WE2: The Structured Image

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TEXTL-212

In the contemporary movements of the handmade, the act of weaving has proliferated as an expressive, experimental language to explore formal concerns, concept, materiality, performance, function, and cross-disciplinary intervention. As one of the oldest forms of material culture, weaving has the unique ability to negotiate boundaries between structure, cultural histories, and the body-notions critical to dialogues surrounding contemporary practice. Through basic and advanced level coursework students engage the primary vernacular of weaving-the warp and the weft-to produce tension, pattern, color, texture, image, and sculptural form. Computer-assisted looms and design software are introduced as a means to explore the relevance of analog processes in a technological world as well as a way to envision cloth as an instrument of new media.

From "spinning a tale" to "weaving a story," the loom has long been an instrument of story telling and chronicling. Unlike imagery achieved through painting or printing, the interaction of multiple threads allows for a structural and material-based approach to narrative that can produce subtle, yet visceral results. In this intensive hands-on course, students learn the basic techniques of weaving cloth and explore the ways in which this multi-sensory medium can be used to construct storylines through image, material, and metaphor. Through instruction in hands-on weaving techniques (hand-painted warps, pick-up, tapestry, double cloth), presentations, and readings, students explore the unique narrative potential of the medium. Students learn to design innovative weave structures using the computer design program WeaveMaker Pro.