Artist Statement

Grounded in a language of textiles, my work addresses gender violence, the housing crisis, climate change, labor exploitation, and other traumas and insecurities that are experienced at once as social and personal. I work with textiles—as structures, systems of knowledge, and the material of everyday life—to create physical and psychological, material and metaphoric, temporal and geographic links between social change and our lives as experienced in our homes and on our bodies. I evoke the intimacy, sociality, and science of textiles to reveal interconnections between multiple forms of knowledge and between corporeal, ecological, social, and political bodies.

My work takes shape as inter-subjective reference materials including charts, maps, blueprints, and encyclopedias. These weavings, thread drawings, and works on paper are formally minimal, while embedded with the results of intensive material, interpersonal, and cross-disciplinary research. Some materialize data while others document the experiences, ideas, and efforts of women activists. All are grounded in feminism and the varied forms of knowledge required for skilled production: the math, structure, and systems of weaving, the biology and chemistry of dyeing, and the relationship between cerebral and embodied knowledge.

Situated within global practices of women creatively reusing material to produce objects of care and connection, my process is one of producing, deconstructing, and restructuring. Fragments of thread are transformed into numerical and textual information, while text and data are transformed into thread. I weave organic cotton dyed with a variety of plant and insect-derived dyes and mineral mordants into interpretations of historical climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I unravel blankets and table linens that I wove in the past, reweaving the threads into new structures, or stitching them into texts and maps. Through video installation, I symbolically undo Jacquard-woven text describing the myth of the disposability of women as perpetuated by patriarchal capitalism. And I pull apart language from conversations and newspaper articles, unraveling sentences like threads from a paragraph, in order to reweave them into resonating patterns on a printed page.

My current research explores the mechanisms through which we come to understand climate change: data, journalistic narrative, and our own embodied experiences. This research initially led to work materializing climate data as abstracted woven landscapes. I am now spending three years in Tulsa, OK—historic “oil capital of the world,” still economically and culturally tethered to cycles of hydrocarbon extraction. Here, I am further interrogating the data I draw on and how petro-capitalism and environmental destruction collide with other systems of violence and injustice to shape our embodied experiences of climate change. The work emerging from this newly expanded research uses thread, medical tubing, data, text, and ink. These sculptures and drawings will explore the vulnerability and resilience of corporeal and ecological bodies in the face of climate change while grappling with differing local manifestations, lived experiences, landscapes, worldviews, and geographic and temporal scales.

Bio

Tali Weinberg's work is held in multiple collections and has been exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, galleries across the US; and was included in the 2016 Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art in Zhejiang Province, China. She has taught and lectured at California College of the Arts (CCA), Penland School of Craft, the Textile Arts Center in NY, and Headlands Center for the Arts. Her current project, investigating climate change as data and lived experience, has been created with the support of a Collins Foundation funded residency at Oregon College of Art and Craft, the Lia Cook Jacquard residency at CCA;  a residency at Penland School of Craft; and is now funded by a George Kaiser Family Foundation Tulsa Artist Fellowship . This work has been exhibited in galleries in across the US; and, on invitation, was presented at the California Studies Association’s conference Parched: Dry Times in the Golden State in conversation with community organizers, climate scientists, and geographers, and as part of a panel at the College Art Association on "Feminist Interventions in the Technophere." She holds an MFA from CCA and an MA from New York University.

 Photo credit: Adam Murphy

Photo credit: Adam Murphy