(Photo by Brady Dale)
“Gonna Put A Hacks On You” is an interactive art show featuring work by Ariel Cotton. It opened last Thursday at Littlefield in Gowanus. The artwork features everything from chocolate that “orgasms” when you bite it, books with electronic popups, a dress that emits different sounds when it’s touched and an autobiographical webcomic called “Jewish American Peasant” that changed as participants handled different objects representing aspects of Cotton’s identity.
At the opening, Cotton told us that “Lady Godiva,” her piece with the chocolates that react ecstatically when participants bit into them, was the most complicated. “I basically had to invent an entire process,” she said, blending cooking, 3D molding and electronics.
Another piece, “Les Fleurs des Mal,” was actually displayed on Cotton’s body. It’s a dress that her and collaborator Olivia Barr put together on a model of her figure made largely using duct tape. It featured laser-cut flowers in conductive fabric that have hateful meanings in Victorian tradition. When participants touched one of the flowers, hostile sounds would blare out of speakers hidden in giant shoulder pads.
Also on display are many of Cotton’s notebooks and sketchpads, where she demonstrates her considerable draftsmanship. However, she told us that she went to school for fine arts at Cooper Union, where she found herself surrounded by engineers and got interested in the expressive qualities of technology.
The artist lives on the border of Park Slope and Gowanus. Works in the show will remain on display at Littlefield through September 1.