Sugar & Spice…Naughty & Nice:
Burlesque-Inspired D.I.Y with Clarissa Cupcake
WHEN: March 21st, 7:30-9:30pm.
WHERE: Artisans Asylum (map) Multipurpose room. Suggested donation $3-5.
Although rarely considered valid forms of technology – women’s contributions to fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, textiles, and the decorative arts serve as remarkable instances of innovation, technical prowess and skill – revealing the forgotten power of all seemingly trivial “decorative” techniques and practices.
Clarissa Cupcake will demonstrate the erotic potential of several surprising, unexpected genres – including scrapbooking, embroidery, beading and collage – and discuss the value of using feminine kitsche as a tool for psychological domination, power play, and humiliation. Fashion, jewelry, and cosmetics are explored as nuanced elements of erotic encounters, while themes of display, beauty and objectification are addressed. Emphasizing the role of gender as a powerful mental construct in erotic play, Clarissa will discuss how juxtaposing materials considered too cute, innocent and feminine for sex toys (e.g., lace, crystal, embroidery, ribbon, etc.) with more edgy, intimidating materials associated with masculine gender stereotypes (leather, metal, chain, etc.) can be used to elevate the experience of both dominance and submission. This effect is pronounced especially when stereotyped expectations do not match how an object or material is used – that is, when innocent materials inflict pain, and intimidating materials produce pleasure.
Examples from her burlesque costumes and props are used to visualize this tension between seemingly contradictory materials. She will show examples of her work as a visual artist and designer – along with her favorite tools and materials – finishing her talk with a short description of how color, texture and form can influence the power dynamic of any social interaction, concluding that erotic practices can enhance interactions in everyday social encounters, playing a key role in mental health and personal well being.
Clarissa Cupcake is a cultural psychoanalyst, fashion/jewelry designer, inventor, and burlesque performance artist. She is the owner and founder of Lace Exoskeleton (lace-exoskeleton.com), and was recently awarded a provisional patent for her “Chain Reactions” modular jewelry and fashion design concept.
Lace Exoskeleton represents an artistic collective with the shared vision of empowering individuals to construct, enhance and assume artistic authorship over their identity and aesthetic persona. Specifically, Lace Exoskeleton encourages consumers to utilize sustainable, eco-friendly, and modular concepts to create their very own, personalized “exoskeleton” of collaged, appropriated, and collaborative fashion pieces that form a continuous artistic gesture we refer to as “identity”. By encouraging customers to think about body decoration as an art form, Clarissa hopes to empower people to see fashion as a deeply personal, meaningful collection of symbols, colors, textures and design details that capture the essence of deeply personal content – from actual memories and recollections to inner visions, fantasies, desires, and unrealized dreams. Through transforming everyday consumer choices into spiritually meaningful, artistic, and emotionally engaging collective experiences, she hopes to refocus consumer desire to favor sustainable, ethical, and artisan-made products and services. You can visit Clarissa Cupcake and her partner in crime, Pinkbeetle, in the following places:
Lace Exoskeleton Studios: The Artisans Asylum, Somerville, MA – Studio #69 (no need for a
pneumonic device to remember this address!)
Website: Blog, D.I.Y. resource, upcoming events resource, & collective art
Facebook: Lace Exoskeleton, Clarissa Cupcake
Color embodies one of the most powerful tools for self-expression and visual communication – transcending the barriers of verbal language, culture, education, and socio-economic status – a universal language which all humans equally share and understand. This occurs simply because the emotional information encoded within colors remains far too abstract, intangible, and universal for any one person to control, monopolize or restrict access to its meaning; however, this does not mean that people cannot be deceived into believing that they lack the authority, education, or status to use, wear and express themselves via color, as if color itself can be owned exclusively like any other possession. Just as kings and queens of the past claimed an exclusive right to don robes dyed with the rare Tyrian purple dye – derived from the immune secretions of various sea snails (commonly mistaken as coming from their shells, rather than their bodies) – contemporary culture remains saturated with “exclusively owned” colors, belonging to specific brands, products, and individuals who purchase the right to restrict their use. In this context, color itself becomes a status symbol – such as the “Tiffany blue” box used by Tiffany’s to encase its designer jewelry, or the sterile, streamlined white of so many Apple products. Even worse, people feel that they lack the education to interpret color – and all artistic, creative, and universal gestures that normally transcend arbitrary barriers – robbing us of our shared language, and isolating us from one another indefinitely. If we can remember our universal connections to one another, then we are one step closer to erasing hate, prejudice, injustice, terrorism, and violence. Color is one of the easiest formats for exploring our shared roots, for we all share:
Red: the flicker of fire in darkness, passion, sparks, and fruit ripening seductively on a tree branch.
Orange: candlelight, more fire, citrus, warmth, honey, sunlight.
Yellow: sunshine, our first reference point in the sky – our sun- and our shared benefactor who gives us life, energy, warmth and light.
Green: lush, growing things; plant life, leaves, and moss.
Blue: water, the sky, the moon which guides us even in darkness.
Purple: the fringes of time – twilight’s glowing sky, autumn leaves, shadows, caves and the depths of the ocean.
Here we see in this spectrum our own shared spectrum, and realize how light and darkness merge, intertwine and depend upon one another for sustenance as well as continued existence. In perpetual harmony, balance and peace, they cancel one another out, and in their multiplicity, diversity and difference, they converge at a common origin.