International Art English – around the web

I recall earlier this year there was a large discussion about “International Art English” (IAE) on some of the mail lists – on empyre-l, nettime-l, and articles on triple canopy and hyperallergic & the guardian newspaper site.

there was a conference held this year on the topic also — “Critical Language — A forum on International Art English”. I’ve posted the blurb below for reference. I’ve asked them if there was a recording of the sessions to listen to. will add links if they reply.

some other articles about it:

users guide to international art english — on the Guardian website

When Artspeak Masks Oppression — on hyperallergic

International Art English — on triple canopy

Grayson Perry talks about it in the 2013 Reith Lectures


Critical Language
A forum on International Art English
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, April 6, 2013, 4:00–6:00 p.m.
$5 suggested donation

“International Art English,” published in Triple Canopy in July, has circulated widely and generated debates about the relationship between language, legibility, and power in the art world. The authors of the article, Alix Rule and David Levine, analyze a corpus of press releases circulated by e-flux in order to describe the language of contemporary art. They trace the particularities of this language to English translations of critical texts published in the 1970s in journals like October. The widespread use of the Internet has, they argue, accelerated the development of IAE, turning it into a kind of lingua franca; the proliferation of international variations—French IAE, Scandinavian IAE, Chinese IAE—ends up diluting the authority of critics, “traditionally the elite innovators of IAE.” Given these developments, Rule and Levine ask: “Can we imagine an art world without IAE? Without its special language, would art need to submit to the scrutiny of broader audiences and local ones? Would it hold up?”

With this forum, Triple Canopy hopes to provoke a critical response to the article, consider questions and perspectives eschewed by the authors, and solicit the perspectives of those who work with (or resist working with) IAE, whether they are critics, curators, educators, or publicists. Specifically, the discussion will focus on the political implications and uses of IAE, within and outside of the art world. “Thanks to International Art English, the artist can still appear vaguely subversive and the host state committed to openness, a mutual saving of face,” writes Mostafa Heddaya in a recent essay for Hyperallergic. How does such “critical” language direct attention away from the suppression of political dissent, especially when employed by institutions—and their proxies—operating in environments marred by human-rights violations, such as China and the UAE (or even the US)? How does obfuscation slip into propaganda? And do those who regularly produce IAE experience the language as burdensome or liberating, a welcome tool for the diffusion of power or another step toward a global standard of ambiguity and opacity?

The forum will be facilitated by Nathalie Anglès, Wenzel Bilger, Lauren Cornell, Mariam Ghani, Mostafa Heddaya, David Levine, Alexander Provan, Yael Reinharz, Alix Rule, Lumi Tan, and Hrag Vartanian.


Grayson Perry – The Reith Lectures 2013

I had a listen to the first lecture of Grayson Perry – The Reith Lectures 2013 a couple of weeks ago. I loved his comments and disregard (?) of the artworld and his analysis of International Art English language.

since coming across this, I heard also that Grayson Perry and Brian Eno are working together. I can’t wait to see/hear what comes of this collaboration!

the BBC blurb:
“The award-winning artist Grayson Perry presents the 2013 BBC Reith Lectures, titled Playing to the Gallery. Across four programmes he discusses what makes him an artist, the limits of contemporary art, how to gauge the quality of new artworks and the future of the avant-garde.” – podcasts of the lectures & related material – Democracy Has Bad Taste: Grayson Perry: Playing to the Gallery: 2013 Episode 1 of 4

I see that the first lecture is also available on youtube

Grayson Perry- Reith Lecture No.1: Democracy Has Bad Taste


Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth conference

this weekend in the UK the “Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth” conference was (is being) held. as it’s a bit far to go from Australia, I missed out on attending the lectures. their twitter feed mentions the sessions will be uploaded as podcasts soon, so I shall try to take a listen to them. I have a copy of the original book, “The Subversive Stitch: embroidery and the making of the feminine (1984)” by Rozsika Parker, though I have only browsed through it. I hope to read more over the Christmas break (along with Colour book).

here’s an image of the flyer:

event details, from the ticket site:

Keynote Speakers include: Professor Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds

The Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth will explore the legacy of Rozsika Parker’s groundbreaking book, The Subversive Stitch: embroidery and the making of the feminine (1984) and two landmark exhibitions from 1988 that developed Parker’s ideas. It will consist of a two day event held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and an online resource that will include documentation of the event. The Subversive Stitch Revisited will be dedicated to the memory of Rozsika Parker, who died in 2010.

Presentations taking place on Friday (29/11/2013) will reflect on the art and feminist debates of the 1970s and 80s from which the exhibitions emerged. It will feature keynote presentations by Griselda Pollock and American artist Elaine Reichek in conversation with Jenni Sorkin (University of California, Santa Barbara). Saturday (30/11/2013) explores the politics of cloth now, focusing on current activity by both women and men that addresses ethical, social and global issues, and on cloth as a subversive strategy.

Speakers and presenters include:Megha Rajguru + Nicola Ashmore, Đorđe Balmazović, Michael Bath, Claire Barber + Rowan Bailey, Lise Bjørne Linnert, Leah Borromeo, Anthea Black + Nicole Burisch, Christine Checinska, Sarah Corbett, Steffi Duarte, Leora Farber, Elke Gaugele, Betsy Greer, Roisin Inglesby, Alexandra Kokoli, Kimberly Lamm, Anne Moore, Brenda Schmahmann, Rose Sinclair, Jenni Sorkin, Matt Smith, Lisa Vinebaum, Liese Van Der Watt.

textiles reading list

collating textiles related articles I come across to read
(& some other general topics mixed in, if I emailed to the wrong reading list) has some also where I’ve written a blog post about the articles too, if theme related (once I decide on my actual theme)

2015 update: I’m posting these now to

textiles reading list
(changed to listing recent entries at top – since October 2014 (assignment 3))

16 Dec 2014 – drawing with threads

22 Nov 2014 – I have her book “Fabric Manipulation”

20 Nov 2014

18 Nov 2014 Surface Design Journals (pdf samples)……

16 Nov 2014
John Olsen ::: image search
Tilleke Schwartz
Gwen Hedley
Allison Watkins ::: closet studies
Dorothy Caldwell ::: tactile writing and the written word. walking with stitch workshop
Demelza Sherwood ::: portraits
Ruth Hadlow ::: patternbook & working with threads and nails & translating the textiles university world
textile fibre forum in geelong
Natasza Niedziolka ::: colouring in shapes, like aerial landscapes, tacks down knots amongst the lines
Marian Bijilenga ::: objects
Nick Cave ::: sound suits

15 Nov 2014……

14 Nov 2014 ::: Debbie Smyth – drawing with thread. nails & thread drawings & wall hangings

13 Nov 2014
Drawing on Everything – Discovering Your Creative Voice
Shantell Martin ::: drawing on everything

12 Nov 2014
Shiela Hicks – begin with thread (video) like the inside of a beehive

07 Nov 2014…

06 Nov 2014

25 Oct 2014…… zizek…

24 Oct 2014 – conference in the UK covering textiles & technology, sustainable textiles and futures, craftsmanship & the handmade and some industry/business – nice fabric manipulations examples



11 Oct 2014……… – fly stitch

9 Oct 2014… (see 7 Aug 2013 also)…

8 Oct 2014…… (doc)… pdf origami book Oribotics – Matthew Gardiner – origami & robotics + fabric origami & folding Oribotics…… tyvek paper (order) ebook

older posts in 2013 -> 2014 order:

07 August 2013
Age-old crafts become next generation technology tools via OCA blog
A Computational Model of Knitting & other articles combining knitting and computing via bit.craft
Audrey Walker of the 62 Group in the UK – I love how some of her stitches look painterly, like Van Gogh’s night scenes painting style in this one
Radical Thread book – a sample of it anyway, from the 62 Group
Observed Incident by Audrey Walker
Textile Artist website
Abstract Fabric Collage by Margaret Kaye
11th Century embroidery pictures – I like the satin stitch (I think!) in this one
Sue Stone
on slow craftivism
threads of life – Indonesian fibre arts and textiles

and a couple from last week, the Game of Thrones embroidery pictures & site
Michele Carragher’s embroidery for Game of Thrones TV show
These Close-Ups Of “Game Of Thrones” Fashion Will Take Your Breath Away
love Daenerys’s dragonscale dress – there’s a page showing how to create dragonscale too (I’m up to book 3, and just started 2nd series of the show)

06 October 2013……

16 October 2013…

17 October 2013… fitted sheets……

21 October 2013…

08 November 2013
Brian Eno and Grayson Perry on how the internet taught us we are all perverts
Creativity, popularity and pornography – and why great art always involves losing control.…

18 November 2013………

19 November 2013

26 November 2013
internet cats embroidered onto business shirts…

27 November 2013
Hechizoo textiles traditions transformed to sophisticated and modern textiles.

“Forever in Blue Jeans” “Weaving Indigo Dyed Denim” … nice.she’s making jeans.from scratch. weaving the dyed cotton 1st

“a celebration of repair” … where things go to be fixed

29 November 2013

30 November 2013…

Tracing Acton | Minami Arai on the lost art of the written word
“In “Tracing Action” Arai uses thick wire and to recreate an elevated text from her favorite books. It’s as if the text is rising off the page and being brought to life.”…

Sourcing Local Colour
– natural dyeing from the centre for sustainable fashion

craft of use project – by the centre for sustainable fashio (CSF) local wisdom project (related) – future fabrics virtual (online) expo. from the conference – the sustainable angle – they held the future fabrics conference

16 December 2013……

17 December 2013………

18 December 2013………………

4 Jan 2014

5 Jan 2014

8 Jan 2014…

9 Jan 2014

10 Jan 2014

“A Swedish medieval book mended with silk thread” ‪…‬ beautiful. parchment holes mended with embroidery

more of the nun’s work repairing the book parchment with coloured silk embroidery (in 1417) ‪…‬

11 Jan 2014……

13 Jan 2014……

15 Jan 2014……

18 Jan 2014
The Women’s Art Library / MAKE

UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 ‪;rights=Pu… …‬ many of these are now free ebooks. art, science, history, music, religion…  Constructed Textiles Research Laboratory  Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery

19 Jan 2014……………

19 Jan 2014…

21 Jan 2014

21 Jan 2014

21 Jan 2014

22 Jan 2014

22 Jan 2014

22 Jan 2014

24 Jan 2014

budget file:

25 Jan 2014

26 Jan 2014

27 Jan 2014 claudy jongstra…

27 Jan 2014

28 Jan 2014…

28 Jan 2014…

28 Jan 2014 borges labyrinth

1 Feb 2014!/entry/keith-haring-tak…

2 Feb 2014…

2 Feb 2014…

2 Feb 2014

smart clothes science symposium -video lectures

2 Feb 2014

2 Feb 2014…

3 Feb 2014

5 Feb 2014 paper/paper

5 Feb 2014…

6 Feb 2014

7 Feb 2014… v&a cloth collection

8 Feb 2014

8 Feb 2014……

9 Feb 2014


10 Feb 2014…

14 Feb 2014…………

15 Feb 2014…

the beauty of this technique lies in the nature of the acrylic – you can adjust and modify the gel to suit your needs… whether using retarder to increase smoothness, mixing in acrylic pigment, or even mixing in other materials (i’ve seen everything from gold flake to sand mixed into the acrylic gel). I use Liquitex’s Gloss Heavy Gel Medium, but any clear acrylic medium works.

16 Feb 2014

shibori girl
I’ve uploaded a couple of new pics to the shibori pool on flickr. Still working on my still photo set up. Haven’t gotten it quite to my liking yet but it’s coming along. I hope to get a few questions answered at the upcoming photographers meetup beginning of the month.
I’m reading “Why We Buy, The Science of Shopping” by Paco Underhill. A really great book. Many of the things he talks about in the book, I have done when selling my work from simple intuition but he takes it to a whole new level. I will definitely be using more of these techniques as I move forward. I also finished listening (as I was sewing more postcards) to the CODA speech by Dennis Stevens entitled “Redifining Craft for the 21st Century”. There is some really good stuff in there. It’s a little wordy and heavy-handed so have a little patience- his ideas are pretty clear and it’s got me thinking. How about you?

17 Feb 2014…

18 Feb 2014

19 Feb 2014

22 Feb 2014

23 Feb 2014

devore – burnout on velvet

23 Feb 2014…

23 Feb 2014

24 Feb 2014…

25 Feb 2014

26 Feb 2014…

27 Feb 2014!/entry/the-early-jazz-a………………………………


28 Feb 2014 visual textiles sketchbooks…

2 Mar 2014………………

3 Mar 2014………

4 Mar 2014

Textile futures: the living shoe and the strawberry plant that grows lace ::: What will we be making shoes out of in 2080? And will our clothes come from fruit?

5 Mar 2014!/ pkd exegesis analysis……………

5 Mar 2014…

6 Mar 2014…

10 Mar 2014…
spider silk

12 Mar 2014…………

16 Mar 2014

17 Mar 2014
Stanislaw Lem
Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans

18 Mar 2014…

19 Mar 2014…

20 Mar 2014…

21 Mar 2014……… – mez  The Legacy of Scattered Hegemonies…

22 Mar 2014…

24 Mar 2014…

25 Mar 2014

26 Mar 2014…… hand glitched weaving……………
weaving a computer core dump……

27 Mar 2014…\……

28 Mar 2014…

29 Mar 2014 other course stitching

30 Mar 2014…

6 Apr 2014

7 Apr 2014…

10 Apr 2014

13 Apr 2014…
jim dine hearts…

17 Apr 2014
onion prints

i soaked the onion skin in a bit of warm water to soften it and cut the shape. i wrapped some old silk on a spool and caught the heart shape in between the layers of the wrap. i used cotton string to wrap it.  I have a brew of pomegranate, tea, oak leaves and now some avocado that has been cooked over the winter many times. i keep adding stuff to the pot.  I heated the brew once again and dropped the bundle in and let it sit in the sun for a few days. that’s it. if i left it longer, the image would have been stronger but i was just doing a test of the method. onion skins mark silk very quickly. i remember reading that in the book.

18 Apr 2014… textiles courses online

27 Apr 2014… bees… mavs – micro automated vehicles….

28 Apr 2014…

30 Apr 2014

1 May 2014
Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2014

2 May 2014……

3 May 2014……

4 May 2014…

check for bees inspiration bees by mr finch

6 May 2014…

7 May 2014……

8 May 2014

I’m doing a class of hers on Inking. really good so far…………

9 May 2014

10 May 2014……

11 May 2014

12 May 2014…

13 May 2014……

On Monday, 12 May 2014, wrote:

On Monday, 12 May 2014, wrote:…

On Sunday, 11 May 2014, wrote:

On Saturday, 10 May 2014, wrote:……

On Saturday, 10 May 2014, wrote:

On Saturday, 10 May 2014, wrote:

On Saturday, 10 May 2014, wrote:

On Friday, 9 May 2014, wrote:

On 9 May 2014 09:02, wrote:

On Friday, 9 May 2014, wrote:

On Thursday, 8 May 2014, wrote:…

On Thursday, 8 May 2014,

14 May 2014……

15 May 2014

17 May 2014

hallucigen honey hunters. hunting mad honey doco

20 May 2014…

21 May 2014…

bees – single hive of flower petals…

22 May 2014…

22 May 2014

23 May 2014
The Next Black – A film about the Future of Clothing

23 May 2014…

23 May 2014….…

24 May 2014

24 May 2014

25 May 2014…

27 May 2014

27 May 2014

27 May 2014

28 May 2014

30 May 2014

31 May 2014…

1 Jun 2014

1 Jun 2014

2 Jun 2014…

3 Jun 2014

4 Jun 2014

5 Jun 2014… notebooks

5 Jun 2014

7 Jun 2014

7 Jun 2014

11 Jun 2014

11 Jun 2014

11 Jun 2014

12 Jun 2014

12 Jun 2014…

17 Jun 2014…

18 Jun 2014……

18 Jun 2014…

19 Jun 2014……

19 Jun 2014

21 Jun 2014

21 Jun 2014

21 Jun 2014……

21 Jun 2014…

22 Jun 2014………

22 Jun 2014

weaving…backstrap loom padddlepop stick
via comment…

22 Jun 2014

22 Jun 2014…

24 Jun 2014…

26 Jun 2014

28 Jun 2014

beading loom for weaving

28 Jun 2014

29 Jun 2014…

29 Jun 2014…

2 Jul 2014…

4 Jul 2014… radical thread – 62 group book sample

4 Jul 2014

5 Jul 2014

7 Jul 2014…

12 Jul 2014…

12 Jul 2014…

13 Jul 2014

14 Jul 2014

15 Jul 2014

16 Jul 2014…

31 Jul 2014…

1 Aug 2014…

3 Aug 2014…

20 Aug 2014…

20 Aug 2014

On 20 August 2014 12:51, wrote:…

24 Aug 2014…

12 Sep 2014

junko oki….

14 Sep 2014

15 Sep 2014

16 Sep 2014

17 Sep 2014

i thought this post on Helen Terry’s blog was interesting. she shows some of her sketches, prints, colour/dyeing experiments whilst she works out what to work on next. it’s good to see how established artists work too.

Assignment 1

Textiles 1 — A Creative Approach — Assignment 1
student name: Kathleen (Kath) O’Donnell
student number: 511607

Assignment 1 — Reflective Commentary
(based on assessment criteria points)
also available as a downloadable PDF file — 77Kb, 2 pages

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills
Whilst working on the class exercises, I learnt many new techniques, including mark-making with various materials, hand embroidery stitches and how to do machine embroidery. I began to see patterns and marks whilst I walked around the city, and began to see shapes that could look interesting when stitched. Once I learnt a few embroidery stitches, I began to see them everywhere in the streets, in my hotel rooms and in in ordinary, pataphysical objects. I’m still working on my sketching, as I still don’t feel as confident doing this, but I enjoy taking photographs of different patterns instead. The class exercises did help in “freeing up” my drawing skills and ways of thinking.

Quality of Outcome content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas
I am happy with how some of the embroidery / stitching mark making exercises turned out, and the one’s I don’t think are very good I am treating as practice exercises in freeing up my thinking and work leading up to the final samples. In a couple of the exercises I couldn’t stop at the sample — I had to finish a piece as I wanted to see how it would look and if I could manage to translate the image in my head into a finished piece. I think I need to practice presentation of the work on my blog — in most cases I posted photographs or scans of them and often they are too large for the page, and there is little text describing them. I feel I need to work more on writing descriptions of the work and techniques.

Demonstration of Creativity imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice
I tried to experiment with some of the mark-making techniques in the exercises using paints, paper, and threads and stitches. I was following the guidelines of the exercises and some of the books and websites I’d visited, but these did lead to some experimentation that I thought of myself, such as the final embroidery exercises where I experimented with circles and stitches to create small art-samples.

Context reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)
I enjoyed researching different artists and noticing the strokes in their paintings, such as the short lines that make up lines and swirls in Van Gogh’s Night Paintings series. Also I read about some of the female artists from the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop and some of Paul Klee’s work from the late 1930s – early 10490s which I think would be able to be represented in stitch as there are very pronounced lines and shapes attuned to stitches and blocks of colour in the background that could be represented by swatches of fabric layers. More recent embroidery artists I read about include Sue Stone, Junko Oki, Audrey Walker of the 62 Group in the UK. Once again, I feel I need to work more on writing up my ideas after reading about other artists’ work so I can note what catches my eye about their work.

Sketchbook — downloadable PDF version (up until November 2013 – 35Mb – 50 pages)

Class exercises
here are a couple of ways to view my class exercises:

1. View or Download PDF File of all my class exercises (blog pages) : Assignment1 – class exercises and blog sample work — downloadable PDF file (PDF file ::: 9Mb ::: 113 pages)

2. View directly on my blog via the following links:
Project 1 — Making marks

Stage 2 — Making marks in an expressive way
Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

Stage 3 — Using marks to create surface textures
Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Stage 4 — Working from your sketchbooks

Project 2 — Developing your marks

Stage 1 — Preparation

Stage 2 — Exploring marks and lines through stitch techniques

Stage 3 — A Sample

Stage 4 — Preparing to create textures

Stage 5 — Stitches which create texture

Stage 6 — Using thread and yarns to create textures

Using thread and yarns to create textures

A Creative Approach — Project 2 Developing your marks — Stage 6 — Using thread and yarns to create textures

In this exercise we had to use different threads and yarns to create textures.

front side:

rear side:

I tried another – with different layers of fabric, different stitches and different/multiple threads of varying weights.

close ups:



rear side:

I had made some small sketches (finding I like the A5 size, small but handy to carry around), so the stitching above is based on some of the shapes in these sketches.



Can you begin to see the relationship between stitching and drawing?
yes, definitely. I can see it more and more since working on these exercises. I think I have even started to draw/sketch with stitching in mind.

Were you able to choose stitches which expressed the marks and lines of your drawings?
yes, I learnt a few stitches including running stitch, back stitch, blanket stitch, stem stitch, chain stitch, cretan stitch, satin stitch and was able to adapt some of these to match the marks in some of my sketches.

Did you choose the right source material to work from?
I think I chose the correct sketches to work from. though they were new sketches that I’d drawn after doing some of the embroidery exercises previously. I’m not sure that most of my previous source material (mark making exercises) were suited to stitching — I can see how some of them might work well as stitched pieces, but not all of them.

Do you think your sample works well irrespective of the drawing? Or is your sample
merely a good interpretation of your drawing?

yes, I like my sample as a standalone piece even if it wasn’t based on some of the shapes in the mark making sketches. I think it has interesting shapes and styles. I tried a few different stitches and threads of varying weights and colours which I think adds interest to the piece and makes a person look more closely at it to see the detail and to see the mistakes/hand made properties of it.

Which did you prefer – working with stitch to create textures or working with yarns
to make textures? Which worked best for you and why?

I preferred working with stitches to create textures as I could layer the stitches and combine them in different shapes and patterns. I only had limited materials/threads with me (whilst traveling) so I felt my combinations of different yarn types was more limiting. also, some of the couching using gold foil paper was so delicate that the foil ripped easily which made it harder to work with.

Make some comments on individual techniques and sample pieces. Did you
experiment enough? Did you feel inhibited in any way? Fix them into your sketchbook
if you want to or start a separate book of sample references.

my favourite technique was using blanket stitch in circles (based on Junko Oki’s work — though mine ended up looking different to hers). it was fun to stitch circles and change the direction of the stitch rows slightly so they were more organically aligned. I think I experimented with a few new stitches (new to me), but I probably could have tried more materials and threads. it’s just I was enjoying making the circles so much I didn’t worry too much about trying more threads (plus, the limited supply of them in my travel case).

Do you prefer to work from a drawing or by playing with materials and yarns to
create effects? Which method produced the most interesting work?

I prefer to play with the materials, yarns and stitches and see what they lead me to rather than doing a sketch first. I think my casual experimentation worked best.

Are there other techniques you would like to try? Are there any samples you would
like to do in a different way?

I’d like to try more Japanese darning and creating netting. with the samples, I’d make them similar again, though I would try having some as they are and others with more overlapping layers. I didn’t add too many layers to the samples at this stage because I liked how they turned out. but this means that I missed out on seeing how they would look with layered stitches on top of each other.

Is there anything you would like to change in your work? If so, make notes for future

yes, add more layers, and try different sized circles. I’d like to try some netting also. and also a portrait, or image from a photo where I convert to greyscale/black&white and then enhance the outlines and try stitch that. ie something more realistic.