Cranbrook Academy of Art (Doug Johnston)



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    Doug Johnston
    Apr 6, '06 1:12 AM EST

    so the annual chair show is this month:
    its called "Chairspray" which was Eric's brilliant idea. Its at the P.F. Gallery at 14 mile, just west of Main in Clawson for those who live in the area. The open show at the Forum gallery was great - lots of really great chairs from most all departments. Obviously Architecture, 3D, and metals probably had the most representation. My chair is pictured below. Its called "CrotchRock" and includes an album of music wirrten by musician/architect/friend Al Pagano. here is the description i wrote for the gallery:

    “CrotchRock” has its origins in our relationship to music and sound as physical phenomena even though their physical qualities are not visible. Music has the power to move us emotionally and has equally meaningful implications in social relationships and identities. The chair draws from several sources: courting rituals using mix-tapes, CD's and playlists, the graphic sexual content of contemporary hip-hop and rock music, the tension of bodily positions and movements normally only seen in private, now seen publicly in work-out equipment and facilities. The 15” woofers were used to achieve maximum vibration and visual impact. They have a frequency range of 40Hz-4kHz so an album of music was composed by Al Pagano to fit within this range and to provide musical interpretations of the situation created by the chair.

    detailed pictures of the entire process of construction and initial design model can be found at my flickr set.
    Here are some pics of the finished chair at the opening in the Forum Gallery (click the picture to see the full size image at flickr):




    • b3tadine[sutures]

      i love the chair! quite provocative and the cig in the woman's hand only heightens the visual. tell me, the vibration, enough to get, you know....reminds me of the radio bit Howard Stern did, where he had a woman sit on a speaker and got her off....bravo!

      Apr 6, 06 7:21 am  · 

      congrats, doug. a stream of associations run through my head - similar to those you mentioned above but with a few more: drivers' seat/steering wheel, channeling music to unborn baby in utero, birth chair, tandem bicycle, push-me-pull-you (from dr doolittle)...

      also like the name. nicely suited to the project. did it come first or after the project was designed? if it came early, i would maybe have started to try to make the name inform the project a little more. the chairs have a nice de stijl character to them now, but 'crotch rock' suggests arena seats and a little 'rock and roll part 2'. ya know?

      Apr 6, 06 7:50 am  · 

      the oPod.
      i like the top image, like a faceoff between the speakers and the chairs.
      Very unintentionally, or reminds me of by my own associations, Rebecca Horn-esque. I like the chairs, they made me stop and look.

      Apr 6, 06 8:35 am  · 
      liberty bell

      Very, very cool Doug. I might have gone for a more sensual material on the seat/back: leather? rubber? mohair? Something softer and textural. Also something squishy and grippable, something you can dig your fingers into, on the handles. Tough maybe you needed the harder surfaces to transmit virations better?

      The white paint and the little white caps on the seat back bolts make me think of medical devices, not a bad association here, but I'd like to see it tempered with a more overt/straightforward sexiness in some of the other materials.

      Really, really love the idea, though. Would love to try it out with both someone I'm intimate with and someone I'm not, see how different it feels in that position with various partners.

      Sexy project, great job!

      Apr 6, 06 9:45 am  · 
      liberty bell

      Sorry, that sentence is supposed to be: "Though maybe you needed the harder surfaces to transmit vibrations better?"

      That chair's got me tripped up!

      Apr 6, 06 9:47 am  · 

      another potential name-driven association that might have altered the final product: crotch rocket > ducati-type motorcycle associations would have had some wacky implications.

      Apr 6, 06 12:02 pm  · 

      Doug, you rock my crotch.

      Apr 6, 06 6:01 pm  · 

      awesome. i love the subtle commentary on gym equiptment in the metal support structure. the speaker like a free weight...i really love the commentary on modern optimization culture. great critique of the modernist ideal...i like, i like. is there some sort of hand control for the other person's volume? that would be an interesting addition.
      there is there almost ultra-hiegenicized distance within the zoning of the space...

      Apr 6, 06 6:57 pm  · 
      vado retro

      i'd take it if it had cupholders!!

      Apr 6, 06 8:07 pm  · 


      Apr 6, 06 9:40 pm  · 

      nice! you should send images to christian marclay.

      Apr 9, 06 1:48 am  · 

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