#161: Matthew Daniel Siskin
Matthew Daniel Siskin drops in to tell us about Lofts, Self-Demonetization, NoPost, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Matthew Daniel Siskin to share some recommendations on Perfectly Imperfect.
Matthew Daniel Siskin is a Los Angeles based creative director, artist, and songwriter who has collaborated with huge artists and brands such as Beyoncé, LVMH, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, and Father John Misty. He’s dropped a handful of folk records under the moniker “Gambles” and has written and produced songs for Florence & The Machine, along with several soon-to-be-released- projects he can’t talk about yet. Matthew also hosts the podcast “Vicious Circle” which has featured guests and friends such as Dean Kissick, Betsey Brown, Peter Vack, The Ion Pack, and Tom Tuna Tossed Salad. He’s releasing an album under his own name soon and he’s finishing up a script for a feature film that he tells me will be casted directly from the @actorcellectuals database, of course. Lucky for us, Mathew is here to tell us what he’s been into.
Without further ado
I can’t say enough about a good loft. Ideally this is a large under-furnished-little-bit-industrial-a-little-bit-abandoned room for your unfettered thoughts and creativity to bounce around freely. I recently found one in downtown Los Angeles, and it’s changed everything for me.. As someone who has always worked from home, I typically turned my home into a work space. This made any sort of healthy relationship with another person impossible - either I’d give in to their demands and stop making art or functioning, or I would break up with them. I’m very happy with my love/work balance now. I get that lofts are expensive, and with gas prices what they are - all I’m saying is, if you find a loft, and you treat it well, you’ll never need to get gas again.
The NoPost (i.e NoFap) is the simple exercise of not posting anything online on purpose. I find when I ignore the impulse to post, more than 5 or 6 times in a row, a great clarity hits me. Ideas feel new and beautiful again, my desires sink back into healthier corners, I’m focused. It’s great! I highly recommend trying this for a week, and see what happens. One of the rules though, is you can’t post that you’re doing it, as that breaks the NoPost core value. NoFap is good too but much more difficult to pull off.
Having an online audience of any kind or a patreon is a huge responsibility, but I highly recommend making your way towards the goal of eventually having or making children. I’m a dada to a 2.5 year old little boy, named Dashiell (Dash) - with our little girl Meadow set to arrive in August. This is by far the hardest group project I’ve ever been a part of - I won’t mention the endless list of things we all see when millennials talk about how tired they are, or how their boobs hurt (mine don’t, but if you have boobs they will hurt bad) - but when he takes my hand and pulls me in the direction he wants to go, or makes fun of something stupid I did in front of him (he has a way of saying “ohhh, daaaaddaaa” which just levels me ) - I swear I’ve never felt a bigger or more true love in my entire life. Everything fades, everything dies, except the love of a child. Unless you really fuck with them, be good to your kids and love them a lot. I swear there’s nothing better than this, absolutely nothing. There’s nothing better than love, I swear.
🎭 Sarah Kane - Complete Plays
One of my favorite playwrights of all time (just behind my dear friend Polly Stenham, who first introduced me to her work) - her book of complete plays (Blasted, Phaedra’s Love, Cleansed, Crave, 4.48 Psychosis, and Skin) is everything I love about music, films, really anything. There’s something about reading plays that allows my brain to process and experience the work differently - it’s a crazy thrill to read her,, especially Blasted. It’s intense to the bone stuff. She also made a short film for Skin in 1997 just before hanging herself in 1999.
This isn’t to say earning money is bad. It’s very good. I’ve built a career around earning in a lot of different ways. But for me, the ever present capital layer buried in how we package and put ourselves out online, well - kind of ruined why I enjoyed doing it in the first place. I never wanted a full time job, I never wanted to be owned by anyone. Something about having a patreon (it was small, but large enough that I felt, well, owned) was getting in the way of me enjoying the act of making shit. It’s beautiful that online stuff can generate life sustaining income. I just think, we should be making stuff more freely, or just - without the impulse to constantly package and sell ourselves to an audience. It’s gross, and it’s bad for the art. Demonetize yourself once n' a while, play games, and be wrong and upset people more. There's nothing to lose when there's nothing to lose!
Now that you've deleted your patreon, rented a loft, had a couple kids, and stopped posting online - the next best thing you can do is to try skipping dinner sometimes. This is not a pro ano post by any means, I've just found that skipping dinner actually gives you a super focused and a little radicalized spin on the normal stuff. Maybe it's because most people stuff their faces and go to sleep, but for me skipping dinner when I can - makes me feel way more alive and present. Yes, I know that's fucked up for some people and maybe even unhealthy - but I am not a trained medical practionioner, I just find feeling hungry in all ways, always yields a more interesting result.
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