WHO ARE THE NEW CRAFT ARTISTS IN ACTION?!
Brought to participants via traveling workshops, pick up games and internet cataloguing, the NCAA is a craftivist collective that addresses public space, diversity, collaboration, feminism, and interdisciplinary learning through the "Net Works" project. The collective assembles handmade basketball nets for abandoned hoops, usually via knit and crochet, to build proactive inclusive relationships between artists, athletes, and neighbors. Here the form and function of the “street” and the “domestic” collide in hand-made tactical aesthetics that express dissidence and generate new approaches to public space.
Tweet @YarnOverTime #NCAANetWorks
Basketball has slowly evolved since 1891, when James Naismith posed a recycled peach basket as the first hoop for his students in Springfield, MA. Woven nets emerged several years later, introducing a new dimension for movement and audio-kinetic satisfaction. Inspired by the many ways nets benefit the game, NCAA Net Works proceeds by a mapping process and a form of DIY slow production that utilize creative problem solving in undermaintained urban spaces. The project draws attention to the expressive potential of these spaces while challenging commercially driven professional athletic institutions.
The collective was born out of Boston, Massachusetts, longitudinally central between Springfield’s Basketball Hall of Fame and Lowell’s American Textile History Museum. Since its founding in 2010, the NCAA has taken Net Works to many places including Detroit, Pittsburgh, LA, Toronto, Flint, San Fransisco, San Antonio, Hungary, South Africa, and the Philippines. In an effort to encourage communities to produce their own nets the NCAA is currently producing a printed workbook and manual for broad distribution.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Two years ago, the NCAA circulated a world-wide call for submissions designed by Golden Arrows. Artists/designers/everyone were asked to create original basketball net designs and to record their corresponding patterns and/or instructions so that participants might recreate these nets. As interest gained and submissions rolled in, a team of Boston contributors developed into a devoted collective including Taylor McVay, Andrea Sherrill Evans, Samantha Fields, Cara Kuball, Mallory Biggins, and Lizzie Curran. Together, they developed the vision and purpose of a book project and the elements it would need to expand the reach and accessibility of Net Works while also responding to many prior requests for help building new nets.
The NCAA exhibits a wealth of skills and insight among a team of established artists, educators and activists. In particular, Team Players Taylor McVay, Andrea Evans, and Maria Molteni took on the challenge of reassessing and adapting traditional knit and crochet instructions to more holistic and approachable drawings, tutorials and discussion. Both McVay and Evans have taught in a wide variety of settings, from college level curricula, to local craft store demos, and manual art institutions such as the Eliot School. Keeping in check with the fresh perspectives of Molteni and other inexperienced volunteers, they were able to trouble shoot and thoroughly comb through common hiccups, mixups, and misconceptions learners may have when following dense or oversimplified manuals.
(Hear from the team in the below interviews! video directed and edited by Jordan Tynes)
Throughout the book, both content and Golden Arrows designs are considered with as much concern for physical engagement/coordination as conceptual understanding. This is in keeping with a belief that both athletics and crafts employ a physicality, mentality, and creativity that is therapeutic and strengthening. This book is original and it was made for you to use fluidly. It begs you to build upon it and to share the fruits of your labor with the NCAA and the world!
(See more sample pages of the book here)
LIST OF ARTISTS / DESIGNERS FEATURED: (in order of appearance)
Maria Molteni // Taylor McVay // Andrea Sherrill Evans // Lizzie Curran Samantha Fields // Cara Kuball // Pamela Wynne // Mallory Biggins // Anna Rochinski // Raeanne Young // Cat Mazza + students of UMASS Boston // Kevin Clancy // Zsuzsanna Szegedi // Emily Green + Katy Cowan // Hazel Meyer // Susan Tornheim // Pat Falco
In the Spring of 2014 the NCAA will participate in Creative Time's traveling exhibition Living As Form at Harvard University's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Besides a gallery installation, the NCAA will host several workshops, on and off campus net interventions, and a six day undergraduate intensive Toward a New Tactile Interventionism that will address opposing philosophies of mid-century urban planning and recreational space.
Risks and challenges
I honestly believe launching this kickstarter is the biggest risk. After a year of grant-writing only to find that our project is not cookie cutter enough for one in particular, we've realized that it's the perfect project for a kickstarter fundraiser. We have already loaded countless...really COUNTLESS hours into compiling and creating content, designing, seeking feedback, building non-financial support, offering free workshops. We are so ready for this and simply need funding. If we go above our goal, we have a list of next steps ready to put the money toward. We have been working overtime on this since day 1.
I think it will be a challenge to churn out many of the hand-made rewards, but we set further-out delivery dates for those on purpose. If we find that we are not meeting this deadline, we will write to backers to keep them updated on our progress. But this is what we do. We make things by hand. We've been bustin' it to deliver good energy and quality objects and we'll continue.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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