Pam Tietze is an interdisciplinary artist, creative director, filmmaker, and designer based in Brooklyn, NY.  She is comfortable working in multiple mediums as demonstrated by her latest project: Høles Eyewear.  I met Pam in South Africa a few years back and love the fun, inventive, and unique creative vision she brings to whatever she is doing.  Høles, made of high-quality, prismatic glass, will certainly make a statement this year.  The sparkling diamond eyewear bridges the gap between art and fashion and, as Pam puts it, “enriches our interaction with light”.  Høles transforms the wearers surroundings into living, experiential, psychedelic art.  FRONTRUNNER caught up with Pam to discuss her new venture.

Tell me about h0les eyewear and what was your inspiration?

h0les is my latest project that uses kaleidoscopic glass prisms as lenses in ordinary, utilitarian eyeglasses. I was on one of my meandering solo NYC walks one day and wandered into a lighting store in midtown. I started playing with the crystals they use for chandeliers. The sales person kept looking at me like I was crazy because I was putting them up to my eyes and walking around the store laughing. I also probably didn’t look like I was actually in the market for a chandelier. Anyhow I took some crystals home and began experimenting with making eyewear with them. At that point I wasn’t sure if anyone else would be as amused with them as I was. It was just for my personal fun and curiosity.

In the past you created a documentary on holograms for Vice (vbs.tv).  Have you always been interested in lenses and what makes our eyes see things differently?

I’m really inspired by contradictions. Those moments when incompatible things and thoughts exist at the same time and cannot be reconciled by our minds are almost spiritual to me. ‘How can this be both black and white at the same time? It has to be one or the other. That doesn’t make sense!’–People want something to be right and something to be wrong, true or false. But these moments of unknowing and paradox are reminders that there is more than what we know and perceive. I suppose through these explorations of perspective I’m hoping to remind myself and maybe others of this.

 

The photography on your website is fun.  Tell me a little about launching and branding an eyewear company.

Thank you. I take almost all the photos on the site. They are all my close friends and family, including my mom in the last photo. It makes the process of creating this content so much more intimate and meaningful to me–as cheesy as that sounds. I guess it comes back to my most important art, my relationships with people–again so cheesy but true. The process of launching a company takes so much time–I might as well involve the people I want to hang out with anyways. And I’m glad they don’t hate me for it.

The effect of the glasses, I am guessing, depends a lot on where the wearer is looking. What are some fun and interesting experiences viewers have had with them?  Perhaps unexpected scenarios where the kaleidoscopic effect is really unique?

I find the most interesting things to look at are really simple or seemingly mundane. Its exciting to me that the glasses make looking at an overhead lighting fixture a stimulating, sensory experience. Even traditional kaleidoscopes use just a handful of beads to create a moment that feels fantastical. That child-like wonder and re-examination of your everyday environment is the core of the experience. I’m probably legally obligated to say don’t operate heavy machinery with them on though.

How have the glasses been received?  Where can they be found?

I started making these pieces for myself and for my friends, so it took me awhile to respond to the growing interest that very quickly became international, thanks to the internet. In the meantime, they’ve been ripped off, repackaged and marketed but such is the nature of a free market. Maybe I’ll even see them on Canal street one day! Then I’ll know I’ve made it. For now though, they are available on my website (h0les.com) and at select stockists.

What are your plans for the future?

At this point, the glasses have kind of taken over my life! But I don’t mind and I’m endlessly grateful for all the interest and support. No amount of success can pacify my curiosity though, so I will continue to innovate, experiment and explore because that’s a huge part of how I engage with the world. In short….stay tuned, y’all.