Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Published in Textiles and Politics: Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium Proceedings, Washington, DC, September 18- September 22, 2012.


Copyright 2012 by the author(s).


ARTivention is a collective that utilizes fiber art techniques to engage the public about social, political and aesthetic dilemmas in contemporary society. All projects undertaken by ARTivention include a communal making component and an action component. This is accomplished through either the maker or the viewer not only thinking about the work, but also taking action whether in the form of writing letters to representatives, making monetary donations or serving others in some capacity that empowers the larger community. Incorporating familiar textile techniques such as quilting or knitting links the familial language of textiles to larger social issues we face today. Projects completed to date include Care Packages, Found Objects and Trans/plant. Care Packages consists of 17 quilted prayer mats were constructed by Muslim and Christian community groups in the Chicago area and sent to Guantanamo Bay Uighur detainees. In addition to making the prayer mats, individuals also sent letters of protest to the Department of Defense. A larger communal based project, Found Objects, utilized the talents of knitters around the country by knitting and placing tiny sweaters in public places with a tag attached asking the finder to make a monetary donation to the National Coalition for the Homeless. Trans/Plant is the latest development for ARTivention that will explore the refugee and migratory populations of Phoenix, AZ through the production of a tactile installation. The final goal of ARTivention is to exist outside the confines of the art commodification system and making art once again, accessible to the populace.