Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Gilson, Jools
Performance Research
Navigation, Nuance and half/angel's Knitting Map A series of navigational directions …
Optional Fields
This article is about half/angel's durational community installation ‘The Knitting Map’ commissioned for Cork's year as European Capital of Culture in 2005. In ‘The Knitting Map’ CCTV cameras located around Cork City captured information about how busy the city was, and these levels of busyness were translated into knitting stitches - the busier the city, the more complex the stitch. Yarn colour was generated in parallel from a weather station, and mapped onto a palette of yarns. These two strands of information were then uploaded to digital screens as a simple knitting pattern (knit this stitch in this colour), and volunteer knitters sat at twenty knitting stations in a wooden amphitheatre in the crypt of St. Luke's Church in Cork City and knitted. And they did this every day for a year. This article is written in creative critical form, and has three distinct threads – (i) a creative critical argument, (ii) entwined quotes from navigation / knitting texts, and (iii) an autobiographical narrative written as a series of footnotes. It uses tropes of navigation, cartography and knitting to weave its composition. This article is about two publics; one directly involved in ‘The Knitting Map’, and the other a public who witnessed the same project through the media controversy that described it. The article uses these two publics to propose a pedagogy of failure, and to suggest that the challenges of this project, and its unrelated media controversy, can act as buoys guiding understanding of the complex and difficult history of the Irish State and in particular its relationship to textiles, femininity cartography and colonialism.
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