Dylan Hausthor Interview - The Hopper Prize

Dylan Hausthor

Dylan Hausthor on early memories of making things, story telling as a central component of a practice, deeply relating to specific spaces, & basking in meditative days.

How did you get into making art?

I’m not sure if I have any memory of not making things. Perhaps it has something to do with not being raised in a neighborhood—I grew up in between an oak forest and pine forest, the kind of place where we couldn’t see any of our neighbors. We couldn’t get TV there, nor anything other than dial-up internet, and not until I was much older.

The only real media that I consumed was books and music. It feels sort of inevitable to me now that I would have started telling myself stories—something that my work is still very focused on.

What are you currently working on?

For the past summer, I rented a small barn from the farm I was working at and made it into a makeshift studio. It didn’t have real walls, no electricity, and was open on one side. Instead of going into the world and seeking out stories in a sort of selfish-journalist way I wanted to see what it would be like to stay in one, very small place and write folklore in those confines. I really got to know that barn in a way I had never related to a space. I knew every insect that lived there—every time a new leaf got blown in, and could see every mysterious footprint that was left by the local kids who would come shoot bb guns and drink 40s in there.

I just moved to oregon, where i’ll be for a few months before moving back to new england. I have many hundreds of negatives that i plan on processing and printing here—I’m currently working on two monographs that will hopefully be coming out early next year.

After spending the last few years deep inside large bodies of work that felt inescapable I was eager to make space to make something more careful—something that I didn't necessarily need to unpack with my therapist.

Dylan Hausthor

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

After spending the last few years deep inside large bodies of work that felt inescapable I was eager to make space to make something more careful—something that I didn’t necessarily need to unpack with my therapist. Frankly, I also wanted to spend time in a place where I wouldn’t feel guilty about calling two hours of staring at a spider make her web as part of my research practice.

also, my fear of causing and feeling pain.
also, the literal limits of an island.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I don’t think I can really distinguish those two methods of working for myself. Although sometimes my ideas do solidify into a clear outline of obstructions and rules I like to think that everything lands on the same side of a compass that all points one direction. (I wonder if that direction is toward a field or a forest? maybe a pond? not the ocean.)

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

I don’t really have a studio right now, unfortunately. For the past week, I’ve spent most of the daylight hours processing film in my bathtub and listening to cassettes. I’ve really been basking in how meditative these days have been as I wait for the sun to set and I head outside with my flash.

Who are your favorite artists?

All my friends.

It’s probably a product of all this time spent in my bathtub listening to tapes, but music has been the biggest catalyst for me to pick up a camera. I’ve been listening to Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Grouper, Don Cherry, Mount Eerie, Hell, Jonathan Nankof, Katie Dey, Emma Ruth Rundle, Mizmor, Greef, Moor Mother, Adrian Orange, Wolves in the Throne Room, Salem, Elevator to Hell, Clay Camero, ahhhh too many.

Dylan Hausthor is an artist based in Eugene, Oregon who was recently shortlisted for The Hopper Prize. To learn more about the artist:

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