The pioneers of aviation were never lonely
Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.
Who: Moss Angel.
Where: Portland, Oregon, United States What: writer, designer, artist, witch.
Cat No: DW-349
What do you do?
I create books as whole art-objects. I write, scribble, draw, lay out, photograph, design and cast spells on books that get printed and mailed to people who are interested in consuming my art. The books are about me and my life and the way I see the world, filtered through layers of fantasy, mental illness, distortion, optimism, pessimism, and occassionally drugs.
Stock question. Can you tell us a bit about your influences?
The art that has influenced me includes comics by folks like Aidan Koch and Sarah Ferrick, plays by Sarah Kane, visual art by Henry Darger and Agnes Martin and Noel'le Longhaul, tattoos by deadbirdflying_ok and Noel'le Longhaul, music by Girls Rituals and Jordaan Mason and Loone, books by Renee Gladman and Jordaan Mason and Larry Mitchell and Larissa Lai and Nalo Hopkinson and Samuel R. Delaney, video games by Porpentine.
Idk how interesting this is really. I have this like little world of influences that define so much of how I see the world and understand it. I'm constantly expanding and revising this little pocket. Different work seems to reach out to me and then stop speaking to me and then reach out to me again.
More than anything my biggest influences are like, the conversations I have with people I care about, experiences I've had, damage I've endured, things I've discovered about myself and the world around me.
Can you tell us about your most recently published book and whether it does or doesn't differ from the types of things you've written before?
My most recently published book is called Sea-Witch v.1. It's the first in a series that will all eventually be collected in a larger volume. It's an ongoing project that really defines where I have been the last three years of my life. It is more honest and more real than anything I have published before. My last book, Careful Mountain was about me trying to get to a place. Trying to find where I wanted to be. Sea-Witch is what happened once I got there. It is also structurally very different. Careful Mountain was more or less a book of poetry. My books before that could more or less pass as poetry. Sea-Witch is way more visual. It's closer to fiction. It contains an entire world and cast of characters with a mythology and a creation myth and a whole landscape through which I can examine all kinds of things about myself and the world around me. It's much more political. It's way weirder.
What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on final interior design touches for Sea-Witch v.2, which comes out in September from 2fast2house, which is the same press that put out v.1. Volume two is sadder than volume one and I spend more time digging into some of the conceptual things about the universe of Sea-Witch. I'm also about halfway through writing and getting the initial visual art together for Sea-Witch v.3. So far volume three shows me experimenting a lot more with form and structure and kind of tearing apart some of the more naive assumptions that were underlying volumes one and two. It's a reality check, as much as there can be one in a strange magical world. It's also a healing spell to try to undo some of the damage from volume two.
Swimmers Club has a focus on the state of independent culture at the moment (independent coffee shops, presses, record labels, etc). How healthy do you think independent culture is right now?
Focus on the people at the margins. You have to dig us out because we are very entrenched in our little holes wherever those may be. There are a lot of weirdos like me who have a lot we want broadcast about how the world looks from our disgusting, overcrowded depression apartments.
What influence, if any, does the city in which you live have on your world?
When I'm at my worst I barely remember I live in Portland. I barely remember anyone else lives here who is outside my home. I see people at the grocery store and I'm like "Who are you? What is your life? I don't understand it." I'm trying to remember my city. I don't feel like it is "my" city. It feels like somebody I used to know.
Finally, can you swim?
I was on the swim team from ages 8-16. I worked as a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons for 6 or 7 years when I was in my teens and early 20s. I can definitely fucking swim.
You can get Sea-Witch v.1 in print here.
You can get Sea-Witch v.1 digitally as pay-what-you-want here.
You can subscribe to read all of Sea-Witch vols 1&2 and get updates on volume three as I write it here.
You can find info on my past books and various interviews and publications and other projects here.