Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Den Röda Tråden

The OSE Fika discussion at HUMlab this afternoon focused on the material physicality of the internet and technology woven together through a web of cable which stretches across countries and across the seabed to connect continents.

Sadie Plant writes:
“Media has become interactive and hyperactive, the multiplicitous components of an immersive zone which does not begin with writing; it is directly related to the weaving of elaborate figured silks. The yarn is neither metaphorical nor literal, but quite simply material, a gathering of threads which twist and turn through the history of computing, technology, the sciences and the arts.” (Sadie Plant, 1997, Zeros + Ones, p12)

We also discussed the Raqs Media Collectives' definition of Yarn, and the way in which data cables as well as knitted yarns can carry a story. Den Röda Tråden – is the red thread which weaves through a story or an argument. In English we speak of the 'thread' of an argument, but it doesn't have a specific colour.

Red thread is also a potent emblem in a Chinese proverb - where the red thread is said to connect everyone that will ever meet. I rather like this parasitic red thread project by Stromgasse.

On a more practical note - after several failed attempts to convert the HUMlab logo into a cross stitch pattern using online software, Haishu printed out a grid and is drawing her pattern by hand, her thread is not red or pink, but deep magenta.

Artist Margareta Klingberg brought along the amazing Fiber Art Sweden catalogue. If you want to read more, I'll bring along to the OSE Fika at the Art school on Thursday 14.00 - 17.00.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of another instance of "the red thread." In "Jo's Boys," the follow-up to Louisa May Alcott's classic "Little Women," a character notes that every inch of rope used by the British Navy had a red thread running through it.

With a bit of research, it looks like there are varying theories for it, from symbolizing the Christian character of the British people to just plain identification. This matter-of-fact guide to rope for the Royal Navy describes a couple of colors of rogue's thread to aid in identification: http://www.aamstrand.com/Rope%20Knowledge/ropes%20page2.htm