Qompendium is an evolving and ever-changing platform for philosophy, art, culture and science, represented by a series of print publications: magazines, books and monographs. Furthermore, it is enriched by a gallery concept, a work shop and a fast-moving online portal.
Chicks on Speed are an ever-changing multi-disciplinary art group with a punk-inspired DIY ethic. Their first major solo exhibition in the United Kingdom interrogates the boundaries of art, craft, fashion and music. Don’t Art, Fashion, Music – an exhibition by CoS merges traditional techniques with new research in technical innovation and the world premier of the world’s first wireless guitar stilettos - soon to be seen at the MoMA.
Qompendium: Alex, what is the E-SHOE about?
Alex Murray-Leslie: The E-SHOE is an "Objekt Instrument" to play on stage, because as you know "we don´t play guitars", we just had to invent an audio visual spectacle re-appropriating the guitar, with a playful reference to the fetishisation of fashion commodities. The E-SHOE triggers new sounds we´ve crafted with our friend Panoxa and son. The E-SHOE is part of our bigger collection of Objekt Instruments, that we exhibit at exhibitions such as our current show "Chicks on Speed don´t Art, Fashion, Music" at Dundee Contemporary Arts. It´s a development on from other high heeled shoe guitar prototypes we began to make at Contemporary Arts Centre Vilnius, in 2006, but those weren´t wearable, so we kept developing and researching the project till now... and now we feel this prototype e-shoe is almost perfect, it´s like software, it can always be added to, improved, including paint job or circuit board/sensor improvements etc, you could say its a continual beta process.
Is it wearable?
Yes! Absolutely, the first performance was at the opening of our show at DCA on August 4th, you´ll have to wait for our book coming out on Booth Clibborn Editions / DCA to see all that explosive footage.
Is must certainly be an object of desire but not only for Lady Gaga, Lady Bunny or Rupaul?
Well, Lady Gaga wearing the shoe is an obsession and it´ll most likely never happen. Telling people Gaga inspired our E-SHOE, was true and in a way it did get a lot of people believing in the E-SHOE. When it all started people, especially industry, didn´t have the same vision as we do, they thought we were crazy inventors, we had to convince them, so we had to do a bit of "prototype marketing"... then everyone believed in it and now its become a reality.
How many pairs did you produce?
Each pair is an original. We have 6 pairs and will make the shoes to order for collectors and museums. It looks like MoMA design museum will acquire one for their collection, which is super.
Would you go in mass production?
Our initial concept was to go from Prototype to industrialized shoe and this E-SHOE is ready for mass production if an interested investor comes along, as making shoes is a very expensive business, we wouldn´t be able to do this ourselves. Of course if we did go mass, the first original shoes would be different from the mass produced E-SHOE
What is your next step?
E-SHOE is being exhibited at Sonar, 17/18/19 June then onto "Its not only Rock and Roll Baby" Milan, curated by Jerome Sans and Mauro Mattei opening 21st June. We´ll be touring our DCA exhibition to Hong Kong Arts Centre and releasing our book in September. We did some consulting work for Nike on their musical sneakers they did, it was more of a visual marketing project of course, as the sneakers didn´t really work, but we would be open to do R and D for some brands like Phillips with LED¨s or SMD´s or research into Nano tubes, we feel happy in the role of innovator in developing new musical instruments with a strong connection to fashion and craft. I´ll be starting a practical PHD this year emphasis on wearable technologies.
CHICKS ON SPEED & MAX KIBARDIN
E-SHOE (A High Heeled Shoe Guitar) 2010
Alex Murray-Leslie (Ms. NEON YELLOW)
Melissa Logan (Ms. RED)
Kroot Juurak (Ms. PURPLE)
Merche Blasco (Ms. BLACK)
Anat Ben-David (Ms. NEON ORANGE)
Shoe components: Plastic/Leather Upper, acrylic, perspex, car paint, Circuit board, lithium battery, galvanized steel keys, brass bass guitar strings
Size 41 (21 x 9 x 16cm)
Produced in conjunction with Hangar.org (Alex Posada, Bartosz Zygmunt, M. A. de Heras) Marc Monzó Boris and Panoxa.
Commissioned by Dundee Contemporary Arts, DCA, 2010
Photography courtesy: Gilmar Ribeiro
Chicks on Speed THE BEAT IS HAPPENING