Thuistezien 91 — 20.07.2020

Ganaële Langlois
Textiles as Anti-Media

Ganaële Langlois takes us through the history of textile and its implications on our society. As part of ‘Feedback: International Symposium’, she presented the publication on ‘Textiles as Anti-Media’ where she explored the crossing points between textile and social change, or how textile can be seen as a medium of communication. How is it that textile is never mentioned in communication studies, while it’s been a global medium of communication from prehistoric times? Still today, people gather together to stitch, knit or make quilts that record and enact cultural values and collective ways of living. It’s all part of her broader research where she examines how traditional textile transmitted and enacted ways of life, most often through means that had the same effect as story-telling, but did not particularly rely on words or symbolic images. How do contemporary textile practicers invent and renew ways of life and focus on the exchanges between indigenous groups, local artisans, designers and available materials? And lastly, the question is asked whether textile crafts provide the critical means to address systemic global inequalities such as cultural appropriation, environmental degradation, wage disparities and other socio-economic pressures. She shows us how both traditional and new textile practices can produce new intercultural understandings and ways of being together. These in turn challenge existing global inequalities and forge new alliances that transcend language and socio-economic barriers.

Dr. Ganaele Langlois is Assistant Professor in Communication studies at York University, Canada, and Associate Director of the Infoscape Centre for the Study of Social Media. Her research interests unite media theory and critical theory, philosophy of communication and software studies, particularly with regards to the shaping of subjectivity and agency through and with media technologies.
In September 2017, she was invited to speak at the 2-day symposium ‘Moment of Truth: for a Reasonable Ecology between the Media' organised by West. The symposium is part of the recursive exhibition project Marshall McLuhan and the Arts, a series of exhibitions and symposia examining the changing role of literature and the arts as guide in times of accelerated technological progress.