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Example of Katie's quilt work.
KA (cont): I think the last two decades of political correctness and sensitivity training have borne the fruit they were designed to. People are so interested in getting offended, they'll pick your work apart to find the one thing that they deem offensive. I've had this happen over and over again. People have complained at me about various "questionable" aspects of my artwork for as long as I can remember. So what am I supposed to do: run all my output by a committee before putting it out there? Fuck that.

TM: Ok, maybe I should back up a bit for our readers... for the uninitiated, what is Pork Magazine and how did you come about creating it?

KA: Haha, what is PORK and where did it come from? You want the long answer or the short one?

Sean and I have both been doing zines since we were in high school (we met through trading zines in the 90s!). When we first started dating, we worked on several comics and zines together. Last year, Sean was asked to work on a new local free paper, but decided to leave after the editor was trying to control his content too much. So we decided to start our own free magazine, focusing on art/music/fashion that we like, the history of weirdo art, and of course bad ideas. So far, PORK has been VERY well received, with the only complaints coming from some weenies who run an "alternative" donut shop, and this strange knot of Lisa Simpsons on Tumblr.

TM: What's in the latest issue of Pork that you think really stands out?

KA: I'm particularly proud of the two photo-comic stories. Sean and I got our collaborative start on comics, and we'd been talking about trying out the photo-comics format for a while now. The two stories in PORK #4 are our first stab at photo-comics, and I'm really pleased with how they came out.

TM: What arts would you like to try, that you haven't already?

KA: Film! I've always wanted to make movies, especially animations, but that's such an investment in time and equipment, I haven't tried it yet. Now that everything is digital, I feel like this is much more within my reach. And we've been talking about doing a PORK/GOBLINKO variety show at some point, so I'll have to learn on the job for that one.

Check out the PORK/GOBLINKO Store for subscriptions to PORK and PORK swag, as well as Blitzgrieg Buttons, and Monsters, Weirdos & Creeps trading cards!


 Home : Articles : Katie Aaberg Interview

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K
atie Aaberg's talent first piqued my interest years ago when she had her Grunion Club (no longer available) and did a series of famous mustaches, including Hitler's. I will unabashedly admit that I am a total fangirl of her art and style and I think you should be, too!

Tension Magazine: What fiber arts do you practice?

Katie Aaberg: I knit, crochet and sew. I do embroidery and applique and make quilts, which all comes under sewing to me.

TM: What fiber arts projects are you currently working on?

KA: I'm really into knitting lace shawls right now. I just completed one that I need to block, and I have another two on the needles. I'm also working on a lace scarf and a pair of socks I started back in spring before it became no-socks weather. I'm in the planning/design/sketching stage on a series of embroidered/appliqued pieces right now as well. They were going to be wall hangings, but I might do them on the backs of denim jackets instead.

TM: Are your currently selling any of your handmade items? Where should people go (online or in person) to see examples of your work?

KA:I am not. I tried for a while to sell my work, but because it is playful and "lcute", people saw toys instead of artwork and balked at the prices. I got really turned off of trying to sell my fiber art stuff, and instead started concentrating on photography as my "professional" art practice. Right now, I'm just making fiber stuff for the fun and challenge of it, and I wind up giving the pieces away as gifts. I'd like to get to a place where I can sell my fiber pieces, but right now I'm mostly concentrating on the magazine and other photography projects. I'd like to start selling patterns (both for quilts and for knitted or crocheted items), but haven't gotten to it yet!



 • You can see my current work here.
 • last year's work here.
 • and my older work here.
 • quilts and patchwork are here.
 • yarn specific projects are here.



TM: The magazine you are referring to is PORK, the collaboration between yourself and Sean Aaberg (your husband). Your photography for the magazine is full of fun color and playful humor. However, it seems that some people don't get it and there was some controversy over one of your shoots. From your perspective, what happened there?

KA: We did a wild west themed photo shoot, in which three of our models were dressed as "cowboys" and two were dressed as "indians". It was a playful take on the wild west as seen through the lens of 80s new wave style (think Adam Ant), cartoons and comics. We got a rack of hate email from concerned activists who wanted to educate us about how "appropriative" our "hipster in a headdress" was. The emails had this very bizarre tone of telling us our behavior was bad, and then getting very confused and angry when we refused to apologize.

I'm an artist. I draw on all visual references that appeal to me, whether they come from my culture(s) or not. Is that "appropriative?" I don't really care. I'm interested in certain things, and I'm going to use those symbols/costumes if I want to. I'm against the idea of cultural ownership, I'm for the idea of blending elements that you find interesting to come up with your own personal style/voice.






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