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.