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JF: It is now a month since we were in Israel, and only six until the show opens. This is a really big week ahead, when we will see proposals from exhibition designers and from fashion designers that will chart the course for the next phase in this project. It is becoming real: Cedric's programming being translated into Hebrew; Marloes experiment a grand success! Exciting....
14/4/10GD: You said it! I am so anxious to see the submissions from designers and start work on the exhibition design phase of the show. That is when it starts to feel real, thinking of dress form types and display strategies. And such good news that Steven Skov Holt will contribute to the catalog. I am sure he will come up with an interesting approach to the subject of the design process.
JD: This afternoon, I went over to MIT to the Center for Advanced Visual Studies Lab where Kelly Dobson is affiliated, though she is teaching fulltime at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) this year and will be head of the Digital Media department next year. She is still located in the old and funky quarters but soon will be moving to the shiny, spacey new building where Hannah is already located. When I told Kelly about Hannah, she was so excited to have another MIT compatriot in the show though they don't know each other, being in completely separate programs (Hannah is in the High-Low lab).
On the way to the meeting with Kelly Dobson
Kelly is planning tests and plans and during the month of May will make material tests. She is devising a fabric that will be woven on RISD's two-story high computer control jacquard loom. It is not a common machine--there is one at Concordia University in Montreal, and one in California she thinks. The fabric will be designed so that it folds automatically, naturally as a result of the thread lengths on the two sides of the fabric, and the folds will be placed so that the garment made from the fabric will be able to poof out greatly along the bottom, and a bit around the bodice. She is making all sorts of pleat/fold studies now. The fabric will also be woven with channels on the back side to house the material that will change from flexible to taut according to the dress configuration. She is devising ways to "operate" the dress -- perhaps with conductive threads woven right into the fabric. In June she will have access to the loom and will go into production mode. She assures me that it will all work and we needn't worry on any account! So, I won't.
Work in progress
Kelly Dobson, working in the studio
On May 13 I will be able to catch up with Hannah and Mika (Kobricant), a meeting postponed by the Icelandic volcanic ash that prohibited Mika from arriving on schedule.
GD: That sounds so exciting and more involved then I had realized or expected. I was so caught up in the action and reaction of the Cocoon Dress that I hadn't considered the materiality of the folds and fabric. I can't wait to see the material tests... might they be something we should consider featuring in the installation?
JF: You said it! Kelly and I talked about this as her folding studies were terrific, and I bet the next round will be interesting as well. Did she note these on her object lists?