A participatory jacket project; participants have the opportunity to engage with the see-through jacket by wearing and performing with it, look at what the previous participants have put within the several pockets sealed in it, take a picture of themselves with their mobiles, print it by using a small portable photo printer, put the instant photo in the transparent jacket. This art project proved to enable participants creativity.
Observing, feeling, intuitions are the inspirations for my works, analysing it’s part of the creative process. I had this idea of a plastic jacket with photos in it (in 2013 while travelling by car…it wasn’t me driving) more than 6 years ago. It came as a flash from a camera. It seemed to be an idea for just an unusual jacket, something like for an alternative design shop. But I didn’t want to make it as a commercial design product, it was not that! It was more something like alive, unique, just one, like an artwork! I talked about this idea once in 2014 to another artist and curator and at the question “Why a jacket?” my answer was “just because the idea is there and I want to make it! If I cannot make it for this exhibition I’ll make it another time.” It kept being in my mind and somehow it kept evolving until something triggered it. In summer 2017 a few seconds before flying to Menorca my black leather jacket (a gift from my ex) was stolen. I cried, a lot! Until the plastic jacket idea flashed back, but with a stronger identity.
We imagine, we have visions, we plan, we build and the artist eye can see through that and return to people what they have imagined or what they have lost.
My determination to codify life through & into art led me to find an artistic form of expressing and representing ourselves, our feelings, needs, our relationships to the environments we are surrounded and impregnated by or veiled and faded from. Photographs and Social media grounded Contemporary society and we all express our creativity as well by using them. Pola Jac should give the opportunity to highlight this creativity by slowing down the online timeframes and returning to people some more human time frames and a more tangible sense of community. Pola Jac can be considered like a reusable canvas for people to express themselves, their stories, their interests. The jacket is composed by several heat sealed seams and related parts, which have then been cut to form 16 pockets. The jacket pockets can be filled in with some instant photos, which are significant for each person. People can insert some other small objects if they wish to. These will somehow form the print & patterns of this jacket and the content with the plastic transparency will represent somehow our second skin. The plastic represents both, a faded engagement with the environment that we experience through the social media and a desire and opportunity to protect and preserve our unicity. People are invited to wear Pola Jac, maybe have a walk, go out, or even make a performance or a micro exhibition as they wish.
During this artistic research it is then vital to share this project with other individuals by inviting them to host Pola Jac and use it as per theirs creativity and needs for a set time of a week maximum. Pola Jac can travel around the world thanks to people's sense of community and trust. This may generate a sense of curiosity of how other people would use the jacket, where, which stories they want to tell, how they want to look, how they want to be seen, how much they want to give about themselves. This could then lead to discoveries, which will form part of the research and further development of this project.
Today in response to the question “Why a jacket?” :
A waterproof jacket that can protect you it’s a response to a ‘Necessity’. Art is usually distinguished from architecture, design and fashion by not having a purpose out of a common and primarily necessity. However could it be that art is more entwined with life and needs? Could it be that the way we communicate, we dress, we live it’s more permeating with art?
I would like people to be sincere with their expression of themselves. Using something practical as a jacket may be helpful to do that.
Probably the first figurative association we may make thinking about art is the one of looking at an artwork, at a painting. When we look at an artwork we are at first instance observers, we may stop a bit longer and we feel and we think. There are also interactive artworks and performance but they are still limited in time and space. What if a work of art becomes more part of your living? It’s a painting hung on the wall of your living room, it’s a statue of your city or a building, a sculpture, a fountain, or graffiti. It’s then also something that belongs to you or something public. What if that’s a jacket that you can take with you and be part of your living. That you could use in different places, at different times that you can share with other people around the world. We can be the designers of our own jacket!
How it works:
Do you fancy joining in?
In the first stage of the project I sent an email to some selected people inviting them to take part in this project. The content of the email explained what the project is about and how it works.
In the second stage people after having seen the project online may express their desire to take part too. After providing some personal details and expressing the reasons of their interest they will be sent an explanatory email so that they can sign up.
Pola Jac box ready to travel
A box will be set containing the plastic jacket, a Kiipix (a portable smartphone picture printer machine that can print out Instant photographs from your mobile). One pack of instant printing film (each pack contains 10 printing films). Each participant will then re-pack the art box as they have received it and it would be great if they can add in any of their printed out photos, which will be received by the next user and also be part of an exhibition later on.
Postage & delivery
This box will be posted to the first applicant then sent directly to the next applicant or hand-passed if the applicants live in the same area or if they are willing to travel and meet with the next participant. You may meet a new friend ;)
Express your own creativity
Try the jacket on and start familiarising yourself with it. You can then print out some selected photos from your phone and put them in the pockets as you prefer. Decide how you want to experience & use Pola Jac and don’t forget to record it! This can be done by taking some photos, a video or writing down your Pola Jac journey.
Sharing your Pola Jac story
You are invited to email/ text me your photos that you have decided to put into the jacket and any type of recording of your Pola Jac experience. Plus, as mentioned above, some of your instant film photos will travel together with PJ. Basically what you share will be part of this art project itself as this will determine the research and further development of Pola Jac. This will also be part of a community, of an ‘art collectif’. A dedicated Instagram account is set for this project (instagram.com/pola_jac), where I can keep the community posted on the Pola Jac journeys & evolvement. Only some of the materials that I will receive by email or post will be posted on Instagram but it will be part of the project research and consequent exhibition. So if you have any specific privacy preference please let me know.
In the first part of this project it was self supported; PJ was hand delivered. To keep it run this would be thanks to the participant's generosity and willingness to be part of this community.
In the meantime I will keep applying for some funds. I can then utilize these first Pola Jac stories to apply, which should allow Pola Jac to go global.
Take care of yourself & Pola Jac
Please pay some attention in order to avoid damage or loss to the jacket and printing tool. This will allow Pola Jac to be passed to all participants in good condition so that the project can keep going.