Contrasting ideas of value, time, energy and labour converge in artist Stephanie Syjuco’s Counterfeit Crochet Project:

In 2006 I created a website soliciting crocheters to join me in hand-counterfeiting designer handbags: Fendi, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, etc. Participants troll the internet and choose a design that they particularly covet, working off of low-resolution jpgs which they download. The final results may or may not bear resemblance to the originals, which is an interesting part of the “translation.”

crochet_nicole_dolce

The resulting counterfeits are both homages and lumpy mutations. Crochet is considered a lowly medium, and the limitations imposed by trying to create detail with yarn takes advantage of the individual maker’s ingenuity and problem-solving skills. I am also interested in how this project parallels and diverges from contemporary capitalist factory production and distribution channels.

As a collaboration it parallels the idea of “outsourcing” labor, but also adds a democratic and perhaps anarchic level of creativity–within the basic framework, participants have taken liberties with their translations, changing colors, adding materials (cardboard, hot glue, etc.) to suit their needs. Makers are encouraged to keep and wear their bags, in an attempt to insert strange variants into the stream of commerce and consumption. I ask for people to send me snapshots of their items to share with others.

This is an ongoing global project, with makers from all over the world. I am always seeking more collaborators, so please contact me to join up! In 2007 the project travelled to Manila, Beijing, and Istanbul for exhibitions and counterfeiting workshops.

Image: Nicole’s D&G Counterfeit

Patterns available include how to bootleg a Chanel purse; Creating Knockoff Logos; Creating the Gucci and Chanel Patterns. Also available is a useful list of ‘solidarity’ websites and links to useful tutorials.

Artist website here; project website here. This year she will exhibit at Pallas Contemporary Projects in Dublin, Ireland.

Amateur Hour is a showcase for exciting new learning, skills, entertainment and public actions. Submissions in any form welcome to selfinterestandsympathy [at] gmail [dot] com

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