The term ” yarnbomb ” comes out of graffiti , ” bomb ” means putting up a bunch of tags in one area . When people ask me what I’m doing I say “Yarnbombing ” And often they quickly nod , they’ve heard of it . But I don’t think what I’m doing is graffiti really. It’s street art made with knitting.
The Russian and I put up this rack on Sunday. We met at 2.oo and it was extremely bright and hot . I had forgotten we are so close to the Equinox , it was like sitting in a bowl of bright light for 4 hours. Some of you might recognize this rack-we put up a piece on this same rack 3 months ago . Someone had taken down part of the old piece and just left one little strip . This is a strange story . I had noticed that lots of my yarnbombs were coming down all at once -5 or 6 at a time , entire installations. I thought the city was spring cleaning . This was nerve racking . This bike rack got only partly taken down which suggested it wasn’t the city . I count on Berkeley’s tolerance to do my bigger stuff , so it would be bad if the city decided that there would be no more yarnbombing .
After some time I got an e-mail from an anonymous knitter saying that they were taking down my pieces and sewing a blanket with them as a commentary on public and private art . They showed me the blanket with my yarnbombs all cut up and sewn together . I was so pained to recognize so much of my work all cut up. I wrote back and asked them not to do this-I wanted to make something myself with the old pieces. So all that made me want to put up another new piece on this same rack . Plus I just really like this rack .
So back to the word yarnbombing . This word is getting used for lots of different things – for big legal public commissions , for gallery artists who crochet and knit , for knitting put up at big craft stores , for knitting done for big corporations , for knitting in peoples’ gardens -I even saw someone describe a knitted dolls’ dress as a yarnbomb . All of this is good and interesting and exciting but I don’t think it’s exactly yarnbombing.
To me the word yarnbombing means knitting that is put up subversively-you don’t have permission , it’s done for free as a gift , it’s out on the street for everyone to see , it’s art without walls , art that’s not for sale , art just for pleasure .
A funny Muni link about the Bart Seat here.
Another small spinartiste yarnbombing interview here