Make messenger bags using an art installation – that’s what the non-profit arts organization Artbridge implored us to do. So naturally, we said yes. Having made messenger bags out of billboards before – it was the first product Brooklyn Industries produced, we were really excited to use material from a colorful art installation by artist Aleksandar Maćašev that we had walked by many times down the street from our HQ in Dumbo. We carefully cut up Maćašev’s visual color diary into 40 limited edition messenger bags, with each bag coming with a digital print of the unique colors of that bag signed by the artist. During the Dumbo Arts Festival, the bags will be on display and for sale in our Dumbo store and online, and an opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 28th from 2pm-5pm at Brooklyn Industries Dumbo.
Chromapost installation in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Photo by Collin Erickson
We asked Aleksandar a few questions about Chromapost and how the art installation evolved into a bag:
How did the idea of blogging your daily mood in colors start?
I am very keen for diary-like art forms. Chromapost started as a basic blog where each entry was just a single color picked from your standard RGB color picker, and it represented my daily emotional experience in a compressed form. I was tired of all the influence on our color perception (color theory, harmonies, fashion trends, commerce, branding, culture, arts, visual communication…) and I wanted to establish a very personal and direct link between my own emotions and color.
I was also interested in the atomization and compression of information, to go beyond Twitter’s 140 characters micro-blogging. One way to achieve that was to abandon language and use purely visual information. So I like to call Chromapost a nano-blogging project.
After awhile, this colored emotional footprint got a proper web form and I started making art outgrowths out of the ever growing color archive.
How did Chromapost then become a giant, colorful installation in Dumbo, Brooklyn?
Chromapost outgrowths range from self-published posters, retrospective calendars to paintings and a social network where visitors can post their own colors and generate art based on them. The biggest physical outgrowth happened two years ago at Water Street in Dumbo. The Dumbo Arts Festival asked ArtBridge for an artist who could produce a 350 foot long art piece for the Empire Stores scaffolding. I had already submitted some outdoor art proposals to ArtBridge and they stumbled upon one of the Chromapost outgrowths in my book. It was a year long sequence of Chromapost colors and that type of format seemed to fit the bill perfectly. For the Dumbo installation, we used a two year sequence (730 colors, from April, 1 2009 to March 31, 2011). The final result had this pretty cinematic quality (a changing of colors without repeating as you walk by it) and it left a mark on the entire neighborhood during its year long life. There was a constant stream of Instagram photos and blog posts from visitors and passers-by.
What do you think about your visual diary being re-purposed into messenger bags?
I love the idea of someone else carrying ten days of my life on their shoulder. The vinyl of the dismantled installation simply cried to be recycled into something else. The design of the bag utilized that idea of playing with private/public. On the outside, the bags have a small strip with a three to four color sequence, but the inside of the bag is covered completely in colored strips from the installation. A discrete chunk of my emotional life is offered to the outside world, while the owner of the bag can have the full view. Each bag is completely unique because repeating colors or color sequences in Chromapost is practically impossible. To compliment the uniqueness I created a separate digital print for each bag based on each bag’s color combination and the visual language used in Chromapost Social Network for generating art.
RSVP to the opening reception here at Brooklyn Industries Dumbo. Saturday, September 28th, 2pm-5pm.