Covering the Home Front



Clockwise from top left: #17 Use anger to throw them into disarray; #12 If you want to weaken something you must certainly strengthen it; #8 In the case of the Firmly Unbending, entice and then seize them; #2 Attack where they are unprepared.

Brooklyn-based artist Miriam Schaer transforms garments—gloves, girdles, bustiers, brassieres, and children’s clothes—into artwork and books that explore feminine, social, and spiritual issues. Have a look at my favorite project of hers: Rules of Engagement. It features epigrams from Sun-Tzu’s fifth century The Art of War hand-embroidered onto a series of 14 hostess aprons, along with Xerox-transfer printed portraits of idealized women. It’s a witty take on how those of lesser power can seize victory if they are smart enough to transform the enemy’s apparent strengths into weaknesses.

I asked Schaer how the idea came to her. “I never heard of this guy until I bought Sun Tzu and the Art of Business: Six Strategic Principles for Managers at an airport bookstore in Spain some years ago. I thought it was crazy: why was a Chinese war theoretician being used to explain the business world? That seemed so obvious. I thought it would be a lot more interesting to insert those rules into a domestic context instead.” You can get your very own copy of Rules of Engagement as a softbound book at


2 Responses to “Covering the Home Front”

  1. Steve Daiber Says:

    Congrats-way cool-lent my copy of Rules to 15 year old friend deep into radiation- she likes it.

  2. Miriam Schaer » Blog Archive » Rules of Engagement, now available on! Says:

    […] To read more about Rules of Engagement on Material Index […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: