Loves Saves The Day, third time lucky, and other adventures in second chances.

We’re in Berlin! Swinging on the subway pole, giggling, I’m delirious with the rightness of this city. “Who are you and what have you done with my depressed wife?”, my husband wants to know.

Who is this jolly person who walks for miles exploring, who carts home bags of groceries and cooks actual meals and even sometimes washes dishes? Who is this person who goes to the club at midnight second night in Berlin and says “Suzanne- I’m on der list”, and cruises past the waiting Brits? This giddy creature thanking the punk rock tweens on the subway for their compliments on her hair and replying, “Die rot mascara ist on point!” This grateful animal whose instincts are no longer in collision with her environment?

My true self, an urban animal, that’s who. Free of the car, loose and easy in a real public transit system, safe in a city that stays up all night, where you can get a decent espresso on the subway platform and the streets are full of people living ordinary lives. It is a miracle to be here, to be transported to this place where people live like people, like the New York of my childhood.

When I would leave our Chelsea apartment and go out to walk the city in the 80s I would feel like i was slipping into my true skin, like the city was an armature I was happily donning. It amplified my strength and fed my energy; I could tell the whole world, “Get away from her, you bitch!”. Here it is the same. After a quarter century of little cities, the buzz of correct urban density is electrifying. I feel right size, a single cell in a healthy body.

You can meet anybody here. I told the Italian guy who was making our pizza my name, and he said I had to listen to this song from when he was a kid, and the Polish guy pulled the video up, and we watched it while the Argentinian girl folded pizza boxes. Then he invited me to see his band play at a club in Kreuzberg.

Secrets of the East Bay, Vol.1: Caldecott Tunnel Free-Fall

Oakland Sunset by Thomas Hawk

Oakland Sunset by Thomas Hawk.

If you come out of the Caldecott Tunnel towards Oakland at the right velocity, about 67mph in freely moving traffic, you can put your right foot flat on the floor and your car will simply drop down out of the hills. At sunset, with the Bay opening up in front of you, framed by the darkness of the eucalyptus-scented hills, the lights of the Bridge coming to life like fireflies and all the cities glittering, it feels like flying.

This is safest if you’ve come through the left-hand bore, as otherwise you may have to cheat and tap your brakes smartly when people exit onto the Warren Freeway towards Berkeley. Caveat: I’ve only tried this with a variety of 4-door Hondas and Corollas, and my friend Tinny’s small pickup. Larger, heavier cars may not have the right combination of wind resistance, momentum and cambering to effortlessly keep up with traffic.

the photo was taken September 25, 2013 by Thomas Hawk, about whom I know nothing except that he has a photo named “Straight to Hell” (after the Clash song) in an album called “Where’s Rothko when I need him?”, so he seems cool. It is cc-licensed.

10/25 & 26- Suzanne’s Halloween Pop-Up Art & More store

Have you ever wondered what happened to that drawing I made of you or your friend at Dickens or Hubba-Hubba or Folsom or Decompression or the Upper Floor?Suzanne Forbes art

Have you ever thought, I’d like to get one of those drawings Suzanne made from 2005 to 2012, before she leaves town?

Are you one of those people who’ve been telling me for years to sell the other things I make besides drawings and paintings- the dolls and embroidery and costume jewelry and hats?

Do you need some really creepy gothy earrings for House of Usher?

Would you just like to come over and eat cupcakes and hang out?

If any of those things describes you, please stop by our house on Saturday October 24th from noon to 9pm (you can go straight to the Uptown, it’s just a few blocks away) or Sunday October 25th from 2pm to 7pm. I’ll have all the drawings (hundreds) from ’05-’12 plus some paintings for sale, as well as all my crazy other projects.

LEGThere will be prints and pendants of the Children of Evilness series, very popular for the gothic nursery, and prints of Defending the Electronic Frontier, my EFF benefit painting.Defending the Electronic Frontier by Suzanne Forbes

The first two people to find a drawing of themselves each day will receive the drawing as a gift from me!

I’ll have the last three Anatomical Heart of Gold necklaces, Disco Trilobites, Cthulhu wine charms, and so much more! Stocking stuffers for all your people, Halloween jewelry to wear to work, and lots of creepy skeleton dollies in corsets!

If you’d like to come, email me, comment here or RSVP to the Facebook invite for address!6034123959_1528f62ea7_mphoto 1 (2)Horribella 2photo 5 (5)The Gack Sistersphoto 3 (10)Huntressphoto 2 (4)

What the hell is that creepy thing you made?!?

photo 1 (1)

Suzanne Forbes dollAll my life I’ve made things besides drawings and paintings.

photo 1 (3) - EditedSculptures, embroidery, costume jewelry, accessories, bricolage and mixed media art. For fun.photo 3 (8)

 

I’d never sold of any of it til this year, when people kind of insisted on buying my embroidered bugs.
embroidered moths

So I decided, what the hell, when I make something for myself, I’ll make a few extra. Suzanne Forbes disco trilobites

Of course, this means my pretty much deranged obsession with insects as a visual motif is no longer on the dl.

And you will all know I wanted Disco Trilobites and Cthulhu wine charms enough to make them.

 

But maybe you want some too?Suzanne Forbes dollsphoto 4 (1)

Handwork is the new handwork.

A few years back I participated in an event with Madison Young’s Femina Potens gallery. It was a DIY workshop where we sat in a garden behind a yoga place on Haight St. and did handwork. There was a wonderful redwork artist there who refreshed my memory on how to embroider, something I did a lot as a little hippie teenager. So when I shut my portraiture business down, I took up handwork again. This time I had a wonderful helper: Pinterest. Reference photos, tutorial gifs, inspiration boards. Heaven.

Here are some of the things I’ve made- the octopus is the oldest and is all wrinkly cause I hadn’t got the hang of using the hoop yet.

embroidered deaths head mothembroidered mothsmothembroidered octopus

Sometimes I make things, and the internet helps me.

I like to make things when I’m not working as a commercial artist. Fiddly things. The last time I took a hiatus from working as an artist, it was food. This time it’s handwork and sculpting. This time, there’s Netflix, which is the craftperson’s best friend. These are commercial corsets i bead-embroidered, appliqued, sequined, embellished with Swarovski crystals and embroidered with metallic threads.mercorsetbead_embroidery_Snow_Queen_corsetbead_embroidery_Snow_Queen_corset_leftIMG_20140610_183642 (2)

Soylent is free research for space sustenance. Drink on, geeks!

Suzanne Forbes illustrationI just read Lizzie Widdicombe’s thoughtful New Yorker piece on Soylent. On the face of it, Soylent seems like a classic example of privileged people solving Valley problems. No-one wants to not need food but supertaster Aspies who think they’re too busy saving the world to eat, right? When the Kickstarter launched, I saw it primarily as another asshat lifehack from an engineer who lacks sensuality. And a possible solution for my hacker fiance’s dislike of eating.

But… I care about space travel as much as I care about heirloom tomatoes, and Soylent could be an important piece of making it viable. We know that the DNA of heritage turkey breeds could provide the genetic diversity from homogenized foodstock turkeys we need for a resilient new-planet ark. Slow food is part of the future of space travel for those reasons. So is DIY. The legion of unpaid researchers using their own backyards to develop greywater irrigation and raised bed planting innovations are working for space. Although they’re only trying to grow their own food to save this planet, and building these raised beds because their West Oakland soil is full of toxins, they’re advancing our sustenance palette.

NASA would have to pay people lots of money to live on beige post-food slurry and carefully monitor and record the results. Companies would spend fortunes on the R&D these Soylent formula obsessives are doing for free. If I get on the generation ship (as a resident artist, I hope!) I’ll be glad a bunch of vegans in a Santa Cruz dorm tested green sludge recipes for a year. So I withdraw my criticism of Soylent, and I say, drink all the sludge you want, narcissist ascetics. Just make to quantify everything you learn.

What to wear to the End of the World.

* this article originally appeared on Carnal Nation and io9, repubbed here for the ages.

resident-evil-afterlife-movie-image-milla-jovovich-12-600x400Things are always a little sketchy, globally.  They’ve been sketchy my whole life, what with Reagan and the Cold War and acid rain and global warming and shoals of plastic bottles in the Pacific. Now that we’re all depressed, let’s talk about clothes!

Obviously, when the Apocalypse comes you want to be dressed for it. You want to look good, and have a place to keep your tools and weapons and jerky. You want clothes that are sturdy, in case you’re dragged over the desert sands behind a motorcycle, and clothes that are washable, because your drycleaner is at the bottom of the new Los Angeles Sea. You’ll want clothes that are modular, because you’re likely to be wearing the same outfit for quite a while. You may want clothes that are armored, knife-proof or bulletproof, and you’ll definitely want some fucking bad-ass boots.

Also, you should do your shopping as soon as possible, before the worldwide economic meltdown. For boots, get yourself some New Rocks. Sure, they cost a fortune, but you’ll never be buying another pair of boots anyway, on account of that EMP taking out all the electronic currency. If you must go with Demonia, the Stomp or Transformer models are good for kicking in zombie heads. The Transformer can be instantly weaponized with attachable spikes. The motorcycle gear company Icon also makes fabulous high-heeled boots for your chic cycling needs.

You’ll need a tattered skirt with lots of pockets, d-skirts and straps. I found this French-run company based in Hong Kong and Bali, Shaman Electro, by looking at the tag on the back of Carnal Nation Editor-in-Chief Theresa Ikard’s fabulous tattered skirt.

Cryoflesh-Aquarius-SkirtOr this amazing one by CryofleshOr some demented modular skirt plus pants thing. Then you need a jacket. Maybe you’ll want this fucking crazy stillsuit/desert nomad hoodie to protect you from the radioactive ash. Or how about Kevlar or Aramid lined hoodies that deflect knife cuts? Try out this razortape-print Kevlar-lined hoodie from BladeRunner in the UK. They even have a  sickening pink “ladies” version.shaman-electro-pandora1

 

If you’re protecting yourself from the elements in the frozen wastes of Brazil, you’ll want a warm coat. After much research, I’ve concluded that most women’s cold-weather gear is not hot, and therefore, by definition, sucks-not-in-the-good-way.

The only cool insulated jackets are from motorcycle gear companies—and they have the advantage of being armored at the shoulders and elbows, for when you jump out of  the speeding jacked-up BattlePrius in the middle of  the wasteland. I like the British motorcycle gear company Frank Thomas for their Armored Venus line. This jacket from FirstGear is actually electrically heated. FirstGear-HeatedJacket-2_0You can plug it in to your methane-powered hybrid motocross hoverbike!

Then you need a place to put your gear. You’ll want your hands free, so you need a utility belt or vest. Poizen Industries makes this cute bustier with zipoff pockets and ammo holders.poizen-corset2

The craziest, most amazing utility belts and holster belts anywhere are on etsy at Jungle Tribe’s shop:JungleTribe bage

 

 

 

Much, much cheaper are cloth utility belts.

Five and Diamond’s Wild Card belts are fabulous. There are Wild Card holster belts, and the Skin Graft holster belts sold both at F&D and at the Skin Graft site.

Once you’ve stashed your gear about your person in all your little pockets and pouches, you can protect yourself from the toxic rain with the Blade Runner umbrella— at thinkgeek.

Of course, the accessory you need most of all is Milla Jovovich and her machete.

CHIP IN HEAD!!!

Kickstartered!!! Sign me up!! I am your experimental subject!!

Very seriously, I have always wanted a BCI for many reasons, and one of them is because I have chronic, severe, recurrent depression and the meds are always failing. The OpenBCI project offers a beautiful way to honor a loved one, by contributing to the development of open-source technology for direct computer-brain interaction. Neurotherapy technology like this could “reboot” depressed brains, identify and monitor them for brain wave patterns linked to suicidal ideation, or perhaps even “lock” a depressive about to self-harm until help can arrive.

I realize to many people this sounds frighteningly ripe for abuse. But for people whose brains have been trying to kill them their entire lives, it sounds like a miracle. Google pumping Viagra ads directly into your visual cortex would be a small price to pay for relief from suicidal ideation. if you want a more cheerful example, check out how badass quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann ( awesome human-robot frontier adventurer Jan Scheuermann!) is now able to use a robot arm to feed herself chocolate. She is pretty excited about the potential of BCI.

I don’t have much money, but I pledged the “Honor a loved one” amount in memory of Conor, who lost his battle with depression not long ago.