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Open Source Embroidery: What Will We Make Together?

This is a guest post from our friend, Travis Meinolf, public textile artist and teacher. Travis's current project can be seen at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art, in San Francisco, CA, from now until January 24th, 2010. If you're in the area, we hope you'll stop by, add your own piece to the weavings and interact with textiles in a new way.

Open Source Embroidery is a group art show; the running theme of the works in the show, curated by Dr. Ele Carpenter, is how current open source programming and high-tech philosophies intersect with contemporary and historical craft production practices. My installation in the show, a continuation of my Social Fabric/Weaving Place projects, is a space with small, simple-to-use looms I have designed, materials generously provided by Lion Brand Yarn, and chalkboards, for people to write notes about what it is they would like to be producing in the space.

Previously I have asked for people to spend their time producing material to be made into blankets for people on the streets and in shelters, but this time, I thought I would let it be completely open to suggestion from the participants. Only time will tell what the outcome will be, but the process will be one of absolute agency of the producers. Anyone who participates is invited to direct their action and suggest direction for the group, based on the simple strips of cloth that they can make. I will update as the project progresses. Hopefully the system I have put in place allows for freedom but is a space for structured, productive play, resulting in a true "dialectical material".

Thanks go out to Lion Brand, who made me feel like a kid on Christmas opening boxes of skeins and skeins of beautiful yarns to provide a truly sensual and mesmerizing weaving experience for museum-goers, again...
Travis J. Meinolf
action weaver

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