Dress Code: Panel and Charrette with Shelley Fox, Peter Merlin, and Trevor Paglen

Panel and Charrette Wed 19 Nov 2008 3.00PM-5.00PM Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
2 West 13th Street
Free admission
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Hailing from the world of fashion, national security, and art respectively, Shelley Fox, Peter Merlin, and Trevor Paglen discuss visual literacy in relation to dress codes, and look at collective identity constructed—and dissected—by open and closed systems of visual codes such as military insignia and designer logos.

Their conversation is preceded from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. by a charrette, a solution-driven workshop staged in the gallery on a platform designed for this purpose by Liam Gillick. In the charrette, students from various departments at Parsons and the public mine visual codes and brand reinforcement in the context of the military complex, taking as point of departure Paglen's project on iconography associated with the "black world" of classified military culture. Participants work in teams to develop and craft onto T-shirts coded messages, examining the shifts in power when an outsider becomes an insider, such as when a consumer is initiated into an elite and "knowing" subculture.

These events are hosted by Shelley Fox, an award-winning designer and Donna Karan Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons. Peter Merlin is an aerospace historian and collector of military patches who contributed to Paglen's book on classified militaria, I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me. Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. His work involves deliberately blurring the lines between social science, contemporary art, and a host of even more obscure disciplines to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to interpret the world around us.

Shelley Fox, Donna Karan Professor of Fashion Design, Parsons The New School for Design
Peter Merlin, writer, aerospace historian, archaeologist
Trevor Paglen, artist, writer, experimental geographer, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley

This program has been made possible, in part, by a generous grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

This event is presented as part of the Vera List Center's program cycle on "Branding Democracy."