Blog Archives - Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

Cultural Tech-Fusion Fabrics

 
 
Today I visited the Euphrat Museum at De Anza College to deliver some art and to photograph my students work. The museum is displaying my first foray into digital textile design. This length of fabric was printed through Spoonflower.
Picture
Picture
Below is the accompanying plaque. It refers to the textile above as well as to several swatches yet to be installed. It also references student workshop series I designed at several schools.
Picture
Picture
 
I have two projects in the works relating to textiles. One is a NEA grant funded project reflecting on the public's views of Silicon Valley identity (ZERO1 Biennial) and the other (Creative Work Fund application in progress) centers around our past and present visual vocabulary through cultural textiles of Santa Clara County.  For this cultural focus I am working on a logo and press release for the image collection days at libraries. I want to be sure people come!
Here are a few studies.  My first public textile documentation event will be through the Cupertino Library for Asian Heritage Month, May 17th, from 6-9 in The Cupertino Community Hall. The library will be handling all the press as they are folding this data collection event into their programming.  People will bring cultural garments and textiles for me to photograph and document in writing what they are. I will also have a white garment upon which I will have a projector projecting images of my preliminary designs...something visually engaging so that they can visualize that all will come together into textiles and garment at a future date.
 
I met with Rasteriods Design and The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and we decided to create an explanatory animation of the public contributing images for textile design. Here is my stab at that Flash animation.
 
I am trying to learn Flash. I was thinking for the Zero1 textile project I would create an animated logo that represented the coming together of many people's ideas.  This is super rough... the title is not even set yet. The theme of the festival is Build Your World. We are exploring people's ideas of Silicon Valley identity through textile and style. I banged this out for a meeting this morning so, yes, type is over run by the motifs and it is too busy...but I like the general idea of components coming together. I'll be working with the design firm Rasteriods on building the online components of the project. They have build Japantown San Jose's website and beautiful street banners. I look forward to learning from them.
 
I was reading today's Mercury News and learned that Cupertino will be the first Bay Area city to boast a public cricket pitch built to international standards. This reflects the growth of the Indian population as this is a very popular sport in India. In a 4-1 vote Tuesday night, the City Council approved to partially fund the construction of the pitch next to the library. I look forward to photographing the cricket clothing! I have been seeing more and more cricket players near the library over the years. There will be an international women cricket tournament in June on the newly built pitch. I have never seen women cricket players! Very exciting! The imagery of people dressed in cricket clothing is definitely part of our visual vocabulary in a way it was not 10 years ago.
 
As I begin to collect textile images of different cultures here in Santa Clara, I will also be collecting images of food wrappers and other packaging to scan and incorporate into the designs.  Sometimes it is the food packaging that enters the broader public visual vocabulary first.  During my de Young Museum Artist Residency I explored their online database of textiles and blended motifs with patterns inspired by the grounds of the de Young and inspired by family stories. Many wrappers made their way into these pieces as well as fabric remnants from designer Colleen Quen.
Having spent a stint as a museum exhibit graphic designer, I felt comfortable creating the museum panels for my residency. I hope be creating similar such panels for this digital textile project. I believe such diagrams help express the meaning and origins of element in my works.
Below: A few days ago, curator and weaver artist, Deborah Corsini, gave me these vintage  Japanese silk thread boards from the 70's.  The colors, pattern, logo and fonts are wonderful.
Picture
Picture
 
This evening I have been working on creating Egyptian motifs for a Friday Nights event at the de Young Museum...the closing night of the King Tut exhibit. As I was working I was thinking how lucky it is that I have some experience with Illustrator as I embark on creating digital textile designs.  It will be useful.  On the theme of Egypt and the Middle East, we were at dinner tonight at a sushi restaurant in Santa Clara on El Camino Real.  I happened to look across the street and see sandwiched between a wireless phone shop and as car dealership, a small store called "Al-Huda Bookstore and Hijab Corner".  My mind went spinning on other such store names like "Hijab Hut" .  I could see long white shirts on hangers and a woman's manequin head with a patterned hijab on it.  Being in Silicon Valley, I knew it must have a website and it does.  I hope to go visit the store and get a better look at their rich textiles. The pink patterned fabric on the hijab looked very pretty.

I think this experience is typical of the cultural fusion in Santa Clara County. I loved it that I was eating sushi in the Korean section of El Camino Real and was gazing at a hijab store across the street.

Below are beginnings of the de Young project pattern pieces. I will be approaching the project with a sort of Art Deco Egyptian flavor. Visitors will take these elements, color them, cut them out, and attach them to gold headbands.
 
A few days ago I was informed that I was selected as a MERIT Scholar at the KCI Center for Innovation. I will be learning digital tools and ways to bring innovative projects into the Title One schools I teach at.  I will use the implementation funding ($1,000) to create a digital fabric workshop for elementary school students. Last night I found this wonderful lesson plan, The Joy of Hex , by Jon Ingrim.  It will help me greatly in designing the lessons leading up to the actual textile tile patterns the students create. The children will reference or scan objects from their daily lives to create textile designs reflecting their visual vocabulary (ie: Mexican De La Rosa candy wrappers, scarps of piñatas, Vietnamese noodle bags, etc.) The project will  make the convergence of art, math, technology and culture tangible and exiting to the children. I very excited to have received this education grant allowing me to reach out into the community to engage them in reflections on cultural through textiles. I will be conducting these workshops in Spring 2011.
 
Last night we ate at a Japanese restaurant in a Sunnyvale strip mall. It was a fascinating collection of store. There was a kind of western bar, Asian dollar store, Korean household goods store, Japanese restaurant and a Korean grocery store. In the Korean grocery store we saw a Middle Eastern family and Indian family shopping. I liked this woman's skirt. You can't see it very well here, but her head scarf has embellishments that accent her skirt nicely.
Picture
Picture
 
I took a Flash class today at the KCI Center for Innovation and as I was learning to use the deco tool it hit me that the way the tool replicates pattern would lend itself well to a great community building "game".  The selected object or "symbol" is replicated out in a kaleidoscope manner from a center or it can be replicated on a grid.  I envision that there would be a base selection of cultural motifs  to select from and visitors to the site could also up load their own jpg images for others to use in the creation of a textile patterns. Patterns could be saved to a gallery showcasing all designs created by visitors of the site.  Below are some concept studies I created for the idea today. I pulled imagery from the very rudimentary image documentation I have begun.
Picture
Picture
Picture