Blogger Interview 3: Régine Debatty (We Make Money Not Art)

This Summer we present a series of short interviews here on Pop-Up City. Weinvited a number of our favorite bloggers to answer six questions not only about their passion for blogging, but also their city, work experience and inspiration. The result is a collection of stories on blogs and the people behind them. Number 2 in this series is a short interview with Régine Debatty, the woman behind We Make Money NotArt. We Make Money Not Art was one of the first art blogs we started to follow. WMMNA reports about art, design, architecture, books and exhibitions on a daily basis.

When and why did you start blogging?
“I started blogging in March 2004. It was totally by chance. I was bored at work. I worked in an office in Italy and I was paid to pretend I was working on my computer. In November 2003, I met an artist who was doing art performances with mobile phones. To me, at the time, mobile phones were merely a tool to work and nothing more. I found the work of that artist so interesting I started to scan the web to find more information about this mix of art and technology. At first, I was printing everything I could find online. My office table quickly became a huge mess with big files full of paper and stickers that attempted to put some order in the sea of information I was accumulating. At some point, a friend (actually it’s the artist i mentioned above, his name is Max and he’s my wonderful boyfriend) told me I should archive everything on a blog. I was a bit reluctant at first but after a few days, I became totally passionate about it. Blogging was just something I was doing for myself, I never thought people would find the blog and read it. But they did and blogging ended up being my main job.”

How would you label yourself?
“I’m a lucky blogger. I also work as a curator and art critic but it’s the blog that made it possible.”

What does your typical day look like?
“It depends where I am. Half of the time I’m traveling so there’s nothing really typical about those days. When I’m home in London, I do have a routine. I wake up at 6 am and immediately get to work on the computer. At lunch time I get out and have lunch somewhere. In some organic food bar or in a vegan place because I’m one of those annoying health freaks. Then I try and visit three exhibitions in town. After that it’s back home to work on the computer till 10 pm. Sometimes I go out again in the evening to anart opening. I also half live in Turin because that’s where the Boyfriend is. When I’m there, I spend most of my time juicing carrots and watching English TV series to forget how incompatible I am with Italy (one of those ‘it’s not you, it’s me’.) When Boyfriend gets back from work, life gets much more cheerful though.”

“I travel so much that most of the time my working space is a hotel bed.”

Which spot(s) would you recommend to a first-time visitor of your city?
“If it’s Turin, I’d say have a coffee or hot chocolate at Barratti & Milano. The first time I went to Turin was for a conference. The food at lunch was revolting, everything was beige and bright yellow. So I took a cab and asked the guy to drive me to a nice place. He drove me to Baratti & Milano on Piazza Castello, under the arcade. I like to sit there and watch the ladies wearing their deep tan and shiniest jewels. In London, hop on the top floor a double decker and watch the city. For years I would only travel by metro. Then one day my friend Nelly took me on the bus and that’s when I discovered how charming the city is.”

What is your top 3 of favorite online sources of inspiration?
“Only three? I’m going to sound extremely dull but my first online stop of the day is The Guardian. I also love Verve, a blog about documentary photography and Art Threat, this one’s a blog about art and politics.”

What shoes do you wear?
“Now that’s a great question! I wish people would not feel compelled to ask me only questions related to my blog or to art and tech. Shoes! Right now I0′m wearing Union Jack boots by Annabel Winship. But most of the time I’m in Swedish Hasbeens. Best clogs in the entire world. Beware of imitations!”