From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Weaving the Digital Girl

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So here I am in the lovely White Mountains of New Hampshire visiting family with my daughter and my time is wrapped up with family.  In order to get in precious work-time alone I am staying up into the night weaving (and un-weaving and re-weaving…).

Un-weaving at night always makes me think of Odysseus’s wife Penelope and her secret nighttime  un-weavings.  I imagine there is a piece in that one day.

This is the very beginning, done as much as a test as anything.  My original worries proved correct and I will need to add fishing line into the weave between the computer cable strands in order to get them tight enough to fall into a recognizable order.  The white cables are slippery and flat, wanting to slide behind one another without guidance and it obscures the pattern.

I had an internal battle over the fishing line.  I love the way it would look– mostly invisible but just visible enough to connect to the clear acrylic laser-cut frame.  What I wasn’t initially happy with was the potential meaning of the material.  Then I realized that for most of us, fishing line isn’t fishing line anymore- it’s used for a thousand things, re-purposed.  It’s like duct tape- a specific-use material that proved so useful that it is used for everything.  That association I like.

Somehow this was further proved to me when I tried to find fishing line here.  In San Francisco I would be able to find fishing line in any hardware or craft store at any time of year… because people don’t use it for fishing in the city.  Here in this isolated area in Northern New Hampshire on the other hand people actually fish and so it’s not in stock in any of the tiny grocery stores that also boast “LIVE BAIT!” and similar signs… because it’s not fishing season yet.  The hardware store is out of course out of it, worse luck.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll be able to get to the nearest larger town that may contain a craft store and get some.  Until then I return to my art history texts and itch for materials.

*later… I did get the fishing line from someone else who “went into town” today. A moment’s reflection made it clear that I had to undo everything I’d done last night if I was to incorporate it into the warp.  So… working into the night and the warp is not yet done. With any luck tomorrow I will be weaving and not unweaving tomorrow night.

Written by Mary Corey March

April 7, 2012 at 1:48 am

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