So a Los Angeles artist fashions these massive chandeliers out of old bike parts that she gets out of the junkyard. All right. That’s fine. That’s good, even. Less crap in junkyards — we’re all for it. And she sells this stuff on Etsy, because if you’re a woman who ties a kerchief around her neck and enjoys the fetching-patches-of-dirt-and/or-grease-on-buff-arms look, Etsy will eventually become a part of your life. So, Etsy made a pretty slick video of this woman talking about her chandeliers — the endeavor as a whole is called “The Connect Project” — and, well, it is three minutes of comic gold:[vimeo 49335672]
Naturally we must agree with artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga when she says, “We only get one Earth.” Nor would we take issue with her claim that she “trie[s] to live [her] life in such a way that [she is] working towards the evolution of humanity.” Finally, when she says, “The chandelier is a symbol of wealth and opulence and power and influence,” well, there’s no way that after watching season one of Revenge we’d even dream of disputing that. Here’s where she starts to lose us: “Bicycle parts represent a subversion of power.” And from her artist bio: “The recycled bicycle parts become a representation of the dismissed, invisible, and powerless, but are also an affirmation of self-propelled movement. The bicycle chandelier thereby creates a new third meaning of reclaimed agency.”
OK, these chandeliers cost between $2,000 and $4,000. Which is fine. No one begrudges this woman the right to make a living, and she’s probably not getting rich off these things. And they’re cool-looking chandeliers! But for the love of God, “a new third meaning of reclaimed agency?” Can we rephrase this? Into something like, say, I make expensive shit and rich people buy it?
We’re not trying to be harsh. And we hate to single this girl out for a crime that’s so widespread. And hey — recycling old stuff good, using new stuff bad — totally. Here’s the thing: It seems like the less jerking off we do as the world ends, the better chance we might have of possible eking out a few more years of livable climate and usable space. In other words, you can’t wash your clothes in agency, and if we act like we can, well, we’re going to be fucked.
Handmade Portraits: Chain Reaction, etsy.