Freemans' Alien Threads

Ultra-Hip New York Fashion Brand Freemans Sporting Club Animates its Latest Collection

Canadian artist Shayne Ehman presents Freemans Sporting Club’s Spring 2012 ready-to-wear suiting collection with a clever animated short featuring space traveling aliens who discover a suitcase of F.S.C. clothing on a future asteroid fragment of Earth. Produced by photographer Tim Barber, the idiosyncratic video is typical of the Freemans empire, which encompasses restaurants, a barbershop and stores in New York and San Francisco, and ignores the fashion carousel by focusing on bespoke services, personal tailoring and locally sourced wares. Freemans founder Taavo Somer saw the latest collection as an opportunity to twist the lookbook format into a more artistic sphere. "It is so free and untethered by rules," says the retro-obsessed Somer of Ehman’s film. Here Barber asks Ehman, who is currently working on a long form animation called Asphalt Watches, to explain just what on Earth is going on.

What gave you the idea to set the story in the future, long after the Earth ends in 2012?
I think the animation is set in the future, but it’s just another beginning for the aliens. They are investigating a geo-fingerprint or relic. Having it set on an asteroid blows the doors open in terms of possibility. They are removed from time because after the end of the Earth there will not be this orbiting relationship with the Sun that determines our sense of time.

Can you explain the alphabet hourglass?
The alphabet is chi-locked for most humans in a similar way that time is chi-locked. So when the alphabet levitates upwards it is meant to give the viewer a deep sense of relief as though time was… floating.

What is “chi-locked”?
Definitions and connotations are mutable, but chi-lock is a wrangling and bondage of light, movement and energy into a stasis, like in the song Ruby Tuesday. A definition can pretend to be stable but everything changes constantly.

So like time, language and its pieces have lost their anchors?
The story relies on “the unknown”... like archaeology and speculation on finds. Speculation has a natural inclination towards humor.

Is the animation about how we see things?
The animation is less a narrative than a collage of ways of seeing, but there is a story. When I get really into making cartoons I love finding loops in systems and ways out of the shackles of the basic and simple elements of my perceived life. Gravity. Time. Memory. Relativity. Working with poetry.

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