An Interview with Francesca Forrest
Today, we welcome Francesca Forrest to talk about interstitial art and life.
I first heard the word “interstitial” when… I was trying to locate an acre of land between the salt water and the sea sand—no; it was when my atoms were reassembling on one of the transporter pads on the USS Enterprise—no; it was after I’d died, and neither heaven or hell would have me…Actually, I don’t remember when I first heard it.
One of my favorite genre-busting books/movies/musicians/artists/academics is… I really love Anaïs Mitchell—her Hadestown seems to me to be a perfect example of an interstitial album. Musically, it mixes different styles of Americana-roots-blues-style tunes, but overall the songs are laid out to tell—to retell—the story of Orpheus and Eurydice as an alternative-past 1930s hard-luck mining-town story. On the album, Mitchell’s joined by Greg Brown, Ani Difranco, Bon Iver, and others, it’s a real tour de force. And it has gorgeous woodblock-print artwork to accompany it. It’s aggressively creative—it spreads out all over the place itself, and it inspires the people who come in contact with it.
The last interstitial work (art, book, film, etc.) to inspire me was… To continue on the Anaïs Mitchell kick, I found her 2012 album Young Man in America very inspiring, especially the title track. It didn’t actually inspire a particular work that I can point to, but it put fire in my veins, and the whole album got me thinking about gender roles, coming of age, and the relationship of parents to children.
Right now, I am working on… Oh man, I am trying to do everything, which means I’m actually accomplishing not much at all. I have about sixteen pots on the stove, and I just hope at least one or two of them cook up well and that I don’t end up with sixteen horribly burned messes.
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Francesca Forrest is the author of Pen Pal, an interstitial novel that hangs between childhood and adulthood, sea and mountain, water and fire, fantasy and reality. She likes guava juice and green beans, but also things that don’t begin with the letter G—fireflies, for instance, and trading Simpsons references with her kids. For more about Pen Pal, visit its website.
For more art, essays, and fiction (on and by) interstitial artists and academics, stop by the Interstitial Arts Foundation.