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"?!

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From a magazine of magazines....

This is from some magazine that just collects good work from other magazines and republishes it....it's done by some fashion people, but I can't remember who or what it's called. I only have this one issue, but maybe there's more?

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Hi tech/Low tech

I swear this is the last content I repost from PSFK for a while!!! Here they write about designer Maarten Baptist and his new collection that goes straight from rough sketches to 3D production, entirely skipping the process that would geometrically perfect his sketches.

Another instance of integrating a high tech method with a low tech way of thinking. I think maybe this is what I've been finding a lot of lately, maybe I need to be focusing on low tech methods merged with high tech ways of thinking?

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.....

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."

Leah Buechley

Leah Buechley is someone I found in my research for my MA dissertation. At that time I saw a lot about her printed circuits and smart textile work. I recently found her talk about High-Low Tech craft and while I do think it's really interesting, it still doesn't quite touch on my interests. I love the concepts and the ideas behind it, I'm just not that into the actual materials and product output of this sort of craft. A quote:
This talk will discuss this "new craft", envisioning a future in which individuals integrate traditional craft, engineering, and web-honed communication skills to build and share information about "high-low tech" devices like temperature sensing scarves, algorithmically generated furniture, and radically customized cell phones.

Do you really want a temperature-sensing scarf? Maybe it's just me.....what do you think?

Design for Mankind Magazine

A few weeks ago, Design for Mankind announced the launch of the first issue of Mankind Magazine! I love the website Design for Mankind, but I have to admit I haven't bought the magazine yet (even though I've got it bookmarked and on my "to do" list....I did look at the sneak peek, hoping that would get me going. I need a rainy day stuck at home? Or things to just s-l-o-w d-o-w-n at work!! I'm so curious to read this.....the cover is lovely, no?

Dress

Saw this post on Make about a thousand weeks ago, but only recently clicked on it at home—all video content blocked at work :( and it led me to Electric Foxy (which is awesome) and described by writer/founder/whatever Jennifer as:
Clothing is a core part of our expression and offers ways for us to communicate who we are and the context in which we live. Technology enables a richer connection with people and our environment and offers a new platform for communication and expression. By merging the intimacy of clothing with the empowerment of technology, electricfoxy garments strive to enhance our lives and offer a much richer language for self-expression.

As you may have gathered from my work since leaving CSM, I'm less interested in the technology aspect as I am the human connections and communication involved in clothing and fashion, but nevertheless I still find sites like this fascinating.

Back to the original spark for this post, I finally ended up on Exercices de Style's website to see their Walking City kinetic dresses. The video over on Make Zine does them no justice. See some still images below and then click to see the videos here. I love the way Ying Gao talks about air and clothing. That's something I really relate to.

Ever since Justin & I went to Montreal in December, I've been dreaming about that city, but now I'm even more intrigued.....

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.

sweet prints

I love the textiles from Sirena con Jersey (Mermaid in a Sweater!):

I'm not so into that kind of acrylic jewelry also on their website, but the knit designs especially remind me of learning how to use the knitting machine and how awesome it felt!!

other kinds of knitting....

I've been thinking a bit about other ways of knitting lately. I've seen some lovely ideas (click links for directions):

finger knitting:

Ever do this? I used to finger knit with loose strings when I was a kid....never made anything out of them of course, but maybe I should start now.

comb knitting:

I feel like girls in my school used to do this. I don't ever remember doing it though.

and for the really hardcore: Wii knitting!

This looks way out of my league, but wow!

Christmas cards!

Make linked to a great collection of Christmas cards Illustrator & cartoonist Roy Doty has made every year since 1946! There's some lovelies in there, take it from someone who also handmakes a Christmas card every year (that would be me) and knows how much work it can be!! I wish I had seen these before I did my card this year....I'm inspired now! Here are a few of my faves (hint: the interview is pretty great too!):

Marie Watt


Saw a lovely textile project here. I heard of Marie Watt through the Lower East Side Printshop, where she has recently done a residency and where I sometimes rent studio space.

Last year she did a series of wonderful projects under the heading Blanket Stories. On her website there are 4 links to the sections of the projects here. She writes:
I am interested in human stories and rituals implicit in everyday objects. Currently I am exploring the history of wool blankets....Blankets hang around in our lives and families – they gain meaning through use. My work is about social and cultural histories imbedded in commonplace objects. I consciously draw from indigenous design principles, oral traditions, and personal experience to shape the inner logic of the work I make. These wool blankets come from family, friends, acquaintances and secondhand stores (I’ll buy anything under $5). As friends come over and witness my blanket project in progress, I am struck by how the blankets function as markers for their memories and stories.

The first link from Oregon Live also has some great writing about the project, which seems to have shown recently at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York:
Eight heads are bent over Watt's dining room table, hands working rhythmically to draw needle and thread through thick wool, affixing hundreds of diamond-shaped pieces of blankets to one of the large panels. Some make strong, bold stitches; others are more hesitant, their stitches a little crooked and unsure. Each one, in Watt's words, is "a different signature," a piece of each person permanently embroidered through the piece. It's no coincidence she decided to call it "Braid." (image above) Some of the people here today know each other already. Others have never met before. Some are artists. Others are family friends of Watt and her husband. Many had already come to several sewing bees at Watt's, even returning with spouses and children on subsequent visits. At first, there is always some silence, but the longer they sit and sew, the more they begin to talk. First about the piece, about what it all means, about sewing they have done, or haven't done in the past. And then gradually with each successive stitch, they begin to reveal more and more about themselves. About raising teenagers. About giving birth. About trips they have taken, discrimination they have experienced. About their ethnic backgrounds, their family histories.


Lovely, no?

Milk plastic

In June the Make blog posted about an Instructable on how to make plastic from milk. I thought it was pretty gross & cool and filed it away.


ew!

Well today I saw what some designers have made with milk plastic, Core 77 blog posted this:



A French design collective called Duende made a collection of jewelry out of plastic made from human breast milk! They are doing a whole exhibition of objects that explore the the relationship between mother and child and food. The exhibition will be on view in France here. (cool space, n'est-ce pas?)

I particularly love this piece since it reminds me of a small book I did maybe 5 years ago about mother's millk and father's seed....if I can find an old sample I'll post that next.

Colors

I picked up a couple of old copies of Benetton's Colors magazine . I got the Shopping for the Body issue you see above and also the War issue. I haven't posted any scans from the War issue yet because, to be honest, I have been shy of opening it. Justin looked at it when I first brought it home and and his reaction has frightened me a little bit. I will get up the courage soon though, especially if there's interest because neither of these issues are in the Colors archive. Please find below a few of my favorite bits from issue No. 18:

Can you read this one if you click on it? It seems if you strap the flesh of a potato to your knee it will swell....I hope I'm helping some nerd get out of gym class!


It makes your poop not smell. I'm not naming names, but I know someone who would like to get their hands on some of this. *ahem*


I want to say "only in America!" but I actually would expect this to come from Japan or China, and also I wouldn't have thought it to be from 1996. It seems so 'now', with all that antibacterial crap and general germaphobia these days.


The pink lipstick is actually a vibrator, the tiny bottle is skunk scent for hunters in the US, and  "email diamant" is a toothpaste that tints gums pink. Before there was Vice magazine, there was Colors!



Organic tampons from 1996 in the center, finger tape on the top left to relieve joint ache in fingers (ouch! looks painful), Pepee is supposedly used by pornstars in Japan to make their genitals glisten on camera, and the cotton pads in the blue box are supposed to enlarge breasts.

There were so many more things I could post pictures of that were great: the twig toothbrush, leaves for deodorant, black dirt toothpaste....plus ear cleaning tools and an electric tongue! On the cover is "Night Flower" a pubic wig from Japan. I should post the copy to that one, it's so good!