5 Questions: Media Artist and Graphic Novelist Özge Samanci

Özge Samanci, American Academy in Berlin | 2017, 09, 08 | Photo credit: Annette Hornischer

Özge Samanci, a media artist and graphic novelist, is an associate professor in Northwestern University’s School of Communication. Her interactive installations have been exhibited internationally, including Siggraph Art Gallery, FILE festival, Currents New Media, The Tech Museum of Innovation, WRO Media Art Biennial, Athens International Festival of Digital Arts and New Media, ISEA among others. Her autobiographical graphic novel Dare to Disappoint (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015) received international press attention and was positively reviewed in The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate along with many other media outlets. Dare to Disappoint has been translated into five languages. Her drawings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Slate Magazine, The Huffington Post, Guernica, The Rumpus. In 2017, she received the Berlin Prize and she was the Holtzbrinck Visual Arts Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.
Check out her website: www.ozgesamanci.com

Puss ‘n Boots | © Özge Samanci 2019

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
Like my mom, I am scatterbrained. I work on at least three projects simultaneously all of which squeeze my heart. I am working on a new fiction graphic novel. My agent and I are close to pitching it. I need to complete one more chapter. I am getting ready to show a new virtual reality art piece in Siggraph Art Gallery in Los Angeles. Siggraph is an abbreviation for “Special Interest Group on Computer GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques”. Finally, I am designing a new course about making art and critical thinking by using simple electronics, 3D printing, mold making, bio art. This course has been in my mind for eight years.


Speed | © Özge Samanci 2019

Sad Thoughts | © Özge Samanci 2019

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
Documentary Now Season 3 Episode 4 Waiting for the Artist. Everything in this episode is genius but particularly writing and acting.  Cate Blanchet plays fictional artist Isabella Barta, a parody of performance artist Marina Abramović. 



Mark | © Özge Samanci


Lucky | © Özge Samanci

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
That would be my graphic novel. It will take a couple of years for me to complete. I have a meticulous drawing process. It is a combination of digital and analog. I go back and forth between the drawing table and computer, tablet, and scanner, like a spider making a web.


Knowledge | © Özge Samanci

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
The cartoonist, writer, professor, Lynda Barry. I could always be reminded of how to be faithful to my essence and not to get lost in what is hip or expected from me. French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé. There is so much joy in his line. 


Gregor Samsa | © Özge Samanci

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?
We could make a movie of my autobiographical graphic novel “Dare to Disappoint” (2015), Farrar, Straus, Giroux.


Fear | © Özge Samanci


Dancer | © Özge Samanci

Dream | © Özge Samanci