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"Loose Threads"

"Loose Threads"

Anne Dalke's picture

So I suggested to Ann y'day that all our e-mail back-and-forthing should go into the sandbox, so we could have a handy-dandy archive, of use to ourselves and others, of what it means to collaborately create a website. She said she didn't want to do that, because it would slow down the process--> "“the web is not a push technology." This temporal gesture is a very interesting one to me...the notion that an e-mail, because personal, is pushier (and will get answered sooner?) than a web posting, which doesn't have the same "pressure"?...Is that others' experience?

I'd still like to have some on-line record of what we are up to this summer, some commentary on the process itself, so will use this forum to record some of the more interesting stuff that emerges in our conversations. Like Rebecca's playing w/ categories y'day--"entwine/intertwine/interlace/reticulate/wreathe/twine." Along with the rest of you, I loved the evocative/resonant quality of the one she finally settled on, of "weaving." I just have to share w/ you all a video that Jody and I used to open a session we participated in, along w/ two grad students from Penn, @ the Society for Disability Studies two weeks ago. It's called Loose Threads;  we sat there weaving as it played, and our gloss on it follows:

... a central trope that has emerged for our project is that of “loose threads,” knit together, yet always capable of being untangled and re-knit.  Yarn is multi-sensory, both visible and palpable. It can be used to create, to protect, to tie things in knots.  Sitting here knitting (and crocheting!), we figure ourselves—and the larger world—as looped together, an eco-home, protected, nurtured, yet still vulnerable—temporary, unstable. Knitting is like story-telling, making shapes out of what is shapeless. To knit is to re-model the accessible and inaccessible, the present and absent. Yarn can create groupings; it can also unravel them.

This is more than just wordplay. We think of the twenty-seven different meanings of “réseau” that Diderot uses in “Le Rêve de l’Alembert.” He uses the word to refer to the bundle of fibers that thread together not just fabric, but networks, assemblages, and even consciousness. Ties, knots, strands, and filaments lend themselves well as conceptual junctures and tools, which suggests to us that our loose threads transcend their materiality. What we do with our hands while we’re knitting shares an important theoretical frame with what we want to do today in our presentation conceptually.








I was captivated by the first clip's use of the word "cultural critics." Who isn't a cultural critic? Coming from a social science background, this terminology seems to have a negative connotation (cultural relativism, not ethnocentrism), but we are wired to evaluate and compare, whether by human nature or by the American Ideal. That's what the social sciences do; appraise, relate, etc.