Born in Iran, raised in Hong kong and educated in Europe. Mojoko (aka Steve Lawler) attended the prestigious FABRICA art residency in Treviso, Northern Italy in 2001. Launching his interactive design career at Diesel HQ, he quickly climbed through the creative industry as an artist, designer, art director and creative director.
Creator of the Kult Magazine, Gallery & Studio. His work has expanded into curation, installation, interactive design and fine art. Having worked some of the most exciting artists, designers and animators around the world, he now operates within a network of over 600 artists under the label Kult.
His artistic work is an exploration of Trash Pop culture colliding with the Old & historical, mixing media such as computer programming, digital sculpture, painting and printmaking. His works have regularly been showcased around the world at International Institutions and independent galleries.
Known to many in the art world as Mojoko, Steve Lawler has been a prominent artist across various mediums; computer programming, digital sculpture, painting and printmaking, since the 2000s.
Whaddup Steve! Let’s dive straight into your playlist. It kicks off with Dan The Automator’s Inspector Jay from Dehli. India being in the same region of the globe as Iran, do you have any memory of what Iran was like in the late seventies & I am assuming your parents managed to seek refuge before the Iraq-Iran war began in 1979?
Tehran was a cool place to be in the 1970’s. Until 1979 when the revolution started. Things got very hot. They found refuge in Hong Kong. My dad was in the airline business so it took us to many different places.
I just learned about a music producer from Tehran called Mahdyar Aghajani.
I love eclectic music, full of rich layers hard to classify, full of reference and atmosphere. I enjoy music which allows me to think, relax and send me to far off lands.
Utopia Finale appears at the end of every episode of the mind blowing Utopia series on the British Channel 4, which I myself am a big fan of, what do you hear or visualize in that piece of score/soundtrack that draws you to it?
I love a lot of music from film and soundtracks. It’s something about the sound coupled with the visual. This track from UTOPIA just stopped me dead. I had to find out more about it and learned it was from a Chilean composer called Cristobel Tapia De Veer. Watch the trailer here if you have not seen the show. It was the most original thing I have seen and heard in a while, a cross between “Shawn of the Dead” and “28 Days Later”. Powerful stuff.
Agreed! Your Woman by White Town appears a little later in this list. This tune hit the number 1 spot in the charts in the UK in 1997. Do you think Utopia Finale was written in this vein, with the style, sounds & atmosphere of Your Woman as an inspiration?
Gosh, I never spotted that connection. But yes you are right, there is some kind of similarities. The use of classical versus electronic. Those contrasts are what I enjoy, mixing the new and the familiar and pushing it forward into unexpected places.
Hashtag My Ass is great throwback music with a contemporary twist. How often do you look back at great art in the past and use it as inspiration for original work of your own?
This song is fairly recent, compared to the first Super Discount like 20 years ago. I have always liked Étienne de Crécy’s approach to sound design and production. He tends to test the boundaries of what is noise and what is melodic. Some of it works better than others, but he really nails it for me with this track. I think a common theme amongst 80% of my music collection is the synthesized or electronic sound. Especially soundtracks from John Carpenter.
There is a great documentary called Synth Britania which is a checklist of ALL my influences over the years.
I must say, Surf Rider by The Lively Ones is a great bit of surf rock! When and where was the last time you had a surf or kicked back on an island beach? I usually see you out and about in coloured print shirts; dreaming of the beach while running around in a concrete jungle much?
It’s one of those songs I have just heard my whole life and when it came on half way through Pulp Fiction I almost exploded. Love that movie and love that tune. A marriage made in heaven for me.
I never go to the beach. I just like Hawaiian shirts.
There seems to be quite a bit of French music in your playlist, is that because you had a French girlfriend or something?
Haha no, I think it’s because of films. So many good French films, they used to be on TV super late at night. So obscure and new to me that it felt like I was discovering a whole new world of visual art combined with storytelling. Look at directors like Michel Gondry.
Sweet! That’s great Steve and thank you very much for your time, and all these great music and film! Is there anything else you would like to add?
If anyone actually read this far, then just click this link to see some random old works of Mojoko at www.mojoko.net