A Strategist Balances Partisan Politics And Artistic Anarchy (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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A Strategist Balances Partisan Politics And Artistic Anarchy

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:03
Much like Mirah Horowitz, this next guy we'll meet knows a lot about long hours spent at work. He also knows a thing or two about artwork. Peter Loge holds is a D.C. resident. His full-time job as a political strategist has him coaching clients on how to advance their causes by tapping into the procedural and policy driven ways of Washington. But on the side, he makes art.

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:24
Art, that's about anything but rules and regulations. Jessica Gould talked with Loge about his two passions and how he finds the commonalities between two seemingly different domains.

MR. PETER LOGE

00:00:36
Have you got a minute?

MS. JESSICA GOULD

00:00:37
From his home office in Adams Morgan, Peter Loge holds a phone to his ear while his fingers fly across a keyboard.

LOGE

00:00:45
All right. So, I just want some clarification on tomorrow's meeting. What do we need to come out of...

GOULD

00:00:50
Loge is the principal at Milo Public Affairs where he irons out political strategies for an array of clients ranging from "America's Funniest Home Videos" to the World Wildlife Fund. It's a diverse group, but he says he tells them all the same thing.

LOGE

00:01:05
I think there's a logic to Congress. I think there's a logic to how people think about and operate on policies and on issues. And I help organizations figure out what that logic is.

GOULD

00:01:14
Hear that? It's all about logic. Except when it comes to his art.

LOGE

00:01:19
You know, I spend my day job as a communications and political consultant finding order in politics and saying there's a logic to this. It seems like it doesn't make any sense at all, but it makes a lot of sense. In my art, I say it seems as if everything makes sense, and there's an underlying order to it. But it doesn't.

GOULD

00:01:38
For years, Loge has spent his days preaching a gospel of predictability. Then, in the evenings, he makes art that demonstrates the randomness of reality. Take his piece "Certain Memory," which he keeps in his basement.

LOGE

00:01:50
It's the bottom half of a mannequin, so a mannequin's legs and it's mounted on a bit of a platform. And on top of the mannequin legs is a wooden box I made.

GOULD

00:01:58
And inside the box, there's a string of photographs, a rose, a toy watch, and a broken wineglass.

LOGE

00:02:06
We're very sure of what we know. But what we know is really not true. And so what this does is put that into question. It says, we don't remember things, we remember images of things. If you have a picture from your wedding, you look at your wedding album and say, oh, I remember that. What you end up remembering is the photograph. And so we actually only have certain memories.

GOULD

00:02:24
Loge says his artwork is inspired by Marcel Duchamp and the Dada movement, and his house is full of the stuff he's made. There are canvas cubes with tiny plastic people from model train sets and little squares full of found objects mounted on the walls. Loge says he gets most of his materials just by walking around his neighborhood.

LOGE

00:02:45
Photographs, slides, jewelry. If I'm in a park or from a new city or if I'm, you know, on a beach, I try to notice stuff. You wind up seeing a lot of stuff that you otherwise, you know, might not notice.

GOULD

00:02:59
One of his favorite spots is the soccer field at Marie Reed Learning Center, just a few blocks from his house.

LOGE

00:03:05
This is a label from a Minnie Mouse plush toy. That's just (unintelligible).

GOULD

00:03:10
As we walk, he scans the field, occasionally stooping over to pluck a piece of garbage from the grass.

LOGE

00:03:16
A lot of bottle caps, but there are only so many of those you can have before you become that weird guy with lots of bottle caps.

GOULD

00:03:21
And then he sees it.

LOGE

00:03:23
Oh, here we go. For example, an electrical bus.

GOULD

00:03:26
He clutches a clump of yellow electrical wires and begins to consider the possibilities. Maybe he'll make a piece about how technology shapes our views, or the limits of our connections to each other.

LOGE

00:03:36
We really want the world to make sense. And I think some people have a willingness or an urge or desire to say that sense you thought was there isn't actually there.

GOULD

00:03:45
And that makes me wonder, is there any concern that some of your clients will see your art or hear this interview and think, everything he's been telling us is lie. There's no logic at all.

LOGE

00:03:57
I don't think so. Both the politics and the art are about how we construct and operate in our world.

GOULD

00:04:04
After all, as they say, politics is the art of the possible. I'm Jessica Gould.

SHEIR

00:04:18
To see a slideshow of art made by Peter Loge, head to our website, metroconnection.org.

SHEIR

00:04:40
After the break, moonlighters in music. We'll meet some rather surprising rock stars.

MS. ELAINE EAGLE

00:04:46
We want to sing things that are sort of not calm and everyday happy and all about education and kids because that's what our lives are and this is sort of an escape from that.

SHEIR

00:04:56
It's just ahead on "Metro Connection" here on WAMU 88.5.
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