art | work

Labor Sister Sampler 1824-1999 | 2016

Hand and machine knit for Hillary Clinton
120 x 60 inches

Labor Sister Sampler 1824-1999 is a 10 foot wide knitted timeline of women's labor history. Fifty motifs represent moments in each state where women played key roles in labor history. The artwork was created for the historic presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, to highlight the labor movement that informed her candidacy. Created for Artists for Hillary: Jenny Holzer, Maya Lin, Cat Mazza, Eileen Myles, Cruz Ortiz, Carrie Mae Weems and documented here. The needlework was hand and machine knitted from Nov 2015 - Aug 2016 and launched on Labor Day 2016. It is now archived on this microsite. Timeline in list format here.

microRevolt video

Documentation of microRevolt | social practice
Since 2003.

This video documents the workshops, performances and activism of microRevolt, which connect craft, technology and labor activism. The project started to investigate the dawn of sweatshops in early industrial capitalism to inform the current crisis of global expansion and the feminization of labor. Mostly shot on DV tape in the mid-2000s, the footage was taken on tours to various knitting circles, art or activist spaces. Projects highlighted include knitPro and the Nike Blanket Petition. Co-editted by Penny Lane. Soundtrack by Suzanne Thorpe. video link.

Knit for Defense | 2012

Moving Image, 9:00 min
Smithsonian American Art Museum collection

Knit for Defense is an animation at the intersection of craft, labor and combat, exploring the aesthetics of war in film in an animation of knit stitches. Knit for Defense is created from archival footage and historical artifacts, sounds from knitting machines and textile processes, threading together footage from World War II, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when wartime knitting was in practice. Knit motifs of tanks, planes, ships and drones animate a cinema of combat, reflecting on war from a pixelated distance. Sound design: Jesse Stiles.

Support from Creative Capital | Artist Interview | Q & A with Jenny Gill | Weekend Edition NPR Are All Young Artists 'post 9/11' artists?

Stitch for Senate | 2007-2009

100 Hand and Machine Knit balaclavas
10 x 12 x 10/each

Stitch for Senate was a pro-peace initiative of knit hobbyists making helmet liners for every United States senator in the lead up to the 2008 election. Building on the history of wartime knitting, a practice dating back to the American Revolution, Stitch for Senate used the tradition of political organizing within knitting circles as a space for discussion, skillsharing and protest. Hobbyists knitted to persuade elected officials to support the troops by bringing them home. Every senator received their own helmet liner, mailed on President Obama's Inaguration. Of the 100 senators who received the headwear, Bernie Sanders (VT), Harry Reid (NV), Russ Feingold (WI), Orrin Hatch (UT) Jim DeMint (SC), Byron Dorgan (ND), Michael Enzi (WY), John Cornyn (TX), Daniel Inouye (HI) & James Inhofe (OK) and Tom Udall (NM) sent replies. | ongoing

workshops, performances, web media
Launched 2003. is a website whose projects connect craft, technology and labor activism. The site launched in 2003 to "investigate the dawn of sweatshops in early industrial capitalism to inform the current crisis of global expansion and the feminization of labor." The site hosts knitPro-- a free web application that translates digital images into needlecraft patterns, as well as other projects such as the Nike Blanket Petition, 146+, logoknits, Stitch for Soldier and the KnitPro Needlecraft Art Show.
2007 Prix Ars Electronica
Interview: We Make Money Not Art

Nike Blanket Petition | 2003-2008

Crochet and knit; natural and synthetic yarns; web media
15 x 5.5 feet

From 2003-2008, a diverse group of international knit and crochet hobbyists participated in the microRevolt project-- the Nike Blanket Petition, a 15-foot wide handmade blanket of the Nike swoosh. Each 4 x 4 inch square creates the Nike logo, acting as a signature for fair labor policies for Nike garment workers. Over the five-year period, "anti-sweatshop" squares were stitched into the quilt-- representing people petitioning from over 30 countries. Squares accumulated from microRevolt workshops and exhibition tours, though many were donated from global knitting circles by post-mail. The Nike Blanket has been on view at the Musée Bargoin (Clermont-Ferrand, France); the Victoria and Albert Museum (London); the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland); the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney) the Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto) among many other venues. Much more here

Electroknit Grid Paintings | 2016

Digital Drawings | 2016