i have futzed around with the pages presented at the top of this blog, and you might notice that the category that was just for knitting and stitching work has become two categories — one from a decade ranging from 2003 to 2013, and one that is current. i’ve mentioned here recently (relative to my posting here at all) that our household and family have undergone some changes in dynamics and so has life as far as knitting and stitching is concerned.
the biggest change is that almost everything i am working on now or have planned as far as original knitting is concerned (not stuff like christmas stockings and homey stuff necessarily) is collaborative work.
the first significant thing i completed in 2014, with my collaborative partner, tucker collins, was made in response to a proposal i had been asked to submit to the COLLAGE festival, a specifically collaborative and low-budget arts and performance festival in philadelphia.
tucker is a scientist and is perhaps a little didactic, and he had been trying to explain what metafemales were, and it soon became apparent to me that knitting one might not take much longer than listening to his explanation itself, and possibly be more enjoyable. he understood, up until the very end, more than i did about the syndrome, and i’m sure he still does. but he succeeded in teaching me, eventually, what it was, and how we were expressing it in our piece.
and, this was the first thing we knit together, which was very satisfying, as i had been carrying needles and yarn in my bag in hopes of catching tucker at a weak moment in which i could teach him to knit, since he was seventeen. it only took two years. he has gotten very good in the past year. you may not be able to see it perfectly from this photo, but that’s a hell of a way to freehand a pair of human feet, much less female genitalia.
here was the statement we made about the piece for COLLAGE:
In placental mammals, males have one X chromosome, while females have two. The body compensates for the presence of two X chromosomes in females by randomly inactivating one of them during development. The pattern of inactivation is maintained, and thus a form of mosaicism, visible or otherwise, is exhibited. A well-known example of the visibility of this mosaicism is the calico cat, whose pattern is a result of this phenomena. Less, or not visible at all, is the mosaicism present in all females.
In Metafemales, who occur in about one in a thousand human women, the mosaic formed during development contains not just two X’s, but three. Still, despite the extra X chromosome, only one of them can be expressed, and instead two must be inactivated. The triple-X condition will go unnoticed in most cases, the syndrome being nearly symptomless.
This project depicts genetic mosaicism in human females with Triple X-syndrome (Metafemales). In this knitted sculpture, the inactivated chromosomes are shown as hard, compact articles (beads, buttons, etc.) representing their suppressed potential. (suppressed information IS always more interesting than what’s out in the open, isn’t it?)
The expression of the active chromosomes are shown with knitted red and blue V’s, like small messages in transit or arrowheads in flight.
Our Metafemale has taken on the stance of the Hanged Man from the Tarot, who is suspended upside down in order to meditate on life. On the molecular level, she has an augmented level of suspended potential for activity than normal women, and so on a greater level she herself has become this alternate symbol of suspension.
For more information on Triple X-syndrome and female mosaicism: http://ebookee.org/Females-Are-Mosaics-X-Inactivation-and-Sex-Differences-in-Disease_130415.html
so this is still a very new thing — finding a person with whom you do not necessarily want to sit and make things along side of, but with whom you want to make things TOGETHER. it is imperfect and it is not smooth.
his timelines do not work like mine do. my stress, when things are down to the wire, has me expending a lot of energy talking about how we need to just give up. he never wants to. we finish things. and we are working on things we were working on together a year ago, still. COLLAGE, and the exhibition of the metafemale, happened in the weekend that marked the one year anniversary of tucker’s life in our household.
and here are some photos of other things that were going on at COLLAGE. you had to give it a little time to get under the surface; then it really was interesting. we were delighted that arun was still visiting and was part of our evening!