“We were just kids and loved experimenting, didn't want to put any marks on who we were back in the days.”
Q & A:
TANIA SHCHEGLOVA (29) and ROMAN NOVEN
CO: What are you currently working on?
SD: Just opened a solo show in Milano at Office Project Room, now get ready to give artist talk soon in Barcelona.
CO: Tell us about your work.
SD: Our work is about interrelation of human and nature and how both alter each other.
CO: What are your strengths?
SD: We are very devoted to work, go through any dangers and difficulties when we need to make a best shot.
CO: What are your weaknesses?
CO: Describe your personalities.
SD: Tania loves spending time with friends, works on her Crystaltania charitable project a lot (making new jewelry and buying necessary things for village orphanages here in Ukraine), is very sensitive to human kindness, thinks all people should not only get but also give, is cheerful and always optimistic. She’s collecting rare colored glass pieces. Roman is very energetic, loves making music and doing everything sporty (from enduro motorbike to surfing). He literally knows everything! No matter what Tania asks for he would teach her. At home we often behave like animals with each other, gentle, but wild, can be talking with noises (not words) or biting each others hands.
CO: What drove you to become artists?
SD: If it comes from your soul you have to obey.
CO: What was the first thing you ever made and called art and how do you feel about it now?
SD: First years of our collaboration we were shooting a lot and only after our photographs became viral and magazines and galleries started contacting us a lot the idea came to our mind that we might be artists. We were just kids and loved experimenting, didn't want to put any marks on who we were back in the days.
CO: What would you say is the biggest misconception about art?
SD: It’s sad that many people do not trust their own opinion and have to rely on acclamation of big institutions a lot. Many artists that are really talented have to struggle.
CO: How was your exposure to art and design growing up?
SD: We like experimenting and we kept doing it from the very beginning as we are self taught.
CO: Who were your early influences?
SD: Ukraine was.
CO: Did you assist?
SD: Never, we are absolutely made for being in charge.
CO: Do you have a secret project?
SD: Yes, but shhh! Its a secret.
CO: How do you see the future?
SD: Night dreams often tell if next days will be good or bad, but sometimes they show the exact things to happen and it scares a bit that night dreams know more than we do.
CO: Are you perfectionists?
SD: Total perfectionists! But that is a very good quality not to do anything average but to try to do something really good.
CO: Can you live a normal life?
SD: No, people with so much creative energy can not just start working in office from morning till night and feel comfortable.
CO: Do you ever have doubts about your carrier choice?
SD: Of course not. But we often think of trying something new that may be a good addition to what we already know.
CO: What harsh truths do you prefer to ignore?
SD: We do not like to ignore, and everybody should try to not do it. But there are simply so many sad thing happening in the world in general, like huge islands of trash in the oceans, or some kinds of animals disappearing from our planet. I would prefer it all not happening at all.
CO: Is free will just an illusion?
SD: No, we all are free to do whatever we like. The other question is if this means total selfishness? If not - lovely.
CO: Where do you find meaning in your life?
SD: We are very grateful for all we have. We have each other, we have job that we love, we have a charitable project that allows us to do a lot of unordinary things (last year we bought out 6 foxes from poachers who wanted to kill them for fur for example, now they live with an animal rescue organization who gives them lots of care and love). We try to not be useless, we really try hard to do something good and be happy, we find meaning in it.
CO: What is the most important goal every person should have?
CO: If all your memories were erased, what kind of person would you be?
SD: Just the same, but asking lots of questions.
CO: Are there limits to human creativity?
SD: Limits is something lazy people put to not feel guilty.
CO: Is human creativity just rearranging and building on previous ideas?
SD: There would always be fresh innovative ideas, no matter how many things already exist.
CO: Is technological advancement positive or negative? Why?
SD: Positive for people have more possibilities to make even crazy ideas come true, but negative as technology obviously takes too much time out of our real life.
All photos from the Synchrodogs’ project “Slightly Altered”:
Working on ‘Slightly Altered’ project artistic duo Synchrodogs went into a one-month trip across Carpathian Mountains to discover how far people managed to intrude into the territories that were meant to be wild.
People have always been shaping natural forces around them. But is there a limit of resources the Earth would allow us to use? "Slightly Altered" is a reflection on how much we are intertwined with nature - changing the environment, we change ourselves. The project is about interdependency of humans and nature and the new ways the Earth begins to look as a result of our interventions into the environmental processes.
Over the month of travelling artistic duo had to face a lot of controversial situations: getting to know how thousands of trees are being lumbered by locals weekly, all illegally, for the sake of getting paid, seeing taxidermied animals in every mountain restaurant, hotel or house and never spotting at least one live animal in the forest, stomping out a fire on the mountain valley after some people irresponsibly left a campfire to stop burning by itself.
Witnessing these and other intrusions into nature, Synchrodogs have started reflecting upon how much we, like all life, both alter our environment and are altered by it.
Creating installations meant to live for a single day and photographing them before they decay, Synchrodogs’ images preserve vistas that are—sadly—likely to be irrevocably altered by the next generation.
An abstract reflection on human exploitation of nature, the project is also a visual message about the importance of education - not the one about numerical or verbal literacy but the one that teaches us to appreciate nature and to live our lives with awareness, responsibility, and care.