Character, Letter, and the Misbehave: Interview with Mel Prest, by Brent Hallard, Visual Discrepancies blog, August 27, 2009

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Brent: You have a penchant for travel, often for the more exotic places on this globe. You return home, go to the studio, and take out your notes… what are these notes?

Mel: I like to be completely immersed while I’m traveling—so this means not putting a frame/ lens/ color on paper between the experience and myself. Sometimes I take little snapshots with my phone, or quickly record video of small moments with my cheap camera. On this trip to Senegal I have three little videos I am happy with: one is walking on the road in a village by the welder’s stand. The welder likes to listen to Islamic music and blasts it on an old speaker (music and tools powered by a generator). So we are approaching this stand, walking behind our grandmother and a taxi is approaching from behind, sounding a sort of funny custom horn. It’s these strange moments, when layers of unrelated things that occur spontaneously, that characterize travel for me. I have no idea what will happen with these captured moments once I return…