Julie Eckert is an audio and visual artist from Vancouver Island, BC. Her work is based in creating other dimensions in which to store memory and manipulate both image and sound. In her free time she is the curator of commonchant tumblr. She currently is living in Montreal, Quebec.

SARAH: Commonchant is a very interesting tumblr, it takes on a lot of topics (art, fashion, food, culture, craft, and time), what was your original inspiration for the project?

JULIE: My friend Mel (who had started her tumblr UUIUU a few months earlier) was encouraging me to start one as well. The direction of commonchant was formed within the idea of image hoarding. I wanted a place where I could collect images and then reflect upon them, like a sticker album. It became a good space to organize thought and express feeling without being weighed down by possession. It also became an effective way to unclutter my mind and transplant my thoughts into another space/dimension. Over the years commonchant has become a kind friend, my pet and passion. I like the idea of having it all catalogued, tucked away but still not quite tangible. It has grown a world in itself, like a polly pocket, a geode.

S: CC shows a lot of attention to detail and color, what kind of fashion do you graviatate towards in your day to day wardrobe?

J: Aesthetically I really enjoy experimenting with color, texture and pattern. My closet contains a pretty big mass of black and white print fabric, bright colors and pastels. I've grew up in Victoria BC and now live in Montreal QC, both climates require a lot of layering and I have fun playing off of that. I'm visually attracted to things that shouldn't go together but just feel right. Lately I've been wearing a lot sweatshirts/pants mixed into my wardrobe. There is something wonderful to me about wearing grey sweatpants and doc's together (it's self-satisfying to cringe at the distaste of it).

S: There are also a lot of references to childhood/domestic and "kid stuff", are you inspired by the objects you grew up with?

J: My mind runs in and out of a childlike/whimsical headspace, that is of course reflected on my tumblr. My personal experience as a child isn't something I am intentionally attempting to draw from. It is more embracing that head space and a continuance of thought. I have a tragic and delightful weakness for anthropomorphism. Often I experience a longing for certain color combinations, shapes or prints that were prominent in my childhood. I've been experiencing a similar longing for objects/images/sounds that have never been a physical part of my life. I think the internet has a lot to attribute to that, it is sort of a learned/implanted nostalgia.

S: What do you think about tumblr culture, its very social, but no one really knows anyone. Do you have any "tumblr crushes"?

J: I love tumblr culture and at the same time find it slightly problematic. As tumblr is an image based subculture in which people are creating image based archetypes, those archetypes can sometimes come off as shallow and juvenile. I'm sure my tumblr is vulnerable to that as well. Within the culture I find a certain respect for origin is being lost and that the context of an image can become warped. I also think that images being taken out of their original context can be really interesting. I am primarily drawn to tumblr blogs that allow me to read into the personality behind the blog. I think my blog has become its own entity. I have constructed it a life of it's own. <<<virtual reality>> The idea of communicating through images is second nature to me. It is an outlet in my life where I can express myself without the debilitating anxiety that the outside world causes for me. I think that is the same for a lot of people who have tumblrs. I love that it draws so many creative minds inside one space to converse. I have some met some lovely friends on tumblr, Shelbi who curates chromefoam and Ann who curates kwassakwassa (both who I have yet to meet irl). My close friend of years Mel curates UUIUU, now that we live at opposite sides of the country tumblr has become a place for us to share ideas and interact on a day to day basis. As for a tumblr crush, that would have to be my partner Jesse who is the mind behind eternalwinter. I find myself often wishing eternalwinter was my own blog, as is it is an accurate reflection of my other half (visually, my darker half).

S: You do a great job of maintaining flow, what is that stream of thought like? Is there a constant?

J: The flow is directed by whatever has peaked my interest at the moment. If there is a constant, it is sound. I think sound effects how I am feeling about shape and color, it makes it easy to sew images together. The idea of space/time/inter-dimensional travel is always weaving its way through my consciousness. I also have a great interest in botany, so the ideas of growth, change and evolution are always at the forefront of my mind. Somedays I feel I have little energy to direct to expressing myself online, other times it is almost compulsive. I easily become immersed in the act of orchestrating a picture plane, creating flux.

S: Who are some of your favorite designers? favorite blogs? and favorite films?

J: I have a never-ending love for fashion and film, but they escape me. I consume it and then it trickles through my fingers. Although a constant source of inspiration, I don't have set favourites. There is too many... too much. I suppose my taste in film runs anywhere through from science fiction to japanese animation. There is a lot of great content available on ubuweb. I draw most of my artistic vision from music. Sound is such a vast space that I will spare you endless listing and forward you to my profile. As for my winter soundscapes, I've been spending my days alongside ambient/electronic music, black metal and amiga/atari games soundtracks. For the past few years I've also curated a music blog that shares the commonchant namesake. Though I've lost interest in keeping up acquaintances with it during the past year, it's content still speaks considerably on my personal tastes.

S: Is there any "look" that you just can't stand?

J: For sure. I cannot understand why oh why there are still so many people who participate in cultural appropriation in the way that they express themselves. Indigenous appropriation in fashion is something that is so prominent in western culture and I find it so disturbing. The most recent trend that I find problematic and can't stand is the use of a bindi as a fashion adornment. Aesthetically I can appreciate it's beauty but I can't overlook how offensive it is. Sadly it has made me lose some respect for several other people on tumblr, who I've been a fan of in the past. 
**For more insight, this is great a piece on colonialism and popular culture by Ananya Mukherjea, which can be read (here).

S: What does commonchant mean?

J: In a general sense it is a reference to meeting of the minds, a celebration of the hive mind. It doesn't delve much deeper than that, the process of naming thecommonchant was really quite arbitrary. :3

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