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Year End: On 15 People We Interviewed in 2017 Who Created Some of My Favorite Work in 2017

This past year we talked to a lot of people about what they do when they’re making things. It’s interesting to hear how each person goes about it because it’s never the same twice. (If it was, there’d be no need for this website.) There’s an extra layer of satisfaction when the thing they’re talking about ends up being something I personally care a lot about. Here are 15 such things, in no order—I could’ve made this list much longer, but lists tend to lose impact when they include everything.

Brandon Stosuy

Phil-Elverum
Musician, Producer
Yumna-Al-Arashi
Artist
William -Villalongo
Artist
Heather-Benjamin
Artist
Layli-Long-Soldier
Poet
Josh-Fadem
Comedian
Tschabalala-Self
Visual Artist
Chris-Kraus
Writer, Critic, Teacher
Scott-McClanahan
Writer
Naama-Tsabar
Artist
Ryuichi-Sakamoto
Musician, Composer, Producer
Ocean-Vuong
Poet, Writer
Gerardo-Contreras
Curator, Collector, Writer, Founder of Preteen Gallery
Mike-Hadreas
Musician
Hanif -Abdurraqib
Poet, Essayist, Critic

Mount Eerie’s album, A Crow Looked At Me, a cycle of songs about the death of Phil Elverum’s wife, the artist Geneviève Castree, and he and his daughter’s survival. It’s deeply diaristic, raw, and personal, but feels universal.

Her series of photos, Shedding Skin, and her ongoing Instagram feed.

His exhibition, Keep on Pushing gave me a new perspective on his process, and the opening felt like a happening.

Her ongoing Instagram feed of drawings, as well as her debut solo show, “Death of a Tail”. Heather’s work feels like work I’ve known my entire life, but keeps surprising me.

Her collection of poems, Whereas struck me as perfect and unchangeable.

His performance at Remains that launched our Trump Countdown Clock. It was my favorite live experience of the year.

Her biography, After Kathy Acker, which feels like a lot more than a biography.

Scott McClanahan’s novel about his divorce, The Sarah Book. People say this all the time, but I really did read it in a single gulp.

His album, async focuses on mortality, and being closer to death than you ever have been in your life, but we’re all always closer to death with each second, and that realization (and this album) are somehow very calming.

His interview with Amy Rose Spiegel that we ran on TCI. It should be published as its own short book.

His album, No Shape, as well as his brilliant Twitter feed.

Hanif Abdurraqib’s essay collection, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us is beautifully and incisively written. If you didn’t know he was a poet before you opened it up, you’d have it figured out by the end of the first essay.

About the Author

Brandon Stosuy

Editor in Chief

Brandon Stosuy is Editor in Chief at The Creative Independent and a Music Curator at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. He was formerly Director of Editorial Operations at Pitchfork. He co-founded and co-curates the annual Basilica Soundscape festival in Hudson, N.Y. and the ongoing Tinnitus music series in NYC. For the past several years he and the artist Matthew Barney have collaborated on a series of live events, objects, and publications. They launched a Trump Countdown clock in June 2017 across from the UN. His anthology, Up is Up, But So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992, was published by NYU Press in 2006. His first children’s book, Music Is, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2016. He has a second children’s book forthcoming, also on Simon & Schuster, in 2018.