book weight bb (human carriage), 2009

By: Ann Hamilton

The time we spend in words is enormous. At any moment we might be speaking, reading, writing or listening to and with words. We are text based. Words record what has been and speculate on what might be. Writing is one of the central ways culture makes and records itself. For me, textiles is another. They are two sides of the same cloth. What I love in the experience and process of reading is the being immersed, the falling into the fold between two pages, the being completely in the “somewhere else” that is the book. This ability to simultaneously be both here and far away, to be both inside and outside parallels that condition of being a body. So it is no surprise the book is a central artifact of culture. While reading a book might forever change us, it seem paradoxical that the act of reading itself doesn’t leave a visible physical mark; though we mark and remark upon the books that we read. The immersiveness and the broadly associative thinking engendered by the solitary, silent act of reading are analogous, for me, to a “making” space. I have come to wonder how the “invisible” experience that is the act of reading might become a form of materialized making; how the way one reads might be thought of as a form of drawing. It is an ongoing question that continues to draw itself forward into different projects. The relationship between a line of thread and a line of writing, are central, structuring aspects of my work. The words and the thread come forward together in one making hand. Perhaps it is the words that allow us to travel and the tactile threads that keep us here. Our time, the rhythmic exchange of one reeling out and the other pulling in.

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