These three books collect the path I followed during my research on textile workshops and crafts, exploring the contemporary situation of the Handicraft world and of its merging with emerging digital technologies. I also took the freedom and allowed myself to speculate over the future of these skills.
“There were other spin-offs from textile too. The weaving of complex designs demands far more than one pair of hands, and textile production tends to be communal, sociable work allowing plenty of occasion for gossip and chat. Weaving was already multimedia: singing, chanting, telling stories dancing and playing games at their work, spinners weavers, and needleworkers were literally networkers as well. It seems that “prehistoric Europe gathered at one another’s houses to spin, sew, weave, knit, stitch, crochet and have fellowship”.
“Spinning yarns, fabricating friction, fashioning fashions: the textures of woven cloth functioned as means of communication and information storage long before anything was written down. “ How do we know this? From the clothes itself”. It is not only because, like writing and other visual arts, weaving is often “used to mark or announce an information” and “ a mnemonic device to record events or other data”: Textile do communicate in term of the image which appears on the right side of the cloth, but this is only the most superficial sense in which they process and store data. Because there is no difference between the process of weaving and the woven design, cloths persist s a record of the process which fed into their production. How many women worked on them, the techniques they used, the skills they employed. The visible pattern is integral to the process which produced it; the program and the pattern are continuous.” [Zero and Ones Sadie Plant]
I am convinced that our society is on a turning point, where the old misconception about fabrics and textile is disappearing, substituted by a new one, which can turn these materials into something new, something meaningful and precious, to be regarded as such. I chose a magazine as a medium to spread this new awareness, because I believe this format is still one of the best to circulate information in a trustworthy and graceful (and eye-catching) way. This medium provides me with the instrument to visual storytelling and physically build narratives around the past, present and future of the textile material. The collection of examples, testimonies, ideas, interviews, projects, exhibitions and events over the contemporary situation of the textile world is open to submission and gets published once that enough material is gathered. The collection and archive aim at increasing the potential of the current nascent dialogue over issues connected to the fashion revolution, over the re-qualification of needlework as high art and the nascent e-textile craft. By contributing to Interwoven magazine, artist, designers, makers and new crafters can become an active part in raising a new awareness over the textile crafts and their innovative products, sharing new ways of creating and perceiving the textile material. Each issue of the magazine will relate to one element of the textile world and be dedicated to a specific topic. The title is “Interwoven” because contributions are braided and twisted together. “Textiles are changing” is the claim, to underline the impetus towards a future more balanced consciousness.