WEAR(E) [Wear We Are]

WEAR(E) [Wear We Are] | DIAP (Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice)

April 20, 2016, 8-11pm

Urban Garden Room
One Bryant Park, Ground Floor
(Northwest corner of 43nd Street and Sixth Avenue)
New York, NY
Viewable from the street

Nearest Trains: 1, 2, 3, N, Q, R, A, C, E, S

The human body has always been a primary subject/site of art making. By natural extension, so has the skin that encapsulates it. The textures, technologies, objects that we embellish or enhance our skin with, that adapt us into our environments, reflect our own tastes and desires, as much as they reflect those of the society and time we live in.

Both the act of wearing and the objects that are worn are powerful gestures that transverse and merge society, politics, technology, material, and the body. The act of wearing and what is worn communicates information that is crucial to our contemporary climate, in a manner that is accessible to an audience beyond the white walls of the gallery.

During the live event, artists will perform their wearables inside the 'Urban Garden Room,' engaging and indirectly interacting with the outside public through the glass panels of the space. The setting is at once reminiscent of mannequins in a storefront and of actors on a stage—the invited audience may watch from a distance, but is not physically able to step into the performance itself.

DIAP's interest in curating WEAR(E) [Wear We Are], showcasing wearables in the contemporary art practice, is two-fold. On the one hand, it is linked to Lev Manovich’s defense of fashion and its relevance in today’s rapidly changing world, “fashion is everything contemporary art is not: it is concerned with beauty; it is more semiotically layered than the most complex Photoshop composite; and it has one ever present constraint...the human figure.” On the other hand, it is with the intention of situating the contemporary wearable within the canonized history of art, directly linking this practice to its predecessors in the performance and time-based works of the 60s and 70s.

About "The Wearable" & "Wearables"
The notion of the wearable as art, as thinking presented on the body as opposed to on a wall, emerged in the 1950s and 1960s with the birth of the time-based art forms of performance and video. Among the first artists who explored the wearable in their artwork are the Gutai Group’s Atsuko Tanaka, through Electric Dress; Yoko Ono, through Cut Piece; Nam June Paik, through TV Bra for Living Sculpture; Lynda Benglis, through Benglis ad, published in the ArtForum magazine; and Marina Abramovic, through Rhythm O.

By the 1980s—and through the early 1990s, following the second-wave feminism movement’s interest in subverting the male gaze and confronting gender inequalities in society—the body, and consquently the wearable, re-emerged as the direct, central subject of artmaking. Though it remained mostly invisible as a distinct practice until more recently,  as the lines separating fashion, art and technology have become increasingly blurred, the wearable has emerged as a powerful and versatile medium in its own right. More recent examples include Ana Mendieta’s Earth Body Works, Rosemarie Trockel’s Schizo Pullover, Vanessa Beecroft’s Living Sculptures, Judy Werthein’s Brincos and Andrea Vander Kooij’s Garments for Forced Intimacy.

About the Artists
Jeff Aaron Bryant/Blaze Ferrer/Asta Bennie Hostetter

Bryan Pettigrew is unfluenced by cartoons and video games. He uses found objects and thrift store finds to create mixed media sculptures, frequently involving the use of characters. Having cultivated a knack for juxtaposing objects, he explores their relationships and questions of humanity through his formulated characters.

Emily Dorothy Conley is an American artist and designer living in Dublin, Ireland, and working internationally. With a focus on imagined futures, she creates practical and speculative work that aims to identify issues, present possibilities, and expand realities.

Gautam Kansara (b. 1979, London) is part of a number of prestigious private collections, including The Burger Collection in Hong Hong and The Sreya and Swapan Seth Collection in New Delhi. Since 2002, his works have been featured internationally in numerous exhibitions and screenings--most recently in as a part of Speak Out, at the Bronx Art Space, in NYC (2016). Gautam has been an artist-in-residence at Smack Mellon, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Swing Space, and the Center for Book Arts.

Max Steiner is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He specializes in creating masks, jewelry, accessories, and sculptures, using a wide variety of materials and manufacturing processess.

Michelle Cortese is a Toronto-born designer, maker, futurist, and typophile, curently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Her specialities include UX/UI design, art direction, audio hardware, light graphics programming, and navigating the intersection of fashion and technology.

Normandy Sherwood is a playwright, costumer, and director. Her plays have been presented at The New Ohio Theatre, The Kitchen, Dixon Place, and more. She co-directs two theater companies: The Drunkard's Wife and the OBIE-award-winning National Theater of the United States of America. She has designed costumes for plays by Mac Wellman, Young Jean Lee, and Faye Driscoll.  She co-curates Little Theatre @ Dixon Place and she teaches writing at NYU.

Noumeda Carbone

ntilit (in collaboration with Krishna Christine Washburn) is a project based design studio dedicated to a passion for creating wearable sculptures and mixed-media installations. ntilit's mission is to create versatile crafted sculptures that shift the perspective of space and host a performative experience.

Tattfoo Tan is an artist who collaborates with the public on issues relating to ecology, sustainability, and healthy living. His work is project-based, ephemeral, and and educational in nature. He resides in Staten Island with his chicken collective named S.O.S. 5p.m.

About the Curators
Burcin Ayebe is an Instanbul-based interdisciplinary artist, currently living in Brooklyn and working in a wide spectrum of media.

Andrea Bass tells stories about everyday objects in unexpected ways to uncover truths about the conventional by exploring them unconventionally.

Lori Brungard is a movement artist, combining still and moving images on video with bodies in space, addressing universal issues through a personal lens.

Priyanka Dasgupta is an installation artist working with video, photography, and sculpture. Her work investigates ways of making the invisible visible, and in doing so, confronting and challenging the limitations of mainstream media and image circulation.

Woojin Lee is an interdisciplinary artist who explores and focuses on the discrepancies between psychological and physical presence.

Jean Carla Rodea is an interdisciplinary artist working with performance, sound, video, photography, and installation. Born in Mexico City, Rodea currently lives in Brooklyn.

Jenny Seastone is a perfomer and intermedia artist. She was also the founder of the performance series, Catch, which is now in its 11th year.

Erik Sanner has curated exhibitions at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center and chashama in NYC, Mobius in Boston, and TEPCO Gallery in Tokyo.

Emma Yi s a creative video artist and a photographer. Yi's experience living in both China and United States has offered her a different angle in her digital art practice.

About the Organization
DIAP (Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice) at CCNY (The City College of New York) is a research community, which helps students work both collaboratively and individually on creative projects in, or related to, digital media art.

For more information, please contact: eriksanner@gmail.com

To see images of the event, click here.

Tags: window, performance, dance, 1BP, One Bryant Park, Urban Garden Room
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