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One life in three years.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

 

1933. 

John Laxaabakk was born in Sultielma, a small mine village in the north of Norway

Sulitelma

 

 

2010.

My grandmother’s stepsister came from Holland to Gothenburg and told us (my family) that he (John Laxaabakk) had been living in our city in Sweden but now had passed. He had been laying in his apartment without anyone knowing it for almost a year.

 

story

 

2010.

We went to the apartment. It was sad, beautiful and intense.
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There were decorative things everywhere, carefully chosen places for everything, there was a presence of life even though no one was there. Red velvet curtains, golden frames, vitrine cabinets, books, records, video games, posters, cassette tapes, paintings, instruments.. It really felt like we were invading someone’s home. Someone’s own important and personal space.

 

gardamellan1John Laxaabakk was rejected by his mother and father (my great grandfather) because of his sexuality.

 

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My grandmother moved to Sweden to work at a factory when she was 16-17 years old. I do not think they ever saw each other again, but I’m not sure of that, I never met her either.
 

2016.

When we got the assignment to make a mask/headpiece inspired by someone else I immediately thought of John, I had been thinking about that I wanted to make a work inspired by and for him and with this project I saw that opportunity. The process have been quite complicated for me, both emotionally and aesthetic wise. I did not think of, at first, that when you bring something personal like this to school, or let’s say the public you have to be completely open. I learned that the information I have, my process and and final work is for everyone else to judge even though the subject is highly personal. In the end I saw my work as a homage for John rather then a mask of him

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I started working with what I had, pictures we took when we visited his apartment, researching the village he came from, listened to cassettes he recorded where he sings and plays the guitar. I had some contact with his sister although she seemed a bit distant to wanting to talk to me about this. And I had to respect that. I decided along the way to focus more on what I saw and felt when I looked at what I had and thought about him and his life destiny.

gardamellan2

I remember I was touched by the theatrical interior John had. I’ve always wanted to have red velvet curtains as well. I imagine us sharing an interest for the dramatic. That is another reason why I chose to work with John in this assignment. It seems that he has been forced to act during his life. That social conventions and the time and environment he grew up in didn’t accept him for who he was or wanted to be. I extracted colours in his home, thought about music he listened to and what titles in his bookshelf I could see from the old pictures. I started experimenting.

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But realized it was way to “spacey” an I needed more decorative elements for it to be right. I listened to songs he recorded, here is one of them with a musician he admired, Nat King Cole with Nature Boy. Further down in the text there is a song from Monica Zetterlund, Swedish jazz singer.

 

I made it more romantic.
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And started working on a costume as well. I felt I could not say it all with a headpiece. I got some dark red fabric and used interior fabric in beige and white to drape and improvise shapes and qualities.

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I made the arms long to show the feeling of being captured and I added more and more layers to the costume, the person who wears it is captured but beautifully so, like a Geisha.

When I was almost done with the costume and mask I still wanted to add something more. This project was getting bigger than I had anticipated but I went with it because it felt like the right, and only, thing I could do. There was so much to say and somehow I started to get to know this person a bit, through me. My mum showed me a diary she had found the day we were in John’s home and I decided to make a small booklet out of it. He only wrote small notes a few times a month but it shows his delicate observations, his finding out that he got cancer and his quiet joy and ode to life.

 

2005/2016.

 

bok3
“At the doctor’s 9 a.m
Found out there is something wrong in my stomach
He called Axess.
And got me an appointment at 8 p.m”
“Taxi to Axess.
              The doctor found a tumor in the kidney.
               He faxed Ben, he called me and told me.
               Sahlgrenska next.”
“Grey & rainy.
No spring in site.
Suppose to get colder again.
Am a bit depressed.
But it will pass.
As long as there is life e.t.c.”

 

Results.

resultat1

 

To complete the costume I made a pair of platform shoes in wood before the presentation. I wanted to be taller and more restrained to really get into the feeling of being restrained. However I should have covered them because they took to much attention from my other work. For the next presentation I will have worked on them for a bit, to make them more low key.

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Thank you, John. 

I am glad I did this, I hope you are too. And I hope you know that I would love to have gotten to know you. I would have love to talk with you about music, books and all the other things that are important in life. Even though you had a tough time sometimes I see your love to life through small windows  in your home, music, writings and photographs. Thank you again.  

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photo of Laxaabakk

 

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Sound file: Monica Zetterlund – Trubbel (live 1968)

 

the tragedy of the blue wolf


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

during this article i will probably forget the fact that there is also something about a wolf that makes it easy to use as the illustration of an illness, yet again i’m not sure; because however dark wolves may look they still hide a certain gentleness.

hello

when we were given the design topic of making a mask out of a person that fascinate us in anyway, i instantly thought i should use this space for the study of someone who would be in any way either strongly connected to me or that had a certain impact in my life, whether i know them or not.

the topic led to a very strange brainstorm that at first only resulted in ideas of persons that deeply touched me of course, but somehow did not bring me the satisfaction and excitement i thought i needed for this project. and i have to say that all of those whom i thought of, i knew perfectly well; and back then i think i needed someone i could « inspect » in instinctive ways, without ever really knowing if i am on the right track to understand them, or going straight the opposite direction.

i need to work on someone that touches me in any way. that i feel connected to.

but i need the thrill. i need to inspect. i need to depict, i need to look for (???), i need to know it’s not for sure, i need to know i’m probably wrong, i need to wonder.

capture1design

 

once i met a guy. i hanged with him a lot, we never really talked. a kind of silent relationship built on a completely abstract understanding of each other.

misunderstanding?

we did manage to talk about two or three times and he had trouble finding his words, he always talked really slowly and silently, and often to say a few things about his life that were quite personal; almost as though he was suddenly talking because he desperately needed to get something out of his head. it’s ok because i needed something to get in.

he drew. he needed calm. he had no friends (and never had had) (first thing he told me)

 

 

first name:
surname:    
gender:     

 

 

meeting and learning to know someone in a context as destabilising as a hospital is quite tricky and implies many unusual factors. It is a context in which you instantly connect a stranger to a patient – not talking of any dehumanisation, but you know that you will go through certain situations with this person whether you like it or not; which eventually makes them special people who in the end you don’t know that much – although the things you know are certainly some of the most personal things you could know about them. If you add the fact that they will, in your mind and whether again you like it or not, always be connected to a medicalised and often painful period, things get even more mixed up, intertwined and weirdly complicated – but in the end that’s okay, and eventually you will sort things out on your own.

 

 

drink

thing i drew at a point where i got lost

 

some situations continuously appear in my mind from time to time; some of them everyday, even if it is only for five seconds. as time passes things get forgotten, or just don’t feel the need to pop through your mind anymore; some others just hang in there and become a sort of daydreaming, neither pleasant nor unpleasant, that i realise I almost don’t notice anymore. this guy, however a stranger he may be in comparison to some other patients i’m supposed to know much better, is a person i think of a lot since we lost track of each other. i met him again two years ago quite randomly when going to an appointment at the same hospital – i was hoping he would’ve been discharged, but then i saw him, and he happened to be one of the rare patients in the unit who found a way, within his distorted mental capacities (for illness and medication purposes), to remember my face and name, he came to see me and quietly said “i’m happy you’re out, i wish i was too” – which left me this image of someone stuck for months in a situation I didn’t have the capacities to change; and with a deep willingness to break the armoured doors and take him out, but of course it’s a fantasy…which still brought guilt, love, hate, frustration and a number of questions probably never to be answered.

did he get bullied

i’m sure he gets bullied

does he like mint&chocolate chip ice cream and does he laugh like a kid when he sees someone stumble on the street
does he still play ping pong even though i’m not facing the ball anymore,

did he see the last Woody Allen movie or

does he talk all the time now
did he ever get out of hospital? what does he look like now, did he cut his hair?

has he become a cartoon maker?

or maybe he’s just stuck home video gaming seven days a week

is he alive?
what do I think?

what could I do for him?

 

*if i could wish for

 

i guess sometimes you just take things the wrong way. dream. dream again. dream always.

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then i realised he made me think of a kind of hybrid mystical beast

 

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i knew i needed something powerful, probably mystical also, but something beautiful, intriguing, perhaps funny in a way…something in which he could hide, something with which he wouldn’t care of walking besides a thousand complete strangers, something that would protect him and bring fascination and interest in the eyes of others.

i chose the drawing of a blue wolf.

hello

 

 

and then this happened

 

process1

process2

 

 

i often work without really knowing what I’m doing and if it sometimes lead to good it also makes me make a lot of mistakes, but that’s o.k. when I saw the result of the structure i was working on, i really wondered where the * my mind went. not that i thought it looked terrible or anything, but when i looked back at all the fabrics i’d bought i wondered why it lead to such a dark mask.

why

why

why??????

blogggggg 

 it had to be altered; i don’t see the point of illustrating darkness with darkness when it can sometimes be expressed with means opposite to those you expect the most. moreover i do not see him as a glaucous human being, and i remember catching some glimpses of a certain colorful beauty in him that really touched me – once we played ping pong and he laughed like a kid during the whole game because i deeply suck at this game, it was maybe one of the rare moments during which i felt the emotions coming out of him were completely independent from any medical purposes. maybe that’s also the point where I felt he could also still be a kid despite all the hard stuff he was going through and i ended up with a structure that actually brought joy to me and that i found much more relevant than the former.

it’s also one of the most important things for me, in my process. if what i’m doing makes me feel bad about things, i let go of it. Things are usually relevant when i feel good while doing it, otherwise i barely even see the point of it.

 

process 3

i also worked with metal for a while, studying the changing of colors that can happen with the different heating ways; using metal as jewels but also as a material that could break the use of textiles i had. only textiles seemed boring in the end, and i felt like i needed to add something maybe a little colder/stronger.

metal

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the last weeks were the most intense because it took me ten days approximately to dare adding layers to it; not that i didn’t want to, but i was scared of ruining everything and that the finality wouldn’t fit my expectations. but then i did, with yellow, grey fur, some more metal, orange and pink wool, ribbons etc that i placed instinctively (impulsively?) until i had the feeling it was done.

the sewing was long…but it was worth it, i was glad to see that my ideas had changed so much during the process, only to lead to a result that couldn’t have been more honest, and that’s exactly what i was looking for.

 

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masque

 

 

 

now I’ve made this mask i would like to create a whole scenery around it and maybe use it for audiovisual purposes. the only tryouts i have are poor quality iphone pictures; i thought of making photographs that could illustrate the life of this character, although i do not want to say that it will really be about the person i made the mask for anymore. not that i don’t want to but i wouldn’t really dare to do that; and in the way i made the tryouts i think it more as taking bits and bots of anything related whether to him, or to the kind of emotions he made me feel – and that englobes a lot of things. i see the character on the following picture more as a hybrid being containing deep human emotions than an explicit illustration of this guy. 

i think that the making of a mask for him was already huge in terms of tangibly illustrating who i see him as – what he makes me feel etc. creating sceneries around him personally disturbs me in a way, i don’t want him to be used for anything but i know that he plays a big role in these pictures. so i will continue my tryouts and maybe in the end i will find that without knowing it during the photographic process, the sceneries i will have created do still fit what i see him as…for this tryout, it doesn’t. lets say all the “naïve” parts the mask contains have been taken away by the pretty dark scenery. we’ll see!

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isn’t everything just a copy of what was created by the nature?


Thursday, April 28, 2016

My searching for person was based on connection of personality and apperiance.
First idea was to use Janis Joplin and hippie movenent as an inspiration. Why her? not only becouse i am close to her music but also about aura that she created around herself. She was considered to be the best female blues vocalist of the sixties. Janis Joplin was born in 1943, when she died Janis was 27 years old. American singer considered as a the best female blues vocalist of the sixties. her raw, powerful and uninhibited singing style, combined with her turbulent and emotional lifestyle, made her one of the biggest female stars in her lifetime. Her the most important performance was at Woodstock Festival in 1969. Nowadays she is still really famous and she has a lot of fans. Janis still works like a magnet. Her powerfull personality has made me intrested in hippies (crazy subculture based on the music and delight), music and 60s, copule of years ago.

In the begining of my process i printed a lot pictures in time to see what exactly she was wearing. Which textiles, patterns what kind of jewellery, accessories. The more I studied her style and taste, the more I was aware of what she wore. Round glasses were her trademark . She often wore long fur jacket and a fur hat in the same tame. Flared throusers were very popular among hippies. Janis had them everyday and also shirts with flared sleeves when she was singing and dancing on stage her sleeves where in motion which made her performances more mystic. During the movements of her hands thousands of bracelets made a clink sound. Most of the time her outfit where decoreted with colorfull fabrics for example with aztec patterns or with psychodelic paterns and tie dye.I found the fact that she wore feathers and corsets decorated with sequins suprising. Her dresses were always full of elements and colorfull accessories. In spite of exqisiteness of the gourments, they still made a crazy cohesive whole.

 

6778980-3x4-700x933-1 Janis-Joplin-Photos-janis-joplin-24124627-262-299               janis-joplinb

 

After this step, I tried to find objects and pictures of clothes or textiles that could fit her and her hippie style. Then I started to really discover Janis Joplin, and everything I found led me further into my process. She actually was just the starting point of my research. I was more focused on how these great icons have a big impact on the world, how these people are seen more as a fantasy than a human being, how they become magic and popular however ordinary they are. Why do other people wish they could be these icons?

At one point I wondered if i can meet the challange of finding anwers to those questions during my process. I was very concentrated on the extreme success of some artists in the music industry as well as on the phenomenon that in this concept of mass production there are a lot of objects/clothes/posters etc made and sold with an image of an artist. For example, I found on the internet Janis Joplin bags, t-shirts , umbrellas, till plates, ashtrays, child clothes. It shows that a a successful artist, at one point will become a brand and at this point I started to think more about plagiarism. 

8363c760c7c82ecfba9b4f1e3232f4f6 vintage-janis-joplin-poster-tyedye-t-shirt-3

 

In Poland there is a singer called Ania Rusowicz, who is an exact copy of Janis Joplin. When i was thinking about her, about what she was doing and how she took more and more of my interest then I decided that Ania should be the one inspiring my work, and lead to the comparison of real and fake, find a border between those phenomenons.
I researched a lot about Ania and it lead me to find a lot of links between her and Janis Joplin. They both wear the same clothes and glasses, sing with a similar voice and most of the time Ania sings covers from artists that have performed on Woodstock , including Janis but on the other hand she is still a different person.

2015_Woodstock_187_Ania_Rusowicz 1291738_1001396513240359_3154254520995877641_o

 

I then decided to think about materials. Something that would be a fake reproduction of a natural thing. I used only artificial materials which are imitations of a natural things or that are based on nature.I thought that it was a good way to express plagiarism. I collected fake flowers, stones, pills, acrylic wool, sponges, leaves and feathers. Everything I wanted to use had a powerful vibrant color because i wanted to still play with Ania’s hippie style. I made different selection of materials, colors, shapes, surfaces. In the beginning i didn’t know how I could connect all these different materials.

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I changed my ways of getting round to starting that project.  I was trying to glue them or sew them on, but later on I decided not to forget about what I wanted to say through my work and about all my thinking process. Inspired by nature i used the epoxy to preserve my fake natural objects. Exactly how sea and time conserves insects in amber. I put epoxy on plastic boards using a painting brush and sank pieces of materials into it, then carefully put the pieces together following colour palette, structures and shapes I made different compositions.

At this point I faced many problems. My idea was to cover the whole face and make a shape that would fit my face. Covering it up turned out to come up to my expactations, since I fulfilled my vision of the mask. Polish singer Ania Rusowicz lost her own creativity and identity by copying Janis Joplin but you can see through transparent peices that she is still recognizable; you are still yourself, somehow.
The biggest problems I faced during the process of shaping my mask. I heated up all the different pieces, shaping the flexible ones in my hands when the hard ones mostly broke as they were too thin, or some even too thick for me to change their shape.
The final product was a recapitulation of my research work and my thinking process. I was extremly pleased with how a final result turned out. From being just a thought it became a substantial product expressed by materials to reflect my thoughts on that topic. I did not wanted that piece to be a bold statement so I combined both of the sides. I do not believe that there is a boundry between artificiality and authenticity, since isn’t everything just a copy of what was created by the nature?

 

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unexpected tv crush


Thursday, April 28, 2016

switching from one tv program to another, my forefinger suddenly stops. it does not press the “+” button of the old remote control anymore (i already forgot how to use this device in the 21st century) an unknown woman on the screen catches my attention. she has wavy, dark hair, a symmetrical face with a sharp nose, beautiful lips. the tv-host asks her questions about her preferences in men (it is a dating program for adults) she carefully listens to the questions and time-to-time gazes into the screen figuring out the answer. her gaze magnifies me.

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she lives in 1996 and her name is natella. her girlfriends trust in her and can feel safe leaving their boyfriends with natella for a while. they know that she is not going to “steal” them. natella believes that a man sometimes should sacrifice his life for a woman. if a guy lives in a messy apartment – she would help him clean. being a housewife for her is boring. at an earlier state her desire was to become a man, but later became proud of being a woman. when she came on this tv-show, she intuitively felt that she was going to find her real love there. and who knows, maybe she did.

 

this is all i know about her. this is everything i could get to know from her.

 

i was thinking a lot about her and her incredible beauty. what was there that caught my eyes and stopped from surfing further around dozens of other stupid tv-shows. i believed there was a story behind her. or i wanted to believe in her/my own story. i began to fantasize…

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there is something flower’ish about her curly hair and her curly nose. she is intelligent and wealthy. good-mannered and cool. but being a “good” girl would be too boring for her. she has a very cold mind and a wrong taste in man. at least, i think so.

that makes her sad and melancholic every day. a man can never know when she leaves. or would she forever? her eyes are dark and they shine. she can have some fun with me today if i could only give a try.

she would rather prefer to sit in silence in her screaming room. or go for a long walk in the dark, lonely woods. she would never change herself because of a man. she would never try to change a man.

the more i look at the screenshots of her, the more i get into her hazel eyes. what are her fears? what was her childhood like? does she has a dark secret? what is she hiding? some old, dark secret which she keeps silent. she would never tell it to anyone, especially her man. it has an enormous power. a tremendous destruction. i am afraid of this secret and do not want to know it anymore.

 

she is a bird in a cage = a fish in an aquarium.

 

the trees are her only friends. nature is her shelter. she is a mysterious life observer and knows more about you than herself. her mind is chaotic and layered – ancient and shamanistic powers lead it. her name is natella. she comes from georgia.

there, where she comes from, the black sea meets the caucasus mountains.

there, the bright mountains and valleys are shared with god.

there, bloody red is a colour of a new beginning.

there, people are passionate types with strong feelings of devotion gained from the powerful sun.

there, people are vulnerable as pure blue shadow and they know how to control and hide it.

there, people are warriors of their solitude.

there, you can fly in the savory air or levitate in the wisdom of great waters.

there, you can be free and caught in the same time.

 

natella5

 

niko pirosmani. he has the most sensitive ways of describing georgians in his great paintings. religious pale faces, indigo skies, women in shawls, men in long dresses, tired and resting pets, cold gestures and poses, almost invisible yellow seeds of sun and red scars of routine.

 

that is were i took my colours for her.

 

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complexity of circles and dots on the buds of the ‘caucasian rhododendron’. its invisible pink. grotesque and strong lines of the iris iberica. scaring wisdom of the ’haeckel chiroptera. endless legends about the mountains growing out of the black sea. extravagancy and chic of the ‘caucasian pheasant. colourful elegancy of the rainbow trout.

 

that is were i took my shapes and tactility of her.

 

i collected everything natural i could find around me and began to recreate her in the form of a headpiece. i wanted to get inside of her skin, inside of her world, inside of her story when i put it on me/someone.

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i was looking for authenticity in the reconstructions of traditional georgian shawls. i was making garments and textiles out of horse hair, pine cones and branches. in parallel with material try-outs and sketches i was searching for the way of making a kind of an armor for my heroine. because she is an absolute warrior. but she also loves to hide – her feeling, emotions, thoughts. she needs to preserve and cultivate everything inside of her.

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i learned how to make a textile piece out of dish washing metal sponges. i also combined synthetic threads with wire in my glasses and earrings. i started to construct my piece by adding more and more layers. all the time it was not enough and soon i understood that one piece gets too complex and that i should continue my project in creating two separate concepts/designs. so, my idea does not get too messy.

natella7

 

the black sea. how can i show her connection and devotion to the endlessness and power of the black sea? she is my aphrodite – feminine and warlike at the same time. she i free and bubbly as foam. she is fast and moving as the stream. she is dexterous as a fish. she sometimes gets caught in the fisherman nets. and than she becomes the most precious thing in their old grumpy hands.

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in total, the finished piece consists of four garments which get attached on the top of each other. the first layer is an entangled pattern which reminds of green sea weed usually thrown up on the coasts. it is always very tricky not to get in it while you swim. it is always cold and slimy. the second layer is more generous and floaty which refers to the sea waves – enormously strong and soft. the third layer which is attached on the ears symbolizes fishnets.  and the last top layer positions on the head and returns to the foam which always floats on the top of the water.

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after finishing this piece i felt like i have something more to say and investigate in my heroines world and personality. somehow she was still unreachable. i could not forget her and not let her go.  i was still not satisfied with the result and wanted to dig more and deeper.

 

the caucasus. in the following step my passion for not organic materials was increasingly bigger and broader. i payed more attention to the choice of colours and creation of the facial-related garment. i went back to the transparent volumes and traditional georgian head-wear and masks. the new look was totally dedicated to earth, mountains and the caucasus.

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i combined the transparency of woods, plants and branches with solid shape and colour of the naked body. formless threads and tactility of checkered, dotted materials. my main focus was on lines, stripes and their intervention. i also went deeper into the possibilities of wearing/holding the piece on the body. some garments can be hold only between squeezed teeth – some are clamped between the body and the arm.

natella12

the new materials and concept finally gave my work the possibility of letting people experience my heroine. how it actually is to be in the skin of natella? what are her dreams and fears? how does it feel when she has to squeeze her teeth without letting her secret out? how can she live with that? or how does it feel to keep yourself focused on the others when you hardly perceive the image of the world around you, under the formless shades of narrow masks you invent. to hide, to be hidden, to be masked underwater, weaved in the landscape and faded away…

Electric Emotion


Saturday, April 23, 2016

 

designblog ting 72
 
So, make a headpiece which relates to a person that you find interesting.
 
‘Identity check’.
 
Björk used to be a creative inspiration for me. Actually she was that, when I was quite young – but stil very relevant in relation to this assignment I found her interesting because of her complex universe, that does not seem to have any limitations. That could only be an interesting starting point. In an old MTV clip you find her in the end sitting next to a boiling geyser on Iceland. “I really like it here. It’s very very ancient but then futuristic at the same time. Sort of sci-fi. And all the colors you see makes me believe that plastic is natural” she says, and this idea became a foundation for my work.

 

img004 By listening to her songs and watching these documentaries about her, I collected a bunch of words. These words I putted together – arranged differently according to the simplicity and complexity that she represents at the same time. I ended up with the words Electric Emotion, which lead me to the next step. It was driven by contradictions, and I wanted to reflect this in the choice of materials. Something that reflected both the organic and high tech world that Björk creates. I also wanted to discover something from the Icelandic traditions – and the overwhelming Icelandic nature.

 

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I found an Icelandic headpiece that was worn by women in the 17th century and into the 19th. A Faldbúningur it is called. It has a specific rounded shape, like an ornament – pointing upwards, which I also found in some microscopic pictures of an Icelandic Orchid. So I though that this would be a reasonable foundation for a form. During the tryout for this shape, I figured that it would actually be more interesting to work with material research and then find a form appearing from that. In that way I would end up with a self-created shape instead of working out from one that was already created centuries ago.

 

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I find the peel of a Pomelo and grapefruit interesting because of its tactile appeal. When just peeled, it is soft looking but quite strong as a material and after being dried it seems hard but turns extremely fragile. The dry edition of the peel also has a certain transparency and visible fiber structure. It very much seems like veins running in the skin. And when sewed on textile, it forces a curved shape to the textile when drying. I really liked this.

I found some cable connectors which I teared apart and connected again in a pattern that I though could show an idea of the electric streams that runs through your energy system in your body. To make this electric part look more organic, I melted the cable connectors so the plastic changed to a more rounded and random form around the screws. I kept this question in mind: can I keep trying to make plastic look natural, and natural materials look like more or less complicated technology?

These two materials became my conceptual focus, and the other materials appeared afterwards – due to my search after appealing colors and structures that could relate to the whole idea. I started working with light colors to calm down on the material wise diversity that I expected in the beginning. Transparency and layers also appeared because these create an interesting expression which I wanted to examine. And also because I think it visually relates both to phenomena in nature and the mystic of the undiscovered future.

 

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Due to the material research I figured it could be fun to make a collection of headpieces – more related to body jewelry. I focused on the ‘emotion’ part, and created different shapes that could function in both expressing and healing emotions. As an example the feeling of calming down when having a palm against your forehead.

Curiosity and fun is what I immediately see in the headpieces when looking at the end result. I see the material as body extensions that shows emotions which are usually hidden inside the body. In this case the Electric Emotion that appears when feeling excited, aware, confused, curious, related or in love. Because of the many wires that are used in especially one of the pieces, it is also creating a feeling of being trapped in emotions, when wearing it.

 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Bloeiende Boeken


Friday, April 22, 2016

maren

“BLOEIENDE-BOEKEN”©

Dit is “de handleiding” om uw boeken tot bloei te krijgen.

Heeft u wel eens als u een boek gaat lezen en door de bladzijdes bladert dat uw reukvermogen de overhand neemt op de inhoud van het boek. Dan is het “bloeiende-boeken systeem”© iets voor u.maren Als u zich irriteert aan de geur van het boek en u zich niet kan concentreren of als u het boek lekker vindt ruiken en u door de geur een fantastisch gevoel krijgt dan is in beide gevallen “bloeiende-boeken”© iets voor u!

Deze handleiding geeft u inzicht hoe u uw boeken in huis kan sorteren op geur. Ook als u de geur moeilijk te beschrijven vindt zout, zoet, zuur, kruidig of gewoon lekker of vies dan is te zeggen dat de geur van persoon tot persoon kan verschillen. De geur beleving is bij elke persoon anders. Deze handleiding is voor elke geur-beleving te gebruiken en het geeft de garantie op een geurend en daarmee een “bloeiende- boeken”© systeem .

In ieder huis heb je andere geuren en deze kunnen met het “bloeiende- boeken”© systeem gesorteerd worden. Oude of nieuwe boeken het maakt niet uit. Het is de geur die de sortering bepaalt. “Bloeiende -boeken”© is ontwikkeld voor mensen die afhankelijk van hun stemming een boek kunnen pakken en dan uitsluitend op de geur willen letten. De man achter het idee is prof. dr. Koster, zoals hij vertelt op een boeken/rommelmarkt liep en geinspireerd raakte door de vele geuren die door de vele verschillende boeken op hem afkwamen. Hij besefte toen dat ieder boek een eigen geur had en vele boeken ook weer een gemeenschappelijke hadden. Prof. dr. Koster dacht hier over na en wist de boeken op hun geur te ordenen en hij ontwierp hierop het “ bloeiende-boeken” © systeem. Boeken komen tot bloei door de objecten om hen heen. Ook was hij van mening dat boeken de objecten kunnen beïnvloeden. Na het ordenen van boeken in uw huis op diverse locaties, welke locaties associatie hebben of kunnen krijgen van de geur van het gekozen boek. Met het “bloeiende-boeken”© systeem komen uw boeken beter tot hun recht. Het boeken systeem is snel en makkelijk thuis uit te voeren. U kunt dit natuurlijk zelf doen in een paar stappen en om u het gemakkelijker te maken bij het inrichten van het systeem hebben wij een handige gids te koop op bloeiende-boeken.nl


Vandaag besteld is morgen in huis.
Om u te interesseren voor het “bloeiende-boeken”© systeem hoeft u slechts aan het boek wat u aan het lezen bent of het laatst gelezen hebt te ruiken op de volgende wijze. U bladert in het boek (dit moment is erg cruciaal, want dan wordt door uw reukvermogen de geur van het boek bepaald). Is het boek zoetig, zoutig, kruidig of gewoon lekker of vies. Alle geuren kunnen uw voorkeur hebben en u bent in staat uw boeken volgens het bloeiende-boekensysteem in te delen. Als u geen geur ruikt en het boek neutraal op u overkomt dan kiest u een geur die u het boek zou willen geven.maren Ook dan is het “bloeiende-boeken”© systeem echt iets voor u. Hierna kunt u uw boekenkast met nieuwe en 2e of 3e hands boeken volgens het bloeiende-boekensysteem blijven aanvullen. Zo zal na het plaatsen van de boeken bij de objecten en locaties een “bloeiende-boeken”© systeem bij u in huis ontstaan. Schaf vandaag de handleiding nog aan en beleef morgen het effect op uw zintuig en ordening van het “bloeiende-boeken”© systeem.

maren

The ideal world


Friday, April 22, 2016

 

Or the unexpected discovery of sorting books

In an ideal world we would identify ourselves with knowledge or wisdom.

In an ideal world the most knowledgeable people would be the one with the highest social status.

In an ideal world knowledge would be accessible for everyone.

In an ideal world knowledge would be the strongest weapon to fight with.

In an ideal world we would put higher emphasize on knowledge than money.

How to promote knowledge and what are the negative sides of promoting it?

Since long time libraries are the key for wisdom or knowledge.

There you can find any book on any topic.

After monasteries have opened their libraries the access of this knowledge is easy.

I am very interested in the way libraries can influence their readers. As a cinema can with the choice of movies they are showing, a library can decide which books and in which order, structure they are presented.

Books written by authors whose name start with an A are more likely to be looked at than books written by authors whose name start with a Z. If a library chooses to organize their books according to the alphabet.

I would like to break any of these structures.

In an ideal world libraries would educate their customers by promoting more text books.

This is most important to me.

Even though it is fun to look at books with a lot of pictures inside, I want a library that patronizes its own power to stimulate the creativity and knowledge of the customers.

On the other side I would like to look at the book it self, its shape and its lay out.

When seeing a book, the title is written in a way that a book is not meant to stand in a book shell.

First the cover of a book is severely damaged when standing for a long time in the traditional way.

Second for the customer reading the title of a book will always be harder when seeing it on the side.

Personally my neck always hurts after visiting a book store or a library.

Books need to lay in piles!

Easier to read the title, healthier for the book and your neck.

Seemingly random I chose to organize the books by the length of their title. Shorter title at the bottom, longer title at the top.

When I started to organize the books in this way, I realized something that corresponded exactly with my initial idea that a library should be a place to stimulate knowledge on all levels.

Books with shorter title are more likely to be big books.

Books with longer title seem to be more likely to be small books.

Big Books with shorter titles have more pictures inside.

Small books with longer title have less pictures inside.

I built a pyramid of knowledge.

Data at the bottom,

Wisdom at the top.

The shape of a pyramid gained its efficiency a long time ago already.

Around the world people started simultaneously to built pyramids for their Gods or religion.

Independent pyramids all around the world.

Egypt, Peru, Germany, China, Bosnia, Japan.

How can we understand that people around the world built seemingly similar pyramids without knowing from each other?

Along with a lot of wild theories about aliens, etc. There is a theory that could explain the connection between the different pyramids. Humans have always been impressed by naturals changes and special environmental situations. They saw God’s sign in it. One of these natural changes where the sun rays

breaking through a layer of clouds which hurray had the shape of a pyramids.

Crepuscular_rays8_-_NOAA

In an ideal world people would start believe again in the enlightenment of knowledge.

Nowadays we do not identify ourselves with any religion but social status comes with wealth.

In my ideal library I want to create a modern stairway to enlightenment of knowledge.

I want to incorporate the system of portraying hierarchic structures in our daily life.

A stairway out of books. The reader is forced to first read the books that is at the top of the pile otherwise the pile of books will collapse. As I realized the top part of my books pyramids are books with only text. If the reader wants to read a book which is more at the bottom of the text, he has to ‘work’ his way down. Until he can read the desired book. After that happened, he can decide to continue dig to the bottom of the pile or move to the next pile of books.

 des

 des3                                           des4

It does not matter that it may be a book about love, biology or literature. What matters is that the creativity of the reader is stimulated by only reading text.

The more he reads the more picture come in. First his own creativity is encouraged, later he will be able to apply the knowledge he has gained throughout reading the upper part of the pile to the pictures in the lower books.

I see a forest of books piles, up to the ceiling, in which people are forced to start at the top, and read their way down, getting to the essence of the topic they are interested in.

des2

Each pile is dealing with a different field of study. Biology, Politics etc. 

Nowadays our knowledge has changed a lot, we are used to get information quickly and are not used to really dive into the topic of our interest. Less people read and more people only look at pictures, gaining an shallow superficial knowledge about a topic.

In my ideal library this is not possible.

Here people are forced to dive in and are eventually rewarded with a book full of pictures in the end.

In an ideal world.

 

The Huntress


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

 

Creating a headpiece/mask by dissecting the personality of a person who inspires you is quite a challenge. I had to ask myself „who was the last person that has inspired me? Andy Goldsworthy  was the first person I could think of, because I really felt connected with him. Especially the way he worked with nature and not against it. What attracted me the most,was his artwork not the person behind it. But when I started to engaged my project idea with his work, all of a suddenly the excitement about him was gone. Because I just realized that it was not working out since my project idea was more based dissecting the personality of a person and not his work. And so that is why I had to leave my first choice behind. I decided to make a change.

The new person not only inspired me but is also someone I am related to and have a deep and true connection through the love of art. It is my great-grandma from my mother’s side. I never met her but I heard many stories from my mom and grandma about her. I grew up in the very same house where she spent her whole life, where she had worked on her projects and spent time with her family and friends.

She lived her whole life in Austria. Between 1930-1934 she studied ceramics at an applied arts school in Graz. I had an opportunity to go to the same school to study metal and jewelry design. She never worked as a ceramicist. Until she died at the age of 75, she worked as an graphic designer and painter.

erika maria pochlatko

She was a very modern woman for her time, even in today’s time I would say, she was the person in the family who provided for the main income, and her hobbies were hunting and fishing. Really surprising for her time is that, she got married three times. She was a powerful and independent woman.

 

How to start? How can I translate her into a headpiece?                                                                                          

I tried to picture how she would look like today. If you would read her story without knowing when and where she had lived, you could easily think she lives in today’s time. As the strong person she was she wouldn’t care so much about what others think of her. She would wear whatever she felt like, really colorful with a lot of patterns in sometimes crazy combinations, but also she wouldn’t go too far, she knew exactly how far she could go without making a fool of herself.

I started to collect textile which I thought she would have liked to wear, patterns which reflects her personality. With the headpiece I wanted to show the two sides of her, the creative and loving person she was and on the other side the strong, independent and professional woman.

One story that my mother told me, over and over, is that the staircase at her house was full of horns and stuffed animals, trophies from her hunting trips. She must has been really proud of her hunts. So I came up with the idea to create deer horns with the textile I collected. For me this seemed like a good way to honor her.

 

txt horns

 The horns are made out of textile, there is no other material underneath which keeps it in form, just textile brougth in form with wool.

 

With these colorful textile horns I created a headpiece, but there was something missing. It looked like a really girlish flower crown with no sign of the strong powerful woman that I had imagined of my great grandma. I had to find a material which could show this side of her. I tried many other different materials: wood, stone, plaster, wax… but nothing was really satisfying me.

 

dipped in wax

try horn

rapped in plaster

 

But finally through coincident I found the perfect material. I wanted to create a mold out of plastic for the wax, I used the textile horns as the base for the mold, so I had the same horns in plastic. They were perfect and exactly what I was looking for.

 

pl horn

pl horn2

you can even see the structure of the textile

 

So in the end I used the plastic and textile horns to create my headpiece. It wasn’t easy to put them together i must admit that, without care it looked like a crown or a kind of messy thing with no form at all.

 

try hunter 1 try hunter 2 horns 4.2

With a lot of trying out and taking pictures of myself wearing it, I came to my end result.

Finding out my great grandma’s identity was a great journey.  I feel much closer to her now. She became a real role model to me. Even though she is not alive anymore, I think I can learn a lot from her. With my headpiece I want to shorten the distance between us, it helps me to connect to her.

hunter 4

#weightdistribution – Sorting libraries according to… Weight.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

 

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Biblioteche- Umberto Eco -
An exerpt of "Umberto Eco, Sulla memoria. Una conversazione in tre parti, 2015"
by Davide Ferrario

I started off this article by working in the library and re-sorting books with my fellow classmates and artists from the rietveld academie’s basisjaar.

The idea of #weightdistrubition all came about from an apartment that I had the pleasure to stay in for a while in Lisbon, Portugal. Inside this apartment, the floor was literally caving in due to too much weight and uneven distribution of it.
So, to resolve such a problem like this –if getting rid of things isn’t an option when it comes to a home, or to your wonderful library– correct distribution of that weight is key. Although it might not be handy to sort a library by any other way of categorization besides an alphabetical one, this is a solution that is more practical to your own home, a place where you know your own books by their covers.

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To begin we need to have an idea of how much a book weighs. We can always visually scale a book by looking at its size and the material  its cover is made out of, but this can be deceiving as I learned when weighing all the surplus books from the library. There are always books that trick you into thinking they are actually heavy when they, in fact, are very light. amazon.com usually lists weight for each book so there is no need to make calculations if you don’t have a scale, and there is also an actual book weight calculator available at lugaru.com/bookweight.html

The most important thing to take into account when sorting things by weight is where a concentration of weight is and where we can break this down to a spread. So say, if someone has 10 books piled on top of each other the thing to do would be take all the books and lay them down separately next to each other. Sounds simple, right?

After considering weight of the actual objects we’re trying to store, in this case books, the next step is considering, if we actually have a way to store these objects or not, and what we can do to resolve this. Bookshelf sagging is an epidemic in many households, and it’s only a matter of time until a bookshelf will give in if it starts to sag.

Let’s start by examining the floor you’re stepping on – does it seem sturdy or does it seem weak? does it creek when you walk on it or can you jump on it and hear nothing? Odds are that your floor is totally fine and that this is the least of your worries when dealing with heavy books in your own home, this is more of a thing to take into account for an architect or designer when actually designing libraries and shelves. (The fact that basements > attics become often library storage, is not just for fun.)

Let’s move onto the actual bookshelf itself. Bookshelves are not created equal, and they aren’t created to cope with every set of books out there. There are different materials and structures used to make them stronger. Some involve thicker shelving and some involve different bracing, whatever it may be, you want to be able to feel like your books (and your floor) are safe when put away. Although weight distribution is very important when it comes to sorting books, taking the provisional step of actually making sure you have a frame that will absorb that much weight is a necessary precaution.

When it comes to materials, each set of material requires it’s own approach and precaution. Plywood for example, is not recommendable if it’s less than 2cm thick. Attaching bookshelves to walls is a solution that many people opt for at home, but when it comes to heavy books and their correct distribution, is not practical. But for all those that really want to go this route with their books, lumber panels with corbel braces should do the trick. Lumber panels are the strongest wooden shelf material, and they come with the advantage of a high-end wooden appearance. For sturdy free standing bookshelves made for the craziest amount of weight possible, the ideal solution would be heavy duty Dexion shelving, used mainly in palette racking in warehouses. These shelves are available in parts and affordable so a home setup is definitely do-able.

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All-in-all correct distribution of weight when it comes to bookshelves is key, especially to big collectors and even art aficionado’s, as art history books tend to usually weigh over 2 kilos. For the library we managed to sort during our classes, everything that weighed over 2Kg, such as most of the Documenta catalogues, was destined for the bottom shelf. Then from 1.5Kg to 2Kg, books could be sorted up to the fourth shelf, and so on, until we got to the top shelf, where the lightest books, papers, sheets, photographs and in some cases empty cases with missing catalogues inside could be deposited.

When it comes to a list of aesthetic solutions for sorting books, weight is definitely not included. Weight and its correct distribution is a tool for the practical collectors who have an immense surplus of books (and normally, quite heavy ones). Balancing weight can be key to not damage books, shelves, storage units or even floors in libraries or in your own home. Keeping weight in account is a necessary step for any type of organization when it comes to a space, not only for books, but for everything that needs to be placed somewhere, whether it’s a needle or a tv set. The reason I chose this solution, really came out of my necessity to keep weight in mind when I was staying at this very unstable house with a very unstable floor I referred to before. In my case, the books were other objects, sometimes even more fragile and this was always a lurking dark cloud of a problem that wouldn’t go away unless there was that correct distribution of weight, and actual order in the household’s organization itself (unfortunately not too many dinner parties were held here).

 

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Excuse me, can I analyse your personality?


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

 

Dealing with a personality, and making a mask out of it in order to feel it, was quite a task. I found myself both in the position of a psychologist analyzing a person’s mind and a physicist creating an object that should reproduce a feeling of a personality.

The topic we were given for this project was to find someone that fascinates us, try to understand their personality and make a mask out of it. Of course at first this immediately leads you to think of people you care about and admire. It feels a bit like putting your loved ones on a pedestal. But that wasn't the point, and in a way, analyzing their personalities didn’t give me the satisfaction and rush to work on it. I needed someone that I did not know or understand yet, I needed a challenge

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So,              then; a girl I met last year popped into my mind. a girl I barely knew, a friend of a friend. and the little that I knew about her, was so little that it completely confused me; each time I thought I finally understood her I learned something knew that made everything I knew before fall into water like it never existed. she was so confusing, it was exactly what I needed!

.

HER BUT, WHO IS THIS GIRL?

IS SHE HAPPY? SAD? ANGRY?

DOES SHE SEE THE WORLD AS A RATIONAL PERSON DOES?
OR AS A DREAMER?

WHAT DOES SHE DO?
WHERE DOES SHE LIVE?
WHAT DOES SHE LOVE?

WHO ARE YOU???

This meant a lo-o-o-ot of thinking, struggling, rethinking, investigating (?)… I came across a problem. She was indeed perfect. Too perfect. Step by step I just got more and more fascinated by her. I put her on a 'pedestal' without wanting it. So, I had to do it all again. And again. With complete new questions, and complete different answers. After all this was just my interpretation of her. Until I finally thought of three main aspects/ideas that I thought could fit her personality and that I would use in the mask.

  • 1. She is perfect, but in a physical way. And she seems to strive to keep it that way at ALL times.

  • 2. She is ve-e-ery driven by her ambition.

  • 3. And seems to hide her feelings.

That last one got me most exited, finally something I could work with,
something NOT PERFECT. So I started:

FORM

(OR MAYBE, FIRST MATERIALS)

As I am a ‘devoted’ perfectionist, my projects often start with details which I then try to bring together and arrange, deprive, until I get to a purer and clearer idea. Like zooming out from a really zoomed in place on google maps. My ideas began forming a sphere.

I started with stones; minerals, the presentation of deep, complex, hidden feelings.

Longing for more art in an art project I decided to make my own.

Little pieces of fabrics and foils melted into liquidised glue sticks suddenly turned into mischievous stones.

I had great fun doing it. It made me continue.

DesignBlog_materials1

This time it would be foam, another material aching to be turned into stone.

Mineral.

Feeling.

Just a touch of aquarelle.  

Soon enough I had all the acquirements, the third step long done before the first two had even started.

minerals_mask

FRAME:

How do you make a frame of somebody’s personality?

Of someone you barely know,  a personality you imagined?

Should it be a hat?      Should it be compact?

scetch2

Or free,  and light?

scetch3

I had no answers to these questions, instead I turned to materials. Again.

frame2
joz1

this was the result..

A metal construction instead of a hat, and of that kind of metal that would originally only be used for welding. Thinking back, this whole project was, at least for a little part, often based on 'giving materials another kind of life'. With the 'glue stick minerals', 'foam stones' and at last 'welding metal that turned into a construction for a crown/glasses/mask'. And at last, THE GREAT AMBITION, something I’ve subconsciously been thinking about since the beginning had to be added. It started as two plastic ‘glasses' put in between all the metal and feelings and that would only let you look RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, not left, not right, not even up or down, in the end turned into real glass.

And maybe a part of the three ideas got lost in the making, with the attention turned more to the materials following the idea than the idea created with materials. And maybe my guess of her personality is completely mistaken. But it turned out to be an object that could speak for itself no matter how it is interpreted.

So here, let it be seen as anyone wishes to see it:

Untitled1

 

Desire: it will be never reached


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

 All people have their own desires whether it is small or big. They try to bring their desires to life; however some people won’t be able to because they are too out of reach. For example some may say they want to fly to the moon, other may wish to be abillionaire. But there are also very realistic desires that cannot become true. These are the ones I want to talk about.

In Korea, there is one traditional job called « Haenyeo », which means « sea-women »; who are traditional Korean woman divers. This job only exists in the southern part of Korea, especially on the islands. Today, more than 5,000 divers still remain on these islands. They are specially strong women. A long time ago in Korea, women could not join the outside, sometimes they even couldn’tgo out their house. Nevertheless, these women not only worked totheir living: they also worked for their peers. They built their own society using their power and refusing men’s help as in the past, so many men who lived on the islands died of deep-sea fishing. Only a few men survived from the strong waves and tough windy weather, so that the women who were left behind had to find a way to survive. These circumstances brought strength and uniqueness

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They only wear swimming suits, goggles and fishing nets. They hold their breath while diving to catch seafood until they are out of breath, which means they are always endangered. Therefore, the women fight for their desires because this will is what gives them the means to catch the widest number of fish; but can also drag them to death. Sometimes, they only want to catch a tiny piece, not even a pearl, but the greed is still their to endanger their lives. only use swimming suits, swimming goggles and fishing nets.

net Sketch_3

 

The ocean is one of the greatest powers of nature, so divers do not wish to earnmillions with their fishing because they say it is too arrogant toward the sea. Humans cannot create te sea – they cannot create animals such as an octopus, a fish,a clam. These are made by the great nature so the humans should be greedy towards it. Therefore, divers want to show their gratitude to the nature so they pray for it to save their lives, and not to earn money. Theyalways have to turn off their greed. Their truedesires. It means that they need to control themselves because surviving is the most important. It looks like theyare fighting between their desires and their lives. Their desires are always related to their lives. At the same time, with death too. When they dive into the ocean, they can see everything but they know there are things they will never be able to catch.

Video of Haenyeo

 I wanted to focus on their desire to catch something they cannot reach. I used eight bamboo, glitter thread and fabrics as my materials. At first, I was inspired by spiders which is a lucky charm in their society. I illustrated the spider with eight bamboo sticks. However, bamboo sticks did not have enough strength to stand still so I decided to add three leather belts to the bottom in order to make it wearable. These gave some strength to the structure, and I really wanted it to be worn on the head as a relation to divers’ shamanism. Women divers usually pray to the great nature, especially to the ’God of the ocean’. They believe that the Gods live above the sky, therefore, the main focus of the head-piece was supposed to be above the head. But I faced problems. The leather belts did not give enough strength to my head-piece. It needed more support in the middle and at the bottom. This was one of the biggest problems of my process.

sketches:

pink_detail sketch_2

 

The first solution to this problem was to give the head-piece some strength in the middle. I made a small precious fabric package and placed it in the middle. I was inspired by the Korean traditional way of wrapping gifts. Usually when Koreans give a precious gift to someone, they wrap it in fabric. It means that the gift is protected from bad things.

001 IMG_6053

 

I made an object like that in order to illustrate the desires of the woman divers wrapped in fabric, but it still did not give enough strength to my head-piece. I had to find a way to wear that super heavy and tall head-piece and I realize d that using only my head is not the best way to wear it.

green_netgreen_net_left

 

In addition I wanted to express the feeling of one trying to reach for his breath. In the end I decided to wear it on my shoulders and fasten it to my head with leather belts. As a result when I wear it I feel like I’m choking.

 

<Final results>

 

head_left without_green_net

 

Turn the shelf, turn the page


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

 

When I walk through bookshelves comparing labels and the code I found in computer system, I feel that it is too right to do so. It is like a treasure hunt with a map showing exactly where the treasure is. The code efficiently directs me to the book I need but in a completely closed way. There can not be everything in a book itself. The thing I really want to get from books is more often in somewhere                 between                 books than in a single page. So the whole point is matching a book with a good pair, or a good group, or a good pile of books. This is a collective activity, which is not necessarily precise but friendly.

 

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1) Every spine of books you can see in front of the shelf is under a certain theme. They are like a quick index you can highlight. They follow the an alphabetical order, so you should go to the first shelf if you are looking for ‘Abstractionism’.

front

 *The ‘theme books’ do not have to be really representative to be there, as long as they can stand autonomously with a clear keyword in their title and not duplicate the other theme.

 

2) If you feel like diving into the subject and seeing more things about it, you should go the other way around the shelf. Other books which are considered to be part of same category would be placed next to it in the opposite way. Just as you click the blue hyperlink in Wikipedia for extra information.

front_2 copy

 

Photo references, books which are written by the same author or in the same series could be obviously related. But there also could be hidden connections which you would never understand the relevance of if you have not read them. Unexpected encounters from this        l      o          o     s        e              c     o     n     n      e     c    t    i   o  n       could offer a key to the totally different world, or an advanced step in a research, or maybe a clue in a maze that made you interested but confused. It opens up and widens the space between each little subjects and makes a playground to think and read.

 

3)Every reader can be a participant of the organization, so it is always welcome to replace or move books. There are no definite criteria to locate them-it is not random but super subjective. If you feel like that is not a right place for it or there is a better spouse for it, go for it. Maybe you could have a hard time to find the same book next time if someone disagreed with your choice and moved it, but that also enables you to track another adventure that the same book went through.

 

All the choices reflect personal moments and thoughts that people have really experienced and are willing to share them. The subjective reaction on books can find and activate the potential connection between them. With this, the identity of a book gets defined over and over again by its surrounding which continuously changes. Where is it? What is on the left side of it? What is on the right side of it? Where was it? Where is it going to be? This is a collective activity with unlimited possibilities, which is not necessarily precise but friendly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaces in Between


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

 
 

Spaces in Between

 

 


Unsorted, disarranged, unorganised library, full of elements placed according to different components, which have an order or perhaps do not have it at all, just existing in an unrestricted randomness. Which ironically speaking could actually be seen as the same thing, since a lack of order is also an order in itself. Chaos with a clear beginning and ending kind of like a bad book. What exactly did I find there…? Big books, small books, orange, white, shiny, mat, hard, soft, precious, forgotten, books that are filled with content, wedding books. Books of a specific nature, books that are about nothing at all, ones that wait for attention and ones nobody cares about. Art books, design, educational, pointless, and sharp and blunt, basically all you can find in a library. I was asked to find a solution for the lack of structure in their position on the shelf. So the primary question that I am asking myself is; what is the point of doing it at all? Of course the obvious reason would be the easy access to the content, otherwise lost in the madness of disorganisation. However, I still struggle to understand why to bother ourselves with creating this specific order, if in the end it is still the same amount of books in the same space? Somehow I think this action is irrelevant, especially if we put so much effort into creating a puzzle that can be made in an infinite amount of ways… according to any system that a specific person would find attractive or interesting (depth weight, etc).

 

    In the name of captivation and curiously-provocative passage, I am trying to crack this system of easy predictable result, which in my opinion is rather obvious to foresee if you limit yourself by the boundary of an actual shelf. Instead of doing that I would rather step out of this radius. The concept that I tried to create is aiming to expand the perspective on how we view the book. What is a book actually? In short, it is a box of content pocket size captured by the single pages glued together, now isn’t that somehow equal to the very idea of a book shelf, in which many different books are aligned in the same way as the pages, however this time at a larger scale of information? Somehow I believe it is possible to see these systems as parallel ones. If a thousand books make a library; then, so to a thousand pages, and further, a book can also be seen as a pocket size bibliotheca.


The establishment of the fact that from now on, one copy can stand on its own, gives me the possibility of putting in on a pedestal and seeing it as something autonomous, in other words, let’s give the books the space that they deserve. There is no reason why they should be kept together in one place since in the end it’s just creating a bigger chaos. Let us treat books as unique objects instead of piling them on top of each other. As absurd as this sounds, to create an order you have to separate everything from each other and never put them back together again.


For my next step, I have chosen ten books from the shelf that I eventually turned into their own autonomous libraries, spread all over the city; one book for one building. I did this by searching for the places that seemed to me as the right environments for the books.  The main question that I had to ask myself, is how do I decide what aspect of the book should be the main criteria for the location, the physicality or the content. Not to leave it too vague, by physicality I mean the literal materiality of the book and where it could fit in the space of a building, so in the end it seems as the space was designed for the book and not reversed. In this case of preciseness, the dilemma of leaving the content out of the picture was not so disturbing anymore. However, after I found the main foundation that would determine the way of approach, I decided to take it further and only use the fore edge  of the books (opposite side to the spine), which presents it as more of an anonymous object rather than a work.


The result of this practice was the creation on ten completely autonomous bibliothecas, in ten different buildings. This created a situation in which a book stopped being a book, but rather a body living in perfect symbiosis with the surrounding environment.

 

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A Chain Game


Monday, April 18, 2016

Organizing.

Some people hate it, some people love it, and some people just don’t care. Our assignment was to find a new way to organize a couple of hundred books. I myself see organizing as something relaxing, and as something that should clear your head. Like a game, organizing is a puzzle. Making everything right and finding the perfect place for every little lost piece.

books

But what about objects and books that are hard to place somewhere? Books that look insignificant. How can you make them fit in? When I was scanning through all the books in the library, a nude colored book caught my eye, the cover didn’t give me any clues what it was about. There were no letters on the cover and no pictures. The way it was standing there made it look very lost in this big pile of loud and screaming books. All the books looked like they wanted to catch your eye and get the most attention. But this book didn’t seem to care that no one would ever take it out. Like a shy girl that always sits in the back of the class. But being shy and not wanting to be seen doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve some attention from time to time.

Games are a good way to make an interactive system for books, books have so many aspects that you can play with. Titles; the name of the Author; the year and of course the publisher. And even a book with nothing on the cover can have so much aspects that you can play with. All these aspects reminded me of the dots on domino dices. But instead of connecting the dots on the dices, you can also connect the titles, authors or the aspects of the book that for you has the most value. Then I remembered this game that I used to play when I was little, me and my dad would sit in the sun and play this game endlessly to help me learn how to spell words. He would start with a word and then I would come up with a new word, the first letter of this new word had to be the last letter of his previous word.

MONKEYSSAUNAARTWORK

It is not a new fact that we like these kind of games, the oldest confirmed written mention of dominoes in China comes from the Former Events in Wulin (i.e. the capital Hangzhou) written by the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) author Zhou Mi (1232–1298), who listed “pupai” (gambling plaques or dominoes) as well as dice as items sold by peddlers during the reign of Emperor Xiaozong of Song (r. 1162–1189). This shows that the human being has always enjoyed making connections between things and objects. These games survived and renewed itself for centuries. I don’t think we will ever get bored of them.

With the domino and word games in mind I started with just connecting the titles of all the book on one of the shelves, this shelve consisted out of 49 book. After trying to find the perfect way of connecting them I found out that when i would only just play with the titles I would only be able to give a spot to half of the books, the other 25 were waste and would never find a place. Where would these books go? Would no one ever read them again? Or was there a clear solution.

What if you would see the library as one big puzzle of domino dices. Those dices don’t just have one connection point but they have three. Of course this system could also be applied on the books.

 

 

Here you see what happens when you don’t just give them one connection point but as many connection points as they allow you to make, all the dices start to create a new pattern and once you take one dice out you can put it back after at a new spot where there is no dice yet. It is a constantly changing pattern of organization.

For example I would take a book out which is about Van Gogh and the person before me thought the date of publication was very important, I will find the book at the point where the date is coupled to a different date, after reading this book and getting to know it better I decide that I personally find the Author much more important than the date, so when I would put it back in the book matrix I would find the perfect point where I can couple the first letter of the Authors name to a previous book. But of course there are maybe different things on the cover which have the most value to you, maybe it is the color, or what is showing on the cover, or maybe its even a little sticker that no one noticed before.

This way of organizing creates an opening of looking at books in completely new way. It is no longer seen in this known way of ordering them on category, subject, artist or country. This gives you the opportunity to make new connections between books and their covers. By getting rid of books shelves and opening up a space for a more playful way of organizing.

Making new connections helps you realize that there are always new possibilities in things that we already know so well. We tend to get bored or tired of things that never change, and there is only one way to avoid that boredom, to have a system that will change forever and that tells a lot about what is important.

Breakdown of book bricks


Monday, April 18, 2016

you enter

the room

the walls

are books

their backs

turned on you

the books

won’t share a word

unless you take one of them

one brick from the wall

but the wall they form

can’t be broken down

they turned their backs

on you

you have to turn your head

sideways

to read what their names are

even when it is your own room

your own wall

it can feel like the chinese wall

in fact

it’s all chinese to you

so you give up

a big bookcase

is not in favor

of the books

nor you

the renovation of an ancient building 

now

this is

what i’m going to do

 

i’ll break down the wall

brick by brick

book by book

 

what do i feel?

which book belongs

to that

what i feel

?

 

and

what do i want?

which book belongs

to that

what i want

?

 

where am i

with this feeling that i have

and the book that i want to read

?

 

for each feeling

and each desire

a book

and a place

so i took all the books

out of the room, now it’s empty

like the first page

 

i put the books on piles

piles of feelings and desires

piles of knowledge

books can give you everything

if you take care

 

now this is what i’m going to do

i’ll start to write

first pile

epilogue

learning

i want to learn things

i am curious

big books

history

the atlas

FullSizeRender (7)

dictionaries

encyclopedia

next to notebooks

and dummies

and books for dummies

how to

cut

paste

sew

read

draw

think

find

go

the place is ready

for reading

as well as doing

the worktable

 

second pile

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introduction

loving

i want to read

about the love in the world

and want it sometimes i feel without love

sometimes i feel in love

and want it

there is a note written inside

with love, for you

i’ll read to you and to myself

poems of love

bed side stories

books that keep a place warm in

 

the bed

 

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third pile

first chapter

you can’t read

on an empty stomach

stained and smelling books about food

and cooking

world dishes

when we sit here we always talk about food and share ideas for dishes and tastes on our tongues

kitchen table

 

 

 

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forth pile
dreaming

second chapter

fantasies

fiction

stories

to disappear in

 

when you think you want

to watch the television

or when you are bored

you sit in the chair

and lean sideways

then you grab a book

and start to read

and to disappear

 

a good chair

 

 

 

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fifth pile

books with mud and sand

third chapter

flowers between the pages

encyclopedias of plants

latin names and hours

of drawing

books of gardening

the hammock or the garden chair

 

 

 

sixth pile

forth chapter

dreams of traveling

flora and fauna

nature and travel books

national geographic

capitol guides

next to the computer

to book a flight

 

computer table

 

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seventh pile

fifth chapter

when you’re an art student

art is everywhere

also when you’re a normal person

there is an art way of looking at things around you

it is nice to have books to leaf through

or read carefully

monographies

biographies

auto

biographies

art

philosophy

theory

catalogues

magazines

fanzines

on the easel

on the bench

on the work table

in the bathroom

in plastic jackets, shower-and-bath-proof

in on behind the closet

everywhere

the rest of the books

many thanks to-

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ideas

pleas

novels

 

books are a part of life

but a wall of books

is too far away

 

to bring the books close

 

to accompany to your tea

and your company

to show pictures and lines

for your eyes only

 

the books can travel with you on vacation

or on a rolling table

through every wall of the house

 

 

 

a book as a bookshelf

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books forming a bookcase

holding other books

showing their faces,

finally

when you break down the book wall

you will

discover books

in places unexpected

finding them back

after long loss

a rose

and its smell

between pages

a postcard

a letter

a bookmark

notes, lines, circled words

a younger you

wrote a letter

 

 

surprise yourself and others

with books as gifts in corners

and between the pillows of the bench

 

books say something you can’t Schermafbeelding 2016-04-18 om 21.42.00

put into words

books that you know

that will always be there

next to your bed

or under it

on the closet

standing on its small edge

facing you

with a different page each day

 

books that you carry

that carry your thoughts

a small book in

a small bag

book size, pocket size

with you

 

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body books

big books

book hats

big bags

hat books

a book in a hat

a book in a sock

smelling a little of sweat

sock-pockets for books

follow your steps

some say the library is unnecessary

some say it has already gone

words are everywhere

the library

is the world

form your library

from the words in the world

Touching the earth and the sky


Monday, April 18, 2016

 

 

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I sat by the bookshelf for less than a few minutes when it caught my eye.

 

Touching the earth and the sky. A small, thin, white book, with only the title on the cover and spine, in simple black type. It was squeezed between two books, towering beside it like skyscrapers, like a small alleyway just off the main road.

 

Somehow this book was meant to be mine for a day. Its small size meant I could easily slip it in my bag, pocket, under my arm, on top of some other books. Its blankness meant it didn’t clash with any of the covers of my other books or objects. A book that could manage to slip in anywhere, unnoticed, and hide comfortably for a while. I placed it on a pile of books I had lying around at home, and it looked like it had been there for years. I put it on the table in the living room with my notebook, so as not to forget to bring it the next morning, and it seemed to curl up its spine and go to sleep. I placed it in my bag and it slipped right under the cover, as if it had done it a thousand times before.

 

What made this book so naturally acceptable to its environment? I thought it was probably that it looked a bit insignificant: the combination of its small, thin shape; the white cover; the simple type. But this insignificance intrigued me. It was almost as if the book worked as a counter-weight: a blank page in all this information that was already surrounding me. Where each book I looked at was pouring out its message to me, this book seemed to suck its message back into itself, hiding it even when opened, and remaining its aura of blissful ignorance. It didn’t matter if I understood the book, if I had read it or knew what it was about, because its attraction was this mystery where I could read all that I wanted into its story.

 

I took the book to a place, and was curious how it would fit into a place that neither I nor it had seen before. I left my bag in a locker so the book travelled with me in my hand, clasped behind my back or dangling from my fingers. It didn’t seem to mind. The cleanness of the space fitted it surprisingly well, and it wasn’t long before it had made it clear to me that it wanted to be put down, in one particular spot by the window. At first, it looked slightly lost and vulnerable on the floor, but the longer I looked away and looked again, the more it blended in and seemed to breathe into its place. It managed to hide from my eyes at times, its reflection suddenly disappearing as I took a step forward, backward, but would suddenly reassure me by popping back into focus. I was losing it to its environment, and at the same time I had never seen it so in its place.

 

The moment came to take it back. I was convinced it would resist my touch, being so perfectly in its place by the window, but no sooner had I picked it up or the book folded into its position in my hand. Just as it had curled up on the table in my living room, now it rested in my palm as we travelled back to the bookshelf where I had first spotted it.

 

The books that had towered by its side before I couldn’t find anymore, the shelves having been rearranged with all the people searching through the library. But I knew now that there was no trouble in finding a new spot for this little book. Placed beside a window, a tower, a roadside or hovering in the sky, it would always manage to reflect its environment and tell the reader exactly what you had always wanted to hear.

 

In my library, you move your way through the books one on one. Each book functions simultaneously as a lock and key. You don’t know the doors it might open when you pick it from its place on the shelf. Even when you’ve skimmed the spine, recognised the author, taken in the title and flicked through its pages, you’re still under a false impression of knowing where the book might lead you. It’s only once you’ve managed to extract it from its place in the library, folded your fingers around the covers, travelled with it for a couple of days, immersed yourself in the letters and forgotten it on the train, that you start to discover what this book holds in store for you. And once the rhythm of opening and closing the story has come to its natural end, the book will lead you back to the library to be found in its new place, closing its door as softly as it opened, and unlocking the way to a new book. Only a system which has no system can enable this experience of true discovery.

 

And then you can touch the earth and the sky.

 

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Fire and broken mirrors


Monday, April 18, 2016

 

In Mark 9, notice that the Lord Jesus repeats three times about Hell, “where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.”

 

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A source of inspiration: Virginia Woolf (1882 -1941).

A writer very much concerned with the transformation of life through art, sexual ambivalence and the flux of time and life (in the form of corrosion and rejuvenation). Her style of writing is experimental and somewhat playful; time and gender for example are sometimes shifted in unexpected ways. She dealt with the problems some people of her time were having with the world around; most of which people today can still relate to.

She suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life and eventually committed suicide by drowning at the age of 59.

 

 

It is all about the design of a headpiece.

First, it is always about trying to get a grip on the thing, trying to get under the skin of the object of investigation. It is the same way of working for writers in general as for me trying to crawl under the skin of a writer in order to create a kind of mask.

What does it mean to be a writer?

 

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appropriate dressing for the process

 

The writer is holding up the mirror to the world, and says to herself: “Look! the world is so full of life! Think of all the passions that exist there (love, hate, anger, etc.). It is a fire that cannot be quenched.” She is sitting behind her desk in her writing shack, reflecting on the world outside – creating parallel universes. The passions of this world are powerful things, and those are the things she needs to deal with. The writer shall not remain untouched for long. The writer desperately holds up to the mirror.
Writing is a way to deal with the fire, a way of protecting oneself. The writings also make the world more aware of itself – of what it does. The message is perhaps not always pleasant, but always necessary. The world as it is is not by definition how it is supposed to be. The world (and its fire burning within) needs to look into its reflection every now and then. But the fire is aggressive and with time the mirror corrodes and begins to show signs of breaking. The first shards fall of the mirror and pierce the skin of the writer. It hurts, but the writing continues. What else can the writer do? At a certain point the frame of the mirror is empty and the entire mirror has become part of the face: A MASK OF BROKEN MIRROR. The mirror has become part of the writer. Now it is the writer herself that is reflecting the world. The writer is not of our world anymore; she has become a kind of prophet.

“[...] and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.” (Mark 9)

 

woolf mask painting vision

painting of the first 'vision' I had of the mask I was going to make

THIS IS A WRITERS MASK. Virginia Woolf as the source of inspiration provided direction for the choice of form and color.

The fabric of the writers mask is white. White as the color of the prophet and as the color of cleansing and purity, which are the intended aims of the process of writing and reading. Technically white would also be the color that reflects the light most strongly, creating a strong contrast with what happens in the mirroring surface (which is mostly darkness, except for the fire).

It is woven textile that creates a strong association with the Victorian era, during which Virginia Woolf was born. Also, the fabric is frayed at the ends and on the sides because it is a long process to become a writer (time withers the textile).

A rectangular shaped surface filled with the luminous shards of the broken mirror is covering the face and extending downwards across the chest. The rectangular shape of the covering broken mirror suggests the mirror when it was still framed.
The mask is put on more or less like a kerchief: (1) first the mirror part is put in front of the face, (2) then the scarf-like extension goes over the head, (3) and under the chin and/or over the face, and (4) then finally back over the head to fixate the mirror part. The fabric is long enough so that it covers the whole body by (5) drawing it two or three times around the neck and head.

 

woolf mask pic outside 3 woolf mask pic outside 2
the sun is the perfect fire

 

The essential thing about the mask is the refection of fire in the mirror-pieces. The fire symbolizes the passions of life, or the Hell, of the world around. This fire has an immaterial quality, and this is important. Emotions and passions and other things that concern writers are often things that exist beyond our material reality. Many many words and/or a good deal of symbolism are needed to make them sensible. The light and the aggressive nature of fire would be a good way to illustrate those immaterial forces.

So in its completeness THE MASK IS REFLECTING THE FIRE.

But even though the fire is essential, ultimately, the fire is only a metaphor for the burning fire of life itself, and we can say that this fire of life originates from the sun and is sustained by the sun. Therefore the sun is the perfect fire to illuminate all that is reflected in the mask.

Behind the mask is a living being. It moves. It is communicating, but the language is of another world. The intensity of the fire seems to change all the time. We hear the fire burning. We see the flashing reflections in the mirror. In fact we can see ourselves, fragmented, through the mirror, in the fire. Fire is burning away all the time, consuming the life that is inside, but the fire cannot be quenched.
 

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