Walking the Grey Area

Walking the Grey Area

The material outcome of my Walking the Gray Area experience is a proposal of an open object rather than a closed one. I’ve worked with two different elements which I’ve tried to formalize in a very open way, for it is very important for me the necessary intervention of those who decide to use this object. My proposal is presented in a kit that includes a mocador de fer farcells with the formula of the Newton’s second law hand-embroidered, plus some ready-made elements that allow the user to apprehend the piece and give to the set a jewel functionality (provisional, variable or problematic).

The mocador de fer farcells (Catalan for a “scarf to make a bundle”) is now almost a relic of a past time, which while still manufactured as formerly, has lost its daily use. The mocador de fer farcells is a very local textile product, which can find many parallels in other cultures. It’s basically a square cloth of rectilinear patterns that is used primarily to transport and protect objects, possessions, goodies. Their functionality seems to me exquisite and shows a surprising potential for very precise usages served in a formal and very humble way. I think that this object, used to haul things, speaks of coming and going and the value we attach to objects. It reminds us the value of transit, mobility, a value that we’re apparently rediscovering now under hight words as globalization, but which has always been part of our more inner nature.

I’ve embroidered with gold thread the formula of the second law of Newtonian dynamics on the scarves. Newtonian physics has been overtaken by new scientific formulations of reality, but remains the physics we learn in school and the one we apply to our surrounding world. The formulation of the second law tells us how the net force on a particle is equal to the time rate of change of its linear momentum. I have used this formula of physics to represent my personal experience of being moved from a starting position, almost still, by the momentum that the project Walking the Gray Area carries on me.

Gemma Draper. February, 2010.