Interview with Joel Gethin Lewis

Hails from Wales, UK, Joel Gethin Lewis was at Fabrica Interactive department for the entirety of 2004 and worked on various Fabrica/Benetton projects. He currently hops around the world and hang out with rockstars for a living, while finding time to do his own art. We caught him over email just as he was getting off a flight from Austria…
Joel Gethin Lewis
Joel Gethin Lewis, artist / interaction designer
b.F: What have you been doing since you left Fabrica?
JGL: Since leaving Fabrica, I started working for UnitedVisualArtists, a company in London. I have worked on a series of projects including U2, Massive Attack, a music video, and several installations. I am always interested in work that helps people get into the moment, to forget everything else. In my own personal work, I am currently working on my first exhibition, as part of a group show in Indianapolis.
b.F: You probably have one of the most envious jobs. Tell us how cool your work is and all the places you get to go to…

JGL: I have spent the last 10 days out on the Road with Massive attack, doing gigs in Eastern europe. Macedonia was amazing, as was Hungary. I am really looking forward to going out to Japan for a few gigs there, it’ll be the first time I have visited. In terms of amazing trips, doing the MTV party at the Cannes film festival last year was pretty high up there.
b.F: What do you consider the most valuable experience out of your time at Fabrica?
JGL: I think the most valuable experience was meeting so many amazing people from all around the world. Encountering so many different cultures and attitudes was overwhelming at times. Actually living in a foreign country was also good for me, instead of just passing through.
b.F: Your favorite Italian memory:
JGL: My favourite Italian memory was the party at Chiara’s house. I had amazing photos taken of me by a very talented photographer, went for several swims and had the freshest, best olive oil I have ever tasted. Perfect.
b.F: Do you think your experience from being at Fabrica / living in Treviso helped shape the way you look at the world?
JGL: The experience of living in Treviso, and working at Fabrica definitely changed my view of the world. It was the first time I encountered real racism, the first time I had run three parties on three consecutive nights, the first time I got pulled over by the police, and the most multicultural society (Fabricanti) I have ever been in. It was overwhelmingly positive, with a few bad spots to provide contrast.
b.F: Name some of your favorite artists / art movements that influence you and your work.
JGL: Francis Bacon. Kurt Benning. Harry Callahan. Andrey Tarkovsky. Bill Viola. René Magritte. Marcel Duchamp. Stanley Kubrick. David Lynch. Myron Kreuger. Umberto Boccioni.
b.F: Looking back at your time in Fabrica, do you have any wise words for the current / in-coming Fabricanti?
JGL: Enjoy it! The thing that I treasure the most about my time at Fabrica is the network of people I met, I honestly believe that there is nowhere else like it in the world. Make sure you find time to work on your own stuff, and don’t get bogged down in internal politics. There is no point to it. And don’t forget about Gelato.
b.F: Anything you recommend doing in Italy?
JGL: Make sure you go for a dance at the club to the south of the train station. Excellent salsa. And the ladies are willing to teach you!