • Danielle Siver • Jodi Trotta