2018 – ongoing: craft and electronics research, movement and sound data capture
She’d helped me so much, now I felt I owed her: how coukd I pay her back? Already she’d moved on, and broke the silence to talk about crochet — häkeln. She was saying how she loves crochet: she was telling me this, and I was still thinking ‘what can I do? what does she want?’
It begins with the slipknot, nice and loose so that it glides along the yarn: that’s how it starts. Then keep pulling through the knot, making sure you have just the right tension between the yarn and the index finger. The right tension, that’s the key, and then it will all flow. You were explaining this to me. The knot and the tension, and the ability to unravel everything back to the beginning.
The Crochet resistance Net
The Crochet Resistance Net was initially inspired by ancient chainmail suits of armor. This armor instead of being metallic and cold, would be made of crochet, soft and pliable : the Crochet Resistance Net is a costume for a soft, slow resistance.
It began in my friend’s living room in Berlin, I wanted to help her do what she loved instead of juggling multiple jobs in the gig economy. I made a contract, a very loose contract, full of slipknots to allow for an open-ended process. The suit would be made piece by piece, depending on resources, time and remuneration.
The Crochet Resistance Suit would be supported by cultural funding. The funding would allow for passionate work to be done; from the very beginning, process was prioritized.
The project eventually passed on to the KOBA electronics shop run by Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson of Kobakant Collective. Their opensource crafting project is called ‘How to Get What you Want.’ (learn to do it and they’ll teach you how… their hacker’s ethos)
Later Mariam Arid joined the project and shared her experience of the psycho-somatic effects of fabrication in an interview shown at TATE Exchange, London (2019).
Through the collaboration with Kobakant, the Crochet Resistance Net became an electronic net of conductive yarn, embedded with sensors (…did I really want this?…), mutating from warrior armor, into a soft tactile, amorphous and sonic membrane. The electronics of the suit registers an entity’s micro-movements, as the soft crochet network shifts in response to movement, the elements, and gravity.
The fabrication of the the Crochet Resistance Suit was supported by an Invention Creativity and Experience grant award from Goldsmiths University that funded the electronic crochet work.
“constructing organically with their hands while drawing on a library of algorithms they come to know in their fingers as well as in their brains. Such digital intelligence mediates a process of figuring in which knowledge resides in both body and mind.
Iterate, deviate, elaborate — this is the process we have used.”
M & C. Wertheim M. & C. 2015: Crochet Coral Reef
Koba Exhibition, 2019
Goldsmiths University, 2020
Tales of Fabrication
Tate Exchange (2019)
Goldsmiths University of London (2019)
Tai Kwun Art Centre, Hong Kong (2019)