Feeling: Sensing the Affectivity of Emotional Politics through Textiles
To be touched by cloth is to be moved by it, textiles impress and make impressions upon the body. Feeling such pressure or contact is an affective, emotional and multi- sensory encounter. The senses are knotted and whilst they cannot be easily separated from one another nor from the affective and emotional dimensions, the entanglements of bodily capacities are further enmeshed into the socio-cultural structures of the place, saturated with sociality and issues of power that differ from culture to culture and person to person.
In this chapter, I position textiles as central sites for productions of feeling and as powerful multi-dimensional devices for moving bodies and constructing spaces for negotiating feeling. Specifically, I explore the complex set of relations between textiles, installation art and the felt (multi-sensory, affective and emotional) capacities of the body as well as the socio-political and mytho-sacral spheres, involved in intercultural living. To do this, I refer to Swells of Enchantment (2013), a textile- based installation produced collaboratively with my husband, artist Martin Johnson and my grandmother Maria Zawada.