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Xenophora Objects

Xenophora Objects is a brand of handcrafted jewelry designed by Karissma Yve. Using techniques such as sand casting and lost-wax casting, these unique, brutal objects are inspired by nature and alchemy – the tagline (As above becomes below, within becomes without) is a play on the alchemical maxim “As above, so below.” I like the raw quality of these pieces, how they remind me of natural forms, how extremely tactile and primal-feeling they are, and their embodiment of her vision of “a perfectly imperfect composition of ash and blood.” Karissma is also quite the wordsmith and I like the emotionally intense vibe, a sort of incandescent, poetic priestess-like energy, that she infuses into the stories she creates around her lovingly made pieces.

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DEMOBAZA

One of my favorite online clothing stores is Bulgaria-based DEMOBAZA. Raw, gauzy, tattered, asymmetrical knits dominate this unique, futuristic label. With unconventional shapes, various textures, cutouts galore, exposed seams, arm warmers, cowls, and hoods, it brings to mind the image of a fierce yet pixielike urban nomad. I would describe its aesthetic as haute cyberpunk. I love the unusual silhouettes which lend themselves so much to draping and layering.

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Naomi Kizhner’s “Energy Addicts”

Energy Addicts is a project by Israeli graduate student Naomi Kizhner. Kizhner, a designer and “trend theorist,” seeks to “provoke the thought about how far we will go in order to ‘feed’ our addiction in the world of declining resources.” The project comprises three devices, the Blinker, the E-Pulse Conductor, and the Blood Bridge – jewelry pieces which harness the body’s energy to generate electrical power. Some of them are embedded into the veins, and thus invasive.

Kizhner plays with the idea of human bodies as “biological wealth.” Using “invasive gold and biopolymer devices,” electromagnets, micro energy cells, and micro turbines, she turns the wearer into a natural resource, where “simple movements performed by the subconscious are fully utilized” – provoking interesting questions about ethics and the quantification of the individual. The Blinker extracts energy from blinks of the eyelids, the Blood Bridge uses a hypodermic needle inserted into the arm and circulates blood through the wheel, turning it, and the E-Pulse Conductor is inserted in veins near the spine and picks up electrical impulses.

This ingenious project is simultaneously technological wizardry, fashion statement, and social commentary. She has also made a short film to accompany it, which depicts individuals using their bodies to light up their world in a way that makes it meaningful for them, drawing them further into this addiction, but also seeming to drain them. It is as if they only feel alive when they can have this visionary reality before them, which requires their energy to manifest; so what makes them feel alive is what ironically enervates and devitalizes them, and is also what closes them off to any other world, perpetuating the cycle.

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The Hag’s Hand

This is a delightful little pendant cast in the shape of Baba Yaga’s gnarled hand. I have had much more of an appreciation for Baba Yaga since reading Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless, where she figures prominently.

“The veined and clawed hand of the forest hag, Baba Yaga. The Yaga lives in a hut on chicken legs and travels the woodlands perched in her mortar, propelling herself with the pestle. I created this amulet as a reminder of the crone, the wise one who dwells not only in wilderness but as part of our inner divinity. Bitter herbs, harsh love and dark moon belong to her.”
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