An exploration of the intra-active relationship between knitted textiles and dance, through designing flexible three-dimensional knits with high kinetic and visual agency. A relationship where the material can act as a partner to the dancer, restricting, enhancing or altering the human movements.
This project aims to explore the synergetic meetings between material and dance, through introducing knitted textiles as partners in the dance. Material partners that are designed to restrict, enhance or alter the dancer’s movements, through their own kinetic agency. Agencies that are explored through pushing the knit's flexible and 3D qualities and the capability of different knitting techniques. The intra-action between material and movement becomes the directing force in the textile but also the dancer's process. A collaborative and homogeneous design process, where human and material listens to each other, but also where different disciplines exchanges
knowledge and perspectives in an intra-active relationship.
In textile design interaction is an important aspect of the design process. How we interact with the textile is a defining factor in determining the textile’s function, property, quality, visual expression and context. In a sense interaction is the essence of textile design, as it serves a functional and interactive purpose. However interaction is a limited concept, as it proposes that the two agents are not affected or altered by the encounter with each other. An untrue assumption if one considers the fact that textile is very much altered in the encounter with a moving body. This calls for the introduction to the post-humanist concept of intra-action, presented by feminist physicist Karen Barad. According to Barad’s Agential Realism, intra-action is a fluid and temporal state, where a phenomenon materialise through intra-actions and the ability to act emerges from within the relationship not outside of it. Intra-action is an interesting perspective to introduce into the field of textile design as it allows the designer to think of the textile matter as a partner. A partner in a relationship that is constantly morphing, where the textile is as much an agent as the human.