Some great upcycling/radical DIY artists

One the right side panel of this site, you might have seen the section of “sister projects”. These are mainly projects we took part of, helped out, or admire from a distance, take inspiration from, support or get supported by etc. Sort of networking similar and related projects together. As the project of Bikesexual grows and becomes more and more international, this list is growing, it might become a separate page for external links, organised under different topics, so it’s not so chaotic. Anyway for now, I just saw an amazing video statement of an artist from Los Angeles, found it totally accidentally, and it motivated me to just highlight and propagate some amazing and very unique artists, who also make a political statement with their works, and whom, and whose work I highly appreciate therefor.

Right now I can think of three I know or know of, that work in a similar DIY, recycling/upcycling (or something like that), handmade and queerfeminist/radical frame: two based in Berlin, and now this girl in LA.

And of course there are activists who do handcraft, make DIY stuff as well, but that’s not their main thing, and their creativity and awareness is very important too! There are also lot’s of artists and handcrafters and artprojects somehow surrounding political and politicised spaces, collectives and so on, but somehow the content and the aim of the art often looses or never even tries to own this politicised side of it, just ends up using infrastructure, materials, tools, knowledge, space etc, because it’s available (meaning: easy to find, access, cheap or for free). There is of course nothing wrong with that, that’s why there is this infrastructure to be used. However, combining political principles, messages, putting them in an art object, which is also very often something useable and not just a piece to be locked in a museum and never to be touched again – wow that’s agency (ahm..vermittlung), and that’s a great way to live and promote alternative ways of living, not (only) with negative statements of what is wrong, but creating something else instead.

So also because of this, also because they do great stuff, I really really recommend: Anton Blume who makes vegan whips (available for example in Other Nature in Berlin); Yori Gagarim who makes TroubleX, graphic design, silk screen printing and so on with great queerfeminist stuff. And Caro, who writes on her site

“This series addresses class codes, power dynamics, reclaimed agency, and ecological responsibility. The traditional chandelier is seen as a bourgeois commodity, a cachet of affluence, excess, and as such power. The recycled bicycle parts become a representation of the dismissed, invisible, and powerless, but are also an affirmation of self-propelled movement. The bicycle chandelier thereby creates a new third meaning of reclaimed agency.
These Subversive objects challenge the aesthetics of wealth by visually contrasting the classic elegance of the candelabrum with the newfound elegance of discarded, mechanical bicycle parts. Also, as objects made from existing materials they challenge the necessity of the new.
CONNECT is a metaphor of potentiality in collectivity. It imagines what is possible with each unique chandelier form.”

see also a nice video with her:

Handmade Portraits: Chain Reaction from Etsy on Vimeo.

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