Are Algorythms Conceptual Art’s Next Frontier?


Nicholas o’brien

March 24, 2015, 1:22pm


“Are algorithms art? What happens to the intellectual property at the point of sale? What is actually acquired when one purchases an algorithm? Who would even buy an algorithm?

When I discussed some of these initial questions with Sebastian Chan from The Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Museum, he said, “It’s interesting what happens to things that aren’t able to be contained as a physical thing. We should consider them in another way and we should try to look at what their role is.”


However, Artsy engineer Daniel Doubrovkine commented that contemporary museums and institutions are still struggling to present code-based works in the same faithful fashion as conceptual art projects: “I think we need to put code in social context. For example, early programmers were mostly women, and creating exhibitions around women programmers and the art of their programming is a needed social context.”

A structural problem with algorithms is that they render the underrepresented into the invisible. If such a process is applied to culture, anything that falls outside the scope of an algorithm is viewed as an anomaly. As a result of the crunching and sorting of data, the process of culture becomes the product of an algorithm. Algorithms are “results- based,” designed objects—machines that use parsing in order to create significance, relevance, and meaning. Algorithms produce evidence to substantiate speculations of all types: financial, informational, social, ideological. What becomes truly troubling is not when statistical aberrations are left out of the mix, but when the results of algorithms create or substantiate a narrative of exclusivity.

Unfortunately, the narrative of contemporary algorithmic culture is one that is dominated by particular voices—mostly male, mostly white, and mostly from classes of some privilege. It is not that other voices within the development of code-based works don’t exist, but rather that these voices go unrecognized as a result of being filtered out through algorithmic processes. Although many initiatives are currently undoing and combating exclusion and under-representation, it becomes increasingly difficult to do so when the algorithms we use (and are impacted by) are built upon parameters that disavow the existence of populations that defy categorization or exist contrary to a privileged narrative.





I came across the term on Facebook as referenced by German artist Nadine Baldow.

Earth Gallery Dresden


Nadine Baldow's photo.
I find it an interesting representation of colour and ‘organic’ (aka biomorphic) abstraction, creating a visual contradiction with the use of non-organic materials.
The Tate website describes the term as;
Biomorphic forms or images are ones that while abstract nevertheless refer to, or evoke, living forms such as plants and the human body
Biomorphic comes from combining the Greek words ‘bios’, meaning life, and ‘morphe’, meaning form.


I came across the term in this lecture on youtube, Landmarks Features: Veronica Roberts on Sol LeWitt



In a wider context;



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

seriality is a social construct which differs from a mere group of individuals. Serialities take the form of labels which are either imposed onto persons or voluntarily adopted by them. A seriality can be “unbound” and self-identified, for example workers, patriots, or anarchists, or “bound” and identified by authority census and elections, such as Asian-Americans or Tutsis.


Seriality (gender studies)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seriality or serial collectivity is a term that feminist scholar Iris Marion Young used to describe a reconceptualization of the category of woman in her 1994 essay Gender as SerialityYoung borrows the concept of seriality from Sartre‘s Critique of Dialectical Reason, where he originally developed the idea to describe the relationship of individuals to social classes and the capitalist system of production and consumption. Understanding women as a series, rather than a group, entails the recognition that the category woman is not defined by any common biological or psychological characteristics; rather, individuals are positioned as woman by a set of material and immaterial social constructs that are the product of previous human actions.



Within an art context;

Serial art

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Serial art is an art movement in which uniform elements or objects were assembled in accordance with strict modular principles.[citation needed] The composition of serial art is a systematic process.

One type of serial art is the production of multiple objects (paintings, sculptures, etc.) in sets or series, for example Josef Albers‘s well-known series of “square” paintings, where a single, repeating image creates a variation series. This technique later became associated with minimalism, the “multiple”, and “ABC art”. However, there is a different type, which may be regarded as more essentially “serial” because it is “characterized by the nonhierarchical juxtaposition of equivalent representations, which only yield their complete meaning on the basis of their mutual relationship”.[1] This produces sequential structures defined similarly to those of a twelve-tone row, found for example in Max Bill‘s series, Fünfzehn Variationen über ein Thema (1934–38), and in Richard Paul Lohse‘s 30 vertikale systematische Farbreihen in gelber Rautenform(1943–70) and Konkretion III (1947).[2]

Sol LeWitt wrote that “the serial artist does not attempt to produce a beautiful or mysterious object but functions merely as a clerk cataloguing the results of his premise.” [3]


Further reading

  • Bandur, Markus. 2001. Aesthetics of Total Serialism: Contemporary Research from Music to Architecture. Basel, Boston and Berlin: Birkhäuser.
  • Bochner, Mel. 1967. “The Serial Attitude”. Artforum 6, no. 4 (December): 28–33.
  • Gerstner, Karl. 1964. Designing Programmes: Four Essays and an Introduction, with an introduction to the introduction by Paul Gredinger. English version by D. Q. Stephenson. Teufen, Switzerland: Arthur Niggli. Enlarged, new edition 1968.
  • Guderian, Dietmar. 1985. “Serielle Strukturen und harmonikale Systeme.” In Vom Klang der Bilder: die Musik in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, edited by Karin von Maur, 434–37. Munich: Prestel-Verlag.
  • Pias, Claus. 2006. “Multiple”. DuMonts Begriffslexikon zur zeitgenössischen Kunst, second, revised edition, edited by Hubertus Butin, 219–24. Cologne: DuMont-Buchverlag.


See also > Systems Art, Process Art





Seriality: Repetition and Narrative in Soviet Nonconformist Art

May 09, 2006 – Jul 30, 2006
Dodge Wing Lower Level
…This exhibition seeks to provide a differing account of seriality in art by examining the work of Russian artists from the Dodge Collection. As opposed to the dominant modes of practice in America, Russian art often utilizes seriality to emphasize the private and the personal, as well as to examine the relationship of visual art to the narrative practices of literature and film.

Symmetry, Proportion and Seriality:

The Semantics of Mirroring and Repetition in Science and the Arts

Academia Europaea Conference
to take place in Freiburg/Germany
Venue: Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
May 26-28, 2016

Symmetry is one of the key factors in a variety of sciences and humanities subjects. Equations must be symmetrical; in architecture symmetry is a basic design feature; linguists discover iconic and symmetrical relationships in their objects of study; in chemistry and physics symmetrical and asymmetrical designs play an important role; in music and all the arts symmetry is often considered the basis of aesthetic quality. There are also several types of symmetry that one might want to distinguish. Symmetry can be set off against, but also paired with, two other features that play a similar role in the sciences and the arts: proportion and seriality. Exact symmetry in some instances is too neat, too boring, or simply not possible, yet a set of proportional relationships may be deemed crucial to a particular effect. Proportion can thus be regarded as a more general framework that allows one to set items in relationships to one another, with symmetry being the most perfect of these relationships. The visual arts, especially film and dance, employ proportion and symmetry as kinetic rather than merely static modes. As regards seriality, it is a recursive application of symmetry and repetition, but also a type of design that operates dynamically rather than statically. Besides its obvious relevance to the arts in experiments in seriality in (post)modernist painting, music and literature, seriality plays a central role in mathematics and physics.




“Io non lavoro per i miei contemporanei, lavoro per il futuro” (I don’t work for my contemporaries, I work for the future.)  —Medardo Rosso

…a show at the Waddington Custot Galleries exploring the role of photography in the practice of three sculptors: Auguste Rodin, Constantin Brancusi, and Henry Moore.


Medardo Rosso was ahead of his time, and he knew it.

He was a photographer himself, because he knew that professional photographers weren’t able to properly see his work, to understand and represent it. Their traditional studio methods were not appropriate for his sculptures—so modern, shaped by light and shadows, requiring one single best point of view to be appreciated.


Medardo Rosso, Ecce puer (Behold the child) (c. 1911-14), vintage photographs, private collection.

He also cast his works himself, rather than use a professional foundry like Rodin and other Parisian sculptors did, because he couldn’t entrust the realization of his sculptures to someone else. For Rosso all the material phases of the creative process were intimately intertwined with the concept itself.

Both in sculpture and in photography he worked intensely on repetition and serialization, thinking and rethinking the same subject matters in varied materials (wax, plaster, bronze and for his photography using many kind of papers, different exposures,and different chemical processes for the development).


Among his contemporaries there were other artists—painters in particular—working on the idea of the series, that is also to say exploring a theme in its many various iterations. The best known of these is probably Claude Monet, with his Rouen Cathedrals, his haystacks, and his water lilies.

We can imagine how hard it must have been in the context of the second half of the 19th and the early 20th century for people to deal with Rosso’s photographic series. Here was the new language of photography being used in an extremely experimental way—one that strikes us as contemporary even today.

… We are living in the age of mechanical reproduction, as predicted by the great thinker Walter Benjamin.

Rosso’s photographs were (are) finished and independent works of art. At the same time, they were born from a substantial connection with his sculpture; they offer a way of exploring it at another level. And a way of enlivening the sculptures, too.


CIMA installation view of the Medardo Rosso exhibition, photo by Walter Smalling Jr. Left: Enfant malade, (c. 1908), plaster, Museo Medardo Rosso, Barzio; right: Enfant malade, (1889), wax over plaster, Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas


Medardo Rosso, Enfant malade. private collection; from left to right: (c. 1910, c. 1924, c. 1901-2, c.1909)

The case of the Rieuse is singular in Rosso’s photographic panorama: he realized a dynamic sequence of five pictures by just slightly moving the sculpture from one snapshot to another.


Medardo Rosso, Rieuse (Laughing Woman) (c. 1930s, reprint from the vintage original of c. 1910), private collection

Thanks to a recent visitor to CIMA, illustrator and graphic artist Jonathon Rosen, the Rieusesequence has come to new life.  Rosen… was inspired after his visit to the Rosso show to animate this series, thus revealing its great cinematic potential.


Medardo Rosso, Rieuse (Laughing Woman) (c. 1930s, reprint from the vintage original of c. 1910), private collection



More than Minimalism: The Algorithmic Turn at the Kitchen

by Charles Eppley

In 2016 you’d be hard-pressed to find artists working in any medium who don’t consider the role of technology in their work. But the history of artists’ response to technological innovation has gone underexplored. “From Minimalism into Algorithm,” an ambitious program at the Kitchen unfolding over the 2015-16 season, considers the roles of seriality, speculation and networked communication in art from the 1960s to the present.

A.i.A. spoke to Tim Griffin, the Kitchen’s executive director, about the nonprofit’s history of showing new-media work, its position as a dialogue generator, the role of corporate aesthetics in this exhibition, and more.


CHARLES EPPLEY  The title “From Minimalism into Algorithm” sets up a certain momentum. This exhibition is not about Minimalism necessarily, but rather viewing the practices of Minimalist artists as points of origin . . .

TIM GRIFFIN  . . . or acknowledging our own place even as we look back. The Kitchen is a nonprofit, so we do not have a museum collection to offer the pretense of historical accuracy—perhaps there is no such thing exactly—but one can nevertheless acknowledge one’s position. Certainly that is a reason why artists seem excited by “From Minimalism into Algorithm,” because it’s talking about a contemporary situation, and yet you’re also seeing it with a reflexive historical perspective.

EPPLEY  The curatorial text talks about the ideas of space and place as they informed a theatricality in Minimalism, as well as the increasingly mediated sociospatial contexts of an emergent digital age. … Environmental or mediated space seems to be a core element of the show—a “through line,” as you put it—which connects disparate artistic practices. The show places into dialogue artists who are not often shown together, e.g., Laurie Spiegel and Charles Gaines.


GRIFFIN  There are two ways in which the idea of space is most clearly taken up in this exhibition: the viewer experience, and material conditions. Under the sway of theatricality and phenomenology, the viewer’s traversal of space became a way to complete the object: this was how Minimalism was prominently discussed in its own time. More recently, attention to experience in a postindustrial context has overtaken the object in some regards, and we can ask how that manifests in terms of artistic production and how we relate to objects. And as a corollary to that, our experience of materials is different now than it was 40 or 50 years ago, due to the introduction of new media and various technologies.


EPPLEY  You and others involved in organizing this show are trying to manage this conversation primarily through a theme of seriality. Do you find seriality different than serialism?

GRIFFIN  The exhibition emerged, in part, through looking at the Kitchen’s history and seeing how a seriality in musical composition paralleled a seriality in artistic production. Artists such as Philip Glass and Richard Serra, or Laurie Spiegel and Tony Conrad, were living near each other and seeing each other’s work, and yet that connection has never really been explored or articulated very significantly to my knowledge. If, instead of privileging a vocabulary of visual art, we can look at what happened in musical composition—where, say, the heirs to Philip Glass have literally used algorithms—we might be able to learn something through an analogy to visual art.


EPPLEY  The concept of serialism is complicated when one tries to discern connections between postwar music and art. People play lip service to these connections without, as you say, looking at them with critical nuance or without an aim to find out how these connections manifested. Thinking of Glass as a serialist is interesting, given the weight of the term in music, which associates the concept with composers like Arnold Schoenberg, who wrote atonal music using a 12-tone row system. There is a connection through a mode-mechanized algorithmic composition, but Schoenberg’s music is much different from that of Glass aesthetically and philosophically.

And so regarding the connection of Glass, and perhaps Steve Reich, to serialism broadly, did these works actually point toward a new mode of serialism—or a post-serialism?

GRIFFIN  We are hoping to have evening discussions where this conversation is parsed. For example, Spiegel very much says, well, there is Minimalism and serial repetition, but there is also phasing and gradients. There are a number of musical terminologies that she wants to introduce that might offer interesting implications for visual art.


… EPPLEY  The ideas of serialism and algorithm, if we think of them bluntly, are quite static. Spiegel is referencing, as are many works in the exhibition—such as Molnar’s early use of algorithmic computer illustration and Cheyney Thompson’s paintings composed by the Brownian motion theory in finance—a mode of serialism where algorithmic systems are toppling, folding on themselves, or generating forms beyond a simple concept of repetition. This idea of generative systems as tangential to the artist’s original mark or gesture, setting forms into an ecological system, is striking.


EPPLEY  I am eager to hear what people say about these connections. There is a lot of work to be done because someone can say, okay, consider Philip Glass, Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Yoshi Wada, Charlemagne Palestine, Walter De Maria—the downtown scene had many convergences of avant-garde music and art. But have these intersections been taken for granted?





Google Scholar

Search term ‘Crochet’, anywhere in the article, 1995-2016 – 1st page of results shows mostly authors with this name.

Search term ‘Crochet’, in the title of the article, 1995-2016, not including patients – results from 1st page as follows;


[HTML]Ureteral stent retrieval using the crochet hook technique in females

T Kawahara, H Ito, H Terao, T Yamagishi, T Ogawa… – PloS one, 2012 –

Ureteral stent exchange under fluoroscopic guidance using the crochet hook technique in women

T Kawahara, H Ito, H Terao, Y Yamashita… – Urologia …, 2012 –

[CITATION] Yarn bombing: The art of crochet and knit graffiti

M Moore, L Prain – 2009 – Arsenal Pulp Press

Nickel allergy in patch‐tested female hairdressers and assessment of nickel release from hairdressers’ scissors and crochet hooks

JP Thyssen, K Milting, A Bregnhøj, H Søsted… – Contact …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library

The 42nd crochet: Getting students hooked into a literacy community

M Boyd, S Kneller – The Reading Teacher, 2009 – Wiley Online Library

Geoeffectiveness of solar flares in magnetic crochet (sfe) production: I—Dependence on their spectral nature and position on the solar disk

JJ Curto, LR Gaya-Piqué – Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial …, 2009 – Elsevier

[BOOK] Stitch’n bitch crochet: The happy hooker

D Stoller – 2006 –

[CITATION] Irish Crochet Lace: Motifs from County Monaghan

E d’Arcy – 2003 – Colin Smythe

The crochet hook method of stab avulsion phlebectomy for varicose veins

BE Waddell, MB Harkins, PA Lepage… – The American journal of …, 1996 – Elsevier

[CITATION]Crochet: History & Technique

L Paludan – 1995 – Interweave Press


Search term ‘Crochet semiotic’, anywhere in the article, not including patients – results from 1st page as follows;

Hometown ideology and retailer legitimation: the institutional semiotics of Wal-Mart flyers

SJ Arnold, RV Kozinets, JM Handelman – Journal of Retailing, 2001 – Elsevier
 Next is the heart of the paper—a semiotic analysis of the Wal-Mart flyer  When this semiotically
derived question is posed, the Wal-Mart flyer reveals a considerable amount about the audience 
can help pick each other up just like a family member would do.” The crochet thread is 


[CITATION] Towards a Semiotic Analysis of Incarceration, Entrapment and Creativity among Women

JA Gibbons


Unraveling Crochet

H Sowden – 2015 –
 sweaters, slippers, and hats became feasible (Paludan 1995). The most well-known crocheted
item today, the often many-colored or patch-  transforming leftover yarn into something useful,
and in the 1940s crocheting By the mid-20th century, crochet had firmly exited the 


Publication Date

April 2015


Art Studio, Anthropology


English (United States)


Definitions of craft abound and the way that craft production is delineated from non-craft production at different historical moments highlights changing views on the sometimes-strict and sometimes-blurry dichotomies between the useful and the decorative, art and craft, mind and body, masculine and feminine. This essay explores discourses surrounding craft production beginning in the European Middle Ages and concluding in present day online craft communities. Crochet, an understudied and under-theorized craft form, is used as a case study to highlight the ways in which contemporary craft practices draw upon shifting historical definitions of craft and self-creation, weaving together a tangled history in the elaboration of every craft object and craft-person.


Correction sequences and semiotic resources in ensemble music workshops: the case of Conduction®

D Veronesi – Social Semiotics, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
 Special Issue: Doing (things with) sounds: Music as a site of social semiosis developed so as
to take into account participants’ use of further vocal and visible semiotic resources (prosody,
gestures  [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®] View all references) or to crochet chain stitches 



The paper examines the phenomenon of correction of musical action by analysing ensemble music workshops devoted to Conduction®, a way of making music together on the basis of a codified gestural lexicon addressed by a conductor to instrumentalists. In particular, it focuses on correction sequences initiated by the conductor and related to the musical material to be played and discusses the techniques used by the conductor to construct and sequentially organize correction, showing how these are accomplished through the interplay and mutual contextualization of talk and further audible and visible semiotic resources. Based on the fine-grained analysis of two correction sequences, the study stresses the role of multimodality for investigating music and pedagogy from an interactional perspective, while highlighting the peculiarities of Conduction as performative and educational practice.


Social Fabric

M Hebron – The Journal of Modern Craft, 2013 – Taylor & Francis
 The Flags owe a clear debt to the semiotic queries posed by the Pictures Generation in the
1970s–80s with works by artists like Victor Burgin or Martha  For her Counterfeit Crochet Project
Syjuco invited participants from around the world to make crocheted versions of 


[BOOK]” Proud as a Peacock”: An Historic and Semiotic Analysis of Illustrated” Vogue” Magazine Covers from 1909 and 1911

AM Dreher – 2008 –
 The exploration of these ‘statements’ and related matters falls to semiotics” (Colapietro, 1993,
 generally of cambric, elaborately embroidered or trimmed with embroidery, crochet or lace  Historic
and Semiotic Analysis of Illustrated Vogue Magazine Covers 21 helped American 


[PDF]A multimodal social semiotic approach to jewellery design pedagogy

S Salaam – 2012 –
 alternative materials or techniques which include unconventional processes such as crochet,
felting or  Karlsson (2011) who present an in depth social semiotic argument regarding materiality 
the social and contextual interests of the individual into semiotically shaped materials. 


[CITATION] Ubu and the Signs of the Theater

M Issacharoff – Pre-Text, Text, Context, Robert L. Mitchell ed.( …


[CITATION] The antimacassar in fact and fiction: how textual

A McEwan – Textiles and Text: Re-establishing the Links …, 2007 – Archetype Publications


[CITATION] The more art, the more science: narrative interpretations of art (and life)

S Goett – Working Papers in Art and Design, 2008



‘Search terms’

Currently learning Italian, Spanish, French & German thanks to the DuoLingo app for android. My mum is Italian & Dad’s family came to Australia from Latvia. I’d always wanted mum to teach me Italian but her family is Sicilian and still succumbs to the view that northern Italian is superior, their southern dialect not worthy of passing on. I’d already been exposed to German & French at school, Spanish is again something I’d always wanted to learn, and I’d love to learn Latvian too – but unfortunately there’s no option for that on the app at the moment. Maybe ambitious to learn these all of these at once but I figure I’m making up for lost time, and learning them in parallel allows me to observe the patterns of similarity and difference between languages, encoded in sentence structure, grammar & etymology.

Thinking about semiotics and the ‘filter bubbles’ provided by our search engines, I conducted an experiment exploring the word for ‘crochet’ in different languages. I used Google translate to find out the relevant term, and the googled it (within the english search engine) to see what would come up. I searched for Spanish, Latvian, German & Italian translations.

Interestingly, although the term is different in most languages, image results (from European cultures) consistently reference traditional design motifs.

Google Translate

Search Term : “Crochet”


In spanish : tejer

Google search: tejer


tejer tejer⇒ vtrverbo transitivo: Verbo que requiere de un objeto directo (“di la verdad”, “encontré una moneda”). (tela: formarla con hilos) weave vtrtransitive verb: Verb taking a direct object–for example, “Say something.” “She found the cat.” En esa fábrica tejen tela para camisetas. vtrverbo transitivo: Verbo que requiere de un objeto directo (“di la verdad”, “encontré una moneda”). (tela: formarla con hilos) weave vtrtransitive verb: Verb taking a direct object–for example, “Say something.” “She found the cat.” En esa fábrica tejen tela para camisetas.



In Latvian : tamborēt

Google Search: tamborēt


8 Wonderful Latvian Crochet Blogs (Tamborēt/ Tamborēšana)

July 6, 2012

Crochet Around the World

When I did my roundup of ways to say crochet in 25 languages I listed the Latvian option as tamborēt. I’ve since learned that this is the word for crochet as a verb but if you want to talk about crocheting then the word is tamborēšana. If you want to talk about something that is crochet, a crochet noun, then the word to use is tamborējums (or tamborējumi if it’s plural). And if you’re talking about the people who crochet then the words are: tamborētājs (male), tamborētāja (female), tamborētāji (many people crocheting), tamborētājas (many women crocheting). Thanks so much to Linda Skuja of Eleven Handmade for that helpful information!!!



In german : häkeln

Google Search : häkeln

Translation of wikipedia page on häkeln
(I find german sentence structure really interesting, and it’s entertaining to read Google’s translation back into english)

Rudolf Epp : Girl at crocheting a border

Crocheted doily

Crochet is a method of textile processing , in with yarn and crochet hook are generated mesh and interrelated.

Unlike the smooth knitting needle the crochet hook has a hook at the tip. Using this hook, it is possible to pull the thread through already-made mesh and thus to produce a coherent stitch structure.

Crocheting is a much younger technology than knitting . There are no known crochet pieces that are proven to be dated before the year 1800, during knitting, if known, in the 13th century north of the Alps was practiced.


textile processing



(Redirected from textile )

Various textiles (v. L n.. R .: woven cotton , velvet , printed cotton, calico , felt , satin , silk , burlap , synthetic fibers )

Textiles (to latin textilis, woven ‘, knitted’ braided ‘, together’ for the purposes of building and designing) referred

With the additional use of non-textile raw materials in the product is for allocation to the textiles crucial that the textile overall character remains, therefore exercising foreign materials only an additional function. [1]

Textiles in various forms are among the oldest artifacts that have been produced since the early days of mankind. To date, they are among one of the few categories that are used in all areas of life of people applying.For these reasons, have for millennia extensive areas that deal with textiles, evolved. These include:

  • the textile technology with its special production process , ranging from the preparation of the fibers after their production in agriculture and their production in the chemical fiber industry on the production of textile semifinished and finished products to packaging of the finished textile products,
  • textile materials and goods customer,
  • the textile testing and Standardization,
  • the application techniques in the various fields of application and
  • whose artistic , craft , cultural , cultural-historical and ethnographic aspects.





In Italian :  uncinetto

Google Search : uncinetto

Wikipedia page translated:

Dell’uncinetto origins 

The origins of crochet work are ancient and, as in the case of other textile arts, difficult to track, but have been found primitive examples in every corner of the globe, in the Far East , in Africa , Europe , North America and South and examples they already find themselves in Egyptian culture .

Sometimes the hook has been worked out for hooks with very fine yarns which produced a delicate fabric similar to lace , or has been worked with thicker yarns on large hooks giving origin to a compact and dense tissue.

This second type of crochet was used by the Chinese to manufacture dolls three-dimensional, by Africans who used it to manufacture the headgear of their chieftains, by the Turks to create hats and Scotland to make hats and heavy coats.

The milder form of crochet originated in Italy in the sixteenth century and it was mainly used by the nuns to make decorations and vestments for the church .

(no references????)



Crochet is a French term. I wasn’t sure how to search for the french wiki and then translate the page to english, so from the english article on the practice;


The word crochet is derived from the Old French crochet, a diminutive of croche, in turn from the Germanic croc, both meaning “hook”.[3] It was used in 17th-century French lace making, crochetage designating a stitch used to join separate pieces of lace, and crochet subsequently designating both a specific type of fabric and the hooked needle used to produce it. Although that fabric is not known to be crochet in the present sense, a genealogical relationship between the techniques sharing that name appears likely.[4]

4 . Santina M. Levey, Lace: a History, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1983, ISBN 090128615X, p. 92


But then I figured it out;

Hook (needle)

hook is a kind of needle provided with a notch at one end for holding the wire with which it is possible to perform various works in stitches . The hook is a “cousin” of knitting needles straight.

By extension, it is a technique to tie a wire into a more or less stretchy fabric, depending on the fiber and the type of stitch used.

The term also refers to the book ( lace , lace , doily , etc.) done with this needle. Making a crochet says “crochet”. The hook is used for decoration inside a house as a place mat or a curtain, for example.

Used with wire wool and relatively high diameters, it can be used for making continuous fabrics, which have all the virtues of knitting , although a little less elastic. Thus you can create clothes.

*again no references. Frames the practice within domestic environments.

The White Review

[Excerpts from]




…The paradoxically titled YIELDING STONE (1992), for instance, consists of a black lump of plasticine formed in the weight of the artist’s own body. The work is rolled onto the street where this highly malleable and greasy material absorbs whatever residue it encounters….

…YIELDING STONE does not mark the external world but is inscribed with it. Put differently,the work inhabits the world but is also inhabited by it. And secondly, unlike AUTOMOBILE TIRE PRINT, a ‘happening’ that took place only in the moment of its occasion, YIELDING STONE awaits its future actualisation.

…If the work is nostalgic it is not because it harks back to some idealised past but because it is nostalgic for the futureYIELDING STONE is in a perpetual process of becoming. Even as it sits on the gallery floor, isolated and quiescent, it is weighed down by gravity and absorbs the dust on which it rests. One might also say that it is marked, every moment, by the sensation of time.

The enigmatic materiality of this artwork is echoed in LINTELS (2001). Here sheets of lint – the grey stuff leftover in the filters of drying machines – have been hung on several rows of washing line, as though Orozco was hanging his dirty laundry in public. Beyond this bathos, what is of interest is the transience of the material used. Lint is made of human hair and dust, which is made of dead skin cells, as well as fluff. This is the detritus of quotidian life, the stuff we would rather forget about, infinitesimal traces of our own mortality. When compressed in the filter the material is held together, but only temporarily. Pablo Picasso once wrote that ‘art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’. This work, however, will return to dust. The air must be full of it. Like YIELDING STONE, a work conscious of its temporal essence, LINTELS internalises its own impermanence. Construction becomes inseparable from dispersal. The artwork, then, is just a hiatus. Like life.

Yet, like the synecdochal nature of the works I have considered so far, the metonymy between spit and life is an odd one and warrants closer attention. In his CRITICAL DICTIONARY, Georges Bataille wrote the following definition of the term ‘Formless’, a definition that seems particularly relevant to a work like FIRST WAS THE SPITTING. Indeed, one wonders whether Orozco had it in mind:


For academics to be content, the universe would have to assume a form. All of philosophy has no other goal: it is a matter of fitting what is there into a formal coat, a mathematical overcoat. On the other hand to assert that the universe resembles nothing else and is only formless comes down to stating that the universe is something like a spider or spit.[2]


In FIRST WAS THE SPITTING the use of graph paper – a ‘mathematical overcoat’, stands in deliberate contrast to the formless accumulation of spit in the centre of the page. This could be interpreted as a re-introduction of the somatic and the aleatory into the hard-edged, mathematical reductivism of minimalism. This in turn could be read more widely as a reaction against the increased rationalisation of life in a ‘totally administered world’, to borrow Theodor W. Adorno’s now famous expression. At the same time, however, the graphite and ink markings which expand like constellations or rhizomes around each of the stains exist in a precarious balance. Sometimes the organic substance seems to dictate the composition. At other times Orozco has drawn over the spit and replaced the graph paper’s rigid lines, ‘fitting what is there into a formal coat’.


This is arguably indicative of attentiveness to the violence of a representational economy. In other words, the awareness that the formless cannot be manifested directly without giving it shape. Once the formless – the non-identical, becomes an object of reflexive consciousness, it loses its subversive quality precisely because it is identified as formless. This, then, is something like the contradictory endeavour that preoccupied many of the Surrealists: the conscious manifestation of unconscious drives.


Except that I believe Orozco is more aware of the paradox of representing the unrepresentable than the Surrealists were. This is not only because his works undermine the possibility of full representation, although this certainly forms part of it. Rather, is it because the artist purposely produces irresolvable tensions. Another example of a work that supports this argument is BLACK KITES (1997), a human skull covered in a strict geometric pattern of black and white rhombi. Like FINGER RULER DRAWING,here the Cartesian plane – the permanent idea, is adapted to the contours of the skull – the transitory substance. The oppositions that inhere in both these works: the organic and the inorganic; the corporeal and the cerebral; the rational and the irrational; the transitory and the timeless; and, in the case of BLACK KITES, drawing and sculpture (Orozco was to describe the work with the words ‘Object made image’[3]), are products of different kinds of articulations that produce as well as negate each other, deliberately subverting simplistic bifurcations. Where exactly is the interface anyway?


…The problem the works ultimately raise, I think, is this: can culture be political, which is to say critical and even subversive, or is it necessarily co-opted and subsumed by the social system of which it is a product?






6-sided experiment in the series of scale, 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 5mm

SLR Documentation


Notes: The relationship between thread density, hook size & resulting rigidity of form is becoming more apparent as I work through this aspect of the practical research. It seems that if the width of the yarns (combined) is less than the width of the hook, the form will be loose/flexible, while if the width of the yarns (combined) is more than the width of the hook, the form will become rigid.



Woven while listening to Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

This book has an incredibly strong and inspiring female lead character and a narrative entwining the use of an artful power called ‘light weaving’, involving the drawing of pictures which are then projected into 3d illusions. I’m very much into fantasy that manages to incorporate the ‘magic’ of art & music, plus the female lead made it extra enjoyable.




The Radius of each circle is 12

Process of Construction

Camera phone documentation