Julia Bryan-Wilson: Fray: Art and Textile Politics (2017)

25 March 2018, dusan

“In 1974, women in a feminist consciousness-raising group in Eugene, Oregon, formed a mock organization called the Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society. Emblazoning its logo onto t-shirts, the group wryly envisioned female collective textile making as a practice that could upend conventions, threaten state structures, and wreak political havoc. Elaborating on this example as a prehistory to the more recent phenomenon of “craftivism”—the politics and social practices associated with handmaking—Fray explores textiles and their role at the forefront of debates about process, materiality, gender, and race in times of economic upheaval.

Closely examining how amateurs and fine artists in the United States and Chile turned to sewing, braiding, knotting, and quilting amid the rise of global manufacturing, Julia Bryan-Wilson argues that textiles unravel the high/low divide and urges us to think flexibly about what the politics of textiles might be. Her case studies from the 1970s through the 1990s—including the improvised costumes of the theater troupe the Cockettes, the braided rag rugs of US artist Harmony Hammond, the thread-based sculptures of Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña, the small hand-sewn tapestries depicting Pinochet’s torture, and the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt—are often taken as evidence of the inherently progressive nature of handcrafted textiles. Fray, however, shows that such methods are recruited to often ambivalent ends, leaving textiles very much “in the fray” of debates about feminized labor, protest cultures, and queer identities; the malleability of cloth and fiber means that textiles can be activated, or stretched, in many ideological directions.

The first contemporary art history book to discuss both fine art and amateur registers of handmaking at such an expansive scale, Fray unveils crucial insights into how textiles inhabit the broad space between artistic and political poles—high and low, untrained and highly skilled, conformist and disobedient, craft and art.”

Publisher University of California Press, 2017
ISBN 9780226077819, 0226077810
326 pages
via slowrotation

Review: Holland Cotter (New York Times, 2017).

Video interview with author (with Lynne Cooke, NGA, 60 min, 2017)


PDF (18 MB)

Joseph Needham, et al.: Science and Civilisation in China, 7 vols. (1954–2008)

15 August 2013, dusan

Science and Civilisation in China is recognised as one of the most remarkable works of scholarship in the twentieth century. Originally proposed as a single volume of 600 to 800 pages, the project now encompasses seventeen books published under the direct supervision of Joseph Needham, from the first volume which appeared in 1954, through to volume 6.3 which was in press at the time of his death in 1995. The preparation and publishing of further volumes is ongoing. Responsibility for the commissioning and approval of work for publication in the series is now taken by the Publications Board of the Needham Research Institute, under the chairmanship of Dr C. Cullen, who acts as general editor of the series.

The published volumes reflect Needham’s vision of the field of the history of science and its social background in China, and his aim to make Chinese achievements in science and technology better understood. The series was on the Modern Library Board’s 100 Best Nonfiction books of the 20th century.

Publisher Cambridge University Press

Review (Robert Finlay, Journal of World History, 2000)
Review (Marta E. Hanson, Early Science and Medicine, 2007)
Simon Winchester on Joseph Needham, video, 57 min (via अवनिचर अवनिचर)

Needham Research Institute

Vol. 1: Introductory Orientations, With the Research Assistance of Wang Ling, 1954
Vol. 2: History of Scientific Thought, With the Research Assistance of Wang Ling, 1956
Vol. 3: Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and Earth, With the Collaboration of Wang Ling, 1959

Physics and Physical Technology
Vol. 4-1: Physics, With the Collaboration of Wang Ling; and the Special Co-operation of Kenneth Robinson, 1962
Vol. 4-2: Mechanical Engineering, With the Collaboration of Wang Ling, 1965
Vol. 4-3: Civil Engineering and Nautics, With the Collaboration of Wang Ling and Lu Gwei-Djen, 1971

Chemistry and Chemical Technology
Vol. 5-1: Paper and Printing, By Tsien Tsuen-Hsuin, 1985
Vol. 5-2: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Magisteries of Gold and Immortality, With the Collaboration of Lu Gwei-Djen, 1974
Vol. 5-3: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Historical Survey, from Cinnabar Elixirs to Synthetic Insulin, With the Collaboration of Ho Ping-Yü and Lu Gwei-Djen, 1976
Vol. 5-4: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Apparatus, Theories and Gifts, With the Collaboration of Ho Ping-Yü and Lu Gwei-Djen; and a Contribution by Nathan Sivin, 1980
Vol. 5-5: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Physiological Alchemy, With the Collaboration of Lu Gwei-Djen, 1983
Vol. 5-6: Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges, With Robin D.S. Yates, Krzysztof Gawlikowski, Edward McEwen, Wang Ling, 1994
Vol. 5-7: Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic, With the Collaboration of Ho Ping-Yü (Ho Peng Yoke), Lu Gwei-Djen, and Wang Ling, 1987
Vol. 5-8: Not yet published
Vol. 5-9: Textile Technology: Spinning and Reeling, By Dieter Kuhn, 1988
Vol. 5-10: Not yet published
Vol. 5-11: Ferrous Metallurgy, By Donald B. Wagner, 2008
Vol. 5-12: Ceramic Technology, By Rose Kerr and Nigel Wood; With Contributions by Ts’ai Mei-fen and Zhang Fukang; Edited by Rose Kerr, 2004
Vol. 5-13: Mining, By Peter J. Golas, 1999

Biology and Biological Technology
Vol. 6-1: Botany, With the Collaboration of Lu Gwei-Djen, and a Special Contribution by Huang Hsing-Tsung, 1986 (added on 2013-8-20)
Vol. 6-2: Agriculture, By Francesca Bray, 1984
Vol. 6-3: Agro-Industries and Forestry, By Christian A. Daniels and Nicholas K. Menzies, 1996
Vol. 6-4: Not yet published
Vol. 6-5: Fermentations and Food Science, By Huang Hsing-Tsung, 2000
Vol. 6-6: Medicine, With the Collaboration of Lu Gwei-Djen; Edited and With an Introduction by Nathan Sivin, 2000

Vol. 7-1: Language and Logic, By Christoph Harbsmeier; Edited by Kenneth Robinson, 1998
Vol. 7-2: General Conclusions and Reflections, With the Collaboration of Kenneth Robinson and Ray Huang (Huang Jen-Yu); With an Introduction by Mark Elvin; Edited by Kenneth Robinson, 2004

Download all 24 books (ZIP, 1.3 GB, updated on 2013-8-20)

S. Seymour: Fashionable Technology – The Intersection of Design, Fashion, Science and Technology (2008))

30 September 2009, pht

The interplay of electronic textiles and wearable technology, wearables for short, and fashion, design and science is a highly promising and topical subject. Offered here is a compact survey of the theory involved and an explanation of the role technology plays in a fabric or article of clothing. The practical application is explained in detail and numerous illustrations serve as clarification. Over 50 well-known designers, research institutes, companies and artists, among them Philips, Burton, MIT Media Lab, XS Labs, New York University, Hussein Chalayan, Cute Circuit or International Fashion Machines are introduced by means of their latest, often still unpublished, project, and a survey of their work to date. Given for the first time is a list of all the relevant information on research institutes, materials, publications etc. A must for all those wishing to know everything about fashionable technology.

Publisher: Springer, 2008
ISBN: 3211744983, 9783211744987
Length: 249 pages

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