BoDyByBoDy "WhEnThEpAwNhItStHeCoNfLiCtShEtHiNkSLikEaKiNg.." edition of 10
Can fashion and digital art mix and match?
Yes they can! Thanks to new media artist Sterling Crispin and his digital fashion project called Netstyl.es, you can now wear digital art. A few months ago, we already talked about the project (see here) but the good news is that Sterling is now launching a second collection of six limited edition t-shirts. This time, the six artists invited to make their digital art become physical were Alex Gibson, BodyByBody, Dora Budor + Maja Cule, James w Magnum 3, Parker Ito and Sidian Ersatz & Vans. We had a little chat with Sterling about his project and the link between fashion and digital art. See more;
Did you sell all the pieces of the first edition? Do you know who are the people who purchased the t-shirts?
More than half of the first edition of shirts have sold to a diverse international audience.
What is the idea behind Netstyles? How did this project come to your mind and when did you start it? Where you inspired by the bad smelling boy tumblr or other artists?
Netstyles is a digital aesthetics fashion line which translates virtual art into physical form. The clothes act as hyperlinks in physical space to emerging concepts developing in contemporary culture. I launched Netstyles on February 6th of 2012 but had been researching and doing tests since at least August of 2011. Many artists working today have adopted a post-internet sensibility and create far more digital objects than physical objects. Netstyl.es was created to provide a common platform for contemporary artists to experiment with, and make physical what would otherwise remain as digital forms. Bad Smelling Boy and Body By Body were two influences, both of which are included in the new Netstyles release.
Alex Gibson "slogan tee" edition of 10
What is the deal with the artists? Do you give them a percentage on the sales profit?
The artists involved receive most of the profit, my production cost is quite high, this whole project is a creative act more than a business.
How did you choose the artists participating to this 2nd edition and how do you work with them?
I invited many artists who's work I think would be a good fit, and then try to curate their designs in groups which I think work well together.
Dora Budor + Maja Cule "world wide wet" edition of 10
Why choosing to merge fashion and Net Art? Would you call this New Aesthetic fashion? There is a real need to make the Internet become a physical thing, is it an attempt to try to make this happen?
I think most net art remains virtual, and I think many net artists are beginning to make physical commodities from their work or exploring ways of selling it. I don't think that framed prints hanging on the wall makes much sense for this kind of work, wearing artwork allows it to enter our lives much more directly. I don't think its necessary to call this New Aesthetic fashion, but some people have.
Did you see the Tumblr inspired collection of Jeremy Scott, what are you thoughts on it?
Yes I did see that, I think some of them were fun, but they were too 90's nostalgic for me and honestly not really all that "Tumblr inspired". There's plenty of interesting and new things happening in the realm of digital aesthetics and I didn't think his show was reflective of that. It all was pretty safe and could have taken more risks.
James W Magnum 3 "yiba athletics jersey" edition of 10
Is your second edition a 10 t-shirts limited edition as well? Why did you choose to sell them at such a high price?
Yes they are limited to 10 editions, printing clothing like this is very expensive, and I'm giving the artists involved most of the profit.
If you think about what you're getting I don't think its a very high price. If you look at the cost of a numbered, limited edition print, 147$ is very reasonable. Its hard to even get artwork framed for that price. And to take Jeremy Scott for an example, most of his clothes are much more expensive, not limited in their numbers of reproduction, and if you ask me, much less interesting. With Netstyles you know that you're supporting the artists directly, and you have a unique piece of clothing, and art.
Can you tell us a little something about each t-shirts?
I try to let the work speak for itself.
What is this aesthetic about? How would you describe it to someone who doesn’ know anything about Net Art or Tumblr?
I think all of the artists are doing something different with their work, but overall I would say its not very influenced by Tumblr. The kind of aesthetic being explored here is more on the fringe of whats happening online than the average thing being shared on Tumblr.
Parker Ito courtesy of aventa garden studios "what the game's been missing" edition of 10
Are you only selling these t-shirts online? Are you considering selling them in shops? What about expending the collection to other kind of clothes?
I'm open to selling them in shops, and definitely interested in expanding the idea of Netstyles into other kinds of clothes, and art objects.
How do you think this Tumblr aesthetic will evolve? How do you see the future of digital art?
I think the future of digital art will bleed more and more into the physical world. And these feedback loops from physical to virtual and back again will become quicker, as the means of production reach the hands of more people.
Sidian. Ersatz & Vanes "mar-byr" edition of 10
Interview by Dora Moutot for Triangulation Blog - July 2012
Dora Moutot is a young journalist specialized in fashion within the digital culture. She is the founder of La Gazette du Mauvais Gout where she writes about bad taste, eccentric and kitsch trends. www.doramauvaisgout.tumblr.com