The Ivy Nicholson Project

First Prototype by Nathan Becker

Personal bias: I was grabbing a bite to eat at Jimmy’s when Ivy Nicholson sat down next to me at the bar. She was excited, as I was, by the $3 beer special. My initial thought based solely on her disheveled appearance was, “Oh brother, who is this crazy lady?" But, she started talking to me and seemed unusual and shady, so I was somewhat intrigued. Apparently she was going through some hard times, so I listened to her talk about the health of her son. Then she started talking about how he was bisexual and had sex with her upstairs neighbor, who meets men online for dating. This was followed by a tyrade about how sex in the butt is disgusting and she equated being gay with getting AIDS. When I disagreed, things went further downhill.

She also revealed that she was THE Ivy Nicholson. I immediately googled her and discovered that she was a Warhol girl. I tried to ask about that part of her life but she steered me back to her hateful agenda. She said that Andy loved her more than he loved any man, and that she married the producer of “Ciao, Manhattan,” a movie I had never heard of. So, I didn’t get any good stories. I decided to get out of there having paid my tab, when Ivy grabs me and shrieked, “Buy me a beer.” I declined her sweet invitation and went home to research her some more.

Interactive product design: I was hoping to inject Ivy Nicholson’s personality into an art toy. By doing this, my goal is to reinject some Ivy into the very Art System that cast her out years ago. When Ivy was booted from The Factory for her erratic behavior, she took a shit in the elevator. In the time since, she had been homeless and had an amateur press biography published. The Ivy Nicholson Project hopes to put Ivy in the gallery, or in the gift shop at least. She doesn't deserve another cycle in the spotlight, but America loved Ted Williams, the man with the golden voice.

Tags: biography, personification of objects, interactive toys, art toys, faded celebrity, art, new media art, celebrity redemption, ivy nicholson, andy warhol, the factory

Precedence: The personification of objects as art, Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby Technological Dreams Series: No.1, Robots, 2007. Also, the agrumentative objects from Alexandre Singh's The School for Objects Criticized, in which everyday household arguments stage a (pre-recorded audio) play.

NEXT STEPS: I wanted the first prototype to be an interactive toy, which I achieved with my designed object. People seem to ‘like’ it, and it became an accessory for lonely men. My original intent was to make Ivy as nasty as possible, spouting hate. I wanted to work on nasty materials, scale, and technology side, I wanted it to act like an interrupting Magic 8 Ball. This version is a little more user friendly, and several people have suggested it's like the retro-artsy crap you buy at Urban Outfitters. So I’m exploring it further.