‘BEING PLAYED’ ESSAY


Copywriting ︎ Exhibition




CLIENT
World Chess Hall of Fame

ROLE
Writer, Stylist, Exhibition Consultant

OTHER CREDITS
Aiden Douglas - Graphic Designer

Special thanks to Michael Drummond and Shannon Bailey









WRITING SELECTION (p. 14) 


“With his head down and the sound of a harpsichord rhythmically chiming in the background, Michael
Drummond slides from one part of his at-home studio
to another, masterfully and meticulously bending,
shaping, and attaching bra underwires to a vinyl form.
In the corner, a dress form boasts a series of black ruffles that are delicately attached to a shapely boned core; nearby, a set of vibrant red cast resin fossils are strewn across the table; and below, a black and white cat slinks by, eager to head into the backyard for his daily security watch.

What could be described as a real-life tribute to the Anna Pan illustration The Witch’s Son is just another day’s work for the reclusive fashion artist. Despite being thrust in the limelight for a stint on the hit reality show Project Runway–and frequently after as a headliner for fashion weeks and shows across the country–Drummond actually prefers the solitude of creating his work at home to the sounds of M.I.A., George Michael, or various classic and industrial goth instrumentals in the late 1800s farmhous he’s rehabbing deep in South City Saint Louis.”

















WRITING SELECTION (p. 23) 


“Being Played balances and explores three overarching themes that are interpreted through this evolved body of work—chess in strategy and form, the climate change crisis, and the concept of “predatory delay.”

In a chess game, players use strategy and tactics to outmaneuver their opponent and overtake their king. While each player begins with the same circumstances, the same number of pieces, and the same odds - ultimately, one player’s strategy will advance him into a position to checkmate and win the game. There is both a sense of challenge against our opponent and within ourselves to make moves and sacrifices that will ultimately lead to victory.


In Drummond’s game, “predatory delay”—a term coined by futurist Alex Steffen to describe “the blocking or slowing of needed change, in order to make money off unsustainable, unjust systems in the meantime”—is placed as one opponent, and us–the consumers and humans of Earth—are the other.” 






Cargo Collective 2017 — Frogtown, Los Angeles