Read an Article
2022-2023. Past Newsletters. Reverence vs Revenge.. how do we support collective Revelation? I seem to have more questions than answers these days. Today I am inspired to share a bit of my perspective & examples of reverence and revenge in the current cultural conversation. All of us are in this time of reckoning together!
2021. Wearable Weapons [ sculpture series made with TSA confiscated scissors ] I bought 75 pounds of TSA confiscated scissors from eBay. It was 2008 and I was preparing for my MFA thesis project. I was in NYC completing my creative degree 7 years after the Twin Towers had fallen and TSA had made a bunch of new rules to protect us all from the threat of “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Does having our scissors and other sharp objects confiscated from our bags, suitcases and purses help keep us all safe? It was a sweltering hot spring day in Phoenix and I stopped by a yard sale where I discovered waist high boxes filled with scissors, wine corkscrews and other sharp confiscated items purchased at an airport auction. I was fascinated and in awe. A number of years later, remembering the abundance and intensity of the items, I decided these could be the perfect recycled materials for me to work with for my thesis sculpture series. I decided to construct something new out of these “threatening weapons” that had found their way to yard sales and eBay after being sold off from the airport excess. Annual auctions each year sold these sharp objects accumulated since these new safety rules were put in place. I titled my thesis exhibition Confiscated Weapons of Mass Construction. I divided my bounty into piles on the floor and sorted the scissors by color, shape and design. There were colorful construction scissors, medical grade instruments, cuticle size scissors, and scissors in all sizes and shapes, some made from metal and others from plastic. I became a scissors connoisseur with a collection of my favorite unusual designs saved and set aside for display. In my collection I saved the largest ones that measured over a foot, and the tiniest one that were under 2 inches, all metal ones with large equal sized openings for fingers, ones with different sized finger holes, one vintage one in the shape of a stork, and all different scissors with colored hard plastic handles. One of the greatest joys in my life is the meditative activity of building something new. It brings me such sublime happiness to take ordinary items and up-cycling them into something extraordinary. For many months I played weekly in my studio with the scissors assembling them and disassembling them to create sculptures from a variety of textures and patterns. I explored ways to construct them into circle forms and mandala designs. I made exploratory sculptures by stabbing them into cork, casting them in thin layers of cement, stapling them to wood, building gigantic designs on the floor and then zip tying them together. When I zip tied them together this material became extra charged with meaning as a “weapon” because zip ties are also used by police forces as impromptu handcuffs when attempting to arrest large groups of people. For me, the circle form represents unity and brings all fragments of life together into an infinite unbroken archetypal shape. As a meditation student and spiritual seeker my lifelong work has been to bring my own fragments of consciousness into an experience of perfection. I have always been one to push the edge, in my family and in my creative career. By using sharp scissors this edge became physical. By using materials that could be used to inflict deadly injury, I have enjoyed exploring the fine line between opening and being ripped open. Just like a pure note can shatter a glass, it is my hope to make sculptures and images that can piercingly and positively imprint the consciousness of the viewer. Bracelet built with TSA confiscated cuticle scissors for Wearable Weapons series. The greatest issue of our times is our disconnection from Self and consequently each other. Hindu yantra diagrams, Tibetan and Navajo sand-paintings, and sacred geometry images are healing visual communications. I draw inspiration from these ancient art forms and by visually portraying the perfection of the circle form, I bring a modern offering and reminder on how to bring a sense of calmness and wholeness. We can focus on our interconnectedness with life. If we each remove the layers of our trauma we help the sunlight of the spirit shine more brightly in ourselves. I had a breakthrough one day when I assembled over 100 black-handled scissors into a circle with the handles on the outside and all the blades turned inwards (black zip ties tightly hold all the scissors together.) In this arrangement, the scissors are transformed from individual sharp points to concentric circles formed by the black handles and silver blades. When viewed from above the individual scissor shape disappears and the metal blades become a fascinating jagged edged metal tunnel that pulls into you into an empty center. Sculpture built with TSA Confiscated Scissors for Confiscated Weapons of Mass Construction series. One day in my studio I built a thin foldable scissor circle and was inspired to place it around the neck of a friend. It became a pokey collar with scissors and blue zip ties. This began a new direction for the scissor sculptures as they became wearable. I made collars and bracelets and breastplates. This scissor armor work grew over 5 years to become my Wearable Weapons series. Vulnerability, protection and healing is the theme. I want viewers to experience a heightened sense of caution and reverence of their own fragility and sacredness. First collar built from TSA Confiscated Scissors for Wearable Weapons series. As modern culture heads towards “Utopia or Oblivion” as Buckminster Fuller’s last book was titled, we are all feeling the effects of constant change and upheaval. We are each being asked to draw upon our inner resources to survive. Wearable Weapons are poetic and playful sculptures designed to help empower, strengthen and promote a sense of beauty, and question our individual sources of security and safety for all who encounter them. The Wearable Weapons series helped me begin to feel safe enough to feel more beautiful. These physical sculptures symbolized a layer of protection that empowered me to more fully experience my own sensuality and femininity. What brings a feeling of protection? Does armor, protective clothing and security measures at airports make one feel more safe? Breastplate built from medical grade confiscated TSA scissors for Wearable Weapons series. The wings represent the healing transformation of my expansion beyond trauma and fear and the need for protection. I took the black-handled scissors and made life-size wings. I then took all of the medical grade scissors and made tail feathers to fully embrace the birdness of the costume. The tail feathers then became the main feature when I placed them on my front as a breastplate. I believe as humans we are 1/2 animals and 1/2 angels. It is my belief that ultimately no physical weapon will keep us safe. Physical weapons offer a false promise. I am beginning to truly embody the concept that our seeking Truth is our highest protection. More Wearable Weapons viewable HERE :) Wearable Wings and tail feathers (became breastplate) built with TSA Confiscated Scissors. Mini Scissor Wings built with TSA Confiscated Scissors.
2015. *Short interview with Soundwall.co about tetrahedron art print inspirations and techniques* HOW DID YOU FIRST DEVELOP THE TETRAHEDRON WINGS SERIES? This series of prints are vector drawings that were downloaded from the 3D modeling program Maya and are able to be scaled in size from very tiny to extremely large. The wings are actually 3D models built with individual tetrahedron forms and they can be animated and put in a full range of positions. Some of the images the wings have been layered over each other blended together to create a specific overlap in the middle. This idea was developed over a three month period in the summer of 2013 at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center. I was concurrently building actual 3D printed models of wings and the first explorations in Maya, with the help of a brilliant assistant/intern Rui Hu, were to create the individual tetrahedron file to be printed on a MakerBot. We tested the options of printing out sections of wings, but it became clear that the assembly was best left after the objects had been printed. These prints were exploring how to blend together the form of tetrahedrons with wings. In Maya, Rui built bones and animated a full set of wings that can be projected and exhibited along with the prints. WHAT'S THE PROCESS LIKE TRANSLATING YOUR WORK BY HAND TO 3D PRINTING? The evolution of the series began with carbon paper, pencil, paper, triangle stencil, and a few images of wings printed out from nature sites on the internet. I traced directly on to the wings and underneath was carbon paper that left just the outline of the triangle with on paper beneath. Then I photographed these stencil images and gave them to Rui to upload into Maya. He then placed a 3D tetrahedron on each place there was a triangle and he did some adjusting to create a fulling aligned and workable wing. There were many iterations and attempts before we found the current form. Then he took vector images of one of the wings in many different positions. I chose three to begin with: horizontal spreading open, lifted halfway-up, and fully lifted. I then took the vector files into Adobe Illustrator and made a mirror image of each and began aligning them and finding the best overlap. I adjusted the gradient of the colors and placed multiple images in layers of different colors to finalize the Amazing Grace, Ascension print. WHAT IS THE CONCEPT BEHIND THIS SERIES OF WORKS? The concept being explored with the prints has multiple layers. Firstly, they are representing the empty form of a crystallized structure that is exploring the non-physical energetic circulations that begin in the heart, similar to the nadis of Ayurvedic Medicine and the meridians in Chinese medicine. These circulations around the human body and field are part of a subtle body system that Rudolf Steiner calls the Four Fold Model. I am researching how to help human physiology transition to living in the extreme environment of space stations and during space travel. This is just the beginning of the next 20+ years of work around this topic. I believe that we will need angelic help in this transition of human living in space. These wings symbolize the transition of becoming lighter, more free and yet more structured at same time. The nano and molecular structure that underlies much of the mineral realm is made of the platonic solid of the tetrahedron and so the wings mimic the mineral structure in an abstracted way.
2015. Metalsmith Magazine article. The Art of Disarming. To See and Be Seen.
2014. Welcome To The Third Wave Of Wearable Technology New York: What Happens When You Combine Silicon Alley With New York's Stories Fashion Industry? Carrie Mae Rose's Project "Bodycrowns," A Collaboration With Dr. Dan Steingart Of Princeton [Now Columbia] University, Explores Poetic Models Of Future Garments Built For Space Emigration. Based On Concept By The Scientist And Philosopher Rudolf Steiner, The Garment Is Designed To Assist The Human Transition From A Terrestrial To A Solar Species That Futurists Have Predicted Will Occur Between 2028 And 2045. On A Near-Future Level, The Project Also Responds To The Opportunities In The Nascent Space Transportation Market. "My Bodycrowns Are Conceptually Inspired To Be Models For Space Emigrants In The Not-Too-Distant Future," Rose Said, Speaking Form Her Studio At Eyebeam In Chelsea, New York. "I Am Hoping These Models Can Help Scientists And Future Space Travelers To Survive And Thrive In Space .. To Help Them With The Physiological Changes," She Said. In Science-Speak, Rose Has Created Light-Illuminated Structures That Go Around The Body, Using The Battery Paper And Spandex That Was Developed With Dr. Steingart, An Expert On Highly Flexible, Printed Alkaline Batteries. The Artist And Scientist Are Attempting To Take Standard Battery Materials And Embed Them Into Various Fabrics So They Can Provide Power While Being Able To Flex And Stretch, As Well As Fold. This Means The Garment Can Visually Demonstrate The Movement Of Subtle Electric Circulations Around The Physical Body And How They Interact With The Wearer's Pulse, Breath And Speech. "We're Trying To Make Batteries That Take Advantage Of The Full Area Available For The Clothing Item, While Still Feeling Like The Clothing Item," Steingart Explained. The Princeton Professor (Now Columbia) Said Should They Succeed, They Would Target The Haute Couture Market, Medical Businesses And The Fitness Industry.
2012. The Sublime and The Vulnerable | The Art of Carrie Mae Rose Interview by Zoe Romano for Digicult Magazine