Wool needs teeth to bond with dye. Soaking the fibers in a mineral-rich bath is called mordanting. We’ll collect seawater from Buttermilk Channel to mordant wool. As we walk along the seawall, we’ll practice deep listening and ask, “What else needs teeth? How do we make language susceptible to environment?” While the wool soaks in seawater, we will steep in the place where sculpture and poetry meet, souse our words, and play with them.
This workshop is a part of Ensayos, a nomadic research program based in Tierra del Fuego. Ensayo #4 (Coastal Curriculum) involves research pods in Tierra del Fuego, Northern Norway, New York, and Australia. The artists, scientists, and scholars involved in each pod meet intermittently to cross-pollinate and share their experiences with archipelagic intersections of identity, history, geography, language, and law.
Christy Gast brings her Mobile Tinctorium to Governor’s Island to extract color from goldenrod (solidago sp.), a native plant in the aster family. Gast’s process includes transferring color from plants to fibers (foraging, dyeing, felting), sculptural installations, and exploratory, poetic, performative and collaborative actions. She will work on-site and host events throughout the summer, amidst an evolving exhibition of projects and processes in the studio.
Denise Milstein is a writer and researcher. She teaches at Columbia University and edits Dispatches from the Field, a publication series devoted to ethnographic material. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, she lives and works in New York City.