Oceans of Blue, Forests of G R E E N : AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNA LUISA PETRISKO
The work of multi-media artist Anna Luisa Petrisko has been making waves in the bay area and beyond for years under her own name, the longstanding JEEPNEYS project which mixed recording, performance and video, which culminated in a video game project “JEEP JEEP”, The Black Salt Collective, and now her new album, titled “Green” , released on LA’s Practical Records help solidify Luisa as one of the most important contemporary artists working today across many different platforms while still retaining their roots and radicalized aesthetics. Luisas’ tour with XINA XURNER , “The Royal Hearts Tour” stops in Oakland this Wednesday at Pro Arts!
Hello Anna, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with Decaycast. Can you introduce yourself and speak a little about your current performing/recording project?
My name is Anna Luisa Petrisko and I am an artist working across many mediums. I recently released an album called “Green” which was co-produced with Julius Smack and features guest vocalists Adee Roberson and Ana Roxanne, and piano by Gavin Gamboa. I’m getting ready to tour (with my friends Xina Xurner) in support of this album. I’ve been calling it “tropical new age pop” but you could throw in “synth” and “experimental” too. It is definitely song-based. I live in LA and although there is a ton of nature, it isn’t the greenest kind, especially in the summer and after several years of drought. The “green place” I dream of through these songs is this lush space where we can all chill, heal, and play. And pray for rain! Green is the color of your Heart Chakra and I wrote this album while grieving, so the green place is also where we process grief and connect to the ones we’ve lost, our ancestors and whomever else we keep close.
Thank you for going in so deep, how has the sound of “Green”, your newest recorded work, changed since previous works such as the esteemed JEEPNEYS project? Also is collaboration a main theme of all of work audio works?
JEEPNEYS was a project that was in and of itself constantly evolving and was a way for me to process coming into my self as a multimedia artist, rather than somebody who was always in bands, as well as processing my identity and culture as a Filipino. When I decided to retire JEEPNEYS (in the form of a video game JEEP JEEP) I knew my next album would be something different. But it is still a lineage and a continuation because the theme music from JEEP JEEP evolved into the first song Offering on GREEN. Damn I guess I cannot escape myself! The songs on GREEN feel different than music I released as JEEPNEYS, and they are not tied to specific performances whereas JEEPNEYS releases are more like opera soundtracks.
I am mostly reclusive in the studio so collaboration is really fun and a way for me to get out of my insular world. I love my friends so much but I am also a create-aholic so collaborating is how I hang out with my peeps without having to leave the studio! Working with Adee, Ana, Gavin and Julius Smack on this album was absolute pure joy and lots of snacks. If we collaborate, I will feed you.
So in a way, the work under your own name is less tied to multimedia works? Are you still working in other mediums, and if so, will they work their way into these newer works under your own name?
I don’t have plans for Green to become a large scale performance project, but I did make music videos for “Mountains Gold Rivers Green” and “Maintenance in Loving” and they will be premiering this week! In terms of my other work, I continue to do the Sagittarian most. I am currently in a group show in Oakland at Dream Farm Commons with a bunch of amazing peeps including my longtime collaborator and friend Grace Rosario Perkins. I have plans to collaborate with The Creatrix for a special residency with Practical Records in Berkeley in November. I am also working towards my next experimental sci-fi opera premiering in 2019 which will have holodeck-inspired mixed reality experiences and space cult vibes!
Wow, thats a lot of projects in the works How do you manage to balance so many projects at once in so many different mediums? Do they all inform each other, or do you attempt to operate in different mind sets for the work flow of each project?
To be honest my flow often feels like a sporadic and heavy gas pedal / sudden brake situation but I thank my lucky stars every day for my completely nonsensical & non-linear process because it usually comes into focus at some point. Not always but that’s ok. I mostly just follow my intuition, make lots of mistakes, and try not to get anxious thinking about it all by doing lots of self-care. You seem like you are doing a million things, and supporting not only your own work but so many other people’s work who are all very unique. What’s your secret?
Honestly I’ve always respected you as an artist for many reasons, but one of them being you seem to have so many different projects going, but they all are fully realized and it seems as if you’ve successfully cloned yourself. I am doing a million things, but i have so much unseen support, mostly from women of color, and all of the amazing radical art that gets produced by folks that have exponentially less privilege than i do is a constant inspiration to do better, and do my part in documenting all of the amazing work thats being produced right now, also strong weed.
Is there anything else you’d like to talk about within either the context of your practice, or the world in general lol?
Thank you! I totally feel you and resonate with what you are saying. I have so much seen and unseen support from friends, family, and history in general! There’s a long lineage of artists who came before and after, and had/have it way harder than me! Grateful is a small word to describe a big feeling. Can’t wait to see you in Oakland! Take care