5 Questions: Randy Regier

© Randy Regier

Randy Regier was in Omaha, Nebraska in 1964. He’s lived in Kansas, Spain, Kansas again, Oregon, Kansas, Maine, Kansas again, then Kansas City, Missouri and is now back in Oregon. You can find out more about him at his web site.

Also, there’s a really charming short film made by his good friend and colleague Gail Lerner that incorporates a lot of his work:

Raise The Toygantic 2015 from Gail Lerner on Vimeo.

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
I try to let nothing but nothing come between me and the blessed sleep. But, right up to the edge of that blessed abyss I have a growing stack (literally) of books I’m trying to read through, concurrently. At a glance, as I write this, visible on the top of the stack are Gibson’s The Peripheral, Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, Heilbroner’s An Inquiry Into The Human Prospect, Hunter S. Thompson’s Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at LeMans by A. J. Baime and How The Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev. As I go to sleep I always feel like I could/should have done more reading. If your question is more existential, then what’s keeping me up is the state of the Union and the complete lack of leadership and integrity in the Whitehouse all that that entails and affects.  

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
Ahhh, so much stuff that catches my eye and ear… I’ll just pick what’s closest to hand: “Were it not for the presence of the unwashed and the half-educated, the formless, queer and incomplete, the unreasonable and absurd, the infinite shapes of the delightful human tadpole, the horizon would not wear so wide a grin.”
~ Frank Moore Colby, Imaginary Obligations

And this isn’t “lately” but I repeat to myself each day this Camus quote as I am grinding it out at my day job: “A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” That, is one of the coolest things I’ve EVER heard.

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
One is the ‘reveal’ of a mechanical (ca. early 1960s aesthetic) “hard” space suit with what appear to be human remains within that will be found in a shallow grave in Kansas. This installation is due for reveal by late fall, hopefully, but working with the museum right now to have a dialogue with Native American representatives in the area to be certain the work is revealed in a context that is respectful of the histories of the First-Persons in that area.

The second thing – and just as exciting for me – is the construction of a new car company that I have begun. Re: the Camus’ quote above, I’ve given myself permission to reinvestigate one of my first “great and simple images” and what came immediately to mind (and heart) was the very first Red Line Hot Wheel I saw in a blister pack at a department store in 1970 (age 6). So, I’m in the process of distilling that memory, that experience, into an entirely new body of work that assumes and utilizes the forms and strategies of an actual car manufacturing enterprise. Working towards a fall 2018 reveal in Kansas City.

Oh, and a functional ram-jet powered scooter that will appear to have been built as a Civil Defense warning vehicle at the height of the (first?) Cold War. Almost done with this one.

Oh, yeah, and I’ve picked up my comic strip again (once syndicated by TMS) after a 14 year hiatus. “The Gongfarmer.” It has its own Facebook page if you’re inclined to check it out.

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
I don’t think much in terms of “team” but if I could be considered worthy of being a colleague of Bruce McCall that would make me very, very happy. McCall’s work, particularly Zany Afternoons has given me joy and wonderment since I first encountered it at age twelve. And I highly recommend his memoir Thin Ice.     

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?
What Is He Doing In There?