Carrie Mae Rose is a polymath whose creative projects integrate fine art, technology, fashion, material science and meditation. Rose's work has evolved from her Wearable Weapon sculptures series made from confiscated TSA scissors and razor blades to creating agave art: large-scale agave leaf installations, art prints and Computational Couture with 3D printed geometric forms embedded with technology. Rose working with experimental technologies that blend modern science as well as sacred, ancient art practices to explore different regeneration and healing properties. Rose is developing a series of Vibrational Bodycrown Experiments that explore how technologies and textile materials can strengthen physiological and neurological systems in our body.
Carrie Mae Rose has participated in events with Brooklyn Museum, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, Microsoft Social Computing Symposium, Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund, NY Hall of Science, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, IgniteNYC, Princeton Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and Parsons the New School for Design. She has exhibited work in numerous galleries and museums nationally and internationally. Rose holds a B.A. from Prescott College and an M.F.A. in Design & Technology from Parsons the New School for Design.
AGAVES - At the start of the new millennium, in 2000, I began working with the desert-grown agave plant. The agave maintains a tender sweet center within its beautiful radial structure of barbed and pointed stalks. These leaves protect it from nectar and water seeking animals. When approaching the agave plant, one must be aware and respectful of this armor. Similarly, we each need love and touch yet also respect and honor. In my own life, as a child I lacked the ability to protect myself. I was violated and consequently I did not learn how to allow others treat me with reverence. My nectar, my center, continued to be handled indiscriminately. My struggle to strike this delicate balance of vulnerability and safety inspired this first body of work.
SCISSORS - When I moved to NYC in 2007, I started using the term Wearable Weapons somewhat ironically because I began building sculptures and wearables from confiscated scissors from airports that the government had defined as 'Weapons of Mass Destruction.' Wearable Weapons began by exploring themes of personal intimacy and the dynamics that mark intimate relationships – the need to feel safe and protected when being vulnerable and the delicate boundaries between opening up and the chance to be hurt. When I speak of vulnerability, I speak about the other half of the equation which is protection. We cannot have one without the other; they define each other.
RAZORS - In 2010, a book-maker friend of mine gave me thousands of used razor blades. I am fascinated by the concept of devastating beauty. Something so beautiful that it can create a big opening. The hurts-so-good kind of feeling. I like this edge. Women have been historically labeled as both nurturing and dangerous, both goddess and whore. I like representing both the softness of the Virgin Mary and the fierceness of the Goddess Kali by decorating the naked female body with razor blade collars.
FIRE & ELECTRICITY - The quality of intense vulnerability and opening feels like burning to me and this is why I like researching and building using electricity and fire. Also, if the Gods wore armor, what would the substance of their armor be? My answer is Fire. Pure Fire. Pure intensity and impenetrable burning density. I decided to represent this Fire-of-the-Gods by using real fire and electricity. These Wearable Weapon concepts are intended to provoke and inspire and protect those who wear them. Ultimately the Violet Wand collar and Fire Dress were too dangerous to make at this time.
Physical weapons offer a false promise and nothing can keep my body truly safe from death.
Interview by Zoe Romano for Digicult Magazine