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Monday, February 15, 2016

Questions for Felice Salmon and Robyn Wade

Please read and respond to the following link to prepare for our class with Felice Salmon and Robyn Wade. It can be in question or comment format. Publish it before noon on February 16th.

Source

17 comments:

  1. The author of “Knit the Sky” makes it seem like projects should be more than simply “projects”--especially when it comes to knitting. She suggests that we “look up from our needles and bring our attention to the world around you” while simultaneously putting our energy fully into the project itself. This seems like a good idea to put on other projects as well. What would happen if we applied this concept to development, political, and other controversial topics? Would it help to look up from the problem(project) at hand and bring our attention to the world around us rather than only focusing on what is wrong in front of us?

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  2. The opening of the book was very interesting and thought-provoking. The concept of mindfulness plays into the overall theme of "Knit the Sky". Is practicing mindfulness better for all humans, even if it is time consuming?

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  3. This reading makes me think of our cape project. Each logo will be so thoughtfully created just as the "city block" was knitted. The section on inventing your own project inspired me to realize the capes are much more than just a project. They will add to the community and give excitement to another person's life. Also this article made me realize that creating the capes thus far has made me slow down and have more patience all while understanding they have a much bigger meaning than just a cape, just like knitting did in the reading.

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  4. On page 10, the author compels her reader to consider "expanding our notion of 'product' to include all of the hidden elements wrapped up in the making of a thing." This is always important to the artworks made within CETA as the work of this class (and the primary impact of the work) is accomplished within the process of making. That said, the author does not equally address the quality of a finished product. Do you think it is possible for a lesser quality finished product to diminish the lasting impact of a project when the process of making becomes this integral?

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  5. I personally have never taken a nap in a park by myself. I don't think I've ever gone to a park by myself in general, awake or otherwise. The fact that the narrative began with a description of this was really interesting. I mean, I know it wasn't the whole point, but it did eventually lead into the fact that in order to knit the neighborhood, to knit anything, you'll probably be spending time alone in public, even if you're talking to people along the way. I don't like being by myself if I'm not in my own personal space. Maybe this is something I need to work on. But it got me thinking about how I would approach a project like this. Would I invite a friend to do it with me? Would I be brave enough to spend time alone where people can see me? Is that personal journey and inevitable introspection a necessity for this type of project?

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  6. I really enjoy the idea of incorporating life into art. The author asks early on in the introduction, What if we could turn an experience like this into a knitting project, translating that snippet of beauty into little loops of yarn?" All of these projects are a way to take the beauty of nature, community, family, or self and translate them into garments or blankets or something else that has utility. The projects we do in CETA are similar in a way because we interact with the community and then create something beautiful that is inspired by that interaction.

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  7. This is dependent on the artist but is it better to interact with the community and create art for oneself or to interact with the community and give away to the community? A neighborhood block scarf might be nice to remind one of the conversations and connections they developed to potentially once strangers but what about giving that scarf to a new resident or a long-standing member of the neighborhood?

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    1. I love that you asked these questions, Devin!

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  8. This reading was incredibly insightful to the aspects of how the smallest gestures and thoughts get relayed to the community. I have always said that “it’s the little things that count” because of the attention to detail or something that I may have said or done. To me, it shows someone cares enough to see and remember those details.
    In the idea of the knitting project, the importance of detail is just a start. Each piece of yarn, colors, shapes, etc. etc. “embod[ies] meaning” because “they were thoughtfully chosen.” The point here is that projects mean more to those they are intended for than for those who are performing the tasks. However, performance of these tasks isn’t mundane or monotonous; in fact, these actions are a learning lesson to open the eyes from the dark to see the truth and to see the minute details. The author points out “we are never just making a hate or a pair of socks, you are making a world; we are always also making a world.” These projects for the community mean so much more than making something useful—they are providing love, care, and support for the recipient.—an acknowledgement per say.
    This directly relates to our cape project in so many ways. We are visiting the community, and creating relationships with those who may not necessarily receive the level of attention we are giving--- especially to the details. The fact that we are creating something so personal and something to remind them of their own powers that they have is incredible. To them, we are creating their world, even if it is shaping it in an ever-slight way. However, we are still making that difference by paying attention to the details and bringing out their best selves.
    The only questions I can truly come up with are as follows: What other projects can we relate the knitting project to? How can we change the world- even if it is the whole world for that one person? Love and attention go so far, so why is this one of the best ways to go about rather than just spending time with someone for a small chunk of time?

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  9. First of all, the author of Knit the Sky has a very similar name to my sister (Leah Redmon- Lea Redmond), but that's neither here nor there. This reading is a great illustration of one person's drive to combine community with creativity. By utilizing the community as the inspiration for a lengthy art project, the author forces herself to care about her surroundings by making them pivotal to her creative process. As she worked on her cowl, she gained a more significant connection with those surrounding her and her environment. This is a wonderful example of community based art, in that the art is only secondary to the community. It reinforces the notion that community is what makes us human, and that we need to acknowledge this in everything we do.

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  10. Knit the Sky reminds me of last weeks reading on community. Knitting gave her the opportunity to start a conversation with neighbors she did not know. From there, relationships were formed. Why do we find it so difficult to create meaningful relationships now days, especially in the communities were in? Why don’t people try knitting or another form of art to start the conversation and really form a strong, loving community?

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  11. I loved the part where the author talked about how each time you knit, you are always "making a world, our own little world as well as the big common world." Could this be applied to everything you do in life? Going back to Josie's comment on mindfulness, how much more mindful could you be about what you do and what you make if you see it like making a world? Also, going along with that, could we do with some more reminding that we and everything we create are a part of the common world?

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  12. Rather than formulating a question, I am sharing the parts of the reading I was instantly drawn to, perhaps because they seem relevant to CETA, perhaps because they ask me to consider both CETA and my world from unusual viewpoints, perhaps because they say something about being human:

    “I would like to propose that we knitters expand the territory of what we consider to be a pattern.”

    “We are never just making a hat or a pair of socks; we are always also making a world…this field of relations is what we truly make when we knit.”

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  13. I love the idea of knitting around a block. I'm going to present this idea to my grandmother. It may be a little difficult because we don't live on a block, but I'd love to find a nice variant.

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  14. It's been difficult for me to come up with a question or comment that isn't "I really like everything the author is saying."

    Specifically, I think it's great to have the process of making something be a huge part of its importance - to the creator and to those they interact with. Almost like the product would be a record of a performance, our everyday life performances.

    I liked that the author also talked about the aesthetic presentation of the product. Not necessarily will it look beautiful, but what will it mean to others? Will they be able to gain some of the deeply felt experiences by wearing it? By seeing it?

    I like to draw and do other art, but making these gifts and experiences...things most people would consider to be more "crafty," I think that's way better. On a level of what personally fulfills me anyway. I am definitely going to look for the rest of that book. Potentially to find a way of doing something other than knitting to complete them.

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  15. The author uses the cowl to connect to her neighbors. It is a great idea to find an excuse to talk to her neighbors. But how does she come up with idea? Is she implying that it is harder and harder to talk to other people nowadays?

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