dotted line dotted line dotted line dotted line
Steven McCarthy, MFA smccarthy@umn.edu 612 624-1729 address
dotted line dotted line dotted line dotted line
college of design university of minnesota

 

Project BiNary addresses contemporary societal concerns about gender, race, class, religion, age and other aspects of identity – aspects that are often polarized into “on” or “off” (or true or false) states.

The book contains a series of thirteen used garments that have been altered with images of faces and labels: black/white, man/woman, rich/ poor, catholic/atheist, democrat/republican, cultured/uncultured and so on. A couple of terms are not truly binary – genius/mentally ill for example – but play on misguided popular notions.

The faces were sourced by using the label as a keyword in a Google face image search with Creative Commons licensing permission for reproduction.

Each garment also has slurs for the labels literally cut into its back.

Models wore the garments and were photographed front and back. These photographs were printed onto large pieces of cloth, folded along the fore-edge, stuffed with batting, and bound using two slabs of oak and three steel binding posts.

The pillowy softness and intentionally loose threads undermine ideas of polarity, of absolutes. And because each page verso has a pair of slurs, the harshness of language is heightened through contrasting haptic experiences.

Technical and creative assistance was provided by Anna Carlson.

Project Binary was created with the aid of a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant.

 

recent work
dotted line dotted line dotted line dotted line
college of design university of minnesota

 

college of design university of minnesota