news

NYT Magazine clip, no date

...I have always believed that we should experience the world more like children—through the senses rather than the mind. What's truly important is to have an open mind and no borders. Then you can do almost anything.

"almost"?!

NYTMag.ettoresottsass-755427.jpg

Video game

Okay, maybe I'm getting into a trap of just reposting too much from PSFK, but here they lead me to another lovely project, site & maker...

Esquire wrote about this guy's video game work. It's the loveliest gaming I've ever run across. I'm so not into video games, but my dad was an engineer and we had lots of computer access in the early years and loads of hacked video games. The one I loved best was called Haunted House where the screen was all black and you were represented by a pair of eyes. You could pick up only one item at a time and you must avoid monsters and ghosts. The items can only be seen when the player uses the 'fire' button on the joystick to light a match, illuminating a small radius directly around his character; this can be done an infinite number of times, although the match only lasts for a limited amount of time before being snuffed out. I think now I loved that so much of the game was not visible on the screen but happened in your own mind, sort of a conceptual blindness....

ANYWAY, back to Jason Rohrer's games. They have low tech graphics, but complex emotional components. Here's a description from Esquire:
In Passage, you’re this little pixelated guy. You live in the stripe of color. The stripe is twelve pixels tall. It’s green. All else is blackness. Your job is to move up and down and left and right through the stripe — the “forest” — in search of treasure chests, sort of like in the Legend of Zelda....But soon you have to make a choice: share the world or keep it to yourself. You meet a girl. Your fat-pixeled soul mate. Link up with her and a heart explodes. You’re in love. Now she sticks to you as you move through the forest, less easily than before. It’s a trade-off: You can get more treasure by staying single, but bond with your “wife” and you earn double the points for every step you take. If you’re like most people, you’ll choose the comforts of companionship. Only, as you trudge across the stripe, something happens. Your pixels begin to fade, gray out. Your hair recedes by degrees. Your wife slurs into a matronly shape. It hits you: This is going to happen to me. Age, decrepitude, ugliness.

Another lovely hi tech/low tech intersection.....

Mail art

Another good one. A friend of mine from art school and I tried to send mail art back and forth to each other for a while after graduation....we never came up with any as lovely as these....although I don't think we really thought about it in terms of connecting with the post office.

** She has a book of them!

3 related projects

PSFK often links to really great projects, and sometimes I find several over a series of weeks or months that just seem to speak to one another. See the 3 below:

Blurb
Project
Creator
"Each month or so, we release a new issue of "i left this here for you to read." We then leave them in public places (such on park benches, on buses, in airports and dentists' offices...) for anyone to take--free of charge. Currently, we distribute our magazine in about 25 cities in the US and Canada....This project was started by Tim Devin, but now involves more than 100 people."


Blurb
Project
Creator
"For our latest mission, 20 Improv Everywhere agents personally welcomed home total strangers at JFK airport. Grabbing first and last names from car driver signs, we greeted strangers with personalized posters, flowers, balloons, and a 10-foot wide banner reading, 'Welcome Back.'”


Blurb
Project
Creator
"Visitors can buy a T-shirt of their own choice, the only condition being that they share a bit of personal information about themselves, or more precisely: their name and address. When paying for the T-shirt at the museum-shop, the information is automatically mapped in Google Maps, thereby making it possible to see where each T-shirt ends up after leaving the museum."

hairwork

I just started reading this interesting book called Love Entwined: The Curious History of Hairwork in America that I got from Christmas from my mom. It's a bit of an academic book, but my interest was sparked when I got married and my aunt lent me a beautiful piece of hairwork to wear that was my great grandmother's (a Norwegian immigrant). I could believe it was made of her hair! Of course I can't seem to find a picture of it as I wore it that day, but here are some other beautiful hairwork images:

This is what a lot of the plates in the book look like, but not what the piece I wore is like at all.

This one is a bit closer to it, although there were no metal parts. I also found this website that explains that a lot of this woven "Table work" technique began in Scandinavia. It describes the "Table work" technique as similar to bobbin lace making. There are also a lot of images around of hollow pieces (like the last image below) that are worked around a mold to keep them hollow.

passage quilts

Craft posted about Passage Quilts and while this project is totally low tech, it's so in sync with my interests lately. I can't stop copying and pasting quotes from teacher/maker Sherri Lynn Wood....

"Begining with the architecture of the clothing, these quilts are pieced without a predetermined pattern. This process provides the maker an opportunity to examine his or her life patterns."

"The resulting quilts reflect the relationship of the maker to the materials, retain a sense of the body, and in the case of bereavement, carry the consoling essence of the beloved."


"Making a Passage Quilt is an external, hands-on experience that mirrors and reflects the interior process of bereavement and transition."

"Often people express a fear that they may be overwhelmed by grief and I remind them that they are simply, always making a quilt. This process provides a safe container, which will enable you to literally touch your grief and stay present to the task at hand."

Mobile Darning

Agh!! The most lovely project!

The Free Mending Library in San Francisco. PSFK writes:
On his old ice cream cart-style, treadle-operated sewing machine, [Michael] Swaine sets about mending and altering people’s socks, jocks and frocks and it’s all for free. Michael is interested in engaging the community to rethink their relationship with clothing and the disposable nature of fashion.

See more here.

handbags

Outsapop is a rather recent addition to my bloglines, and she posted this about a project called Counterfeit Crochet where everyone crochets replicas of designer handbags. Across the board, I love the crocheted versions more, not because they are designed better or even are aesthetically more pleasing, but they are just so much more visceral, I can't resist them:

And of course, I couldn't resist the Coach example:

A Top Handle Pouch of all things! Ha!

This project also reminded me of the old Mary Ping project Slow and Steady Wins the Race, a favorite of mine in graduate school. In the eighth installment she remakes several designer hand bags all in white canvas....not quite as visceral as the crocheted bags, but something lovely about stripping them down to their essence and removing all the graphic identifiers. The Dior:

Anyway, the Counterfeit Crochet project led me to Stephanie Syjuco's own website and to all her interesting projects there. I really should write a whole post about her work....take a look around her site. I think Personal Protest is my personal favorite.

embroidery show I want to see

The New York Times had an article about an embroidery show Bard College & The Met is presenting that sounds good. Here's a few pics of some of the pieces on display (to be honest, the Times article has better photos than these from the Bard website):

My favorite quote from the article:
But the basic concept of embroidery is like rudimentary geometry. It centers on the merging of two very different dimensions: a flat grid of fabric, and thread, which is an extended line of many colors. This is achieved by the hands, eyes and brain of one person, who attends by one stitch or another to every centimeter of a work’s surface. The simplicity and concentration are always felt, no matter how complicated the actual motifs become.

The exhibition runs through April 12 at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture 18 West 86th Street in Manhattan.

There's also a seminar....maybe I should go?

oh my read this:

Kemistry Gallery's First Impressions Last show in November at the London Gallery space:
Part performance-piece, part exhibition, part guessing-game; Kemistry Gallery and Fallon London have collaborated to challenge your self-image. We invite you to have your portrait written by five diverse people: from a rapper to a romance novelist. What will they think of you and how will they differ in opinion? How well do you know yourself: would you be able to identify the five different versions of yourself on a wall of others?

I wish I could have gone! Such a lovely concept. Read the press release too!

It reminds me of a guy I saw on the corner of Bedford and N7th in Williamsburg this summer. He had a typewriter and a sign that said he would give you an honest written critique of your appearance for $2. I was on my way to dinner with friends and promised them I would stop and do it on our way home, but of course he was gone and I've regretted it ever since. I have never been able to find any info about him online either. Please drop me a line if you've seen him or heard of his performance, I'd love to find him again!

2 projects

Catching up on my RSS feeds this morning I saw two interesting projects posted about on PSFK the trend and forecasting website:


Urban Rabbit Hole
I think this one sounds cooler than it really is, but maybe I'm just not a t-shirt person? What they do is make t-shirts with a print of lower Manhattan and mark them with red dots to mark places that have significance for you so that each one is completely individual to the wearer. They are only doing limited runs, and you have to jump through hoops to get an invite. I admit PSFK describes it a lot better than me, but it sounds like more hype than anything else in practice. Although I do think it's a lovely idea, don't get me wrong. You cna participate (and tell me how it goes) by entering the code newyorkoct#11 on this website.


Take A Seat
This one is definitely cooler than it sounds. Well, it even sounds pretty awesome. It's a project aimed at putting more seating on subway platforms by just putting chairs on the platforms. Jason Eppink is the artist (dude?) behind the project and he is encouraging collaborators to join him. You can see the Flickr set here (cheesy logo/graphic, lovely pics). Also see his blog website Self Referential Title. I like the personal sites :)

I admit I also have a wicked awesome knitter/artist website to post about, but I keep putting it off because I want to write something that does it/her justice because I'm just a bit in love with her work....I will tell you all about it soon though, I swear.

London pics...as my camera dies!

You can watch it get worse:


All's well in the food halls at Harrods....


My shoes at the edge of "Shibboleth" at the Turbine Gallery (too lazy to link at the end of the day on a Friday....you saw them all before the other day anyway)


As I get closer to the crack the camera shrieks in purple


The purple haze takes over in the last picture that doens't look like snow!

Believe it or not we also spent time roaming around Hyde Park in the mist, visiting my friend who works in vintage in Notting Hill (ha, in vintage), and walking up Upper St as we used to when we had little ££ & lots of time. We didn't make it to many favourite old spots (Primrose HIll, Chalk Farm, Camden, Shepards Bush (oh how I would have loved to spend some time thrifting if the $$ wasn't so crap!), but it was a short trip so it didn't sting too bad. And now I need to buy a new camera so it's probablt for the best.

London ephemera

So I just came back from a trip to London of the short, hectic and super-fun variety. I lived there for almost 2 and a half years up until this time last year. So it was with a bit of a heavy heart that I came home on Monday. I miss it a bit over there. Strangely, visiting felt as if time had stood still this year. J & I visited friends, ran around town, reminisced, and basically were sleeply and awake at all the wrong times.

Here are some of the bits of paper I brought back with me:


These first ones are all from Tate Modern....



Postcard from a Gillian Wearing photograph from the series (see previous link) Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say



Dan Flavin 'Monumment' for V. Tatlin
I think the image results page on Google is the best link for him!



The back of the flyer for Doris Salcedo's piece for the Turbine Hall Shibboleth. I have some photos that I'll post of this piece later this week. In looking up a link for Salcedo, I found this from the Istanbul Biennial. Wow!




These two are the packaging from a Louise Bourgeois tea towel. Apparently I have now started a home furnishing art collection. (Post on The Thing is still outstanding!) I'm sad to report we did not see the show though....also sadly missed the V&A Couture show that everyone is raving about. I was only there for a weekend people!



Note to self: Look up Meredith Frampton's work....



Who can resist a proper Dracula? Really just brought it home to reference good films to look for on Netflix....



My lovely Selvedge magazine, that is just too pricey in the US (maybe I'll get a subscription!)