WHAT IS, IS AND WHAT AIN'T, AIN'T
Within this collection, I am asking the question, Can we break down our capitalistic constructed consumer identities and create a world in which we are no longer driven by our unconscious desires? In WHAT IS, IS AND WHAT AIN’T, AIN’T, I’m visualizing how the product has become a distorted representation of the true foundation of a personality.
Our mind is hacked by capitalism, and capitalism is using it against us. Our private information, shared through digitalization, is used to find out ways of human behavior and with that they are able to manipulate us by tapping into our unconscious irrational desires. This resulted in a society that has habited to a system in which we are entangled with the idea that a product could be a decorative symbol of how we want to be seen by others. We have intertwined with a system that pushes us to express our individuality through consumer goods. The product became the expression of who you think you are. The original notion that you are free to create your identity was replaced by the notion that you need to buy your identity.
A certain garment became an access to a group of a certain identity, a car became a status symbol, and a cigarette is still a symbol of a rebellious identity. Products have acquired a symbolic emotional value that expresses who or what we are. This is all unnecessary decoration of what we really are. We distort ourselves by trying to leave a mark on how we think we should be, by stamping a mark on our core being.
Although we feel like we are free, we have become slaves of our own desires. We have forgotten that we can be more than that. What if we peel off all this layers of desire and needs and notice that there is nothing underneath? From this nothing we are free to create because all the restrictions that society laid upon us are gone. From this nothing we are able to think rationally without our mind being hijacked by our own desires. From this nothing we can form a unity in which the inner structure of the human being is accepted and not covered by a distorted, materialistic version of ourselves. By recognizing ourselves within the core of our being, we create a place spacious and undefined, free from social restrictions. A place where you are free to create the real you, not the you our capitalist society wants you to be.
I hope my collection expresses a unity in which the inner structure is accepted, and so the garments of my collection contribute in creating clarity to strengthen the ability to resist forces that threaten to unconsciously influence our true personality.
“It is not possible to change the inner structure of a human being, the inner structure needs to be accepted”.
In the spirit of Marcuse I will, within this collection, start a search for the true inner structure of ourselves. The collection will contain a physical and a digital collection. Within the physical collection I will be focusing on laying the emphasis on the essential structure of a garment. I consider this as a metaphor for the structure of a personality. Recognizing your true structure, as claimed by Werner Elhar, contributes in creating clarity to strengthen the ability to resist forces that threaten to unconsciously influence the personality. In my garments I will aim for a rejection of the expression of individualism, by making every outfit in the same fabric (calico) and the same color. But by making the construction of every garment different and complicated, focussing on the construction rather than on decorative adornments, I will showcase that we need to accept who we are in the core of our beings, and do not need to promote ourselves with a distorted version of ourselves. As a result of a lack of privacy, capitalist corporations harvest our personal data and use it to manipulate us. To break from this system I think it is necessary to make ourselves unrecognizable for these big corporations who use our face as a fingerprint for our data. Therefore the faces of the individuals wearing the collection will be covered or unrecognizable to avoid surveillance capitalism from taking and manipulating their identity. In my physical collection you will find garments that look ‘unwhole’ but are in fact finished, accepted the way as they are and are still functional. Contrary to Freud, I want to shift the contextual mind state around from needing satisfaction of desires in order to survive, to actually being satisfied and experiencing oneself as whole and complete in the present moment. By using only the essential fabrics that are needed for a garment like, calico, fibre fill, interfacing and canvas, the physical collection will be a representation of a minimalistic view in which I visualize that not so much is needed to accept our inner structure as being whole if even not being fully fulfilled. To visualize the digital manipulation there will be, within some of the garments, ornamental shapes that distort the simplicity of the core structure of the garment. This is metaphorical for how digital manipulation of our unconscious minds can lead to a distorted and mangled version of our true identity. Everything digital is made out of a digital mesh that is the fundament for every digital shape. Therefore these ornamental shapes will be covered by a digital mesh that exaggerates and is distorting the organic shape underneath. The digital collection will take the physical calico (core/ essential) collection as a base but will then be distorted and manipulated because I want to visualize how the rise of digitalization leads to an increase of the possibility to brainwash and control us into a certain identity that fulfils the role of an ideal consumer. Materials will be applied in the digital collection to distract the viewer from the original structure of the garment. The ornamental parts of the garment will digitally be exaggerated and manipulated even more and the digital mesh will be solid so you can’t see the ‘core of the garment’ underneath. As a result, I hope the collection will effectively trick the mind into seeing itself. To create a place spacious and undefined, distinct from the tired old story that our minds continuously tell us about who we are, and with which we ordinarily identify.
The materials are mainly inspired by the media that, first of all, is spreading our data and, second of all, also manipulates and brainwashes us. Think about screens (shiny glass fabrics), advertisement posters, magazines, and receipts and shopping bags. Therefore a lot of the fabrics, like the receipt fabric, the ripped ad fabric, the glue residue fabric and the shiny shopping bag fabric, are all made out of these post-consumer waste materials.
On the other hand, a lot of the used fabrics are inspired by the materials that are essential in a quality garment. By deconstructing these garments and re-using their essential materials I hope to make people aware of the true structure of a human being.
Within the knit experiments there is a exploration of the manipulative effect that the advertisements cause. By experimenting with the possibilities of the knitting machine new forms and manipulative textures are created.
During My graduation project I have put a lot of time into texturizing my 3D designed garments in BLENDER. By doing so, applying my material experimentations on my 3D designs has become way more realistic.
On another note, by learning the program BLENDER I was able to build my own 3D environments to put my renders in.