good vibes

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Welcome, happy campers! Warm and fuzzy memories of the Arts & Crafts tent mix with Brooklyn’s art scene at this year’s Renegade Craft Fair, June 22-23rd in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. After a long hike through forests of crafty goodness, you’ve earned a seat at the campfire. Bask in its warmth under the shadows of totem poles representing Brooklyn’s vibrant local artists, or keep cool with your troop in the tents.

This very weekend you can join me at the Renegade Craft Fair where, in addition to the possibility of getting all your holiday shopping done before Labor Day, you can stop by my installation, Camp Renegade! With the immense help of my friends, we’ve created a walk-through mini-camp where you can park your butt, hang out in the tipi (teepee? tepee? So many variants), or see ridiculously tall totem poles in their natural glory (instead of crammed in my living room as seen above)!

I volunteered to set up an installation at Renegade because I’ve genuinely enjoyed visiting the fair in the past. A lot of craft fairs…how can I say this delicately…have a high tchochke-to-object d’art-ratio. Renegade features the creme-de-la-creme of crafters, including brevity,  Susanne Layton, Chez Sucre Chez, and Dea Dia Jewelry  who I believe just joined this year. So come on down for a weekend full of fun, crafts and potential sunstroke (stay hydrated people)!

 

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Sites like Pinterest and Polyvore mostly bore me because pretty things bore me. Scary things? Gory things? Things so gloriously beauteous they’re painful to behold? Great! Sign me up. But ‘cute’ and ‘pretty’ are often synonyms for ‘safe’ and ‘inoffensive’, and after scrolling through pages of babies or puppies or cupcakes trying to find something of interest, everything blurs into a dull pastel smear and I just can’t pay attention. Polyvore’s even duller because the focus is fashion, wearable objects, and mostly ones from established designers. They’ve tricked the consumer into doing the heavy lifting of advertising, for nothing more than the possibility of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ that just further advertise. I’m sure it’s lots of fun rearranging outfits; it’s the modern paper doll, but the only thing more boring than puppies is fashion, unless you’re reaching for Leigh Bowery levels of wearable art.

AND SO IT IS! A very small segment of Polyvore does indeed seem less interested in Kate Spade bags and cool points and far more interested in messing with the very concept of fashion as passive consumer purchase. Rebecca Jane Stokes’ ‘Get This Look’ series for The Hairpin is the ne plus ultra, with concepts outside the realm of ‘traditional’ inspiration which still lend themselves to some amazing outfits (the Hamburglar and Swans are two favorites).

GTL - Swan

Amazing, not just ‘pretty’.
 
Then there’s sets like this Itchy and Scratchy ‘outfit’, capturing inspiration without a single wearable item and completely circumventing Polyvore’s intended use:

itchy and scratchy

 

…Or this collage of ‘babies’:

All Babies Look Alike

 

User Frank Ocean’s turned arbitration of taste via outfit into personal confession with their sets:

sold my house todai ? ? ?

 

anger fucking management

 

eW MERLIN

 
Then there’s turning away from fashion as constant reinvention of self and embracing it as embodiment of beloved personality. Sort of similar to how fans of anime draw any/every character/historical figure/inanimate object into anime style, but less irritating. And how could you stay mad at these?
 

Untitled #653

 

Untitled #660

 

FCDC 12/50- Joel Robinson

 

FCDC 4/50- Mike Nelson

 
(That they made a set for both Joel and Mike made my week.)
 

Riff On This: The TORGO Collection

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The news was full of the more horrific images from September 11th, most likely relating to that fellow’s ongoing trial. There were riots in Brooklyn, elsewhere innocents were injured or killed, and various evils were perpetrated with no one caught. This is why I strenuously avoid the news, though it keeps me on the periphery of understanding what’s going on. I consider it a small price to pay. Though knowledge is indeed power, ignorance is surely bliss. For those of you perhaps in need of cheering from similar exposure, I offer the following tonics:

Cute Overload, fairly self-explanatory, and excruciatingly adorable. It’s particularly hard, especially for the female set, to restrain from making ‘awwwwww!’ noises out loud.

Shynola’s video for Junior Senior. It’s worth it just for the intro page, where the 8-bit squirrel smokes and pounds shots to the Cheers themesong. But ah, the video, the video itself is puuuurrrre sunshine.

Then there’s The Good News Network. I realize it sounds like a bible study organization, but it’s exactly what it says: a site that collects the hopeful, uplifting, humanity-reaffirming aspects of the news usually glossed over. Did you know they just discovered an incredibly diverse rainforest in Canada? Yep! And they’re going to protect it completely! Yay!


I’m sure most have seen this before, but it’s still pretty uplifting. Yeah!

McSweeney’s lists are also a good gloom-dispeller. There’s lots of other good stuff on the site but the lists are short and sweet. A select few:

Leonard Cohen’s 7 Immutable Laws of Business

Milton Bradley’s Secret Invasion Orders for the Attack on Boston Harbor

Ten Precepts From The Art of War That Never Made It Past Sun Tzu’s
Editor.

Obscenities Uttered by Jesus Christ

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