With digital fabrication altering how we engage with objects, what craftsmanship means, and how an artist works, I strive to embrace the traditions while exploring new ideas in our narrative craft traditions. A marriage of traditional crafts and modern tools allows us to realign the craftperson’s skills without ignoring those skills as the core of their knowledge.
My work focuses on how traditional crafts can be augmented, reimagined, or challenged by technologies. My work always results from separating the means of making with the outcome of making. Once the two are disconnected, they can be reconfigured and juxtaposed with other means or objects to deepen our understanding of what the object is and why we make things the way we do.
The knit film, “untitled test”, is a long-term project in which I am collaborating with a knitwear factory to translate a film into a knitted piece. Digital technology has replaced celluloid as our primary medium for storing cinematic images. Digital technology has also opened up possibilities in manufacturing of clothing and textiles which did not exist even 20 years ago. By knitting a film, one frame at a time, I am celebrating our technology’s new capabilities, our knitting craftsmen’s newest incarnation, and questioning the tangible aspects of film. Is the medium of the film equal to the content? Textile based imagery is older than celluloid yet this project could not exist without digital technology moving film beyond celluloid. So is this cutting edge or old fashioned? Like all my work, its a merging of the oldest crafts and the newest technologies to help us imagine new crafts from our old technologies.
The “Quilts of People I Love” and “quilted pornography” series modify the traditional process of quilting. No longer working from found fabrics and remnants, I can use digital technology to design and create the exact colors needed for the quilt, designing and manufacturing the exact amount of each fabric needed to piece together the desired image.
The work is intentionally made to be viewed different on screen and in person. There are two level of engagement with the quilts, in person and screen-based. In person, the work is ephemeral and emotive. If the viewer captures the image on via a cellphone camera and views the work through a screen the quilts come into focus as distinct rich images.
The viewer give up soft textures in exchange for clarity of image through the screen-based viewing. Just as in our daily lives, relationships, and experiences are not entirely digital or manual, these crafts are intended to be viewed through both sets of eyes and engaged with in both realms.
About the Artist
Greg Climer is a fashion designer and interdisciplinary artist whose work bridges media exploring fashion, ephemeral experiences, film, sculpture and technology. His exploration of craft forms inverts methods and explores making through a queer lens. He was a 2016 Artist-In-Residence at the Museum of Art and Design, where he quilted an animated film.
In fashion, Climer has worked as a designer and pattern cutter. For several years he designed his own menswear label. Additionally he has worked for Victoria’s Secret Runway Show, Karl Lagerfeld, multiple Broadway and film production, and indie designers such as Todd Thomas and Imitation of Christ. He is currently Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Parson School of Design.
Climer received his BA in Theatre and Design at Rollins College and his MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design. For more information please visit his website: www.index-and-site.org.