Tuesday 21 November 2023

Micro-interview with Carmen Moran

Welcome to Carmen Moran, artist of “Collective Bargaining” in The Future Fire #67, and our long-time illustrator and collaborator, to the micro-interview season.

Art © 2023 Carmen Moran

The Future Fire: How did you go about illustrating “Collective Bargaining”?

Carmen Moran: Very slowly. It took me quite a while to work out what I was going for. The image that struck me most from the piece was the fourteen thousand eyes, so I wanted them to be a prominent feature, while also showing the erasure that sets in when someone doesn’t fit the shape of the "standard human".

TFF: You're not a fan of spiders yourself. What small animals do you like, and do you think you can communicate with them?

CM: Well, when I say I'm not a fan, I mean them suddenly appearing in my field of vision freaks me out a little (or a lot, depending on size), but of course I love them as very cool parts of our ecosystem, and in their symbolic role as creators of art and weavers of tales—how could I not? As for communicating with them, there is actually a fleet of cellar spiders in my house that I have a contract with: I leave them alone as long as they don't suddenly drop from the ceiling into my face (which they sometimes do for some reason), and in turn they eat the really scary massive spiders that wander in from the garden. It's working well, for both parties as far as I can tell.

TFF: What else are you working on now?

CM: Mostly random personal projects at the moment. One of them is my random knowledge zine Emmeline (@emmeline.zine on Insta), which I've been publishing with a group of friends since 2003. I only just worked out this week that that was twenty years ago… There were some breaks in the middle, but we resuscitated it in 2019 and it's been going strong since then. It's my longest running project, and I love how it's brought a bunch of people together that wouldn't otherwise be connected, and that it teaches me new things all the time. Most recently it caused me to learn about grasshopper mice (Onychomys). If you've never heard of them, I suggest you look them up.

Reminder: You can comment on any of the writing or art in this issue at http://press.futurefire.net/2023/10/new-issue-202367.html.

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