Interview with Alicia Framis from France

The Experimental Jurors of the 2024 French Design Awards
February 20, 2024
Yiwei Lin and Jiayuan Wang | MUSE Design Awards
Interview with Yiwei Lin and Jiayuan Wang from the United States
February 20, 2024

Alicia Framis

Alicia Framis, a Spanish/Dutch artist, is celebrated for her social engagement within contemporary society and technology. She is regarded as one of Europe's most significant artists, taking pride in the public participation that is central to her artistic methodology. Framis aims to explore new avenues for coexistence through her work.

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

My name is Alicia Framis and I am Spanish/Dutch artist who is renowned for my social involvement in today's society and technology. I am proud to say that I am considered one of the most important artists in Europe!

In my practice as a multidisciplinary artist, I focus on critiquing outdated or uneven societal power structures and shortcomings, developing projects that span performance art, design, architecture, and fashion to explore new ways of living together. Public participation plays a vital role in my artistic approach, aiming to forge new possibilities for coexistence.

I was awarded the Lucas Artists Visual Arts Fellowship 2021-2024 in California. My works are included in numerous permanent collections, such as the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington (US), Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (Netherlands), MUSAC in Castilla y León (Spain), Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem (Netherlands), FRAC Lorraine (France), Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (China), El Museo del Barrio in New York (US), Philadelphia Museum (US), and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Switzerland.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?
Creativity has given me a sense of freedom and personal space. It has also provided me with the opportunity to connect with others and feel understood as part of a group. I believe that creativity can make a better world.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
I work as an artist, creating performances and interactive sculptures that are always connected to the needs of society. Currently, I am integrating AI into all of my artworks. AI is a wonderful tool that allows me to innovate and question our world. I'm very interested in developing holograms that can help isolated people in the world.
4What does “creativity” mean to you?
Creativity is a space of freedom, where curiosity and a sense of being unrestricted thrive. It is an act that aligns closely with the universe and the essence of a higher power. Creativity serves as a tool to unite minds.
5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?
To me, a "creative" idea or design is characterized by a unique combination of information that results in something entirely new, original, thought-provoking, interesting, sophisticated, and beautiful. Creativity can manifest in various ways!
6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

Regarding my creative and design process, I typically begin by identifying a problem that lacks a solution, something that troubles or intrigues me. I strive to find ways to contribute to society, such as addressing the issue of loneliness.

I generate numerous ideas and study past solutions to ensure that I don't repeat them. Instead, I aim to start from scratch and create something new, different, provocative, and infused with humor. Throughout the process, there comes a point where I feel the form and content align perfectly.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?
For me, the favorite part is inventing things that don't exist yet and, of course, sharing what I do with people. The process and, of course, the results. The work can't stay in storage; the work is meant to be a part of our society.
8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.
My style involves creating interactive art, where the most important aspect is allowing people to experience my work. My art comes to life when it is activated.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?
Yes, of course. I spend most of my time in Europe, so I believe my work is influenced by European culture. However, I also create work in other countries and strive to understand the needs of different people. I collaborate with various communities and local individuals, which provides me with a valuable source of understanding different ways of living.
10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

I entered with an innovative work called INSOMNIACS, which is a collection of 'paintings-tools' designed to accompany people who suffer from insomnia at night. These works are made from fluorescent tape, similar to what is used in airplanes to guide people to emergency exits in the dark.

The theme of these works revolves around insomnia, a common issue experienced by many due to the anxiety caused by the pandemic or the global uncertainty we are facing.

11What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge, in my opinion, was to demonstrate how art can be a part of our daily lives. Art is an important tool that helps us feel better, understand the world around us, and improve communication with others.
12How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning an award has given me more confidence in my work and the knowledge that I am creating something meaningful for others. The life of an artist can be lonely, so it is always rewarding to feel a sense of belonging to a community and to be understood.
13What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
Curiosity, imagination, innovation, and friendship!
14What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
In my adopted homeland, the Netherlands, it's evident that they stand at the forefront of innovation within the creative sector.
15Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
I believe that with the effective use of AI, we can make significant advancements in design, innovation, and ethics. Currently, there is a growing discussion on values, the limitations of our digital tools, and the essence of being human.
16What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
I would suggest studying AI and ethics, while also embracing one's uniqueness. Uniqueness is closely tied to talent and curiosity.
17Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
Hahaha, I love to go visit empty museums, with no people. Only for myself.
18Who has inspired you in your life and why?

My greatest inspiration is Rothko because he attempted to humanize a rectangle, and he succeeded so well that we experience emotions when observing a square.

Through art, we have the power to move people. I have been inspired by numerous artists who chose to make breakthroughs in art history, even when not everyone understood their work. Steve Jobs has also been a significant inspiration to me. He was a visionary who often felt isolated.

19What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
My key to success is to do something that nobody has attempted before and to listen to my intuition.

Winning Entry

Leave here your fears | 2023

Leave here your fears | Alicia Framis

Like a memorial for abandoned fears, Alicia Framis’s installation comprises a mirrored diamond-shaped vessel …
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Alicia Framis

Alicia Framis, a Spanish/Dutch artist, is celebrated for her social engagement within contemporary society and technology. She is regarded as one of Europe's most significant artists, taking pride in the public participation that is central to her artistic methodology. Framis aims to explore new avenues for coexistence through her work.

Read more about this interview with Yichen Wang from China, the Gold Winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards.