San Francisco-based artist Lauren Dicioccio is known for making perfect replicas of mundane, everyday objects out of hand-embroidered fabric. Her latest work takes on perhaps the most mundane object of them all: the ubiquitous plastic bag. Using taffeta fabric, Dicioccio creates machine-embroidered, reusable tote bags that are dead ringers for the soon-to-be-obsolete plastic bag, which is banned in San Francisco.
In 2007 San Francisco banned the use of non-compostable plastic bags by large supermarkets and pharmacies. On October 1, that ban will be extended to all retail stores, and on January 1 it will apply to bakeries and restaurants as well. Dicioccio’s totes memorialize the plastic bag, and they encourage people to reuse and recycle them. The bags are sturdy and washable, and they’re currently for sale at the The Workshop Residence, a unique maker and art space in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood where Dicioccio is currently in residency.
“My work investigates the physical/tangible beauty of commonplace mass-produced media-objects,” explains Dicioccio in her artist statement. “The tedious handiwork and obsessive care I employ to create my work aims to remind the viewer of these simple but intimate pieces of everyday life and to provoke a pang of nostalgia for the familiar physicality of these objects.”
Dicioccio’s work focuses on reproducing mass-produced objects that are facing obsolescence; she has reproduced everything from playing cards to National Geographic covers with her painstaking embroidery. Plastic bags aren’t the only replicas of disposable plastic objects that Dicioccio has on display at the Workshop Residence; she also produced a textile replica of a disposable water bottle and a pocket memo pad.
All photos by Mark Andrew Boyer for Inhabitat