Moving Image, 9:00 min
Smithsonian American Art Museum collection
Knit for Defense is an animation at the intersection of craft, labor and combat, exploring the aesthetics of war in film in an animation of knit stitches. Knit for Defense is created from archival footage and historical artifacts, sounds from knitting machines and textile processes, threading together footage from World War II, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when wartime knitting was in practice. Knit motifs of tanks, planes, ships and drones animate a cinema of combat, reflecting on war from a pixelated distance. Sound design: Jesse Stiles.
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100 Hand and Machine Knit balaclavas
10 x 12 x 10/each
Stitch for Senate was a pro-peace initiative of knit hobbyists making helmet liners for every United States senator in the lead up to the 2008 election. Building on the history of wartime knitting, a practice dating back to the American Revolution, Stitch for Senate used the tradition of political organizing within knitting circles as a space for discussion, skillsharing and protest. Hobbyists knitted to persuade elected officials to support the troops by bringing them home. Every senator received their own helmet liner, mailed on President Obama's Inaguration. Of the 100 senators who received the headwear, Bernie Sanders (VT), Harry Reid (NV), Russ Feingold (WI), Orrin Hatch (UT) Jim DeMint (SC), Byron Dorgan (ND), Michael Enzi (WY), John Cornyn (TX), Daniel Inouye (HI) & James Inhofe (OK) and Tom Udall (NM) sent replies.
workshops, performances, web media
MicroRevolt.org is a website whose projects connect craft, technology and labor activism. The site launched in 2003 to "investigate the dawn of sweatshops in early industrial capitalism to inform the current crisis of global expansion and the feminization of labor." The site hosts knitPro-- a free web application that translates digital images into needlecraft patterns, as well as other projects such as the Nike Blanket Petition, 146+, logoknits, Stitch for Soldier and the KnitPro Needlecraft Art Show.
2007 Prix Ars Electronica
Interview: We Make Money Not Art
Crochet and knit; natural and synthetic yarns; web media
15 x 5.5 feet
From 2003-2008, a diverse group of international knit and crochet hobbyists participated in the microRevolt project-- the Nike Blanket Petition, a 15-foot wide handmade blanket of the Nike swoosh. Each 4 x 4 inch square creates the Nike logo, acting as a signature for fair labor policies for Nike garment workers. Over the five-year period, "anti-sweatshop" squares were stitched into the quilt-- representing people petitioning from over 30 countries. Squares accumulated from microRevolt workshops and exhibition tours, though many were donated from global knitting circles by post-mail. The Nike Blanket has been on view at the Musée Bargoin (Clermont-Ferrand, France); the Victoria and Albert Museum (London); the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland); the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney) the Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto) among many other venues. Much more here