Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Project Runway 5, Episodes 6 & 7: PR and the Nature of the Artistic Process

Daniel’s gone (none too soon) and Keith’s gone now too. They show has fallen into a predictable pattern of eliminating the person who probably should have been eliminated the week before but was saved because they eliminated the person who should have been eliminated the week before that. If the pattern holds, Stella will be gone next week, but I think she’ll buck the trend.

While Stella’s always been the odd woman out in a lot of ways, she’s entertaining (so the producers will lobby to keep her) and for her outfit last week she departed from her usual aesthetic in an attempt to show versatility and surprise the judges. As a result, her outfit was disjointed and didn’t work. Fortunately for her, Keith tanked the challenge even more by over-reacting to the negative criticism he’d receive the week before and producing a garment that also did not represent his point of view as a designer.

The lesson here is: Find ways to please the judges without losing your aesthetic. Really, that’s the trick of any collaborative artistic relationship. (I would argue that any art intended to be sold, read, or viewed by another person falls into that category. If you present your art to an audience, the audience becomes your collaborator as their reaction to your work and experience of it creates the effect of it.) Don’t compromise your artistic principles, but be prepared to adapt the execution of them if needs be.

That, to me, is the key to most great art: How do I use these limitations (I have to build a dress out of car parts) to create my art (a dress that embodies my design aesthetic). That's what Leanne did.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.