What attracted me to this piece by Margiela (1989) were the broken porcelain pieces. He had made a huge accessory only with broken pieces. Even though it would not have been practical to wear it, it did have a certain air to it. It was like a puzzle put together. My thought went to memories, carrying something broke with you. He had fixed the procelain in a clever way.
The assignment to create a collage with the pictures that we brought in class, made me really think about the reason why I brought some pictures. To compare it all made me also see the similarities of the pictures that we all had. Me and Guido for example had pictures of war and while he concentrated on the flag, I looked at the majestic clothing of Kings (both portreying their identity). It was nice to talk and brainstorm with each other.
During this process I started to brainstorm and write down ideas as well as sketching things that came to mind. Then I tried to connect the shells to see what it would look like. Some photos of this process:
After newfound inspiration I wanted to look at existing art pieces and searched for visuals (pictures underneath text). My modern art knowlegde is still growing so I needed to know what kinds of art pieces have been made. I found that even the simplest pieces would have a deeper meaning. Normally I would be busy with all the small details but this time I tried to let that go and see where it would take me.
Past - prototype for Anna, based on Iron by Man Ray It is very interesting to think about useless products. While I was looking for inspiration, I stumbled upon a lot of modern products that were made but never really used by people because it just made the task more difficult instead of making it easier. It was a bit more difficult to look solely at the past. What would be an art piece around 1800 or prior, that was playing with irony or criticism? Just like Man Ray in his time. I ended up in the Middle Ages. I have always found this period very interesting because it was so weird to see how people could fall into a dark pit like that. How they forgot about all their knowledge and their good, modern habits. The motto Memento Mori was something that was depressing. People were reminded that they would die. Time had a new meaning. Living life to the fullest was not really something that was valuable anymore. With the art piece I wanted to criticize this man made concept of time. We should live how we desire and have joy while doing so. We should really make something of our lives, reach successes for ourselves. So that is why I want to make a clock without pointers. A clock without pointers is useless but it does push you to look for the natural and the internal clock instead of the man made clock. Don’t focus solely on Memento Mori but look at the Carpe Diem perspective as well.
Second idea: The Middle Ages were very dirty times, people lived filthy and messy. Hygiene was unknown and it had bad consequences. Many people died quicker because of this, during operations/childbirth or because of diseases. To criticize this, I want to make an art piece with a block of soap in a glass box. This box does not have an opening. People cannot reach the soap, so they will not reach hygiene. This product is therefore also useless, the glass around it will prevent the use of the soap.
Future - Prototype for Guido, based on art by Peter Struycken Thinking about anonymity versus the identified in relation to the future, I was thinking about how people would want more and more anonymity in the future. Our faces, data, likes and dislikes, everything, is known on the internet. Especially if you are active on social media. People like the online attention and they like knowing about others through social media, yet we get (sometimes mildly) scared thinking about the scope and power the internet actually has. Especially because it is somewhat new and so unknown. It is logical then that people want to have a mask, to hide themselves from the camera’s. Twenty years from now, almost 40% of the population of the world (rough guess..) will be using a Google Glass sort of machine. I want to create a device that is also an accessory for the head. It will be a device that we depend on heavily (especially if it can be attached to the Google Glass), just like how we depend on smartphones right now. I want to incorporate anonymity in this sleek and minimal accessory. If a strip of light can be implemented onto the accessory, it will make sure that the light will block the eyes from the camera’s. This light can be turned on or off and will be dimmable. It won’t affect the eyes of the user since it is on the forehead (I tested it) but it could be irritating to others. This is why it should be a soft light or a strip that functions as cat eyes. It is a thin device and this way people can still be themselves because you can see the rest of their face. With a mask, their whole face will be blocked, however with this idea, only the eyes will be blocked for the camera’s. By blocking the eyes, the person will be very hard to identify.
To create a prototype by hand was somewhat challenging yet very good because my idea would be clear to everyone. It is easier to understand when you have a prototype because sketches will not be that clear. To experiment with objects was a good way to think of idea's. It was an eye opener.
Martin Margiela was a very anonymous person. He did not appear on interviews and did not show himself to the outside world. His models would often have masks on their faces as well. He was a man focusing solely on his products. I like his necklace made out of broken porcelain, created in 1989. This piece has inspired me to make an art piece as well. This piece also made me think about memories. It was as if the person who wears the necklace was keen on having the precious porcelain close at all times. The idea of keeping your memories close to your heart is what motivated me to work with the concept of memories. To carry something with you even when it has been broken, has a very strong meaning. The part of not being able to part from it has inspired me, that’s how I’ve interpreted it. Just like Margiela, I wanted to create a piece with found/used objects. I went to a second hand store and searched for objects that carried a certain memorie with them. I stumbled upon a handful of beautiful white sea shells. They looked pure and would work good together with wires, as I wanted to use wires as well because of the nice way that they held the objects together. The broken porcelain were forced in a new format through the wires. They were put in a new and fresh environment. I have done that as well with the shells. Shells are together but they are also very scattered in the sand and the sea. I have forced them to be intertwined and close in a ball like form. They are not able to get out and be free. The memories are bundled together. The use of sea shells as memories is because it is a clear token of a memory. Every time I sea shells I think right away of the vacation, of the sea that I have been to and took back with me the beautiful shells. I think of happy and relaxed times. The shells are not that relaxed however in their new environment as they have been bundled together. The wires create tension around them. They are not able to get out, we are not able to reach them. I like the way that the porcelain are put together with the wires and how they form a new composition that is very different of what they used to be. The porcelain pieces are forced to become a new form, to adjust to the new environment. The nicely intertwined wires will form around the ball of sea shells. In this ball of shells lies the memory but it is not visible to anyone, what is inside this ball is a mystery (just like Margiela who is a mystery). Nobody will be able to take apart the shells, it is something private and mysterious. It is a memory that has as different meaning for everbody else. While doing research I also looked at existing art pieces. At first I had wanted to make something that would have a function; a piece of clothing that could protect you, a well fabricated hut that could be a home on the go, a jacket that could be also a sleeping bag. However, I had never made an art piece and while looking for inspiration I saw a lot of art as well. So I decided to give that a go. It was difficult for me as I tried to load a big meaning to it while in reality, art does not always have a broad explanation for the viewer. It is open to interpretation and it can go all kinds of directions. I gave it a shot and explored new things for me. I liked it as well because I may not have made an art piece before, but I do like going to museums and seeing the art there. So while doing research I explored new pieces as well. During this project I did not work on any animation (my regular major) but Digital Craft was something fresh that I welcomed and liked working on. I had to think differently and that is why I also did research in a different manner. I went outside to look for objects, went to the museum to start with an art piece, worked on the project of fellow classmates, constructed a piece by hand etc. Because of this new way of experimenting, I also found new ideas and I hope to do research in the future like this as well, to see how broad I can be with the research. It was however more difficult than I had anticipated. Also because we had a very short time to do a lot. However, I can now look back and see that I have learned from this course.