Since each of us was several, there was quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as fartherest away. (Deleuze & Guattari, in the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, 3)

About This Project & Where It Goes Next

I set out to explore the process of writing a weblog and the relevance of this to my research and writing practice. I discovered the experience to be a positive one. The challenge is now to continue the blog and widen it to explore connections between the theories of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (plus other writers encountered in the process) and textiles with the aim of collecting a reservoir of ideas for future writing on the subject.  

1st Annual International Conference on Contemporary Cultural Studies (CS2013)

Singapore, December 2013

Panel: 'Material Culture'
Paper: Quilts as indicators of Material Culture 

Space/Globalization Conference

University of Cergy-Pontoise, France 31 May - 1 June 2012

Organized by the CICC (Centre for Comparative Research on Civilizations and Cultural Identities) and the SARI (Research Centre on Indian Cultures), the conference looked at globalization as a form of multiplicity, instead of standardization, using cross-cultural contributions from different academic disciplines.

Performing the Quilt (2): identities of the collective and the individual, the material and the virtual
The opportunity to develop this blog further came in an email inviting me to submit an abstract for a conference on Space/Globalization to be held in Paris in late May this year (2012). One of the organisers, Deborah Jenner had come across this blog and was interested in what I've been saying about cyberspace-blog-patchworks.

The abstract: This paper will explore the patchwork in terms of a Deleuzian smooth space, the material manifestation of a concept that marks out networked, relational and transverse space, and has the potential to link the most similar and the most disparate of ideas.

The research will take two reference points. The first will be an exhibition, 'South Asian Seams: Quilts from India, Pakistan & Bangladesh' at the International Quilt Study Centre & Museum in Lincoln Nebraska, which I visited in October 2010 (and where I gave the first 'Performing the Quilt' paper). The second starting point will be childhood memories of Quetta Pakistan, and the discovery four years ago of a collection of family photographs from that time.

The research will be documented in this weblog and explored within the framework of a critical analysis where the location (or site) of the writer's engagement with an art work--whether physical or virtual, from recent or distant memory--is examined in terms of their emotional and conceptual response, as well as academic theory.

Development of this blog:

This research project and its associated blog began in response to a call for papers to be presented at the 12th Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Textiles and Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyberspace held in October 2010 (the program for which is on-line).

The blog offers the opportunity to collect and collate ideas, then identify connections/disconnections between them while making links--to quote the conclusion to my paper;
What I had thought would be an evolution in my writing and research practice had in fact become a revolutiona ‘turn around’ in my thinking—with the intriguing possibility: it is not ‘I’ who am performing the quiltit is the quilt that is performing ‘me’. Thus I find that the blog, like the patchwork quilt offers the possibility of a self-regenerating text that operates in a smooth space. Furthermore, an analysis of the weblog requires the writer to organize the text within a striated space demonstrating, as argued by Deleuze and Guattari, that one type of space is continually being translated into the other and the two only exist in a combinationjust as a quilt requires an outer edge, a binding, to be complete.
The complete text of this first paper can be viewed (and downloaded) at :

Introduction to the original project:
Certain quilts by Judy McDermott, Pamela Fitzsimons and Emma Rowden interrogate specific places (sites)  within New South Wales--a gaol (Long Bay), a place of natural but endangered beauty (the Bow Wow Gorge) and, a former mental asylum and now Sydney College of the Arts (Callan Park). They expose many and varied voices: those of the 'bad' and the 'mad', the institution, alternative notions of home, and concepts of time. Each artist also taps into a subtext of what is public and what is private, producing works that challenge notions of the quilt form.

This blog--also a 'site' but one found in cyberspace--will explore whether there are parallels between the  making of a quilt and the writing of a blog. I have also set up an additional three (linked) blogs which will document my research into the specific works by each artist. Contrasting notions of space, cyberspace and the Internet (and the quilt) are of particular interest.

'Performance ' is a central as to how the presentation itself is envisaged, there will also be a 'paper' -  the project in written form - that will be included in the proceedings of the conference. This allows me to explore the inherent differences between the spoken and the written.

Documenting the process/the experience/sensation of this project is fundamental--I set out to gain knowledge of Deleuze & Guatarri's ideas on space without having used them before in analysis of the quilt form. I am finding them exciting 'in practice' but difficult 'in theory'. Flux, the notion of be-coming and sensation seem to be more important then arriving at the definitive (an ultimate challenge--bringing the artist and scientist, the right and left sides of brain together!).

Thursday, August 19 2010
This morning the guidelines for the TSA presentation arrived.  I am giving my paper (this paper) in a session entitled: Cyber Space: Art Yarn to Fiber R/Evolution on Thursday October 7. Thankfully they do not require the paper in its final form until then, so I have time to continue working on this blog while also writing the paper itself and developing the presentation (performance).
The title of the session gives me the structure for my presentation...

  • Cyberspace and the internet
  • Space; smooth versus striated
  • Yarn as noun (long rambling story) or verb (to tell such a story, talk or chat), 'art' as prefix and we can move into the discourses of art and culture (ie Deleuze and Guatarri) 
  • Fiber  a thread, filament and also, 'the structure, grain or character of something' (OED)
...the structure of the quilt and the internet explored through the writing of a blog(s)

[Note: I have explored the structure of the paper further in my 'Blogbook'  entry made today, Monday August 30]

Tuesday, August 24
Three further pages have been added to this blog with specific details of each of the quilts chosen for this project: 'Love Will Nail You To The Cross', 'The Lost Birds' series and, 'Reconfiguring The Wall'.  These Pages are found along the top of this blog.

Wednesday, September 22
The paper itself is due by December 1 2010, giving time for discussion and development

December 1
The paper, 'Performing the Quilt: from the block to the blog and back again' was submitted to the Textile Society of America to be included in the Conference Proceedings.

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