The Shpilman institute for photography interview by Rotem Rozental

Robert Overweg began to examine the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds in 2007, using the same technique to photograph in both spheres. Since then he has continued to develop this method, which has turned him into a true photographic visionary. He is also the first participant in our (exciting!) new section of interviews with photographers from all over the world. Here goes: Read it on the SIP site

1. What was the first image you ever took (that you remember)?

The first photograph was of my parents when I was around ten years old. My first virtual photograph was either in s.t.a.l.k.e.r. or Counter-strike back in 2007. The photograph in counter-strike was a photo of beautiful sunlight and shadows being cast on the ground of a warehouse. What I found interesting is that the sun was a static object the sun rays are there day and night.

2. Why did you want to become a photographer?

I did not think as a child that I wanted to become a photographer, it just happened. I did always photograph in the physical world to visually explore that world. I graduated at the art academy in Arnhem as a designer where I also had a 3 year course of photograph. I guess photography was always around me.

Photographing in the virtual world to me came as something logical to do, the virtual world is a impression of our own physical world it’s just another world to discover where we can experience and explore. Documenting this through photography is the most logical step for me.

3. What is the most difficult thing for a photographer in this day and age? What do you hate the most?

The hardest but most important thing is to break free from your own comfort zone and break free of preconceptions of what can be done. But that is not something new for this day and age.

4. What inspires you?

Anything which makes me rethink something.

5. What kind of music do you listen to when you work on your computer?

Ben Harper – The Drugs Don’t Work (Live)

Andre Hazes – Jij Denkt Maar Dat Je Alles Mag Van Mij

Styx – Renegade

Cypress Hill – Insane In The Brain – Explicit Album Version

Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is

Foreigner – Cold As Ice

Waldemar Bastos – Sofrimento

Queens Of The Stone Age – Make It Wit Chu

Leela James – A Change Is Gonna Come

Ben L’Oncle Soul – Seven Nation Army

Columbia Symphony Orchestra – Piano Concerto Nr. 21 C Major Kv 467 ‘Elvira Madigan’: Allegro

Kanye West – POWER – Explicit Version

Jamie Lidell – Little Bit of Feel Good

James Blunt – Goodbye My Lover

James Morrison – Broken Strings

Josh Rouse – Lemon Tree

A Fine Frenzy – Almost Lover

Aloe Blacc – I Need A Dollar

Balthazar – I’ll Stay Here

Edith Piaf – Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

From my Spotify playlist

6. What was the last photography book you’ve read?

Words without pictures

7. Who are your photography idols? Why?

I don’t just have photography idols, I like: Thomas Demand, Thomas Ruff, Richard Prince, Jeff Koons. They work with already known objects and themes and twist them to let us rethink something or experience something new.

8. What can we find on your bookmarks? How do you choose your favorite bookmarks?

Lots of random stuff, I have so many that they have lost their function.

9. What are you working on now? Which type of project? What are its main concepts?

I am researching If I can actually build a virtual building in the physical world. Scale 1:1. Might be a 6 – 7 meter tall building. If it’s (financially) possible to build what I have in mind it could be ready next month.

10. What are your favorite blogs? Why? & Kanye west’s one but that seems to be offline now.

They both have good curators, most of the time something out of the ordinary.

Best regards,

Rotem Rozental

Content Developer and Researcher