05 November 2012

Sunshine says the damnedest things

As we were driving home last night, I said something to him about a jacket by Maison Martin Margiela made from pen caps.

What ensued was a discussion, led by Sunshine, about what constituted design. Now, I suppose I should fill you in a bit on Sunshine's qualifications in the fields of art and design. In addition to being a mason, (which requires creativity with bricks, blocks, and stone,) Sunshine was a fine arts major in college. So, he knows what he is talking about when he opines about art and design.

He talked about how design must two elements: function and aesthetics. OK, I'm with him so far.

However, he said that this jacket made of pen caps was not design, in spite of the fact that it was created by a famous designer at a famous design house.

Um, what?

He said that, since it could not actually serve as a jacket, it was not design. It did not have a function. Oh, I see what you're saying. And you're wrong. The jacket serves a function: it makes people think about the effects they are having on the earth. Cindy scores a point, right?

Wrong, according to Sunshine.

He says that the jacket, if its function is to make people think about the effects they are having on the earth, is art--not design. He then proceeded to give an example that almost made me pee in his passenger seat.

He said that if I were to make a pair of pants out of toilet paper, they could be the most beautiful pants in the world but not be designed (they didn't have function). OK, I'm in agreement with him. Pants made of toilet paper wouldn't function for more than 2.6 seconds before they fell apart.

He then went on to say that if I wanted to "make pants out of toilet paper and hang them on the wall to make the statement that pants are bullshit", then it is art.


I'm half tempted to go make a pair of pants out of toilet paper and hang them on the fucking wall. However, that would require giving up some of my precious hoard of toilet paper with Aloe + E, and that shit ain't happening, y'all. My tissue, it comforts me.

author's note: out of curiousity, I googled "pants are bullshit". Who do you think popped up as the first two results?None other than my dear Aunt Becky. Out of further curiosity, I searched her site for "pant are bullshit" and got twelve pages of results. #thisiswhyiloveher


  1. Ooohhh, I love this discussion! Sunshine makes it so clear. I'm totally going to work this into a conversation today.

    Also, the toilet paper pants thing makes me think about Project Runway. They'd do something like that.

    1. I kept having mental images of the always elegant Timm Gunn making that thoughtful face as he inspects dresses made of puppy-pee-pee-pads!