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:

"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."

"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.'”

"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."

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.

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?

thoughts on "handmade"

Way back in October Core77 posted about an opening at Kiosk (who I love), but what interested me most was some of the writing about the project, read my copy & paste job below (since the exhibition is long gone....):
What is it about things made with our own hand that makes them more fun to use? Why is a rough handmade aesthetic so appealing right now? How can making an object intentionally less "functional" bring us closer to the pure experience of using that object?

I think about this a lot, and it really resonates with me. I wish I had gone to the exhibit because maybe it would have helped me answer some of these questions! Anyone out there have any good theories about the appeal of handmade objects or how functionality (or the lack of) affects the experience of using an object? I would love to hear others' thoughts....

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!

Janice Jakielski

Really loving Janice Jakielski's work! She lives in Boulder, CO and just started teaching at Metropolitan State College of Denver (where I took a few classes while I lived there, aw!). She received her MFA in Ceramics, but made these beautiful wearables that are about exploring our sense of touch, hearing, and sight:

See her site for closeups and to see them in use. Sweet!

London 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 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!)

Time & travel connected

On Friday September 14, 2007 at 6PM EST performances occurred across 21 cities spanning the globe. This project, called 21 Cities at Once Performed, was part of the Conflux Festival. Curated by Nat Slaughter and Hope Hilton, the way they write described the project really resonated with my interest in clothing:
As a curatorial collective, we are interested in wireless network systems existing not only through the use of computers and the internet, but through a human awareness of simultaneous participation and collective consciousness.
I think clothing can be a "wireless network system" that is outside all things tech-y. Ideas about social status & behavior are communicated through clothing, as well as messages of approval, resistance, and memory. I wrote a bit more about these ideas here and in my MA dissertation.

At the time of the performance I was scheduled to fly out of LaGuardia airport in New York City. I figured I would be right over the city at exactly 6PM. The idea of being over the city instead of on the streets like everyone else intrigued me. I would become a part of a whole group of airplanes in motion, which itself is actually a wireless network connecting cities.

So I decided to document my participation in the largest wireless network in the sky (surely by weight anyway!) by constructing a garment that could record my experience. I made a paper flight vest that I folded carefully and brought onto the plane and wore throughout the flight. I think the idea of recording experience in clothing is something people really do all the time. We have examples in everything from lucky socks to wedding dresses to gift garments unsuitable for wear but always cherished and kept anyway. Here's my flying experience:

BEFORE flying

AFTER flying

I flew with Justin Hardison who did a field recording of our flight, available here.

Per Spook

This time last fall, I spent a few weeks in Scandinavia and saw this show at The National Museum of Art Architecture and Design in Oslo. Per Spook was a Norwegian fashion designer with his own haute couture maison in Paris from 1977 to 1995. His work has incredible prints and unusual silhouettes, something I think is a rare combination. Spook is still active as a designer, he creates prêt-à-porter under his own name in Japan (!). These images are scanned from my catalog of the exhibit, and there are a few more scattered around the internerd (lots of crystal....I guess he did some glassware work), but I didn't dig up anything recent. Nothing compares to seeing the garments in real life. Now I wish I'd bought he catalog to the Sixties Fashion exhibition I saw in London before we left!


This year I celebrated Labor Day by laboring over my work. Which was difficult because of the unbelievably perfect weather, but was very necessary and actually felt really good. One of the ideas I've been working on is for the 21 Cities Performed project by Nat Slaughter & Hope Hilton for the Conflux Festival in two weeks.

The 21 Cities at Once Performed project is "a performative, global network where invited participants create public intersections to occur simultaneously around the world." I love Slaughter & Hilton's interest in "wireless network systems existing not only through the use of computers and the internet, but through a human awareness of simultaneous participation and collective consciousness." Some of my very first projects with clothing stemmed from an interest in connecting to other people. I often hope my work is a two part process. Part one being my creation of a piece, and part two being someone else's use of it. I really enjoy the idea of thinking of this connection as a wireless network.

The other great thing about the 21 Cities performance is that anyone can join in and particitpate. if you go to the website you'll see you can still enter your own idea and perform on September 14 at 6 PM EST. I'm going to be doing a piece with Justin Hardison in an airplane over New York.

Great Eastern Hotel

you make my heart go boom boom, Reception desk at the Great Eastern Hotel

The Great Eastern Hotel near Liverpool Street in London does not have a website of it's own. You can find a desription of it at the Hyatt website, of which chain it is a part. But that information doesn't really do it justice:
LUXURY LONDON HOTEL The five star Great Eastern Hotel, located in The City, London’s financial district, is a quintessential English modern hotel, housed in its historical building adjacent to Liverpool Street railway station. Conveniently located nearby the....blah blah blah blah
The really great thing about the Great Eastern Hotel is the arts projects they support and take part in presenting.

The first project I read about was Adrienne's Room Service by Adrian Howells in June of 2005. The hotel put Adrienne on the room service menu and "A tick in the appropriate box will indicate service with Adrienne included. Adrienne will deliver your order, serve you where required and spend an hour in your company eating or drinking with you." Above image is Adrienne from An Audience With Adrienne.

In 2005 there was also Stay curated by Cherry Smyth. The artists from the show include Giovanna Maria Casetta (image above, and who I adore!), Richard Dedomenici (whose website I can't make sense of to save my life, intrigues me nevertheless), and Emily Cole (who does amazing hot landscapes).

The unusual Cast Party Event took place in 2006. This project intended to make parties and social events more accessible to the visually impaired by going beyond the usual meaning of access (physical barriers) and touch on the difficulties in socializing and networking for the visually impaired. They used mobile phones in an experiment to provide each visually impaired guest their own live, remote commentary of what will be happening at the party.

And Julie Henry's Dyed in the Wool exhibition was on display in May & June of 2006. Henry worked with football supporters to design and knit a cardigan representing their clubs. The show includes team cardigans, photographs and interviews with fans and the outfits, as well as the original knitting patterns. The work references 1970s home-made precursors to the kit fans buy from stores nowadays. I love most this idea that if the kit is homemade it carries more meaning.

I hope the management and staff keep doing this great work as a supporting venue. Personally I love the idea as hotel as venue, it seems so rich with possiblities, and I always have a little inkling in the back of my mind when I develop my own work that maybe something will come together that really belongs at the Great Eastern.