I’m personally attracted to the quality and appearance of hand-made
items. In this age of mechanization and mass-production, I consider the
widening disconnect between what we are, what we make and why we make.
The process changes the dynamic of a community. I think about the de-humanizing
process of automation, the advent of the digital world, the ramifications
of that gap between individuals, how that affects how we feel about things,
and, in the light of all that, I wonder why we still feel compelled to
make things with our hands.
I engage in certain
kinds of behaviour when I feel that I want a closer connection to the
remembered environment of community and family. These behaviours often
include making things with my hands, most specifically knitting usable
items. I examine the relationships between the women in my own life and
how they support each other, and the ways that we create safety nets for
ourselves and our loved ones. I have realized that I create safe spaces
for myself in times of stress.
It is the reaction to potential danger, challenges and stress that lead
me to perform action ritualization which is defined as follows:
In a variety
of circumstances humans produce rituals, intuitively recognizable by their
stereotypy, rigidity, repetition, and apparent lack of rational motivation.
We build on a variety of prior models to describe a core psychological
process that we call action ritualization – which is not only a
part of individual or cultural rituals but a crucial part. The occurrence
of ritualization depends on the conjunction of two specialized cognitive
systems. One is a motivational system geared to the detection of and reaction
to particular potential threats to fitness. The other system might be
called “Action Parsing.” It is concerned with the division
of the flow of behaviour into meaningful units. In some circumstances,
specific interaction between these systems creates ritualized actions.
The circumstances are different for individual, pathological, and collective
rituals, as we will see. But the core ritualization process explains some
of their common properties.
Boyer, Pascal & Lienard, Pierre (2006), Why ritualized behaviour?
Precaution Systems and action parsing in developmental, pathological and
cultural rituals, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Journals, Behavioural
and Brain Sciences 29, page 7.
These sculptures recreate
the familiar sites sounds of a group of people in a room knitting and
are connected with my own personal challenge, a defective heart condition.
There are resonating patterns that emerge in the random and measured sounds.
The motorized version is a nod to the increasingly industrialized manner
in which our clothing is being manufactured and the hand-crank version
was created in order to allow the participant to regulate the sounds of
the needles to their own rhythm.
Sculpture in Action click