JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
MARK DORF: I wanted to be hundreds of different things growing up - I was interested in everything really. I was always tinkering and taking something apart or putting it back together which I think reflected my desire to dissect and understand even at a young age. More specifically I can distinctly remember the age old desire to be an Astronaut. The sense of mystery and unknown was, and still is for that matter, so overwhelmingly attractive. I think though that I fulfill a lot of desire to explore the unknown in my current creative practice.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
MD: Right now I am finding inspiration in the internet and the amazing way in which technology grows to help aid us in our daily lives.
JC: What are you up to right now?
MD: Right now I am working on a set of animations for my newest body of work //_PATH.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
MD: I had the incredible opportunity to work with the collaborative photographic artists Kahn+Selesnick for a summer while I was still a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. To this day Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick are still some of my best friends and I would absolutely consider them mentors of mine. The taught me so much not only about process and creating works, but also how to live as a creator.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
MD: I am currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Since moving here it has certainly changed quite a bit about my work and my process as does every environment that one lives in. Previously I lived in Hudson, NY so I had immediate access to the landscape that I love to work with. I could get in my car and in ten minutes be in the middle of the Catskill Mountains. Here in Brooklyn that is obviously not the case so I have been traveling out from Brooklyn to landscapes that I want to explore. What has been most interesting is the way the people that I meet have affected my interests. Every day you meet someone doing something new that is different from your own practice and even further you can then make efforts to further explore those ideas for the most part through primary sources given the size and population of NYC. There is just such an insane amount of knowledge to be had here — my head has grown such an appetite.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
MD: Find a job that not only benefits you financially, but also in production of your work. Find a job that gives you tools in addition to a paycheck. You can’t not make work.
JC: If all else fails - what is your plan B?
MD: What plan B?
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
MD: Community is always important. To have a group of peers that you can converse with and exchange ideas with is an invaluable situation.