Prophesying as Profession
Doing — In this analog for creative work, we are sitting at Penelope’s loom, drawing a thread of the past through a thread of the future. The work at hand is this laborious, repeating, careful elaboration, whose end — both the product and its telos — is revealed to be inextricable from its making.
Using — The woven structure of textile allows it to be soft without breaking, to envelop various bodies comfortably, with ease. By not being strict, weaving (a textile, a story, a drawing) is making space for resonance in a way that overdetermined, didactic transmission cannot. Despite the co-option of narrative fictions for advertising (weaponizing the power of resonance for profit), there remain some provisional, lyrical ways of working in this mode which learn from, rather than package, warp and weft.
Believing — A shroud is not the product of outspoken expression, but one of careful fabrication. Only Penelope knows that which she is (un)weaving, and in her perpetual doing we must do the work of deciphering.
in good faith is to believe in the work and its possibilities, and all the space for misreadings between. These are all sister practices, embodied histories that are contingent on fixedness (at the loom, in the past, on the page) and perpetual motion (we must keep turning, weaving). Myth is dyadic, and of ours to make our own. The architect knows this — her hand lives in the fictitious drawing and its trace, in loose threads to pick at and undersides to be examined. Myth is she, rendered material.
Meaning — Penelope was a weaver long before weaving was her cunning defense, and will continue to be as long as we need something to wear. In rethinking our relation to contemporary modes of working, we may find histories and futures, entwined, in a practice as mundane as weaving. Its meaning is held just out of grasp, but then, as in all fiction, it is our reaching that is important.
Juliana is listening closely, Anoushka is tasting it all, both are studying architecture at Columbia GSAPP.