XYZ Knitting or Searching for Mary
How can the knitted structure be challenged to be three-dimensional of its own? What does machine invention look like as artistic practice? What does it mean to share automation with a machine? The aim with XYZ Knitting or Searching for Mary is to explore these questions, with the motivation to stretch our perception of knitting, to provide an artistic perspective on invention, and to visualise human+machine collaboration.
As a point of departure, analog and digital knitting experiments are conducted. Once a three-dimensional structure has taken form, attention is called to constructing an ”XYZ knitting machine”. While designing the machine, the approach of regarding it as a subject instead of an object is taken. Named Mary, she is my collaborative partner. Together we will share the automatic and repetitive task of knitting. Stitch by stitch. Course by course. Layer by layer.
One of the methods for reflecting upon the material as well as to ground and bridge the study to a context, is to use essays and novels as artistic tools. Virginia Woolf’s ”A Room of One’s Own” and Mary Shelley’s ”Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus” become door openers for contemplation on topics such as women and invention and makes me challenge my deeply held assumptions on machines. The texts transform into maps; they guide and help me to find words for abstract thoughts, leading the way towards understanding and describing the journey of my design practice.
XYZ Knitting or Searching for Mary expands our knowledge and understanding of knitted structure, form and performance, and call attention to designing form and material as one. It is a contribution to tools within textile craft, and displays artistic practice in the field of machine invention.