Werkplaats Typografie  End of the Year Show #4

“Ellipsis after Closure”
A 2020 End of the Year Show in book form
by Nicha Keeratiphanthawong and Tabea Nixdorff

Following endless digital threads of      information and being in
constant touch with ‘hardware,’ it is        easy to forget one’s
bodily presence and situatedness.        Weavings, just like
computer coding, are complex       automated nettings. Only the
point of rupture—a dropped     stitch, like a bug in the code, a
systemic error—redirects        the attention outside of the
machine by requesting        a manual intervention.

To      experience a gesture of repair and an analogue form of
‘net      working,’ as a literal and tactile activity, we initiated two
hole               mending meditations conducted online, with
participants        at home, to relax the senses while focusing on
fixing holes in        garments and touching soft textiles. To feel
the impact each      detail has on a structure as a whole:
disruptions in       the weave of a garment cause holes to grow.
By tracing the      dropped stitches and patching up obvious
‘bugs,’ we        remediate and re-activate unappreciated
clothes     without erasing traces of our bodies inhabiting them.

Remediation:      a technique of repair that emphasizes the
repairer’s presence.       We may revisit a personal garment’s
story through its wear        and tear, and rewrite a habit. When
sewing, each hole is       both a beginning and an end, a
passage for the thread.      While reimagining ideas of
interconnectedness, the         activity of mending holes may
also be an exercise in resilience—        we consciously spend
time with a ‘wounded’ fabric instead      of abandoning it. The
current social situation in the world     reminds us of the urgent
need for healing practices, to not     turn away from the wounds
and scars in the social fabric but      treat them with care. One
way of caring is to actively listen—     to a materiality, as well as
to people’s voices.

“Ellipsis after Closure” began in 2019 as a collaborative project when we developed a textile support structure for monthly Sonic Meditations (inspired by Pauline Oliveros) at Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The physical gatherings on these ‘meditation sleeves’ were interrupted by the pandemic related closures of public spaces. A reconfiguration of the project during lockdown in Bangkok and Arnhem resulted in remote mending meditations and collective writings, and most recently in this publication.

“Ellipsis after Closure” is now available in the WT Shop—copies will be shipped beginning of January.