reaching autopoiesis (Final Notes)

In May 2014 Needlefeed & Company officially closed. After many years of quiet hibernation and stillness the site had to be reconsidered. As of now it acts as an archive of production and process – both of which were lead by the Brother DB2-B791-015. The site will remain here as long as possible, but is now an index, an archive, and officially a project.

What started as a complete investigation into industrial sewing and it’s various machinery became a quest of sorts pulling materials and ideas together to think about the way things are made and why. Not for sake of commerce or not. But rather for sake of formal considerations, the literal point where shape-values were constructed from physical materials. As the site progressed the articles became more and more invested in projects, sewn products built on the bed of the Brother DB2-B791-015. And as those products materialized, the time for notation became less and less, to the point that the sewing was only followed by visual documentation. Eventually the products, the projects, the ideas, and the notions, the thoughts and the pondering all happened within the studio. Of course this studio wasn’t just a location housing tools, it was a hive mind of machinery, contexts, experiences, conceptualizing, relating, critiquing, and disguising. In a way, NFCO had come to completion well before the projects did, even though the site insisted on little steps forward. From late summer of 2010 all the way through the winter of 2013/2014 the process continued but at such a rapid and abstract pace that the text had to be put aside. The motions jumped from one side to another, and the projects and process became more and more conceptual. The potential for creation had reached the point in which it truly had sorted itself out. NFCO had undergone autopoiesis and found it no longer needed to format itself in this site.

Perhaps over time some of these moments, some of these ghost moments, the lost parts, the lost articles, the lost thoughts will come back together. Perhaps when they do, they will form into a map of everything that NFCO had become, and now can be. A diagram – a place to push our fingers about and feel the texture of material become.

Thank you, tony

[december acknowledgment]

!!! There has been a growing interest in work-wear that leans on nostalgia for design and aesthetics. In terms of design, people are becoming more and more engrossed with knowing where their items come from and how they are made (by hand, by machine, by nanotechnology). In terms of aesthetics, well, the aesthetics are following suit. If something is made by hand, it seems more evident than it used to be, and if something is made by machine it too is more evident, and if something is made with advanced digital and rapid-prototyping technology it is evident in the fact that it is hard to describe how the thing was made at all. An estimation: with the proliferation of DIY, Etsy, recycling, home-crafting: the people who are making their own items are unconsciously choosing to show the hand in the work. Thus glitches are embellished, flaws are admired, and problem areas become something to draw attention to. With the middle ground of common machine-made, machine-aided products there is less signification as to how involved the machine was in the things construction. The machine-made item bares it’s typical marks; little pokes of plastic where the componentry used to be attached to it’s mass produced twins all in a long line waiting to be separated so that they can meet their lifelong mates, burnished areas in very specific places, strangely all the burnishing is identical, different outcroppings of glue and other advanced bonding agents. It is the middle machine, the machine-made item that stands out. The middle machine product has both the nuance of hand made objects, and the odd moments of circulation withing manufacturing which takes the specific and makes it utterly imperceptible as significant because of the way it reduces the attraction of two !!! nuance which is almost impossible to make !!!

[november acknowledgment]

Taking with, considering, using, looking, at the alterations made over the last month or so, in November the motions continued on. This time altering two pairs of jeans. Reconstructing their make-up and dividing their parts to be mended again in a different way. One jean blue, the other black, both asking for a slimmer leg, and a run with the serger we have been borrowing for many weeks now. As always, taking advantage of the indeterminate chain-stitch, we were able to quickly pull the sewing out of the the inner leg of both pairs, like opening a potato sack. Searching through for a good image of a chain-stitch provided few results, but that said, the idea of the chain-stitch is an odd one, as – if you find the top of one, you can pull the whole thing out with one long swoop. The chain-stitch is quite unlike the usual lock-stitch that most people’s home machines utilize, and even most industrial machines utilize. Further research will be needed to explain why the stitch came to be and why it is still used. While the discourse of the jeans has lead to the chain-stitch, it also leads to the serger used to sew the seams back together after receiving some trim-work. The serger employs an overlock-stitch (sometimes called a Merrow stitch, as Merrow was the first company to produce sergers/overlockers). The overlock-stitch is a bundle of neatly distributed tangles that hold the ends of a given material in such a way that no fraying will happen over the garments life cycle. Often there is a sharp knife that cuts the fabric just before it is stitched, allowing the thread-fencing to lean perfectly upon the edge of the material. This bit of tension is what aids in any extraneous fibers running amok.

Self Reflexivity in Materials – Mind-Body Problem

These variables in stitching-mechanics create the potential in objects made with sewing machines, and/or sewn with the human hand. The sheer amount of stitching patterns is almost infinite, each group leading to the next. This leads the mind to think about all the various meshes and woven materials that surround us on a daily basis. The idea of weaving a sheet of fabric with many yarns is like making a flat knot that can be folded and sewn into a voluminous object, all from just yarn converging together in a very precise pattern. Then comes knitting and crocheting, which is akin to building surfaces with more apparent voids and striations in the material, lending to the overall things ability to move and absorb the environment it is placed in/over/around. This repetitive patterning, pattern making, and pattern building is at the very center of the sewn world, expanding out from looms weaving back and forth with a continuous yarn forming the weft; across – over and under – the many warp yarns, to sewing, to the sailors knotting with ropes. This intricate type of knotting is a doubling over of materials just as weaving is, creating a blossoming affect which intertwines back into itself to generate/regenerate a new pattern from the exact same materials – to be used in a different way, with a different purpose. In this sense, the binding of yarn is the core of sewing and textiles, it is doubling and tripling itself at every moment in different ways from a center-body. All the myriad of forms that this twisting and pulling in radial(?) and lateral(?) motions result in specific-objects or circumstances of two objects becoming one, which then esablish a control over the yarn unto itself that is putting together another fashioning of its own body mirroring back to the central region of establishment.