Nike and Tom Sachs Present Tom Sachs: NIKECraftNike and Tom Sachs Present Tom Sachs: NIKECraft
words // Brennan Hiro Williams
Nike’s introduces its latest capsule collection, NIKECraft, a collaboration between the Nike design team and renowned artist Tom Sachs. The capsule accompanies Sachs’ upcoming SPACE PROGRAM: Mars installation, a four-week “mission to Mars” that will turn the Wade Thompson Drill Hall at the Park Avenue Armory in New York into an “immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures.”
Anyone familiar with Tom Sachs scrappy make-it-yourself sculpture (some call it bricolage) might find the idea of him collaborating with the biggest sporting goods brand on the planet, in the universe, an unlikely partnership. What he, as an artist, considers a large edition size, Nike runs off in prototypes testing iterations of a new sneaker. And yet born from the dynamic between Tom’s D.I.Y. aesthetic and the wide reaching Nike brand, comes an artisanal capsule collection, NIKECraft.
Launched on the eve of Tom’s SPACE PROGRAM: Mars, this joint venture between Tom and the Nike design team fuses, in several significant ways, the design sensibility Sachs brings to space travel.
Astronauts must be as fit as an elite athlete to even withstand the rigors of exiting the earth’s atmosphere. Their daily tasks require a substantial effort and endurance. Equally, their equipment must be up to the task of performing under the most unforgiving conditions.
The NIKECraft collection includes the Mars Yard Shoe, the Trench, the Marsfly Jacket and the Lightweight Tote. Sachs utilized several unique materials, taken from car air bags, mainsails from boats and even space suits. Every item is crafted for a “voyage through space,” with interesting details like zipper pulls that have storage capability, paracords and the periodic table screened on the inside of the Trench jacket, all combining “visual interest with purpose.”
The Tom Sachs SPACE PROGRAM: Mars installation launches on Wednesday, May 16.
Tom Sachs NIKECraft Collection at SPACE PROGRAM: MARSTom Sachs NIKECraft Collection at SPACE PROGRAM: MARS
words // Brennan Hiro Williams
Tom Sachs’ SPACE PROGRAM: MARS opened this week at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, transforming the Wade Thompson Drill Hall into an expansive, dynamic art installation.
Artist Tom Sachs takes his SPACE PROGRAM to the next level with a four week mission to Mars that recasts the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures. Using his signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio, Sachs engineers the component parts of the mission—exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, recreational amenities, and Mars landscape—exposing as much the process of their making as the complexities of the culture they reference.
SPACE PROGRAM: MARS is a demonstration of all that is necessary for survival, scientific exploration, and colonization in extraterrestrial environs: from food delivery systems and entertainment to agriculture and human waste disposal. Sachs and his studio team of thirteen will man the installation, regularly demonstrating the myriad procedures, rituals, and tasks of their mission. The team will also “lift off” to Mars several times throughout their residency at the Armory, with real-time demonstrations playing out various narratives from take-off to landing, including planetary excursions, their first walk on the surface of Mars, collecting scientific samples, and photographing the surrounding landscape.
Beneath the compulsive tinkerer’s mentality and ribald wit that permeate SPACE PROGRAM: MARS, and Sachs’ work at-large, is a conceptual underpinning that addresses serious and profound issues—namely the commodification of abstract concepts such as originality, shock, newness, and mystery—expressing them in the personal and physical terms of production and process. With the recent shuttering of NASA’s shuttle program and the shifting focus towards privatized space travel, SPACE PROGRAM: MARS takes on timely significance within Sachs’s work, which provokes reflection on the haves and have-nots, utopian follies and dystopian realities, while asking barbed questions of modern creativity that relate to conception, production, consumption, and circulation.
The accompanying Tom Sachs: NIKECraft capsule collection will be sold alongside the show at an adjoining installation in the Park Avenue Armory. The capsule includes the Mars Yard Shoe, the Trench, the Marsfly Jacket and the Lightweight Tote. Sachs, true to his bricolage style, utilized several unique materials, taken from car air bags, mainsails from boats and even space suits. Every item is crafted for a “voyage through space,” with interesting details like zipper pulls that have storage capability, paracords and the periodic table screened on the inside of the Trench jacket, all combining “visual interest with purpose.”