The pattern on the Animal Sweater suggests a new way to experience commercial imagery. The Animal sweater, designed by Karl Grandin, was first shown at The Biggest Visual Power Show in Zollverein, Germany in 2006. The images here are from the Sandberg Institute's New Work show in Amsterdam in September 2006. Check out the Animal site.
Once upon a time, nature was an unpredictable place of mystery. Artists were fascinated with nature's untamed wildness and designers like William Morris of the Arts and Crafts movement created animal and floral patterns as a celebration of this phenomenon of the physical world.
Today this wilderness has disappeared and nature has lost its unique position. There is nothing that has not yet been altered by human intervention. Man has conquered the nature and is repackaging it neatly. Zoos, parks, artificial beaches and genetic engineering. We have cultivated nature for our own convenience.
Now, it is instead man-made cultural constructions that are becoming increasingly autonomous and slipping out of our control. Wild systems like brands, stock markets and traffic is the wilderness of today. Nature has become culture and culture is turning into our new nature.
As we are surrounded by logos, we are systematically invited, encouraged and directed in what we do. Brands want to be personal and engage in a relationship with you. They want to become a central part of your life. But there is no dialogue, it is targeted one-way communication. Their symbols are constantly in your field of vision but they are still not part of the public domain. Ownership is of the corporations and the destiny of the logos is in their hands.
In the pattern on the Animal Sweater, 180 animal shaped logos are set free. Emphasizing the beauty of the stylized animals and their collective kinship, rather than each mark's individual commercial value, the pattern suggests a new way to experience the commercial imagery.
The fabric of the sweater was knitted using computerized knitting technology at the Nederlands Textielmuseum in Tilburg and the garment was cut and sewn by Dima Stefanova.