MFA Communication Design and Technology Major Studio: Interface Fall 2008 Tue 9.22 Consider the user, iterate Group A presents 1st design iterations: Nancy, Brian, Genda, Callie, DanielW, Spencer, Emre View precedents, Political fictions, artists as interventionists: Wodiczko, Lucy Orta, Andrea Zittel Reading discussion: main points of From User to Character RHW for 9.24: What do Prototypes Prototype, post reaction to blog Stagegate process: data gathering, ideation, prototyping, text & refine Practical Fictions: Places to Live and Things to Wear (Andrea Zittel & Krzysztof Wodizco) Andrea Zittel From Andrea Zittel: Critical Space http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/zittel/index.html# Andrea Zittel’s work creatively engages with the physical and social constraints of the sites she occupies, which become her ‘canvas.’ Her sculptures and prototypes transform everything necessary for life—such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing—into artful experiments in living. She continually changes her relationship with her domestic and social environment by constantly reinventing how she interfaces with it through her clothing and housing. She says she likes to flip situations, to take something that might be a limitation, recontextualize it, and make it a luxury. Her studio A-Z West is in the desert next to Joshua Tree State park in California. The desert originally appealed to her for its frontier attitude and undisturbed character, an open canvas, though she gradually became aware of its constraints. In the desert she found an interesting clash of harsh climate and human optimism. Space Zitell’s work is obviously experienced based. She lives in all of her clothing and domestic products, and customized specific units for friends to live in. Her early work began when she was living in a tiny space in NY and doing breeding experiments with chickens; creating simple, flexible spaces for them to live and evolve in, and she started to wonder if this wouldn’t make sense for her environment as well. Originally she didn’t think of the living units as art. But as the work evolved, using herself as a subject in living experiments was a way to understand & comment on society at large. Zittel used the AZ Management and Maintenance Unit (1992) to maximize the space in her 200 square foot studio to organize her living and working functions in a 3D grid. The Living Units organize every day activities: eating, working, socializing and resting into streamlined experiences. The early Living Units (1993,4) are compact and fold into trunks for transport; they include closet and storage with portable seating. Later models became more complex with work and lounge areas. She is quoted in saying how she thought these designs would solve all her problems. In NY, Zittel was more focused on creating tiny capsules that could be moved from one tiny space to another because she moved a lot. Zittel seeks for freedom within order, to transform limitations into luxuries. When she moved from NY to the west coast, she became much more interested in working with land and creating environments, because there was land to be had. Because the Homestead units are less than 120 sq ft and transportable, they don’t require a building permit. Zittel’s studies of terrain led to the fabrication of a floating island in Helsingor, Denmark called Pocket Property (2000). A-Z Pocket Property combines three most loved possessions: home, land and vehicle. With the Pocket Property, she liked the idea of being completely autonomous but thought that communities of islands could float together to have privacy plus the safety and comfort of civic engagement. The Homestead Units incorporate the search for freedom and notion of frontier inherent in the American West. Clothing Zittel started to experiment with clothing when she was an emerging artist with little money, She wanted to create 7 outfits to wear during the day at her gallery job & at night in her studio The first A-Z Personal Uniforms were cut and sewn ranging from basic wool to silk. In a few years(1998), she began to focus on fabric’s flat origins, echoing Russian Constructivists, resulting in the A-Z Personal Panel Uniform; square garments tied and pinned to fit. She later created A-Z Single Strand Uniforms from a single thread, first crocheting, later weaving by hand, enjoying the comparison to an insect spinning a web or cocoon. Most recently for A-Z Fiber Form Uniform she has been carding raw wool directly on the body; a process that involves no seams and involves into organic shapes. Krzysztof Wodizco From: The Interventionists: Users Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life Art Close Up http://www.wgbh.org/pages/artcloseup/features/content/0504/index.html Art: 21 http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/wodiczko/index.html Born in 1943 in Poland, Wodizco considers himself part of a mass immigration movement. Since the late 80’s he’s been developing devices for ‘modern nomads’ such as homeless people, refugees and immigrants that serve as tools for survival and communication. He coined the term "interrogative design," or design that questions social order, to describe artworks which give participants a public forum to speak about painful social issues. Describes his designs as vehicles for people who might otherwise by alienated, traumatized or silenced to communicate with strangers. He views these devices as prosthetics to extend human potential and address hardships. He points out that despite the explosion of communication tech, there is an increasing breakdown in inter-cultural communication Says technology can be used as a neutral ‘translational object’ or interface, that occupies the space between inner and outer. Says his designs are for his collaborators who actually utilize the objects or experiences, the perception of the public is essential as social witness but secondary. Homeless Vehicle (1988) worked with group of NYC homeless to design a survival instrument for urban nomads. The modified shopping cart addresses both livelihood and shelter with facilitates for can and bottle recycling and a telescoping design to provides temporary shelter. It was crucial for this group to be able to move from place to place with all their personal belongings quickly and efficiently in order to function in the city, so key factor in vehicle’s design. The project was meant to disrupt our image of how homeless should function in the city. Critical design: highlights the social reality of the situation and challenges responses to it Wodizco frames the homeless as a consumers of a product, describing them in a manner a consumer culture might more readily understand. Functions as a case study for responses to the situation Dis-Armor (2000) is a video backpack that projects the eyes and voice of its wearer behind them Through a mic and head mounted video camera they can communicate with people without having to face them. Wodizco describes this as mediated or indirect communication The project was used by Arab Americans to discuss their experiences after 9.11. Wodizco writes that some people might find the device stifling rather than a liberating. He says that for people who are afraid to speak, it is sheltering and enabling. Aegis Project Is meant to reflect dual truths of immigrants leading double lives The wing like screens can be deployed wi/verbal commands and play prerecorded video of statements that might otherwise be difficult for the wearer to say in person. Alien Staff consists of a staff with an LCD screen at the top and a compartment for travel necessities. He sees it as protection and representation for immigrants or modern pilgrims. Video played on the screen bears witness to the events in the life of the immigrant that they otherwise might have trouble talking about. Lucy Orta’s Fluid Architecture: Rendering the Invisible Visible www.studio-orta.com Anthony Quinn’s Intimate distances: Space, Society, Humanity and Hope http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detournement At their foundation, many of Lucy Orta’s designs provide basic needs of modern nomads (disaster victims, refugees or urban homeless): clothing that converts to shelter and back. Beyond that they o Transform perception of modern nomads and gives the visibility in the public sphere. o Rethink how we use space and the meanings we confer on space o Reference Situationists’ détournement: to reuse elements of well-known media to create new work with a different message, often one that opposes or subverts the original. o Mix practicality with social commentary and collective resistance. Orta explores the overlap between clothing and architecture, moving beyond their ability to provide protection, she explores their power to communicate (semantics), and unite people. Work centers around social bonds formed w/in systems of habitation Original Refuge Wear highlighted the needs of nomadic individual. Later reconceived as designs that zip together to emphasize need for community to survive. Modular Architecture reflects need to form social network. In Body Architecture, the physical link creates a social link. People join together for physical need of warmth and protection, form social bonds. Her own community oriented projects have fostered her belief in collective action for change, reflected in the communal aspect of linked designs such as Nexus Architecture. Even w/ current state of communication tech, as public space consumes private, Orta believes strong but flexible communities are essential, and reexamines communal self organization as an act of liberty. Michelle Foucault used the term heteropia for ‘other spaces’ like brothels, oriental gardens, and communes that he said that were mythic but real. Though set apart, they functioned in the real world, unlike a utopia. They were like a mirror (a détournement), that countered the real world and reflected it back. Many other projects on: Water Food: problem: food thrown out by farmers because of faults in systems of production and distribution. Response: Collected fruit, veg and crates and made preserves and other objects out of them. Assisted by Parisian chef: served food at opening.
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