Wednesday, November 27, 2013

RantingRedHead

Appreciate the bitches in your life this Thanksgiving! This weeks RantingRedHead does just that. An observation on the world of video taking over the world of fashion is the centerfold topic. 

 


"by 2017 online video will account for nearly 70 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, with users viewing the equivalent of 5 million years of video every month"

I’ve always been the type of person that is obsessed with videos. I’m always the first one to come to my friends asking if they had seen the latest music video, tv show, fashion campaign, comedy bullshit, so on and so forth. However I must admit that I was surprised to hear the news earlier this week that i-D and Dazed and Confused magazine are going to be launching a massive video section to their digital sites that will be having a new artist take over each week. For the longest time fashion magazines have been terrified of technology for the sake of the possible end of the print magazine. I am one of those very people that are nervous for the end of the print magazine as I treat them like my most precious books and there is obviously something about a print magazine that the digital version will never be able to match to.
That got me thinking about how prevalent videos are in today’s society. According to the article on the Business of Fashion site discussing this new video section on Dazed Group’s pages they threw out the statistic that by 2017 online video will account for nearly 70 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, with users viewing the equivalent of 5 million years of video every month. Holy shit. Video has been on the rise for quite awhile now with Youtube and app’s like Vine and Instagram making it easier and easier to get interesting and inviting shots so I really shouldn’t be so surprised by these stat’s but when number’s are throwm in your face like that you can’t help but have your jaw drop sometimes. Clearly video work is the most up and coming thing right now so to me that is how I justify my massive amounts of time spent watching it: cultural studies I say.
All of this leading me into my conclusion for the week: wtf was up with Kanye West’s ‘Bound 2’ video and btw if you didn’t already know Nick Knight filmed it. Wtf Nick Knight, you’re better than this! This bull shit, fake ass, poisonously depressing series of moving images that are probably going to hit the top of the charts and get way more airtime than the BEAUTIFUL video of bursting colors of smoke dancing in Olafur Arnalds ‘Ljosio’. But that’s the world apparently: unfair and all about who you know. I don’t fucking accept that and will continue going around ranting about how horrible I think bad videos are despite who’s name is behind them. There is so much potential with video as a narrative that can make people connect to the art on an even deeper level so why waste that on a shitty superficial video I ask you, WHY?!??? Hopefully i-D and Dazed will make the most of their new video channel, we can only hope though. In the meantime one little piece of advice I have to give anyone that can’t quite decide where they want to head in the industry: make sure you know Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, it could be the difference between you having or not having a job soon enough. Also here is a video I made from my collaboration with Jacked Fashion a few weeks ago featuring my current female empowerment song ‘Hard Out Here’ by Lily Allen. Enjoy bitches.
-Your's Truly, A Ranting Redhead


Monday, November 25, 2013

Featured Artist: Ian Honoré


Newest contributor to Jacked Fashion, Ian Honoré brings a mind refresher to the table focusing on the essence of movement throughout life, personal identity, and growth. The artists mind exposed, shedding light on important and often forgotten truths.

"My critique is aimed at this binary in place that treats childhood as an antechamber to becoming a real person, a dignified human being, an adult. I'm concerned with these dehumanizing tactics used against children to usher them into a monolithic, oppressive set of cultural logics and values. A human life cannot be compartmentalized into sections."
-Ian

 "if I was left to dream and play as a child through my growth, perhaps I could've saved myself years of studying postmodern philosophy to unlearn all the absolute lies I was force-fed. Perhaps I could've been light years more developed in my artistic practice. Maybe I would be more acutely attuned to the shifts in consciousness we are continuously going through, knowing very well that a single frequency of consciousness is a myth that we perform with “good manners”, speech, and body language." -Ian

I like to do drugs. Not the bad ones, just the good ones. The ones that take you places. The ones that take you on trips. I also practice art and philosophy, which are a lot like trips. Tonight we’re in the Mushroom Kingdom on our way to the seaside. A friend has invited us to go sailing.

I had forgotten that the dock is behind a church. We pull into a spot in the parking lot at the House of God and I can't help but laugh at the irony of the situation. I crane over and say "oh my god, we're the bad kids you're supposed to stay away from, the ones you're not supposed to become". Nothing could be closer to the truth. Between just four of us existed fierce Black power, raging homosexuality, polyamorous promiscuity, gender defiance, punk-anarchism, questionable hygiene, haywire sleep schedules, and six “useless” undergraduate majors. And it seemed so absurd to me that my lifestyle and worldview through which I've finally been able to grow into my own skin is precisely what is so desperately hidden in the deepest of closets from children.

“Good kids” must be manicured. They aren’t exactly manufactured with our cultural presets. On the contrary, children tend towards the erotic and the surreal. Children play with their junk when they feel like it and play in fantasy worlds of their own forging. They have to be reprimanded or spanked to curb their “indecency” and their minds "straightened out" by learning Western master narratives on what constitutes "the real world", "true knowledge", and "legitimate identity". They're taught to be estranged from their own bodies and to associate shame with pleasure (especially via masturbation) and that any fanciful interpretations they may be culminating around the world they live in is not merely incorrect but daft, in other words, "childlike". Children are typically encouraged to be mildly imaginative so long as the adults in their lives are perfectly reassured that the tots are aware of what is real and what is merely fiction, that they understand that their imaginations are cute and fun but in the end null and irrelevant for anything other than escapist child's play, which of course, must and will be outgrown.

Children are shamed for being children. They tell each other to grow up and are dismissed by their elders as incompetent, their perspectives unviable contributions. Much of youth is wasted away with the yearning to skip to glorified adulthood. They are more than willing to discard their "childish" notions and "angsty" counterculture fads in an attempt to assimilate. And of course once one has reached a certain age and hasn't moved on from fantastical worldviews or pink mohawks and female hairy armpits, you'll either be institutionalized as insane or barred from employment from anywhere that isn’t an alternative nightclub or tattoo parlor. This isn't to say that there aren't valuable and essential qualities associated with adulthood whatsoever or that a ten year old has the same mental capacity of a 25 year old. My critique is aimed at this binary in place that treats childhood as an antechamber to becoming a real person, a dignified human being, an adult. I'm concerned with these dehumanizing tactics used against children to usher them into a monolithic, oppressive set of cultural logics and values. A human life cannot be compartmentalized into sections. As beings that exist in time, our history spans on a continuum. In ultimate paradox, there can never be a stable "I" to reflect upon because we are in a perpetual state of change, yet any given moment in our life is just as much our “true selves” as any other. Phrases like "I wasn't myself that day" or "I couldn't believe the words coming out of my mouth" only scratch the surface of how fluid, transitory, and contradictory the Self is.

A sense of the real, a singular world or knowledge independent from humanity is equally problematic. There is no common ground from which humans could possibly arrive at a legitimate sense of normal behavior and thinking. It is forcefully extracted from us by a bourgeois class. Any counterexamples from cultures that have been miraculously (virtually) untouched by global capitalism would of course be discarded as insubstantial. They're simply savages! What do they know? They’re swiftly dehumanized for the benefit of keeping the sanctity of our precious Western worldview. Otherwise, we’d have to face the fact that our reality is a mere version of versions upon which no original can be located.

Reality and normalcy are texts. They're stories. Obviously there is an observable world that we agree is stable, the ‘external world’, but humans do not have direct access to it. We process stimuli with a human chemistry and the product is an image, an interface of the world in our minds (all before we give these perceptions cultural meaning, further multiplying and complicating what constitutes “the world”). What you are seeing on your computer screen is not what is being registered by your computer. It is in interface for what would otherwise be an entirely incomprehensible world of code.  In this way, psychedelia is the literal transportation to other worlds. Our human chemistry that generates an arbitrary interface of the world is completely rewired and another equally arbitrary (and equally legitimate) world surfaces. Psychedelia isn’t seeing things that aren’t in the external world, it is literally the processing of the world as something other than a human and therefore seeing it for the first time, as a child. Unlike an intoxication that pulls you away from lucidity, psychedelics simply generate an alternate perspective of the actual world, an alterlucidity.

Yet, without some kind of referent of an "actual world" (as opposed to a real world, with implies that any other way of looking at the world is false), we would have no means from which to relate to one another. So how do we arrive at a point where we aren’t forced to experience the world identically yet find ways to bridge common grounds for relatedness? The answer to this very abstract dilemma is precisely what we violently exorcise out of children.

Children propose worlds. Children don't always play nice; they're children. But when they do, they'll take turns authoring a world. And usually even after a premise is set, detailing becomes a collaborative effort. These are usually called "games", another way adults have robbed children of their immensely powerful practice of world making. Unfortunately, by the time children can speak they've already been tainted with hegemonic culture and will begin implementing it immediately. But I can recall a time when the boy didn't get to have all the action as knight in shining armor while the girl waited, bored, for him to decide he was through fighting and come up and "rescue her". Sometimes there was a princess who was a secret agent and the boys were the bad guys to whom she briskly handed their asses, all before teatime with the duchess. In this world, patriarchy is dead. In this moment, women are enabled and powerful and have dynamic gender identities. The “real world” remains, yes, but on the outside, if only for an instance (in Feminist jargon it could be related to creating safe spaces). This fight among ten year olds did not end rape culture and gender-based discrimination. But "The World" was refracted into worlds and a glint of what could be became real. And any time we can envision change and what the world could be through artistic and philosophical inquiry, we are reprising what little we can from the resin of our forsaken childhoods.

Maturity is valuable. Emotional stability and increased intellectual capacity are good things. But if I was left to dream and play as a child through my growth, perhaps I could've saved myself years of studying postmodern philosophy to unlearn all the absolute lies I was force-fed. Perhaps I could've been light years more developed in my artistic practice. Maybe I would be more acutely attuned to the shifts in consciousness we are continuously going through, knowing very well that a single frequency of consciousness is a myth that we perform with “good manners”, speech, and body language. In many ways a psychedelic trip is a caricature of the critique of reality that theory offers and the transport to alternate worlds that art effects. In my experience, I’ve come to find that the relationship between the three are inexorable and together they constitute an attempt to reprise my childish train of thought and rekindle that old desire to “vivre autrement”, or “live otherly”.

-Ian Honoré is an artist, curator, and the founding director of a non-profit alternative art-space organization in Miami

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

RantingRedHead

Round two of RantingRedHead! A weekly post by fashion artist Ashley Garner! This weeks topic: ARTSY. I hope you all enjoy this humorous, intelligent, and fantastic piece as much as I did. <3


The question of “artsy”
What the hell is artsy? Is it a state of mind, a lifestyle, a moment, a photo, a painting, a celebration or an insult? I always considered artsy to be a good thing, a compliment of sorts. Whenever I was told that I was “artsy” to me it meant that I was creative and pushing boundaries; exactly what I wanted to be doing. I saw the label of artsy as the highest label to have below that of a fine artist. But then one fateful day I saw a friend on facebook post a photo that was in black and white and not very interesting outside of a random shadow crossing their face and they captioned it as “I don’t know what I was trying to do but I felt like it came out artsy and wanted to share it.” Immediately I was pissed. First of all to put your interesting/bad photo out there for all the world to see and then claim that you “thought it was artsy” is such an intense insult to the art world that I don’t even know where to begin with that argument objectively. 
If you are taking a photo I would hope that you consider that tool to be an art and thus the frame of your photo to be a canvas for your art piece. To claim that your photo is “artsy” should be redundant because it’s supposed to be artsy in the first place. So to say that you think your photo is artsy comes off to me as an insult, like it’s too creative, too out of the norm and you are embarrassed by it and don’t want to take full ownership of your out-of-the-box thinking. 
After this one artsy encounter and eventually getting over it I had yet another one with yet another photographer. This photographer posted a photo that I considered to be incredible compared to all of their previous work. It was visually challenging, interesting, multi-faceted, and unrealistic and seemed to have a depth to it that would keep me staring at it for hours. Their caption for the photo went a bit like this, “I’ve been in a weird artsy mood lately….My mind is weird. Deal with it.” Now I had no issue dealing with the fact that the photo was a bit out of the norm but it was like they were trying to demean their “artsy-ness” to a negative connotation as being weird and misunderstood and all in all bad. I was once again offended and retaliated stating that I thought this photo was one of the best photos I’ve ever seen them create. They responded saying that they were glad that I liked it but it was too “artsy” to be accepted in fashion photography but they “hope to make it more so in their future”. WTF. I don’t accept this answer because to me fashion is an art and to demean fashion photography to not being artsy is like a slap in the face to its true artistic quality. I mean fuck, if the photographers who are documenting fashion claim that they don’t think artsy and fashion belong in the same category what the fuck is going on with fashion photography today? 
Obviously there are exceptions to this rule but I am very concerned about the future of fashion photography and the interpretation of the word “artsy” as being a negative, un-marketable thing. There is no market without art and there is no art without market. I say let’s get together and make artsy the future of normal. Who’s in?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Individuality

"people are not good to each other"
-Charles Bukowski

Be especially good to someone this week.
xo
Alaska

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Featured Artist: Petite Meller




Parisian sound princess Petite Meller understands aesthetic like the alphabet. The way that she orchestrates her sound as well as her most recent music video 'Backpack' displays refreshing, inventive, and pure jazzy pop pleasure. She's my new girl crush and definitely one to watch. Grimes meet your foreign kid sister.



Natalie Melissa ft Alain Gerard

The essence of fall in the city is examined through this lovely photo set by photographer Natalie Melissa. Darker tones hinting winter is arriving mesh with a golden glow reminding us of the present moment. This is definitely a time of year for internal reflection before the rebirth of spring. Let your mind wander and let your bones rebuild. 

Model: Actor Alain Gerard
Photographer: Natalie Melissa
Location: NYC



"What I love about spontaneous shoots like this one is that you never know whats going to happen and the majority of the time it turns out to be this incredible story. I obviously have some sort of an idea of what I want to do at the conception but it's just an idea. The idea was I wanted a polished, British indie cinematic feel to it.  I was very lucky to have Alain Gerard, an amazing actor who happens to be a good friend of mine agree to be in the shoot. I love working with actors, they give such amazing gestures that go exactly with what you are trying to convey in the picture. The whole tone of this short series, from the colors to the gestures and clothes, give off exactly what I wanted but with a bit of GQuesque to it. One of my favorite shoots so far."
-Natalie Melissa 






Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Humpday


Something to get you through the rest of the week.
x
Jacked Fashion ft Ashley Garner

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

RantingRedHead

Introducing the first installation of RantingRedHead; 
a weekly post from multi talented Miami fashion artist Ashley Garner. We'll be hearing lots of thoughts in regards to current art and fashion trends and the ever changing ways of the industry. 
Without further adieu, here's Ashley.
Enjoy!
:p


This is hopefully the first of many rants that you all will be hearing from a redhead like me. To give you a quick introduction my name is Ashley Garner and run the blog Elegant Idiosyncrasy. My blog is a little different than most personal style blogs because I post more than just pictures of myself. I like to talk about the things outside of fashion that influence my personal style and I honestly wish that more people would do the same. I hate going onto blog after blog seeing the same shit every time: vertical snapshot of a pretty girl wearing pretty clothes. The text is usually uninteresting and the most exciting part of the post is the labels that are listed at the bottom of what they’re wearing. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not against pretty girls wearing pretty clothes, hell I’ve been labeled one once or twice. What really ticks me off is that there is nothing going on with these blogs other than that. Where is the depth, the random thoughts and interesting musings. Where are these bloggers passion and what are their dreams?!? Or are their dreams simply to be tools to corporate America because by giving me nothing to consume other than a rather uninteresting picture outside of the clothes being worn and even more uninteresting text other than the labels at the bottom that’s really all I’m getting from the personal style blogging world right about now: consumerism. 

And that’s really fucking sad. I mean REALLY FUCKING SAD. I remember being in high school and coming across one of the first personal style blogs to be featured in Teen Vogue and being so excited that someone that wasn’t a designer or a well credited journalist that was into fashion could have a voice. It was this new democratization of the fashion world that gave people without the contacts or right location to job ratio an opportunity to find a community. Now I look at this blogging world 6 years later and it’s like a sea of un-checked narcissism full of dumb girls with nothing better to do than get even more attention for their looks. I mean shit, I know fashion already has a bad name but let’s not make it any worse, right? I got into fashion and have constantly been fighting the stigma that anyone interested in this industry is not very bright or at least not very deep. There are so many people that already don’t look at fashion beyond face value and with personal style blogs going in the direction they are it’s a shame that we keep proving them right. Why not write about how fashion is a means of creating your identity, a daily medium of expression, something that lets you say things you don’t have words for. Why not gear your personal style blog towards being personal rather than selling yourself out to all the labels of the world. Why not not even mention the labels and let people focus on how you made it your own? I hate that I am embarrassed to say that I am a personal style blogger when I am so proud of all the work that I put into it. I really hope that something happens to make all of these other bloggers wake up and see what they are actually putting out there and how it really not only makes them look bad, but the whole damn industry.  
-Ashley Garner

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Jacked Fashion ft Ashley Garner

Jacked Fashion Kodak Edition.
Photography by Alaska Mangialetto
Model Ashley Garner
@JFHQ