Dressing for Dystopia: The Handmaid’s Tale.



Think Progress has an article about the challenges of costume design for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

What would you wear to the end of the world? What about the start of a brave new one?

If you’re prepping your end-of-days attire, the best person to consult would be Ane Crabtree, the costume designer for the highly anticipated Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The novel, first published in 1985, is now one of several dystopian classics to climb the bestseller charts in the wake of the 2016 election; the Hulu series premieres on April 16.

For the uninitiated, The Handmaid’s Tale imagines an America ruled by a puritanical patriarchy — the Constitution was suspended and ultimately discarded amid mass disease, infertility, and panic — in which women, all prisoners in their own way, are divided by caste. Handmaids are, in theory, the most valuable resource left: They’re the only women who can still bear children. After a violent initiation-slash-brainwashing period, each is assigned to Commanders with infertile wives, forced to conceive and bear children they must immediately give away, or be killed.

Atwood has said one of her rules in writing the novel was to “not put any events into the book that had not already happened in what James Joyce called the ‘nightmare’ of history, nor any technology not already available. No imaginary gizmos, no imaginary laws, no imaginary atrocities.” The story continues to captivate because of how possible it all feels, how prescient and close.

Crabtree had the formidable task of outfitting the world of the novel, known as Gilead, one that readers had already imagined and that plenty of viewers have already seen in some format or another; The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted many times over since its publication over 30 years ago on film, in theater, even as a ballet, and that doesn’t even include the movie each reader imagines as she experiences book for herself.

She spoke with ThinkProgress by phone about designing for the series, the thinking behind each uniform, and why she thinks men who attempt to control women will be “foiled at every turn.”

 Very interesting article! I was going to include more photos, but as my horribleshittygodsdamnfuckingverizon pos is barely connecting today, you’ll have to click over for more!

Attack of the Cyber Octopuses!

Published on Jan 7, 2017

Support it on Kickstarter! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/…
“Attack of the Cyber Octopuses” is a retro-futuristic cyberpunk short film. The aim is to recreate the look and feel of the Eighties Sci-fi classics, without using CGI nor chroma key.
official website: http://www.chaosmonger.com/aotco/
making of blog: http://cyberoctopuses.blogspot.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cyberoctopuses/
instagram: https://www.facebook.com/cyberoctopuses/
twitter: https://twitter.com/CyberOctopuses


Make has an interview about how the Cyber Octopuses were made, which makes for fun and interesting reading!

1984 for 2017.

Joe Baker, Room 101.

Joe Baker, Room 101.

…Part of 1984‘s appeal is the language Orwell developed for identifying fascist control methods that are increasingly visible today. Power structures like the Ministries of Truth, Peace, Plenty, and Love—each of which represents the opposite of its title—are reflected in an Environmental Protection Agency led by a climate change denier, and an education department run by someone who prefers “charter” to public education. Conway’s “alternative facts” sound a lot like the book’s “Newspeak,” the simplification and rebranding of common language, and “Doublethink,” whereby the government controls historical records and the news, sounds an awful lot like Breitbart retellings of current events.

With 1984‘s popularity, the constant debate about whether our current world is more like Orwell’s dystopia or the one described in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World has resurfaced as well. Both books warn of the dangers their authors perceived was on the horizon, but the living legacy of 1984 is its mark on language, so Creators asked artists to illustrate the terms and concepts from the book that they see reflected in today’s society.

Alex Gamsu Jenkins, Two Minutes of Hate.

Alex Gamsu Jenkins, Two Minutes of Hate.

You can see the rest of the fabulous artwork, along with each artist’s statement at The Creators Project. Fantastic work!

Decolonize Your Gitch.


Summer Peters is hoping to inspire other Indigenous women to push the boundaries of Native art. (Andrea Noline).

Summer Peters, an Ojibway artist, recently won an award for her piece, Decolonize Your Gitch. I have to say, I quite like it, there’s a joyous assertiveness to it, and a bit of happy, rebellious fuck off in there as well. The piece has come under fire from some, there are people who say it promotes violence against native women, but I think those arguments can be consigned to the same old rape culture arguments women always hear, that for some reason or other, it’s totally our fault if we end up raped, beaten or murdered. There are also a number of people, usually not native, who object to any modernization of traditional Indigenous arts.

An Ojibway artist is taking a feminist stand against online critics, who say she should be ashamed of her recent award-winning piece called Decolonize Your Gitch.

Summer Peters recently won a judge’s choice award at a U.S. art festival for her artwork, a bra and thong beaded with traditional floral designs.

After she posted it to social media, “I would say 99% of the people liked it,” Peters said.

But others objected to the piece, accusing her of “promoting violence towards native women.”

“There was a guy that said I should be ashamed of myself, my family should be ashamed of me, that I was nuts, that I was crazy, that my beadwork was shitty,” said Peters.

In response to her critics, Peters wrote in an Instagram post:

“I will take all the negative criticism so that Native lady artists in the future will maybe have an easier time … women should not be told what to do, what to wear in attempts to avoid sexual violation, we should not have to cover up and/or NOT wear a pretty bra & panty set or bikini because we might be violated and it would be all of our faults.”

You can read more here.

America Chavez.

Marvel's America Chavez, artist Joe Quinones.

Marvel’s America Chavez, artist Joe Quinones.

The ever fabulous America Chavez, Latina Lesbian Superhero, will have her own series this year!

This spring, young adult novelist Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath) and artist Joe Quinones (Howard the Duck) continue the high-octane adventures of America Chavez. Marvel’s lesbian Latina powerhouse, Chavez punches her way through dimensions and faces off against an oncoming alien horde all while managing her social life and trying to attend various classes on alternate Earths. Since her introduction in 2012, Chavez has stood side by side with Marvel’s most powerful heroes, and this year she’s ready to take the world by storm in her new series, America. We asked Rivera about her new series.

You can read the full story at The Advocate.

Until I Die.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Four-and-a-half liters of blood, slowly collected over eight months into a unique type of battery, powers this sound installation from Russian-based artist ::vtol::, a.k.a., Dmitry Morozov. The piece, called Until I Die, was on show at the Kapelica gallery, Ljubljana in December 2016, with documentation recently released online.

The artwork uses Morozov’s blood to generate electricity, using electrolyte liquid and metals (copper and aluminum) with varying oxidation rates as power sources. This powers an electronic synth module, creating generative sound compositions which play from a speaker.

The installation features five “blood” batteries which are made up of 11 containers of the artist’s blood diluted with distilled water—and preservatives added—to make seven liters in total.

On his website ::vtol:: notes that the installation, both in visual aesthetics and its methodology, nods to the electrochemical experiments of the 18th and 19th century, particularly scientists Luigi Galvani, discoverer of animal electricity, and Alessandro Volta, inventor of the electrical battery.

“Two mutually reinforcing concepts form the central premise of the project. The first one is my desire to create a technobiological hybrid device after several years of fruitful but exhausting work. This device would be something that is in all but name me, that uses my vitality to create electronic sounds,” explains Morozov on his website. He continues: “Another crucial component of the installation is the generation of electricity: this is the cornerstone of my creative work. The fact that my body’s most important fluid can animate a device designed as an extension of myself beyond my body is also very significant.”

You can see more images at The Creators Project. A visually stunning project, to say the least, with significant and profound observations about humanity.

MTA Posters Get A #Resist Makeover.



If you scanned the public service announcements in your subway car this morning—and happened to be adequately caffeinated—you might have noticed something slightly off. There’s Melissa C., of small-time “See Something, Say Something” fame, with her gold hoops and salmon-pink hoodie. She’s smiling next to the familiar MTA logo, but her message isn’t just about reporting a suspicious bag on the platform and feeling heroic.

“I felt like a hero reporting what I saw,” her quote reads. “But what scares me more than an unattended package is an unattended politician. We have to keep an eye on how our representatives vote and hold them accountable.”

In place of “Take a moment to alert a police officer or MTA employee,” the sign reads, “Call your elected officials and make yourself heard.” Next to the actual MTA help line (888-NYC-SAFE), there’s a tiny #RESIST.

The subversive fake posters were installed on two subway cars overnight—that’s two cars across the entire system—mingling with original posters from the MTA’s March 2016 campaign. Gothamist spoke with the person who conceived and installed them on the condition of anonymity. The artist also asked that the train lines be withheld, in the hopes that the MTA won’t track them down immediately and remove them.

The concept, he said, is to encourage people to say something when they see something unsettling coming out of government.

“I think it’s great that they are doing the See Something Say Something campaign. I don’t think it’s Orwellian, and I think it’s responsible to be vigilant,” he said. “But given the state of the world that we’re in, I wanted to do something that took that conversation and elevated it so that people could be vigilant beyond what’s directly in front of their eyes.”

“Yes, terrorism is a real issue,” he added. “But aren’t the behaviors of our government… and these ideas of how the media is straying into fake news, aren’t all of these things contributing to an atmosphere that makes us more unsafe, that gives rise to terrorism, that makes us panic?”

The full story, and all the re-worked posters can be seen at The Gothamist. Way to go, New York!

Couch Gag.


Bill Plympton’s instantly-recognizable mix of naïveté and rule-breaking will greet viewers of The Simpsons‘ 613th episode, “22 for 30.” The Oscar-nominated indie animator behind I Married a Strange Person! (1997), Mutant Aliens (2001), and Cheatin’ (2014) returns to Matt Groening’s juggernaut sitcom for the fifth time on March 12, delivering a meta love letter to animation that breaks the fourth, and kicks it while it’s down.

It’s great to see Plympton again, but a word of warning, don’t get carried along too much by charm of this particular couch scene, it has a rather unexpected ending. (If you’ve ever stabbed yourself with a pencil, might want to skip it all together.)

The Creators Project has the full story.

Cultural Codex.



A new online publishing platform is working to preserve and share knowledge of the cultures and languages of indigenous communities. Cultural Codex, developed by software company Dadavan Systems, invites anyone to contribute stories and experiences that record aspects of indigenous culture they want to celebrate, through personalized galleries that support text, video, photographs, and sound recordings. Currently in its early stages, the website features just a few dozen examples so far, but its creators envision archivists, artists, curators, museums, cultural and language centers, and many others producing online exhibitions and libraries that feature everything from archival material to personal reflections. Like those ancient, handwritten books from which the project takes its name, the growing resource will come together as a collaborative effort.

For a new platform, there’s a lot to see already, so do a bit of exploring and learn a little! Cultural Codex.

If you’d like to read more about the project, Hyperallergic has you covered.