Fingernail Strippers (2014), Hannah Perner-Wilson (Photograph by Elodie Grethen ©Stitching Worlds)
Tools We Want (2018), Ebru Kurbak, Hannah Perner-Wilson, Irene Posch, Mika Satomi. Objects. Tools made of diverse materials.
Since ancient history, the isolated development of applied professions, from shoemaking to dentistry, has resulted in the elaboration of different sets of tools that fit the precise particular needs of that very profession. In today’s world, however, many of the disciplinary boundaries are being challenged by cross-disciplinary approaches; and the available tools fail to fulfill the needs of the practitioners. Tools We Want emerged from the desire to imagine, design, and build functional tools for electronic textile practices, which have been bound to borrowing their tools from the formerly isolated domains of textiles and electronics. Four practitioners came together, sought inspiration at workspaces of various other professions, discussed their practices and the limits of the tools they used, and developed a variety of individual ideas and prototypes in conversation with each other. The output of this collaboration then became a growing depository of ideas in the form of a website—toolswewant.at—and a number of physical tools to be elaborated over time through using and refining.
In the Stitching Worlds exhibition, a curated selection of four tools is put on display: the Ohm Tailor’s Tape by Ebru Kurbak, the Fingernail Strippers by Hannah Perner-Wilson, the Needlework Probes by Irene Posch, and the eTextile Tailor’s Scissors by Mika Satomi. The tools on display, beyond being one of the many practical extensions to the artists’ toolkits, are chosen for the way they visually communicate the straddled position of cross-disciplinary practices like electronic textiles, and form a commentary on socially constructed stereotypes about skills and competencies.
Ohm Tailor’s Tape (2018), Ebru Kurbak (Photograph by Elodie Grethen ©Stitching Worlds)
Needlework Probes (2014-2017), Irene Posch (Photograph by Elodie Grethen ©Stitching Worlds)