You feel David in his movies — its another universe he takes you to — its an alternate reality but its close enough to our own that its scary.
What kind of traveler are you?
I always get a little antsy whenever I stop working. The only place that´s right is home. When I work, I need to be in my city, Los Angeles. I´d go as far as saying that I need to be at home with my editing and sound equipment. As soon as I stop working, I take to the road again. But I never really feel like I´m on vacation: there are no vacations for me; for artists, travel is like work, raw material. Travel means seeing people, discovering civilizations and observing similarities and differences. I love going to new places, unknown spots, but I´m not into being a tourist or some kind of Amazon adventurer. Filmmakers are invited to festivals worldwide. I like this kind of „traveling festival“; it´s almost like the world decides for me, like the world takes me places. I´d almost say that destination is irrelevant because everything that has a story is interesting.
What kind of wanderer are you?
A highly contemplative one. The photos I take are great illustrations of my strolls. I have two kinds of favorite contemplations: natural settings and industrial zones. I´m particularly moved by any kind of sign of life in nature: dew, sap, bees, moss, whatever, but particularly all those little oozing forms of secretion that are eternally part of life. I am constantly aware of how man belongs to nature. I´m fascinated by the fusion of man and nature. It may not look like it, but to a certain extent I´m looking for that kind of phenomenon in the abandoned wastelands of postindustrial society: rust, dust, abandoned factories overgrown with weeds, old pipes that drip, walls blackened by soot, smoke billowing from smokestacks. It´s a form of nostalgia, because this industry is rapidly disappearing, particularly in the United States.
What kind of art-lover are you?
As everyone could see in the Cartier Fondation exhibition, Francis Bacon really traumatized me: I´ve been in love with his work since the 1960s! But influence can be a prison, and you have to learn to escape from it. Surrealism also had a big impact on me. I put as much energy into distortion and twists as I do in actually creating, in the strict sense of the term.
What kind of child are you?
I never had the sensation of actually leaving childhood. You can no longer be a child, yet you cling to childhood. What else is an artist but a sophisticated child? Like a child, an artist needs to be uninhibited when creating; he´s not judging, he´s not afraid of anything when it comes to his art, he’s not concerned about what he´s going to become. A child dives spontaneously into his material, mixing things instinctively, going on attraction instead of intellect. There is nothing better in the world than this.
What kind of musician are you?
„Being in darkness and confusion is interesting to me. But behind it you can rise out of that and see things the way the really are. That there is some sort of truth to the whole thing, if you could just get to that point where you could see it, and live it, and feel it … I think it is a long, long, way off. In the meantime there’s suffering and darkness and confusion and absurdities, and it’s people kind of going in circles. It’s fantastic. It’s like a strange carnival: it’s a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of pain.“
I don´t really call myself a musician, although I make an effort. I can´t sing at all and I´ll never sing. But I´m fascinated by the possibility of manipulating the voice in real time. There´s a technique that enables you to change not only the pitch range but also the texture of the voice. Just imagine: you hear an unrecognizable voice and you immediately react to it. Isn´t that beautiful? It´s a little tough on identity, but a lot of things these days are tough on identity. One day I asked a psychiatrist if therapy could influence my creativity, and he told me „David, to be honest, I have to say yes, perhaps it would.“ I shook his hand and left. I don´t know what is real and what is not. I go on intuition, on childhood, once again.
What kind of human being are you?
A French friend of mine is always saying, „I´m French, so I think, therefore I am.“ I don´t think we actually have a body. I´ve been practing transcendental mediation for 33 years and it´s given me a profound love for the world and for life. It may sound slightly jarring, or seem a little out there to you, but I´m optimistic because I feel that humanity is growing more aware. I sense that a genuine dynamic for peace is emerging, and I´d like to convince people of the power that they have within themselves, of all the energy, the love, the fullness we have inside. I am not deeply against any one person or against any religion. Yes, I really love the world and I feel very happy.
Interview Air France Magazine, 2007.