Labels for an interdisciplinary world.

Today in our super connected interdisciplinary world we seem to all a jack-of-all-trades on some level.  In the past, people would pick a trade and learn everything they could and become an expert.  Today, fashion designers direct movies, painters are curators, actors make art etc.

There is a certain amount of expectation to have a huge trick bag of skills, especially, in my opinion in art related professions.

We are expected to do it all.  But when you meet someone  and they ask you what you do – – What do you say?

In my case I land somewhere between art, costume, fashion, performance and community work (this is the shortlist).  Sometimes I just tell people I make performative wearables that multiple people can activate at one time. But both of those are pretty long to put on a business card and still doesn’t give someone an idea of what my work is.  I am actually quite jealous of people that fit under specific descriptive categories: painter, teacher, doctor, actor etc.

Since I can’t sum up my genre in a few words or less I think I come across really confusing on paper and it’s hard to apply for things like residencies, competitions, and programs since those are usually under a specific categories themselves.

So for now, until I come up with something that I think adequately describes what I do, I look for other people doing similar things and how they label themselves.  The closet thing I have found so far is Hibino Kod(z)ue, who calls herself a “Costume Artist.”  Her work falls somewhere between art, fashion and costume.

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While I continue to develop a label, I will have a super crowded business card.

-Lwhittle

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