the Attachment Project - 2002 - 2008
at∙tach∙ment\ 1. the state of being personally attached 2. affectionate regard 3. the physical connection by which one thing is attached to another 4. the process of physically attaching
Attachment theory looks at the fundamental questions of emotional life: How are our personalities formed? How do our early relationships with our parents affect our relationships with others when adults? The debate over these questions often plays out in the daily headlines of newspapers through issues such as daycare, foster care, adoption, and parental leave. The Attachment Project looks at the intersection of the fiber arts and attachment theory. It doesn’t propose to answer the fundamental questions of emotional life, merely investigate them.
My interest in this subject stems from my experience as a mother and the nature of the bond between my daughter and myself. Knitting has a history that is both personal and public. As I knit I frequently think of my daughter, but I also think of the homeless guy standing on the same corner everyday as I pass on my way to work. When I don’t see him I can’t help but wonder how he is and whether he has found a safe and warm place to be.
My interest in large scale performances incorporating knitted garments branched out from this concern with my connection to others outside of my personal sphere. A strong community is like a knitted garment, each loop is connected and dependent on all the others. Miss a stitch and the garment will eventually unravel. Knitters came together in public squares during both World War I and II to knit garments for the troops. Projects such as Project Linus which provides handknit blankets to children in crisis throughout the United States illustrates that this communal spirit is still alive today.
Attachment , sisters
I invited 50 people to invite one person of their choosing with whom they feel a strong bond. They were to then choose a garment that best symbolized their relationship. These sisters chose each other and worked at using their scooters in tandem while attached to each other by the hats. As one said, two minds are better than one.
This was an interactive community performance at the Chicago Cultural Center for Looptopia in May 2008. The public was invited to pick a garment that best symbolized the relationship with their friend, date or sibling.