Meet the Chair

JOSH FAUGHT

In an otherwise socially, economically, and seismographically unstable region, I have witnessed the profound ways in which textiles function as a means of mobilization, survival, and support. Through undergraduate and graduate-level curricular frameworks, I’m interested in mining and continuing this legacy of making at CCA and within the Bay Area at large.

One of the oldest aesthetic traditions in the world, textiles and the artwork produced from textiles are currently on the cutting edge of contemporary art practice and critical inquiry. As artists and educators within the textile department at CCA, we build our individual practices and our collective pedagogy on the notion that textiles are not simply crafted objects, but more importantly, a mode of thinking—radical discourses based on structure, pattern, color, material, and process that can best be described as “textile thinking.”

For the past thirteen years, my studio practice has triangulated spaces between personal history, social/political history, and the history of textiles. This ongoing project operates from a premise, which suggests that if political rhetoric is, at its core, a desire to communicate, the ability to speak through textiles allows us to embrace a personal/political continuum that is at once open, fragmentary, experiential, and physical. Implicit within these discourses are my understandings of textiles as viable manifestos. Etymologically, the word, “textile” is derived from the Latin, texere, “to weave.” This root is also the source of other English words including “context,” “pretext,” and, “texture.” Similar to the relationship of language to syntax, the synergy between material and structure in textiles allow us to transmit new vernaculars—rich with double meanings, false supports, and anxious potentials. Unlike traditional written manifestos however, I’m invested in the ways that textiles complicate our understanding of address and abstraction. Speaking through textiles changes our means of inquiry and expression. I’m always asking myself how we can say something urgently through the slowest means possible. And in this slowed down space of making, how does the construction of identity occupy a space that could connect such seemingly antithetical sentiments: desire and ambivalence, making and unmaking, calamity and perseverance?

Thoroughly inclusive and interdisciplinary, we encourage anyone and everyone to visit us in Textiles and learn more about our internationally recognized department. See you soon!