RoomHop: Tchotchkes Galore, but No Birdcages!
Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog likes to come in your room, look around, and talk to you (in a not creepy way!). If you would like your room to be hopped, email us at [email protected] Michelle Ong reports:
Walking into Arinn Amer’s EC single fills me with despair: her room isn’t just an expression of her individuality—it’s practically a metonymic extension of her character. And all without a single recourse to expensive picture frames, Christmas lights, or a thirty dollar birdcage (what the fuck was I thinking?!). In fact, I would venture a guess that nothing in her room costs more than $25. How did she do it?
Vintage collectibles don’t have to cost a fortune. “I look for slightly outmoded knick-knacks that aren’t considered ‘precious’ yet,” she advises. It helps to be a Visual Arts major; half of Arinn’s decorations are her previous art projects. Her freshman year, she lugged a huge, mysterious box into our Carman dorm room (full disclosure: this Bwog writer is her former roommate). It contained hundreds of back-ordered National Geographic magazines (“I got them for $7!” she gleefully exclaimed), which she used for the next three years as material for her collages.
It also helps when collecting heirlooms if your family shares an off-beat aesthetic. “Everyone knows I like to collect old junk so they’ll call me up and ask, ‘Do you want this?’” she says. Recently acquired trash-turned-treasures include her mom’s typewriter, her grandma’s button collection and travelling trunk, her aunt’s plastic toy horse.
Despite her anachronistic tastes, Arinn is also fascinated by technology and the future, in a kind of Bowie/Blade Runner way. She indulges her apocalyptic fantasies by taking apart machines: deconstructed speakers double as magnets on her radiator, and part of a clock is stuffed into the eye sockets of a Styrofoam mannequin she found on the street.
Halfway through our interview, I’m alarmed by loud beeps coming from a corner. “That’s Robo, my pet robot,” she calmly explains, “He’s a transvestite and my personal assistant. He also has a drinking problem…he’s a big partier.” Further research on Facebook confirms that Robo is indeed all about the nightlife. Arinn stands up to placate her companion, adding, “If you’re not partying with Robo at Columbia then I don’t know what your scene is. You’re clearly not getting enough exposure.”