Punctures: Textiles in Digital and Material Time

2019—2020 at Squeaky Wheel (Buffalo, NY)
2021 at SPACE (Portland, ME)
Curatorial Research Assistant, Kyla Gordon

Punctures: Textiles in Digital and Material Time was a research project that evolved into a multi-part exhibition and event series, presented by Squeaky Wheel (Buffalo, NY). Beginning as an inquiry into the historical, material, and metaphorical connections between textiles and media arts, Punctures was a showcase of contemporary artists who utilize this connection towards liberatory purposes.

Squeaky Wheel presented the project between September 2019–February 2020 with three exhibitions and several public programs, opening with a fashion show and new installation by Charlie Best. Best’s work was installed for the duration of Punctures. The exhibition additionally featured work by Betty Yu, Cecilia Vicuña, Kite, Sabrina Gschwandtner, and a newly commissioned work by Eniola Dawodu. Films screened as part of Punctures included feature length work by Jodie Mack, Pat Ferrero, and Wang Bing, and short and medium length work by Alta Kahn, Charlie Best, Cydnii Wilde Harris, Eytan İpeker, Laura Kraning, Lesley Loksi Chan, the Manaki Brothers, Senga Nengudi, and Sabrina Gschwandtner, and Susie Bennally. The visual identity and program notes for the exhibitions and screenings were designed by Kelly Walters; you can download a PDF and read it here. The page on Squeaky Wheel’s site can be seen here.

Along with Best’s fashion show, public events in Punctures included a performance by Kite; an augmented reality workshop for youth by Betty Yu; and four artist talks with invited guests: Eniola Dawodu in conversation with Amy Sall; Kite in conversation with Jolene Rickard; Betty Yu in conversation with Jasmina Tumbas; and Charlie Best in conversation with myself.

A touring iteration of Punctures was presented by SPACE (Portland, ME) in July 2021. Photographs below by Carolyn Wachnicki. You can see more info about this iteration here. I’m grateful to them for committing to the exhibition – originally due to open in Summer 2020 – despite the challenges of the pandemic.

In November 2018, Squeaky Wheel presented a three day symposium regarding Punctures towards the final exhibition. Speakers and moderators for the symposium included Terri Francis, Kyla Gordon, Kite, Beryl Korot, Chris Lee, Jodi Lynn Maracle, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Stephen Monteiro, Tina Rivers Ryan, Jasmina Tumbas, Kelly Walters, the WASH Project, Betty Yu, and myself. The event featured screenings of work by Abraham Ravett, Laura Huertas Millán, Jodie Mack, and a performance by Kite. Click here to read more about the symposium.

Initial research into the project was supported by 5harfliler who published a brief blog post (in Turkish) by myself on the connection between textiles and media arts; this was followed by support from the SAHA Foundation who supported my attendance at Independent Curators International’s New Orleans Intensive; and a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The exhibition at Squeaky Wheel was funded in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Creative Arts Initiative at the University at Buffalo.