About: A collaborative project that I designed and co-managed, consisting of an animated embroidery. The final design was a light quilt and a box in which lay a tablet showing a series of GIFs of the animated embroidery, shown at HAYP 9.0: Down Shift. 

Skills and processes: designing and managing a collaborative project; embroidery; animation.

The repetitive in, out, in, out rhythm of stitching; the looped GIF, capturing a moment’s feeling; the kisses of a lover on another’s body. These are some of the few chances given to us in our world to live in a moment, to suspend our constant thinking about past and future to focus purely on the present. These repetitive actions are without an end or a goal; they offer an outlet for emotions without hope of an outcome.

Our piece is a counter to the instantaneous gratification offered by internet pornography. In contrast to fast, graphic, violent digital images, we offer something more intimate, slow and sensuous through the medium of stop-motion embroidery. For us, sex is not a race to the climax of orgasm, but a chance to come home to ourselves, to bring ourselves into the present by fully focusing on our own bodies and our sensations and those of our lovers.

In our piece, women are not objects, as they frequently are in internet pornography. They have agency both within the narrative, to give and receive pleasure for themselves and in their own time, and over the narrative, since all the designers and embroiderers are women. In this way, we take an art once used as a way of silencing and domesticating women, and we instead reclaim it to tell our own narrative of sexuality and sexual pleasure and liberty, refusing to allow society to shame us into repression and objectification.