Friday, March 6, 2009

feel good inc.

I don’t know about you, but Fridays make me want to high-five people, do cartwheels down the street, eat grilled cheese, commit random acts of kindness …and hug strangers.

But in case you’re not quite comfortable embracing random unfamiliar folk, Keetra Dean Dixon has got it covered: she recently introduced her Anonymous Hugging Wall from her ongoing series METHODS & APPARATI for Social Facilitation and Mood Elevation. The malleable, fabric-made Hugging Wall installation allows visitors to walk up and hug, cuddle, or just shake hands with a completely anonymous stranger, who embraces the visitor through arm pockets.

Keetra Dean Dixon’s work is a perfect edge. Though whimsical, clever and dream-like, her aesthetic is edited; her execution well crafted. Her work is upbeat – pure sunshine without the sugary sweet – though sometimes deliciously and absurdly dark and twisted (like her blood puddle pillows). The Alaskan native works in a variety of media, from digital to traditional, for both personal and commercial use. Here are a couple of my favorite examples of Keetra’s work:

"Knife cast in Sugar
- hard candy with food coloring. Knife was packaged & mailed via USPS with the hopes that it would fracture during it's journey. Recipient ate the hard candy shards."

"The Great Slumber
- a.k.a. Blood Puddle Pillows. The pillows are inspired by those suspenseful moments when a sleeping loved one is a little too still for a little too long. Using an irreverent combination of comfort & fear the pillows parallel sleep & death. Project goal: taking ownership of morbidly intrusive thoughts through humor & play."

"The Tricky Photobooth - Holds no denotation of its unique qualities. Users enter the booth, pose for 2 shots and exit as usual. During the developing process, the photos are "analyzed" and customized with forecasts consisting of patters, symbols and messages - the resulting portrait presents an unexpected interference over a traditional photobooth image. The portrait becomes a custom souvenir of the unexpected".

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