27 2 / 2012
Discussion: YarnbombingI’ve been struggling with posting about my personal thoughts on yarnbombing for quite some time. I’m still formulating my ideas, but I just wanted to repost projectcraftivism and write a few words in response. projectcraftivism’s post focuses on the environmental impact of yarnbombing and offers a number of valid points. Personally, my struggle with yarnbombing is whether it qualifies as “craftivism”. As of right now, I feel that all yarnbombing is not created equal. Some yarnbombing is political and thus I feel that it is truer to the idea of craftivism. Other examples of yarnbombing are purely art while other examples tend to seem more like graffiti tags - they exist as they are but they don’t gives us enough information. I post and repost a lot of examples of yarnbombing on this Tumblr. My intent is to explore all the examples, whether or not I feel they “qualify” as craftivism. I think “qualify” at this point is completely personal, much like art, everyone has their own qualifications, but especially because discussion on craftivism is still quite limited, no consensus has been reached. There has been much ink spilled about whether craft is art or is not art let alone where and when craftivism becomes art, craft or activism. Please feel free to post your thoughts.
I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about “yarnbombing.” In truth, i’m not overly excited about it. I guess some things that put me off about it is that I’ve seen posts with “yarn ornaments” made from things like plastic garbage bags. A big concern for me is the use of non-biodegradable fibers being left to add to the degradation of our already suffering environment and wildlife via pollution. If you are using natural fibers, are they plant based? Or did they come from the fur of an animal? If so, have you stopped to consider the fact that chances are that non-human animal was abused, kept captive for the entirety of their short life, and exploited for money? I choose to not use fur in my projects, but can anyone really justify wasting this blood stained fur (animal wool = fur) merely to hang around a bike rack? I certainly would not be able to. Click here and here for more info on this cruel industry. Oh, and here if you want to see how they treat rabbits (angoras) when they rip their fur off their bodies. And yes, there are SO many alternatives just as beautiful and cruelty-free….Anyway…
My other concern is the fact that people have started covering trees in yarn. As a fellow tumblr blogger posted, there’s no reason to cover trees or any other natural structures. In their own rights, they are already beatiful. However, from an enviromental aspect, doing this just is not healthy for the tree nor the plants and animals that depend on these trees for their survival. For example, did you know there are moths and other ecologically important insects that depend on the color of bark to blend in and hide from their predators? What about birds whose tiny, fragile legs can get caught in the yarn? Or what about all the other wildlife that make their homes on that tree? Then, there’s the tree itself, some trees drop new “shoots” from the trunk but this may be inhibited by the yarn or air plants that grow on some trees/tree trunks maybe be prevented from taking root, which would affect the plant itself and all the wildlife dependent on them (seriosuly, everything is connected!). Then there’s the growth of the tree itself - how tight is that yarn? I can keep listing reasons, but I am sure you get the picture. In essence, adding non-natural things into a natural environment, where they do not exist, is bound to f*ck up some natural process or interaction.
My next concern is feeling like I am wasting perfectly good yarn that could have been made into something for someone in need (whether human or non-human). Now, I am trying to keep an open mind about it, and even looked through some yarn bombing books, but found myself less than inspired when one of the books described the point of “yarnbombing” as a way to keep your hands busy, allows you to creating other than clothes, it’s portable, allows for little planning, etc….these are hardly reasons that excite me to take part in yarnbombing when there are so many other projects that fit into the same category, and I can justify.
I DO like the idea of making something lackluster into something bright and bringing a smile into someone’s face by surprising them with a little bit of color and cheer. I did see a project where they created little knitted pockets filled with hardy plants and hung them around the city in very ugly areas. However, I still feel a bit of concern over the above listed reasons.
I can also see it as a means of making a political statement though, but so far, I have not seen any yarnbombing other than around bike racks, etc….
SO, i’m asking you guys….do you “yarnbomb”, why, and how is this changing the world? If you coud inspire me to take part in it, what would you say to me? I’m looking for your opinions…
All this typed up with one good arm..boooyaaaaah ;P
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