This is a farrago of a Geek Speak, spun out from the conceit that a lowly, ancient clump of wet matted fibers could ascend to the status of a blanket term for human struggle, survival, and even transcendence.
How is felt made? How is felt different from textiles? What are its special properties? Where did it originate? Why did the German artist Joseph Beuys find felt so suggestive that he adopted it as a favorite material in his work? How does felt’s power to insulate inculcate lessons in social, spiritual, and aesthetic insights? Why did the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze find in felt a model for a future human social fabric? What is the role of randomness in felt? These questions and others will entwine the efforts of an artist, a geographer, and a rhetorician to untangle, or to re-entangle, the twisted fibers of felt, the “nonwoven fabric.” Come warm to the subject with us.