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Jose Castiella Thinks its Time to Let Go of Our Obsession with Productivity

Jose Castiella is one of the up and coming stars on the art scene in Spain. His work explores—through a constant investigation of materials—the possibility of new life forms after collapse.

Whitewall recently checked in with the artist to see how he’s doing amid the ongoing global pandemic.

WHITEWALL: How are you doing?

JOSE CASTIELLA: It depends on the day. We have two kids and the house is not huge so we need to stay focused. This thing can turn into a mess in seconds.

WW: What are you listening to, reading, watch?

JC: We are listening to a lot of music these days, Caribou’s last release, John Maus.

I’m also rereading The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem that inspired the painting I showed at Arco this year. The analogies with the digital and social media are unavoidable.

We are also enjoying watching with my kids many of Studio Ghibli classics. They have influenced my practice a lot. We are watching Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the first movie of Miyazaki in loop. The music is fantastic too.

WW: What are you cooking?

JC: We are cooking a lot these days. It’s nice to share all those moments with the family. I always eat a miserable tupper in the studio alone so this is an improvement. The other day I did a ceviche, because we were supposed to be in Lima this month showing some work. I did the tiger milk with limes, ginger, soya, and avocado.

WW: How are you staying creative? Are you able to make work at this time?

JC: I can’t go to the studio but I’m always drawing something. I’m working, too, on some animation on the computer. I’m trying to make some sketches and working on some 3D pieces, but is difficult to focus with such an overwhelming situation worldwide. I think we need to change this obsession with productivity. It is fine to feel overwhelmed and unproductive.


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