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This year, the Goldmind Awards have been retired due to lack of nominations. While Modified Mind only received a few nominations, the nominees could have become award winners had there been more participation and I would like to use this space to recognize them as unofficial Goldmind winners:
The following publications, tv shows, websites, events, jewelry companies, etc. all were nominated this year: Skin and Ink Magazine, Tattoo Magazine, Tattoo Artist Magazine, Miami Ink, Inked, Prison Break, Jerry Bruckheimer for his portrayal of modified people in his shows, BMEfest in Toronto, Physical Graffiti Tattoo tour in Las Vegas, Modified News, Tattoonow, BME, IAM, Anatometal, BodyArtForms, BellaVendetta, Needled, Inked Nation, Ron Garza's website, RIN-KG, ModBlog, iam: Modified Professionals, and iam:Acceptable Body Jewelry.
The following practitioners were nominated this year: Brian Decker of Pure Body Arts in Brooklyn, NY, Elayne Angel of Rings of Desire in New Orleans but now in Meridia, Mexico, Jay Crockett of Peter Tat-2 in Danbury, CT, Lane Jensen of Dragon FX in Edmonton, Zak Zito of Main Street Tattoo in Edgewood, MD, and Kohki Sato of RIN-KG in Tokyo, Japan.
Our only Enemy of the Mod nominee was Carla K. Johnson, who wrote the AP article "Teen's Tongue Piercing Linked to Pain."
Finally, the innovation of the year belongs to Pat Pruitt, Brian Decker and all others involved in the microdermal development and to Barry Blanchard of Anatometal for the Bling/superbling designs.
And now on to the revived Round Table...The 2006 Modified Mind of the Year - the person who made the most significant contribution to the body modification community. This can be by means of an innovation in procedure or materials, through the way they've represented the community to those outside the community, through the way they've created unity or brought change to something within the community, or someone who contributed throughout their life to the body modification community and passed away during 2006.
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As to the innovation of the year 2006, my answer is clear -- the microdermal (or dermal anchor, or surface anchor). However, as to "who", the answer is a little more blurry. I say it's a little blurry because the basic idea for the microdermal is basically a cleaned up version of the "primitive" dermal anchors that people (such as Ben/House of Color and Brian Decker) began experimenting with in 2005... and these were a fusion and evolution of pocketing ideas (Jon Cobb/1997), surface bars (Tom Brazda/1994), and transdermal implants (Steve Haworth/1995). In addition, Industrial Strength and Custom Steel's apparent codevelopment of an almost identical product led to some additional drama as to who deserved credit, and it is important to note that there are numerous piercers who have made and continue to make contributions through their hands-on research to refine the technology and procedure (including James Wisniewski, Didier Suarez, John Lopez, and many others).
What's important is that the microdermal (in whatever design generation it eventually is considered complete in its evolution) is the first significant new development in body piercing in a decade, and is the culmination of the research and experimentation of a wide range of very talented people. The microdermal jewelry -- visit my initial interview with the pioneers for more information on the specifics -- allows for the placement of single point jewelry on effectively any surface on the body, using anything from simple discs, posts, or beads, to decorative or bejeweled ends -- and any combination and variation thereof, with a procedure no more complicated or invasive than a basic body piercing. This is no pseudo-surgical procedure fraught with risks (legal or medical). It is a fundamentally new way of decorating the human body, and the possibilities it brings us, if it proves to be as successful as it appears to be so far, are nearly endless.
I'm not going to start this off with arguing who I believe had the most significant advancement in body modification. Whether it be this year, or the last 10 years, but I will tell you what I believe were the biggest and best modifications in the world of body modification up till now, and what I see in the future.
For those of you who don't know of my work, I myself am an artist who dabbles in metal, ink, and flesh. My own custom ear industrial and surface/staple jewelry designs from 2000 - 2005 have been featured in various magazines. I'd like to think I was the first to design some of these, but unfortunately, I'm sure someone out there beat me too it, I just didn't see it on a website or magazine yet. Which is why I'm not going to name drop. You can determine for yourselves whose names belong to the achievements mentioned in this feature.
I believe a large thanks goes to the individual who designed the anchoring jewelry. Years ago I played with nostril L-bars as single point piercings, but I didn't see the transition between the transdermal and the anchoring that we see being used now. Jewelry designed with the right tools does the right job, and wow, what a great piece of titanium.
I was going to say the surface bar deserved its own respect. There's a lot of people who can say they did it first, but it does rock, I'm trying to fab 14 ga oval tubed surface bars. They rest between layers of tissue properly and as soon as a truly bio-compatible lightweight medical plastic is designed and shaped, we can eliminate the weight factor in surface piercing, but it was the king for a while.
Soon after came the transdermal and subdermal implant. I'd like to say Steve deserves the crown for this one, but I can't be certain. I can say that these evolved very quickly, and are performed even now by the most inexperienced of practitioners, but none the less, it was and still is a wild modification.
I see more to come with new bead designs like skulls, flowers, etc. attachments and microchips, yah I said it... ...microchips. My close friend, fellow piercer, and jewelry designer Keith Kenedy of Tribal Expression Calgary Canada, has designed the first subdermally implanted security micro device, used for home and vehicle entry. It's even being used by government services that I can't talk about. But do check out his webpage tribalexpression.com.
I'll tell ya, it's been a long weird road the past 10 years. I've seen and done some crazy shit, and I can tell you that we've come about as far as we can with the modification of our body and soul. The next step is to totally remove surgical steel from the market, and start regulating artists by providing proper piercing and safety training courses. Quality control would be the biggest and best achievement possible. The only people who don't agree with this are those who fear they won't pass the grade. Sorry if I missed something big, but this was what I saw as big news in body mods. Mod on!
My vote for person of the year: Ben from House of Color, for the dermal anchoring procedure development and perfecting. Since the innovation has become so widespread so swiftly, and for its minimally invasive procedure, I'm throwing my vote to him.
Every year, I look forward to the Goldminds as an opportunity to honor the individuals that have made exceptional contributions to the world of body modification. It is always difficult to choose the Modified Mind of the Year, and not because there aren't many deserving people... in fact, I generally feel that there are so many exceptional people in our community that it's very hard to select one. I've chosen Shannon Larratt in the past, and he is my selection again in 2006.
As the creator of BME, Shannon has brought our community together in a way that no other person can claim. His influence and involvement has only grown with time -- he brings us images, experiences, news articles, interviews, events, and publications. Shannon is a champion of information, from aftercare to tattoo history to pending legislation.
Shannon certainly hasn't accomplished all of this alone, but he has shepherded the modification community and created many opportunities and venues for communication and socialization. A workaholic, an artist, a talented programmer, a doting father... Shannon Larratt gets my vote for Modified Mind of the Year.
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