Yarn from the New Lanark Mill. 90% wool, 10% silk. Now to figure out what to make with it.
New Lanark is a pretty cool place. It runs, and ran, on renewable energy (water power), was a fair utopia for the working class at the time. At least one of the mills is still in operation, which you can watch.
Unfortunately they didn’t sell spinning wheels. I really need to get back to learning to spin with my drop spindle.
[F]or the first several years the SAT was offered, males scored higher than females on the Math section but females achieved higher scores on the Verbal section. ETS policy-makers determined that the Verbal test needed to be “balanced” more in favor of males, and added questions pertaining to politics, business and sports to the Verbal portion. Since that time, males have outscored females on both the Math and Verbal sections. Dwyer notes that no similar effort has been made to “balance” the Math section, and concludes that, “It could be done, but it has not been, and I believe that probably an unconscious form of sexism underlies this pattern. When females show the superior performance, ‘balancing’ is required; when males show the superior performance, no adjustments are necessary.”
“Gender Bias in College Admissions Tests”, FairTest.org
And then people urge me everything is fine, of course it is, when you’re ignoring statistics that is.
If you’re a classicist who has just started following me, firstly: Hi! We may not have ever met or even interacted, but on some level I love you, and hope you’re well, and that you continue to enjoy and geek out about classics.
This main blog is my art blog. Some of my art is related to Classics (like the Stitched Iliad project, which has its own separate blog here. But my main blog for discussing classics, classical reception & illusion in modern works, and generally talking about Classics and Academia, is Aristotelian Complacency.
In other news: artists continue to be snobbish dicks and define the word ‘art’ in a way that excludes anything they don’t personally like.
Art is not bigger than people. It is not some moral arbiter that has answers. Art is the servant of the people and there is nothing, NOTHING, wrong with the idea that sometimes people need to be happy, or need cheering up, or need reminding that there is hope and things worth living for.
Though the BBC does a poorer job of citing it’s sources than a first year undergrad, and therefore I cannot be sure that the two quotes given were contextually related to each other, they indicate the idea that there is a correlation being made between an audience being made to feel uncomfortable by art, and art that is fulfilling the “proper” societal purpose of art.
Apparently, discomfort is the correct way an audience should respond to art that attempts to “destabilise” (whatever he means by that) and cause change.
Artists don’t get to police what art should be about and we don’t get to police how people will respond to it. A person’s response to a piece of art is entirely based on their own experience of the world. Art serves the people. It is a tool of people. The tool does not get to choose how it is to be used or thought of.
And the implication that there is something lesser about craft, compared to art? Bugger off.
These distinctions between ‘art’ and ‘craft’ are largely enforced along lines that perpetuate sexism, racism and every form of discrimination. It is the lingering remnants of a system that said “you’re only an artist if you work in certain mediums and we are going to police and control who has access to training in those mediums. If you’re a rich white man: welcome! Everyone else: go away.”
It is a system that demands that anything a bigoted, colonial establishment, does not profit from itself, should not be considered art. Women’s art should not be considered art. Poor people’s art should not be considered art. Ethnic art should not be considered art. And why the hell not? It’s obvious it makes THEM as uncomfortable as hell, so by their own definition it’s damn well art.
Any division between art and craft is a false binary and when you encounter it everyone should take a moment to think about why someone is trying to enforce this binary division: what are They gaining from it?
Contemporary art, and by proxy, contemporary artists, have a chronic and acute case of the emperor’s new clothes, and artists that suggest their work is about destabilisation whilst at the same time doing everything they can to shore up and support the decaying white-male power structures of the art world deserve nothing but your contempt.
This post is dedicated to grrlcookery
And darkness-be-my-friend- for asking where I was/if I was okay. I probably wouldn’t be posting this without those precious messages of support, so: with all sincerity, thank you.
It’s been a while, I know. The last however many months have been busy (PhD upgrade - I passed), hard (landlady illegally tried to kick us out of our house, but of course we then had to move anyway - who wants to stay where they’re so obviously not welcome?), and rough (health, money, stress).
I’m really trying to get back on top of things and have some semblance of routine and productivity in my life, but I don’t want to make any promises about being back in full flow for now, because I’ve tried to get back into things before and just crashed myself again.
Here’s hoping I update again tomorrow.
I’m reblogging this here so I don’t have to type it out again.
I would like to take this opportunity to assure anyone I owe art to (give away winner - I am an awful person, I am very sorry) that I have not forgotten them nor given up on completing their pieces.
I’m going to make a concerted effort to update more regularly, and be more productive.
So… This is the kind of thing I have mixed and complicated feelings about.
I’m not going to say “that isn’t art” because my position is that art is in the eye of the beholder.
But I *will* say that this is something that hundreds and thousands of knitters and crocheters the world over do ALL THE TIME. It’s called frogging. It’s just efficient. You find something that’s not going to be used or worn, but where the yarn is still reasonably undamaged and you frog it. You store the yarn for a future project.
Like I said, I’m not going to claim this isn’t art, but what I don’t understand is why it gets acknowledged as art when two white men do it in a gallery-space, and not when hundreds and thousands of (mainly) women do it every single day in their own home.
If Lernert and Sander are unaware that this is common practice amongst yarn-based crafters then their research is piss-poor and they should do better. If they did know, and just chose not to acknowledge their indebtedness then they’re just appropriative assholes.
Yes, frogging finished items is a beautiful thing and it’s art, but it was art already when everyone in the yarn-based craft community did it. These two men doing it doesn’t magically make it art when it wasn’t before.
I feel this is the sort of thing that they should have written an ‘academic’ (whatever that means) article about, acknowledging the actual community engaged in this practice and then discussing what makes it such a beautiful phenomenon, rather than just plagiarising a community’s common practice and getting praised for it because ‘omg, men working with a material stupidly designated by society as being for women, HOW AMAZING.’
I also have issues with this relating to necessity/thrift/class/wealth, but I cannot brain well enough to articulate those right now. But there’s definitely something insidious about taking a practice based on reusing and saving money and ‘making do’ and importing it into the corpulent, lucre-obsessed art world. And the act of importing it devalues the concept/practice in the same way private collectors devalue the work when they rip a Banksy piece of a wall and store it in their private galleries.
Bristol-based art-academia-community group MakingLearning are producing a series of patchwork poems - each patch contains a word, and is made by a different person. I just did the piecing and the quilting.
MakingLearning may be Bristol (uk) based, but for the patchwork poem project we’ve received patches from lots of different places - not just other places in the UK, but also from other countries in Europe, and other continents. So if you think this is something you’d like to participate in, please don’t think distance is a barrier! Get in touch, and we’ll post a patch out to you.