Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What's black, white, read, etc., etc.

No, not my Milton paper (wish me luck or something)--this.

It's a bit weird to me that the artist insists that turning your newspapers into yarn is good for making "tangible" memories--you can't read the paper, she says, but sometimes you can see snatches of dates or words. Playing devil's advocate for a moment, why is it necessary to "justify" art by insisting that a piece has tangible value? It's not a huge leap from "tangible" value to capital, either; making memories tangible also makes them buy-able, so sign me up for an October 24, 1983, newspaper yarn rug, you know? Is it an accident, I wonder, that the article reads a whole lot like somebody's trying to sell me something? And that her text (which seems to have been translated from the Dutch) reads like a catalogue? And I, a trained (indoctrinated?) consumer and moreover used to the insistence that 1) "indie" yarn is hand-dyed art and therefore I should feel better (more organic? more artistic?) about using it because it's not commercially made, and 2) that you can put a price--often a high(er) price--on "indie" hand-dyed/hand-spun yarn, immediately went looking for her web site so I could see how much the stuff cost. It doesn't--it's part of her portfolio and she just graduated from a design academy; she's selling herself (1).

(1) I happily sweep intentionality off the table, but I do wonder what her statement is; it's not a terrible way to think about memory--bits and pieces woven into a larger tapestry (or sturdy doormat)--or about (god help me) "culture." The idea that something else (/"different") can be made out of newspaper.

I wonder if the stuff is as flammable as newspaper usually is. On a more technical note, I wonder what she's plying it with--there's some kind of thread, it looks like, wrapped around the newspaper tubes. Is she using a spinning wheel? Or is she doing it by hand? I was also surprised at how colorful the tubes were; I forget that newspaper isn't--well--black and white anymore.


lilyriver said...

Holy crap, that's beautiful. I love it. I wish I could spin paper into yarn. And it seems like a much more useful recycled paper product than those thick crusty notecards I made as a child

randeep said...

Oooh! Endless possibilities.

Good luck on the paper! I'm flailing, and may be giving up on law school.

Ahem, I shall be checking back frequently until I get a Yarn Harlot tale of glory.

Sarah said...

I agree that it would be really flammable...but it is pretty. Maybe one could shellac it. The opposite of blocking? Because blocking definitely wouldn't work. But good luck with your Milton paper, in any case!

randeep said...

A tutorial mysteriously appeared this very morning on Craftster about spinning paper into yarn. Just in case you want to make yourself some!

I must say that I always chafe a bit at people trying to sell collected ephemera as art, or as a fabulous creation of their own mind when many other people (including, apparently, Craftster members) are out there doing the same thing.