Dym Products, Inc.
Dym Products has been (or was?) my alter ego for many years. I started using it as my main website in the very late 90s, instead of my given name which would have been the sensible thing to do. Through Dym Products, I explored crossovers between art and design, useful and unused, correct and incorrect materials. I considered the strangeness of individual making in a post-industrial, consumer goods saturated world. The website DymProducts.com was itself an artifact, a project, never a vehicle to straightforwardly show works or share news. In 2018, I decided that it was no longer serving me and restructured my web presence.
Dym Products was an umbrella corporation (and a real corporation, incorporated in California in 2013) which held distinct business units. A couple of these, Dym | california textiles and Logo Removal Service, have their own websites, plus some visibility and viability on their own terms. They both include products, services, and performance. A third division, SubOptimal Systems, Products, Processes, loosely categorized as the Research & Development unit, was never especially public. (On this website, you can find more about SubOptimal Systems falls in "Use It All Up.") It was part of my concerted, quixotic attempt to deal with, understand, process, all the trash that I and my family produced. When I finally understood that private research wasn't helping my trash turn into gold, I turned to other things. The fascination with garbage, and how mired we are in heedlessly creating terrifying volumes of it, remains with me.
With Logo Removal Service and SubOptimal Products, I practiced much repairing and mending. The sewing, obsessively excessive, along with the optically vibrating fabric color choices inserted drawing, or non-paint painting, into conceptual projects. (All good painting is conceptual art.) Logo Removal depends on the combined specificity and arbitrariness in the strange shapes that evolved under my hands (i.e., subconscious-sewing-acts attention). Without these weird abstractions and challenging color combinations—related, perhaps, to paintings by Forest Bess or Marsden Hartley—the removals would have been "merely" utilitarian. With sewing and mending in lieu of pigment and canvas, this project visits deep feminist territory, while also questioning, however quixotically, capitalism's requirement to make vast quantities of identical cheap stuff.
A smaller, final division of Dym Products, Inc. included responding in pictures and writing—in collaboration with writer Tom Clyde—to discoveries out in the world that caught my attention, mostly art, but also poetry and design. I am working, now, to bring this artist <--> writer call-and-response into another project, still in the pipeline.
Dym Products, as my focal web presence, needed to go when I realized that what I sought, now, was dematerialization of human culture. Making things, or even working with what exists already, under the guise of a corporation doesn't answer. In truth, making now feels strangely distracting, not a useful means to think through something or convey thought. Or, perhaps, I am busy re-framing the context in which I make. Specific things, for specific purposes or people, a recognition of—I flinch to write this—sacred attention in manifesting change.