l'art d'être · laureen andalib

“Fabric Fetus.” Part I: Conceptualizing the Virtual “Grid”

"Fabric Fetus," Laureen Andalib. Introduction to Digital Media

“Fabric Fetus,” Laureen Andalib. Introduction to Digital Media


My fascination with the notion that the grid is not necessarily concrete, but rather, a structural framework, definitely provoked my idea for this project. Even though I reminded myself this while creating my tiles, I somehow ended up using the grid as a vessel of displaying sequence, evolution, transformation, and documentation.
The materials I have chosen are some of the most textured clothing I own—netted sweaters, mesh, loose crochet woolens, etc. The primary subject of these tiles is a sweater I curled up into a ball, and jammed with little details of other fabrics in creating its spherical make-up. Its loose and aery quality such as the threads almost alluding into space, animate the wool such that it almost becomes terrestrial. To me, I am propelled by the idea of giving life to dull, inanimate objects, re-inventing them so that they almost have a surreal persona of their own.
As I further contemplated the conceptuality of the work, I started to think about the animation of fabric and its potential to symbolize universal growth: genesis, embryos, abnormalities, etc. I then linked the material quality of my fabric to its intensive history of being developed as a textile: the complex scouring, tearing, and cleaning of the material once acquired from sheep. I was also fascinated by the idea of how fabric (surprisingly) was once in essence, a biological material. Like hair, wool is simply a protein-rich make-up and micro element of a sheep. After learning more about the process and development of wool, I realized that the wool is constantly burdened ‘and beaten’—thus, I wanted to express these various conditions of the fetus in the top row in my work, almost like embryonic abnormalities. The distorted presentation of these ‘fabric fetus stages’ concord with the history of its being developed as a harsh process. The material is enhanced not only by the presentation, but by the assortment of it into an imaginary narrative. To me, the material is thus and then translated, into the immaterial.
My choice of scale was influenced by my wanting to present my viewers with a massive, scientific-like x-ray/ultra-sound/documentation, especially to notice the changes in elemental qualities of these stages. To me, the color in this project re-iterates my idea of propelling it into an eerie realm of outer-space, using a cool, neutral color to emphasize the singularity of this trapping space- cold and dark, sealed-off bubble, even in a lab environment. Finally, I was inspired by Lyotard’s mentioning of the immaterial having the potential to infinitely project linearity and ‘haunt’ images into space and beyond the frame, so my presentation of sequence is not limited to a single imprint of documentation, but for the viewer to continuously finish and imagine in their mind the potential of this ‘fabric fetus’ to continuously grow and change for a ‘lifetime’ after this.

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“Fabric Fetus.” Part I: Conceptualizing the Virtual “Grid”

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